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.

How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps (Part 4)

12: Think reader first

This is so important that that you should write it on a sticky note and affix it to your monitor so you’re reminded of it every time you write. Every decision you make about your manuscript must be run through this filter.

Not you first, not book first, not editor, agent, or publisher first. Certainly not your inner circle or critics first.

Reader first, last, and always Continue reading

How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps (Part 3)

Part 9. Eliminate distractions to stay focused

by Jerry Jenkins

Are you as easily distracted as I am? Have you found yourself writing a sentence and then checking your email? Writing another and checking Facebook? Getting caught up in the come-ons for pictures of the 10 Sea Monsters You Wouldn’t Believe Actually Exist?

Then you just have to check out that precious video from a talk show where the dad surprises the family by returning from the war. That leads to more and more of the same. Once I’m in, my writing is forgotten, and all of a sudden the day has gotten away from me. Continue reading

Bobbie’s Bill of Writes # 4 in a series: A WRITING PLACE

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 four in my Bill of Writes. Watch for the remaining items in future newsletters.

Continue reading

The Writing Life

by Rick Helms

A great writer named Jerry Healy, who sadly left us a couple of years back, once said something that resonated strongly with me. It’s probably a quote from someone else, but I heard him say it, so I associate it with Jerry.

He said, “Everyone has a novel in him or her. Not everyone has a SECOND novel.”

For a working writer, constant production is the key to success. I see many, many writers each year at conferences who are still flogging a book they wrote and published ten years ago. They have a single title out, and they’ve been riding it like a trusty steed for years. Continue reading

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