Tag Archives: Business

How to Craft A Book Proposal in 6 Steps

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Let’s start with what is a book proposal. A book proposal is a condensed down presentation of the actual content of your book. What the purpose of a book proposal is to convince an agent to represent your work by submitting the proposal, possibly polished up a smidge more, to the editors/publishers of your book’s genre. I am going to show you how to do this in six parts.

The Overview:  In one to five pages you explain the concept of the book. Start out with a hook. You have just a few sentences to pitch your book in an exciting and necessary manner. You want to convince the agent right from the beginning of your proposal that your book matters

1.              The opening paragraphs grab their attention and the rest fills in the                                    picture    which supports the claims made in the beginning. You flesh out                             the keynote with a longer hook.  You might address why you are the right                             person to write the project. You might tell them you wrote a successful                                   cooking blog or you’re an expert who wants to share your groundbreaking                           findings.

If there is a lot of competition in your genre show how your book is important to                show them how your book is different. Don’t leave out critical selling points, such             as the 500000 subscribers of your online newsletter.  If important, briefly mention             the organization or specific content such as format, number of craft projects or                   original artwork, or that the book is a sequel to a previous publication.

2.     The about the author section.  A factual one-page introduction written in the third                person, an author profile needs to convince an agent and publisher to take an                     interest in your work.  Think of it as your biography that highlights your relevant               expertise, achievements, and qualifications to write the work.  Select details of                     your education, hobby, career, publications, prizes and awards, media exposure,                 research or personal experience that spotlight your strengths in authoring your                 book.

3.     The about-the-market section.  Agents and publishers take on projects that they                   believe have a ready market of buyers.  They want to feel confident knowing                       where the book belongs on the bookstore shelf and that it will make money.  This              is one of the most important parts of the proposal; your writing might be brilliant             and your idea solid, but without a clear market, your project could be a                                 nonstarter.

In three to five pages, demonstrate that you’ve done your homework, you know                  your audience, why they will want your book, and how your book stands out in the            marketplace.  Research your target markets, and if available, use relevant statistics            and facts to boost your case.  List key stats of your primary market to prove there is          a target audience, and follow up with an evaluation of your secondary market.  That          is, identify and evaluate competitive works that are currently available in your                 category, with a critical but fair eye.  Point out how your work fits into, and how it is         distinguished from the comparisons.

4.   The author platform section.  Here you prove you are qualified to write the book and demonstrate that you can reach your audience and that readers will buy the book.  In one to two pages present your media experience and contacts, email lists, Twitter followers, Facebook relationships (only as relevant to your topic) details of previous successes and related opportunities for promotion.

Be sure to offer details of each of your platform’s six planks which include:

  •    Media experience, such as TV and radio appearances and print interviews or features.
  • Social media marketing which shows online exposure via your blog, website, e-newsletter, podcasts and dedicated YouTube site.  The larger the online audience, the better it looks for book sales.
  • Previous publications, or books and/or articles you’ve published in the subject area that relate to your new book concept.
  • Speaking engagements, including- large national or prestigious groups you addressed in your topic area.  List how often you speak to groups and the size of your audiences, because  “back of the room” book signings after presentations make good sales opportunities.  If you work with a speakers bureau, mention that.
  • Product tie-ins, which include your own products or endorsed products. These relationships could offer another marketing stream for your book.
  • Continuous exposure, or your ability to generate constant, ongoing and multifaceted media interest.  Agents and publishers don’t want a one hit wonder with one feature article in a regional magazine, for example.

5. The expanded table of contents.  This section, two to six pages, outlines the core structure and organization of the book, enabling an agent/publisher to envision in summary, the entire concept. Start with a skeletal structure and then fill it out.  Use appealing chapter and section titles, and within each craft a few choice sentences of a paragraph or two that describes the content you’ll cover.  Identify any important elements such as photographs.  Illustrations, sidebars, recipes, and so on.  This feature helps codify the entire book demonstrating the book worthiness of the concept and your ability to envision the entire work, including all its pieces.  In this section, be sure to identify which chapter or excerpt you are including as your writing sample.

6. The writing sample.  Every proposal must include a writing sample of up to three chapters of the work you propose to write.  This is the last section of your proposal and can make or break your opportunity.  It must demonstrate your writing ability, style and voice as well as generate interest in your topic and the desire to read more.  Make your selection carefully to offer strong content, intriguing elements of the book, and your obvious knowledge and passion for the subject.

Now you know why in mine and others opinion why writing is the easiest part of publishing a book if you go by the traditional route.

I have finished my first draft of Thomas Gomal Learns about Bullying. I’ve had help from my writing friends on FanBox. I appreciate their guidance so much. Until next time have a blessed week and happy writing.     Shirley

 

Cross Promotion

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Cross PromotionI have to start out telling you the inspiration behind this blog.  Yesterday I agreed to cross promote my book, “Dobyns Chronicles”, with a gentleman I’ve never met who has written a book called “Alter Ego”. I’ve never cross promoted before so I decided to do some research and make sure I was doing it right. Hence the blog.

The article below doesn’t pertain to book marketing so much but other areas, but it still may give you some ideas on cross promotion.

Here are the links to Tory Allyn’s Book, “Alter Ego.” Take a look at it. Who knows it may be the best gift for someone you know.  Have a blessed day, everyone.   Shirley

 
Amazon link to the print version:
Amazon link to the Kindle version:
Barnes & Noble link:

19 Ways to Attract More Customers Through Cross-Promotion

To stand out from their competition in a crowded advertising marketplace, all kinds and sizes of businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies are joining forces to reach their mutual market of “customers” more efficiently. Their cross-promotions include “bundled” offerings, cause marketing, co-branding, coop marketing, and shared space. Cross-promotion has the potential for a big marketing payoff because partners can successfully expand through one another’s customer base. They can gain an inexpensive and credible introduction to more of their kind of customer more effectively than with the traditional “solo” methods of networking, advertising, or PR.

Here are some low-risk and high-opportunity ways to jump-start your first cross-promotion.

1. Print joint promotional messages on your receipts.

2. Offer a reduced price, special service, or convenience if customers buy products from you and your partner.

3. Hang signs or posters promoting one another on your walls, windows, or products.

4. Mention one another’s benefits when you speak at local events or are interviewed by the media.

5. Drop one another’s flyers in shopping bags.

6. Pool mailing lists and send out a joint promotional postcard.

7. Promote your partner’s products during their slow times, and ask them to do the same for you.

8. Share inexpensive ads in local shopping papers or a nonprofit event program.

9. Give a joint interview to local media.

10. Put one another’s promotional messages on Lucite stands on counters or floor stands in waiting areas.

11. Encourage your staff to mention how your partner’s products can be used with yours.

12. Give your partner’s product to your customers when they buy a large quantity of your product, and ask your partner to do the same.

13. Use door hangers, posters, flyers, or postcards to promote special offers for one another’s products.

14. Co-produce an in-store or office event – a demonstration, celebrity appearance, free service, or lecture.

Some More Ways to Cross-Promote to Stand Far Out from the Competition

1. Co-produce special promotions you could not afford by yourself. Hire local community college broadcasting/cable TV students to produce a “how to use” video and/or audio tape that involves your and your partner’s products and services. Show the video on an eye-level TV monitor in your outlets where people have to wait or in the window for 24-hour viewing. Or play the audio-tape portion as background. ***Example: An enterprising advertising agency, local quick-copy printer, and video production house get priceless visibility for cross-promoting with others to co-produce an educational audio/video/book package that prominently displays their company names: “Thirty Ways Smart People Make Their Homes More Safe.” The package is widely displayed and distributed to their partners’ customers: a hardware store, home security company, police department, real estate firm, home contractor, electrician, and school district.

2. Display combined use of partners’ products in your outlet, and ask partners to do the same. ***Example: A “Valentine Love Food” display appeared in all partners’ outlets a month before Valentine’s Day. Partners — a cooking school, kitchenware shop, florist, card shop, restaurant, and supermarket — all displayed the makings for a romantic dinner menu to be served on Valentine’s Day at their partner’s restaurant.

Their displays were created by a local theatre set designer, who designed the current play, for which the customers of the partners’ outlets received a reduced price ticket when they bought the restaurant meal or certain products from the participating partners.

A local newlywed couple who won the partners’ “Valentine Love Food” drawing and the local couple who proved they’ve been married the longest joined the local newspaper’s food critic at the center table for the featured meal, free to them.

3. Have a contest, with the prizes contributed by your partners. For the next contest, roles change, and you contribute your product or service as a prize for a partner’s contest. ***Example: For two weeks, a dry cleaner places tags on all customers’ hangers, containing fashion tips. The tags are numbered tickets for a contest to win gifts from the partners’ clothing stores. When the dry cleaner’s customers make any purchase from the stores, they show their hanger card to see if it matches one of the “winning numbers” on a card of numbers created by all the partners at the beginning of the contest.

4. Give customers a free product or service from a participating partner when they buy something that month from all of the partners listed in an ad or on a promotional postcard. ***Example: Participating pediatrician practices, child care centers, children’s clothing shops, and toy stores all display a “Love Means Being Prepared” child-designed poster describing the recommended contents for a home medicine cabinet for families with young children.

5. Cross-promote by literally getting closer, sharing space. ***Examples: A store or franchise leases space within another establishment (or agrees on side-by-side sites, or actually sells both kinds of products on site) — Noah’s Bagels sells Starbucks Coffee. A restaurant or fast-food operation leases space within a hospital or motel — Pizza Hut in Days Inn. Kinko’s leases space within certain hotels. Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits in a Kroger supermarket increases traffic for both guest and host companies. The post office locates a substation in a supermarket.

An accessories store leases space within or next to a clothing store and is joined by internal doors. A stadium leases space to a concession operator.

The less traditional cross-promotions are just starting. A campus leases space to a travel agency. Some franchises are co-branding with complementary services such as Copy, Pack & Ship.

<div style=”font-size: 8px;”>by Kare Anderson </div>

What Does a Publisher Do? Part 2

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Hello All, below you will find part two that goes along with last weeks post. The Chicago Press has done an excellent job in explaining exactly what is an Editor and his/her job.

publisherMay I Speak with an Editor?
In a publishing house, an editor may do a number of things. An acquisitions editor is the person with whom you’ll first come into contact, since this is the person with the primary responsibility to recommend projects for publication consideration. Some houses call this position sponsoring editor or commissioning editor.

Beyond that, your acquiring editor (the person you will quickly come to call “my editor”) may line edit your book. Even if this doesn’t get a thorough line editing, the acquiring editor will need to make decisions about your manuscript that can include cutting big chunks out, insisting you rethink parts, or requiring you to add something you’ve never thought of before.

If this weren’t confusing enough, many publishing houses establish rankings within their organizations that assign different job titles to acquisitions editors at different salary or seniority levels. Some houses have adopted rankings for editors that mirror the academic distinctions of assistant, associate, and full professor. You may find yourself reading a letter from an assistant or associate editor, or perhaps someone whose title is simply editor. Don’t be distracted by this. The person who has expressed interest in your work is the first person with whom you want to bond, whether or not she has been promoted to the highest ranking at her press. Obviously, there can be advantages to working directly with a very senior editor. But if you find yourself chatting with the associate editor for politics don’t sit there wishing you could meet the real politics editor—it’s likely you already have.

A manuscript editor or copy editor will be responsible for correcting style and punctuation, and may raise questions about clarity and intention. Sometimes a piece of writing will be subject to only the lightest cosmetic adjustments, while other times the manuscript will be substantially reworked. Once, manuscript editors were housed in a publisher’s offices, but increasingly manuscript editors work freelance, and are managed by someone in-house. The manuscript editor will be the person responsible for querying anything unclear or missing from your text. You, however, who are responsible for the final version of your book.

A developmental editor isn’t an acquiring editor, but may be assigned to an important project, lending the author or volume editor crucial assistance. Developmental editors are common at textbook houses, but are rare in other branches of book publishing. Sometimes development means taking a chaotic project and organizing it, while in other cases development might mean taking on myriad details (such as permissions and illustrations) for a complex volume initiated by the press itself. Authors who have heard about developmental editors sometimes wonder aloud why the press can’t provide one to help them through the last rewrite. But a developmental editor’s time is precious, and those work hours will be committed only to projects for which the publisher sees the possibility of significant return.

You might also work with someone described as a line editor. A line editor is someone who, as the title suggests, combs through a manuscript line by line, not only reading for sense but listening for rhythm and euphony as well. You might even get some fact-checking thrown in. Though line editor and manuscript editor are closely related job titles, a “line edit” is frequently reserved for trade books. Line editing is expensive.

A managing editor usually oversees copy (or manuscript) editors, and sometimes supervises further elements of the production process. Managing editors manage not only the copyediting process, but much of the scheduling your book will require. Increasingly this means that the managing editor must juggle the schedules of freelance copy editors, proofreaders, and indexers while keeping an eye on the printing schedule. The managing editor will likely not manage the acquisitions editors, however.

Diane Baker to Brian Aherne, playing a high-powered trade editor in The Best of Everything: “Oh, no wonder you’re an editor! You know so much about people!” Different kinds of editors perform different functions. All, however, are grouped under the editorial umbrella of a publishing house, which embraces two functions: acquisition, or signing books up; and manuscript development, or making them better. Some acquiring editors spend all their time “editing a list”—that is, bringing in projects—and no time developing or enhancing the author’s words. A specialized monograph publisher may operate this way. More commonly, acquiring editors both bring in projects and, perhaps selectively, spend time on detailed shaping and rewriting. On the other hand, a developmental editor may spend all of her time on shaping a manuscript, and have no acquisitions responsibilities at all.

Dobyns Chronicles

My Grandgoats

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OK, I admit it I’m not the goat’s grandmother, but I am the mother of the owner of this small group of Mini Nubians.  My daughter has gotten into the goat breeding business with both feet along with my son-in-law and grandson. They are breeding the stock to gain a  milk producing, polled (hornless) variety. They have one level to go before they can register the breed.

My daughter is also having visions of riches from selling the hand lotion and body cream she makes from the milk. It’s fabulous stuff. There is something in that goats milk that nourishes the skin. (I’m sorry I got side tracked.)

She is also selling the bottle fed babies to keep her herd at a small size.  She has one more female (Vee) to deliver shortly. In fact it should be sometime in the next week.  She and my grandson always get excited when a new baby arrives. It’s always the cutest of any she has had before. I have to say she loves her goats.

Below is an overview of Mini-Nubian Goats followed by pictures of the herd.

 

Mini-Nubian Goats

 

The miniature Nubian Dairy Goat is the result of a cross between a Nigerian Dwarf buck and a Nubian doe.   The goats maintain the looks, high percentage butterfat content, and  mild flavored milk of the Nubian in combination with the smaller size of the Nigerian.

In height, the Miniature Nubian falls between the standard Nubian and the Nigerian Dwarf. Mini-Nubian Goat does normally stand from 22-25 inches at the withers and weigh under 100 pounds.   Bucks can be larger with a height up to 27 inches and weigh under 135 pounds.

As one of its most distinctive features, the Miniature Nubian maintains the long drooping ears of the Nubian. They also possess the Nubian’s docile temperament, sweet disposition, and wonderful milk characteristics. Miniature Nubian Goats have an average milk production of 1525 pounds in 305 days; that is about 5 pounds or 2 quarts of milk daily. Although small, they aredairy goats with production capacity and teats long enough to get your hands on.

The Miniature Nubian is an experimental breed registered through the International Dairy Goat Registry (IDGR) and the Miniature Dairy Goat Association (MDGA).   A nicely conformed Miniature Nubian should have a long body, a wide escutcheon for good udder attachment, a wide rib cage for carrying kids, a straight top line, a slightlyroman looking nose and long pendulous ears

Miniature Nubians come in a wide range of colors and  patterns. They are friendly, hardy, medium size utilitarians that provide a lot of very healthy milk for their size and unparalleled brush and weed control.  Kids grow quickly and although they are not used for meat much, extra buck kids still make good meat. The Miniature Nubian Goat provides a little something for everyone and is ideal for landowners who are attempting to produce their own food on just a few acres.

 

goat3This is Oreo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             This is Izzy kissing Mike

goats      Peppers is the white one and Taps is the black billy. Vee is standing on the building. They do love to climb (including cars).

Goat5         This is Carmel.

goats6

 

 

 

 

Demon Biting Mike. He’s such a cute little thing (not).

Goat7       This is Vee, she is the one that will deliver her kid in the next week or so.

 

 

What an Experience!!!

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A Red/Green/Violet color wheel

A Red/Green/Violet color wheel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does anyone like to move? The only thing  accomplished in my opinion is  a lot of stress and strain with a great opportunity to get rid of the junk collected over the time you’ve been in your home. Right now my world is in total upheaval. My new home is upside down. Tile people have been working here since Thursday afternoon laying new tile throughout the house.  It will be wonderful once they are done, but right now every piece of furniture is piled in the dining room.

The next part of the adventure after the tile is painting. Right now all the walls are painted white and that doesn’t suit me at all. I want color on my  walls. I think white walls are boring. The hard part is coming up with the colors I want. I spend a lot of time looking at paint sample cards and the color wheel. Once I can make a decision about my wall colors every thing else flows smoothly.

My blogging will continue to be slow. Maybe I can do it once a week until things are settled and then resume my Mon., Wed. and Friday schedule. I have to say I do miss the routine of my writing daily, but I can’t handle it with everything I’m trying to take care of with this move.  Thanks for letting me whine a little bit.  Until next time.

I Won, Yippee, I won

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Photo of ice-covered mailbox in Spotsylvania C...

Photo of ice-covered mailbox in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, USA. February 14, 2007. Photograph taken by Joy Schoenberger with a Pentax K100D Digital SLR camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I’m posting my 200 word flash fiction piece which won me $55.00. It’s the first  writing contest I have won, so I’m tickled. I have to admit it does make my ego feel good, even though I know it’s not really a big deal.  I wonder what it is that makes winning a contest so enjoyable? Is it the recognition of your work? I think these little ego boosts are good for a writer. Writing is a hard profession, due to all the other great stories out there in the publishing world. I’ve had my three seconds of bowing and patting myself on the back, now I have to get back to the real world and writing my book.
I hope you enjoy my 200 word story.
***
The Rent
The forecastt for the day is cold with a winter storm warning. I don’t want to get out of my nice warm bed, but I know I have to. There are many errands to run, and I have to do them before the storm hits.
Why Mrs. Flannigan has me pay my rent in person, I’ll never understand. It would be easier if I put it in the mail with my monthly bills. There isn’t any use crying and whining about it. That’s the way it is.
I back my car from the drive for the ten-mile trip to Mrs. Flannigan’s. My phone is in my purse for an emergency. The sleet and freezing rain are  already falling. The radio announcer tells everyone to stay off the roads. I’m not the smartest person, because I’m driving. I can’t drive fast because of poor visibility.  My hands are gripping the  wheel and my knuckles are white. Relax, Sally, you can do this.
The bridge over the lake is icy. What is that idiot doing? He’s going too fast. I’m in the middle of the bridge. I can’t scoot over. No, oh God help me.
Paper reads: Trucker and young woman join fatality toll.

You Can Never be Sure

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Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

My blog today is going back to the subject of writing and publishing.  It was brought to the forefront in my mind today that you can never be sure that your book will come out from the publisher like it was sent to them.  My problem only came to my attention because of a cancelled book tour.  I was told my book was not ready to be toured.  I couldn’t understand what was going on.  I had gone over my book with a fine tooth comb and couldn’t find a problem.

When I received my galley from the publisher they were fine, and I signed off on them and sent them for printing.  I received my author books and they looked great.  That took place about a month ago.  Since that time I have actively been advertising my book and a sold a few ebooks.

Yesterday after my book tour had been cancelled I went back over my book and could find nothing wrong.  It dawned  on me that I’d never looked at my ebook, so I downloaded me a copy to my Kindle.  I looked at the first page and it immediately jumped out at me that something was missing.  In fact it was absent throughout the book.  What had been left out was the italicized print for the characters inner thoughts.  It made it look like I was changing tense in the middle of paragraphs.  When your writing that is a big NO, NO.

I immediately got on the phone with my publisher and told them of the problem.  It took awhile for me to convince them they caused the problem.  I finally got through to the ebook department after explaining the situation to at least three people.  I was then told sometimes the code messes up in the ebooks and it makes an error in printing.

It makes me want to jump up and down screaming at the top of my lungs that I did everything right and it still came out messed up.  So the moral of this story is check your ebooks to make sure they are correct. I made the mistake of assuming because my hard copies were correct my ebook would be also.  Learn from my mistake.

“I’m Here”

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The door slammed echoing down the long hall.  I sat at my desk in the middle of the night acting as a guard to a young woman who was in seclusion.

I was an attendant working for a drug rehabilitation facility in Texas.  I usually worked on the three to eleven shift, five days a week.  The facility itself was once a world war one military base.  When the base closed down it became a state-owned mental facility.

This particular day, I worked my usual shift.  A young girl was having drug flash backs, which is a terrible thing to see when it causes the child terror.  This terror she felt could cause her to do harm to herself, so she was placed under twenty-four hour observation.  I volunteered to work a double shift to watch the girl.

The seclusion room was on the third floor of the girls’ dormitory.  This dormitory was just an old building redone on the outside, but had heating and cooling pipes running along the edges of the ceiling of a huge barracks’ type room.

I was alone on the third floor except for the girl in lockup.  The back entrance to the building had a metal door with metal stairs leading up to the floor.  I had a light on the desk, and a telephone.  I also had the Security Departments number, in case there were problems to be dealt with.

Three o’clock in the morning is a very quiet, lonely time.  I heard the metal door down stairs open and close.  That defiantly got my attention, and I could see and feel the hair standing on my arms.  I immediately got on the phone to security to
see what was going on.  They told me no one was making rounds, but they would send someone to check for problems.

I heard footsteps coming up the metal steps into the hallway.  I heard the metal door slam, and I saw the door open and close at the end of the door room.  I called out, “Who is there.”  I couldn’t see anything, but I knew something was in the room.

I had called security, so there was nothing for me to do except wait.  It took about thirty seconds after the door closed for the banging to begin.  It was as if someone had a broom handle and was going around the room hitting the heating/cooling pipes.  I
left the desk, and went into the seclusion room with the sleeping girl.    The banging continued until it had gone all the way around the room.  It stopped as quickly as it had begun. I never saw anything, but I sure could feel it.

Security was now on the scene, and could find nothing wrong.  The door down stairs was still locked and so was the door at the end of the dorm room.  I told them what happened, and they just looked at me, as if I had lost my mind.

This is a true story, and someone, or something from the past wanted me to know they were still around.  I paid attention, and it remains vivid in my mind to this very day.

I would like to hear from anyone who has also encountered strange times.  That’s my two-cents for today.

Branding, Part 2 What not to do

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Kristine Lamb wrote in her book “We Are Not Alone”, she has made all the mistakes when it comes to social networking.  I had to laugh when I read some of her great ideas turned into “tar babies”.  Those tar babies is what prompted her to write her book.  She lists several mistakes that writers make when they start branding.  I will list them here.

1) Brand yourself, not the title of your book:  That makes sense because if you brand your book then you would be doing a rebrand every time you published.  Also unless you self-publish you have no control over the title of the book.

2) Branding  your content:  This works just like branding the title.  You have to have a brand that can be used with everything, or you will be repeating the branding.

3) Branding Names of Characters:  Build your platform using your name that way you do not have to keep rebranding

4)Branding Multiple Identities:  Even if you do a number of different genres, you don’t need multiple identities.  The example Kristine uses was “Proctor and Gamble”.  They have hundreds of products, but you recognize the name, “Proctor and Gamble”.

“I can put all of my products under one umbrella of Kristen Lam to make things easy and simple for my fans.  Through this brand I can then direct traffic.”

If you are a new author like myself we will tend to lean heavily on networking with others authors.  We need to learn more about our craft and the world of publishing.  Once the publishing is done then you can network with people who can show you how to boost book sales.