|P. O. Box 5039
Hilton Head Island, SC 29938
|February 1, 2010 -- Minutes
|The Island Writers’ Network of Hilton Head Island met on Monday, February 1, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. in the Heritage Library,
Anderson, Ray Berberian, John Bickers, Art Cornell, Tom Crawford, Sheila Gale, Lorie Getz, Kenneth Getz, Anne Grace, Bobbi
Maranto; and visitors Julie Chalpan, Lynn Palm, and Peter Schwarzlose. Minutes of the Jan. 4, 2010, meeting were approved as
Treasurer’s Report: Max Judge reported a balance on hand of $561.72. A decision to make a $325 contribution to ACBC was
Gallery Hop results: Sansing McPherson reported that we sold 14 copies of the new anthology, Hilton Headings, and 4 copies of
the first one¸ Hilton Head Island: Unpacked & Staying, for a profit of $176.50. Sansing pointed out that our cost-sharing
expenses with Picture This Gallery entailed $150 for an Island Packet ad and $150 for wine, plus over $30 in postage not yet
submitted. Members felt that the Gallery Hop was a fun event, but Sansing cautioned that we consider expenses vs. realistic
revenue in future marketing ventures.
ACBC Grant: Sansing has filed the final report for the $818 grant we received from ACBC to help publish our second anthology.
The deadline for the next grant period is February 15. No member volunteered to write a grant for marketing purposes by that
Chamber of Commerce meeting: Lorie Getz attended the 1/28 and reported the following:
• J. W. Rone, director of ACBC, was the speaker
• Lorie noted that the May BRAVO festival has more events than ever but no writing events
• J.W. lamented that there is no writing center in Beaufort County.
• ACBC publishes ArtNews 3 times a year and can use articles
• Lorie has added IWN to the non-profit list in case tables become available at the Business Expo at the Westin later this
• The principal at HHI School for Creative Arts told Lorie that she would like to see their writing program strengthened
through writing workshops, etc.
Book Sales and Sites: In the absence of Charlie Thorn, who could not be present, Sansing reported we have 19 vendor sites,
From Harbour Town on HHI to Bay Street Trading in Beaufort, that are listed on the IWN website (www.iwn-hhi.org). Members
should familiarize themselves with the sites for when people ask where our books can be purchased.
Program: A lively program of members sharing their Marketing Best Practices ensued. Two approaches to marketing emerged:
publishing “in the black” where you intend to make a profit or at least break even; and publishing as a hobby, where your
expenditures may exceed sales because you enjoy the experience of being published and promoting the book.
• Jane Hill (written report submitted) Clarendon Island and Only a Ghost of a Chance
o She prefers to keep expenses down & operate “in the black.”
o Consider how you will finance your initial order of books (inventory) – grant, personal money – and order accordingly. You
have to pay your bill before books are sold. She has constrained costs and managed cash flow through small orders (~ 60 copies).
o Grant writing is time consuming. Consider the payoff before attempting it.
o Publishers like i-Universe and Author house have fees ranging from $400 to $1,500 depending on level of services you
o For self-publishing, consider upfront costs – ISBN ($50), bar code ($25), layout & art fees, copyright registration ($65 + 2
copies of book to Library of Congress) etc.
o Some marketing packages are not worth the expense. Jane bought a package that got her books listed in library &
independent book catalogues, but got no sales from it.
o Consider registration/table fees at events – will you earn back the cost with your sales?
o Jane has had better luck at multi-author events than at individual signings. Craft fairs turned out to be excellent venues,
she suspects because books tend to be some of the cheaper items at these events. She has always made money at craft fairs.
o She sold her young-adult books to school libraries.
o Amazon’s pricing structure means taking a loss to sell through them. Consider whether that visibility is more important
than profit. [See Amazon pro forma budget, attached]
o The IWN anthologies have the built-in market of many members who buy for family and friends. Individual authors do not.
• Norm Levy- Rhymes for Our Times -Some people enjoy publishing as an “expensive hobby.” He recalled some “fuzzy”
statistics showing that of 1 million book titles, less than 10% sell over 500 copies. The same goes for music publishing as well.
• Lorie Getz – (numerous academic articles and books) –
o The Coastal Discovery Museum will give us time beginning in March for book talks, etc. Norm and Tom expressed interest.
o Ken Getz “modeled” a personalized tee shirt that gets attention and questions. IWN could design one for us to wear.
They can be printed at Salty Dog and Michaels.
• Dee Merian – American Mosaic, Counterfeit Horserace, Flying High, Southern Calif. Stories
o Chris O’Donnell of WHHI is the only interviewer she’s found who reads the book in advance. He now lives in Atlanta and
comes here about once every 2 months, but he will answer emails firstname.lastname@example.org.
o In her experience, other local media interviewers have not done their homework by reading the book.
• James Edward Alexander – Halfway Home from Kinderlou and If I Should Die before I Wake … What Happens to My Stuff?
o His Kinderlou childhood memoir is appropriate for school children. When he is asked to speak to school classes, he asks
that they buy at least 12 copies of his book.
o He ordered bookmarks, business cards, and flyers at a good price from www.iconix.biz
o He got a roll-up banner from Omega Graphics (~ $100) and a break-down easel, (from Staples et al) – both conveniently
portable and eye-catching to display at sales venues.
• Art Cornell – In the Wind, Heart Rhythms, Riding on a Rainbow poetry books
o Art furnished a PR list of area media that will be updated by IWN members
o Getting books carried at the HH Art League in Pineland Station is the decision of the gallery manager. Keep trying.
• Tom Crawford – Foibles – He sells books when he speaks to retirement communities. He will be speaking at The Seabrook
on Feb. 19 at 2:00 p.m. about Hilton Headings.
• John Bickers – The Free Enterprise Patriot and his memoir
o He put a reorder postcard in the back of his book and still gets reorders years later
o Seek an editor or publication (HH Monthly, Living in SC) that might be willing to serialize our anthologies – a story a
month – in exchange for a monthly ad.
o His large-format, hard-cover memoir, which included glossy color photos, cost him $92 per copy. After 12 copies, he
decided to put it on DVD for 43 cents a copy.
• Anne Grace – Grace Upon Grace and various devotional books
o Her devotional books are booklet style done at Kinko’s, UPS Store, etc.
o She used Author House for Grace Upon Grace and has been very happy with their service. She got a $1,209 package plus
a $100 marketing package that gets her an on-line listing with Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but not on the B&N store shelves.
o Author House has been excellent about staying in touch with other offers without pushing her to buy more or publish
o A side issue: She wound up having to pay $500 to a music publisher in Nashville for the right to quote song lyrics in the
o Speaking engagements have sold books well. She doesn’t like speaking and marketing, but it is a necessity when you are
marketing a book. Other members agreed.
• Max Judge – Chronicles of Life in the Midwest and The Bronco Girl
o Look for appropriate specialty markets. Both Max’s books have a specialized market, so he needed regional marketing
o For Chronicles, a memoir set in his home state of Indiana, he sent press releases to Indiana newspapers, set up signings
and speaking engagements, and mailed releases to every historical society in Indiana. Old friends he had not seen in years
showed up at his signings and speaking events and bought books.
o For Bronco Girl he negotiated with the Denver Broncos management and let them approve the content so it is now
marketed at Mile High Stadium. (Max’s daughter is the Bronco Girl who rides the Arabian horse around the field at home
o Bronco will also be sold by Blue Ribbon Books at horse shows and will be reviewed in the February edition of Arabian
o Both books have been reviewed by the Purdue University Alumni magazine, his and his daughter’s alma mater, where he
also taught, resulting in sales.
Future Programs – Lorie asked for a volunteer to coordinate future programs for IWN. There were no offers. Norm Levy
suggested Social Networking (Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, etc.) as a topic of interest. Julie Chalpan knows someone who
speaks on the topic for free and will ask her if she can do a program for March 1.
Open Mike – will be held February 15, 7:00 p.m., in the Heritage Library.
Meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm