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message 1: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1730 comments Mod
Please welcome author Christine Rice to our group Q and A discussions. Christine is a freelance writer and editor who writes book reviews, blog posts, and articles, and edits other people's articles, analyses, and resumes. She enjoys walking, weightlifting, yoga, and healthful eating. She also maintains a health blog about her experiences with improving her health. She enjoys reading, shopping, and dining out, and resides in Worcester, MA USA with her husband and cat.

Christine is the author of, Poetry for the Heart, Essays for the Soul, My Not-So-Ordinary Life, and Freelance Writing Guide. She is currently working on two more books that are scheduled to publish in 2012 and a third in 2013. Her professional writing and editing website can be found here: http://www.christinerice-freelancewri...

Her Goodreads profile: Christine Rice

My Not-So-Ordinary Life by Christine Rice Essays for the Soul by Christine Rice Poetry for the Heart by Christine Rice Freelance Writing Guide What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer by Christine Rice

message 2: by Jason (new)

Jason Baldwin-Stephens | 69 comments Good Morning, Christine. I haven't had the opportunity to read any of your works to date but look forward to doing so in the future.

I was wondering, what is the inspiration behind your writing?

message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Good morning, everyone! I'm glad to be here. I am able to answer any questions you have about me, my work, and my books. I'm looking forward to the discussions!

message 4: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (KevinHallock) | 60 comments Why did you decide to become a freelance writer? Was it something you'd wanted to do since you were a kid? Or something that you discovered you loved? Or...?

message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Good morning, Jason! My inspiration is mostly based on my experiences. My experiences give me knowledge and insight, which spurs my desire to write about them. For example, the poems in Poetry for the Heart reflect my experiences as a new writer, as a career-minded individual, as an adult reflecting on my childhood, as a growing writer, as a daughter, and as a pet owner :) Essays for the Soul shares my insight and knowledge about my experiences as a writer, as a health-conscious person, as an adult student, as an employee, and as someone who is knowledgeable about personal finance. My Not-So-Ordinary Life is my autobiography which is 100% about my experiences from childhood to adulthood. And Freelance Writing Guide is based on my experiences as a freelance writer. Other writing I've done, such as articles, are also based on my experiences, but broken down into finer detail. Anything a person experiences becomes a good topic to write about. Fabulous question!

message 6: by Jason (new)

Jason Baldwin-Stephens | 69 comments Thank you, Christine!

message 7: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Hi Kevin,
I was a writer from the age of nine when I began journaling, but I did not consider myself a writer until 2005 when I made the conscious decision that I wanted to be a writer and an author. I published books in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Five years ago I wanted to have a full-time career as a professional writer. After applying for jobs and not getting far, I enrolled in online college - hoping that it would help me obtain a writing job - and took English with specialization in professional and technical writing. At that point, I still didn't know what type of professional writer I wanted to become. After I got out of school, I researched writing careers and made the decision to become a freelance writer, because I had not been employed as a writer before and it was an easier field in which to start a writing career. So in 2011, I began freelance writing full-time and I'm still working as a freelance writer (writing book reviews, editing, ghostwriting, and blogging) in addition to writing books.

message 8: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (KevinHallock) | 60 comments Thanks Christine!

Have the recent changes in the ebook industry impacted the books you've already published? Future publications? What kind of book marketing strategies have you tried that worked (or didn't work)?

message 9: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments My first three books were initially published in paperback format only. It wasn't until this year that I made ebook versions for all of them in pdf, epub, kindle, and smashwords formats. For my fourth book, I published the ebook versions the same day that I created the paperback. I love ebooks, so I will definitely be publishing ebook versions of my future books. But I guess I am not 100% into the digital age, because I still like to have paperback versions of my books, sort of as mementos :)

message 10: by Erma (new)

Erma Odrach | 16 comments Hi Christine,
Bio writing is often theraputic. Did you find this with My Not-So-Ordinary Life. Was it also a healing process? Though I haven't read it the writeups sound interesting.

message 11: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments I really think it's fun to market. I've had Facebook events for when my books were free on Amazon and Smashwords and that led to dozens of downloads. Posts and pages on my blog that mentioned my books led to sales. I believe some of the forum and group posts, in online writing communities, that I've written about my books have led to sales as well, but I don't have a way to track that; I can just assume. Press releases seem to be effective too. I post information about my books as often as I can, while still being reasonable and appropriate (not spamming). Not many people will find out about my books unless I tell them, so I am not shy about it. I think it's important to be assertive to get the job done.

message 12: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Hi Erma,
Yes, it was therapeutic to write My Not-So-Ordinary Life. It allowed me to make peace with my past and write about it in a way that was neither accusing nor bitter. It felt great to get my history written down, because my fear was that I would forget parts of it as time went on.

message 13: by Jason (new)

Jason Baldwin-Stephens | 69 comments Hi again, Christine.

You mention making sure to post about your books when reasonable and appropriate and I think that's a lesson that all of us end up learning one way or another (usually the hard way) when we first start out.

Any stories you would be willing to share that highlight how you've come to learn when and when not to promote your work?

message 14: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Hi Jason,
I've learned what is appropriate and reasonable for promotion, and what is not, from observing other people who are part of my social networks. I see what I like and don't like about what they do to promote themselves and their work, and I base my actions on what I observe. I think of what my readers would prefer when I promote. Essentially, I treat them how I would want to be treated.

message 15: by Jason (new)

Jason Baldwin-Stephens | 69 comments Thank you again!

message 16: by Linda (last edited Aug 29, 2012 10:37AM) (new)

Linda Hi Christine, it looks like you are an independently published author as I am. Congratulations on being willing to learn and to take charge. Your books look very nicely done. I finally put my older WWII memoir into Kindle format this year and it's doing well! Live and learn a little late. I am about to publish a poetry book also and know they are a hard sell, as are essay and short stories. Would you share some of your marketing secrets with us indie authors here? Maybe ebook only is the best way to go for these? (Like you, I prefer print.)

message 17: by Ann (new)

Ann | 5 comments Hi Christine. What is next in your writing goals?

message 18: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Hi Linda,
Congrats on putting your memoir into kindle format! It's not easy to do, I know. Formatting the interior and exterior so that it fits their requirements is tiresome! But once it's done, it's all worth it.

I think the best way to approach publishing books is to publish them in both print and ebook format. The reason being is that there are still a lot of readers of print books. Plus, it doesn't cost anything up front to publish a print book. I recommend using CreateSpace by Amazon.

Marketing secrets? Just simple stuff like email and forum signatures with links to your blog or wherever people can find out more information about your books. It is helpful to have a professional email address and preferably your own domain name for your website and blog. Creating a Facebook page as an author and updating your status every day - even if it's just little tidbits about your writing - helps to gain a readership. Having an author blog, and posting at least once a week, with a page that's about you and a page for your books. If you provide links to your books in the "about" section of a Facebook page and on the "books" page of your blog, you won't have to post links on your social networking sites as often, because the information is already easily accessible. Press releases are a great tool. I use Free-Press-Release.com and I get a lot of hits with them. You will need to share your press release on social networking sites and bookmark it on Google. I just started sharing important links on Digg. They are really easy to use - you don't even need to set up an account; you just log in once with your Facebook or Twitter account and then you're all set to add your links. Oh, and don't forget to log into Author Central with your Amazon account to create an Amazon author page and add your published books and a bio. There are so many marketing possibilities that you will find if you just look, read, and listen. I picked up these tips just from my experiences along the way in my career.

message 19: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Hi Ann!
My next writing goals for book writing are to publish Chronicles of a Troubled Girl in November 2012, Articles for the Mind in December 2012, and Freedom from Fat in May 2013.

Chronicles is a compilation of all of my journal entries from age 9 to age 30. At the moment I have one journal left to type up and then I will be finished with the first draft. It is really exciting, but I probably won't be able to continue working on it until after the end of the Freelance Writing Guide blog tour, which ends September 25th.

Articles will be a compilation of all the articles I published online as a freelance writer in 2011 (I will have gained back the rights to them all in December 2012, which is why I intend to publish the book that month). It fits into the same title theme as Poetry for the Heart and Essays for the Soul.

Freedom is a compilation of journal entries and blog posts during the most recent years of my weight loss journey. It will cover my dieting and exercising experiences from 2010-2013, which is a time when I have kept continuous track of my weight loss experiences. I plan to reach my goal weight by May 2013, which is when I will be publishing the book. Although, my true weight loss journey began in 2000, so I have a lot of knowledge and experience to share.

I also would like to write another book in the "Freelance Writing Guide" series. The next book might be about what can be expected during the second year of a freelance writing career :)

Besides the books I'm writing and publishing, I hope to increase my client base for my editing services, take on more ghostwriting assignments, and branch out to do client-based ghostwriting. I plan to continue writing book reviews and blogging.

message 20: by Ann (new)

Ann | 5 comments Can I quote your answer for my book review?

message 21: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments If you mean to post along with your book review, sure!

message 22: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Thanks, everyone, for a great first day of discussions!

message 23: by David (new)

David Batchelor | 15 comments Congratulations on your book! I look forward to reading your tips. I'm trying to find time for more writing and setting up a blog, and I suspect that you have good advice to offer. Cheers,

message 24: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Thank you, Dave! I believe having both a blog and a website is important for writers and authors. The blog allows readers to connect with you and a website showcases your book or services to readers and the public. Good luck with your blog and your writing!

message 25: by Ann (new)

Ann Lee (goodreadscomAnnlee) | 39 comments Hello Christine,
I enjoyed reading your website. I am so glad that you offer professional editing services. I also wanted to say that it is truly a gift to be a writer and an editor. I am looking forward to reading your books and may use your editing services in the future.
Thank you,

message 26: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Hi Ann,
I'm glad you liked my website. Getting feedback about it from others is beneficial. I am happy to be a writer and editor. I really enjoy editing. I would gladly edit for you and anyone else!

message 27: by Ann (new)

Ann | 5 comments Thanks Christine! :)

message 28: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments No problem, Ann. Thanks for your comments!

message 29: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1730 comments Mod
I was curious, seeing that your books are non-fiction and poetry, have you ever written any fiction? If so, what type, and if not, would you consider writing fiction?

message 30: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Yes, I am definitely a nonfiction writer. The only fiction I've written was a couple of short stories as a child and an attempt at a suspense book in the first week of NaNoWriMo in 2008. I like challenges though, so I definitely want to write a novel someday. It might happen in 2013 after I finish my other manuscripts.

I have no clue what genre it will be. But I will definitely be doing some research into fiction writing first. I enjoy reading fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi, so maybe I'll try one of those genres. We'll see.

message 31: by Molly (new)

Molly Nyatanga (mudiwa) | 1 comments Congratulations on your new book! I hope to benefit from your tips in marketing my books. I also visited your website and appreciated the professional help you offer. Keep up the good work!

message 32: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (KevinHallock) | 60 comments What is the balance of time you spend between marketing, writing, blogging, etc.? It's always a challenge to juggle so many things at once.

message 33: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Sorry, everyone, I slept in today. I'm available for questions now :)

message 34: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Hi Molly,
Thanks for the congrats :) I had been working on Freelance Writing Guide since January, so it was a rewarding experience when I published it two weeks ago. Thanks for visiting my website! If there is anything else I can help you with, as far as marketing advice or anything else, let me know.

message 35: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Hi Kevin,
Being a writer is a time-consuming occupation with all the different tasks involved. I am able to balance my time well, because I work every day and I don't get behind in one task, so I'm able to work on everything a little each day. I spend the most time networking through email, Facebook, and Twitter. I do not just post myself; I read and respond to my main contacts' posts too, which I know is important to create a bond with readers, for indirect marketing, and to gain knowledge from others to help me in my career. Writing and editing would be second, as far as the amount of time I spend on it and that involves working on my manuscripts, writing book reviews, blogging, writing Web content (for my website and webpages), and editing for others. Marketing I do the most when I have recently published a new book or when I have a new event for my books, but since that does not happen all the time I do not spend an equal amount of time on marketing in general and I spend the least amount of time on it compared to my other responsibilities. Thank you for your question!

message 36: by Christine (new)

Christine Rice (christine_rice) | 82 comments Thanks for the great questions, everyone! I had a fabulous time and I hope you did too. I hope you will join me on my blog tour for my latest book, Freelance Writing Guide. Here is the event page: http://www.goodreads.com/event/show/6... Have a great weekend, all!

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