authors, book marketing, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, Thomas Nelson, writing, Writing Contest

2 writing contest winners share tips for aspiring writers who want to get published.

Completing a manuscript can be a lonely journey filled with self-doubt, but these two videos from the winners of two writing contests serve as an inspiration to all writers that persevering to complete the work is worth the effort.  Laurie Norlander entered the Women of Faith writing contest last year and is now a published author. Her book, Mirrored Images and her story is featured in this video.

Another first time author, Stacey Navarro, shares her story in this video.  As a stay-at-home mom,  she wanted to write a book that was something her daughters  would want to read. That motivation was enough to get her to finish her manuscript and enter the Crossbooks writing contest. Her description of what happened when she learned she won is worth watching the video. As with Laurie, her words will be an encouragement to any one working on a book.

authors, Guideposts, Publishing, self publishing, writing, Writing Contest

2nd Annual Inspiring Voices Publishing Contest now accepting entries

BookContestOne of my favorite author stories from last year is the journey of Susan Call. She entered and won the first Inspiring Voices Publishing contest.  As a first time author, she went through all the self-doubt and challenge of finding time to write.  In the end though, she took the step to complete her manuscript because she believed her story could help others. She entered the contest, won the grand prize and then was actually picked up by Guideposts who is the sponsor of the contest. The video below will let you hear Susan tell her story in her words. I think you will be inspired (pun intended.) Do you have manuscript that you think might inspire others. Details on how to enter this year’s publishing contest are available by clicking here or on the logo to the left. I don’t know how many people you will impact with your writing if you enter and get published, but I know how many you will if you don’t.

Author Solutions, AuthorHouse, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, writing, Writing Contest

Carl Reiner started the novel. You finish it and you could get published.

Reiner ContestCarl Reiner, the highly respected comic genius has launched a unique writing contest in conjunction with the release of his new book, I Remember Me.  Reiner has started a novel, but doesn’t know if  he will have time to finish it because of so many other projects he has in the works. So he did something really cool. He is giving other writers an opportunity to finish the story and get published.  Here are the details on the contest:

Distinguished actor, film director, producer, writer, and comedian Carl Reiner has written the beginning of an intriguing story. How it ends will be up to you.

He, together with AuthorHouse Publishing, is giving aspiring writers the opportunity to become a published author. If you write the best story to his Adolf Meistermann beginning, you stand to win a publishing package from AuthorHouse. Reiner will handpick the winning manuscript and write the foreword to your new book.

To read the start of the story and get the full contest rules, visit the Novel Beginnings Writing Contest site.

authors, book selling, Editing, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, Writing Contest

What I heard at the San Francisco Writers Conference: 2012 edition

If you follow this blog, you know that over the past few years, I have been a presenter at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference and Author Solutions has been a lead sponsor for both the conference and the Indie Publishing Contest.  Along with being one of the best conferences in the country,  the panels and and speakers have often been almost prophetic in their comments on publishing.  Furthermore, it has been interesting to see the change in attitude toward indie publishing over the past few years. Whereas, just a few years, it was  dismissed as a career killer, now it is promoted and explained as the most sane way for authors to get published.  So what were people talking about this year?

  1. Not that long ago, no one could get published. Today everybody can get published. One of the panelists who I sat with said that she had attended the conference for many years. Not that long ago, one of the keynote speakers looked out at the crowd and told them, “you know none of you will likely ever get published”. While I am sure the speaker thought she was being helpful and truthful, it was actually discouraging and demotivating. Well, the panelist said, she wanted to let everyone know that while that may have been true a few years ago, “today everyone in the audience could be published.”   That is why I have been saying for years, this truly is the best time in history to be an author.

    This year's winner of the Indie Publishing Contest, Azadeh Tabazadeh jumped for joy when her name was announced.

  2. No matter how you publish, make sure you get your manuscript edited.  It is no surprise really, but I think I heard it in every session I attended. Make the investment to get your book edited. And that doesn’t mean have your daughter who is an English major, read the manuscript. It means hire someone with experience in the genre you are writing to read through, comment and correct.  While your first draft may have everything you want to say written down, it can only be made better with editing.
  3. Be sure you think long and hard about your book pricing.  The price of your book should be part of your marketing strategy and so you want to be able to set your price to be competitive in the market place.
  4. Try a 99 cent or free e-book promotion at some point.  Digital readers have made books impulse purchases and so to stimulate demand and take advantage of word of mouth, you should strongly consider running a limited promotion at some point with a very cheap or free ebook. If your book is good, people will tell others and you will see a return on that promotion in the months that follow.
  5. Publishing is still a dream for many people that can now come true.  One of the joys for me personally is being able to present the grand prize for the winner of the Indie Publishing writing contest. This year, when I announced the winner,Azadeh Tabazadeh, who wrote the memoir The Sky Detective,  she stood up, cried tears of joy and said,  “you have made my dreams come true”.  I really look forward to reading her book. It is her story about how she escaped from Iran with her brother and cousin. Look for her book when it comes out. I think it is going to be quite good.
  6. Agents are getting into self publishing. More and more agents are trying to figure out how to add value in the current environment and many of them are now turning to self publishing as way to cultivate talent and build platforms for new authors before they pitch the books to traditional houses.

Once again, it was a great conference and it gave me greater evidence that the Indie Revolution in publishing is in full bloom.

authors, Guideposts, Publishing, self publishing, writing, Writing Contest

New book publishing contest from Inspiring Voices, a service of Guideposts Magazine

Yesterday  marked the beginning of the Inspiring Voices Book Publishing contest.  Inspiring Voices is the self publishing service of Guideposts and a partner of Author Solutions. To announce the contest, they have enlisted the services of Kitty Slattery. Kitty is a traditionally published author and contributing editor for Guideposts and her video is quite interesting. She has been traditionally published, but is now pursuing self publishing, which gives her an unique perspective. She also describes the joy and thrill of holding the first copy of a book which never gets old no matter how many books you publish. Perhaps most importantly, she really is quite inspirational in her attempt to compel authors to enter.