Saturday, December 20, 2014

"Seaweed Ribbons" Authored by Francene Stanley Continues Higher Ground Series at Double Dragon Publishing

Those of you following my posts are acquainted with Francene Stanley, an up and coming writer who first came to my notice when she and Edith Parzefall co-authored several novels in the Higher Ground Series at Double Dragon Publishing. Included in their novels were Knights in Dark Leather, Golden Submarine, and Long Doom Calling. 
Announcing Seaweed Ribbons,her latest novel, Francene said:
"With other commitments, my partner Edith didn't have time to write another book with me, but I was eager to continue so I took on the task, and she offered suggestions and encouragement. And so, Seaweed Ribbons grew into a separate novel.
"In the plot of the futuristic Higher Ground series that Edith Parzefall and I wrote together, one character stays behind in a matriarchal society while the adventurers in the main story continue with their quest.
"Raymond is not perfect, by any means. I based his character on my first husband—physically strong and determined, but self-centered and inclined to doubt himself at times. I wondered if he would change, given a new love to raise him from his depths of hidden uncertainty. His companions witness the wedding before they leave on the next stage of their journey. Ginny, a young woman who is an outcast in her group, is mainly kept on to do the work. Her hidden strengths bind them together, despite his insistence on taking the lead.
"My novel, Seaweed Ribbons, which went through the novels on Internet Writing Workshop last year, has been published at last by Double Dragon Publishing. Deron hung onto the manuscript for a year. I was just about to give up.
"I had no input into the cover and I hate it. However, I'm proud of the writing, and we shouldn't judge a book by its cover--especially an e-book, where the picture hardly matters. I have no plans to print it as yet.
"However, with the critiques, support and encouragement from other writers at IWW, I improved the story and polished the writing toward its peak."
Francene found initial inspiration in poetry and songwriting but later turned to writing novels. Like her main characters, she expresses optimism, determination to succeed, and strives to illustrate the principle of positive thinking combined with the trust that things will work out.

Born in South Australia, she married young. Retreating to the small fishing village of Robe, she ran a craft shop and tea room, welcoming tourists to the area. In the early nineteen seventies, her husband and she took a year off with three children on a trip around Australia in a caravan looking at various ways of alternative living before resettling in Robe.
After her divorce, she left Australia and moved to England, where she worked as a nanny, travelling around the world with the family she worked for. Francene met her present husband in London and worked in the catering business for 12 years interspersed with trips to far distant lands.
Read Francene's Daily blog here. Seaweed Ribbons is also available at Amazon. 

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Kindle Authors Check Sales on Their Android With App

Are you a Kindle author? Check out all your book sales data on your Android with the Afterword app.

Use the refresh button to retrieve the latest sales reports from
Amazon KDP. Switch countries by using the drop-down menu, or click on any title to display detailed sales data for that book, in all
countries, all at once.

NOTE: Afterword and its development team are in no way affiliated  with

Become a member of Internet Writing Workshop for valuable help to successful writing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Keith Raffel Chose Internet Crowd-editing for Temple Mount Novel

Kickstarter is only built for creative projects, like new tech gadget production, or an idea. Indieogog can be used for almost anything. Both are popular Internet rewards-based crowdfunding.

Palo Alto-based novelist Keith Raffel saw a potential solution in Kickstarter when he decided,
"I am definitely not my own best critic. It's much better to have fifty people's opinions."
Discover how he used Kickstarter and succeeded. Temple Mount went on sale November 2, 2014.

Raffel hopes to reap the greatest benefit of crowd-editing:
"I have my fingers crossed that it leads to a binge of crowd-reading."

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fantasy Moonstone Series releases Shattered Shells, by Francene Stanley

Francene Stanley said,
"I love fantasy--working out what could happen if things were different in the tangible world. We all hear a little voice inside us--whispering advice, giving words of caution.
"What if a person had the ability to speak inside the mind of another? Humans, with their moral frailty, could be influenced to use the terrific power to generate good or evil.
"My latest release ,Shattered Shells, is about an ordinary woman wearing a moonstone ring which gives her visions plays psychic detective. But she meets two characters, and can't judge which is the person she wants to find. Sweeping in scope and filled with the love of humanity, the novel will inspire, create empathy and lift the reader out of their everyday life.

"In my first book, Still Rock Water, Liliha inherits a star moonstone ring and with it the ability to help people in trouble. However, the second novel, Tidal Surge, her daughter finds a bracelet, slips it up her arm and is drawn into murder. Mother and daughter fight the moral battle, unaware of each other's role. 
"My author page at Amazon shows a little about my varied life experiences and lists my books."
Francene expressed her appreciation to fellow writer\members of Internet Writing Workshop, Novel list, who helped her make her fantasy novels as good as possible, and especially Edith Parzefall and Guillie Castillo, who read through the unabridged form and made suggestions.

In addition to publishing  her Moonstone series, Francene publishes an interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking Daily Blog.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cynics and Cynosures

Daily Writing Tips hosts a wealth of interesting articles such as Cynics and Cynosures, a fun take on writers who aren't careful about choosing and using words

Choose ARCHIVES at the top, and scroll the topics arranged by month on the left to find fascinating articles.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Becoming a Best Seller Before Publication!

Charles Hobbs, a member of Internet Writing Workshop, who sent his book through the non-fiction list as he was writing it is fast becoming a best selling author on Amazon before the November 4, 2014 release of Hidden History of Los Angeles Transportation by Charles P. Hobbs.

As of August 19th "Hidden History of Los Angeles Transportation" had a sales ranking hovering between 10-12 in the category  "Mass Transit."

Congratulations to Charles, and watch for more here after the first of November, about how and why he wrote his book. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Determined 91 y/o Ruth Zavitz - Author of Flight to the Frontier - Tells How to Succeed

Ruth Zavitz is a classic example of a determined author. Flight to the Frontier's birthing process was long and arduous. The story of a family's flight to the wilds of Niagara to escape persecution during the American Revolution was thirty years in gestation. She never gave up. Ruth's historical novel, Flight to the Frontier, is a boon to readers.

"The novel has taken that long to find a publisher," Ruth said. "However it only needed one, and they are so enthusiastic they are considering publishing the sequel."

In a recent interview Ruth shared her story.
"I have been writing since I learned my ABCs, but never considered anyone would publish my efforts until financial desperation forced my hand in 1962. To my amazement, The Family Herald and Weekly Star (long since deceased) published my first submission on raising geese and asked for more contributions. Since then some 350 articles and essays have appeared in US and Canadian magazines and I regret I didn't recognize the potential earlier.
My first attempt at a novel was spawned by my love of pioneer history. I'd read many books on the settlement of Eastern Ontario and the Maritimes. I could find none set in the Niagara Peninsula. Why not? After all, that was the birthplace of Ontario. Dramatic possibilities, not only in a settler-family's harrowing experience carving a home from the forest, but in the establishment of a province with the accompanying pageantry. Great material.To my dismay, I found fiction required a complete change of technique. In nonfiction, one uses the old saw re sermons: 'Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them'. Fiction is the opposite.
Every piece of fiction I write, even now, has to be vetted to remove the sentence at the beginning of paragraphs that reveals what the paragraph will be about. Topic sentences completely destroy the tension required to keep the reader turning pages. 
Like most first-time authors, I thought my first novel, Flight to the Frontier, was perfect and eagerly queried agents then, undaunted, publishers. Disillusioned by the printed slips of paper received in return, I put my masterpiece away but continued to write short pieces and study the craft. 
Whenever I discovered a new technique I hauled out the manuscript, revised, and sent it out again. Local critique groups, The Internet Writing Workshop. and NovelAdvice (sadly no longer on line) were a great help in pointing out repetitive words--the bane of my life-- as well as holes in the plot. 
Recently I learned that verbs like, saw, knew, and felt, distance the reader from the POV character and should be eliminated wherever possible. Amazing the difference it makes. My former fly-on-the-wall approach was much too stilted and formal. 
Finally, success. Chronicler Publishing, a royalty-paying POD publisher in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, published Flight to the Frontier, just in time for my 91st birthday. The book is available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 
Mr. Goulet, the Editor/Publisher, handles only Canadian historical fiction. He has been open to my suggestions, both as to the text and cover, and I'm happy to say is now considering the sequel, Niagara Odyssey.
I live in London, Ontario with a contrary cat and an equally contrary computer, and keep busy revising the third volume of the trilogy, Canadian Mosaic--when the computer cooperates. 
The moral of the story: If you are a real writer you have to keep feeding your addiction. And somewhere there is an editor/publisher who will share your dream when you have polished the manuscript sufficiently. However, if you have to force yourself to write, forget it. Grow flowers or knit afghans. No one in their right mind should endure the discouragement writers face if they can possibly help themselves."
Other works Ruth has published include a novel, High on Grass, a short article, “Have Tulip Will Travel” published In GreenPrints (Print mag), a short story “A Bird in the Hand” published online CommuterLit, and “Hello Central” at
Her “A Cinnamon Scented Grandmother” has been chosen for inclusion in an anthology on grandmothers.

Congratulations, Ruth!

Crooked Lines, by Holly Michael Released July 20, 2014

Holly Michael's debut novel, Crooked Lines, was released July 20, 2014 by AMDG Publishing and is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.

On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister's death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling.

Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers.

Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…And buried memories, unearthed.

Crooked Lines,  a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth. ---

Meet Holly Michael a long standing member of Internet Writing Workshop. You won't want to  miss her debut novel.

Holly Michael


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Return Repeatedly to Carrie Smith's Blog, The 100 Best Websites For Writers

This is bound to be old news to many of you, but good news to others who have not yet seen The 100 Best Websites For Writers, published by author, Carrie Smith at The Write Life, on January 14, 2014.

Besides, The 100 Best Websites For Writers is definitely a blog post that warrants repeat visits.

In addition to the 100 websites Smith features, much additional and valuable information is provided in the 121 comments, which follow About the Author: Carrie Smith. [scroll down]

Carrie Smith is
"a solopreneur on a mission to help freelancers and solopreneurs design a lifestyle business that earns more money in less time."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

RSS Feed ~ How it Works and What it Can Accomplish

Internet Writing Workshop member, Nichespur, offers additional information about making use of RSS feeds:
"RSS feed is a snippet of computer code that your readers can choose to "subscribe to", which sends them (your readers) a notification, (in your browser and email if that option is selected) that something has changed on your website. Translation: both the author and the reader agree to have a form of spyware installed on their computers. Twitter functions in much the same way. This allows you to attract viewers, and interested parties to keep in touch with what you are doing without having to go back to websites that never change.

Both RSS Feeds and twitter increase the bandwidth your webpage is generating, Increased bandwidth equates to increased importance on the internet so your websites will pop up more often, or nearer the top, in the search engines too.

KDP authors page means a Kindle Direct Publishing website you can develop on the Amazon servers IF you publish eBooks through them.

So who should use RSS feeds? Probably anybody who has a blog that is trying to attract and keep more readers....of the blog that is. Personal experience though, shows me this won't necessarily equal more books sales. Although I must say, Montana Scribbler's blog site explores so many interesting topics, besides writing, that it makes me want to read some of her other writing too. So her blog might actually work as intended. So Good job there Mona and I'm working on my blog contribution too. Write on!"     Nichespur.

You can find the RSS feeds you are connected to between "Favorites" and "History" on your IE Browser.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Are Your Blogs Vulnerable To Hackers?

Can you be hacked through your blog? You bet your sweet booties.

Sarah Corbett Morgan said,
"I was hacked through the scripts of a blog theme. I have a WordPress. org blog and use Bluehost as my webhost. They were incredible at unsnarling the mess, taking me offline, and helping me get my blog back.
"I had backed up the blog, but had I not I would have lost 170 + posts, all the data including tags, comments and media files. A Nightmare."
Sarah went on to explain the details of how you get what you pay for.
"In my estimation Bluehost is well worth the money. By the way, I blogged about the ordeal--I'm a blogger, right? You can read about my recommendations for WordPress security here: "Hackers, Bots, Bluehost, and Me."
Enjoy more of Sarah Corbett Morgan at her blog, where you'll also see her amazing photography. 

Adding Your RSS Brings Worldwide Audiences

Bygone Montanans , an RSS feed to my Kindle Author's Page , was originally published April 12, 2014, and has since made its way into numerous venues, including Facebook and Twitter. The results are increased book sales, plus added traffic to all my websites and blogs, in a [hopefully] never-ending cycle.

How did it happen? Forty five viewers read my announcement about the RSS feed on The North Palouse Washington eNewscast 78 read about it on this website, and 127 read it on Behind These Mountains. From those beginnings a handful found mention on my Access The World and Write Your Way to $$$, and related blogs.

My audience now spans the world, including the United States of course, besides Canada, Poland, Ukraine, China, Spain, Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, and Romania at this one website. Viewers from my other blogs, include France, Hungary, Iran, Ireland and India. How wide will it spread by electronic word-of-mouth? Who know? But you can bet increased Kindle book sales of my Behind These Mountains trilogy will result.

Is adding an RSS feed to your websites and author's sites in your marketing plan? If not, it's time you took steps to do so.

When you add a blog feed to your Kindle Direct Publishing [KDP] Author's Page you are linking to a blog you've created elsewhere. To learn more, and how to do it, visit see the Managing Blog Feeds Help page for instructions on adding your feed address in Author Central.

Whenever you update your blog, the blog teasers that appear on the Author Page on update automatically, within 24 hours of being posted on your blog.

If you still need help, use the KDP contact form. My request for KDP assistance was answered promptly when I checked, Topic: My Blog Feeds - I need general help; Question/Feedback: and submitted the following, along with my email address:
"I created a blog,
Now I need to know how to make it a blog "feed" so I can connect it to my Author's page."
In addition to emailing me detailed instructions, the courteous and helpful KDP contact linked my blog for me!
You can learn more about RSS feeds here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Learn How To Use MS Word Styles

Craftsmen and artists need to learn to use their tools. MS Word is a complex piece of software and the writer who uses it will benefit from purchasing a book or two and actually learning how to use it.

MS Word seems to randomly change formatting when you move things around in the document, whether you're writing a book or anything else. Using styles can save you from that. If you use Word, you can avoid many problems by using styles.

You're wise to understand ~ before you begin your project using Word ~ what's going on paragraph-by-paragraph, and the best way to do that is by using Word's styles.

You'll find a pretty good tutorial site that approaches using Word from a writer's perspective at Daiya Mitchell's website,
"So You Want to Write a Book with MS Word."

An advantage to using styles: if you're going to self-publish ebooks, epub and mobi formats they behave much more nicely if you feed them a document that's properly formatted using Word styles.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

En Dash and Em Dash Demystified

At you can learn when and when not to use dashes, including the en dash and the em dash. In addition, you'll discover the en dash is about the width of the letter n, and is slightly longer than a hyphen.

By comparison the em dash is the width of the letter m.

A visit to will demystify when and why to use one or the other.

Using your PCs keyboard to form an en dash, type the first number or word, then hold down the ALT key while typing 0150 on the numerical pad on the right side of the keyboard. Then type the second number or word.

Using your PCs keyboard to form an em dash, type the first word, then hold down the ALT key while typing 0151 on the numerical pad on the right side of the keyboard. Then type the second word. You can also form an em dash by typing the first word, hitting the hyphen key twice, and then typing the second word. Your word processor program will turn the two hyphens into an em dash.

Also, be sure to visit BLOGGERdotCOM where you'll find Cheatsheet For Bloggers .

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

About BookCrossing ~ The World's Library

"A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold." Henry Miller, The Books In My Life (1969)
BookCrossing is the World's Library. "It's a smart social networking site. It's a celebration of literature and a place where books get new life. BookCrossing is the act of giving a book a unique identity so, as the book is passed from reader to reader, it can be tracked and thus connecting its readers."

You won't be disappointed when you visit the website, but you may be astounded when you read the current number of users, books circulating, and the number of countries it serves.

What is the Mission of BookCrossing? 
"Very simply, we aim to connect people through books," says the owner.

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.

Monday, March 31, 2014

IWW "Yahoo" March 31, 2014

Members of the Internet Writing Workshop, which includes many genre's, share their accomplishments with a "Yahoo" to the list during each week. The list of Yahoos for the last week in March, 2014 is published. You can read them on the IWW Members' Publishing Successes.

After you've finished enjoying their success stories, return to the IWW website and browse the many interesting links. You're invited to join any list anytime!

Congratulations everyone, and thanks to Judith Quaempts for compiling and preparing the list, and to Eric Petersen, the IWW

Watch for the IWW "Yahoo" here next week.

View some of the members websites here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Interenet Writing Workshop Writers Accomplishments Announced

Members of the Internet Writing Workshop, which includes many genre's, share their accomplishments with a "Yahoo" to the list during each week. The list of Yahoos for the week ending March 23, 2014 is published. You can read them on the IWW Members' Publishing Successes.

After you've finished enjoying their success stories, return to the IWW website and browse the many interesting links. You're invited to join any list anytime!

Congratulations everyone, and thanks to Judith Quaempts for compiling and preparing the list, and to Eric Petersen, the IWW

Watch for the IWW "Yahoo" here next week.
You'll also find several members websites here.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Writing Biographies for a Publisher

Major publishers of biographies hire writers to research and write biographies. You can search them out, or they may contact you with an offer, and may ask for a book proposal with an annotated outline, ie: a chapter-by-chapter outline of book.

You can get lots of information on how to do a annotated outline by Googling.

In addition, Jeannette de Beauvoir, novelist, playwright, short story writer and poet, provides the following insight.
"Be very careful about how long writing a biography will take you, it's one of the services I offer authors and is expensive precisely because it's so involved. Budget *plenty* of time for it!"
At a minimum, your proposal should include:

1) title page
2) table of contents and summary of the proposal
3) overview/synopsis
4) audience (detail who is going to buy it and why)
5) competitive review (what other similar books are out there and how well they've sold; how yours is different)
6) author platform (why are you the person to write it; what reader will you be bringing with you)
7) marketing (a very detailed listing of what exactly you will do to market the book apart from anything your publisher will do)
8) chapter-by-chapter outline of book (this is your annotated outline)
9) first three finished & edited chapters

Good luck!
--  Jeannette

Her poem, "The William Dutton House, Circa 1835" was published in the August 2013 inaugural issue of Agave Magazine.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Can Writing Your Own Obituary Can Bring Fame ~~ and ~~ Fortune?2

abc7 eyewitness News, WLs-TV Chicago, IL, published a man's self-penned obit ~~ definitely unique and humorous. So of course it's circulating around the Internet and sparking lots of interest

When Rick Bylina, long standing member of Internet Writing Workshop got wind of it he quipped:
"My obit has been up on TWITTER periodically for two years. Not a single comment in reference to it that I remember."
Rest In Prose-Rick Bylina (1953-2054) is currently not online, however readers can enjoy his sense of humor, and much more, at The link is to his bio on Amazon.
- - -
Rick Bylina (1953-2054) was born on a snowy night in New Jersey (or so he was told) and expects to die, "...wailing against that goodnight...," with keyboard in his lap in North Carolina. But for now, he lives with his wife, Carrie, and their 20-year-old cockatiel, Sydney, in the woods near Lake Jordan and the nearby town of Apex, North Carolina.

Ongoing corporate downsizing in the early 21st century convinced him to tap into his passion rather than remain a cog in the corporate wheel. He scribbled any crazy idea that crossed his mind. After gaining discipline, he wrote his debut mystery novel, "One Promise Too Many", the first in a series featuring Detective Roger Stark. Writing happens spontaneously between housework, gardening, cooking, fishing, and wrestling alligators.

Now, Rick has added novels A Matter of Faith and All Of Our Secrets to his Amazon listings. And most recently, he added a collection of short stories, Bathroom Reading--Short Stories for Short Visits. It's his way of helping out others during times of stress by offering his own brand of relief.

What did his future hold when he penned that bio? More political wrangling, he's sure, but also a poetry book, Poems for Platypus, published on April 1, 2013. Upcoming is his next novel in the Detective Stark series, Meteor Magic, whenever he gets his butt in gear. He's also working on several other ideas. The future is wide open.
- - -
Rick says, "I guess I should update it [his bio]. POEMS FOR A PLATYPUS was a #1 bestseller in the Australian market for a week. It was really weird to see my name ahead of Robert Frost and Emily Dickenson."
-Rick Bylina ~~ "The only rule: writers write! Everything else is a guideline."

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Che Guevara's Marijuana and Baseball Savings and Loan" by Jack Shakely wins finalist slot

Confederate Warbonnet author, Jack Shakely, Gold medal winner- 2009 IPPY Book of the Year Award in historical/military fiction has been selected a finalist in the fiction category of the 2014 Oklahoma Book Award competition with his novel "Che Guevara's Marijuana and Baseball Savings and Loan."
"As a third-generation Oklahoman, I am very proud of this  honor," Jack said.
Shakely is of Muscogee/Creek descent and was chair of the Los Angeles Native American Indian Commission from 1992 to 1996.

The competition is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.

Read his views on libraries here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bob White Announces Release of "Demons From The Past and Credits IWW Novel Members

Bob White, a self-published mystery genre writer, announced the release of his novel which features small-town detective, Tony Petrocelli, Demons From The Past available on

When announcing his novel, Bob said, "My latest Tony Petrocelli mystery novel, Demons From The Past , is now published. It wouldn't have been possible without the help of a group of
'beta readers' from the Internet Writing Workshop Novels list. - They are:  Rick Bylina, Robin Cain, Sylvia Villalobos, Michele Rico, and Bill Weldy. My thanks to them and their red pens."

A Menifee's Arts Council "Artist of the Month", Bob released a sinisterly-toned book, To Catch a Monster in 2014, and also has three mysteries available on

Check out Bob's Read About The Author on his Amazon Author's page to learn more about this engaging and increasingly successful gentleman.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Copyrights, Fair Use, & Distance Learning

Study this interesting piece,  copyright "fair use". It includes some information about distance learning that might be helpful to writers planning to offer "distance learning" educational courses.

Free Nonfiction Course Via Application at University of Iowa, International Writing Program

Free Nonfiction Writing Course  opportunity for nonfiction writers, however only fifteen slots via application, offered by the University of Iowa , International Writing Program.

Cutter Wood will be the instructor. He has a MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, and is published in such publications as Harper’s and the L Magazine. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Bookmark link , as they routinely offer FREE courses in different genres -- poetry and fiction have been offered in the past.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rasana Atreya's Wisdom on Self Publishing Basics

Rasana Atreya wrote a FAQ about Self Publishing Basics, on her blog, On Getting Published, Good Books, and Living Goddesses: Publishing Trends, e-books, Literary Agents

You will learn many things you need to know, but expect to visit FAQ  more than once so add it to your bookmarks. It takes time to absorb what she explains, such as the following:

* Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple etc. are vendors that you may use to sell your ebook.

* CreateSpace does paperbacks. Paperback formatting is very different from ebook formatting. While you can get away doing your own ebook formatting, or have someone do it for you on the cheap, paperback formatting is way more complicated - and expensive.

* Smashwords is an aggregator.

Rasana said, "... there's more on this in my FAQ. "

Why Good Books Don't Get Published

Evan Gregory's interesting take, at Flaubert's Pyramid, on why good books don't get published is worth your time to read.

Friday, February 7, 2014


The final volume of the Behind These Mountains  trilogy is also in Kindle eEdition now, preserving the history of northwestern Sanders County, Montana for posterity.

Because the books have been revised to include information not available before, plus being edited by professionals. Photographs reproduction is also enhanced. The editions are superior in every way to the original softcover editions and this online edition.

 Even if you don't wish to buy the books, do take advantage of Kindle's free "Look Inside".

 Viewers have the following responses ~~

"You've got that one wonderful paragraph about yourself moving to the area, which I think makes the whole thing so credible and worthy. I love that. I also think your other paragraphs have a lot of information in them that is interesting, and kind of gives a style or voice that people can get a feel for. YOU come through ... in the books regardless of the small amount of your own prose," Sheri McGregor

"Congratulations, Mona! YOU'RE the one who did the work, put in the effort. It is your accomplishment -- and a fine accomplishment it is, a real contribution to your region," G. K. Adams.

"I browsed through all three, and they look very good. Nice job! A little bit of history preserved for the ages! Bravo!" Gary Presley, Author of Seven Wheelchairs,

"You may have equally good days in the future, but never a better one. Hearty congratulations," Jack Shakely, Author, Confederate War Bonnet, Give Me A Log With You At One End, and many others,

"Huge congratulations, Mona. I know the struggles with following Smashwords' guide. But all three volumes! You're definitely on a champagne kick:-)" Joanna Weston,, and published in many anthologies and magazines.

"Dancing many happy dances for you, Mona! What a major accomplishment!!" Jody Ewing, Author, Iowa Cold Cases,

"Wonderful news! Congratulations, and much, much success," Guilie Castillo,

"Congratulations, Mona-what an accomplishment! Best," Judith Quaempts

"You have done a marvelous service here. If I lived in the area or had every lived in the area, I would definitely want your books. Nice going!" Judith Stock, Freelance writer,

"Big congratulations," June Gallant, member

"You are AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Congrats to you Mona," Kathy and Bill Creed.

"Mona, a simple congratulations just won't, FarrrrrrrOut! as John Denver would have said," Keith Bellinger

"This looks great! Two years! Plus the 20+ years before that. And the Kindles include pictures and footnotes. I know you were formatting all of this. You did so good. You're an inspiration. Victory, right! I posted announcements to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook," Katherine Kay,

"Congratulations!! I have been letting all my friends know about your books!" Michael Vanek

"Congratulations on the completion of your two-year project! What's next? I looked at your Mona's Kindle Store, but I haven't viewed the author page yet. $19.95 per volume is a good price, I think. Higher than most of the Kindle books I've seen--I assume because it's history with lots of photos--but still reasonable enough to be affordable for most folks," Marylyn Cork, Project director/co-author of the Bonner County History Book, Beautiful Bonner; co-author with Diane Mercer of Priest River and Priest Lake Memories; and co author with Diane Mercer and Jeanne Tomlin of Priest River and Priest Lake: Kaniksu Country in the Images of America series, Acadia Publishing.

"With all those photos, that's a major accomplishment. You set an example few can emulate," Mel Jacob, Author, "The Lilacs Bloom", "Deadly Valentine",

"Big Congrats!" Peter Bernhardt, Author: "The Stasi File," Quarter Finalist 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award; Sequel: "Kiss of the Shaman's Daughter." -
"They are good books--people will love them," Carol Page.

"pretty neat stuff!!" Frank Gremaux

"I found you at: and," David Miller.

"I peeked into Volume III and it's impressive, Mona. The phototgraphs are as clear as if I was holding them in my hand. Good, detailed write-ups for each one. Sometimes it seems like you've been working on this forever, but the truth is, you've accomplished a ton of work in a short time. I can only imagine the relief you feel at actually completing a task like this. It's fantastic! .... People are going to benefit from this history series for years to come." Sue Ellis,

"Congratulations, Mona. I can tell it's been a grand undertaking and the histories look fascinating. I wish you many, many sales," Carol Crigger, Author, Gone Rogue, Hereafter, Three Seconds to Thunder,

"Way to go! I was going through my books the other day, and it tickled me to see a lot of remembered names. Good job Mona, but now what will you do?" Neil Logan

"Mona, huge congratulations! I took a peek at your book through the Amazon Inside feature, and I am truly impressed. You have clearly worked long and hard, and your dedication has paid off," Bob Sanchez, Author, When Pigs Fly voted #1 Best Indie on Goodreads! and

"Congratulations. You must feel good having completed this project," Wayne Scheer

"Congratulations, Mona! Wonderful news, I'm thrilled for you. Way to go," - William Bartlett

"YAY!!!! I'm so proud of you!" Carla Street

"Dang, I hope yer still scribblin' stories gal.....yer notta writer! Yer, a story teller and. a dang gud 'un ta-boot welp, I kindee jist run acrost ya.....whilst diggin' up bones....The Thompsons are my maternal, funny thing about archeology ya jest never kno where thet trail will lead ya! And, it rode me, rite to you. Life really, throws folks curve balls sometimes it, seems like only yesterday I was, swilling a few cold pints with, my, favorite cousin.. Nipper.... on Okinawa, 1970...he being USAF on the western side of the USMC on the Eastern, remembering fallen comrades and, cousins KIAd in Vietnam. Never; realizing it, would be our last reunion...he was on my paternal side and, passed a year ago this past April. So, beings Im a travelin man, I jest pulled up stakes and, headed for Ehprata Wa. to visit his sister.

  Anyolways Im now residing in this sage brush and, rock rekindling old kinsmanships and, researching my mothers side...the Thompsons. So, whilst followin a trail , like a Blue Tick hound onna raccoons trail I barked up yer tree via the international web...Im David Thompsons 4th great grandson...knowing Thompsons Falls Montana is, named for him and, my mother Janes mother Eunice Neola Thompson was, raised on the Thompson ranch in, none other than, Thompson Falls, Im seeking written or,oral histories of, Montana Territory circa 1860-1950...and, hopefully pho-tee-graphâs, on the flip side my maternal grandfather was a, a funny thing arises here at this, juncture he forbade talking of, his forefathers yet, the 2 families migrated outta Canada East, via Wisconsin about, the same time and, settled in Montana Territory as; your research has; probably shown you, if; you're aware of; D. Thompson they, were very acquainted and, friendly with, the indigenous tribes. It, just so, happens my grandfather Robert Murray Doherty was, buried on the Kootenai reservation in 1941....

    Bicca-Cutta...Mucka Cutta...means cut, bisquits grandmother....on, those cold freezing winter nights....when, the indian agent sold the Federal governments beef alottments for the indians; to pioneers and, miners...the tribes would head for the Thompson ranch..( Harry Albert Thompson and, his wife Sophie )..replete with, a barn....shelter and, above and, kinsmanship of, friendships spanning decades....So, out would come the fat and, flour, Harry would butcher beeves and, the pipe would be passed.....again....

   This, is; an oral history passed down from my grandmother, an interesting mother came to, visit me whilst I resided in Colorado about, 1992,she asked, to go to Estes Park so, up thru the Conifers along the old road we, drove...there, just up ahead and, to the right was, Charlie Silver Plumes indian trading post, stop she, beings Im an obedient 50s sumthin brat I do......after sum palaverin' and, rejoicing....Charlie had eaten at the Thompson Ranch as, a boy...ummm....wunder why, the many paths that are walked and, the many lives that are entwined throughout history come together a century later....what are the chances? A mere coincidence? A longing for old comrades to smoke the pipe again? A spiritual thing? Charlie passed 4 days later.

   So, here we and, I....onna fluke of mere chance....even, if; you kno nothing....I would honor you, by just outright buying a 3 volume set....bound of, course...

yer a good read....and. I mite add yer folks ˜ad a heckava sense of, humor.....naming you sech!


David J. Cheek"


Mona Leeson Vanek 
Montana Scribbler |
"Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II, & III |
Mona's Author Page |
(Online copies of original softcover editions: