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Writers Learn From Each Other at Indie Author Day

Coppell—The Cozby Library and Community Commons hosted their annual Indie Author Day on Saturday, Nov. 13.

“It’s very exciting,” librarian Jennifer Franz said. “It’s one more little step toward normalcy that makes all of us happy.

“People can come and find local authors in their community, hopefully buy books, but also meet them and know a little bit more about their writing process.”

Author Patricia Gallo-Stenman presented a panel on her book, “Diary of a Beatlemaniac.”

“If you get a small publisher to publish your books, you have to handle the majority of your own marketing, local appearances, your website, your blogs, and your social media,” Gallo-Stenman said. “I even have a PR person, who’s a people person, who does my PR stuff, and she helps me set up interviews. You have to have a lot of initiative to do a lot of stuff yourself, but you do have some help”

Gallo-Stenman was turned down by over 30 publishers before she found the right one.

“I didn’t have the mainstream type,” Gallo-Stenman said.“It was quirky. It was about Beatlemania. I knew I was going to have trouble, but I didn’t know how hard it was going to take.I had a friend who told me about the importance of writing book proposals,and I had no idea what a book proposal was.”

A book proposal is a marketing plan that promotes the book and explains the public relation plans and the target audience.

“I wrote several proposals. Some of them were five pages long for some publishing houses; others I wrote 32 pages,” Gallo-Stenman said. “Writing all these complex marketing plans, it was just really tough.

“I know we’re not going to make any money from it. It’s more a labor of love for something you want.”

The panel encouraged young authors to self-promote and be independent in their work.

“You’re going to have to get past [social networking],” resident Krystal McCarty said. “You have to promote yourself. This is something that’s going to have to happen, and there’s no way around it, especially being a new writer.”

Author Ayaan Haque (13) self-published his book, “7 Short Fireplace Reads.”

“I really like writing,” Haque said.“It’s something very enjoyable about making an entire world from my imagination and then forming it into words.

“It’s really strange because, there’s not many young authors I can look up to, but I think it’s very fun.” “One thing that is hard for adults to do is to write from the perspective of a child,” Haque said. “What’s helpful for me is I know what it’s like to write from a child’s perspective, especially for some of the fiction stories.”

Haque created a website after winning The Betty Award for his short story, “Change.”

The event offered a writer’s workshop, where writers could participate in some writing prompts.

“I really did enjoy it. It reminded me of a comedy improv play,” McCarty said. “It helps get you out of your comfort zone, and everybody’s doing the exact same thing. You don’t have to worry about being perfect, that’s the main thing.

“There are a lot of people who are doing this self-independent book publishing and book writing. They’re making it. They’re doing it. It’s not about trying to reach a goal; it’s about putting yourself out there.”