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

Winter Writing Contests: Start Submitting!

writing_contestThere 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. 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.

Below is a list of writing contests for the winter that we put together to help you submit your work. Now get submitting!

Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize

Deadline: December 15, 2014

Submissions are open for the 2015 Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize, judged by National Book Award Winner Mary Szybist! Winner receives $1,500, Honorable Mention receives $500, both published in december magazine’s Spring awards issue. All finalists listed and considered for publication. $20 entry fee includes copy of awards issue. Up to 3 poems per entry. Guidelines at www.decembermag.org/december-awards/, submit online at www.december.submittable.com/submit.

Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition

Deadline: December 15, 2014

We’re looking for short fiction stories! Think you can write a winning story in less than 1,500 words? Enter the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition for your chance to win $3,000 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference! The winning entries will be on display in the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection. http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/short-short-story-competition

The Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

Deadline: September 1 – December 31, 2014

Publication of winning short story manuscript. $1000 advance plus travel to Winston-Salem, NC, for a launch party weekend, plus attendance as our special guest to the annual Gathering of Writers in October. Finalists announced by March 1. Winner announced on May 3 (National Press 53 Day). Publication date October at annual Gathering of Writers. Reading fee: $30. Judged by Press 53 publisher Kevin Morgan Watson and fiction editor Christine Norris. www.press53.com/Award_for_Short_Fiction.html

2014 Walker Percy Prize in Short Fiction

Deadline: December 31, 2014

Submissions are open for the 2014 Walker Percy Prize in Short Fiction! Winner receives $1,000 and publication in New Orleans Review. All finalists considered for publication. Enter previously unpublished original stories up to 7,500 words. The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. Entries may be simultaneous submissions but the entry fee is nonrefundable if the story is accepted elsewhere. There is no limit on the number of entries you may submit. Entry fee is $15. Sponsored by the Walker Percy Center for Writing & Publishing. Enter at walkerpercy.submittable.com/submit. This year’s final judge TBA. Winner announced and published in 2015.

Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open

Deadline December 31, 2014
1st place has been increased to $2500 and includes publication in Glimmer Train. 2nd/3rd: $1000/$600, consideration for publication. Results announced on March 1. Word count generally ranges 2000-8000, though up to 20,000 is fine. There are no theme restrictions. One of the most respected short-story journals in print, Glimmer Train is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize, Pen/O. Henry, New Stories from the SouthNew Stories from the Midwest, and Best American Short Stories anthologies. Submit online: www.glimmertrain.org.

Tupelo Quarterly’s Prose Open Contest

Submission deadline: January 1, 2015

Tupelo Quarterly’s Prose Open Contest is now accepting entries in all styles, sensibilities and related genres—fiction, nonfiction, lyric essay and hybrid work. No singular genre preferred; the sole criterion is excellence. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in the Winter 2015 issue of Tupelo Quarterly. Runners-up and finalists will also be published. Final judge is Joanna Howard. There is a reading fee of $20. Please visit www.tupeloquarterly.com/submit for full submission guidelines.

2015 Colorado Prize for Poetry: Call for Submissions

Deadline: January 14, 2015

$2,000 honorarium and book publication. Submit book-length collection of poems by January 14, 2015. Final judge is Laura Kasischke. The $25 entry fee includes one-year subscription to Colorado Review. Obtain complete guidelines by sending SASE or visiting website. Colorado Prize for Poetry, Center for Literary Publishing, 9105 Campus Delivery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-9105. coloradoprize.colostate.edu.

Dora and Alexander Raynes Poetry Prize judged by L.S. Asekoff

Deadline: January 15, 2015

The Dora and Alexander Raynes poetry prize from Jewish Currents magazine is now accepting submissions. NOTE: Poets of all ages, backgrounds, religions/non-religions, and orientations are encouraged to submit. This year’s theme is “The World to Come.” Our judge is the venerable and gracious L. S. Asekoff. $1,000 first prize, $180 for two second prizes, and magazine publication. The top 36 poems will be collected into an anthology Summer 2015. All poems considered for future publication in the magazine. Details for online and snail mail submissions: jewishcurrents.org/poetry-prize.

The Boiler Flash Essay Contest

Submission Deadline: January 15, 2015

The Boiler challenges you to submit flash essays under 600 words. We’re open to hybrid forms of poetry, essay, and memoir. The only things that matters are whether you can sustain our attention and craft a well-written, sleek, beautiful little thing. Two winners will receive $600 and publication in our spring issue. Finalists will be considered for publication in our spring issue and other prizes. Submissions open October 31st and close January 15th. We will announce the winner in the spring of 2015. To get an idea of what we like, read magazines like Brevity, Sweet, or other flash journals. www.theboilerjournal.com

Lamar York Prizes in Fiction and Nonfiction

Deadline: January 31, 2015

Two prizes of $1,000.00 each and publication in The Chattahoochee Review are awarded to a winning story and essay in the annual Lamar York Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction. Entries must be submitted via Submittable (under the appropriate contest category) between October 1 and January 31. All entries will be considered for publication. An entry fee of $15 (nonrefundable) includes a one-year subscription to The Chattahoochee Review beginning with the Spring/Summer 2015 issue. Visit thechattahoocheereview.gpc.edu for complete guidelines.

The Crazyhorse Prizes in fiction, nonfiction, & poetry

Deadline: January 31, 2015

From January 1 to January 31, Crazyhorse will accept entries for our annual Prizes in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. Winners receive $2,000 and publication. The $20 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Crazyhorse; all manuscripts entered will be considered for publication. Adam Johnson (fiction), Dinty W. Moore (nonfiction), and Alberto Ríos (poetry) will select the winners. For more information, please visit our website: crazyhorse.cofc.edu.

Arcadia Short Story Contest

Deadline: February 1, 2015

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Arcadia is given annually for a short story. Submit exceptionally well-crafted short stories of less than 12,000 words with a $15.00 entry fee between November 1 and February 1. All stories submitted will be considered for publication in Arcadia. The editors will judge and a winner will be announced in March. The winning story will appear in the spring issue of Arcadia. For more details and to submit: www.arcadiamagazine.org/#!contests/cr6f

The Meadow Novella Prize

Deadline: February 1, 2015

The Meadow is now accepting novella manuscripts from October 15th to February 1st. Upload manuscripts between 18,000 to 35,000 words through Submittable. Judged by Brandon Hobson. Entry fee: $15 paid through Submittable. Winner receives $500, 50 copies, and publication in the 2015 issue. View submission guidelines: www.tmcc.edu/meadow.

W.B. Yeats Society of NY Poetry Competition

Deadline: February 1, 2015

First prize $500, second $250, honorable mentions. Unpublished poems in English up to 60 lines on any subject, each (judged separately) typed on 8½ x 11-inch sheet without author’s name. Attach to each 3×5 card with title and entrant’s name and contact information. Entry fees: $8 first poem, $7 each additional. Include SASE for judge’s report, also posted on YeatsSociety.org in March. Winners receive Yeats Society memberships and are honored at early April ceremony in NYC. Authors retain rights, but permit us to publish winning entries. These are complete guidelines, no entry form needed. 2015 judge: Jessica Greenbaum. YeatsSociety.org

bioStories Announces Essay Contest

Deadline: February 16, 2015

bioStories is seeking submissions for its 2nd annual essay contest. The 2015 theme is “Elders”. In keeping with its mission to “share the extraordinary stories of ordinary people,” bioStories is seeking outstanding nonfiction pieces that interpret the thematic focus on “elders” broadly and imaginatively. Winner receives $250 and publication. Entry fee $10. Detailed contest submission guidelines are linked via the homepage and on the “contest” tab of our website: www.biostories.com.

2nd Annual Zero Bone Poetry Prize

Deadline: February 28, 2015
Named in honor of the distinguished American poet Emily Dickinson, the competition welcomes submissions of unpublished, original poems. Open to all poets—those with or without previous publishing credits and from anywhere in the world. (Winners outside the U.S. will need a Paypal account to receive their award.) Winning manuscripts will reflect the thoughtful humanity and careful craftsmanship of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, though not necessarily her style. Nature themes are especially welcome as are all styles of poems. Maximum of 5 poems. $2 submission fee per poem. Top place winners: $200, $100, $50. Judge TBA. www.portyonderpress.com/zero-bone-poetry-prize.html

St. Petersburg Review Poetry Contest

Deadline: March 1, 2015

St. Petersburg Review is an independent, international, nonprofit, annual review of contemporary literature that seeks to foster and promote global connections and affinities through the annual publication of quality fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama from all countries. Our poetry contest, which has a 5% or better publication rate, will be accepting submissions September 1, 2014 – March 1, 2015. Visit www.stpetersburgreview.com for complete information on the contest and other SPR activities.

Prospero Prizes for Poetry and Flash Fiction

Deadline: March 15, 2015

Attend, Leviathan. SHARKPACK Poetry Review Annual seeks poetry and very short fiction of unusual philosophical and/or imaginative power for our second issue, themed ‘Cities, Sites.’ The Prospero Prizes include a cash award of $150 and feature publication; winners will be chosen from general (free!) submissions. 1-3 prizes will be awarded. Please visit spr.submittable.com for guidelines and further details. We’re very grateful for your interest.

Willow Springs Fiction Prize 2015

Deadline: March 15, 2015

Willow Springs Fiction Prize—$2,000 plus publication. Submission deadline: March 15, 2015. Original, unpublished work only; no word limit for submissions. $15 entry fee. All entrants receive a one-year subscription to Willow Springs. Submit a story online at willowsprings.submittable.com/submit. More details here: willowsprings.ewu.edu/contests.php.

Penny Fiction 2015: A Flash Fiction Writing Competition from HWP

Deadline: Rolling

Haunted Waters Press editor, Penny Dreadful, seeks exceptionally small works of fiction to be showcased in Penny Fiction, a regular feature of the literary journal, From the Depths. Stories may also appear in the Penny Fiction Poster Collection. In keeping with the 2015 theme featuring works which depict a slice of life in rural America, tell us a story in exactly 21 words—no more, no less. The contest will be held in three rounds. Each round ends upon receipt of 200 submissions. One Submittable submission per author, per round. For full submission details visit hauntedwaterspress.submittable.com/submit/36149

Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Early-Bird Deadline: April 1, 2015

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 23rd annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition, co-sponsored by Book Marketing Works, LLC spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors. http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished

 

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

Fall Writing Contests: Start Submitting!

AttentionThere 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. 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.

Below is a list of writing contests for the fall that we put together to help you submit your work. Now get submitting!

Les Figues Press: NOS (Not Otherwise Specified) Book Contest

Online Deadline: September 15, 2014

Guest judge Fanny Howe will select a manuscript of 64-250 pages for publication by Les Figues Press. Eligible submissions include previously unpublished manuscripts of poetry, novellas, prose poems, innovative novels, anti-novels, short story collections, lyric essays, hybrids, and work not-otherwise-specified. Prize: publication and $1,000. There is a $25 submission fee; all entrants receive a Les Figues title of their choosing. Multiple and simultaneous submissions allowed. See www.lesfigues.com/submit for full guidelines.

Creative Nonfiction contest: $1,000 for Best Essay on “Waiting”

Online/Postmark submission deadline: September 22, 2014

Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking new essays for an upcoming issue dedicated to “Waiting.” They are looking for well-crafted true stories of delays, postponements, and pauses that explore and examine our relationship with time. $1,000 for best essay and $500 for runner-up. Guidelines at www.creativenonfiction.org/submit.

Margaret Atwood, Zsuszi Gartner Judge The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize!

Online submission deadline: September 30, 2014

The Puritan is accepting entries to The Third Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence. The prize is awarded to the single best submission in the respective categories of poetry and fiction. The prize is open for submissions until September 30th through our online manager (www.puritan-magazine.com/submissions). The judges for this year’s prize are celebrated writers Margaret Atwood (poetry) and Zsuzsi Gartner (fiction). In addition to publication in Issue 27: Fall 2014, each winning author receives $1000 as well as a prize pack of books drawn from 18 donating publishers, each valued at approximately $800+. Entry fee is $15.

Green Rose Prize

Online/Postmark deadline: September 30, 2014

$2,000 and publication for a book of poems by an established poet. Eligibility: Poets writing in English who have already published one or more full-length collections of poetry. Besides the winner, New Issues may publish as many as three additional manuscripts from this competition. Please include a $25 reading fee. Checks should be made payable to New Issues Press. Postmark Deadline: September 30, 2014. The winning manuscript will be named in January 2015 and published in the spring of 2016. To submit online visit: www.newissuespoetryprose.submittable.com/submit. For complete guidelines, visit: www.wmich.edu/newissues.

Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Competition

Deadline: September 30, 2014

1st place has been increased to $1,500 and includes publication in Glimmer Train. 2nd/3rd: $500/$300, consideration for publication. Results announced on December 1. Open to stories about family in all its configurations. Word count generally ranges 1500-5000, though up to 12,000 is fine. One of the most respected short-story journals in print, Glimmer Train is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize, O. Henry, New Stories from the South, New Stories from the Midwest, and Best American Short Stories anthologies. Submit online:www.glimmertrain.org.

The Editors’ Prize in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Deadline: October 1, 2014

Enter the 24th Annual Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry! Winners in each genre will receive $5,000, publication in the spring 2015 issue of The Missouri Review, and be brought to Columbia, Missouri, for a reading and reception. Please submit no more than 25 typed, double-spaced pages for fiction and nonfiction. Poetry entries can include any number of poems up to 10 pages in total. Each story, essay, or group of poems constitutes one entry. The entry fee is $20, which entitles the entrant to a one-year subscription. Entries must be previously unpublished and will not be returned. Winners will be announced in January 2015.www.missourireview.com

2014 In Cahoots Contest – $50 Cash Prize

Submission deadline: October 1, 2014

There is no entrance fee. Simultaneous submissions are okay (but if your submission is published elsewhere first, it will be disqualified for First Prize, so please notify them immediately if it is picked up elsewhere). Submissions must be new collaborative work only. This means all submissions must be created by 2+ people. Submit 1-3 pieces in a single email. Each piece may have a different collaborative team. All submissions must include a literary component but may include or be paired with a visual or audio component. All submissions will also be considered for normal publication. Read more here:
cahoodaloodaling.com/in-cahoots-contest/.

New Delta Review Short Fiction Contest

Online submission deadline: October 4, 2014

New Delta Review seeks entries for the second annual Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Short Fiction, a contest judged by the amazing Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist. They are looking for a full narrative in a small package (1500 words or less). Winner will receive a $500 prize and publication in the winter issue of New Delta Review. All submissions will be considered for publication. Deadline for entry is October 4, 2014. Enter with $10 fee through Submittable at: newdeltareview.submittable.com/submit.

Gerald Cable Book Award

Deadline: October 15

This award is offered annually for the best previously unpublished debut poetry collection. This prize is awarded annually to a book-length manuscript of original poetry by an author who has not yet published a full-length collection. There are no restrictions on the kind of poetry or subject matter; translations are not acceptable. Top prize is $1,000, publication, and 25 copies of the book. http://www.silverfishreviewpress.com/?page=award

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

Deadline: October 24

This contest is offered annually to encourage analytical thinking and excellence in writing-open to high school seniors, undergrads, and graduate students. More than 80 cash prizes, including a $10,000 top prize. http://essaycontest.aynrandnovels.com/AtlasShrugged.aspx?theme=blue

Indiana Review Fiction Contest

Deadline: October 31

This contest is offered for the best previously unpublished short story. The winner receives $1,000, publication, and contributor copies. http://indianareview.org/prizes/2014-fiction-prize/

Walt Whitman Award

Deadline: Submissions will be accepted online only September 1 through November 1, 2014

The Walt Whitman Award is a $5,000 first-book publication prize given to an American poet to honor a poet’s first book. The winning manuscript, chosen by an acclaimed poet, is published by Graywolf Press, a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature. http://www.poets.org/academy-american-poets/prizes/walt-whitman-award

Flash Fiction Contest

Email submission deadline: November 15, 2014

Now accepting submissions for the Flash Fiction Contest for issue 5 of The Lindenwood Review. No entry fee. Winner receives $50, publication, and three contributor copies. Please read full submission guidelines here:
lumfa.blogspot.com/2014/06/tlr5-flash-fiction-contest-no-entry-fee.html.
Visit our TLR website here: www.lindenwood.edu/lindenwoodReview.

The Jane Lumley Prize for Emerging Writers is now open!

Online submission deadline: November 30, 2014

Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal announces its first annual Jane Lumley Prize for Emerging Writers. The contest seeks to recognize the works of writers who have not yet published a full-length book. The prize alternates each year between poetry and prose, and this year we seek to recognize an exceptional piece of poetry. There is no entry fee for the contest. The winner will receive a prize of $300 and publication in our January 2015 issue. Publication will also be awarded to the first two semi-finalists. In order to submit, please visitwww.hermeneuticchaosjournal.com/contest.html.

The Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

Deadline: September 1 – December 31, 2014

Publication of winning short story manuscript. $1,000 advance plus travel to Winston-Salem, NC, for a launch party weekend, plus attendance as our special guest to the annual Gathering of Writers in October. Finalists announced by March 1. Winner announced on May 3 (National Press 53 Day). Publication date October at annual Gathering of Writers. Reading fee: $30. Judged by Press 53 publisher Kevin Morgan Watson and fiction editor Christine Norris.
www.press53.com/Award_for_Short_Fiction.html

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

 

Phyllis R. Brown Publishes Book Documenting Her Life as Caregiver of Husband with Alzheimer’s

Through narrative and advice, Phyllis delivers hope and inspiration9780989972383-Perfect_cover_HelpMe_04-24-14.indd

Providence, R.I., June 12, 2014 – Phyllis R. Brown just released a new edition of her book, Help Me! I’m Slipping, a memoir of her relationship with her husband who fell victim to Alzheimer’s disease.

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.

Interspersed with advice on helping someone through the hardships of the disease, Brown documents her husband’s last years with careful detail and telling anecdotes. “We tried to enjoy something in each day, to find something to cherish,” she writes, whether that meant taking a walk, going down to the cafe for lunch, or just sitting together quietly, enjoying each other’s presence. Although battling through her own stress and emotional turmoil under the pressure of taking care of Bert, Brown supported her husband until the very end. She helped Bert maintain his dignity, and live a comfortable, happy life.

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 amidst strenuous hardships.  Help Me! I’m Slipping can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and SDP Publishing.

ISBN-13 (print): 978-0-9899723-8-3

e-ISBN-13 (ebook): 978-0-9899723-9-0.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phyllis R. Brown, PhD, Professor Emerita of Chemistry at the University of Rhode Island, has an international reputation for her research and publications in the field of analytical chemistry. She has written over 200 articles in scientific journals and wrote or edited five books. She retired and became a caregiver when her husband of more than sixty years developed Alzheimer’s disease.

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’s Corner: Paul Janson, Author of Mal Practice, Talks Medicine and Mystery

PaulJansonSDP Publishing Solutions helps authors in all genres – children’s books, fiction, non-fiction, business, and more – to independently publish their books. We love to keep our readers updated on what’s going on here at SDP, including recently published titles and the authors we work with. In this post, we’re joined by Paul Janson.

Janson spent five years practicing as a physician in the coal mining, Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky. He now lives on a small farm in rural Massachusetts with his wife and children and practices medicine in an emergency department. He is the author of a children’s picture book about the adoption of his two daughters. Mal Practice is his first published novel, and it was recently named a winner of the “Independent Publishers of New England” book award.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? When did you start?

College. I was an engineer and turned to medical school when my job disappeared. When I got into medical school I wrote a piece about the transition from Engineering to medicine and got it published.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I find that most of life is interesting. It more a matter of paying attention to what is happening. Most people are more interested in themselves than in other people and so they miss the excitement.

Which writers inspire you?

I will have to say that many current writers do not excite me. I like Sue Grafton and Janet Evanavich, but much of literature is violence and sex and offers no solace or inspiration.

What have you written besides Mal Practice? (Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.) Where can we buy or see them?

I blog regularly on WordPress, and write for Emergency Medicine News. The former is spiritual and the latter is political. I have a total of eight novels complete, but unpublished and a book of poetry. I have also written a screen play titled The Manuscript about a literary agent no less.

Give us an insight into your main character in Mal Practice. What does he/she do that is so special?

Joe is in many ways what I would like to be. He is curious, and thoughtful but quiet in his approach to problems. (There is no MEDICAL malpractice crisis, Malpractice is a LEGAL crisis. The lawyers not the doctors must solve it.) That he solves the crime comes almost as a surprise.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

If Meryl Streep would play either leading lady, I would want to play Joe.

Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

Mal Practice a mystery of medicine and murder. A pediatrician is the defendant in a malpractice case when he discovers that his patient was murdered. Soon someone is trying to murder him and he must avoid the murder and the police to bring justice.

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

Anyone with a love of mysteries and who enjoys the intricacies of medicine will enjoy this book. My background in medicine “shines” according to the Kirkus review, and I think I agree (modestly) with them.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

I like them all in their own ways. One of the things not yet obvious is that I like to give characters from my other books small cameo spots in other novels. Laura, who easily unravels the computer for Dr. Nelson (Joe) is one of my favorite characters in my other novels and I loved giving her a piece of this one. Of the leading characters, I think I like the sassy Carolyn, but my respect goes to Joe and Natalie.

How about your least favorite character? What makes him less appealing to you?

Lawrence Marshall. He is the CEO which places him in a group of people that I find myself at odds with and he is … well, a man who kills a four-year-old for money. What else can I say?

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?

I have been told that the solution is obvious early in the novel. I would have to agree in that there is only one person that the reader really wants to be guilty, perhaps. A little more mystery might serve well, but on the other hand the enjoyment is the unfolding of the story and so the change might not be so good a thing. In the end, I decided to write another novel and let Mal Practice be what it is.

What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?

Much of Robin Cook’s writing has a similar cast to it. The plots hinge on the understanding of medicine and he manages to explain it well. This is something I have tried to emulate.

What are you working on right now? What’s it about?

The novel I am working on now is titled Scratch. It is about a cat that knows when people are sick and scratches them so they go to the doctor and are diagnosed and treated. The target audience is young adult.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I was advised once and will offer the same advice: If you wish to write; write. Every piece I write is better than the last and I have yet to write my best work. I enjoy it too, which is great.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

I do not like writing about violence. In one of my novels, I had to describe a rape scene and I found it almost intolerable. The lady was not raped, never even injured or disrobed in the sequence, and she was rescued before she was pulled more than a few steps, but I found it possibly the most difficult scene to write about.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

The dialogue just seems to fall out of the character’s mouth sometimes. I cannot even keep up with what they are saying.

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

I don’t think I have yet had writer’s block as described by my colleagues. When I can’t think of what to write, I sit and let the characters write it for me. They always do.

What book/s are you reading at present?

Embarrassing to admit, but right now I am studying the empires before Alexander the Great. The Egyptians. Hittites, Ur etc. History has always fascinated me.

In what formats is your book available?

Soft cover, and e-book, both Kindle and Nook

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write, and write some more. Marketing is important, but you can get very competent people to help with that. First, you must write and write well.

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

Website: pauljanson.com

Blog: http://pauljanson.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/malpractice.mystery?fref=ts

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-janson/7b/aa5/906

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-Janson/e/B00D2N3DFQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5774843.Paul_Janson

What can we expect from you in the future?

Another novel soon

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Write a review of the book. They always help.

Can you give us a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?

One of my favorite scenes is when Joe is talking to Carolyn’s brother Douglas. He says: “If you do this Douglas you will be so famous you will be able to run for president except Carolyn won’t let you.”  You want to know what Douglas has to do and why he wants to run for president. Have to read the book then.

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

Lisa was very helpful particularly for the novice writer that I was. This is a difficult process and the expert help is what is needed.

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!

Great Writing Contests for Spring 2014

AttentionSpring is here! Finally! Start your spring by entering some writing contests. Submitting to writing contests is a great way to gain credibility as a writer/author. 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.

SRPR Editors’ Prize Contest

Online/Postmark submission deadline: April 15, 2014

SRPR 2014 Editors’ Prize: Winner awarded $1000. Two runners up awarded $100 each. Three-five honorable mentions. All winning poems & several finalists are published. 2013 judge: Juliana Spahr. 2014 judge announced after winners are selected. Submit up to three poems by 4/15/2014. Entry fee of $20 includes subscription. See website for guidelineswww.srpr.org.

The Georgia Review’s Loraine Williams Poetry Prize

Open from 1 April – 15 May 2014; submit online or postmark by 15 May

The Georgia Review announces the second annual Loraine Williams Poetry Prize—$1,000 and publication in The Georgia Review for a single poem, originally written in English and never before published either in print or online. The winning poem will be announced on 15 August 2014. Current subscribers may enter free of charge; nonsubscribers may begin a subscription at the time of entry—$35 for four issues, which is $5 off the regular price—or pay an entry fee of $15. For full submission details, visit www.thegeorgiareview.com.

Imaginary Friend Press Second Annual Full-Length Book Award

Online submission deadline: May 1, 2014

Imaginary Friend Press Book Award – Prize: $250 and publication of full length poetry collection. Send ms. of 48 – 96 pages between February 15th and May 1st. Reading fee: $12 without copy of winning book/$17 with a copy of winning book. For guidelines or questions see www.imaginaryfriendpress.com.

Southwest Review 2014 David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction

Postmark deadline: May 1, 2014

This is an annual contest with a prize of $1,000 plus publication. Open to writers who have not published a book of fiction, either a novel or collection of stories. Submissions must be no longer than 8,000 words. No simultaneous or previously published works. Name, address, and contact information should appear only on a cover letter. Postmarked Deadline: May 1, 2014. Entry fee: $25 per story. Mail entries with a check or money order to: The Meyerson Fiction Prize, P.O. Box 750374, Dallas, TX 75275-0374, or enter online atwww.smu.edu/southwestreview.

$500 Prose Poetry Prize with Kimberly Johnson as Judge

Submission deadline: May 5, 2014

$500 to the champion, May 5 deadline, $6 entry fee, and poet, translator, and literary critic Kimberly Johnson to judge. Submit 1-5 poems through our online submission manager. All submissions will also be considered for publication in elsewhere.Only previously unpublished works will be considered. Please do not include name on manuscript.
elsewheremag.org/issue-2/contests.php

The Iowa Review Invites Submissions to Veterans’ Writing Contest

Postmark deadline: April 15 – May 15, 2014

The Iowa Review invites submissions beginning April 15th to the Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans writing contest, featuring guest judge Anthony Swofford. $1,000 first-prize award, $750 second-prize award, $500 to three runners-up, plus publication in our Spring 2015 issue. See full rules atiowareview.org/veteranswritingcontest This creative writing contest is made possible by a gift from the family of Jeff Sharlet (1942–69), a Vietnam veteran and antiwar writer and activist. It is open to U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel writing in any genre and about any subject matter.

The 2014 Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry

Online/Postmark submission deadline: May 15, 2014

The 18th annual Blue Lynx Prize, $2000 plus publication, is awarded for an unpublished, full-length volume of poems by a U.S. resident or citizen. Send manuscript of at least 48 pages, a $28 reading fee plus SASE (for notification) to Lynx House Press, P.O. Box 940, Spokane, WA 99210; or electronically tolynxhousepress.submittable.com. Postmark deadline: May 15, 2014. Make checks payable to Lynx House Press. The 2013 winner was Suzanne Lummis for Open 24 Hours. Judges have included Yusef Komunyakaa, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Robert Wrigley, Dorianne Laux, and David Wojahn. www.lynxhousepress.org

Fiction Fix Seeks Novellas and Art

Online submission deadline: May 15, 2014

Fiction Fix seeks novellas and artwork for the Fiction Fix Novella Award, to be published in late July/early August. See FictionFix.net for more details.

Flash Fiction Competition: 6 Words “The Story of a Thing”

Online submission deadline: May 25, 2014

Haunted Waters Press editor, Penny Dreadful, is selecting exceptionally small works of flash fiction to be showcased in Penny Fiction, a regular feature of the literary journal, From the Depths. Stories will also appear in the Penny Fiction Poster Collection. In keeping with the Summer 2014 theme, “The Object of Our Desire,” tell us the story of a “thing” in exactly 6 words—no more, no less. Extra points awarded for writers who adhere to the rules. Not really. There are no points. Just read the contest rules and impress Penny with your ability to follow instructions. www.hauntedwaterspress.com/Submissions.html

Announcing 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 atsites.csn.edu/english/redrockreview/Prize_Page.html. Submission guidelines atsites.csn.edu/english/redrockreview/Frequently Asked Questions.htm.

The Rusty Toque’s 2014 Fiction Chapbook Contest

Online submission deadline: June 1, 2014

The Rusty Toque is pleased to announce its 2014 Fiction Chapbook Contest. Send us 25 to 40 pages of fiction (short stories, micro-fictions, longer stories welcome). This year’s judge is Lee Henderson. Contest open to all writers except students, faculty, staff of Western University. 1ST PLACE will receive $800 + chapbook publication (e-book and print) + a fiction prize pack. Up to 2 finalists will receive $50 + a fiction prize pack + an excerpt or story from their chapbook published online in The Rusty Toque. Other notable entries will receive an honorable mention on our website. www.therustytoque.com/fiction-chapbook-contest.html

Vallum Award for Poetry 2014

Online/Postmark submission deadline: July 15, 2014

2014 Contest Judge: George Elliott Clarke

1st Prize: $750, 2nd Prize: $250 + publication in VallumVallumis accepting original and previously unpublished poetry submissions for the Vallum Award for Poetry 2014. Some of the best poets in the world have graced the pages of Vallum: Contemporary Poetry. Get your word on! Entry fee: $25 CAD for Canadian residents, $25 USD for international entrants, which includes a free one-year subscription to Vallum. Entries accepted both by Paypal and by postal mail. For more information please visit:www.vallummag.com/contestrules.html.

3rd Annual Romancing the Craft of Poetry & Fiction Contest

Online submission deadline: June 30, 2014

Our first place winner will receive $300 and a one-year print subscription to theTorrid Literature Journal. The Second place winner receive $200 and the third place winner receive $100. All winners will receive publication in the Torrid Literature Journal. Please submit up to 3 poems per submission or one fiction story with no more than 3,000 words per submission. This contest is open to new and experienced writers. Multiple submissions are welcome. The $5.00 reading fee includes a one-year electronic subscription to Torrid Literature Journal. Enter at torridliterature.com/Contests.html.

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!

Author Corner: An Interview with F.G. Capitanio, author of Mariner’s Hollow, on Finding Inspiration, Independent Publishing, and More

FGCapitanioSDP Publishing Solutions helps authors in all genres -children’s books, fiction, non-fiction, business, and more – to independently publish their books. We love to keep our readers updated on what’s going on here at SDP, including recently published titles and about the authors we work with. In this post, we’re joined by F.G. Capitanio, who answers questions about his novel Mariner’s Hollow, where he finds inspiration, how he works through writer’s block, and the process of publishing his novel.

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 and a number of other projects.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? When did you start?

I started writing when I was in 3rd grade. I remember trying to write two novels: Jaws 3 (before I knew there had already been a Jaws 3) and Jurassic Park 2 (before I knew there was going to be a Jurassic Park 2). I had seen the movies and wanted to write sequels for them. I only got about two chapters in! But I was always looking for new stories to make up, and I had a really large imagination.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I have several projects I’d like to put out there, but Mariner’s Hollow, my first novel, was inspired by an old whaling log I read for a job I had working in historical research pertaining to the American whaling industry. I read a log where a captain was worrying about his son, Justice, who he had left behind to go whaling. It made me wonder what makes a father name his son Justice, what the boy was like, and whether he had been named as a reminder of something in the Captain’s life that had required some justice. Originally I was going to write about the boy as he was in the 19th century, but he ended up being a modern day character.

Which writers inspire you?

P.D. James inspired me directly for this book as far as style; I love her writing and she has a way of making murder mysteries more than just about the facts but about the psychological depth of each character. Its more fantastical and paranormal elements were definitely inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, among a few other YA supernatural novels, and its mystery driven plot was inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to create a novel that combined this-worldly mystery with other-worldly elements and all these writers contributed to parts of that.

Give us an insight into your main character in Mariner’s Hollow. What does he/she do that is so special?

MarinersHollow_FrontCover_tam-150x200Justice is internally special. What I mean by that is, on the inside, he’s much more philosophically oriented than most other teens, and he’s more apt to engage his mind artistically, philosophically, and emotionally. This comes from growing up as a single child who was given to a lot of reading and contemplation. He’s also incredibly smart. On the outside, however, he’s a lot like other kids, especially before the horrors that he comes across in the book. He can have a surly attitude, he’s often self-centered, worries about fitting in, and all he wants to do, now that he’s a bit older and actually has more friends, is hang out with them. It takes the trials he goes through to mature him and allow his interior life to surface.

Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

Mariner’s Hollow is a Young Adult supernatural thriller.

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

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

The intended audience is teens to college-age readers, but the audience shouldn’t be limited to just young adults. The book is purposely written with a style that combines the sentiments and language of a teenage life with more literary and rich imagery that allows adults to both enjoy the writing and enter into Justice’s story. The main thrust of the story, what pushes his struggle forward, is the inability of the adults around Justice to understand his world and to believe his experiences, along with his own inability to trust the adults around him. Consequently, a lot of people get hurt. My goal in Mariner’s Hollow is to provide a place where both teens and adults can meet and learn from the themes and experiences described in the book and hopefully attempt to better understand each others’ worlds.

What are you working on right now? What’s it about?

I have an outline for the second Justice Worth mystery, and I’d like to have that completed by spring or summer of 2015, but I haven’t started the actual writing yet. Right now I’m working on an adult horror/thriller entitled, Caleb Meyer. It’s my attempt at a literary vampire novel, which will hopefully take back the sanitized image of the vampire from the Twilight groupies and bring it back into Stoker’s realm. I have a life goal of redeeming the vampire as a meaningful and philosophical literary element.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

My confidence as a writer increased dramatically. I started Mariner’s Hollow six years ago, almost as an experiment to see if I can do it. Now that I’ve gone through the process of writing, editing, and publishing, I feel confident in my ability to create a story much faster than the time it took me to finish this book. I also learned what I like and what I don’t like, so I don’t have to waste my time repeating the same mistakes I did while first writing Mariner’s Hollow. This is why I edited it so extensively; a lot of unnecessary parts that detracted from the story’s core.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

I know this varies writer to writer. For me, due to my personality, the hardest thing about writing is finishing. I have a creative (and I think explosively creative would best describe it – not necessarily a good thing) mind. This means I can produce a lot of interesting ideas and plot-lines that I want to explore with little effort. If I start writing down one idea, I’ll have five others by the time I’m done outlining the first one. I have two other unfinished novels, which I’m trying to get back to. This is the problem. Often, what takes a creative mind to start something also requires a disciplined mind to finish when the excitement dies down and your initial idea has already been replaced by 10 other “better” ideas. You have to get through it and finish the book and write even when you don’t feel like it. This is very difficult for me.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

As stated above, it’s definitely coming up with new ideas, at least for me.

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

As you might imagine by now, I get writer’s block when I’m in the middle of a book (hence the unfinished novels on my desk). I never get writer’s block the first quarter of a book. I get discouraged and I start second-guessing the “greatness” of whatever idea I’m working on and by the middle of the book, I’m trudging slowly through mud. Every step feels heavy, deliberate, and forced, and I feel like I’m never going to get to the end. I run out of ideas on how to move the plot forward. The only thing I’ve done to get around it is simply keep writing, usually stream of consciousness, and hope that what comes out helps the story. I can always go back, after I’m done, to edit.

In what formats is your book available?

Mariner’s Hollow is available in paperback through Barnes & Noble, on their online store, and through Amazon.com. It’s also available as an ebook that’s compatible with Kindle, Nook, and other ereaders.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

You need to have a healthy dose of realism mixed in with your idealism. Everyone wants to be the next great American novelist. The chances of this happening are slim. Competition is terribly difficult, and the payback may be very little, if anything at all. Therefore, if you write only because you want success, then you’ll most likely find at the end of the journey that it was a big waste of time. If you write because you love to write, however, then no matter what happens to the end product, you’ll have used your time well. Do it because you love it, do what you know to do to succeed, and if you do end up succeeding, well, that’s just icing on the literary cake.

What can we expect from you in the future?

You can expect more Justice Worth mysteries (I’m initially planning a series of three), which will really expand the themes and plot elements of the first book into a larger, more epic story. I’m also planning to write more adult genres, such as the vampire novel, Caleb Meyer, and another novel I have partially completed, a comedy of errors, Very Bad Things.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Word of mouth is key. You can have a great product but if no one hears of it, it’ll do no one any good! Spread the word about Justice. If you read the novel and enjoy it, tell any book-lovers you know. Reach out to teens in your life who might like to read it, and tell them to tell their friends. Another helpful response is Amazon reviews. You can review the book even though you may not have purchased it through Amazon. This helps the book gain more attention from Amazon’s search engines.

Contact/Follow-up Information:

Website: justiceworth.com
Facebook: facebook.com/justiceworth
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fgcapitanio
Amazon Product Page: amzn.com/0988938197

B&N Product Page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mariners-hollow-fg-capitanio/1117372227?ean=9780988938199

Goodreads: goodreads.com/fgcapitanio

Can you give us a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?

The book cover says it best with its plot summary:

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.

Can you talk a little bit about the process of working with SDP Publishing and going through an independent press?

It’s been an amazing experience. Working with an indie press helps me have the hands-on creative control over much of my book, in a similar way to self-publishing, but at the same time I get to work with a publishing staff that gives me advice, answers my questions, and actually does the work of production for me, something that self-publishing can’t get you. The large traditional publishers will also own the copyright to your work but an indie press allows the novelist to retain the copyright to his or her own work. This is a huge deal, especially when it comes to sales and creative development. Working with SDP has helped me to go through the publishing process step by step with a great design staff and an editorial staff that helped me rework the book until it was presentable and professional. If you go the self-publishing way, you’re on your own. With an indie press like SDP you have a team working with you to bring your book to a wider audience in a more effective manner.

Do you have any suggestions to help other writers who are thinking about going through an independent publisher or self-publishing? If so, what are they?

Don’t spend the money self-publishing and producing a book that has had no feedback from editors, a publishing staff, or anyone in the industry. Going independent is a good choice, and will help you learn the ins and outs of publication, all the while walking down the sometimes scary road with a great team. Put in the effort to excel artistically with what you put out; if you put out a great product, you’ll have more of a chance of attracting not only readers but agents and traditional publishers, if you still are looking for that big publishing contract to come your way. Listen to the advice given to you by the publishing company you work with; they know what works and while, with an indie press, the final choice as to what you’d like to see happen is up to you, don’t squander the opportunity to heed the suggestions of people who know the industry.

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!

 

What Editing Really Means and Why It’s Especially Important in Self-Publishing and Independent Publishing

EditorGoing it alone seems to be inherently built into the terms self-publishing and independent publishing. So, it might seem funny for us to be writing a blog post about the different types of editors you will want to consider working with as you embark on your self-publishing or independent publishing journey. However, these publishing industry terms really refer to the business structure of how a book is published rather than the idea that you have to go it alone. In fact, any good author knows that during the writing and publishing process, you need a team to help you to reach and cross the finish line. And different types of editors are among some of the most important members of the team you should put together.

Developmental editor – Someone to help you shape the book – to organize your thoughts and plan your project. They can help you create a theme that will attract your target reader, eliminate redundancies, and ensure the content is clear and concise.

Substantive editor – Someone who can take your completed first draft and help you cultivate it, which may include honing your voice, developing or deleting characters, rewriting sections, or reworking the order of sections or chapters.

Copyeditor – Someone to correct the final manuscript – to perform line-by-line editing, and ensure good grammar and readability for your target reader. The copyeditor will catch the things the developmental editor might otherwise miss.

Proofreader – Someone to give a full proofread of the text after the layout is complete, correcting any errors that may have been overlooked and cross-check that changes have been made correctly.

Sometimes, the lines may cross between these roles. But remember, not all developmental editors are good copyeditors! Not all good proofreaders are good copyeditors! These are very distinct editorial roles. We highly recommend at least two separate editors. Several pairs of professional eyes will ensure a perfect manuscript. Working with a third-party professional proofreader to give your book that final read-through before publishing can make a huge difference with the final product.

Successful indie authors often work with experts – a team who can help you manage all of the moving pieces throughout the life-cycle of the publishing process. Working with a team of experts can help an author focus on what they do best – writing. Other professionals you might want to enlist for your team include:

  • Designers – Someone to help with the layout of the book – creates a professional interior design and eye-catching cover design.
  • Proofcheckers – Someone to double-check the design and content, ensuring all content is there, no conversion issues, and the design is consistent throughout the book.
  • Production experts – You will need to determine whether you want to publish your book as an e-book, print book, or both. It can be helpful to have experts in these areas to guide you through the process and figure out which option is best for you.
  • Marketing and PR experts – You will likely need help with publicizing and creating marketing campaigns for your book. You want to develop your book as a distinct brand, targeting and cultivating the appropriate audiences. Activities you’ll want to think about may include setting up a website, social media presence, SEO, and press relations.

As you build your team, you should tailor it to your specific needs and the requirements of your work. If you have any questions about the skills and team members you might need to successfully launch your book, please contact SDP Publishing. Also see, “Free 45-minute Consultation with SDP Publishing Solutions and Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher.”

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!

Five Writing Resolutions You Can Start at Any Time of the Year

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” 

~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

All the festivities of the holidays and New Year’s Day have come and gone. And it’s likely that all of those well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions have come and gone also. For most of us, we’re now back in the swing of the things as 2014 rolls ahead. Back to business as usual, which means the resolutions fall to the wayside. According to statistics from the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 8% of people who make resolutions actually achieve them. Not very encouraging; however, they also report that: “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” Now, that’s a little more encouraging!

At SDP Publishing, we’ve come up with some resolutions that you as a writer can start today (or any day) to help you stick to your goals of writing more and maybe even publishing a book in the near future. While most people like to have some sort of clean slate, and a new week or a New Year can bring that sense of tabula rasa, 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!

Call Yourself a Writer

If you write, even if it’s not your full-time job, you have every right to call yourself a writer. Putting yourself in this frame of mind and owning the label can help you feel to like more of a professional. Saying it out loud to other people may help you feel more of a responsibility to actually be what you say!

Make Time to Dedicate to Your Writing

You need to find time in your day to write. Forget the excuses. We can all make them until the cows come home. If you’re really going TO BE a writer, you need to write. Do whatever you have to do to make writing a priority in your life. Get up a half hour earlier. Don’t take lunch. You can find the time. Start with 10 or 20 minutes a day for the next 30 days and write no matter what. Soon you may find you’re writing for an hour a day without even trying. Think of it this way: every day that you don’t write is a missed opportunity.

Read More of Anything and Everything

Great directors have seen hundreds upon hundreds of movies. Great musicians listen to other musicians. Almost every great writer has a famous quote about reading to improve their writing. It’s one of the best ways to learn the craft of writing. Here’s a great one from William Faulkner: “Read everything–trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out.”

Enter Writing Contests

We’ve previously written about the importance of entering writing contests. If you win, it can help you gain exposure as a writer. If you don’t it helps you to get past the hurdle of finishing, editing, proofreading, and polishing your work for submission, which will help you in the long run. Don’t be afraid of rejection. It’s part of the territory. Many amazing writers have been rejected hundreds of times before someone takes notice.

Join or Start a Writers’ Group

Participating in a writing class, attending a writing workshop/retreat, or joining (or starting) a local writers’ group can be a great motivator. While writing is often viewed as a solitary endeavor, it can be helpful to be around people who can provide support. These types of activities can really help get the juices flowing, provide ideas for how to keep it going, and provide camaraderie for like-minded writers. It can also help you with your accountability to your writing when you have other people looking over your shoulder. The support you find could be immeasurable.

As writers, writing – whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, a children’s book, a young adult book, a novel, a volume of poems or short stories, a self-help book, a cookbook, or a business book – is something that we feel we need to do. Maybe it has been a long-time dream, maybe you’ve come up with a great idea that you want to share with the world, or maybe you want to promote your business. Whatever it is, you have an obligation to yourself to do it!

Remember, tomorrow is today!

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!

Latest Titles from SDP Publishing Solutions!

SDP Publishing Solutions helps authors who work in all genres – children’s books, fiction, non-fiction, business, and more – to independently publish their books. We are thrilled to announce some of the most recent publications from SDP Publishing Solutions, including Unhinged by Dr. Gary McCarragher, Treasure Hunt by Heidi Martin, Thou Shall Not Allow a Witch to Live by Laura Jo DeMordaunt, and Mariner’s Hollow by F. G. Capitanio.

Unhinged

Searing anger breeds bitter vengeance. A story of choices, consequences, and a life transformed. Dr. Richard Chase is a renowned physician at the peak of his career. He is betrayed by a jealous colleague and becomes obsessed with seeking revenge. Dr. Chase’s actions threaten to destroy all that he holds dear-his career, his family, even his life. Unhinged probes deeply into the psyche of an emotionally traumatized man, exposing the harrowing personal and social consequences of obsession, anger, grief, vengeance, and guilt, but also reveals the enduring power of the human spirit to seek redemption in the face of tragic circumstances. Searing anger breeds bitter vengeance. A story of choices, consequences, and a life transformed.

About the Author

Dr. Gary McCarragher was born in Montreal, Canada. He received his medical training at McGill University and enjoyed a successful career as a gastroenterologist in the Tampa Bay area before becoming a hospice physician in 2009. As part of his passionate advocacy for hospice care, Gary has a website dedicated to hospice and has published numerous articles on palliative care. Visit Gary’s website at www.garymccarragher.com.

Gary also enjoys the arts, music, and performing in community theater, where he received an award for Best Actor. He is a member of the Land O’ Lakes Book Club. He currently lives in the Tampa Bay area.

Treasure Hunt

Treasure hunt, treasure hunt, on our way … And so the adventure begins in Heidi Martin’s playful story. Readers take off with a group of curious school children who have embarked on a field trip of exploration which takes them over the river, through the woods, and into a dark cave in search of an unexpected treasure. Children of all ages will delight in the lyrical text and vibrant illustrations as they follow along and discover just how much fun a treasure hunt can become!

About the Author

A Minnesota native, Heidi Martin spends her days as an educator, tutoring students in reading, writing, and math. She began writing as a hobby, and was inspired to create a children’s book by her own two children when they began exploring in their yard one sunny afternoon. Watching their excitement, Heidi scratched down a story about a treasure hunt, which she read to them. They enjoyed it so much that she decided to make it into a book. Heidi lives in Massachusetts with her husband and children.

 

Thou Shall Not Allow a Witch to Live

Poor crop yields, epidemics, war’s desolation, natural disasters, and festering jealousies-these were the cataclysmic tensions and ill omens to a pious Puritan priesthood of God’s displeasure and punishment to their “city on the hill” and their wavering, flagging parishioners. God had deserted the Puritans, leaving fear of the devil and witches amiss in the New England villages. The strict Reformed Puritans were very intolerant, not only of witches, but also of any deviation from their Puritan orthodoxy and civic order. Bridget Bishop was a rebellious outsider who deviated from the Puritan standards for women. She was constantly under suspicion ’cause of her strong will, flamboyant life style, and outspoken tongue. Her livelihood as ordinary keeper and her thrice marriages brought criticism and scorn from her Puritan neighbors and the Puritan clergy. Cotton Mather’s June 1662 document advised and urged the Court of Oyer and Terminer to speedily and vigorously prosecute “such as have rendered themselves obnoxious.” Bridget Bishop was not the first to be accused and arrested, but she was the first to be prosecuted ’cause her lifestyle met the criteria of “very obnoxious.”

About the Author

Laura Jo DeMordaunt has been a lifelong student of the history of New England. With ancestors arriving on the Mayflower, others in 1626 and thereafter, a good portion of her lifetime has been spent researching and writing histories of their struggles and triumphs in the New World, specifically Salem, Massachusetts. Her ancestor, Bridget Bishop, has been a 35-year research project. The vaults of many of New England’s museums, public offices, libraries, and genealogical societies have become her friends.

After encouraging her six sons and one daughter to achieve advanced degrees, Mrs. DeMordaunt returned to college at the age of 57 and graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho with a Bachelor of Science degree, emphasis in Education. She loves to serve in her church, flower garden, travel, and spend time on the family cattle ranch she shares with her husband, Roger. She is very proud of her 27 grandchildren. Roger and Laura Jo have just celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary.

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 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!