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

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 Author Donna LeBlanc’s Explorations of Commander Josh: In Space Receives Great Reviews from Midwest Book Reviews and Stevo’s Book Reviews on the Internet

CommJosh_FrontCover_SDPWe’re always so pleased when our authors receive great reviews. Our most recent congratulations go to Donna LeBlanc and the first book in her series: Explorations of Commander Josh: “In Space.” Below you can read some of what the reviewers wrote:

From Midwest Book Review:

“… Author Donna LeBlanc crafts a unique world in which readers can play and explore, with the promise of many more adventures to come! Solidly entertaining from beginning to end, Explorations of Commander Josh: “In Space” is especially recommended for family, school, and community library collections….” ~Midwest Book Review

Recommended reading by Stevo’s Book Review:

“This first installment of the Commander Josh series, ‘In Space,’ takes readers on a high-flying adventure into the great unknown! Join the lovable Josh, who-with ideas from his favorite travel shows and his mother’s laundry basket-uses his brilliant imagination to take off for the stars. With Explorations of Commander Josh, Donna LeBlanc crafts a unique world in which readers can play and explore, with the promise of many more adventures to come!”

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

 

Now on Sale: David Di Paolo’s The Artemis Connection Ebook is only $1.99 through the End of this Month!

9780990559634-Artemis-Perfect_cover_11-04-14.inddShe doesn’t believe in witches or curses or spells. The doctor doesn’t believe in anything that science can’t explain, but Diana Valleverde is about to learn that knowledge is an evolving proposition. Her research into brain function is uncovering secrets within the mind, but none like the one kept hidden from her since before she was born. When her brother, a curator at the university museum, gives her a family keepsake from their recently deceased grandmother, Diana begins a journey that will take her from Pennsylvania to Milan and the Italian Alps, to discover what lies hidden inside and what has caused her recent affliction by what she knows must be sleep paralysis attacks, a frightening condition in which she awakens, unable to move or cry out, with the overwhelming sense something unseen is suffocating her. There must be a medical explanation for these attacks. There must be . . . Right?

You can buy The Artemis Connection for only $1.99 from:

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/The-Artemis-Connection-David-Paolo/dp/0990559637

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-artemis-connection-david-di-paolo/1120754980?ean=9780990559634

SDP Publishinghttp://sdppublishingsolutions.com/bookstore/the-artemis-connection/

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

Author’s Corner: Susie Rich, Author of How My Daddy Taught Me to Dance and Too Much Hopscotch

Susie Tells Us How Everyday Family Obligations Inspired Her to Write Children’s Books, and How She Finds Inspiration in the Simple Things in Life

SusieRichSusie Rich was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has spent her career working in the social work/homelessness prevention field. Several years ago, she began to pursue her passion for writing. Prior to her two recently published children’s books, How My Daddy Taught Me to Dance and Too Much Hopscotch, she published “Beauties, The Eye of the Beholder,” in an Ohio magazine. She has also written a number of short stories and is currently working on a novel. She resides near Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband, Douglas.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? When did you start?

“I did not always want to be a writer but I have always enjoyed writing. I wrote poems that I didn’t share with anyone. I started sharing my poems with family around high school.”

Could you tell us a little bit how How My Daddy Taught Me to Dance and Too Much Hopscotch came to be?

How Daddy Taught Me to Dance and Too Much Hopscotch along with many other stories were the result of me occupying my time while waiting for my children to complete their activities. Football practices, baseball games, dance classes. I wrote while they played and practiced.”

Where do you get your inspiration?

“My inspiration comes from many places and takes many forms. It can be as simple as the sound of leaves rustling, the scenery while driving, or a single word said in a casual conversation. Inspiration for me is everywhere and it comes from things going on in my life.”

Do you have some Authors that you really admire or that have helped to shape your work?

“I do. I enjoy science fiction quite a bit. Although these authors did not help shape my writing directly, the works of Arthur C. Clarke and J.R.R. Tolkien were among my favorite reads.”

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your books?

“My intended audiences are children and parents who enjoy fun and interesting stories with a positive message presented in an entertaining way.”

Have you written other books, articles, etc.? If so, where can we find them?

“I have written other stories in addition to How My Daddy Taught Me to Dance and Too Much Hopscotch. Currently you can find my published story Beauties, The Eye of the Beholder under the Additional Works page on my website SusiesStories.com.”

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively since you started writing?

“Since I started writing, my creativity has evolved with experience. Family, friends, and life in general have greatly influenced the progression of my work.”

What is the most difficult thing for you when it comes to writing?

“The most difficult thing for me when it comes to writing is getting the idea down on paper. Since inspiration can come in any form and at any time, getting the idea down on paper before the thought or phrase is gone can sometimes be a challenge. While driving down the highway, in the middle of a business meeting, or at the register at the grocery store, I try to find interesting ways to keep the thought intact until I can get it down on paper.”

What is the easiest thing for you when it comes to writing?  

“The easiest thing for me when it comes to writing is picking up where I left off. If I have started writing a story, I do not have a problem coming back to it and continuing the story line.”

Do you ever get writer’s block?  What do you do to get around it?

“So far I have been very fortunate (fingers crossed) that I have not experienced writer’s block.”

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

“I would definitely say to keep at it. Anything you want to say in the form of writing, be it a story, poem, or novel; just keep it going whether or not you think it will be published or even seen by anyone. If writing is what you want to do and it makes you happy, that passion has already brought you to a wonderful place. Sometimes with our obligations in life, we cannot always get to our writing but make a commitment to try and do at least one hour a day and you will get it done.”

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

“You can find out more about my stories on my website Susiesstories.com, through Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SusiesStories, and you can also contact me at Susiesstories@yahoo.com.”

Can you talk a little bit about the process of working with SDP Publishing and going through the process of self-publishing?

“Working with SDP Publishing has been a wonderful experience. I would not have my beautiful finished products without SDP Publishing. From the very first interaction it has been a positive and professional collaboration. My profession is in the Social Services field and not in publishing. SDP Publishing has been positive, professional, and patient while helping me navigate through all aspects of the publishing process.”

Do you have any suggestions to help other writers who are thinking about going the self-publishing/indie publishing route? If so, what are they?

“What I might suggest is to find trusted partners who can help you through the self-publishing/indie publishing process. People who have experience in the industry and can guide you, and help you deal with unexpected details that are unique to this business.”

What can we expect from you in the future? Are you working on any new projects?

“I am working on several different projects and have completed several others waiting to start the publishing process. I am also working with SDP Publishing to complete two other children’s books that are currently being developed.”

Can you tell us where we can find out more about your work?

Website: Susiesstories.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/Susiesstories

Amazon Author Page: SusiesStories Author Page

Goodreads: Susie’s Goodreads page

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

 

Mariner’s Hollow Listed as Recommended Reading by Stevo's Book Reviews on the Internet

Ja-FINAL VERSION-Front_GoldStar_6-5-14At SDP Publishing, we love it when our authors and their books get recognized by reviewers, bloggers, or other media outlets! Our very own F.G. Capitanio’s Mariner’s Hollow has been listed on the Recommended Reading by Stevo’s Book Reviews on the Internet for November 2014.

You can see the full list of Stevo’s Recommended Reading for November here: http://forums.delphiforums.com/stevo1/messages?msg=200.1

About Mariner’s Hollow

A mysterious and desolate island. A devastating turn of events. A secret that will reveal the true meaning of Justice.

Fifteen-year-old Justice Worth is summoned to the house of Eleanor Burby, an unknown aunt living on Mariner’s Hollow Island, miles off the turbulent Maine coast. Events transpire that are much worse than spending winter break apart from his friends back home, and turn his visit into a nightmare. A blizzard slams the island in all its fury, and in its midst, his aunt dies of an apparent suicide. Trapped in her island home, stalked by ghosts within and a murderer outside, Justice begins to unravel not only the truth behind his aunt’s death, but the family secrets threatening to destroy his perception of those he loves most.

Little about Aunt Eleanor’s death makes sense, but as Justice probes the lives of those closest to her, suspects multiply and new dangers arise. Through it all, island spirits continue to haunt him, pushing him towards the family’s dark secrets, before the only living person who knows them all silences him forever, burying the truth in the one place where it may never be found: Mariner’s Hollow.

About the Author

F. G. Capitanio is the author of several published poems, essays, and short stories. Mariner’s Hollow is his first published novel. He has spent several years in various departments of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  He lives year round on Cape Cod, while continuing to work on his second Justice Worth mystery.

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

Yvonne deSousa’s MS Madness! Reviews by BookLife by Publishers Weekly and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America’s publication The Motivator

MSMadness_FrontCover_SDPWebsiteAt SDP Publishing, we love it when our authors and their books get recognized by reviewers, bloggers, or other media outlets! Yvonne deSousa’s MS Madness! Recently received some great reviews from BookLife by Publishers Weekly and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America’s publication The Motivator. You can read them below!

Review as it appeared in BookLife by Publishers Weekly

“A week before Christmas in 2009, deSousa, a writer and blogger in her late 30s, receives a diagnosis that explains all of the mysterious symptoms she’s had for months: relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis. She’s thrown into a disorienting world of self-administered shots, exhaustion, and memory loss. Rather than descend into pity or bitterness, she decides to enjoy her favorite holiday while relying on her Catholic faith, a sense of humor, and family. DeSousa considers herself lucky: unlike her sister, who also has MS, she doesn’t need a cane or a brace to walk. That attitude, which helps her navigate the difficult early months, comes through right away in the book. At first, deSousa continues to hold down a stressful job and teach Sunday school, in part because, even with insurance, she worries about the mounting costs of dealing with the disease, but eventually, her disability forces her to quit working. She describes her deliberations over whether to spend 83¢ on a fountain soda, and her joy at discovering that the soda is actually free. With her new free time, she discovers previously untapped interests like writing and earns a scholarship to a writing conference and is published. In this heartfelt memoir, deSousa proves that while there is much to be frustrated and dispirited about, it’s possible to face quagmires with grace.” (BookLife by Publishers Weekly) http://booklife.com/project/ms-madness-2108

Review as it appeared in the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America’s publication The Motivator: Summer/Fall 2014

“Subtitled “A ‘Giggle More, Cry Less’ Story of Multiple Sclerosis,” MS Madness! is an enjoyable book for anyone looking to uncover the lighter side of MS. Authored by a woman with MS, the story is written in a conversational tone, connecting the reader with her many unique encounters and entertaining perspectives. Ms. deSousa takes readers on her journey through her daily events, including her relationships, school and work, doctor visits, and much more, all while sharing her comical thoughts on how she interprets the sometimes bizarre situations.

When the pharmacist refuses to give her a large prescription of Vitamin D at one time – making her return to the pharmacy every few days – she wonders if he thought she was going to try to sell it illegally to “unsuspecting folks who were already drinking their fair share [of Vitamin D] in their milk.” Not only can members of the MS community relate to her physical, cognitive, and emotional ups and downs, but readers will find themselves laughing out loud throughout the book. In addition to borrowing this book from MSAA’s free Lending Library, this book may be purchased through www.amazon.com.” http://www.mymsaa.org/publications/motivator/summer-fall14/spread-word/

ABOUT MS MADNESS

Yvonne deSousa’s diagnosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis came with an insightful declaration from a new doctor (“MS sucks”) and a brother’s helpful advice (“You could totally get one of those handicapped parking plates now”). What followed was a year of MS-adventures: “accidentally” kicking an officious male doctor in the crotch, becoming an undercover agent to pay for medication made from Chinese hamster ovary cells, discovering the amazing effects of legal speed, and battling her arch-nemesis, the dreaded food group: vegetables. Throughout her MS journey, Yvonne learned how to use humor to find acceptance in her diagnosis, and how to smile in the face of a debilitating chronic illness. MS Madness will make you laugh while learning the real story of what MS, a disease that affects 400,000 Americans daily, can do to a perfectly normal person. Life with multiple sclerosis can be daunting, but Yvonne shares her giggles at the bizarre world she has unwittingly entered and the new perspectives it has given her on life. MS Madness makes us realize that with a sense of humor, we can survive anything.

To learn more about MS Madness, please visit: http://sdppublishingsolutions.com/bookstore/ms-madness.  To learn more about Yvonne deSousa, please visit: http://yvonnedesousa.com.

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

 

8 Tips to Help You Achieve Your 2014 Writing Resolutions Before the End of the Year

“If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” ~Dan Poynter

writing resolutionsWe are almost through October! So the question we have for you is: How are you progressing on your writing goals and resolutions from January? Are you on track with where you wanted to be or have you fallen behind? If you’re on track, congratulations! If not, no need to feel down about it. Even though there are only three full months left in 2014, you still have a third of the year to achieve your writing resolutions. You can catch up to make sure that by the end of the year, you have accomplished your writing goals just in time to make new ones for 2015. We’ve come up with a number of surefire ways to help you get back on track with your writing goals.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~Aristotle

As we discussed in our post at the beginning of the year, Five Writing Resolutions You Can Start at Any Time of the Year, most people like to have some sort of clean slate or definitive start date, which a New Year can bring. However, the really remarkable thing about positive change, like committing to writing, is that it doesn’t have to wait. It can happen at any moment. Even right now! SO get going!

  1. Define your writing goals – Before you get started, you need to determine what it is that you want to achieve. Do you want to finish that novel that you always wanted to write? Do you want to start the process of self-publishing your finished book? Whatever it is, define it. As we mentioned in the previously mentioned post: “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.”
  2. Be specific about how you are going to achieve your writing goals – In order to successfully incorporate good writing habits into your daily routine, you need to set your parameters. What time of the day are you going to devote to your writing? What space will you use to write? By creating specific guidelines to achieve your goal, you will make it much more likely that you will stick to it.
  3. Modify your writing/working environment – If you haven’t been able to commit to your writing while sitting at the kitchen table, find another place to do it. You should be free from distractions. Create a special place that you can dedicate as your writing place. Maybe it’s the coffee shop down the street or the library – make it a place that you will associate with your creative work.
  4. Find an audience – For most people, one of the most important things about setting goals is finding someone else to help you be accountable. It can also be helpful to have people who you can bounce ideas off. Find someone or a group of people who you trust and whose opinions you value and don’t be afraid to share.
  5. Get started already! – Oftentimes just getting started can be the most difficult piece of achieving your writing goals. We can easily get stuck in our heads, thinking about the goals that we want to achieve, but for some reason it’s hard to actually take that first step. We get stuck on the big picture. Setting up specific, small chunks of work that you can achieve easily can help you feel like you’ve accomplished something. And you’re one step closer to your larger goal. Take a tip from Nike and just do it!
  6. Keep a notebook handy at all times – This can be a physical notepad or your phone or tablet, something that you can record those random thoughts that might occur when you’re at work, sitting at your child’s soccer game, working out at the gym, or when you wake up in the middle of the night. We always think that we will remember, but most of the time that great sentence or piece of dialogue that pops into our heads will get lost when you get occupied by the next thing. Don’t let ideas fall by the wayside. You never know when inspiration will strike! If you don’t write them down, they’re gone.
  7. Don’t be too hard on yourself – We all have a lot on our plates in our daily lives. There probably will be a day that you just can’t get to work on your daily writing. This can be discouraging. But don’t let that knock you off track. Just start again tomorrow.
  8. Reassess your goals and outcomes – After a few days of working on your writing goals, you might realize that they’re not working. Don’t be discouraged. You may need to make some adjustments so that you can achieve success. As we talked about before, oftentimes breaking things down into smaller chunks of work can help you be more successful. It can also help to keep you motivated to keep going.

Do you have tips that help to keep you motivated to achieve your writing and creative goals? If so, we’d love to hear them!

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

Call for Entries! Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards: A Short Story Competition from Writer’s Digest

11986-GenHeaderIf you write short stories, don’t miss your chance to compete in the Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. There’s sure to be a category created just for you, Romance, Thriller, Crime, Horror, Science-Fiction, and Young Adult. Choose your favorite genre(s) and enter your best in 4,000 words or less.

Deadline: October 15, 2014

What’s in it for you?

  • A chance to win the Popular Fiction Awards Grand Prize including $2,500 and a trip to the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference
  • An announcement of the winner on the cover of Writer’s Digest*
  • A chance to win the $500 Category First Prize
  • Get your story promoted in Writer’s Digest and on WritersDigest.com
  • Win $100 off a purchase at www.writersdigestshop.com
  • Receive a copy of the 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market

*The cover announcement is being made on subscriber issues only.

How to enter: register and pay online or download a printable entry form. Regular entry fees are $25 per entry.) Click here to enter: https://app.wizehive.com/apps/menu/WDPopularFiction14

Deadline: October 15, 2014

One Grand Prize Winner will receive:

One First Place Winner in each category will receive:

Honorable Mentions will:

 

Categories:

Crime: Crime fiction is a genre of fiction that focuses on the dramatization of crimes, the detective work and procedures in solving said crimes, and the criminal motivations behind them. Mystery and detective fiction may also fit into this genre.

Horror: Horror fiction is a genre which intends, and/or has the capacity, to frighten, scare or startle readers. This genre may induce feelings of creepiness, horror and terror, and is generally unsettling for the audience. Horror can be supernatural or non-supernatural.

Romance: Romance fiction can encompass and draw themes, ideas and premises from other genres and can vary widely in setting, dialogue, characters, etc. Generally, however, romance fiction should include a love story involving two individuals struggling to make their relationship work and an emotionally satisfying ending.

Science Fiction: Science Fiction (and Fantasy) are genres that explore imaginative content, primarily related to science. This can include a variety of elements, often involving futuristic settings, science and technology, as well as space travel, time travel, extraterrestrial life, and parallel universes. Fantasy fiction often crosses over with this category, touching on similar elements such as world building and magical creatures, but it generally does not include the scientific themes.

Thriller: Thriller fiction is a genre of fiction that uses suspense and tension to dramatically affect the reader. A thriller can provide surprise, anxiety, terror, anticipation, etc., in order to provide a rush of emotions and excitement that progress a story. It should generally be based around the strength of the villain and the protagonist, as well as their struggle against each other. This category might encompass several other genres, including horror, science fiction, and crime.

Young Adult: Young Adult fiction is generally fiction meant for readers age 12-18.

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!

Author Corner: Phyllis Brown, Author of Help Me! I’m Slipping, Talks about Finding Solace in Writing and Her Hope that her Book Will Help Caregivers

9780989972383-Perfect_cover_HelpMe_04-24-14.inddPhyllis Brown has played many roles in her life – mother, wife, grandmother, great grandmother, chemist, and caregiver for her husband who had Alzheimer’s disease. Her latest edition of Help Me! I’m Slipping is a memoir about her relationship with her husband before he succumbed to the disease.

Combining personal narrative and facts about Alzheimer’s, Brown’s book is a comfort to caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, as well as anyone coping with a loved one’s illness. She turns this emotional story into an honest and inspiring book that will be sure to help caregivers learn to cherish the wonderful moments amid strenuous hardships. In our interview, Phyllis talks about finding solace in writing and her hope that her book will help caregivers of those with chronic diseases.

A brief description of Help Me! I’m Slipping:

“At its core, this is a love story. Brown started her journey with Bert at 17 and continued on for 65 years, remaining devoted to her soul mate the entire time. As a loving wife and caregiver, Brown recalls the final years of Bert’s life and the difficulties that came with them: side effects of various medications, trouble finding the right aides, and problems with communication. Even with the difficulties, Brown emphasizes the highlights, including visits with family members and friends along with moments of laughter and love.”

Could you tell us a little bit about why you decided to write this book?

“The nurse coordinator where I live told me I should write about some of the things that I did with my husband, who had Alzheimer’s, because it’s a little different than what other people do as caregivers. I guess I was also feeling a little lonely. It was almost like free association; I just sat and it poured out. That’s really how I got started. It just came to me during the writing process. It started out to be a brochure to help caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. But I couldn’t do that without giving some background, and it just sort of grew into a memoir from there.”

Have you always wanted to be a writer? When did you start?

“I have authored numerous scientific papers, which is an entirely different genre from this book. When I retired I thought I would write a children’s book, Grandma is a Chemist, or something about women in science. There are a lot of misconceptions about women in science. I am currently writing a book about my career in science. For a long time, I was the only woman in my specialty area of chemistry. I went back to school to get my PhD after my youngest was in first grade. I had been out of school for 18 years! I think my next book will be called, A Life with the Boys.”

Which writers inspire you?

“One author that I thought was great on this subject is Linda Genova. Her book is called Still Alice. It’s about Alzheimer’s from a patient’s point of view. She writes about a neuroscientist who’s diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.”

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

“I hope that the main audience will be caregivers. I hope younger people will read it too. A lot of them are going to be caregivers in the years to come because the number of Alzheimer’s patients is probably going to continue to increase. I hope it will assist them. In the end, I wanted to show that the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s isn’t a terrible tragedy. It is a tragedy on some level, but my husband and I were also able to have a lot of good times together that we didn’t have before.”

How was this publishing process compared to past experience?

“I would’ve gotten Lisa at SDP Publishing as my publisher right from the start. I used somebody else and it didn’t work out well. Lisa and her staff have provided me the kind of support I needed. Sometimes it’s difficult to see that the first draft isn’t always the best. You need to work through several drafts. You need someone to discuss it with, someone who can help you through the whole process. The difference between the right company and wrong company is night and day.”

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

“The book sounds like me, like I am talking, which is what I wanted. And, after going through this process, I am more willing to take criticism, direction, and correction.”

What is the hardest thing about writing?

“I had a hard time ending the book. The last chapter didn’t come in the beginning. I just put it aside for a while, and then sat down one day and it came to me.”

What is the easiest thing about writing?

“Once I start, it seems to flow. But sometimes, it can be hard to get started, as I explained about my difficulty with the last chapter.”

Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get around it?

“I find that the words come if I wait then all of a sudden it comes to me. If I force it, it’s never right.”

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

“Follow your voice. I got a solid background in English when I was in college. I was trained well. We had to take many writing courses, typing courses, and public speaking courses. It was so hard to get your foot in the door those days, which I think has helped me in the long run.”

How can we contact you or find out more about your books? How can readers discover more about you and you work?

SDP Publishing: http://sdppublishingsolutions.com/bookstore/help-me-im-slipping/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/help-me-im-slipping-phyllis-r-brown/1112213533?ean=9780989972383
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Phyllis-R.-Brown/e/B00KI1A29A/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/436960

Press Release: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1143653

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/910126.Phyllis_R_Brown

Can you talk a little bit about the process of working with SDP Publishing and going through the process of self-publishing?

“You need to find the right company. It’s so hard to know which one is right. My daughter-in-law helped me find Lisa, which I am so grateful for. Always use your network to find the best fit for your needs!”

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

“I’m happy that I was able to write something that will hopefully help others. I hope this book will reach a large audience so that it can be helpful for others. I hope that it gives them hope for life before and after Alzheimer’s. It also applies to other chronic diseases – like Parkinson’s.

I am very lucky. I had a career, a marriage, and four children, who are all great kids. I am a grandmother with nine grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.”

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!