Archives for 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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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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