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The Importance of Routine

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-wvcst-ed3a5c
Variety may no be the spice of life…

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E-Books (The Future of Publishing?)

September 25, 2020– I attended the London Book Fair in England a few years ago, and I was fortunate enough to participate in many classes to continue my education. One of the subjects that came up was e-books, and how they are changing the face of publishing. Here are four reasons why electronic books are essential to offer your customers if you’re an author, especially a self-published one:

  1. Portability. You’ve just bought a new book series to read while on vacation-did you pack your paperbacks, or did you download the books onto your phone, tablet, e-reader, Kindle, Kobo, or laptop? I’m a fan of paperback books, don’t get me wrong, but when I’m on vacation, I like to lounge by the pool and read. I can’t fit all of the books I can read in a week in my suitcase, so I choose to download them instead.
  2. Sharable. A lot of e-books contain bonus information such as additional chapters or new release teasers via hyperlinks. We add hyperlinks to our e-books because our readers can click on a link and be brought to our website where they can find similar titles they may be interested in. Plus, e-books can be shared with friends.
  3. Highlightable. Non-fiction books especially fall into this category. Most people skim the contents looking for things that are relevant to them, and they can highlight which parts they want to remember or refer back to without ruining or damaging the book like they would have if they had highlighted a paperback.
  4. Environmentally friendly. There is no paper or ink or shipping materials used for e-books, which is an absolute advantage to the environment. There is no waste and nothing to throw away.

I’m not saying that I prefer e-books over print books by any means \(nothing beats the textile nature of holding a book in your hands, flipping the pages, and the smell of them). I’m saying that they have their advantages and have a place in publishing. As an author, make sure you’re offering e-books to your readers; it’s essential to give them as many options as possible to enjoy your work. If you search any of our books on Amazon, you’ll find a paperback version and an e-book version; this is just one of the ways we commit to serving you better.

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Wherever You Go (There You Are)

September 24, 2020– Before COVID happened, I popped into an Indigo bookstore in my city. Bookstores are my happy place, and I love to browse the different sections and topics; I always seem to find my way into the children’s area. Often, the store has local author visits where writers can set up a table and sell their books to customers in-store.

I wandered over to the author’s table, and the woman looked up at me as she was sitting there reading a book. I was the first to engage in conversation; I asked her how it was going, and if she had been busy with customers. She told me she hadn’t, and she wasn’t really into the “sales part” of writing and that she preferred to write the books and stay “behind the scenes.”  I asked her what she thought would happen after she published her book, and she said that she hadn’t thought that far ahead. I asked her about her sales goals and if she had a plan for her book going forward. Again, she said she “hadn’t thought that far ahead.” She went on to tell me that she had spent a pile of money self-publishing her book and that now she had a garage full of unsold copies that she wasn’t sure what she was going to do with now. She also said that she wished she had more sales and that she wanted to, at minimum, break even.

I see this a lot, and it’s a shame because her book was quite good and the subject matter was interesting. As an author, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are you where you want to be?
  2. What are you doing to get there?
  3. What can you improve?

If we use the woman above as an example to answer these questions, here’s what we come up with:

  1. She is not where she wants to be. What she wants is more sales, she wants to break even, and she wants to get rid of the inventory of books in her garage. She should be specific about her goals.
  2. She is going to book store events, but not much else. She needs to start brainstorming about how she can sell her books—Eg. Online platform, other book stores, schools, festivals and events etc.
  3. There are a lot of things she can improve; the first thing is engaging with customers when she has them in front of her, hand out literature, talk more about her book, get on social media etc.

You can’t hit a target that you can’t see. So are you where you want to be as an author? What goals do you have for your work? How will you get there? What plan of action will you take? How will you improve your current situation? These are important questions that need answers.

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Spotlight on

September 23, 2020– Today, we’re putting the spotlight on Grandma’s Table, written by Michelle Pontefract, illustrated by Erin Cutler. This beautiful book is all about family, sharing the love, and making room for friends. Everyone is welcome around Grandma’s Table; the more, the merrier! The illustrations are brought to life and jump off the page because of the watercolour medium used to give them texture and a gorgeous softness.

Grandma’s Table is all about inclusion and celebration among a fabulous feast of foods from around the world. Included are some favourite recipes from Michelle’s family that make the book interactive and allow you to spend cherished moments with your children making delicious memories.

Here’s what one reader had to say about Grandma’s Table:

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Inclusive

Reviewed in the United States on August 21, 2020
Verified Purchase
What a gorgeous book. Such a strong message that there’s always room at Grandma’s Table. I loved the diversity of dishes and characters, as well as the recipes included in the back. My kids enjoyed making the cookies.

You can get your copy here:  https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/grandmas-table/

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Weekly Podcast

September 22, 2020-Did you know that we have a weekly podcast? It’s easy to follow us; all you have to do is download the Podbean app on Google Play or iTunes and search Pandamonium Publishing House! Each Tuesday, we’ll talk about a new topic, and some of our episodes include author interviews, special guests, writing tips, small business advice, all things writing, and more. It’s free to subscribe!

If you’re an author and you don’t have a podcast, here are three reasons why you should consider having one:

  1. To reach your readers– Having a podcast will allow you to reach your readers while they’re driving, working, working out, cleaning, running errands, and at other intervals where they are unable to sit down and read a blog post or newsletter.
  2. To expand your network-There are 60 million people in the United States alone that listen to podcasts each day. A lot of these people may not know about you or what you do, so podcasting could be a new and innovative way to reach a new audience and expand your reader base.
  3. To provide expert information to your listeners– Authors and entrepreneurs are experts in their field. They have a lot of knowledge and information to share that can help others with their books and businesses. It’s nice to be able to speak to an audience of like-minded people in a weekly podcast.

Podcasts are easy, fun, informative, conversational, and valuable tools to have in your toolbox to connect with readers around the world. If you’d like to follow our podcast, click here: https://jidwkx.podbean.com/

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Think, Pair, Share

September 21, 2020-You’re a poet and Daniel Tysdal is about to show it. Daniel will walk you through his writing process to showcase the Power of Poetry to help us remember, grieve and celebrate. Daniel Tysdal has been a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at UTSC since 2009. He is the author of three books of poetry and the poetry textbook, The Writing Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating Poems (Oxford University Press 2014). He is the recipient of multiple awards for his work and his research interests include creative writing and poetry. Check out the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0BUYzMypi8

 

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Are They Aware?

September 18, 2020-What do you see when I say the word McDonald’s? For some people, this word will conjure up the image of burgers, fries, broken ice cream machines and chicken McNuggets, and some will immediately see the infamous golden arches. It doesn’t matter what came to mind first, the food or the logo, because both things achieved the same goal, to make you aware of their brand and what they sell.

Are people aware of what you sell? Do the covers of your books come to mind when they think of you? Do they see your company logo? Do they know what you offer? If not, here are some good ways to make people aware of you, your brand, and your books:

  1. Business cards-Always carry a stack of business cards with you. It should say who you are, what your occupation is, website, email, phone number, and have your logo/slogan on it. Mine is black with a silver P, on the front with my name and owner of Pandamonium Publishing House.
  2. Brochures-These are great tools to hand out to people to explain your business offering, product samples, book excerpts, reviews, and services. Be sure to include your logo, colours, website, email, business name, how to order, and social media information.
  3. Postcards- I use postcards a lot for many different things. I use them to write notes to clients, to include in our subscription book boxes, to say thank you, and for appreciation notes to anyone who orders off our site.
  4. Banners/signage- These are essential for shows and events that you’re attending. Include your logo, brand colours, slogan, and website/email/social media info. Be sure that everything is large enough to read from a distance.
  5. Letterhead- This should include your company name, email address, website, address, and logo as well as company colours, and phone number.
  6. Email signature- Some days, I’ll send up to 50 emails per day, depending on the circumstance. An email signature is a great way to let prospective clients know what you do, who you are, and how to reach you and your social media handles. Also, if you have a writing business, your email signature is a great way to let everyone know what your hours are or when you’re out of the office/away from your desk.
  7. Social media-Amazon author page, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram- You should have all of these things and more. People need to know where to find you, and you need to be consistent with your posts. Use a social media scheduler like Hootsuite to pre-schedule your posts so you’re not tied to your phone when you could be doing something more valuable with your time. Your social media should all be linked to each other and be informative, educational, and entertaining while adhering to your brand message and aesthetic.
  8. Blog-How your blog looks and what it does are synonymous with your brand awareness and what you do/offer. Your books should be for sale online as well as your services, an about section about you and your company, and your logo, colours, and common theme should run throughout. If you’re a romance writer, for example, you could have topics on your blog that include things such as the elements of writing romance, specific genre information, how to write characters etc.
  9. Logo and colours-Our brand colours are black, white, and purple; this follows through to our cards, brochures, postcards, signage, letterhead, and blog. Our logo is a black box with a white letter P in the middle.

Every time you create content or interact with people, you are representing your brand. Do it well.

Have your coffee the same way that we do!
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Portrait of an Antagonist

September 17, 2020-Today we’re talking about antagonists and what characteristics they tend to have. As writers, it’s essential to know what makes our characters who they are, what makes them tick, and why they do what they do/don’t do. Antagonists, in my opinion, are far more fascinating than Protagonists, becasue I always wonder what pushed them over the edge and caused them to become a villain.

First, let’s start by defining what an antagonist is: An antagonist is a character that stands in the way of the main character getting what they want. The Antagonist is referred to as the villain as mentioned above. Some notable antagonists are:

  • Darth Vader
  • Cruella DeVille
  • Loki
  • Hans Gruber
  • Maleficent
  • The Joker
  • And my personal favourite, Bane.

Antagonists have particular personality traits and can often be described as having personality disorders (narcissists). Some traits include:

  • A sense of superiority and an inflated sense of ego
  • Loyal to their cause and a willingness to do whatever it takes to complete their mission no matter the cost, a risk-taker mentality
  • Intelligent and strong
  • Diabolical, calculated, methodical in some cases
  • Zealots
  • Adapts to changing situations easily
  • A distorted sense of justice, the world, and self

Keep these traits and characteristics in mind when writing your villains. Villains are people too, perhaps just more interesting and complex if you ask me!