FundsforWriters - January 27, 2017 - When Your Publisher Leaves You High and Dry

Published: Fri, 01/27/17

FundsForWriters: Tips and Tools for serious writers to advance their careers!
  Volume 17, Issue 4 | JANUARY 27, 2017  

Message from the Editor

Again, here I am reading for the Talking Book Services for the S.C. State Library, or nationally known as BARD, Braille and Audio Reading Downloads. As I stated last week, Murder on Edisto is available for those unable to read conventional books, and Edisto Jinx will be soon available. I know this is a repeat remark after last week, but it bothers me that there is a large group of people out there with physical limitations that disable them from reading books. BOOKS! I cannot imagine being without books. Especially if housebound or restricted in getting out and about. 

This week I spoke of this program to my mother who is unable to read books anymore because of arthritis and some dementia that has rendered her unable to follow the words on a page. I told her to sign up . . . and listen to her daughter! Then she mentioned her friend with extreme arthritis who is housebound and cannot use her hands any longer. I sent her a form to sign up. 

Per the website: 
Any resident of the United States or American citizen living abroad who is unable to read or use regular print materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical limitations may receive service.

Go here to learn more. You might even be able to volunteer to read books into the program. Check with your state's main library. 

C. Hope Clark
Editor, FundsforWriters
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Tate Publishing, an Oklahoma-based vanity press, is shutting down, and a lot of authors are looking for a new home for their books.

Most authors think their publisher won't dissolve and leave them high and dry, but it happens. In this case it's a huge self-publisher...a publisher that didn't pay its vendors and many of its employees. They have not filed bankruptcy, yet. There is not a class-action suit against them, yet.

A year ago, Tate was the second most complained-about company to the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office. The Better Business Bureau gave Tate an A rating once upon a time, even with over a hundred complaints, which tells you not to trust an A rating. Just recently the U.S. Department of Labor started a federal investigation. Xerox has sued the publisher.

Bottom line: A lot of people feel mistreated and robbed.  

So, how do you avoid such publishers, whether self-publishing entities or traditional?

1) Google them and read everything until your eyes are crossed. It's amazing how authors think their publisher is fine, when a simple Google search shows serious complaints.

2) Study their history. How did they originate? Who are the people running the show? How long have they been around? How many awards have their books won? When you see a company and don't see names of the people behind the curtain, be suspect. Founders of their publishing house should be proud of their work and make themselves known.

3) Read their books. Look at how the book is made. Do they know what they are doing?

4) Look their books up on Amazon. How well are they selling? How are the reviews?

5) Google the authors already with them. Don't decide based on the big success story on the front page of the website. You might even email some of the authors and ask how they liked the experience.

6) Join forums like Absolute Write <> and WritersNet <> and simply ask who's good and who's not. You can also get a feel for whether to self-publish yourself, go with a hybrid press, or consider traditional. 

7) Join writers groups. I belong to Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America - in-person, on Facebook, and online. Every genre and type of writing has a professional organization where you'll find like-souls who've been there before you. 

Don't think it won't happen to you. It can, but you greatly decrease the chances by researching who you go with. Be careful out there.


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 – Attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing 


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  Mar 12 - Clearwater, FL Writers Conference - all day

Experience C. Hope Clark at the Kapok Events Center in Clearwater, Florida, Sunday, March 12, 2017 at the Safety Harbor Writers & Poets Conference: Solving the Mystery of Writing. This one-day event will feature Hope as keynote speaker along with Edgar award recipient Lori Ross, Thriller author Jeff Strand, Memoirist Julie Riddle and more. Tickets $89 and include a catered boxed lunch. Learn more and purchase tickets at




There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.

~Sam Walton











Where it all began!

Her husband murdered by the Russian mob, Boston detective Callie Jean Morgan relinquishes her badge to return to the family vacation home in South Carolina. But the day they arrive on Edisto Beach, Callie finds her childhood mentor murdered. Her fragile sanity is threatened when the murderer taunts her and repeatedly violates what was to be her sanctuary home. Callie loses her fight to walk away from law enforcement as she becomes the only person able to pursue the culprit who’s turned the coastal paradise into a paranoid patch of sand where nobody’s safe. But what will it cost her?

"Undeniably addictive, this is a book you won’t want to put down. Replete with well-drawn characters, this is a read that won’t disappoint as Clark’s penchant for rapid-fire prose grabs you by the scruff of the neck and refuses to let go."
–Rachel, Gladstone, Dish Magazine

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Success Story

Dear Hope,

Your newsletter helps me on so many levels! Because of your cheery and detailed newsletter I find it keeps me motivated. I have followed your advice and keep in touch with authors, agents, editors, and publishers that I make a point to meet at author conferences and book groups. Your advice to keep writing and submitting is my mantra. I sent a story to a call for submissions and got accepted! It was for a book of stories and I read my entry at a local  literary group at the request of the book publisher. My humorous story was a hit, and the publisher asked if I was up to writing a book for their Bucket List Series. That is how my Complete Bucket  List of 100  Things To Do In Santa Fe Before You Die was published by Rio Grande Books. It also just won the Best New Book in the NM/Arizona Book Awards for 2016. Your advice to keep submitting and keep alert to the many possibilities out there is working for me.

Thank you, Hope!
Best, Pat Hodapp


featured article


Six Ways to Make Your Editor Happy and Get More Story Assignments

By Carol J. Alexander

Frequently writing coaches teach how to break into the magazine market, but not how to build a relationship with an editor well enough to become a regular contributor.

After freelancing for eight years (including regular columns for several publications), I accepted the position of editor for a regional lifestyle magazine. Since joining the magazine staff, I've come to wish every freelancer could spend enough time in an editor's shoes to learn both sides of the business.

Editors generally give new writers a chance with a short, front-of-the-book piece to see what they can do. Some never get a second chance. Others lose their foothold after several stories.

If you struggle to develop a long-term relationship with the publications you wish to work with on a regular basis, see if any of these tips apply to you.

Be punctual — Think this is self-explanatory? You wouldn't believe how many times I've had to email a writer to ask for a late assignment. Late assignments clog the flow of everything, from copyediting to layout to printing. If your stories frequently hold up progress, expect your future queries to fall on deaf ears.

Know your reader — Magazines generally have a demographic that encompasses education level, economic means and geographic location. As highly as we like to think of our own writing, remember the average American reads on a seventh grade level. If you are writing for the typical consumer magazine, nix the words nefarious and ubiquitous and speak the language of the people. If you see ads in the magazine for Rolex watches and Saks Fifth Avenue, don't assume the reader will want to read how to score big at Goodwill. Also, don't pitch articles to regional publications highlighting attractions outside of their geographic area.

Be a servant — Freelance writers provide a service for the publication. That makes them servants, not celebrities, divas or gods. My first week on the job as editor, I had an irate writer demand a retraction for the edits I made to her story. She never respectfully questioned my changes. She demanded and threatened because, as a self-proclaimed prominent member of the community, she was embarrassed that the end product wasn't her work. Unfortunately, her work read like a list of facts, lacking life and quotes from real people. That said...

Provide life — Never turn in a story for which you haven't interviewed a real person, in person. Don't tell me about those five places to go canoeing, let the man in the canoe tell m — in his words. Avoid emailing interview questions. You miss the opportunity to get random comments and the tone of voice, posture and facial expressions that prompt you to dig deeper. At least use the telephone.

Make technology your friend - Editors do not have the time, nor the desire, to teach you how to download a contract and sign and return it — electronically. If you cannot handle the technology required to become a regular contributor to the publication, the editor will not invite you to become one.

Keep your emails organized - When submitting a query, create a fresh email with your topic in the subject line. Then, when you follow up with questions, your editor won't have to search for 15 minutes to find the original query.

I could go on. But if you can master just these few tips, and your writing is clean and your ideas are fresh, I guarantee any editor would love to have you on board.

Carol J. Alexander is the editor of Shenandoah Living Magazine. Her work has appeared in over 65 local, regional, and national publications. Visit her blog, "Tips, Rants and Raves" at



Deadline April 1, 2017. We accept submissions of full-length poetry (50-100 pp.) and fiction (30,000 word minimum) manuscripts for The Orison Prizes in Poetry and Fiction, judged by different prominent writers each year in a blind judging process. The winning entry in each genre will be awarded publication and a $1,500 cash prize, in addition to a standard royalties contract. Fiction manuscripts may consist of short stories, a novel, a novella, flash/micro fiction, or any combination of forms, as long as they meet the 30,000 word minimum.

The winning poet in 2017, as judged by the Zócalo staff, will receive $500. Deadline February 3, 2017. Entries will be judged based on originality of ideas, how well the poem fits the theme, and style. Awarded annually to the U.S. poet whose poem best evokes a connection to place. “Place” may be interpreted by the poet as a place of historical, cultural, political, or personal importance; it may be a literal, imaginary, or metaphorical landscape. 

$2,000 will be awarded for the best short story, which will be published in the fall/winter 2017 issue of Colorado Review. Deadline is March 14, 2017. There are no theme restrictions, but stories should be at least 10 pages and under 50 pages.

Open to all poets writing in English, regardless of place of residence. A selection will be made by a team of Airlie Press editors. The winner will be notified in the fall of 2017 and will receive a $1,000 cash award. The winning collection will be published in October 2018 in an initial print run of at least 500 copies, with a custom bookmark to accompany the book. Deadline March 1, 2017. 



The Kerouac Project provides four residencies a year to writers of any stripe or age, living anywhere in the world. Each residency consists of approximately a three-month stay in the cottage where Jack Kerouac wrote his novel Dharma Bums. Utilities and a food stipend of $1,000 are included. All you are required to do is work on your writing project and participate in two events while a resident: a Welcome Potluck dinner and a Final Reading of your work at the Kerouac House at the end of your residency. Should you desire them, the Kerouac Project can also offer opportunities for you to participate in other readings, lead workshops, and interact in other ways with the vibrant Central Florida literary community. Interested writers can submit their work in one of the following categories that fits their chosen writing field: Poetry, Play, Screenplay, Fiction/Short Story, and Nonfiction. Deadline March 12, 2017. 

In 2017, the Creative Access Fellowships Program - in partnership with the Alliance of Artists Communities - will expand to include 12 residency stays at four host sites: Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), PLAYA (Summerlake, OR), Ragdale Foundation (Lake Forest, IL), and Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM), selected for their accessible facilities, innovative programming, and reputations for excellence. Creative Access offers artists with SCI the rare opportunity for concentrated time dedicated to their creative practice in a supportive residency community. Twelve awardees will receive the invaluable opportunity of a two to eight-week residency at one of the four host sites, including room and board, a $1,000 stipend, and travel award for a personal assistant/caregiver if needed.

The Tulsa Artist Fellowship provides an unrestricted stipend and work-space in Tulsa, Oklahoma to U.S. resident artists.  Given the unique cultural and historical landscape of Tulsa, some fellowship spots will be reserved for Alaska Native, Native American, and Native Hawaiian artists. The Fellows are expected to integrate into the local arts community such as studio and collection visits. The Tulsa Artist Fellowship provides an unrestricted award of $20,000 for artists in all stages of their career. In addition, the TAF will provide  work-space and free housing to  non-Tulsa residents. Fellows will be required to live in the provided housing. Deadline March 1, 2017. For Writers, TAF will award fellowships to writers focused on Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Young-Adult Fiction, Poetry, and Play/Screenwriting.

The Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund provides small grants ($500-$1,500) to individual feminist women in the arts whose work in some way focuses upon women. Our grants are limited to the following categories : Visual Art, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Mixed Genre. This application is for Nonfiction. Applicants must be citizens of the United States or Canada with primary residence in these countries. Deadline January 31, 2017.



King Features is always interested in looking at new columns and features for possible syndication. We place great importance on reviewing new material. Without exception, every column or feature submitted to us is carefully considered. In order to help you present your work in the best possible light, please follow these submission guidelines: Five sample columns circa 600 words each. These may be submitted as tear sheets or in manuscript form. Some information about yourself, and any additional published articles and materials you believe to be relevant; your bio or CV. You will be contacted if there is interest in syndicating your material. 

READER is BuzzFeed News’s home for cultural criticism, personal essays, fiction, and poetry, as well as BuzzFeed’s Emerging Writer Fellowship. Personal essays can deal with almost any topic; some to think about are money, family, food, religion, sexuality, relationships, disability, illness (mental or physical), hormones, race, body image, drugs, travel. The bottom line is that you should know why you’re writing about whatever you’re writing about. A critical essay could be about almost anything — books, technology, sports, entertainment, celebrities, politics, fashion — or it can connect the dots between examples in multiple categories. (from

What you first need to understand is that we aim to be the dominant magazine for clean fantasy and sci-fi stories. It’s our tag-line. If you can tell a gripping story that doesn’t rely on sex, swearing, and graphic violence — you’ve come to the right place. For first world-wide rights, we pay $.08 per word for the first 5,000 words and $.06 per word for each word between 5,001 and 16,000 words, with payment capped at $1,060 for stories longer than 16,000 words.


LatinTRENDS Magazine celebrates success in the Latino community, inspires its readers and offers pop culture with a Latin twist. We are interested in journalists who are able to write clearly and concisely about various subjects, such as entertainment, technology, business, and politics. Qualified candidates should be able to deliver error-free, feature stories and/or shorter news articles as assigned. Pay per story will vary based on assignment. Fluent in English and Spanish preferred but not required. Send your resume, cover letter and three samples of print or web articles to Managing Editor Maria V. Luna at

Long-term contract opportunity. Will be responsible for managing social media platforms for a financial institution. Must have three to five years of social media content management experience and a bachelor's degree in communications or related field. Location Deerfield, IL.

Telecommute opportunity on a contract basis. Will be responsible for writing content for social media posts, TV commercials, ads, and promo videos. Candidates must have previous experience in the entertainment or gaming industry.



We publish only science fiction and fantasy. Writers familiar with what we have published in the past will know what sort of material we are most likely to publish in the future: powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are the sine qua non for consideration for science fiction submissions. As for fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality.

Omnific Publishing, founded in 2009, is an independent boutique publisher of romantic fiction that breaks the mold of traditional romance with stories that excite, inspire, amuse, and amaze. Embracing the idea that not every title has to be modeled after the romance novels your mother hid under the bed, we publish fresh, contemporary voices that speak to the modern sensibilities of today's readers. We don't guarantee a fairytale ending, but we do guarantee smart romance for smart people.

Brower Literary & Management is a full-scale literary and management agency that is invested in authors for the life of their careers – starting with an idea and seeing it through to publication and beyond. We take pride in the authors we represent as we watch them achieve their goals and live their dream. Kimberly Brower is interested in building her list with commercial and upmarket fiction, with an emphasis in general/book club fiction (specifically books that involve complex family relationships), contemporary romance, women’s fiction and select YA. Jess Dallow is interested in both YA and adult commercial fiction with a focus in romance, family stories, thrillers, mystery, and women’s fiction. Aimee Ashcraft is looking for upmarket and literary fiction, specifically historical fiction, women’s fiction, and YA (all genres).

Einstein Literary Management is a full-service independent literary agency based in New York City's Flatiron District. We represent a broad range of literary and commercial fiction, including upmarket women's fiction, crime fiction, historical fiction, romance, and books for middle-grade children and young adults. We also handle non-fiction including cookbooks, memoir and narrative, and blog-to-book projects.



Do you wonder how some of the books at the top of the Amazon ranks get to be #1?

Wouldn’t you just love to sit down and grill some of those authors to find out exactly how they run ads, kick off launches, or get 1,000+ reviews on their books?

Well, my friend, Karen Dimmick, interviewed 26 authors and packaged it all together into The Book Marketing Summit, which starts on Jan 30th and is giving people access for free, for 48 hours. 


Miral Sattar


Short & Helpful Online Writer Workshops
Sign up any time and jump on our carousel of workshops—one each month, rotating annually.
Winter Collection: Character, Dialogue, Beginnings & Endings
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Use HOPE2017 discount code for 15% off any registration.
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along with its sister site is a trusted writers' resource, serving thousands of authors over the last 8 years. The top 3 screenplays each month are offered exposure to thousands of industry professionals. They have the most experienced staff you'll find anywhere online, many of whom read for agents and studios for over 10 years before starting with them. 

They do coverage reports, treatments, proofreading, and even performed audio of your script! They haven't raised their rates since they began, and if you tell them Hope sent you, they'll knock 20% off for first-time clients as an introduction to the service. Just e-mail Skyler at and ask about the discount, or see if they're online right now through the chat widget on their site.


Shaila Abdullah has designed websites, book designs, marketing materials, and email campaigns for over 60 authors, writers and speakers. Being an award-winning author herself, she understands the industry, and will provide you with designs that reflect your unique style, genre, and personality. 


E-mail Shaila: 
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Services for authors:

A few testimonials from happy clients:

"Superb work, excellent customer service. Just marvelous overall.” —C. Hope Clark, author, founder of FundsforWriters,

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"Shaila is a terrific designer, highly professional and extremely creative and delivers amazing results. Her sense of humor and positive spirit has made the whole process of developing and launching my web site a pleasure. –James Hutchison, playwright,

"When I first saw Shaila’s work, I was struck by the fact that her designs are not only beautiful but also perfectly reflect the personality of the business it represents. Her suggestions, insight, and artistic talent made the final product much better than what I’d envisioned on my own.” —Jacqueline Adams, writer,

Other websites:

I LOVE THIS LADY!!!!  ~C. Hope Clark




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C. Hope Clark
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Chapin, SC 29036

Copyright 2000-2017, C. Hope Clark
ISSN: 1533-1326

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