Monday, December 22, 2014

Midway Review—INTO THE FIRE (BIRTH OF THE PHOENIX)

Note: a midway review is one you write when you started a book you’re so excited about that you can’t wait to discuss it, even though you haven’t finished reading it. Unfortunately, I had to stop reading this gem to work. But I couldn’t wait to tell you how good it is so far.

INTO THE FIRE, written by Ashelyn Drake, aka Kelly Hashway, and published by Month9 Books, grabs the reader with a firm grip.

Cara is a phoenix, and she’s falling in love at the worst time imaginable, right before her rebirth. Once reborn, she’ll forget having ever met Logan, let alone that she had loved him.

The book is fast-paced, the dialogue is consistent, and the tension never lets up, at least not so far. (I’m not quite halfway through it.) I’ve got so many questions in my brain, and I can’t wait to find out the answers. For instance, who is the Hunter and why is he or she after them? How will they fight the Hunter? Does the Hunter have unique powers?

Another question concerns the number of lives each phoenix gets. If I’m understanding the book so far, with their rebirths, phoenixes get five lives. Cara, 17, is nearing her first rebirth, and her younger brother, Jeremy, has just undergone his. This made me think phoenixes live between 85 and 100 years, just like regular people; starting out so young with the first rebirth, it’s easy to assume that the next one will be 15 to 17 years later, and so on. So, you see where my math is going. But then Cara’s mother mentioned that phoenixes live to be around 500 years old. I got confused, thinking that each life should then be about 100 years, multiplied by the five lives they get.

Yet that doesn’t make sense if Cara and Jeremy are already experiencing their first rebirths. But the math is just one more question I’m anxious to get to the bottom of once I have read the full book.

Phoenixes are part bird, but they don’t have wings or beaks or anything like that. I’m wondering what their connection to birds is, and how that will come to play in this novel. I can’t wait to find out. I’m also wondering about Cara’s powers with fire. I’m anxious to learn why she has these powers, when she will be able to control them, what she can or will do with them, and what other powers she might have. So you see, I have multiple questions lined up from reading the first third of the book, which is why it’s really frustrating to put it down. But you can bet I’ll be staying up late tonight. When a novel raises questions almost page after page, a reader can’t help but want to devour the book in one gulp; and yes, I am assuming the rest of the book will be as good as the start. Have you read it? Did you like it?

Happy reading!

Friday, December 19, 2014

MIDDLE GRADE WONDERS—Book Review on THE DIRT DIARY

With a title like that—THE DIRT DIARY—who wouldn’t read this book (published by Sourcebooks, Inc., 2014)? Anna Staniszewski, author, has done a magnificent job of creating a wacky yet serious character, Rachel, an eighth grader whose hokey expressions stick to your brain long after you’re done reading the book. I found only one morsel of disappointment: I would’ve liked to find a tad more dirt in that diary, or dirtier dirt that brings a little more catastrophe. But that’s me. I never had a dirt diary, and I’m probably feeling a bit deprived. All in all, getting to know Rachel and her friends, as well as her foes, was truly a joy. The book has secrets, heartbreak, romance, and humor—a great mix.

Creating her own dirty little secrets, Rachel learns the hard way about friendship and life in a most delightful way. Tension and pacing never falter, so I couldn’t put the book down. I’d recommend this novel to anyone, middle grade, young adult, or old geezer. I’ll definitely be reading more of this author’s work.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Though I've Been Absent, I've Not Been Bored!


Below is the blog article I was working on last fall and planning to post on Sept. 3, 2014. You know what they say—the best made plans. Before I got the article posted, pneumonia came knocking on my door. Not just once, killing the rest of September, but it came back for another short visit in October. Needless to say, the rest of October and November was spent catching up on all the duties needing done and mentioned in the following article. So, now you know why this post is a bit late. I promise I’ll try to do better in the near future.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Those of you familiar with my yearly schedule know I don't take on editing projects for clients during the summer months, and I seldom blog. During these gone-too-fast months, my husband and I participate in art/craft shows often. He loves to build benches and cabinets, and I love to give them the look of aged heirlooms, or just paint them in a fun and lively finish. If we counted correctly, we created 102 new items this season, and I, at least, have the exhaustion to prove it.

I also love to paint a few oil landscapes or pet portraits each year, sometimes on canvas, sometimes saw blades, sometimes on the back of a wooden bench. Regardless, I find myself painting from morning to night during parts of the summer, and with as much dedication as I give my writing and editing. I love the way colors swished around this way and that can bring a world into view.
 

I generally still manage to keep up a minimum of one paragraph of writing per day or even one page per day; and when I don’t, I make up for it when my husband takes our visiting grandkids to the park.

Some of our grandkids spend a few weeks with us every summer, so we take them to swimming lessons. This is something we always look forward to. We pack a lot of other fun into these short weeks, too—town festivals, carnival rides, and birthday parties.


 

Other good news that came about this summer was an addition to our family—our youngest granddaughter, Joella.

We got through some sadness, the death of a friend’s husband and the near death of a former relative; but many appreciated prayers of hope and love were shared with their families to make these times a little more bearable.

Now September is here once again. I have five editing jobs in the queue, three book reviews to write, a bimonthly commissioned writing job, two picture books to finish, a few (ahem, strong few) novels to finish, short stories to polish, oodles of books to read, two antique sewing machines and one industrial machine to recondition, grandkids to see and life to live. I’m excited. Still, the best part of each day is snuggling alongside handsome hubby, the lights low and TV on, snacks close by, and a shared sigh and feeling of satisfaction that we made it through another day.

How was your summer?

 

 

 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

GUEST AUTHOR C. LEE MCKENZIE ON PUBLISHING, TRADITIONAL AND INDIE!


Deb asked me to address some questions that might help others when they go through the publishing process the first time. I think this is a great idea. I could have used some answers from those who preceded me, but I was so new to writing and publishing fiction that I didnt even know what to ask.

Anyway, here are my answers to Debs Questions  

 Question: What was it like going through the various stages of editing?

My first and second young adult books (Sliding on the Edge and The Princess of LasPulgas) were traditionally published, and I was fortunate to have a fantastic editor for both. She had twenty-eight years of experience in the publishing business, and she was a published author whom they hired to acquire and edit books for them. She suggested one change in the structure of the novel Sliding on the Edge, which I did because it was a great suggestion and because she knew what she was doing. Also the change was a matter of writing an Epilogue, which took me only about half an hour because I knew exactly what it had to say. Why I didnt write it before is a mystery to me, but as I already explained, I was very much the novice.

With these two books, I did three rounds of line edits using Track Changes. The goal was to have no comments left in the document. For Sliding on the Edge, I estimate I spent a total of 30 hours stretched over two weeks. Its hard to tell exactly how much time I spent on this, because I had questions, and after asking them, I had to wait until the editor got back to me. With The Princess of Las Pulgas there were only a few edits and they took about three hours in one sittingwell, I took some short breaks. Between communications with her, I remember a lot of waiting and worrying. But I do that about anything Im uncertain about.

With Alligators Overhead, the book I published on my own, Id asked an editor friend to do the final edits for me, but she was called away on an emergency, so I foolishly did those final edits myself. The first edition had errors, and I was horrified. I quickly fixed those, but hated that my first Indie book initially went out with at least ten typos. Never again. If I go Indie for another book, it will be professionally edited up to the publication.

Question: Id like to know how you went about deciding on a cover, or did your publisher help you with that, too? Did they find you the artist for the cover, or were you on your own?

For my first traditionally published book, the publisher chose the artist and then sent me three concepts for the cover. I asked friends and family to weigh in, and we all chose the same one. Personally, I love my cover. Sliding on the Edge has the idea of a girl in crisis and alone. It has the horses and the rural setting of the story. Its not sexy or glam like some YA fiction, but the story isnt a sexy one, and the only glam in it is a beautiful horse, so the cover made sense to me. For The Princess of Las Pulgas, the publisher presented the cover already chosen. I had no input.

Question: What headaches did you suffer, what surprises came up, and what, if anything, went easier than you expected?

The editing was a bit boring, but I did it chunks. I had to chunk it because if I didnt, Id make more mistakes. I estimate my on-task time for each editing period was about an hour. Then Id take a break. Choosing the cover was painless. The whole pre-publishing process was relatively easy. It was the post-publishing process that gave me headaches.

During my debut launch, Sliding on the Edge didnt arrive in time for a major bookstore event. Then when book two was published, I arranged to present a paper at a Florida National Council of Teachers of English, so I could sign The Princess of Las Pulgas. Those books didnt arrive, so I wound up signing Sliding.

One thing most new authors should expect is to pay for a lot of travel expenses. As it was, I didnt mind paying to go to this event because I wanted to go and had planned to anyway. The issue was that the publisher didnt support me as an author who was just starting out.

To read more about that experience, see THE WRITE GAME. So, I guess you could say this was the time the real headaches happened, and I was constantly surprised by the publishers choices. They wouldnt do a paperback or an eBook. The only format they made available was a hardcopy. They wouldn't create the Look Inside feature that Amazon has as a marketing tool. My hands were tied until I asked for and got my rights back.

 Question: What did they tell you might be your sales outlook/projection (or do they
stay out of that), and do they offer any promotion help or at least ideas?

Their job is to choose titles they think will sell, so I assume they had confidence that my book would appeal to their readers because they paid me a healthy advance for each book. PW would say my advances were good, especially for a new author. This publisher was going for a contemporary/realistic niche in the market. They didnt do speculative or dystrophic fiction, so I think they hoped to carve out sales from those who weren't interested in angels and fairies and zombies. I had nothing to do with sales projections, but a lot to do with marketing. I just didnt understand how much at the outset. It was never stated how much or exactly what I was expected to do. The publisher suggested I hop on Facebook and Twitter, and that was about it.

When I realized I had much more work to do if I expected Sliding on the Edge to do anything, I contacted bookstores, libraries, and local schools. My best support came from my local newspaper, and articles they printed netted me several book signings in my town. Later those book signings led to annual writing workshops and high school visits. I was building my network in person, while I was building it online. This paid off for my second and third books, because I had the contacts and they emailed me to visit their schools or appear at book signings.

The publisher held two book signings for me. The one in Florida that Ive already mentioned and a second signing in L.A. at the ALA Conference. In L.A. they had a booth, and I met many authors in person that I had only contacted via social media. It was a good experience in that I visited a lot of different publishing houses and got a sense of their books and their style.

Question: How much time goes into your own marketing of your books, and is it more or less than you expected, and how much time does that leave for writing?

With book one, I was unprepared for marketing and all that it required. I blogged a bit and I signed up for Facebook and Goodreads (which still confuses the heck out of me). I even started Tweeting, something that baffles my family. You do what?

But I was behind the learning curve on marketing, so I didnt do a great job, and I was hacking away at book two, The Princess of Las Pulgas, so what had been a wonderful writing experience with book one, turned into a real job with this second one. I was up at four in the morning to write until at least seven, then doing social media and trying to find time for the rest of my life. Sleep would have been nice.

Question: What would you do differently in the future?

I would be more savvy at marketing. I would spend more time building my network of followers and concentrate on how I want to be seen by readers. I think I would invest in a truly good marketing firm. But realistically, back then when I was dealing with book one, I didnt know if Id sell that book. I was paddling in a very large sea without a clue about how deep it was or how far I might go. It seemed ill advised to spend so much money before I had an inkling about how my book would be received. With book two Id at least found a paddle for that boat and I had something of a following online. I was being asked to contribute to anthologies, so I did that and I garnered more attention for this second book. I paid for two ads on FB (they did nothing for my sales). I did a giveaway on Goodreads and started getting good reviews. Id do more on Goodreads if I had it to do again.

Since that first publisher, Ive already moved through a different publishing experience. As I said, with my middle grade novel, Alligators Overhead, I went Indie and used Outskirts Press. I chose them based on a friends recommendation. They provided editing (this was about the same experience as with the traditional publisher), interiors (dingbats and fonts to enhance the look of the page) that were interesting, photo galleries for me to choose the basic cover, then they had artists enhance the cover to suit my story. You have marketing options with them as well.

The downside is its expensive, but the upside is that when you dont know anything about how to publish a book, you can learn. I didnt have time to do everything myself, so Outskirts Press was a solution at the time.

My third young adult book has just been accepted by a small press, Evernight Teen. So this next experience will be different again.

Double Negative will come out as an eBook, then if sales support it, they will do a POD paperback. I like this idea and it makes me think this publisher has a smart business plan.

They have a strong social media presence, and they will help with sending the book out to reviewers. They will also contact bloggers and do some online promo which looks like giveaways and contests linked to some of their other books.

I will do a blog tour on my own, and Ive already started asking for help. Since the pub date is July, Im scrambling to pull everything together fast. Fortunately, I now know a little more about what marketing is expected of me and how to do it.

While theyve suggested some marketing strategies, theyve not given me a specific must do list outside of posting their logo on my website, visiting their FB page for authors regularly and contacting reviewers.

I just completed the editing process. Again, they use Track Changes and there were few edits, mostly at punctuation level. I seem to forget commas pretty regularly.

See C. Lee McKenzie at http://cleemckenziebooks.com/


C. Lee McKenzie is a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places, then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she lives with her family and miscellaneous pets. She writes most of the time, gardens and hikes and does yoga a lot, and then travels whenever she can. 

She takes on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives, came out in 2010. Her short stories appear in the anthologies, The First Time and Two and Twenty Dark Tales. In 2012, her first middle grade novel, Alligators Overhead, came out. This year Double Negative, her young adult story about a functionally illiterate teen, will be out as an eBook.

 

 


 
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

GUEST AUTHOR JORDAN McCOLLUM on WHY I REJECTED MY PUBLISHER



If you’ve poked around my site or been a subscriber for a while, you might remember that in November 2011, I received an offer of publication from a regional publisher, with a 2013 anticipated release….Like any publishing offer, it was a long time coming.
 
Three years and two weeks after I started the novel. Two years after I submitted it to the same publishing house the first time (obviously they rejected it, and with good reason). Eighteen months after an editor at the publishing company told me not to bother resubmitting the revised, newly-award-winning manuscript. Almost nine months after I went ahead and did it anyway.
 
I got the good news at a writers’ retreat and I was so excited to share with my friends there. After seeing other friends have contracts fall through, I’d always vowed that I wouldn’t make any announcements until after the contract was signed. But the contract would be months in coming….
 
While we waited on that contract, they assigned me an editor, who happened to be someone I’ve wanted to work with for a long time. They asked me for the “final” submitted version of my manuscript (although editing was at least a year away). They requested an author photo, then a release from my amazing photographer. They needed tax documents. I got it all turned in.
 
Finally, the contract came in the mail. I held my breath as I opened that big white envelope and read through those pages with my publisher’s name and mine. And I cried.
 
But they weren’t tears of joy.
 
…With a friend’s recommendation, I consulted with a lawyer who specializes in contract disputes and intellectual property law. He spent looong billable hours reading the contract and writing me an extremely thorough analysis. And, yeah, it was as bad as I feared.
 
Worse.

The deal breaker

In the olden days (ten years ago), a book had a fairly short lifespan: a few months to make or break its print run, languish on the shelves a few more months, then the bargain bin, then it went out of print. After a certain period of time “out of print,” the rights to the book reverted to the author. Hundreds of authors who had trade published books revert to them now have those same books for sale forever as ebooks.
 
Naturally, I was very worried about the possibility of a book never being declared “out of print” because the publisher had an ebook version on the “shelves.” I might never get the rights to my backlist back unless the publisher was feeling very generous. (We actually did reach a minor compromise on this issue, for shared rights.)
 
But my lawyer was more concerned with another issue, one that I was anticipating, but didn’t think it would be as bad as the reality. The contract demanded the right of first refusal on basically everything I might write for the next 21 years. If I submitted any work anywhere else, it would be deemed accepted by this publisher, and contractually obligated to them first. There was no timeline in the original contract, meaning they could spend three years sitting on my manuscript, before granting me one year to try to find someone else to take it (after which the time frame and rejection process would start over).
….
After consulting with my lawyer on how best to proceed with negotiations, I did what I could….I offered options, options I knew other authors had gotten added to their contracts with this company, and options I knew other publishers used. I gave some, and they gave a little.
 
Ultimately, however, they wouldn’t budge on the most important issue. They did tell me that if I had a book under contract with another publishing house, they’d revise that ROFR clause (of necessity). I didn’t. My contract with this publisher went on hold while I pursued publication for another book. My editor left publishing for law school. I took my publication year, 2013, off my blog and social media profiles. Then the publisher’s name.

The emotional side

Yes, I did cry when I read the contract the first time. But when it came down to it, this was a business decision. There was no way I could sign over control of my entire career for more than two decades. Even if this was to be my one and only chance, if it came down to a choice between never, ever publishing a book, or taking that contract as it stood, I would rather never publish….

The end

I spent literally years holding out for a better contract. I self-published that second novel I wrote since receiving the offer and the novella and a sequel to each. Both novels were named finalists for the most prestigious award in that regional market (being 2 out of 5 of the finalists). Even after all that, I sent a final message to the publisher. I told them I didn’t want to burn any bridges, but I would need to see changes to these clauses of the contract.
 
They said no.
 
So I said no.
 
I did the unthinkable: I walked away from a publishing contract. I rejected my publisher and published myself. I didn’t (and don’t) need a publisher to turn out top caliber books or even get them to bookstores. I didn’t have to sacrifice my control over my career, my vision for my books or my artistic integrity. It was nice to have the external validation of a publishing offer, but in the end, I didn’t need them to share my stories, and the costs of using their services instead of contracting my own far exceeded the benefits, especially when it came to my career….
 
An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can’t resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. In her day job, she coerces people to do things they don’t want to, elicits information and generally manipulates the people she loves most—she’s a mom.
 
See more on this topic at Jordan’s site, which is one of my favorite blogs to read.

Jordan holds a degree in American Studies and Linguistics from Brigham Young University. When she catches a spare minute, her hobbies include reading, knitting and music. She lives with her husband and four children in Utah.

 
Because she’s a true professional, Jordan refrained from naming the publisher in this article, as her intent is not to punish the publisher, but rather, to make a point: “Authors need to be careful of contracts and guard their rights, and be willing to walk away from a publisher who won’t do that.”
 
 
To save her secrets and her country, CIA operative Talia Reynolds must sacrifice the man she loves. I, SPY, 2013 Whitney Award Finalist
 
CIA operative Talia Reynolds's new boss is her ex-boyfriend. And that's just the beginning of her problems. SPY FOR A SPY, 2013 Whitney Award Finalist
 
 

 

 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

ANALYZING PICTURE BOOKS—THE BEST BOOK TO READ


THE BEST BOOK TO READ was written by Debbie Bertram and Susan Bloom, published by Dragonfly Books, 2008, and illustrated by one of my favorites, Michael Garland. The book has approximately 420 words spread over fourteen out of twenty-five pages. Six pages have four lines of text, seven pages have five lines, and one page has six lines.

THE BEST BOOK TO READ opens with a beautiful picture of a school bus dropping a line of children off at the library, so it starts right where the story is to begin—at the library. There is no time wasted showing a character anxious to go to the library.

The first line has two short sentences, “Hooray,” and “It’s a trip to the library today.” Note the rhyme in hooray and today. The next sentence ends in the word bus, which rhymes with the word used in the last line on the page, two lines (but three short sentences) down.

On the third line, two sentences end in rhyme. “We’ve been specially invited. Our class is excited.”

The next page also utilizes rhyme, but not in the first sentence. The second line rhymes with the fourth line, and the third line rhymes with the fifth.

The variation of rhyme placement intrigued me, first annoyingly and then with appreciation. The words on the second page follow a different rhyming pattern than that of the previous page—no rhyme in the first line, but the second and fifth lines end in rhyme, and the third and fourth lines end in rhyme.

Changing up the rhyme placement in this book makes it read more like a story rather than sing-songy verses, because we quickly see that we can’t stick to any specific pattern for the rhymes.

I have to admit that because rhymes on different pages fell in a sequence that didn’t follow a previous sequence, I sometimes tripped on reading in any lyrical way at all.

But the story itself is entertaining. Different pages show what different books are about, one on bugs, one on baking cakes or desserts, one on magic tricks, and another on dinosaurs, and some on other topics. This is a wonderful way to show a child that there is truly a “best book” for every youngster, regardless of different likes. Personally, I’d have to choose THE MAGIC TRICKS by Harry Huckster. I was disappointed to look for this one on Amazon only to see that it doesn’t exist—the titles are made up. I guess I would’ve figured that out had I been interested in the book, MAKE IT YOURSELF, by Martha Muffins, or the book about dogs written by Professor Barker. But I thought Harry Huckster might be a neat pen or stage name by a real author and magician.

I don’t think this will be a problem for children, because each book covers a different interest, and there will be real books on the same topic that grandparents can check out for their little darlings, perhaps some with just as beautiful of pictures.

Michael Garland’s illustrations are animated in such a way as to give life to what’s going on in some of the make-believe books shown, such as showing a boy magician holding a hat with a rabbit jumping out of it. THE BEST BOOK TO READ will definitely entice children to want to make a trip to the library, so, grandparents, I suggest only reading it when you have the spare time to venture downtown.

Just as it would happen in real life, a few children in the story want the same book. The authors address the problem right away, mentioning that often libraries have more than one copy of certain books.

There is also an illustration showing children raising their hands, everyone who wants a library card. I would’ve liked something either said or shown in the illustration about the excitement the children feel when they hold that new card—shiny and smooth—for the first time. I know my kids felt important having their very own library cards.

Still, this is a good picture book and one we can learn from. The neat thing is that children will learn something too, and yet it doesn’t feel or read like any sort of lesson at all.

The same authors wrote THE BEST PLACE TO READ, which was published in 2003 by Dragonfly Books. This first book also used the same illustrator, Michael Garland. The same style is used, but this first book shows a main character traipsing through the house room by room, looking for the best place to read. The table is sticky, springs poke through Grandpa’s chair, and big sister’s stereo makes another room too noisy. Finally, (and adorably), the child settles on Mom’s lap. What a nice and realistic way to settle the dilemma.

Consider the rhyme placement in your picture book and question yourself on the reason behind the decision. Do you want the listener to focus mostly on the lyrical beat, or do you want that focus shared more equally with story content and plot?

Happy writing!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

THE WRITE PATH!


This isn’t really late for “The Write Path” submission. I emailed mine directly to Carrie Butler when it was due, but then I had a few people ask me why I didn’t post my article. So here it is.

 
The Write Path

One lesson I tripped on along the way to publication still haunts me. I submitted to a magazine that seemed a good home for one of my stories. This was back in the day when simultaneous submissions were an invitation to get yourself blackballed from a trusting publisher. Nowadays, as long as you disclose that a manuscript is a simultaneous submission, it’s fine.

 It didn’t turn out fine for me twelve years ago. I never informed the publisher my story was a simultaneous submission, because initially, it wasn’t. I submitted the story to them alone. However, having not heard from them a year and a half later, I decided to remarket the story. I wanted to do it right. Following etiquette, I sent a note requesting that my story be withdrawn from their consideration.

I had no way of knowing their acceptance letter crossed in the mail with my request. Unfortunately, the publisher had already sent my story to press when my notice arrived, and she was upset. It was too late to stop the presses. I received a heated phone call. Yes, I apologized.

Eighteen months is a long time to wait, so what should I have done? The professional thing would have been to send a status inquiry at least once before ever sending a notice to withdraw the submission. Had I sent a simple note stating that I’d like to keep the story in circulation if they weren’t interested, and politely requested that they let me know how much more time they needed, the end result would have been better.

They would’ve informed me they’d already sent a letter of acceptance. And if they hadn’t sent one yet at the time they received my inquiry, they at least would have been aware I wanted a decision made soon. Perhaps they would’ve told me that they needed only a couple more weeks to make sure they had room for the story before formally accepting it.

My story was published, and because I’d sent the story to another publisher the same day I sent the first a notice to withdraw, I immediately let the second publisher know the story had already been accepted elsewhere.

When I received my free copy of the publication featuring my story, disappointment deflated any excitement I could’ve had. A few necessary words had been omitted from the first paragraph, leaving an unclear meaning in a verb-less mess. I tried to convince myself the omission wasn’t a last-minute decision to pay me back for putting them under stress, but occasionally I’ve had doubts. On the other hand, publishers take pride in the magazines they put out, so it’s unlikely there was any malicious intent. Still, because of that butchered paragraph, I’ve never whipped out that magazine for any bragging rights, nor have I dared submitting to them again.

The best thing to do, whether submitting to a print publication or an online journal, is to tell the editor or publisher upfront if your story is a simultaneous submission. If you feel you should have received a response by a given date and you haven’t, send a polite inquiry before you even think about withdrawing your piece.

They may have put time into pre-publication preparations just to make sure they could fit your story into available space before they let you know whether or not they could accept it. Just as you don’t want your time wasted, don’t waste theirs. No one should have to wait eighteen months, but if you do, then go the extra step to send out an inquiry before you make a rash decision. It beats kicking yourself later.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

HELP US WIN FREE PIZZA!!!



My grandson was selected by a local car dealership for the Cutest Kid Contest. The winner gets a free pizza and pool party. To help us out and vote for him, log in to Facebook and go to the website below to "Like" the photo of him. Please share with friends and family!   

 


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