Post 3: April 2, 2016

Time to start Book Project #12–working title “Forever Home, Forever Toby; Twenty-six True Stories About Humankind’s BEST BUDDIES”

Here’s what wellness claims: Pet a puppy or kitten and feel better–fast!  Pets provide so much joy to their owners that they deserve a special place in stories (and so many have).  So let’s have at least one more book about these creatures that brought so much happiness into your life.

Remembering: gold fish, gerbils, white mice, butterflies you caught and then freed, there’s also lightening bugs, lady bugs and other such critters you bottled or shoe-boxed.  How about playful squirrels, mischievous raccoons, red and black ants (Ouch!) and the Easter bunny, along with ducks and geese, turtles and frogs, parakeets and other feathered friends inside or outside your house.  The list goes for miles until it ends or rather starts with the ever-faithful dog and persnickety cat.

Accepting submissions until May 10, 2016; word count around 750; stories can be funny or sad, some significant happening you remember, want to write about and share with other pet lovers about your “best buddy or maybe buddies.”

Please email text only to me at Neeliepubl@aol.com; no pictures at this time.  My editorial staff will review each entry and we will select the tales for the book.  Please email me with any questions you have at any time.  With your help, this will be a fun project to work on and a delightful book to read.  Thank you. -eileenbirin-

SEE with WORDS: June 17, 2015

WRITE-ON

Everybody has a story to tell—your time is NOW. OR IS IT!  Before you roll up your sleeves, sharpen some pencils or turn on the computer, clear those dust bunnies from your brain, hone up your imagination to start on your writing journey, STOP, look in the mirror and be candid with the person staring back at you as you answer question #1: why do you want to write?

Writing is a crowded profession—it attracts more people than any of the other arts, made especially popular today with the advent of digital online publishing.  Most people who “have a story to tell” may skip commercial or traditional publishers, even subsidy or vanity presses, and go straight to online eBooks.  It’s faster, easier, and less expensive, and there’s sometime to be said to “I did it my way!”  Approximately 150,000 books are produced each year, and most of them are published by small and independent publishers.

Now answer question #1 honestly.  If you want to write for fame and fortune, its best you turn around and choose another career.   Pure luck can give some people an edge, and for others talent, friends, relatives in the business, or a famous career in the limelight can help their chances of getting noticed and published.

It’s true you do want a salable book, but marketing and promoting are hard work—sometimes you barely break even.  On the other hand, if you are writing because you really have something to say, have the drive of seeing a project through, believe in the truth of your writing regardless of any financial gain, then the chances of accomplishing your goal are reasonable.

Once you answered you writing intentions then proceed to answering the following questions:

  1. What skills do you have for writing?
  2. Is there an audience for your kind of book?
  3. How good are your marketing and promoting skills?
  4. Do you have the financial means to publish a book?
  5. With 150,000 new books a year, what makes yours unique?

You will find that writing is the easy part—publishing and marketing take determination and persistence.  If you are committed to your final goal, then nobility of purpose will see you through.  Writing is a journey—its own reward.

 

 

SEE with WORDS: June 16, 2015

WRITING TIPS

  1. Write from the heart.
  2. Write a great book.
  3. Study book marketing.
  4. Know your audience.
  5. Have a great title.
  6. Set giant goals.
  7. Time your efforts.
  8. Develop a business plan.
  9. Network through clubs/associations.
  10. Commit to marketing.
  11. Use book signings.
  12. Get reviews – be public.
  13. Give some books away.

 

SEE with WORDS: June 13, 2015

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Before choosing a publisher or printer

  • Comparison shop–get quotes
  • Look at other books the publisher or printer has produced
  • Talk to other writers who have used the publisher’s or printer’s services
  • Understand the terms of the contract; make sure there are no hidden costs
  • Verify any promises made
  • Find out if the publisher has arrangements with a wholesaler
  • Establish a good working relationship with your contact person
  • Reread the printer’s proofs carefullly; they are the last chance to catch any mistakes
  • Join an organization that offers networking opportunities
  • Take a workshop or attend writers’ conferences to find out what resources are available

 

SEE with Words: March 17, 2015

5 Reasons to Self-Publish:

Commercial publishers don’t have the time or resources to read all of the manuscripts submitted, upwards of 150,000 titles per year.  They are looking for name recognition or authors who come with certain sales potential and definite outlets.

Within recent years, self-publishing has become one of the fastest growing segments of the publishing industry.  Some of the best authors may not initially be published by a major publishing house, but after the book is printed and marketed in published form, and the author establishes a track record in sales, that book may be picked up by a major publishing house for an attractive contract.

Two such success stories are:

Laurie Notaro’s The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club was originally published by iUniverse, then placed twelfth on the New York Times Paperback Best-Seller List which landed her a six-figure, two-book contract with Random House.

Steven Keslowitz’s The Simpsons and Society was first published by Wheatmark before the book was published by Sourcebooks.

So here are the 5 reasons you may want to consider self-publishing:

  1. Keep control of your project;
  2. Control the time frame for writing, editing, and publishing;
  3. Fill a specific niche;
  4. Be the sole owner of the proceeds from the book’s sales;
  5. Get yourself in print.

Check Amazon.com for books published by Eileen Birin.

SEE with WORDS: February 19, 2015

One More Idea to Consider:

Here’s another important idea you may want to consider as you get started in the writing game.  Check local community colleges for adult continuation or special interest classes in writing.  Some may even offer workshops or seminars on various aspects of writing.  Local libraries are other resources for writing groups, special presentations on writing, or even critique groups.  Signing up for a writing course, taking a workshop or joining a critique group can prove beneficial especially if you are a novice writer and may need the support and incentive from others with similar interests.  A writing course can also provide the structure and basic techniques necessary for good writing.

Along these same lines, if several of your friends or members of a writing class are interested in working together, you might consider forming your own small writing group.  This would allow for immediate feedback and critiquing of your stories, provide opportunities to share similar learning experiences with each other, offer encouragement to get through some of those so called “writer’s block” moments, support each other’s efforts, shed light on new discoveries, and most important, laugh and cry together as you explore the problems of the lonely, yet exhilarating,  life of a writer.  So with pen in hand and love in your heart, be strong–embrace the unforgiving pain and the sublime joy of the writing life.

Writing is therapy for both you and the reader.

 

SEE with WORDS: February 2, 2015

Considering Self-Publishing?  Meet the Masters:

The advent of independent publishing is not a recent development.  It has always been an American enterprise.  In 1776 Thomas Paine published Common Sense, Ben Franklin even used his own printing press. Walt Whitman published his controversial Leaves of Grass and even wrote the reviews for his own works; Carl Sandburg worked the presses and hand-bound his books of poetry.  Upton Sinclair refused to change the content of The Jungle and elicited the support of several friends to help publish the book before Doubleday offered to publish it.  In fact, both editions were printed simultaneously.

The list of masters include: Samuel Clemens, Zane Grey, Washington Irving, Stephen Crane, Edgar Allen Poe, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf and others. f

Books originally self-published: Chicken Soup for the Soul, What Color is Your Parachute? The Celestine Prophecy, which Richard Redfield sold from the trunk of his car, Invisible Life, One Minute Manager, The Christmas Box.

And here are a few self-publishing services success stories: The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro, orginally published with iUniverse, #12 on the New York Times Paperback Best-Seller List, landed her a six-figure, two-book deal with Random House; and, The Simpsons and Society by Steven Keslowitz, orginally published with Wheatmark and then picked up by Sourcebooks.

The list goes on.  So Let’s Get Published!

Check out Excuse My Dust, ten quick steps for writing success, ebook available from Amazon.com

SEE with WORDS: January 26, 2015

What makes a WRITER tick!

Part of the majesty of being a writer is that we don’t fully understand what makes us tick, and if we did, we would lose the edge of our creativity.             –Tom-

Writing is like creating a movie; I’m the author, the producer, the director, and I get to play all the roles, be all the characters.                                   -Mabel-

I get thoughts and inspirations that won’t leave until I write them down.                                            -Val-

Writing is very therapeutic as well as relaxing and fun.             -Sandy-

I write to share what I learn.                     –Marty-

My mind is filled with ideas and they need to see themselves on paper before they disappear in a poof of smoke.                                                  –Linda-

I write because the characters make me!  They won’t let me off the hook.                                 –Zanne-

Writing validates my existence; it feeds my soul.            -Nancy-

I write for the same reason I read – to connect with a greater truth, a deeper feeling.  It helps me find my footing in the universe.                           –Marilyn-

My research over the years has unearthed thousands of stories that need to be told and preserved for posterity.  It is satisfying to share with others and know that the stories will not die.              –Emily-

A writing career gives you the opportunity to help other people – whether that means informing, entertaining or inspiring them.   I feel honored when readers tell me they enjoyed my book.        –Brian-

I write so I can be alone.         –Julie-

When I was 58 or 59 years old, I found out I had suppressed the desire to write all my life.  My friends haunted me until I wrote my first book.  Now I find writing so rewarding I can’t stop.                 –Mike-

I am a disable veteran who finds writing puts me into another world in which time and pain passes me by.                                                               -Sheila-

What can I say, I’m a writing junkie – hooked on ideas and words and other such creative stuff.      –Eileen-

 

 

 

SEE with WORDS: January 19, 2015

Got an urge to write?  It’s not that hard – get started! 

So you always wanted to write.  Seriously.  Maybe it was a story you read, a movie or TV show you saw that perked your interest and caused you to say, “I can write like that.”  Or maybe you have something you want to say, ideas you have been wrestling with, memoirs to leave your loved ones, a story or poem that’s struggling within you to be put on paper.  Whatever the reason, you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t interested in writing.

But writing is hard work and too many wannabes fall by the wayside while sitting and waiting for the right opportunity or that epic idea that will set them on fire.

If you’re serious about pursuing the craft of writing, for pleasure or profit, then the first thing to do is get started.

Think of writing as you would any job.  You must show up, be on time, produce and enjoy what you are doing if you want to reap any rewards.

For starters keep a journal.  Professional writers have files or notebooks filled with notes, bits of conversations, cartoons, observations, newspaper clippings, photos, doodles.  They collect like crazy anything and everything.  Who knows what poem, story or article is lurking among those scraps of paper.

Ideas abound all around us.  Collect whatever you see and hear: a neighbor’s fading smile or the shoes on his feet; family stories or hiking White Tank Mountain Park; xeriscape gardening or an early morning Arizona sun rise.  Whatever you have observed describe in your journal or tape recorder.  Writers are keen observers, the more you develop this aspect, the more ideas will come to you.  Include in your journal your dreams and imaginings.  Imagination is the stuff creative writing is made of.

The next important step is to set up a routine.  Writers write every day; that’s their job.  Cultivating the essential habit of writing regularly will make writing easier and fun.

When to write and where to write will depend on your life style.  Try writing at different times: early morning, high noon, far into the night.  Once you’ve found your writing time, stick with it.  Serious writers would never think of doing dishes, the laundry, shopping, playing golf, answering the phone during their writing time.

It is also necessary to find a place where you feel comfortable at writing: your room or office, the kitchen table, soaking in a tub, lying on a couch.  Hemingway wrote standing at a lectern; Capote stretched out on a couch or in a hammock.  Some writers use tricks to get them in their writing mode like listening to music or the outside sounds of nature.  Whatever works.

Read more in Excuse My Dust, ten quick steps for writing success, available on Amazon.com

Invoking your guardian angel

If you had a guardian angel, what form would your angel take (human or not)?  On what dilemma in your life right now would you most like guidance?

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