Ten Years of Non-Fiction at Immanion Press

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Ten years ago, give or take a month, my book Pop Culture Magick was published by Immanion Press. That was the start of the non-fiction lineup, which eventually became the Megalithica book imprint for Immanion Press. When I first wrote Pop Culture Magick, I shopped it around to the big Pagan and Occult publishers. None of them wanted the book. I was told it had no market appeal, and that the topic was considered too controversial (Ironically enough now the topic of pop culture magic is quite popular and one of those bigger publishers has published books along that theme of thought). So I took the book to Storm Constantine, who had started Immanion Press up in the next year and asked her what she thought I should do. She looked the book over and told me I should publish it with Immanion Press. While it was true that they were publishing Fantasy and Horror, she thought the book should be published and she felt Immanion Press would be a good home for it. To this day, I’m grateful to her, because she not only helped me get my first also book published, she also got me involved in the world of publishing.

A few months later, Nick Farrell asked me if Immanion would publish his book Gathering the Magic, which was about group dynamics and leadership in magical orders. Although he had books published by bigger publishers, none of them wanted that book. I passed his book onto Storm and she OKed it, but afterwards she asked me if I would like to actually head up the non-fiction line. She realized that it could grow and that people already knew me. I agreed and became the managing non-fiction editor. Shortly after we published Nick’s book, Lupa gave us her first book Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic. Later on we published Tony Mierzwicki’s Graeco-Egyptian Magick. Years later, he would tell me that he’d shopped the book everywhere and gotten tons of rejections and had just about been ready to give up, when he came across us and sent it out one last time. We accepted his book and later on that helped him open some doors with larger publishers. Since then we’ve published over 3 dozen non-fiction books on esoteric topics that are for intermediate to advanced practitioners and cover specific niches or focus on social justice issues in Paganism, and we’ve got more books on the way!

When I think back to ten years ago, I remember how excited I was to open the first box that contained copies of Pop Culture Magick. Here at last, in manifest form, was the book I’d written, ready to be shared with other people. I still feel that way every time a box of books, and not just my own books, but the books of the authors who’ve chosen to publish with us. To know that Immanion can be part of the process for the writer is a humbling experience. I feel blessed to be able to participate in the writing and publishing of the books sent to us by the authors we work with.

Happy anniversary to the non-fiction line! It’s been quite a ride up to this point and I look forward to continue that ride for many, many years to come!

How to write good workshop copy

 

Whether you’re putting workshops on at a bookstore, or presenting at a convention, its important to write good workshop copy that will grab your potential audience and get them to consider attending your presentation. In the case of conventions, you also need to write good copy that will get the programming team to consider your workshop. On top of all that your copy needs to be concise and focused. The following tips can help you write good workshop copy.

1. Write at least five potential titles for your workshop. The reason you want at least 5 possible titles has to do with the fact that you want to make sure the title is catchy. A non-descriptive title will not grab people in the same way a descriptive one will and before people will even read the copy, they’ll look at the title and if it doesn’t grab them they won’t look at what else you wrote about the workshop. So come up with at least five titles, if not more, and then test them out on friends. See which title grads your friends the most. For example, one of the titles for my one of my workshops was Space/Time Magic. It’s an okay title that does kind of intrigue because of the topic, but when I changed it to Weaving the Web of Space and Time, that grabbed people a lot more because of the imagery associated with the title. People want words to paint them a picture.

2. Write a headline for your workshop. A headline is a concise statement that sums up what your workshop is about. The headline describes what the workshop is about, and what you will get as a result from taking the workshop. Here is the headline for weaving the web: “Space and Time create a web that weaves our lives into the intersection of reality and possibility. When you learn to weave your web of space and time, you learn how to manifest your chosen possibilities into reality and manifest the life you want to live.” As you can see the headline describes the gist of the class.

3. Write other salient details, such as what people will learn. By helping readers understand what they will learn you set up specific expectations about what the class will deliver. If you are writing a workshop for a program, you’ll need to keep this short and sweet, so I suggest writing one or two additional sentences that describes what people will learn in the class. For weaving the web, I use the following short description: “In weaving the web, you will learn how to work with Space and Time as distinct principles of magic that can be applied to your life and spiritual practices. You will also learn how to integrate memory, imagination, stillness, and movement into your space/time magical workings, in order to manifest specific possibilities when and where you want them to manifest.” This short description describes what people will get out of the class and helps them understand why they might want to take it.

4. Bullet points are your friend. When you are writing a workshop description for your website or for a bookstore, you can usually use bullet points, so go ahead and use them. They allow you to make concise statements about the class and help those statements stand out instead of being lost in a sea of words. Bullet points help you make specific points to grab the interest of people who might want to take your class. Look below for an example from Weaving the Web:

  • What the web of space and time is and how it can be integrated into magical and spiritual practices.
  • How to apply imagination and memory to your magical workings and spiritual path.
  • How to use movement and stillness in your space/time magical workings. What the practical space/time magic techniques are and how they can be used to manifest possibilities into reality.
  • How to use meditation to connect with parallel versions of yourself.
  • Who the inner contacts and spirits are that you can connect with to do further work with space/time magic.

As you can see the bullet points make it easy for people to discover what else they will learn in the class.

You don’t want to write long and complicated workshop descriptions. What you want to write is a snapshot of information that helps people understand why they might want to take your class. Give these tips a try the next time you put together a workshop for a convention or bookstore.