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Vicente L Ruiz
moderator

Moderator Selected Writing Exercises  - 
 
Weekly Writing Exercise: June 20-26, 2016

Some explanation is needed for this week's exercise. First of all, I looked for a random word generator, and I ended up using this one:

http://creativitygames.net/random-word-generator/randomwords/1

Next I used it to, ahem, generate one word. To be honest, I did this several times until I got an interesting word. I got this:

ghost

Then I went to unsplash.com and searched for images tagged "ghost". I got eight of those.

Last, I used random.org to generate a number between one and eight, and I got five. The fifth image is the one in this post, by artist Steinar La Engeland.

Use that image as your inspiration this week. Feel free to also use part of the process I followed, or none, as you wish.

RULES
~600 words or less
~story or poetry
~related to the image
~no commentary allowed
~VOTE.

Submissions or comments that don't follow the rules will be removed, no matter how awesome. Sorry. If you need to contact me to ask about the contest or comment about the photo, please tag me in a private post. Thank you!

1) All submissions must be added as a COMMENT to this post, not as new posts in this section (or anywhere else).

2) All submissions (including your title) must be less than 600 words. In the case of a questionable word count, I will use Google Docs to verify.

3) Only include the title and text of your submission in your comment. Please don't add any questions, links, commentary, requests for feedback, etc. STORIES ONLY!

4) Please submit only one story each week.^ If you have more than one, choose your best entry.

5) Your submission must be inspired by the attached photo. How you choose to do that is up to you. Feel free to be creative!

6) ANYONE CAN VOTE. Even if you don't write a story, PLEASE VOTE for your favorites! You can +1 as many entries as you like.

7) Anyone can add their submission at any time in the contest period. However, the voting will be counted and a winner chosen on Sunday, June 26, 2016 approximately at 23:00 Central European Time.

8) Winners are chosen by +1 count. Just that simple. (Ties will possibly be decided by a random draw, or by a call for votes, depending on how I feel.)

9) If you +1 your own submission, please also +1 at least one other submission.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers
-A chance to practice, practice, practice
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. If you ever come across an idea that you think is good for a prompt, please do the same!

tl;dr:
~600 words or less
~story or poetry
~related to the image
~no commentary allowed
~VOTE.

Have fun! Be creative!

Image by Steinar La Engeland from Unsplash.com: https://unsplash.com/photos/SNiOntJ62ws

All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero: http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
But I like citing both Unsplash and of course the author.

#writingprompt   #flashfiction  
6
1
Carla Moon's profile photoNicole R. Locker's profile photoChris Chan's profile photo
5 comments
 
Title: We Need To Talk

I usually wasn’t asleep at three a.m. anyway. Like clockwork, this was when Amity’s intangible figure would reach to me through the veil, an ethereal glow surrounding the world behind her.

It was the Portal. To where, I wasn’t sure just yet. Sometimes she was alone, and others she came accompanied by dark, abstract figures whose shapes I couldn’t quite make out.

What did they want from me? That was simple. I was their link to this world, just as the portal was my link to theirs.

Tonight was different. Amity came singularly through the veil and sat before me as I lay on my bed. Her lips didn’t move, but I heard her speak. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard her melodic voice ringing inside my mind. It was, however, the first time she asked me about him.

/He needs you, Reya./

I didn’t have to ask who /he/ was. Along with the sound of Amity’s voice, I could see his face inside my inner consciousness. It wasn’t the first time his face appeared when she was nearby.

Shy was my neighbor who shared the adjoining wall to this tiny, third-floor apartment. He was polite, as neighbors went, in that he kept to himself and didn’t make much noise during the day when spirit gave me reprieve. That was when I got my sleep.

“Why does he need me?” I asked aloud as I sat upright pushing the thin, knitted blanket off me.

/You know why./

I heaved a sigh from deep within my chest and rubbed my temples. “Dammit, Amity. I feel the love you felt for him. /Feel/ for him,” I corrected. “But how am I supposed to explain… this… to him?”

Amity was already drifting back toward the portal.

/Help him, Reya. He needs you. And you don’t know it yet, but you need him, too./

With a bow of her head, Amity was pulled back through the veil, and at once she was gone.

“What does that mean? Amity, wait! What are you not telling me?” I had to be careful not to call out too loudly. It wasn’t the dead I was afraid of waking, but the living. I could sense Shy in a room nearby, and I knew the walls were thin.

A strange tingling deep in my chest told me that things were about to change.

I didn’t need the tingling to know that Amity knew something she didn’t want to let on about yet. Part of my abilities included sensing what other people felt. Some called it empathic. There were a lot of things people would call me if they knew what I was capable of. Medium. Psychic. Crazy.

I moved to my writing desk and switched on the small lamp. I drew out a blank journal that lay tucked away in a nook of the table, half-way filled with my ramblings, and began to flesh out my anxious feelings and the meanings behind Amity’s unspoken message.

By seven-thirty, I was showered and ready to walk out the door, just in time to meet Shy walking into the elevator.
“Good morning,” he greeted in obligated politeness.

“Good morning,” I returned.
We stood facing forward as the elevator carried us downward, and just before he stepped out, I grabbed him by the wrist.

“Shy, will you be home this evening?” I asked.

He looked down at where my hand and his wrist were connected, then back to my eyes, a questioning expression influencing his features.

“I’ll be here,” he replied.

“Good. We need to talk.”
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Don't forget to enter!
The Official Best Indie Book Award. Enter Your Book Now.
2
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Here's a resource for style choices, comparing AP and CMoS applications for titles (books, blogs, movies, songs, etc.). Handy chart.
1
Cynthia B Ainsworthe's profile photo
 
Great info and thanks for posting! Quick question----is it still proper to underline story titles? I've been doing such since high school.
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Jade Smith

General  - 
 

Hey! Guys I need a little help.

Do you guys know any online writers or Bloggers that write fiction and poetry that you really like?

They can be from anywhere on the web...Tumblr, instagram, Twitter, Wordpress, anything. Having a though time finding them.
1
Nathan Lowell's profile photoBrooke Johnson's profile photo
2 comments
 
check out wattpad 
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Tony Johnson

Ask an Editor  - 
 
How do I quote text messages in my novel?
Some say quotation marks. Others have mentioned italics.
Thanks in advance!
1
Jennifer Linsky's profile photoNicole R. Locker's profile photo
4 comments
 
That would be exhausting to write. The text message is a written expression which has no tone, isn't tied to the scene beyond what the person is reading and typing back, and could get overly repetitive if it's longer than a few lines. Adding "he said," "she replied," etc. after every single line with no way to qualify it through actions? I guess you could milk the thesaurus for other words that mean "said," "replied," or "typed." As a writer, I care about appropriate grammar, but as a reader... I honestly don't think I'd appreciate this rule. To use a widely read example along these lines, I liked how E.L. James wrote out the time stamps and the from/to info of emails in 50 Shades of Grey. Just a thought.
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Gina Drayer

Writing Opportunities/Conferences  - 
 
2016 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest

DEADLINE FOR ENTRY: July 1, 2016

· Trained judges provide feedback with track changes throughout manuscript.
· In-depth scoring-sheets to better educate writers.
· TWO acquiring editors judge category finalists.
· ELEVEN entries in 2015 had request from editors to see full manuscripts.


The Indiana chapter of Romance Writers of America (IRWA) has a well-deserved reputation for offering detailed constructive comments to our entrants from published authors and trained judges. Designed to identify the fundamentals of storytelling and grammar, our four-page category-specific score sheets will assist entrants by defining the elements in their manuscript that require more attention. Our goal is to assist IGO entrants with constructive feedback to help them polish their manuscripts.

«««BENEFITS OF ENTERING IRWA’S IGO FOR 2016«««
In keeping with the ever-changing publishing industry, IGO will offer two (2) acquiring editor judges for each category finalists -- one (1) traditional print and one (1) e-pub when possible.
Updated rules, categories, and score sheets
Twenty-seven finalists received requests from our fabulous editor judges to see their full manuscripts over the last three years!

CONTEST CATEGORIES:
Please review the category definitions carefully. Manuscripts entered in the wrong category may be disqualified.

Please note that categories may have varying heat levels. All entries should have an emotionally satisfying and optimistic resolution to the romance.

Contemporary Romance – Romance manuscripts that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and have a contemporary setting.
Erotic Romance – Romance manuscripts in which the sexual relationship plays an integral part of the romantic relationship and the sex scenes are explicit in both description and language.
Historical Romance – Romance manuscripts set in any historical time period.
Inspirational Romance – Romance manuscripts in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are a major part of the romantic relationship.
Paranormal Romance – Romance manuscripts in which the future, a fantasy world, time travel or paranormal elements are a key part of the plot.
Romantic Suspense – Romance manuscripts in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.
Young Adult Romance – Romance manuscripts geared toward young adult readers.

FINAL JUDGES FOR 2015:
Contemporary Romance
Traditional Print Editor Megha Parekh Editor Grand Central Publishing
E-Pub Editor Heather Howland Editorial Director Entangled Publishing
Erotic Romance
Traditional Print Editor Allison Janice Editorial Assistant Berkley Publishing
E-Pub Editor Michele Paulin Editorial Director Resplendence Publishing
Historical Romance
Traditional Print Editor Elle Keck Editorial Assistant Avon Book
E-Pub Editor Erin Molta Senior Editor Entangled Publishing
Inspirational Romance
Traditional Print Editor Shana Asaro Associate Editor Harlequin Love Inspired
Traditional Print Editor Becky Philpott Acquisitions Editor HarperCollins Christian Publishing
Paranormal Romance
Traditional Print Editor Tara Gavin Executive Editor Kensington Books
E-Pub Editor Angela James Editorial Director Carina Press / Harlequin
Romantic Suspense
Traditional Print Editor Patience Bloom Senior Editor Harlequin Books
E-Pub Editor Deb Nemeth Developmental Editor Carina Press
Young Adult Romance
Traditional Print Editor Lauren Smulski Editorial Assistant Harlequin
E-Pub Editor Stephanie Taylor Owner & Editor in Chief Clean Reads

First place winners in each of the categories will continue to the Best-of-the-Best round.
Best of the Best Katherine Pelz Assistant Editor Berkley Publishing Group


AWARDS:
Category winners – First place entry will receive $50 and a certificate
Best of the Best – Winner will receive a special keepsake award

ELIGIBILITY:
The Indiana Golden Opportunity contest is open to any unpublished author in novel- or novella-length romance fiction. Published authors who have not been contracted for publication or self-published in the romance genre in the past three (3) years are also eligible to enter. If any rights (print, digital, audio, foreign, etc.) have been contracted to a publisher or exercised through self-publishing in the past three (3) years (2013 to present), author is not eligible to enter. Failure to follow IGO rules will result in disqualification and entry fee will not be refunded.

Note: Previously entered manuscripts that have been revised may be entered again if they did NOT final or win in a prior IGO Contest. Members of the Indiana Romance Writers of America are not eligible to enter.
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Don't get stuck in the journey to the perfect book.

Earn money!

And remember, if it is not fun, it won't get done.

<Grin and break a smile>
1
Add a comment...
 
I've been reading the various comments from writers currently editing their WIP. It seems that I always end up adding as many as 10,000 words to the original draft. Am I the only one who adds rather than subtracts?
3
Sam Albion's profile photoWriting a Great Book's profile photo
16 comments
 
Part of the fun of writing is knowing this is your world.  You are the creator. You can add. You can subtract. You can change your imaginary world to be anything you want it to be. Enjoy the journey. No one knows your world better than you.  Happy Writing
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Louis Doggett

Resources  - 
 
Some suggestions from an old writer
7 Tips From William Faulkner on How to Write Fiction. Tip 1: Take what you need from other writers. "I think the writer, as I’ve said before, is… - Open Culture - Google+
5
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Vicente L Ruiz
moderator

Moderator Selected Writing Exercises  - 
 
The Nexus by +Douglas Daniel.

“Are you going to the turn the page?” the wolf asked.

“Patience,” Lana said, “I’m almost done.”

“Hmph,” the wolf said. “You just like the pictures.”

“The pictures are important,” Lana said. “You never know what you’ll find in them.”

The wolf looked over the girl’s shoulder. On the page before Lana clouds scudded across a dark landscape. In the distance a single point of light gleamed golden.

“Nothing remarkable there,” the wolf said.

“Not today,” Lana said, sighing. She closed the book. “I guess I shouldn’t be looking for extra work.”

The wolf scratched his flank with a back leg. “I should say. You have enough on your plate as it is.”

Soft tones made them look up. The worlds turned in harmony above them, vast in their grandeur. Their gentle music lingered, then faded.

“Well, that’s a relief,” the wolf said.

“Yes,” Lana said. “The day always starts out better when the spheres are actually in harmony.”

“Not like last Wednesday,” the wolf said.

“Don’t remind me,” Lana said.

She stood and replaced the book on the shelf. As she did the ocean beyond the picture window murmured its own song, whispering of deep mysteries. Lana spared a glance for the currents of power and streams of life that flowed past the window. All was well.

The globe on the floor glowed. The wolf’s ears perked up. “Uh-oh,” he said.

Lana quickly sat back down. She studied the globe. “Oh, dear-- it’s our old friend, the Underneath. It wants to come out to play again.”

“You think it would learn,” the wolf said.

“It’s not exactly what you would call a thoughtful being.”

It was only moments before they felt it-- the rising mass, the slither of tentacles. They sensed hunger and cruelty. They heard the snap of the thing’s sharp beak.

“Wait,” Lana said. “Wait….”

“If we wait much longer, it’ll be in our laps,” the wolf said.

“Stop being dramatic,” Lana said. She placed her hands on the globe.

The Underneath pressed against the walls; its tentacles roped around them, seeking weakness. The room boomed with its impact.

“Now!” Lana said.

Her hands glowed. She confronted the Underneath. Away , she told it. This is no doorway for you .

The thing hissed; its beak snapped. The malign mind Lana confronted reached out for her, to drag her under.

Lana deflected the thing’s thrust, turned it against the itself. The thing howled in agony; its body shuddered. Its tentacles shivered and loosened their grip.

“Go!” Lana said.

The wolf, standing beside her, glowed silver. A leap sent it flying at the Underneath. The thing screamed as the wolf tore at it. It retreated; the wolf pursued, snapping. Then it was gone, trailing hate and blood.

Lana let go of the globe. “Well done,” she said.

“Nothing to it,” the wolf said. He sat on his haunches and licked his jaws. “Just another day in the Nexus of All That Is.”

“Perhaps now the Underneath will stay away for awhile.” Lana stood. “Do you feel like Mark Twain today?”

“Sure,” said the wolf. He yawned and laid his head on his paws. “Just make it Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. Lately I’ve been down on his later stuff.”

“Fair enough,” Lana said. She pulled out a book and sat down. The wolf leaned against her; the warmth of his coat and the steady rhythm of his breathing calmed her. She opened the book and read--

"’You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer … ’"

+++

+Douglas Daniel, I hope you don't mind my using a decider: after I cast my votes all four writers were tied, so I just turned to random.org and "rolled" a 2.

You four, +frank key, +Douglas Daniel, +Michael Alfaro and +Samantha Dunaway Bryant have given us wonderful tales this week. I loved the four of them and voted for all four.

The Nexus by +Douglas Daniel has powerful worldbuilding. can't help but feel awed when such a feat is pulled in such a short space. Plus, I loved the wolf character!

Boundless by +frank key was excellent, making an original use of the info the author offers at deviantArt. I loved the three characters "flight".

I liked +Michael Alfaro's At Her Whim, because he kept me wondering who "she" was. I liked how he chose only one scene, then gave us a twist at the end, hinting at a wider world. Wonderful.

And I also voted for +Samantha Dunaway Bryant's dreamy Escape. Yet another approach at the illustration, again creating new worlds, again differently, with an added pungent touch of sadness.

Which ones did you like?
 
Weekly Writing Exercise: June 13-19, 2016

Let's have another simple exercise. Just be inspired by the image. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it, and was keeping it for the future. The future is now, it seems.

RULES
~600 words or less
~story or poetry
~related to the image
~no commentary allowed
~VOTE.

Submissions or comments that don't follow the rules will be removed, no matter how awesome. Sorry. If you need to contact me to ask about the contest or comment about the photo, please tag me in a private post. Thank you!

1) All submissions must be added as a COMMENT to this post, not as new posts in this section (or anywhere else).

2) All submissions (including your title) must be less than 600 words. In the case of a questionable word count, I will use Google Docs to verify.

3) Only include the title and text of your submission in your comment. Please don't add any questions, links, commentary, requests for feedback, etc. STORIES ONLY!

4) Please submit only one story each week. If you have more than one, choose your best entry.

5) Your submission must be inspired by the attached photo. How you choose to do that is up to you. Feel free to be creative!

6) ANYONE CAN VOTE. Even if you don't write a story, PLEASE VOTE for your favorites! You can +1 as many entries as you like.

7) Anyone can add their submission at any time in the contest period. However, the voting will be counted and a winner chosen on Sunday, June 19, 2016 approximately at 23:00 Central European Time.

8) Winners are chosen by +1 count. Just that simple. (Ties will be broken by sudden death cage match, or by a call for votes, whichever costs less money at the time.)

9) If you +1 your own submission, please also +1 at least one other submission.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers
-A chance to practice, practice, practice
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. If you ever come across an idea that you think is good for a prompt, please do the same!

tl;dr:
~600 words or less
~story or poetry
~related to the image
~no commentary allowed
~VOTE.

Have fun! Be creative!

Image: Boundless by yuumei.
http://yuumei.deviantart.com/art/Boundless-574393318

#writingprompt   #flashfiction
12
Michael Alfaro's profile photoVicente L Ruiz's profile photo
2 comments
 
As I commented last week, I'll keep writing an entry each week, just like I used to do before, but I'll only upload it to my medium page, not here (no link dropping!). Well, I'll have you know the four stories taking part this week just blast mine out of the water!
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About this community

WDG is pioneering the way writers come together to discuss and interact with one another. Every writer needs a go-to place to find the support and resources needed to succeed. Any post or comment made in this community is public. We ask that you look over the Community Guidelines before posting. Help us continue to create an engaging environment by keeping out spam and link drops.
 
I'm as guilty as anyone of abusing memberships as promotional vehicles so I've come up with a plan... https://plus.google.com/communities/113147032148430373246
Writers Billboard
Where writers post their work, promotion, and links.
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Daniel Price

Ask an Editor  - 
 
Does anyone here follow the Associate Press Stylebook (style guide for journalism and media)?

I picked up a copy of the 2013 edition because it was literally £1 used. Is there much reason to upgrade to the 2015 edition?
1
Karen Conlin's profile photoDeanne Charlton's profile photo
10 comments
 
If you're determined to go commando, just be consistent with yourself. I stop reading when the text is sloppy.
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Lisa “LJ” Cohen

Business/Marketing  - 
 
Sharing this post to the community for some real numbers. I'm just a single writer, and I'm nowhere near a success (if we measure that by earning a living), but I'm slowly increasing my writing income and sales over time, which I think is actually typical of indie publishing.

There are few superstars and a lot of folks quietly publishing and earning at least hobby income.

My hope is to hit the next level over the next 5 years and be able to help support my family on my writing income.
 
#Transparency I thought it might be useful to look at the Amazon graphs from my latest book launch. This is data that dovetails with my recent blog post for +The Scriptors where I shared my earnings numbers for the first 3 weeks of DREADNOUGHT AND SHUTTLE.
(http://thescriptors.com/dreadnought-and-shuttle-anatomy-of-a-book-launch)

These graphs are for all my Amazon titles: 6 novels and a short story collection. However, nearly 100% of the sales/page reads are for my SF series, Halcyone Space. (DERELICT, ITHAKA RISING, DREADNOUGHT AND SHUTTLE).

I share these because there is too little actual data out there on real sales. Typically, I see stories from the mega-successful. The reality is that most writers earn hobby income. My goal is to (slowly and over time) earn a full living from writing earnings. I'm not there yet. But if this trend holds over the next few years, I will get there.

2012 . . . 1 novel available. . . $200
2013 . . . 1 novel available. . . $300
2014 . . . 3 novels + short story collection avail . . .$27,000*
2015 . . . 5 novels + short story collection avail . . . $4,500
2016 . . . 6 novels + short story collection avail . . .$3,000 (1/2 year)

*2014 was an anomaly. I STILL don't know why DERELICT did what it did out of the gate with little to no promo. It certainly didn't translate to wild sales of the sequel when it was published a year later.

BUT, what I am seeing, trend-wise, is that with each book published, there is a spike during the months after publication and the baseline is higher than it was before. It is reasonable to posit that I will earn more than last year, based on the trends. And based on the income from page reads through KU, where some of my books are now available (Since Nov of 2015).

It doesn't happen overnight (I was writing for 6+ years and had completed 5 novels before I published my first) and it doesn't happen without a shit-ton of work and investment in yourself as an artist. And even then, there are no guarantees.

Finally, even when things do break your way, it's after years of laying the groundwork.

One of the hardest parts of this for me is in managing my expectations and keeping them realistic, while striving for more.
12
Tony Johnson's profile photoLisa “LJ” Cohen's profile photo
14 comments
 
+Tony Johnson I sell one or two copies a month on the other sales outlets.
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Tony Thomas

Resources  - 
 
I have spent many hours on the Internet looking for good books on writing. I have created this site to share the cream of the crop with you.

http://topbooksforfreelancewriters.blogspot.com/
1
Yawer Qazalbash's profile photoTony Thomas's profile photo
2 comments
 
I find that you can always benefit from other people's knowledge. Those who read your books certainly benefit from yours!
Add a comment...
 
What do you find more appropriate for a love/drama novel/series?
30 votes  -  votes visible to Public
First person narrative
47%
Third person perspective
53%
1
Cynthia B Ainsworthe's profile photoJessica Roberts's profile photo
9 comments
 
Third person because I like to get all the characters' POVs.
Add a comment...

Vicente L Ruiz
moderator

General  - 
 
Something weird has been happening to me these last days. I've observed a surge of followers in one of my #AmWriting  collections, specifically the one where I post my weekly exercise from here.

Now it's obvious that all those accounts following me are false, because they have no posts, or something similar. We've all seen some. Moreover, if they were real people interested in my writing, logic dictates that at least some would also follow my sister collection where I post my stories from Chuck Wendig's challenges.

My questions are: has this ever happened to you? It looks to me like a highly suspicious behaviour, but to what purpose? Do they really think I'm suddenly going to go nuts and follow back all of those evidently fake accounts?

I guess I just don't understand, and suspect foul play...
4
Richard Kendrick's profile photoEvelyn Chartres's profile photo
13 comments
 
+frank key I always reasoned that these people would follow a small army so their friend numbers could rise. Likely as a way to get their accounts looking legitimate. 
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John Apel

General  - 
 
My writing space. My best writing is usually done either in the morning or at night. I always play music, but I play a big variety of genres. I also love to have a big cup of iced coffee when I work in the morning. Might be a placebo, but I think the caffeine might boost my creativity as well. 
7
JB Hall's profile photoCatherine Reynolds's profile photo
3 comments
 
My space is way worse than yours, JB, and we even keep our finances on a separate computer to avoid nightmares. John, this is a look to which I aspire! All except for the coffee, that is. I never keep my coffee anywhere near the mouse, as I would tip it over in moments of writer's elation/despair.
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Lisa “LJ” Cohen

Business/Marketing  - 
 
Got this email today:

"I’m e-mailing you regarding ‘Writer Posts’ – an Instagram account that I currently admin. Writer Posts is currently one of the world’s most active Instagram accounts for writers and book lovers. The page itself currently has over 37,000 followers, the vast majority of which are independent writers, with our most recent posts averaging between 1,500 and 1,750 likes.
 
We may have contacted you before about the possibility of sharing your product or service with the thousands of independent writers that follow our account. Sponsored posts allow you to customise and upload your own image and caption to our account in order to reach out to our followers and inform them of what you have to offer. Our sponsored posts currently cost $50 (around £35) and all of our sponsored posts will remain on the account permanently in order to gain more exposure as the account grows. (This price my change over time as the account size and interaction increases).
 
Whether you’re an editor, ghost writer, proof reader, book cover designer or provide anything else that could be of interest to our followers, if you feel like your product or service is at a good enough standard and would benefit from being shared with thousands of independent writers, respond to this e-mail to find out more."

So why on earth would I pay money to advertise myself to a group that consisted of other writer?? "The page itself currently has over 37,000 followers, the vast majority of which are independent writers,"

And at $50 a pop for sponsored posts.

Yes, there is money to be made here - but it's for whoever is running the site.

Don't get suckered into paying for 'likes' or 'exposure' or whatever secret sauce some marketer is trying to sell you.
13
Bill Ries-Knight (Steelhoof)'s profile photoSam Albion's profile photo
7 comments
 
it's only when you start bleeding do you realise how many sharks circle these waters...
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Lisa “LJ” Cohen

Business/Marketing  - 
 
I  wrote/posted a version of this on a FB group I'm a member of, and I thought I'd expand it and also bring it here.

With all the doom and gloom on the web about publishing, etc, I thought a little optimism might be in order. There is no secret sauce, and I'm nowhere near 'successful', (whatever that means) but I'm definitely seeing a trend that with each book I publish, the base level of sales over time increases.

Of the six books I've published since January of 2012, four have earned back their expenses, one (my newest) is already more than a 1/3 of the way there in 2 1/2 weeks. The book that didn't make its expenses is covered by the one that did extremely well. (Like sold nearly 10K copies well. Still have NO idea why. And the sequel barely sold 10% of that.)

I decided not to spend a lot of time or money on promotion or advertisement and I work hard on social media to primarily talk about other things, except when I have a new release.

I earned about 4K from my writing last year. I'm on track to exceed that this year.

Like I said - not hugely successful and my spouse still needs to keep his day job - but it's the long game. I'm not going anywhere and my books aren't, either.

And along the way, I've met some amazing fellow authors - so many of them who have worked to pay it forward to help me get the word out and who have promoted my books and encouraged me.

I've done the same for other writers and hope that my small influence has helped.

So much of publishing - no matter how you publish - is chance and timing. The only thing that remains fully in our control is hard work and professionalism.

Making a living from art has never been easy or assured. I'd earn a much better living returning to my former career as a physical therapist - even working temp/part time hours - hell, I'd make more flipping burgers.

My expectations are pretty realistic. I'd like to earn enough money every year, reliably, so that I can afford to pay for our health care which would allow my husband to retire early. I'm pretty optimistic that I can get there in the next 3-5 years.

So keep the faith out there, fellow word-nerds. And keep writing.
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