Author’s Voice: Writing and marketing

An Author’s Voice blooms suddenly, unbidden, active within the writer’s unconscious, until it clamours to be released.

Writing Tips:  Am I an author or marketer?

Sunday, June 9 found me and my book, 4/3 – a BabyBoomer Memoir, and about a dozen other authors at Stittsville’s Arts in the Park.  At the beginning of my author career, these events made me so nervous I began to practice avoidance by complaining, “am I an author, or am I a marketer?” 

Nevertheless, I searched for and found tips for planning and prepping such an event. Sources included other Writing Group members’ experiences, conversation with other authors, online searches, writing courses and then, experience.  The author will need: portable table, chair, table cloth, dish of candy, standup eye-catching posters, display stands, your biz cards in quantity, bookmarks (biz cards work well for this), a quantity of books, your Book Faerie ribbons and tags, your ability to look after finances such as a Square, or ability to process e-transfers on site, or a float for making change.  For your personal needs, munchables, bottles of water (Important tip! Too much and you will have to leave behind your stall and belongings and find out how far away is the actual public washroom!).  You will need a trolley to cart all this into the event, and out at end of day.  Sitting with other authors will give you confidence and interesting chat information.

To make contact with people walking by, you will need an inviting opening line, after your genuine smile and eye contact bring a reader to your table.  Start with a question such as, “what do you enjoy reading?”  Be prepared to give a brief description of your book, its genre, what readers have said about your book being relatable and enjoyable, your sparkle and ever-present  smile indicating your joy at being there and talking to another about your darling – your finished book. 

This long list was developed after a dozen experiences taught me the actual needs.

Now I find it exhilarating to speak with readers, book club members, novice writers, everyone. Sometimes we actually talk about my book.  Sometimes someone buys my book.  Some people want to hear where else they can get the book so they don’t have to lug 4/3 around the whole day’s event.  They are especially pleased when they hear they can sign out a copy of my book at the local public library, or where they can order a copy.  Those who purchase a book are tickled to have it autographed, with a personal note, by the author.

On these days, you are both an author and a marketer. 

Featured writer: Kathleen Saunders

I have always been an avid reader. I was also interested in trying my hand at writing. I started by entering some writing contests. A few years ago, after moving to Ottawa, I entered a writing contest for seniors that had been sponsored by the Carp Library and won an honourable mention in that contest. After I retired from teaching in 2007, I took a creative writing course at the University of Winnipeg. It was a lot of work, but I enjoyed it. My professor, on learning I was moving to Ottawa, suggested that I join a writing group there. I couldn’t find any nearby until I saw the advertisement for one opening at the Carp Library. I really enjoy the group and it has motivated me to keep writing. I have started writing a novel, which is now over 200 pages long, which is now complete.

A Dog Like No Other, by Kathleen Saunders

Part cattle dog pups for sale

They bred cattle dogs

The neighbour’s retriever

Had gotten at the female

I decided to drive out.

Two pups left

One gold coloured male

With an eye damaged at birth.

The other a black and gold female

With large stand up ears

She cried the entire trip home

And followed me everywhere.

Our Border Collie, Chance

Had been so depressed over

Our other dog’s recent death

She stared at the wall for hours.

Chance came out of her shell

She tolerated the mauling

Of the new pup that hung

From her neck as she walked.

The new pup had a white tip on her tail

She became Tippy

Tip, Tipper, Tipper Gore

Our Tippy Dog

Tip was a good pup

She only had two accidents

One as I put on my rain coat

To take her out in the night.

Tip walked on the white line

Of the road always, – no pulling

She went to the lake with us

Tippy loved boats and water

One day I came home

To find the dog bed

In tiny foam pieces

Scattered across the living room floor.

Our old dog sleeping on the cover

Now completely empty of foam

I laughed

And took a photo.

Tippy was shy of strangers

And other dogs

She went to puppy school

And learned all the commands

She stayed as far from the instructor

As the leash allowed

Tip cowered and tucked her tail

As a small pup sniffed her in line.

I brought Tip to school with me

More socializing

The kids loved her

Tippy sat through Math and English

I taught the students

How to get her to do tricks

We put on a dog show

For the rest of the school

They wrote stories about the dog

Drew pictures in Art

Of Tippy at school

She went back each year.

My constant companion

She loved the trails

Through the woods

Off leash except on the road.

At thirteen, Tippy had Cancer surgery

So she could have

One last summer at the lake

And a bonus autumn.

CCWG Events

CCWG Anthology:  June has found us putting our finishing touches on our 2019 CCWG Anthology.  The work will go to the printer this week, and we expect that we will receive our copies by the end of the month.  This has been a deadline-based activity, with tickled pride as well as trepidation present at every turn.  We are pleased to sell our extra copies (contact for details).  And we anticipate that there will be copies available to sign out at the Carp Branch of the OPL. 

CCWG (Carp Creative Writers’ Group) meetings:  Wednesdays September – June 6:45 – 8pm, Carp Branch – Ottawa Public Library.   All writers invited.  We look forward to becoming acquainted with you and your work.  Registration: Carp Branch + OPL card.

July through August, we are on hiatus from our weekly meeting commitments, so only registered members, please.  Please give prior notice:  (re your intention to attend).

July and August Author’s Voice columns will feature teaser excerpts from Carp Creative Writers’ Group Anthology. The regular column will reconvene in September.