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WaterBrook Multnomah Author Update for April 2012
In This Update:


Update from Steve Cobb | Tips for the Trying Times That Test Us |
| Thanking God for Creative Genius | Creating Video to Market Your Books: 6 Key Things to Consider

Update from Steve Cobb


Dear *|FNAME|*,

Greetings to you in this early spring season! For the second issue of our Author Newsletter, I wanted to take a moment and make sure you were up to speed on a useful tool that we have developed in partnership with our colleagues at Random House. In an effort to equip our author community with the tools needed to build and engage a platform, and in response to requests from authors for a secure method to look up current sales figures and other data, we have created the Random House Author Portal. You will have received a letter introducing the Author Portal on or around March 12th. Hopefully you've already taken the opportunity and registered for the site, but if not, I highly encourage you to do so using the information in the letter or by going here:

The Portal contains an abundance of valuable information about your active titles including sales figures, royalties and subrights information. In addition to the sales data, we have assembled many resources for building, engaging with and increasing your platform, including a Facebook app available only to Random House authors that enables you to sell books from your Facebook page. You can also find an assortment of online media primers, best practices for engaging readers in the online space, and guides for taking your online efforts to the next level.

We understand that with any new tool, there will be questions. In order to help answer any questions you may have about the Author Portal, Chris Sigfrids, our senior online marketing manager, will be setting up a WebEx that will walk you through how to use the new Author Portal. Chris will be sending out an email invitation in the next few weeks with a date, time and link to participate in this online training.


Steve Cobb

Steve Cobb
President, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Tips for the Trying Times That Test Us

Ron Lee, Senior Editor


Editors are some of the oddest people you’d ever want to meet, so let’s talk about Dave Barry. When he had a syndicated column, he sometimes wrote under the guise of Mr. Language Person. M.L.P. argued that apostrophes serve the purpose of warning readers that an S is coming. (Dave was mocking signs that you see along rural roads. Example: Melon’s 4 Sale.)

Sadly, even successful authors fall under the spell of the peripatetic apostrophe. So let’s look at a few writing faux pas that, just between us, make an editor want to burn a Barry Manilow record...

[Read More]

Thanking God for Creative Genius

Bruce Nygren, Senior Editor


My fellow merchants in the flea market of words, would you join me today in giving thanks to God for the lives of two men of genius?

First, I work for a publisher and you have a book(s) published by the same publisher.  We owe a lot to this inventor:  Thank you God for Johann Gutenberg (est. 1400-1467).

Second, I am typing these words on a small box with shimmering screen—and you likely are reading these words on a box—maybe one so small you carry it in handbag or pocket:  Thank you God for Steve Jobs (1955-2011).

Why am I urging gratitude for these two guys--neither showed much evidence of faith in Jesus?  Because I love the fact that our great God is a giver who so freely dispenses creativity to all who bear his likeness...

[Read More]

Creating Video to Market Your Books:
6 Key Things to Consider

Amy Haddock - Senior Marketing Manager

  • Have a goal. Take a few minutes to think through why you’re making a video. Ask yourself if this is the best medium to accomplish your goal. If it is, why? That will help you…
  • Keep it short and succinct. You have a lot to say—a whole book’s worth, in fact! Truly think about your video as a teaser. What do you want to say to someone interested in your book? Don’t be afraid to leave them hanging. Ideally, your video should be anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, but no longer than that.
  • Don’t make the viewer work too hard. Many videos I’ve seen, especially fiction trailers, use graphics, and words that move across the screen. This type of video could work great! But make sure that the viewer isn’t just reading swirly text for minutes on end. Keep your statements short and impactful, rather than long and wordy.
  • Consider the viral impact. What was the last video that you forwarded to a friend? Think about what made you press that “share” button. Was it hilarious? Thought-provoking? Bizarre? Consider how you could use that to inform your own approach in creating video.
  • How it looks matters. I know that it shouldn’t matter…if you’re communicating truths and/or an amazing story, people should be able to look past the presentations to get the heart of what you’re trying to say. But it’s simply not the way that people work. This does NOT mean that you need to spend multiple thousands of dollars at a high-dollar production studio. It does mean that you should look through samples of the video company that your considering and make sure that they’re video is quality, even if it’s simple. I definitely believe that webcam or home-taken video can serve their purpose, too. It’s all a matter of how you plan to use the video. People expect more of these type of videos on blogs, but it may not stand out as well in other venues.
  • Ask for feedback. Of course, ask your family and friends. They probably know your book almost as well as you do and can give useful feedback. But try to also think about people outside this group that will be able to look with an objective eye and give you constructive criticism.

As it relates to video (as with all things) if you have doubts, questions, or just want to bounce an idea off of someone, don’t hesitate to reach out to your marketer. Also, we often keep lists of preferred video vendors that we’d be happy to share with you. That’s what we’re here for, after all!