Self-Publishing Week in Review: 5/27/14

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

Publishers Weekly Gets Into the Self-Publishing Business

Publishers Weekly is getting into the self-publishing business with the launch of a new site dedicated to self-publishing.  BookLife  will go live on May 29, 2014 at BookExpo America. The site will focus on three main subject areas: book creation, publishing,  and book marketing.

Publishers Weekly Releases eBook Guide to Publishing & Self-Publishing

Publishers Weekly has published a self-published eBook guide. Publishing 101: The Publishers Weekly Introduction to Publishing and Self-Publishing is designed to help authors navigate every step of the publishing process. This is an excellent resource for authors considering self-publishing.

Adventures in Self-Publishing: The Miraculous & Unexpected Venture of Poet Aaron Ozee

Poet Aaron Ozee shares his self-publishing journey and talks about self-publishing in print, ebook, and audiobook format. This is an interesting read for self-publishing poets.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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.

Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 3/21/14

THE WRITER’S TOOLBOX

This past weekend I received the most marvelous news!  My very dear friend and mentor (now in her 101st year of advanced youth) will be receiving a prestigious award from the Colorado Author’s League this coming May.  Her name is Lois BeeBe Hayna.  She is a self-published author of delightful and thought-provoking poetry (and I’m still trying to pry her fingers loose from the novel she’s written that should already be published for her readers).  A few of her titles are: A Book of Charms (1983), View from Behind the Mirror (1998), and The Praying Mantis (2012).

Lois Beebe Hayna - circl 1975

There really are no words that allow me to fully express my appreciation of her wisdom, insights and expertise.  So, in honor of Lois and all that she has sown into my life I am sharing just a few of the essential writing “tools” she’s given me.

š “You must have a good sense about words and their definitions, in order to be a good writer,” Lois instructed during one of her early Creative Writing Classes.  “But you must be in love with words in order to be an excellent writer.”  Truer words were never spoken!  If I’ve learned nothing else from her it is this: know the definitions of the words!  Of course, there is the dictionary definitions, the slang definitions and the social/cultural definitions.  That is where true creativity comes in play—knowing which definition fits best in the specific spot you’re placing it, or the “play” of multiple definitions that allow the reader a variety of ways to interpret what is on the page.

š Write about the things that interest you: what you care about, what you know about and/or what you might be considered an expert in.  There is no substitute for being passionate about your subject matter.  If you are bored with the topic, your readers will also be bored.

š Don’t be afraid to research!  Even though you are comfortable with what you know about a subject, there is always more to learn.  In this day of instant information, what was accepted as fact yesterday may be totally inaccurate today.  Readers will catch authors in misstatements very quickly and that is not the desired reputation to build.

THERE IS a Library Room at Regis University (Denver, Colorado) named for this marvelous lady: The Lois Beebe Hayna Creative Writing Center.  In it you will find several binders of her published and unpublished writings and, of course, copies of her books.  Her “bio” is also there encouraging every person who dreams of “being a writer” to step out and DO IT!  “I grew up in a village in central Wisconsin,” Lois tells us.  People there “regarded my attention to writing as a waste of time.”  She had a few pieces of poetry “published” when in college, but when family came along her focus changed.  She thought her writing dreams were in the past.  Then, when Lois was in her early sixties a remark from a college classmate sent her back to writing.  “I had to see if I still had anything to say, or any skill in saying it.  I was that close to never writing anything,” again.

WHAT A LOSS that would have been!  These last forty years have given us a priceless legacy, indeed, and we are expecting more from Lois.  So, if you are a writer who is holding back because of life’s circumstances—it is time to “let go” and find out what has been hiding within.  As Lois did, take the plunge to write what is on your heart and get it published!  Awards are waiting!

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

5 Ways to Use Self-Publishing to Express Your Love

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away, and if you are like many people, you are probably looking for the perfect way to express your love. Well, self-publishing is here to help. Here are five ways you can use self-publishing to express your love.

1. Write your true love story.

Every couple as a love story. This Valentine’s Day, honor your significant other by writing down your story. You can self-publish the story to have a printed version to cherish forever, and if you choose, you can share it with the world. Readers are always looking for the next great true love story.

2. Share those love poems.

If you are a poet and enjoy writing love poems, gather up the poems you’ve written (or use Valentine’s Day as inspiration to write some new ones) and turn them into a poetry book to share with the person you love. Poetry is one of the most romantic forms of writing.

3. Don’t forget the other people you love.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about your significant other. It is also a chance to express your love for the other people in your life — your kids, your parents, your friends, your pets. You can write and publish a book expressing your love for them or dedicate a story you know they will love.

4. Don’t forgot the other things you love either.

Love isn’t just between living things. I’m sure there are hobbies or places or other things in your life that you have a deepen connection with. Whatever it is you love (cooking, adventure, a special vacation spot), you can write about it and use self-publishing to share your love with the world.

5. Give the gift of self-publishing.

If the person you love is a writer and dreams of publishing, you can give the gift of self-publishing. It is a gift they can cherish forever.

I’d love to know, how are you using self-publishing to express your love?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps, publishing consultants and marketing professionals; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams and on assisting authors with marketing and promoting their book once published. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

October Writing Challenge #5 NaNoWriMo

Over the past month I’ve challenged you to complete a weekly Halloween inspired writing challenge. These challenges were designed to spark creative ideas, help you stick to your writing routine, and provide a little fun in your hectic week. (After all, writing is supposed to be fun, right?)

Now that October is almost over, I have an even bigger and more exciting challenge for you — NaNoWriMo. If you’ve followed my blog posts in the past, you know I not only encourage authors to try NaNoWriMo, but I have also done the challenge myself.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that challenges writers to pen a whopping 50,000 words in the month of November. Hundreds of thousands of writers participate in the challenge each year.

NaNoWriMo is great for new writers looking for a creative jumpstart or experienced writers looking for a new challenge. It begins November 1st and ends on November 30th.

To sign up or learn more about NaNoWriMo, visit www.nanowrimo.org. The website helps you track your progress, gives you access to pep talks and inspirational stories, and provides a place to meet other writers.

Also, if you missed any of the October challenges, be sure to go back and check out them out: Spiritual Poetry Challenge, 15 Minute Challenge, Short Story Challenge, and Children’s Halloween Story Challenge. (You never know, they might inspire your NaNoWriMo project.)

I’d love to know, are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo 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.

October Writing Challenge #4

October is here! Witches, ghosts, and goblins! Oh my!

In honor of Halloween, each week in October I am sharing a Halloween inspired writing challenge. These challenges are designed to spark creative ideas, help you stick to your writing routine, and provide a little fun in your hectic week. (After all, writing is supposed to be fun, right?)

So far, we’ve done the Spiritual Poetry Challenge, 15 Minute Challenge, and Short Story Challenge. (If you missed any of these, click the links to check them out.)

This week is the children’s Halloween story challenge. Think of a child in your life and write out a story you might tell him or her as a bed time story for Halloween.  It doesn’t have to be scary (you want them to go to sleep after all), but it can be about monsters or ghosts or anything else related to Halloween.

After writing the story, you may decide you like the finished manuscript and want to self-publish the story. Remember, the pictures are very important in children’s books. If you happen to be an artist, this is a great opportunity to illustrate your own book. If not, many self-publishing companies offer a variety of illustration services to suit your needs.

Be sure to check back next Wednesday for the next writing challenge!

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.

October Writing Challenge #3

One of my favorite months is finally here — October! Witches, ghosts, and goblins! Oh my!

In honor of Halloween, each week in October I am sharing a Halloween inspired writing challenge. These challenges are designed to spark creative ideas, help you stick to your writing routine, and provide a little fun in your hectic week. (After all, writing is supposed to be fun, right?)

So far, we’ve done the Spiritual Poetry Challenge and the 15 Minute Challenge. (If you missed it, be sure to check it out.)

This week is the short story challenge. Here is how it works.

1) Get inspired. Did one of the challenges from the last two weeks spark some ideas for you?  Use one of those ideas as a catalyst for a short story. If you are just starting the challenges, or you have an idea unrelated to the previous challenges, start a completely new story. It doesn’t have to be based off the previous challenges, but many of you probably already have ideas from working on the first two pieces.

2) Write a 500 word fiction piece  that channels your inner Stephen King. Let the season inspire you to write a mystery or thriller story, even if you usually work in another genre. Stepping out of your comfort zone and writing something completely different can be invigorating and bring new life to all of your work.

Be sure to check back next Wednesday for the next writing challenge!

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.

October Writing Challenge #2

One of my favorite months is finally here — October! Witches, ghosts, and goblins! Oh my!

In honor of Halloween, each week in October I will share a Halloween inspired writing challenge. These challenges are designed to spark creative ideas, help you stick to your writing routine, and provide a little fun in your hectic week. (After all, writing is supposed to be fun, right?)

Last week, we started the month with the Spiritual Poetry Challenge. If you missed it, be sure to check it out.

This week, we’ll move on to the 15 Minute Challenge. Your goal is to write about an experience that was scary, suspenseful or mysterious, but you only have 15 minutes to write to it. The story can be true or fictional. Here are the “rules.”

1) Set your timer.

Once you are ready to start the challenge, set a timer for 15 minutes. No working on the story before or after your timer is set.

2) Focus on quantity, not quality.

For the 15 minutes, try not to stress about the details. Just write like the wind. Write whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about fixing mistakes. Just write as much as you can for 15 minutes. You can always go back and “fix” the story later.

3) Keep going.

After completing the challenge you could do a couple of things. 1) You could be proud of yourself for completing the challenge and taking the time to write. You don’t ever have to look at the story again. You completed the goal. 2) You could let the challenge inspire a new project, such as a self-published mystery novel. 3) You could decide you like the story and choose to go back and continue working on it.

No matter what you decide to do after completing the challenge, be proud of yourself for taking 15 minutes to write. The more you write, the more likely you are to find success as a writer.

Be sure to check back next Wednesday for the next writing challenge!

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.