Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How To Write and Market Books for Teens

A Presentation by Christina Williams
Written by Elizabeth Simons
of the Lake of the Ozarks Writers' Guild
 
“I got a marketing degree in 1992, but that was before the Internet. Now everything has changed,” said Christina Williams, author of Destined Love is Immortal, a novel for teens in the fantasy genre. 
 
 
At the September 15 meeting of the Lake Writers Guild, Christina talked about how she marketed her e-book, Destined Love Is Immortal, once it was finished. She chose Amazon as her venue because it provided five days of free downloads of her book every quarter. This would increase visibility and would get her book into the hands of readers who would then hopefully write an enthusiastic review and increase sales. She also talked about using Twitter to spread the word about her book.
 
Regarding the writing process, Christina said she wrote one hour a day. In a household with five children, that’s all the time she has. That hour represents about 1,000 words, or roughly three pages. “Dishes and laundry are always there, but if you write three pages you’re three pages closer to getting your novel done,” she said. That’s how she was able to write Destined Love Is Immortal, a story in the fantasy genre about a young girl who travels to Belgium to escape a troubled past, and falls in love with a most unusual hero.
 
Make your characters memorable. People may love them or hate them, but they won’t forget them. To avoid plagiarism, she said it’s better not to be reading a book while writing your own.  Keep writing, even if you feel you’re stuck. You can always go back and change things once the book is finished. She said that once she finished her novel she removed 20 pages from the beginning and condensed them into one paragraph.
 
Christina stressed the importance of formatting, especially for e-readers. And in order to get a five-star rating, it’s imperative to have an error-free manuscript.  If you have a lot of errors, people will let you know with bad reviews. 
 
She went on to say that the cover of your book is critical. Remember that some people are color blind. A white text against a dark background will grab the reader’s attention. Spending the time to create a cover that will capture the eye is critical.
 
Christina is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and has worked, lived, and traveled extensively in Europe. Previously an owner of a martial arts school, Ms. Williams currently holds a second degree black belt in the Korean Martial Art of Han Mu Do. You may follow Christina Williams on Twitter @immortalswriter. Her e-book is currently available on Amazon.com, where it has a five star review rating. 
 
Christina distributed a list of online and print books that provided information about the writing and marketing process. For information about these publications, contact the Arts Council at lakeartscouncil@yahoo.com,  or call 573-964-6366.

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