The Monster—er, ART—of Marketing and Promotion from a Small Town

Calling all writers: join me for an online marketing workshop!

When: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. PST Sunday, May 24, 2020

Where: Online, via Zoom. 

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a rural writer in possession of good ideas just wants to write*—and that’s a completely legitimate way to live your creative life. If you also have dreams (needs?) of eating regularly, heating your home above freezing, or buying shoes occasionally and you don’t have a kind benefactor, however, at some point you need to find people who want to read (aka buy) your work.

The very words marketing and promotion tend to sicken the gut of even the most  introverted stalwart author. They don’t need to. There are ways to find your unique readers, build your brand (Gag! Doesn’t that sound horrific and money grubbing?! Don’t worry, I’ll try to de-horrify it. 😉), and help you bring in at least enough dough to enable you to write even more—without making you feel like you’ve sold your soul.

Together we’ll:

  • Define some key terms
  • Discuss the importance of having a marketing plan that fits you
  • Explore three strategies I feel are critical for every author
  • Talk about some do’s and don’ts
  • Brainstorm other tactics that might be helpful.

Appropriate for writers of every form and genre, this workshop will be most valuable to those who are new to publishing or who have a few published books but haven’t done a lot (if any) formal marketing and feel intimidated by the process.

Please bring any questions you have!

This exclusive online event is brought to you by the wonderful Federation of BC Writers and is available to FBCW members for the promotional rate of $20 ($45 non-members).

Find out more or register now.

See you Sunday! (I hope!)

P.S. If you’re a BC or Yukon writer and you haven’t joined The Fed yet, you should. They offer a wealth of resources, connections and support!

P.P.S. My apologies to Jane Austen for how I mangled her famous line in the opening of this post—though I think she’d get a chuckle out of it and would nod in sage agreement, don’t you? 😉

Marketing workshop for FBCW May 24 2020

Writing Romance – a FREE workshop with Ev Bishop

Hello and greetings and tidings of exciting news!

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be giving an Intro to Writing Romance workshop at the Terrace Public Library, Thursday, November 23rd from 6:00 – 8:30.

Admission is FREE (Yes, you read that right! 🙂 ), thanks to the generosity of the event’s organizers and sponsors, the Federation of BC Writers and the Terrace Public Library. However, you must register in advance and there are limited seats. If you’re interested, book your spot now: 250-638-8177.

Topics to be covered:

  • Romance as a genre and why writing (and reading) romance is so satisfying
  • Generating (or narrowing down!) ideas and writing the story
  • Editing Tips
  • Publishing Paths . . .  (I’ll try to give some marketing musts, too–but it’s not a super long workshop and we’ll have lots to tackle as it is. 🙂 It is going to be fun!)

If you’re currently writing romance (in the closet or out, LOL), have always wanted to but haven’t started yet, or are just curious about the genre in general, this workshop’s for you. We’ll have a blast, I’ll talk your ears off, and you’ll leave buzzing with energy, inspiration and information. (Or that’s my plan and hope anyway. 😉 ) I hope to see you there!

P.S. The writing life can be isolating (is of necessity, actually), yet at the same time, almost without exception, we accomplish more and feel happier when we’re part of a community. If you’re a writer yearning for a tribe or in need of fellow writerly chat and support, consider joining the BC Federation of Writers. They are an amazing source of information and opportunities, well worth their modest annual fee.

And a little closer to home . . . If you’re writing in Terrace, BC (or area) and want to be part of a dynamic, supportive writing network, check out the Terrace Public Library’s writing group. Contact Jess for more information: 250-638-8177.

P.P.S. I’ve had a few people ask if this workshop would be valuable for writers working in other genres. My answer is a hearty YES!  It is a romance workshop and that will be my total focus, but there will definitely be takeaway information and advice applicable to whatever you write.

April is national poetry month – thoughts and a workshop

April is national poetry month and since poetry has always been a great help and boon to me emotionally, I celebrate it.

When I was twelve or thirteen or so, I discovered Zibby Oneal’s novel A Formal Feeling, a title borrowed from the first line in an Emily Dickinson poem that goes by the same name and casts light on the story’s themes. (It’s a wonderful book, by the way. I highly recommend it to YA readers, young and old . . . I mean, er, older. :D)

After great pain, a formal feeling comes—
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs—
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round—
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought—
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone—

This is the Hour of Lead—
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow—
First—Chill—then Stupor—then the letting go—

– Emily Dickinson

My dad had a love for Irish poetry and songs and old English verse, plus I was a fan of Robert Louis Stevenson’s verses for children, but Emily’s “A Formal Feeling” was the first poem (that I remember anyway) to strike a chord of recognition deep within me. By then I was already acquainted with sorrow—and for me, her words captured a truth that was difficult to put into words. She conveyed what sadness felt like and expressed a process I was learning.

I don’t know how many times I reread the poem as a teenager (or have done so as an adult), but it continues to be one my favourites.

Another piece that meant more to me than I can probably explain without a lot of melodrama is “First Ice” by Andrei Voznesensky.

A girl freezes in a telephone booth.
In her draughty overcoat she hides
A face all smeared
In tears and lipstick.
She breathes on her thin palms. Her fingers are icy. She wears earrings.
She’ll have to go home alone, alone
Along the icy street.
First ice. It is the first time.
The first ice of telephone phrases.
Frozen tears glitter on her cheeks-
The first ice of human hurt.

I suspect you, having read it, know the phase of life I’d entered—first love, first heartbreak, yes . . . but I always felt the poem spoke to something bigger than one isolated break up. It was the disappointment that resonated with me: the girl, for the first time, recognizing that people weren’t always what they promised—and/or weren’t as honest or straight forward as she was.

I could share many, many more poems that influenced me or comforted me (or just made me laugh; not every poem I love is sad!), but I’ll spare you for now.

I suspect you have your own poems or songs (and what are lyrics if not poetry?) that, no matter how long ago you came across them, still have profound meaning to you. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that you’ve even penned a stanza or two (or more), whether you consider yourself a writer or poet or not. Most of us have. There’s something in the human spirit that yearns to give voice to the emotions that move us and the passions that make us us.

It’s definitely true for me. Despite all my affection for essays and letters and my love of fiction, when overcome by happiness—or weeping, wordless sadness or white-hot coiled rage—I turn to poetry to help me vent, express, or attempt to make muddled sense of my mad joy and intense pangs and desires. Perhaps you do, too? If yes, I’d love to hear about it. (Or better yet, share a poem you love—your own or someone else’s—here. Please!)

Now circling back to it being national poetry month—and my desire to celebrate it.

If you’ve written poetry before but stopped for some reason, or if you never have but would like to—or if you’re a prolific pro looking for ways to invigorate and refresh your muse, honour those stirrings. Join me and Joan Conway this Saturday (April 25th) for an afternoon of poetry exercises and inspiration.

Spring Stirrings