Archive for June, 2010

A FREE way to make a difference

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Trying not to sound Spammy here, but the issue of literacy is important to me.

Copied from www.theliteracysite.com

The Literacy Site is dedicated to funding free books for children.

On average, over 80,000 individuals from around the world visit the site each day to click the “Click Here to Give – it’s FREE” button. To date, more than 87 million visitors have helped provide more than 2.5 million books to children who need them the most.

Worldwide, there are more than 770 million illiterate adults, two-thirds of whom are women. In addition, there are over 100 million children not currently enrolled in primary school and millions of others not currently enrolled in secondary school. Education is a lifelong gift that empowers people to ultimately improve socioeconomic conditions for their families, communities, countries, and future generations. Through the opportunities that only an education can provide, we can break the cycle of poverty, one child at a time. Together, The Literacy Site and its international partner, Room to Read, provide books to children in some of the poorest regions of the world, including Tibet, India, Vietnam, and Laos.

CLICK HERE to give books and make a difference. There’s no cost.

Writing Contest: Brava’s Writing with the Stars

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Aspiring authors, get ready for your moment in the spotlight as the author of your own Brava novel! RT Book Reviews and Brava books, a division of Kensington Publishing Corp., are launching an all-new writing competition, Writing With the Stars.
The Details:

* Ten lucky aspiring writers will have a chance to work with Brava authors in the hopes of being the one lucky winner who lands a publishing contract with Brava! * There will be five rounds of competition, in which aspiring authors will work with their mentors to make sure their entries are the strongest they can be.
* Each round will include comments from celebrity judges from the romance blogosphere.
* Entrants must have a completed 80,000 – 90,000-word manuscript in any
romance genre (including historical, contemporary, romantic suspense and paranormal)
* The manuscript must have a sensuality tone that matches the Brava line.
* Those picked to compete as the top 10 contestants will have their own webpage on the Brava Authors blog and the RT website.

The Rules:

1. Entries will be accepted July 1st , 12am EST, through July 15th ,11:59 EST.
2. Only the first 500 entries will be eligible. 3. This contest is open to unpublished authors. For the purposes of the contest, “unpublished” means authors who have not been published in print. Authors who have only been published in e-format are eligible.
4. This contest is open to authors worldwide, however, entries must be in English.
5. Entries must be Brava-level heat. Inspirational or “sweet” romances will be disqualified.
6. Entries can be contemporary, paranormal, historical, or romantic suspense.
7. Entries must be single-title length—at least 80,000 words. Please use the Word Count feature in your document program to calculate this. 8. You must send THE FULL MANUSCRIPT as your entry. We are not interested in seeing partials of manuscripts that are incomplete.
9. Your entry must be sent to us exclusively. Manuscripts that have won previous contests are fine, but please do not send projects that are currently out with other publishers. If your manuscript is out with agents, please let them know they cannot submit it to other publishers until finalists are announced.
10. Your entry must have your name, address, phone number, and email address. Please also include the genre you are targeting.
11. Your entry must be submitted via email to marketing@kensingtonbooks.com with “Brava contest” in the subject line. Snail mail entries will not be considered. Manuscripts sent directly to Brava editors will not be considered.
12. Only the top 10 finalists will be notified. Finalists will be announced Sept 1st. If you have not heard from us by Sept 1st, you are not a finalist, and are free to submit your manuscript elsewhere.

To Enter:

E-mail the following:

* a Word document attachment of your complete manuscript
* a two-to-seven page synopsis
* a cover letter

To: Marketing@KensingtonBooks.com

* Put “Brava contest” in the subject line.

Some of the Brava authors who will participate in Writing With the Stars will include Mary Wine, HelenKay Dimon, Terri Brisbin, Diane Whiteside, Cynthia Eden, Emma Lang, Bianca D’Arc, Rebecca Zanetti, Lucy Monroe, and Bronwen Evans.

Bookshelf Porn

Monday, June 7th, 2010

IMO, there aren’t very many things more perfect or more beautiful than a wall of full bookshelves.
For those of you out there who agree with me, there’s Bookshelf Porn. My personal fave: this hidden door bookshelf, leading to a room full of books.

Bookshelf door

I just had a bookgasm 🙂

I WANT

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Available now at Amazon!.
Emily Fenwick, former NYPD, is now reluctant defender of 1890 New York. Unfortunately for Emily, who hates “the creepy stuff,” she ignored her inner voice, went to a carnival in Central Park, and entered a Victorian tent in hopes a psychic would have some encouraging news about her woefully boring love life. The guarantee she receives of meeting a tall, dark, and handsome stranger comes with a huge catch–he lives in an alternate dimension of the past.

Jack Pettigrew leads a quirky band of lost souls in a battle to save New York circa 1890. Nightmares have come alive and threaten to terrorize a fragile era. Jack leads the “punks,” who have been sucked back in time through a vortex. Each has a fleeting memory of their own death–or near death–and must determine for themselves why they have been chosen for this mission. Is Steamside their Purgatory? Could an Egyptian obelisk in Central Park be the cause of the time rift, or is Emily herself to blame for the goblins, zombies, and other nightmarish scenes plaguing them?

If the Punks want to return to 2010, they must ensure there’s going to be an 1891. If they conclude they’re really ghosts, then it might be time to party like it’s 1999.

Dear Reader, Please note that while this book has some adult content, it is not ultra steamy romance. If you prefer hardcore gadget laden steampunk–look away. While this book has some steampunk elements, it is primarily a fantasy romance. Best wishes!

25 Ways to Not Get Published: Post 3

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Happy Thursday!  Are you ready for the third way to not get published today?

To remind you, the first was: Demand no less than a six-figure advance in your query letter. Your book is brilliant and if Big Publishing House isn’t willing to pay, then there’s no need to submit a single page.

The second way was: Ask friends/critique partners or fellow authors for feedback on your project, and then dismiss their concerns. Everyone is wrong! Head-hopping is okay. Plenty of authors do it. And who cares if you start every paragraph with the same word (“Then…”)? That’s the way you want it. Your baby is perfect and if they can’t see that, then they’re blind.

Now, the third:

Let the editor know how desperate you are to sell to her by including phrases like the following in your query: “I’ll do anything”, “If you don’t buy it, I’ll commit suicide” or the ever popular, “My kids need shoes/medicine/an operation”.

There are no such things as Pity-Contracts. Making an editor feel sorry for you or guilty isn’t going to make her buy your book. It’s just going to peeve her. Editors contract books they are convinced will make their employer–the publishing house–money. Period. They may like a book–even, love a book–and still choose not to contract it. An editor may like you and still choose not to contract your book. It’s nothing personal, and to make it personal is a big mistake.

Repeat after me: writing is an art; publishing is a business.

Submission Call: Redstone Science Fiction zine

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

THE MARKET

  • Mag: Redstone Science Fiction
  • Editor(s): Michael Ray and Co-Editor Paul Clemmons
  • Pay Rate: 5¢ / word
  • Response Time: expect 1 month, query after two
  • Deadline: Temp closed since 4/4/10, will reopen in a few weeks
  • Description: Redstone Science Fiction will publish quality stories from across the science fiction spectrum. We are interested in everything from post-cyberpunk to new space opera.
  • Submission Guidelines: redstonesciencefiction.com

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Authors: Habit Three

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Hello again! I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!

So far, we’ve talked about two habits for highly effective authors: 1. Writing Every Day and 2. Learning about the Industry/Business side of publishing

Are you ready for habit number three?

3. Highly effective authors learn how to handle criticism.

I’ve been a member of many critique groups over the years, and there are always one or two (or more) members who expect everyone to love their work. Any “negative” (meaning, less than glowing) comment is met with a defensive (or hostile) rebuttal. This works against them in the long run, and puts them at a huge disadvantage later. How?

A. Because critique partners will sooner or later either learn to dance around the truth or give up critiquing altogether. That robs the writer of an opportunity to learn.

And,

B. Because a writer with very thin skin will often have a hard time accepting edits if she/he sells. That will put a strain on his/her relationships with future agents and editors.

Highly effective authors know they’ll be criticized on many fronts if their work is ever published. Critique partners. Editors. Agents. Readers. Reviewers. They have no choice but to develop a thick skin. They quickly learn the value of honest and constructive feedback, particularly when it’s coming from a reliable source…and before the book is in print, when it’s not too late to make changes.

Now, my personal critique partner horror story: I have to admit, I was clueless when I started writing. I was sure EVERYONE would love everything I’d written when I first started. But, thanks to a (now defunct) site called iPublish, which was somewhat similar to Gather’s First Chapter contests, my delusions were quickly squelched. Not everyone loved my work. Some did, yes. But others didn’t “get” it. And some hated it. “Why do you need demons in a romance story?” “Your scenes are overwritten.” and there was the “You don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Go back to kindergarten and learn how to write.”

Did those criticisms hurt? You bet! And (of course) I often felt they were dead wrong. But I learned, after selling and reading my first bad review, that it was better to hear about the bad BEFORE the book was in print, rather than after.

I now embrace the critic. Are they sometimes wrong? Maybe. But I tend to see some truth in every bit of criticism I read of my work. And I take those grains of truth and apply them, hoping the next book will be better.

Remember, it might take one editor to love a story for your book to be published. But it’s going to take thousands of readers to love a story for you to sell your next book.
Learn from the criticism you receive. Grow. Challenge yourself. Resist the urge to post any kind of defense of your work…and be a Highly Effective Author.

Anyone care to share their critique partner horror stories? Post them in the comments.