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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

About Errors and Reformatting a Manuscript

by Bobbie Christmas

Q: A publisher recently requested my manuscript, and within forty-eight hours I received an email that said, “Only Word files are excepted.” Shouldn’t the word be “accepted?”

A: Possibly, but the answer depends on the intent of the sentence. If the publisher was saying it rejects all manuscripts with the exception of those received in Microsoft Word, then the sentence is okay. I haven’t seen the entire e-mail, so I cannot be sure, but I suspect you are correct, though, and the publisher was attempting to say it accepted only Microsoft Word files. Continue reading

New From Rootstock Publishing

Rootstock Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Whole Worlds Could Pass Away: Collected Stories by Vermont author and journalist, Rickey Gard Diamond. Her stories are at once familiar and startling, grounded in remarkable everyday experiences as well as in the raw and dreadful.

Published in a range of journals and magazines like The Sewanee Review, Plainswoman, Other Voices, The Louisville Review, and Trivia, Diamond’s characters and settings resonate with a language and voice uniquely her own. These eleven stories from Bears to Worms reveal a common thread in our collective and inner lives.

Her forthcoming book, Screwnomics: How Our Economy Works Against Women and What We Can Do to Make Real and Lasting Change (She Writes Press, April 2018), illustrated by cartoonist Peaco Todd, reframes the unspoken economic theory that women should always work for less—or better, for free.

How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps

by Jerry Jenkins

Part One: Before You Begin

You’ll never regret—in fact, you’ll thank yourself later for—investing the time necessary to prepare for such a monumental task.

You wouldn’t set out to cut down a huge grove of trees with only an axe. You’d need a chain saw—perhaps more than one. Something to keep them sharp. Enough fuel to keep them running.

You get the picture. Don’t shortcut this foundational part of the process. Continue reading