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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jeane Wynn of Wynn-Wynn Media speaking at WIN, Nov. 6


ACFW ˆWIN ˆ Writers of Inspirational Novels Monthly Meeting


Saturday, November 6, 2010, 1-3 pm (Come at noon with sack lunch and enjoy a time of fellowship)

Fellowship Lutheran Church, 6727 S. Sheridan, Tulsa OK

Speaker: Jeane Wynn of Wynn-Wynn Media speaking on "Getting Known  Before Your Book Deal"


ABOUT JEANE: Jeane Wynn is creative, intense, and outgoing in  everything she does. She says, "I believe life is all about the  details, so I am always looking for ways to make life special." As a  publicist, these qualities have served her well. With a degree in  communications from OSU, she began her career in 1989 as a salesperson  for NavPress. She then moved to marketing at Waterbrook and Honour  Press where she hired and worked with other publicists. At the urging  of a friend to start her own firm, she founded Wynn-Wynn Media in  2001. The company is a combination of Jeane‚s love for good books and  her understanding of all aspects of publishing, from acquisition to editorial to marketing to sales. She and her husband run the business  together from their office-on-Main-Street in the tiny town of Welch, OK.



Thanks to Carla Stewart, author of Chasing Lilacs, for this info!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chip MacGregor

I just discovered that Chip MacGregor has retired from blogging. The archives are still up, so check out his postings. There are some extremely helpful tips for writers on there. Maybe he'll write a book (or has he?)!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Writer's Digest Conference January 2011

Writer's Digest Conference in New York, January 21-23, 2011. Topics include branding, marketing, publishing options, revision, building the perfect plot, blogging, and more. Check out the session descriptions and speakers. There is something for everyone!

Self Publishing Article by David Carnoy

I found this informative article on self-publishing by David Carnoy (editor at CNET): Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know. He covers the why and how, as well as caveats of self-publishing. A must-read for anyone considering self-publishing.

Friday, October 1, 2010

SCBWI-National Conference

The 2011 SCBWI Winter Conference will be held in New York City this year. My family lives in New Jersey and Delaware. I'm seriously thinking of going to the conference and visiting my family. It's a big expense and I'll need to get one of my stories seriously polished to make it worth while.

Friday, September 24, 2010

In Bookstores! My new article in iPhone Life Magazine

I just recieved my copies of iPhone Life Magazine's Buyer's Guide with my 5-page article on iPad cases in it. As a writer, it's rewarding to see your name in print, so pardon me for the brag!

  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nimrod Literary Awards Conference for Readers and Writers 2010

Spinning Legends, Telling Truths


One-on-One Writing Workshops, Masterclasses, Panel Discussions and Readings
9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
Allen Chapman Activity Center, The University of Tulsa
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Read more and register on the TU Website. 
 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rubin Pfeffer Challenges SCBWI to join the Digital Age

Pfeffer, at SCBWI's Annual Conference last week made some interesting statements about e-books and e-book publishing. Read the article on Publisher's Weekly.

SCBWI-OK Fall Conference: Sept 11, 2010

I'm looking forward to the SCBWI-OK Fall conference in Chandler, OK.

Workshops and fellowship and door prizes! Workshops in fantasy, picture books, and novels.

WIN - Writer's of Inspirational Novels

I love the new W.I.N. website!

If you're looking for a Christian Writer's group in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, check out W.I.N. There's a wonderful bunch of writer's there and they are very helpful to us newbies, too!

Thanks, W.I.N.!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Arkansas SCBWI Fall Retreat - Illustrators take note!

Arkansas SCBWI is hosting it's 1st annual Fall Retreat for Illustrators of Children's Literature and will feature hands-on workshops led by Loraine Joyner, art direct for Peachtree Publishers. September 24-26 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. At the same time, the Fall Retreat for writers will feature hands-on workshops by Quinlan Lee, agent at Adams Literary. If you are not a member of Arkansas SCBWI, you can be put on a waiting list for when it's opens to nonmembers. 


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Celebration of Books at OSU Tulsa - Sept. 24-25

The Celebration of Books 2010 Reunion, sponsored by The Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers, is an awesome opportunity to learn from writers such as Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees), Michael Cunningham (By Nightfall: A Novel), William Bernhardt (Capitol Offense), S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders), Nancy Pickard (The Scent of Rain and Lightning), Anna Myers (Spy!), Carolyn Hart (Laughed 'Til He Died: A Death on Demand Mystery), and MORE! And it's extremely reasonable in price - only $45.00! I won't miss this one!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review of Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart

I just finished Chasing Lilacs written by my friend, Carla Stewart. This is a WONDERFUL book!


It's a bittersweet story about life, death, and growing up in a small town in Texas. It will bring you to tears, make you laugh and bring back both the good and bad memories of life in the 1950's (for those of you that old!). 


For you younger folks, it's just a great book. I can see why this one is winning all kinds of awards. 


I started it yesterday with the intention of reading a little each night before I went to bed, but I just couldn't stop reading. I read it all way through and stayed up very late doing it! But it was worth it. I highly recommend this book. If you enjoy reading books like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, you'll love Chasing Lilacs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Agent for Children's Book Writers & Illustators

The Elaine English Literary Agency has just added a new agent - Naomi Hackenberg. Elaine is building a contact list and is looking for young adult fiction projects. She accepts e-mail queries at naomi@elaineenglish.com.  

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Critique Groups

This week, I was invited to be part of a critique group with three other children's book authors: Nelda, Linda and Sandy. What a wonderful, talented bunch of girls. I'm delighted to be part of the group.

I've been looking for a group because, apparently, I need deadlines. I have deadlines with my nonfiction writing; so, I tend to spend all my time writing nonfiction and never get around to writing fiction. Now, with a critique group, I'll have motivation to write that children's book I keep saying I'm going to write. After all, I'll feel kind of silly if I don't have something written next time I go!

Now, I need a fiction novel critique group for motivation to write my mystery!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

SCBWI Meeting - July 6

I really enjoyed our SCBWI meeting tonight. Helen Newton put together a very interesting presentation on what kids are reading at various grade levels. She also gave us a handout with lists of books that are most requested or award winners. I found all this very helpful.

Apparently, there is a need for nonfiction for struggling readers. I'd like to find out more about this. My son was a struggling reader when he was young, so I have some experience with this problem. I would love to write some books that appeal to these kids.

New article for iPhone Life

For the last couple weeks, I've been surrounded by iPad covers! I'm just finishing a 3,000 word article on iPad covers for iPhone Life magazine's Buyers Guide due out in October. This was a fun project, but I'm ready to move on. Just a few more tweaks and I should be able to send it out on Thursday or Friday.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Working on a Picture Book

I'm attending SCBWI-OK's Escape from Reality Weekend Retreat for Nonfiction Writers in June and working on a nonfiction picture book. It's much harder than I thought!

I spent several days researching, then more days outlining, then more days trying to figure out how to make thousands of words fit into a 16-page picture book that is fun to read. I didn't even get enough of the book done in time to send in a critique copy. I have a lot to learn

The teacher for this retreat is Melissa Stewart who has written dozens of nonfiction children's book. I'm looking forward to learning from her. Maybe, with her help, I'll get one written yet!

Love this video about Book Signings!

I haven't done one yet, and this definitely does not look like fun!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The future of books - interactivity!


I was amazed at Alice on the iPad (see my Alice review), but Jack and the Beanstalk proves that interactive books are only going to get better. Here’s why:
While Alice has exquisite graphics and fun animations, Jack and the Beanstalk has cute, kid-friendly graphics and LOTS of animations, PLUS music, interactions on every page, and games such as a memory game, a shape-matching game, bubble popping, and finger painting.
  
The interactions on Jack and the Beanstalk are things that kids will love to do like touch the screen to light the street lamp or start the fireworks, find hidden “easter” eggs that sing and wiggle, touch characters to make them talk or dance, and swipe to reveal hidden creatures in a lake and then count them.
You can turn “Narration Audio” off to read the story out loud yourself, but you may get tired of reading! Jack and the Beanstalk is a “book” that kids will want to “read” over and over again, not only to hear the fun story, but also to search for the hidden surprises.
And when you’re finished reading, you can go to the Ayars Website (www.ayarsanimation.com) and download the Jack and the Beanstalk coloring book for kids to color.
Jack and the Beanstalk works on the iPhone (3.2 or later) and iPod Touch, too. 
So, fellow authors and publishers, how can we take advantage of this new technology? Have YOU considered an app for that?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tulsa Night Writers-Tuesday April 20th

Speaking of Tulsa Night Writers, this Tuesday, April 20th, Anna Myers will be the guest speaker.

Anna is the author of Red Dirt Jesse and other Young Adult fiction. Her latest is Time of the Witches, a YA novel about the Salem Witch Trials.

Tulsa Night Writers meets at 7:00 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Martin East Library at 31st & 129th East Ave., Tulsa, OK.

Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart is almost off the presses!

I haven't read this yet, but Carla Stewart, my friend and president of Tulsa Night Writers, just released her new book, Chasing Lilacs.

You can pre-order it now. I can't wait to read it.

Susan May Warren's Seminar

The seminar with Susan May Warren was awesome! She's an outstanding teacher as well as an author. She has the art of writing fiction down to a science!

If you're looking for easy-to-follow instructions on how to write a novel, either go to one of her workshops or purchase her books. She has two: From the Inside Out and Deep and Wide

I'm working through From the Inside Out first. This is her beginner's book. The first thing she has you do is zero in on your writing genre. I found this extremely helpful as I have a tendency to have too many projects at a time. I discovered from this exercise that I enjoy nonfiction writing a lot. But I do want to write a mystery-romance novel. So, my plan is to spend more time on nonfiction, but to allow one morning a week to work on my novel. I may not finish it before Jesus comes back, but at least I'll be working on it!

There is so much to do in this book that I'm only on page 15 as of today. The next step is to learn about book elements and basic plots in order to determine where my book will fit. I'll update my progress as I work through the book!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Review of Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl

Hand of Fate (A Triple Threat Novel)How do talk show host deal with death threats? Do they take them seriously? What would they do if a package they are about to open contains explosives or poisonous gas?

Hand of Fate is an inside look at the world of talk show radio, as well as a fast-paced thriller about murder – the murder of an outspoken talk show host who has plenty of enemies. And plenty of enemies means there are plenty of suspects. Was it one of the guests he humiliated? Was it a co-worker who wanted his job? Was it a relationship gone sour?

The intrigue begins in very first chapter and builds to a surprise ending. You won't want to put this book down until you solve the mystery, so prepare to set aside a few hours to finish the book. 

The series, A Triple Threat Novel, features three major characters: Federal prosecutor Allison Pierce, FBI special agent Nicole Hedges and TV crime reporter Cassidy Shaw, all friends from high school who have reconnected as adults. The background stories of these main characters provide depth and interest to the series as they work together to solve the murders.

Although I had not read the first book in the series, I had no trouble understanding the plot of this one. However, I'm sure reading them in order will reveal details that I may have missed.

What I enjoyed most about the book is the fact that the major characters are normal people with normal problems, even the characters who are represented as Christians. There are no easy answers even for the Christians – just faith in a God who is still in control. I’m anxious to read how these three women continue to walk out their spiritual lives, as well as their professional careers. 

Loved the book! Can't wait to read the next in the series.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Writing Competition

Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition deadline is May 14, 2010. Grand prize is $3,000 and a trip to NYC. First place winner in each category receives $1,000 cash and $100 worth of Writer's Digest books. Other prizes, too!

10 Categories:

  • Inspirational Writing
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay
  • Magazine Feature Article
  • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc)
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Non-rhyming Poetry
  • Stage Play
  • Television/Movie Script
  • Children's/Young Adult Fiction 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Writing Ideas


I recently learned that it can take up to two years to traditionally publish a book, so this got me thinking about subjects that would be of interest in two years. I decided that any event celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2012 would be a great  subject to start working on today.

So, here's my list of important people and events that took place in 1912. Perhaps this list will help you will get an idea for your next book.

Jan. 1, 1912 - Republic of China established by Sun Yat-sen  
Jan. 4, 1912 - The Scout Association incorporated  
Jan. 5, 1912 - 1st National Hockey Association game
Jan. 6, 1912 - New Mexico becomes the 47th US State
Jan. 12, 1912 - Bread and Roses strike (American labor union)
Jan. 13, 1912 - Oakland, MD. state record - minus 40 degrees F
Jan. 17, 1912 - Robert Falcon Scott and 3 others reach South Pole
Jan. 30, 1912 - Francis Schaeffer born (philosopher)

Feb. 2, 1912 - Frederick Law parachutes from Statue of Liberty
Feb. 10,, 1912 - Joseph Lister died
Feb. 12, 1912 - China adopts Gregorian calendar
Feb. 14, 1912 - Arizona admitted as 48th US State

Mar. 1, 1912 - first parachute jump from moving airplane, Albert Berry
Mar. 1, 1912 - first woman detective appointed in NYC - Isabella Goodwin
Mar. 7, 1912 - Roald Amundsen "discovers" South Pole
Mar. 7, 1912 - Henri Seimet, first non-stop flight from Paris to London, 3 hours
Mar. 12, 1912 - Girl Scouts of the USA founded by Juliette Gordon Low
Mar. 17, 1912 - Camp Fire Girls organization announced by Mrs. Luther Halsey Gulick
Mar. 23, 1912 - Wernher von Braun born (physicist)
Mar. 23, 1912 - Dixie cup invented
Mar. 27, 1912 - Cherry blossom trees planted in Wash., D.C.; gift from Japan
Mar. 29, 1912 - members of Scott Expedition to South Pole die 

Apr. 6, 1912 - Electric starters in cars
Apr. 12, 1912 - Clara Barton dies (nurse)
Apr. 15, 1912 - Titanic sinks
Apr. 16, 1912 - Harriet Quimby, first woman to fly across English Channel
Apr. 16, 1912 - Royal Ontario Museum established
Apr. 17, 1912 - 1st unofficial gold record - Al Jolson's "Ragging the Baby to Sleep"
Apr. 20, 1912 - Tiger Stadium opens, Detroit; Fenway Park opens

May 5, 1912 - 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden
May 6, 1912 - Suffragettes parade in NYC
May 7, 1912 - Plans approved for Pulitzer Prize established by Joseph Pulitzer
May 18, 1912 - Detroit Tigers strike in protest of Ty Cobb suspension
May 23, 1912 - World's largest ship, SS Imperator is launched in Hamburg
May 29, 1912 - 15 women fired for dancing during lunch break at Curtis Publishing
May 30, 1912 - Wilbur Wright dies (aviator)

June 5, 1912 - Marines land in Cuba  
June 8, 1912 - Universal Pictures incorporated

July 14, 1912 - Woody Guthrie born (musician)
July 17, 1912 - Art Linkletter born (TV)
July 19, 1912 - Meteorite explodes over Holbrook, Arizona
July 30, 1912 - Beginning of the Taisho era in Japan
July 31, 1912 - Milton Friedman born (Economist)

Aug. 5, 1912 - Bull Moose Party (progressives) established
Aug. 15, 1912 - Julia Child born (French chef)
Aug. 20, 1912 - William Booth dies (Salvation Army founder)
Aug. 23, 1912 - Gene Kelly born (actor)
Aug. 24, 1912 - Alaska Territory organized
Aug. 25, 1912 - Chinese nationalist party founded
Aug. 26, 1912 - Walter Johnson's 16-game winning streak ends
Aug. 27, 1912 - Edgar Rice Burroughs' publishes "Tarzan of the Apes"

Sept. 3, 1912 - World's first cannery opens in England
Sept. 25, 1912 - Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism founded, NYC
Sept. 27, 1912 - 1st Blues Song: "Memphis Blues," W. C. Handy

Oct. 7, 192 - Helsinki Stock Exchange - 1st transaction
Oct. 8, 1912 - 1st Balkan War begins
Oct. 14, 1912 - Theodore Roosevelt shot while campaigning
Oct. 16, 1912 - Boston Red Sox defeat New York Giants in 1912 World Series
Oct. 25, 1912 - Minnie Pearl born (comedian)
Oct. 26, 1912 - Woolwich Tunnel opens

Nov. 5, 1912 - Woodrow Wilson wins election over William Taft and Theodore Roosevelt
Nov. 28, 1912 - Albania declares independence from Ottoman Empire

Dec. 7, 1912 - Queen Nefertete bust found in Egypt
Dec. 16, 1912 - 1st US Postage stamp picturing airplane
Dec. 20, 1912 - Piltdown Man found by Charles Dawson, later discovered to be hoax
Dec. 23, 1912 - 1st "Keystone Kops" film
Dec. 23, 1912 - Aswan Dam begins operation

Other events in 1912: 
Theory of continental drift by Alfred Wegener
William Randolf Hearst begins to acquire his media empire
Radio Act of 1912

10 Most Popular US Films released in 1912 according to IMDb.com:
What Katie Did
From the Manger to the Cross
Richard III
Quo Vadis?
Cleopatra
Tradgardsmastaren (The Gardener)
Independenta Romaniei (The Independence of Romania)
The Mummy
What Happened to Mary
Oliver Twist

10 Most Popular Books published in 1912:
Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
De Toverberg by Thomas Mann
Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Broken Wings by Kahlil Gibran
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson
Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

Other popular 1912 authors: Willa Cather, Joseph Conrad, D. H. Lawrence, E. Nesbit, Baroness Orczy, Saki, H.G. Wells, Edith Wharton, Carl Jung

Music of 1912:
"The Memphis Blues" published by W.C. Handy
"Alexander's Bag-Pipe Band" by Irving Berlin
"It's a Long Way to Tipperary"  
"When Irish Eyes are Smiling"  
"1912: waitin' on the levee"  

Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 OWFI Writers Conference


OWFI will hold its forty-second annual conference on April 29 - May 1, 2010 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Headlining the conference this year will be New York Times bestselling thriller writer, Dana Stabenow. For more info and to register, see the OWFI Website.

Write to Publish Conference

Write to Publish conference June 9-12 at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. The website says it provides instruction, encouragement, networking and fellowship with other writers and editors.
"For almost 40 years, Write-to-Publish has been training writers and connecting them with editors who want to publish their work. Editors from Christian publishing houses will tell what they’re looking for and meet with you one-on-one to discuss your ideas and manuscripts. Editors and well-published freelance writers will teach you how to write a variety of publishable manuscripts, improve your writing skills, find appropriate markets for your ideas, and deal with the spiritual and business sides of writing. Plus you can get feedback on your manuscripts."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

SCBWI-OK Conference

I attended my first SCBWI-OK writer's conference in Oklahoma City, OK, this weekend. It was great fun, educational, and profitable!

Besides networking with authors, meeting new friends, and learning lots of helpful information, I won three great prizes: a free stay at the hotel, a free critique from Darlene Bailey-Beard, and free admission to the SCBWI-OK conference in Chandler this fall. What a blessing that was!

There were several speakers at the conference including an art director, an agent and several editors from various houses. It was interesting to hear about writing from their prospective.

My favorite part of the conference was the other authors. I met Anna Myers, Helen Newton, Pati Hailey, Jeannie Hagy, Una Belle Townsend, Gwendolyn Hooks, Susan Meyers, and, of course, Darlene. I got to sit at lunch with Dian Curtis Regan; but unfortunately for me, I was sitting across from her at a big table and there was so much noise behind me that I couldn't hear what she was saying. I did enjoy a nice conversation with Louise Jones who sat next to me. There were many others there that I did not get to meet. Hopefully, I'll meet them another day.

I also got a children's book I am working on critiqued. Let's just say it still needs a major rewrite! The critique was helpful and definitely pointed out some flaws. Oh those critiques - so helpful, yet so painful! But I'm not giving up. I've got some ideas on where to go from here.

So, the conference was well worth attending. I'd say the biggest benefit I got was from networking.

Next on my list: I'm attending a workshop by Susan Mae Warren in Tulsa on April 16-17. I'm looking forward to hearing her, as one of my bucket-list projects is to write a cozy mystery! I also love the WIN group. Maybe I'll see you there?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Review of As Young As We Feel

As Young As We Feel: A Novel (The Four Lindas)As Young as we Feel is the first book in a heartwarming series featuring four women named Linda. They knew each other in grade school when they formed a club called The Four Lindas. Now, in their fifties, these four women meet again at a school reunion on the Oregon coast. Abby, Janie, Marley and Caroline — all going by their middle names — are in the middle of big changes in their lives.

Any woman of Boomer age will identify with at least one of these characters as they watch the four Lindas walk through the unique life challenges of the Boomer generation: marriages in trouble, widowhood, depression, relationships with estranged children, and taking care of parents with long-term care needs.

You’ll laugh and cry as you watch them struggle through dating at 50, relocating to smaller homes, and changing careers at mid-life. You’ll be encouraged as you see them step out in faith to do what’s right in spite of the circumstances. It’s not a story of easy answers, but one of spiritual growth through tough times.

I look forward to reading the next book in the series to find out what will happen next. Will Abby’s marriage be saved? How will Caroline, a breast cancer survivor, deal with her aging mother’s dementia?  How will Marley adjust to the fact that her son is gay and that she will never have grandchildren? Is there romance in the future for Janie, the widow, or for any of the others who are also single?

This is a book for and about women — about their trials, their strengths and their friendships. It’s a book you won’t want to miss.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

POD and Self-Publishing by Donald James Parker

Here's some more great tips on POD (publishing on demand) and self-publishing called, Come on Baby, Do the Promotion. It is featured on Christian Fiction Online Magazine. You can read it by following this link.

Seven Steps for Creating and Marketing Your Own e-Book

SEVEN STEPS TO CREATING AND MARKETING YOUR OWN E-BOOK © 2009 Cindy Downes

What do Dan Brown, Fern Michaels, T.D. Jakes, and Donald Trump have in common? The answer is — they’ve published E-books or digital versions of books. If authors like Brown and Michaels can make money from E-books, why not you?

E-books are digital versions of books that can be read on computers, special E-book readers, or even on some cell phones. They are easy to create and inexpensive to duplicate and market. You can write an E-book on any subject and have it available for sale the same day that you finish it. You can market it on a blog (free) and sell it using PayPal (almost free). What better way to make some extra cash?

So what do you write about? What have you done or what do you know that you can share with others? How-to booklets sell the best. Since I homeschooled my children, I began by writing about homeschooling. I also enjoy my iPhone, so I write about iPhone apps. Maybe you’re a student whose learned tricks on how to study effectively; a mother of twins with advice on how to raise two at once; or a cook with recipes for losing weight. Pick a topic you know and start with that.

You don’t have to write a whole book, either. Write a small booklet with 15 - 30 pages. People are willing to pay from $3.99 to $6.99 or more for something that will help them in their daily lives.

Here’s how: Step 1: Write your book.
  1. Use your favorite word processor such as Microsoft Word to write and design your book. If you’re able to use a page layout program such as Adobe InDesign or Quark Express, that’s even better. These programs offer more flexibility when working with graphics; however, they are harder to use.
  2. Purchase an ISBN number from Bowker (www.bowker.com) and use it on the back of the inside title page, along with copyright information. You’ll have to buy ISBN numbers in quantities of 10, but this will motivate you to write more books!
  3. Illustrate your book using royalty-free clip art (www.novadevelopment.com ) or hire a professional illustrator. Check your local college for art students who want to do an internship. This is a great way to get free or low-cost help and help a future artist at the same time!
  4. Include the ISBN bar code on back cover, if needed. This can also be purchased from Bowker.

Step 2: Edit your E-Book
  1. Read it out loud. It’s easier to find mistakes if you hear the words.
  2. Hire someone to edit the book. It’s impossible to edit your own work objectively. I’ve seen self-published books that were not only full of grammar and sentence structure errors but also redundancies and factual errors.
  3. Hire someone who knows English grammar and style. For nonfiction, hire someone who knows the subject to check facts.
  4. Trust your editor. It’s hard to give up words you’ve sweated over for hours, but the fact is they probably need chopping!

Step 3: Create your E-Book
  1. After your book is complete, convert the book into a PDF document using Adobe Acrobat (www.adobe.com) or Word. Acrobat is a more advanced program for creating and editing PDFs, but Word will work for simple E-Books.
    • In Word, choose “Print” from the menu bar.
    • Click on “PDF” in the bottom left corner of the print menu.
    • Choose "Save as PDF..."
    • Click on the "Options" button. This is where you encrypt your book so that it can be read and printed, but not edited.
    • Select the features you want to protect (opening, editing, printing, etc.) and enter a password.
    • Hit “Save” and you're done!
  2. If needed, use Acrobat or Word to create hyperlinks from your E-book to the Internet.
  3. Use Acrobat to reduce the file size of the document – this will make it easier to download, a helpful, but not essential feature for smaller books without a lot of graphics. This cannot be done with Word.
  4.  If you need help learning to use Adobe Acrobat, or any software for that matter, I highly recommend www.Lynda.com. For a small, monthly fee, you can take as many online classes as you want.
  5. Create an electronic cover for your E-Book to use on your Web page or Blog. You can create a free one at Groundbreak (www.groundbreak.com/graphics2.html).

Step 4: Set up a Web site or Blog to sell your E-Book.
  1. Use Weebly for a simple Web site.
  2. Do it yourself using Dreamweaver or other website creation program.
  3. Hire a professional or look for a student at a local college to do one as an internship. I hired a student to create my website and maintain it myself using Dreamweaver. I learned to use Dreamweaver on Lynda.com.
  4. Domain names and Web hosting can be purchased at www.godaddy.com.
  5. Instead of a Web site, create a Blog to sell your books. This is very simple to do and cheap! My favorite is Blogger, but Wordpress is also good.

Step 5: Arrange to take payment.
  1. Obtain a bank account for your business.
  2. Obtain a sales tax permit, if required.
  3. Obtain a merchant account. I use PayPal as there is no monthly commitment and they only charge a small fee for each E-Book that I sell.

Step 6: Arrange to deliver your E-Books
  1. My E-Books (in pdf format) are password protected on my Web server. As I receive an order, I respond to the customer by E-mail using an E-mail “signature” (a type of form letter for E-mail). This E-mail provides the customer with a user name and a password with which to access the E-Book. This form E-mail also explains how to download and print the document.
  2. For a fee, you can have your E-Books automatically delivered. One company that provides this service is Payloadz (www.payloadz.com).

Step 7: Advertise your E-Book
  1. Write a monthly or weekly newsletter. Sample.
  2. Write a daily blog. Sample
  3. Start a Business Facebook Page. Sample
  4. Start a Business Twitter Page. Sample.
  5. Write for magazines and other blogs whose readers would be interested in your book.  Sample.  
  6. Advertise in magazines whose readers would be interested in your book. I do not pay for many ads. The ads I do pay for are targeted online forums and Web sites that attract my readers. I depend mostly on word of mouth marketing for my nonfiction book sales.
  7. Offer to speak for free (or for a fee) on topics related to your book. Organize your own workshops and advertise locally. You can do free workshops at the local library, but you cannot charge to attend.
  8. Give away information or other resources of interest on your website. Find a way to meet your prospective customers needs and they will start linking to your site - free advertising. I give away a free E-Book and free forms on my Web site.
If you want to sell your book in Kindle format or for Sony Reader, you’ll want to read: Amazon Self-Publishing service E-Books.com.


Nostalgia - great music for your suspense writing!



Nostalgia - buy at Amazon for .99

Monday, March 15, 2010

Home Cooking and Still Dieting - You Gotta Love It!

I was brought up on home cooking. Eating salads three meals a day would not do it for me. So, I ordered this book, Simply the Best All American by Weight Watchers and gave it a try. It now sits on my kitchen counter every day. I love the recipes and I'm still losing weight!

The recipes are divided into sections of the country: New England, Mid-Atlantic, The Midwest, The Plains, The South, The Gulf States, The Southwest, The Mountain West, and The Pacific & Northwest. Each section contains recipes that are favorites of that region.

For example, from the New England section there are recipes for New England Clam Chowder (9 points - LOW for this soup!), Yankee Pot Roast (7 points), and Maine Blueberry Crumb Pie (only 5 points and yummy!).

In the Mid-Atlantic, where I was raised, there is Maryland Crab Cakes (I love these and only 5 points!), Garden State Creamed Corn (1 point!), and New York Cheese cake (only 4 points!) There's also Amish Cinnamon Bread for only 2 points!

Moving West - where I am now (in Oklahoma), I wondered how you could make cowboy food low calorie! Well, they did. First, there's Barbecued Beef (5 points), Cowboy Steak also known as Chicken Fried Steak (6 points - amazing!), and Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce (8 points).

After I tried a few of my favorites, I looked through the rest of the book and found all kinds of yummy favorites lightened for my new lifestyle: How about Sweet Potato Pie at 1 point? (Sure, it's only 1/12 of a pie, but it's better than nothing. And if I have extra points, I can increase the serving!) Or how about Jambalaya for only 8 points per serving? Yummy! Or Scalloped Potatoes with Jarlsberg and Smoked Gouda at 3 points? There's even Whoopie Pies for 2 points, and one of my all-time favorites - sweet potato biscuits at only 2 points each!

The best thing about these recipes is that there are no preservatives, no trans-fats, and no artificial sugars used. Sodium is decreased by using low-sodium products. And it tastes great! This is the kind of diet I can stay on forever.

So far, from June 2009 to today, March 2010, I've lost 48 pounds. And I haven't felt hungry or deprived yet, thanks to cookbooks like this one!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Susan May Warren-The Five Secrets of a Publishable Novel

Susan May Warren is the RITA Award winning author of 26 novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. Susan is a popular speaker at conferences around the nation and is the author of the beginning writer's workbook: From the Inside-Out: Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in You!


She's coming to Tulsa, Oklahoma! Teaching "The Five Secrets of a Publishable Novel."

WHEN: Friday, April 16th, 2010.

COST: $10 W.I.N. members; $15 all others.

LOCATION: St. James United Methodist Church, 5050 E. 111th E. Ave., Tulsa, OK. 74137. Please park in the west parking behind the Fire Station on Yale.

5:45 p.m. Registration and refreshments
6:15-9:00 p.m. Session with Susan May Warren

For more information or to register, go to the W.I.N. Web site (click on conferences) or contact Gina Conroy at portraitwriter@gmail.com.

How to Create and Upload a Podcast

I'm not a Windows user, but I have some friends who are. Therefore, I'm sharing this video on how to create and upload a podcast.

For those of you using Macs, here's a version for Mac Users: How to Create a Video Podcast.

For users of Garage Band on Macs: How to create a Podcast using Garage Band.

Visual Search - New Technology for Books

Making a Book Release Trailers

At our WIN group (Writers of Inspirational Novels) on Saturday, we learned about creating Book Release Trailers. Today, I discovered this resource called, FlixTime, where you can create a 60 second video in only a few minutes. You simply upload photos, videos or text, choose music and share the video. This could be a simple, inexpensive solution to authors on a budget.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

FREE: trial membership in SPAN pro

For my independent book publishing friends - sign up for a trial, 1 month free membership in SPANpro. You don't have to enter your credit card!

You'll get archived back issues to SPAN Connection newsletter, access to webinars, and a marketing plan workbook that I found extremely helpful!

An interesting article on e-books

Read about the price wars of e-books and how the book publishing industry is changing. Kindle: Power to the Independents.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Critique Groups

I'm in the process of learning about critique groups. Here is some information I found online:


Does anyone have any other resources for joining, participating or organizing a critique group?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Review of The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble

I love a good story and Colleen Coble’s story about a lighthouse keeper’s daughter is now one of my favorites. Addie Sullivan, the heroine of the story, discovers that she is someone else and presumed dead, along with her real mother. She is taken to live at her real father’s mansion as a tutor to her nephew, but forced to keep her real identity a secret until it can be determined if she actually is the missing heiress. The intrigue builds from here. Addie falls in love, discovers hidden clues to her identity, and becomes the target of someone who wants her dead.

The Lightkeeper's Daughter is one of those books that you will not be able to put down, especially towards the end of the book. I was reading so fast at the end that I had to re-read the last few chapters over again because I missed a lot of the details.

I especially enjoyed how Coble planted clues to the mystery and Addie had to interpret each clue to locate the next clue. It was like a puzzle that had to be solved, and it kept me rooting for Addie page after page.  

If you’re looking for a stay-awake, mystery-romance, that’s suspenseful and satisfying, you’ll love this book. This was the first book I read written by Colleen Coble. Now, I can’t wait for Coble to write another book!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Association of Independent Authors

I've just joined the Association of Independent Authors. This organization was launched in Feb. 2010. Here's how it describes itself:

The Association of Independent Authors (AiA) is a non-profit organization formed 1 January 2010 and launched 1 February 2010.
In 2008, for the first time in history, more books were self-published than those published traditionally. This growth will continue, enabled as it has been by advancing technologies and a new way of thinking about an old subject, hence the change of phrase from "self-published" to "independent author".
There are a number of forums and social networks for writers, but none, until now, that are focused specifically on the issues facing independent authors. Independent authors are also businesspeople—authorpreneurs, who need to understand all aspects of the publishing process, as well as the essentials of writing. 
Our vision is that independent publishing will be the preferred, first choice, for all authors.
Our mission is to create a culture of excellence, teamwork and professionalism in a community environment where sharing and collaboration benefits each individual member and independent authors as a whole.
I'm hoping we can get a group formed in the Tulsa, OK, area. If you're a self-published author or thinking of self-publishing, please join us!