Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September: What happened to your summer goals?

September is here and summer is winding down. Have you moved along on your writing goals? Have you had the time you need to follow through?

If not, here's your motivation: GET IT DONE is NAIWE’s 2010 Summer Challenge.

Visit NAIME.com

The folks at NAIME, National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, offer a challenge to take this summer to learn, grow, and get ready for a busy and successful autumn. There are three parts to the challenge:

1. Read three books that will stretch your mind and inspire your creative spirit.
2. Finish one project that’s been nagging at you for longer than you care to admit.
3. Brainstorm a new project that will bring you an additional stream of income, then take the first step to make it happen.

My goals for the Get It Done challenge are:

1. I'm on book two of the three I committed to reading. The first was The Wealthy Freelancer.

2. After attending a conference in July, I haven't kept my goal of querying one editor each week. I'm back on track now with this.

3. Additional income is easy for any writer with the power of ebooks. I'm issuing a new one in September, and one more by the end of the year. Writing an article for an online marketing is also feasible. It might be an easy goal for you to tackle too. In August, I've had $150 in extra revenue with quick sales to these markets.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lonely Planet review of the "Eat, Pray, Love" locations

I had the pleasure of seeing the "Eat, Pray, Love" movie with an assignment to then review Lonely Planet's travel guides to the destinations: Italy, India and Bali. The full review is posted on Blogcritics.org.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cogent POV from Seth Godin

Excerpt from Media Bistro interview 8-25-10

You blog every single day. How do you keep your ideas fresh for your readers?

"I don't buy that the people don't have enough ideas. It is hard for me to imagine how someone can go through the whole day and have talker's block, I have never met anyone who woke up in the morning and had so little to say they were mute until they went to bed that night. People don't get talker's block, so why do we get writer's block? We get writer's block 'cause we are afraid, it's easy to talk because you can deny it later and it disappears, but once you write it down, that's when the fear comes from. That's where you say I don't have any good ideas and all I do is write like I talk. If I have something interesting to say, I say it and then I write it down, it's not that hard. I think that the art here is in chopping down the wall, the barrier between what you want to say and what you are afraid of, and letting people hear your best stuff."

Seth Godin

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What it takes to succeed in self-publishing

The Cliff Notes version of an Cathie Beck's articulate blog post about her self-published success story. Read the full post at shewrites.com.

Cathie Beck's take-aways:

Decide what you want. Be specific. (Do you want to sell your book or self-publish for the long haul?)

Take an online book marketing class (I teach one now). Learn what works.

Write a 25-word description of your target market: age, gender, income.

Get in front of every online (and otherwise) audience you know.

Pick a launch date and build a Web site.

Get at least one good review. Use it everywhere.

Have faith and go for it with every ounce of your being.

Well said, Cathie.

Helen Gallagher

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

East of Eden Writers Conference: September 24-26, 2010

Oops... The following East of Eden Writers Conference has been cancelled.... Salinas is still worth a visit though, and so is the need for all of us to support our writing groups. Sending good wishes to the Santa Clara Valley chapter of the California Writers Club.


It's too darn hot this summer. Plan your autumn getaway to Salinas, California for the East of Eden Writers Conference, Sept. 25-26, 2010. If you've never been to Salinas, you;ll see the land loved by the amazing John Steinbeck is alive with his writing.

And the Steinbeck Center is an amazing museum and tribute to this great American writer. Workshop sessions cover fiction, non-fiction, poetry, mystery, and the business of writing. Learn more at http://www.southbaywriters.com/EastofEden2010/workshops.html

Helen Gallagher
Release Your Writing

A question on sending your manuscript to a POD firm

A client posed this question today, and I thought I'd let my email response do double-duty by posting it here:

Yes, it is safe to send them the manuscript before you have a contract. Until the POD firm approves it, they can't offer you a contract. They need to be sure, first of all, that it is not racist or hate literature. And, they have to be sure the document format and layout is something they can work with.

As the publisher, they have a legal obligation to produce quality, so they have to see it before you sign the contract. Nobody in the publishing book business wants to claim ownership of our work. I always say its like a shoe salesman - chances are they don't want to steal your shoes while you're walking around the shop in theirs.