Learn How to Make Your Book Commercially Competitive — Now Save 25%!

In the past, I have offered two related workshops, one that presents information on how to make your manuscript more marketable and another that teaches you how to take your manuscript through the publishing process. I gave these workshops often when I lived in St. Louis, and now that I am settled into life in Maryland, I am resurrecting them here!

Saturday, November 8, 2014, please join me at Kensington Row Bookshop for Crafting a Marketable Manuscript. This interactive workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and includes personalized guidance on how to make your manuscript more marketable.  Registration is required. Visit http://www.popediting.net/ServicesandWorkshops.html to reserve your seat.

This workshop is ideal for:

  • Writers who are interested in selling their books, either to publishers, to agents, or directly to readers
  • Writers who are in the early stages of writing (idea stage, first draft, manuscript development)

What you will learn:

  • How to catch the eye of publishers and readers
  • Why having a marketing plan upfront makes you more competitive
  • Practical advice on how to craft a marketing hook, define your audience, and research the competition

Why take a workshop from me? Read my bio here.

And these are the notes I received after presenting this workshop to the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild:

“Thank you! Loved it!”

“Excellent presentation! Thank you!”

“Thank you, Katherine, for your input and valuable knowledge on Crafting a More Marketable Manuscript! I enjoyed the class and will certainly use the marketing tools and resources from your handouts.”

Kensington Row Bookshop is located at 3786 Howard Ave., Kensington, MD 20895, between Silver Spring and Bethesda. $70.
Now just $50.


Identifying Your Target Audience

“Sell Your Book!” writer’s clinic, Saturday, September 17, 2011, 9 a.m. to noon

One of the major steps in the writing process is identifying the target audience for your book. Many authors want to say their book appeals to everyone, but that’s not realistic and, honestly, not what your book needs. You want to narrow your audience so that you can provide readers with exactly what they are looking for. As they say, you can’t be all things to all people. So choose which group of people you want to “be all things” for. Be as specific as you can. Consider demographics, location, education level. Then find out what it is they really want, align that with what it is you have to offer them, and deliver on it.

An interesting aspect to this process is that it applies not only to authors but to all people looking to market a product or service. Who are you trying to reach? Even as I put this workshop series together, I had to ask myself that same question. For me the answer evolved fairly quickly.

My Workshop Target Audience

  1. I knew I wanted to reach writers who dreamed of publishing a book but who hadn’t gotten so far into the process that they couldn’t make adjustments. Saving time and money is a key goal of my message. That meant people who were still in the writing process and willing to go back for further revisions if needed.
  2. Further, I felt people who are new to the publishing world would benefit most. The information is great for all writers, and even for those simply interested in the publishing field, but that is not may primary audience.
  3. I also knew I wanted to reach those writing for a commercial audience. That meant excluding people who were publishing a volume for their family or other personal use.
  4. My experience is almost entirely with books, so writers in different media are not my target audience.
  5. However, having experience with self-publishers and traditional publishers, and with fiction and nonfiction, I was confident what I had to teach applied to all of those groups, so they are part of my audience.
  6. On the practical side, since this is an in-person workshop, my audience had to be local to St. Louis, MO.
  7. Finally, I narrowed my audience to age 18 and above, a somewhat arbitrary age that implies a certain maturity and experience level, and to a total of 5 attendants per workshop, to cater to those looking for a more personalized experience rather than a large classroom. I wanted to play to my strengths.

After I set those parameters on who exactly I was trying to reach, I used that information to shape the content of the workshop. That may evolve as I get feedback from attendants, but it gave me a solid start.

It was tempting to try to offer something for each and every writer, but because I wanted the best product possible, I had to set limits. It’s a valuable lesson, one I hope to share with more writers and would-be published authors as I continue to hold these workshops. If you want to provide the best experience possible for your audience, you must first decide who that is.

For more on this workshop or to register, visit www.SellYourBookWorkshop.com.

Website Launch: SYB Workshop Series

P.O.P. Editorial Services is launching a new website for the Sell Your Book workshop series!

Yep, P.O.P. is now offering two workshops to help authors find success: “Sell Your Book!” and “Produce That Book!”

I know, that’s a lot of exclamation points, but this is exciting stuff. And that’s why I decided the best thing to do is to dedicate a whole website to it.

I’ve written a lot about the original SYB workshop, so I’ll let you read the website or previous posts if you want to know more about that. This new one, however, is sure to be just as great. “Produce That Book!” covers the book production process from manuscript to bound book. For my editor friends, this is old hat. But for new authors, being able to navigate the publishing world and anticipate what will be required of them as they work to publish their books can be invaluable.

The most exciting feature of the workshop is the two-page sample edit from each author’s manuscript. Authors will get a feel for the editing process and learn firsthand what they need to do when they review a manuscript. This is a huge learning experience and will give these authors a leg up as well as added confidence as they navigate the publishing world.

It’s been so much fun putting the website together. It required a number of skills I don’t use on a daily basis, and I enjoyed the challenge. I wrote the text, chose the photos, and laid out the pages. Then I did what authors are told to do every day: revise, revise, revise. Finally, it’s time for the unveiling.

So, follow this link (www.sellyourbookworkshop.com) and check it out. Tell me what you think. And of course, if you know someone who’s interested, refer them to me. I’m always happy to talk to new and aspiring authors!

Mark your calendar: “Produce That Book!” workshop, Saturday, June 25, 2011, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Stone Spiral Coffee and Curios, St. Louis, MO. Register before June 18, 2011, to reserve your seat! Limit 8 people.

Coming Up for Air

Well, well. So this is what it’s like to work eight hours a day! It’s been a while. Until yesterday, life at P.O.P. had been very busy.

For the past six weeks, I’ve been working extremely hard to get two huge projects (a combined 1,200 pages) through the machine and back into the hands of the publishers. I’ve also had two smaller projects weaving in and out, as well as a daily blog that I edit and some short press releases and journal articles that I take care of each week. Not to mention trying to keep a clean house, walk the dog, and eat dinner every night. Needless to say, it’s been exhausting.

And all of this was going on as I was trying to prepare for my first-ever “Sell Your Book!” workshop, which took place April 9. My plan had been to work on the paying stuff during the day and the extracurricular stuff in the evening, but with my days ending at 8 or 9 at night, it was difficult to make much headway. Luckily I had been gathering the workshop materials for several months, and finally last week I was able to carve out the time I needed to perfect it. Not a minute too soon!

That effort paid off: by all accounts, the workshop was a success! We had a nice group of five authors, each with very different projects and each with great input and enthusiasm. Book ideas ranged from a children’s story about cats traveling the world to a coffee table book about Mississippi before and after Katrina to a paranormal how-to. It was a fun morning, and some excellent information and ideas  were exchanged. The real measure of success for me, however, was that all of the authors said they would recommend the workshop to friends. They must have thought it was time well spent.

Things are still busy here with a couple of deadlines next week, but my head isn’t spinning and that’s a good thing. In fact, I might even be able to take a day off at the end of April.

Ahhh, it’s nice to be able to breathe again. My deepest thanks to those who helped me accomplish all of this, especially my husband, Chris, who made me dinner almost every night so that I didn’t have to take that time away from my projects. It looks like I’ll be doing a LOT of cooking in May!


Oh yeah, stayed tuned this summer for information about my next workshop, “Produce That Book!,” covering everything you need to know about book production! (What can I say — I’m a glutton.)

Update: The “Produce That Book!” website is up. Visit www.sellyourbookworkshop.com.

“Sell Your Book!” Workshop — Registration Has Begun!

As promised, P.O.P. Editorial Services is putting on a writers’ workshop, and I’m happy to announce registration is now open!

I’m very excited about this new opportunity to discuss writing, editing, and the publishing process as  a whole. After working with self-publishers for the past year and a half, I have found the information available to writers is extremely limited in scope. While there is a wealth of resources on how to write, the methods of writing, and how to market your book when it’s done, most authors hear very little about the steps they can take while they are writing that will help them market the manuscript when it is complete, as well as how they can save money in the process.

I think one problem is that this information isn’t as sexy as how to design your plot or how to “show, not tell.” Those things are very important, and without solid writing skills, most authors won’t get too far. I would add, however, that knowing the market for which you are writing, defining your audience up front, and considering what kind of packaging you want for your final product are of equal importance — and in some genres, more important than the quality of the writing. Having a polished manuscript is key to saving time and money, and knowing how to work with editors is essential to your success.

I do not suggest sacrificing originality for trends or trading quality writing for gimmicks. I suggest having as much information as you can early on so that you are making the best choices for your book, whether it is fiction or nonfiction. Much of this you can do on your own, and when you’re lost, editors can help you find your way.  In the end, the point is to give your topic its due, to get the most out of the work you have put in, and to find a way to get your ideas into the hearts and minds of your readers. That’s the philosophy behind “Sell Your Book!”

There is room for ten at the workshop, a small enough number to keep the information personalized and the group engaged, yet large enough to offer an honest exchange of ideas. With the passion we all feel for our writing, I know it’s going to be a great time.

If you are interested in learning more about the “Sell Your Book!” workshop or would like to register, please visit www.popediting.net.

“Sell Your Book!” workshop, Saturday, April 9, 2011, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Stone Spiral in St. Louis, MO.