Notes & news on books, authors, writing, editing & publishing . . .
History Wrangler keeps on roping 'em in
Rob Lennard, who both writes and performs as "the History Wrangler," continues to capture a growing readership wth his Amazing Time Travel series for children. The award-winning novels feature teenage twins and their sidekicks who time travel back into Alberta's past, enjoy exciting adventures, and help shape history. Because the series is based on extensive research and is historically accurate, the books are not only entertaining but educational. Teachers are catching on, and one school recently purchased a class set to be used as part of the curriculum.
Lennard is currently working on the third book in the series, in which the characters travel back to the time of the two World Wars.
TWUC announces good news for self-published authors
Members of the Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC) recently voted in a referendum on whether or not to admit self-published book authors. The vote was 79 percent in favour of admitting qualified self-published authors.
This vote has to go through one final approval at the 2014 Annual General Meeting, May 26 to June 1, 2014. After this formality, the constitution will be amended and the membership criteria updated. To be eligible for TWUC membership, self-published applicants must demonstrate commercial intent, and their books must pass an anonymous peer review for professionalism.
American writers can join the US Authors Guild, which has been admitting self-published authors
Notes & news
New how-to video on the romance genre
Writing Romance . . . with a Passion! Watch now . . .
Self-publishing wave still cresting
At the end of 2013, Bowker Research reported that self-published titles were up 59 percent over 2011 and a staggering 422 percent over 2007. "Ebooks continue to gain on print, comprising 40 percent of the ISBNs that were self-published in 2012, up from just 11 percent in 2007."
Professional development workshops
The first round of workshops, called Publishing 2.0 – Tips and Traps, will take place in Eastern Canada in February 2014. Later in the year, the workshops will be held in Western Canada. These workshops address the changing realities of writing in the digital age. For more information (including cities and dates) visit: http://www.writersunion.ca/pd-workshops.
Second annual book marketing & publicity toolkit
For scores of useful ideas, strategies, and resources for anyone involved in promoting, marketing, or publishing a book, visit: http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2013/11/book-marketing-author-publicity-toolkit.html. This toolkit, the work of Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer of www.media-connect.com, represents the best of his past 1000 posts and 20+ years of experience in book publishing.
Notes & news
More reasons to think ebooks!
As an editor, a writer, and a reader, I am a committed convert to ebooks. They provide an excellent new publishing option for book authors; they're environmentally friendly; they give readers a wider choice than they've ever had before; and they're just plain fun to read!
And every day, or so it seems, there are more reasons for authors—whether self-published or traditionally published—to consider releasing their own book(s) in ebook formats. The conventional book trade is in constant flux—mostly not in a good way. Publisher bankruptcies are now frequent events; for example, Canada now has one less publishing house, as the venerable old firm of Thomas Allen recently closed its doors upon acquisition by Dundurn.
Meanwhile, as the US Authors Guild Bulletin has recently reported, printed-book sales are flat while ebook sales are booming. Think about it . . .
Writers' Union promo squad
As a long-time member of the Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC), I recently became part of the organization's "promo squad," a new venture to promote both the writers' union and the interests of book authors. One recent post concerns copying by educational insitutions that circumvents the right of authors to be paid for the use of their intellectual property.
Preserving your writing ideas
As writers, most of us have a sense of where our ideas come from—a memory, an observation, a dream, or somewhere else at the depths of the right brain. But when an idea is fleeting, it seemingly goes somewhere that makes its retrieval hopeless. And, ironically, often the ideas that we find most compelling—and feel certain that we'll remember—are the first to be forgotten. That's why it is always a good idea to write down each passing thought as it occurs.
I used to carry a small notepad and pen with me at all times. Another pad and pen were fixtures on my nightstand, for recording those inspirations that only seem to come at 3:00 a.m.
The paper-and-pen method still works. But we are now in the digital age, and most of us have access to any number of wireless devices that we can use to preserve our best ideas until we are able to incorporate them into our books and other projects.
Rob Lennard, aka "the History Wrangler"—a Helping You Get Published client and award-winning author of two highly successful children's time travel novels—swears by his iPhone. "What works great for me," says Lennard, "is using the note feature in my iPhone to write down ideas for my storyline when I get them. This is a great habit, in that if you wait for days to write them down, ideas will evaporate."
Notes & news
Express query and book proposal
Self-published is the new mainstream
Self-published authors and those in the process of self-publishing, take note of this recent press release from the Writers' Union of Canada:
THE WRITERS' UNION OF CANADA VOTES TO ADMIT SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS
REFERENDUM ON MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA TO BE HELD
For immediate release
Ottawa, June 1, 2013. In a unanimous vote, members of The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) attending their 40th Anniversary annual general meeting today approved a resolution opening membership in the Union to professional, self-published authors. The resolution will be presented to the entire TWUC membership (over 2000 Canadian book authors) in a referendum and will come into force with a two-thirds majority. Read the full press release at http://www.writersunion.ca/news/writers-union-canada-votes-admit-self-published-authors.
And south of the border . . .
My US clients may be interested to learn that the American Authors Guild beat TWUC by more than a year. Self-published authors have been eligible for Guild membership since March 2012. Anyone in a joining mood?
The Helping You Get Published/Literary Consultant channel on YouTube now has the latest design, which includes a new masthead, channel trailer, and categorized videos.
New Helping You Get Published affiliate website
Freelance Editor Online (feo), the latest addition to the Helping You Get Published editorial affiliates group, was recently launched. Like Helping You Get Published, feo promotes paperless, environmentally friendly, sustainable writing, editing, and publishing. While feo shares the Helping You Get Published resources, it also provides additional information about freelance editing and online editing that may be of interest to clients of Helping You Get Published.
Robert Friedland, of Richmond, BC, is the author of The Second Wedding of Doctor Geneva Song, which is possibly the only Canadian novel to be reviewed in the Hong Kong-based literary journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Friedland is featured in "Fiction Foreign Affairs," BC BookWorld, Summer 2013, and his latest short story will soon be aired on CBC Radio's Vinyl Cafe "Story Exchange."
Rob Lennard, aka "the History Wrangler," has yet another honor to add to his fistful of credits. His second book, The Amazing Time Travel Adventures of the Iron Crow Brothers and Bree Saint Marie is among the top picks for 2013 to 2014 by First Nation Communities Read. Lennard is currently writing the third book of his Amazing Time Travel trilogy. Multitalented, he is also a singer/songwriter, and for his song about Captain Freddie McCall, WW1 Flying Ace, he recently won the Best Performance Award in the Calgary International Folk Festival Song Writing Contest. Lennard wears his two hats of performer and author at the Calgary Stampede.
Notes & news
Think self-publishing and ebooks . . .
With Penguin's 2012 acquisition of the self-publishing firm Author Solutions, and Amazon's recent purchase of the established imprints of Dorchester and Avon, the lines between traditional publishing and self-publishing are more blurred than ever. Self-publishing done the right way is not vanity publishing but is rather authors operating as entrepreneurs and taking charge of their own careers. Self-publishing does not preclude attracting a conventional publisher, especially if you've managed to build a significant author platform as a self-publisher.
Ebook sales continue to dominate much of the book market as ebooks become not only the wave of the future but the mainstay of the present. Helping You Get Published authors all report better sales of ebooks than of paper books. An added bonus for the self-publishing author is that ebook formatting is simpler than hard-copy layout, and the two most significant publishing and distribution options, Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords.com, are free. You only pay a commission on ebooks sold.
If you find the prospect of formatting your own ebook too daunting, Helping You Get Published will do it for you as part of the regular editing service.
Helping You Get Published author news
Robert Friedland, the acclaimed Richmond, BC, author was recently featured in the Richmond Public Library's Authors in Our Midst series. Friedland read an excerpt from his novel The Second Wedding of Doctor Geneva Song, an intricate tale of lust, murder, forgiveness, and the tension between Chinese tradition and modern life. Among other credits, the novel is possibly the only Canadian novel to be reviewed in the Hong Kong-based literary journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.
Rob Lennard, aka "the History Wrangler," has been featured in a number of Alberta publications, most recently the Drumheller Mail. Lennard has just completed "A Fistful of Characters from the Cowboy Trail" for the magazine Cowboy Trail and continues to entertain children and adults alike with his stories of Alberta's colourful past. He is currently writing the third book of his Amazing Time Travel trilogy. Multitalented, Lennard is also a singer/songwriter, and for his song about Captain Freddie McCall, WW1 Flying Ace, he recently won the Best Performance Award in the Calgary International Folk Festival Song Writing Contest.
Gail Sinclair, a novelist and short story writer, was named a finalist in the Canadian Tales of the Heart Short Story Competition and will have her story published in the competition's anthology.
The Helping You Get Published video library
All of the Helping You Get Published videos that are on the literary consultant YouTube channel are now also available on this website. View a list of all videos to date and click to watch . . .
Where in the "Gutenberg galaxy" are you?
More than five and a half centuries separate Gutenberg from today's publishers and self-publishers. Throughout that time, literary culture and printing technology have constantly interacted, and today's self-published print-on-demand books and ebooks are part of a long continuum of writing and publishing. What this means is that your book is the direct descendant of the first books printed in the days of Gutenberg.
Curious to know how it happened? Then take a look at the book printing and publishing timeline on this season's featured website, Book Editing—in the grand tradition of publishing . . .
Latest Helping You Get Published how-to video on writing, editing, and publishing
Can you be self-expressive and publishable too?
Annual autumn writers' conference
One of the big events of the autumn for writers in the area of Vancouver, BC, is the Surrey International Writers' Conference, October 19 - 21, 2012. It's still not too late to attend and hone your writing skills, make book trade connections, and plan your pitch to an agent at next year's conference. Details at: www.siwc.ca
For more about writers' conferences, visit my blog . . .
Noteworthy book launch!
On July 21, 2012, I was honored to be one of the speakers at the memorable book launch of Fighting Hatred with Love: Voices of the Air India Victims' Families, by Helping You Get Published author Gurpreet Singh (Chetana Parkashan, publisher).
At the launch, which took place at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, family members and others close to the tragedy spoke out against the fundamentalism and extremism that led to the 1985 terrorist bombing that killed 331 innocent people. The roster of speakers included: Ujjal Dosanjh, former federal Health Minister and a vocal critic of extremism; Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice; Dave Hayer, MLA; D. K. Sharma, the acting Counsel General of India, Vancouver; Major Singh Sidhu, vice president of the Khalsa Deewan Society, Vancouver, on behalf of the victims’ families; Jinny Sims, MP; and Charlie Smith, editor of the Georgia Straight, who gave the keynote address.
New Helping You Get Published how-to video
Email Writing Syndrome...
A must-see for anyone who writes . . . Are you at risk?
Confused about genres?
A savvy librarian and her young author client informed me of a website that provides a comprehensive introduction to fiction and nonfiction genres.
Patricia Anderson listed in latest edition of Writers Directory
Shameless self-promotion: I was in it when it was Contemporary Authors and have been listed in every subsequent edition. Because of my "literary contributions," I will retain my complimentary place in the 30th edition of what is now called The Writers Directory, to be published in June 2012, by Gale. The Writers Directory is the premier bibliographical and biographical reference guide on living authors worldwide.
New article by Patricia Anderson...
Anyone who writes anything for any kind of serious purpose should read this article.
Latest Helping You Get Published how-to video
For the spring—Green Book-Writing Tips...
Go from first draft to finished book—with a minimum of paper, mess, and environmental impact.
SPRING 2010 - WINTER 2012
All about editing—feature articles and video from Helping You Get Published
- Meet Your Destiny—What Writers Should Know about Editing and Editors
- Freelance Editing—Fallacies and Facts
- Professional Book Editing—More than Meets the Eye
Video: Book-Editing Fallacies & Facts
New Helping You Get Published how-to video
3 Keys to Getting Published
Really Fast Fiction
Having trouble finding enough time to write that novel rattling around in your head? All you need is a weekend! Check out the International 3-Day Novel Contest, held every Labour Day weekend. Check it out at: www.3daynovel.com
Patricia Anderson addressed the Editors' Association of Canada national conference, in Vancouver, May 28, 2011. The talk, aimed at editors new to the Internet, focused on starting and sustaining an online editing and literary business. Among topics covered were: getting a domain name, creating a website, building goodwill, being professional, providing value-added editorial mentoring and writing resources, and being a dedicated service provider.
Translation rights sold
Faded Love, a short story collection by Robert N. Friedland, will be translated and published by New World Press (NWP). Located in Beijing, NWP is one of China's largest book publishers. Robert N. Friedland, a human rights lawyer, has previously published his stories and short fiction in highly regarded literary magazines in the United States, Canada, England, and Japan.
Friedland acknowledged the Chinese connection in many of his stories and said that he was looking forward to the book promotion tour in China, in 2011.
Helping You Get Published author places in Writer's Digest competition
"Du Shi Niang," a short story by Daisy Chang, placed in the Genre Short Story category of the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. The author received a Certificate of Achievement honoring her accomplishment in this large and highly competitive contest. Chang is currently at work on two collections of stories inspired by Chinese folklore and classical tales.
In a recent article, I discuss book editing and reveal what you can, and should, expect from me or any other editor—click here...
Information series on writing for publication
I have written numerous articles to assist emerging authors with the many aspects of writing for publication. I am now taking these articles out of the archive, updating them, and making them permanently available as writing and publishing resources for my clients and visitors to the website. The list is arranged by topics; to take a look click here...
In spring 2010, the Helping You Get Published website had a makeover.
Over the years, many clients and visitors have commented on the helpfulness of the information on this site. All that useful material has remained, along with some improvements and additions. Here's what's new:
- User-friendly site design and organization—view the site map...
- Specially produced signature show, featuring published clients—watch now...
- Books and authors page with a longer, continuously updated show of selected client books—check out the Helping You Get Published literary showcase...
- In addition to book and manuscript editing, proofreading, and assessment (aka evaluation or critique), new professional freelance editorial services include:
Book trailers & literary consulting on video
It is especially exciting to announce the new Helping You Get Published book trailer service. For information about book trailers and to watch a sample trailer, click here...
View other trailers and short videos on the Helping You Get Published YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/literaryconsultant
The contemporary book business has undergone revolutionary changes—the rise of mega-stores, online bookselling, print-on-demand publishing, and ebooks—to name some examples. Yet, until recently, book marketing (notoriously expensive, unimaginative, and unreliable) remained much as it was in the 19th century. But the Internet and accessible image- and video-making technology promoted innovation, and the book trailer came into being.
Many trailer producers are like myself—seasoned authors who are turning their creativity to book-related visual forms. The book trailer is a revolutionary, entertaining, and cost-effective replacement for all those tiring, expensive, and—in terms of sales—often futile book signings and tours. I hope many emerging authors will take advantage of the new book trailer service at Helping You Get Published. Not only is a trailer a compelling way to market your published book, but it can also bring an added "get-noticed" dimension to your book proposal.
I am currently working on a trailer for a recently published client and will announce when it is available for viewing.