Thursday, December 31, 2009
I did a search on google today of Book Authoring Tools and came across this site:
I haven't checked out the prices of the various SW yet, but there are links at the bottom for some sister sites for Freelance Writing and for writing a proposal. Also there's a free e-book on the right side of the page which may be of interest.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Since our last meeting in December was held the week of Christmas, we had a smaller than usual turn-out, but we still had a very good discussion. Following is a short re-cap:
- Critiqued Joanie's query letter.
- Rich gave us info on obtaining copyrights through the Library of Congress.
- The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler is another good source for budding writers.
Fred informed us that Jason would no longer be with the group as he has moved to Utah to pursue his future. We wish him the best. With the internet, we can still keep in touch. He will be missed.
We also discussed the cancellation of meetings in inclement weather. If the Ohio County Schools are closed for a snow day on the date we are having our meeting at the Highlands, our meeting will be cancelled also. Our individual safety should always be at the forefront of what we do.
It was also brought up about having each blog sent directly to your e-mail account. To do this, when you're writing a new blog, go to the Settings tab on the top, and then go to the e-mail tab. We have six people signed up for this now. We can have a maximum of 10 people. If you find that you're already on the e-mail list, do not add yourself again. One drawback of this is that you never go to the actual blog to see the information posted on the side of the blog. We discussed URL's such as Penn writers and WV Writers. Those sites are posted on the side of the blog.
Our next meeting is on January 18, 2010, 7:00 pm at Books-A-Million, at the Highlands.
Finally, for those of you not at the last meeting, ask Rich about his new job. It sounds really fascinating.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I originally wasn't going to post this, but Fred twisted my arm :o)
Back in October, I entered the November First Chapter Contest on ReviewFuse.com, and I found out a week ago that I actually won second place. If anyone wants to check it out, here's the link to their blog:
Of course, there are some errors (I'm not sure if these were mine when I submitted, or if they occurred during the publishing process), but it bugs me when I see them!
Anyway, this site runs a lot of different contests, so give it a shot...you have to actually participate in the critiquing portion of their site in order to be considered, but I think you only have to critique three works by other people. In any case, it's kind of cool how the site is set up.
Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!
Friday, December 4, 2009
I found this interesting and helpful.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Here is the YouTube video that Fred had referenced. When you want to add a video on another site, all you have to do is copy and past the line that says Embed. There’s an icon on the site for video. Click on this icon and embed the line from YouTube where it says Embed. BTW if anyone has anything like this that they would like to put on YouTube, let me know. I’ve been uploading videos for some time now. I’ve uploaded some videos of Yodeling Dick Brooks and have found that he’s on sites in Russia, China, and Japan.
I also noticed that, when this video ended, there were other videos along the same lines that we should view.
One big thing I got out of this video was that, if you look at the inside flap of a hard cover book, you’re in essence looking at the query letter.
You may find this interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn_BWHsFFmU&feature=channel
Monday, November 30, 2009
Since their new book was brought up at our last meeting, there are two opportunities to see them and have the book signed before our next meeting. This coming Friday, December 4th, (I can’t believe it’s December already) they will be at the Stifel Fine Arts Center, 1330 National Rd, Wheeling from 4-6 pm.
Also, I just received the following e-mail:
NEW PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Craig Karges, Wheeling’s own “Extraordinist,” returns along with co-author J. David Diosi on Tuesday, December 22 at noon to discuss the new book, Extraordinary Tales: Stories from the Road. One part travel memoir and one part encyclopedia of the paranormal, the book takes readers around the world to explore the mystery of Atlantis, King Solomon's Mines, the Ark of the Covenant, Jack the Ripper, the secrets of the pyramids, Bigfoot, the White Witch of Jamaica, the Bermuda Triangle, and WV’s Mothman. It's a fun-filled world of ghosts, vampires and crystal skulls. Don't miss the pre-Christmas magic at Lunch With Books!
There was a good article on the writing of this book in Sunday’s Life section of the Wheeling News-Register.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
In regards to your www.wlwritersagency.com
I sent this around some Pennwriters people and they flagged it as not good. Following are some comments I received:
It appears to be self-publishing website. Avoid.
I never heard of this agency, but red flags to me are:
* No contact information
* No full names of authors represented
* Lists upfront on the front page of the website "Special Program for Already Self-Published Authors".
* The "AEG Publishing Group" acquired this literary agency--a move that I can't imagine a traditional publisher doing.
* In AEG's press release, it states it is a Strategic Book Publishing and Strategic Book Marketing company. Sounds like a pay-to-publish or pay-to-market your books setup.
* Also in the press release, it states the reason for acquiring Strategic & Eloquent Books: "In their first 6 months of operations they have published over 100 authors and sold over 10,000 books. We think that is an amazing growth pattern." An average of 100 books per author sold in 6 months is NOT amazing.
It appears to fit "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" scenario.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Also you may want to check out http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=Home
Look for Writers Beware info. Very interesting.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
When I was attending the Newt Gingrich speech at the Capitol Theatre last Thursday, I happened to have a real life Medicine Man, Dr. Heynes Landveld, from Suriname, South America sitting 3 seats away from me. He had just flown in to this country that morning. His sponsor had just moved back to Wheeling from Florida. Dr. Landveld is going to be speaking at local colleges and schools from now until October 28th. I don’t have his schedule yet.
The reason I’m putting this in our blog is: They gave me a poster talking about Dr. Landveld and his connection with the rain forests. I went to their WEB site http://www.teddybearguardians.com/index.php and found that his sponsors have started a children’s book publishing business using the lessons he learned when he visited the rain forest. For those who are interested in children’s books or for those who are interested in a new and different marketing plan, check this site out.
BTW I’m writing this on my desk top using a new plug-in from Microsoft called Windows Live Writer. It’s free and will support multiple blogs since I have two blogs, soon to be three, that I’m on.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Here's the link: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
Of particular help is the Grammar and Mechanics tab on the right hand side of the homepage under Navigation.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Writer's Digest Workshops: http://www.writersonlineworkshops.com
Gotham Writers' Workshops: http://www.writingclasses.com
Writer's Village: http://www.writersvillage.com
Monday, October 12, 2009
Many writing conferences and workshops can be found by typing in “writing conference” and a particular state into a Google search. Many conferences are ‘on hiatus’ so it is best to call and determine its status before making plans. However I found the following which is a nice one stop search location:
http://writing.shawguides.com/ and click Writers Conferences and Workshops
You can type in the site’s search box for specific locations such as “Pittsburgh, PA” to limit findings.
Some select examples below:
2010 Conference: May 14 to 16 at the Best Western Eden Resort in Lancaster PA
WV Writers annual Summer Conference
June 11-13, 2010 at Cedar Lakes Conference Center near Ripley, WV.
Antioch Writers Workshop
Central Ohio Fiction Writers
However, it should be noted that many small but excellent conferences are not found on the Internet since many organizations host conferences locally for members but are gradually expanding. Case in point:
The Write-On Writers Conference
Coshocton, OH, held in Spring
Contact: Sharon Mooney (740) 623-8348 firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to network with others about conferences. Try to distribute contact information and dates through flyers you picked up at the last conference. Use e-mail, telephone calls, and libraries.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
8 phrases that don't mean what you think they mean
9 words that don't mean what you think they mean
Because sometimes writers just like to kick back and have fun outside the crossword.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Posted by Jo
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I was reluctant to reproduce Writer’s Digest’s entire article, “24 Agents Looking for New Writers,” due to plagiarism concerns. I wanted you to be aware of the 24 agents who are looking for new writers, and have posted a sample of the article. This article appeared in “Writer’s Digest” issue for September 2009. Here is a sampling of what you will find.
Emmanuelle Alspaugh, Agent
Fiction Interests: romance, women’s fiction, historical fiction
Nonfiction Interests: narrative nonfiction, memoir, business and how-to
Actively Seeking: paranormal, futuristic and historical romance, and urban fantasy
Does Not Want: detective stories, spy thrillers, cozy mysteries or any novel with a dead body in the first chapter
Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Agent
Specializes in: nonfiction and graphic novels
Nonfiction interests: image-rich books, pop culture, light sociology and narrative nonfiction.
Does Not Want: sci-fi, Western or children’s books
Michelle Brower, Agent
Nonfiction Interests: memoir, pop culture, humor, animal/pet books, popular science and narrative nonfiction
Fiction Interests: literary and commercial fiction, including thrillers, graphic novels, select YA titles, books that capture elements of the strange and wonderful, and those that offer a unique perspective of the world.
Does Not Want: cozies, romance, picture books, genre sci-fi or horror
Re: Required Word Count for Books
— It varies somewhat, depending on the genre
— Most books today are about 100,000 words
— 60,000 words equals approximately 300 pages
— Nonfiction books are typically around 400 pages
Fred’s Notes From the Patricia Harman Lecture:
— Harman received 85 rejection letters. (I heard in President Obama’s recent speech that J.K. Rowling only received something like 12 rejection letters for “Harry Potter.”) When we start getting hand-written rejection letters, then we know that we’re getting close and that we’ve arrived as writers.
— Nonfiction writers will get rejected on the basis of query letters and proposals. That’s why those must be perfect.
— In the publishing world, these are the steps for fiction writers:
1. write the book
2. query an agent
3. send synopsis and three chapters
4. agent sells book
5. the publisher buys
—These are the steps for nonfiction writers:
1. query an agent
2. write a book proposal
3. the publisher pays you for the book up front, and you finish writing it with a set deadline
— Writing a good query letter is essential. Must be perfect. Last month’s Writer’s Digest has sample query letters “that worked.”
— Fred says if we’re serious about writing, he recommends that we attend writers’ conferences.
— As strange as it sounds, we might consider hiring a writing coach to assist us with our proposals. Their services cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $130-$150.
— When our books sell to a publishing company, we should expect a significant amount of editing from multiple editors: writing editor, marketing department, copy editors, etc.
Rich has been a storyteller for years. He has lots of original stories. He’s sent them to magazines, giving their editors permission to cut and edit however they saw fit, and they’d accept his writing. Rich said magazines are nice, but they don’t pay much, if at all.
He went to storyteller conferences and attended a workshop on getting published. Soon he met up with an editor, who assisted him on his journey.
Rich said even if you get your book on the shelves of a major bookstore chain, you face very tough odds that anybody will even pick your book up, amid a sea of competition and better-known authors. He said distribution is the key and a big challenge.
Rich learned that his collection of stories needed to have a unifying theme. This is how he started sorting his material into tall tales, ghost stories, etc.
He learned to rewrite and revise very well, because working with an editor who’s paid by the hour is quite expensive and therefore motivating.
Rich noted that being a writer is a professional endeavor — a business whose expenses could be written off against your taxes. Rich emphasized the importance of paying your taxes and keeping receipts and good records of all your publishing and book-related expenditures.
He said book stores insist on having the bar code on the book’s cover (and the price???) He said in self-publishing, you need to give away as few free copies as possible, because you lose money on each unsold book. Inevitably, Rich said, there are at least 10 copies that must be given away, such as two copies to Amazon.com; two to the Library of Congress; a couple of autographed copies for your editor, illustrator; and then a few promotional copies for the sales reps, etc.
Rich used the West Virginia Book Company . He said it has a good Web site. This company will edit, copyright, help with building a Web site, etc.
Rich got his book into several sales venues, but Tamarack has been one of his best places for sales. He said he made his money back that he spent on his publishing venture in 8 or 9 months.
Rich said in order to get your book on a big chain’s shelves, such as Books-A-Million, there’s lots of paperwork that must be filled out every time you submit a shipment of books (which are very few). He decided it just wasn’t worth his time to fill out the submission forms each time for two or three book sales.
Another important comment that Rich made was that he initially began this publishing investment already having the extra money to spend. He said he had money set aside for a big, model train set, but he decided to pay for self-publishing, instead. What it seemed like he was suggesting, or at least, the point I took from this, was that Rich wasn’t betting the farm, so to speak, on the success of his book sales. Smart.
Fred said now that Rich has proven himself as a salable author, he might have a lot of success with pursuing the traditional agent/publishing-company route. Rich has already built a platform.
Items We Reviewed From Our Previous Meeting:
— In the writing industry, always remember that money flows to the author, not from the author.
— Two big objectives of our writers’ “support group” are to inspire one another and be motivated to write more.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Next Tuesday's Lunch with Books looks very interesting to aspiring writers. Here's a copy of the e-mail describing the program:
LUNCH WITH BOOKS
Up Next: The Art of Nature with artist and naturalist Julie Zickefoose
Tuesday, September 29th: The Art of Nature
On Tuesday, September 29 at noon, naturalist, writer, & artist Julie Zickefoose will be at the Ohio County Public Library’s Lunch With Books program to discuss her book, Letters from Eden, which offers scenes from her beloved southern Ohio home. The scenes illuminate well-crafted essays based on her daily walks and observations. The book explores the interactions between people and animals. Julie Zickefoose began her career as a field biologist and became a magazine and book illustrator. Her monthly commentaries bring a glimpse of Appalachia to NPR's All Things Considered. Her appearance is sponsored by West Liberty’s Hughes Lecture Series. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are provided. Please call the library at 304-232-0244 for more information.
To learn more about this author, you can visit her WEB site at http://www.juliezickefoose.com/index.php
I just looked at Julie's WEB site and was very impressed with it. You can read some of her nature writings, order her prints, and learn more of her background. The WEB site design would work for any writer who wants to show and sell his stuff on the internet. As a WEB site designer myself, I consider it well laid out and very user friendly.
I came across this site while researching on-line printing for my photography efforts: http://www.qoop.com/ Scroll down and look at the links on the right side of the page to find the areas devoted to publishing. For someone like me who's interested in both writing and photography, this is perfect since they will print both on the same page.
If anyone is working on children's books, you can check out the local talent found at Artworks Around Town in the Centre Market Area of Wheeling. Anne Foreman does all the illustrations for Joe Roxby's books on early frontier life in Wheeling. If it's photography you need, I'm available. You can see samples of my work at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/41694147@N03/
It has a pretty good PDF document explaining the way to write your novel, what's needed, costs, etc. It explains how you can even design your own cover and the various options on binding, etc. That address is: https://my.qoop.com/_files/qoopSelfPubGde.pdf
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
This site was mentioned in a daily newsletter that I receive. URL is http://www.sniplits.com/ . Briefly you can submit your books via e-mail in various genres. Once on the site, go to the Author's Room and you can see what they will pay in advance for your story and how and when to submit it. They will do the voice recording so people can download it in MP3 format.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
In answer to question one - Yes. But, fewer words should not be cumbersome. It simply means we must become better writers so we can make the most of the few words we use in a sentence.
Question Two - Determine if you are rewriting or editing. To rewrite is to change the basic thought or theme. To edit is to clean up, but not rewrite, a work. The best way to be our own judge is to move on and come back later. Either write further into your book and put it down and return to the questionable section later. Ask for a second opinion from someone you trust. Remember - it is not broken, don't fix it.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Did you ever force yourself to so something even though you didn't feel like doing.?
That happened to me Monday when I went to Moundsville to hear author Patricia Harman talk about her book and about the publishing business.
I did not want to go. Too tired. Hungry. Wasn't interested in hearing about women's health issues. Probably nothing there for me.
Pass the humble pie, please.
Patricia Harman was great. She projected such a sweet spirit and a total passion for her book.
She hit on some interesting talking points that confirmed some things I already know and some things I was glad to learn.
* Writing a query letter is harder than writing a book.
* A non fiction book proposal should be about 100 pages (that includes three chapters of book or about one-half)
* You may want to hire a writing coach to help with your proposal.
* Most books today are 100,000 words.
* Expect lots of editing from more than one editor. She had to remove some original chapters and replace them with new ones.
* She had 85 rejections before getting published.
Finally - she said anyone seeking an agent should go to www.agentquery.com