Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Fascination With Quotes

Why do people like quotes?

VisualThesaurus , in "May I Quote You?published answers from Scholar, Fred Shapiro, an authority on quotations and the editor of the seminal Yale Book of Quotations The answers provide interesting insights well worth reading.

VisualThesaurus is a wonderful Subscription website people interested in words cherish because, along with other useful resources, the unique interactive dictionary and thesaurus create word maps. (14-day free trial.) Exploration and learning help users understand language in uniquely powerful ways. Visual Thesaurus® is developed and published by Thinkmap, Inc.

This website includes a number of archived (free) thoughtful blogs, plus the numerous comments they generate.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Banish Those Weird Characters and Run-On Sentences

Be certain that your editor is not going to receive a sloppy query or manuscript that possible arrives with weird characters, or sentences that run together.

Some ISP servers like nothing but pure plain text. So when you've saved your work in a standard word processor, whether you use plain text or RichText/HTML, it may not arrive in the pristine condition you intended.

Also, nearly all email programs or web email interfaces default to Rich Text, which also can result in ugly manuscripts when you don't take time to trim it. Let's face it. If your editor receives sloppy looking material you'll be less likely to receive an assignment.

There are ways to prevent the problem.
  1. Save a copy as plain text in Notepad. Then open that copy to check for HTML debris. Actually, it is good practice to keep a Notepad plain-text-folder for all your manuscripts.
  2. Set your email program or your web email to default to Plain Text.
  3. If you're still not sure that you have a clean manuscript, you can run it through one of the "scrubbers" to be found online.
Here are two free converters discovered with a quick search, and each produces a different font:


Keep your favorite editors happy by ensuring they receive perfectly formatted copy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ann Hite, Author of Ghost on Black Mountain Receives Publisher's Nod For Second Book

Ann Hite, author of Ghost on Black Mountain, received the best of news recently. The second book in the Black Mountain series will be published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.  The book will also get an exciting promotional plan.

Those in the publishing industry know this is not a small accomplishment, with the hard times the book business is going through at the moment. Ghost on Black Mountain has only been out three months!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why Your Marketing Isn't Selling Books:Who Discovers Your Books?

In today's book marketing world it's discovery that counts! How many readers discover your book, and how they do it, is what increases sales.

See also Chapter 18 , Access The World and Write Your Way To $$$.

Monday, November 21, 2011

About Using Facebook to Publish a Newspaper

The article, "Rockville news blog abandons its Web site, goes all Facebook all the time," by , in The Washington Post with Bloomberg, BUSINESS, provides some interesting insights into using Facebook for publishing a newspaper.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Paid Bloggers and Social Media Consultants

How Much Do Top Tier Bloggers and Social Media Consultants Get Paid? We Asked Them! is old October 9, 2008 story, by Marshall Kirkpatrick, published on ReadWriteWeb . However it's worth reading because of the good information Kirkpatrick provides on this type of writing gig.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WritersWeekly Article Can Help Authors Avoid Litigation

Remember to visit and read this  important article, published November 9, 2011, before you choose to use a ficticious name for anything in your novel: Does That "Fictitious" Business Name in Your Novel Already Belong to Somebody Else? By Angela Hoy

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tracking Books and Authors With Online Websites

The publishing world is ever changing and awesome in its torturous maneuvers, of which most book readers haven't a clue, and no concept of how those moves affect them. Take for instance what Amazon juggled as it acquired two book-lover ventures, Shelfari, a social network for bibliophiles, and AbeBooks. Shelfari is now an Amazon-owned social network for book lovers.

Shelfari and GoodReads both get high marks for helping you to keep track of the books you own and/or have read as well as those you'd like to read. And there are other uses, as well: Form a book club, answer book trivia, collect your favorite quotes; or get book recommendations from people you know, to name just two.

Another site book lovers and authors gravitate to for various reasons is Easybib, an awesome tool for all kinds of things such as bibliography as well as tracking and inventorying books you've authored, and searching out related books and topics.

I tried the title of my books, Behind These Mountains, vols. 1, 2 & 3 at Easybib and it does do a fantastic bibliography style entry. It also adds information so I didn't have to type everything in. Plus, it quickly located publications of many of my favorite authors, giving me interesting insights into their lives as well. It's my favorite tracking tool.

Give them a try and let the Internet help you.

Also, Delicious Library 2 was recommended by authors for the Mac to catalog DVDs. You can use the built-in webcam to read bar codes, and it interfaces with the Amazon API to populate the database fields, though you can write information in as well. It also has the ability to track items you've lent out!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Enter to Win Anne Hite's "Ghost on Black Mountain"

Read Anne Hite's guest blog today at I Just Wanna Sit Here And Read All Day .

After you've enjoyed Anne's unique writing voice, enter the contest to win a copy of her book, Ghost on Black Mountain.

You don't need to wait to win a copy though as Gallery Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster released Ghost on Black Mountain September 13, 2011 so it's available now in all major bookstores!

You'll find Anne's book tour information here .

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The 2011 Nonfiction Pushcart Prize Ranking at Perpetual Folly Website

The 2011 Nonfiction Pushcart Prize Ranking has a wealth of useful information at Perpetual Folly , not just magazine ranking. Explore the site thoroughly.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How Author's Sign e-books on Kindle

Authors who want to sign their e-books, or get an author's signature for a Kindle book,  can learn how this works at this New York Times article, Would You Sign My Kindle? , by STEPHANIE ROSENBLOOM.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who Owns Those Photos on Websites?

So you want to use a photo you've found on the Internet, but should you trust the permission you get from the website owner?

Think again. Read (and follow the advice in), Does That Website Really Own The Photo They Just Gave Me Permission To Use? Not Likely! on Writer's Weekly.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

e-Book Manager and Kindle Tip

Free software e-Book manager, Calibre . It's available on several platforms (Mac and Windows at least). It will convert many different formats into many other different formats, and will transfer them to and from your Kindle device. It doesn't write Amazon's proprietary format (.azw) but it does output Mobipocket format, which Kindle reads perfectly well.

When you connect the Kindle to your PC, it becomes just another drive on your computer, and you can move anything back and forth from your C drive. When you move a document to the Kindle, you place it in the /documents folder, and it will show up after a delay.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Author Tom Mahony's second novel, Flooding Granite , released today from Casperian Books. Readers outside the US and Canada can buy it here.

Mahoney thanked members of the Internet Writing Workshop - Novels-L list who read and greatly improved the book with their critiques and encouragement.

Imperfect Solitude is Mahoney's first novel, is reviewed by Lewis Faulkner at Internet Review of Books .

Friday, September 30, 2011

Latest Aps For Kindles: What You Need To know

Authors and book lovers try to stay abreast of changes that affects their publishing goals or reading. Amazon provides up-to-date information regularly.

Discover More of Kindle:
The latest Aps

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CreateSpace Complaints Continue

Angela Hoy posts a heads up about CreateSpace complaints.

Visit WritersWeekly , and continue to beware.

Calling All Writers

The Internet Writing Workshop is aggressively seeking members for the NFICTION list.

Gary Presley, IWW Ass't Administrator said,

"There was an IWW mention in WRITER'S DIGEST, and we admins are seeing new member applications increase as a result. But there's always a turnover, and it's important to keep "the word" circulating about the IWW. I am among the admins of the nonfiction (NFICTION) list, and I *know* that list isn't overpopulated.

Presley lives in Missouri and can be contacted via the Internet Writing Workshop.

"We ask that you "tweet," "blog," "Facebook," or <fill in the name of your favorite social media here> the word about our great volunteer group. Be sure to mention the IWW website <> because that's the gateway to the application process.

 "As we say down in the hill country, '"Thanks 'til you're better paid."'
In addition to Nonfiction, IWW critiquing lists include:
Fiction, Lovestory, Nonfiction, Novels, Poetry, Practice, Prose/Flash-fiction, Script-writing, Child/Young adult .

The IWW also includes discussion lists: Writing, Creative Nonfiction, MarketChat, and SFChatAlso, The IWW Blog Writing Advice .

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Author Ann Hite Touts Internet Writers Workshop For Ghost On Black Mountain

Now and then the backstory about a book and it's author arrives in my email. A promising new book, Ghost On Black Mountain, published by Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster) and its author, Ann Hite, is the latest. (Available at Amazon, Borders and Barnes and Noble.)

Author Ann Hite said
"Ghost On Black Mountain hit the bookstores running yesterday ;). Book launch was wonderful and 92 copies of the book sold. Publication has been a long time coming."
Hite has been a member of Internet Writers Workshop, a premier writers online critique and support list, for many years. She praised list members highly, and singled out prolific short-story author, Wayne Scheer, author, Rick Bylina,  and author and instructor, Carter Jefferson.

Ann said, "When I stood in front of the crowd yesterday, I couldn't help think[ing] of all the crits my Black Mountain stories received [ on IWW]. Thank you all."
Ghost On Black Mountain will be the alternate pick for the month of October at the following book clubs: Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, and Doubleday Book Club LP, not to mention Columbia Music.

Atlanta Magazine will publish an interview with Hite in their October issue, and Western North Carolina Magazine will review Ghost On Black Mountain, also.

Hite busy schedule for the next two months shows her willingness and ability to promote her book, as all authors are committed to doing in today's publishing world. A whirlwind of book signings and writing conferences in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee, plus and online conference will keep her novel in the limelight as she climbs the ladder of success.

September 13:
Swan Coach House Gallery
3130 Slaton Drive Northwest
Atlanta, GA
Luncheon and Reading 11:30-1:00. Signing to follow

September 15:
Barnes and Noble
3 South Tunnel Road
Asheville, NC

September 17:
SIBA (Southeast Independent Booksellers Association)
Embassy Suites North Charleston
5055 International Boulevard
North Charleston, SC
Reading 9:30 pm

September 24:
Gulf Coast Writers Association
Gulfport Galleria of Fine Arts
2200 25th Avenue (Hwy 49)
Gulfport, MS

October 3-9:
Online Writing Workshop (You Want To Write A Memorable Novel)

October 4:
Fox Tales Book Shoppe
105 East Main Street # 138
Woodstock, GA 30188
7:00 pm

October 7:
Hattie's Books
1531 Newcastle St.
Brunswick, GA
Book Club 2:30-4:00pm
Signing 5:00pm

October 8:
Hattie's Books
Darien, GA
12:00 pm-2:30 pm

GJ Ford Bookstore
600 Sea Island Rd.
St. Simons, GA 31522
3:00-5:00 pm

October 10:
WNBA(Women National Book Association) NRGM Bibliofeast Dinner
Charlotte, North Carolina
Place and time to be announced

October 14 and 15:
Southern Festival of Books
Nashville, TN
Time and solid date to be announced.

October 16:
Gulf Coast Southern Expression Conference
Gulfport, MS.
9:00 am

October 22:
Barnes and Noble
Town Center Prado
50 Barrett Pkwy. Ste 3000 Bldg 3
Marietta, GA 30066
2:00 pm

Ann Hite
Ghost On Black Mountain

Submishmash -- Writers and Publishers Share Their Experiences.

Submishmash, released in September 2010 by CEO Michael FitzGerald , a novelist and software programmer in Missoula, Montana has attracted a growing number of authors as well as publishers.

When I asked my writing peers, "So how does a writer signup?" One replied,
"You go to the mag that accepts submishmash sub and go through the steps."
However, SM replied,
"I am a facebook "friend" of Submishmash, the submission manager for literary magazines, both fiction and nonfiction, and where I have discovered several matches to my work from their status updates. I read this morning (April, 2011) they are starting a newsletter for calls for submissions."
The following comments furthered my understanding of using Submishmash:

Paul Pekin said,
"Stories I sent out went directly to Submishmash; that would be the Baltimore Review, Best Fiction, Word Riot, Hayden's Ferry Review, Prime Number Magazine, and Tin House. When I check my "account" I see all my submissions, plus their fates (not good, folks). No feedback, although the software does allow it. So, what do these editors see beside my stories?"
Mark Budman, Editor/Publisher\Webmaster of Vestal Review, a flash fiction magazine, wrote,
"I've been using Submishmash for Vestal Review about a year as well as for my own submissions and I love it. I see a lot of things, but nothing of what you submitted to other magazines. If you see "new," it means that your story hasn't been assigned to a reader yet.
 "If you see "in-progress," it means that your story is being read. Many university presses use a different submission manager or even e-mail subs. Some want print submissions. The problem is that while submishmash is free for the small presses, they require university presses to pay for it. And some smaller university presses can't afford it."
PF said,
"I think anyone who has submitted work this past year has used Submishmash. And yes, they hold a record of your submissions, where they were sent and the subsequent decisions in your account area. I would say that I've rec'vd a number of private notes from editors on acceptances and rejections alike, something I always consider a good thing, regardless of how brief. Makes me know that a human being has actually read the material and if I was close to hitting the mark. As far as what they can see? I'd be surprised if they can view the account areas since using the manager requires a private pass code."
Guilie Castillo Oriard responded,
"I've used Submishmash. I've also not gotten any feedback on rejected pieces, but then again, I'm a newbie and I don't submit much. I do like the ease with which submissions are made through this manager."
Barry Basden added,
"I started using submishmash a year or so ago for CPR. Can't believe how much time it saves keeping track and organized. And I can only see what is sent to CPR, not what is sent elsewhere. To avoid hassles, I generally don't provide feedback, but if I think a piece might be suitable somewhere else, I suggest one or two other venues to try.
 "If something is close to what I want, I ask writers to try CPR again. Only once has acceptance hinged on a change I suggested. And it was minor. If it's no, I've found it's best to move on unless a specific change or rewrite is asked for. CPR's lead time is several months now that we publish only once a week. But I send emails for all rejections and an email upon acceptance and another when I have a firm date when the piece will appear.
 "Also, I usually rave a lot and give grateful thanks for accepted pieces. Actually, I'm grateful for every submission. It's an honor and, after all, where would any zine be without content?"
Wayne Scheer said,
"Submishmash makes submitting easier and I'm sure it makes the life of an editor much easier. But, I have some problems with it. I've had one story accepted and published without my knowing it because I hadn't checked Submishmash.
"I had another story in a paying magazine accepted, and they were waiting for me to acknowledge the acceptance. Fortunately, I discovered the acceptance and wrote the editor who said they were two days from putting another story in my slot. Now I don't want to make editors unhappy, but that seems like laziness on their part. I understand them not wanting to respond every rejection, (and I understand I need to be more diligent in checking Submishmash on a regular basis), but correspondence between writers and editors, especially regarding acceptances, is one of the things I enjoy most about the writing/publishing game.
 "I would guess, also, that establishing a relationship with a writer they like, would be beneficial to the editors as well. I hope Submishmash doesn't add another degree of separation between writers and editors. The less human interaction we have, the less fun this process is. And let's face it: in lieu of the big bucks, fun is all we have. another problem with Submishmash. The only way I know to get into the system to check on the status of my stories or sign up is through an ezine that uses it. As I recall, if you Google it, you can't get to a sign in box or a way to check your work. Another thing I don't like about Submishmash is it lets me see at a glance how many of my stories have been rejected. Not a pretty sight... "
I also learned that Wayne's problem was with the editor and not Submishmash. The editor was supposed to let him know about the acceptance. Writers shouldn't have to check their SMM accounts to find out about acceptances or rejections. It's easy for editors to set up default and alternative letters of all kinds.

Another writer explained,
"When you submit through Submishmash for the first time, they will create an account for you. And writers have the option to specify what they see in their account. Try zooming out on the submishmash homepage -- the sign-in box is in the far upper right corner. (you may need to set your screen to 75%.)"
SS said,
"I set my Submishmash to show only active submissions. I don't want to look at that long list of rejections every time! :) And I resist the urge to click rejections and look at them. As far as logging in, I never go through an ezine. I originally signed up when I was submitting to an ezine that used it. But now I just go to and click 'login.' I leave it logged in and have my page bookmarked, but when that resets I just login from their homepage."
PSt.P said,
"More and more ezines are using submishmash. Many of the ones I've submitted to prefer that to straight email perhaps because they don't want spam. I usually receive a form email from the editor thanking me for my submission and stating to check with submishmash manager. When I've receive rejections an email is usually sent explaining why my submission wasn't accepted by them. As far as I'm concerned I've had very few acceptances while using them."
AW added,
"Submishmash makes me feel lazy. I rarely submit my stories -- I have a grand total of 3 submissions listed. When I think of what people had to do back in the olden days to submit their work, it makes me wonder why I don't take advantage of technology more."
AW summed it up nicely,
"Submishmash helps writers who help themselves by taking advantage of what Submishmash provides, no charge if you use their free option."
There are different online manager platforms besides Submishmash, but online managers seem to be the direction in which many journals are headed. It's very convenient from the writer's standpoint and statistics show that many editors like Submishmash.

Writers Weekly Publishes Timely Tips About Job Posting Scams

Writers listen up ~~ log into "BEWARE OF SCAMMERS POSTING FAKE JOBS ONLINE!" by Kathy Rembisz Levine, an excellent article with sound advice published by Angela Hoy on

I heartily recommend subscribing to

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gallery Books Will Release Ghost On Black Mountain September 13, 2011.

It was Tuesday, January 18, 2011 when I first told you about Ann Hite and her upcoming novel, Ghost On Black Mountain. Ann had share with her peers on Internet Writing Workshop when she sent the following "Yahoo."

"You know you're a novelist when you get a box overnighted to you from New York City, open it, and find advanced copies of your novel staring back." Ann Hite, author.
The long wait is over, and while you're waiting for Gallery Books to release Ghost On Black Mountain September 13, 2011, go to Internet Review of Books to read Sue Ellis' tantalyzing review, published September 7, 2011.

Gallery Books is the imprint of Simon & Schuster.
Leave a comment for Ann Hite at her website.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Authors and Booklovers Tracking Tools

The publishing world is ever changing and awesome in its torturous maneuvers, of which most book readers haven't a clue; and no concept of how those moves affect them. Take for instance what Amazon juggled as it acquired two book-lover ventures, Shelfari, a social network for bibliophiles, and AbeBooks. Shelfari is now an Amazon-owned social network for book lovers.

Shelfari and GoodReads both get high marks for helping you to keep track of the books you own and/or have read as well as those you'd like to read. And there are other uses, as well: Form a book club, answer book trivia, collect your favorite quotes; or get book recommendations from people you know, to name just two.

Another site book lovers and authors gravitate to for various reasons is Easybib, an awesome tool for all kinds of things such as bibliography as well as tracking and inventorying books you've authored, and searching out related books and topics.

I tried the title of my books, Behind These Mountains, vols. 1, 2 & 3 at Easybib and it does do a fantastic bibliography style entry. It also adds information so I didn't have to type everything in. Plus, it quickly located publications of many of my favorite authors, giving me interesting insights into their lives as well. It's my favorite tracking tool.

Give them a try and let the Internet help you, the way it helps those other writers and authors.

Also, Delicious Library 2 was recommended by authors for the Mac to catalog DVDs. You can use the built-in webcam to read bar codes, and it interfaces with the Amazon API to populate the database fields, though you can write information in as well. It also has the ability to track items you've lent out!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Let Duotrope Help You Locate New Markets

Keeping abreast of fiction and poetry markets is an ongoing challenge where Duotrope can help

You get an idea of the opportunities from a comment in Duotrope's August Month-In-Review: "Last month, we added 121 new listings and made 2,704 market listing updates." Bookmark the site and visit weekly.

Read each listing carefully, thinking all the while about unsold manuscripts waiting in your files.  Also, jot ideas on index cards, to ponder and develop later.

Save yourself lots of frustration by scrolling down to check out Fiction Markets that have Temporarily Closed to fee-free submissions.

Don't overlook the wealth of information you'll discover by scrolling to the bottom and reading
New Editor Interviews, and Recent Responses -- you'll need to follow links, but you won't be disappointed, only wishing for more time to become better informed about markets where you strive to be published.

Friday, August 19, 2011 Closing, a company that promoted authors is closing shop.

The owners wrote:
Dear friends of BookTour,

"We regret to inform you that BookTour will be shutting down on Thursday, September 1, 2011. On that date, all of our services will end and our data will be unavailable.

"Fewer author tours and changes in book marketing budgets have made our company financially unviable. And while we would like to continue providing the valuable service that is BookTour, everyone here has families to feed and bills to pay. As such, the founders are working on new and exciting ventures in publishing and software development.

"We'd like to thank all the authors, publishers, venues and readers that have supported BookTour since its inception. In our absence, we recommend tools from Amazon Author Central,
Google Calendar, and ( as worthy replacements.

"Any author's existing tour data on BookTour may be downloaded as an XML file off of their author page or via the tool on this page, and then imported to any of the above replacement services that support it."

The BookTour Team

P.S. Questions about our closure may be directed to Kevin Smokler at

Read about the company here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

eBook Free - New York Writers Workshop's Portable MFA in Creative Writing

The eBook version of the New York Writers Workshop's Portable MFA in Creative Writing is currently free on Amazon right now. Take advantage of this offer here,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Writing What Editors Want and What Book Editors Are Looking

Although these two articles published in The Chronicle of Higher Education deal with academic writing and submissions, the content is applicable to writing for the trade press as well:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Promotional Power of Good Deeds

An excellent example of how good deeds can be used to exponentiate good news on the Internet can be seen in the following article which appeared on The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast.

It's always a pleasure to hear that good deeds are appreciated. Sue Ellis, who allowed her memories of being a Palouse-area rural mail route carrier to be reprinted, sent a Yahoo to Internet Writers Workshop, a premire writers list. Not only is that certainly an accolade your editor truly treasures, a Yahoo online spreads the word around the world via the Internet, and IWW publishes member's successes (Yahoos).

It's always my pleasure to promote local area writers, as well as fine books. And since book reviews help buyers select good books readers appreciate The Internet Review of Books when searching them out.

Congratulations and thanks to all IWW members who post Yahoos, and members who write excellent reviews for IRB.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Writers Persevere! Everyone Else Gives Up!

Recently, Rick Bylina posted his "Yahooooooooooooooo" on Internet Writing Workshop.  After years of perseverance, One Promise Too Many is published and he wrote,
"My debut novel is now available on Smashwords  and soon to be available elsewhere."
Rick always notes, and is liberally quoted as saying,
"Writers write! Everything else is a guideline."
No Writer would quibble with that. However, there's a coda, as Gary Presely, another author who also persevered to publish his book, Seven Wheelchairs: A Life Beyond Polio , reminds us,
"Writers persevere! Everyone else gives up! Persevere in the face of aggressive critiques, personal attacks, rejections, and self-doubts."
Congratulations to these Writers!  Visit their websites: Rick Bylina,, and Gary Presley,

Unbound - a new kid on the publishing block? Will Unbound turn the traditional publishing world upside down?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How The Tennesee Mule Artist, Bonnie Shields, Became Famous

She's truly an artist whose work springs from her heart, and Bonnie Shield's delightful guest blog illustrates how success comes to those who follow their dreams. From her home near Sandpoint, Idaho The Tennesee Mule Artist writes,  

"My name is Bonnie Shields and I am known as the Tennessee Mule Artist. Never mind that I live in north Idaho, ha.

"My parents were professional photographers and we lived right in the town of Corydon, but I was your typical horse-crazy little girl. To endure this state, I drew horses constantly and dreamed my dreams.

"While in my early 20's, fate moved me to middle Tennessee, and that is where me and the mule formally met. They were part of the woof and weave of the culture of the South and as a horseman and an artist, they fascinated me. Getting to know the mule--and the mule people--started a love story that continues to this day. It has rewarded me beyond my wildest dreams.

"We are Back Country Horsemen Of America, and do a lot with that organization and, when we are able, do our favourite thing - pack up some mules and head for the high country.

"Perhaps the most wonderful thing to happen to me while still in Tennessee was to have my mule buddies recommend me to a most wonderful writer who had come to Columbia, Tennesee to research a story she wanted to write about a mule. It was Marguerite Henry herself!!

"Since then and coming to Idaho, Jody Foss and I found each other, and I have been fortunate to have illustrated both of her books along with several other books by cowboy poets and buddies.

"Anyway, YES, I AM an illustrator! I made it. Take a minute to treat yourself to some mule culture and hunt us up on The Tennessee Mule Artist  and Jaspar The Mule . We don't kick or bite and the ride is pure fun." ~~ Bonnie Shields
Learn more about Bonnie at Behind The Scenes, and in "Author and Artist Share a Love of Mules with Jasper: The Story of a Mule", by Helen T. Hertz ( Bonnie ... ) Sheild's work is available at Books by Bonnie Shields and Wild Horse Books and Art . Also, Bonnie Shields Originals offers her art online.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Montana History Website Links Rare History of Lower Clark Fork River in Montana

When he published a link to the rarely-written-about regional history of the lower Clark Fork River valley in Montana, Behind These Mountainsby Mona Leeson Vanek, Bruce Gourley, owner of MontanaHistory.Net wrote, "I've placed a link on the MontanaHistory.Net site . Behind These Mountains is truly a wonderful resource to have available online!"

The Statesman-Examiner originally published Behind These Mountains, vols. 1, 2 and 3, but the limited edition volumes have been out of print since 1986 and 1992, and sold out long ago.

Using Google blogger, to publish the books online gave the books new life, and $10 annually registers the domain to keep them on Behind These Mountains .

With $10 and the investment of your time you can do the same with your out-of-print books.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Should Your Agent Be Your Publisher?

Heated discussions have sprung up in writing circles over the emerging trend of agents launching their own publishing business.  At Redhammer ( read Peter Cox's salient article, "Your Agent Should Not Be Your Publisher,"

You'll also find commentary at Rasana Atreya's blog, On Getting Published, Good Books, and Living Goddesses,, plus a link to "Your Agent Should Not Be Your Publisher,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Artist Grants ARE for Writers!

Artist's grants are for writers is the subject at Angela Hoy's Writer's Weekly,, June 22, 2011 -- Artist Grants: A Unique Source for Furthering Your Writing Career, by Kathleen Krueger,

Rasana Atreya's Blog Linked at Montana Scribbler - Writers and Writing

Rasana Atreya is a writer and author I'm pleased to link and I recommend you bookmark her blog, On Getting Published, Good Books, and Living Goddesses,

Rasana's style is lively, and she pulls together a commendable body of resources to keep writers abreast of their chosen field.

Monday, June 20, 2011

ISBN, e-Books and Amazon

Read Bowker's website and you'll quickly see that you can buy a single ISBN for $125 (or 10 for $250). You'll also see that each different format of book requires its own ISBN (print vs. audio vs. ebook, etc.) It's wise to have an ISBN even if your distributor doesn't require it (such as Amazon.)

It appears that you register your book format at the time you buy the ISBN,
and the cataloging information you register is how to tell if the book is
electronic, paper, etc.

However, Bob Sanchez said that Amazon's CreateSpace (
charges nothing for an ISBN unless you want to be able to transfer that same ISBN to another publisher.
"I've published *Little Mountain,, with Amazon's CreateSpace and paid nothing for the ISBN. For the Kindle edition, they automatically assigned a free ASIN."

Literary Agents Turn Publishers

MEDIASHIFT, Your Guide To The Digital Revolution,, published Literary Agents Try New Role as Self-Publishing Consultants, by Carla King on June 16, 2011. King's excellent article contains solid information about what appears to be the current trend for established and new authors alike,

Friday, June 10, 2011

One Step at a Time Leads to Success

(c) 2010 Mona Leeson Vanek

Browsing my own web site often starts me wondering about things I have no answers for. It can also nudge me into another web-surfing binge; this time about copyright ownerships in e-book publishing.

Scrolling through my recent posts, I realized that many dealt with e-publishing. Rapidly emerging e publishing is formidable in its potential; like all first encounters with something new it both fascinates and frightens.

I confess that, initially, fear triumphs over my fascination. I'm afraid that the technology of writing e-books might be beyond my grasp. And what about the business side of e-publishing?

In the early 1960's, becoming a local news correspondent required me to dust off an ancient typewriter, brush up on rusty typing and business skills, and surmount challenges as they came. That first writing leap scared me, too. However, within a year I was teaching other writers how-to avoid pitfalls (and lawsuits) while covering a newsbeat.

Confidence came with experience. In the early 1970's, fellow writing group members said, "You should publish your stories in a book." The allure of authoring a book to memorialize the homesteaders I revered was irresistible. Totally ignorant of the many aspects of authoring regional history, I began what was to become a series.

Boy, did I learn!

I mastered tape recording oral history, writing indexes for chapters and for people included, and photographs. I created the bibliographies, wrote cut lines for photo reproductions, and worked with editors, graphics and printing departments.

Attending to dozens of details I'd been ignorant of meant that by the time The Statesman-Examiner published my three-volume Behind These Mountains series (1986-1992) I was also inducted into book marketing.

That really broadened my outlook!

My experiences became subjects which I was asked to teach at writing workshops and history conferences. Idaho Writer's League awarded me Writer of the Year. That, I have to confess, was because of my excellent documentation rather than the quality of my writing in Behind These Mountains, vols. 1, 2 and 3.

Similar to today's intrusion of e-publishing in my life, back then access to the Internet came to my sparsely populated Montana valley.

Maybe I was braver then.

No matter the minimal instruction of the telephone company's two-hour program on the wonders of the Internet and how to connect a dial-up, I just HAD to take the leap and gain the world!

I whooped for joy over the 1996 Edition of Mecklermedia's Official Internet Yellow Pages. I still have that four-pound book which was my most exciting Christmas gift, given me by my ever-thoughtful daughter.

Overcoming daily computing challenges spun into articles like Fire In The Wire, which explains how to resolve computer modem failure; published by Mother Earth News in 2001.

With research at my fingertips instead of a hundred-mile drive away and e-mail query responses within hours, I soon thrilled at seeing my byline in national magazines.

So why my apprehension about the challenges of e-publishing when experience has taught me to overcome fear?

Conquer fear in small increments.

I took the first step in 2009. Blogging is e-publishing. I let it intimidate me far too long. But overcoming my fear of blogging quickly encouraged me to create this web site. Those became my baby steps towards publishing e-books.

I recently e-published a 2nd Edition of my three-volume regional Montana history, and keeps me occupied as I format and insert photographs from the homesteaders private collection.

I may soon succumb to the inevitable and begin using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Resistance is as futile as foregoing Paypal and teleconferences! All that really matters is determination. So why not tackle e-books.

My website posts were my way of building my courage to tackle learning the technology necessary to become a published e-book author. Wisdom tells me now is the time to begin exploring the business side of this endeavor, like how author's copyrights and right to reprint elsewhere can be affected by e-publishing.

Minimal web surfing brought more questions than answers. But why delay while experts are still debating copyright details? Articles like The National Academies Workshop on Copyright in the Digital Age, (Bill Rosenblatt's, Copyright and Technology web site, which covers digital rights technologies,) and commentaries on Publishing Trends,, (the web site managed by Laura Hazard Owen,) are online. The complex issues won't be resolved quickly.

I'm secure in knowing experienced writers will encourage and support my efforts. My good friend, Clive Warner,, already pointed out one important factor,
"E-Books can be apps - and a programming team has to make the app. Increasingly, the writer may be only one part of a team making a 'product'."
The writing journey need never be lonely, and at least four reputable organizations offer contract help: American Society of Journalists and Authors,, Authors Guild,, The Authors Registry,, Text and Academic Authors, and Writer's Union (Canada)

Years of visiting Ivan Hoffman's web site,, has made me prudent enough to consult an intellectual attorney as well.

My fascination with the future of publishing hasn't abated one little bit, offering as it does new dimensions to enhance my life.

In April, 2011 I launched The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast, It fills the void left when the local weekly newspaper ceased publication.

Never fear to take that one step forward in your writing career, and you will reap great rewards!

Mona welcomes help from tech-savvy readers! Email her at

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Author Pepper O'Neal' Morified by Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny Publisher

Pepper O'Neal is mortified, and so is her publisher, Black Opal Books. The publishing company unknowingly released a draft copy of Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny, a Paranormal Romantic Suspense, which went into book stores on April 30, 2011.

On their website, Black Opal Books wrote:


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Don't Cheat Yourself and Damage Your Reputation!

Angela Hoy, co-owner of Writer's Weekly,, published her excellent article about a dangerous-to-the-writer practice that might be tempting you -- sneaking your self-published book into book stores or libraries.

Do NOT Sneak Your Self-Published Book Onto Bookstore Shelves!,, in the June 1, 2011 issue of WritersWeekly explains in detail why you'll only be cheating yourself and damaging your reputation.

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Marina Mellee" by Lynne Hinkey Debuts June 1, 2011

Charleston, NC author, Lynne Hinkey, debuts new novel, Marina Melee.

Hinkey has always had an affinity for life on the water. In a marina in a port of call there is a culture and cast of characters that rivals any subculture in the United States or elsewhere. Hinkey used this setting as the basis of her new novel.

Marina Melee is set to be released June 1 by Casperian Books publishing company. To order a copy, go to, or at

West Ashley's Newspaper {West Of} announced Marina Melee in a review at,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

No Need to Buy a Kindle or Nook to Read e-Books

Some of you probably already know this, but I feel sure some don't:  You can read e-books on your computer.

Do an online search for "Kindle for PC," and the top find will be a page from which you can easily download a program that lets you read books bought for the Kindle on your PC.

The same option exists for Apple computers, and for various mobile equipment.

Just download the program and then go to Amazon and buy an e-book.

I did that for my laptop, but you can also download "Kindle for Apple" for a Macbook. You can do the same thing with any e-book available for Nook.

Once you own the book, you can read it on any computer you own, and even relax in a recliner and read books on a laptop.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Blog Book Tour

The virtual Blog Book Tour has been around for several years. Basically, a Blog Book Tour is a blog where avid book readers can locate blogs written by their favorite published authors.

But there's much to learn about blog book tour before setting out on that path. First of all, the number one goal is not to increase your book sales. To learn what you need to know, study at the following websites:

Alyice Edrich, The Dabbling Mum,

Guest blog, Virtual Blog Tours -- The lastest Innovation for Promoting Your Writing, by Mary Emma Allen at Growing Your Business,

Read all the way throughThe Quickest Blog BookTour Ever, at SQUIDOO outskirtspress,

Monday, May 16, 2011

NYT on Upcoming

A new website on the horizon,, apparently intends to provide information for all things literary.

David Shanks, the chief executive of Penguin, said of, a new publishing house cooperative venture,
“With the purpose of answering the question for the consumer, ‘Which book should I read next?"
Expectations are that the site will become to readers what is to music lovers seeking reviews and information.

In search of a solution to changes in marketing from physical buildings to Internet options, three major publishers, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group USA and Hachette Book Group, are creating the new venture called, expected to debut late this summer.
According to an article written by Julie Bosmanin and published in the New York Times,,
"The site intends to provide information for all things literary: suggestions on what books to buy, reviews of books, excerpts from books and news about authors. Visitors will also be able to buy books directly from the site or from other retailers and write recommendations and reviews for other readers."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Terrific advice for lit writers

Don't miss Lynne Barrett's, What Editors Want; A Must-Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines at The Review Review,

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Submishmash Submission Opportunity

Submishmash is starting a newsletter for calls for submissions. Sign up here,

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Submit Manuscripts That Shine

Dawn Goldsmith, a successful freelance writer who Christian Science Monitor frequenty features, shared these ten before submitting a manuscript tips:

Things I look for in a manuscript that's ready to submit,
1. Grammar and mechanics are as clean as I can get them.
2. When read aloud it flows smoothly without glitches.
3. What I'm trying to explain is easy to understand.
4. It has energy.
5. Is free of clich├ęs and overused words.
6. Provides something new to whatever topic is being discussed.
7. Offers something original, or from a new perspective.
8. Has some humor or a balance of light and serious.
9. I've checked my facts; checked everything for accuracy.
10. It makes me smile.

Visit Dawn's blogs,,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Boosters Needed

This small town has no school, no library, no Senior Citizen's center, no movie house, roller rink, skating rink, no grocery, clothing, or hardware stores; not even a pharmacy or medical clinic. The only Quick Stop closed it's doors last year, although the Exxon gas pumps still operate by card. The only public transportation is a flag-stop for a bus that goes to a Casino, eight miles away, over in Idaho.

But it has a big heart, lots of youngsters, lots of seniors, and a few hundred families whose breasdwinners drive 30-60 miles one way to work, except when winter blizzards close roads.

Rockford Community Center's dream is to have a building to provide opportunities to all ages, and especially access to computer classes in addition to whatever classes various groups want.

RCC may have an opportunity to acquire a building from Freeman School District in the near future, when it's no longer need for a temporary classroom while a new elementary school is under construction.

If you'd like to help this small close-knit community in the Palouse farming region south of Spokane, WA, you can participate in a current fund raiser here,

RCC Fundraiser Goal: $1,000
Fundraiser End Date: 04/29/2011

RCC email contact:

Learn more about the community and area:
S.E. Spokane County Community Fair,
Rockford, WA,
Rockford Lion's Club,

Digitized Books Dispute Update

Update on Google's grab all attempt to digitize books, New York Times published (March 22, 2011) "Judge Rejects Google’s Deal to Digitize Books," written by Miguel Helft ((

Historical Fiction Opportunity

July 1, 2011 deadline: Agent Irene Goodman is seeking applicants to pitch their historical fiction. She's taking it one careful step at a time though.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Signing For Author Katie Youngen

On Sacred Grounds,, the popular gathering spot for writers, artists and photographers at Valleyford, WA is hosting a book signing for Katie Youngren, author of Itty, Bitty Schoolbus Kitty, Friday April 8, 5:00-5:30 p.m.

Itty, Bitty Schoolbus Kitty is Youngren's first book, and although children were the vivacious Katie's initial target market, adults immediately took a liking to her picture-illustrated book, and sales spiked for the Valleyford author.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting Quotations

A non-fiction writer often need to find experts to quote in their articles. So how does a new writer get quotes? If I'm writing an article for instance on ear infections, do I call my own doctor and get his\her quote so I have a professional? Do I call the University and talk to the medical staff?

When approaching experts you want to make them as comfortable as possible.
  • Tell them who you are
  • Where you got their name
  • What you are doing

Outline the questions you want answered. Ask them if they have any other comments, and be sure to thank them for their time. You should also ask for their titles and association \ organization name so you'll be able to credit them properly.
Megasources for finding experts to quote

Websites where you can get in touch with experts to quote:
Ryerson University:

Typing Find experts in the search box brought a page full of resource links. The Faculty Experts link brings you here,

Finding Answers, by Ryerson University Emeritus Professor, Dean Tudor,, provides online resources to an enormous variety of pertinent topics, as well as links to publications.

American Society of Association Executives ("ASAE"), may bring a "Oh, no sorry ..." message, but don't be dismayed. Click on the provided search to be whisked to,

Click Publications and Resources (top tab.) It will take you to directories of associations, including those that are online. Very useful for contacting sources for articles.

The Yearbook of Experts is available at, Want to find a topic to write about? Click Find Experts (provides experts by topic) then select your topic. You can also search by Participant, and Geography. Ideas are limitless! Read About Us, Site Map brings opportunities to choose your preference to Join.

ProfNet, which you're bound to read about, is a source -- for professionals only. It enables journalists to ask a group of academic, business contacts and other experts for comments on virtually any subject. ProfNet does not welcome queries from amatuers or students,
A Journalist's Guide at Robert site is a great place that will help writers and non-writers alike to find information and data (such as US Census),
Statistics can sometimes tell you as much as your human sources. Start at, Be sure to scroll down to Finding Data on the Internet.
Use this resource to search out published works, Online Books Page, Tip: When you're searching for an author remember that spaces don't count in two-name surnames, like "Van [xx]. Example: Vanek will appear AFTER all those two-word names.
Xpress Press News Service hosts a e-mail free service, Press Query, for reporters looking for public relations professionals, information officers, authors and expert sources, Click For Journalists and Subscribe (it's free.) Queries are sent within a few hours of receipt during business hours (9 - 6 EST). Follow the directions at the site to send your request.
Ask An Expert Sources offers useful, catergorized links,
One of the newer resources is HARO (Help A Reporter Out), Read about it at, And scroll to the bottom for useful, current links.
Rebeca, a member of Internet Writing Workshop,, explained, 
"It's a tool for publicists to get in touch with reporters who have specific story queries. But if you're a freelance writer who needs sources for a story, you can post your query and be flooded by publicists' emails. HARO operates in the same way as PROFNET, but it's more user-friendly."
Now, get started ~~ develop your topic and get expert quotes!

Excerpted from Chapter 5 - Copyrights, Previously Published Works,and Using Quotations:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Europe Magazine Online Seeking Writers

Alevtina Altenhof, Editor of Europe Magazine Online,, is currently searching for writers. Please check our website  for further information, or contact us via

The magazine is "compiled for everyone interested in the diversity and uniqueness of the European continent," Altenhod said.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tax Stories Wanted

Tout your ire about income taxes and submit your story to One Forty Fiction,, an e-Zine currently accepting stories 140 characters or shorter.

Theme: Tax Man coming up - April 1-14. Access submission tips here,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Small Publishers

Milkweed Press publishes some children's books,

Also, the resource book finder at PBS is a great detective tool for finding publishers as well as books,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book Contracts And How They Affect Your Pocketbook

Ever wonder whether the book contract deal you're contemplating is good, so-so, or stinks?
Nine Must-Have Clauses for Digital Rights Contracts, By Michael Stackpole provides some good advice: (Originally published at:

 Dollars and Deadlines is a helpful blog by one of the main voices in advice for freelance writers, written by Kelly James-Enger. Don't miss Clauses to Avoid,

Monday, March 21, 2011

e-Publishing Success

Wayne Scheer is a member of Internet Writer Workshop who I've come to admire. I first congratulated Wayne in 2005, when Cynic Magazine, accepted "Something Snapped" for their Feb. 2005 issue. Although the story was pro bono, the editor respond quickly (10 days), Wayne said, "... and seem to share my own, slightly warped, sense of humor."

Wayne shared more 2005 success: "Off the Road," in The Pedestal Magazine; 3rd place in Humor Press,; and 1st and 2nd place wins in Novel Advice,

During the five years I've known Wayne virtually, the frequency of his publications, and the variety fascinated me. He is the most prolific and persistent published writer I know. I began keeping track of his publications, especially of the publications that paid.

When I asked if I could tout his persistence on my Web site Wayne said, "No objections, but I'm hardly writing my way to money. I'm happy to sell a story for $5 or $10."

When I replied, "Satisfaction is a wonderful reward, and should be honored more than we worship $$$!" Wayne said, "I agree. Obviously, I don't write for the money."

A typical writer, he prefers writing to record keeping. "I have records of most of the stuff I've published on scattered sheets of paper."

Although the following lists only the publications I've noted, you'll see that his persistence is admirable.
1. The Better Drink,, (pays $50 for fiction, $40 and $35 for various first-person accounts and $100 for a feature nonfiction article on wine or inspiring people)
2. Skive Ebook, (split $2 per purchased copy proceeds.)
3. A Flasher's Dozen, (a print journal; paid $15 for stories under 1000 words.)

Academic journals:
4.The Binnacle,University of Maine's Literary Magazine,
5.The Aroostook Review, University of Maine,
6 Southwestern Michigan Review (print)

Online Journals:
7. Dana Literary Society,
8. Eclectica,
9. Skive Magazine (which is selling their PDF version and sharing the royalties with its authors.)
10. Cezanne's Carrot,

11. Moving Day (don't know publication.)
12. A Long Story Short, (Wayne learned about this one when he received fan mail!)

13. Dead Mule,
14. Muzzle Flash)
15. Big Pulp (1 cent a word)
16. The Painted Door, Winter Issue.
17. Feel the Word,
18. Pen Pricks,, (55 words)
19. Mojo's Almanac(k),
20. Shakespeare's Monkey Review,
21. Literary Cottage,
22, Flash Me Magazine, published a few of his stories, and then asked permission to include him in a book on flash fiction.
23. Notre Dame Magazine, held his story a year and then paid handsomely to publish it in a Spring Issue.
24. Toasted Cheese Literary Journal,
25. Bent Pin Quarterly, (gone now.)
26. The Painted Door, "The Outing of Polonius "Pete" Popoutsky."
27. Flashquake,
28. March Family issue of Shakespeare's Monkey Review, a print journal.
29. Nothing But Red, (to be anthologized in paperback and 3-Book versions. Profits to benefit Equality Now, an International organization dedicated to fighting violence against women.)
30. Cynic Magazine\April issue,

Once, when I asked Wayne for his secret to publishing he explained, "I keep work circulating all the time."
31. Pear Noir,, Revealing Moments.
32. Camroc Press Review, The Morning After.
33. Fiction at Work,, Meat Hooks and Rice Paper, and Office Routine.
34. Poor Mojo's Almanac(k),, A Change of Heart,
35. Long Story Short,, Drinks with Friends
36. Everyday Fiction,, Stripped of Innocence, which Wayne says is, a departure from my usual "realistic" fare."

Five months elapsed before I caught up with Wayne again and learned his publication record remained consistently high.
37. Chicago Pulp Stories,, ( a print magazine), Starting Over.
38. Awkward Press (for their latest anthology), Zen and the Art of House Painting. With the possibility it might become a short film.
39. Golden Visions Magazine,, (pays) Cloning Clark.
40. Fiction at Work,, A Fool Proof Plan.
42. Everyday Fiction,, Renewal. Of this story Wayne confided, "One of my favorite old stories. ... I don't know how many times I've revised this story, but I'd still like to take it back and rewrite the opening sentence. Ugggghhh!"
43. Ken*Again,, An Orderly Life.
44. Poor Mojo's Almanac,, Nature Lessons.
45. Apollo's Lyre, Magic, a nonfiction essay.
46. Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette,, The Photograph.
47. Sentinel Literary Quarterly,, Stepping Out.
48. Romance Flash, Past Lives.
49. Journal of Microliterature,, Chandra's Room, a flash fiction.
50. Everyday Fiction,, When in Rome.
51. Long Story Short, A Secret, a flash fiction.
52. Skive Magazine, a print monthly out of Australia, heir November Americana issue, At the Hop.
53. Long Story Short,, Father and Son for their Father's Day issue in June (2011).
54. Everyday Fiction,, Not the Jealous Type, for a future issue.
55. Cynic Magazine,, accepted two stories., One Man's Priority, scheduled for publication November 16, and No Secrets, January 16, 2011.

Wayne's publishing successes in 2011 continues to be so numerous I simply haven't kept abreast. You'll find some of them at the following:
"You the Man, Brad," in Long Story Short. March issue;; No Secrets,"at Cynic Magazine,; When One Thing Leads to Another, Shine Journal,; The Complexity of Love and Haunted by Jack Kerouac's Ghost will appear in a future issue of The Camel Saloon,

As you see, Wayne is not only a prolific writer, he is varied as well. Revealing Moments, a collection of flash stories by Wayne Scheer, can be downloaded at House Painting, became a film adapted from a short story by Wayne Scheer, and can be viewed at

Since I began e-corresponding with Wayne Scheer, every e-book publishing success story is an encouraging example.

Read about Karen McQuestion's at A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, An Interview With Karen McQuestion,

You'll find a comprehensive self-publishing article called The Rise of Self-Publishing, by Virginia Heffernan, a NYT's columnist who writes, The Medium. in her April 26th article, which also contains links to April Hamilton's Indie Author Guide, as well as to Indie Reader,

Be persistent and persevere and you, too, can become a success.