Wednesday, December 05, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group, WEP, and Otter Tales 2

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s option question:
What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?

A DKnight wireless boom box.
Several notebooks of publishing and schedule info.
My to-do list.
My reading glasses. (The evils of getting older.)
Of course, I’m surrounded by Minions in the Minion shrine.

Since I just read two entries from people with fans in their writing area, I'm going to mention the most wonderful little space heater in mine. It's winter here and we keep the house at 68 degrees during the day. Without that space heater, I would freeze. (Never ask a skinny woman if she's cold because the answer's always YES!)


This month, we have another WEP Challenge:

Here are the WEP Challenges for 2019:


Every year, I do a special project with a local school or two. I do a characterization session with the kids and then they write stories based on their characters. The best ones are published in an anthology - children writing stories for children.

Yesterday, Otter Tales Volume 2 was released.

Otter Tales Volume2
Edited by Michelle Rutledge and Lorie Tillman
Print ISBN 9781939844583
EBook ISBN 9781939844590
Juvenile Fiction

It’s an Otterly Amazing Adventure!

Don your armor and prepare for adventure!
From the far reaches of space to the North Pole, you’ll set off on a quest filled with the exploits of princesses, heroes, and real life journeys.
From the imagination of children, these stories will delight and inspire with their originality, courage, and heart.
Speak with animals. Fly on a robotic dog. Shift into a unicorn. And even battle some zombies along the way!

Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Kobo


Holiday Specials

See Dancing Lemur Press for a list of available titles.

To redeem and conditions:
Purchase a print, audio, or eBook from any retailer and send a copy of your receipt, less payment information and shipping, to inquiries @ dancinglemurpressllc.com State the free eBook or audio book you wish to receive.
Books purchased directly from our site will automatically get swag and a free book shipped.
(Free eBook cannot be over $2.99. CassaSeries audio book excluded in the free giveaway.)
Offer good until December 15, 2018. Delivery of print books not guaranteed by Christmas after December 10, 2018.


What’s in your writing space? Are you giving books for Christmas?

Thank you to all who visited my post two weeks ago covering What Does a Publisher Do?

Monday, November 19, 2018

What Does a Publisher Do?

At events, I get asked a lot of questions. It’s made me realize that a lot of people don’t know what a publisher does.

Here is a basic outline of what a publisher does followed by some crazy questions I’ve been asked.

A traditional publisher...
  • Receives query letters from writers.
  • Reads through the submissions.
  • Selects the best and most marketable stories and offers the writer a contract.
  • Goes through several rounds of edits with the writer.
  • Sets release date and assigns ISBN.
  • Creates cover art and other graphics.
  • Creates a marketing plan and marketing items and starts promoting.
  • Formats the book for print/eBook.
  • Sends files to printer for print book.
  • Sends files to eBook distributors. Print books go to print distributors.
  • Sends review copies to reviewers.
  • Goes through more edits with writer.
  • Finalizes book and sends to printer/distributors.
  • Continues marketing with press releases, info to bookstores and libraries, events, ads, etc.
  • Pays royalties to the author.

There are a ton of other details (Library of Congress Control Number, bar code, etc.) but that’s the basics.

Now, here are some of the questions I’ve been asked:

You sell books? You’re a bookstore?
No, we’re a publisher of books. We do sell direct, but we rely on distributors to sell to stores, libraries, and other retail outlets.

You print books? You have a printing press at your place?
No, we have a couple book printing business we use. We send the files to them and they print the books.

Can you publish my book for me?
You have to check our submission guidelines and if we are a good fit, then send us a proper query letter.

How much do you charge?
Nothing. We are a traditional publisher, not a subsidy press.

Can you take a look at my story?
Send a proper query letter first.

I have a bunch of recipes I’ve collected from the Internet over the years. Do you publish that?
We don’t publish cookbooks. And oh by the way, that’s called plagiarism and it’s illegal.

And my most favorite question when people see our display at events:

You wrote all of these books?
Yes, I did. Almost fifty titles in nine years. I’m good.

There you have it! Any other questions?

Don’t forget Dancing Lemur Press’ holiday special. Support an author and give the gift of reading.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group, WEP Contest, Holiday Specials, and October Photos

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s option question:
How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

I started writing when I was 13. I always enjoyed creating things and writing fanned that fire. I really got into photography at that time and eventually became a freelance photographer. (Portraits, weddings, stock photos in Cat Fancy, Homes Illustrated, etc.) I also learned to paint, do latch hook, make pom-pom critters, t-shirt designs, make stained glass windows (now that’s a fun craft), started building a miniature castle, started a garden and dried herbs, and more. If it’s crafty, I’ve probably tried it.

I never finished that castle and after hauling it around for almost 20 years, agreed to have some fun and set it on fire!

* * *

We also have some big news from Write...Edit...Publish. They are inviting all of you to submit a theme for their February WEP exercise.

Rules: Submit your idea for a WEP February theme by November 12 to admin@insecurewriterssupportgroup.com. Nothing so U.S. culturally bound. Should have wide appeal.

Prize: Feature in the December newsletter for the winner. And, of course, the winning theme will be the official February WEP theme!

Deadline: November 12. Winner announced in the November newsletter on November 28.

And don't forget to start to prepare for the DECEMBER challenge! It's much broader than a Christmas story! Give us ribbons - a race? Or candles - a tomb?

* * *

Every IWSG Anthology has had its own site.

Now, in anticipation of the next anthology, the authors have teamed up together and created one site: IWSG Anthologies.

You definitely want to be following this site.

* * *


See Dancing Lemur Press for a list of available titles.

To redeem and conditions:

Purchase a print, audio, or eBook from any retailer and send a copy of your receipt, less payment information and shipping, to inquiries@dancinglemurpressllc.com. State the free eBook or audio book you wish to receive.

Books purchased directly from our site will automatically get swag and a free book shipped.

Free eBook cannot be over $2.99.

CassaSeries audio book excluded in the free giveaway.

Offer good until December 15, 2018. Delivery of print books not guaranteed by Christmas after December 10, 2018.

* * *

My October was very busy but a lot of fun. I’ll leave you with some photos from a seminar I taught, my trip to Lake Charles, LA for the Bayou Writers Group Conference, and our weekend at the Fayetteville Comic Con.

I got to meet author Sandra Cox (from Parallels: Felix Was Here) when she attended my publishing seminar in Wilkesboro, NC. She is such a delight! I hope I can see her again soon.

Then I got to meet author Jessica Ferguson (from Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime) in Louisiana. I wish we'd had more time - she has so much life and energy.

At the same conference in Louisiana, I met Sylvia Ney (from Parallels: Felix Was Here) and she was so gracious. It was my month to meet IWSG anthology authors.

Then it was on to the Fayetteville Comic Con! First up is the great Tom Savini, makeup artist legend.





How has writing inspired your creativity?
Will you be participating in WEP next month?
Will you be giving books for Christmas this year?

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group and Responding to Emails

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s option question:
How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

When writing my series, The Circle of Friends, I’d say yes - writing those five stories helped me through a lot of things from my past. They were therapeutic and just about every main character dealt with a struggle that was once my own.


Rather than an insecurity, I’d like to address an issue.

Back in the day, people would leave a phone message, expecting the person to return their call. Eventually, email took on this same role. Send a message and get a response.

Only people don’t treat email like a phone message anymore. It’s junk mail. Glance at it, ignore it, or just throw it away.

I know writers get frustrated with non-responses from agents and publishers. Guess what? Publishers get just as frustrated with non-responses from reviewers.

Dancing Lemur Press gets a ton of queries. Add a bunch of other emails (plus the 100-200 I get a day through my personal email) and it’s a lot. But Dancing Lemur Press still replies to every single one of those queries, no matter how bad they are. (Even to tell someone we don’t respond to mass-emailed queries.)

Reviewers, I know you also get a lot of requests. But guess what? It only takes ten seconds to reply with “No thanks,” “Too busy,” “Not my kind of book,” or “Not accepting reviews at this time.” You can even have a list of standard replies and just cut and paste. I know many say they won’t respond if not interested, but that’s just plain RUDE. Take a moment to show some manners and reply to messages.

Do non-responses bother anyone else?


Submissions are open for the 2018 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest

Word count: 3500-6000
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Theme: Masquerade
A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.
Submissions accepted: September 5 - November 4, 2018
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.
Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges: Elizabeth S. Craig, author; Elana Johnson, author; S.A. Larsen, author; D.L. Hammons, Write Club founder; Gwen Gardner, author; Kelly Van Sant, Red Sofa Literary Agency; and Kristin Smith, author
Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.


Has writing helped you through something? Does the lack of a response to an email bother you, too?