Issue 92 - Welcome to the Jungle: Exploring New Territory in Self-Publishing


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Welcome to the Jungle: Exploring New Territory in Self-Publishing

EDITOR’S DESK

    WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: EXPLORING NEW TERRITORY IN SELF-PUBLISHING

Everyone reading this probably knows at least one self-published author. Not only that, but you also most likely know someone who is killing it at being self-published—supporting themselves, collecting royalties like the queen of the jungle, reaching bestseller lists. Some very successful traditionally published authors have now chosen to self-publish some of their lists (or even all of their list)! However, all of these authors self-publishing have turned the publishing environment into a bit of jungle! So in this issue, we take off our editing caps and replace them with safari hats to lead you wise writers through the thick brush—finding editors and book cover artists plus marketing your books and keeping track of sales while avoiding snake pits and predators’ dens—to come out swinging from vine to vine as successfully as Tarzan. MORE >>

     

FLASH FICTION CONTEST

    SUMMER FLASH FICTION CONTEST WITH GUEST JUDGE LITERARY AGENT KAITLYN JOHNSON

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 Kaitlyn Johnson with the Corvisiero Literary Agency. Stop by the contest page, download the pdf guidelines, and read all about Kaitlyn’s preferences. The Summer 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: August 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: July 31, 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 and in a workshop. 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: creative nonfiction writing, personal essay, memoir, fiction writing, writing for children, screenwriting, playwriting, ghostwriting, freelance writing, blogging, author platform, independent publishing, poetry writing, copy editing, travel writing and more. MORE >>

     

ISSUE 92: FEATURES

  1. I WANT TO WRITE A SERIES. NOW WHAT?

Following a series can become a relentless obsession and it’s the hallmark of why readers read series, why writers write them, and why publishers publish them. The mania is spreading. So, how do you get started? Whether you’ve been pondering starting your own or you’ve finished a first book and don’t want to let go, there are a lot of things to work out when writing a fiction series. By Karen S. Wiesner. MORE >>

     
  2. JESSICA BELL: PEEKING BEHIND THE CURTAIN OF INDIE AND SELF-PUBLISHING

Being successful in indie or self-publishing isn’t as simple as printing words on a page. In Christy O’Callaghan’s interview with Jessica Bell, she explains the importance of being an “authorpreneur” and the need for both good writing and good business practices. Not only is she prolific in her creative pursuits, but she exemplifies the word hustle.  MORE >>

     
  3. HOW TO FINANCE YOUR SELF-PUBLISHING EFFORTS THROUGH CROWDSOURCING

Let’s face it: Making a decent living writing only through projects that excite you is hard. Many writers have day jobs or dabble in part-time work. Some are freelancers. Quite a few have been successfully utilizing crowdfunding to bring their works to life, which enables them to finance their projects via the help of supporters, who in turn get exclusive rewards depending on the level of their support. Fascinated by the concept, Pinar Tarhan talked to eight writers—Melissa Frey, Amy Zellmer, Bethany Atazadeh, Joanna Penn, Maxima Kahn, Ksenia Anske, Katie Li, and Jas Rawlinson—who have mastered Patreon, Kickstarter, and Chuffed. They touched on what drew them to each platform and shared their tips on how they create content and rewards for supporters of different financial levels and market their crowdfunding campaigns. MORE >>

     
  4. 6 PROGRAMS THAT AUTHORS SHOULD START USING TODAY

A difficulty for authors is knowing what programs are best to use, especially when investing money. The six programs in this article—Book Report, Publisher Rocket, Book Brush, Book Funnel, Book Marketing Tools, and Book Review Targeter—are ones that author Kia Carrington-Russell has used and would recommend to you to help you with your marketing goals and to gain more readers and book sales.  MORE >>

     
  5. THE REALITY OF SELF-PUBLISHING IN TODAY’S PUBLISHING ENVIRONMENT: INTERVIEW WITH VIKI WINTERTON

Writing and publishing a book in today’s ever-changing publishing landscape is a challenging endeavor. How an author decides to bring one's work into the world is now a complicated publishing and business decision. Given there are so many ways to get published, Dorit Sasson decided to ask Viki Winterton, founder of Expert Insights Publishing, questions about self-publishing and promotion to help authors understand the issues in terms of what is the best chance of success for your book. Viki and Dorit discuss how to decide if a traditional publisher can offer you more than you can offer yourself with self-publishing, as well as the importance of creative control, building a platform around your book, and more. MORE >>

     
  6. HOW TO USE SMALL AMAZON CATEGORIES FOR BIG SALES

Want a number one bestselling book? Instead of thinking big, an even better idea is to think small. Very small. In the entertainment business, it’s called niche. On Amazon, this magical world is simply called categories. And using the right one may help you climb the charts to number one. By Jane Ford. MORE >>

     
  7. AN AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO BOOK BLOGGERS

Authors, have you ever asked a book blogger to review your book? If handled in a professional, mutually supportive way, a book blogger can be part of a long-term relationship of support and growth for an author. So, before you Google search “book bloggers” and email one hundred random ones, asking if they can review your book, there are a few things you should keep in mind. To build this guide, I reached out to the book blogging community and asked for their insights, too. Hopefully, after reading this, you will be able to successfully approach book bloggers and gain some much-needed attention on your book. MORE >>

     
  8. FROM GRIEF AND REJECTION TO SUCCESS IN SELF-PUBLICATION WITH WRITER/EDITOR PATRICIA A. NUGENT

Making the choice to self-publish is a big step and a massive undertaking. Patricia A. Nugent not only self-published one book but went on to edit and self-publish an anthology and has done well with both. Christy O’Callaghan and Patricia discuss why she chose self-publishing for her book about caring for her dying parents, what it was like to work as an editor, how she has sold more copies than she ever imagined, and much more. MORE >>

     
  9. MICHELLE DIM-ST. PIERRE HELPS US EXPLORE HYBRID PUBLISHING

Hybrid publishing is another popular way, besides self-publishing, to take control of your work, while also having the guidance of professionals who work for the same company to help you create the best book possible. It’s currently being defined as a mix between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, who has completed two blog tours with WOW, works with the hybrid publisher, Booklogix, which refers to itself as a “nontraditional publisher” on its website. Her first two books, Pinnacle Lust and Bloody Coffee, are part of The Pinnacle Series. Michelle allowed us to pick her brain about her books, Booklogix, and her writing in general. MORE >>

     
  10. WINTER 2019 FLASH FICTION WINNERS

The results are in! After careful deliberation our honorable guest judge, literary agent Kari Sutherland with Bradford Literary Agency, has made her final decisions. Read the winning stories of the 750 words or less Winter 2019 Flash Fiction Competition. MORE >>

     
  11. Q3 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 Q3 2019 Essay Competition. MORE >>

ISSUE 91: FEATURES

  1. LYRIC ESSAYS AND THE POWER OF LANGUAGE TO TRANSFORM: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHAUNA CRAIG, CNF EDITOR FOR ATTICUS REVIEW

When I tell people I write lyric essays, I get blank stares. They correct me, do you mean lyrical essays? Or they say, aren’t those just poems? When I try to define it, I sometimes fumble. In graduate school, I learned lyric essays are scene driven—not stories—with lots of description. I learned that lyric essays often employ research and weave that into personal reflections. They are sometimes described in terms of form: they are short, fragmented, braided, etc. It feels as if all these definitions fit, yet none are definitive. And perhaps with any experimental form of writing, definitions must, by necessity, be up for discussion. Chauna Craig and I tried to narrow it down, but perhaps only widened the field of possibility when trying to pin down this mysterious and alchemic form. Interview by Naomi Kimbell MORE >>

     
  2. ON LYRIC ESSAYING AND CASTING ON

Chelsey Clammer writes a lyric essay on the process of writing a lyric essay and knitting! She talks about patterns—both in writing and in knitting—and how important forming connections is, as well as leaving gaps—holes—to let readers take a breath, fill in the intentional blanks themselves. She’s writing an essay that looks like knitting. She says lyric essays are all about exploring the possibilities of ideas. That the meaning is in the exploration. She also provides writers with a practical sidebar at the end of the article that defines the lyric essay, shares examples of different essay structures, and even includes several writing exercises, so you can write your own lyric essay. MORE >>

     
  3. FROM THE DESK OF ELENA M. STIEHLER, EDITOR OF THE SONDER REVIEW: THE LYRIC ESSAY AND WORKING WITH WRITERS

When considering lyric writing, it’s hard to ignore the work of independent literary journals like The Sonder Review (TSR). Sonder combines innovative, short creative nonfiction and fiction pieces alongside original works of art. Speaking with the modest and thoughtful Elena M. Stiehler, the founder/executive editor of The Sonder Review and Sonder Press, she offered her insight into the process of an independent journal and press. We discussed her reflections on lyric writing, language, and craft. She shared her selection and editing process, as well as her pleasure in discovering the potential in new writers. She has a genuine love of words and writing. By Christy O’Callaghan. MORE >>

     
  4. TO SUBMIT OR NOT SUBMIT? AN INTERVIEW WITH BECKY TUCH, FOUNDING EDITOR OF THE REVIEW REVIEW

Submitting to literary magazines still holds a great deal of prestige and is a milestone in a writer’s career and part of platform building for many fiction and creative nonfiction authors and poets. Admittedly, I am one of those writers who has struggled to justify the return of investment of time and money against low acceptance rates. At the same time, submitting to literary magazines, like so many other things in our writing careers, can be an important opportunity for authors not to miss out on. This is why I asked Becky Tuch, founding editor of The Review Review which brings writers together to help us gather the information we need as to whether it’s worth submitting to literary magazines. Interview by Dorit Sasson. MORE >>

     
  5. SWITCH IT UP! LITERARY MAGAZINES SEEKING UNUSUAL AND UNCOMMON STORIES

A promising relationship gone bad. The joys and challenges of parenthood. Triumph over a difficult childhood. Many stories center around themes like these—with characters acting out and working through emotional situations and events. While these stories are definitely poignant and universal, there are plenty of other topics worth exploring in your writing. Along those lines, numerous literary magazines actively solicit writing on specific, distinct topics, encouraging writers to spread their wings by tackling diverse subject matter. By Kimberly Lee. MORE >>

     
  6. THREE TYPES OF LYRIC POETRY TO FIRE UP YOUR WRITING PRACTICE

Lyric Poetry is a diverse category of writing that can enhance not only your poetry but your prose as well. It encompasses, but is not limited to, poems in praise called odes; poems in grief known as elegies; and persona poems, where the poet takes on a character role, voicing conflicts and emotions aloud as a different speaker. By Melanie Faith. MORE >>

     
  7. SEEKING THE SOUL OF THE STORY: HISTORICAL FICTION IN VERSE: A CONVERSATION WITH MARILYN NELSON, STEPHANIE HEMPHILL, AND MELANIE CROWDER

When we think of poetry, unless we have studied the genre in depth, often what comes to mind are the playful poems of our childhood or the dramatic monologues from our college days. And although we may remember stories told through epic ballads, such as that of Gilgamesh, or Shakespearean sonnet-infused tragedies, rarely do we acquaint poetry with modern day young adult (YA) novels. Yet, in 2018, two novels in verse made it on Publisher’s Weekly Top YA list. YA historical fiction in verse seems to be on the rise. What is it about poetry that allows it to traverse the boundaries of genre? Join Women on Writing for a conversation with Marilyn Nelson, Stephanie Hemphill, and Melanie Crowder, three YA authors who find poetry to be the perfect tool to bring history alive for YA audiences. Interview by Katherine Higgs-Coulthard. MORE >>

     
  8. UTILIZING THE MEDIA WITH MARYBETH NIEDERKORN

You’ve got your first book of poetry. Congratulations! But now you have to turn your creative talents to marketing, and that can be a confusing or scary process for new poets. I sat down with poet and journalist Marybeth Niederkorn to discuss her successful book launch and how poets and authors can use the media in their marketing strategy. Interview by Shana Scott. MORE >>

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How to Finance Your Self-Publishing Efforts Through Crowdsourcing
How to Plan a Fiction Series by Karen S. Wiesner
Jessica Bell: Peeking Behind the Curtain of Indie and Self-Publishing
6 Programs that Authors Should Start Using Today
Viki Winterton: Self-Publishing in Today’s Publishing Environment
How to Use Small Amazon Categories for Big Sales
From Grief and Rejection to Success with Writer/Editor Patricia A. Nugent
An Author’s Guide to Book Bloggers
Michelle Dim-St. Pierre Helps Us Explore Hybrid Publishing
Lyric Essays and the Power of Language to Transform: An interview with Chauna Craig, editor of Atticus Review
Switch it up! Literary Magazines Seeking Unusual and Uncommon Stories
Elena M. Stiehler, Editor of The Sonder Review
Historical Fiction in Verse: Marilyn Nelson, Stephanie Hemphill, Melanie Crowder
To Submit or Not Submit? Interview with Becky Tuch, Founder of The Review Review
On Lyric Essaying and Casting On
Utilizing the Media with Marybeth Niederkorn
Three Types of Lyric Poetry to Fire Up Your Writing Practice
How Podcasting Can Help Increase Your Presence for Your Writing Career
How to Write an Effective Nonfiction Book Proposal
Book Marketing with SEO: Interview with Heather Lloyd Martin
How to Build Your Author Platform
Facebook Ads: Interview with Skye Warren
How to Write Blurbs that Sell!
What I Learned from My Second Book Launch
The Lazy Guide to Twitter (and My 5-5-5 Rule)
How to Use Instagram to Build Your Audience
Pitch this Exceptional Breed to Get the Best Freelance Clients
 
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