A Big Thanks to Erin Reel: The Lit Coach

June 21st, 2012 → 2:47 pm @

Check out the wonderful post that Erin Reel, The Lit Coach, wrote on her blog after interviewing me last week: http://thelitcoach.net/from-blog-to-book-with-robin-leemann-donovan/

From Blog to Book with Robin Leemann Donovan
by TheLitCoach | on June 21st, 2012 | 0 comments
Share3

I love book titles that really get to the heart of what the book’s about. I also have a penchant for humor. When I was invited to attend a book reading/signing event for author Robin Leemann Donovan, I was only too glad to go – with at title like, Is It Still Murder Even If She Was a Bitch?, how could I not be entertained? And I was! In the decade I’ve been working with authors and their books, I don’t recall laughing quite so hard at a book reading. Totally refreshing.

The Lit Coach Interview

The Lit Coach Interview

Donovan, a Managing Principal at Bozell, one of the top advertising agencies in the country, understands the vital importance of hook. At the urging of a friend, Donovan created Menologues, a blog devoted to helping women stumble less blindly through menopause. Her hook? Clearly humor but also authenticity – Donovan blogs, writes and speaks off the cuff, from the heart and with authority not just about menopause but about topics important to women 50+, who have largely been ignored in publishing and other media. That organic combo works for her. From my perspective, she’s on to something.

I asked Donovan for her three most important, need-to-know tips about writing and blogging. Here’s what she shared.
On Writing

Prepare for nothing happening as you would expect it.
Take notes on every chapter so you know where you’re going, where your loose ends are and when to tie them up (very important for mystery writers).
Get your work professionally critiqued and proofread. Friends and relatives are not your best beta readers, except my mother and I’ll loan her out.

On Blogging

Be specific. Stand for something.
Be relatable. Be authentic.
Be prepared. Do your homework. Discover and understand your market. Don’t touch on topics that everyone’s touched. Know what’s important and what isn’t.
Be open to the realities of the people around you and their unique experiences. Avoid stereotypes.

If you’ve had success creating a book from your blog, share your tips (and links!) here.

TLC

Uncategorized

Be sure to add Omaha Public Library’s Nebraska Authors Series to your calendar!

May 16th, 2012 → 5:46 pm @

Nebraska Authors Series

Uncategorized

Famous Author Ellen Dolgen comments on Is It Still Murder!

April 26th, 2012 → 9:36 pm @

Is It Still Murder, Even If She Was A Bitch? is a page turner! My initial thought was that it would in fact still be murder (even if she was a bitch) until I met Donna Leigh, the protagonist. A confident, hardworking, menopausal, tell-it-like-it-is kind of gal with those all-too-common hot flashes and sleepless nights, Donna is very easy to relate to from the get-go. The descriptions that Robin Donovan uses are so precise that you instantly understand Donna’s observations about people and situations, and especially about herself.

In addition to being a captivating murder mystery, the story is a great look into Donna Leigh’s character as the reader is welcomed into a mind filled with ideas and thoughts we can all identify with. Her thoughts are peppered with menopausal experiences, from the inconvenience of hot flashes to the familiarity of sleepless nights and the frustration of thinking that all memory lapses are a telltale sign of menopause. She knows who she is, she is a good judge of character, and she’ll make you laugh!

The twists, turns, gossip and dynamic characters lead to a surprising conclusion that will make your jaw drop! I very much enjoyed this quick read and look forward to reading more Donna Leigh mysteries!

-Ellen Dolgen, Author of Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness ellendolgen.com

Uncategorized

Omaha’s First Author’s Fair

March 9th, 2012 → 8:53 pm @

Saturday, February 18, 2012 was the date of Omaha’s first Author’s Fair held at W. Dale Clark Library downtown.

(more…)

Uncategorized

So How Do You Get A Book Published?

December 5th, 2011 → 11:20 pm @

That’s probably the most frequent single question that people ask.  So many of us are poised to write, but hesitate because of the uncertainty of being stuck with a manuscript that no one will publish. The true diehards just go ahead and write. If they get published – great – but what happens when/if they don’t?

I can’t pretend to be one of those brave souls. I talked about writing a book for years, and none of the options appealed to me at all. I could invest all of the time, energy and passion it would take to create my masterpiece, and then spend a lot more time, energy and passion – not to mention money – in shopping it around and trying to get it published. I would bravely struggle to keep my hopes up as rejection after rejection flooded my mailbox and broke my resolve.

From what I’m told, shopping your manuscript around for an agent isn’t really much better. And, if you do find an agent to represent you there’s still no guarantee that they’ll be able to interest a publisher. I have known authors who were elated at finally finding that elusive agent – only to realize a year or two later that they are not infallible – even if they’re sure your book will be easy to sell!

Then, if you do manage to get your book published, will your publisher realize all of the financial benefits of your endeavor? I have also seen authors who earned pennies per book and could barely feed themselves after publishing more than a dozen novels.

Then there’s always self-publishing. You spend your money to back yourself and then hope there’s some change left to get out there and promote yourself. Experienced authors have cautioned that the uninitiated end up with a raw unedited piece that does not present itself, or you, in the best light.

Personally, I feel very fortunate that I stumbled upon a publisher who was willing to spend the time evaluating an unknown such as myself. My publisher took the time to help me polish my creation until it was ready for prime time; and the final product was something that could make us both proud.

My publisher has been my partner and my cheerleader, not trying to greedily reap all of the profit if profit is to be made. Everybody should have the benefit of a publisher like mine.

Let me know if you’d like to meet my publisher. I am confident they will be willing to review your work and give you an honest assessment. If they decide to take your manuscript on you will learn an enormous amount and benefit from their knowledge and connections.

Why am I making this offer? I’m too new to worry about being completely inundated with everyone trying to get to me – maybe someday. I, myself, have wondered if I would ever get the chance to share my musings with the world – and now I know that it feels incredible. If it’s what you want, you should have a fair shot at it too. And no, I’m not getting any kickbacks.

 

 

 

Uncategorized