Setting up an email list

NewsletterI’ve finally broken down and listened to the advice many successful authors have passed on for years. No, it’s not, ‘Write every day.’ I’ve given up ever pulling that off while I have small children and live in the frozen north (for the record, I do try to follow that advice, but my version goes something more like, ‘Pray the kids aren’t sick and go to school so I can write!’). No, the advice I’m talking about centers around my author platform and communication.

I’ve finally set up a newsletter subscription on my blog! Read more

Rejection Rituals

As part of my weekly writing schedule, one day a week I submit work to various literary magazines or online journals. I can honestly say that so far it’s worked! Granted I’ve only been working off my new schedule for two weeks, but hey, it’s a start =). I started my new writing schedule last week and wanted to make sure I had the rules laid out clearly.

  1. I can submit poetry, flash, contest submissions, short stories, or any other type of prose.

That’s it. I like simplicity.

The only thing left to do was a choose a day. On Mondays I only get about an hour, or an hour and a half to ‘work’ and when I write, I like having big chunks of undisturbed time. Especially if I’m working on revisions, which can require a bit of mental multitasking. Every week I was stressing myself out about how little I accomplished on Mondays, which meant they were the perfect choice for submission days. Now I had a rule and a day. Read more

Honorable Mention

My short story, “Body Talk,” has received honorable mention in a contest. You can check out the Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest – Summer 2015 winners here. My name is under those talented folks who won, along with nine other honorable mentions. Go us!

It couldn’t have come at a better time, either. I’ve been focused on the kids a lot over the past couple of weeks and it feels like the writing is dragging. Whenever that happens, I get discouraged. Good news always puts me back on track =).

“Bug Out” Published

Over the weekend, the latest edition of Perihelion Online Science Fiction Magazine came out. This is important for science-fiction fans because the online magazine is free, which means you now have 11 new stories and articles to read. I’m happy about it because my short story “Bug Out” is one of those new stories. They even added some artwork to it, which looks fantastic. I’m honored for another reason, too, though. If you look at the author names, you’ll see I’m one of only two female writers featured in a genre where women are the minority. That feels great.

You can read my story here: “Bug Out.” Don’t forget to come back and tell me what you think.

Oh, and read some of the other stories, too. I did =). If you enjoyed the stories, consider making a donation to the site. Perihelion is one of the few free online magazines which still pays for submissions.

*Edit (March 2018): The links above are no longer active. Each issue of Perihelion remains  online for six months, and then the rights revert back to the author. I have since made “Bug Out” available on Amazon as a short story. 

Tracking Submissions

Remember these?
Remember these?

I’ve been submitting work to magazines since the days of paper submissions. If you’re too young to remember that period of time, this is how it worked:

1) Buy the latest copy of Writer’s Market

2) Spend hours looking up markets accepting unsolicited work, who happen to accept the genre you’ve written in, and are looking for your style. If they pay anything, that’s a bonus! 

3) Order a pizza every night for a week and stay up until midnight each night crafting fantastically generic, but personal, cover letters for each submission.

4) Address all the envelopes and lovingly stuff in your masterpieces, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope.  

5) Double check all envelopes for pizza stains.  Read more

If you don’t have a Booklaunch page yet, you should!

Are you an author?

Do you have a Booklaunch page?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the first question, but ‘no’ to the second, you’re missing out.

Despite their name, Booklaunch isn’t just a page for people ‘launching’ a new book. It’s a page for anyone who has written a book and is selling it on emarkets. Check out the Booklaunch page I created for my book, Ashborne. I know I’m biased, but isn’t it beautiful? Now imagine your book there. It’s a beautiful advertising poster just for you and it’s free.  All you need is your kindle book id number and you’re good to go. They have a handy tutorial to walk you through everything, but I don’t think you’ll need it. I’m not lying when I say it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever set up on the internet. Read more

When Opportunity Beats a Different Drum

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Joanna Penn of http://www.thecreativepenn.com/

I got the message yesterday at 10:00 am.

“Marie at work thought you might be interested in this.”

In the e-mail from my husband, I found a link to an announcement on LinkedIn about a Pop-up Bookstore. Authors were encouraged to come listen to three key-note speakers share their insights and experience on building an author brand, while mingling and potentially selling copies of their books.

I don’t know who Marie is, but I owe her lunch, a drink and a hug. Her email was the voice of Opportunity, and for a moment I listened, instead of drowning it out with all the reasons why I couldn’t, or shouldn’t. Read more

Why I Signed Preston’s Petition to Amazon

cropped-cas-iphone-feb-0012.jpgI did it. I signed the petition calling for Amazon to release Hatchette books. There’s so much anger about this issue out there, I’m half-frightened I’ll turn around and find I’m surrounded by an army of my own indie-published peers with raised pitchforks.

For those who don’t know, Amazon and Hatchette Book Group (one of the Big 5 traditional publishing houses) have been deadlocked in contract negotiations. An article doing its best to stay neutral has summed up the dispute between Hatchette and Amazon here and the WSJ’s brief article on the Amazon-Hatchette dispute also does a good job of detailing the issues. During these negotiations, Amazon began flexing its muscles by delaying shipments, removing the ‘buy’ buttons from selected Hatchette titles, encouraging readers to buy other selections, removing discounts, and removing the ‘pre-order’ buttons. There are plenty of articles on the internet detailing the tactics. If you’ve got an afternoon to kill, any Google search will net you enough information to entertain you for hours.
Read more

Author Diversity

Last week I ran across a fantastic article discussing the challenges foreign authors face. I’m an American, but I live in a foreign country and I felt an immediate kinship with the author as they recounted the challenges they face. Talk about a nightmare sometimes. At the top of my list are virtual marketing and tax issues. Then it dawned on me. I don’t even run into a tenth of the challenges a true international author must overcome. Read more