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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Guest Blog by Ron Gavalik, Publishing and Marketing Professional!

Now and then it's a pleasure to invite not only authors, but other industry professionals to share their wisdom with us as we navigate our way through the publishing world! Joining us for a guest blog is Ron Gavalik, author of Financial Success for Creative Professionals and publisher of Grit City Publications! Let's welcome Ron! Don't forget to stop by his blog and say hello!
Propel Your Creative Career to the Next Level

Ron Gavalik


Thank you to Ginger Marcinowski for allowing me to guest post.


As a publisher and marketing professional, I’ve always found it vitally important to ensure creative professionals possess the correct tools and knowledge to market their work to the right kinds of audiences. I’ve enjoyed a long and fruitful career ensuring the success of businesses, but also writers, artists, and performers. I take a lot of pride in sharing that learned experience with others.


Unfortunately, I’ve met so many creative types that honestly believe they’ll never make a living fulfilling their creative passions. That kind of cynicism is sad and frustrating, especially when I know for a fact that it’s not true. We all require housing and plumbing to sustain life, but it’s creativity that gives our lives purpose…and unique creators perform a necessary function in our society. It’s my job to make sure they earn a high middle-class income.


That’s why our team assembled Financial Success for CreativeProfessionals, the first marketing plan ever developed for writers, artists, and performers of all types that guarantees success.


In the modern era, creative professionals face two real challenges when it comes to selling their work. The first is contending with an oversaturation in the market, where so many indie creators are now selling their work to the masses. The second and more important challenge is gaining the marketing knowledge to break through the chaos and build a significant fan base that leads to achieving a secure revenue stream.


Because of the oversaturation, consumers are only willing to invest about 5 to 10 seconds viewing a creative product or performance on a website or even in person at an event. If intrigued, they’ll stay longer to absorb more of the experience. If they don’t emotionally identify with your creation in a couple of heartbeats, they’ll walk away or navigate away from your web presence and your work will register as a negative experience.


In that brief 5 to 10 second moment, your potential fan stands on the shore of a river while your work sits on the other side. It’s our job to persuade the consumer into building a bridge (emotional investment) to cross the divide and then obtain your creation. That’s no easy feat, but when you understand the process, it’s easily achieved.


When a creative professional has the tools to drive hundreds of thousands of potential fans to their creations and understands how to brand their work as a unique experience, a high percentage of targeted consumers begin to build emotional investment in those products or performances every time they’re exposed to the experience.


The right kinds of consumers (target audiences) must be exposed to your work over and over again for their minds to build that bridge of emotional investment and then cross the divide to purchase your creation.


The marketing plan provides the guaranteed solutions to drive hundreds of thousands of potential fans to your work, period. It contains real-world tactics, the best parts of college marketing courses, and intensive workshops for creative professionals. The theories and procedures are assembled in an easy-to-reference plan that’s designed to be used for years as your career grows.


It’s my hope that you’ll take your creative career seriously. As creators, you must rise above the chaos and allow your creations to raise the quality of life in potential fans around the world. That’s a gift and your legacy. Each of you deserves true financial security. We’ll achieve it, together.


As the tagline goes, “If you pour your passions into each project or performance, you must propel your career to the next level, realize your full potential and achieve financial success.”


Let’s make it happen!


Good hunting.



Ron Gavalik’s Bio:


Ron Gavalik is the author of Financial Success for CreativeProfessionals and has over 20 years of celebrated experience in corporate and creative marketing. This former Director of Communications has assisted private, nonprofit, and artistic organizations achieve success through grassroots experience marketing initiatives. Gavalik is currently the Publisher for Grit CityPublications and creator of the innovative Emotobooks fiction medium. He holds a B.S. in Marketing Communications from Point Park University and an M.A. in Writing from Seton Hill University. His work in the arts has shaped success for countless creative professionals who seek financial independence.


Contact Info:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Contest for New Writers!! Enter by December 5!!

I am so fortunate to have so many connections to various writers, editors, readers and literary journal people! I've met them at conferences, in person or over the internet. They write and promote styles very different from my own, some very secular, some very Christian-oriented, but all graceful, wonderful people. Along the way, you learn how giving the writing world is, whether it is a reader who uses their time and talents to give you a review, or writers who haves taken the time to start a literary journal to showcase new talent. Today I get to interview two such wonderful people, Patricia Florio and Sue Richter, editors of the East Meets West Literary Journal. Pat and I were friends during our MFA program, so it is especially nice to see what she's accomplished since school let out!

Ginger: Welcome Ladies! It's a pleasure to have you stop by.Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.  

Pat: I’m a graduate of Wilkes University’s MA/MFA Creative Writing Program. I’ve been married to my husband Ralph for 40 years. We both shared a career in court reporting in the federal court system, which I left in the year 2000 to continue my education in liberal studies and creative writing. We have four children, a set of twin boys, Anthony & Joseph, another son Jude, and a daughter Kristin. We have four grandchildren: Lauren, Madison, Joseph and Amelia. We live in the Historic town of Ocean Grove at the Jersey Shore. My first published book is a memoir called My Two Mothers. It came out July 2011. I have several short fiction stories published by Phyllis Scott Publishing, Fiction 365; my nonfiction story Theresa took second place in All Things If magazine, and my latest short story Golden Boy will be featured in their Spring 2013 in Newton Literary. I write for Striped Pot, an online travel magazine and freelanced for local and regional newspapers from Philadelphia to New York City while in school. 

Ginger: And Sue? 

Sue: I’ve been in the publishing industry for 20 years. I started SERA Publishing 15 years ago and previous to that I worked for McGraw Hill in San Francisco and two independent publishers in Austin, TX. I’m an author, journalist, and writing coach. I was asked to present at the Jack London Writing Conference in San Francisco two years in a row, while I lived in the area, and loved working with new writers. I moderated a book tour with Luba Brezhnev (niece of Leonid Brezhnev), Myriam Chavez (daughter-in-law of Cesar Chavez), and Lailee Bakhtiar (niece of Shapour Bakhtiar) that took us from San Francisco to Washington D.C. I then co-wrote a speech that was delivered to the U.N. and subsequently won an award. I currently live in Temecula,

California located in between San Diego and Los Angeles. I’m married to Alan Phillips, an Account Supervisor for Weber Shandwich (the largest Public Relations corporation in the world). I’m a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Economics and Business Administration. Since completing my degree, I’ve taken several writing courses from UCLA including screenwriting and persuasive writing.

Ginger: So Ladies, what exactly is East Meets West and what is its purpose?

Pat: East Meets West, American Writers Review is a literary print journal that features authors, poets, writers of all genres, and emerging authors coming on the scene across the United States and Territories and/or possessions of the U.S.

Sue: The purpose is to acknowledge new and seasoned writer’s work. Our vision is to allow a platform for these writers to showcase their work and get published.

Ginger: And how did you both get involved with East Meets West?

Pat: I met Sue Richter online while both of us were contributing writers for Examiner.com. I needed to learn Windows Publishing for my MFA project in publishing and put out a call for help on Examiner’s group email. Sue introduced herself, and the rest is history. After the Cohort Review, my MFA project at Wilkes, I received high praises from my site supervision in publishing Dr. Phil Brady, Sue and I wanted to continue working with writers, and East Meets West was born.

Sue: And by the way, we are both still writing for Examiner.com!

Ginger: You two are crazy busy. Typical writers by the way! Tell us about the contests and prizes in your East Meets West publication.

Pat: We’re trying to produce two issues a year at East Meets West. We put out an announcement through Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, on Wilkes’ student posting board, and to writers’ groups, giving information about our present contest, asking writers to submit their short stories, fiction or nonfiction, poetry, prose poems, narrative poetry, hoping to bring hidden new talent and seasoned talented writers to readers across the U.S. We pay a $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. We charge a $15 reading fee to defray our cost of printing the journal.

Sue: Each submitter whose work is accepted, gets a full critique from our judges, and receives a copy of the issue and publication. We also have a free contest, which aligns with our logo, “bridging the gap”. It’s a contest that asks the question: What’s so Great about your State? Writers who want to participate in the free contest should submit an essay about their state, city, or community with a maximum of 1,000 words. We also are requesting one or two black and white photos that enhance their essay. Each author that is selected receives a free copy of the journal and publication of their essay.

Ginger: You have a very ambitious schedule and some great contests for new writers. So are all genres accepted?

Pat: Right now, we have poetry judges, fiction and nonfiction short story judges, and an essay judge.

Sue: We do not have a playwright or a screen-writing judge. We hope some time in the future to be able to include those specific genres.

Ginger: Sounds like you have most things covered. Do you have a word count?

Pat: Yes, we do. We’re looking for approximately 3,000-3,500 words for short stories and/or three poems consisting of one to three pages each (or shorter for all content submitted).

Sue: Multiple entries are acceptable, with a reduced entry fee of $10 for second or third entries.

Ginger: Explain how your contests are judged?

Pat: That’s the best news of all. Our judges have full credentials of an MFA or PhD, and are fully qualified and experienced writers themselves. They read and give each submitter a personalized critique. At this point in time, our judges are not paid. They do receive our gratitude and share a place in our latest issue with a piece of their own writing.

Sue: We hope someday to be able to give our judges a stipend for their time and effort in selecting the prize winners, which is totally and completely in their control. Pat and I market, layout and manage the journal. We are not involved in reading or critiquing a submitter’s work. We do however go through the issue after it’s been approved by our judges for errors before it goes to print.

Ginger: Wow! That sounds very professional. The personalized critique is so important for new writers. Now tell us about your upcoming contest?

Pat: Our latest contest is our most exciting contest to date. It’s our Valentine’s Day 2013 Issue.

Sue: We have asked the question: do you have a Valentine’s Day story that involves Love, Lust, Sex and other Bawdy Adventures?

Ginger: From the sweet and tender Christian love story to the over-the-top secular tale will be allowed?

Pat: And everything in between!

Ginger: Sounds like fun! How can writers enter?

Sue: We are an open submission journal in the United States, territories and/or possession of the United States. Just go to www.serapublishing.com and click on the contest link.

Ginger: That's easy enough! What do you hope to accomplish with this publications?

Pat: Good writing and fun reading is our goal. And as always, we want to showcase the work of new and seasoned writers.

Sue: We want writers to have a platform to present their work. All the writers keep their copyrights and can use the Review to launch their writing careers.

Ginger: Before we go is there anything else our readers might like to know about either of you or what you do?

Pat: We’re passionate about writing. I've founded two writing groups in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Sue’s thinking of creating a new blog called Spontaneous Combustion within the purview of East Meets West to ignite fellow writers to write on a daily basis. Even if it’s two productive sentences or a paragraph, write it down.

Sue: We love being surrounded by the blood, sweat and tears of creative energy that writing inspires. We want EMW to grow and allow fellow writers to chat across the U.S. Sound crazy? There are more exciting things on the horizon for EMW. We hope to be launching those exciting updates early next year.

Ginger: Well, thank you ladies for taking time out to share this great information with my readers! Sorry I couldn't get your photos to post! For those of you who have not yet submitted any of your work for publication or you wanna-be writers, now's the time! (TC, I am thinking of you here:) Here's the contact info for the ladies! Thanks and stop by again soon!

***And as for extra good news, my novel, Run, River Currents, will be offered as a free Kindle download on December 5 & 6!!! Tell your friends and download away!!! 

Twitter handles: Patricia Prato-Florio AND @SueRichter

Facebook page: East Meets West, American Writers Review

Contest: East Meets West, American Writers Review, Valentine’s Day 2013 Issue

Deadline for Contest: December 5, 2012


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Everything Old is New Again!

After a harrowing past couple of months, it seems life is looking up! My latest work in progress will start getting my full-time attention as of December 31. I hope to have a full first edit draft by early March, if not before. This novel will be a total departure from Run, River Currents. It's a mystery involving eminent domain in a small Midwestern town. Here's a quick rundown!

Keep a lookout for small excerpts and plot leads and maybe even offer up your thoughts of the direction the main character, Laura Eden should take. Yes, there will be a romance, but there will also be intrigue, murder and spiritual change for the characters which will always be the purpose of my writings. So weigh in when you see something you like, or don't like! We'll make this fun for everyone!

Shortly, I will be posting an interview with Pat Florio, editor of the East Meets West anthology. She'll be sharing with the readers the latest upcoming contest! Watch for the post and drop a note here or send in your work for the upcoming Valentine's Day Contest!
Have a great week!