November 20, 2019– Ok, let’s be honest here. It’s time to get real and answer the question…Is it that you can’t? Or that you won’t? Whoa, let’s back up for a second. Grab a pen and a piece of paper.
It’s important to change the voice in our head that says we can’t do something. Make a list of all the things that you think you can’t do…here are some examples:
- I can’t find time to finish my manuscript! Is it that you can’t find time or that you won’t make time to schedule an hour a day to work on it?
- I can’t get bookstores to stock my books! Is it that you can’t get them to stock your books or that you won’t keep asking and finding creative ways to get them to say yes?
- I can’t stop writer’s block! Is it that you can’t stop writer’s block or that you won’t stop finding any excuse to keep procrastinating?
- I can’t get organized! Is it that you can’t get organized or that you won’t put systems in place to help yourself?
You get the picture. As soon as we get real about the things that are holding us back, the sooner we can deal with them head on. Stop saying you can’t because YOU CAN. You just have to be willing to do what it takes.
August 23, 2019– Quick, what is something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t done? Too often we have a list of things that we set out to accomplish, but the list never gets finished, or worse, we never start. Today, I have an exercise for you to complete! Check it out below:
- Dream BIG! The bigger the better! Decide what you want to do and make sure that it’s huge. Examples could be, sign a publishing deal for your manuscript, to have an article that you wrote featured in a major magazine, or to travel internationally to a writing conference. Whatever it is, make sure you really want it!
- Set a timeline. I personally use the 30-day rule. I set a goal and give myself 30 days to accomplish it. It’s realistic and gives me enough time to get to work on what I’ve set out to do. Without a timeline, you don’t have anything to work toward and even if you don’t fully reach your goal, you’re going to be a heck of a lot closer than you were!
- Be bold and take steps toward your goal every day. Remind yourself of your goal constantly and do at least one thing each day to help yourself reach it! Let’s use the example above and your dream is to sign a publishing deal for your manuscript, what have you done today to help realize that dream? Have you made a list of publishers to query? Have you polished your query letter? Have you done your research on which publishers fit with your submission? You get the point!I challenge you to dream big and take the necessary steps to turn your dream into reality! Get started today, you’ll be glad you did. X LLB
March 27, 2019- Did you know that structure and environment are directly linked to whether you fail or succeed? If you’re not reaching your goals, your environment and structure of activities may be to blame! Let’s take a look at this concept from a writer’s point of view; we’ve set this up as a case study for the fun of it!
Barb is a full-time writer who has a home-office in a room at the back of her house. Her desk is barely visible under the piles of papers, sticky notes, and half-full coffee cups. She has two school-aged children who she has to put on and take off the bus at eight am and four pm, and she is a single parent. She is trying to get another book deal with a major publisher who would be a perfect fit for her work since her original publisher told her that they didn’t have a place for her current story. Her phone is constantly ringing and buzzing with updates from social media and email. Barb has been struggling lately with staying on task since it seems that everything is vying for her attention and pulling her in different directions. She is currently two chapters behind on her manuscript. How can structure and environment help Barb reach her goal of submitting her finished manuscript for consideration?
- Get organized (Environment) First and foremost Barb needs to clean up her office and get her desk nice and tidy. If her work space isn’t clean it will distract her from her work and make it impossible for her to get anything accomplished. She’ll spend most of her allotted working time looking for things.
- Assess her time and set a timer (Structure) Barb has from approximately 8:30 am to 3:30 am each day to work on her book and submissions. That is 7 hours of good, core time to get things done. She needs to use the Pomodoro technique which is where she would set a timer and work uninterrupted for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. She could later extend this once she becomes more focused.
- Set a routine (Structure & Environment) Every morning Barb could set an hour aside, let’s say from 9 am to 10 am to check her email, social media, and return phone calls. Other than the allotted time, she should turn off all social media and email notifications as well as any other distractions.
- Set goals (Structure) Barb could set a word count goal for each hour of writing. She could start with a small goal such as 250 words per hour. This small goal is better than having a blank page.
There are many other things that Barb could do to improve her environment and the structure of her day; what are you doing each day to reach your goals? Does your environment and daily routine support your success? X LLB
September 19, 2018– So you want to run a writing business, congratulations! Do you know what you really want?
A lot of authors branch off into offering writing services to the general public. It may be editing or consulting, helping someone flesh out ideas for their book, or it can even be assisting self-published authors with the long publishing journey ahead. Whatever it is, before you begin, make sure you have a head for business.
I’m not going to mention money or charges or price structure in this post because that is entirely up to you! What I am going to talk about are the most important things you need to do before you even THINK about pricing your services.
As I own a full-service publishing house, I have some tips on running a successful writing business:
- What are you offering? Make sure that you’re clear about what you do and what you don’t do! Do you offer line editing? Revisions and re-writes? Manuscript consultations? Blog hosting? YOU have to know what you do before anyone else can.
- Who is your ideal client and what qualities do they possess? When you work with clients you love, you’ll genuinely enjoy the job you’re doing, and that’s when you do your best work! Make a list of the traits your ideal clients have. Are they bright? Resilient? Courageous? Big thinkers? Rapid responders?
- Identify your target market of ideal clients. What do you specialize in and who is your niche? Choosing your target market is essential because to reach the people you’re meant to work with, you’ve got to know where to find them. Maybe your writing business is ghostwriting for medical professionals, make a list of where to find the people who need your services!
- Determine the biggest result your clients get. What is the number one outcome that you help your target market achieve? Do you help self-published authors get their book from an idea into physical form? Potential clients within your target market must see your services and products as opportunities to receive a return on their monetary investment. What kind of ROI will your clients get from working with you?
It’s imperative to your success that you answer the above questions before getting started. Because as I always say, you can’t hit a target you can’t see. Here’s to your success!
May 25, 2018- Rejection isn’t easy, but it’s a natural part of life. A lot of the time editors and publishers give very little insight/info about why your work was rejected.
Usually, there are a couple of major reasons why work is rejected-I’m speaking from my own personal experience about why I reject manuscripts.
- Your work isn’t ready to be submitted but you submitted it anyway.
- You queried me incorrectly, didn’t follow the guidelines, disregarded the submission process and were unprofessional.
Yikes! I know that this sounds harsh, but you deserve the truth. Now, I’m not saying that these are the ONLY two reasons, there are others. Let’s explore some of the additional reasons why editors/publishers reject submitted manuscripts.
Reasons for rejection are totally subjective, but here are some possibilities and additional reasons why I would reject something:
- Something was recently published that is similar. Simply put, someone already thought of it, and it’s on my desk at this moment in queue for publication.
- The timing is wrong. I’ve cut back on my list or maybe I’m at my max for whatever genre has been submitted. Maybe something has changed in the market or perhaps the manuscript submitted is not saleable.
- You have no author platform or you have major controversy surrounding your online presence. This is not always something that will disqualify you from getting a deal with my publishing house, but it’s a pretty big factor.
Keep these things in mind when you’ve been rejected and remember to never give up!
March 24, 2018- Submissions are now open for Pandamonium Publishing House! If you want to submit your work, please follow the instructions below. If you do not follow the instructions, your work will not be reviewed or responded to.
I am now accepting submissions of fiction for all ages.
- Please send a synopsis of your work (include the ending of the book) and please make it one page only. A synopsis is a brief summary of your book.
- Please include the first five pages of your manuscript pasted into the BODY of your e-mail. I won’t open attachments unless they are from a trusted source.
- Please allow 4-12 weeks for a response from me as this allows me the much needed time to accurately address your manuscript. I will send you a response either way via e-mail so remember to include your contact information!
- Please don’t take anything personally. Sometimes I reject manuscripts for different reasons, maybe we’re at our maximum publishing quota for the year, maybe the story isn’t a great fit for our publishing house, perhaps there are too many errors within the manuscript. Whatever the reason, please don’t take it personally. Keep submitting and keep trying!
To send me a submission of your work following the guidelines above, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include SUBMISSION in the subject line. I look forward to reading your submissions.
October 16, 2017- I’d like to start by saying thank you to each and every writer who submitted their manuscripts and concepts for consideration with Pandamonium Publishing House. I’d also like to say that 2018 is going to be an exciting year for us and we’ll be developing innovative material, new genres that we’ve never done before, and new talent. I can’t wait for you all to meet some new authors and illustrators that will hopefully be coming aboard shortly! Stay tuned for announcements to see what the future holds for Pandamonium Publishing House. Thank you for everything.