Building Your Author Platform

Beginning to Build Your Author PlatformFor indie and self-published authors, there’s a lot of talk about building your author platform and/or your marketing platform. Some people see these as two distinct entities while others may argue that they are the same thing. We won’t get into the semantics of that. The key is really just creating a platform, which means you have visibility, authority, proven reach, and a target audience in your topic area. It’s great to be able to start with your family and friends, but you really need to reach beyond them as you’re developing a platform. Social media and online marketing can play a role, but you need to be doing a lot more than this. There are four things to keep in mind as you start to think about building your author platform:

  • It’s about engaging your potential readership/audience.
  • It’s a process that takes time. It’s a good idea to start working on it before your book is published.
  • It takes persistence and consistency.
  • It’s an art, not a science, and it’s likely that there will be a lot of trial and error.

Jane Friedman says, “Platform building is an organic process and will be different for every single author.” It can be an arduous process and can be almost as much of creative endeavor as writing and publishing your book. However, if you commit to working on building your platform it can be extremely rewarding and pay off in the long run.

Determine what your goals are for your book marketing – Of course many people have the idea that they’d like to sell millions of copies and become famous. However, that might not be realistic. Take some time to figure out what your specific goals are for your book. Is your goal to increase your business, position yourself as an expert, educate, or entertain? Make sure you know, so you can tailor your efforts accordingly.

Learn about your specific audience – Once you know your goals for your book, start to drill down on who your audience is and what may drive them to buy your book. Hang out in online groups or forums where they hang out. Attend events, such as book clubs, book fairs, or events specific to your topic area.  Once you gain a better understanding of who your audience is, you can tailor your content  to increase engagement.

Create great content – Identify what makes your book unique and figure out ways that you can deliver meaningful content based off that. What is going to make you stand out? There are lots of great tools out there online that you can use to help spread your message, whether it’s images, video, blogging, or other social media. However, as we mentioned previously, social media is really only a tool. Once it’s set up, you need to make sure that you’re populating your social media profiles with good content that’s going to engage your readership and keep them coming back for more.

As always, if you have questions about the most effective ways to market your books, please contact us.

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

google.com/+Sdppublishingsolutions

Why You Should Submit to Writing Contests and Literary Journals

SubmitWritingContestsThere are lots of great contests and journals that are almost always accepting submissions  for many different types of work, including fiction, non-fiction, fan and flash fiction, essays, short stories, poetry, novels, ebooks, chapbooks — you name it! Why enter writing contests, you ask?

  • Entering these types of contests can help you keep your writing and publishing momentum going.

  • Submitting to writing contests is a great way to gain credibility as a writer/author.

  • They can help create interest in your work, leading to other opportunities and potentially, to sales.

  • An award will give you an edge, which may be all the difference needed to propel your work into bestseller territory.

  • When you win or get placed, you can say you are an “award-winning author,” giving your writing a boost that comes from a third-party endorsement.

  • Awards can help you gain credibility with readers, reviewers, reporters, agents, and publishers.

If you want advice on other ways that you can help increase your status as a writing or published author, please contact SDP Publishing.

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

 

google.com/+Sdppublishingsolutions

The Importance of Catalog Representation for Your Book Marketing Plan

ibpa-default-article-coverOne of the biggest questions authors ask me is: “My book has been published for over a year, now what do I do to help keep it going?” Our advice is similar to what it would be for a newly published author, some of which includes:

  • Work on getting professional reviews and blog write ups
  • Blog content directly from your book on your blog or website
  • Build up your social media presence
  • Build up your contact list

Another effective strategy is to try to get your book into as many catalogs as possible. The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), in which SDP is a member, offers several channels to promote your book to libraries, booksellers, reviewers, and the media. The IBPA’s cooperative book catalogs come in both print and digital.

Catalog Options:

  • Library Market E-Blast – Members present their titles alongside only 14 others in a special e-blast sent to 5,000 qualified collection development librarians. Three options: Public Library, K-12 Library, or College Library.
  • Books for Review E-Blast (new) – Members present their titles alongside 11 others in an email blast sent to approximately 3,000 reviewers, journalists, and bloggers across the U.S. Each title featured includes multiple links that allow reviewers to reach out to members via email and request books for review.
  • Books for Review Catalog – Members add information about their title (cover image, short description, contact, and ordering information) to a four-color catalog. The catalog is mailed to newspaper, magazine, and media book reviewers throughout the U.S. Cost is $210 per title.
  • Bookstore Catalog (new) – Members add information about their title (cover image, short description, contact and ordering information) to a four-color catalog. The catalog is mailed to approximately 3,500 booksellers throughout the U.S.
  • Books for Review/Bookstore Catalog Bundle – Members add information about their title (cover image, short description, contact, and ordering information) to both the Books for Review AND Bookstore Catalogs. The four-color catalogs are mailed to newspaper, magazine, and media book reviewers as well as approximately 3,500 booksellers throughout the U.S.

Click here to find out more about their list of marketing services and catalog publishing schedule.

Not yet a member of IBPA? Click here to join: http://www.ibpa-online.org/join/.  We highly recommend the “Books for Review/Bookstore Catalog Bundle.” Please contact us for more information about these programs so that we can help get you on your way for maximum exposure in 2015!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

 

google.com/+Sdppublishingsolutions

SDP Publishing’s Lisa Akoury-Ross to Present at Boston Women Connect’s "Indie" Publishing Author Book Fair PLUS Networking – Monday, October 27

LisaAkouryRossJoin Boston Women Connect on Monday, October 27 to learn all about “Indie” Publishing. This event also features an Author Book Fair to promote (and sell) your book or your writing, editing, and publishing services. (Limited number of shared expo tables available). Women and Men are welcome to attend this event.

Date: October 27, 2014

Time: 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Location: 

Boston Marriott Burlington

1 Mall Road

Burlington, MA 01803

At this special event you will learn:

  • The difference between Self-publishing and Indie Publishing
  • Top Indie Authors – and how they achieved success
  • 3 ways to publish – Print, Print-on-Demand or E-book – what are the advantages?
  • The 10 questions you should ask before choosing an Indie Publisher

Lisa Akoury-Ross, Founder, CEO of SDP Publishing — Lisa began her career in the book production business over 25 years ago, serving the largest publishers in the world in the medical, education, and trade industries. Starting with unedited manuscript, her family business provided full production services for publishers such as Pearson Education, Houghton Mifflin, Aspen Law & Business, and others. Lisa launched SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC to help the individual author independently publish their work professionally and cost-effectively. Her business offers a variety of publishing solutions. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, SDP provides publishing services for authors based on their needs and budget. Services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book formats.

The evening will also feature:

  • Informal Networking around the Author Book Fair Tables
  • Structured Networking Program – you WILL make great connections
  • Networking “Cheat Sheet” with contact details on all attendees
  • Tasty free appetizers, cash bar

Free parking, and convenient location just off Route 128

REGISTER NOW! http://www.bostonwomenconnect.com/events/2014/10/27/business-development-speakers-panelists/publish-indie-publishing-author-book-fair-networking/

Cost:

$30.00 – Members

$40.00 – Non-members ($40.00 through October 21; $45.00 thereafter)

$10.00 – Expo table (shared space with 2 others; event registration and payment online required)

Pre-registration is required. We hope to see you there!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

83rd Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Has Extended It’s Deadline to June 16!

WD83AnComp_600pxThis is such a great opportunity for any established or aspiring writer. Enter the 83rd Annual Writing Competition for your chance to win and have your work be seen by editors and agents! The winning entries of this writing contest will also be on display in the 83rd Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection.

You can enter your work into one or more of these categories:

  • Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious)
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay
  • Magazine Feature Article
  • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Non-rhyming Poetry
  • Stage Play
  • Television/Movie Script
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction

What You Can Win:

  • An announcement of the winner on the cover of Writer’s Digest*
  • A 30-minute Platform Strategy Consultation with Chuck Sambuchino*
  • A one year subscription to Writer’s Digest eBooks
  • A chance to win $3,000 in cash
  • Get national exposure for your work
  • One on one attention with four editors or agents
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!

First place will receive $1,000 in cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Second place will receive $500 cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Third place will receive $250 in cash and $100 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Fourth place will receive $100 in cash and $50 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Fifth place will receive $50 in cash and $50 off a purchase from the Writer’s Digest Shop

Sixth through Tenth place winners will receive $25 in cash.

All winners will also receive:

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leading provider of independent publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self publishing and independent publishing solutions for our authors. Located south of Boston, from literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – we provide the best solutions for authors worldwide. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Prize Increase and Deadline Extended to June 13: Enter Your Self-Published Book in the Writer's Digest's Self-Published Book Awards

SelfPub22_800px2014Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published Book Awards contest has increased its grand prize, and extended the deadline June 13! The grand prize winner will receive his or her choice of $8,000 cash OR $3,000 cash and publicity exposure valued at $7,500. Click here to learn more.

This competition is the perfect opportunity to take action and promote your self-published book! Writers from all genres are welcome, including fiction, non-fiction, inspirational, children’s and poetry, and more. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors; and, it can provide some great exposure for any self-published author.

Enter your book into one or more of these categories:

  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction
  • Genre Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Inspirational (Spiritual, New Age)
  • Life Stories (Biographies, Autobiographies, Family Histories, Memoirs)
  • Children’s Picture books
  • Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
  • Reference Books (Directories, Encyclopedias, Guide Books)
  • Poetry

One Grand Prize Winner will receive:

  • NEW-$8,000 cash OR $3,000 in cash PLUS publicity exposure on BookTrib.com valued at $7,500*
  • A trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
  • Promotion in Writer’s Digest (March/April 2015 issue)
  • An endorsement from the Writer’s Digest editorial team–10 copies of their book for submission to major publishing review houses.
  • A one-year membership to Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest not-for-profit trade association representing nearly 3,000 independent book publishers, courtesy of IBPA.
  • Guaranteed acceptance in a special sales catalog, providing the Grand Prize Winner with national representation through 60,000 salespeople selling to non-bookstore markets, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A Marketplace Readiness Assessment Consult ($450 value) by Amy Collins. This includes cover, pricing, category, market and packaging research and consulting. Prizes courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A copy of Show Me About Book Publishing and consultation with Book Shepherd Judith Briles (valued at $500), courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A $100 discount on a new website by NewMedia Website Design

Nine First-Place Winners will receive:

  • $1,000 cash and promotion in Writer’s Digest (March/April 2015 issue)
  • A one-year membership to Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN), courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A one-year membership to Book Central Station where you can find lists of suppliers rated by previous clients, provided by Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • An e-book titled Beyond the Bookstore, a Publishers Weekly book by Brian Jud (with CD).
  • A $100 discount on a new website by NewMedia Website Design

All Grand Prize and First Place winners will:

  • Be featured on the Writer’s Digest website
  • $100 worth of Writer’s Digest Books

Honorable Mention Winners will receive $50 worth of Writer’s Digest Books and promotion onwww.writersdigest.com.

All entrants will receive a brief commentary from one of the judges.

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leading provider of independent publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self publishing and independent publishing solutions for our authors. Located south of Boston, from literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – we provide the best solutions for authors worldwide. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Deadline: May 30! Enter the Writer’s Digest 22nd Annual Self-Published Book Awards

SelfPub22_800px2014Have you ever felt like your work deserves more attention? This competition is the perfect opportunity to take action and promote your work! Writers from all genres are welcome, including fiction, non-fiction, inspirational, children’s and poetry, to name just a few. 

Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 22nd annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.

Deadline: May 30, 2014

What’s in it for you?

  • A chance to win $3,000 in cash
  • National exposure for your work
  • The attention of prospective editors and publishers
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!

How to enter: Register and pay online or download a printable entry form. (Early-bird entry fees are $99 for the first entry, and $75 for each additional entry.)

Click here to enter!

Enter your book into one or more of these categories:

  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction
  • Genre Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Inspirational (Spiritual, New Age)
  • Life Stories (Biographies, Autobiographies, Family Histories, Memoirs)
  • Children’s/Picture books
  • Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
  • Reference Books (Directories, Encyclopedias, Guide Books)
  • Poetry

One Grand Prize Winner will receive:

  • $3,000 cash and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
  • An endorsement from the Writer’s Digest editorial team–10 copies of their book for submission to major publishing review houses.
  • A one-year membership to Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest not-for-profit trade association representing nearly 3,000 independent book publishers, courtesy of IBPA.
  • Guaranteed acceptance in a special sales catalog, providing the Grand Prize Winner with national representation through 60,000 salespeople selling to non-bookstore markets, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A Marketplace Readiness Assessment Consult ($450 value) by Amy Collins. This includes cover, pricing, category, market and packaging research and consulting. Prizes courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A copy of Show Me About Book Publishing and consultation with Book Shepherd Judith Briles (valued at $500), courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A $100 discount on a new website by NewMedia Website Design

Nine First-Place Winners will receive:

  • $1,000 cash and promotion in Writer’s Digest
  • A one-year membership to Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN), courtesy of Brian Jud &Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A one-year membership to Book Central Station where you can find lists of suppliers rated by previous clients, provided by Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • An e-book titled Beyond the Bookstore, a Publishers Weekly book by Brian Jud (with CD).
  • A $100 discount on a new website by NewMedia Website Design

All Grand Prize and First Place winners will:

  • Be featured on the Writer’s Digest website
  • $100 worth of Writer’s Digest Books

Honorable Mention Winners will receive $50 worth of Writer’s Digest Books and promotion onwww.writersdigest.com.

All entrants will receive a brief commentary from the judges.

Check out the winners and entrants from the 20th annual competition

Click here to enter!

If you’re interested in learning more about how to maximize your exposure and gain credibility through third-party reviews or by entering contests, contact SDP Publishing. We have extensive experience working with authors to submit their work to third-party reviewers and contests to help expand their marketing potential.

SDP Publishing is currently offering a great promotion to authors who are thinking about self-publishing. To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Enter the Writer’s Digest 22nd Annual Self-Published Book Awards

Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 22nd annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.

Early-Bird Deadline: April 1, 2014

What’s in it for you?

  • A chance to win $3,000 in cash
  • National exposure for your work
  • The attention of prospective editors and publishers
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!

How to enter: Register and pay online or download a printable entry form. (Early-bird entry fees are $99 for the first entry, and $75 for each additional entry.)

Click here to enter!

Enter your book into one or more of these categories:

  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction
  • Genre Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Inspirational (Spiritual, New Age)
  • Life Stories (Biographies, Autobiographies, Family Histories, Memoirs)
  • Children’s/Picture books
  • Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
  • Reference Books (Directories, Encyclopedias, Guide Books)
  • Poetry

One Grand Prize Winner will receive:

  • $3,000 cash and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
  • An endorsement from the Writer’s Digest editorial team–10 copies of their book for submission to major publishing review houses.
  • A one-year membership to Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest not-for-profit trade association representing nearly 3,000 independent book publishers, courtesy of IBPA.
  • Guaranteed acceptance in a special sales catalog, providing the Grand Prize Winner with national representation through 60,000 salespeople selling to non-bookstore markets, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A Marketplace Readiness Assessment Consult ($450 value) by Amy Collins. This includes cover, pricing, category, market and packaging research and consulting. Prizes courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A copy of Show Me About Book Publishing and consultation with Book Shepherd Judith Briles (valued at $500), courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A $100 discount on a new website by NewMedia Website Design

Nine First-Place Winners will receive:

  • $1,000 cash and promotion in Writer’s Digest
  • A one-year membership to Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN), courtesy of Brian Jud &Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A one-year membership to Book Central Station where you can find lists of suppliers rated by previous clients, provided by Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • An e-book titled Beyond the Bookstore, a Publishers Weekly book by Brian Jud (with CD).
  • A $100 discount on a new website by NewMedia Website Design

All Grand Prize and First Place winners will:

  • Be featured on the Writer’s Digest website
  • $100 worth of Writer’s Digest Books

Honorable Mention Winners will receive $50 worth of Writer’s Digest Books and promotion onwww.writersdigest.com.

All entrants will receive a brief commentary from the judges.

Check out the winners and entrants from the 20th annual competition

Click here to enter!

If you’re interested in learning more about how to maximize your exposure and gain credibility through third-party reviews or by entering contests, contact SDP Publishing. We have extensive experience working with authors to submit their work to third-party reviewers and contests to help expand their marketing potential.

SDP Publishing is currently offering a great promotion to authors who are thinking about self-publishing. To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

More Writing Contests for the End of 2013 and Beginning of 2014

A great way to gain credibility as a writer/author is by submitting to writing contests. There are lots of great contests and journals that are accepting submissions right now for many different types of work, including fiction, non-fiction, fan and flash fiction, essays, short stories, and poetry. These types of contests can help you keep your writing and publishing momentum going. Below is a list that we put together to help you as you think about submitting your work.

Story Share $50,000 Writing Contest

Submission deadline: December 7, 2013

Benetech Global Literacy, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and Orca Book Publishing are encouraging emerging and existing writers to submit original high-interest fiction and non-fiction reading material for young adults aged 13+ who struggle with reading. No prior experience writing for struggling reader audiences is required. A step-by-step guide is available to assist writers in leveling their stories. Eleven cash prizes will be awarded to winners in categories including best series, best character-based story and best use of illustrations. Prize levels range from $2,000 to a grand prize of $10,000. www.storysharecontest.com

Gival Press Poetry Award-2013

Postmark deadline: December 15, 2013

15th Gival Press Poetry Award for best original previously unpublished collection of poetry in English, 45 pages or more, in any style or form; include list of previously published poems in the ms. Prize: $1,000, copies and publication. Reading fee $20 per ms submitted. Deadline Dec. 15. For complete details, email givalpress@yahoo.com or visit website www.givalpress.com. Mail to: Robert L. Giron, Editor, Gival Press, P.O. Box 3812, Arlington, VA 22203.

Imaginary Friend Press Chapbook Contest

Online submission deadline: December 15, 2013

Imaginary Friend Press is holding a poetry chapbook contest. The reading period ends 12/15. There is a $5 entry fee or $7 if you want a copy of the winning book. Winning book gets $100 and 25 copies of the book. Winning book will be chosen by a panel of esteemed judges. Other entries will be considered for publication. Visit www.imaginaryfriendpress.com for complete guidelines.

2013 William Richey Fiction Prize, Yemassee

Extended deadline: December 15, 2013

Yemassee invites you to submit to our annual 2013 William Richey Short Fiction Contest. Submit one piece of unpublished short fiction of up to 10,000 words. Acclaimed novelist Emily St. John Mandel is this year’s guest judge. $500 prize, $10 entry fee, the winner and two runner-ups will be published in the magazine along with a list of ten finalists. Visit yemasseejournalonline.org for more details as well as to enter.

Tartt First Fiction Award, Livingston Press

Postmark deadline: December 31, 2013

Tartt First Fiction Award’s tenth annual contest is now open. American authors who have not yet published a story collection are eligible. One thousand dollar award, plus publication in trade paper, hardcover, and Kindle. Author receive 100 copies. Manuscript should fall between 150-275 pages. Open to all themes, styles. Twenty-dollar entry fee. Mail to Livingston Press, Station 22, The University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL 35470. We notify all entrants of receipt in January, of the winner in late May. Keep a copy of your manuscript, as we do not return entries. Thanks. www.livingstonpress.uwa.edu

Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

Online submission deadline: December 31, 2013

Awarded to an outstanding, unpublished collection of short stories. Reading Fee: $30. Award: Publication of winning short story collection, $1,000 cash advance, travel expenses and lodging for a special reading and book signing party at Press 53 headquarters at the Community Arts Café in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina, attendance to the 2014 Press 53/Prime Number Magazine Gathering of Writers, and ten copies of the book. Enter September 1, 2013–December 31, 2013; finalists announced March 1, 2014; winner announced on May 3, 2014 (National Press 53 Day). Complete details at www.Press53.com.

bioStories Magazine Essay Contest. Theme: “Kindness”

Email submission deadline: January 15, 2014

Staying with its mission of finding the extraordinary in ordinary lives, bioStories solicits essays for a contest focused on the theme “kindness.” We encourage writers to interpret the theme broadly and creatively. Winner receives $250 and publication. Pieces earning honorable mentions will be announced on the magazine website and be eligible for publication. Entry fee: $10. Deadline for entry: January 15, 2014. Only nonfiction will be accepted. Maximum length 3,000 words. No previously published work. Essays will be evaluated by blind review. Complete contest guidelines are available at: www.biostories.com.

The Dora and Alexander Raynes Poetry Prize

Email/Online/Postmark deadline: January 15, 2014

One poet will receive $1000 and two poets will receive $180 each for a poem on the theme of Union. Joan Larkin will judge. The three poets will have their work featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Jewish Currents magazine, and 36 poets will be included in an anthology to be published Summer 2014. All entries will be considered for future publication in the magazine. (Please note: Writers of any background, regardless of religious affiliation, are encouraged to submit.) Submission fee of $18 includes a one-year subscription or gift subscription to Jewish Currents. Online submissions are accepted. For instructions and further contest guidelines, see jewishcurrents.org/poetry-prize-2.

Willow Springs Fiction Prize

Submission deadline: March 15, 2014

$2,000 plus publication. Submission deadline: March 15, 2014. Original, unpublished work only; no word limit for submissions. $15 entry fee, $20 for international submissions. All entrants will receive a one-year subscription to Willow Springs. You can submit a story online willowsprings.submittable.com/submit or mail a hard copy to The Willow Springs Fiction Prize. More details here: willowsprings.ewu.edu/contests.php

The Richard and Julie Logsdon Prize for Fiction

Email/Online submission deadline: May 31, 2014

To be awarded to a work of fiction published by Red Rock Review in Spring or Fall of 2014. Prize: $150. Contest guidelines at sites.csn.edu/english/redrockreview/Prize_Page.html. Submission guidelines at sites.csn.edu/english/redrockreview/Frequently Asked Questions.htm.

Good Luck!

Click here to download your free copy of the “Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher”! In this guide, we provide tips to help you make the right decision in regard to the publisher with which you choose to work.

Please fill in the form on our website and your download will be immediately available!

We’re also currently offering a great promotion to authors who are thinking about self-publishing. To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up a time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Guy Kawasaki’s Artisanal Publishing and How It’s Changing Publishing

You’ve probably all heard of Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley author, speaker, investor, and business advisor. If you haven’t – especially if you’re interested in self-publishing – you need to know who he is. After some bad experiences working with traditional publishers on a few books, Kawasaki self-published his book, What the Plus, which is when the term “artisanal publishing” was born. Artisanal Publishing refers to “writers who love their craft, and who control every aspect of the process from beginning to end. In this new approach, writers are no longer at the mercy of large, traditional publishers, and readers will have more books to read.”

The self-publishing process proved more challenging than he expected, and he learned a number of lessons throughout the process, which led him to self-publish APE: How to Publish a Book—all about the positives and the “pain and trauma” of being an indie author. APE stands for Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur.

According to Kawasaki, when a self-publisher successfully fills three roles—author, publisher, and entrepreneur—the potential benefits are greater than with traditional publishing. And while Kawasaki may now be a self-publishing convert, he has talked about both the pros and cons of going the route of self-publishing.

On the pro side, he cites editorial, sales, and marketing control; quicker time to market; and increased royalties. “APE sells for $9.99 as a Kindle e-book and we make $7,” he said. “And that is remarkable. That is like four times traditionally published…These are good numbers.” The drawbacks, Kawasaki said, include no advance, increased responsibility for all aspects of the publishing process, and loneliness.

In offering up his top 10 tips for self-published authors, Kawasaki urges writers to:

  1. Write for the Right Reasons: He cited writing to enrich people’s lives, furthering a cause, or meeting an intellectual challenge.
  2. Use the Right Tools: He suggests a number of different pieces of software, such as Word and InDesign, but the bottom line is that you need to make sure they are the right tools for your work and process.
  3. Write Every Day
  4. Build Your Marketing Platform
  5. Start with a Kindle E-Book: “When all the dust settles, for us, Amazon is about 85% to 90% of the action,” Kawasaki said. “There’s all these other platforms, but if you can make it with Kindle you’ve got it made….If you make it on Kindle the rest is cream.”
  6. Tap the Crowd: With APE, Kawasaki asked his social media followers to critique his book outline, finished manuscript, and the final PDF of the book. “It really improved the book,” he said. “The crowd really helped me…It probably doubled the quality of APE. It was truly a great experience.”
  7. Hire a Copy Editor
  8. Hire a Cover Designer
  9. Test Your E-Book: Kawasaki urged writers to test the readability of their e-book on all platforms, devices, and operating systems.
  10. Never Give Up

These are all great pieces of advice! As overwhelming as it was for Guy just starting out as a self-published author, you can see from his list that it helps to have a professional team behind you every step of the way.  We will be discussing some of them at more length in future blog posts.

At SDP Publishing, like Guy Kawasaki, we treat each book as its own independent business. Authors retain 100% of their rights, enjoying generous royalties while going through the process step-by-step with our team. Independent publishing means your name is the brand and your book is the product. As we’ve talked about in the past, publishing a book on your own can be a long, lonely road, which is why it can be helpful to for writers build a team to help them succeed in self-publishing.

To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!