Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dealing With Writing Deadlines

As a writer, we are always faced with deadline of one type or another.  We have to manage those deadlines or they will get the better of us by stopping the creative juices and robbing us of valuable sales time.

The deadline monster can be tamed if you know the right formula.  I personally use 5 steps to keep me on track when I face writing deadlines and I know that they can work for you too.

  1. Remove all distractions.  Things you may not even think of as a distraction away from the task at hand usually are.  From the ever ringing cell phone, television & the internet, to your spouse and even your children, anything that steals your attention from writing has to be removed.
  2. Create special times during the week just for writing.  This may not sound important, but it can help you to get a handle on removing your distractions.  Anyways, creating special writing times allows you to focus 100% of your attention on writing and not on other tasks.
  3. You must create an Outline.  Outlines are not just for grade school, they help you to create a ‘business plan’ for your book.  You can later use this plan when you get stumped or confused about your storyline. 
                      Title: The Withering Shrub
+Chapter One: Caleb and Beth are introduced into the town.  Madness  insures when Beth is kidnapped by bank robbers.
+Caleb’s hand is forced, and he gives up looking for Beth.
+Chapter ends as Caleb exits the bar.

  1. Focusing on the task at hand.  If you are like me, your attention span may be really, really short.  If you follow the suggestions above, you will create a perfect space in which to write that removes everything else.
  2. Treat writing your ‘whatever’ as your other job.  If you have a primary job and you write on the side, then you may not be giving your book the justice that it deserves.  If your book becomes wildly successful and popular it can give you thousands of dollars in extra income.      
When it comes to writing, a master plan is everything.  Take time know to develop your plan of action before you start writing to ensure that your book is written with time and profits in mind.

Good Free Reads:

Writing Under Pressure (pdf) by Susanne Weingarten
Procrastination, Deadlines and Preformance (pdf) by D. Ariely

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Using Literary Awards to Improve Your Marketing Image

If you have never written a book before, or you wrote a book and had it published, but the only sales you had were your own, then you can benefit from using the power of literary awards to increase your authorship standing in the world.
In the literary award bin, there are contest that are free to enter and those that cost to enter. According to, there are over 4,800 literary magazines today.  A contest may be for a magazine or a book collection and may range from a very short story to a very long story.  When a person wins a contest, instant notoriety is created. 

You may be asked to do a television, radio, newspaper, or online interviews, and this is when it is important to be in the process of finishing or to have a book already published and for sale.  Any shout out you can give yourself will create instant sales of your book or books; especially if you can win an award that is well known.

Also, literary contest may be specific to your state, city, writing genre, gender, et cetera.  Don’t let this get you down because it may be to your benefit because it artificially creates a smaller constant pool.  You have to follow the money trail, which is usually with magazines.

All contest that have a website will also have a submission page that you can use to review the expected writing styles and to also read past winning stories.  You won’t win a contest if you don’t conform to what they are looking for.  You have to be flexible and adapt your style, but if you don’t want to win, don’t change a thing.

Popular Writing Contests

Literary Magazines

Glimmer Train – Publishes unsolicited stories and pays out over $50,000 to fiction writers.
The New Yorker – Accepts Fiction, poetry, Shouts & Murmurs, and newsbreaks.
Zoetrope - 2014 Short Fiction Contest opens July 1, 2014.
Boulevard – Short fiction contest (closed) and the Poetry contest for Emerging Poets closes on June 1, 2014.

Science Fiction

Strange Horizons - Speculative fiction, broadly defined, 5,000 to 9,000 words.  They pay 8 cents per word if accepted.
Asimov’s Science Fiction – Accepts character oriented short stories and poetry and pays accordingly.  Visit website for complete details. 

Other Contests

A listing of other contest can be found at Poets and WritersMagazine -
When it comes to being successful in the writing world, we have to get our names in the heads and our books in the hands of book reviewers and book editors.  Any additional effort that you can put fourth towards your writing career can only benefit you in the end.

Writer’s Market
Poet’s and Writers Magazine
Yes, You Can Make Money Writing Fiction, by Patricia Fry
Forty-four Literary Magazines To Submit To, by
(book) Let’s Write A Short Story by Joe Bunting
Library of Congress Photo-stream -






Friday, February 7, 2014

Co-op Publishing, Is It For You?

How Can A Co-op Help You?

So, you want to publish a book, but you don’t want to use an indie title such as Kindle, Create A Space, and you don’t want to pay to have your book published through a vanity press, so what do you do?

You join or create your own co-op publisher.  A co-op is when a group of people get together to form an entity that benefits the group.  In this instance, the group formed is writers, literary agents, sales people, and publishers that help to drive down the cost of publishing and marketing books.

Book publishing co-op’s were created over eighty years ago as a way to help book publishers and bookseller’s during the great depression.  Normally, literary agents are not a part of co-op publishing process.

There are a few true co-op publishers that exists.
With co-op publishing, authors have to pay to have their books published, but in return, they receive a higher percentage of royalties.  Co-ops usually work very well for self-published writers.

Current co-op publishing uses a model set during the Great Depression and usually lacks the benefits of traditional publishing such as marketing and advertising.  But all of the members of a co-op publisher must belong to the co-op to have use of the co-op services. 

Co-ops offer authors and writers an excellent platform for getting your books published if you don't want to try self-publishing.  Co-ops offers its members nearly every service it takes to get your books published.

Benefits of Co-op
  • Lower Publishing Costs
  • Higher Royalties
  • Lower Promotional Costs
  • Very Low Membership Fees

Publishing Co-ops:

Author's Publishing Cooperative  :

New Mexico Book Co-op :

Independent Book Publishers Association :

Northern California Publishers & Authors :

Ocean Cooperative Publishing :

Columbus Creative Cooperative :

  • The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cooperative Publishing by Donald Bastian
  • The Absolute Write Water Cooler
  • Nathan Bransford
  • Backstory : A publishing co-op: An idea whose time has come?