Category Writing Tips

To Blog or Not to Blog

TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG?

That is “the question” facing pretty much all of us involved with the world of books today. Although I’m pretty good at maintaining an author website…it remains to be seen if I could maintain the large commitment of energy and time required to make a splash in the every-expanding universe of the internet blog-o-sphere. Since I working on the answer to the question myself, I’m tossing it out to those who have bravely gone where this writer is just now treading. Some of the answers are below. Kudos to all those who have pulled off this balancing act in their business and creative lives!

Cynthia Leitich Smith

www.cynthialeitichsmith.com

I believe that blogs are having a steadily increasing impact on sales, though I’m not sure how we could quantify it...

Read More

Basic Toolkit for Children’s and Young Adult Writers

BASIC TOOLKIT FOR CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT WRITERS

Best organization to join for information on craft, marketing, and publishers in the field is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, http://www.scbwi.org/

Your national membership enables you to connect with other writers and/or illustrators via online chats, through-the-mail critique partnerships, and regional conferences.

There are hundreds of websites devoted to or including information about writing and marketing stories for young readers. Here are a few internet addresses to start your discovery process.

Margot Finke: http://mysite.verizon.net/mfinke/index.html

The Purple Crayon: http://www.underdown.org/

Verla Kay: http://www.verlakay.com/

Cynthia Leitich Smith: http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/

Write 4 Kids: ht...

Read More

Sample Query Letter

Sample Query Letter

A USEFUL TEMPLATE: YOUR HANDY-DANDY SAMPLE QUERY LETTER
(First step:  use business letterhead with your complete address, phone number, email)

(Date)

Editor’s Name (Make sure it’s spelled correctly!)
Editor’s Title (Is it the most current job title…assistant editor, editor, senior editor, etc.?)
Imprint Name (Doublecheck spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.)
Publisher Name (Ditto the above…get it right!)
Address (Is it complete, with street, city, state, zip code?  Is it up-to-date? Don’t trust old information. Even if you’ve submitted to this editor or publisher before, look it up in the latest directory or market guide. Publishers move and merge all the time.)

Dear Mr. or Ms. (fill in the blank):

(Provide this information in roughly this order)

HOW I KNOW YOU ...

Read More

How to Play the Writing Game

HOW TO PLAY (AND WIN) THE WRITING GAME

Much like brewing the perfect cup or coffee, there’s more than one way to write something and get it published.  You try different methods until one works for you.

So, in an effort to augment my own advice given in this section, below are some other sources for what I think is pretty good guidance from others in the business.  Check back from time to time for additions to the ‘starter kit’ selection below.  And, please email me at Dianne@DianneOchiltree.com if you stumble across a source that you think would be worthwhile to add to this list.

From Rick Rishman, book marketing expert, on the top ten mistakes authors make in the submission process as posted on Kathleen Gage’s ‘Street Smarts Marketing’ blog: http://www...

Read More