Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Special: Win A Book!

The giveaway is now closed! Thanks to everyone for participating. I'm particularly happy to welcome the blog's new readers! And I'm delighted to announce that KIMBERLY ZOOK has won a copy of Christina Katz's Writer Mama. Kimberly, please e-mail me with your mailing address, and I'll forward the info to Christina.

Saturday posts don't happen too often around here, but I've made an exception to help celebrate the two-year anniversary of the publication of Christina Katz's Writer Mama book. This post is for all my writing friends, whether they are "writer mamas" or not!

Please welcome our guest blogger, Christina Katz!


The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway!

Post #28: Your Book’s Features


During the book writing process, you’ve made an effort to make your book as unique as possible, right? Well, now that your book is complete, you have your first opportunity to write down the features that makes your book desirable to your book’s targeted audience.

Features are the simple facts that describe your book like size, length, font choice, cover design, etc. Sure, features sound straightforward, but one of the advantages of working with a traditional publisher is that care and consideration are devoted to every aspect of your book’s production. If your publisher has gone to some lengths to make sure your book has unique features to suit your audience, you’ll want to highlight those features as you prepare to market your book.

For example, Writer Mama has some unique features. First of all, the book was intentionally designed in a small, chunky size so it would be easy to stash in a diaper bag or give as a shower gift to a new mom. Over the past couple of years, dozens of moms have commented to me that they appreciate the stash-able, sturdy size. Will your book have a unique size or shape? Or is size not a marketable feature?

How was your book written to particularly suit your readership? For example, the short chapters with lots of condensed information were purposeful to make Writer Mama easy for a mom to read while sitting in a waiting room or car-pooling. I just re-connected with a friend from sixth grade who keeps her copy of Writer Mama stashed in her car so she can read it while ferrying her four kids around town. Mission accomplished! Now describe your book. What’s special about the way it is written or organized? Have you taken the reader into account? Or is format not a feature you’ll highlight?

You’ve probably noticed that book covers vary greatly from the most simple, two-color text only cover all the way to the fully designed, four-color cover extravaganza. Another unique feature of Writer Mama is the colorful, stylish book design. So many how-to writing books are a turnoff because they are gray, businesslike, and boring. In contrast, Writer Mama is sassy, fun, with a starburst of color on the cover. The book designer, Claudean Wheeler, really outdid herself when designing the cheerful cover and bright inside designs. Does your book’s cover design reflect something about the book’s intended reader?

You’ll want to remind readers that care and consideration has gone into the design and production of your book. So be sure to pay attention during the production process so you can communicate the distinct features when you are ready to start promoting your book.

Today's Book Drawing: To enter to win a signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama, answer the following question in this blog's comments:
What unique features will your book have that will take the reader's needs into account? Or what book from your bookshelf do you love for the way it suits your unique needs as a reader?
Thanks for participating! Only US residents, or folks with a US mailing address can participate in the drawing. Please only enter once per day.

Where will the drawing be tomorrow? Visit http://thewritermama.wordpress.com/ to continue reading the rest of the Writer Mama story throughout March 2009!

Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz (Writer's Digest Books 2007)
Kids change your life, but they don't necessarily have to end your career. Stay-at-home moms will love this handy guide to rearing a successful writing career while raising their children. The busy mom's guide to writing life, this book gives stay-at-moms the encouragement and advice they need including everything from getting started and finding ideas to actually finding time to do the work - something not easy to do with the pitter-patter of little feet. With advice on how to network and form a a business, this nurturing guide covers everything a writer mama needs to succeed at her second job. Christina Katz is also the author of the newly released Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform (Writer's Digest Books 2008).

9 comments:

Just A Girl said...

Christina,

I am so thankful for this blog tour. I am learning so much. When I bought Writer Mama, I did so because of the title. I enjoy using it because it is easily transported to my kids' activities. Now that I see the thought behind it, I have realized that my idea for a book could have features, aside from content, that I could use to sell the idea. Things are really starting to take shape for me. Thanks for the inpiration!

Loretta

Kimberly Zook said...

The book I am working on is geared towards young adult males. To match my reader's needs and interests, I hope my book would be small in size (the male teens I've taught don't like to be seen with big, bulky books), dark on the cover with a small source of light somewhere on it. I'd like there to be an image of a teen on the cover that is realistic and portrays him in a natural environment. Many boys I've taught in high school don't like their friends to know how much they like being outside in forests and such, but many of them would tell me on an individual basis that they liked being in nature alone. I hope the features of my book would help the reader feel connected in a personal way to the story and character.

Liz said...

I need to take a look at this! I'm self-employed and I'm also dabbling into trying to get speaking engagements. So my thought is write a book! This great resource, "Doing Business By the Book," by Sophfronia Scott, is helping immensely. It lays out the process step by step (that part is really helping me, I must say) to help take the mystery out of it. This is a great resource for any writer. And if you're a business owner, you must read this!

jane, candid said...

Erika,
I have already won a copy of the book :-), but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed finding your blog. Christina's tour continues to be interesting at every stop! I'll be back!
Jane

Jenni said...

Erika,

Thanks for hosting--your site looks great (I'll be back).

No need to enter me in the drawing today as I've already been a lucky winner this month.

Hmm. These questions are getting more and more removed from my current reality since I'm light years away from writing a book. I will say that, as a busy mom, I very much appreciate the format of the classic Writing Down the Bones. The chapters are short, short, one factor that makes them doable, readable. THAT'S what I need right now. Even though I haven't read a novel in who knows how many months, I'm way more than halfway done with this book. Plus, I'm writing more. A great format and selling point.

eringoodman said...

wow. i actually haven't gotten this far in my book-planning process.

i'm going to copy this question and explore it in my journal though.

thank you.

Deb said...

I knew Writer Mama was great to flip through for rereading the bits I need, but had no idea how much planning went into that aspect of the book. Right now the books I'm reading are about writing or good examples of the craft, like Ann Lamott's Bird by Bird and This I Believe's book of essays, and these work for me because I can open them to any page and read for a few minutes and learn something. Thanks for another great "lesson"!

thewritermama said...

Thanks for all of your comments and support for the blog tour, ladies. We have two more stops left after today, I can hardly believe it. What a long, educational adventure it has been for me as well. Hope to see your last few responses!

Erika, thanks so much for hosting! We are all "practicing writers" today and always. :)

thewritermama said...

Today's the last day of the blog tour and the hostess gifts are in! Come on over to Robin Mizell's blog and chime in if you have time!

And thanks again for hosting!