FREE Writing Conference Online

writersubootcamp-staffThe Writers’ University Boot Camp runs from June 1 through June 26, 2014 online, which opens it up to our Global Community. Authors and aspiring authors are invited to attend this FREE event. To acquire the FREE PASS to this event, go to http://writersuniversitybootcamp.com.

Connie Dunn of Publish with Connie (http://www.publishwithconnie.com) says, “I believe everyone has a book in them. The knowledge and perspective of each person is unique, so if you don’t write it…who will?” If you are waiting to write your book, attend this free event and begin to take action to get your book going.

Participants of the Writers’ University Boot Camp will be able to learn about everything from developing characters and plot to book design and marketing, plus everything in-between. This Boot Camp will allow attendees to hear the experiences of 16 different writers, who are speaking on 21 different topics surrounding the entire publishing process from concept to the marketing of a book. New authors and seasoned writers will be able to take away some practical information that they can put to work right now.

A contest will help make attending this Boot Camp a fun proposition. There are four prizes available. The contest is explained at http://writersuniversitybootcamp.com and is open to anyone who is enrolled in the Writers’ University Boot Camp.

What Can You Learn in an Online Course?

I am enrolled in the 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge (up through May 9 you may still enroll – use this link: http://buildabusinesswithyourbook.com/access/aff/go/connnie), which I also contributed to. Are you wondering why I would want to take a course, where I was a contributor? Well, that’s easy to answer! You never outgrow your need for up-to-date book marketing information! The other answer is that just because I know one area does not mean that I know all areas!

When talking about book marketing, you are talking about a humongous topic. Blogs on your author/book site, guest blogging, book reviews, courses, contests, teleseminars, being interviewed, and this list is not all there is in book marketing.

Book Marketing is often viewed as a “bad word” in author circles. You don’t have to market your book, but you probably won’t sell any books, either. The very first step is to develop an “author platform,” which is basically where you can be found on the Internet.

It is imperative in today’s digital world to have a site where you can be found. Your book may be for sale in Amazon, but how are your readers going to know about your book and you. How are they to find out the information needed to make the decision to buy your book? Part of the equation of marketing is the relationship that you have with your readers. Sometimes that is called relationship marketing.

Your Internet Address is important to choose. A lot of authors choose their name as their URL address. I didn’t have that option. Who knew there were so many Connie Dunn’s in the world.? Therefore, I chose ConnieDunnBooks.com. My main identity on the Web, however, is PublishWithConnie.com. This is where all of my products – books and courses – are found. My books are also on ConnieDunnBooks.com. It is somewhat redundant, but I’ve kept both addresses and post blogs on both sites.

Before you pick your URL, perhaps thinking about what your intentions for your site might be wise. If you are going to write more books, will they be similar? Did you write your book to support your business? There are a lot of options that you might choose. None are better than the other; they simply have to be your decisions. Also know that you can make a change when and if you feel you need it.

These are the Common Pages that can be found on Author Sites:

  1. Home
  2. About
  3. Products/Books
  4. Events
  5. Contact
  6. Media

Once you have gotten your “address,” then you have to build your site. What goes into your site? A home page or your front page is the first place where visitors come. Some people call this a landing page. Some people see landing pages and sales pages as the same. The HOME page is extremely important because it’s like your store front. You wouldn’t jumble up your store front so that people who come there don’t understand what you are about. Therefore, you need to be clear on what the “face” of your business looks like and feels like.

There are many other pages that you might add to your site. Naturally, since this site is likely your site to promote your book; you are going to need a page that talks about your book. You also want people to know about you, as the author. Then, you need an about page and as whatever else you might be promoting on your site.

You’ve got to tell visitors about your products or books, so you’ll need a product/book page. And people want to be able to contact you, so you need a contact page. You don’t have to put your residential address, if you work out of your home. Go rent a mailbox from a mailing place, such as the UPS store. You also don’t have to put in your e-mail address, instead you can use a form.

A media page is a good to have that holds all the information that the media might want to know about you in order to write a feature story or ask you to be a guest on a radio or television show. An event page talks or lists all of the up-coming events, such as where you will be on a Virtual Book Tour.

The Horse Lover

Please welcome  H Alan Day and Lynn Wiese Sneyd to Publish with Connie. They co-authored the book The Horse Lover. I am excited to host them as one of their stops on their Virtual Book Tour (http://thehorselover.com/virtual-book-tour/)

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Thank you Connie, for hosting me on this virtual book tour celebration for the ‘Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs’. I look forward to connecting with your audience and welcome their comments or questions.

H Alan DayAlan Day and his sister Sandra Day O’Connor co-authored the New York Times bestselling Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest, published by Random House. Alan went on to write his own memoir, The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs, about his experience starting the first-government sponsored wild horse sanctuary and caring for 1500 wild mustangs, published by University of Nebraska Press and released March 1, 2014.

I came to writing in a very oblique way. I never had dreams of writing a book while I was growing up or during adulthood. But then one day, the phone rang and my sister Sandra, who is pretty plain spoken and gets to the point in a direct fashion, said, “Alan, I think we should write a book together. “

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I said, “Tell me more. Why would we want to write a book? And what would that book be about?”

Sandra said that we had been raised in a very unique environment that had taught us both a very strong work ethic. Being raised on the Lazy B cattle ranch, a 200-square-mile chunk of Sonoran desert, taught us to be problem-solvers because out on the ranch nobody was going to solve your problems for you.

I had never taken any writing classes and certainly had minimal skills in that department, so the book Sandra was suggesting felt about as big as that ranch. I had a hard time getting my arms around it. Sandra was far more skilled than I in terms of writing ability.She wrote many legal opinions which weren’t graded for literary quality but were read by many lawyers and historians.
After stumbling and fumbling with an answer and not wanting to look like a fool, I finally said, “Well, how do I go about this? How do I start to write a book?”

Her answer was Sandra simple. Yellow legal pad and number two pencil.

“What if the product sounds dumb or doesn’t make sense?”

“Whatever you have on paper submit it to me and we’ll make it work,” she said.

I have a feeling that not many would-be authors get that kind of a send off in their writing careers. Having been given an assignment, however, I rolled up my sleeves and tackled it.

A lot of days I would only get a paragraph or two written, and then after sitting and contemplating it for awhile, I’d tear it up the sheet and throw it away. Other days, I would say to myself, okay big boy, today’s the day for writing. And then I would find fifteen excuses why not to write. Progress was very slow.

After six months of writing, I had several chapters that seemed a little bit appropriate. I sat down and read everything that I had written. It was so bad that shame consumed me. The thought hit me that even if I could rewrite these pages twice as good, they would still be bad. In a fit of depressed anger, I tossed it all away.Cover - THl

I had attempted to write the history of the ranch chronologically beginning in 1880 when our grandfather settled on Lazy B. I decided I needed a whole different format to make it more interesting. YetI didn’t know what other formats were used by writers. So I gave myself two weeks to come up with another way to write the book. I spent time each day just trying to think up a different way to write the story. Toward the end of my two week self-imposed deadline, I finally had a bright idea.

I asked myself the question: which author do you most enjoy reading? The answer was Larry McMurtry. I then asked why Larry McMurtry? What is it that draws you to his writing? My answer to that was I admire his character development. I mentally bond with his characters and want to go on their adventures with them.

As I reached this point in my thinking, the light bulb went on in my dimly lit cranium. Ohmygoodness. I have on the ranch six characters and each one is worthy of a book, or at least a part in a book. This idea hit me so hard that I could feel the truth of it inside me.

Two of the six characters were my parents and the other four were cowboys who worked on our ranch, each for more than fifty years. I had huge respect and admiration for all six of these people. I thought gee, if I can just bring them back for readers in the same bigger-than-life mode that I saw them, readers will be very entertained. The heart of the Lazy B was right there in front of me.

I immediately went to writing a chapter about each of the characters. The writing became easier and the pages started flying off the yellow tablet. Sandra was very accepting of what I had written and incorporated the stories into the Lazy B book. She sold it to Random House and it did quite well.

After some years, I thought golly, it was fun to write half a book. If I’m a writer, I can write a whole book. The Horse Lover is my effort at doing just that.

H. Alan Day

H Alan DayAlan Day’s upbringing branded him a cowboy from the day he was born. He was part of the third generation to grow up on the 200,000-acre Lazy B cattle ranch straddling the high deserts of southern Arizona and New Mexico. The ranching and cowboy lifestyle appealed to him so greatly that after graduating from the University of Arizona, he returned to manage Lazy B for the next 40 years. During his career, he received numerous awards for his dedicated stewardship of the land. In the 1980’s, Alan purchased a cattle ranch in Nebraska and soon after, a ranch in South Dakota. The latter became the first government-sponsored sanctuary for unadoptable wild horses. He developed and successfully used a herd modification-training program for his 2000 head of cattle and 1500 wild mustangs.

Alan and his sister, Sandra Day O’Connor, co-authored the New York Times bestselling memoir, Lazy B, which chronicles the story of the Day family and growing up on a harsh yet beautiful southwestern ranch. Alan is a member of Western Writers of America. Now retired, he divides his time between Tucson and Pinetop, AZ.Cover - THl

To follow this Virtual Book Tour, follow this link: