Friday, August 31, 2007

JUDGMENT FIRE by Marilyn Meredith

Trail to Glory, an historical family saga based on my own family's genealogy was published by Dorchester about 22 years ago. This was back in the days when you typed the whole manuscript out and sent it in a box with another box inside with the right postage for it to come back to you. By the time it was actually published, it had been rejected nearly 30 times with many rewrites in-between. I probably spent more on postage than I received as an advance.

I was thrilled--but dumb. With contract in hand, I should have found an agent before I signed. Because I knew no other published writers, I didn't have anyone to go to for advice. When I received my author copies, instead of using them to get reviews, I gave them away to friends and family. I told you I was dumb.

Of course I thought the way would be easy from there--was I ever wrong. The editor who bought my book at Dorchester left, and when I sent in my next book, her replacement wasn't interested.

I found a publisher for it--Two Ways West. The books looked wonderful, but the publisher turned out to be a crook--eventually I got all the books that were printed and sold them myself. Since that time, I published it myself and sold out several times.

This all took a lot of time, and I was writing and writing. Mysteries mostly. I've had two publishers who died and was electronically published, long before anyone knew much about that including the publisher.

And yes, I've had agents, several over the years, but basically found publishers on my own.

Now I'm happily published by Mundania Press and a couple of other e-publishers. The second in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series coming from Mundania, Judgment Fire, will be out this month and can be purchased from http://www.mundaniapress/, or through my website, or ordered through your local bookstore.

My advice to all new authors who are having trouble finding a publisher, is look for new avenues of publishing, but do some investigating and find out what other authors of that publisher have to say. Though writing is a complicated business that keeps changing, it is a business. Learn as much as you can. It's all out there on the Internet, easy to find out. Never let rejections get you down. Keep writing and submitting.

Marilyn Meredith

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The idea of Earrings of Ixtumea came to me back in 2002 as a dream. I have very vivid dreams. I could see myself in a thick jungle setting, following behind a very buff warrior. At the end of the clearing he pulled aside the huge leaves of a tree for me to witness my first glimpse of an ancient world.

The idea of writing a fantasy with Latin mythology woven throughout had been with me since my days as a bilingual teacher in a LA county school. I loved fantasies but was sick of the usual British-orphan-is-the-chosen-one. Plus I was taking post graduate classes, one of which was Chicano Studies, that opened my eyes to the rich history of my own ancestors.

I learned so much those two years. Plus I couldn’t deny the yearning I had to go back to writing. I’ve always been a writer but put it aside when a college professor told me that I wouldn’t be a great novelist until I experienced more of life. I was only nineteen at the time but his words crushed me. But after nearly twenty years, I decided to try again.

I started by taking a novel writing class at UCI extension program. While there I met my now writing mentor Lou Nelson. She helped me learn how to do plot work and actually write my story using a story paradigm. I learned about character arcs, faulty thinking, and denouements. I also found my passion of writing had never left me.

But I found having a newborn, teaching full time, and writing was a hard balancing act. I decided to take some time off from teaching. It then took me another two years to write and finish the first draft of Earrings. I went to a number of writing conferences to help me network with other writers. I also got to pitch my story to some agents and editors. The biggest highlight for me was meeting one of my favorite fantasy writers, Terry Brooks, at the Maui Writers Conference. He asked me which of his books was my favorite and when I told him, he admitted that was his too.

Writing the story is the easy part. Then came the querying. At first came the form letter ‘no’ but then some personal comments came back. But the one that really helped was from an editor of a YA imprint who took the time out of his very busy schedule to offer to help me with suggestions on how to strengthen my story. I called. He went over what my strengths were and then gave me very valuable feedback on how to tighten my story. No, he didn’t offer me a contract but I’ll never forget his kindness. Yes, I sent him a thank you card. And, yes, I used the suggestions he gave which ended up making my story stronger.

I ended up going with an epublisher who’s idea of making e-serials out of stories intrigued me. I thought Earrings would be perfect fit. Plus I love unique ways of doing things. A month later my book came out in e-book format and now it’s out in print.

The one thing I’ve learned through the whole process of writing and publishing Earrings is this; don’t give up. Try, try, and try again. Also if an agent or editor offers suggestions, take him/her up on it. I know this sounds cliché but each ‘no’ is a footstep toward receiving that elusive ‘yes’.

Kim Baccellia

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Monday, August 20, 2007

The Art of Getting Published by Robin Jay

I want to take advantage of having this space to help writers to achieve their publishing goals. Having originally self-published, I later sold my ms. to a publisher. This gives me a unique perspective and I’d like to share why I hired an agent and then sold my book. I went into the financial aspect in detail on, but it may be helpful to learn what I went through to get to that point.

After more than 3,000 client lunches and seeing my sales increase by more than 2000%, I knew I was onto something. I wanted to share my success secrets with other sales people. And I wanted to become an author. After 18 years of selling advertising, I was ready for a change and I chose writing. Yes, that part is simple enough. As a huge advocate of the Law of Attraction, I knew that I would be able to create whatever I wanted.

I began writing on Sundays, while working a 60+ hour week selling advertising for a magazine. Even my days off were packed with chores and my evenings were spent with clients. No one ever becomes a huge success working a 40-hour work week. Study the people you admire and you will learn that most of them work most of the time.

I began writing my book, “The Art of the Business Lunch ~ Building Relationships Between 12 and 2” in March of 2001. ( I had received a dreadful diagnosis and didn’t think I would live to see that summer. After being healed, I knew I needed to change directions, so I threw myself into my writing. Then came 9/11. I thought my topic seemed frivolous and that professionals would never “do lunch” again. Well, even though nothing will ever be the same, life goes on…and people still needed to eat and conduct their business, so back to writing I went.

In September, 2003, I attended the Maui Writer’s Conference. It was a divine experience and I loved it so much. I really started to feel like a writer. I worked with renewed passion. It was hard not being able to recharge my batteries between working so hard at the magazine and then working non-stop at home on weekends.

Then, in November, something happened at work that compelled me to review my situation. I decided that I had enough money saved up to resign from my job, work through my 6-month non-compete, get my book published and reevaluate my situation.

Well, after 6 months of working for myself, I knew I would not be returning to advertising sales any time soon. I am a wonderful boss! I self-published my book and hosted a tremendously successful launch. I sold out the banquet room for a book launch luncheon at the Las Vegas Palm Restaurant to more than 80 guests and the following week, we did it again for about 40 more guests. Everyone bought lunch and a copy of my book. It was a tremendous experience.

The reason I self-published was because I could not entice an agent in Maui and I did not know any other way to get one, other than to attend writer’s conferences and pitch and pitch and pitch. All of the agents seemed to believe that my book was nothing more than a magazine article. I knew otherwise. There is a lot to know about building relationships in business. There is so much going on that a business lunch is never just about lunch. And what about the job interview luncheon, the networking luncheons, etiquette and appropriate behavior? What can you hope to accomplish from a business lunch done right? Is it ever okay to order alcohol? When should you bring up the subject of business? And how can you avoid awkward silence, since sometimes a business lunch can be as uncomfortable as a blind date?!

In June, I attended the Book Expo America in Chicago and found a distributor. By September, I was looking for a publicist. I met Bambe Levine, who is in New York City, through a mutual friend. We hooked up and got along wonderfully well. She read my book and wondered why I was not with an agent. I told her that the agents I had met in Maui didn’t believe in my project. She quickly rattled off the names of three of the top literary agents in New York City. I called them all and they each said they would love to work with me. Ahhh – connections. I guess the literary world is no different from every other world.

I signed with Al Zuckerman, founder of Writers House and before long, he came to me with an offer from Career Press, a trade, non-fiction publishing house. My book was right up their alley. He advised I take the deal and I did. And the rest, as they say, is history. I had to pull my self-published edition off of Amazon and was only allowed to sell it directly, in the back of the room, when I was speaking professionally. This sale, as rewarding as it was, set me back a year. That was hard financially, since my monthly expenses did not change from my ad sales days.

Today, my book has been sold in TEN languages worldwide and my speaking career is solid. I have contributed to two anthology books in “The POWER of Mentorship” series, including “The Millionaire Within” and “For the Woman Entrepreneur.” Filming is underway on “The POWER of Mentorship: The Movie” and I am a featured mentor in the film. And I recently learned that I just had a chapter accepted into “Chicken Soup for the Wine Lover’s Soul,” due out in November.

I haven’t stopped! The leap of faith I took paid off. I didn’t believe that the agents I met with in Maui knew more than I did about the appeal of “The Art of the Business Lunch.” Having been in sales for so many years, I knew that I was sitting on a great book with a great topic that people would want to read. I literally did whatever it took to get published…and, believe me, it took a LOT! I work at least 12 hours every day, promoting my book and myself. Being a professional speaker has also proven to be tremendously rewarding. I enjoy sharing with others and I know I am doing what I was meant to do. I speak on many topics aside from the business lunch, including Business Protocol & Etiquette, the Special Secret of Sales Success and Understanding Different Personality Profiles. It’s been an incredible journey and one that is definitely not for everyone. But for me? It’s been like coming home.

Robin Jay


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Thursday, August 16, 2007

You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman's Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power

My most recent book, "You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman's Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power" was published by the first publisher I approached. I attended the Henderson Writer's Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada and while attending wrote a query letter about my idea. I showed the letter to two agents and one publisher's representative. The representative took my letter back to his publisher and called to say they were interested. I met with his boss a month later who said she wanted the book and six months later I turned in my manuscript.

It helped that I had several other books which had been published previously and I am a motivational speaker. Publishers today want to work with someone who will promote the book as much if not more than they do. I do three things every day to promote the book.

Judi Moreo

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Enchanted Self's Publishing Roller Coaster Story

Hi, I'm Dr Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist and author of four books, plus a book I edited for my mom, Mrs. Bernice Becker, of her short stories. My publishing journey started when I spoke at a conference about The Enchanted Self(R) concept that I had recently developed. This was back in the early 1990's. You can find out all about The Enchanted Self at But basically in a few words, this concept, probably the first Positive Psychology system for women, involves a central premise. The premise is that we feel happier, enjoy life more, have inspiration, passion and success, if we draw from our own strengths, talents, coping skills and potential as we go through our daily living. This means knowing who we are in a positive way, recognizing what is right about ourselves, not what is wrong.

All of my books, web teaching, articles, workshops, etc. since that time have been inspired by The Enchanted Self. That even includes my newest book, THE TRUTH, I'm Ten, I'm Smart and I Know Everything!

But back to my story. An acquisition's editor from an academic press, Gordon and Breach, came up to me at that conference and we began to talk. She felt that my Enchanted Self material had the makings of an academic book. I was delighted but a little shocked. Long story short, she worked with me over several months to develop the outline, begin the first chapters, etc. Kathleen O'Malley was wondeful and I am forever grateful. That book came out about two years later after many adventures, including being printed but waiting in the belly of a ship for months off the coast of Singapore. When I finally had THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy in my hands I was practically ecstatic You can find that book which is a wonderful easy read, even though geared to people with some understanding of the therapeutic process on my website or Amazon, etc.

I'm going to skip now to THE TRUTH, I'm Ten, I'm Smart and I Know Everything. I was so shocked when this book came to me, as it is such a different format than all my other writings. It is fiction, and an easy read. But I knew instantly I was in touch with positive universal truths that had to be shared. I also knew this was the best format-a girl's diary. I tried a couple of agents with no success. Then I couldn't hold any longer. I know this book will have wonderful adventures and I'm ready to roll. I already have the framework for a movie version and/or a play.

I just had to jump in and get started. I couldn't go through agent after agent.and loose my momentum. Thankfully, I found a wonderful women's press ready to publish it: LadyBug Press. Georgia Jones, the publisher is a great, talented woman and helped me all the way. Check out her books and internet radio shows at And that is most of the story. But not all-there is the wonderful professor in China who has already translated THE TRUTH into Chinese and then there is the second book in what I realize is a series-already more than half written. In the first book the girl is 10-11 and in the second book she is 12-14 and still teaching us wisdom and reminding us of all we can be.

My words of wisdom are to stick to your dreams but always be ready to think and create your book into a reality, our of the box!

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein


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