Wednesday, 14 June 2017

3 Writing Resources Including Free Writing Prompts

This is just a quick note to let you know that I've uncovered 3 extremely useful writing resources including several free downloads with free writing prompts.

Take a couple of minutes (or more) to look them over, download them all, and start writing, publishing and getting paid.

The Self-Publishing Academy
Everything Required For The Complete Beginner To Begin Self-Publishing.
Simple, Jargon-Free Language And Step-By-Step Video Tutorials.
Everything You Need To Start Self-Publishing & Making Sales.

Free Downloads for Writers
This list of free writing downloads includes writing prompts to help kickstart your creative ideas and help beat writer's block.

Writer's Yearbook 2017
It's not to late to make this year your highest earning and most productive writing year ever, and this publication can help you because it includes 101 Best Websites for Writers and The Top 100 Markets for Book & Magazine Writers.

If you're serious about wanting to quit your day job and write full-time, these 3 resources can get your started and keep you going.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

How NOT to Approach a Publisher

“Angry Female Showing Middle Finger” by stockimages
Today, out of the blue, I received an email from someone I don't know.

It was from a person who wanted me to publish their manuscript. The following is what their email said:

Dear Publisher

I am writing to you about a manuscript I have finished about my mothers time in a Nursing Home..They destroyed my mother and many others. It was one of the hardest I have ever had to witness. I needed to put it into a manuscript for other's in my position to read and learn by 

my mistakes.( It is a true story),. 

It has been some time since I wrote this manuscript. Now I want to try and get my story out there after what I have just learnt of the treatment to my brother.

My sister in-Law has just put my brother into a brand new Nursing Home paying huge amounts of money. One week and my brother is having the same terrible treatment my mother received, so so bad.

  If I can't get this published then I will do it myself, but hoping you might  just  be interested.

I spent 2 years visiting my aged mother in a Nursing Home, three weeks at a time, from morning until 11am to 8pm.

Staying all day in a Nursing Home is a real eye opener, it is just horrific. Something that wont leave my mind.

 The treatment my mother received was appalling, also what I witnessed happening to another residents was just so bad. I reported it all to the  of the Dept. Health and Aging .They had a board meeting and agreed that I had a case to do a accreditation.

I have had an editor working with me on the manuscript. She also thinks there is need for it to be published.

 I also had a 19 page report on my manuscript checked by Dr. Joseph M Fernandez ( the reviewer) from Curtin University Western Australia.

Would you be interested in taking a look at the manuscript? . My manuscript is called  N***** H*** D******* (name of manuscript removed for privacy)  If you are interested I would like to send a copy of my manuscript

If I had read this story I would have known exactly what type of Nursing Home would suit for my mother.

Now, there were four things wrong with this attempt at a manuscript submission.

Firstly it was not addressed to me personally but to "Dear Publisher." So this was an obvious clue that this same email was probably being sent to several different publishers.

Secondly, it was abundantly clear that their manuscript was going to be nothing more than a rant about the aged care home the sender put their mother in. Also the grammar and typos were numerous, so I naturally thought that if they're this bad at writing an email I don't hold out much hope for their manuscript.

Side Note:  I had a fit of laughter over their use of the word "accreditation" which means that something is of a high or acceptable standard while the emailer was actually trying to say that they were complaining of poor standards. "I reported it all to the  of the Dept. Health and Aging .They had a board meeting and agreed that I had a case to do a accreditation."

Thirdly, they didn't attach any part of the manuscript. It's standard practice to at least send the first three chapters, but this person was offering nothing upfront but wanted a response before sending the whole manuscript. This was a strange way to submit a manuscript to a prospective publisher.

Fourthly, and most importantly, I don't accept unsolicited manuscripts anyway. All the sender had to do was visit my submissions page (to which there is a link on EVERY SINGLE PAGE of my website) which clearly states

"DO NOT, under any circumstances, submit a manuscript to Cheriton House Publishing Pty Ltd."

And also:

"Any manuscripts received by mail will not be read and will not be returned."


"Also please note: we have not, and never will, accept manuscript submissions by email. So please do not email a submission query or email your manuscript."

Now you would have thought that offering this much straight forward information would stop anyone with a modicum of intelligence emailing me an unsolicited manuscript (or the offer of one).

My submission page also states:

"Below is some information which you may find useful in helping you to successfully submit your manuscript to another publishing company:" and I go on for several paragraphs with helpful information about how to submit a manuscript correctly.

So in response to the email, even though I usually just delete them, I responded with a short sentence:

"Please read submission requirements at"

I thought this would help them because the page contains the information about how to correctly submit a book manuscript.

But obviously anything short of a request to read and publish their manuscript wasn't acceptable because in just a few minutes I received the following curt response:

"Thank you for your reply. I would never want to do business with you as your requirements read quite   rude.

I did have a editor d my manuscript.  I will make sure I wont ever buy one of  your novels as you are very cold."

Again, look at how badly written even this short email is with "a editor" and "d my manuscript" and "wont."

I also have no idea what difference having an editor makes when I don't want to publish the manuscript, or even look at it.

And threatening me by saying that they've never bought one of my books before and now they never will? It's not much of a threat is it?

Clearly this person has anger issues if they have a knee-jerk reaction to something so mundane as someone not wanting to publish their manuscript. Authors get rejections more then they get acceptances. It simply goes with the job. There's a well known saying that to be a writer you need to have a thick skin.

What this all comes down to is that this was a really REALLY bad way to try submit a book manuscript to a publisher.

The correct way is to research the publishing company first to see what types of books they publish and look at their website to see if they are currently looking for unsolicited manuscripts and what genres they want.

Most publishing companies will also have strict guidelines to follow for submissions. These guidelines are usually also a test to see if a prospective author can follow simple instructions. Because if you can't then they probably won't want to work with you anyway.

So if you're thinking of submitting a manuscript to a publisher (or to an agent) make sure you do your research first so that you don't waste their time or yours.

And also make sure your covering letter (if submitting by mail) or your email reads coherently and doesn't contain typos.

The one I received was full of red flags right from the start so even if I was looking for manuscript submissions I would have deleted this one immediately.

The Yearbook is packed with advice, inspiration and practical guidance on who to contact and how to get published.

New articles in the 2017 edition on:

Stronger together: writers united by Maggie Gee
Life writing: telling other people's stories by Duncan Barrett (co-author of the Sunday Times bestseller GI Brides)
The how-to of writing 'how-to' books by Kate Harrison (author of the 5:2 Diet titles)
Self-publishing Dos and Dont's by Alison Baverstock
The Path to a bestseller by Clare Mackintosh (author of the 2015 Let Me Go)
Getting your lucky break by Claire McGowan 
Getting your poetry out there by Neil Astley (MD and Editor at Bloodaxe Books)
Selling yourself and your work online by Fig Taylor
Then and now: becoming a science fiction and fantasy writer - Aliette de Bodard
Writing (spy) fiction - Mick Herron
Making waves online - Simon Appleby

All articles are reviewed and updated every year. Key articles on Copyright Law, Tax, Publishing Agreements, E-publishing, Publishing news and trends are fully updated every year.

Plus over 4,000 listings entries on who to contact and how across the media and publishing worlds

Friday, 26 May 2017

Why I Got Rid of My Facebook "Friends"

“Social Media” by jscreationzs
I've been a bit slack lately at blogging and emailing but the reason for this is because I was spending time looking at my daily routine, particularly with a view to eliminating things that are a waste of time.

And what I realised was that it's all to easy to waste a lot of time on Facebook.

I also realised the reason that Facebook is a waste of time is because I really don't care what other people are doing or saying. The only reason I joined a few years ago is because I thought I SHOULD. People told me it could help me sell more books and earn more money, but so far it hasn't

Among my so-called Facebook "friends" were family members, friends, neighbours and other people who I've never actually met, but they requested to "friend" me so I did.

And what it all added up to was wasting time every day looking at what they were doing and saying and most of it was garbage that I didn't want/need to know.

Also, whenever I posted my opinion about something or said what I was doing, I got so many hateful comments about whether or not people agreed with my view. I posted  a lot about animals (because I can't stand animal cruelty) and the backlash was not only instant, but it was from people who clearly had no idea what they were talking about but certainly had a lot of negative opinions.

I even thought I was safe joining a couple of vegan groups, but it seemed they were worse than anyone else in their efforts to "out vegan" each other. Someone would post about what they ate and others would immediately tell them they were wrong. "You eat chocolate? I never eat that I prefer only organic health food." "You wear leather shoes???? Vegans NEVER do that." "You put dressing on your salad???? How unhealthy!" Blah, blah, blah...on and on it went.

Even a local group were really scornful of each other: "My child had money stolen from them at school." "Well you shouldn't allow them to carry a lot of cash." "It's not the child's fault, blame the thieves." "It's hard to blame the thieves when your kid made it so easy for them." Honestly! I couldn't believe the negativity coming from everywhere.

Then I had an epiphany a few days ago. It suddenly hit me that I don't really care about what others are saying. I don't care one bit what they think so why was I wasting my time checking my Facebook feed every day?

So I un-friended everyone (which it turns out you have to do one person at a time - what a drag), even my family members, and then I set my account to not allow anyone else to "friend" me. I did that by setting it so that only friends of friends can request to "friend" me. It seems you can't just set it to let no one "friend" you.

I also unjoined most of the groups I was a part of except a Buddhist group and a couple of writing groups, and I joined more writing groups that offered daily prompts, writing news, etc. In other words, I'm only interested in groups that can help me by offering something I need, not just a load of people voicing their opinions.

There were some writing groups that offered to critique each other's work, and I thought "Nope. No way." I just need information not more opinions from people who know nothing or very little.

And once I sorted out my account I could check it every day and only see useful things. Plus it has freed up a lot of my time every week.

The most amazing thing is that not only has it given me more time, but I feel so much happier. I didn't realise it before, but everyday, logging into Facebook made me cringe. I didn't want to see what others were complaining about.

Facebook is full of trolls. Completely full. But I've found a way to avoid them and at the same time, use Facebook to help my writing career. I've also started posting lots of things about writing, so others can follow me if they want to learn more, but they can't be my Facebook "friend."

I know that they call it social media, but there is really not much "social" about it.

It's probably why I'm a writer. It means I work alone.

And currently I'm working on some more writing courses to help others make more money from their writing than ever before.

So stay tuned.

:) :) :)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Latest Writing Resources

Today I have a great list of resources designed to get you into a frenzy of writing, submitting and pitching.

Try one or two or try them all. If you want to become a successful and wealthy writer extraordinaire, these resources will help you get there.

Creating High Concept Screenplay Ideas
High concept screenplays are what sell in Hollywood. This new course at Screenwriters U will give writers tools for generating and refining high concept ideas, from paying attention to, and seeking out, those initial sparks of inspiration which might launch a screenplay to finding ways not just of sustaining the story but building its potential, forward momentum, and meaning.
Creating High Concept Screenplay Ideas at Screenwriters University

My Instant Swipe File
"Write HOT Sales Letters That Sell Like CRAZY - In No Time Flat!"
My Brand-New Copywriting "SECRET WEAPON" is Your Short-Cut for Writing Powerful, Money-Getting Sales Letters That Make Customers BUY!
From: Jeff Gardner
Multi-Million-Dollar Copywriter
President, Gardner Marketing Group Inc.
My Instant Swipe File

Prepping Your Screenplay to Win Competitions Workshop
Competitions can be expensive and time-consuming to enter, but can open doors if approached in the right way. Rather than leaving it to chance, make sure you have a contest strategy and that your script is in the best shape it can be. This workshop is a one week intensive. There are three video lectures for you to view over the week, and one writing assignment at the end of the course for your instructor to critique.
Prepping Your Screenplay to Win Competitions Workshop

The Hurricane Method
The Hurricane Method is a super high quality program that teaches people how to write a great fiction novel in as little as 14 days.
The Hurricane Novel Writing Method

Writing for Reality TV OnDemand Workshop
In Writing for Reality TV, learn the ins and outs of what goes into the production and writing of a reality television show. This course, composed by one of the industry's busiest and most recognizable reality television writer/producers, Troy DeVolld, offers you he tools necessary to succeed as a writer of reality television. You'll learn about reality subgenres and hybrid shows, the effect of reality television on the way traditionally scripted shows are written, and the basics of the production hierarchy which, in the largely non-union wild west of reality production, can vary wildly from traditionally scripted shows.
Writing for Reality TV OnDemand Workshop

How To Make Money Writing Easy, 350-500 Word Web Articles
If You Can Type, You Can Start Making Money Writing Simple 350-500 Word Web Articles. You Don't Need Experience. In Fact, Most Who Start Don't Have Any. I'll Tell You Everything You Need To Get Started Immediately. I Do It Every Day & So Can You!
How to Make Money Writing Simple, 500-Word Articles

Developing Your Reality TV Idea Workshop
In this workshop, learn what it takes to develop a killer reality television show and take the first steps in beginning your career in reality television production. Tailored for beginners and mid-career writers interested in exploring the opportunities reality television offers in today's media marketplace, this course was composed by one of the industry's busiest and most recognizable reality television writer/producers, Troy DeVolld, author of Reality TV: An Insider's Guide to TV's Hottest Market and senior story producer of Dancing with the Stars.
Developing Your Reality TV Idea Workshop

The Children’s Writer’s Super System
Teaches How To Discover, Write, Pitch And Sell Your Children's Book! Original Workbook And 7+ Hour Audio Set From A Successful Author Of 40+ Books For Children.
Learn How to Write a Children’s Book