The Indie Path to Publishing

The last time I mentioned Rooted in the Sky and my efforts to get it independently published,* I had submitted it to Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill and Ashland Creek Press. We’re still waiting to hear back from Ashland, but Claire recently opened  her mailbox to find a form rejection letter from Algonquin. I’m notContinue reading “The Indie Path to Publishing”

Cover Letter Mad Lib

When you’re submitting a short story to a literary journal, you send along a cover letter. It’s a little like a query letter, only briefer. This is the Mad Lib of my usual cover letter format: Dear [NAME], [1-2 sentences demonstrating that you’ve read their publication; mention how you came across their publication–are you aContinue reading “Cover Letter Mad Lib”

How to Write a Query Letter

So, the first order of business to get Claire Lawrence’s awesome book, Rooted in the Sky, published is the query letter. I struggled with this more than most writers do, I think, because I was ghostwriting it. Though I read Claire’s book, I didn’t know the plot and the characters inside out and backwards theContinue reading “How to Write a Query Letter”

#1 Way to Protect Your Query Letter from an Upon-Arrival Trashcan Fate

Let me tell you a true story. It’s a horror story. A publishing horror story. The following is not for the faint of heart. I work at a social science press. We publish history, economic, sociology, psychology, and urban planning books (among others). On occasion, we publish memoirs but these books are usually the memoirsContinue reading “#1 Way to Protect Your Query Letter from an Upon-Arrival Trashcan Fate”

Dear Writers: Read This For Your Own Good

Making editorial assistants cry is the equivalent to killing kittens: (1) it’s soulless; (2) selfish; and if these adjectives don’t scare you off, at the very least it’s (3) frowned upon. So read about how to avoid this cardinal sin over at the INTERN’s blog. (Here’s a hint: be a smart submitter and savvy negotiatorContinue reading “Dear Writers: Read This For Your Own Good”

How Winning a Writing Contest Can Improve a Writer’s Self-Esteem

Wonderful news, folks! You are officially reading the blog of the winner of Honorable Mention in the 2011 Writer’s Digest Young Adult Fiction Competition!* According to their congratulatory email, “competition was fierce,” so I’m super proud! While first and second place comes with fame (publication of their entry in Writer’s Digest) and fortune (they wonContinue reading “How Winning a Writing Contest Can Improve a Writer’s Self-Esteem”

What To Do When Your Book Idea is Stolen and Made into a Bestseller

Monday (9:00am):  Denial.  Denial, denial, denial.  When they clog up your email, each electronic bad news arriving one after another, providing a summary paragraph that’s startlingly similar to the plot of your own manuscript, refuse to read the: Online book reviews Goodreads monthly newsletter Barnes & Noble weekly newsletter Shelf Awareness daily newsletter Monday (9:15am): Continue reading “What To Do When Your Book Idea is Stolen and Made into a Bestseller”

Submission Fee: $100; Getting Published: Priceless?

Perhaps I’ve ignored this for a while because I didn’t want to admit it to myself, but writing is an expensive profession.  The physical materials–paper, pens, ink cartridges–are reasonable, but the money you have to shell out to get your work published makes a pretty significant dent in the bank account.  I’ve started keeping trackContinue reading “Submission Fee: $100; Getting Published: Priceless?”

The 4 Rules of Polite Simultaneous Submissions

I’ve read blog posts before where people claim that it’s “rude” or, at the very least, makes them extremely uncomfortable to simultaneously submit their writing to multiple journals or to multiple literary agents.  This is ridiculous!  Think about it.  If you have submitted your manuscript to a single literary agent, the wait time is, perhaps,Continue reading “The 4 Rules of Polite Simultaneous Submissions”

Chapbook Contest–Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction

On the ride home from work yesterday I got the germ of a new book idea.  I want it to be a collection of creative non-fiction essays organized around a theme.  Aside from basically everything David Sedaris writes, there aren’t many non-fiction short story collection books for sale in stores.  So I was wondering, howContinue reading “Chapbook Contest–Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction”