Monday, August 24, 2009

Ever Changing

Monday, August 24, 2009

Please allow me to update you on what’s going on with Elle J Rossi. Within the last two weeks I have totally revamped the plot and genre of my WIP. What I thought would only require minor changes has turned into a major overhaul. Will it all be worth it? I think so. I like the story line better. I like how it reads and how the characters are reacting to these changes. Not only has the plot changed but so did a couple of the characters names. Oh, and let’s not forget, I changed the title too. My new title?

Cloaked

Are you intrigued? I certainly hope so. This week I made revisions to the first 5 chapters. I needed it to be darker, more mysterious. I think I accomplished that, somewhat, but it still needs more. I’ll get there. Of that, I’m certain.

I’m reading 2 how-to books. One on Heroes and Heroines (I was thrilled to find that I nailed my heroines traits. I haven’t read the Heroes section yet so that’s still in question.) The other is on plots and how to build them. Tremendously helpful!

A big decision I made a while back was to self-market. I know I’m not published yet, but I don’t think it’s ever too soon to get my name out there. If enough people hear it now, perhaps more will be apt to read and BUY the finished product.

So here are two marketing projects I’m working on right now:

I started a FaceBook page under my pen name. Feel free to look me up (Elle J Rossi), I’d be happy to add you as a friend. Not only have I met other authors this way, but I hope to have a fan base in the near future. Egotistical? Nope, just hopeful and very optimistic.

*****Big marketing item*****

I launched a website! Oh yes I did. I’m keeping it simple for now but have plans for a major overhaul once I’m published. Drop by http://ellejrossi.com/ and let me know what you think!

Any tips on self-marketing would be greatly appreciated. And…if you don’t believe in it, let us know why.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

22 comments:

~Sia McKye~ said...

Barb,

I agree with you. It's never too early to get your name known. It creates a feeling with people who follow your stuff, of being a friend. Familiarity. Much easier to slide into the readership category when your book is published.

Congratulations on the website. I still haven't gotten mine done as yet. sigh...

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Good morning, Sia.

How's the coffee this morning? Mine's a little strong but just what I needed this morning.

Your blog is so well received, I always thought of it as your website. What a smooth transition it will be when you get it up and running. Let me know. I know a lot of people who'd like to drop by.

Enjoy your scone and have a great day.

SIS Barb

Anonymous said...

Lots of published authors and other people say it's never too soon to get the word out. I'm even doing a workshop at the NJRW conference in October and am not published yet.

However, the workshop is on writing press releases, something I have lots of experience writing in my current job and reading and using in a previous job.

I tell my friends I'm doing it backwards, since I'm still writing my first novel--but as my six-word memoir says--never did anything according to plan!

pattie

B.J. said...

Hi Barb, Your website looks great. Can't wait to read your book.

Tori Lennox said...

Self-promotion is why I spend most of my online time as Tori Lennox. Except on Facebook when I usually just hang out as myself. :)

The website looks great!

Richard said...

Barb, REALLY? You had to ASK? Of COURSE, self-promote! SHAMELESSLY! LOL! How many times have you gone to a movie and seen a preview for a movie coming out 6 MONTHS from now? You're new at this, so get your name, ideas, "connections" (read: Beth -- "coattails were MADE to be ridden, and it is NOT a bad thing ... unless you never STOP using them!), etc. out there before you EVER see your first galley! It's SO much harder to play catch-up AFTER the money has been spent; do ALL you can to make folks want to read your book before it ever hits a store -- such marketing has a LONG history and tradition. Make business cards with the name of your book and your PEN NAME on them and pass them out to EVERYONE, purposefully just "happening" to find yourself hanging around bookstores and libraries. ALWAYS use your nom de plume on the 'Net. Remark/critique on OTHER folks' literary blogs, including Amazon, etc. on their literary comments areas (but ONLY if you can do so honestly in a POSITIVE manner -- you can afford to be more critical after you've "made it";)!) until folks start saying, "Who IS this 'Elle' chick?" .. and always try to work in the titel of YOUR book in the comment!
Good luck!

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Pattie,

Do it backwards, forwards or sideways. Just do it! Um, wasn't that a slogan campaign???

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Thanks SIS BJ! I'm glad you liked it and I can't wait for you to read my book either.

Smooches,
SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hey Tori,

I'm the complete opposite. I hang out on line as Barb and then on FB I use Elle J Rossi. Go figure. I think I'll take a page from your book and use Elle more often.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Richard,

All great ideas and many that I will use soon. The only one I'm having a little trouble with is "Riding Beth's coattails". I feel a little guilty about that seeing as she had to do it all on her own. But not guilty enough not to ask a bazillion questions. All of which she has answered without complaint. But I know what you mean and I'm sure I'll get over that guilt thing.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Anonymous said...

Barb,
It sounds very familiar! Best of luck with your book!

pattie

Beth Ciotta said...

I absolutely believe in getting your name out there early. It's a form of networking. When I first started writing there were no blogs, no MySpace or Facebook. I attended as many writing conferences as possible--local and National. I volunteered to moderate workshops, or as Pattie's doing, teaching workshops (many of us have an area of expertise that will also help in one's writing career). I also served one year on my local chapter's board. Another thing you can try is writing 'how to' or 'inspirational' articles and submit them to industry magazines, blogs, or your local writing chapters newsletter. Those are great because a lot of editors and agents read those, too. Lastly, and the biggest for me, I participated in several Romantic Times Convention special events. I think my name and picture was in RT magazine maybe a dozen or more times before I was ever published. I honestly think all of this pays off. I can't count all the times someone said to me, "I've heard of you," before or just after I was published. Name recognition is an extremely vauable tool for sales. Go Elle J. Rossi! Go Pattie! Go Tori Lennox!

Oh, and I agree, the website lookes great!

SIS Beth

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Beth,

Your suggestions are invaluable. They actually just had elections for my local RWA chapter and darn it, I didn't participate at all. My first thought was "I don't have time" followed closely by "I'm too new at this". I now wished I had looked into it a little more.

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to attend RWA National in 2010 and will do my best to learn as much possible prior to that as well as getting my name out there more and more.

Thanks for checking out the site and for all your suggestions!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Suzanne said...

Elle-Very exciting things coming your way, I can just tell! I really have no advice or much to contribute in terms of your writing, but just to say that I totally admire your determination and can't wait to see the finished product!

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Are my eyes deceiving me or has Suzy Cuteness come to visit???

Thanks, Suzanne. Those words mean a lot to me.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Beth Ciotta said...

Barb/Elle,

I served on my local chapter's board the second year I belonged (I believe). I was the 'librarian' (eons before my official library job.) I was in charge of all the tapes and books members could borrow. Kind of a big job, but fun. There are also positions like 'hospitality'--someone who introduces new members to each other, makes guests feel welcome, hooks up critique partners--stuff like that. In my chapter anyway. You should look into what 'positions' there are for your board. Maybe you could run for one next year.

Otherwise there are a bazillion ways to volunteer for conferences. Working registration, for instance. Or monitoring editor/agent appointments. Or moderating a workshop. All very easy. All a way of networking.

As for 'riding my coattails'... I don't look at it that way. Also, I didn't really 'do it alone'. Granted, I didn't know anyone (or anything) when I first started writing, but as soon as I attended my first RT Conference that changed. I met a multi-published author, Sandra Chastain, who agreed to be my mentor. I met Connie Perry, an amazing costume and set designer, who I eventually ended up partnering with as writer/director/producers of the Mr Romance Competition. Which led to family like ties with several forces at Romantic Times Magazine. I met published author (and now good friend), Stephanie Bond, who introduced me to key editors and agents, and the awesome Heather Graham (also now a dear friend) who introduced me to my dynamo agent. And then there was my first critique partner and co-writer, Cynthia Valero who taught me SO MUCH... and author/friends Mary Stella and Julia Templeton.... I've never been alone. As the song goes: I get by with a little help from my friends.

Positive networking means giving as well as receiving. You critique my work and you also help me brainstorm. You give. Don't feel guilty about benefitting from my experience. Ever. I relish the chance to return the kindness I have received from others more experienced than I.

For all of those out there, struggling to network, to make progress in their careers, never under estimate the power of GIVING. The return, the rewards will be tenfold.


“If you want to be prosperous for a year, grow grain.
If you want to be prosperous for ten years, grow trees.
If you want to be prosperous for a lifetime, grow people.”
-- Proverb

SIS Beth


SIS Beth

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Beth!

I'm squeezing you with a giant bear hug and that's all I'm gonna say. (except for this...)

Thank you for ending my night on a good note.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hello Elle,

You know how very proud I am of you and I believe you are exactly on the right track. You have much determination and that will get you far. I don't think you are riding on anyone's coat tails. You need to learn, you need advice, you need critiques. You ask and you get a response which is exactly how every one learns most any thing. I am happy for you that you receive the guidance that you deserve. I believe in you and know that you will suceed!
In the words of Tony Little "You can do it!"

Zella

Richard said...

*SIGH!* As SOON as I posted, I felt it could get misconstrued, and it has (somewhat), so PLEASE allow me to elaborate (see why I don't write, Beth! I worry TOO much about "backlash," as benign as it can be, as here with that word!). BUT, for ONCE, I have a "living" example:

Years ago, I was fortunate enough to meet the beautiful talented daughter, Holland Zander, of Cheap Trick lead singer, Robin Zander (one of the FEW perks of living in Rockford, IL, the "hometown" of Cheap Trick -- I got to meet MOST of the band!!) at one her band, "The Snaggs'" shows. She is a WONDERFUL artist, and one of the best songs I heard her sing that night dealt with the pain and loneliness of growing up the daughter of a Rock Star who was always gone, on the road. And I told her so, and she appreciated it ... so we got to talk some more. We got into a brief discussion about the "downfalls" of being "THAT GUY'S DAUGHTER!!!", and she agreed it was hard and that she tried to distance her budding career away from it. BUT ... even though it took a few months AFTER that conversation, I noticed that her MySpace and website, etc., promoting her new album, started with a "background blurb" that began, "...daughter of Cheap Trick Singer, Robin...." And why NOT?!?! In other words (and all I meant to YOU, Barb, about "coattails"), WHATEVER gets you NOTICED, GO WITH IT! (BTW, did anyone happen to notice what I wrote AFTER that comment? E.g., "it's not a bad thing unless you don't STOP using it"?). I could site NUMEROUS examples, ESPECIALLY with folks who have become known for their talents OUTRIGHT, but (since I just read vapid Bebe Buell's autobiography, this one's fresh in my mind), as talented as she IS and is JUDGED today on her OWN merits --- did it HURT Liv Tyler that it was made known she was Steven Tyler's daughter (publically AND --- MORE importantly! --- "behind the scenes") before she made her first movie?
Sorry if anyone took my words the wrong way --- to ME, anyway, BIG difference between "using your assets" and, say, nepotism!

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Richard,

I apologize if it seems like I misconstrued your meaning. Actually, I completely understood it and I think I feel like your friend Robin. I want to do it on my own and not wonder if I made it because of Beth's name but I do need her help as well as many others. We all do.

So please feel free to write, write, write.

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Zella,

You and your kind and motivating words mean the world to me. I love that Tony Little quote and use it quite often!

SIS Barb/Elle

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Richard,

I, too, knew exactly what you were saying. I didn't think you meant it in a bad way at all.

Zella

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