Monday, March 18, 2019

#IWSG - Get your Merch / Goods / Wares / Products / & Stuff!

Image result for spaceballs merchandising quote

What better way to show your insecure pride than to wear it on your sleeve?

Your T-Shirt sleeve!!

Check out the IWSG t-shirt designed by Jeremy Hawkins!
You can get this shirt in grey, black, or navy blue!

Get all your t-shirt size options HERE and order yours today!


There's more!!!!

We've got a great selection of IWSG merchandise to choose from!

Pens, key chains, coffee mugs, tote bags, and of course...notebooks!
You can never have too many notebooks!

Check out our merchandise page HERE and order some of your favorites today!

Proceeds from sales help support and maintain the IWSG website and fund upcoming events.



We are partnering with DIY MFA this spring to bring you a great program for writers.

Before we announce details, we’ll be sharing several of their learning videos.

The next one is Episode 233: Crafting the Victorian Novel — Interview with David Morrell.

Check it out and be watching next month for details about the program.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Benefits to Listening to Audio Books for Writers

By Melissa Chan of Literary Book Gifts

Writers are some of the most avid readers around. It's an obvious way to develop such a love of books, reading, and literature—by reading for years before starting write a book. As an aspiring writer I know that a healthy and continuous amount of reading is the best thing for putting me in the mood to write.

I spent much of my childhood reading mainly paperbacks and hardcovers. Library trips every weekend helped me to replenish a continue stream of reading material for the week. Around high school I discovered audio books and have chosen them as my preferred form of reading ever since. The switch from reading with my eyes to reading with my ears may seem like a dramatic one, but if I reflect back, even before picking up books, my parents would read stories aloud to me, often before bedtime. I’ve fond memories of listening to tales of the past from my grandparents, relatives, and family friends over meals and during long summer afternoons. So I think perhaps I always listened to audio books in a way, and am simply returning to that form of reading.

Upon reflection of both forms of consuming literature, I have noted upon a few benefits that I would like to share with you today.

I find that no matter how much writing is done conceptually in the mind it always eventually takes place typing on the computer. Even those with the clearest of handwriting will eventually have to get it onto the digital page. Audio books offer a definite change of pace from the long hours of sitting upright to type and the possible eye strain that can come from staring at a screen. Audio books let you close your eyes and relax. It's the most ergonomic form of reading because you can read while lying down, taking a walk, or while doing some simple stretches. I find that audio books can be even more relaxing than television, since all your senses besides listening have the possibility of resting. With a pair of headphones, one has the possibility of physically removing themselves out of the places they write and even enjoying the outdoors on a hike.

As a writer working on your own manuscript it's impossible not to see words and construct sentences visually. Audio books let you consume a story in a different medium than the one you are writing in. The auditory processing as opposed to visual processing allows for a sort of separation in your mind.
My final and favorite reason why writers should listen to audio books is to get ideas for then they might want to record their own. Not every story gets recorded into an audio book. It is my hope that eventually more stories will be recorded, audio books exist as a completely digital goods. Unlike their written counterparts which are read in various physical formats or as eBooks, audio books exist only as sound recordings.

Sometimes if I am lucky I will find an author has read aloud their book and recorded it for all time. In some cases the author is now deceased. In this case the audio book is now a preserved copy of not only their work as an author but also of their voice.

I hope you have enjoyed reading a few ways in which audio books are beneficial for writers. I encourage everyone to read, listen, and tell stories aloud. Do you listen to audio books?

Written by Melissa Chan, lifelong reader, aspiring writer, and designer of bookish items with a wide selection of gifts for writers. When I'm not attempting to write a novel, I spend my time listening to audio books and browsing for new reads at the library.

Enter a Literary Book Gifts giveaway HERE
Buy the Typewriter Tote Bag
Buy the Vintage Book T-Shirt

Special note:

We are partnering with DIY MFA this spring to bring you a great program for writers.

Before we announce details, we’ll be sharing several of their learning videos.

The first one is Episode 234: A Master Class on Character — Interview with David Corbett.

Check it out and be watching next month for details about the program.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

An Early Punxsutawney Phil Spring

Join Us

Yep. Phil predicts spring will come early this year, and so let get on with the first March Wednesday and, like Alex says, "rock the neurotic writing world!"

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.


Remember, the question is optional!
The awesome co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard

March 6 question - Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

I lean toward the villainous character's mind. Here are three books from the villainous POV that I enjoyed. Interestingly, three are fairy tale re-tellings. I was in an escape phase of my life. What can I say?

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is the second novel from Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked. It tells the tale of Cinderella from the perspective of one of her evil stepsisters. The young Iris (soon to be Cinderella's stepsister) is depicted as a bright girl whose mother is suddenly widowed. Destitute, the mother has to leave their home. She lands in a wealthy tulip merchant's home and, guess what? Love+readjustment of the blended family=all that stepmother, stepsisters drama. It's a book with interesting twists that lead to the happily-ever-after from a new perspective.

Blackhearts is about that infamous pirate Blackbeard. We all know what a rotten, despicable and murderous pirate that guy was. But what if we knew something about his life from another point of view? Nicole Castroman looks into Blackbeard's past and creates a Young Adult tale about Blackbeard as young man in love. I really enjoyed reading this one because it upends all that I thought about Blackbeard, and it explores the social limitations that young Teach struggled against.

I thought Alias Hook was amazing. Imagine Hook as a hunk of a guy who's trying to help a woman from the 50s stay safe. From whom? Why that imp and totally irresponsible Peter Pan, of course. There's a love story with Hook and a very different slant on that naughty Pan boy. 

And then there's Bram's all time favorite, Dracula, isn't there? Coppola's film based on the novel grossed $215 million. I guess people enjoyed seeing Dracula being, well, Dracula. And what about Phantom of the Opera? Gaston Leroux created one of the most charismatic and conflicted characters that came to life again on the stage only a few years ago. The pull of his tortured soul brought people into theaters to see the production not once, but several times. Those villainous tales never grow old and never cease to draw us in.

We all love/hate the bad guy, right? I've written three books from that side of the literary coin. One's  with my agent and two are published: Double Negative and Sliding on the Edge. I adored my bad boy, Hutch McQueen, and my bad girl, Shawna Stone. I think I found the same empathy for them that I found for Iris and Teach and Hook in those retold fairy tales. 

#IWSG has just been awarded this badge from UK Writers Hub. We're in the top 50 websites for writers! Kudos to the team and all the members who support IWSG and each other.

The WEP winners have been announced! Congratulations to everyone who won and to everyone who entered. You all make this an exciting event. 

Read More About the Anthology

Keep an eye out for the next IWSG anthology. It's headed your way April 30.

Quote of the Month: "The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink." T.C. Elliot

Now let me ask you this. Have you read any of the books I've mentioned? What is your favorite perspective, hero or villain? And then be sure to stop by the others who are answering this question and see what they have to say.

Monday, February 25, 2019

4 Things Every Novel Should Strive For by @Janice_Hardy

Writing a novel is a huge undertaking. You have to come up with an idea, create characters, develop a setting or even a world, and then you have to find the right turning points for your plot, mix in a theme, avoid adverbs and told prose. With so many moving parts it can be overwhelming, and easy to get wrapped up in the details and miss the bigger picture.

A novel is just interesting people, solving interesting problems, in interesting ways.

How we choose to do that is up to us, and the details that goes into our novels vary widely. Ten writers can use the same idea and create ten different books, because what they consider “interesting” changes from writer to writer. As liberating as this is, it’s also a little scary. It doesn’t give us any guidelines to work with when we start a new novel.

No matter what genre you write, here are four things you can strive for that will help you craft a novel readers want to read.

1. Have an original premise done well.

If you’re a skilled writer, you can take someone else’s idea and do a solid job of writing it (I’m not saying do this, just saying that skill level is only a small part of what makes a good novel). An original premise is much harder to develop, and can be a challenge when folks like me keep saying, “You need a fresh idea” to sell your novel. But to give your novel the best chance of being seen by readers, you want to offer them something them haven’t see hundreds of times before.

However…originality doesn’t necessarily mean coming up with an idea no one has ever seen before. Fresh doesn’t mean unique. Love triangles have been written countless times, but the right love triangle with the right trio of characters still makes readers eager to read the story.

I know this sounds contradictory, and it’s one of those things that frustrates a lot of writers. The old, “Give me something different, but the same” spiel. Just remember, original means your take on an idea. Maybe your love triangle is about three friends, not lovers, which puts a whole new spin on the premise.

2. Create a compelling protagonist who intrigues readers.

Notice I said “intrigues,” not like. While most protagonists are likable, and readers want to know their story and enjoy spending time with them, there are also protagonists who no one would want to hang out with, but are fascinating to watch (Dexter, anyone?).

A compelling protagonist is special in some way that enhances the story, such as great analytic skills (Sherlock Holmes), a unique viewpoint about a tough situation (Hazel Grace, The Fault in Our Stars), or a can-do attitude (Ramona Quimby). As with Dexter, it can even something as horrifying as being a serial killer or descending into madness. Whatever it is, they have a trait that readers want to see “in action” and look forward to reading about how that trait will help (and hinder) the character throughout the story.

Few readers will read a story about a character they have zero interest in. As long as the protagonist is doing something intriguing or behaving in a way that makes readers want to see more, they’re doing their job as protagonists.

3. Spin an intriguing plot that keeps readers guessing.

Even the most interesting person can get tiresome if all they do is stand there and chatter on, so a solid plot is a must. But plots with one clear solution tend to bore readers, because there’s nothing for them to wonder about or anticipate. The end of the book is a given, and the path the protagonist is going to take to solve the conflict is clear.

However…(you knew there’d be a but, right?) There’s a difference between an ending that readers can see coming, and an ending that readers expect, but don’t know how the story will get there.

Everyone knows the two lovebirds in a romance will fall in love, but it’s how they do it that keep readers interested. What struggles will they have to overcome? How will they win the other’s heart? What wounds will be healed along the way?

A plot might be twisty turny, or it might be a straight line, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be unpredictable. Don’t take the easy path and just write what happens—dig deeper and do the unexpected.

4. Provide an emotionally and/or intellectually satisfying resolution to the novel’s conflict.

For many readers, a novel is only as good as its ending. How the story wraps up is everything, and if it doesn’t follow through on its story promises, or the solution drops in out of the blue, readers will be unhappy.

But luckily, different readers look for different endings. The romance readers want the Happily Ever After, and the emotional payoff of love. The mystery reader enjoys the intellectual thrill of solving the puzzle. Some stories offer a puzzle to be solved and a character arc to be completed, and touches on both the emotional and the intellectual.

However you get there, fulfilling the story promise you made at the start of the book (or in the blurb) will satisfy readers. The greater the satisfaction, the more they are to read your next book, or suggest the current book to friends.

Obviously, more goes into writing a strong novel than these four elements, but spending time to make sure these four things are covered will help you avoid a lot of common writing issues, such as, stories readers have seen before, characters who don’t connect with readers, predictable stories that go nowhere, and endings that fall flat and leave readers cold.

What do you strive for when you write a novel? What aspects do you want to see in the novels you read?

If you’d like more on plotting, I recommend my book, Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, with over 100 brainstorming exercises and plotting tips designed to help writers develop their novels.

Janice Hardy is an award-winning author and founder of the popular writing site Fiction University, and has written multiple books on writing, including Understanding Show, Don't Tell (And Really Getting It), Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, and the Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft series. When she's not writing about writing, she writes science fiction and fantasy. Her teen fantasy trilogy, The Healing Wars, includes The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. She writes the Grace Harper urban fantasy series for adults under the name, J.T. Hardy.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Studying Stories as a Writer

The main fiction shelf in my house. 

Reading as a Writer

Reading helps us take in writing lessons on an unconscious level. When we read books in our genre (or even outside of it), we take in plot arcs, pacing, character development, purposeful dialogue, luscious descriptions, imagery, and metaphors. And, we take it all in without even thinking about it. It’s part of the DNA of the stories and books we read.

Let’s Not Forget Storytelling in All Forms

There are many ways to gain an unconscious knowledge of storytelling, to experience the DNA of stories. Storytelling can come in many, many forms. We have books, movies, short stories, poetry, T.V. or streaming show series, music, dance, art, and oral storytelling. We even have casual story-sharing moments – “Did you hear how I drove my parents to the grocery store and out for coffee in ten inches of snow last week?” (Yes, I really did that.)

How Do We Know a Story is Good

The DNA of story is wound in us and through us, individually and multi-culturally. Everyone loves a good story. And, what makes a story “good?” We know what makes it good intrinsically because we’ve read, viewed, listened, seen, and heard good stories, and sometimes great stories. We’ve also read, viewed, listened, seen, and heard terribly told stories, so we know what those are, too.

Studying the Craft Still Has a Purpose

We still need to study the writing craft or study our storytelling guides with a magnifying lens from time to time. It can truly help to slow down and take a long look at how each component of storytelling works within a story we love.

Last year, I spent several months reviewing every single superhero movies I had seen, but instead of just sitting back and watching them with family (okay, I did that, too), I watched most of them with a notebook and pen in hand and I took notes about scene changes, character development, dialogue, scene settings, mood, imagery, and metaphors.

I’ve been working on a superhero novel for a few years now and I “knew” something was wrong with my novel, but I couldn’t seem to pinpoint it until I watched all those movies, took all those notes, re-read a few dozen superhero novels and comics, read a few craft books, and asked myself questions while reading over my draft(s). I also took a course on Superheroes from edX which helped me understand the genre from a historical, pop culture perspective.

Just a few of the titles. I had to use the library for many of them.

I had the DNA-intrinsic knowledge of storytelling and the superhero genre to guide me, but I needed to study the intricate details of the genre and the craft of writing to see exactly what I was missing.

Tweet-able Take-Aways

As writers, we need to give ourselves time to enjoy stories as an audience and as students of our craft. #amwriting @TheIWSG

We need to read, view, see, hear, and experience stories to truly understand the DNA of story. #amwriting @TheIWSG

We need to study stories to discover the detailed nuances of our craft.                         
#amwriting @TheIWSG

If you are stuck in a story rut, take a moment to enjoy storytelling from the other side. Be an audience. Read. Watch. Listen. Learn. And, Enjoy!

How have you found stories (in all forms) to be inspirational and helpful to your writing?

Monday, February 11, 2019

4 Ways to Boost Your Digital Marketing Strategy

4 Ways to Boost Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing is a fairly broad term. There are simply many digital channels for marketers to leverage. This can be overwhelming and potentially complicated. For example, a Facebook advertising agency would have different considerations than someone that specialized in Amazon advertising.

That’s why it helps to keep certain essential tips in mind when planning your strategy. By understanding key points, you’ll better understand how to maximize your return-on-investment.

Focus on SEO

Strong SEO drives potential customers to your site. There’s a reason marketers are constantly reviewing the latest SEO best practices .

After all, there are many websites on the internet. Plenty of them cover similar topics. When someone searches for virtually anything on Google, they want the most relevant sites to appear

Understanding SEO best practices and applying them to your entire digital marketing strategy will help you attract more attention organically.

Use Content Marketing

The average person usually doesn’t hop onto the internet with the intention of making a purchase. Thus, if your online presence is exclusively promotional and “salesy,” you might struggle to reach potential customers.

Content marketing addresses this issue. Quite simply, it involves providing customers with genuinely valuable or entertaining content. This can include articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and more.

For instance, perhaps you’re designing a content marketing strategy for a realtor. Your target audience is probably interested in learning about the process of finding and buying a new home. Sharing blogs on topics like “10 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home” will offer them real value.

Content marketing is helpful because it allows you to engage with leads and guide them through a customer journey. It’s also more cost-effective than many other marketing techniques.


Research indicates that approximately half of all leads aren’t ready to make a purchase when they first engage with your brand. However, the fact that they engaged at all means they are probably interested in your products or services to some degree.

With website codes like the Facebook Pixel , you can design an ad campaign for the specific purpose of retargeting potential customers who have already engaged with your brand in the past. This is a simple way to boost sales.


It’s worth noting that effective digital marketing campaigns typically don’t consist of one strategy. You need to use multiple channels to yield the best possible results.

You also need to experiment. By trying new methods and monitoring the performance of your campaigns on a consistent basis, you’ll get a better sense of what does and doesn’t work for your business.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Insecure Writer's Support Day and Updates

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The awesome co-hosts today are February 6 posting of the IWSG are Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!

Today’s optional question: Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

* * *

The next IWSG anthology, Masquerade: Oddly Suited, (YA romance) will be released on April 30, 2019.

The authors are looking for blog tour hosts. If you can host a day and help spread the word about the anthology, sign up through Google Docs.

You can also pre-order either print or eBook: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Dancing Lemur Press LLC
Print ISBN 9781939844644 $14.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844651 $4.99

Plus show your support and add Masquerade on Goodreads.

* * *

This month’s WEP Challenge is 28 Days.

This prompt came up as a contest winner generated by the IWSG gang – we chose the winner from a whole bunch of creative ideas! Congratulations to long-time WEP participant, Toinette Thomas.

Incorporate 28 days in your entry. It can be the time limit for a task or a challenge. The quantum of growth, a journey, a change, and/or healing that happens in 28 days. Come in with a werewolf entry. Or don’t. Tell us about some other moon phase-based folklore instead. Fashion an epistolary flash as a series of 28 diary entries or postcards. Mainstream, fantasy, romance, travel – all wide open. A lot of things can happen in 28 days!

Sign up and post your entry on February 20.

* * *

The IWSG Goodreads Book Club is changing things up!

5 Discussion Questions: We will pose 5 questions that you can answer about the book we’ve read as a group. You can answer one question or all five. It’s up to you.

Discussion Day Poll: Every discussion day, there will also be a poll that all members will get invited to answer. This is a great option to participate that is fast and simple.

Quiz: You can also help us create a Goodreads quiz for the book we’ve read.

Giveaways: Every Discussion Day, book club members will get a Goodreads message that will include the chance for members to enter a free Rafflecopter giveaway.

Freebies: When we announce the next reading selection, another Goodreads message will go out that’ll include a downloadable freebie, which could be anything.

Other Polls: We will also invite members to answer writing or reading related polls during our “down” months. One poll will be related to the book in some way.

We read a new book every other month, alternating between craft books and fictional books that demonstrate an aspect of writing. Members vote on our fictional books.

Join Here: IWSG Goodreads Book Club
Our February/March 2019 book is…
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
This book was voted on by our members as a good example of setting.
Discussion Day will be March 20th.

What other creative outlets do you enjoy?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Top Ten Reasons to be in an Anthology - and Masquerade Cover!

Anthologies – multiple authors, short stories, little or no royalties – why would you want a story in one?

We’ll give you ten reasons why!

1 – Exposure – we are exposed to a wider range of readers
2 – Experience – we learn to work with a publisher and their team
3 – Team-building – we learn to work with other authors
4 – Platform-building – it gives us an author credit so we can build our platform
5 – Good writing exercise – often we have to write to specs which stretches our abilities
6 – Discipline – we have to meet word counts and deadlines
7 – Validation – it demonstrates our ability to write a good story
8 – Victory – we beat out others for a place in the book
9 – A step in the right direction – we are closer to our big author goals
10 – Ego-boost – because we did it – take that, insecurity!

And why are we discussing anthologies?

Because the next IWSG anthology comes out April 30 and this is the cover of Masquerade: Oddly Suited!

Masquerade: Oddly Suited
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology
Release date – April 30, 2019
Young Adult Fiction: Romance - General/Paranormal/Contemporary
Print ISBN 9781939844644
EBook ISBN 9781939844651

Find love at the ball…

Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual Traveler or a virtual date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…

Sadly, the IWSG is losing two of its admins Lynda Young, who was second-in-command, and Joy Campbell are both stepping down. They have been with the IWSG Admin Team since the site began and will be missed. Thank you ladies for all of your help getting the IWSG to where it is today!

However, we’re not ending on a sad note - Elizabeth Seckman has joined the IWSG Admin Team! She will be in charge of the Publishers/Agents/Queries page and active on Facebook, as well as contributing to the site, the newsletter, and other areas.
Welcome to the team, Elizabeth!

Have you been in an anthology?
The next blogging post day for the IWSG is Wednesday, February 6 - see you then!

Monday, January 21, 2019

One Writer's Takeaways From 2018

Like most writers, at the end of each year, I evaluate to see where I did well and what areas needed more work. Here, I’ll share a dozen things that helped me on my journey into 2019.

PLANNING IS KEY: I’ve proven time and again that ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish’. Yet, I’ve failed to ever sustain a book launch properly, although I have oodles of reading material on what to do for a successful release. This year, I’m determined to plan better because good intentions without a plan in black and white fall to the wayside.

THE VIRTUE OF A ROAD MAP: I feel like Superwoman when I decide what I’m gonna write and publish at the start of the year. Of course, I never give myself enough time to get it all done. This is where writing a to-do list helps. It keeps me on track and encourages me when I look at the task list and realize that I’ve accomplished this, and this, and this.

FOCUS/DISCIPLINE: These are the characteristics that determine success or failure. Something many of us don’t get is that our first responsibility it to ourselves. We run around getting distracted by non-essentials, doing ourselves a disservice. I still struggle with this, but now do things according to priority.

BACKLIST GOLD: Your backlist, if you have one, is valuable. Keep promoting even when there are zero likes. Someone saw your ad anyway. Think of it like this, if you can’t apply a little stick-to-it-iveness to promote your work, who will?

A POSITIVE MINDSET IS CRITICAL: I’ve learned that if I want something, I should never say never, but find a way to do what I want to achieve. Negativity sucks my energy and keeps me from taking action. I’m learning to replace negative thoughts with positive ones each time they come. It takes practice and thirty seconds is all it takes for a free ride down negativity lane, so I’ve become more conscious of how I think and where I allow my mind to go.

MY DESTINY IS MY DESTINY IS MY DESTINY: There are things I’ve been meaning to do for years, but I haven’t done them. Not doing those things weighs on me and I’m frustrated until I do them. Is there something you know you’re meant to do but you keep putting it off? Stop frustrating yourself; walk in your purpose. Just do it!

FIND YOUR TRIBE: As much as we’d like to think we can achieve success on our own and on our own terms, the fact is no man is an island. We can’t do it on our own. We’re sociable animals for a reason. When the going gets tough, we need the support of people who understand what we’re going through. They commiserate, tell us the truth, and drag us out of the doldrums.

SELF CARE: My exercise routine went down a side road over Christmas, and I discovered all kinds of joint pain from sitting in one position at the computer for hours. Then there were the random eating hours. Plus the breakdown in the body care routines. Well, as one wise person said, we have one house to live in and can’t move elsewhere, so we should treat the temple of our body with respect. I aim to do more of that in 2019.

BE ADVENTUROUS, BUT DISCERNING: I’m an adventure/new project junkie. Someone just needs to invite me to collaborate on a project and I’m in. I’ve learned that not every opportunity is beneficial and you should too. Weigh your options and walk away if the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.

KEEP PADDLING EVEN IF YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE IN YOUR BOAT: There are readers who will never support you unless/until your work becomes popular or someone, whose opinion they respect, tells them to read your book. Don’t be discouraged, despite what your sales numbers tell you. Continue writing for the joy of it, and the few, until that base turns into many. Keep your head down, your keyboard clicking, and do you.

KNOW YOUR NUMBERS: The business side of being a writer is no fun, so many of us avoid thinking about what’s going in and what coming out of our bank account. Despite how we feel about numbers, it’s important to know what we’re earning and spending each month.

CONTINUE TO EVOLVE: With the urging of another writer, I’ve started the process of going back to my older books and reading them. This, with a view to bringing them in line with my writing style today. My standard advice is for every scribe is to learn the craft when we first step out, and also to never stop learning as we evolve into better writers.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Bestseller: A Self-Publishing Podcast by Reedsy

IWSG once again welcomes Reedsy with a information-packed Podcast. Meet a former CEO who reveals her journey from Nike executive to novelist.

A survey once suggested that 81% of Americans have a book in them that they want to write and publish. This podcast is for them. Tracking former sportswear CEO Shaz Kahng’s first foray into self-publishing, Bestseller: A Self-Publishing Podcast by Reedsy aims to help aspiring novelists on the same path. Listen early on the Reedsy website today. Debuts on all podcatchers December 13, 2018.
About the Show
Bestseller is a storytelling podcast that follows the publication of an author’s first novel from start to finish in its first 7 episode miniseries. Each “chapter” runs 20-25 minutes and takes a deep dive into a different step of Shaz’s journey from Nike GM to self-published novelist.

Since 2014, publishing marketplace Reedsy has helped bring over 5,000 books to life by connecting authors with the industry’s top professionals. Now, they are launching their first podcast to help guide the next debut author through this journey. 

"There are plenty of podcasts out there for authors who are already self-publishing," said Casimir M. Stone, host and producer of Bestseller. "But rarely do they get into how the authors got to that point. That progression from having ‘a book in you’ to having a title that people are buying on Amazon — that’s what I think writers want to know more about.”
About the Story
Shaz Kahng was a boss in every sense of the word — the former general manager of Nike Cycling, the CEO of Lucy Activewear, and a new mother to twin girls. But she also had something else: an urge to get her life’s story down on paper.

Her debut novel The Closer was inspired by her own rise through the ranks of a male-dominated industry. Bringing this story from conception to publication took Kahng a multitude of drafts, editors, agents, and years. “In writing her book, Shaz ran into some of the very same barriers that she faced as an executive,” said Stone. “Those parallels between her life’s story, the story she’s written, and her story of bringing it to publication — I think that’s what makes Shaz such a captivating subject for this show.”

Release Schedule
The first season of Bestseller launched on December 13, 2018 @ Noon EST with the first three episodes: 

“Prologue: What is a Prologue?”
“Chapter 1: The Writing Process.”
“Chapter 2: Acquiring an Editor.”

Subsequent episodes will drop on Tuesday @ Noon EST through the end of the first season (7 episodes in total):

“Chapter 3: Deal or No Deal.” (Dec. 18)
“Chapter 4: The Design Stage.” (Dec. 25)
“Chapter 5: Going to Market.” (Jan. 1)
“Epilogue: What is an Epilogue?” (Jan. 8)

Casimir M. Stone, Host
Writer and podcaster-in-chief at Reedsy.

Shaz Kahng, Subject
Apparel chief executive, global consulting partner, builder of e-businesses, brand strategist, author.

Are you up for hearing more podcasts like this one? What is your response to Shaz Kahng's take on going from idea to published book?