Archive for November, 2011

GUEST BLOG: Chris Redding

November 28, 2011 1 comment


I love them.

But I am not productive during them. I like my routine though I do need to shake it up sometimes. But it is my routine that keeps me on an even keel. It is my routine that allows me to write and be productive.

I’m writing this two days after Thanksgiving. I’m not stuffed. We had a huge hike yesterday, but I am a little discombobulated. Not that I would trade in any holiday for anything.

I just wish I knew a better way to get back on the wagon of my routine. So here I am writing a blog post and not really sure what to say in it.

Later I have to write a longer one.

Still not sure what to say in that one.

I know writers who don’t take time off. I don’t think that’s good for everyone. I’m someone who needs down time. I also need to live and interact with my family. They kind of like when I do that.

But what I really want to do is finish my next workshop. I need to do a little more research and then finish the lectures, but I can’t seem to wrap my brain around it.

I’m sure this happens to writers, but does it happen to others?

Does an electrician say he doesn’t feel like wiring today? Nope.

So what am I doing? Priming the pump with this blog post. Just write. Just sit in the chair and move your hands over the keyboard. It will prime the pump. You will get moving again. You just have to commit to it.

The other option is called “Refilling the Well.” Do something creative other than writing. If you like to knit or arrange flowers. Whatever you hobby/skill is, do it. Then come back to the keyboard and you will find that the words flow.

Thanks for listening to my ramble.

Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. When she isn’t writing she works part time for her local hospital.

The Betty Trask Prize and Awards For Those Under 35

November 25, 2011 Leave a comment

If you have a recently published  novel, or even an unpublished manuscript, and you belong to a Commonwealth country, the Betty Trask Prize might be for you. Prize money totals £20,000. You need to be under 35 years of age, though. Last year’s winner was Anjali Joseph for her Saraswati Park.

Click here for details.

Penguin Cites Piracy Concerns in Pulling ebooks Out of Lending Library

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Like previous news from Penguin about its subsidy press ‘Book Country’ wasn’t bad enough (see my previous posts), now comes news that Penguin is refusing to participate in ebook lending citing priracy concerns. For more details, refer to this story in

Not a good week for Penguin publicity-wise.

UPDATE: Penguin Gouging Authors

November 21, 2011 1 comment

This is an update to my previous post: Penguin, through it’s Book Country arm, is poised to take a 30% cut of of your royalties.


“In other words, an author who directly uploads his or her work to Amazon receives a 70 percent royalty. An author who uses Book Country to upload his or her work to Amazon receives 70 percent of that 70 percent. An author who publishes a $2.99 e-book directly on Amazon will receive $2.05 for each sale. An author who publishes an e-book to Amazon through Book Country will receive just $1.47 for each sale.”

This is in addition to the ‘fees’ you pay Book Country. So Penguin charges you both a one-time fee *and* keeps a percentage of your royalties for perpetuity. Nice deal for Penguin. Not so nice for the desperate-to-be-published writer.

Penguin Moves Into ‘Self’ Publishing?

November 21, 2011 3 comments

Pardon me if this confused me.

According to this blog:

“Costing between $99 and $549, depending on whether the writer wants to format their ebook themselves or plump for a “professional print and ebook” option, Book Country, the self-publishing arm of Penguin,  will give writers 70% of the sale price of a book priced above $2.99, and 30% of a book priced between 99c and $2.95.”

First of all, when someone publishes your book for you, it is NOT self publishing. When you upload your book to Amazon (or B&N etc) you self-publish. The price is, well, pricy.

If you upload the book yourself, it is free. If you get a formatter from’s list, someone can do it for as little as $25. And, if you go for the “professional print and e-book option”, you can go the CreateSpace route with $39 for expanded distribution.

My question is, what is the writer getting for those prices? Will they get on Penguin’s catalogs? Nope. This arm of theirs is a subsidy/vanity press (you have the money, you can publish a book).

And, if Book Country is going give writers 70% of the sale price if the book is priced above $2.99, Amazon’s already doing that. Without the extra you’d be shelling out for Penguin.

Not worth the price, imho.

Amazon’s Lending Library Bad for Authors?

November 16, 2011 Leave a comment

The Author’s Guild has voiced its concerns over Amazon’s Lending Library taking titles from publishers without permission, and in cases where the publisher has signed up, for not getting permission from authors.

Amazon’s contention is that it doesn’t have to seek publisher permission because “paying wholesale price for an e-book gives it the right to sell-e-books at any price, or give them away, as long as the publisher is paid” (quote from the Publisher’s Weekly article). Not so, says the Author’s Guild.

Click here for the entire article.

Self-Pubbed Author Sues Over Amazon Review

November 14, 2011 2 comments

What British author Chris McGrath set out to do was to prove the existence of God in his self-published book The Attempted Murder of God: Hidden Science You Really Need to Know.

Criticism of this book by atheist blogger Vaughn Jones found its way to Richard Dawkins’s website. Dawkins is, of course, the author of The God Delusion.

McGrath is suing.


Micro-lit No Fee Contest

November 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Unstuck is celebrating the upcoming release of their first issue by holding a fee-free contest with some unusual prizes. This is a micro-lit contest, but miniature stories, miniature essays, and poems will be considered.

The contest is open only to their Twitter followers. Last day entries will be accepted: December 31, 2011.
Theme: Lovemarks. Acceptable genres: fiction; poetry; non-fiction. Click here  for details.

This contest courtesy the CRWROPPS-B yahoo group.


Buy Dell PC for $649, Get Goodies Free

November 10, 2011 Leave a comment

So what’s this announcement doing on a blog on writing?

I figured, if you write, chances are you use a PC. This deal from Dell sounds too good to pass up (I have absolutely NOTHING to do with Dell, btw):

Spend $649 on a Dell PC and get a Canon ELPH 100HS digicam, Adobe Elements 9, Premiere Elements 9 and Shutterfly photo book free. The goodies only come with select systems, and Dell is promoting this as a “Holiday Photo Solution”.

Came across this on the BetaNews website.

Importance of Marketing Your Books

November 8, 2011 2 comments

In the good old days (does anyone even remember them?) it was enough to let your words speak for you. Not anymore, unfortunately. Because a gazillion books get published annually (esp. with the advent of ebooks and self-publishing) it is vital that one peddle one’s self, distasteful as it sounds. As an author (esp. if you write fiction), your brand is your name. If you write non-fiction, it is a tad bit easier because you can create a platform. With fiction how do you even do it?

The trigger for my completed novel Tell A Thousand Lies [coming soon]  was India’s obsession with fairness and fairness creams (hence my twitter tagline:    My novel in brief – Fairness Creams: Finding Solutions to Life’s Vexing Problems, One Application at a time.)

Having cute taglines doesn’t suffice however. You still have to be all over the internet, though I find that it’s emptying my brain of its creativity.

Check out Kelly Kathleen Ferguson’s blog post on internet promotion and what she’s been up to.