Monday, June 30, 2008

What writers need to think about

Happy Monday!

Well, today is the holiday week so I wanted to make you aware of the Writing Career Coach holiday schedule. I will post today, Tuesday [both here and at Writer's Rest] and Wednesday. I know many of you have vacations planned and time off so if you'd like to be sure you don't miss an issue sign up to receive the blog directly in your mailbox by clicking the sign up link here.

Now, this week I'm going to talk about different ways to be a full-time writer. That will begin on Tuesday with part 1 here, part 2 tuesday at Writer's Rest and Part 3 here on Wednesday.

Today, however, I want to talk about something very important to aspiring writers. That is agents [real and fake]. I thought about this after reading Chip MacGregor's blog yesterday where he talked about the website "Predators and Editors".

I urge you to go to Chip's blog [I have linked to it here] but also keep these tips in mind when you are trying to get your work in front of Editors and agents.

1. Don't pay an editor a reading fee. This is almost always a scam. An agent makes their money by taking a percentage [most agents around 15%] of royalties and advances. Any agent who wants to charge you to read you work either ISN'T an agent or is such a bad one that they can't make a living selling projects.

2. Find out the submission guidelines to publishing houses [and agents] before you send something in. THEN FOLLOW THE RULES!! You don't get points for creativity here. Agents and editors are extremely busy [many are highly overworked] and if your proposal takes them a great deal of extra time then you're already starting off at a disadvantage.

3. Make sure a second set of knowledgeable eyes look things over before you send it in. You want the best possible representation of your work so take the time to let someone else see it first.

4. Accept rejection with professionalism. Some agents may have become cynical after seeing THOUSANDS of bad proposals but I've never met an agent who didn't sincerely desire to help writers. They simply don't have time to work with each aspiring writer. To do so would take needed time away from the clients they represent. You also never know when one person will lead you to the right person. Keep a good attitude, be thankful when an agent is honest with you about the level of your work [getting one rejection from an agent is far better than getting dozens of nasty pieces of "fan mail"]

So take a few moments to check out these sites I mentioned and I'll see you tomorrow.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Meeting Editors and Agents


Today we're going to talk about meeting editors and agents at a conference. For those of you who are in ACFW you know that this has been a huge topic over the last two weeks. Everyone is talking about who they want to meet, are afraid to meet or have already met.

I take a unique spin on the whole "Editor/Agent" meeting thing. I believe in establishing relationships within the industry. See, becoming a writer isn't all about us. It is about becoming better. I have learned a great deal about writing from simply chatting with agents during conferences.

But there will come the time where you're sitting at a table holding your one sheet in your nervous that you're about to run out of the room screaming or pass out. So what do you do then.

For me it is no different. I am there to build relationships in the industry. My life and future are not determined by one conversation that lasts less than 5 minutes. Since 15 minutes is not enough time to really sell a project fully I think editor and agents appointments are a great time to learn about the industry.

I suggest that you ask questions, take notes and ask for input. I usually try to have 2-3 projects in the works. Then I ask which that particular editor/agent would most like to see [if either]. Then I ask them what THEY see happening in the industry. Tell them what you've accomplished and ask them how you can make yourself more marketable. Then ask if they'd like to see any of your projects.

If they say no, then you can ask them what would help you better prepare for the next meeting. If they don't represent/publish the genre you write in, ask them if they know others who might like to see something of yours.

Either way, I encourage you to thank them for their time and remain professional. If you didn't get the results you wanted [or hoped for] then take some time in your room to cry, but DON'T make it personal: for you or them. This is a tight knit industry and word travels fast. You badmouth someone and it WILL get back to them.

Remember, editors and agents thrive on finding new and successful authors. They WANT to help you succeed. They are not evil monsters out to "get their cut". Taking the time to learn from them, find out about the industry and what THEY'D like to see can open the opportunity for you at a future conference to get that request.

I hope this week has helped all of you. If you have questions don't hesitate to ask by posting a comment or emailing me through my website.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Proposals: marketing to editors/agents

Hello again

I hope the post on writing queries was helpful. It is an important skill that will help you move that first step down the path to publication.

So, let's say that you now have received a request for a proposal. After you quit jumping up and down you'll need to figure out what to put in it. This is going to be the piece of information that will not only help you get a requested full but will also be used by an editor if they take your project to the publishing board.

For this reason you want to make a strong showing. Terry Whalin has a GREAT book called "Book Proposals that Sell" and I'd encourage you to get a copy. You can purchase it from his website directly or get a printed copy from the bookstore.

You book proposal will vary based on whether it is fiction or non-fiction but there are some things every good proposal will have:

1. Back cover copy-Okay, true not every book proposal has this but think about it, what makes you buy a book when you go in a bookstore? Do you read the book jacket to find out what it's about? By offering this "enticement" at the beginning of your proposal you hopefully have the attention of the decision maker. Take some time to read the backs of books to get a feel for the style of writing based on your genre.

2. Summary-For a fiction book this will be about 2-3 typed pages [single spaced]. For a non-fiction book this will be a table of contents. The bottom line is, tell what is in this book. And just so you know, this is NOT where you want to say "And if you want to know the rest you'll have to get the book." Editors/agents do not find this cute and they won't ask for it. Tell them the whole story. I'd even suggest giving a brief [few sentences] character sketch of the 2-3 main characters.

3. Market research-Find out what other books are out there. How is yours similar? What sets yours apart? What unique take did you have in this book?

4. Marketing plan-How are you going to sell this book? The bulk of marketing will rest on your shoulders so how are you going to get word out? Give this some thought [and read the archives of this blog for some tips].

5. Sample chapters-You will need to give a sample of your writing. Usually expect 30-40 pages.

So that is the skeleton of proposal. Remember that what is most important is that you do what the publisher/editor asks of you so use this only as a suggestion or a starting point. Then build your own proposal.

Be professional, tailor the proposal to your unique voice [and the tone of the book] and take time doing it. This is your pitch, make it count.

Next time we'll talk about meeting editors and agents at conference. Hope to see you there.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Monday, June 23, 2008

Queries: Marketing to the agent/editor

Hello everyone,

So how productive were you this past week???

I have to say my week started great. I got up 90 minutes early, I got right to work after my morning cup of coffee and reading. I was well in to my writing before the first child popped out of bed...then one of my little ones got a stomach bug and the rest of the week didn't go so well.

This week I wanted to take a step back and start to look at the basics of marketing-that is to say how to market to an editor/agent. So this week we're going to look at queries, proposals and editor/agent meetings at conference. These are all necessary tools in the writer's toolbox and I hope they will help you as you continue to pursue your dream of publication.

Okay, today we will talk about Queries.

A query letter [or email] is simply a one page letter to get the attention of an editor or agent. This is their first impression of you [possibly their ONLY impression] so make sure you take time to write it well.

Queries are used by both periodical editors and book publishers so taking the time to really get this skill sharpened will be time well spent. The upshot is that once you have your first strong query letter written you can use it as a template for future letters.

You can buy entire books on how to write an effective query letter but I'm going to give you a rough outline here. Then you can customize yours based on what you learn from your own research or the needs of the publishing house.

Introduce what you're going to talk about. This is the first thing you want to do in your query. One trap writers fall in to is making this sound like a business letter. You want your first paragraph to reflect the tone of the magazine/publishing house you're hoping to work with so be interesting.

Next, give a bit more information on the article and then transition in to your bio. You want to keep these paragraphs short and clean so be ready to break the actual article pitch in to two paragraphs if you need to. Make sure you tell them why you're pitching this story to them [is it the theme for that months magazine? Did you just learn they're releasing a new line of sci-fi romances?]

Finally, what qualifies you to write this article or book. This is where you'd want to list relevant publishing experience. If you don't have any then list your educational background. If you have neither of these then tell why you're qualified to speak on this [if it's an article on homeschooling then mention that you homeschool 4 kids, even if you aren't a published author it shows knowledge on the topic.]

And make sure and thank them for their time. [And if it is a query you're mailing in send an SASE-Self-addressed Stamped Envelope]

If you have any questions leave them in the comment box or contact me through my website.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fighting Discouragement

I started this week talking about Maintaining focus but today I wanted to talk about a related area: Fighting Discouragement.

This is something that affects writers of every level and can lead to really great writers giving up on their craft. Maybe it is because the sales numbers aren't what you wanted them to be. Maybe you didn't earn out your advance and you're concerned that your writing career may be done. Maybe you are fighting back writer's block. Or you could have done really well and you wonder if you're a "One hit Wonder".

Maybe you WISH you were published and you're so fed up with all the rejection letters that are piling up. You might be thinking you were only kidding yourself about your potential as a writer. You may have friends or family asking if you're still doing that "Writing Thing". Or you told someone today that you're a writer and they said "Do you have any books published?" And when you said "no" they gave you that patronizing nod.

I'd like to simply encourage you. You are a writer. These are all steps on the path to writing. I've read the biographies of many great people and what distinguishes all of them is that they didn't quit when everyone else did. That's right; they just kept trying one more time. I've heard it many times, it doesn't matter how many times you are knocked down-it matters how often you get up.

Do you let disappointments set you back for an hour? A day? A week? A month? MORE?

I read on Brandilyn Collins' blog about how many times she "Almost" made it as a writer. She kept kicking her filing cabinet with each setback [something I cannot see such a mild mannered woman doing-but then she does kill people for a living :-) ]. She wrote intense suspense books [now dubbed "Seatbelt Suspense"] but for years she was an unknown sitting on a shelf.

But what about you? I'm sure you're tired of wonderful stories told by well meaning people of individuals who got 1,000 rejection letters before selling their first book. They really don't help when you've only received 20 rejections-do they?


All you do then is think "Great, only 980 more to go...why even waste the time?"

So I'm not going to give any of those "motivational" talks. I'm simply going to tell you that if you keep at it by using the natural talent you were born with, then mix it with the skill that comes from hard work, that eventually you will produce something worth reading. Once that happens it is just a matter of connecting with the RIGHT publishing house.

If you're willing to do that then no amount of discouragement will be able to stop you.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Studying Failure

I recently read an article from the 2004 Harvard Business Review called Look First to Failure by Henry Petroski.

This is a very interesting article on how engineers study the failure, rather than the successes, in their field to improve.

As I read this article I wondered how this might apply to writing. I have found personally that I learn more by reading really GREAT writing. That is because I tend to imitate what I've read, therefore mediocre writing lowers my skills.

But I knew there was still an application to the writer's life in this article. Then it occurred to me. Once I've written my book I need to market it, and that is where I can learn from the failure of others.

I began to think of things that did NOT work for me when people were trying to market. Think about bad publicity you've seen surrounding books or maybe marketing that has made you decide you didn't want to buy a particular book.

Take some time to not only study the great craft of others but to look at marketing that didn't work. And if any of your brave souls would like to tell us some places you've seen bad marketing you have two options: Leave a comment or use my contact page [if you'd like to remain anonymous].

NOW I don't want us hurting anyone's feelings, the point is to learn from failed marketing. I look forward to learning from all of you.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Monday, June 16, 2008

Maintaining your focus

Summer is here.

For those of us in the northern portion of the US summer is a fleeting moment of warmth in the midst of the cold. It is a time when you need only have a light jacket when you leave the house rather than a full length down coat.

And it is a VERY difficult time to work on a project. You want to be outside. There are weddings, graduation parties, vacations and traveling to do.

For all of you who have kids, you may have to content with constant interruptions in what used to be your quiet time. You must shuffle kids to sporting activities and play dates.

It is a busy time.

I tend to be a huge planner and I even find summer time challenging. I spend the whole school year being "home school mom" and look forward to the summers as a time to simply be Mom.

So what can you do to maintain focus on your writing goals?

1. Decide why you're doing it.
2. Take a break.
3. suck it up!

Yep, those three things are the key to moving forward during the summer. If you've lost sight of why you're killing yourself on this manuscript then take a step back and remind yourself why you started this in the first place. I can't decide that for you, but your goal will determine the amount of work you put in to it.

Next, take a break. I recently realized I'd reached burn out in my writing. For the last year I'd pushed myself to the limit every single day. There was never a day I wasn't either writing, researching, marketing, bidding jobs or editing. One day I just woke up and said ENOUGH!!

I was on the verge of reaching a goal I'd held since I was 6 years old and NOW I didn't want it any more. I was exhausted. I felt like a bad mom. I wanted to put my computer in my closet and say "Well, I tried."

But, since writing is in my blood, I decided instead to back up and do those three things I just listed. I realized I had only been able to carry such a high GPA [3.9 cum] in college while working and getting married was because every Thursday, after work, I didn't do any school work. I spent the evening with friends watching our favorite shows and eating Pizza. Then Friday when I hit the books again, I had energy. Not only that but I had spring break, Christmas break and part of the summer [because I always took summer classes] to relax between terms. I'd push really hard for 10 or 15 weeks, but then I'd take a week or two off [depending on the way the term was laid out].

I encourage you to take the next 10 weeks to push really hard in your writing. I know it's busy, it's busy for all of us, but if not now-when? This fall you'll be getting the kids back to school, then you'll have the holidays, then it will be too cold, then it will be spring, then it will be too warm....

This leads to #3, SUCK IT UP.

That's what I said to myself today. I'm tired. I miss my family. I am busy with the kids. But I have the gift to not only market my writing but to WRITE GREAT STORIES. If I'm not going to get up and do it I should quit playing around.

So what will you do? Are you going to make this thing work or are you going quit?

To make things easier I will only be posting 3-4 days a week on this blog all summer. That will help you have more time to write and apply what you've already learned. It will give me one less excuse NOT to write.

So, as Red Green used to say on his PBS program "I'm pulling for you, we're all in this together."

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Friday, June 13, 2008

Marketing with a coauthor


This week a coauthor on one of the projects I'm working on was in town. It was a great time together. The best part is that we were able to have fun while making progress on the book.

So today I want to share some marketing tips for those of you who coauthor books. Consider how tese tips can be applied to your overall marketing plan.

1. Have marketing epicenters.

By this I mean both of you should be hitting the marketing of the project together AND independently. For me and my coauthor the epicenters are geographical. He is in Texas and I'm up by Toledo, Oh. Therefore we're each able to build separate markets while working on our joint project. If you both live close together then your epicenters might be social. Maybe one of you is a homeschooler and the other is in to scrapbooking. There are two separate 'areas' that each can market in.

2. Have a united vision.

Nothing will destroy a collaboration faster than if one person feels they're doing everything and the other isn't contributing. Make sure there is clear, open communication and both of you are committed to not only WRITE the project, but to market it. Now if want to do a division of labor where each works in their strengths [maybe one is a blogger and the other is great at public appearances] then do that. Just make certain each feels that the other is working with them.

3. Have a contract

I believe firmly in putting it in writing and being specific! I was very uncomfortable at first about doing this when I was working with people I know well but it is to protect my friendship as much as any financial issues that may arise from the books. Kathy Ide has some great examples at The Christian PEN. [And that website is a GREAT resource if you'd ever like to check it out.]

4. Have Fun

I tend to be very business minded when it comes to my writing. I take it very seriously and am focused to a fault. My coauthor, Tony, balances that. He is helping me focus on the relationship aspect of writing. My other coauthor, Nora, is great at helping me believe in myself when things get frustrating. By working with these two other people on different projects every aspect of my writing life is growing.

5. Help each other

Always remember, in marketing, writing and life it isn't always what someone else does to help US-we also need to focus on what we contribute to bring out the best in the marketing skills of our coauthors. With Nora it is bouncing off ideas of how to maximize the opportunities she has. With Tony "The Duck" Brown, it is about taking his expertise and applying it to marketing books rather than concerts. I hope that I'm able to use what I know to build both of these people up. It's not about my ego, it's about the projects. Sometimes I'm nearly invisible because that's what the project dictates. Other times I'm front and center. In music there is always a lead singer and there's the Harmony. Know your place on each project and you'll have a far better marketing strategy.

So whether you're flying solo or working on a team, create a marketing plan that capitalizes on the giftings, opportunities and the strengths of the project.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Finding GOOD information

We live in the information age.

I'm sure most of us can't believe that 10-15 years ago the idea of a world wide web and text messaging would be inconceivable. Look at us now...When was the last time you were OFF line WITHOUT your cell?

That's what I thought.

We also have Tvo, pop-up blockers and scan buttons in our cars. We can quickly find what we want to know and elimate any information we don't want.

This makes effective marketing even more important for a writer. When you are working on a project who is the person most likely to read this book? I know many writers WRITE their book to a target market but how many people go so far as to market to that audience?

How do you learn how to do these kinds of things? You must know where to find good sources of information. I strive to make this an excellent place of information to help writers grow in their writing as much as their business of writing. Go look back in my archives of 2007 and begin reading forward. There is a wealth of FREE information I want yo to have to help you build your writing.

In addition to that I have a number of favorite blogs down the right side. Writer's Rest is a great place of solitude where you can relax as a writer. Randy Ingermanson's blog is great because of the number of interviews he does. Chip MacGregor's is AWESOME because he is a top agent who answers your questions everytime he posts. Michael Hyatt's blog "From Where I Sit" is a great look at our business from the CEO of a major publishing house. All of these places come together to help you build a strong writing business.

I think it is important to find two or three blogs that you can read each week consistently. Obviously these blogs will change over time and I'm thrilled to have been one of your selected blogs for now. I realize that my audience is shifting often as new people find us. I also know there are a good number of people who have been with me since almost the beginning.

That is what you want to develop as a writer. You'll have readers who will wait for each of your books. You'll have some who recently discovered you. You'll also have some who stop reading your stuff [and you hope who tell friends of some of your previous books that they enjoyed].

So consider what three blogs will help you right now as you are in this phase of your writing career then take the time to read and apply their wisdom. Then seek to make your platform [whatever it is] something that will attract others to your work on a regular basis.

It has been a long few days. My girls were in their dance recitals last weekend. I'd encourage you to check out the new photo on the bottom right of this blog.

I have to go!! I have an important meeting in the morning.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Friday, June 6, 2008

Going, going, gone

I've noticed something about people in general.

Most are quitters.

As those of you who have been with me since the first of the year know, I used to be a leader in Direct Sales for a home party company. Anyone who has worked in that line of work begins to notice patterns.

You have an excited new person who is ready to "work until they're making the big money". They come to trainings, they call their leader, they call as many potential customers as possible.

Then something changes. You don't see them as often at the trainings. They're not returning phone calls or emails. They're not reporting in or asking questions.

Then one day they're gone.

They quit. Many times you don't know why.

Surprisingly I've also begun to notice this among writers. They are excited about their story. They sit down with their laptop and write a page, then two, then ten.

But somewhere after the first draft they decide it is too hard and they quit. They give up.

Or they decide that their work is too refined for the common man and they keep it to themselves.

Either way, they stop just short of their goal. They never reach their fullest potential.

They GO through the first level of effort. Learning some craft and maybe going to a conference. They join a couple of clubs, buy ink and paper and create their lovely office. They stare at a blank computer screen.

Then they're GOING. This is where they decide it is a little hard. They're "Going" to write something tomorrow or they're "Going" to attend conference some time. They're "Going" to really focus as soon as the kids go back to school in the fall. They never do anything-they're always "Going" to do things [I've been to this spot more times than I'd like to admit].

Then they're GONE. They give up. They decide they weren't called [and some aren't], it isn't for everyone or they just don't have time. They stick the paper in a drawer, sell their writing books at a garage sale and tell everyone why it is too hard for anyone to write.

I'm not trying to be negative at all. It is reality. All of us want to give up sometimes. I heard Liz Curtis Higgs [a woman who has sold over a million books I think] speak at a conference a couple of years ago. She said that once she considered all of the hours she spends writing, editing, marketing and promoting each book you end up making pennies per hour. PENNIES.

There are a very few who rise to the top-many do not. There are also a fair number who make a living writing.

You need to take advantage of every opportunity to improve your craft, build your platform and work on marketing. You will never excel if you put forth mediocre effort.

This is not to discourage anyone, only inform. If you want to be at the top then know that you will need to do more then write one draft of one manuscript. It will take effort and focus.

But then Everest wasn't conquered in a day either. I love the challenge.

I have to go, there are mountains to climb.

Your coach for the journey, Tiffany Colter

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Writing a group blog to build a platform

So what are some ways to write a group blog?

I have recently started writing as part of a group of other writers [and aspiring writers] at a blog called "Writer's Rest". I've only been blogging with them for a couple of weeks but I have learned a number of things that may help you all become more effective bloggers-even when you have limited time.

How do you start a group blog?
First, decide what the topic is and find a small group of other people who'd like to write on the same thing. This doesn't need to be writing related!! Just something that interests you.

Next, communicate.
Cath West helps organize Writer's Rest and she uses Yahoo Groups to do it. We each schedule on the calendar when we're going to blog so we don't have empty days, and so we don't have two bloggers on the same day. I think it is an EXCELLENT idea. We also swap marketing ideas, chat and work on ways to improve traffic.

Appoint a leader
You need to have one person in charge of layout, scheduling and the "contact person". Make sure you find one and that they are reliable. There won't be much involved but having that one "go to" person will prevent lots of chaos.

Support each other
Make sure that you are reading postings for other people on your blog. Learn from each other, grow together. You can develop wonderful friendships from connections like this.

Market the site
What better way to practice the lessons you're learning here about marketing than by actually applying them to promote your own blog!! There are many ways to drive traffic to your blog or website. Start doing some of them. Get a feel for what works and what doesn't.

Use it to build your own platform
Writing as part of a group of bloggers can help you build traffic to your site in a few different ways. There will obviously be people who follow each blogger over to the new site. There will also be people who find this site through search engines. In order to promote this joint blog as well as any individual site you have make sure you include links to your site [and from your site to that blog] as well as occasionally talking about your own blog/website on the group blog. This does not mean an infomercial but if you blog twice a month on the group site feel free to make an announcement about something going on at your main site. If it is something that will be of interest to your readers, let them know.

So are there any "group bloggers" out here who'd like to make a comment? Tell us some of the good and bad about group blogging. We'd love to learn from you.

I have to go now, I have reading to do.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How often do I have to post a blog?

I get this question every time I sing the praises of blogging.

Really the best way to build a readership and become an effective blog would be to post at least three times a week.

For someone who simply can't be chained to a blog every day I really think the best way to do it is the way I do it: schedule your blogs.

I write all my blogs on Sunday night and schedule them to be posted throughout the week. This offers me the flexibility to do what needs to be done each week without making my readers suffer.

The best part is that I can change the scheduled date if I need to add a new bit of information or if I learn something exciting that can't wait until the next week.

Working with a group of bloggers is also a great way to keep content relevant. Tomorrow I'm going to show a few different ways to do that.

But for those of you who are bloggers share how you find time to blog. How often do you blog?

How often do you visit blogs? How often do you like to see updates?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Is a newsletter an effective way to market my writing?

This week I wanted to address some questions that I have received over the last few months about ways to best use the time we have to market our writing.

Each of us has a limited number of hours in the day so trying to fit everything in can be overwhelming.

While I can't answer this question for you, I am going to give you some pros and cons to help you make an informed decision on how to best market your writing.

Using a Newsletter: Pros
I have to say, for a person who may have a limited amount of time each month a newsletter can be a great way to keep in touch with their target audience without the level of time commitment of a blog. Newsletters are often completed once a month and sent out to a database of subscribers.

Since a newsletter is monthly there is room to go in to more depth explaining techniques, news or other things that are relevant to your target readership. Furthermore, programs like Constant Contact and Feedblitz offer low cost options with professional quality.

Using a Newsletter: Cons
Before I began blogging I started by trying my hand at a monthly newsletter. While it was easier for me to write only once a month, I also felt a need to write a rather long newsletter which included interviews, market research and book reviews. Furthermore, when I heard of a great idea I had to make sure it fit in the overall flow of that month's issue. Sometimes I felt my information was stale by the time it reached the readers.

Finally, I still had to find ways to market my newsletter. I had it posted to a website but since the website didn't change much, there was no real draw to my newsletter.

Any opinions out there? I'd love to hear from those of you who use a newsletter, read newsletters or don't. Is a newsletter an effective way to build a platform?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Something a little different

How funny is that??

Last week I take a week off and I find out that I was listed as a great place to learn!! It was such an honor to have my name among greats like Randy Ingermanson, Mary DeMuth, Susan May Warren and Gail Gaymer Martin. BUT I DIDN'T even know I was there!!!

So all these great people who found out about me must have wondered what was so great about a blog that never got updated. Oh happens.

But today I want to tell you about a book that is coming out on Tuesday that I'm really excited about. The book is called The Hunted and it's by Mike Dellosso.

As you all know, I have very few author interviews on my blog. This is primarily a place for YOU to learn how to market your own books. However, I am making an exception in this case because Mike is fighting a real live enemy! Cancer. Since my husband is coming up on his 2 year anniversary cancer free [YEAH] I have a special place in my heart for a person who is finally reaching a dream [publication] when something like this hits!

I believe being a writer isn't just about what's in it for us, but it is also about building up other writers when they need it.

Mike would usually be out promoting his book and working to get it in front of others-but then this diagnosis hit. So just like others did for me, I want to support Mike. I'd encourage you to check out the first chapter of The Hunted. And send as many people as you know over to check it out. It is one of the most intense openings I've read in a long time and I'm really excited to read the whole book. If you like the book, help spread the word.

All of us are writers. All of us would hope that our fellow writers would step in during our moment of need.

So today, instead of our own marketing, let's help another writer market his book.