Archive for March, 2011

Career Suicide

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

For those of you who missed this, Indie Author Jacqueline Howett lost it after a very professional review by Big Alcommented on her bad grammar as well as multiple spelling mistakes. Big Al was fair in his assessment. He said the story was good – provided one was able to get past the grammar and the typos.

After hysterical rantings by Ms. Howett demanding Big Al take back his review, this has gone viral. An important lesson for the rest of us – what goes on the internet, stays on the internet. Be very careful what you put out there.

Does Ms. Howett honestly believe that literary agents/editors will give her another chance after she publicly told multiple people to f**k off?


Categories: On Writing

Self Publishing Is Lucrative

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment

By now everyone in the know has to know that Amanda Hocking, who made at least a million dollars by self publishing her book, has been shopping around for a mainstream publisher.

Now comes the startling news that NYT bestselling author Barry Eisler has turned down an offer of $500,000 from St. Martin’s Press because he would rather self publish!

Click here for the story.

Genres of Fiction

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Yesterday I met up with a few writing buddies when the issue of genre, and why it is important, came up.

Books are slotted into genres mostly to make marketing simpler. Even when you are shopping around for literary agents, you will find that a lot of them require that you categorize your books, mainly so they know how to pitch your book to editors.

Sometimes it is easy. Your book is clearly horror, or thriller or romance. Sometimes it is not so easy.

This is something I’ve been battling with personally too. I wrote what I thought was mainstream fiction. But my book, “Tell A Thousand Lies” was critiqued mainly by women (no issue with the quality of critiques, I got fantastic help), but my point is that it was mostly women (from my online critique group) who chose to critique it. So does that mean my book is “Women’s Fiction”? I wish I knew.

Literary fiction is another category that is hard to pin down. The definition of it is vague. It can be plotless, the book being carried along solely by the quality of its writing, or can have a plot, but still the writing is a cut above mass market fiction. That’s the best I can come up with.

A partial list of genres:

  • Romance
  • Sci-Fi
  • Literary
  • Horror
  • Historical
  • Speculative (sometimes covers science, fantasy, horror. Could be an overlap)
  • Mainstream
  • Thriller
  • Steampunk (sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history and speculative fiction, according to Wikipedia. Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian Britain)
  • Young adult
  • Children’s
  • Comics
  • Graphic novels
  • Memoirs (autobiographies)
  • Religious

This list is, by no means, exhaustive.

Writer’s Digest Annual Competition

March 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Check out The Writer’s Digest’s Annual Writing Competition. Deadline May 2, 2011. Grand Prize $3000, with a chance to win a trip to NYC to meet editors and agents.

There are ten categories:

  • Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious)
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay
  • Magazine Feature Article
  • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Non-rhyming Poetry
  • Stage Play
  • Television/Movie Script
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction

Click here to check it out.

Categories: Contests

How To Price ebooks for Kindle

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I came across this book on

How to Price eBooks for the Kindle: A Pocket Pricing Guide for Authors and Publishers to Maximize Sales and Royalties with the New 70 Percent Royalty Option

It is priced at $2.99. If anyone has read this, let me know what you think of it. Click here to check it out.

Categories: Amazon and Kindle

Contests to Avoid

March 21, 2011 1 comment

I post a lot of contests on my blog, but the truth is that you need to be watchful about what kind of contests you go after. Click here to read an article about which contests to avoid. They have a mailing list you can sign up for if you wish to get email notifications of their contests.



Categories: Contests

Subscribe To Get Listing of Over 25 contests

March 18, 2011 1 comment

Subscribe and get listing of over 25 contests via email. Some contests have deadlines that are coming up. Others are ongoing contests.

Categories: Contests

Free e-books

March 18, 2011 Leave a comment is making a couple books available for download. While this is not mandatory, they request that you post an honest review of the book on or Barnes and Noble.

Categories: Other Ebooks

Books and Short Prose Contest

March 18, 2011 Leave a comment

The Eric Hoffer Award is offering two prizes. One for short prose (both fiction as well as non-fiction), and the other for independent books from small presses, as well as self published books. Prize for the short prose is $500. For the book it is $2000. Deadline March 31.

Click here for details.

Categories: Contests

2011 International Book Awards

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Winning the 2011 International Book Awards can give you a shot at publicizing your book. You get media as well as industry exposure. Well worth the $69 entry fee, if you ask me. The guidelines state that it is open to all books which have an ISBN number, and which are available for sale online.

I imagine this means self-published authors are eligible as well. They list an email address and encourage you to email them if you have questions.

Click here to enter.



Categories: Contests