September 8 – Wichita Public Library Local Author Day

The Wichita Public Library is having their  Third Annual Local Author Day September 8. The day begins with a panel on the pros and cons of self-publishing; next, meet with your favorite hometown authors and see what’s new in Wichita’s literary world.

Authors will have available copies of their books, including adult and children’s books.

Check out the link for more information on the event and for how to sign up as an author.

http://wichitalibrary.org/local-author-day

Nov 18 Monthly Meeting Recap

KWA members met in our usual place, at our usual time November 18th. We shared tidbits about what we write and any recent writing accomplishments. We also elected officers for 2018 and did some pretty decent planning for 2018 meetings.

2018 Officers

President – Rae Ann Cuda

Vice-President – Wes Brummer

Secretary – Ernestine Frame

Treasurer – Chris Davies

Member-at-Large – Louise Pelzl

Member-at-Large – Gloria Zachgo

 

2018 Programs (subject to changes)

Jan 20 – Cliffhangers and Plotting, by Kathy Pritchett

Feb 17 – Adding Romantic Sizzle: From Sweet to Hot, by Starla Criser

Mar 17 – TBA, by Gloria Zachgo

Apr 21 – Poetry Info, by Chris Davies

May 19 – Psychological Info, by Charles Gaynor

Jun 16 – Marketing on a Shoestring, by Wes Brummer

Jul 21 – Pacing, by Bob Morris

November 19 Meeting – Self-Publishing

booksThis month’s program will focus on Self-Publishing. If you’re curious about the various types of Indie publishing, this will be a valuable session for you. Even if you’re NOT quite ready to publish something on your own, you won’t want to miss this.

Starla, aka Handout Queen, will have…handouts. The information distributed and discussed will have to do with (1) the basic steps in self-publishing, (2) tye types of self-publishing, (3) distributors, and (4) a comparison of some of the key players in POD (Print On Demand) publishing.

Come prepared to share your experiences in Self-Publishing. Come with questions that we will do our best to answer. Come to learn.

Other items to be discussed at the meeting:

  • Election of board officers for 2017
  • Details about the December holiday party
  • Most requested program topics for 2017

Fairy Tale Challenge – Write In West McAlister’s Deli

In an effort to breathe some life into the Monday night Write-Ins, we’re going to add some CHALLENGES. (Particularly to the West location)

You don’t have to take part in the Challenge. You are still welcome to join us for networking and help with your writing.

These are the Challenge ideas for the next few weeks:

three-little-pigsSep 19 – Briefly rewrite a fairy tale or children’s story (such a The Three Little Pigs, which two of us are going to attempt)

Sep 26 – Try your hand at writing a scary scene

Oct 3 – Share your hook from your current WIP

Indie Writers at Reverie Coffee Roasters

This new series is held on the third Thursday each month from 6-7:30 pm at Reverie Coffee Roasters (2611 E Douglas Ave).

Each month, three new local writers will take the floor for 20 minutes each. Each Indie Writer will have a 10 minute reading followed by 10 minutes of Q&A.

Books will be available for purchase, and all sales will be directly between the customer and the author. This is a FREE event, open to the public.

Write-Ins – East and West – Tonight

pencil 2A special Write-In reminder…I will be at the west McAlister’s Deli (7130 W Maple..Maple & Ridge) tonight. I’ll show up around 5 pm and stay until maybe 7 pm. Stop in and find out what this is all about. We network with fellow writers, share writing issues (news, writing stumbling blocks, etc.). And you are welcome to bring short pieces of a writing project to see if someone will read it over and give a helpful critique. I’ll be a sacrificial lamb this time and bring a few pages of a new project.

Again…join me there for some networking and decent food at a reasonable price. Or just get a drink.

March Meeting Discussions

The March 19th meeting with a discussion about Writing Crime Fiction was a lively one. There was a lot of great sharing on the topic from the members present, and there were a number of handouts. The handouts have been added to the Writer Resources section, under the Craft Articles & Links, under Crime Fiction.

Critique Groups: The group and the board members also discussed the need for starting some kind of critique groups. We have the library room until 6 p.m. on the meeting day. We talked about the possibility of having a critique session for members interested after the program, which usually ends around 4 p.m. There is also the possibility of figuring out email critique groups. Nothing has firmly been decided at this point. The board is open to suggestions and, of course, getting help from anyone interested in leading such groups.

Write-Ins: There have been requests for having a Write-In on the west side of Wichita, in addition to maintaining the one on the east side. Starla volunteered to be at the west McAlister’s Deli (7130 W Maple, Ste 320) on March 30 around 5:30 p.m. for anyone interested. These are informal gatherings of writers, including non-KWA members, with the hope of encouraging to join KWA.

Platform Building: Identify, Engage and Commit to Your Tribe

New home construction framing.Building a strong and successful author’s platform is every bit as vital as the construction of a dream home. It takes the raw materials of discipline and dedication to your tribe, or audience. As a writer, you are the proprietor of Company You, and must take control of your own marketing and public relations. Counting on a literary agent or publisher to handle this for you is antiquated thinking.

Pillars of an author’s platform include: book/blog writing, guest posting on other blogs, vlog/podcasts, published articles in magazines or periodicals, public speaking and networking via traditional or social media.

Identify your tribe/reader. Add value to your website/web presence for the audience. What are their characteristics?

Engage your tribe. Reply to comments and questions promptly. Write a blog. Let them know your speaking calendar. Post daily content on a Facebook fan page, Twitter feed, Google+ profile, or Pinterest page.

Commit to your tribe. Like a skilled juggler, keep the balls of social media in the air with discipline. Make a commitment to your brand and audience. Don’t let too much time go by without connecting with them. As your platform grows, the stronger it will become.

If you are unpublished, Michael Hyatt’s latest book, Platform, recommends you spend 90 percent of your time writing and 10 percent on platform building. This is true for fiction or non-fiction genres; however, non-fiction writers should have a strong online presence. You want to be considered an expert in your field.

The most important thing is to keep your numbers growing. Even if you only have 15 minutes a day, you can use the time efficiently. Post content or ask questions on your Twitter feed, Pinterest or Facebook fan page, then read two or three other’s blog posts, and give feedback.

Write a guest post on other author’s blogs, especially those who share your genre. If you offer space on your blog, most writers are happy to reciprocate. The Biblical adage, “Do unto others…” fits nicely in this case.

My blog’s focus is encouragement, so I post an inspirational quote and Scripture every day on my Facebook fan page. Consider what might add value to your online presence for your readers. Use organizational and scheduling tools like HootSuite. It’s a huge timesaver.

Check out the social media presence of authors in your genre, or one you respect. Glean what speaks to you, and then find your own niche. The time to build your platform is now, before you sell your first book. At least have the structure in place, so you can hit the ground running when your time comes.

“If you want to get a publishing deal, you need a platform to prove your books will sell.”—Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn

Sources: Who Needs a Platform?, Are You Hitting a Bulls Eye With Your Target Audience?, From Blog to Book: Building an Online Platform, Should Unpublished Novelists Be Platform-Building? www.rachellegardner.com; The 15-Minute Writer (Part 3): Building Your Platform, Building Your Author Platform Before The Contract, 4 Pillars to Build an Effective Social Media Platform, www.wordservewatercooler.com.