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OWFI and DIY Alphabet Soup


We live in a world of alphabet soup. Everything has an abbreviation that comes down to either a letter combination that we use instead of the name or the anachronism we use as a word in place of the full name. Have you noticed we even do that for the names of the churches we attend, at least we do in our area. Those of us who text and tweet a lot write and read in an abbreviated language that I’m not sure I even understand part of the time. I have to admit that my daughter had to explain what lol and roflol meant and then I felt quit smart and hip, one of the in-crowd because I knew what that meant. Then? I found out that there was a whole lot more to the shortened vocabulary … so much for speaking fluent text and tweet … lol 🙂

My friend and fellow author, Kimberly Black, and I went to the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. Conference this weekend or commonly known as OWFI, this past weekend.  About 300 attendees and a great faculty presented workshops for people of all levels — we all found something of interest and learned a lot. I found out I’m a hybrid author and here I thought I just aspired to owning a hybrid car someday to be environmentally responsible. With the changing publishing industry, many authors are combining the traditional pathway with a traditional publisher and then self-publishing as well.

I have a great relationship and wonderful books produced with Buoy Up Press from awoc.com, Dan Case publisher. He is a royalty publisher and produces great quality books and takes good care of us authors. We have to give him top quality writing and the editing process is stringent, as you would expect. About 18 months ago I waded into the shallow end of the pool as a self-published author with my nonfiction book, Tools and Tips: What Every Writer Needs to Know to Go Pro. At the time I wrote and published it, I have no plans to go out on my own with everything, but I had no idea that made me a DIY and hybrid author. It seems to be part of the journey for many of us. We as authors need to be flexible and adapt. A couple of jewels I learned this weekend are:

1. The fastest growing market for ebooks in the next three to five years is in the third-world countries because of the explosion in cell phone availability. Inexpensive ebooks available on iphones give us a market previously not available.

2. Ebooks priced at $2.99 – $3.99 sell approximately 4.2 – 4.3 times more books than those prices $.99 – $2.89 or some catagories prices more than than, up to $9.99. You actually make more money selling at $3.99 than at $9.99 in the long run.

3.If you’re interested in publishing your own ebooks, check out Smashwords.com – I’m not actually endorsing them, but their founder was one of the presenters at OWFI and had a lot of impressive and valuable informative information that was backed up with substantial facts. They have a lot to offer including marketing.

For those of my blog followers who are authors, as well as readers, a lot of what we do besides the actual writing is a do-it-yourself process. We cannot afford to hire a staff to do everything else for us, at least not to begin with in our careers. That’s why it’s important that writers share and help each other with what we’ve learned, not only through our books, but also when we meet each other and talk over a cup of coffee or a glass of tea. In my experience, those authors who are ahead of me in their careers have always been quick to offer a hand to bring me along and it’s my turn to pass it on. We all have the opportunity to pay it forward to someone else coming up behind us with a bowl of alphabet soup.

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Tips on Entering Contests

This post is from the OWFI online group, but I wanted to share it with you all. Writers Conferences provide many benefits, including contests. Some of these contests require you to attend the event, but others do not. Check on the guidelines and pick the categories that you want to enter your work. Here are some tips:

On Wed Jan 19, Maria Veres said:

Here are a few things to watch for when you’re cranking out those
last-minute contest entries….

Be sure your name doesn’t appear in headers or anywhere else. Nonfiction
writers, also check the text of your manuscript to make sure you haven’t
referenced a blog or Web site that includes your name.

Include the proper information in the header–category name and number,
plus word/line/page count. Check each specific category for exact

Double space all manuscripts except poetry and book synopses/outlines.

Include a self-addressed envelope, 9×12 (preferred) or larger. For
unpublished manuscripts, the envelope can’t be any smaller than 9×12.
The manuscript has to fit without folding.

Double-check that you’re sending your entry to the right category chair.

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Writing Conferences

This past weekend I attended an American Christian Writers Conference in Dallas, Texas. It was the best conference I think I’ve been to, to-date. The presenters were Chip MacGregor, Dennis Hensley, and Frank Ball. Each one of them had something of value for every writer in the room no matter if you were a beginner or a multi-published author. It was amazing.

I would recommend any ACW conference to writers who are Christian or secular to go to one of these in your area. It is focused on Christain writers and that market, which is growing by leaps and bounds over the past few years. I learned about the trends in the Christian market and attended an all day fiction writing workshop on the Friday with Dennis Hensley.

I write both nonfiction and fiction so it was a tough decision to decide, but Dennis gave us tips for making our fiction better and our characters more believable. I’ll be sharing some of the gems I picked up at the conference with my writing followers this next week. I hope you’ll come back.