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WANT CREATIVE CRED? GIVE A LITTLE

July 15, 2019 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as , , , , , ,

Want to know a secret? Volunteering can be your ticket to building a creative career platform.

Other professions have embraced the nonprofit strategy as personally fulfilling and professionally strategic. Lawyers work pro-bono, doctors cross borders to help those less fortunate, retired business people and teachers mentor those who need help starting their businesses or getting over a hump.

But nonprofits need more than counsel, they need the kind of exposure writers, filmmakers and artists can provide. Whether you’re looking for that first portfolio piece or expanding an already established career, aligning yourself with a nonprofit offers you a wealth of creative opportunities. Since you might know others in creative careers,  here are some suggestions for writers, filmmakers, artists and even chefs and gardeners because creativity is never limited.

WRITERS AND/ OR FILMMAKERS

Profile a volunteer

Interview the administrator

Chronicle the history of the nonprofit

Write the newsletter

Write content for their website/blog

Spotlight the success stories of clients

 

ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS

Paint a mural

Design a fundraising invitation

Photograph the clients

Hold art/photography classes

Design a nonprofit’s newsletter

Design a non-profit’s logo

CHEFS/GARDENERS/ETC

Cook for a fundraiser

Landscape the building

Provide floral arrangements for benefits

There is no limit to the benefits you will receive by volunteering your creative services. You will build your portfolio, be introduced to businesses and clients that are ready to pay for your talent, and, above all, you will have made a difference with your words, your images and your creativity. There is no lack of drama at a nonprofit, all you have to do is seek it out.

Eric, my son and Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Albania, writes plays about his experiences. They are produced in Hollywood and the proceeds benefit the village in which he lives.

Sam, a well-known musician, teaches children stricken with cancer how to play the guitar. Because of his volunteer work, the local newspaper did a front-page article on his efforts.

Cheryl, an aspiring filmmaker interviews people in an assisted living facility and runs those interviews on her website calling attention not only to rich histories but also to her talent behind the camera.

Jackie painted a mural on the wall of a local library. She was credited for her work by the library and her work is seen every day of the year not only by those who visit the library but people who walk and drive by.

The next time you’re looking for a way to showcase your talent, look no further than your community. Your portfolio – and your heart – will benefit from your generosity.

 

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Getting Down to the Business of Writing & Publishing Romance With Mary Castillo #onlineclass @A_SliceofOrange #OCCRWA

October 23, 2018 by in category Online Classes tagged as , , , , ,

 

Business of Writing Graphic

 

About the Class:

The moment you start writing a book with the intention of publishing it – self or traditional – you are in business. And if you’ve never run a business before, you may need this class. Scratch that. You need this class. Trust me.

I’m Mary Castillo and once upon a time, I dedicated my life to writing and publishing novels. But I didn’t know how one got paid. Or, that I’d have to pay taxes on that income in quarterly payments, or that my writing career would go one way and then quickly head another way and through it all, a mission statement I wrote in a moment of frustration would keep me focused when the road got rough.

What you’ll learn in this workshop are some of the things I learned the hard way, and some of the things I did right without knowing that they were the right things to do!

Our sessions will uncover sound practices in business planning, finance and marketing that will sustain you through your career. You will learn:

  • How to create a business plan
  • Why numbers are important on deciding what to write next
  • How you can start to identify your readers and help them find your books
  • How your creative author brain makes you a powerful authorprenuer
  • Who are the leading experts in today’s publishing world and why you might want to follow them

Author Mary Castillo

About the Instructor:

It is no wonder that Mary Castillo is a  paranormal mystery and romance author. She grew up in a haunted house.

Her mom once found her in the closet talking to the nicest lady who had a daughter and two sons. Mary was the only person in the closet and the more questions her mom asked, the plainer it was that her then three-year-old child described the previous (and deceased) resident of their house!

Fast forward many years later, Mary now writes the books she loves to read—chilling, paranormal mysteries in creepy old houses with a sexy hero and kick-butt psychic heroine, Dori O. The first book in the series, Lost in the Light was a Daphne Du Maurier Award finalist and the audiobook title won the 2018 Audiobook Review Listener’s Choice Award in Mystery. It was then followed up with Girl in the Mist and Lost in Whispers (a Maggie finalist!). Mary serves as vice president of communications for OCC RWA and at the moment, does not live in a haunted house. To learn more about her and her books visit: www.marycastillo.com.

Enrollment Information:

This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Groups.io. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.

To sign up or for more information, go to the class page at the OCC/RWA website: http://occrwa.org/classes/online-class-three/.

Linda McLaughlin
OCC/RWA Online Class Coordinator

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The Secrets to Selling More Books with Penny Sansivieri OCC/RWA Online Class @Bookgal

July 23, 2018 by in category Online Classes tagged as , , , , , , ,

OCC/RWA Online Class:

August 13-24, 2018

 

Secrets-to-selling-books graphic

 

About the Class:

https://www.asliceoforange.net/7765-2/
Week 1: How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon

Amazon is a great place to sell books, but most authors don’t realize that Amazon has an internal sales machine that will actually help you market your book, for free, if you trigger it? It’s called their internal algorithm and, not that dissimilar from ranking on Google, once Amazon’s algorithm kicks in, you could see a boatload of free promotion come your way from Amazon. Here’s what the session will cover:

  • Optimize your Amazon page: what you must do to start showing up in more searches
  • Understanding categories/themes and how to rank consistently #1 in your category.
  • Kindle Unlimited: How some authors are making a fortune here and how you can, too
  • How to quadruple the reviews you get on Amazon.
  • Why having a free book will help you sell more

Week 2: Super Fans & Street Teams- The Secrets to Selling More Books

At the end of the day, for all of the marketing we do, for all of the Tweeting, Facebook-ing, and blogging we really just want to know if it’s paying off. Does any of this sell books?

Have you ever asked yourself:

  •  How do I know if they are the right things to market my book?
  •  I don’t want to spend my life marketing, how can I get the most out of my efforts?
  •  Does giving away my book actually help sell it?
  •  Will any of this help me sell more books?

You will learn how to:

  • Identify and reach your exact right market
  • Turn fans into SUPER FANS and STREET TEAMS
  • Ignite your fans so they promote your book
  •  Use free to sell more books
  • Find and use the right social media for your book

About the Instructor:

Penny Sansevieri

Penny Sansevieri


 
Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU.

Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of eighteen books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon, 5 Minute Book Marketing, and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the “leading guide to everything Internet.”

AME has had dozens of books top bestseller lists, including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal.

Enrollment Information

 
This is a 2-week online course that uses email and Groups.io. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $15.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $10.00 per person.

To sign up or for more information, go to the class page at the OCC/RWA website: http://occrwa.org/classes/online-class-four/.

Linda McLaughlin
OCC/RWA Online Class Coordinator

 

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Time Management Secrets for Authors, OCC/RWA Online Class with Stacy Juba

April 23, 2018 by in category Online Classes tagged as , , , , ,

Do you find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day? I know I do, which is why I’ll be signing up for the next OCC/RWA Online Class!

Time Management graphic

About the Class:

Do you wish there was more than 24 hours in the day? If it seems like there is never enough time to write, promote your published books, and/or prepare submissions to editors and agents and learn the ropes of the business side of writing, then this workshop is for you. Author and editor Stacy Juba experienced the longest writer’s block of her life after a family health crisis. She went on a mission to resurrect her creativity and find the time and energy to manage her writing career. Thanks to her new strategies, Stacy created a successful editing business and launched an exciting new chick lit series, and considers her herself more productive than ever.

Over the course of the month, participating writers will take important steps to advance their careers while also reducing the stress in their lives. Whether you’re struggling to overcome writer’s block, beef up your book promotion, or get your writing career launched, this class will arm you with the skills to get to the next level. Participants will receive assignments and suggested tasks in a friendly, interactive format so that by the end of the course, they will be in a much more organized state of being.

Stacy JubaAbout the Instructor:

Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her new Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. Stacy is also the founder of the Glass Slipper Sisters, a group of authors with Cinderella-themed romance novels. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service and offers online workshops for writers.

Cost is $20.00 for OCC/RWA members and $30.00 for non-members. Sign up is a two-step process. Go to our website at http://occrwa.org/classes/may-online-class/ and click on the link to join the Yahoo Group. Then pay your fee via PayPal. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can pay with a credit card. Once our treasurer has verified your payment, you’re request to join the Yahoo Group will be approved.

Linda McLaughlin
OCC/RWA Online Class Coordinator

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ART & SOUL

August 16, 2014 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,

 I want to be upfront: I borrowed that headline. I saw it in the Los Angeles Times this morning and it started me thinking about how we, as writers, view ourselves. Actually, that’s not quite correct. I’ve been thinking about this ever since I joined a discussion on LinkedIn. It went something like this.

Author #1:How do you decide on your novel titles?
Author #2: I like to use lots of words.
Author #3: I like titles that keep people guessing.
Author #4: I hate publishers. They always change my titles.
Author #5: Publishers have no soul. They aren’t creative.
Me: I disagree. Publishers are creative in a different way, a business way. We should appreciate that and learn from it.
So, while we write, immersing ourselves in our fictional character’s lives and worlds, we are being artistic and creative. When we come up for air, we need to be something else. We need to be publishers: clear-eyed, objective, and strategic.
If it weren’t for traditional publishers taking a chance on me, investing in my art, offering me a platform for the work of my soul, I wouldn’t have grown as a writer. I still have every rejection and acceptance letter I ever received because reading them reminds me of why I failed as much as why I succeeded. I still can visualize every editorial letter that came in the mail (after 28 books, that’s a lot of letters). They outlined where I could do better: style, grammar, character development, transitional efforts, titles, plot and story. I still remember meetings with sales reps, buyers, distributors and realizing that at every level there was effort and money being spent on my behalf in ways that were corporately creative. I also know that the administrators did the research I could never do regarding an ever-changing marketplace.  Sure there were inequities.  Sure there were things I didn’t agree with but my interaction with the publishers, more than any writing lesson, taught me the true art of bringing my work to an audience.
Now that I’m indie, I wear a publisher’s hat. I can hire a freelance editor, a cover designer, and a formatter. I can even hire marketing experts to handle the last, critical part of the publishing puzzle. But if I do not understand and appreciate the creativity of the input they provide me –  a title that will cut through the ever-growing clutter, a cover image that is arresting even though it appears as a thumbnail, interesting ways to communicate with the marketplace –  then my money is wasted. I will never be able to truly control my own brand. 

When your book is finished and it’s time to publish, take off the rose colored glasses of an author and get out your publisher’s magnifying glass to assess the marketability of your work. Ask yourself “what would a publisher do?” I promise, if you answer that question honestly you will find avenues for success you never dreamed. In my book, that last step qualifies as creativity. That is the Art & Soul of  the business of publishing.
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