Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday April 21: Update

I'm really liking this blog set aside just for ROW80 because I can also set aside my fear of boring someone by nattering on about writing goals. The only folks who visit here will be ROW80 writers (more or less) who are just as passionate about writing as I am. So, without further ado, here's my update:

WRITING: Nothing, nada, zilch, and blank page. Except I'm still writing a poem a day for National Poetry Month and participating with NaPoWriMo and the A-Z Challenge. And I did set up this ROW80 Blog this week.

BLOGGING: On track with posting daily on the writing blog. I'm having a surprising amount of fun on my travel blog. Since we're not traveling anywhere exotic for the short term, you'll find a recipe of the week every Wednesday, inspired by my travels. Last week's readers actually tried the recipe -- and liked it! What could be better than that? Finding an agent or publisher?

MARKETING: Wrote a press release for The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales -- and (wait for it) actually sent it out! Got an immediate positive response and an invitation to raffle off a copy. I'm thrilled as that means a bit more than an announcement. Made a little progress reading and analyzing other Book Club questions to draft my own (also for The Mermaid Quilt). Paid real money to amazon/KDP to expand my distribution (takes 4-6 weeks) because I was told by a B&N spokesperson that I could have a reading at their store once I'm in the 'database'.  Also paid real money for a business-card-sized ad in a quilter's newsletter.

The real challenge in marketing for me is to make a specific plan. I've found so much contrasting information and the whole process seems so complex. I'm repeatedly finding out I should have done more PRE-LAUNCH. But that's what publishing The Mermaid Quilt was about -- a learning experience. Whew!

PUBLISHING: Went through 25 possible publishers of historical fiction recommended by Poets & Writers and by other online sources. So checked checked websites, Absolute Write's water cooler, Preditors & Editors. Eliminated 24.  Found just one possible publisher (closed for reading until June), and they prefer fiction up to the Renaissance. So I'm wondering if I should query or not, since Years of Stone is set in the 1840s. Some of these 'publishers of historical fiction' had 2 or 3 books listed, and one website was so cute and difficult to navigate, I couldn't find the author submission page.

WASHINGTON STATE QUILTERS:  Sent a press release out that resulted in a reporter and photographer interviewing a wonderful quilter who makes quilts for kids with cancer. I'm dancing about that one! Prepping now for articles due May 1.

PERSONAL: Doing OK with family time. Exercise not so much (bad cold now gone, but no walk today; it's pouring). Today I will check out whether I can pull photos from CDs on hubby's computer. And I spent a few hours in the kitchen making a famous Arabic dish for Wednesday's post on the travel blog.

My office still looks like a bomb hit it; haven't caught up with all the mail, but overall, I'm feeling so much better. I hope your week goes well.

And if anyone has suggestions about marketing, please, please comment!


  1. I am afraid I know nothing about marketing! But well done on writing and sending out your press release! I hope my ten minute trick works well for you! Have a great week :)

    1. Thanks, Em. That 10-minute trick helps. Some time management gurus say tackle the hardest job on your to-do-list first. Somehow, that 10-minute trick makes it easier. We can do just about anything for 10 minutes!

  2. Recipe of the week? I must go check this out. Isn't it funny how that's what I got out of your post??? Just kidding, I'm just a foodie.

    It sounds like you've got a lot going on. It's good to check out places like Preditors and Editors to make sure you don't get duped by anyone. Back when I was thinking of traditional publishing, I found that site on the recommendation of "Writer's Relief". Have you checked them out?

    1. Hi, Laura. Your comment made me laugh -- out loud! Actually the recipe of the week is my way of keeping that travel blog active (at least once a week) as we're not travelling just now. I hope you try this week's treat, Maklouba, a dish my hubby insists he can eat 3 times a day! Hope you stop by Weds.

      Re Preditors & Editors, I do check them out as well. Interestingly, the website itself tells me a lot about the commitment and professionalism of a potential agent or publishing house. So far, I'm leaning ever closer to self-publishing.


Thank YOU for visiting and commenting!