Submit Your Writing Online

There are quite a few websites that take online submissions AND pay you for your efforts. Here is a sampling by category:

I. Short Stories

A. Story– Fiction and Non-fiction. Pay you $10. Per printed page.

B. Flash Fiction Online– Submit up to 1,000 words. Pay is $60. Per story.

C. Ideomancer– Looking for “out-of-the-box” writing. Pay is three cents per word, with a max of $40. Per story.

D. Shimmer– Speculative fiction (if you don’t know what this is, see one of my archived blogs on this subject) of 7500 words. Pay is 5 cents per word, with a $50 max.

E. One Story- They pay $500 BUT they choose only one short story to publish each month.

F. Crazyhorse– Looking for the “wacky and strange.” Pay is $20 per page, with a $200 max.

G. The Sun Magazine- They will consider ALL submissions. Pay is $300 to $2500 for Non-fiction; $300 to $1500 for Fiction.

H. Brevity- 750 words or less. Pay is $45.

II.  Personal Essays

A. The Awl- Pay is between $30-$250.

B. Good Old Days– Seeking nostalgia. Pay is between $15-75.

C. Literal Latte– Hold five contests per year. (three have $1000 prizes).

III. Articles

A. Travelicious- A Travel Guide website. Pay is $40 per 1,000 words.

B. Writer Naked– Resource for writers. Exemplary pieces can be paid as much as $200.

C. Technopedia– Anything about technology. Pays $50-$150.

D. Howlround– Dedicated to arts and the theatre. Pays $50 for 750-1000 words.

E. Gameskinny– Looking for lists, guides, etc. Pays $0.50 per 1,000 views.

Got Free Time?

You’ve got time on your hands.

The fact that many of us are not participating in many social events these days frees up several hours a week or more for our writing, doesn’t it?

So, why when I talk to other authors, do I hear that it isn’t the case? That their time is being used up with anything but?

I am told that naps, computer games, and watching television are filling up all available “free time.”

So, that means productivity is down across the board. 

Have we lost our drive… our desire to write?

Can I suggest that we review our goals … renew our purpose for writing in the first place?

It you write to encourage others, there has never been a time when your words of encouragement were needed more.

If you write to cheer people up … to give them reason to laugh… now’s the time they need your funny, uplifting stories the most.

If you write so you can transport your readers back to another time in history or forward to future times, this is your golden opportunity.

If you write so that your readers can escape the mundane or the fear of life in the present, they may be waiting for a book that only you will write.

So you know what that means, write?

Happily Ever After

When I was a kid, the vast majority of books that I ready ended with a happy ending.

But, then I read a book in junior high that had a sad and unexpected ending. I vividly remember going back and rereading the final few pages because I just knew I must have “read it wrong” or “misunderstood.”

I had read for hours, only to be “rewarded” with a tragic ending?

Later, I would learn the terminology for that type of  story was called a tragedy.

Aptly named.

A literary tragedy  consists of brave characters who confront powerful obstacles. They exemplify the resiliency of the human spirit when faced with danger…. and may even end in death. The characters are likable, making their suffering distressing for the reader. And, they often have a tragic flaw that becomes the reason for their downfall. And, finally, there is that heartbreaking ending.

Even though a character may lose everything in the end, if he takes responsibility for his actions, if he affirms human values, the reader is often filled with hope for mankind.

You may decide not to write a true tragedy. However, there are still some techniques you can use to make each scene or chapter in your book a “page turner” or “cliff hanger”:

  1. Use an ellipsis (…) so readers will be left with an unfinished thought. 
  2. Ask a question (so the reader will wonder what might happen or cause them to madly search Amazon for the next book in the series).
  3. Share negative or conflicting inner thoughts for your characters to reveal their inner turmoil.
  4. Make sure your scenes are very descriptive and I vary the sentence length to take readers from intense action to peaceful interludes and then return to a faster pace.
  5. I have written a “less than satisfying ending” which is then addressed in the Epilogue.

Time and Time Again

Last week, I had a series of negative things happen in the space of three hours: a package I was expecting was sent to someone else’s house, my massage appointment was cancelled, I forgot my grocery store coupons and had to drive all the way back home, and my husband returned from the landscape nursery with the wrong item.

All of those things reminded me of Lemony Snicket’s The Series of Unfortunate Events and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst—two books I have enjoyed over and over again with each reading.

Remembering to make lemonade out of lemons, I began writing chapter one of a new book with a main character who is faced with a series of problems, too. Within minutes, my anger turned to laughter. 

I hit SAVE AS and then gave my new book a name. 

People love humor. And if we are able to laugh at ourselves, our own real life circumstances can become the substance of books that readers can enjoy time and time again.

Writing on the Dark Side?

Writing on the Dark Side?

No. I’m not talking about horror.

I’m talking about the other side of midnight.

When the clock strikes 12 PM and you’re still at the computer.

Why aren’t you all snuggled-up and cozy in your bed?

“Nothing good is going to happen after midnight,” my mother told me decades ago. “Be in by curfew.”

So, do you have a writing curfew? A time at which you may be still physically able to write, but your brain is no longer functioning to its best creative ability?

Yes, there are those times when a brilliant idea comes our way and the creative juices wouldn’t stop flowing even if we did shut down our computer. 

Most of the time, though, our mind and body adopt a certain rhythm and we automatically know when we are the most productive. For me, it’s between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM although I often push it to 4 PM.

Here’s what research says about ways to boost productiveness: 

  1. Keep hydrated.
  2. Take 5 minute breaks every 50 minutes.
  3. Stretch regularly.
  4. Take a break outdoors.
  5. Get in a short nap.
  6. Work standing up for short periods.
  7. Work by a window (natural light).
  8. Take a sniff of peppermint oil.
  9. Drink a cup of coffee with a few drops of coconut oil.

Remaining 2020 Online Conferences/Workshops

 

Covid-19 is changing the way that we have done things. One of the biggest changes is in group gatherings.

Yesterday, I attended my first online writer’s conference. Usually held in person in Arizona, the Desert Sleuth’s Conference was full of information. It was also free. I couldn’t pass up that deal.

They did a good job of everything, from their selection of presenters, topics, advertising, and making their audience feel included and valued.

For the foreseeable future, virtual meetings may be the way to go. So, I compiled this list of remaining conferences you might like to “attend”online this year. (I am sure if you research a bit on your own, you will be able to add to this list).

AGENT ONE-ON-ONE BOOTCAMP: September 22-25. How to Craft Query Letters & Other Submission Materials That Get Noticed Boot Camp.

AUTHOR ADVANTAGE LIVE:   9/24-26

Writing Day Workshops: 

Boston Mass. on 10/3

Philadelphia, PA  on 11/14-15

Washington, D.C. on 12/5

 

SELF PUBLISHING ADVICE CONFERENCE 10/17

JANE FRIEDMAN CLASSES:

Oct. 7: Blogging Strategies That Work in 2020 

Oct. 25: The Foundations of Getting Published 

She has many more affordable online courses available for

  individual study.

WRITERS’ DIGEST ON DEMAND WEBINARS (Sign up and choose your date). These are offered on many topics, including How to Write Short Stories, Writing the Historical Novel, How to Attract an Agent, and many more.

GOTHAM WRITERS’ WORKSHOP: Based in New York, see their online catalog for a listing of workshops and classes.

Setting Up an AMS Account

You are an author, and already have your book(s) on Amazon.

Now, you want to set up an Amazon Marketing Account.

Here is how to go about it:

1.   Go to your author BOOKSHELF to begin.

2. Click on PROMOTE AND ADVERTISE next to your book.

  1. It may prompt you to sign in with your KDP account at this point.
  2. It will then ask you to read Amazon’s advertising agreement and click  ACCEPT AND CONTINUE.
  3. Click on CHOOSE A MARKET PLACE.
  4. Click on CREATE AN AD CAMPAIGN.
  5. Now, hover over the 3 white horizontal lines in the upper left corner of your screen (next to New Campaign heading).
  6. Choose ACCOUNT ACCESS AND SETTINGS. Click on INVITE USER.
  7. Enter the name and email address of the person you want to invite.
  1. Click on RUN AN AD CAMPAIGN.

Choose either:  Editors (if someone else is using the account, like a person you have hired to do marketing) and enter their email address. OR: Administrator (for yourself or someone that you are going to give editor privileges AND the ability to change your payment settings).

10)  Click ADD/REMOVE users; then click INVITE USER.

11)  Go back up to those three horizontal white lines and click on: SET-UP YOUR BILLING AND PAYMENTS. Click on PAYMENT SETTINGS. (Right now, you can only choose credit/debit). Click CONTINUE.

12) Choose ADVERTISER/OWNER, fill in the information, and click SAVE.

*Note: You are done FOR THE MARKET PLACE YOU CHOSE ABOVE IN #5. However, you must repeat this process for each Market Place you would like to advertise in.

Sponsored Product Ads

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Amazon offers four basic ways to advertise products. However, KDP account holders are limited to using just one of them: Sponsored Product Ads.

These ads appear in search results on product pages. They are cost-per-click ads .

After signing in to your KDP Bookshelf, click on Promote and Advertise next to your book’s title. 

You will be given step-by-step directions to write a short “ad” and select how much you are willing to pay each time a prospective buyer clicks on your ad. (Note: This is not per sale. It is per click.)

You will also need to set a max budget for your ad. Once your budget is used, your ad will not show. 

You can renew or rewrite your ad as often as you want.

Bundle Up!

 

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Readers love a good series. They like your characters and want to read more. 

So, you decide to write a series of books with those same characters, setting, and so on.

Amazon says it is smart business to bundle your series because it creates “multiple entry points through which readers can discover your books.” In fact, there are many readers that look, specifically, for a series to read.

So, let’s continue our series for Indie Book Promotions by learning how to link our Kindle Book Series on Amazon:

  1. Create a name for your series. Each book must have exactly the same series name.
  2. On your KDP Bookshelf, edit each book description to link them. After you Login, click the ellipsis button next to the Promote and Advertise button by the title of the first book in your series.
  3. Select edit eBook details and look for SERIES.
  4. Add the series name in the first box, and its number (1,2,3,etc.) in the second box.
  5. Scroll down and click on Save and Continue. Click Publish Your Kindle e-Book.
  6. On the next page, use the same directions for your second book.

Now, the final step: notify Amazon that you have made a series.

Click Help at the top right of the screen. Then, press CONTACT US. Select Product Page. Click on Kindle Series Bundles.

Fill out the contact form, including each book’s ASIN and series name. Then, SEND MESSAGE.

If you write a new book and wish to add it to the series later, use the same form again.

Things to Note:

  1. Your books will still be listed separately on Amazon, too, so the reader can elect to order a single book or or scroll down and order the entire bundle.
  2. HOWEVER, you can’t discount your bundle. So, let’s say you have three, five-dollar books in your bundle. The bundle will cost $15.00 The reader doesn’t save money.
  3. You cannot write a specific description for your series. The description will be the description of the first book in the series. 
  4. Your bundle will only be available on amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.de, and amazon.co.jp.
  5. Above all, remember bundling is only for the Kindle. Not for paperback.

Hopefully, some of these will change, soon!!!

 

Promote Your Book

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Back to our research on book promotions for Indie Authors:

The article I mentioned in my past blog recommended three companies: Books Butterfly, Kindle Nation Daily, and Bargain Booksy.

I went to each of these sites. I scouted around for different promotions, cost, layouts, ease of use, and overall appeal for readers.

Of the three, I found that only https://www.Bargainbooksy.com ticked off all of my boxes.

The other two were unappealing, expensive, and didn’t offer what I wanted for my specific genre. Feel free to visit those websites and check them out. 

I read the general information on Bargain Booksy as well as followed links they supplied for examples, additional information, and customer reviews.

First of all, their site is attractive and fairly straightforward. They supply a handy chart of genres and the cost of advertising for each genre. 

They claim over 305,000 registered users. They also say that a Bargain Booksy feature will help drive sales of your e-book, find a new audience of readers, generate reviews, and improve your book rank on retail sites.

With a paid promotion, your book will be in their daily email of Kindle readers who have expressed an interest in your genre.

They will link your book on Bargainbooksy.com with Kindle, Kobo, Apple, and Nook.

Your promotion will feature your book’s front cover and a short description.

You must price your book between .99 and $5.00 for the length of your promotion. (There are articles that explain how to do this.)

Your book will be in a daily newsletter to over 294K combined subscribers of all genres AND a customized email to readers of your specific genre. [Each with book cover, purchase links, description, and price.]

Additionally, your book will be featured on the Bargain Booksy website and their Facebook Page, which claims 20K followers.

Note: There is a Deal of the Day Premium feature which has different pricing, but it is only for these four genres: Romance, Mystery, Fantasy, and Science Fiction. See their site for details. 

Audiobooks can be promoted on their sister site,  https://ReadingStacks.com