Monthly Archives: April 2012

2012 Writers Conferences and Why You Benefit From Attending

One of the main benefits of attending a writers retreat or conference is the opportunity to meet editors, agents, publishers and other writers.  Widening your circle of connections in the literary world can help you mark your own presence in that world, learn about the publishing industry, and how to get your book published.  Just a few of the many retreat offers:

Jackson Hole, WY, June 28 – 30, 2012

Program Description
Three manuscript critiques with authors & editors. Tracks for fiction, creative nonfiction, magazine, young adult, and poetry; workshops, talks & craft sessions.
Program Length 3 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio 4:1
Program Focus:  Children’s, Fiction, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Travel, Young Adult
Costs:   Early bird $365


Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, July 26 – 28, 2012

Program Description
5 morning workshops with same presenter each day; large forum readings and discussions with editors, agents, & newly published authors; afternoon lecture sessions on craft.
Program Length 3 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio workshops 15:1
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Children’s, Fiction, Journalism, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Screenwriting, Young Adult
Faculty 13+ presenters. Includes authors, editors & literary agents.
Costs:   Earlybird $525. $60/consultation. Lodging $55-$250 & camping; hostel-like farmhouse $18-$25/night.

Squaw Valley, California  July, August 2012

Program Description
Morning workshops, afternoon panel discussions, individual conferences, craft lectures, staff readings
Program Length 7 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio 20-124
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Poetry and Screenwriting
Faculty 28 instructors for the Fiction Workshop, 5 for the Poetry Workshop, 8 for the Screenwriting Workshop.
Costs:   $840 includes 6 dinners. Shared (single) lodging in local houses & condos arranged for $350 ($550)/week; inexpensive bunk bed available.

Purchase, NY   June 25 – 29, 2012

Program Description
Five 3-hour morning workshops in a particular genre (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry,Writing for Young Readers, Graphic Novel). Afternoons include special workshops, readings, session with editors & agents, and individual manuscript consultation.
Program Length 4-1/2 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio 80-100
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Children’s, Fiction, Marketing, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Screenwriting, Young Adult
Costs:   $725 for the week. 2 graduate credits are also available for graduate tuition (extra fee).

Edmonds, WA, September 30 – October 2, 2012

Program Description
Focus is on the craft of writing. 4 sessions/day & a choice of 4 workshops/session; Saturday keynote, pre-conference workshops on Friday.
Program Length 2-1/2 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio Max 200
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Business/Technical, Children’s, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Travel, Young Adult
Faculty:  30 additional presenters speaking on a variety of topics.
Costs:   $139/2 days ($116 early bird), $72/1 day. Pre-conference workshops $68, writing contest entry $10, manuscript critique $25, Keynote (open to the public) $16 adult/$10 student.


Santa Barbara, CA, June 9 – 14, 2012

Program Description
Daily AM & PM concurrent workshops & plenary sessions, evening speakers, panels, Advance
Submission with agents & editors, late-night pirate workshops.
Program Length 6 days
Group Size or S:T Ratio 200
Program Focus:  Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Humor, Journalism, Marketing, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Screen-writing, Travel,
Faculty: 30 daily faculty plus evening speakers
Costs   $625 includes barbecue, cocktail reception, awards banquet.


Corte Madera, CA, August 9 – 12, 2012

(Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco)
Conference Coordinator: Kathryn Petrocelli
Phone: (800) 999-7909 ext 239

Geared to Food & Travel writers and photographers this Conference has an extraordinary, international reputation among publishers, editors, and writers. This four-day Conference offers an array of writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations.
The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, guidebook writers and more.



Key West, FL, every January

Program Description
4-day seminar includes readings, conversations, lectures, panel discussions. 4-day writers’ workshops feature AM writing sessions (limit 8-12/instructor) and PM individual consultations, talks, open readings.
Program Length Seminar: 4 days / Workshops: 4 days each
Group Size or S:T Ratio Seminar: 350-400 / Workshops: 12:1
Program Focus
Autobiography/Memoir, Children’s, Fiction, Humor, Journalism, Mystery, Nature, Non-fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Publishing, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Screenwriting, Travel, Young Adult
Costs   Seminar $495; Workshops $450.

For a full list of writers retreats in the USA go to:



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Magazine Freelance Writing Jobs

Freelance Writing Addresses


Action Alliance for Children works to inform, educate, connect, and inspire people who work with and on behalf of children throughout California. We provide useful, reader-friendly information on current issues, trends, and public policies that affect children and families, for families, early care and education staff, people who work with them, and advocates.
Pays 25 cents/word.

The guide to electronic tools and resources for school library and media specialists for kindergarten through grade 12.
Articles 1,500 words and pay up to $500.


School Library Journal reviews new children’s and young adult general trade books, original paperbacks, and reference books from established publishers. School Library Journal, is the leading print magazine, and now serving librarians who work with young people in schools and public libraries. The two resources give librarians up-to-date information needed to integrate libraries into the school curriculum, become leaders in the areas of technology, reading, and information literacy, and create high-quality collections for children and young adults. Pays $400.

Submit a tutorial to Wptuts+. We only accept tutorials that match the site’s standards of both writing and tutorial content. If your tutorial is accepted, we’ll pay an agreed USD
rate per tutorial published (make an offer!), and you’ll get to help your fellow WordPress development afficionados!
Pays from $60 to $500 depending on the complexity and level of the tutorial.

Accepts manuscripts on spec basis. Prefers queries. No poetry or fiction. Kiki is a magazine for girls who love life, appreciate creativity, and recognize good ideas. A Kiki reader thinks for herself, has her own look, and is on her way to being a confident, strong, and smart young woman. She’s a girl with style and substance!
Pays 50 cents to $1/word.

Good Housekeeping addresses 25 million women. Most are married with children (anywhere from newborn to college age, but predominantly in the 6-12 age group) and work outside the home.
Submissions will be reviewed for the Blessings column on the back page. Submissions should be 500 words, about a person or event that proved to be a blessing in your life. We will also review health narratives — stories of women (or a family member) who’ve overcome a significant medical problem, undergone a medical “first” or had a dramatic rescue.

Northwest Regional Magazines publishes Northwest Travel and Oregon Coast, bimonthly family-oriented magazines, plus two calendars and several travel guides. New and established writers and photographers are invited to submit queries, manuscripts, and slide or digital photographs. High quality photography improves acceptance odds.
Features pay from $100 to $650. Features and departments pay $50 to $250.

Provides topical, in-depth reports on crucial and controversial issues confronting the region-business trends, political analysis, metropolitan planning, sociological trends, plus critical reviews of the cultural, sports and entertainment scene. Articles range from law enforcement to fashion, voting trends to travel, transportation to theatre, also includes background studies of the area’s newsmakers.
Articles 3,000 to 6,000 words. Columns are 1,000 to 4,000 words.
Sister publications include Philadelphia Home and Philadelphia Wedding.



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Lend Your Kindle Books to Friends for 14 Days

Amazon e-Book Lending

Amazon launched a while ago book lending for Kindle e-books. On participating titles, you can lend books to anyone for 2 weeks.

Here’s how it works:
To determine whether a title is lendable before buying, just check the product details section on the Amazon book listing. To check on books you’ve already bought, just point your browser to the Manage Your Kindle page, scroll down to the Your Orders section, and click the plus sign next to your books.

Lend-able books will display a “Loan this Book” button. Click the “Loan this Book” option and enter the email address. You’re done!

Keep in mind that as long as the person has a Kindle, ore use a Windows or Mac computer, or has an iOS/Android/BlackBerry/Windows Phone 7 device, they can access your lended book.

It would be great if publishers include “lendability” either as a standard or as an option, but many publishers are against it, apparently.  It’s also important to note that even books that are loanable can only be loaned once.



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Why Don’t You Have a Business Card?

Don’t procrastinate it any longer.  Print business cards to advertise yourself as an author and add the web address(es) where your books can be found.

Hand the cards out to everyone you meet and post the cards on community bulletin boards at bookstores and add it to each book you ship out.

Pricing Example from some random Internet sites:
$12.95 – 1,000 cards – 4 color front – or $36.50 for 5,000 cards
$15.00 – 1,000 cards – 4 color front & back – or $39.90 for 5,000 cards

Other inexpensive options include:  or
(both Canada)

The blogger Robin Sullivan: “Here are some business card recommendations:

  • Include a picture of your book(s) – as much important as your name
  • Have a tagline that differentiates your book from others, and also the genre
  • Include your twitter, Google+, your blog and email – ways to reach you.
  • Don’t give out your phone number – as a writer you need to control if, when and how you are interrupted
  • Use your publishers logo – even if you’ve made your own publishing company putting a logo on the card, this will give you some added credibility (people won’t know it’s your own company)

If you have several books place them on the back of your business card. With one, put the cover on the front.

Once you have the cards get them out there. Here are some tips:

  • Leave your business card in every one of your books that is displayed in a library or a book store.
  • If you have any casual conversation and you happen to mention that you write don’t leave without passing out a card
  • Are you a speaker at a panel of a conference, tell people to come up afterward and get your card
  • Going out to dinner with a friend and a bunch of their friends you don’t know – given them a card when they ask you “what do you do”

For such a small expense, you really need to get yourself business cards. Make them attractive, and use them often. Besides, on those days when you are feeling kind of blue take out a card and remind yourself what you are in this for.”





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Did You Write Several Books? Register as Publisher!

Congratulations to every author who accomplishes this. You really have earned your royalties. For sure, the “Taxman” is as happy as you are. But you also had expenses and should be able to deduct them from taxes that you pay for royalties. For sure you will write more books, so it is almost natural to register as publisher and deduct even more expenses:

• Computer, printer, fax, scanner, copier and other office equipment
• Furniture, carpet, blinds, cleaning material, cost for a maid etc.
• Telephone, cell, wireless, cable
• Insurances, banking fees
• Software and computer training
• Travel cost such as hotel, car, taxi, plane
• Car payments, car insurance, gas, repairs
• Webhosting, Domain name, web designer
• e-Book conversions, cover design, editing, copy editing, layout and desktop publishing
• Writers and publisher conferences
• Rent / Mortgage and Heating / Electricity etc. for the space you work in – and storage for your books if you go the “paper route”

Valuable tips to set up your own publishing company and take the tax breaks are described in detail in Dan Poynter’s book “Self-publishing Manual”.  More small business advices, loaded with information how to save taxes, can also be found in these Amazon books:

• 101 Tax Saving Ideas
• Lower Your Taxes – Big Time!

Learn more about the process to become a small publisher from these blogs & web sites:

The advantages of business ownership for independent authors far outweigh the work involved.  And deciding to write a book means, that you already have decided to be in business.  Go for it!  What holds you back?



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Review Tip: Send a Query to Los Angeles Literary Reviews

Photo: Observer

The Los Angeles Review is a nationally-distributed literary journal published by Red Hen Press in Pasadena.

We now offer a limited number of book reviews to authors who have self-published works of fiction, nonfiction or memoir of at least 60,000 words, or collections of poetry of 60 or more pages.

We recognize that advancements in digital technology have made self-publishing a viable alternative to traditional publishing.

However, few literary journals review books in this growing and potentially important field. Our goal is to publish at least one review of a self-published book per month throughout the year.

Please submit a query letter and the first five to ten pages of the manuscript. Please do not include any other materials at this time. There is a $3 fee to submit, the same fee charged to submit fiction, poetry or non-fiction.

To submit, please go to



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Top Forums for Self-Publishers

Barry Eisler once said:
“All writers think of what they do as an art.
Smart writers understand that writing is also a business.
Really smart writers see themselves also as entrepreneurs.”

Great help on your way to become a writer / entrepreneur are these forums:

John Kremer’s Book Marketing Network  
THE book-marketing guru John Kremer founded this community, which has groups, forums, blogs and other social-media functions. A 5,000+ member forum where you can interact with other authors and participate in active discussions.

Absolute Write Water Cooler 
This large community of writers offers conversation, discussion and enlightenment on many writing-related
topics. There is a Self-Publishing and POD forum, as well as over 500 threaded conversations which makes searching the archives easy with their treasure trove of helpful tips.

Small Publishers Association of North America
Created and run by the Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN), this new social network has
great forums. Topics are mostly blogs and books, and other things small publishers focus.

The Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Community    
From “Perfect dimensions for cover image” and “How Do You Decide the Price of Your Book?” to “How to write and publish books without an aggregator”.

The Writers Workshop   
An active British Writers Community. There is a forum part: Find out How To Get Published and one “Explore the best book on Getting Published”, “Self-publishing in the UK” or “Your experience with POD publishing”.

Romance Writers of America Forums   
Run by the Romance Writers of America, actually two forums, has a self-publishing and small press forum – but it is “for members only”. So if you are writing in this genre, join the friendly folks here.

Support for Multi Media Self-Publishing   
This small forum is not only dedicated to authors, but also photographers, video producers etc. Topics are e-Books, PDFs, reports & other digital documents, posts are i.e. “How to construct a landing page”, “Social media goes mobile”.

Now you might have an idea why you should join self-publisher forums? Your fellow self-publishers / small publishers have been there – done that. These forums are a cornucopia of freely shared knowledge, entertainment, generous support and friendly colleagues.



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Self-Publishing Success Stories

Photo Andrew Magill

Amazing figures !  Today’s post is just a link to a blog about – you guess it:

Self-Publishing Success Stories

I know some of these authors, as I constantly “meet” them

on social media networking sites or on their blogs.

A very encouraging read, and as the blogger mentions,

these authors all wrote great books, with great covers

and they do a lot of (free) promotion on the Internet.

Happy writing & promoting!



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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Bestsellers, Marketing


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Free Advertising Overseas

Free-lancers and self-publishers have a few things in common, including limited budgets and thus a need to be creative. Maybe that’s why Jess, my friend, agreed to take along a copy of “Bella” and send back a fantastic photo, showing the book against the backdrop of the Argentinean Andes.

The other part of my “overseas advertising” plan is to have her leave the book in some well-trafficked area, say a hotel lobby or busy cafe.  Whoever picks it up will see a note from the author inside the front cover that says:

“Dear Friend, By chance, you have happened on my “message in a bottle”. It has made its way into your hands all the way from my home in Rockville, MD, a quiet town outside of Washington, D.C.
My message is simple. I have written a story called Bella, about a widow’s quest to learn the truth about her husband’s mysterious death, and her affair with a reporter she lures into the investigation. There is a short, engaging video that tells more. Please watch it at: Though we are an ocean apart, you can send me a message too.  Use: steve a t  I very much appreciate your interest and feedback. If you like Bella, please tell your friends and help us spread the word.”

This idea has produced interesting photos from Greece, Italy, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Peru, and now, a mysterious little city in Argentina.  I hope to hear soon from someone in Ushuaia.

Re-blog from:



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What Does it Cost to Publish?

Dan Poynter, the self-publishing guru  wrote:

“Let’s compare prices for traditional ink-press printing, digital PQN (Print Quantity Needed) and POD (Print-On-Demand, one book at a time). We will compare a softcover (perfect bound) 144 page 5.25 x 8.25 book with black text and a four-color cover. These estimates depend on the current prices for paper, labor etc.

1. Press (ink on paper): $1.55 each but you have to print at least 3,000 to get a price this low. So, your print bill will be $4,650.

2. Digital printer (short run): 500 copies for $2.80 each or a print bill of $1,400, or 100 copies for $5.17 each and a print bill of $517. For more details, see The Self-Publishing Manual.

3. POD (single copies): May run $6 to $10 and are often bundled with other services. Print-On-Demand is a good option when a book has run its course, your inventory is exhausted and you still receive orders for a couple of copies a month. Rather than invest in inventory, you can have books made one-at-a-time as needed.

Hardcover:  Most books are manufactured with soft covers, called “perfect binding.” In traditional printing, hard or “case” binding runs about $1.00 extra per book. For digital production, the cost for case binding is $1.65 to $3.25 each, depending on the page count (thickness) of the book. Those prices include the hard covers and the dust jackets. Then there is typesetting which most of us do on our computers, book cover design and other pre-press expenses.

Well before and after the book is printed, it has to be promoted with book reviews, news releases and social media networking on Twitter, Google+, FB, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. For a book like the one described here, you should budget about $3,000 to $5,000 to get started. A good portion of your budget will be spent on promoting the book after it is printed.

Why not recording your book on tape, disk and download?
You are not just an author or just a publisher or just a book promoter, you are an information provider. Some of your potential customers commute or travel a lot; they do not have time to read your book. But they do have time to listen to it.

You are an expert in your area. You must dispense your information in many ways: Books, magazine articles, audiotape, video tape, seminars, speeches, and private consulting. All of the messages are the same but the delivery method for each is different. Spoken-word recording is an efficient delivery medium. Use your book as a script and record it word for word.”

More tips for REAL self-publishers can be found in his books, his many books I must say.

Register your publishing business
To be found by other authors and potential customers, add your company to these publishing directories: (forum)

Become a member of the Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Organization. They provide information, resources and opportunities for everyone involved in or interested in publishing, whether you are an author or small publisher.



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Writer Beware, Beware and Beware Even More!

This morning I received an email from Attorney and Writer Mark Levine who created an outstanding book, every author should read:  “Book Publishers Compared”.   He sent me
The Author’s Bill of Rights”.  

It starts with: “ All author’s have the right to expect certain things from a self-publishing company.  Only choose a publisher that …”

I am totally disagreeing with him in calling publishing services  “Publishers” (which are in fact printers or agents for printers or e-book formatters or agents for formatters). They are absolutely NOT!  The term “publisher” is unfortunately not regulated by law and it takes a long time to get this oxymoron out of people’s mind and writing.

Anyway, he wrote a very fine book (and e-book) that involved a lot of research and will help to save hopefully many writers in the future from signing unfavorable, unethical or right-out criminal contracts.  Please read also these articles I wrote in the past about POD or Vanity publishers:

and this one about a description of Dan Poynters book,  how you can publish completely independent  – he does it since the 70s:

As Victoria Strauss wrote: “There are sharks out there in the literary waters. Literary deceptions abound, from fee-charging agents to dishonest editors to …”  

Hopefully you check out these advises and get a lawyers’ opinion before you sign your rights away – not like a friend of mine years ago when she signed a contract for all of her books, not even worldwide but through the whole universe – and for a term 70, in words: seventy years!!! after her dead.  She had to pay more than CAN $5,000 to get her book “published”, by a Renfrew, Ontario, Canada, print shop who keeps his machines busy by unaware writers, who want their manuscripts seen on book store shelves.


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Where to Find Your Potential Readers

Publishing your own books, especially non-fiction, has become an amazing option for lots of authors, not only for your new books, but also for books that have been published in the past and for which you now own the publishing rights.

But publishing your books is one thing and getting those books to the readers who buy and read them.  Let’s find out:

  • who these readers are
  • what they like
  • what they’re willing to pay for your books
  • where they hang out
  • how they like to communicate

There are easy and free ways to find this information. You’re probably not going to be surprised, but the first place you should head is your nearest Google search bar.  Google knows more than anyone about what’s going on online. It’s up to us to learn how to use this incredible resource to find our readers.

Let’s say you write about glider flying. Use Google to search form “glider flying forums” and “aviation discussion boards.” If you write about tennis, use “tennis forums” and “tennis discussion boards.”  You’re going to get a lot of hits to research, and you will find some very active communities with engaged people talking about your specific topic. Some of these forums are quite large, and you might need to drill down a bit to find the sections that apply to your specific niche, but this will put you in immediate contact with people interested in your topic.

Another great way to find your readers is through blogs in your niche.
Blogs that have been online for a while will have a readership of some size. You will need to do a little research to find the blogs that have the most readers interested in your topic.  For instance, if you found a discussion forum, check the links that belong to frequent contributors there, and you’ll start to connect to the blogs in your niche.  Look at the comments on popular posts and start exploring the links (usually the link is embedded in the name of the person who left the comment) for even more places readers hang out.

Finally, use the search capabilities on some of the big social networking sites.

These sites are useful not because they have hundreds of millions of users, but because they each have the ability to locate specific groups of people.  For sample, on Twitter you can use to find trending topics or hashtags (words with # in front of them) related to your subject. You can search on #gardening to find thousands of people interested in gardening and then narrow your search further from there.  You can use this same strategy on Google+ to find articles and people commenting on them with the same #gardening search.

Following all these networks will lead to communities of potential readers you can start interacting with and become a household name in these circles. Once your book is e-published you can subtly promote it there. 



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Giving Speeches Helps Selling Books

Writers tend to be shy types, happy to hole up in basement offices, remote cabins or messy dens, turning down social invitations in favor of a computer and lots of coffee (or whiskey: ) Why on earth should they speak publicly?

How speaking can help your writing career:

  • You will sell more books after your talk. Attending a writer’s conference as a speaker / expert is much better than attending as a participant. You get instant credibility, even before your work is examined.
  • The more you speak, the better you get, and the better your speaking resume gets – the more writers’ conferences you will be invited to speak at.  Speakers are looked upon as subject matter experts, even if they aren’t.  Plus, you get to sit at the editors and agents’ table!
  • Speaking enhances your author’s brand and extends the efforts you make through social media because your audience is very likely tweeting or blogging about the conference. Public speeches help even to promote your online platform.
  • People who have heard you speak are more inclined to like you and your writing. There is a kind of celebrity involved with speaking. When you speak, no one else is talking; YOU are talking, and the audience listening. That dynamic illustrates a premise that you are someone important who can be learned from.  If you give out business cards or bookmarks with your information on it – blog site, Amazon book page, website – people will see it valuable, because you have been set apart as a VIP.

How do you achieve this desirable state of feeling comfortable when speaking publicly? 

Toastmaster’s for sample is a great way to learn this skill in a friendly, supportive way.  Everyone at the meetings is working to be a better speaker so you are in good company. After a few months of having a helpful, friendly group of people listening to and critiquing your speeches, heading out to a public forum will give you lots of confidence. The more you speak, the easier it gets. Isn’t it worth a try?

Get some encouragement with these videos:



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Are You Able to Explain Your Book in One Sentence?

Can you state what your non-fiction book is about in one sentence? If not, you may not have a clear purpose or theme for your project and you run the risk of writing a book without a point to it.  Completing the following sentence is not as easy as it sounds: “My book is about….”

Your books description, developed from this single sentence, will be used in many ways, such as:

  • Discovering your book’s angle
  • Writing query letters to agents / editors
  • Speaking to agents / editors at writers’ conferences
  • Preparing your book proposal/synopsis
  • Writing catalogue blurbs
  • Writing promotional material for news releases, flyers, etc
  • Giving media interviews

Your book’s description should run about 150 words and must generate excitement, clearly describe the subject and scope of the book, demonstrate its uniqueness, show its benefits and the features that deliver them (sidebars, templates, illustrations, etc.), identify the audience and, lastly, reveal the author’s credentials. “All this in 150 words,”   I see your eyes rolling…

Answering the following nine questions will help you develop your mission statement:

1. What problem will your book solve for its readers? (One only, in one sentence)
2. Describe your typical reader in 2-3 words
3. What is the subject of your book? (One simple phrase)
4. What makes your book unique?
5. What makes your book better than others on the same subject?
6. Why is it a good time to have a book like yours available?
7. List the benefits of your book to its readers
8. List the features that deliver the benefits
9. Describe yourself in two or three words: author and ….

Yes, it takes a lot of work and much re-writing but it is well worth it.  Many aspiring authors say it clarifies their thoughts and helps them create a more marketable product.




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What to Prepare for Your Book Review?

While having a good review can sell hundreds of books, however it can sell a lot more:  Post excerpts of good reviews on your website. Put it on your Press Releases and on the back cover before print or after, when you reprint.  Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal or Midwest Book Review and Booklist all go to libraries. 

What is in involved in preparing a book kit before sending it out to a reviewer who had already agreed to read it?  You need a plan for both pre-publication and after publication reviews to submit your book to a book reviewer, an organization and library, journal or newspaper company.

Homework and Research
Set aside time to go onto the Internet and find out which reviewers, journals, libraries, and companies require that you mail in your manuscript BEFORE the book goes into print. Then, find the reviewers, journals, libraries and companies requiring that you mail in the book AFTER it’s published and read careful their directions. For example, the list below is for self-publishing authors only.  Assemble a kit which includes: a cover letter, testimonials, book excerpts, a marketing plan, Advanced Copy Review or book copies, but always according to reviewers submitting rules.

PRE – Publication:

Horn Book Magazine
56 Roland Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA 02129

Kirkus Reviews
VNU US Literary Group
770 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Publishers Weekly
360 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10011

POST  Publication:

Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575
Midwest Book Review for sample gives priority consideration to small publishers, self-published authors, academic presses, and specialty publishers.  To submit a book for review they require:

  • Two finished copies of the book (no galleys or uncorrected proofs).
  • A cover letter
  • A publicity release or media kit

There is an approximate 14 to 16-week “window of opportunity” for a book to be assigned out for review.

You’ve done your homework and selected the reviewers you want to submit your ARC (Advance Review Copy) or finished book (Published).  What’s the author’s next step?

To prepare ARC’s:
At an office supply shop buy a package of Heavy Duty Report Covers.  These covers come with a front and back side, metal fasteners and holds up to a three inch capacity of paper.  Make sure that the box indent shows on the front cover.  Here you place your author’s information, Title of book and your name.  This ARC represents you and your book. It’s the first thing that a respective reviewer will see!

Never send out an ARC without a proper cover letter. What is a cover letter? A cover letter tells the prospective reviewer who you are, the book’s title, and what the author is sending to that particular reviewer. Print out at least three testimonial reviews from (from well-known writers or editors) who had already read the book, each testimonial on a separate page.

Include the first three chapters of the novel. Staple them together.  Include a picture of the cover done by a professional graphic artist. Great publicity for them and a professional looking cover always helps the author.  Offer them a jpeg and TIFF version as well.

It is not impossible to receive a book review from one of the above-mentioned prestigious journals.

These same steps can apply to well-known libraries, people reviewers, and newspaper reviews IF the author does his/her homework and research first.  Write ahead of time to individual reviewers and make sure they want to review your book and it’s in the genre they do their book reviews in.  Find out if the review is FEE based. Some reviewers, organizations and on-line groups charge to review. Make sure you understand the directions and follow them to the letter.

Include a cover letter to let the reviewers know what you’re sending them.  Make sure you send them the material as specified in the directions. ARC’s, media kits, cover letters, testimonials, book location, publisher’s name and address, release date, and ISBN number.

Write in inner book cover, “NOT FOR RESELL.” That means that the reviewer can’t sell your book or ARC. Do specify what you want done with your ARC’s or books. Suggest they give it to the local library, hospital, charity or a school.  When sending out your books for review, always include always your author’s business card and always SIGN your book and date it.

Getting your book reviewed isn’t impossible. However it requires paying attention, planning and following instructions. Keep these in mind and your next book review will turn into a success.

There are many more possibilities for reviews.  To receive a full free list of reviewers, just drop me a line: 111publishing ..



Hyper Smash


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