SPAWN regularly publishes articles on a variety of topics of interest to our members and the publishing community. To find articles on specific topics, please use the drop down menus. We accept submissions from the community for publication. If you have an article, (limit 2,500 words), please send to kate@spawn.org.

Insights, Facts, & Numbers from an Amazon Top Reviewer

by Gisela Hausmann

One common myth says indie authors need only get a few/some/many reviews from friends and acquaintances, then buy an online promotion and their book will (probably) take off.

As an Amazon reviewer since 2012 and a top reviewer since 2014, I can contribute some factual information.

In 2014 I reviewed 75 items on Amazon, including 45 books penned by indie authors. Continue reading

Writing Through Grief

by Bobbie Christmas

Q: My ten-year marriage is ending. I don’t feel like writing. Do you have any advice on how to fight through the pain and write?

A: As a veteran of two broken marriages, I feel your pain. I’m sorry you have to go through it. Depression often leads to immobility. Many people need time to go from “overwhelmed” to “productive.”

Any loss results in grief, and grief that goes unresolved can lead to mental and physical problems. Instead of thinking of the issue as fighting through the pain to write, think of the fact that writing helps you fight the pain. While immobility keeps you in a depressed state, doing something–almost anything–can get you out of that state. Continue reading

Guest House Books & Films/Green Writers Press

Which came first, the book or the movie? Usually, it’s the book. However, Guest House Books made the film first and has now written the book.

Guest House Books is the new publishing arm of Guest House Films, known worldwide for its production and distribution of gay-themed films. With the launch of Guest House Books, the company will let customers enhance their movie-going experience with novelizations of select titles and screenplays of the company’s productions. In addition, Guest House Books plans to publish gay-themed books from a variety of authors. Continue reading

How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps (Part 2)

4. Settle on your BIG idea

by Jerry Jenkins

To be book-worthy, your idea has to be killer.

You need to write something about which you’re passionate—something that gets you up in the morning, draws you to the keyboard, and keeps you there. It should excite not only you, but also anyone you tell about it.

I can’t overstate the importance of this. Continue reading

Bobbie’s Bill of Writes #3 in a series TIME ALONE

by Bobbie Christmas

I devoted an entire chapter to my Bill of Writes for writers in my seven-award-winning book on creative writing titled Write In Style: How to Use Your Computer to Improve Your Writing. Special to SPAWN, I have agreed to list and explain each item in my Bill of Writes through a series of articles. Below is number three in my Bill of Writes. Watch for the remaining items in future newsletters.

You Have the Right to Spend Time Alone Practicing Your Craft

No one lives in isolation. You have many demands on your time. Parents, siblings, significant others, even animals and friends make demands on you. In addition, you probably must spend time at work, school, and/or fulfilling other obligations, as well as spending time traveling to and from work, school, and other obligations. You must wash your clothes, clean your abode, feed yourself and your family, exercise, and even relax or meditate. You are not alone in wondering when you will ever find time to write, especially when the people you love want to spend time with you. Continue reading

From Susan Daffron

by Susan Daffron, author of the Alpine Grove romantic comedy series, the Jennings and O’Shea novels, and former president of SPAWN

People often ask how I write novels but almost no one asks why. I mean, let’s face it—unless you’re JK Rowling, being a writer doesn’t tend to be incredibly lucrative. But with the state of the world as it is today, I confess that writing has become an escape for me. In my novels, white supremacists aren’t killing people in the streets, elected officials are capable of speaking in complete sentences, intelligence isn’t a sin, and people care about nature and the planet we inhabit. Continue reading

Employing The Long Tail

by Barbara Florio Graham

Many of us have heard The Long Tail or Viral Marketing, but think these methods are only for large corporations or manufacturers.

But we can all use these ideas.

The Long Tail refers to selling things in very small quantities, instead of in large numbers. Many years ago, before this term was coined, I decided to employ what some self-publishers were calling a “slow roll-out” for my third book. Continue reading