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It has been a while since I checked my blog because I am on vacation.  So everything except reading has taken a back seat.  But lo and behold, wouldn’t you know it that my spam box was chuck full.  How do you keep comments on your blog from becoming over run with spam?  No clue.  One, there is real no solution to keep spam from sneaking into your inbox.  And two, some comments accidently are sent to the spam box without your knowledge unless you check so you can not just delete them all.  It is a conundrum.

When I do return I hope to start writing my new middle grade book.  It is inspired by a young pre-teen girl, (She knows who she is!)  and it is a comedy.  For those who do not read children’s books some of the best middle grade humor series published within the last few years have been, “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid“, and “The Dork Diaries“.  I hope to be numbered among these one day.  There are a lot of dystopia, fantasy and historical fictional books out there.  Not a lot of humorous books.   So my summer will consist of reading a list of books from New York Times Best Sellers in children’s middle grade and YA.  I have already read a few on the list and plan to tackle many more.  Hot summer days and a good book.  Who could ask for anything more?

Cover of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid"

Book cover for Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-...

Book cover for Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Popular Party Girl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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If you ever felt that the world is full of people giving advice, then you might be right.  A lot of people do know a lot of different things.  One of my favorite places to get advice is from Nathan Bransford‘s blog.  He gives great advice on how to write a novel, to how to write a query letter.  Here is one of my favorite posts by Nathan which is the best query letter examples written:  Good Query Letter

There are many different formulas out there.  But just follow the one that is repeated and accepted by the publishing companies.  Bransford gives a good formula for creating a query letter.  But maybe you don’t want to take this guy’s word for it.  Here is some other sources from some credible authors and agents: How not to get an agent  and Before you query

I love to use Writers Digest books.  Their newest addition is 2013 Children’s Writer‘s & Illustrators Market.  You can buy it on Amazon: Writers Digest 2013 .  This book gives writers advice on how to write a query letter to what publishing company is actively accepting query letters.  There is a helpful section from authors.  Their advice for new authors and how they received their big break is worth the read.  I know I just want to skip to the back and start making my list of potential companies and individuals I want to query.  But the sections on writing are very helpful.  From the editor he says, “If you flip through this book’s pages, the first thing you may notice is a whole ton of upfront instructional articles.” – Chuck Samuchino, editor of Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market/ Guide to Literary Agents

There are a lot of writers in my own critique group who says this is “the time to become published”.  I know I have also heard this at writers conferences sponsored by SCBWI.  Agents, editors and authors all agree this is the time to become self-published with either an e-book format or paper.  The e-books are hot right now.  And if you Google which publishing company has the most e-books out then you would find Random House at the top of the list.  They have a lot of e-books that are selling like hot-cakes.  Take a look at their new reformated website and see: Random House .  There is advice given from different publishers who want to see books only through agents.  But there are a lot of authors/agents that are saying that you can do it yourself.  You don’t need an agent.  Take it from Maria Lamba who said:

“For a LONG time we have plodded along with certainties. And the main truth was that a big publisher = big success.  Signing with big publishers meant contracts with great advances, reviews in prominent publications, your book would appear in all bookstores, you’d have tons of publicity and promotion, and you were well on your way to a long CAREER as an author.

Then this “given” started to erode as all the publishing models began to shift.  A large number of editors were laid off in 2008. Authors were suddenly expected to do more of their own promotions. Book reviews in many print publications began to disappear. There was no guarantee that your book would appear in the major chains or indies (even before the demise of Borders). And now we hear a lot from authors about low advances, or no contracts being offered on a next book.

Yes, the economy has a ton to do with all of this. And Ebooks have come in at an especially crazy time.  We fear they may pose a threat to print books. The pricing of Ebooks is a huge issue.  Brick and mortar stores feel threatened by Ebook sales.

And let’s pile onto this, indie publishing, which is on the rise.

All these factors together add to an overall sense of instability in what was once a fairly predictable business model for publishers, booksellers and authors.”

The only thing a writer needs to take away from the overwhelming advice from so many different venues is: “Does it matter to me?”  We are all in charge of our fate and we decide if we want our careers to soar like an eagle or fall like a lead balloon.  There is always going to be someone out there who will have some great advice.  But do you really care?  And if so, are you willing to follow that advice?

As for me, I just want to keep on writing. Teddy%20Bear%20Reading01

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In today’s technological advances there are still some who are not so tech savvy.  This is including me.  I am still trying to figure out why we need to “connect” to other people through a computer.  How are we even “connecting” if you don’t see the other person or even hear them?  How do we even know if the other person emailing, blogging, or updating stats on their Facebook is even the person we are friends with?  Maybe I have read too many conspiracy theory novels.  But wouldn’t it be better to make contact with people in person?  Who am I though to judge how others want to “connect”?  I am just a little backwards, old-fashioned and love seeing faces when I talk to someone.  I like to see reactions and expressions flit across a face letting me know what they truly think.  Instead of cute little smiley faces or now the ever popular heart. ❤  I had to ask my son one day what was up with the sign.  He, of course, laughed (for quiet a long time too) before telling me it is supposed to be a heart.  Wow!  Talk about some imaginative minds out there.  So here I am trying to connect with blogging to get the word out about my work.

I have several novels written.  Along with some picture books in draft phase.  I have been working towards becoming published the traditional way for more than four years.  I have a nice collection of rejection letters from agents and publishers.  If I had to brag about my work so far I don’t think I would want to.  I could say that I have two articles published on eHow but most people in the writing world frown upon the website.  I had some fellow classmates say once, “The people who write for eHow are idiots”.  I didn’t dare tell them to count me as one of those “idiots”. Now I just concentrate on my craft and finishing school.  I still have hope one day I will be published.

So in the end becoming viral is not a bad thing, but helpful for finding the right agent, and for that agent to see I am trying to help promote myself as an author.  You can find me on Pinterest and Tumblr.   Google someone today! ( :

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