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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 13:18          13,240 subscribers        September 19, 2013
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: 'Tis the Season to Get Crafty , by Moira Allen 
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: What's in a Name? by Victoria Grossack 
FEATURE: Freestyle Writing: The Psychology of Accomplishing Big
Projects, by Steve Aedy 
THE INQUIRING WRITER: ISBNs for Self-Published Books, 
by Dawn Copeman   
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf   
Novel, Too!  What if this year you could honestly call yourself 
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DON'T GET SCAMMED!  Choose the right Self Publishing Company for
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'Tis the Season To Get Crafty

I stepped outside yesterday and took a deep breath, trying to
identify the lovely scent upon the air.  Finally I remembered: The
smell of tannin in wet, fallen leaves.  

Fall is literally in the air.  Here in Maryland, we're starting to
remember what sweaters are for, and wondering where we put them.  I
set the thermostat on "heat" for the first time in months.  I'm
digging out blankets.  And... I've made my autumn pilgrimage to the
craft store.

Autumn always puts me into "crafts" mode.  Suddenly I want to
create -- not simply with my mind and the computer screen, but with
my eyes and hands and a pile of intriguing raw materials that are
just begging to be shaped into something beautiful.  It's not hard
to guess why; as a child, my Christmas funds were always limited,
so most of my gifts were hand-made.  But while the necessity to
make gifts by hand may no longer be present, the pleasure in seeing
something take shape out of no shape at all -- to see cloth form on
the loom or the knitting needles, to transform a pile of glittering
beads into an elegant necklace -- has not lost its pleasure.  

Nor, I think, has it lost its benefits for creative folks.  Now, in
planning this editorial, I thought I'd be smart and go look up some
articles online about the "cognitive benefits of crafting."  I
found plenty -- all relating to children and seniors.  Apparently
if you're a child, crafting unlocks all sorts of creative
potential, helps you develop various cognitive skills and hand-eye
coordination, etc.  If you're a senior, it seems to keep one from
shuffling off into oblivion quite so quickly.  (In fact, I couldn't
help get the feeling that these articles rather regarded seniors as
just a different sort of child.)

But what about everyone in between?  Personally, I believe that
handicrafts have benefits for people of any age -- and especially
those of us who focus a good portion of our thoughts and lives
around "being creative."  Handicrafts engage a different part of
the brain, and a different set of cognitive tools, than we use in
our daily stints at the computer screen.  They require different
ways of looking at things, different styles of thinking, different
approaches to problem-solving.  Instead of creating with words, we
are engaging that part of our brain that creates with color, shape
and texture.  Instead of simply using our hands to type, we use
them to manipulate, to build, to arrange.  Instead of using our
eyes simply to stare at the screen, we use them to evaluate colors
and structures and decide, "does this look good with that?"

You're probably wondering by now what this has to do with writing. 
In my opinion, it has a great deal to do with writing -- especially
when you consider how often the types of terms I've just used are
APPLIED to writing.  As writers, we are constantly encouraged to
make our words "come alive" -- to engage the reader's ability to
experience sound, color, shape, texture.  We seek, through our
words, to give the reader sensory experiences -- to make our world
so real that he or she can nearly see, touch and taste it.  How
much more might we enhance our abilities to do just that, if we
find creative ways to indulge our own senses?  The more we work
with color, light, texture and shape, the less we have to "imagine"
those things -- and the more genuine our words become.  

But there is more to crafting than just gathering fodder for the
written word.  Honing any part of your creativity helps hone ALL of
your creativity.  Being creative makes you MORE creative. 
Expanding your creative boundaries means that -- well, you EXPAND. 
Creativity is like a sort of reverse checking account: The more you
draw upon it, the more you actually have.  You can't "use up" your
creativity; quite the opposite.  The more you use, the more you
gain.  In fact, the one sure way to LOSE the "balance" in your
creativity account is to refrain from spending it -- the more you
hoard it and ignore it, the less able you are to tap into its
resources when you need it!

There's another benefit I find to getting out the various
handicrafts, and that is the pleasure of completing short-term
projects.  So often, our writing projects are long-term -- and even
for short-term projects, we must often wait far too long for
feedback.  Crafts provide a feeling of accomplishment in the
here-and-now: If it comes out the way we planned, we feel immense
satisfaction.  If it doesn't, we can take it apart and try again.  

Finally, it seems to me that handicrafts give us an ability to do
something that, for most adults, we find far too little time for:
It gives us a chance to "play."  Often, for writers, "creativity"
can become synonymous with "work."  We say, "I am WORKING on my
novel," not "I'm playing on my novel."  When creativity is also a
significant source of income, the work connection becomes even more
obvious -- and restricting.  Work is something we "have" to do --
and when something becomes an obligation, it often ceases to be a
source of pleasure.

Crafts give us a chance to reconnect with the PLEASURE of
creativity.  Whether we're making gifts for loved ones, or creating
décor for the home, or just knitting or scrapbooking or baking or
whatever for the sheer pleasure it brings, it's reminding us that
creativity can be FUN.  Our end products don't have to be works of
art; they don't have to be very good at all.  They simply give us a
chance to play again -- to take joy in doing something for the fun
of doing it, rather than the need to end up with a "perfect," or at
least "marketable," result. 

So as the days grow shorter and winter looms closer, here's my
suggestion: Step AWAY from the keyboard!  Pick up a craft, any
craft, anything that tickles your fancy -- so long as it's
something that involves physical, hands-on, visual creativity. 
Make something -- anything!  Have fun with it.  You may just find
that in the process, you're making yourself a better writer.

(If you'd like a glimpse of my craft project for the day, visit
this editorial on the Web at the link below.)

-- Moira Allen, Editor

This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained.  (For an author bio and complete
details on reprint terms, please visit 

Link to this article here:


Read by over 1,000 children's book and magazine editors, this
monthly newsletter can be your own personal source of editors'
wants and needs, market tips, and professional insights.  Get a
FREE issue to start. http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/BT022


by Victoria Grossack 


"What's in a name?" Juliet asks on her balcony. "That which we call
a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." 

Although Shakespeare's Juliet makes an interesting argument -- that
names don't matter -- plenty would disagree with her.

Names have practical uses and often both cultural and emotional
significance. Furthermore, as writers, one of our first
responsibilities is usually to name our characters. So, in this
lesson we'll take Juliet's question and answer it from the
perspective of the writer. 

Do you have to give your characters names? 
No, you don't HAVE to; in fact, a few nameless characters have made
literary history. Consider "Rebecca" by Daphne DuMaurier, and
"Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison. The authors of these books had
excellent reasons for not naming their protagonists. Ellison's
"Invisible Man" is a black man who is invisible in the eyes of
society, so his not having a name in the story makes artistic
sense. In "Rebecca," the narrator is insignificant compared to
Rebecca, the first Mrs. DeWinter. 

Nevertheless, even if you write in first person, as these books
were written, writing without names is inconvenient. If you don't
believe me, try it! The exercise is bad enough in first person, but
if you're writing in third, you will soon encounter serious
difficulties -- especially if you have more than two characters. In
other words, you will discover the primary reason characters have
names -- so that you and your readers can tell them apart. 

Telling Them Apart 
Making sure your readers can distinguish between your characters
has several implications which may differ from what we see in the
real world. One is that characters in your novel will very rarely
have the same name. However, if you were born in 1970 in the United
States, chances are that you know plenty of Michaels and Jennifers,
because according to the Social Security Administration, Michael
and Jennifer were the most popular names given to babies that year.
To check this out for any year going as far back as 1880, try the
following link: 


This link is also an excellent resource for anyone wanting to write
an American story with people who lived from 1880 to the present.
And, if you click on it, you will discover that the names Mary and
John were the favorites for many years. 

Speaking of Mary and John, in "Jane Eyre," Charlotte Brontë uses
the names "Mary" and "John" frequently, but never in a way that
confuses the reader. For example, many of the Johns and Marys are
bit parts, throwaway characters appearing on stage for only a scene
or two, such as servants in various grand houses. Even when they
are more significant, they appear in separate sections of the
novel, again keeping the readers from becoming confused.

In order to help your readers keep your characters distinct in
their minds, there are several things you can do. First, make the
names dissimilar from each other -- especially first letters. It is
hard on your reader if you call one important character Mary,
another Marie, and another Maria. If you can't get away from this
-- for example, you're writing about real people and they happened
to have inconvenient-to-remember names -- then consider adding
titles or descriptions to help your readers keep your characters
straight -- or even replace the names with nicknames. For example,
the emperor whose given name was Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus
Germanicus, is better known by the nickname Caligula, which means
"little boot." 

J. K. Rowling, in order to help her readers remember some of the
vast set of names in the Harry Potter series, often uses
alliteration for the characters whose first names don't appear that
frequently. Examples include Severus Snape, Godric Gryffindor,
Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw -- you get the idea. 

Note something important: when you, as the author, name a
character, you signal the reader that this character is worth
remembering. If a character is not worth remembering, you may
prefer to dispense with a name, and simply refer to that character
by his or her role in your story. For example, you could call the
policeman "the policeman," or the grocer "the grocer," or the
taxicab driver "the taxicab driver." After all, in real life, we
often interact with people without knowing their names. 

Names as a Reflection of Society 
The way people are named in your novel should reflect the culture
of the characters and its setting. Even in a book set recently, the
names the characters choose -- or those chosen by their fictional
parents -- will be influenced by their groups within society. For
example, a character with parents from Mexico may have a different
name than a character whose parents came out of Poland or China.
Selected names may also reflect levels of education or other items
important to characters or their society. In fact, even though you
may think that Tom is as likely a name for the characters from
Mexico, China and Poland -- especially if their families would want
to assimilate -- you may exaggerate the differences, in order to
help your readers keep your characters straight in their minds.
(Yes, this is stereotyping, but stereotyping can be useful.) 

Names and how they're given can also reflect the society in other
ways, and if you're writing about a different era, you may need to
do some research to get it right. For example, in the Roman
republic, women were always named after their fathers. The two
daughters of Marc Antony were both called Antonia -- but major and
minor were added to distinguish them. For more on this subject
click here: 


Here's a quote on some of the naming customs among Native Americans:

"...a father among some of the northern Athapascan tribes lost his
name as soon as a male child was born and was henceforth called
after the name of his son; a Thlingchadinne changed his name after
the birth of each successive child, while an unmarried man was
known as the child of his favorite dog." 

For more on this, try the following link: 

Many cultures and subcultures still use particular methods of
choosing names; a Chinese family, for example, may have a family
poem and all the middle names of a generation may come from one of
the lines. And here's a link to the technicalities of Hispanic
names, which have a place for two first names, the father's last
name, the mother's last name, and for married women, a place for
their husband's last name:

The above examples only scratch the surface of what can be done
with the names in a society.  If you're writing, for example,
science fiction or fantasy and thus inventing everything about your
society, naming conventions can help you define it. 

Events and Situations
Names may reflect events and situations important to the character.
Children and characters may be named to reflect certain events. For
example, many black girls were named "Emancipation" just after
Lincoln 's Emancipation Proclamation. Rulers or generals have
historically often given themselves an extra name to celebrate
great military conquests -- for example Germanicus and Britannicus
-- or simply renamed themselves to celebrate greatness in general
-- e.g., Augustus. 

Names are often changed to signal changed situations for the
character -- for example, many women take their husbands' last
names when they marry, or when the Pope becomes Pope, he is
rechristened. Or, as described above, a man may be named for his
youngest son. 

Occasionally these names will not be formal names, but simply
nicknames. In these cases they may be very descriptive: Edward I of
England was known as Longshanks because of his great height. Or, to
return to Harry Potter, the hero himself is known as
"The-Boy-Who-Lived" -- because, of course, he lived when he should
have died. 

Meanings of Names 
Many authors give their characters names that are representative or
evocative of their personalities. This technique has been going on
for millennia. Let's return to Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet" and
consider the names of some of his characters:

Romeo -- similar to romance 
Mercutio -- quick and mercurial 
Tybalt -- makes me think of a bolt of lightning, even though
according to at least one source on the internet, its Latin meaning
is actually "one who sees" 

J. K. Rowling does this frequently as well. She calls one of her
werewolves Remus Lupin. The source of these names: Remus (one of
the twins who founded Rome, and supposedly raised, even suckled by
a female wolf) and Lupin (related to the Latin for wolf). The
character Sirius Black transforms himself into a black dog upon
occasion, and as you probably know, Sirius, according to Greek
mythology, was one of the dogs of the great hunter Orion.

So, to answer Juliet's question, "What's in a name?" Plenty!


Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English Literature
at Dartmouth College, and has published stories and articles in
publications such as Contingencies, Women's World and I Love Cats.
Victoria is co-author with Alice Underwood of the Tapestry of
Bronze series (Jocasta; Children of Tantalus; The Road to Thebes;
Arrow of Artemis), based on Greek myths and set in the late Bronze
Age. On her own she has written The Highbury Murders, in which she
did her best to channel the spirits and styles of Jane Austen and
Agatha Christie. Besides all this, Victoria is married with kids,
and (though American) spends much of her time in Europe. Her
hobbies include gardening, hiking, bird-watching and tutoring
mathematics. Visit her website at http://www.tapestryofbronze.com,
or contact her at tapestry (at) tapestryofbronze (dot) com.
Copyright 2013 Victoria Grossack. A version of this article
appeared in Fiction Fix.  
This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Link to this article here:

For More Information:
Writing-World.com's links to Character-Naming Resources:

What's In a Name? by Moira Allen
Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Victoria now
offers one-on-one writing classes; find out more at

author of the award-winning Forensic Science for Writers can help.
Take a look at Criminal Investigators, Villains, and Tricksters: A
Trip Through History. Available from Amazon and other bookstores.
For details, visit http://forensics4writers.com.



James Patterson Gives $1m to Independent Bookstores
Award winning author James Patterson has announced that he will
give $1m of his own money to independent bookstores that have a
children's section.  For more on this story visit: 

New Agatha Christie Novel to be Published
A new Hercules Poirot novel will be published next year Harper
Collins has announced.  The novel, written by Sophie Hannah and
authorised by Christie's estate, will be the 38th Christie novel. 
For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/ojdorhs

Scientists Developed System to Compare Narrative Styles
Three scientists, Joseph Reddington, Fionn Murtagh and Douglas
Cowie, have developed a system that looks at the way in which an
author uses words to compare similarities in structure and style.
They are now working with a literary agency using this system to
help new writers to develop their style.  For more on this story
visit: http://tinyurl.com/qjnth33


FREELANCE WRITER. A complete manual on how to sell your articles
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because selling your stories is just as important as writing well.
My marketing system will help you sell more articles than you can
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Writing Jobs and Opportunities

Attention Young Canadian Writers
We know you think. We also know your thoughts are good. The Young
Wanderer is a new online magazine for high school students across
Canada with the aim of showcasing the diverse perspectives of
youth. Whatever way you express yourself best, whether it is
through art, music, writing, or photography, we want to hear from
you. Don't sit back. Say something! It's about time you're listened
to! Submit a copy of your work at: 
http://www.theyoungwanderer.com/contact/. Check us out on Facebook:

Bizarre Stories Sought for Anthology
Looking for bizarre, weird, and shocking kind of stories.
Like the time a guy broke up with you by mailing an envelope full
of his hair to you along with the DEAR JANE note or, maybe, he
brought his mother along - and SHE broke up with you for him while
he cowered in the corner. Or that total stranger who asked you to
dump his mother's ashes in the Pacific Ocean while you were
standing in line to board a plane to L.A. Yeah, THAT kind of weird.
And the submission guidelines are on my WP site at:

Literary Agent Seeking YA and Adult Romance Authors
Mandy Hubbard, of D4EO Literary Agency, is currently seeking middle
grade, young adult, and genre romance. She has an impressive list
of published authors and very clear guidelines on what she is
looking for in a novel.  For detailed submission information visit: 


A publishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what
is happening and show you how to self-publish your own eBooks.


FEATURE: Freestyle Writing: The Psychology of Accomplishing Big
By Steve Aedy

As writers, we tend to be more creative, free-thinking individuals.
 Rarely do we stop to analyze the psychological aspects of why we
do what we do.  If we were to take a look at how our brains
contribute to our success or failure, we would learn some very
interesting things.

Going Back to the Beginning
Thousands and thousands of years ago, the earth was populated with
three types of creatures:  Homo sapiens, Homo erectus, and
Neanderthal.  As we are well aware, only one of those survived:
Homo sapiens.

This has lead many people to question why.  Why did Homo sapiens
survive when his brothers did not?

The Role of Complex Planning
John Shea, a paleoanthropologist, recently shared his thoughts: 
"The most obvious answer is that we had bigger brains.  But it
turns out that what matters is not overall brain size, but the
areas where the brain is larger... one of the crucial elements of
Homo sapiens' adaptations is... complex planning."

The ability to engage in complex planning is a subtle -- yet
crucial -- skill.  It requires us to do two things.  First, we must
visualize future steps.  Second, we must evaluate whether these
steps are a good idea.

How did the ability to engage in complex planning keep Homo sapiens

Crafting a spear and charging a mammoth is an example of a complex
plan.  However, crafting a spear and hurling it from a safe
distance is also an example of a complex plan.  Not only could Homo
sapiens conceive both strategies, he could distinguish the better,
safer plan.  

The Relationship between Complex Planning and Writing Strategies
How can complex planning affect your writing?  To put it simply:
complex planning can make or break your career.

Many successful authors and blog writers advise beginners to write
every day.  They endorse practices like writing at the same time
every day or writing until you reach a certain word count. 
However, this strategy only works for full-time writers.  

Few of us are full-time writers.  Most of us have a million other
tasks that demand our attention.  Freelancers deal with many
different clients at once.  Blog owners have to find appropriate
visuals to accompany posts, reply to comments, engage in social
sharing and much more.  Novelists usually have to work at a "real"
job to survive until they make it big in the literary world.

Therefore, this "write every day" philosophy is flawed.  We are
predestined for failure.  And the occasional slip up has huge

Force yourself to write every day.  Then, the inevitable happens. 
Life gets in the way and you miss a scheduled writing time.  This
seemingly insignificant event sends an important message to your
brain -- this plan won't succeed.

As we've already seen, our brain is driven by a need to assess
plans.  Our mind has evolved to supply us motivation for good plans
and procrastination on bad plans.  

Our brain can't distinguish between abstract plans and specific
plans.  If your specific plan (to write every day) fails, the brain
will sabotage the abstract plan (to finish a writing project).  The
complex planning portion of your brain evaluates the plan and
rejects it as not sound.  Just like charging the mammoth with the
spear, writing every day is not a good plan.  

So why do so many of us -- who aren't full-time writers -- follow
the advice that is destine to make us fail?

Misunderstanding Motivation and Procrastination
Writers subscribe to the "write every day" strategy for one simple
reason: they fear their total output will diminish without a fixed
system to force progress.

Unfortunately, you can't force progress.  You can't beat your brain
into submission -- trying to generate motivation or excitement for
a project when your brain isn't on board is pointless.

Success will only come if your brain believes in both your goal and
the plan for accomplishing the goal.

Professionals say there are three main reasons why people
1.        Fear of being successful and fear of being a failure
2.        An unrelenting quest for perfection
3.        A belief our work isn't good enough

But based on the previously mentioned information, we should add
another reason: your brain doesn't buy into the plan.

Therefore, we should recognize that procrastination is not a
character flaw.  Instead, it is a finely tuned evolutionary
adaptation.  Instead of grieving the situation, learn from it. 
Treat procrastination as a warning sign: your planning skills need
more work.

A Better Alternative
If you are a writer with a day job, it is important to avoid a
rigid writing schedule.  Do not give your brain any inclination
that your writing project -- or any plan associated with it --
could fail.

Instead of writing every day, be more flexible with your
scheduling.  Try a freestyle writing strategy; approach each week
(or even day) as its own scheduling challenge.  

Maybe you write every morning, Monday through Wednesday, but a big
project at work dominates all your free time on Thursday and
Friday.  That's just fine.  Maybe the next week, you write all day
Monday but don't get back to the computer again until Saturday.  No
harm done.  

Embrace reality -- don't fight it.  You have a job and a life. 
Writing can't -- and shouldn't -- dominate your existence.  Focus
on doing as much writing as possible with the most practical

Creating a Freestyle Writing Schedule with SMARTER Goals 
Commit to plans you know you can accomplish.  Focus on strategies
that can succeed and reject anything that might fail.  Keep your
brain motivated and engaged in your writing project.

To do this, you'll need goals.  We've already established a goal of
"write every day" is bad.  So what is a good goal?

First of all, you'll need SMARTER goals - plans that are Specific,
Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Sensitive, Evaluate, and

When writing your goals, make sure they are clear and unambiguous. 
A goal that simply says, "Work on my writing every day," is not
specific enough.  Know exactly what you want to accomplish with
your writing project.  Do you want to finish the first chapter?  Do
you want to write a first draft of a blog post?

You need to have a concrete way of measuring progress.  If your
goal isn't measurable, you won't know if you've accomplished what
you set out to do.  Does writing 100 words suffice?  1,000 words? 
Include the answer to "how much" or "how many" in your goal.

Considering how our brains process complex plans, the "attainable"
portion of your goal writing strategy might be the most important. 
Don't set yourself up for failure.  Instead, your goal should be
realistic.  Expecting to finish 5,000 words per day during the last
week of December isn't realistic.      

Choose a goal that matters.  Ask yourself: does this task seem
worthwhile?  Is this the right time to be working on this
particular writing project?  Is there a better way to spend my time
right now?

Adhering to a freestyle writing schedule requires some flexibility.
 However, you still need to include a deadline in your goal. 
Create a sense of urgency to focus your efforts and keep you on
track -- without inflicting too much structure.   

Identify a half-way point where you can evaluate your progress. 
Plan a time before your deadline to check the effectiveness of the
original goal. Where you specific enough or do you need to narrow
your focus even more?  Does your goal still seem attainable?  Has
the relevancy changed?  Did you set a realistic time-table?  If it
looks like your goal isn't going to yield results, make some
necessary changes.  Set yourself up for success.

While writing might be our passion, it can sometimes lose its
appeal.  Sometimes we aren't writing just for the love of writing
-- sometimes we are writing to earn money or fulfill an obligation.
 In these instances, we might lack enthusiasm.  If simply finishing
the project doesn't motivate you to write, plan a different reward.
 For example, if you meet your goal on time you get to buy that
pair of shoes you've had your eye on.  Or, you get to go to the
basketball game with your friends.

Once you have your list of SMARTER goals, prioritize them.  Which
ones need your attention right away?  Are any of your goals
prerequisites for others?

The term freestyle writing suggests a fair amount of freedom. 
While that is true to some extent, you still need a bit of
structure.  Without goals, you'll flounder aimlessly.    
Writing plans that are deployed in isolation will lead to
procrastination at the first sign of trouble.  Instead, choose
clear goals that you know you can accomplish.  Be flexible -- not
rigid -- when it comes to crafting a writing schedule.    

Steve Aedy is a big fan of freestyle writing. After 3 years of
freelancing and ghostwriting for a variety of businesses he finally
landed a job at FreshEssays as their content manager and research
specialist. Working for an essay writing service is not what he
sees himself doing for the rest of his rockstar life, and in his
spare time he rocks in a local band. He wrote over 200 articles,
and interestingly enough, songs on social media, education,
freelancing and writing topics. Find more about Steve on Google+.
Copyright 2013 Steve Aedy

Link to this article here: 

For more advice about setting goals for your writing here: 


THE INQUIRING WRITER:   ISBN for Self-Published Books

By Dawn Copeman

Last month we had a question Eileen in Vermont, who wanted to know,
"When self publishing a poetry book HOW does the poet apply for an
ISBN please?"

For those of you who are unsure, ISBN stands for International
Standard Book Number.  It is a 13-digit number found on the back
cover and inside cover of books.  The ISBN is used internationally.

Barbara G. Tarn replied with a very comprehensive answer.  She
wrote: "First of all, you don't need an ISBN on most online
retailers. If you really want one for your book, remember you're
supposed to have a different number for each 'edition'(print,
e-book mobi, and e-book e-pub), so that's at least 3 for each
title. But Amazon doesn't use them and neither do others.

"If you're American, go to 
http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/index.asp - if
not, Google 'ISBN' for your home country.

"Personally, I've never bought an ISBN yet, only used the free ones
available.  In the past 2 and a half years I have published 50+
titles (from short story to novel length) and I would have gone
bankrupt if I'd bought ISBNs for each and every one... :)

"On CreateSpace you can have a free one, it's the same on
Smashwords and Kobo Writing Life gives its own ISBN to its e-pub,

"Google for more, but a lot is answered here:
Thank you, Barbara, for your excellent answer.  You covered all the
bases. There are, however, a few further points that need to be

If you intend to sell your book via a bookstore or via online
retailers like Amazon, you will need an ISBN. 

As Barbara said, you do, indeed, need an ISBN for each version of
the book you produce.  Versions are Kindle books, ePubs (as for
Nooks), pdfs, audio books and print books.  The good news is,
however, that as authors are producing more versions of what is
essentially the same book, this policy is currently under review
and might well be amended soon. 

If you make any changes to your book, other than correcting typos,
you will need to buy a new ISBN, as it is a 'new' book (or new
edition). Therefore, you must make sure that your book is ready to
publish and you are completely happy with its content and layout
before you purchase an ISBN. 

If you do decide to opt for a free ISBN, bear in mind that free
ISBNs do not list you the author as the publisher; they list the
company that issued you with the free ISBN as the publisher of the
work.  That is something that you might want to bear in mind. For
example, if you use a free ISBN from CreateSpace, CreateSpace is
the official publisher, not you.

How to get an ISBN
In the US you can only buy ISBNs from http://www.myidentifiers.com,
a site run by Bowkers.  You can buy 1, 10, 100 or 1000 ISBNs.  At
the moment a single ISBN costs $125, and a pack of 10 costs $250.  

In the UK you can only buy ISBNs in packs of 10, which currently
cost £126. You need to obtain them from NeilsenBook. 

In Canada ISBNs are free!  The process of getting an ISBN in Canada
is, however, quite convoluted, but this blog post explains it all: 

In Australia, you purchase ISBNS from
https://www.myidentifiers.com.au/.  A single ISBN costs A$42, or
you can buy 10 for A$84. 

For other countries around the world, I suggest you visit this
handy ISBN information page: 
Please note that having an ISBN for your book does not copyright
it.  The ISBN is simply a means of having your book identified in
databases and by libraries.  

For more advice on self-publishing check out our archives here: 

I hope this helps.  Now this month's question comes from Suzanne. 
She wrote: "I've been working with computers since the 80's, so
I've worked with glaring screens, new 'developments' in ergonomics,
and new gadgets to combat RSI over the years.  I can't say that I
was affected much by eye strain or RSI, but now I find that my eyes
are getting tired more quickly and that no matter how I adjust my
work-station, I get back ache and aching shoulders.  

"I've read that many bloggers are now using standing desks.  Do
they really work?  Is it worth while changing my entire workspace
or is this yet another 'gadget' or 'fad' like we've seen before? 

"Any tips other writers might have for how they keep themselves
healthy while they work would be appreciated."

Do you use a 'standing desk'?  Has it helped you?  Or do you use
other gadgets or techniques to keep healthy while you work?  If you
can help Suzanne, please send me an email with the subject line
"Inquiring Writer" to editorial@writing-world.com. 

You can use the same address for any questions you would like to
put to our community. 

Until next time, 



Copyright Dawn Copeman 2013

Dawn Copeman is a British freelance writer, copywriter and eBook
ghost-writer who has published over 300 articles on the topics of
travel, cookery, history, health and writing. An experienced
commercial freelancer, Dawn contributed several chapters on
commercial writing to Moira Allen's Starting Your Career as a
Freelance Writer (2nd Edition). She edits the Writing World
newsletter and can be contacted at editorial "at" writing-world.com
and at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dawncopeman
This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained.  

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Photo Attorney
This blog is useful for writers as well as photographers, offering
information on photography issues and copyright law, and how to
deal with infringements.  Of special note is its section on how to
file a notice with an ISP to have material removed that infringes
upon your copyright.

Digital Photography School
This site is aimed at all levels of digital photographer, including
the absolute beginner, and is packed with tutorials including such
topics as food photography, landscapes and taking portraits - all
handy stuff if you want to supply the photos to accompany your

This is a fun site that could be useful too.  It contains a handy
thesaurus that not only acts as a normal thesaurus but also
provides rhyming words too.  In addition it has a blog post
generator, to come up with ideas for blog posts and a fun story
plot generator.  If you are struck with a block, head for this site.


To Win" features over 1600 contest listings for writers worldwide. 
The current edition has more than 450 NEW listings.  You won't find
a more comprehensive guide to writing contests anywhere.  Available 
in print and Kindle editions.
Print: https://www.createspace.com/3778183
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B007C98OUA/peregrine


This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless 
otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers. 
For a guide to nearly 1600 writing contests throughout the 
world, see Moira Allen's book, "Writing to Win: The Colossal 
Guide to Writing Contests"
DEADLINE: October 1, 2013
GENRE:  Poetry
DETAILS: Submit 1 - 3 poems on the addressing the culture and
consequences of war and social injustice in America. 
PRIZE: $200 and publication 
URL:  http://www.consequencemagazine.org/

DEADLINE: October 15, 2013
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS: 1-2 poems that mention frogs, salamanders, newts, toads,
caecilians, amphibians, and/or Save the Frogs!  Open to all ages.   
PRIZE: $100 
URL: http://www.savethefrogs.com/poetry/index.html#submit  

DEADLINE:  October 31, 2013
OPEN TO: Authors over 40 with no previously published books.
GENRE:  Books
DETAILS:  Submit the first 30 pages of unpublished book, or entire
published book.
PRIZE:  £4000  
URL:  http://www.societyofauthors.org/mckitterick
DEADLINE:November 15, 2013
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS: 1-2 poems, each poem not to exceed one page in length, on
the Jewish Experience (irrespective of author's ethnicity or
religious affiliation)  
PRIZE: $3,000 in prizes, divided between 1-3 winners and Honorable
URL: http://www.poeticamagazine.com/adrpaward.htm
DEADLINE: November 15, 2013 
GENRE:   Short Stories
DETAILS:  Creative nonfiction set in Brooklyn, New York, and
renders the borough's "rich soul and intangible qualities through
the writer's actual experiences."  2,500 words maximum.
PRIZES: $500 
URL:  http://www.filmbrooklyn.org/  - click on Brooklyn Film and
Art Blog.

DEADLINE: November 30, 2013
GENRE: Short Stories
OPEN TO: Citizens aged 18+ of any Commonwealth country
DETAILS: Previously unpublished stories of between 2000 and 5000
PRIZES: £5000
URL: http://tinyurl.com/bl54ej6   

AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

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Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com) 
Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com) 

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