Summer Writing Goals Check-In

Earlier in the summer, I encouraged you to take advantage of the summer to achieve your writing goals. I recommended you set goals related to starting and finishing your manuscript, publishing your book, and marketing your book. Well, there are only a few weeks of summer left. (Sad, I know.) Now is the time to check-in and hold yourself accountable.

1. What were your goals?

Take a look back and see what your goals were. Did you want to start a new project? Begin the self-publishing process? Focus on promoting your book?

2. Where are you now?

Have you accomplished your goals? How much work do you still have to do? Do you want to add new goals to your list? Also, consider why you are where you are. Were your goals realistic? Motivating? Clear? Measurable? Take these things into consideration when re-evaluating your goals.

3. What are you going to do with the rest of your summer?

Whether you’ve exceeded your goals or lost sight of your vision, August still offers plenty of time to accomplish your summer writing goals. Update your goals based on your progress, and start working on achieving them before summer ends. You can do it!

I’d love to know, how much progress have you made towards your summer writing goals?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Don’t Miss These Opportunities to Promote Your Book

Book fairs are an excellent way to promote your self-published book, learn about the publishing industry, and network with other professionals. Even though the year is more than half way over, it’s not too late to promote your book at some of this year’s book fairs. Here are a few you might want to add to your calendar.

2014 Beijing International Book Fair

Show Date: Aug 27, 2014 – Aug 31, 2014
Location: Beijing, China
Deadline: Aug 05, 2014

2014 LIBER (Spain)

Show Date: Oct 01, 2014 – Oct 03, 2014
Location: Barcelona
Deadline: Sep 10, 2014

2014 Frankfurt International Book Fair

Show Date: Oct 08, 2014 – Oct 12, 2014
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Deadline: Sep 12, 2014

2014 Pennsylvania Library Association

Show Date: Sep 29, 2014 – Sep 30, 2014
Location: Lancaster, PA
Deadline: Sep 12, 2014

2014 Illinois Library Association

Show Date: Oct 15, 2014 – Oct 16, 2014
Location: Springfield, IL
Deadline: Sep 26, 2014

2014 New England Library Association

Show Date: Oct 19, 2014 – Oct 21, 2014
Location: Boxborough, MA
Deadline: Oct 03, 2014

2014 California Library Association

Show Date: Nov 07, 2014 – Nov 09, 2014
Location: Oakland, CA
Deadline: Oct 06, 2014

2014 New York Library Association

Show Date: Nov 06, 2014 – Nov 07, 2014
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Deadline: Oct 17, 2014
Many of these book fairs have deadlines that are fast approaching, so be sure to sign up soon.
In addition to these popular book fairs, look for local events where you can promote your book. County and state fairs are often a good choice as are hometown fall festivals.
I’d love to know, where do you plan to promote your book this year?
ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Achieve Your Summer Reading Goals While on Vacation

Reading is one of the best things writers can do to improve their own work. Reading offers inspiration, teaches the craft, and provides insight into what is (or isn’t) successful right now. I frequently encourage writers to set reading goals — read a certain number of books per month. Your summer vacation is the perfect time to achieve those summer reading goals.

Years ago, when you went on vacation you’d pack a small stack of books to enjoy on the plane or as you laid by the pool. Once those books were finished, your reading was done. Obviously for space reasons (and wonderful suitcase weight limits), it just wasn’t possible to pack all the books you wanted to read. Luckily, times have changed.

E-readers make reading while traveling easy. You can download books to reader before leaving or wait and download books as you need them. This offers countless reading possibilities.

While you probably already have a reading wish list, I encourage you to read something you wouldn’t normally read. This is a great way to step outside your comfort zone and discover a new writing style that might just inspire your own work. For book suggestions, check out bestselling lists such as Outskirts Press Top 10 Kindle Books.

I’d love to know, what are you reading on your summer vacation?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

How Writers Can Celebrate National Anti-boredom Month

July is National Anti-boredom Month, which encourages everyone to find ways to fight off boredom. Luckily, writers have a special weapon against boredom: creativity! Here are five creative activities to help you “celebrate” anti-boredom month.

1. Read.

Reading is a great activity to beat boredom. It can take you to places far, far away, introduce you to characters  you’ve never met, teach you lessons or skills, and allow you to see the world from a new perspective.

2. Play writing games.

If you search online or visit your local bookstore or library, you can find plenty of fun writing prompts. These simple activities can get your creative juices flowing and may just spark a great story idea.

3. Try a new art.

Many authors find they enjoy other forms of art, such as music, painting, and photography. Study the work of these artists, perhaps by visiting a museum or local art show. Also, try your hand at a new medium. Learning a new craft won’t only keep you from getting bored, but it could also inspire your writing.

4. Travel.

Traveling is a great way to beat boredom and inspire your creative work. Even if you can’t travel to a far away place, spend some time this month traveling to new and unique places close to you. You can easily find a list of local attractions online, or ask other locals their favorite places to go.

5. Write.

Writers are always complaining they don’t have time to write, yet ironically, you’ll also find these same writers saying they’re bored. Fill those moments of boredom with writing! Whether you’re waiting for your food to arrive on your lunch break or sitting on a train ride home, break out the notebook or laptop and start writing. Once you finish your manuscript, start working on the self-publishing process.

I’d love to know, how are you celebrating National Anti-boredom Month?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Celebrate Independence Day with Independent Publishing

Remember the days when the dream of becoming a published author seemed impossible? When publishing a book meant spending hours researching companies and editors and writing countless queries only to receive no response, or worse a rejection letter. Well, those days are gone.

Authors are no longer required to suffer the authoritative power of traditional publishing firms. They now have the freedom to independently publish their books without the approval of a profit-minded company. Here are three reasons you should celebrate Independence Day by self-publishing.

1. Freedom of speech.

Traditional publishers are looking for books that appeal to a widespread, commercial market. They rarely are willing to take the chance on a book that is unique or appeals to a niche market. This doesn’t mean your book isn’t worth publishing. It simply means your manuscript doesn’t match what that company wants to say to their readers. Self-publishing gives you the freedom to write your story as you see fit.

2. Creative freedom.

If your manuscript is accepted by a traditional publishing company, you lose control of the project once you sign your contract. The editor may require you to change a large portion of your book, and you will have little say in creative processes such as cover design and illustrations. With self-publishing, you have the freedom to control the entire process so your book looks and reads exactly how you imagined.

3. Freedom of choice.

With traditional publishing, authors get little say in details such as pricing and distribution. Self-publishing authors are not confined by this lack of power. They have the freedom to make choices throughout the entire publishing process. They are completely in control of the destiny of their book.

As you celebrate the 4th of July and reflect on all the freedoms you enjoy, I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to independently publish your book. Don’t let your publishing dreams go unrealized.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Summer Writing Goals

Summer is the perfect time to set and accomplish writing goals. Many people have time off work. The extra daylight makes you feel like you have more time in the day. The season is filled with inspiration. Whether you haven’t started your book or your book is already published, here are three ways you can make your writing dreams come true this summer.

1. The new project.

You’ve been dreaming of publishing a book, but you haven’t found the time or motivation. Well, now is the perfect time to start. Commit to the goal of finishing your manuscript by the end of August. Use small daily goals, such as writing for a certain amount of time, to help you achieve your dream.

2. The published book.

Perhaps you have a manuscript that is ready to be published. Now is the perfect time to start the publishing process. Your goals should include:

  • Research and choose a publisher.
  • Edit your manuscript.
  • Start thinking about cover design.

3. The successful book.

If you’ve already published your book, now is the time to focus on marketing. A great marketing plan is the key to a successful book. No one can buy your book if they don’t know it exists. Set marketing goals such as:

  • Research summer events where you can display (and sell) your book.
  • Set up and maintain social media pages.
  • Contact local news sources.

I’d love to know, what are your summer writing goals?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Beijing Book Fair 2014

Book fairs are an excellent way for self-published authors to promote their books and network with industry professionals. The Beijing Book Fair 2014 will take place August 27th through 31st, so now is the time to consider registering your book.

The Beijing International Book Fair is the largest publishing industry event in the Asian Market. This is a huge opportunity for self-published authors, considering China is the most populous country in the world. This market is interested in books translated into their local language as well as the rights to distribute English Language content. English language titles are at the forefront of the market growth in China.

Children’s books authors can be especially lucrative in this market, since the government mandates that all Chinese children learn English at an early age. STM, academic areas, sports, sports medicine, and military history are also areas that have been in high demand.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors attend the show annually to see the books from 56 different countries. Your book could be there!

To learn more, visit http://www.chinaexhibition.com/Official_Site/11-2822-BIBF_2013_-_The_20th_Beijing_International_Book_Fair.html

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.