Women in Publishing Summit https://womeninpublishingsummit.com The Ultimate Place for Women Writers Fri, 10 Jul 2020 17:32:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://i0.wp.com/womeninpublishingsummit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/cropped-WIP_submark01-01_preview.jpeg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Women in Publishing Summit https://womeninpublishingsummit.com 32 32 Writing Tip: Word Gathering https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/writing-tip-word-gathering/ https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/writing-tip-word-gathering/#respond Fri, 10 Jul 2020 17:32:58 +0000 http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/?p=6981

The Writer as Word Gatherer

A Guest Post by Renay Intisar Jihad

Teaching students how to write well involved sharing incremental and manageable micro-steps or risk seeing them sink into a vast bin of hopelessness while staring at a blank sheet of paper clutching a sweaty pencil. I had to trick them into thinking writing was fun and easy. The writing process began with a fun and engaging activity – gathering words. Now retired, and a published author, this pre-write method is still a useful tool.

Every piece of writing inhabits a linguistic atmosphere. Knowing the word environment or content-area words associated with a subject keeps me focused on the big idea. Subject-matter triggers help me decide what to include or exclude in the final product. The quality and quantity of my word bank dictates its usefulness. An excellent word environment naturally produces parameters in which to write, edit, and revise a poem, story, or news article. For me, the word bank supports a formidable liaison between content and delivery.


To prepare for writing Mini Solja Stands on the Shoulders of Giants, I read, skimmed, and scanned black history books to gather words and terms from each decade dating back to 1619. Documentaries, speakers, primary source documents, and museums added to what I already knew about the subject. It was essential to include famous and noteworthy black Americans of distinction. My list of people, places, things, dates, times, and colloquial expressions influenced the outline. Taking stock of the manuscript’s goal through creating a word bank supplied a self-assessment: What did I know, want to know, and learned? What did this subject look like, feel like, sound like, smell like, and taste like? I compared this activity to setting the stage for a play, fertilizing a garden, eating an appetizer before dinner, or warming up before a yoga class. See it this way:

You are creating a reservoir of ideas from an ocean of suggestions related to your subject, theme, title, content-area, or focus. 


Because Mini Solja Stands on the Shoulders of Giants was a poetry book with informational and literary elements, the word environment that I created during this pre-write process came in handy when collaborating with my editor. Every printed word dictated a promise to deliver a message of hope, remembrance, and homage to book lovers reading on multiple grade levels. Achieving suitable readability was an ambitious task. Bottom line, were the words generated from my word bank during the pre-write process dynamic, specific, timely, useful, effective, and historically relevant enough to convey the message I would later generate during the writing process? In this sense, the list was not static. It ebbed and flowed as new information became critical to the final product. I organized my words, knowing that the economy of words and ideas was crucial to the quality of the final product. I often swapped, threw out, re-purposed, recycled, or retired certain words depending on how my project progressed.

In short, spending time creating a word bank saved me time, supplied a world of ideas and possibilities from which to draw on, and served in helping to refine my focus.


word gatheringRemember Yesterday’s Giants Cherish Today’s Giants Honor the Giant Within You.  A teenage boy named Mini T. Solja learns an important lesson about his rich heritage from his grandfather. MINI SOLJA STANDS ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS is a lyrical coming-of-age conversation. This poetic snapshot highlights the stellar history of Black Americans and pays homage to our ancestral struggle and triumphs. Enjoy this timely, engaging, and enlightening book. Additional resources include a list of famous Black Americans and a directory of Black museums.




Renay Intisar Jihad was born in New Haven, Connecticut, where exposure to the arts was as natural as breathing. Serving as a literacy coach for eight, of the thirty years in teaching allowed her to support new teachers, write curriculum, and share resources. Scarves and Bandanas and The Day Josef Found His Pride were short-run publications tailored to the needs and interests of her students. Renay is the recipient of the Global Educator of the Year and a Teaching Tolerance Award. After she earned her National Board Certification, the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) recognized her as one of twenty NBCTs at that time. A Fulbright-Hays scholarship enabled her to travel to Kenya and Tanzania. Other education-related travel opportunities to China, Egypt, Morocco, the Caribbean, and Thailand helped enhance her teaching and writing curriculum. A Michael Jordan Fundamentals grant enabled Mrs. Jihad to produce a book of children’s poems entitled The Many Faces of Poetry. Her sixth-grade students authored original poems, art, and short stories inspired by personal experiences. In the Many Faces of Love, Jihad penned a poem for each of her one-hundred and ten students to honor their unique gifts. Now she contributes to the AF-Am POV (African American Point of View) and the Muslim Journal. Learn more at https://www.renayspace.com/





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5 Principles of Clarity in Writing https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/5-principles-of-clarity-in-writing/ https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/5-principles-of-clarity-in-writing/#respond Thu, 28 May 2020 22:34:23 +0000 http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/?p=6904 We had another great webinar this week, this time with AJ Ogilvie, of ProWritingAid. AJ and Alexa talked about creating clarity in writing and making your writing reader-centric. You can watch the replay at https://youtu.be/Y0AIq123oRU.  Be sure to read to the bottom of this post to grab the time-sensitive discount from ProWritingAid, especially for WIP readers!

AJ Ogilvie is a professor of business communication at the University of Southern California. He has taught business communication, consulting, writing, and literature courses for over ten years, and has published research on the theories of teaching, learning and communication.


In this webinar you will learn:

  • How to craft sentences that produce clarity for readers
  • How to effectively organize information for readers
  • How to create writing that provides a fluid and low-effort reading experience for your audience
  • How to use ProWritingAid towards the goal of clarity in your writing


Consider Your WHY

What are you writing? Your genre will determine your goals and answer the WHY of your writing. If you are writing fiction and creative non-fiction, your motivation is to get your readers to FEEL something. If you are writing for business, your motivation is to persuade and inspire action of some sort.

Defining Clarity

AJ described two kinds of clarity:

  • Global
  • Local

Global clarity is the overall organization of your writing that keeps the reader on a clear path from the beginning to the end.

Local clarity is your word choice, composition, and the ability for the reader to keep pace with you as the author.

These two types of clarity work with each other to make up a coherent and easy experience for the reader.

The Five Principles of Clarity

  1. Your subjects and verbs are the big actors and actions of the text.
  2. On a sentence level, the subject and verb go at the beginning of the sentence.
  3. Keep your subject and verb close together.
  4. Keep your text reader-centric by keeping your subjects to a minimum.
  5. Sentences should be linked logically.

In the video, AJ dives deeper into these five principles of clarity in writing. This is a true masterclass in refining your writing at the sentence and word level, a skill that many writers struggle with during the editing process. He also does a live demo of how this process looks in ProWritingAid, so be sure to head over to our webinars page to view the replay.


ProWritingAid is offering a 50% discount off a ProWritingAid license. Just go to http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/pwa, navigate to the pricing tab and use code WPS2050. Be sure to enter the code into the coupon code box beneath the pricing tables to update the pricing shown. This coupon code is valid for 48 hours, so jump on it now.

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How to Use Book Clubs to Market Your Book https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/how-to-use-book-clubs-to-market-your-book/ https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/how-to-use-book-clubs-to-market-your-book/#respond Wed, 27 May 2020 14:36:39 +0000 http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/?p=6897 This week, author Kasie Whitener joined Alexa for a webinar on marketing with book clubs. If you missed the live webinar, you can watch the replay on our Webinars page.

Dr. Kasie Whitener is a writer, researcher, analyst, educator, and promoter of all things Gen X. She has more than 15 years of experience in business process documentation, re-engineering, and analysis. Kasie specializes in adult learning with experience in onboarding, corporate acquisitions, and software training. As President of Clemson Road Creative, Kasie conducts organizational research, coaches process redesign, and conducts strategic planning and learning initiatives. She earned an undergraduate degree at Clemson University, a master’s at Winthrop University, and her doctorate in Organizational Management at Capella University where she specialized in global leadership. When away from work, Kasie can be found in the pool as a US Masters Swimmer, cheering wildly for her beloved Clemson Tigers and Washington Redskins, beating the pavement as a half-marathoner, or entangled in the fictional worlds she creates where the vampires not only hunt, they also time travel.


In this webinar you will learn:

  • How to get into a book club
  • How to get KICKED out of a book club
  • How to sell your books through a book club
  • Tips for virtual book clubs


Finding Book Clubs

Kasie was invited by The Pat Conroy Literary Center to deliver her workshop, How To Get Kicked Out Of a Book Club, where she met other book club organizers, and began talking to them about her book, After December. Kasie advises authors to attend similar events, and share your book with book club organizers. Look up literary events in your area, and search the program to see if there will be sessions on book clubs, then attend those sessions!  Don’t be shy about telling people about your book, and ask questions to learn more about how the book club is organized.These questions will help you determine whether your book is a good fit for the book club.

Some questions you should ask are:

  1. What kind of books does this book club read?
  2. How far in advance do they choose their books?
  3. How are the books selected?

Many membership organizations have book clubs, which is a great market to tap. For example, Alexa’s sorority has a book club, and issues a month by month list of titles for local chapters to read. And don’t overlook corporations. Woman on Top, by WPS client Angela Hosking, was recently picked up by Wells Fargo’s employee book club.

Helping Book Clubs Find You

One of the key takeaways from this webinar is making sure people know who you are, and where to find you. This doesn’t require a massive marketing campaign, but simply SHOWING UP. In other words, networking will get you far. Introduce yourself to book club organizers, and make sure you are easy to find. Your website should have everything a book club organizer needs to learn more about your book, and why it would be a good fit for their book club. Kasie often makes herself available to attend the book club meeting, and will give a presentation, so be sure to highlight this option if you are willing to do the same. Readers love the opportunity to chat with authors! Your website can also include snippets of the book, and videos that bring the reader behind the scenes. In the case of After December, Kasie visited the setting of her book, in Virginia, and made a video showing the different real-life locations where the story takes place.

Using Book Clubs To Make Your Next Book Better

Kasie points out that attending the book club allows her to gather reader feedback. She advises authors to take in the feedback, and not get upset by it, since the book has already been published and there’s nothing you can do about it. Responding  negatively to book club feedback is a  Instead, use this information to make your next book better! In the case of After December, Kasie is planning a follow-up book so the feedback from book club members was especially useful. Her forthcoming book, Before Pittsburgh, was largely shaped by reader feedback, according to Kasie.  Pay attention to what book club members liked and didn’t like about your book, and what questions they have about the characters.


Head over to our webinars page to view the replay, and register for our upcoming webinars.



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A Simple Tool for Authors To Stand Out https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/text-marketing/ https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/text-marketing/#respond Mon, 25 May 2020 12:00:30 +0000 http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/?p=6881

text marketing

How Authors Can Use Text Marketing

A Guest Post by Megan Starbuck

Do you ever feel like you’re a smidge behind the trends as a writer, and you pay for it in a big way? Like if you’d started a blog sooner, it would have done better? Now it seems like there are too many blogs out there, and not enough people reading them. Maybe by the time you noticed everyone starting a podcast, you felt it had become too saturated as well? Or you finally try TikTok, thinking it will be your big break…only to gain a whopping 9 followers after 3 months?


I’m not saying you should give up on those platforms, but I wanted to share something that might give you an edge that keeps you going on those days you feel so far behind everyone else.


You probably know several authors with thousands of email subscribers or even thousands of followers on social media. How many do you know who have thousands of subscribers to a text list? I don’t even know many with hundreds on their list. Maybe they have them and just aren’t sharing the numbers, or maybe they aren’t bothering because they don’t feel the need for a text list.


But as I’ve seen other businesses and even churches sending mass texts, I knew it was something I wanted to join. The problem was that I assumed it was expensive and a hassle. I’ve already got tons of stuff going for my blog, email list, and social media. Adding one more thing seemed overwhelming. Yet I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was the area where I could  stand out.


Still, I didn’t even know it was called text marketing and had no idea what words to even type in Google.


Then I signed up for a webinar with Tony Robbins and started receiving texts about it. When I opted out of the texts, it sent me a confirmation that included a link to the text marketing service used. I started my free account immediately and haven’t looked back!


Here’s why this tool is so important for authors:

  1. Enough businesses use it that the technology is familiar and well done but not yet saturated. You and your readers are probably on some mass text list, whether from a church or a business providing alerts of discounts. But they aren’t so prevalent that they get lost in the chaos (as many emails do).
  2. It’s similar to emails but with a higher open rate. Marketers always mention that we need an email list in addition to social media because we don’t have control over social. But email is our turf. Plus, people may take a sabbatical from social but not so much from email. The same is true for texts. And texts have an open rate of something like 98%! The highest open rate my weekly emails have gotten in the past 3 months is 37% whereas something around 20% is average for email open rates. So maybe you gain only 23 subscribers in your first couple of months, but you’d have about the same amount of people opening that text as you would have opening an email sent to 100 email subscribers. As with email, you can create different segments for different groups of text subscribers. Much of the other lingo and capabilities are similar. They can work well together. Maybe someone unsubscribes from your email list but continues receiving texts.
  3. It doesn’t have to be another overwhelming task to add to your to-do list. Because texts are so short, they are much faster to create. In fact, I usually schedule 4 or 5 at once which takes 45 minutes tops, whereas I only get 1 or 2 emails typed up per week and can take about an hour each. My texts are a way to connect with my readers regularly without putting in tons of time, and they don’t have to put in tons of time to read it. Learning how to use this tool before other authors will establish you as an authority they turn to once they realize the benefits. You will have answers to their questions and be able to help them because you have the data and experience to do so. You have people you’ve learned from about how to start and grow an email list or social media platform. You will be that voice for others if you learn early on how to use text marketing well.
  4. You can easily promote them in a paperback or at a speaking event. While it’s easy to link to an email list in an ebook, people may not be as likely to type in your web address. Plus, they might get distracted as they do. But with a text list, you can type “Text CLUTTER to 31996” or whatever Textword you choose that’s available (I just used mine as an example), and your readers can simply text that word to be subscribed to receive texts from you. I think that piques curiosity as well because it’s something not many authors are doing yet. It’s also great for speaking events because maybe they don’t have time to wait in line to submit their email address to you, but they will send a quick text. Texts are a great way to build trust and be able to conveniently tell your readers about future books.
  5. People don’t often have multiple cell phone numbers. Yes, they may get a new number, but people often tell me they have multiple email addresses and use one of them to sign up for stuff so that it isn’t going into their primary email. People don’t do that with their phones. You’re usually getting their one and only number that they check nearly every day even if they have a separate work phone.


Now you know why you should give this a try, but I’m also going to show you how to set it up well.

  • Pay attention to text marketing that you love and that you don’t enjoy. I do this with email, too. I’ve opted out of a few text lists because it felt like spam. Buy these, join that, remember this. They didn’t talk to me like a friend. I was just a way for them to get their message to one more person. Then I signed up for Heather Parady’s texts. She sent me a short, encouraging message each Monday. There wasn’t a link in every text. So when I started my texts, I knew I wanted to send a quote about simplifying your life each week. People love being inspired. And they love getting texts that don’t require anything of them!


  • Connect with readers regularly. Don’t just send a text when your book is released. Provide value week after week. Give them a reason to sign up. I like how detailed this fiction author is about text marketing, but she mentions that she already had 100,000 subscribers. So it doesn’t seem like she really needed the text marketing. She talks about how expensive her texting service was and how hard it was to get subscribers until she made a good offer. I’ll address that below since I use a different provider and offer, but she only sent 4 texts that year. I send 4 a month. I used to think less was more  for my email list, esp since my audience doesn’t like clutter. I found that it actually works far better when I send one email a week that they look forward to and therefore isn’t clutter. It makes them feel like they know me, so they don’t mind when I ask for a favor every once in a while. That’s why I based my texts on the same system.


  • Make them want to subscribe. If you don’t think your texts are awesome, you won’t be as excited about promoting them. But when you’re providing value and building something amazing, you’re motivated to continue sharing it and encouraging others to join. I give away the audio version of my book, Packrat to Clutter-Free. It’s relevant to the topic of the texts, and it’s something they can’t even buy at this time. When you send a good text, you can use that content to show others how awesome it is to receive your texts. I promote my texts every week at the bottom of my email by sharing the quote I sent in my text that week. This repurposes my content and allows those outside the US to see the quotes since they can’t sign up for the texts. I also promote my Tuesday Texts on Instagram once a week. I don’t get tons of new subscribers but a couple here and there really adds up when you know they are virtually guaranteed to actually read your message.


  • Make it easy to subscribe. Online, I share this link rather than just saying “Text Writing to 31996” because it’s easier to click the link than memorize what number to text it to if they’re on their phone. If they’re on a computer, their phone might be in the other room. Plus, it’s pretty, and it gives me their name, too. At conferences, attendees may have their phone off. So it’s a good idea to have your Textword and number on a bookmark or sticker they can take with them.


This is the easy, reliable, affordable system I use. Once I found them, I searched other text marketing providers to compare. It started making me nervous when I saw so many big name companies working with them. I thought it would be too expensive. While the 50 free texts don’t get you very far because you could only send one text to 50 people or two texts to 25 people, the $29 plan gives you 500 texts a month, which rollover. They have simple video tutorials like this one to help you set up a page for people to subscribe. They always respond to my emails when I have a question about how to do something.

If you’re just starting out and don’t have a budget to work with, keep it in mind until you have an income you can draw from to make the payments.

But if this is something you see the value of investing in, definitely check it out here and try the free version to see if you like it. You can use this code, STR1168,  like I did for a discount off the first month of a paid plan.

It may be a slow start, but I still gain 1-3 new subscribers each time I share my text list with people. That may not sound like a lot, but I count each phone number as 4 people on my email list since so many of them don’t actually read my emails. Starting small helps you get the hang of it and see if it’s something you want to continue investing in. I’ve found that my text subscribers really enjoy it, so it’s worth it to me.

I hope you find that learning this fairly new technology early is something you thank yourself for later!


M. C. Starbuck is the author of Packrat to Clutter-Free and writes about making room for what matters most at Living Tiny, Dreaming Big. Follow Megan on Instagram and Facebook




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When Should I Get an Editor For My Book? https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/when-should-i-get-an-editor-for-my-book/ https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/when-should-i-get-an-editor-for-my-book/#respond Thu, 21 May 2020 20:12:02 +0000 http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/?p=6869 We had a great webinar on  with JoEllen Nordström of FirstEditing, on the right time to find an editor. If you missed the live webinar, you can watch the replay on our Webinars page.

In this webinar you will learn:

  • WHO you can you trust for editing
  • WHAT determines your editing prices
  • WHEN should you approach an editor for services
  • WHERE can you find editing help (for free!)
  • WHY professional editing is necessary (and when it is not)
  • HOW editing helps you reach your goals

 Ten steps to successful editing, according to JoEllen:

  1. Evaluating what your manuscript needs
  2. Getting the best price for qualified editors
  3. Determine where you are in your editing journey
  4. Knowing who to trust with editing
  5. What factors play into the cost of editing
  6. When should you approach an editor?
  7. What kind of services do you need?
  8. Getting help with editing
  9. Getting a professional to help you
  10. How does editing help reach your goals?

JoEllen walked us through these ten steps, and answered some great questions from attendees, so be sure to watch the replay!

How Much Does Editing Cost?

The cost of editing is probably the most frequently asked question from authors. The answer is: it depends. In the webinar, JoEllen goes over the different types of editors and what factors play into the cost of editing. One tip for lowering the cost of editing is to first do a self-edit, with a tool like ProWritingAid. The less work an editor has to do, the lower the cost.

Another strategy for lowering the cost of editing is to use beta readers. Beta readers are not a replacement for editors, but they can be helpful is pointing out egregious errors such as plot holes and repetition. Learn more about beta readers in this WPS blog post.

To get a better understanding of how editors set their prices, refer to this Reedsy article. 

How do I find the right editor for ME?

Another frequently asked question is, how do I find the right editor? The author-editor relationship is more personal than you’d think. JoEllen recommends shopping around to find the editor that will serve your book the best. One tip she shared for finding the right editor is to think about who your favorite writers are? Whose style would you like to emulate? Ask a potential editor if they are familiar with the work of that author.

You’ll also want to take your genre into consideration. Every genre has it’s own conventions, and you’ll want an editor that is familiar with those conventions. Don’t hire an academic editor for your romance novel, for example.

More importantly, you’ll need to determine what stage of editing you are in, which JoEllen covers in the webinar. Different editors fill different needs. A developmental edit is much different from a copy edit, both in purpose and in cost.

Learn more about FirstEditing at firstediting.com, and use coupon code WIP19 to get 19% off services, until May 31st, 2020.

Head over to our webinars page to view the replay, and register for our upcoming webinars.



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Writing Through Stressful and Anxious Times https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/writing-through-stressful-and-anxious-times/ https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/writing-through-stressful-and-anxious-times/#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2020 14:54:39 +0000 http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/?p=6787 Stress Can Cause Our Creativity to Decline

The last few weeks have been a pretty wild ride. In a time when everyone’s feeling uncertain, it can be hard to sit down and write.

We’re entering another week of the “new normal,” and it’s feeling anything but. I hope you have found some peace and space for yourself during these wild times. I have been enjoying hearing about all the ways this crisis has sparked the imagination of my clients, driving them to finally tell a story that’s sat too long in their hearts or building a new world out of the strangeness of this one.

How Grief and Stress Impact Us

My own author journey was thanks to being thrown into a strange world I’d never imagined – losing a child and having her sister clinging to life in the hospital was never something I’d thought I’d experience until it happened. Writing became my way out of the darkest moments of grief, pain and confusion in the time that came after. I’ve been thinking about that period of my life a lot lately – I’d never imagined any world like this, either. This time reminds me a lot of that time – being stuck in a hospital bed, not allowed to go outside, not knowing HOW LONG this would last or what the outcome would be.

I am sitting with grief and anxiety once again. I bet you have too. Whether you realize it or not, we’re all grieving right now. Grieving what could have been, should have been. Grieving the loss of jobs or freedom or even a trip you’d planned for – for months. And when we grieve, it’s hard to focus and make progress. I decided it’s time to dust off some of my old coping skills and share them with all of you.

Coping Skills for Reducing Stress, Anxiety, and Increasing Productivity

If this is a topic you feel you need some help with as well, or just want some general coping skills for anxiety, I encourage you to watch the replay of a webinar I did recently on this very topic.

Watch here!


You can also grab a free copy of Ditch the Fear and Just Write It! now! I talk a LOT about mindset and moving past our fears.

We’d love to hear from you if you have other tips for things that are helping you cope through this time.

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What’s An Email CRM And Why Do Authors Need One? https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/whats-an-email-crm-and-why-do-authors-need-one/ https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/whats-an-email-crm-and-why-do-authors-need-one/#respond Sun, 29 Mar 2020 21:05:12 +0000 http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/?p=6776 ed. note: Many thanks to team member Nancy Cavillones for submitting this post, which originally  appeared on her blog at http://va4indieauthors.com

The Basics of an Email CRM

One thing you’ll almost always see in a book marketing plan, or a book marketing course, is an emphasis on “building your list, ” using an email CRM, sometimes called an ESP or Email Service Provider. This means building a list of email subscribers. Of all the ways to reach your readers, the email list remains the most effective way to sell your books.

  1. If a reader is on your email list, that means that they WANT to hear from you. (More on opting-in in just a moment!)
  2. You have more time and space to say what you want to say to readers.
  3. You have the opportunity to provide extra value to your readers.

In this post, I’ll cover the very basics of using an email CRM, or Customer Relationship Manager. If you subscribe to an email newsletter or online mailing list, chances are very good that they are being delivered to your inbox via an email CRM like Mailchimp or Constant Contact.

First, let’s talk about WHY you, an author, needs an email CRM. Whether this is your first book or your 100th book, when you write a book and sell it, you are in the author business. When you collect email addresses, you must provide a way for readers to automatically unsubscribe from your email list. You cannot do this with a personal email address.

Another difference between an email CRM and your personal email is that your personal email server will almost certainly flag you as a spammer if you start sending mass emails, and you’ll end up in some hot water.

Okay, let’s break down the parts of an email CRM.

Campaigns: Sometimes called a broadcast, campaigns are one-time emails that are sent to your whole list, or a segment of your list. These are usually newsletters, product offers, announcements and updates.

Segment: A portion of your subscriber list that has something in common. For example, you might identify a segment of your list as people who downloaded an ARC of your book. This will be important when we talk about opt-ins below.

Landing Page: A type of form. Landing pages are a full-page design, usually containing sales or promotional copy and calls to action, along with a form to sign up for whatever it is you’re selling.

Subscribers: These are the people who have agreed to get emails from you!

Automation: An automation is a workflow based on triggers. For example, someone may fill out a form to get an ARC of your book. When they fill out the form, it might automatically trigger a welcome email that contains the link to their copy of the ARC. You can do all kinds of neat things with automations, depending on which email CRM you are using.

Forms: This is what readers fill out to let you know that they agree to get email from you. Forms can be as simple as a first name and email address. (Always get the first name, so you can personalize those emails!). Some forms may collect more information, like what kind of content they are interested in or demographic information. I have a client whose form asks whether the reader is a parent, student or educator. The emails she sends out are tailored to each of these groups.

Opt-In: To get someone on your list, you must ask permission! Don’t be a spammer. Get permission from readers to email them. Many opt-ins have a freebie attached to them. You send them the freebie in exchange for their agreeing to be added to your email list. Many authors give away a free chapter of their book as the freebie or an ARC. If you receive a list of email addresses from an event or promotional coordinator, keep these emails separate from your main mailing list. Only add them to your main list if they’ve expressly given permission. For example, if you participate in a BookFunnel group promo, you will collect a whole lotta emails from people who opted into the promo, but not necessarily your email list. Create a segment of those BookFunnel people, send them a welcome email and invite them to join your regular mailing list. It’s just good business practice.

Email CRMs range from super basic to powerfully featured. If you’re just starting out, I recommend using an email CRM with a free plan like MailerLite or MailChimp. As your audience and your business grows, you can graduate to something like AweberConvertKit or ActiveCampaign. Here,  at Women in Publishing Summit, we recently switched to ActiveCampaign because the automation features are very robust.

Nancy Cavillones is an indie author’s best friend and is on a mission to keep authors sane by handling the minutiae of their online presence and communications. She’s been online in some form or other since 1993, and still has the AOL dial-up tone stuck in her head. She enjoys taking the scenic route, forcing her kids to appreciate nature, and spending time in New York City by herself in a desperate attempt to recapture her college days. Originally from Upstate NY by way of Long Island, Nancy recently relocated to Northern California with her family from Redding, Connecticut. Nancy is the co-editor of Lose the Cape Mom’s Guide to Becoming Socially and Politically Engaged (And Rising Tiny Activists, Too!). She has been a member of Team Alexa since 2016. Find her at http://va4indieauthors.com, on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Moving biz operations online and need some tips? https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/moving-biz-operations-online-and-need-some-tips/ https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/moving-biz-operations-online-and-need-some-tips/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2020 17:58:37 +0000 http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/?p=6760 For those of you who are facing a new situation with businesses being encouraged to have everyone work from home, our host, Alexa Bigwarfe, has some tips and resources for you!

I’ve been working as a digital entrepreneur for almost 8 years now, so sometimes I forget that not everyone is familiar with the “digital” world of business operations and all of the tools that are available. I know that it might be a little overwhelming trying to figure out how to manage your business operations, your team, and still keep work going as close to usual as possible.

But I’ve got some good news – it’s actually quite easy to keep operations going like normal right from your home, as long as you’ve got internet! Some tools are free to use as a starting base. Others have a small fee, some fees are bigger – and many offer free trials that may be long enough to get you through this critical point. You can also pay by the month, so don’t rush into a year-long plan if you’re not sure how long you’ll need it.

I have a team of 5 that lives all over the country. We do webinars, we schedule client calls and meetings, we have team meetings virtually, and we communicate all day.

Please note, some, NOT ALL of these links are affiliate links. What that means is that your price is the same whether you go through my link or not. However, should you decide to purchase something based on an affiliate link of mine, I might be treated to a free month of service or a small financial reward for sending them business. Using affiliate links has helped me throughout the years to earn discounted rates on the many tools I use every day, so I appreciate that they offer these programs!

Here’s how we run our online business and keep everyone on the same page and working together.

  1. Get your team on SLACK. It is a free tool and super easy to use. You can have “channels” related to certain topics. So, we’re a publishing team, we have a channel related to each author and their launch / project / promo. Everyone involved in our next upcoming book launch is in the channel about it. You can also direct message individuals or groups, integrate dropbox, trello, googledrive, etc. Set up your free team and get started here: https://slack.com/
  2.  Project management tools:Asana and Trello! There are more, like basecamp, etc, but I’ve got experience in these two and use them daily. ASANA – allows you to create checklists, assign tasks, create full project flows, and track who is on those projects, set due dates, etc. So does Trello, but it’s more visual and Trello is better on storing assets like files, images, etc.Check out Asana here: https://asana.com/
  3. TRELLO! Trello is an amazing project management tool as well, that allows you to manage projects in a more visual way. You can create checklists and plans and communicate, and store information. It’s also a free tool. Start using Trello now.You can create lists, cards, and then checklists, assign and track tasks, store files, and more. Each of these “cards” opens up to a world of wonder. 🙂
  4. Webinars! Yes, you’re probably going to need to run some webinars if you’re normally doing training or events or need to move an in person event online. There are SO many solutions for webinars – based on your budget and tech needs. I use Zoom every day to connect with clients, run small group trainings, staff meetings, etc. It has a webinar upgrade function, but check out the FREE version. If you can keep it under 40 mins and don’t mind having everyone in the conferencing room with you, it might work. But there are MANY webinar platforms.They all have pros and cons. I want to suggest that if you’re just going to be running a couple of smaller, short webinars, and don’t want to invest in tools, you consider just setting up a Facebook group limited to the people that need to be there, and go LIVE in the group with your presentation and training. You can create slides on GoogleDrive, share them to the internet and send the link to participants to look at the slides as you give a presentation. Or you can use a fancier webinar tool that allows you to do a more formal presentation. I just hate to see you spend a lot of money for something for which there are free workarounds if you only need it once or twice for a small group. But many do have free trial periods, so… check for those!Now, if you’re trying to run a conference online, that’s a different situation entirely!.Here is a list:
    Zoom: https://zoom.us
    WebinarNinja: https://webinarninja.com/
    GoTo Webinar: https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar
    WebinarJam: https://home.webinarjam.com/
    And a new one I haven’t tried but am considering: Demio: https://demio.com/
    Just learned about Matchbox Group as well: https://matchboxdesigngroup.com/
    here’s a post that compares different platforms: https://www.codeinwp.com/blog/best-webinar-software/
  5.  Scheduling calls and appointments has never been easier to track with the amazing scheduling / calendar management tools. You can send your clients to a direct link where they can choose to set up a call based on YOUR availability. If there needs to be payment made, you can easily integrate those functions as well. There are lots of great tools out there for this. I personally use and love Acuity. Check out Acuity here. I have also used Calendly as a client and it seems pretty great as well.
  6. Need to do contracts, online invoicing, lead forms, etc? I LOVE using 17hats! Check out all their deals here!.
  7. Looking for a place to host training? Courses? Community? The list is LONG on these.
    I use Thinkific: Get a month free: https://get.thinkific.com/give-a-month-program/?gam=901277469c
    MightyNetwork: https://www.mightynetworks.com/ (Hey are you a woman writer? We’d love you to join OUR MightyNetwork!
    Facebook groups are a very easy to set up tool to use.
    Teachable: https://teachable.com/home-summit
    Kajabi: https://kajabi.com/
    Kartra… so many more!

There are so many tools out there that can help you still stay in touch, manage projects, conduct meetings, schedule calls, run webinars, and even conduct an entire conference online. I run the entire Women in Publishing Summit, a 100% online conference, using Zoom, YouTube, WordPress, hosting with SiteGround, Thinkific (an online course development program), Facebook, Acuity, and my email CRMs, Active Campaign and sometimes ConvertKit.

Almost all of these tools have extensive training and support. I’m not super techy and I learned it all… granted, over time and not in a mad rush.

If you need help, I do offer consulting calls on this topic. In 30 minutes, I can help you figure out exactly what you need to do. But, I feel pretty confident that if you just check out some of these options, don’t let analysis paralysis set in, start with the free tools, and just get moving forward, you’ll figure out how to do this.

Happy to answer questions in the comments to the best of my ability as well!

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Amazing Women Panel: Bringing It All Full Circle https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/closing-panel-bringing-it-all-full-circle/ https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/closing-panel-bringing-it-all-full-circle/#respond Fri, 06 Mar 2020 17:49:39 +0000 http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/?p=6646

Bringing It All Full Circle

Description: Join Alexa for this closing panel about Bringing It All Together. She is joined by Natasha Carlow, Keri T. Collins, Angela Hosking and Sylvia Hubbard. 

Format: Live, on the Women in Publishing Facebook Page

Level: This presentation is for all levels. 


Alexa Bigwarfe

Alexa Bigwarfe

Author, Publisher and Summit Producer

Alexa Bigwarfe is a wife, mother, author, publisher, speaker, and author coach. She has published numerous books of her own and for many other writers and entrepreneurs through her author coaching and hybrid-publishing company Kat Biggie Press (katbiggiepress.com). Kat Biggie Press is dedicated to sharing women’s works of inspiration, self-help, and books that make the world a better place. Her children’s book imprint, Purple Butterfly Press, publishes books of encouragement, inspiration, self-love, and healing for children and parents. She is also the founder and producer of the Women in Publishing Summit. Follow her everywhere on instagram @katbiggiepress and on youtube for publishing tips at https://www.youtube.com/writepublishsell.

Keri T. Collins

Keri T. Collins

Keri Collins is a children’s author who helps kids and parents better themselves by making better choices. There are times when problems can seem insurmountable, but taking action and making one small choice can get the ball rolling, and lead to all kinds of happy outcomes.  Her first children’s book is You Can Call Me Katelyn, published by Purple Butterfly Press in 2019. It’s about a girl who doesn’t like her name, and follows her journey as she makes the choice to change it. She also blogs about parenting and kids issues, and offer plenty of tips and other advice at http://keritcollins.com/reading-room/ Her second book, A Big Change for Daisy, is forthcoming from Purple Butterfly Press.

Natasha Carlow

Natasha Carlow

Natasha Carlow is a first time author and long time lover of the written word. As a mother of two amazing rainbow babies, who spent much of her time reading stories to her young children, Natasha noted that there were no stories that spoke to her family’s journey. So she decided to write one. Thus Happy Tears and Rainbow Babies- a story of hope, resilience and love was born. Natasha is an Itinerant Counselor and Lecturer who resides in Trinidad and Tobago with her husband and two preschoolers. She and her husband are owners of a children’s boutique called Rainbow Babies that specializes in customized clothing and accessories for rainbow families.

Angela Hosking

Angela Hosking

Sylvia Hubbard

Sylvia Hubbard

Sylvia Hubbard knew she’d wanted to be a writer of romance long before she knew there were black writers in the world. Weaving stories magically as a summer past time to writing stories to get through the humdrum of school, she was able to create something from nothing. Today, she has independently published over 40 high suspense romance books, is the founder of Motown Writers Network and The Michigan Literary Network, CEO of HubBooks Literary Services, runs over five blogs on a variety of subjects, part-time host of The Michigan Literary Network Radio Show and is a happily divorced mother of three children in Detroit, Michigan. https://sylviahubbard.com/

Bringing it all full circle with @heronetribe, @iamkeritcollins, @natasha_carlow, and @sylviahubbard1 at the #womeninpublishingsummit with @womeninpublish1 #womeninpublishing #authors #authorpreneurs #kidlit
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There is ONE way to still access the full 2020 experience... you can get your Full Conference Pass upgrade now!

The Full Conference Pass/ Community Access is lifetime access to all of the presentations, in video and audio form. Additionally, you get access to a private support community where we are helping each other through our writing, publishing, and selling journeys. And bonus materials! Thousands of dollars of gifts, products, discounts, training, and more have been provided by our speakers and sponsors. You can learn more about the Full Conference Pass here or you can go ahead and grab it now!

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Day 5: Daphne James Huff: Shifting mindset as a parent and working writer https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/day-5-daphne-james-huff-shifting-mindset-as-a-parent-and-working-writer/ https://womeninpublishingsummit.com/day-5-daphne-james-huff-shifting-mindset-as-a-parent-and-working-writer/#respond Fri, 06 Mar 2020 15:00:47 +0000 http://womeninpublishingsummit.com/?p=5874

 Shifting mindset as a parent and working writer

Description:  Author and working mom Daphne James Huff on the mindset shift required to balance working full-time and being a successful author

Format: Video Q&A 

Level: This presentation is for all levels. 


Daphne James Huff

Daphne James Huff

Author & Co-Founder of Writer Mom Life

Daphne James Huff is the pen name of a writer mom who spends her days as an HR professional and trained executive coach, and her nights and weekends as a podcaster, runner, and yogi. She can sing all the songs in “The Pirates of Penzance” from memory and distrusts people who enjoy raisins in their cookies. You can find more about her books on her author website – https://www.daphnejameshuff.com/ – and hear her chat with other writer moms over at Writer Mom Life – http://writermomlife.com/ – the podcast and online community created by and featuring indie author moms. You can also follow WML on Twitter (@WriterMomLife) and Instagram (@WriterMomLifePodcast).

Mentioned in this video:

  • The challenges writer moms have – balancing children, work, writing
  • Started writing to bring in a little extra income even though she always wanted to be a writer
  • Started writing with YA; the lessons that she learned through this process
  • Found the Romance Genre when she saw a call for submissions
  • Call for submissions!!! 
  • Working with co-writers
  • Community and cross promoting
  • Writer Mom Life podcast – http://writermomlife.com/podcast/
  • Writing a book with someone else and how that kept her accountable
  • Setting goals, timelines, release schedules
  • Why she decided to write Sweet Romance
  • Lots on the business side 
  • Read through rates and royalties
  • The space she’s created for moms who are writers
  • Setting expectations for your partner and family so that you can prioritize writing time

Daphne’s books


Creator of @writermomlife podcast, Daphne James Huff, is at #womeninpublishingsummit talking about balancing working full-time and writing #books. #workingmom #womeninpublishing #authorpreneur #womenpodcasters #writinglife…
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There is ONE way to still access the full 2020 experience... you can get your Full Conference Pass upgrade now!

The Full Conference Pass/ Community Access is lifetime access to all of the presentations, in video and audio form. Additionally, you get access to a private support community where we are helping each other through our writing, publishing, and selling journeys. And bonus materials! Thousands of dollars of gifts, products, discounts, training, and more have been provided by our speakers and sponsors. You can learn more about the Full Conference Pass here or you can go ahead and grab it now!

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