Monday, April 28, 2014

Internet Writing Workshop Member's Success ~ April 27, 2014

Internet Writing Workshop Blog  features member's successes and this week honors Lynne Hinkey for her guest post on hosting a virtual book release party, at Where Writers Win.

The fact-filled guest post shares intimate details of how to host a successful virtual book release party, a feature of Facebook. Virtual, meaning the party took place online, on a Facebook Event page. 
Lynne's party celebrated the release of her second novel, Ye Gods! A Tale of Dogs and Demonsa tale of magic and monsters run amok on a tropical island. Her first novel, Marina Melee, follows George as he sails to a tropical-island to escape the rat race, only to find that living the easy life is hard work. Both are available through Casperian Books. Visit her at

Congratulations to Lynne, and thanks to Judith Quaempts for providing the information to IWW Blogmeister, Eric Petersen.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Researchers ~ Find Elusive Facts on the Internet at These Websites

Libraries are great sources for researchers, but they're not the be-all-end-all they once were. A website called Project Gutenberg has over 45,000 free e-books to offer. Most are classics, but some are somewhat esoteric. is an excellent resource for literature, and possibly is or was associated with Columbia University.

You can also get a huge amount of 19th and 20th century non-fiction reference books, periodicals, and other texts from the various on-line university sites at Internet Archive.

History research in volumes specific to the area and time periods if you're looking for historical references, there's none better.  For example, The Genealogical Guide to Early American Settlers, Volumes 1-3 and The History of Allegheny county, Pa, Volumes 1-2.

You can read these works on line, or download pdf versions which can then be read or searched for specific names or words. Also, more than 1 million books ~ from classic 19th century fiction and current novels to technical guides and research materials are available in the specially designed format to support those who are blind, dyslexic or are otherwise visually impaired.

And of course,  is one of my favorite archives, that
starts with The Abolistionist and ends with Yank Magazine. All issues  are downloadable. And there are hundreds of magazines, books, video  and films.

Amazon also offers many public domain books free in the Kindle format, and many others at a nominal fee.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Internet Writing Workshop Members Yahoo Successes April 20, 2014

This week's list of Internet Writing Workshop member's "Yahoos" for the week ending 4/20/14 - is now up on the IWW Blog,. You can read it at Internet Writing Workshop Author's Successes. 

Congratulations everyone and thanks to Judith Quaempts for compiling and preparing the list.

Eric Petersen, IWW Blogmeister

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tips For Working With Editors -- On Your First Offer

When you receive a positive reply to your query letter from an editor who is new to you, aim for a long, happy relationship. Don't behave like a timid first date by overlooking a cardinal rule: 
  • Ascertain the word count
  • Know your deadline
  • Understand the expected fee 
If these have not been spelled out in correspondence, be professional and assume your responsibility--phone the editor and ask.
However, if in your excitement over a potential new sale you've skipped this ritual and wind up receiving a contract you can't accept, like I once did, all need not be lost. Pick up the phone and call the editor. 
  1. Don't rely on e-mail for negotiating. Always TALK to the editor who accepted your article\story. If necessary, call back until you connect; but leave on the editor's message machine if s/he is out of the office, only your name, phone number and the title of the article you're calling about.
  2. Always be polite and never phone until you are calm and have your viewpoint outlined succinctly.
  3. If a piece sent at the request of an editor is rejected, respond promptly, saying you are dismayed it didn't work out, but are pleased to offer [new idea] for consideration. Keep new idea short (maybe just potential definitive title.) E-mail is fine for this. 
  4. Wait a few days after the rejection notice, and then calmly follow-up by phoning the editor (with a SMILE ON YOUR FACE and confidence in your abilities in your mind ~~ because your voice transmits these) to inquire why the piece didn't come up to the editor's expectations.
  5. Keep your conversation brief and focused on the article.
  6. No matter the outcome, wish the editor a happy day and ring off. 
Exude confidence and be upbeat and positive. Remember, smile and the world smiles with you; cry and your cry alone. Never let 'em see you cry, especially on a "first date"!
What to do while awaiting a promised revised contract
Wait a week to ten days and then phone the editor. Ask if there's been a holdup for some reason. Even though I knew it didn't make sense, when the new contract I'd managed to negotiate didn't arrive promptly--within seven to ten days, I delayed and agonized, trying to convince myself that the editor was simply waiting to mail the contract along with the pre-publication review copy she'd agreed to in our negotiations.
Three weeks passed before I phoned to inquire, only to discover that the two editors who'd been involved in the article had not connected with each other while outside of their offices. Being busy people, the revised contract they'd agreed on dropped through the cracks instead of being mailed.
A phone call at the start could have prevented frustration for the editor and myself, and prevented my article from being dropped from the issue it had originally been slated for where it would have dovetailed with another article.
On your first date with an editor, present yourself as a writer who will not make the editor's tasks more difficult. Don't neglect your professional responsibilities. If you adopt that mindset, you're more likely to continue to land assignments.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Internet Writing Workshop Members Successes

This week's list of Internet Writing Workshop members Yahoos, for the week ending April 6, 2014, is up ~ check it out on the IWW Blog. 

Congratulations everyone and thanks to Judith Quaempts for compiling and preparing the list.

Eric Petersen; IWW Blogmeister.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Amuse Your Muse

Every writer has days when the muse acts like a sloth, refusing to provide anything worthwhile. It might be good therapy to amuse your muse when that happens. Hop on over to The Ultimate Internet Writers Resource Directory and browse.

Scroll or skim or whatever ~ without anything in mind. Let your muse be amused by topics whizzing by, until it wakes up and with a jolt and stops your mouse on something it thinks you need to explore.

The topic probably will have nothing to do with your immediate needs, but whatever you learn before getting back to the work in progress [WIP] you intended to work on, it's sure to be something your muse knows will benefit you in someway.

A refreshed and happy muse is your best friend.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Kindle's Author Central Adds Your Blog's RSS Feed

June Gallant, a writer friend in Canada, suggested a neat idea for using Facebook to promote my books, but because I have yet to use social media, with help from Internet Writing Workshop members, Sue Ellis, Paul Fein, Diane Diekman, and Hans Tammemagi, the idea evolved into a blog with an RSS feed to my Kindle Author's Page.

Titled, "Bygone Montanans; a Montana Research Opportunity", the following was originally published at North Palouse Washington eNewscast:
To the merely curious or those of you who are interested in researching family history, Bygone Montanans, a new blog, has opened doors to the past. The blog's goal is to help readers locate their lineage, discover what motivated their ancestors, and learn how they lived their lives. - All is told in their own words in BEHIND THESE MOUNTAINS, Vols. I, II, & III.  However, there is no need to purchase a book to take advantage of the opportunity to find someone, because the books are free here.

Up to 20 indexed names will be published on the blog at a time, at frequent intervals, along with an excerpt and a photograph if available.

The books recognize hundreds of people who passed through, prospected, explored, labored, or homesteaded in or around the Clark's Fork and Bull River valleys in western Sanders County, Montana, between the 1860s and early 1930s.

Although original softcover editions of the trilogy are out of print, revised Kindle editions, available at, encompass the lives of hundreds of people and have nearly a thousand historical photographs depicting life in western Montana, and are easily searchable. 

The free Behind These Mountains website includes a link to each volume, in addition to archives and labels that make it easy to jump to chapters. Or, simply begin at Introduction and then click the link at the end of each chapter that takes you to the next chapter. The website archives [but not the Kindle editions] have a link to a list of alphabetically indexed surnames found in each volume.

So suit yourself, but I hope you'll visit Bygone Montanans often, and share with friends and acquaintances. If you find anyone with family ties, please leave a comment, contact information, and share a memory to grow your family tree!

Stop by, make yourselves at home, and stay a while. You might connect with a cousin you never knew existed, or find a long lost branch of the family.END

Perhaps this will spark a similar idea that will work for you. Focus your blog on what readers will get from your book, and put an RSS feed to the blog on your Kindle Direct Publishing Author's page.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why You Should Self Publish

Hugh Howey, Author of WOOL, wrote, "Remember that it's okay to write and publish just to make your self happy, to make yourself fulfilled. " Originally published in Indie Reader, the article was posted September 13, 2013 on Huffington Review's Blog, Huff Post Books. Hugh Howey's viewpoint offers convincing reasons for self publishing.

Carl Haywood also had valid reasons to self publish in 2008. First came his book, Sometimes Only Horses to Eat, published by Rockman's Trading Post Inc., Carl's privately held company in Thompson Falls, Montana. Since then, Carl published Lust For Dutchman's Gold.  His "bucket list" included three more books on that to-do list.
"Two have been completed and I am working on the last. I'm guessing it will take me a year to finish it. It is a historical novel of a little different cast that ties in with Thompson's first encounter with American trappers near Dixon in the spring of 1810," he said.

Bill Scurlock reviewed Sometimes Only Horses to Eat, in the March/April 2010 issue of MUZZLELOADER. He wrote,
"I enjoyed this book, and when I took it to deer camp last fall, I ended up selling 5 or 6 to folks at camp. There was a lot of campfire talk about this book throughout the season."
Because of Haywood's subjects, methinks both books will sell well into the future, and the books are  also available on Amazon.

Self publishing does make good sense for hundreds of writers, and often has value far beyond the monetary aspects.

I my case, now that "Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II & III" are available on Amazon, I envision descendants of the more than a thousand people in my books, and others with family ties "finding" each other in a Facebook project that invites them to join family groups. The sticker is, I am not a Facebook user so I need a collaborator ~~ I can supply a list of indexed names, photographs from the homesteaders albums, and excerpts of their memories.

It excites me to think of people not only finding their ancestors, but also seeing how they lived, how they spoke, and knowing their thoughts and actions!

So, if you want to collaborate and do a Facebook project, or know someone with the necessary skills ~~ be in touch. [mtscribbler [@]

That would really validate my reasons for self-publishing!


What Exactly is the Value of Offering Free Books in Marketing?

Writer, Melissa Foster, made a valid point a while back by pointing readers to her interesting article on the value of free books in marketing, at World Lit Café.

Svetlana -- Lara Kairos -- contributed another viewpoint to keep in mind.
"Those free brochures and booklets they give out at fairs and events? My husband and I typically end up with a paper pile after visiting an event, but never read 90% of the handouts. Half of the stuff remains stranded in our car until next cleaning, and the other half languishes in the kitchen until the next garbage pickup day. Free promo copies of magazines and catalogs in your mailbox? Ditto."
 Give serious thought to offering free books, except for credible people who will write a book review.