Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Maine author discusses third novel in suspense-mystery series


With the publication of The Man In The Canal, Brunswick author Paul Betit completes a trilogy he set out to write more than a decade ago.  He'll share the story of his book and its writing Saturday, February 8 at 1 p.m. in the Morrell Meeting Room at the Curtis Memorial Library, 23 Pleasant Street, Brunswick.

“I’ve been working on this book for quite some time,” said Betit, who recently wrapped up a 38-year career as a newspaperman in Maine. “It was quite a challenge, especially since I didn’t take a step in Sweden until I had written more than half of the book.”

“The Man In The Canal has all the great qualities of the first two books in this series,” said publisher Nancy Randolph, owner of Topsham-based Just Write Books. “Great characters, super plot, fast-paced action and much more. Through the richness of his language and his fine sense of observation, Betit enables us to really experience another environment. Traveling with him, you are sure to enjoy the scenery as well as the action.”

Betit, who grew up in Augusta, Maine, lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife, Debbie. They have two sons.

Soft-cover editions of all of three of the books in the John Murphy series can be ordered through local bookstores or on-line at jstwrite.com, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

Ebooks of Phu BaiKagnew Station and The Man In The Canal also are available at amazon.com.


About Paul Betit. While working as an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, Mr. Betit served lengthy tours of duty in South Vietnam and Ethiopia. He recently wrapped up a 38-year career as a newspaperman. He lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife, Deborah. The couple have two sons.


Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Bookspublishing Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb theAndroscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why An Author Needs Reviewers

This week’s blog post is by William D. Bushnell, a local Maine resident and book reviewer. Watch for his guest posts once a quarter—his next will discuss how reviewers work.
 
Asking an author what he thinks about book reviewers is like asking a fire hydrant how it feels about dogs. However, as an author you need book reviewers—they are essential to your marketing efforts.
Writing the book was easy—now you have to sell it, and believe it or not, reviews sell books. Reviews are cheaper than advertising and it should be no surprise that readers believe in them more. Even an adverse review is better than no review at all. Remember, though, that book reviewers are not responsible for selling your book—that's your job. Reviewers are only responsible for telling people about the book, the rest is up to you (and your publisher).
 
Spring for enough review copies to send to those magazines and newspapers in your target market. Send review copies to the editors with a short cover letter asking for review consideration. More than 316,000 books are published each year through traditional publishing methods (1.2 million through non-traditional publishing methods), so there is stiff competition for limited review space. It is possible your book will not be selected for review at all, but the more review copies you send out the greater the odds of landing a review.
 
Once the review copies are out, don't bother the editors or reviewers. This is the perfect example of the squeaky wheel being ignored. Be patient. Reviewers work weeks or months out with their columns, and you are not likely to hear anything from them. Be aware, however, that there is a time limit for reviews. A book is only likely to be reviewed within the first twelve months after publication. A book more than a year old is not considered timely and will generally not be reviewed.
- William D. Bushnell
 
Guest Blogger Bio
Bill Bushnell
Bill Bushnell is a retired Marine Corps colonel, and has been a professional book reviewer for more than twenty years, publishing more than 2300 book reviews in thirty magazines and newspapers. He reviews fiction and non-fiction, everything from history, biographies, science, nature, and current issues to westerns, historical fiction, mysteries, children's books, and contemporary fiction. His reviews have appeared in Library Journal, Maine Times, Civil War News, Military History magazine, the Maine Sunday Telegram, the Brunswick Times Record, and the Sun newspapers. He currently writes regular review columns for three Maine newspapers (Kennebec Journal, Central Maine Morning Sentinel, and New Maine Times) and two national magazines (Publishers Weekly and Military Officer), publishing 100-120 reviews a year. He is a long-time member of the National Book Critics Circle and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. He taught a class on book reviewing at USM for eleven years and now teaches that class for the MWPA. He is also currently one of the judges for the Maine Readers' Choice Award for Fiction.

Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishingbusiness with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb theAndroscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The 10 Basic Steps of Internet Marketing for Authors

As an author, one of your goals is to sell books, of course. The only way to sell books is to make sure that readers know your book exists. The success of this relies heavily on marketing and as with any business, an author needs to created their own marketing “toolbox” to get their message across. Here are ten things that it should include:

1. Create a media sheet. This should be a clean, concise 1-sided, single sheet of paper that includes information about the specific book and the author. Provide contact information for the author and publisher. Pictures of the book and author should be professionally done. If you have more than one book, make more than one media sheet. The exception to this would be if the books were in a series or are within the same genre.

2. Create a website. It can be basic with an “About the Author” page, book information, your bibliography and upcoming events. It is important to have this presence on the internet.

3. Create a Facebook fan page. You may already have a personal account set up on Facebook, but you need to create a fan page strictly for your author-related information and posting. That way you can separate your personal and writing posts. Facebook has a Author App that you can explore for your use.

4. Create a Google+ account. Another social media channel that is growing steadily. You need to have one if for no other reason than it connects you to Google.

5. Create a Twitter account. Connect with your readers, other authors and various writing sources with 140 characters. It’s also a good way to search for current trends in writing. Check out hashtags #amwriting and #amediting for people you may want to follow.

6. Create a LinkedIn account. In the world of business, it’s not a bad idea to have a LinkedIn account, especially if you do any technical or business writing. Even if you don’t, it’s not a bad idea to keep your presence on the internet varied.


7. Create and maintain a blog. This is a great way to share additional ideas you may have on subjects related to your book or your observations of the world. It is important to keep it relevant to your work whenever possible. Plan and schedule at least three or four posts ahead.

8. Create a Twitterfeed account. Finally tie steps 3-7 together, by setting up a Twitterfeed account. This allows you to automatically publish your blog post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn once you post it on your blog.

9. Create an author page on Amazon. Since Amazon is now the largest online retailer of anything, but especially books, you want to make sure you are in control of your presence on their website as well.


10. Create a Pinterest account. Create boards that include your books, other's books and quotes that inspire you. Feel free to include more personal items as well since this allows people to connect with you aside from your books.

Check our other blog posts for more details on setting up your social media accounts.



Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishing business with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year from Just Write Books

As we welcome the New Year, we also remember the past.

Looking back over the years since Just Write Books was founded in 2005, I think about authors, poets and others who have trusted Just Write Books with the care of their stories. My life would be rather empty without the addition of the clients turned friends that are a part of our work here.

To celebrate the New Year, I extend a hearty thank you to each of you and your businesses that have had a part in our success. Thank you for your warm thoughts, holiday greetings and your many kindnesses in the past year.

The year ahead looks to be filling up with events, books and business development. Keep your eye on this blog and our website for additional details as the year progresses. Below is a brief introduction to our plans for the year.

Town of Topsham Celebrates 250 Years
Androscoggin Swinging Bridge
This year marks the sestercentennial of the founding of the Town of Topsham. There are activities planned throughout the year and Just Write Books is proud to be part of the celebration. Robert Williams, author of Lovewell’s Town, recently relocated to Topsham and we will be working with him on a history of Topsham.
Additionally, we will be working on a small booklet of about the history of the Androscoggin Swinging Bridge. This will be available for purchase with all profits going to the Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org Maintenance Fund.
To see other events that are being planned throughout the year, check out the Town of Topsham’s website.
JWB Offers Simple Author Websites
It’s important in today’s ever connected world that authors have a presence on the internet and Just Write Books would like to help our authors make this possible. Starting this year we will be offering simple website set up including five basic pages About the Author, Book(s) page, Contact, Blog and Events). Norma Salway and Paul Betit have already taken advantage of this service. Ask about our website packages.
Upcoming Releases
Currently, there are four planned books for the beginning of 2014.
Excuse for Being Here: Life Among Thoreau's Reflections by Robert M. Chute. This book combines Chute's memoir, poems and his account of his connection with Thoreau since a child in a Maine one-room school house.
Paul Betit's New Cover
Watch for Paul Betit’s sequel to Phu Bai and Kagnew StationMan in the Canal. In the summer of 1971, Army CID investigator John Murphy goes undercover to find a murderer hiding among the U.S. military deserters who have taken refuge in Sweden during the Vietnam War. At the same time, Swedish police inspector Magnus Lund tries to learn the identity of a body found floating in the historic Göta Canal. The two investigators work independently until the thread of clues bring them together for an exciting climax.
The People & the Idiots by "Daniel" Phillip Hawes will be published this year. This book tells the story of Hawes childhood with the Synergists. Without formal education Hawes lived being programmed to be a part of the system. His survival is amazing. Retaining his humanity—a miracle.
And finally, watch for Mainely People: Short Stories and Tall Photos by Paul Cunningham. Using his original stories previously published in The Times Record, Cunningham combines his photographs, some also previously published in The Times Record, producing a book of a series of photo essays featuring Maine people at their finest.
This blog is a great way to keep apprised of what is happening with Just Write Books. We hope to bring you important and relevant information related to writing, publishing and other topics.

Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishing business with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com