Thursday, January 31, 2008


Just wanted to let you know that off to Colorado today. For the next few days I'll be teaching at the Jerry B. Jenkins Write to Publish Conference in Colorado Springs. I won't have access to a computer during that time, so won't be able to post here. However, I'll be back on Monday--hopefully with some updated market news.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Empowering Everyday Women Online Magazine, (877-419-6560, ext. 4;; is a new, web-based publication geared exclusively to the needs of African American Christian women. Features celebrity interviews, articles, news, blogs, and numerous opportunities for women to share their own personal stories, recipes, articles, and ideas. Dianna Hobbs, editor-in-chief.


There are a few other things a good agent will help you with. If you are unhappy with the publisher's choice of a title or cover design, an agent can plead your case for you--probably with less emotion and more professionalism. An even more difficult scenario is if the publisher decides your manuscript is not"acceptable" (as dictated by your contact). Your agent can handle it without you having to get into a conflict with your publisher. Another advantage an agent has is that they can usually find out more about why the publisher made a certain decision. The publisher doesn't have to try and spare the agent's feelings--as they might dealing directly with the author.

When it's time for your book to go out of print, and agent can see that that happens in accordance with the terms of your contract. This situation can get sticky when a publisher decides he wants to hang onto the rights for years. Ultimately the agent concentrates on handling your business and safeguarding your rights, while you concentrate on the writing. They can become the adversary with the publisher when necessary, while you maintain a positive relationship with the editors and the house.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


World Wide Web--Writers, editors, agents, and other publishing professionals from around the world are gearing up for the first annual Catholic Writers’ Conference Online, which will be held May 2-9, 2008, and is sponsored by the Catholic Writer’s Guild and Canticle magazine. The conference, which will be conducted entirely through the Internet, is free of charge and open to writers of all levels. It will feature online seminars, chats, and forums throughout the week on a variety of topics. Although it is free, you do need to preregister. For all the details and to register, go to:


John Fund and Fred Barnes to Keynote Student Journalism Conference

John Fund, columnist and editor (The WallStreet Journal), will speak at the opening dinner of the World JournalismInstitute's Conference for Christian Student Newspaper Editors and Advisers, Friday, March 14, 2008, at The King's College in New York City. Fred Barnes, author, columnist and political analyst (The Weekly Standard, FOX News) will speak at lunch on Saturday, March 15. Friday the conference will open with New York media tours. Saturday, conference participants will be addressed by Jerry Mitchell, a 2006Pulitizer Prize finalist for his investigative reporting for TheClarion-Ledger, Don Boykin, former deputy managing editor at the AtlantaJournal-Constitution, Christine Tatum (Denver Post), immediate pastpresident of the Society of Professional Journalists, Russell Pulliam(Indianapolis Star and Pulliam Fellowships), Steve Duin, author and columnist (The Oregonian), and Robert Case (World Journalism Institute). This year, the conference is being held immediately prior to the spring College Media Advisers New York convention (March 16-18) to make it convenient for those attending CMA.

The conference cost is $50 for Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and lunch, but for those who attend the CMAconvention or a church-related school, the WJI conference cost will bewaived. Apply online for this WJI conference at For more information: Kimberly Collins Deputy Director, World Journalism Institute:, 212-659-3609;


Rebekah (Becky) Nesbitt, previously Acquisitions Director at Tyndale House Publishers, has been promoted to a new position, effective immediately, as Director of the Nonfiction team in her publishing group.


I just got word that Vicky Tufano resigned as editor at Catechumenate at the end of 2007. The new editor is Mary Fox.


I'm often asked what an agent does for a writer and if an agent will do more than the author can do on his/her own. Most of us know that an agent finds a publisher for your manuscript and negotiates the contract, but is there more? If you have a good agent, you should expect more. Even if you can sell a book on your own, and agent will likely get you more money. They know what similar books have gotten and what your manuscript is worth. With some manuscripts they can even set up a bidding war between interested publishers.

You should also consider an agent a member of your publishing team--someone who's looking out for your welfare. If there's a problem with your editor or publisher, the agent goes to bat for you--and perhaps finds another publisher for the next book. A good agent will also help you plan your career long term--not just the next project. They can let you know if your proposal is ready or needs more work--or if you need to tweak your next idea to better fit the needs of the market.

Negotiating the contract for you becomes a bigger deal all the time. As someone who evaluates book contracts, I can tell you it gets more complicated and difficult as new clauses are added that protect the publisher but do little or nothing for the author. An agent intinctively knows what clauses might cause you problems down the road and how to negotiate something better, as well as what clauses to have added. More on agents tomorrow.


Want to be on TV? Ex Oprah booker tells how

ATTN: Non-Fiction Authors ....Ex-Oprah Guest Booker Tells How to Get Publicity As A Guest on National TV Shows Would you like to be a guest on a top national TV show like Oprah, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News or Montel? Of course you would because there are few faster ways to instantly reach millions of people and make your book sales really take off than getting big-time TV publicity. It's no secret the right national TV appearance can catapult a book to the top of the Bestseller List. Curious to know how YOU might get on national TV? Find out on a free 90-minute telephone seminar on Thursday, January 31st on ... "The Three Big Secrets for Getting Publicity as a Guest on Top National TV Shows."

I'm Steve Harrison, publisher of Radio-TV Interview Report (RTIR) magazine and I'll be your host. In addition to me, you'll hear from a former Oprah guest booker, a former Fox News Channel producer and other surprise guests. Together we'll teach you things unknown to 95% of all publicity-seekers. To register for this call -- which is free except for your normal long distance charges -- go here now:

On the call, you'll learn things like: * Specific ways to increase your odds of getting free airtime as a guest on Oprah, Fox News Channel, Montel, CNN and other top shows. * Understanding the mindset of national TV producers and how to get them to book you as a guest. * What you should send TV producers (and what you shouldn't). * The most important question you must be able to answer to land a TV appearance. * Case histories of five authors and entrepreneurs who got booked on top TV shows. * How to stand apart from other would-be guests and dramatically increase your chances of getting on the top shows. * The biggest mistakes to avoid when pitching TV producers (including ones that could even get you black-listed forever!). ... and much, much more! Again, to sign up go here now: Once registered, you'll receive all the details back within five minutes. Who knows - maybe we'll be seeing you on national TV very soon!

Best,Steve HarrisonRadio-TV Interview Report (RTIR)

Monday, January 28, 2008


As you become more successful as a writer, you often need to find sources for things such as bookmarks or postcards that advertise your latest book. Here are a few recommendations of site where you will find good suppliers for such products: - Printing of postcards, business cards, etc. - Printing of bookmarks - Printing of postcards and business cards - Printing of Author Review Copies (to send out for promo purposes)


May1, 2008 is the deadline for the Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards. They will be paying out $15,000 in prizes. Win $3,000 in cash; gain national exposure for your book; and catch the attention of prospective editors and publishers. Contest is for self-published books only, and in these categories:
* Mainstream/Literary Fiction
* Genre Fiction
* Nonfiction
* Inspirational (Spiritual, New Age)
* Life Stories
*Children's Picture Books
* Middle-Grade/Young Adult Books
*Reference Books

For details and to enter, go to their Website:


"Fiction, nonfiction, picture books, easy readers . . . the great books come alive. They breathe. They lament. They stand up and cheer. And, whether I had intended or not, they pull me as editor, as reader, into their living world, allowing me to breathe and lament and stand up with them. The heart of a really good book beats.

Okay then, you might ask, what makes a good book's heart beat? There are more answers to the question than anyone can give in one morning, but I believe you give yourself a leg up in discovering the heartbeat, if as a writer you dare to look at life on a slant.

Readers do not want what is straightforward, understandable, four square, typical, sturdy, easy, predictable. No, I believe character and plot and setting and language—on a slant—is what readers thirst for. They are intrigued with what is odd, aberrant, offbeat, strange—for goodness' sake. And praise be!"
This tip comes from a talk given by Patti at the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua. If you'd like to learn from Patti in person, join us for the 2008 workshop. Find out more at
(Patricia Lee Gauch is vice president and editor at large of Philomel Books as well as a respected author in her own right.)

The Highlights Foundation814 Court StreetHonesdale, PA 18431Phone: (570) 253-1192E-mail:

Sunday, January 27, 2008


* Baker Publishing Group has relaunched their family of Websites with new features designed to make it easier for for visitors to find the information they need and connect to news about their favorite books and authors. This includes their flagship site at:, as well as sites for Baker Books, Baker Academic, Bethany House, Brazos Press, Chosen, Revell, Cambridge Bibles, and a number of site for specific authors. This is good news for the authors who have books with this publisher, and helps the rest of get a better handle on the types of books each of these imprints are publishing.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Good Catch Publishing ( is a small but growing company that publishes stories about the local church. Their motto is "Reaching Your City with Stories from Your Church." They them produce books of these stories that are used as powerful and effective evangelistic tools. Looking for writers to write these stories. "We find the best stories in a local church and write them in a very dramatic, edgy style that clearly conveys the message of Christ without sounding religious. We’re currently understaffed and need some top-quality writers—even if they are unpublished. Writers are paid and the stories appear in attractive books." Darn Lindley, CEO. For details, go to Website above.


Red Letter Christians by Tony Campolo redefines faith and politics. For most secular Americans, the word “evangelical” brings a certain image to mind: a Christian who is anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-environmentalist, anti-gun control, pro-war, and, above all, a registered Republican. In recent years, a growing number of evangelicals have become fed up with this characterization, resenting both the myopic emphasis on abortion and gay rights, to the exclusion of all other issues, by the Religious Right and the tactics the group uses to accomplish their political objectives. In his new book, Red Letter Christians (February 1, 2008, Regal), author Tony Campolo presents a different political roadmap for the evangelical community, one he says is based directly on the radical vision contained in the words of Christ, traditionally denoted in red letters in several previous versions of the Bible. (Rush to Press, January 21, 2008)


One of the areras that many writers struggle with is organization. Although I am naturally an organized person, keeping things organized is an ongoing struggle. I also find that just having my office organized is not enough. Unless the rest of my life is organized as well, I still struggle with the feeling of being overwhelmed by any chaos around me. If you're having the same problem, the following Websites should be of help:


"We are seeking journalists for a new Christian news website that our organization is planning to launch later this year. The site,, is now in a development and organizational phase. The content of the site will be broadcast on websites across the internet via an online news feed.

At this time, we are looking for Christian writers that will be able to cover current events, as well as do investigative journalism. Inasmuch as we would like to pay writers for their articles, we are unable to do so immediately as it is being developed with the goal of having an advertising structure established to offer compensation in the future. Therefore, at this time, we are looking for volunteer writers. will offer much exposure as we will be networking with a number of large Christian organizations. Content from the news site will also be broadcast from our website, which currently attracts thousands of readers on a weekly basis. At the present time, we have two postings in our volunteer section that pertain to this project:
>News Editor - RA is looking for a news editor to structure a weekly online news service for our online visitors, which includes writing articles, organizing volunteer writers, editing submissions, and posting news stories through an online system. This volunteer-from-home position is open to born again Christians who have at least 3 years of professional writing experience, as well as computer, research, leadership, and organizational skills. Please submit your written testimony, two writing samples (preferably news articles), and resume to the address below for consideration.
> News Reporters - RA is looking for news reporters to write articles for, a Christian news resource with an investigative style of journalism. This news site is in an organizational phase, and therefore, reporters will have their work featured at the Repent America website until its launch. This volunteer position is open to born again Christians who have proficient news writing experience, research and organizational skills. Please submit your written testimony, resume and 3 news article samples to the address below for consideration." Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, Michael Marcavage, REPENT AMERICA, P.O. Box 30000, Philadelphia, PA 19103; Tel & Fax: 1-800-3-REPENT, Ext. 5.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I know it's only January, but it won't be long before it's time to do our tax returns. Just thought I'd pass along a couple of tips and at the same time remind you that you need to be thinking in that direction. Even if you are not claiming your writing as a small business, you can still deduct your writing expenses up to the amount you made on your writing. For that reason (if you haven't done that this year) I encourage you to start keeping track of those expenses for next year's tax form. If you are claiming your writing as a business, you can deduct mileage for trips to the bank, office-supply store, post office, and to meet clients for interviews, etc. The standard mileage deduction for business-related driving rose to 48.5 cents per mile this year. Also realize that you can deduct the cost of tax-preparation software if you do your own tax preparation. I will try to pass along any other info I come across, but if you have questions, you can try one of these Websites for answers:, or

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


CCM Magazine is planning to print their last issue in April 2008. This is a contemporary Christian music publication put out by Salem Communications. The company plans to put more of their energies toward their online network.


This is short notice, but this Saturday, January 26, this workshop for "previously published authors ready to go to the next level" will be held from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in Canton MI. Speakers are Sabrina Adams, founder and director of Publishing at Zoe Life Publishing; and Pam Perry from Ministry Marketing Solutions. Cost is $39. For details and to register, call 877-841-3400. Websites are:, and


You will now find a full list of conferences for 2008 on my Website: Click on "Conferences" at the top of the home page. Most of these conference now have their own Webpage where you can get all the details about the conference including a list of teachers/speakers, a copy of the schedule, and a form or instructions for applying. I can't encourage you enough to try and attend at least one conference a year. Conferences are become a "must-do" for the successful Christian writer. Initially you will go for the instruction, and then as you progress you will want to find conferences that have a lot of editors and agents in attendance. Many of the publishers who are listed as not accepting freelance submissions are now attending conferences to find qualified writers.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Marlene Bagnul has the following Write His Answer Seminars planned for February and March:

February 1-2 in Seaford, Virginia

March 14-15 at the Carlisle Inn in Sugarcreek, Ohio

Getting Your Book Into Print Seminar, March 29, in Allentown, Pennsylvania

For details and to register, go to:


45 Main St., PO Box A, North Stratford NH 03590-0167. (603)922-8383. E-mail: Website: Dana K. Cassell, ed. Open to all writers. Deadline: March 15. Nonfiction, fiction, children’s, poetry. Prizes: $100, $75, $50. Details on Website.


I'm often asked how you find an agent. There is no one right answer to that, but we'll look at some of them. The first time I went looking for an agent was years ago when I was co-writing western novels for the general market. At that time I knew nothing about agents, so I just went to Writer's Market and made a list of about 11 or 12 agents who said they handled westerns. I sent them all a letter asking for representation. As I recall, I got 4 rejections, one phone call, 3 or 4 letters expressing possible interest, and no response from the rest. We ended up with an agent who sold our first book, but was unable to sell any others--so he dropped us. We found another who was trying to sell the others, but eventually my co-author decided to go off on his own and we dropped the second one. At no time did we have any real conversation on contact with these agents. They were obviously just looking for authors who could make them money.

Today I know a lot more about agents and have come to realize that finding an agent is a lot like finding a spouse. If I sent out letters like I did before, that would only be an initial step. If an agent showed an interest, I would have several conversations with that person to see if I felt comfortable and compatible with them. A better alternative would be to attend a conference where there were agents in attendance and speak with the agent face-to-face to see if they showed a genuine interest, not just in this project but in your future career. Later we'll talk about what you should expect from an agent.


Just a reminder that the deadline for applying for the Career Track at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference is this Friday, January 25th. The criteria for acceptanve in this track is that you have had at least two books contracted with royalty publishers--at least one of which has gone through the full publishing process in the last five years. Unlike the other major tracks at this conference (which only run in the morning), this is an all-day track that offers sessions at an advanced level not offered by any other conference. The track is led by the Career Track team, consisting of Janet Kobobel Grant and Wendy Lawton (agents), Karen Ball (Fiction editor ar B & H Publishing), and me. Plus we bring in well-qualified professionals in the field to lead some of the sessions. For a full schedule and application, go to:

Thursday, January 17, 2008


The purpose of the retreat is to allow readers to come together in a spirit of sisterhood and to get up-close-and-personal with your favorite Faith Authors! The 2008 retreat will be bigger and better with more sessions, more food and more AUTHORS. Our featured authors are Victoria Christopher Murray, Kendra Norman-Bellamy and Michele Andrea Bowen. The retreat will take place in beautiful Destin, FL at The Palms of Destin Resort and Conference Center ( Destin, FL is home to the largest outlet mall in the nation and there's tons of fun stuff to do for the entire family!

Author Panelists - There are limited number of author slots available. Send an email to to learn about author options.

REGISTRATION: Includes sessions (Late night book club discussions - moderated by book club presidents, book signings, panel discussions), specified meals (Breakfast, Hawaiian Luau, dinner at Trader Vics) and retreat materials
$249 for individuals
$225 for book clubs (four or more members attending)
$119 for Sessions only (no meals)

The registration fee does not include lodging or transportation. Discounted rooms at The Palms will be available. (Jr. 2 bdrm. suite - $140/night, 2 bdrm. suite - $180/night, 3 bdrm. suite - $236/night, 2 bdrm. villa - $196/night). Reservations can be made by calling The Palms at 877-373-6729. Use the discount code "Faith and Fiction Retreat" Since Destin, FL is such a family friendly vacation spot, The Palms has extended their discount three days prior and three days after our event! Bring your entire family and make it a getaway!

A $75 non-refundable deposit is needed by February 1, 2008 to guarantee your spot! Visit the registration page for more information. For questions email

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Do you have a story to tell? Do you have what it takes to make it in Hollywood - as a follower of Jesus?It’s time to find out.

Act One Seminar: Screenwriting and the Business of Hollywoodis coming to Phoenix, Arizona!$20 Early Bird Registration Discount before March 1, 2008!

What: Act One, Inc. presents Act One Seminars - intensive, practical workshops for aspiring and professional writers and entrepreneurs who are serious about their Christian faith and who dream of creating culture that respects and enriches a global audience. These two-day seminars offer a fun, fast-paced overview of our renowned Writing and Executive Programs, taught by Hollywood professionals.

Dates: Friday and Saturday, April 11-12, 2008 Location: Scottsdale Christian Church 7934 E Oak St Scottsdale, AZ 85257

Scheduled To Appear: Writer/Executive Producer Dean Batali (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, That 70’s Show) Writers Chris & Kathy Riley (After The Truth, 25 To Life, The Hollywood Standard) Producer/Director Monica Jimenez-Grillo(The New Detectives, FBI Files) Writer Leslie Kreiner Wilson (Frankie Laine, Mississippi Son, Faking It)

Registration: $195 - (includes study materials, Saturday lunch and Hollywood Insider Event) $175 - Early Birds (before March 1st), Students (with ID), and Groups (10 or more)

SPACE IS LIMITED - Visit to register online NOW!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Mail Stop 9053, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225. (360)650-4863. E-mail: Website: Contact: Brenda Miller. Poems in any style or on any subject. Deadline: between December 1 and March 15. Entry fee: $15 for first entry;$10 for each additional entry. First prize: $1,000 and publication. Detail on Website.


Essays on any subject to 8,000 wds. Deadline: between December 1 and March 15. Entry fee: $15 for first; $10 each additional. First prize: $1,000. Unpublished works only, to 8,000 wds. Manuscripts to: Bellingham Review, Mail Stop 9053, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225. (360)650-4863. E-mail: Website: Details on Website.


Hey, I just want to apologize for not posting anything the last few days. Busy times here. I spent the week-end putting away Christmas decorations (I know--I'm really late). But when you decorate every room in your house--except the office--it take a looong time to get it all down. I was rushing because I knew the new market guides were on there way and I had to make room for them--in th garage (where they are stored) and in the house (where they are prepared for shipping). Good news!! They arrived this morning. Some of them are already in the mail and the rest will go out during the next two days. If you have an automatic order or other order, you should get your guide in the next week or two. If you haven't ordered your copy yet, it's time. For a paid order with a credit card through PayPal, just go to the Bookstore on my Website (, or if you'd rather pay by check, just send $39.50 (includes the postage) to: Sally Stuart, 1647 SW Pheasant Dr., Aloha OR 97006.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Mail Stop 9053, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225. (360)650-4863. E-mail: Website: Short story or novel excerpt to 8,000 wds. Deadline: postmarked between December 1 and March 15. Entry fee: $15 for first story/chapter; $10 each additional. Prize: $1,000, plus publication. Details on Website.


I hear from a lot of writers these days who either want an agent or wonder if they should want one. For the rest of this month I'm going to deal with some of the issues/information that you need to know about agents.
* First, realize that many agents will not even consider an author who has no track record, so with a first book you may need to just approach publishers on your own.
* When you approach an agent for the first time, most will want to know you have a completed manuscript--not just a proposal. This is especially true for fiction.
* If you plan to get an agent, you must do it before you start approaching editors. An agent is not going to want to take on a book that has already been shopped around.
* If you have already approached publishers on your own and found one who is interested or has offered you a contract, at that point you might want to seek the help of an agent to represent you and negotiate the contract. Of course, this offer needs to be from a royalty publisher--not a subsidy one.
* More to come.


Home Times (PO Box 22547, West Palm Beach FL 33416; 561-439-3509; publisher is a monthly tabloid newspaper that covers world and national news and views, home & family, arts & entertainmsnt, religion, and people features--all from a biblical worldview. Pays $5-25 on publication for one-time rights. Payment is doubled if they use your material on the Web. Length 500-800 words. Send complete manuscripts. Looking for personal features for these columns: Faith, Heroes, Nostalgia, Religion, History, Holidays, Home & Family, Parenting, Arts & Entertainment, LifeWatch, Sports, Voices, Politics, Humor, People, Advice, Writing, etc.--especially true-to-life stories about real people.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Colorado Review, Dept. of English, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523. Website: Best unpublished short story. First prize: $1,000, plus publication in Colorado Review. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: March 15 (varies).


Harpur Palate, English Dept., Binghamton University, Box 6000, Binghamton NY 13920. Website: Unpublished short story of 8,000 words or less. Deadline: between January 1 and March 31. Entry fee: $15. Prize: $500, plus publication in the summer issue of Harpur Palate. Details on Website.


White Mountain Publications, Box 1178, New Liskeard ON P0J 1P0, Canada. (705)647-5424. Canada-wide toll-free (800)258-5451. Website: Sponsors semiannual short fiction contests. Deadline: March 31 and September 30. Length: to 1,200 wds. Entry fee: $5. Prizes: $100, $50, $25. All fiction needs for CWJ are filled by this contest. E-mail:


* March 12-15: Heart Talk Speaking Conference; Portland, Oregon. Contact: Beverly Hislop, Women’s Center for Ministry, 5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland OR 97215; 503-517-1931; fax 503-517-1889;; Speaker: Carol Kent. Editors and possibly agents in attendance. Offers partial scholarships based on need.
*March 14-18: Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference; near Santa Cruz, California. Contact: David Talbott, PO Box 413, Mount Hermon CA 95041-0413; 831-335-4466; fax 831-335-9413;; Offers a separate Career Track for professional writers & a teen track. Many editors and agents in attendance. Offers partial scholarships.
* March 15: American Christian Writers Memphis Conference; Memphis, Tennessee. Contact: Reg Forder, PO Box 110390, Nashville TN 37222; 1-800-21-WRITE;;
* March 14-15: Write His Answer Seminar; Carlisle Inn, sugarcreek, Ohio. contact: marlene Bagnull;
* March 28-29: American Christian Writers Charlotte Conference; Charlotte, North Carolina. Contact: Reg Forder, PO Box 110390, Nashville TN 37222; 1-800-21-WRITE;;
* March 29: Inspirational Writers Alive! Amarillo Seminar; Amarillo, Texas. Contact: Jerry McClenagan, 6808 Cloud Crest, Amarillo TX 79124; 806-355-7117;
* March 29: Write On! Workshop; Dayton, Ohio. Contact: Valerie Coleman, PMB 175 – 5523 Salem Ave., Dayton OH 45426; 937-307-0760;; Editors in attendance.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


If you are interested in writing books for the Christian market, then I'd like to advise you to spend some quality time perusing the various sections and books in a Christian bookstore. I know most of us whip in and out of those stores when we need a particular title or a gift for someone, but we rarely take the time to really see what's happening in our important marketplace. I realized this a few years ago when I was chauffeuring a visiting writer around to various bookstores for some autographed parties he was scheduled to do. Since each event lasted an hour or more, I had lots of free time to just look around each store. I was amazed at how much I was able to learn about categories I was interested in writing for--or just about the current industry as a whole. Look for what books/topics seem to be getting the places of prominence. If you happen to get an opportunity to speak with the book buyer, find out what topics people seem to be interested in--especially those that aren't being filled. A bookstore is also a great place to see who is publishing books in an unusual topic area or in unusual formats. I would recommend that those who are writing books spend at least an hour a month in a local store.


February 22-24 are the dates of the 17th Annual Writer's Weekend at the Beach, held in Ocean Park, Washington. Cost is $195 (paid by February 15) and includes all workshops, 2 nights in the main lodge (Ocean Park Methodist Retreat Center & Camp), plus all meals. After February 15 the fee is $205. They do offer one-day or one session attendance for lower fees. For additional details, visit their Website at:

Monday, January 7, 2008


For a list of "Banished Words"compiled by Lake Superior State University, go to: It also includes a place for you to add your comments on each selected word and shows those comments on the site. The list includes such words as WEBINAR, PERFECT STORM, POST 9/11, SWEET, and RANDOM.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


The Copyright Office has launched a powerful new records search system that accesses more than 20 million digital records of registrations and recorded documents for 1978 to the present. This is a great help for writers wanting to learn the copyright status of books for quoting purposes, or to locate competing titles. The new system allows you to search by title, name, keyword, and registration or document number--or a combination of these. For a tutorial on how to use the system, go to:


March 1, 2008 is the date of the First Annual Write to Publish Workshop to be held in Corona, California. This one-day event will be held at the Ayres Suites Corona West, 1900 W. Frontage Rd., Corona CA 92882. Keynote Speaker is Carole Gift Page. Topic covered include overcoming writer's block, writing shorts & fillers, developing writing skills, plotting, and the business of being a writer. Cost is $99 if paid by February 1, and $129 after February 1 (fees non-refundable). Sponsored by Adventageous Events: Contact Carol at: Rooms available at the hotel: 800-676-1363/951-738-9113. Make checks payable to Adventageous Events, 3190 Castelar Ct., Ste. 103, Corona CA 92882.


Airleaf Publishing, LLC (book publisher), and Airleaf Publishing & Book Selling (distributor) are currently under investigation by their local Attorney General (IN) and by the FBI. I don't have any details on the nature of the problems with this company, but it is sufficient to know you need to avoid submitting anything to this company. Airleaf was shut down as of December 19, 2007. If you have published a book with the company, you will want to check your contract and possibly contact a publishing law attorney to determine what your options are at this point.