Saturday, October 25, 2008

Writers and Authors with Jo Linsdell--Blog Review

Writers and Authors is a great place for writers to network. Started by freelance writer and author, Jo Linsdell, this site recently made it onto the Preditors & Editors list of Sites of Distinction.

Their new format is as follows:

Mondays: Opportunities for writers
Tuesdays: Featured Author Interviews
Wednesdays: Publishers, Editors, etc.
Thursdays: Book reviews
Fridays: Upcoming events (chats, conferences, etc.)

In addition, you'll find an extensive blogroll with links to sites for writers, and various motivational items in the side bar: instant writing prompts, writing tip of the day, and quotation of the day.

Add Writers and Authors to your Favorites and put them on your blogroll because you'll want to keep an eye on this site.

Motivational Quote #7

"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

This FDR quote comes from his undelivered Jefferson Day speech for April 13, 1945. By this time in American history, the Nazis were only a few weeks away from surrender, the Japanese were retreating, and the U.S. Forces had invaded Okinawa.

President Roosevelt died the day before this speech was to be given and Harry S. Truman became President.

One can only imagine some of what was going through Roosevelt's head as he read this speech over and again in preparation to deliver it on Jefferson Day. He was looking for peace now that the end of the war was near. He was asking Americans to have faith that they could together bring about lasting peace. And he was saying that the doubts they had today are what would limit tomorrow's potential.

Isn't that true for many of us aspiring authors? Our fear of failure, our fear of success, our self-doubt keeps us from realizing our full potential, from reaching for our dreams with both hands outstretched toward the stars.

Even I am guilty of it at times. My husband will suggest I tackle a new project and my automatic response is, "I can't do that." I don't give any thought to what he's asked me to do or what I would need to do to complete this project. It's just easier to say, "I can't."

Why do we do this? Why do we automatically doubt that we have what it takes to make our dreams come true?

Who knows your potential more than you? Who knows your dreams better than you do? No one.

So, who is going to get you there other than you? No one!

Mickey Rooney once said, "You always pass failure on the way to success." So look at failure as just part of the journey that gets you closer to obtaining your dreams. If something doesn't work then instead of letting self-doubt take over, do some self-analysis. What went right? What went wrong? What other possibilities are there?

You have the power to make your dreams come true. Use it!

The Fine Print of Self--Publishing by Mark Levine--Book Review

Now in its third edition, The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine will arm you with what you need to know before deciding on which company will help you self-publish your book.

Through years of research and experience, Levine motivates you to take control of your writing career, shares the qualities good self-publishers should have, and explains in layman terms the fine print of of publishing contracts. Chapters 6 through 9 are then dedicated to analyzing, ranking, and exposing 45 self-publishing companies--the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Levine's conversational style and friendly tone throughout this book is a huge plus. It is obvious to this reader that he did not write the book to showoff how much more he knows about the subject matter than the average author. His advice truly comes from the heart; and while sometimes he just has to say it like it is, most of the book will leave the reader very encouraged about her options.

In my role as a virtual book tour coordinator, I am familiar with some of the self-publishing companies listed in the book. Most were placed exactly where I thought they would be in terms of ranking: Outstanding, Pretty Good, Just Okay, and Avoid. But there were a few surprizes in both positive and negative rankings.

Another huge plus is how much detail Levine provides into each company's contract--which will help an author decide on the company that best fits his needs. Levine also provides insight into why he ranked each company the way he did and a summary at the end of each analysis.

The Fine Print of Self-Publishing is not only a useful resource to the author considering self-publishing for the first time, but also to a self-published author who is wondering how his publisher stacks up against the competition. This would also make an excellent companion for Peter Bowerman's The Well-Fed Self-Publisher--which I reviewed here.

Do not take another step toward self-publication without reading The Fine Print of Self-Publishing first!

Title: The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, 3rd edition
Author: Mark Levine
Publisher: Bascom Hill Publishing Group
ISBN-10: 0-9802455-7-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-9802455-7-8
U.S. Price: $17.95

Friday, October 17, 2008

Motivational Quote #6

I could not have picked this one any better if I tried. At the Muse Conference this week the members of the Organize Your Writing Life workshop have been talking about setting SMART goals, killing procrastination, ending distractions, organizing your writing space, setting priorities, using to-do lists, and streamlining.

One of the things I've continued to state this week is that each person has the power to achieve his or her dreams if he/she uses it. How fitting, then, that I would find this quote today:

"It's time to start living the life you've imagined." - Henry James

So, are you going to use the power you have to achieve your dreams?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Banish Stress with Three Easy Solutions @ Writer2Writer

My latest article now appears at Writer2Writer. Banish Stress with Three Easy Solutions will provide you with three easy ways to eliminate stress triggers that plague many writers.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Motivational Quote #5

I'm a bit early this week, but we'll be away on Saturday and I am in the midst of preparing for the Muse Online Writers Conference that is kicking off on Monday, October 13th.

I found this quote today from one of America's most well known and best loved 19th century writers.

"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thinking about this quote from Emerson, I wonder how self-doubt and past failures hamper what we feel we can accomplish today and how fear of the future and the unknown cripple aspiring authors from moving forward in their careers.

Now, keeping in mind that before Emerson became a writer and public speaker he was first a Unitarian minister, it is easy for us to discount this quote as religious gobbly-goop. Miraculous happenings fill the pages of the Bible and it would seem likely that Emerson reached into his religious background when he said this.

But does this quote apply to a secular world--a world filled with believers and non-believers?

I think it does. I believe Emerson is saying that what has happened in the past and what might occur in the future is nothing in comparsion to the power that is inside us. And if we allow that power to come forth, we have the ability to shape and change the world--whether it be our own little world or on a much larger scale.

Self-doubt, dwelling on past failures, and fear of the future do not allow us to move forward with our writing. They stop us from bringing forth the power that is inside us. They stifle creativity.

Don't let this happen to you! Allow self-doubt to keep you humble and able to accept new ideas. Put your fears in perspective, but don't be afraid to take the chance that stands right in front of you.

The power to shape your future is inside you. Bring it out into the world and watch the miracles happen.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Motivational Quote #4

I'm posting this a day early because it will be a busy weekend and I don't want to forget my writing friends.

"Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed."-Abraham Lincoln

Discouragement. We writers deal with that a lot in our business. We get discouraged when our work is rejected by editors; we feel discouraged when a critique indicates weaknesses in our story; we know discouragement with every passing day as we remember that our name isn't on a book that is strategically placed on a shelf in our nearest Barnes and Noble.

And yet, if we saw these moments as opportunities, our outlook may be very different. How about seeing that editor's rejection as acknowledgment that he's only saying it isn't right for him, not that it's wrong for the many other publishing houses out there too. Could it be possible that a critique filled with constructive criticism gives us a chance to make improvements to our manuscript prior to submitting it to a potential publisher? And maybe, just maybe, the reason our name isn't on a book yet has more to do with it not being the right time and the right book than that we don't deserve it.

Lincoln is not telling us that discouraging moments will never come our way. He is suggesting that we not let those moments take ahold and steal our dreams away.

You have the power to change how you view these moments. You can see failure or you can see opportunities for improvement. Your point of view can be part of what brings you from the realm of the aspiring author to that of the published author!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cody McFadyen on Self-doubt and Writing a Good Book

International best selling author Cody McFadyen is on a virtual book tour this month with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. I wandered out to the first blog on his tour, The Tome Traveller's Weblog and found an excellent article that provides a look into the daily routine of a best selling author and that will be a great source of inspiration to all aspiring authors.

Check out Cody McFadyen's article and follow along on his virtual book tour to promote his latest thriller, The Darker Side at

As a promotion for all our authors touring in October, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book to a published author with a recent release or a $50 gift certificate to to anyone without a recent release who comments at any of our author's blog stops all month long. Follow our authors on tour at One lucky winner will be announced at on October 30th.