Friday, July 29, 2016


Abbreviation for the Latin phrase id'est, which translates as “that is to say.” We use it in a sentence when we have made a statement, but then want to further clarify what we mean. Here is an example: “To hide your identity, use a pseudonym, i.e., a pen name.” Be sure you recognize the difference between “i.e.,” and “e.g.,” which means “for example.” These two are often confused or misused. When using, you can either enclose in parentheses, or with a comma before and after. For a humorous lesson on the use of “i.e.,” go to:

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Professional publicity photo. Some guidelines to follow when getting such a photo taken: (1) Find a photographer who takes head shots. (2) Check out the photographer's Website or visit their studio to be sure you like their work. (3) Get recommendations from other professional writers or speakers. (4) Let them know exactly the persona you wish to convey. (5) There are copyright issues, so be sure the photographer knows that you plan to use the photographs for publicity purposes and that you get permission to do so. (6) Wear neutrals (black, gray, or white) or dark colors; avoid busy patterns, red, and bright colors that draw attention away from your face. (7) Smile with your eyes, not just your teeth. (8) You want your hair style to be the same as when you speak. (9) Men, get a hair cut at least a week before the photo shoot to avoid the just-cut look. (10) Your make-up needs to be heavier and more defined than you would normally wear. For more on good head shots, go to:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Proper use of the language. If you have been away from school for some time, or know you are weak in this area, it's a good idea to find a grammar book and bone up on the basic rules of grammar, punctuation, and style issues. Many writers make it a habit to reread The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White, every year as a refresher. Although publications and book publishers have editors who will likely catch any errors in your manuscript, these days editors are looking for print-ready manuscripts that require little or no editing. Some authors are going so far as to have their book manuscript edited by a professional freelance editor before submitting it. For a listing of grammar terms, go to:

Monday, July 25, 2016


Contact: Steve Laube
Phone: 602-336-8910
(Phoenix, AZ) The owner and president of the Steve Laube Agency has announced his purchase of the rights to The Christian Writer’s Market Guide from bestselling author Jerry Jenkins. Laube will become Publisher of the 2017 edition.
The Guide has been used as a resource in the inspirational market for over 30 years. It was created by writer Sally Stuart, who published it until 2012 when Jenkins took over. Laube says he plans to not only publish print and ebook editions, but he will also post the content online for subscribers.
 “Publishing the Guide has been a privilege,” Jenkins says, “but also a ton of work. I’m eager to get back to writing and running my new Writers Guild (, which has skyrocketed beyond my fondest dreams. I’m thrilled to see Steve Laube continue the legacy of this amazing resource. He’s been a leader in the publishing industry for years and has a unique heart for budding writers.”
Laube says, “Our agency has long advocated educating writers and providing them the tools they need for success. The Christian Writer’s Market Guide becomes part of our larger educational initiative under a division we call The Christian Writers Institute ( I'm pleased that Jerry has agreed to remain associated with the Guide as a contributor and consultant.”


 Tim LaHaye, the best-selling author best known for the Left Behind series, “graduated to heaven” early this morning after suffering a stroke at age 90. His family announced the news of his passing at a San Diego hospital on his ministry Facebook page. On the eve of his death, ministry partners, fans, and friends urgently asked for prayer on social media this weekend, offering a wave of early tributes that spread through end-times prophecy circles and chapters of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the 600,000-member public policy organization founded by LaHaye’s wife, Beverly. Some circulated a statement by LaHaye’s daughter Linda: “He will not recover from this, he will soon be graduated to heaven."

Friday, July 22, 2016


Any time you base your fiction on actual events, it is best to rename the characters and change the location to avoid a lawsuit for invasion of privacy by the actual participants. These kind of changes need to be substantial so the persons tied to the actual event are not easily recognizable. If the event or person you are writing about is unique or it's an extreme situation, there may not be a way to disguise it enough that people wouldn't be able to tell what or who you are talking about. In that case it would be best to delete that incident.

There may also be occasions when you are sharing personal experiences or writing your own story that it will be necessary to change the names of the other people involved. Be sure that the identity of the person is not obvious to that person or to those who know him. For information on the legal ramifications, go to:

Thursday, July 21, 2016


A process which is much more than checking for incorrect grammar or misspelled words. It begins with the reading of a query or book proposal to determine if it is publishable and fits the needs of the publication or book publisher. If the proposed material looks promising, they will ask for and review the full manuscript, either decide to accept or reject it, or even ask for needed changes before deciding to buy it. If the material is purchased, the editor will handle the contract (if there is one) and may ask for changes at this point. With books, the editor is responsible to recognize any potentially libelous material and send it to the publisher's lawyer for verification or release.

A good editor is one who can readily recognize what material fits the publications focus and audience, or if a book editor, which books and authors will help build the publisher's line. There are different types of editors—each responsible for specific duties, which may vary from publication to publication, or publisher to publisher. An editor usually becomes a liaison between the publisher and the author. Some are responsible to find and correct any errors in a manuscript, while other oversee the bigger picture and carry the manuscript to publication. For an interesting look at editing, go to:


Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Most periodicals and book publishers will conduct a demographic study periodically to check up on who their readers are and who their advertisers are. This would cover such information as to geographic location, age range, married couples, previously married, singles, number and ages of children, nationality, level of education, etc. Such a study is very helpful to a publisher in being sure what they are producing is meeting the needs of their readers. As a writer, you can write to magazines you want to write for and ask them for a copy of their latest demographic study. They are usually happy to send that to you. Such a study can be very helpful to you as well. What you want to do is match what you are planning to write to fit the demographic of that publication. For example, if most of the readers are in their 20's with young children, you can gauge your article to the needs of that age group. You can also mention that in your query. The more you know about the readers, the better your chances of writing something to fit their needs exactly.

Monday, July 18, 2016


When two or more writers are responsible for writing the content of a book (or other literary form). In most cases both/all of their names appear on the cover and title page. In a co-authoring situation, the authors will split the advance and royalties equally or percentage wise—if the contributions are not equal. Co-authoring can be most successful if each author has different strengths and they compliment each other. If they share the same strengths, conflict can be the result as they vie to do the same aspects of the project. It is important each author respects the abilities of the other(s), and allow them to bring their strengths to the project. It is essential to have a contract between the co-authors before work is started on the book. That contract should indicate who is writing what parts of the book, the order of the names on the cover, the advance/royalty split, who gets the final word when there is a disagreement, who contacts the publisher, plus any other issues unique to the book project that have the possibility of becoming a bone of contention. When determining who gets the final word, one person can have the final word on the content (Do we add another chapter?), while another has the final word on the writing (Does this word convey the right meaning?). Do not assume if your co-author is a relative, spouse, or best friend, the contract is not necessary. Any time there is money at stake, there is the possibility of conflict. For help in making co-authoring successful, go to:

Thursday, July 14, 2016


 An initial query letter or email to a publisher asking for permission to send a book proposal. Other book publishers will skip the query letter and ask for a book proposal initially. With a query letter for a book, the publisher simply wants to learn enough about your book to determine if it is worth asking for the full proposal. The editor will want to know specifically what the book is about, what qualifies you to write it, and why you think they are the ones to publish it.

You also may need to send a query letter when trying to secure an agent to represent your book. An agent will want basically the same information as the book publisher, and if interested, will also ask to see a complete proposal. The book publisher's and agent's decision will be based on such things as whether they already have or represent a similar book; if they have room in their list of writers or clients; whether the topic is of interest to their readers, or for an agent, if they think it's a topic they can sell to a publisher. For tips and sample queries, go to:

Monday, July 11, 2016


The big news about Barnes & Noble is that after twenty years of battling with Amazon they have finally made a competitive move that Amazon cannot match. Barnes & Noble, with 640 bookstores in 50 states, is giving self-published authors a chance to get access to their hallowed bookshelves. Meanwhile, Amazon runs one bookstore in Seattle (albeit with 3 more slated). Barnes & Noble wins this contest hands down.

NOOKPressThe news reads best at a quick glance: “…authors have the opportunity to sell their print books at Barnes & Noble stores across the country… participate at in-store events including book signings and discussions, where they will be able to sell their print books and meet fans.”
But the devil’s in the details: the program is for “eligible” NOOK Press authors, defined as “those print book authors whose eBook sales [of a single title] have reached 1,000 units in the past year.” The in-store promotion is for “those print book authors whose eBook sales [of a single title] have reached 500 units in the past year.”
To try for bookstore access eligible authors must then submit their print books “for review by Barnes & Noble’s Small Press Department and one of the company’s corporate category buyers”. To participate at in-store events authors need a “review from a Barnes & Noble store manager.” But how many copies might the chain order? How long will they keep those precious books in inventory? Where will they be displayed? What about returns of unsold copies? So far there are lots of unanswered questions. It’s not a slam-dunk.
In my coverage of last fall’s NINC conference I noted some remarks from publishing expert Lou Aronica. Lou provided a forceful reminder that self-published authors can’t afford to ignore print: it still accounts for some two-thirds of book sales overall. The larger problem is getting retail access for print. Independent booksellers have always been more open to dealing with self-published authors than the chains. But trying to get into the 2,311 outlets operated by the 1,775 American Booksellers Association (ABA) members is a logistical impossibility. Barnes & Noble has fewer total outlets than the ABA, but a lot more floor space. And just one buying office. At least one report shows bookstore chains with two-and-a-half times the marketshare of independents. Further, getting self-published books into non-bookstore outlets like drug stores and supermarkets is just a dream. And so access to Barnes & Noble should be a big deal.
So far there’s been only modest reaction online. Self Publishing Advisor calls it “big news.” Good E-Reader is cautious. “Too Little, Too Late” is the theme both from Nate Hoffelder and the Passive Voice (where 63 comments will give you an additional sense of the reaction from the field). Author Katie Cross writes that it’s “nice to see them doing something. Following with interest,” while author Jim Cross thinks it “could be huge.”
The program will take months to implement. Obviously nothing is going to change quickly. The takeaway for me is the question of hope, whether the new regime at Barnes & Noble might start to claw back some of the territory they have so determinedly ceded to Amazon. That would be good news for authors of every stripe and for publishers everywhere.


Rose Publishing/Aspire Press/RoseKidz announces today that Brenda Noel has accepted the position of Editor for RoseKidz®, the children's products division of Rose Publishing. Noel starts as editor July 5.  RoseKidz launches 10 new kids titles in 2016, most notably eight new kids devotionals, to fill out the recently acquired Rainbow Publishers/Legacy Press line of children's devotions, reproducible Bible activities, and fiction titles. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016


 A situation where a writer will write the life story of a subject with that person's full cooperation. Full cooperation means the subject will agree to in-depth, recorded interviews, access to personal records or correspondence, and will provide the names of friends or even enemies who will provide additional insight into the person's life and reputation. In some cases, the subject will already be dead, so the author will have to have the cooperation of his relatives or the executor of his estate.

Since the author is working in cooperation with the subject, it will be expected that the subject will be able to see the finished manuscript before it is submitted to the publisher. Before such a biography is started, there needs to be some agreement between the parties as to whether the subject will be receiving any of the advance or royalties, or a byline on the finished book. As in other situations where more than one person is involved in the writing process, it is a good idea to cover all such issues in a written contract. Invariably where money is concerned, there is the potential for conflict—even if the conflicting parties are related to the subject or are life-long friends. For more on the role of the authorized biographer, go to:

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Keep in mind that we learn something from every positive and negative experience.
Hang in there!


A letter from a publisher accepting your submission. Such a letter from a periodical will typically indicate the editor wants to buy your manuscript, what the payment will be, whether the payment will be on acceptance or publication, what rights they are buying, and perhaps in what edition of the periodical the piece will appear. Although some publishers will still send this letter by snail mail, the majority now do it by email.

With a book publisher, the initial submission will usually be a book proposal. In that case, the first acceptance letter will indicate the publisher is willing to look at your full manuscript—not that he is committing to buying it. If the initial submission was the full manuscript, the acceptance letter will usually indicate their desire to purchase your manuscript, and it may arrive with a copy of the contract or a list of basic terms they will be offering in a contract, along with any other details you need at that point. This Website lists some publishers open to accepting books at this time:, and

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Janette Oke Named Recipient of ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award
American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) recently announced that Janette Oke is the recipient of their 2016 lifetime achievement award. Oke will be honored at a gala award dinner in Nashville on August 27 during ACFW’s annual conference. ACFW is a professional organization seeking to empower Christian novelists by helping to inspire and guide them through the writing and publishing process.