Issue 90 - It’s Your Year to Build Your Platform and Sell Your Book!


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Looking West by Al Badre

Q2 2019 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Fall 2018 Flash Fiction Contest

Q1 2018 Flash Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Summer 2018 Flash Fiction Contest

Q4 2018 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Spring 2018 Flash Fiction Contest







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It’s Your Year to Build Your Platform and Sell Your Book!

EDITOR’S DESK

    WELCOME: IT’S YOUR YEAR TO BUILD YOUR PLATFORM AND SELL YOUR BOOK!

I don’t know about you, but I always need tips and ideas to grow my audience and build my platform. I really feel like we’ve put together a “31-flavor” (Remember, Baskin Robbins 31 flavors of ice cream?) variety of marketing and platform-building strategies for you, depending on where your audience hangs out and finds books to read—no matter if you’re writing novels, memoir, nonfiction, or even a poetry chapbook. We hope you’ll start with one article that speaks to you and work on building your audience and platform, then move on to the next one; and before long, you’ll see the growth you've wanted since the beginning of your career! MORE >>

     

FLASH FICTION CONTEST

    SPRING FLASH FICTION CONTEST WITH GUEST JUDGE LITERARY AGENT SAVANNAH BROOKS

Do you need some writing inspiration? Contests are a great way to spark your creativity, and you may even win a prize! Get your best work together and consider entering the WOW! quarterly flash fiction contest with guest judge, literary agent Savannah Brooks with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. Stop by the contest page, download the pdf guidelines, and read all about Savannah’s preferences. The Spring Contest is open to all genres of fiction between 250 - 750 words. Only 300 stories are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. Over $1350 in cash prizes. Deadline: May 31, 2019. MORE >>

     

CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

    CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST

WOW! is proud to introduce our newest essay contest! Writers have been asking us to host an essay contest for many years, and we’ve finally listened. The mission of this essay contest is to inspire creative nonfiction and provide well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. Your story must be true, but the way you tell it is your chance to get creative. We are open to all styles of essay—from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid essay, and beyond! Word Count: 200 – 1,000 words. Only 300 stories are accepted, so enter early to ensure your spot in the contest. 1st Place: $500. Deadline: April 30, 2019. MORE >>

     

WRITING WORKSHOPS & ONLINE CLASSES

    WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING CLASSROOM

Whether you are looking to boost your income or work on your craft, we know that education is an important part of a writer’s career. That’s why WOW! handpicks qualified instructors and targeted classes that women writers will benefit from. All of the courses operate online and are taught one-on-one with the instructor. The flexibility of the platform allows students to complete assignments on their own time and work at their own pace in the comfort of their own home. Visit the classroom page and check out our current line up of workshops: fiction writing, writing for children, screenwriting, creativity, memoir, personal essay, grammar, food writing, freelance writing, novel writing, blogging, social networking for authors, independent publishing, branding for authors, poetry writing, copy editing, literary devices, working with a literary agent, writing scenes, book reviewing, travel writing and more. MORE >>

     

FEATURES

  1. HOW TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE NONFICTION BOOK PROPOSAL

A well-crafted proposal can be the difference between a yes and a no thank you. It is a strategically composed document that sells your book idea, and you as an expert to potential agents or publishers. When done effectively, they will sing your praises and offer you a contract. Here are the sections you need to include in your proposal. By Kerrie Flanagan MORE >>

     
  2. HOW TO WRITE BLURBS THAT SELL!

How to write a blurb 101: You put your main character in, you don’t need that secondary character. Detail the conflict with just enough to get the questions rising inside the reader’s head but not too much that you begin answering those questions or deflating any of the big moments in the book. Hook with a last sentence that drives them panting to open the book and start reading. That’s the general idea. But there’s a lot more to it because we have to contend with more than just the back cover blurb. Read on to find out what elements are needed to craft a dynamic blurb that sells your book. By Karen S. Wiesner. MORE >>

     
  3. WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY SECOND BOOK LAUNCH

In 2013, I published my first novel, King of the Class. Three months later, Three months later, I wrote a post titled, “What I Learned from Publishing my First Novel.” It was a necessary integration of what I’d gleaned after three months of full-time, dedicated hard work—the kind of twenty-four-hour work after which you can’t even think about the topic. I was burnt out of book marketing, and the post was cathartic. Now, three months after publishing my second novel, Passport Control, I returned to that post. Some things have changed dramatically, while others remain the same. Here are eight new things I learned. By Gila Green. MORE >>

     
  4. HOW TO BUILD YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM BEFORE YOU ARE PUBLISHED

Building your author platform is not as scary as it sounds. It is also not as complex. Sure, there are a number of bells and whistles that go along with creating the platform that is going to help sell your book, but all the pieces end up fitting together like that of a puzzle. And before you know it, you are staring at an effective online presence made specifically for you. In this article, Jenna Faccenda chats with authors Suzanne Palmieri, Liz Schulte, Sabrina York, Grace Burrowes, Joanna Penn, as well as marketing experts Cassie Drumm and Penny Sansevieri, who share their best tips on building an author platform. MORE >>

     
  5. THE LAZY GUIDE TO TWITTER (AND MY 5-5-5 RULE)

As a writer, how much time do you spend on social media? While it’s an essential marketing tool, social media can also drain your energy for other projects (the far more important ones). So I devote quite a bit of my social media energy and attention to Twitter as it’s an excellent place to network with writers (and readers). To save time on this social media platform, I developed my very own 5-5-5 Rule (otherwise known as my “lazy rule”) for Twitter. When I follow this rule, my engagement increases and my followers increase—all for the price of a little effort each day. By Nicole Pyles. MORE >>

     
  6. HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM TO BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE

Did you know Instagram has one billion users worldwide? Do you want to build your audience as a writer? Considering using Instagram, but not sure if it's worth it? Let’s look at why authors are turning to Instagram to build their online following. Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out! By Loie Dunn. MORE >>

     
  7. BOOK MARKETING WITH SEO: INTERVIEW WITH HEATHER LLOYD MARTIN

Globally recognized as “the pioneer of SEO copywriting,” Heather Lloyd Martin knows a thing or two about the brainchild behind Google and how to use search engine optimization (SEO), so that writers and authors can optimize their sites and be found by the right readers. As the President and CEO of The SEO Content Institute, Heather talks about SEO essentials writers need to connect with their readers from background reading to keyword research. Interview by Dorit Sasson. MORE >>

     
  8. HOW PODCASTING CAN HELP INCREASE YOUR PRESENCE FOR YOUR WRITING CAREER

Podcasting is one of the greatest platforms to start building more presence for your writing career. It takes work on your part, but the work pays off; and you never know where podcasting can take you in your career. The possibilities are endless. You are creating a positive impact on others and yourself while having the freedom to express your true self. Read on to find out how to start your own podcast today! By Sheena Yap Chan. MORE >>

     
  9. BEING SMART WITH YOUR MARKETING DOLLARS: AN INTERVIEW WITH SKYE WARREN

Skye is known around the blogosphere as the author who spent $100K on Facebook ads and generated $850K in profit from those ads. Her secret is to test multiple ads at one time, spending low amounts of money, until she finds the ad that works to find new readers. Once she figures out which ad is “winning,” she spends more money on that ad or an ad similar to it. She explains more below about her philosophy of marketing and what to consider below. Your head may be spinning when it’s over, so grab a notebook and pen, and get ready to take notes from an author in the trenches. By Margo L. Dill. MORE >>

     
  10. FALL 2018 FLASH FICTION WINNERS

The results are in! After careful deliberation our honorable guest judge, literary agent Heather Flaherty with The Bent Agency, has made her final decisions. Read the winning stories of the 750 words or less Fall 2018 Flash Fiction Competition. MORE >>

     
  11. Q2 2019 CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS

Check out the results of our latest essay contest! Read the winning essays of the 1,000 words or less Q2 2019 Essay Competition. MORE >>


SERIES: TALES FROM THE TRENCHES

     
  1. MY WRITING COACH IN THE LOOKING GLASS: OVERZEALOUS MENTOR OR MONEYMAKER?

In the spring of 2012, I found myself gazing into my monitor, not knowing whether to put a period at the end of the sentence or keep going with a comma. I’d lost my home in foreclosure, gone bankrupt, written 300,000 words, and revised the body of work four times. And while I was slurping away at my 5 p.m. crutch of a Cosmo, I understood what I was really missing—a mentor. Someone who’d gone before, knew how to shape art into something salable, and who would come along with a tribe of like-minded people with whom I could collaborate. I didn’t want to go back to school. What I was looking for was beyond the confines of academia. I needed someone to touch what the poet Mary Oliver called the “wild silky” part of myself and finally, make it palatable to the world. By Lisa Mae DeMasi. MORE >>

     
  2. FINGER GONE ROGUE, WRITING GONE MUTE

I type with nine fingers instead of ten. Not by choice! Holding the rogue finger above the keys, I make mistakes, correct them, and start again. The cause? On July 23, 2017, it is red, swollen, and throbbing with pain that I’ve put up with for four months now. The doctor lances it due to a fungal infection. Now two days later on July 25th, she unwraps the wound on my left middle finger. Stunned, we both gasp at the blackened fingertip. She calls it necrotic. I’ve seen frostbitten hands on TV look like this before. “We don’t want you losing that finger,” she says. By Rhonda Wiley-Jones. MORE >>

     
  3. MILLIONAIRE DAYDREAMS

I used to daydream, and say that I would be a millionaire by forty, hoping that the laws of attraction would bring it to fruition. My 40th birthday came, and I had nothing but a broken heart, some of my clothes, my laptop computer, important documents, and that book bag with my pages, wondering if it would ever become a book. Nonetheless, I pulled those crumpled pages from that bag and typed out those words to create chapter after chapter. The chapters in my life also began to unfold. By Cortina Jackson. MORE >>

     
  4. JUST SAY NO, OR BEING A BITCH FOR MY ART

I know I’m not the only writer—especially not the only woman writer (after all, aren’t we supposed to be endlessly giving, eternally nurturing?)—who receives such requests on a regular basis. How frequently are we told of someone’s aunt, niece, little brother, daughter, etc. who is so talented and whose writing is so amazing, they know we’d love to read it and help them get it published? I’m sure that they think “getting something published” must be easy. After all, we do it, right? By Judith Sornberger. MORE >>

     
  5. MY FAVORITE REJECTION LETTER

What writing mountain are you eager to conquer? As for me, in 2005, my writing Kilimanjaro was to publish my history article in a children’s periodical. I took my quest seriously: I read back issues of Cobblestone and Calliope magazines, studied their guidelines, sent out one pitch after another—and all this labor resulted in numerous rejections. At some point, I understood that I aimed at the mountain too high for me and started to look for other suitable and less competitive markets. I believed that there had to be a publication whose editor would appreciate my passion for history, writing style, and diligent research. By Tatiana Claudy. MORE >>

     
  6. MUSE AND MEANING

“A memoirist starts with events, then derives meaning from them.” – Don Delillo. As mentally laborious as it is to go back in my mind and recall the inciting event I’m writing about—the pre-, during, and post-scenarios that shape its narrative—it’s the meaning I must squeeze from the event that is challenging, time-consuming, and most of all, humbling. By Ann Kathryn Kelly. MORE >>

     
  7. CARVING OUT A COMMUNITY

Writing was a process of discovering. Each time I wrote, I found a new angle into my past, a new way to approach and consider life. It was about getting that narrative out. Words as ushers. I wasn’t so much documenting trauma, but transforming past pain into a tangible story. Surviving this life is an art. If I didn’t tell my story, the traumatic memories would keep replaying in my mind—a continuous loop of what I wished I could leave behind but couldn’t get out of me. No matter how harsh and harrowing the words were, I had to write them out of me to cultivate some understanding about who I was—and especially who I was without my community, how they had to continue without me. How I could do the same without them. By Chelsey Clammer. MORE >>


COLUMN: THE SUBMISSION

     
  14. BUILDING A COMMUNITY: AN INTERVIEW WITH BECKY TUCH, FOUNDING EDITOR OF THE REVIEW REVIEW

Writers need resources. It’s why I do the submission consultations. I know things. I share with other writers those things I know, which makes me feel helpful and engaged. Like part of a community. Writers need guidance. So here I am, guiding you to an awesome writing community that can give you a lot of support because of its uber-resourceful characteristic: The Review ReviewMORE >>

     
  15. Q&A WITH THE SUB(MISSION) COLUMNIST

We asked WOW readers to turn in questions for Chelsey to answer about submitting your work, and the response was amazing! Writers had some great questions—everything from how to tell if feedback is real and when you should give up on a piece (after what number of rejections) to tips on writing humor and how to make your submission stand out from the rest. MORE >>

     
  16. THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER

When you submit a super-personal poem, a revealing-of-others piece, or a taboo story, you have to be prepared for anybody and everybody to read your work. Because once published, you’ll need to be prepared for all types of responses, including possible backlash. MORE >>

CLASSIFIEDS

   

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Facebook Ads: Interview with Skye Warren
How to Build Your Author Platform
How to Write an Effective Nonfiction Book Proposal
How Podcasting Can Help Increase Your Presence for Your Writing Career
How to Write Blurbs that Sell!
Book Marketing with SEO: Interview with Heather Lloyd Martin
The Lazy Guide to Twitter (and My 5-5-5 Rule)
How to Use Instagram to Build Your Audience
What I Learned from My Second Book Launch
Dipping Your Toe in the Freelance Writing Pool
Pitch this Exceptional Breed to Get the Best Freelance Clients
Carving Out a Community by Ann Kathryn Kelly
Muse and Meaning by Ann Kathryn Kelly
Millionaire Daydreams
Just Say No, or Being a Bitch for My Art
Just Say No, or Being a Bitch for My Art
Finger Gone Rogue, Writing Gone Mute
My Writing Coach in the Looking Glass: Overzealous Mentor or Moneymaker?
Self-Publishing Mistakes I Made (And How I’m Fixing Them
Pay-to-Publish Companies: Are They All Out to Get You?
How to Increase Your Writing Productivity
How to Write for Magazines That Aren’t In Your Demographics
Speculative Memoir: Interview with Sofia Samatar
How to Find the Right Markets for Your Ideas
 
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