Monthly Archives: January 2013

Book Contract

Here’s a very brief overview about book contracts.

One thing to keep in mind when reviewing your contract is when the book is considered out of print. Make sure that you are able to produce ebooks (or even printed books) within a reasonable amount of time after the printed version is no longer available. If publishers retain all the rights through the creation of an ebook version, you can be hung up forever waiting on their publicity department to do anything.

Marketing: Content is King

Content marketing for authors doesn’t have to be challenging. Consider making a chapter of your book a free download, writing articles based on the themes in the book (and yes, that includes novelists!), informal chats about the book or its themes, etc. Also try this article for more ideas on how to think about content.

Book to Film

So many of my clients want to know how to get their books turned into films. There are several pathways for fiction authors.

First is to allow your publisher to set up the deal for you. This is the most common way books are turned into films. However, it’s much more common with the top six publishers. If you’re with a mid-sized or smaller publisher, they might not have the same connections.

Second, you can approach movie agents with a treatment. This means you’re offering the book to publishers and the movie to film agents at the same time. It’s one way to increase your overall changes of success in one or the other field.

Third, you can use your network. A perfect example is in this article about a guy with very little experience who approached a bestselling author. It’s a reversal of how an author would go about approaching directors and producers but it proves the power of persistence!


Marketing: Storytelling

You thought the creative work was over when you finished that book, right? Well, the creative work has only just begun. Here’s an article about how storytelling helps you market your speaking engagements, books, and other things you might have to offer.

New Trends

No one doubts that electronic devices have dramatically changed the face of publishing today. For years, doomsayers brayed that print would shrivel and blow away. I’ve always held that the new devices would generate shifts but that print would still be alive centuries from now.

In particular, the bad-news prophets claimed that tablets, cell phones and ereaders were all supposed to suck subscribers from print versions of newspapers and magazines. For a time, that appeared to happen.

Now, however, there’s a big shift. Esubscribers are generating new and stronger sources of income for magazines and newspapers. This article presents yet another new way for readers to access their favorite journals…by paying MORE for the eversions than for print.

Story Ideas: Tips

Here’s a post that lists 5 ways to generate story ideas. One of the tips is to read your junk mail…um, OK.

Now, I’ve been writing and editing for twenty years. In my experience, it’s pretty rare that writers actually need ways to come up with story ideas. It’s actually more of a problem to decide which of those ideas is strong enough to support a story, what format that story should take, and how best to put it on the page.

However, the same article suggests taking a small scene from one story or book and expanding it into an entirely new story. I’ve had clients do this with classic works of mythology to great success. And of course there’s the retelling of Gone with the Wind and other classic novels from different points of view that recently have become bestsellers.

So…what’s your take on story ideas? Do they come in a flood or a trickle? What helps, what hinders?

Oprah’s Next Big Thing

The Oprah Channel has struggled since day one to reach the numbers it had hoped for. Part of the reason is that Oprah doesn’t show up in much of the programming. Another very real issue is simple oversaturation…the channel can’t offer the same thing all the time.

She’s trying a reboot by building on this interview with Armstrong. The struggle she’s facing is just a reminder that even the biggest celebrities can’t market just anything…and they can’t rely on their name along. Quality must always come first.

Takeaway: Know your audience and what they want. When you deliver it, you’ll automatically provide quality content.

Social Media: Top 10 Tips

For anyone looking to expand their reach on social media, check out this post.

I recently challenged myself to come up with the top-ten best practices for social media for a presentation. As it turned out, it was hard to keep list to only ten items.

So I did some research and much scrapping of excessive rules and realized that it all does boil down to ten very basic principles to be successful in social media:


Green Blotter is associated with Lebanon College.

Green Blotter, Lebanon Valley College’s literary magazine, is open for submissions of poetry, fiction, photos and other artwork for the Spring 2013 issue.  Undergraduate students at colleges and universities anywhere in the world are invited to submit work via email between now and February 28, 2013. See our submission guidelines for complete instructions.