Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WRiTE Club Submission Deadline Approaching

First off, I’d like to thank Jeff for the opportunity to talk to you today about something near and dear to my heart…WRiTE CLUB. My modest writing contest has proven so popular that the DFW Writers Conference is now considering incorporating it into their agenda for 2015. 

For the newbies out there, let me explain what WRiTE CLUB is? It’s a modest writing competition whose inspiration was derived from the movie FIGHT CLUB. There are numerous versions of this concept around the internet, but nothing like we do it. Its essence embodies simple, good-natured competition, with lots and lots of fun sprinkled on top. 

Over the course of eight weeks I hold twice-weekly bouts in which the winners advance to the play-offs, which will ultimately lead to a single champion. Bouts between who…or what…you ask? Anonymous 500 word writing samples, submitted under a pen name by anyone who wishes to take part, that’s who. The writing can be any genre, any style (even poetry) with the word count being the only restriction. It’s a way to get your writing in front of a lot of readers, without having to suffer the agony of exposure. 

And the winners are determined by WRiTE CLUB readers!

To find out how to become part of the fun just head on over to DLHammons.com and click on the WRiTE CLUB tab. 

Submissions are open until May 31st. After that date a panel of a dozen judges will read all of the entries we received and pre-select 32 of the best writing samples to climb into the ring. Those 32 participants will then be randomly matched to compete over the next eight weeks, each of them hoping to make it into the play-off rounds and moving towards the ultimate goal – WRiTE CLUB Champion. No one (other than my wife)…not even the judges being used to pre-select the 32 contestants, will see the true identity of any sample. Unless you win, of course.

Again this year, the most exciting part is the winner of the final round will be chosen by a panel of publishing industry professionals! Judges include New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author Jonathan Maberry, Agents Katie Grim of Don Congdon Associates, Margaret Bail of the Andrea Hurst Agency, Sarah Negovetich of the Corvisiero Literary Agency, Brittany Booker of The Booker Albert Literary Agency. Also included is Candace Havens, Editorial Director of Entangled Publishing Covet line, Authors Les Edgerton and Lydia Kang, and previous WRiTE CLUB winners Tiana Smith (2011), Mark Hough (2012) and Tex Thompson (2013).

Are you willing to WRiTE for what you want? Then crack those knuckles and get ready to flex that imagination. And whatever you do, tell your friends!

WRiTE CLUB – The contest where the audience gets clobbered!

Monday, May 5, 2014

How to Help an Author

Seeing our stories published is the dream most of us writers have. When our comrades realize that dream, we want to see them succeed. Some say such success is in the stars. I say take heart. We can help align those stars. Melissa Maygrove is here to show us how.

How to help an author...
  • If you’re going to buy a book, buy it on release day if at all possible.
  • The second best time to buy is during a 99c or free e-book promotion. A surge of downloads in a single day boosts the book up in the rankings. And be sure to...
  • Buy a new or e-copy. The author gets nothing if the reader buys used.
  • Buy a similar, popular book by a big name author together in the same purchase. Some sites make suggestions based on previous customer purchases (‘Customers who bought this item also bought...’). This kind of purchase pairing gets the lesser-known author’s book and name in front of more potential customers.
  • Consider giving copies as gifts (paper or e-book). You’ll make both the author AND the recipient happy.
  • Don’t return a book unless it was a mistaken purchase or there’s a technical problem. The average author would starve if they had to live off the revenue from their book sales. Reading and returning is not cool.
  • Like it? Leave a positive review on as many retailer sites as you can. (Amazon’s algorithms are based, in part, on the number of reviews; and some promotion options are not available to authors until their books attain a certain number of reviews.) Book reviews aren’t difficult to write, and they don’t have to be long. Just give a summary of your general impression at the beginning, then mention more specifically what you liked and what you felt the author did well (Did they create likeable characters who stuck with you? Did they pace the story in a way that kept you reading? Did they design a clever and / or fresh plot?). Do avoid story spoilers or give a forewarning. When you’re ready to wrap it up, cap it off with a short, enthusiastic recommendation at the very end.
  • Tell your friends about it. Word of mouth sells books.
  • Add it to your Goodreads page.
  • Post about it on your blog and / or share it on social media, such as FB or Twitter.

Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she's not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities, she's hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.

Sometimes a single choice
alters the course of a person’s life forever.

Release day: May 12th!