A RECENT BOOK SIGNING
A small local coffee shop advertised an author signing. Since I had to be in the area, I attended, to make a fellow author feel better. Having sat in that chair and been through that stress, I vowed to buy a book, regardless how good or bad it was. After all, it takes guts to do a signing.
I walked in and felt instant pity. If she sold a book to other than me or one of her family members, I would be surprised. Walking away, I saw lessons worth mentioning in this newsletter.
1) The books were overpriced.
People will ask, "How much are they?" Be prepared to answer and don't elaborate further unless you can offer a better price for multiple books.
The answer this dear lady gave me was "They are $24.95." The books were maybe 50 pages and paperback. She launched into a soft rant (she was sweet and soft-spoken) about how books are expensive and that an author cannot make any money selling books anyway. I told her I was an author (and I stopped there, not wanting to steal any of her spotlight), and I understood how expensive the business was and the low-profit margin of a book. But she continued to say how the book industry
wasn't worth the trouble and came across so pitifully negative.
2) The books were clearly, obviously, self-published.
The covers were amateurish, the formatting a bit messy. She spoke of the books with love, though, which I appreciated. However, if I hadn't vowed to buy a book, I would have walked away. I always look at the publisher of a book, and she admitted she published her own books, something I'd already figured out.
3) She only took cash.
She even had a chocolate candy box on the table to take the money, like a garage sale. Here I was TRYING to help her, and she didn't take plastic. She told me that the coffee shop would let me buy something and ask for cash back so I could buy her book. I thought, okay, if that's what they have been doing I can work with that, so I went to the cash register. They know me, yet they looked at me like I had three heads. They'd never done that before. She smiled and said,
"See? We taught them something new." She told me something hoping it was right, and embarrassed everyone involved.
4) She never stood.
There's an awkwardness to the author remaining seated and the customer standing. Stand and greet the person interested in your work. Keep a respectable distance (COVID, you know) but respect them by welcoming their presence. Strike up a conversation. Of course you often need to sit to sign the book, especially if there is a line, but be animated and greet people openly if you do. But when you can, stand and shake hands and make eye contact. Trust me, it makes a
- May 28, 2022 - Saturday Writer's Group - "On Writing Contests" - Zoom - Noon-2 PM ET
- June 9, 2022 - Edisto Bookstore, Edisto Island, SC - 3:00 PM
- June 21, 2022 - South Congaree Pine Ridge Library, In-Person, Columbia, SC - 5:30-6:30 PM
- June 28, 2022 - Still Hopes Episcopal Residential Community - One Still Hopes Drive, West Columbia, SC - 2:00 PM
- July 13, 2022 - Muskoka Authors Association, Zoom - 6:00 PM
- July 23, 2022 - Indiana Sisters in Crime, Zoom - Noon ET - Gary and Hope Clark Tag Team on Getting the Facts Right in Mysteries
- June 3-10, 2023 - Writing Retreat on the Maine Coast - Faculty Member - Sponsored by Joan Dempsey, author and teacher
Email: email@example.com to schedule events, online or otherwise. There's starting to be life out there!
“People like to put you into a box. I'm afraid I don't sit in a box.” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
If you have a success story you believe was prompted by FundsforWriters, please share with us! Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
A Solid System for Getting Paid Always and On Time
By Sharon Woodhouse
Recently, the president of Freelancers Union said that one of the biggest challenges for freelancers is "getting paid on time, if not getting paid at all," noting that the majority of freelancers get stiffed by their clients from time to time!
That was me once, but let's cut to the happy ending because I don't recall the last time I didn't get paid or received payment more than a week late. Here are the payment terms and phrasing I use now. I haven't changed it in years because it has been so effective.
I extend credit to all clients on the simple agreement that they pay on time. I bill once a month, with payment due in 15 days of billing (checks, credit card, or PayPal accepted). I allow for late payment once. After that I require payment in advance for all work.
Here's what else I've learned:
Set your terms. Even as a solo freelancer, you're running a business, so act like one and set your payment terms.
Be flexible. Your clients are also businesses with their own terms. Advocate for yourself, practice negotiating, but also think win-win.
Get it in writing. You don't always need a formal contract, but don't start work until you have payment amount and terms somewhere in writing. An email works fine.
Put a due date on your invoice. You may not have thought of this. Not everyone drops what they are doing to pay instantly, and many people need a due date to post on a follow-up calendar.
Remind them. Let a client know two to three days ahead of time that their due date is coming up so that they can stick the check in the mail immediately. I also remind them that I accept PayPal or can take their credit card information over the phone.
Ask for it. Amazingly, most small businesses who hire lawyers to collect delinquent invoices have not even once asked their client for payment!
Ask immediately. Ask the day after the due date when you do not have cash in hand. Email is fine.
Ask for it again. Get comfortable asking multiple times. If your first request was by email, make the second a phone call.
Secure a commitment. Don't end the call until you know when the money will arrive and in what format. If it doesn't arrive when they said it would, call back immediately.
Accept multiple forms of payment. This is for their convenience and yours. PayPal. Venmo. Zelle. Square. Checks. Credit cards. Give them options to make payment easier.
Engage the truth. You are not their bank. You have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Don't be afraid to rely on bluntness, vulnerability, tugging at heartstrings, and simple human decency. Do not give them a reason to believe you can be the one postponed when money is thin.
Engage the law or collection agency. Don't be afraid to consult higher authorities if you have asked multiple times and months have passed and/or large sums of money are involved.
Have a never-again list. Never again. There are 31 million small businesses, plus countless large companies and their divisions, and millions and millions of human individuals who could be your potential clients. When a business has not paid or has created great difficulty for you in the process of payment, put them behind you and move on to other customers.
Choose the right clients and be the right provider. The Tao of Negotiation suggests that if you follow only one rule in business, it should be this: Deal with honest people. I'll add: Be honest yourself. Work for those who act in good faith and demonstrate honorable business practices.
Treat your clients well and do outstanding work for them so that you can build a sustainable business on reliable relationships with people who happily pay you on time.
BIO – Sharon Woodhouse is the owner of Conspire Creative—coaching, consulting, conflict management, project management, book publishing, and editorial services for solo pros, creatives, authors, small businesses, and multipreneurs. Follow her writing on Medium.com @slowcharacter.
8322955 © Aleksko | Dreamstime.com
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FLASH FICTION MAGAZINE CONTEST
$30 ENTRY FEE. First Prize $500, publication on our website and in a future anthology. Second Prize $300, publication on our website, and consideration for our next anthology. Third Prize $200, publication on our website, and consideration for our next anthology. There are a lot of contests out there, but very few provide the level of feedback we do. Please do not submit stories over 1,000 words.
LITERARY TAXIDERMY WRITING COMPETITION
$10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 11, 2022. To enter this year's international competition, you must produce an original story or poem of up to 2000 words. Your work can be any genre, and in any style; but here's the catch: We provide your opening and closing lines chosen from a classic work of literature. You provide the rest. This year, writers will create stories and poems inspired by the words of Agatha Christie, Langston Hughes, A. A. Milne, and Edgar Allan Poe. This year's
competition is for both short stories and poetry. Each contest will be judged independently, and you may enter each as many times as you like. Both contests offer writers the same choice of opening and closing lines. The author of the winning story or poem will receive a USD $500 cash prize and a complimentary copy of the forthcoming 2022 Literary Taxidermy Anthology; runners-up will receive a USD $50 cash prize; and both the winner and runners-up will be published in the forthcoming 2022
Literary Taxidermy Anthology. Honorable-mention authors will receive personal feedback on their stories and poems, and will have their name included on a special page in the anthology.
INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK AWARD
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 31, 2022. International Children’s Picture Book Award is a biennial contest held by Ehomebooks for unpublished children’s picture books across the globe. Themed “The World Is Your Oyster and Ours.” Submission(s) should be intended for children aged up to 10 years old. Limit 64 pages and 1,000 words. Submission(s) must not be published or in a contract with any publisher before the announcement of the award. Submission(s) must be
in English. Best Story Award - $1,000, plaque, an extra $500 to buy and donate books to a place of choice, and a book publishing contract with Ehomebooks. Best Picture Book Award - $2,000, plaque, an extra $1,000 to buy and donate books to a place of choice, and a book publishing contract with Ehomebooks. Best Illustrations Award - $1,000, plaque, an extra $500 to buy and donate books to a place of choice, and a book publishing contract with Ehomebooks. Ehomebooks is amongst the top
children’s book imprints in Vietnam, aspiring to publish the best children’s books to Vietnamese young readers and foster the love and habit of reading in children.
$8 ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 5, 2022. Ten prizes of $250. Fee waivers considered for writers with difficulties. Limit 100 words. SCP ask for one-time publication rights for the ten winning entries. Writers retain all other rights. This contest has no set theme. Writers may submit drabbles from any approach.
GRANTS / FELLOWSHIPS / CROWDFUNDING
KREMS AN DER DONAU 2023 FELLOWSHIPS
Deadline May 30, 2022. Studio apartments and grants shall be awarded based on the premise that foreign artists are to be given the opportunity to work in Lower Austria and get to know different art and cultural institutions in this country. By bringing foreign artists in contact with the Austrian artist scene, Artist in Residence Niederösterreich seeks to contribute to the internationalization of art in our country and to promote a process of interdisciplinary exchange in the arts.
The basic prerequisite for funding is a degree in a field of art (university level). If the applicant does not have a university degree, proof of equivalent ability must be provided through his or her artistic career. In any case, the applicant must demonstrate regular artistic activity in the proposed areas of funding. Applicants can be artists from the areas of visual arts, music, sound art, literature, and architecture. Austrian artists and artists residing in Austria are not eligible to
apply. Krems is located directly on the banks of the Danube, the second longest river in Europe. It is roughly 80 km from Vienna and 30 km from the state capital, St. Pölten. (Thanks to www.erikadreifus.com )
ALLEGHENY ARTS REVIVAL GRANT
Deadline July 1, 2022. Funds for this grant program were provided by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was intended to stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, the grant will provide $10,000 in general operating support to 35 arts and culture organizations and $5,000 in support of the creation of new work to 20 individual artists. Eligible artist applicants must be a resident of Allegheny County and their project
must be executed in Allegheny County. Individuals should also be 18 years or older and identify as an artist executing a creative work. Proposed projects must have a public sharing component (in person or virtual).
RHODE ISLAND STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS
Deadline July 1, 2022. For artists that live in Rhode Island, and are over the age of 18. The RISCA General Operating Support for Artists (GoSA) program provides grants of $6,000 for each of three consecutive years (total of $18,000) for artists to work towards large, specific, self-identified goals in their art practice. This funding is unrestricted, meaning artists can use the funds to support their goals however they need.
LETRAS BORICUAS FELLOWSHIP
Deadline June 13, 2022. The fellowship was designed to identify, elevate, and amplify the voices of Puerto Rican writers on the archipelago and across the United States diaspora who have continued their practice while enduring natural disasters, political turmoil, and limited funding opportunities. The second cohort of 20 fellows will receive unrestricted grants of $25,000 each. In addition, fellows from both the first and second cohorts will be invited to a convening in Puerto Rico,
tentatively scheduled for April 2023, that will allow all 40 writers to share their work, discuss their creative process, and share their experiences as Letras Boricuas fellows.
FREELANCE MARKETS / JOBS
WISE INK - FREELANCE GHOSTWRITER POSITIONS
Wise Ink is currently looking for talented and versatile wordsmiths to join our pool of ghostwriters. Wise Ink works with diverse authors and leaders on a variety of subjects and genres to distill their big ideas into engaging and marketable books. We are especially interested in candidates of marginalized identities who can understand the lived experiences of our authors. Ghostwriters will work one-on-one with authors to get their ideas on paper, organize them, and flesh them out into
full-length books, usually between 25,000 and 50,000 words. To apply, please send three writing samples of at least 1,000 words along with a cover letter and resume to email@example.com. Positions are freelance and can be conducted remotely. Writers will need availability for meetings during standard American work hours.
WISE INK - FREELANCE OPPORTUNITIES
Wise Ink is looking for freelance marketing copywriters, web designers, illustrators, designers, and experienced book editors, proofreaders, and ghostwriters who are skilled in all genres. Higher education degrees are not required, and applicants can be based anywhere. For consideration, please send a resume and at least two work samples to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for applicants who have worked with publishers on book projects over 25,000 words according to the grammar and
style conventions as described in the Chicago Manual of Style. At this time, we are NOT interested in editing and proofreading applicants who have experience writing or editing shorter pieces, writing and editing web content, or writing or editing journalistic pieces. It is important to us that you’ve worked with books before! We are, however, happy to review shorter writing samples from ghostwriters.
EASTOVER PRESS ANTHOLOGY
EastOver Press is accepting short stories for a forthcoming anthology. The anthology will focus exclusively on BIPOC writers who live in or hail from rural or semi-rural locales (in the United States) and whose short stories feature characters living and/or working in rural or semi-rural spaces. Submissions should be no more than 25 pages or 7500 words and may include up to three submissions per author or five submissions per editor of a literary journal. We are only accepting previously
published stories at this time, and those stories should have been published in 2020 or 2021. Our payment to authors upon publication of the anthology is $100-$300. Send questions to email@example.com.
CHICKEN SOUP - HUMOR BOOK
Deadline June 30, 2022. We are looking for stories about something that happened to you in your life — in your relationship with a partner or spouse, a parent or child, a family member or friend, at work or at home — that made you and the people around you laugh out loud. Payment is $200 and ten copies for up to 1,200 words.
CHICKEN SOUP - ADVICE THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE
Deadline July 31, 2022. We are looking for stories and poems that contain a great piece of advice that you were given or advice that you gave to someone else. Whether the advice is about a small thing that improve your everyday life, or a major epiphany that changed your life completely, we want to hear about it and how it made a difference. Pays $200 and ten copies. Limit 1,200 words.
CHICKEN SOUP - THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
Deadline July 31, 2022. We are looking for true stories and poems written in the first person about how deciding to use positive thinking changed your life. What was the situation that inspired you to think positive? What changes did you make in your attitude — from negative to positive — that turned your life around? How did you train yourself to be a positive thinker? Pays $200 and ten copies. Limit 1,200 words.
Upsie provides extended warranties to protect the electronics our customers rely on and love. We have the lowest prices, the most transparent coverage, and the best customer service throughout the purchase, coverage, and the claims process. Upsie is seeking Freelance Content Writers who will produce quality, technology-focused articles. This is a fully remote freelance position. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the US. Please include a writing sample with your
Humanitas welcomes submissions of opinion articles, listicles, and reviews on a variety of topics for publication on our online blog. Submissions must be no longer than 750 words. Contributors whose work is published on the Humanitas blog will receive $100.00 payment per article. Current areas of interest include but are not limited to:
- Business of Writing
- Craft tips
- Contests, Fellowships & Labs
- Industry Jobs
- Publications & Podcasts
- Screenwriting Tools & Software
- Industry Trends
DAILY COFFEE NEWS
Daily Coffee News, a leading news site covering the specialty coffee industry in partnership with Roast magazine, is seeking skilled and enthusiastic freelance business news reporters. We’re seeking skilled writers who are passionate about coffee but even more passionate about high-quality ethical journalism and storytelling with an eye towards sustainability, social justice and corporate accountability. As a news reporter, you will work directly with the editor on assignments
covering a broad range of timely business topics within the specialty coffee industry in the United States and beyond. Business news reporters have the freedom to work remotely and on their own schedules, although a weekly commitment if one to two stories is preferred. This is a freelance/contractor position with competitive pay on a per-story basis.
Currently is interested in pitches on climate solutions that further transformational change in communities. This can be technology, but we love stories about community resilience. Our contributor rate is 50 cents per word. We generally publish between 800-1,200 word lengths.
Lifewire, one of the largest tech sites on the web, is looking for several experienced freelance technology product experts who share our passion for helping our readers identify the best product for them without overwhelming them with hard-to-understand tech specs. We are completely reimagining buying advice for technology products and looking for experts in their fields who are also excited about the chance to be a part of something new and innovative. We pay $300 - $500 per roundup,
depending on the topic. We’re looking for category experts who know the product landscape–what’s out now, what’s coming down the pike, which features are crucial, and which are marketing fluff– in one of the following areas:
Home Theater Audio & TVs
Cameras and Accessories
Computers, Laptops & Tablets
Computer Components and Accessories
Phones & Accessories
The first magazine to pay professional rates and only accept submissions from new writers. Accepts fiction in any genre with word count of 500 to 2,000 words. Pays ten cents/word.
THE BALTIMORE BANNER
Pitch Lawrence Burney, Arts and Culture Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seeking art reviews in the Baltimore area, especially interested in albums from the past that've helped lay the groundwork for the current musical landscape, properly contextualizing the music being produced there. All genres. Pays $350 minimum.
Being Patient is looking for pitches for profiles on inspiring people of color who are working to make a difference in the lives of people with Alzheimers and dementia (through research, advocacy, community organizing, etc.). Rate: 0.20/word. Length: 800-1,200 wordish. Email: email@example.com. Deadline: Thursday, May 26.
A. M. HEATH LITERARY AGENTS
Founded in 1919 by Audrey Heath and Alice May Spinks, two women who challenged the conventions of publishing, we are a London literary agency still very much driven by a passion to help writers who want to shift, shape or enrich the wider cultural conversation, and provide irresistible entertainment. Submit a covering letter (maximum 500 words), a synopsis of the work (maximum 1,500 words), and the first 10,000 words of your submission. Location London.
Accepting submissions for: adult literary, upmarket, and commercial fiction as well as memoir, narrative and prescriptive nonfiction. Please send your query letter and first 20 pages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOOKENDS LITERARY AGENCY
Specializing in representing fiction and nonfiction for all ages, we proudly call many award-winning, New York Times, and USA Today bestselling authors and illustrators our clients. At BookEnds, we believe strongly in making publishing more inclusive through the titles, authors, and illustrators we represent. All agents are actively seeking books written and illustrated by marginalized creators. Our mission is to create a more diverse publishing industry.
JANE ROTROSEN AGENCY
JRA represents authors of both fiction and nonfiction. Please read about our team online and submit your query to one agent at our agency via their contact form. If we feel your work would be in better hands with a different JRA agent, we will pass it along.
RED DOG PRESS
We'd love to find characters we haven't seen before and new angles on traditional crimes. We cannot accept submissions in children's fiction, young adult or nonfiction. We are accepting crime, thriller, noir, cozy and mystery. We will accept romance or sci-fi if they break traditional molds. We will look at shorter novellas (25,000 words plus) only as part of a series. No standalone novels under 70,000 words, please.
Please forward the newsletter in its entirety. To reprint any editorials, contact email@example.com for permission. Please do not assume that acknowledgements listed in your publication is considered a valid right to publish.
C. Hope Clark
140-A Amicks Ferry Road #4
Chapin, SC 29036
Copyright 2000-2022, C. Hope Clark
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