The Portrait of a Writer (1)

Cristian Mihai

I began writing in my most vulnerable years. I was dumb and arrogant, as most teenagers seem to be, and I did my best to pour greatness into every sentence I wrote. But I was also lying to myself, writing about what I didn’t know, pretending to know, and I got caught and people could see that I wasn’t willing to let them in – I  was building this wall to protect my true self from anyone who would be searching for it behind my words. There was nothing that belonged to me in the stories I wrote.

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A New World of Publishing

Lloyd Lofthouse

I rode BART into SF and hiked up Powell Street to The Sir Francis Drake Hotel to attend the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival that started at 11:00 am on May 18, and discovered by 9:45 pm—almost eleven hours later when I hiked back to BART to ride home—that giving up a day of writing was worth what I learned and the connections I made.

I think the event was more for writers than readers and considering the number of writers and want-to-be writers in the Bay area there should have been more people in attendance to learn about today’s fast changing publishing environment.

But many of today’s authors have no idea how important it is to learn all you can to understand how challenging it is to attract an audience in addition to the dangers that can destroy an author’s career.

The six-scheduled free discussions—open to the public—were packed…

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Is It Wrong to Think of Your Book as a Product?

Brooke WarnerGuest Post by Brooke Warner

As part of a writing group or club, you’re already self-selected as a writer who cares about their craft. You’ve probably taken courses to help improve your writing. You certainly read more than the average person. And it’s probable that you hold out the dream of publishing on a traditional press.

Nothing wrong with that dream, but there are some concrete steps to help you get there that didn’t exist five years ago. Everyone knows the traditional publishing landscape is changing. You probably know that you need to be entrepreneurial and that you need to have a platform. Beyond that, however, you need to have a published book under your belt—even if it’s an ebook.

An ebook puts you on the map. It gets you on Amazon and allows you to have an Author Central page, which is vital. When people type your name into Google, your ebook will show up. It gives you SEO (search engine optimization) without you having to do anything.  And most important, it lets you begin to touch your readers and build a fanbase.

Publishing today has moved past the point of being something you strive toward. Now it’s a journey, with milestones along the way. Publishing ebooks and treating them like products might feel like the antithesis of a creative outlet, but you better believe that will change once you start making money and generating fans from your written word.

If you have writing that’s just lying around, do something with it! There are five easy steps to getting your book up for sale on Amazon:

  • Write your content (usually about 20,000)
  • Get your content edited
  • Get a cover design made.
  • Get your book converted into an epub file (or .mobi for Kindle)
  • Upload your book to Amazon (and other platforms)


A realistic time goal for something like this, if you’re starting from scratch, is about two to three months from start to finish. And it’ll run you in the $1000 ballpark. You can price your ebook anywhere from $2.99 to $9.99, and you’d need to sell approximately 100-200 copies (depending on your price point) to break even.

I advise writers I work with to start small. Start with what you know. Write an ebook. And get it published. Start acting like an author-preneur and watch how your author platform begins to take shape. Thinking of your book like a product will never have felt so good.  

If you’re inspired to learn more, please join Brooke at her Self-Publishing Summit in Berkeley, CA, on June 1-2. She is presenting about ebooks, marketing, platform-building, creating the best books you can to attract the interest of a traditional press, industry secrets and money-saving tips, and much more.

Members of the CWC will get $200 off the cost of the Summit, plus four special bonuses. Read more here:

Register here:

Promo code: SELFPUBDEAL (case sensitive)


Brooke Warner is Founder of Warner Coaching Inc. and Publisher of She Writes Press. She is the author of What’s Your Book?

Warner Coaching Inc.

She Writes Press

What’s Your Book?

2013 San Francisco Book Festival Award Winners

Lloyd Lofthouse

Running with the Enemyby Lloyd Lofthouse was awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00034]
The winner of the general fiction category went to John Irving’s In One Personpublished by Simon & Schuster, and the grand prize was awarded to The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen & Live Without Regret by Richie Norton with Natalie Norton — Shadow Mountain Publishing.

John Irving won the National Book Award in 1980 for The World According to Garp, and he received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for the short story “Interior Space. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules.

Richard Norton, the grand prize winner of the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival, is the CEO of Global Consulting Circle. He is a sought…

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How to get more Followers on Twitter and why you should do this

Twitter may be an important addition to an author’s social networking platform. In this post, you will find several YouTube videos and brief summaries that will help you understand how to use Twitter properly.

Andrea Pearson talks about the basics of how to get more followers on Twitter

1.       Follow people who are more likely to follow you back

2.       Use hash tags = # Use the hash tag followed by topics you like. For example: #writing

3.       Re-tweet what people say. For example, you think something was funny so re-tweet

1.       Don’t be too preachy. Instead, let people know what your life is like. Let them get to know you.

2.       Be courteous: be nice to people. What she means is don’t send out a thousand tweets a day

3.       Respond to people

4.       Follow conversations other people have and follow people who you like to read, and don’t follow too many people at once

5.       Use hash tags like #WW (writer’s Wednesday) and #FF (follow on Friday)

More tips on using Twitter from Joanna Penn

1.       Tweet only in your niche — for example, if you are a Sci-Fi author, only tweet in that niche

2.       Use Twitter to find new people—to develop relationships—get to know them on Twitter first

3.       It’s important to be generous to other people. For example: eight percent of your tweets should be re-tweets of others and only 20% of your tweets should be about you and/or your work.

Amy Porterfield tells us how to get more followers on Twitter by using content

Three sites to find information to tweet about:




Wendy Limauge tells/shows us how to use Twitter (Tweet, Retweet, Direct Messages, Lists)

Rik Logtenberg tells us the 10 Steps to Become a Twitter Mater

This is a twitter tutorial that covers everything from signing up to twitter, shortening urls with, using tweetdeck, talking to other twitters, and finding people to follow and attracting followers.

Protected: Anonymous Cyber Bullies wage Global Flame Wars to ruin Authors

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As a published author, how you react when someone publishes a reckless and false review of your work is up to you.

iLook China

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A 1-star review of the 2nd edition of My Splendid Concubine that was posted on a Blog, Two Americans in China dot com [December 9, 2012], and on is the focus of this post. This review ran for 1,145 words. It took me a few months to decide to write a response, because it meant digging through thousands of pages of research—most of it from primary source material, Robert Hart’s journals and letters.

In addition, it also meant attracting the wrath of mostly anonymous Internet vigilantes (bullies) that allegedly think they have a moral duty to attack any author that responds to a review of his or her work no matter how misleading that review might be.

I have no problem with a negative review—even if it is 1-star—that is honest and does not resort to reckless and false claims to influence readers, but…

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