CCW’s chapter president Martha Geaney kicked off our January 2022 meeting by welcoming visiting SinC members from other chapters. Secretary/Treasurer Ruth Owen reminded CCW members about $25 dues renewal for 2022, checks payable to Citrus Crime Writers, and sent to Secretary/Treasurer Ruth Owen, 151 Stirling Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. Vice President David Ryan thanked all who completed the survey and noted that CCW had an 87% response rate to its survey. David indicated that there were a number of helpful ideas and stated that the survey results will be shared with members in a future meeting. Martha noted that we will continue using Zoom in February as the Board explores possible in-person venues. Please continue to send CCW member news, awards, and events to Lu Ponte (pen name: Bridges DelPonte) for posting on CCW’s social media channels, including
CCW’s SinC national chapter blog (https://www.sistersincrime.org/blogpost/1475420/FL-Citrus-Crime-Writers-Orlando). Please stop by our online channels to like or comment on our postings.
Our Ask the Expert session featured Kathleen Sweeney, Customer Service Manager & Marketing Lead, of Book Brush, teaching us about how to make eye-catching book trailers, design book covers, and social media-friendly images. There’s both limited free access and fee-based tools on BookBrush. She indicated that writers can download up to a total of fifteen free images and can use tools on BookBrush without downloading anything. Authors can play around with the platform under the free program before deciding if they wish to pay for one of the three subscription plans (Plus, Gold, Platinum).
She introduced us to four different BookBrush tools: the Custom Creator, the Cover Creator, the Box Set Creator, and the Trailer Creator. She utilized various book covers from CCW member books to illustrate some of the key features of each tool. Kathleen started off by discussing BookBrush’s Custom Creator to develop bookmarks, business cards, newsletter options, e-mail headers and ads on social media channels such as Book Bub, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and Kindle Vella. The Custom Creator makes it easier to rework ads and other marketing materials for different marketing platforms using a wide range of community templates and stock images.
Authors can create ads from scratch or access over 3000 different pre-made templates for your genre. She indicated that there’s a library of thousands of various stock images and showed how we can manipulate the look, feel and color of images and backgrounds in BookBrush’s workspace. She noted that a bit of blur in the background or certain animated effects or filters can highlight an author’s book cover. Authors can add relevant text applying about a thousand distinct font options–with or without special effects.
In addition, there are a variety of video backgrounds, music clips, and animations for book ads or launches that can provide energy and motion to marketing materials. Instant mockups can also help drop a book cover into real life scenes. An author can manipulate aspects of these pre-made templates. Writers can download whatever project they created to market their works on websites or other social media channels.
The Cover Creator allows authors to develop their own book covers from scratch for print, e-book, and audio versions. There’s a wide range of cover options to which one can add a book title, author name, and other desired text. One can layer images from BookBrush’s database or images you may have licensed from other sites. There are also pre-made book cover templates that can be revised to meet specific needs. A writer can also type in a book’s page count to create proper dimensions and size for a print version. For book series, an author can also create a special spine and cover for a box set of one’s latest mysteries in BookBrush’s Box Set Creator.
To develop a book trailer, BookBrush offers a Trailer Creator with a variety of community templates. A writer can select different trailer elements, including 100 types of licensed commercial music or upload your own audio files, such as an author reading a blurb or selection from one’s own book. Music, text fonts, and images can be selected and manipulated to align with a book’s genre, such as mystery, thriller or cozies. Kathleen answered a number of attendee questions and noted that BookBrush offers various free introductory webinars for its different online tools.
For our CCW members, there’s a 15% discount code that doesn’t expire at CITRUS15 (not case sensitive) for either new or upgraded BookBrush plans. If you have other questions, please e-mail Kathleen at email@example.com. Thanks to Kathleen for this fun and informative session. This Ask the Expert segment was recorded so CCW members can request a link to the session by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the CCW Board considers in-person venue options, we’ll continue with Zoom only meetings in February. Our next CCW meeting is via Zoom, Sunday, February 13, 2022, 1:30 pm (business meeting and author socializing) and 2:00-3:00 pm will be our Ask the Expert session, Writing a Damn Good Novel with James N. Frey.
James N. Frey will present a crash course in the down-to-earth basics of storytelling with a focus on strong narrative lines, fascinating characters, steadily building conflicts, and satisfying conclusions. Learn how to face that intimidating first page, keep on track when you falter, and recognize, analyze, and correct the problems in your own work.
Members–please check your email for a link to the Zoom meeting. If you’re not a member, but want to attend, please email us at email@example.com.