Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Hello everyone,

Kelli Finger and Amy Atwell are two clever ladies. They're writers too and they know what we writers need to know. That in this hugely helpful in this ever-changing literary market, where indie publishing doesn't have the same 'stigma' attached to it, where indie authors are making big bucks - these two ladies know the business of writing.

You see when we sit down at the start of our writing career, all we're focused on is getting that story in our head down and of course selling it for a big fat check. However, what happens after we sell, or don't sell, or decide to go the indie route? Over the course of our writing careers we take so many classes (online or not) about the craftsmanship of writing, about GMC, POV and hooks and 1st sex scenes etc. But who teaches us about promo, about google ads, and copy editing, cover artists, about how to get your books maximum exposure for minimum buck, self-publishing and assessing our social media real estate.

There's so much to learn. Amy has put together a resource centre at Author EMS. This is the place where authors can find out what they need to know about the BUSINESS of writing. They teach courses on some of that other stuff like promo which we thought our publishers were going to do for us (ha ha ha) Anyway, beginning this year they've created a series of classes and Kelli is here to tell us all about them.

Kelli, tell us how you and Amy got together and what was the original impetus to start up Author EMS.
Thanks, Jane for having me here! I'm so happy to be given this opportunity to share this resource with you and your readers.  I've known Amy online since around 2009 when I joined the writing online author community Amy created. 

Writing GIAM Www.writinggiam.com stands for goals, inspiration, amity and motivation. One part of GIAM involves posting a weekly recap of your goals and progress. I read Amy's recaps where she posted about her progress with her baby, AEMS around a year and a half ago. I emailed her privately in late 2011, asking if she needed help and she did. I started out as a volunteer. 

I didn't officially start working for her until last summer when we really started digging in and brainstorming the workshops Amy had in her vision for the site. :) By then, she'd already started compiling the library on the site.

Author EMS is a resource center for writers. With the internet and world at our fingertips, why do you think this is necessary?
One thing Amy and I have discovered in this very short time is, using the internet is obviously great, but many people don't know how to organize all the links they have. Website links can be misplaced just like actual pieces of paper. Author E.M.S. puts everything in one place. Everyone has those days where they're so busy they don't have time to look something up or they can't find a particular link they bookmarked, so they lose that resource. For those who take advantage of the free membership offered by AEMS, you can save your favorite links and keep them until you need them.

This is a necessary feature especially for writers since there's so much out there for us to browse and take in. We strive to restore humanity and sanity to your virtual life as it says on the site. :)

I think the interesting thing I found while browsing your library was that really it is business basics, whereas most writers' sites feature the craft of writing. Was this a specific move on your part? 
One factor that really drew me to working with Amy in this venture was that Author E.M.S. was going to be a site Specifically focused on the business aspect of writing. Amy and I have both been writing and learning for a long time. That's usually how writers go through their careers. They learn through mistakes and trial and error. There aren't many places where they can go find resources pertaining to the business of writing, to find help and guidance on decision-making without involving emotion in the picture. I loved the idea of helping other writers avoid making mistakes I've made during the course of my career.  

That's what Author E.M.S. strives to do. And we do that by providing material that examines content from all angles. We don't tell authors what to do, but give them the facts and resources to make informed educated decisions for their careers.

Now, I'm in New Zealand, and of course business is done differently here, than in the US where you're based i.e. tax matters etc. Why and how do you think your information will benefit writers globally?
Ooh, excellent question! No matter where you live in the world you have to pay taxes. Or if you're self-publishing, you need to understand how to register your copyright. Self-publishing is a global business, though actually publishing a book involves more than simply uploading your book to distributors. Authors, no matter where in the world you live or how you publish your books need to understand business. If you're an author from New Zealand with a publisher located in the United states who has given you back rights to your books, did they register your books copyright?

If you're starting a business, there's specific criteria you must adhere to depending on where you live. Take registering your book for copyright again as an example. There are different guidelines in every country that make the process slightly different. We provide links for students both in the United States and elsewhere for starting a business and registering copyright.  Teaching these classes has been a learning experience for us too. We learned firsthand how those in New Zealand can obtain an ISBN for their books for free after doing some extra digging on Amy's part. 

We help explain stuff that might make many authors nervous. Stuff like copyright and ISBNs, self-publishing this stuff that would make you want to run away or simply leave it to your agent because it's too hard to be bothered to learn. We don't buy that. Authors today must be completely versed in their careers—from the writing to promoting to publishing. Today's successful author understands business.

I notice you mention about membership of AEMS - how does this operate?
Membership is free. Our classes, the online reviewer database, and the digital formatting and uploading to Apple's iTunes store are paid services.

Tell us a bit about the courses you're offering?
Beginning on March 3rd and running until the 16th, we're teaching Creating a Book Launch Plan. This course is for any author who has a book coming out, or for those authors who need to brush up on effective ways to promote their books.

In April, we're beginning our next Virtual Real Estate Assessment, VREA, where students will evaluate their own and their fellow students online presence. The VREA courses last for six months. The first week is very intensive. During the rest of the course, students are expected to implement what they've learned in class and apply it to their social media profiles and web pages.

In May, we're offering our month-long course, Intro to Your
Self-Publishing Business, where we discuss everything from starting a business, copyright and ISBNs, cover art, hiring and working with freelancers, and distribution options.
For more on our classes, go here:  http://www.authorems.com/campus

Workshop Instructor, Author E.M.S.
W/AAbbey MacInnis
Romances With Sizzle and Heart

Thanks to Kelli (And Amy) This is a great resource for we writers, and the feedback I have had from several people I know who’ve done the class in January was that it was extremely worth while. 

Happy reading – and writing everyone

PS  -- A little teaser for you.

He's the One

by Jane Beckenham

Debuted on Publisher’s Best Seller List

Taylor Sullivan doesn’t trust Cupid and Cade Harper doesn’t do commitment, and marriage is a dirty word
Taylor wants to lose her virginity but Cade knows two things about women. They either abandon him, or use him as a walking bank.
Taylor doesn’t buy anything sight unseen and wants to test the waters with a kiss.
It’s a fantasy come true—if they can turn heartache into forever…

Virginity is definitely overrated.




Tina Donahue said...

Awesome post, Jane - thanks so much for the invaluable info!!! :)

JaneB said...

Tks Tina, not sure why it posted a day early! Oh well!. But Author EMS has great resources, and courses.