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                     W R I T I N G  W O R L D

 A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World


Issue 7:12          4,852 subscribers    December 6, 2007

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The Publisher's Desk: 
The Editor's Desk
NEWS from the World of Writing
THE INQUIRING WRITER:  Late Bloomers, by Dawn Copeman
FEATURE: The Missing Links to Successful Authorship
by Patricia Fry
The Write Sites -- Online Resources for Writers
THE WRITING DESK: Book lengths, by Moira Allen
WHAT'S NEW at Writing World
WRITING CONTESTS with no entry fees
The Author's Bookshelf

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                        FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

The end of an era
I really didn't want December to come.  Not only because I was
desperately trying to finish several projects and take part in
NaNoWriMo - by the way, I didn't complete that but I did manage to
finish Mini-NaNoWriMo - but because December would mark the final
issue of Writing-World with Moira Allen at the helm. 

Moira has been the single biggest inspiration to my writing career
and I honestly wept and grieved when she said she would be leaving.
 I understand her reasons and that it is time for her to move on,
but I also feel incredibly sad as I type this. 

Moira has done a wonderful, amazing job in the seven years that she
has run the Writing-World newsletter. She has helped countless
writers to achieve success and has given us all support and the
benefit of her wisdom. I will miss her. 

But life moves on. Nothing stays the same forever. I hope you will
all join me in wishing Moira every success as she concentrates on
her own writing career and thank her for all the help she has given
us over the past seven years.

In this last issue of the year, we have an article by Patricia Fry
on how to be a successfully published author and Moira advises us
on book lengths - both useful if you are mid-novel and especially
useful for anyone who started a novel in NaNoWriMo and now wants to
finish it. 

The newsletter will be back again on January 10th when we'll be
looking at kick-starting our writing year and I'll also be inviting
your opinions as to the look, content and frequency of
Writing-World. Oh and by the way, Moira will still be appearing in
the newsletter; I have a stack of columns from her full of useful
writing advice.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and
successful New Year.

                                          -- Dawn Copeman, Editor

CHILDREN'S WRITERS COMPETITIVE EDGE. Monthly newsletter of editors'
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                    FROM THE PUBLISHER'S DESK

Endings and Beginnings
Dawn originally put my editorial at the top of the newsletter, with
hers beneath. After reading her "farewell," however, I felt the
need to switch that order around -- simply so I could say, "Aw,
c'mon, it's not that bad!"  

I'm not leaving! Rather, we're dividing the task involved in
Writing-World.com between us: Effective in January, I'll be
handling the website and Dawn will handling the newsletter. I say
"effective in January," but in actuality, Dawn has been handling
the newsletter quite capably for two years now, so the only real
difference is that from now on, though it will still be associated
with Writing-World.com, it will "belong" to Dawn.  As for the
website, the only major change there is that I plan to add new
content quarterly rather than monthly.

Why? The reason I've been giving is that I want to spend more time
writing, a goal I've already achieved during this past six months
(with an Honorable Mention from the Writers of the Future Contest
to show for it). But it might be a bit more accurate to say that
I'm stepping away from Writing-World.com for a bit so that I can,
perhaps, try to figure out what I want to "be" when I grow up.  A
freelancer?  A novelist?  A photographer?  A publisher?  Several
paths are beckoning, and it's time to stop taking shelter in the
"easy" path of website management.

Changing career paths is always a frightening step. When it comes
to trying to market my photographs, for example, I feel as
uncertain as the rawest freelance writer. When it comes to writing
fiction, I'm right there with every other "newbie" who asks, "Do I
have what it takes?" Age doesn't make change easier; the only
advantage it provides is the experience of knowing that if one has
made a change before, one can make it again.  However, I do know
one thing: I don't want my epitaph to read simply, "She was a whiz
at HTML!"  

As for the newsletter itself, I doubt that you've seen the last of
me. Dawn has enough "advice" columns to last about seven years, and
there will be the occasional article as well. And I'm sure I'll be
returning to these pages with the periodic "guest editorial." 

December is viewed by many as the end of the year, but I've always
found December to be the best time to start thinking about new
beginnings. It's the perfect time to look back at the things one
has accomplished, and to look ahead to the things one hopes to
accomplish in the year to come. If you are subscribing to this
newsletter, it's clear that there are many things you want to
accomplish as well, and as the year draws to a close, I wish you
every success in 2008! (And yes, Dawn, you would have done it
without me.)

                         -- Moira Allen (editors"at"writing-world.com)


PITCH AGENTS AND EDITORS at Pennwriters Conference May 16-18 in
Lancaster, PA, including Ginger Clark (Curtis Brown), Kim Lionetti
(BookEnds), Melanie Donovan (HarperCollins Children), Paul Stevens
(Tor), Tessa Woodward (Avon). Special guest speaker: Joyce Carol
Oates. Register at http://www.pennwriters.org.


ANTHOLOGY CONTEST.  First Prize $300, Second Prize $200, 
Third Prize $100 plus copies.  Submit an unpublished novella in
mystery/crime fiction genre of 17,500 to 40,000 words.  Reading
fee: $25.00.  Deadline for submissions: midnight, February 28,
2008.  Winners announced May 2008. Visit 
www.linguisticdepravity.com for complete guidelines.



Writing-World.com hit an all-time high in October with over 93K
visitors!  Our previous high was 90k visitors a month. Thank you
all for stopping by, we're now well on our way to having 100K in a
month. If you haven't visited us for a while, check us out today!

The New York Times has won an appeal in the Federal Court that
allows them not to pay freelancers for work that is reproduced
online. In December 2001, the United States Supreme Court ruled
that the publication online of any articles without the writers'
permission violated the writers' copyrights.  However, this
decision was overturned by a majority of 2:1 and the Federal Court
ruled that the Supreme Court had made a mistake in finding in favor
of the writers. For more information visit:

The strike by 12,000 members of the Writer's Guild of America,
which began on the 5th November, shows no sign of ending. The
writers are striking for better payment for re-use of their work on
the Internet, including video-streaming, original writing for new
media and residual income from DVDs. Prior to the strike, the WGA
had been in discussion with studios for 3 months. Although the
strikers did put down their picket-signs to allow Dame Elizabeth
Taylor to attend her appearance at an Aids Benefit charity,
elsewhere the strike has had unfortunate side effects, as the
non-writing staff of two talk-show hosts have been sacked. Jay Leno
and Conan O'Brian have both agreed to pay the wages of their sacked
staff for the next week, despite the fact that O'Brian's salary has
also been suspended due to the strike. Many shows are not being
written and filming on others has been delayed. Producers and
writers are both hoping that the strike will not last as long as
the last one in 1988.  That one lasted 22 weeks and cost the U.S.
entertainment industry an estimated $500 million.
For more information visit:

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ)[,] as well as supporting
the WGA in their strike, is also calling for better pay and working
conditions for UK journalists. The NUJ has sent a report to the
Trades Union Congress Commission on Vulnerable Employment to
complain that journalists in the UK are facing poor terms and
conditions and have limited job security. The NUJ states that many
media companies are refusing to pay newly qualified journalists and
insisting they work for free.  The NUJ estimates that 7% - 8% of
all journalists employed by media companies are unpaid. They also
record the plight of one NUJ member who was working 10 shifts a
week for more than 18 months at News International, but was given
less than a day's notice that he was no longer required. Disquiet
about the working conditions of journalists in the UK is definitely
growing. In a recent edition of the satirical magazine, Private
Eye, it was reported that a reporter for the Daily Mail was told on
her return from maternity leave that she could continue working 12
hour days and work on Sundays or go elsewhere. For more information
on this visit:

For the first time in its fifteen year history, the Literary Review
Bad Sex Award has been awarded posthumously. Norman Mailer, the two
times Pulitzer Prize winning author, died in November at the age of
84, won the ward for his latest novel: "The Castle in the Forest."
The Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award has, since 1993, been
given annually to the author who produces the worst description of
a sex scene in a novel. The other short listed contenders for the
award this year were "Apples" by Richard Milward, "Will" by
Christopher Rush, "Girl Meets Boy" by Ali Smith, "Absurdistan" by
Gary Shteyngart, "The Late Hector Kipling" by David Thewlis and
"The Stone Gods" by Jeanette Winterson. 
For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/3cobxj

A new report by Zenith Optimedia predicts that advertising on the
internet will overtake magazine advertising by 2010 to become the
third most popular means of advertising behind television and
newspapers.  The company states that "Internet advertising will be
worth US$36 billion this year - US$5 billion more than we predicted
in December 2006. We forecast it to grow 24% in 2008 and 69% over
the next three years, reaching US$61 billion in 2010. We forecast
the traditional media to grow 5% and 14% respectively over the same
periods. We predict internet advertising to pass three milestones
over the next three years: we expect it to overtake radio
advertising in 2008, to attain a double-digit share of global
advertising in 2009, and to overtake magazine advertising in 2010,
with 11.5% of total adspend. Even then there will remain plenty of
scope for further growth." For more information visit:


FREELANCING FOR NEWSPAPERS: New book by veteran journalist Sue
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explored freelance market. Discover how to find markets, develop
and pitch ideas, and much more. Perfect for classes or individual
study. Quill Driver Books [http://www.quilldriverbooks.com],

FREE report: Book Promotion: One Size Does NOT Fit All. Includes a
"workbook feature" designed to help you create your marketing plan.

 by Dawn Copeman (editorial"at"writing-world.com)

Last month Francine Allen wanted to know if there were any more
'later bloomers' amongst the readership of Writing-World. She also
wanted to know when these late bloomers started writing and how
they are getting on.

Wow!  We have a lot of late bloomers amongst us.  So many that once
again we simply do not have enough room here to publish all the
responses, so to read some more inspiring responses, go to:

Let me begin by introducing you to one writer who proves it's never
too late to start a writing career: Mary Alice Murphy. She wrote:
"Well, I'm not quite as late a bloomer as Francine Allen. I wrote
my first novel at age 49-50, but never published it. Finished
another a few years later, again not published. Wrote most of a
third, which I've never quite figured out how to end. Published a
book with a co-author at age 61 and have been working as a
newspaper reporter since I was 58 - full time since 62. I'm now 65
and still working mostly more than fulltime at the paper and do
several freelance articles a year, too. I won't get rich at it, but
I'm sure having fun! 

"I write every weekday at the newspaper and sometimes on weekends,
although I usually save them for my other love - photography -
journalistic and art. Ain't life grand?"

Another successful late bloomer is Barbara Mackinnon. She emailed
to say: "I too am a Late Bloomer and enjoying every minute of it! 
I had my first novel published last year, entered it in a contest,
and won a prize!  'Now' is always the time. Time will pass anyway
so why not take a shot at your dreams?"

"I almost typed knickers rather than bloomers," writes William
Barbee. "But at 89 I am generally allowed a little leeway. I began
outdoor writing two years ago and had to literally go back to
school. Roger Brunts' School of Outdoor Writing has been a big
help. I have had two articles published, even being paid for them,
and another accepted, but not published."

Another successful late bloomer is Joan Sutula, who writes: "My
writing journey started when I was 59 years old. Now, at the age of
75, I have had short stories published in local publications, and
two stories of mine have appeared in two of the 'Chicken Soup For
the Soul' books -'Cat & Dog Lover's' and 'Every Mom's Soul'.
Currently, I am doing an 8-week writing session, so far producing
one new story, and revising several of the approximately thirty
short stories dancing around in my computer. Like all of my
'Twiggie' friends, I plan to keep on writing for many more years!"

Many of our late bloomers started writing earlier on, and then life
interrupted them. People like Edward Kelemen, who started writing
in his 30's and got a job with a small newspaper.  When that
folded, he put away his writing ambitions, until he turned 61 when,
inspired by his ex-wife, he joined a writers' group.  He writes:
"Since joining the group and restarting my writing I have been
lucky enough to have gathered a number of writing credits. I write
a weekly column in a regional newspaper. I have had articles and
short stories published in local, regional and national
publications. The GWG has produced an anthology called, 'The
Phantom Detectives,' in which I have two stories. I co-authored a
book about local hauntings and have placed in a short story writing
contest. I also co-authored a play which was produced in 2006. And
finally, I completed a detective novel which has been as of now,
rejected 18 times and the sequel is almost finished.

"I know that the previous paragraph reads like a lot of BSP(Blatant
Self Promotion), but it is really intended to show  how the right
critique group can make or break an aspiring writer.

"Anyway you look at it, it's not to shabby for a late bloomer."

Not too shabby at all, Edward, and neither is the story of Carol
Gursky. She wrote: "Although English was my favorite subject in
high school, I didn't start writing poetry seriously until I was 65
years old, ten years ago. I self published two chapbooks and went
on to write and have published personal essays and short stories.
My collection of 13 detective stories was published this year as
'The Porter Sisters Investigate.' And now I'm writing romance
stories for the older adult, which I hope to have published some
day soon. I belong to a writing group with an author instructor who
encourages us to continue writing until the end of our wonderful
life. Amen."

But for many of our late bloomers, the act of writing itself is
liberating and life-enriching, regardless of whether they get
published or not. 

"Hi, my name is Anna W. I also am a late bloomer. I just turned 42
and decided if I ever wanted to something with the stories I have
written for my own kids then I had better start now. I am in the
process of losing my eyesight and I would like to see at least one
book in print before I do. I intend to keep writing with the help
of my husband or sons to do the spelling and grammar check for me
and if I cannot publish a book before then I will continue to write
for my grandkids with the help of their parents to read them the
stories. I thought I would have plenty of time but you never know
what the future holds. Don't wait, head for your dreams now."

Someone who is definitely heading for her dreams now is Virginia P
Elliot. She wrote: "I have sold short pieces to several national
magazines, have a column (monthly since 1992) have a novel, a
mystery and a family history in progress.  I have written and sold
out the entire print run of 3500 for each of two family memoir cook
books, and written and produced T.V.  And I am just beginning to
bloom in my 88th year. I have spent too much time trying to 'learn
to write' and reading about other's success and how they did it.
The past month I have been ill enough to realize I better get
cracking if I want to get all the blossom out of my bloom before
the stalk dies.
"So, I am reducing my time on email, and scouring the internet for
advice and 'how to', and beginning to really write as if my life
depended on it.  It does. I've just won an essay contest, the prize
was a catered dinner in my home for 20 guests, and I have promised
myself and my kids to write 500 words a day as well as keeping up
with the fitness program.  I am feeling a bloom warming my stalk."

But the final word on this matter goes to Michele Ivy Davis, a
self-confessed late bloomer who is proud of it.  She writes "While
I had a few short pieces published about 35 years ago in 'little'
magazines, I was busy owning and running several businesses and
raising two children until I moved to Florida in my mid-fifties.
"While we were looking for and settling on a house, I took a
writing class that awoke my creative muse after a long, l-o-n-g
"I joined a writers' critique group, read everything I could about
writing and submitting, subscribed to writing magazines, got a job
in the office of a small local newspaper, and wrote.  I found
everything I did brought me closer to publication and to
understanding the business of writing.
"Soon my work was published in the larger Tampa Bay newspapers, as
well as literary and other magazines and several 'Chicken Soup'
books.  I met a retired police lieutenant at my critique group and
we have teamed up to write nearly 150 articles for law enforcement
and fire rescue/EMS publications.  These articles are accompanied
by photographs we have taken and from time to time our pictures
grace the covers!
"And I started a novel, something that I never thought I'd have the
patience to write.  My manuscript was a finalist in one national
contest and won the grand prize in a contest sponsored by Penguin
Group USA. 'Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel' came out in
2004 and has since won a first prize in Switzerland for the German
"So is it possible to be a late bloomer and have some writing
success?  You bet!  And at 62, I'm looking forward to more years of
"My advice for other late bloomers is to learn all you can, write
what you want (after all, most of us are also retired and that
means we only have to do the fun stuff!), expect a lot of rejection
slips (but keep a 'Feel Good' file for anything you receive that is
positive -- sometimes you will doubt yourself and the world), join
a critique group, and grab every opportunity you can, including
entering contests.  You never know where something will lead!  
"And here's an insider's tip: unlike many of the arts, NO ONE KNOWS
HOW OLD YOU ARE!  So those of us with wrinkles and sensible shoes
have just as much chance as the Barbie dolls -- our work speaks for
itself.)Remember, it's better to be a late bloomer than never to
have bloomed at all."

Good Advice, Michele. 

Okay, this month's question is in honor of Moira Allen.  I have
told her several times, and several times she has disputed the fact
with me, that if it wasn't for her I would not be a writer. What I
want to know this month is: "How has Writing-World, or more
specifically, Moira Allen, influenced your writing career?"  Did
she write an article that saved you from making a mistake? Did she
set you off on how to tackle a new area of writing? Did the
newsletter inspire you to become a writer? Did it challenge you to
take off in a new direction?  

Let me know. Email me with the subject line: "Indebted to Moira",
to editorial"at"writing-world.com

Until next time, 



Dawn Copeman is a freelance writer based in England. She is the
author of over 100 articles and is the newsletter editor of Writing
World and editor of Newbie Writers, http://www.newbie-writers.com,
a site for new and aspiring writers.  Dawn is also a copywriter as
well as a contributing editor and columnist at
http://www.timetravel-britain.com. Visit her website at

Copyright (c) 2007 by Dawn Copeman


PUBLISH EVERY BOOK YOU WRITE. Don't waste your time waiting for
someone else will publish your books and take all the profit.
Thanks to modern technology it's easy to publish your own books
quickly, affordably AND sell them worldwide. Want to know how?



                                     by Patricia Fry

A new author contacted me through the SPAWN Web site asking for --
no, begging for -- help with promoting his book. Like so many
hopeful authors, he wrote the book of his dreams and then signed a
contract with the first publisher who expressed an interest in his
manuscript. In this case it was AuthorHouse, but it could have been
PublishAmerica, Lulu, Trafford or any number of other
"self-publishing" services.

What's wrong with this picture? Isn't the author's ultimate goal to
get published? Yes, but the author who goes directly from writing
to publishing is omitting some essential and vital steps toward his
success -- there are missing links. If you've searched the Internet
for a publisher within the last few years, you know how many
companies are pushing to get your business. Type in "book
publisher" at the Google prompt and your screen is filled with
promises to publish your book for a fee. Choose one, almost any
one, and they will tell you what a wonderful manuscript you have
and quickly offer you a publishing contract. 

Now there's a thrill. You call your mom, aunt Mary, cousin Sid and
all of your former co-workers to share the exciting news. After
giving it a quick glance, you sign the contract and then sit back
and wait for your shipment of three (four or six) books. You order
several more copies to give to mom, aunt Mary, cousin Sid and your
favorite former co-workers.

At some point, you will suddenly realize that it is your
responsibility to promote your book and you don't have a clue where
to begin. It's true! As the author, promotion is your
responsibility whether you land a traditional royalty publisher, go
with a fee-based POD publishing service or self-publish your book.

Some of you will also go back over the contract you signed and
figure out that where it says, "We will make your book available to
bookstores," doesn't mean "Your books will be sold by the thousands
through bookstores nationwide." Instead, it means, "If a bookseller
comes asking for a book like this, we will tell them about your

Yes, I speak to many disappointed, disillusioned authors every
year. That's why I'm currently on a mission to find authors before
they start making expensive, heart-breaking mistakes. Now this is
not to say that signing with a fee-based POD publishing service is
necessarily a mistake. The mistakes occur when the author is not
industry savvy -- when he or she makes uninformed decisions.

So what constitutes the missing links I speak of? Here are the
steps an author should take after placing of the last period on his
manuscript and before signing a publishing contract.  (Actually,
I'd rather you follow these steps even BEFORE you write the first
word of a novel, memoir or nonfiction book.)

1. Determine your motivation for writing this book. If you have a
book inside that just must come out and you're interested only in
sharing it with family and a few friends, go ahead and do your
thing your way. On the other hand, if you are driven by the desire
for fame and fortune -- if you want to be published and widely read
-- keep reading. It could make the difference between pitiful
failure and wild success.

2. Study the publishing industry. You wouldn't start any other
business without knowing something about the field. Well,
publishing is a business and your book is a product. It's
imperative that you know something about the industry, your
publishing options and the ramifications or consequences of your
choices. When you take the time to learn about publishing, you'll
also begin to understand that you -- the author -- are responsible
for selling your book. This fact comes as a shock to many hopeful
authors, especially those who learn the truth after they've entered
into the extremely competitive publishing field. 

Learn about the publishing industry by joining publishing
organizations such as SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers
Network), SPAN and PMA. Read magazines and newsletters related to
the industry: SPAWNews, PMA Independent, SPAN Connection, Book
Promotion Newsletter, RJ Communications Publishing Basics and many

Read books such as "The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your
Book," "The Successful Writer's Handbook," (Patricia Fry), "The
Self-Publishing Manual" (Dan Poynter) and "The Fine Print of
Self-Publishing" (Mark Levine).

3. Write a book proposal. A book proposal is a business plan for
your book. It's something that you need in order to make the best
decisions for your book and you might even land a traditional
royalty publisher with a well-written book proposal. A proposal for
a nonfiction book might include a synopsis, a marketing plan, a
comparative study of similar books and a chapter outline. It will
also identify your target audience and, if you plan to approach a
publisher with your proposal, you would include an "about the
author" section.

4. Identify your competition. Why is this important? You (and a
prospective publisher) need to know if yours is a viable book. Is
the market saturated in this area or is there room for another book
on this topic? How is your book different from what else is out
there? If there are no or few books on the topic or in this genre,
perhaps there is a reason. Maybe there is no market for this book. 

How do you conduct a comparative study of similar books? Visit a
major bookstore in your area and go to the shelf where your book
might be. Look at all of the books shelved there. Read many of
them. Determine what's different about yours -- what makes it
better? Maybe you'll discover that your book idea is quite similar
to several published books. Can you come up with an angle or a
slant that is different -- one that makes your book more useful,
interesting, entertaining or informative, for example? If your
nonfiction book is just like all the others, why bother producing

How healthy is the fiction market? Your comparative study will most
likely reveal what sort of fiction is popular today. Young adult
novels are selling well, for example. There also seems to be a big
desire for fantasy and thrillers. 

Maybe you plan to write a memoir. If you are not a high profile
person, you may want to rethink your desire to write a memoir for
national distribution. Many authors write memoirs in hopes of using
their own tragic stories to educate or inform others. You may well
discover that a memoir isn't the best way to do that. Ask the hard
questions and use the comparative study of similar books to get the
answers you need in order to make all of the right decisions.

5. Identify your target audience. Even before you write that book,
you need to know who you are addressing. If it is a historical
novel, presumably, those who typically read historical novels will
be interested in yours. It's a little tricky, though. Most novel
readers are loyal to certain authors and aren't easily lured to
read something by an unknown. 

If yours is a nonfiction book, you must identify the audience who
wants the information you are providing or who is interested in the
topic. This does not include those who you believe SHOULD read the
book, but those who will WANT to read the book. If you are honest
in the evaluation of your target audience, you may discover that it
isn't a very large segment of people. This knowledge may even
prompt you to change the focus of your book or abandon the project
altogether. I can't even begin to tell you how many authors I meet
who have written the wrong book for the wrong audience and now
regret the money spent, the time involved and the emotions invested.

6. Locate your target audience. So now that you know who they are,
you need to know where they are. And if you say, "Bookstores,"
you're probably wrong. Bookstores aren't always the best place to
sell books, especially nonfiction books. Just look at the
competition in the mega-bookstores. Your book on gnarly ski slopes
throughout the U.S. might sell better through winter sports stores
and catalogs, appropriate Web sites, magazines and newsletters and
at ski resorts. A book on dog grooming might sell best in pet
stores, grooming shops and through reviews and articles in pet

If you discover that you don't have a solid target audience, take
another look at your book idea. Maybe you need to refocus. Now
doesn't it make sense to discover the truth about your book before
you publish it?

7. Plan your promotional tactics. Some people will buy the book
just because they know you or know who you are. So start by
developing a massive mailing list. List everyone in your personal
addressbook, your rolodex at work, your class reunion roster, your
Christmas card list, you email list and add your child's teachers,
fellow church and club members, your mailman, neighbors -- everyone
you know. Collect business cards from everyone you meet. Offer your
list a pre-publication discount if they order the book before the
publication date. I have managed to pay a good portion of my
printing expenses for several of my books through pre-publication

Build a Web site related to your book. List magazines, newsletters
and Web sites that might review your book. Outline articles/stories
you can write to help promote your book. (Read "A Writer's Guide to
Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit" by Patricia Fry.)
Obtain a list of civic organizations seeking speakers. Contact
bookstores nationwide and plan book signings. Ask local radio/TV
stations to interview you. Send press releases to appropriate
newspaper editors throughout the nation. Discover many additional
book promotion ideas in books by Patricia Fry, John Kremer, Fran
Silverman and others.

8. Build promotion into your book. For a novel, choose a setting
and a topic that will be conducive to promotion. For example, give
a character diabetes. If he handles it in a positive way or has
something to teach others about the disease, the American Diabetes
Association might be interested in helping you to promote your
book. For a history or a how-to book, involve a lot of people and
agencies. Interview people, quote them and list those people and
agencies who helped with your research. They'll all buy books and
promote the book to their friends and acquaintances. 

9. Establish your platform. Your platform is your following -- your
way of getting the attention of your target audience. The most
successful authors are those who establish a platform before they
produce a book. If your book relates to conserving California
water, your platform might be that you have been the general
manager of a water company for 25 years and on the California State
Water Board for most of that time. You have name recognition and
credibility in that field.

Maybe your book is on an aspect of acupuncture. Your platform might
include the fact that you've studied and taught acupuncture
internationally for many years. You've written articles for
numerous magazines on topics related to acupuncture, you have a
column in a local newspaper on alternative healing practices, you
have a Web site and a newsletter that goes out to 20,000 people.

What if you have no platform? The time to establish one is before
you write the book. Maybe you want to write a book on personal
finances after retirement, but you don't have a professional
background in finance. Here are some things you can do. Build on
the financial background you do have -- join organizations, take
classes and become known in financial and senior circles. Involve
experts in your book -- maybe even share authorship with someone
who is well-known in the financial field. Join Toastmasters to
develop better public speaking skills and start presenting
workshops locally for retirees. Write articles for a variety of
magazines. Develop a Web site and start circulating a newsletter
related to your topic. 

If you hope to sell more than just a few copies of your book to
friends and relatives, follow each of these nine steps and you will
experience the success you desire.


Patricia Fry is the author of 25 books, including "The Right Way to
Write, Publish and Sell Your Book."
http://www.matilijapress.com/rightway.html. Visit her blog:

For more information on writing a book proposal, see Moira Allen's
three-part article on "Selling Your Nonfiction Book":


WORLDWIDE FREELANCE WRITER - You can download a free list of
writing markets if you subscribe this week. Discover almost 2,000
writing markets from USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australasia.

CAN'T GET PUBLISHED? Be a Well-Fed Self-Publisher and make a
living! Control the process and timetable. Keep the rights AND most
of the profits.  Here's the step-by-step blueprint used to create a
full-time living from ONE book!  By the award-winning author of The
Well-Fed Writer. http://www.wellfedsp.com.



A new site that allows members to create private critique groups
where the workflow is automatically handled by the site.  It
includes automatic real-time critique logs, internal messaging,
group events calendar, and a place for members for showcase their

Another site run by the BBC, this time for screenwriters.  Includes
advice and the Script Start formatting tool. 

Jane Wenham-Jones
If you're struggling to find a home for your post NaNoWriMo novel,
then the About Me page on this site is a must-read.  

Anyday - Today in History
Great site for planning evergreen pieces on historical events. 
Simply type in a day and see what happened.  Useful when you've run
out of article ideas.

Black on White
An incredibly useful site to help writers overcome their fears and
blocks. Check out the Prefix in the Table of Contents for tips on
how to get started on your novel, or the Nonfiction help.

An online community of writers, authors, poets and readers.  The
site enables you to create an online portfolio and network with
other writers or have your work read by the public. 


submission guidelines/leads for poetry, short prose, and book
projects. You'll receive your FREE report TODAY via email
NEWSFLASH. Visit http://www.writersrelief.com or call toll-free
(866) 405-3003.  Absolutely no subscription or purchase necessary.
We'll share our know-how with you. In our 14th Year!


five-step process for creating flawless written text.Write It
Right: The Ground Rules for Self-Editing Like The Pros shows you
how! $17.95 + s/h.


                                            By Moira Allen 

Q: Does my book have to be a certain page length?  

I am writing a fiction book and I'm curious: Does it have to be a
certain length. It's a thriller and nothing too serious so what
should the page length be? 	

A: Instead of thinking in terms of "pages," think in terms of
"words." A typical novel today runs between 80,000 and 100,000
words.  Some are longer; very few are shorter.  You can use the
word count function of your word-processing program to determine
the number of words in each chapter, or in the book as a whole
(depending on how you've saved the file).

However, it's better not to worry too much about length and simply
write the book as it seems "right" to you.  If it's longer than the
count listed above, but you feel that the length is necessary to
"tell the story," don't worry about it.  Going over the "typical"
word-count is usually better than being too "short," as it's always
easier to cut material than to try to pad the novel just to fit a
particular length.

Q: If I want to write a 200-page (published) book, how many
manuscript pages do I need?

I am writing my first book and have a silly question for you... If
I want my book to be about 200 pages long -- the actual printed
book that will be in the stores -- how many typed pages would that
translate into?  I'm using 12 point Times New Roman, double-spacing
with 1" border. I'm thinking about 300 words to the actual book

A: The first answer to your question is that you really shouldn't
be thinking about this question at all.  Writers generally think in
terms of "word count," not number of published pages.  Novels tend
to run anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 words.  Anything under
60,000 words is very "slim," while anything over 100,000 words
tends to start to look like a mega-opus, like a Robert Jordan book
or something similar.

So -- since this is your first novel, you're probably better off
trying to target something between those two parameters in terms of
word-count.  Don't worry about pages; that's something editors
worry about.

If you want to figure out how to get a consistent number of words
on a page, however, just reformat your manuscript into Courier. 
Test a page and see how many words you get (that will tell you if
you want to use 10pt or 12pt type).  When you want to send out the
book, change it back.  Or not.  Some editors prefer Courier -- so
you might want to use it anyway.  However, keep in mind that it's
hard to ever have a consistent number of words per page -- some
pages, with long, dense paragraphs, will have more words, while
others with short lines of dialogue will have fewer.

Another way to figure it out is to type in a couple of pages from a
published book.  Then, format those pages in your preferred font
(or Courier) -- and you'll see how they translate into "typed"
pages. But again, I think you're spending too much time worrying
about insignificant details.

How long do your chapters look to you?  You mentioned in another
e-mail that you have four to five chapters.  For a novel, that
seems like a very small number -- sounds more like sections than
chapters. (Of course, some novels don't use chapters at all -- they
just start at the beginning and go on, uninterrupted, to the end.)

Take a look at some other published novels similar to your own. 
How many chapters, typically, do they have?  Ten?  Twelve?  Can you
split your text into smaller sections?

Chapters aren't measured by word-count.  They are measured by
"logic" -- as in, logically, what goes into this chapter?  Usually,
a chapter will cover a related series of events.  When you move on
in time, or to another viewpoint, or to a different series of
events, you'll usually move to another chapter.  Also, it's always
a good idea to leave the reader with an unanswered question at the
end of a chapter -- i.e., "how is this going to come out?"  The
question, of course, gets answered later -- and leads the reader on
to the next chapter.

The standard advice at this point is to "write the book the way it
works for you."  Don't worry about arbitrary measures like the page
count of a finished book, or dividing chapters by number of words.
Just write your book, and worry about how to slice and dice it


Copyright (c) 2007 by Moira Allen

Moira Allen, publisher of Writing-World.com, has published more
than 350 articles and columns and seven books, including How to
Write for Magazines, Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer,
The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals, and
Writing.com: Creative Internet Strategies to Advance Your Writing
Career. Allen has served as columnist and contributing editor for
The Writer and has written for Writer's Digest, Byline, and various
other writing publications. In addition to Writing-World.com, Allen
hosts the travel website TimeTravel-Britain.com and The Pet Loss
Support Page. She can be contacted at editors"at"writing-world.com.

For more information on writing fiction, visit:



Writing for Young Readers, "Happily Ever After", by Eugie Foster

Avoiding Comma Confusion, by Moira Allen

Blueprints: Building a Home for Your Characters, by Elizabeth Cheyne

Break Into the Religious Market With a Devotion, by Tatiana Claudy

Retelling Bible Stories for Children, by Rose Ross Zediker


Fundamentals of Fiction, by Marg Gilks. 8 weeks, $150; enroll at
any time! http://www.writing-world.com/classes/fiction.shtml




This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless 
otherwiseindicated, competitions are open to all adult writers.
DEADLINE: December 10, 2007
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS: 2000 words max based on the Black Swan exhibit in Second
Life. See website for more details.
PRIZE: $500
URL: http://futurefire.net/competition/
EMAIL: fiction"at"futurefire.net

DEADLINE: December 12, 2007
GENRE: Nonfiction
DETAILS: Book anthology seeks 850-1400 word true, inspiring,
stories about mothers. See website where sample stories are
PRIZE: $200. $175, $150, $100 for next 47.
URL: http://www.literarycottage.com
EMAIL: sreynolds"at"literarycottage.com

DEADLINE: December 20, 2007
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS: Write a chapter. You will need to register at StoryMash,
but registration is free. Each published StoryMash chapter stands
on its own in this competition.  Each chapter is judged online by
the StoryMash readers.  All published chapters are also paid over
50% of all ad revenue that is earned by hosting the story at
PRIZE: $300, $150,$60.
URL:  http://storymash.com/contest/

-- ------------------------------------
DEADLINE: December 25, 2007
GENRE: Short Stories/Poetry
DETAILS: This is a contest for speculative (Science
Fiction/Fantasy/Horror) winter holiday-themed fiction, artwork, and
poetry. There are no word length restrictions. Must post entries in
a publicly viewable place. Reprints are encouraged.
PRIZE: $25 for fiction, $5 for poetry 
URL: http://www.aswiebe.com/specthehalls/guidelines.html
EMAIL: specthehalls"at"gmail.com

DEADLINE: December 25, 2007
GENRE:  Poetry
DETAILS: For unpublished poems; one entry per poet. Enter by email.
See website for instructions.
PRIZE:  $350 plus publication
URL: http://hotmetalpress.net/PoetryPrize.html

DEADLINE: January 9, 2008
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS: 1500 words max on anything you like. 
PRIZE: 25 PayPal transfer
URL: http://tinyurl.com/3bs3bt
EMAIL: mailforthequill"at"gmail.com


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers


The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in
Between, by Shery Arrieta-Russ 

Contracts Companion for Writers, by Tonya Evans-Walls     

A Shadow in the Flames, by Michael G. Munz

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Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com

Website Editor: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com)

Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com)

Copyright 2007 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
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