Thursday, December 27, 2007

This blog honored by Writer's Digest

I submitted my blog to Writer's Digest - their editor Maria Schneider
has been searching for the top 20 writing blogs to add to her "Blog
Roll." When I first sent in my entry, my writing blog was pretty new
but I kept adding to it over these last four months.

This month, my blog was chosen by Writer's Digest. Their editor, Maria Schneider,
has been searching for the top 20 writing blogs to add to her "Blog
Roll." When I first sent in my entry, my writing blog was pretty new
but I kept adding to it over these last four months.

And I finally made it in under the wire as #18. Here's what it proves: As with all
other aspects of our writing: wondering if we'll ever be found, it
proves we must never give up. Keep at it, and keep a web site or blog
that provides visibility for your writing, no matter what stage you're
at with your work.

Here's a link to the WD blog:

And, not that I'm a compulsive blog-checker, but I've had about 200 new "hits" on
my blog, just since Maria announced. So for all writers who ask "Why blog?" -- you now have your answer.

Helen Gallagher

Saturday, December 22, 2007

How long did it take you?

When I tell people I got the idea for Release Your Writing in March, 2007, and it was published in September, six months later, they fall on the floor. Are they laughing or crying?

Well, my Mr. Wonderful just sent me this YouTube link to a Natalie Goldberg video commentary. She states:

People say "You're so lucky. It only took you 7 months."

"It took me 7 months and 30 years," she replies.

Natalie does a nice job of using YouTube to post a personal, subtle promo for her new book Old Friend From Far Away.
Here's the link:

How long will it take you to release your writing?

Helen Gallagher

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Two weeks to craft your goals

Yes, 2008 will be here in two weeks! I already bought champagne to celebrate, but how will you ring in the new year?

Ideally, with a folder full of fresh queries, assignments, and bank deposit slips.

It's time to take stock of your writing, and plan your goals, chart your course, make your year happen the way you desire. Get specific about your goals and hold yourself accountable. Grab a goal buddy if you need someone to make you stay true to yourself. Consider where you want to be a year from now and list a few steps you can follow to get there.

Do something every day and every week toward your goals. And, next year, we'll all be toasting your success.

If you need more motivation, visit Maria Schneider's Writer's Perspective blog over at Writer's Digest. She awarded Writer's Digest subscriptions to ten readers and shares their prize-winning goal lists. You'll be impressed.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pajama Marketing

Sure, people laugh when I speak of "pajama marketing," but you know what I mean - putting in a few hours at your computer, marketing your work. Here's a great example of a way to market your work to independent bookstores around the country.

Sure, marketing your book requires a lot of work. But the writing did too. And even if you didn't write your book with this in mind, it's time to focus on expanding your readership by getting your book in more stores.

Did you know you can buy a mailing list of U.S. independent book stores from a reliable source ( The cost for over 1,400 book store names and addresses is $75, but they also list the addresses on their site, where you can snag them for free. You could copy and paste the addresses for the shops in your area into a word processing document, do a mail-merge to print labels or letters, and let your work fly! New Pages also has lists of public and academic libraries at the above link.

What would you send to stores? That's up to you: The book synopsis, colorful postcard, media sheet, telling them how to order from your publisher, and stating the handsome 35 or 40 percent discount you'll offer. Include customer comments from your Amazon page and other testimonials from readers. No need to include sales figures - they have easy access to that information.

Helen Gallagher
Release Your Writing

Saturday, December 8, 2007

ISBN now available in singles

If you're publishing a book, you need an International Standard Book Number (ISBN.)
As I mention in Release Your Writing, they are available through R.R. Bowker Company, and must be issued in the name of the publisher. So, if you publish through a print-on-demand firm, the ISBN is in the firm's name. If you want to own the number, you would have to purchase a minimum of ten ISBN's at a cost about $245 plus $30 registration fee plus $25 per barcode or a total investment of $525

Now, I've learned RJ Communications has become an authorized agent for R.R. Bowker and is selling single ISBN's at about $125. In fact, his site shows a December special for $99.

If you are issuing only one book and really want the ISBN in your name, look into it and review the application at this site,

If you are more likely to stay with print-on-demand, or are publishing multiple book formats, such as: hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, audio book, etc., you might be happy to purchase the ten-pack.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Several people have asked about upcoming workshops and events. The full list is posted at my site,, and at

For your easy reference, here is info on the first two workshops of 2008:

JAN. 28, 2008, 7:00 p.m.


Description: Aspiring writers will learn the ins and outs of publishing in the 21st century during this workshop led by author Helen Gallagher. Gallagher, author of Release Your Writing: Publishing Your Way, will discuss the pros and cons of working with an agent, options for publishing written works yourself, how to cope with new technologies, ways to effectively market a book, and more.
Location: Meeting Room A (room 154)
Contact: Linda Burns
Contact Number: 847-253-5675

Cable TV interview for the library program:
(Click on Clip One only.)

FEB. 6, 2008, 7:00 p.m.

, IL (December 5, 2007) -- The February meeting of the Midwest Writers Association is open to the public to hear Helen Gallagher’s presentation, “Your book is being published: Now what?” Gallagher, a freelance writer, technology expert and author of Release Your Writing: Book Publishing Your Way, will discuss ways to market a book through bookstores and other retail outlets, book clubs, online resources, and other strategies. February 6, 7:00 p.m., at the Wilmette Public Library Auditorium, 1242 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette, IL. Admission is $5.00. If planning to attend, please inform Jim O’Connor, 847-615-5462,