Welcome to our new blog!
2. Read the last comment to see the most recent addition to the story.
Thursday, 03 November 2011
1. Nature- seeing the beauty of God's creation always makes me want to proclaim what He has done and what's the best way to do that? Through writing.
2. The need to see justice played out- An editor mentioned this about my books and I love this because I do write because I want to see the good guys win.
3. Deadlines- I can't skip this motivation. I find that I'm much more likely to write with a deadline, whether self-imposed or from an editor. Without it, I tend to do...nothing.
4. I love it- Sometimes it's motivation enough for me just to write because I love to write. I love fleshing out characters, placing them in peril, saving them, learning from them.
5. Sharing something deeper- I love the chance to share a deeper message through fiction. Whether it is opening people's eyes to things they don't know about (like human trafficking) or helping them grow spiritually, I'm motivated to write to share.
Thursday, 27 October 2011
I am inspired by deadlines. For that reason I usually have way more deadlines than I can cope with, and the ones that are self-imposed fall away. I have a large white board on the wall next to my computer and I write on it all the time. All the deadlines are written in blue. A quick count now tells me I have 21 deadlines! The latest one is the end of March next year - a Chicken Soup story I plan to write. But some of those 21 are multi-tasks in themselves. e.g. "Blogs" - one heading. That includes two a month on each of my two sites, plus 4-5 devotions up on ICFW (one a week) - either by me or by someone else. (Oh yes, and someone else has just asked me to do another one. Thanks Marion!)
Another multi-task is "Newsletter". That means two a month - one from each website.
Then a "teensy weensy" goal is "TOTW" - which can involve all sorts of things, like trying to figure out how to save hundreds of emails into folders.
Moving on - before I get overwhelmed. Oh, wait. I am overwhelmed.
Moving on anyway . . .
I also find a good title is important, so that I don't lose track of what I'm trying to say. I waffled about whether to sign up for the non-fiction Book in a Month challenge, until I decided on a title. Now I'm raring to go. And I've just realised that's NOT on my white board yet. Just a book in a month. Oh sigh.
In closing, my working title for November is:
Bye for now! I have a deadline or 20 to meet.
· Write a statement of purpose and put it in a place that you can see daily. But it must be one that excites you!
· Have the word “Writer” printed across your coffee mug. Every time you take a sip you’ll be reminded of your commitment to write. This will not only give you a caffeine boost, but a fresh jolt of enthusiasm too!
· Browse the bestseller section in bookstores – look at the authors’ pics and bios, read their openings, and imagine what your face would look like on the back of that book. Think to yourself, I can do this! And then, the most important piece of advice, rush back to your office and start writing.
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Not bad for a screenplay based on book that was rejected 60 times.
The author, Kathryn Stockett wrote, "In the end, I received 60 rejections for The Help. But letter number 61 was the one that accepted me. After my five years of writing and three and a half years of rejection, an agent named Susan Ramer took pity on me. What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60? Three weeks later, Susan sold The Help to Amy Einhorn Books."
- Margaret Mitchell – Gone With The Wind (38)
- Rudyard Kipling managed to sell one article to The San Francisco Examiner in 1889, but the paper then rejected any future submissions, saying, "You just don't know how to use the English language."
- John Kennedy Toole, meanwhile, received so many rejection letters for his novel, A Confederacy Of Dunces, that he finally killed himself. Only the persistence of his bereaved mother led to the eventual publication of his novel and its receipt of the Pulitzer Prize in 1980.
- Richard Bach – Jonathan Livingston Seagull (140)
- Stephen King – Carrie (30)
- Richard Adams – Watership Down (26)
- Thor Heyerdahl – The KonTiki Expedition,(18)
- Laurence J. Peter – The Peter Principle (16)
- JK Rowling – Harry Potter books (12)
- Beatrix Potter – The Tale of Peter Rabbit (8). She finally published it herself.
Thursday, 08 September 2011
Yesterday, I came across a point in my writing that needed clarification from a map of the Caribbean. I went and got the Atlas, and on my way back to my desk, I saw my younger sister doing mapwork in the book I remembered with no pleasant feelings. I decided to show my sympathy:
"Shame, Charissa. You have to do mapwork!" And I began looking through the Atlas index.
Then my mother suddenly said, "Aren't you glad you had to do mapwork?" And I realized that while so empathetically declaring how I had hated mapwork, I was consulting maps for my story!
Well, my family got me there. My worst fear now is that they will triumph in the maths-issue. Will I one day be caught willingly working out those sickening co-tangents or trying to integrate an awful function for fun?
Monday, 05 September 2011
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
I hadn't heard of Raider Publishers, so did a check on "Preditors and
Editors" (http://pred-ed.com/) a well-known site where you can check out
possible dodgy sites or organisations in the writing world. They list Raider
as a "Vanity Publisher".
I then Googled Vanity Publishers to find something I could send you on the
subject. Here's one that is straight-forward and tells it like it is:
Basically Vanity Publishers are not well regarded. They are similar in some
ways to self-publishing BUT you have to figure out a way to check up that
they produce the goods - and it costs you a LOT of money. If you're going to
go that way, you would be safer with straight self-publishing or even e-book
publishing. And Val's your lady to talk to in that area.
However I would urge you not to give up on traditional publishing. You're
young and have a long time ahead of you. Now is the time to build up your
platform so that when you get to the point that you ARE ready to publish,
you have a marketable proposal and a presence on the Internet. Start working
on short articles: devotions, anthologies, blogs, etc, so that when you get
to sending out a query letter/proposal for your book, you have a list of
published articles you can give to impress potential editors.
Re traditional Christian markets (and non-Christian) - You're right that
most only want solicited manuscripts, but not all of them. There are some
that are open to new writers.
Re. agents - you should NEVER pay an agent to market your work. This is a
problem here in S.Africa in that the few agents I have heard of DO charge -
so any others of you with a different experience are welcome to shout me
down on this. Overseas agents do not accept money up front. (Some will
charge you for postage, but I imagine with emails today that is no longer
likely.) They get their money out of commission from the sale of your book -
a payment that goes on as long as the book is in print.
Problem is again - many of them don't take on unsolicited writers. Sigh.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
blog, it worked!
Log into the CWOSA blog dashboard and click on settings
Choose Email & Mobile
Under Posting Address put a unique name where it shows.
Check "Publish emails immediately" and save settings.
Anything you email to this address will be published on the blog "as is".
The subject line of the email becomes the heading and the content goes in
This can save time - but again I emphasise it's just for those of you who
know what you're doing with blogger.
a short link to the description page on Amazon: http://ow.ly/64amA
Author of "Kindle Publishing Made Easy"
Sunday, 14 August 2011
Monday, 25 July 2011
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – 11 July 2011 – Two of Val Waldeck’s books have been nominated for Global eBook Awards. Val’s “Kindle Publishing Made Easy” eGuide has been nominated in the Writing/Publishing – Non-Fiction category and her moving devotional“When The Storms Come” in the Christian eBook category.
Step-by-Step Guide To Turning Any Book
Or eBook Into A Kindle Edition and Publishing It With Amazon’s Popular Kindle Direct Publishing.
Monday, 18 July 2011
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Monday, 04 July 2011
Monday, 27 June 2011
"Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." (Hebrews 10:24-25, NLT)
This means an author only has to sell 14,327 copies to earn slightly more than $100,000 in royalties. Or, in other words, you only need to sell 39 copies per day to hit the $100K mark in a year.
Selling eBooks at lower prices – e.g. under $4 – is a great way to get traffic. It costs nothing but your time! And some expertise in formatting. See my Kindle Publishing Made Easy eGuide for more information on that.
Check out the kind of books selling on Kindle and their prices to give you a good idea what you should be charging. Think about what you are willing to pay yourself.
Write about popular subjects, your specific area of expertise and interests. Invest in a good graphic for the book’s cover. People DO try to tell what’s in a Kindle book by the cover and not just the description alone so that investment could easily pay for itself. I recommend you visit www.getclive.com for expert eBook – and book – covers. (This is not an affiliate link – Clive really is good and he designs most of my covers. Visit my bookshop at Pilgrim Publications for some examples of his work. My amateur efforts will stand out in sharp contrast!).
Many people are spending money on iPads and Kindles and phones instead of computers and this is the place to be right now. It is generally believed that Kindle’s market share for eBooks is at 60 to 65 percent, while Apple’s hovers around 10 percent. Their eBookstore carries around 200 000 titles, while the Kindle store has over 950 000 titles.
By the way, if you haven’t got a Kindle yourself download a free one for your PC from Amazon.com. Soon you will want the portable one. It’s a superb eReader.
This is what I am concentrating on at the moment and I am amazed how quickly people find my Kindle books. Worth a shot!
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
PLEASE NOTE everyone - If you get an "illegal post time" message don't waste time trying to figure it out. Contact me and I'll help you. It's a setting that has to be sorted out on the admin side.
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
“I have to write what I know,” she explained. “That’s what my writing books tell me. Now Ellie, if you’d just get real and . . .”
I sank through a monotony of pixels on her computer screen to a state of blissful slumber.
“The trouble with you is that you have a stiff upper lip,” Ruth Ann said when I surfaced again several days later.
Well now, what else did she expect? My face was made of cardboard.
“You don’t care about anything! You never laugh, cry, stamp or shout. In fact, you never do anything at all. Between your lack of response and your deadpan face, you’re a dead loss,” she said.
Ruth Ann decided she had to find a way to bring me to life. One of the challenges she faced was the lack of resources for Christian writers in South Africa. There were no conferences where she could go to learn her craft. Outside the virtual world she had nowhere to meet writers, agents and editors. However, she did have access to the Internet, and while I napped, she spent many hours searching it for help. She found blogs, international critique groups and other online loops which helped her develop her craft.
As she put her new found skills to work, I sparked and tingled. A slew of emotions and sensations coursed through my body. They animated me and jerked me out of my lethargy. One day I caught sight of myself in a mirror. Yuk! I looked so scruffy in my old PJs that I wore day and night. After that I got up and dressed every day. I also discovered I had a talent for making earrings, so I made a new pair to wear every day. Ruth Ann admired my new jewelry. I experimented with materials like tiny keys, knobs of driftwood, stripy porcupine quills and white spotted guinea fowl feathers. Oh I had fun!
Her next step was to join an online group, the American Fellowship of Christian Writers. What a difference this made. She now had writer friends, fellowship and a wealth of information, help and online workshops. She spent hours at her computer, reading and learning more and more.
This went on for months until one day I burst out “Why are you reading all the time? You should be writing! You know I’m going to be stuck in jail if I don’t find the murderer soon––that detective thinks I did it.”
There was a hush for several seconds, then she exclaimed, “Ellie, you’ve come to life! You’re right, I have to finish your story. Then we’ll look for a publisher in America.”
“America? Why not here?”
Ruth Ann slumped back in her chair. “I looked in our Bible book shop last week. There were shelves and shelves of novels. Only four titles were written and published here, and they were translated from Afrikaans. All the rest came from America. We have to aim for the American market.”
A time of intense research followed. Several people in the know, including an acquisitions editor, told Ruth Ann she could set her book in South Africa, but if she was writing for the American market, she had to make me a “transplanted American. Would this be possible? Could I become an American? Could Ruth Ann pull this off? After all, she had never set foot in America.
For a while we were daunted by this new challenge. Again the Internet proved to be an invaluable source of information. Ruth Ann plunged into the necessary research with the help of cyber and real life friends.
We discovered that I grew up in Ohio and met Steve, a South African, on the Internet. Steve and I emailed each other, became friends and eventually fell in love. I immigrated to South Africa as his bride. Ruth Ann also met some of my relatives who soon made themselves at home in her novel. Like my Aunt Vicky who’s coordinating the painting a string of quilt barns in Ohio.
I chanced to hear Ruth Ann chatting to Aunt Vicky this morning. “I love your quilt barn photos, Vicky. I’m going to put them into my book, they could even provide a clue to the identity of the murderer. I wonder what Ellie will think of that.”
I grin as I listen to their conversation. Hold on for a surprise when you see what happens in your book, Ruth Ann. I’m not cardboard any more, remember? I have my own ideas.
Monday, 20 June 2011
If you get as far as hitting "Post" and you get an "illegal time" comment, there are two things you need to do. (And Ann, I suspect this is why your posts are "disappearing". Scroll down and see if you find an illegal time comment. If so the rest applies to you. If not, let me know.)
1) If you have a button for "Automatic" above the space for time, select that and then post again. That should have sorted the problem.
2) If you don't have an "Automatic" button, your blogger is set to the "Old Blogger format". This is nothing you've done wrong. Please email me your password and I'll sort it out. You can then change your password or trust me to delete it and forget it - which I will do. I've been known to forget my kids' names.
Sad to say, there is no shortage today of play-acting teachers, phony religious leaders, counterfeit Christians, and those who love their religion more than they love people-and use their religion to control people.
Original post:The Real Deal
Friday, 27 May 2011
Start by giving your post a title, then enter the post itself:
When you're done, click the "Preview" link (end right) to make sure it looks the way you want it to.
Once you're satisfied with your post, click the orange "Publish" button. This will publish your new post. (Don't worry about the "Labels" box at this stage.)
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
May I respectfully suggest that you open a folder on your computer (or a note book you won't lose) and every time you join something new--even if it's just a newsletter you sign up for -- make a note of any log-in details, password, and also the email address you've used. This is important. I didn't do that initially, and have ended up with some real problems because I used the wrong email address.
If you're just starting out, you can't imagine why you'd ever have more than one email address, but somehow that develops. So just keep track of all that sort of info from now on. Type all the details for THE ONE SITE on a notepad or word document- doesn't matter which -and save it WITH THE NAME OF THE SITE. So my details for Google are called "Google". My details for Yahoo are called "Yahoo". My details for FaceBook are called "Facebook". Nothing difficult there.
Meantime, if you're wanting to join up and you can't remember your details, write to me and I'll invite you to join CWOSA afresh - then once you've done that, I'll invite you to join the blog. (One thing at a time or we could get in a real tangle.)
Monday, 16 May 2011
I hope you're as excited about this new blog as I am. I want to remind you that it is a work in progress. Its appearance will develop over the next week or two. However, I'm keen to get this started, as we need to get folk signed up before we can do anything with the blog.
If this is your first visit, please click on "New Post" (top right) and say hello! Word Limit: 500 words for normal blog post. If you want to post something longer, split it into two posts. We may change this later, but humour us for now. We need to see what works and what doesn't.