Friday, November 18, 2016

Enjoy Personal Satisfaction and Book Sales Without Active Marketing

Judith Quaempts achieves personal satisfaction, and sales, without actively marketing her books, A Place Called Winter and A Creek Named Sorrow .

"I'm very low key," Judith said. "I don't market and I've never asked for a review. It seems to me that word of mouth helps sales the most and I hope my novels are interesting enough to warrant readers passing the word along."
Judith lives in Athena, Oregon (pop 1200), between Walla Walla, Washington and Pendleton, Oregon.
The one independent bookstore in Pendleton where she had sold books, closed this year.
"I suppose I could take some books outside the area. I haven't explored that possibility because I don't travel much. However, I do sell my books at the Pendleton Center for the Arts at 214 N. Main Street, in Pendleton. The Art Center is generous and only takes 30% of each sale. 
Tamastslikt Cultural Institute on the Umatilla Indian Reservation contacted me after A Place Called Winter  came out. They ordered twenty books. I contacted them when A Creek Named Sorrow was published and was pleasantly surprised when they ordered twenty copies, plus another fifteen of A Place Called Winter . I provide them a discount and am paid in advance. 
I lived on the Reservation for years, and now I’m a couple miles south of it. 
Two things helped me decide to self-publish. 1.) I had no luck finding an agent. One publisher expressed considerable interest. However, I withdrew the manuscript when a year and a half slid by and my followup letter asking for the status of my manuscript was not returned. 
I wanted readers. If I only sold fifty copies that's still fifty more than if the book stayed in my computer. 
 2.) I self-published on the advice of two people I very much trust. One of them, Robin Cain, is also a member of  Internet Writing Workshop. Now I can't imagine going any other route. And speaking of the  Internet Writing Workshop, I’ve belonged for years and cannot begin to express my gratitude for the invaluable critiques I received when submitting both novels. 
 I donate books to the three libraries in the area. Libraries have, and still do, sustain me. For years, my budget didn’t stretch to buying books. Now that has changed-but I know there are many people who can’t afford to buy books and rely on the library for most of their reading. In fact, the Pendleton Library has invited me to read from A Creek Named Sorrow on December 1, 2016, and they're handling venue and advertising."

Judith Kelly Quaempts lives and writes in rural eastern Oregon. Her books are available in Kindle and paperback at Amazon. Her short stories and poetry have been published online and in print, most recently in Crafty Poet II, Windfall, A Journal of Place, Young Ravens Literary Review, and The Poeming Pigeon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Market Information Recently Shared by Internet Writing Workshop Members

The following marketing information has been recently shared by successful Internet Writing Workshop authors.

The Literary Hatchet If you write "dark" fiction or poetry, defined very loosely, this seems to be a good place to send your work.  They respond promptly to your submission and they pay $10 when they say they will. What's more, since they publish out of New Zealand, if you get something accepted, you can call yourself a paid, international writer.

Big Pulp. 
If you write dark-ish genre stories, Big Pulp is a good site.

The Underground Book Review 
UBR reviews indy-published books only (self-pubbed or small-press, nothing affiliated with the "Big-5" including their vanity publishing subsidiaries).

Lady Lady is an online literary magazine for women, by women of all ages.

Young Ravens Literary Review: A Biannual Online Literary Journal, A Biannual Online Literary Journal

Mused -the BellaOnline Literary Review   Deadline Approaching for the 2016 Ebook Awards! Those must be in by Sat, Nov 20, 2016!!

Chicago Writers Association

Visit: Internet Writing Workshop blog 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Let Retrieving Misplaced Data = Efficient Writing

Retrieving forgotten file names

Take the time to learn the search functions in your computer because Search functions save hours of frustration, and allow you to retrieve misplaced and related pertinent information quickly.
You will never regret the time spent learning, and by doing so you will increase your efficiency and output considerably.
Operating system search option locates keywords in word documents, and e-mail software search option sifts through e-mail files lightening fast. Each returns a list of files containing the precise word or words you enter into the Search.
Most searches will operate in the background while you continue writing, if you're pressed for time.
Because operating systems vary widely, and so do e-mail software programs, you will need to read your program's help files to learn how to use your search functions.
About software programs essential to writers
Internet browser: A software program enabling users to navigate the Internet.
Web-based e-mail: e-mail messages are stored in equipment owned by an Internet service provider, but is not stored in your computer unless you copy it into a file in your computer.
E-mail software program: Let's you download your e-mail messages from equipment owned by an Internet service provider, into a file folder in your computer, and you choose to either save or delete messages from your computer.
Alternative methods for web-based e-mail:
Save material as a draft message, which makes it is easy to access anywhere on any computer, and backup as both word documents and messages to minimize any loss due to both online-site and computer failure.
When doing research, open two web based email accounts, e.g. one Hotmail and one in another, such as a Gmail or Qmail account. Send the mail to both email accounts (e.g. you have the Hotmail open and send it to yourself, and put your other account address in the CC line). It is very unlikely with this double system that you will ever lose data. To be extra safe, use three instead of two accounts. Some people won't like it because you give away part of the control, and some people will use three accounts to be extra safe.
Word processor documents work just as well as a computer-based e-mail file-message.

For another option you can use Carbonite, an automatic backup resource.  
It's also possible to use Microsoft with Gmail. You'll find instructions here .

Monday, August 15, 2016

Jeff Vandermeer's Wonderbook and the Editor Roundtable

Jeff Vadermeer's Wonderbook  is an illustrated guidebook on writing. While aimed primarily at fantasy writers, I'd applicable to all genres. It provides a wealth of helpful information, plus a really interesting companion website.

One of the items on the website is the Editor Roundtable. The page has a short story submission--one that was rejected--and comments and critique from a number of editors. The intent is to show writers a behind the scene glimpse of the editors' thought process and preferences of different editors.

When Lynne Hinkley, Author and Marine Scientist, recommended it to members of  Internet Writing Workshop. She said, "I found it quite fascinating and thought many of you would too."

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The 23-Month Pregnancy of "Kill All Cats" by Rick Bylina

How did Rick Bylina remain dedicated for nearly two years to completing and publishing "Kill All Cats"?

As you read Rick's guest blog, pay attention and you can pick out the salient points that kept him writing as he relates the growth of Kill All Cats

Rick Bylina & Sidney Writers

By Rick Bylina

I knew the moment my pregnancy began.

On June 26, 2014, at 4:33 p.m., the lamenting had reach fever pitch in a private authors-only Facebook group about the lack of our book sales and the banning of books. My mind darkened to match the stormy skies outside. Creative thoughts sparked my fingers. Charged, they skittered across on the keyboard. "I’m going to write something so horrific that thousands will ban it and millions will buy it to protest the banning."

My words garnered a few LOLs. And then, an efriend launched a dozen pictures of cats onto my Facebook page. The images flowed like kitty porn designed for an excitable alley cat.

I like animals but couldn’t abide the cat stampede. I groaned. Then, I gripped the arms of my chair as all the synapses in all the corners of my engorged brain erupted with spasmodic writer euphoria. Idea penetration had been achieved. I gasped as my brain cells formed the story idea zygote about an isolated man, telepathically controlled by a cockatiel, who goes on a wild killing spree to rid the world of cats. My oblivious cockatiel slept on my knee at that moment, at least, I think he slept.

After 5,000 words in the next few hours and several thousand the following morning, I paused for a long pull on a coke or possibly bourbon. I don’t remember in the afterglow of plot lust. In the ebb of writing ecstasy, I savored the moment because I couldn’t usually keep it up that long. Then I realized, my brain coveted an idea to which I could never do justice. Steven King had never composed anything as macabre as I had penned in that writing orgy.

My twenty-three-month gestation conundrum had begun.

I had to accept my limitations as a writer based on my experience, ability to research, and personal tastes; I needed to stretch my boundaries to create a break-out novel. I wanted a noteworthy book, especially when I could envision a rich story complete in every element of style. I revised and feed the story language that reflected aspects of great writing that I had learned about and honed over the years. I saw the language didn’t need the verbs “was” and “were” to be vibrant, thoughtful, and intriguing.

I fleshed out the plot organically and revised as needed, looped-back on touchstones, hid clues in plain sight, and gave each character achievable goals and the motivation to go after them. I relived the thrill of idea conception as each new chapter grew, and I remembered to stay true to the core story idea.

The need to strengthen the motivation of the protagonist, Ron, arose. I gave him a horrific background to make his nature understandable and provide him room to grow and mature, or fall into a meaningless life. I added humor as his cockatiel, Brisbane, morphed from a malevolent bird to a humorous sidekick, blissfully parroting appropriate clichés from crime shows and movies, which he watched 24/7. I made Ron and Brisbane co-dependent in a way that only someone who had faced despair could truly understand and then made the emotion available for all readers.

I added intrigue, but the story needed more. I erected the pillars of romance for Ron as I tightened the screws to his situation, building his strength and knowledge for the final showdown against a host of powerful villains and gut-check situations. Endless editing, constant rewrites, alpha and beta reader comments, editorial face slaps, cover design hiccups, production deadlines, and executing the marketing plan followed.

Twenty-three months after conception, I gave birth to Kill All Cats, a novel unexpectedly beautiful in my eyes, and I hope in yours.

Rick Bylina
The only rule: Writers write! Everything else is a guideline.

Rick has been a member of Internet Writing Workshop
for many years, and is well known and beloved for the unstinting support and encouragement he gives to fellow IWWmembers and for his advice, and delightfully unique sense of humor.

I'm Rick the author man
I write all the words I can
I shuck the adverbs
Embrace power verbs
I'm Rick the author man.

Kill All Cats was the featured book July 8,2016 on the North Carolina Writers' Network, (4,000 members strong) BOOK BUZZ site.

Mel Jacob's review of Kill All Cats is up at Gumshoe Mystery Review. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016, Kill All Cats will have its world premiere public reading at The Joyful Jewel (art and book store) in Pittsboro, NC from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Find more Rick Bylina books at Amazon.
NOVELS: One Promise Too Many, A Matter of Faith, All of Our Secrets .
POETRY: Poems for a Platypus FLASH FICTION: Bathroom Reading.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Is Translating Books a Job You'd Enjoy?

Mark Kline, a long-time member of Internet Writing Workshop, translates books, so I asked him for a guest blog on the topic that writers will be sure to learn from. It may be a good venue for you.

Mark Kline
"It felt like a natural step for me to start translating literature. I've always loved reading fiction; I'd been living in Denmark for about twenty years, and I spoke and read Danish every day; I'd started writing short stories (in English); I've always liked working closely with others on projects. And I thought; why not give it a shot?
"I read translations and practiced translating. Then I contacted a somewhat unknown writer whose work I admired. Like most writers – as I've discovered – she was pleased that someone was interested in translating her work, and she was glad to help. I translated a few of her stories and sold them. It was thrilling to see they worked well in English – but how did it happen? It seemed almost like magic.
"Even now that I'm used to it, it can still seem a bit magical, though there's much routine involved. Reading a Danish story or novel, then starting in on it, translating the first sentence, the second, the third, until I reach the end. Then going back and thinking about words and paragraphs, approaching the work in smaller and larger bits, reading it at different 'distances.'

"It's somewhat like writing, except I always have to keep an eye on the original. It's push and pull, a constant stream of questions, usually resolved within seconds but certainly not always.

Questions such as:
  • Does this word correspond closely enough to the Danish word?
  • Does it fit in the flow of the translation?
  • Can I drop the adverb in this dialogue tag and find an English verb that covers it?
  • Is the tone of this paragraph too sarcastic in comparison to the Danish?
  • Should I try to write a sentence using alliteration as the Danish sentence does, or should I stick with what's closest to the content?
 "One way of looking at translation is that it's a series of dilemmas, many of them similar to those writers face. But translation dilemmas have more dimensions. For example, there's a golden rule: thou shalt not improve what you're translating.
"It's constantly in the back of my mind. But how do you define "improve?" Tricky!
"There are also many loyalties to juggle around – the people who will be reading the English translation, the author's wishes, the original work itself, whoever is paying.
"Another dilemma, maybe the biggest one of all – you have to write like other writers do, in styles that may not come natural to you.
"A sort of impersonation act. Maybe translators are like character actors?
"I was lucky. The first writer I translated many years ago became very popular, and through her and her publisher, I started picking up jobs. Gradually I became a full-time translator of literary fiction, poetry, crime novels, cookbooks, memoirs, journalism, alternative educational theory, videos on accordion repair – the strangest job I ever had was writing a report on a book by a Norwegian philosopher whose sentences averaged out at five pages in length.
"I can't say I've ever had a job that wasn't interesting in some way. The translations I'm happiest with don't necessarily come from books or writing I greatly admire. I still think about a short story I translated ten years ago. And a few poems. The beginning of a crime novel I translated last year.
"If you're thinking about trying your hand at translation – assuming you're fluent in a foreign language – I have a few simple tips:
  • Read translations and compare them to the originals.
  • Learn about the culture(s) that speaks the language you're translating from, the source language – traveling there is a big plus, if you can.
  • Practice; short stories or novel excerpts are good to start with, you get exposed to many styles and voices and the practical problems involved.
  • Read slowly and deeply as you're translating.
  • Read a lot in both the source language and the target language, which almost always is your native tongue.
  • And keep writing.
 "If you find you really enjoy translating, there are plenty of universities offering programs you can look into, for example: Center For Translation Studies.

"Some of the literary translators I know, or know of, have at least some education in translation. Most of the others are published writers who moonlight as translators. But then, to me all literary translators are writers.

"They have to be."

"Kingsize, by Mette Moestrup, is among my latest translations. Stephen Burt, said in Yale Review, "It might be no surprise that we live in a great time for avant-garde work in translation. And yet it's still surprising to see translated poems that depend on a spoken voice, on intonation and attitude, working in English almost as if they belonged there: that's the pleasant surprise – and sometimes the shock – of the Danish poet Mette Moestrup's Kingsize …

"I also translated The Last Supper, by Peter Wivel. Paul Berman, author of Terror and Liberalism and The Flight of the Intellectuals, said, "Klaus Wivel's report on the persecuted Christians of the Arab world is vivid, precise, morally astute, heartbreaking, and infuriating."

"I finished an unusual translation recently. It's on a wall at the  National Museum of Art in Copenhagen, which is a place I never imagined anything I ever had anything to do with would be.

"I had to translate the poem so each line and the poem as a whole took up almost the same number of words, characters, spaces, to give a mirror effect on the wall, the original and translation side by side. the poem was written for an exhibition of the Danish painter, Hammershoi.

"My translation of Sara Blaedel's crime thriller,
The Killing Forest was published earlier this year by Grand Central Publishing

"And finally, a story of mine, Ghosts That Never Lived, is in the spring 2016 issue of the Tulane Review, the litmag published by Tulane University.

Mark Kline grew up on a farm in the Flint Hills of Kansas. He now lives in Copenhagen, where he translates and writes short stories. He loves watching jazz from the side of the stage, crooked hedgeposts, baseball, old town barcelona at midnight, grandkids anytime anywhere, his eclectic taste, bees in lavender, informality, the summer we hitchhiked, playing bluegrass, fiction so great it makes you want to live in it, and hollyhocks and zinnias. He hates traumas, tight clothing, his childishness, nationalism, handicap toilets you have to walk downstairs to get to, canned spinach in vinegar, and privilege.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Lynne M. Hinkey's Latest Novel: The Un-Familiar: A Tale of Dogs and Demons

On the first of June, 2016, Lynne M. Hinkey's third novel, The Un-Familiar: A tale of Dogs and Demons, was released by independent publisher, Casperian Books.  It is the second book in her Chupacabra Trilogy.

Three years ago, I posted Lynne's guest blog, Partnerhip Publishing ~~ Is It Right For You?

Marina Melee, on Amazonwas released in 2011 by  Casperian Books.  
Lynne had recently signed a contract with Casperian for her second novel, Ye Gods!

Read what Bob Sanchez said on his blog  about Lynne Hinkley, who is a marine biologist, animal lover and nice person.

Visit Lynne On Facebook