Source: Original infographic from WinePress of Words.
What is World Book Night?
World Book Night’s mission is to inspire people who don’t regularly read, or have access to printed books, to sit down and read a great book by giving them one of 30 carefully chosen titles… for free. The books are chosen by a panel of librarians and booksellers, and this year they include:
The books’ authors waive their royalties and the books’ publishers pay the production costs of specially-printed World Book Night editions. Bookstores and libraries come onboard as community host centers for the 25,000 volunteer book givers who will be distributing half a million free books.
There are going to be twenty-eight simultaneous World Book Night Kick-Off Events around the United States on the evening of Monday, April 22, featuring this year's WBN authors. One of the anchor events will be Ann Patchett and James Patterson appearing together at Parnassus Books in Nashville that evening. A map of all the events can be found HERE.
While it's too late to become an official volunteer book giver for this year's event, it's not too late to choose to participate in a way that feels good to you.
What can YOU give away (or do) to support readers
and writers on World Book Night--April 23rd?
Here are some possiblities. You can:
To Celebrate World Book Night I'm Giving Away
Free Book Coaching for writers!
(this is now closed)
In fact, I'm giving away free coaching in FOUR different ways...
So please leave your book writing (or book promotion) question in the comments section below for a chance to receive some free book coaching.
-- While the free book coaching contest has ended, suggestions of what you'd like to me address on WritingSpirit are always aprreciated.
What are YOU doing to celebrate World Book Night?
I got my first "O: The Oprah Magazine" in the mail today, and on the cover it says, "Tame Your To-Do List: Expert Advice on Making it Shorter, Smarter, Easier."
Oprah is so right. Making your To-Do List more manageable should be the #1 task on everyone's To-Do List, especially writers.
One of the biggest obstacles I see so many writers face is the feeling of overwhelm. As you juggle various writing projects, platform building, book promotion, blogging, social media, family, and the many other joys and obligations of life, it can literally make your head spin.
For the last two years my To-Do List has been more than overflowing with tasks related to the book, Your Ultimate Life Plan, by Dr. Jennifer Howard. I helped write the book proposal, edit the book, and now I'm on her book promotion team. Add all that to my own writing projects and there's always SO MUCH TO DO!!!!
So here's my expert advice, based on many years of grappling with To-Do Lists that fill page after page after page after page.
If it feels like you have 1000 things to do and only a small amount of time to do them in, and your head starts spinning, take a deep breath and...
To be clear, I don't mean for you to put "write my book" on your Top 3 List. Break all your large goals into smaller goals--bite-sized chunks you can get done within the amount of time you have to work today--so instead of "write my book," put, "write introduction" or "write 2nd section of 3rd chapter."
Writing down and organizing ALL of your writing and book related tasks, makes it easier to get everything done, because it lessens your sense of overwhelm and confusion, helps you focus in on and get specific about what needs to be done for your current project (as well as for your long-term goals), and gives you a step-by-step action plan that helps you move steadily forward.There will always be a lot, often too much, to do. Yet, in any given moment, you can only do one thing at a time—what’s right in front of you. Your Top 3 List might take you a day or more to complete, or you could go through several in a day. Either way, with only three things to do instead of fifty, it doesn't feel so overwhelming.
Multitasking divides your focus, and dilutes your energy. It’s better to give whatever you’re working on your undivided attention, even when you’re juggling several writing projects, or are doing marketing as well as writing. When you're fully focused on the task at hand, it goes more quickly and easily, and you’re more likely to finish it. You'll be more efficient and effective this way—and get a lot more done.
Other productivity posts you might be interested in:
- Throw Away Your TO DO List and Get More Done!
- How to Write Daily (or Meet Whatever Writing Goal You Set) More Easily
To learn more about Dr. Howard's wonderful book, Your Ultimate Life Plan, and read two free chapters, go to:
On September 19, 2012, Senate Resolution #565 supporting the designation of October 20, 2012, as the "National Day on Writing," was submitted to the U.S. Senate, considered, and agreed to by Unanimous Consent.
Here is the text of the Resolution, which I think is pretty amazing--I love every "whereas!" This can be found at the Library of Congress:
112TH CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES
2D SESSION S. RES. 565
Expressing support for the designation of October 20, 2012,
as the ‘‘National Day on Writing."
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
SEPTEMBER 19, 2012
Mr. CASEY (for himself, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. SANDERS, Mr. BROWN of Ohio, and Mr. AKAKA) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:
Expressing support for the designation of October 20, 2012, as the ‘‘National Day on Writing."
Whereas people in the 21st century are writing more than ever before for personal, professional, and civic purposes;
Whereas the social nature of writing invites people of every age, profession, and walk of life to create meaning through composing;
Whereas more and more people in every occupation deem writing as essential and influential in their work;
Whereas writers continue to learn how to write for different purposes, audiences, and occasions throughout their lifetimes;
Whereas developing digital technologies expand the possibilities for composing in multiple media at a faster pace than ever before;
Whereas young people are leading the way in developing new forms of composing by using different forms of digital media;
Whereas effective communication contributes to building a global economy and a global community;
Whereas the National Council of Teachers of English, in conjunction with its many national and local partners, honors and celebrates the importance of writing through the National Day on Writing;
Whereas the National Day on Writing celebrates the foundational place of writing in the personal, professional, and civic lives of the people of the United States;
Whereas the National Day on Writing provides an opportunity or individuals across the United States to share and exhibit their written works through the National Gallery of Writing;
Whereas the National Day on Writing highlights the importance of writing instruction and practice at every educational level and in every subject area;
Whereas the National Day on Writing emphasizes the lifelong process of learning to write and compose for different audiences, purposes, and occasions;
Whereas the National Day on Writing honors the use of the full range of media for composing, from traditional tools like print, audio, and video, to Web 2.0 tools like blogs, wikis, and podcasts; and
Whereas the National Day on Writing encourages all people of the United States to write, as well as to enjoy and learn from the writing of others: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) supports the designation of October 20, 2012, as the ‘‘National Day on Writing’’;
(2) strongly affirms the purposes of the National Day on Writing;
(3) encourages participation in the National Gallery of Writing, which serves as an exemplary living archive of the centrality of writing in the lives of the people of the United States; and
(4) encourages educational institutions, businesses, community and civic associations, and other organizations to promote awareness of the National Day on Writing and celebrate the writing of the members those organizations through individual submissions to the National Gallery of Writing.
I love that this Resolution honors the place writing has in our lives, acknowledges that the craft of writing is a lifelong learning process, and recognizes the many ways in which technology is expanding our ability to create and share our writing.
In looking for a picture of a quill pen to add to this blog post, I found the official White House portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. I'm including a close-up of one portion of the portrait, here, because this not only shows Washington's quill pen, but more importantly, it shows all the books that are piled beneath his table.
Several years ago, when I was packing to make a move, not only did I have to pack up (and give away) the thousands of books that were in our 14 bookcases, but there were also books in boxes, closets, and drawers, as well as stacked in piles all over the house. Oh, and I almost forgot... we used the dictionary as a doorstop, which guaranteed we could always find it when needed.
'What are you going to do to celebrate the National Day on Writing?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if whenever your book writing stalled, whether through procrastination or "writer's block," you could simply pull out a piece of paper that had a Magic Formula on it--written just for you--that would help jump start your writing, again? Well, I'm going to show you how to create your own Magic Formula that will help you break through any writing issue or block you may have.
Study Your Writing Habits
The first step in creating a Magic Formula powerful enough to banish procrastination and blast through writers' block is to identify the specific thoughts, feelings, and actions that help open up your creativity and inspire writing in flow, and those that get in the way of your creative process.
To do this, pick a period of time to study your writing habits. It could be a week, 10 days, or a month--the longer the better. For this period of time it's important to:
When writing, or reflecting back on your day and journaling, be aware of and write down what thoughts, feelings and actions:
Be as specific as you can.
On the flip side, be aware of and write down what thoughts, feelings, and actions:
Be as specific as you can.
At the end of the month (or whatever period of time you choose) you'll have a detailed map of your writing life.
The next step is to go through your notes and journal entries, and pull out all the specific details you have about what helps and what hinders your writing. Make a list of each with your favorite writing encouragers or discouragers on top.
Once this is done, I want you to do two things:
Your Personal Magic Formula for Writing Success!
Begin your Magic Formula by saying, "Whenever I think, feel, or do this (what gets in your way)... I'm going to think, feel, or do this instead (its positive opposite or whatever would help you in this situation), BECAUSE... (your experience of how the positive thought, feeling, or action helps you or what it inspires you to feel).
For instance... if you want to write, but have trouble getting yourself to sit down and start when you don't feel inspired (and you often don't feel inspired), then create a Magic Formula that looks something like this:
The last part is what's called your "why." It's very important, because just saying "when this happens, I'm going to do that instead" can feel like a rule, like something you SHOULD do, which often only inspires resistance. Adding the positive "why" changes it into something you WANT to do. It gives you a reason to feel hopeful and believe success is possible. Defining your "why" is often what makes the difference between spending your time dancing with procrastination or wrestling with writer's block, and actually writing your book.
Let me know how your Magic Formulas are working for you.
The ebb and flow of our creativity—as well as our connection to inspiration, writing in general, or a specific piece—is as natural as breathing out and breathing in. Losing our passion for a piece can happen for any number of reasons from feeling tired or overwhelmed to approaching the edge of our comfort zone and being afraid to cross over into new and unknown territory. It only becomes a problem comes when, after a creative exhale, we fear we may never feel the inflow of creativity or passion for our writing project, again. While there’s nothing we can do to “prevent” our passion from ebbing and flowing, we can remember and eventually come to know that as natural as it is to lose our sense of creativity and connection every once in a while, it’s equally as natural for it to return.
In February, to celebrate the "month of love," author Nancy Christie interviewed me about how writers can reignite their passion for writing on her blog, The Writer's Place. This interview originally appeared in two parts:
1) Nancy Christie: Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing and coaching writers?
Julie Isaac: I’ve been writing in one form or another all my life: poetry, journaling, songwriting, short stories, and non-fiction. Although I earned a degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, my real love is non-fiction and writing about spirituality. I sold my first two stories in 1999, and they were published in 2002 by Penguin Plume in Arielle Ford’s anthology, “Magical Souvenirs: True Spiritual Adventures From Around the World.” On this, the 10th anniversary of their publication, I’m turning them into my first Kindle ebook. “Finding Home: Inspirational Stories.”
When I started WritingSpirit in 2003, my focus was on helping spiritual writers of all faiths. But as time went on, I realized that what I have to share about the creative process, as well as the business side of writing, applies equally to all writers. So, now, WritingSpirit represents that spark of creative fire that burns in the heart of every writer.
2) What are some of the reasons why writers can find their passion start to cool or their creative fire start to die down?
There are several reasons your passion for writing can start to cool, whether toward a specific project or in relationship to writing itself. The more practiced you become at opening to inspiration, the more your ideas will flow not only to the writing project you’re working on, but to other potential projects, as well. Unfortunately, writers are not immune to the Bright Shiny Object Syndrome, and may cool toward one project as another begins to take shape. Distractions and time away from writing can also dampen your passion and enthusiasm, while hitting a fear barrier can literally stop you in your tracks--whether you recognize the fear and resistance that’s being stirred up, or you create a plausible explanation for why you changed projects or stopped writing.
3) How do you help your clients reignite the embers?
The two most powerful ways to reignite your creativity and passion are to remember what you love about writing, and to actually write.
When you become disconnected from your writing, for whatever reason, the thought of it can feel more like a chore than a choice. It becomes easy to forget the joy and sense of accomplishment it brings. So to help you get reconnected, remember what you love about writing and turn it into a list that you can look at whenever you’re feeling so distant from your current project that you begin to wonder, “why bother?” As you read and remember, you’ll begin to feel your writing call to you, again.
When you think about what you love about writing, look at it from several angles:
The second way to rekindle your connection is simply to write. All those things you think you need in order to write or that you're not willing to sit down and start writing without—inspiration, feeling connected to your project, energy, clarity, enthusiasm—are what you get FROM writing. When you’re not really “feeling it,” but you sit down and write anyway, more often than not the act of writing will…
Once you’re writing it’s much easier to catch fire and keep going. If you write for a while and this doesn’t happen, then you probably are—in that moment—too tired or too distracted to write. Respect yourself and your creative process enough to stop writing and be okay with it. Beating yourself up is never helpful, it creates a pressure and resistance within you that makes everything harder. However, being kind to yourself, especially when you’re finding it difficult to write, brings a relaxation and openness that allows your creativity to thrive, again, once you’re rested and ready.
4) As a coach, what do you find are some of the common stumbling blocks authors have to overcome? How do you help them deal with them?
Three of the most common stumbling blocks that writers face are a lack of confidence, clarity, and creativity. Often they’re intertwined, because when you’re not clear about how to move forward on a project, you can lose confidence in your ability to write and end up feeling blocked. Or, if you lack self-confidence, you might find it difficult to choose between possible writing projects or to organize your ideas, leaving you confused and frustrated.
If you were to come to me and tell me that you’re blocked, no matter what reason you give, I’d tell you the same two things I tell everyone. First, don’t panic. Nothing is wrong. Every writer has times like this; it’s just part of the creative process. Then, once you start to relax a little, I’d ask you to get curious. Become a detective and find out what’s really going on with you. Don’t assume you know what the problem is, be open to any possibility. What are you feeling, right now? What’s going on in your life? What part of the process are you getting stuck on? As you start answering these questions, you’re going to discover that defining the problem often reveals the solution.
If you don’t know what your main character does next, then it’s time to start brainstorming. But don’t stick to your storyline. Come up with 50 of the wildest and craziest possible scenarios you can think of. When you stop trying to find the perfect solution and simply let your imagination run wild, you’ll reconnect with that spark of inspiration that gave birth to your character in the first place. Chances are, before you even realize it’s happening, your story will start to flow, again.
If you realize that your feeling of overwhelm is coming from trying to cram everything you know about your non-fiction topic into your first book, then it’s time to pull back and more clearly define what you’re trying to accomplish by writing this book. Who are you writing for? What are you trying to teach them? What do you want your readers to learn, realize, or be able to do by the time they’ve finished reading your book? Your answers will give you clarity and direction, as well as help you prioritize and organize your material.
5) When I talk with writers, I find that many feel “burned out” because of the business side of writing: the marketing, pitching, website updating, blogging—all the things we have to do that aren’t strictly writing but are part of the whole picture. Often it seems like we spend more time with the biz side than the creative side? What advice do you have to help keep the two aspects in better balance?
The first step towards creating a better balance between the two is finding a way to make peace with, and actually embrace, the business side of writing. Its sole purpose is to serve your success as a writer. The more you can truly embrace the business side of writing, instead of resisting or resenting it, the more it will feed your creative energy rather than drain you. When the… “marketing, pitching, website updating, and blogging” become valued allies, instead of a dreaded nuisance, everything you do will flow more easily, the results from your efforts will improve, and you’ll be able to get back to your first love, your writing, much more quickly.
In addition to improving your relationship with the business side of writing, there are also some productivity techniques that can help. Setting a time limit (and a timer) can be very useful. In productivity circles there’s something called Parkinson’s Law—work expands to fill the time available for its completion. So instead of saying, “I’m going to write a blog post today,” take out your calendar and schedule it from 1:00 to 3:00pm., or for however long you thing it should reasonably take. The real trick is to stop when your time is up, whether you’re finished or not. Of course, if your project’s not finished, you’ll come back to it at another time and finish it. The point is that the more you respect YOUR TIME (not the timer), the better you’ll be able to focus and the more you’ll get done, which helps create the balance you’re looking for.
I use Cool Timer for Windows, which you can download for free at http://www.harmonyhollow.net/cool_timer.shtml. Every day I put two timers on my desktop, setting one as a stopwatch to keep track of how much time I put into a particular project that day, while the other counts down my individual work sessions of either 45 or 60 minutes. Even when you’re in “the zone” and your writing is flowing easily, a timer can remind you to get up, stretch, and walk around a bit every hour or so, to help your body and mind stay clear and strong through a long day of writing, and taking care of business.
6) Your post, Romance Your Writing, provides some excellent ideas for how to put the spark back in the writing process. As a writer, do you sometimes find your own “zing” has been zapped? If so, what are some ways you breathe life back into your own process?
No matter what creativity issues I’m wrestling with—yes, I have them; we all do—I know that writing is the cure. Now, I may procrastinate a bit or get caught up in the issue for a while, but when I do finally sit down to write, I’m home. Whatever I was struggling with melts away 98% of the time. Even though I know it’s going to happen, it always feels magical when it does.
As far as techniques go, if I’m really spinning my wheels I’ll get off the computer, grab my journal and pen, and snag the comfiest seat I can find. Once I’m settled in, I take a few deep breaths and close my eyes. As I think about whatever I’m having trouble with—whether I’m confused about how to organize a piece, or I have a feeling that something’s missing, needed, or not quite right—I’ll form a clear sense of the ideas or information I’m looking for, tune into the expectation that I’ll get what I need, and then let my mind begin to wander. Inspiration will usually start to flow pretty quickly. Between that, and the fact that there’s something about writing with paper and pen that helps me connect with my creativity differently than when I’m on the computer, I usually find what I’m looking for.
7) Where do you do most of your writing? Are there elements in your workspace that you feel add to your creativity?
I work at a computer desk, with my laptop sitting on the pulled out keyboard tray. When I want to edit some printed pages or brainstorm in my journal, I simply close my computer and slide it under the desktop. While I do have papers and notebooks stacked on my desk, keeping that area neat helps my mind remain relaxed and clear. For inspiration, I’ve printed two of my favorite upcoming book covers and have strategically placed them so they’re easily visible even when my laptop is open. One is for my Law of Attraction ebook, “Anything is Possible!” I love that thought, as well as the cover and the ebook it represents.
8) What are your top tips for keeping the passion for writing alive?
* Write anyway.
The act of writing is what connects us to the source of our creativity. It incites hope, invites inspiration, and ignites our passion.
* Savor, appreciate, and celebrate the writing journey.
Most of us started writing solely for the joy of it. Then, somewhere down the road, it became “work.” When you heap deadlines, agents, publishers, cover artists, editors, social media, platform building and book promotion on top of your writing, the joy you once felt can get lost in the crowd.
So make a conscious effort to invite joy back into your creative process as often as possible—by letting your imagination have its way with you, by writing something just for the fun of it, by appreciating the flow of inspiration as well as the intricacies of craft, and by celebrating your progress on a piece as well as its completion.
Enjoy the journey!
(If you're struggling or stuck anywhere in the creative process and would like a helping hand, I studied creativity coaching with Eric Maisel and love helping people connect more deeply with the creative, as well as practical, aspects of the writing journey.)
Many writers find it difficult to get their books written. If you are one of them, you may feel passionate about your topic or idea. You may even feel it’s your purpose to write a book and publish it. Yet, you may feel overwhelmed by the whole process. There’s just so much to do, especially if you plan on self-publishing. And there are some things you may not like to do.
The Fun Stuff and the Yuck Stuff of Producing Books
First, you have to decide if your idea is a good one, which also means a marketable one. You must also decide how you will sell your book to that market. At this point, many writers start feeling a tightening in their chests or queasiness in their stomachs. With the exception of the “idea,” this part of the book writing process is about business and promotion—not about writing and creativity at all. Yuck, right?
Next, you get to the fun stuff: You write your book. You actually produce a manuscript! Yay, right? Yes, if you have the discipline to do so and the time to do so.
Time becomes more of an issue if you are serious about the business and promotion step, which requires that you build an author platform, or fan base. Typically, this entails blogging, social networking, speaking, writing for publications and guest blogging, obtaining media appearances, etc. If these are not activities you take on willingly, have time for or like, more yuck, right?
Third, you get to produce the book. You get to bring your baby into the world! Fun and exciting! For this to actually happen, though, you must hire editors and designers to polish up your prose and create the perfect interior layout and cover. You may need an index, too, if you write nonfiction, and you’ll need a proofreader. If you don’t like handling details, hiring subcontractors and only want to write, this could represent more yuck—especially since you still need to find a printer to actually produce the printed book. If you plan on producing an ebook, you may need someone to convert your document and upload it to an ebook provider.
How to Write and Promote Your Book Quickly and Easily
But, I have good news for you! There is a way to get all of this done—the writing, the promotion, and the actual book—without it generating so much yuck and while leaving you tons more time to do what you love: pursue your passion and purpose and write more books. How is that possible?
Simple. You blog your book. If you do this, you have more fun, more time, many publishing options, and less yuck.
When you blog a book you write it in post-sized bits (250-500 words each sitting) and promote it at the same time. You write in a word processing program and then copy and paste that day’s work into your blog, and hit “publish.” In the process, you create a manuscript and you build a fan base for your new book. Woo hoo! You kill two birds with one stone. You write your book and promote it at the same time.
As you continue blogging your book, your fan base will grow. You can, and should, incorporate your blogging efforts with your social networking efforts, but this really shouldn’t take too long. In fact, if you are a reasonably fast writer, it shouldn’t take you more than an hour to write and to publish a post on your blog and then publicize it on at least two social networks. If you do this five days a week, you will have written 2,500 in a week. That’s 10,000 words per month. In 5-6 months, you’ll have produced a 50-60,000 word book. Easy schmeasy! And fun! Even that yucky promotion stuff won’t feel so bad because you’ll be driving readers over to your blog to read your book. The more readers you have each day, the more you’ll want to keep on blogging that book.
Ways to Turn Your Blogged Book into a Published Book
Now, here’s the exciting part. If your blog gets really popular and you develop a big fan base, you might land yourself a traditional publishing deal. Agents and publishers are looking for successful blogs (and blogged books) to turn into published books—and yours could be one of them. Then you don’t have to do any of the yucky stuff (except promote your book, which, face it, all writers must do. But you will have done a big portion of that already with your blog! Yay, again!)
If you don’t get discovered, you can decide to submit a proposal to an agent or a publisher. Not as exciting, but it could still land you a traditional publishing deal, and this is a good thing if you are one of those people who feels this will benefit you or you don’t want to become an indie publisher.
Now, if the details of producing a self-published printed book seem too overwhelming to you, you can turn your blogged book into a digital book, which is less work-intensive. Like any self-published book, you will need to hire an editor and a book cover designer. You may also need someone to go through your final manuscript and “convert it” to a format that works for Amazon’s Kindle and for an ebook distribution service, like Smashwords.com. Or, if you don’t want to fuss with all of this, pay a bit and use a service like Bookbaby.com. For a nominal sum they will do all the work for you. They can even produce a print book.
Which takes me to the last option, a printed book. I recommend opting for a print-on-demand book, so you don’t end up with a ton of books in your garage. Amazon’s CreateSpace is a good option, though the quality isn’t as good as, say, Lightening Source, which costs more and provides wider distribution. You can use a subsidy publisher, like Lulu.com, but I don’t find the quality to be great either. With an author services printing company like this, however, you can get everything done in one place—editing, design, proofreading, indexing, etc. Beware: They will charge an arm and a leg while these services, I’ve found, are mediocre at best. (And this is not really self-publishing in the true sense of the word, but it will suffice if you simply don’t want to handle the yuck of finding vendors to handle all the pieces for you.)
If money is an issue, going from blogged book to ebook is a super choice. Make some money with a digital book and later produce your printed book with those proceeds. You can even revise the ebook easily and cheaply.
Depending upon how often you post to your blog, you could have your blogged book finished, edited and available for sale as at least a digital book in six months or less. Not too shabby. Not too much yuck. Actually, quite a lot of fun.
About the Author
Nina Amir, Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, inspires people to combine their purpose and passion so they Achieve More Inspired Results. She motivates both writers and non-writers to create publishable and published products, careers as authors and to achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose.
The author of How to Blog a Book, Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books), Nina has also self-published 10 short books, including the How to Evaluate Your Book for Success and 10 Days and 10 Ways to Your Best Self. A sought after editor, proposal consultant, book and author coach, and blog-to-book coach, Nina’s clients’ books have sold upwards of 230,000 copies and landed deals with top publishers. The founder of Write Nonfiction in November, she writes four blogs, including Write Nonfiction NOW!, How to Blog a Book and As the Spirit Moves Me, and appears regularly on the Dresser After Dark radio show
Follow her on:
Your true stories may /be in demand by
Chicken Soul For the Soul.
Even if you've never been published before, submit a story. According to Ken & Dahlynn McKowen, co-authors of four Chicken Soup For the Soul books, including Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, “approximately 40% of the stories accepted by Chicken Soup are from unpublished writers.”
If your story is accepted you'll be paid $200, plus 10 copies of the book you're in.
So send your stories to "Chicken Soup" on these topics:
* Stories about the Christmas Season
Our holiday books are very popular. We do a new edition every other year and so we are now collecting stories for our Christmas 2015 book. Share your special stories about the holiday season - including Chanukah and Kwanzaa - from inspirational and joyous, to heartwarming and humorous. Remember all of the stories in our Christmas books are "Santa Safe" - we don't want to spoil the magic for children. The deadline for story and poem submissions is August 30, 2014.
* Thanks to My Mom
We are collecting stories of thanks written by sons and daughters of all ages about their moms and stepmoms. Tell us what your mom has done for you and why you are grateful to her. Is she always right? Do you still turn to her for advice? Have you turned into your mother even though you vowed you never would? Share your best stories-ones that will make us laugh, cry, or nod our heads in recognition. We are not looking for general tributes (we know your mom is terrific) nor are we looking for biographies or eulogies. We are looking for specific anecdotes about what your mom or stepmom did for you-something you want to thank her for. The deadline for story and poem submissions is September 30, 2014.
* Hope and Miracles
Everyone has experienced events in their lives that cause wonder and astonishment and give them hope for a better future. Why did these things happen? Were they answered prayers? Did divine intervention have something to do with it? Share your inspirational true stories with us to remind us that each day holds hope and that a miracle can happen at any time. The deadline for story and poem submissions is October 30, 2014.
* Living a Life of Purpose by Volunteering
We’re making another book about volunteering! How has your life been changed by volunteering? Have you been a volunteer in a hospital, a school or in your community? What have you done with your life that makes you feel good and has also made this world a better place? What have you done to make a difference in the lives of others? Or do you want to thank a volunteer who helped you? Share your true stories about how you found purpose, passion, and joy in your life or how a volunteer helped you. And by volunteer, we mean an unpaid position, so save those stories about paid heroes in your life for another book! The deadline for story and poem submissions is December 31, 2014.
When we are asleep, we dream. Are dreams a connection to the unconscious mind? Are they omens of things to come - both good and bad? In our dreams we can be anything we want to be. We are looking for stories about your dreams and the impact they have had on your life. What have you learned from your dreams? Did your dreams come true? Did a dream strengthen your faith or help you change the direction your life was headed in? Did a dream serve as a warning about something that was going to happen? The deadline for story and poem submissions is December 31, 2014.
* Support for Therapists/Mental Health Professionals
Therapists and mental health counselors listen to people's problems all day. But where's the "chicken soup for the soul" for them? Who supports the therapists and mental health professionals? We’re looking for stories from therapists and mental health professionals about how you get through your day. How do you separate your clients' pain from your own life? Share your advice and support with your colleagues. And if you have been client of one of these fine professionals and you want to tell them how much they helped you, for moral support, please submit your story as well. The deadline for story and poem submissions is December 31, 2014.
* Time to Thrive
This title deliberately has a double meaning: 1) You need to make time in your busy life to thrive; and 2) It's time to thrive-no more putting off those life changes you know you should make. If you have a story about taking time to thrive, i.e. pursue a passion, find your purpose, improve your wellbeing, or if you realized it was time to thrive and you did something about it, we want to hear from you. Were you stuck in the same old routine for years? Did you feel that your life had no purpose? What did you do to transform yourself and create balance and meaning in your life? Did you start a completely new career, have a travel adventure or find a new hobby? Was it a new love interest or an attitude adjustment that helped you thrive? We want to hear your stories. Stories can be serious or funny, but we definitely want them to inspire our readers to take that first step towards happiness, fulfillment, and growth. The deadline for story and poem submissions is December 31, 2014.
Hooked on Hockey
If you love hockey, if you play hockey, if you are a hockey fan, we are looking for stories from you! We are looking for stories for this book written by and for hockey fans and families. The book will include stories from everyday hockey players and fans like you, as well as revealing personal stories from some of your favorite NHLers and hockey insiders. The deadline for story and poems submissions is January 30, 2012.
Every day there are more and more AMAZING ebook success stories from independently published authors. We've all heard them:
Amanda Hocking & John Locke have each sold
a million ebooks on Amazon.
Darcie Chan & Chris Culver made it onto the Top 10 list of
Amazon's Best Selling eBooks of 2011.
J.A. Konrath earned $100,000 in ebook royalties in just 3 weeks!
While the level of SUCCESS these five authors have achieved is rare, it shows the incredible potential that ebooks hold to help independent authors turn their writing dreams into a writing career, or for traditionally published authors to turn their back list into a gold mine. The good news is that you don't have to sell a million ebooks to have ebook success. For every Amanda Hocking or J.A. Konrath there are scores of other success stories about authors who are:
Would you like your success story to be next?
The eBook Revolution is still in high gear as ebook sales continue their explosive growth, especially on Amazon, which is FABULOUS news for both Indie and traditionally published authors!
What's particularly EXCITING is that an ebook can be any length, which greatly expands an author's publishing options. You can publish articles, reports, short stories, or a compilation of blog posts as an ebook. Past content that you've already written and polished can be turned into an ebook, allowing you to make money, expand your visibility, and promote your other books, products, and services fairly quickly and easily.
Do you have any previously written, posted or published:
... or other content that you have the rights to, finished or unfinished, just sitting on your computer gathering dust that you'd like to turn into lead generation and income producing ebooks?
The good news is that ebooks are easier than ever to publish. You can upload an ebook in minutes, format it in hours, and in a day or two it will be live on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, or anywhere else you want it to be available, ready to start making sales.
But don't let anyone fool you--to be a successful ebook author takes knowledge, skill and work. I've seen too many authors upload their ebooks to Amazon, and elsewhere, before addressing some of the most essential elements of ebook success, and then wonder... "Where are the legions of ebook buyers I've been hearing so much about?"
The Formula for Success
Whether you want to publish non-fiction or a novel, an ebook or a print book, become an Indie author or go the traditional publishing route, the formula for success is the same.
... a good book
... a solid platform
... a strong ongoing promotion plan
This may sound simple, but it's amazing the amount of work and dedication to details it takes to have the best shot at writing success. So how does this apply specifically to ebooks? Well, let's see...
What does it take to succeed as an ebook author?
... a good book
... a solid platform
... a strong ongoing promotion plan
I know that sounds like a lot (and it is) but there's no need to worry... you don't have to do it all at once and you don't have to do any of it perfectly. Yet if you address these ESSENTIAL elements of ebook success--doing the best you can, from wherever you are in the writing and publishing process--when you receive royalties from selling hundreds or even thousands of ebooks, instead of just a handful, you'll be glad you did.
Of course, I can't guarantee how many ebooks anyone will sell as there are far too many variables to consider, but I can say with certainty that if you want to be a successful ebook author then it's important to build a strong foundation. Too many skimp on this aspect of ebook publishing in their enthusiasm to get ebooks out as quickly as possible, and end up paying for it with lost ebook sales and missed opportunities. Of course, one of the WONDERFUL things about ebooks is that you can update or redo any aspect of them, whenever you want, and then simply upload the new edition.
Do keep in mind that while ebooks offer the potential for amazing sales and success, ebooks are not a get rich quick scheme. If you study the successful ebook authors closely, as I have, you'll notice that they share several things in common. They:
Success leaves clues that anyone who's interested can find and follow.
This Is an Exciting Time To Be an Author!
There has never been a time like this. Independent authors are having INCREDIBLE success. Amanda Hocking, John Locke, Darcie Chan, J.A. Konrath, and so many others have shown us what's possible with great writing, powerful promotion, and a savvy ebook strategy. But you don't have to be an ebook superstar to benefit from the ebook gold rush that's happening, now.
Publishing your own ebooks can help you:
So get your first ebook up, if you haven't already, and start growing your number of published titles. Begin with what's easiest, with a small ebook of previously written pieces. However, depending on the way you present the material and how seamlessly you want the stories or articles to flow together, when you're combining a number of pieces that weren't originally written as a series (or even if they were) you may need to edit, update, or re-envision one or more of the pieces in order to make them fit together better, or write a new article or two in order to make sure all the important points you want covered are included.
Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
I'm currently updating an ebook I wrote several years ago on one-page book proposals, which is a bit of a misnomer as they're typically 3 to 5 pages long.
Since this was already a complete ebook, I thought there would be very little work to do.
I may have underestimated that a bit.
Here's a list of what I've done, or still have to do on this ebook:
So much for quick and easy!
You may be wondering... why do all that extra work? As they say in internet marketing circles, "Good enough is good enough. Just get it out." It's true, this could have been up in a few days, instead of a few weeks.
So why am I doing all this work on an ebook that was already done? Because, as attractive as "quick and easy" is, I prefer "successful."
Having success with one ebook is fabulous, but real success comes when readers like your ebook so much that they buy all the other ebooks you have available, as well as the next ebook you write, and the next. That's why it's important to have a number of ebooks available, and to make each one is as good as it can be within a reasonable amount of time. The challenge is always to find the right balance between quality and quickness that works for you. Don't forget, after you finish the ebook there's still more to be done—create a compelling book description, write some promotional blog posts, do some social media marketing on Twitter and Facebook--all while writing your next ebook.
If you want to make a living as an author, you have to treat your readers with respect and your writing as a career. That means caring about your ebook's quality, value and appeal. It means knowing who your audience is and what they want and need. It means being willing to promote your books and yourself, even if you'd rather be writing.
But please, PLEASE don't let the avalanche of details scare you away.They're the MAGIC that makes everything work! I love each and every one of these details in the same way I love every round of editing. I know that when I'm editing a piece, every pass through the material makes my writing better and my words SING. Editing helps me communicate the ideas I'm passionate about more clearly and powerfully.
In the same way, as I'm going through this process of editing, updating, and adding new material to my ebook, instead of getting frustrated by how long it's taking, I'm focused on the fact that every day my ebook is getting better and moving swiftly from "okay" to AWESOME! I know that all the work I'm doing is going to translate into greater success once the book is launched, which allows me to continue making a living doing what I LOVE. There's nothing in the world better than that!
Yes, becoming a successful author takes work, but it is SO worth it!
I know this is a lot to take in, but as I said--you only have to do one thing at a time, and you don't have to do any of it perfectly (although you want your ebook to be as polished as possible). If you'd like some help navigating the details of writing and promoting your ebook, please visit my ebook coaching page. I love helping authors build a strong foundation for their ebook success.
2012 has just begun and is overflowing with possibilities! The eBook Revolution is continuing to explode, which is great news for both Indie and traditionally published authors!
It's a particularly exciting development for self-publishers because ebooks can be any length, and even if your ultimate goal is a print book, you can test market an ebook at very low cost and work out all the kinks before spending money on a print run.
Whether you publish an ebook or print book, through self-publishing or a traditional publisher, the basic elements are the same:
"Your Ultimate Life Plan: How to Deeply Transform Your Everyday Experience and Create Changes That Last" by Dr. Jennifer Howard
I edited this wonderful book, which won a Gold Nautilus Book Award, Silver Benjamin Franklin Book Award and has been endorsed by Rev. Michael Beckwith, Fr. Richard Rohr, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Lama Surya Das, Dr. Bernie Siegel, Guy Finley, Sharon Salzberg, and many others. I highly recommend it.