Category Archives: traditional publisher

Freelancer: Hits, Misses & Mentions


Good Monday morning! I hope the juices of all creatives are flowing like water in a river baptism this fall season . I can’t complain because I’m still loving what I do, although, it can get hard out here for a creative pimp-tress:)

So, today, I’m updating my loyal readers and followers on a few things happening in my neck of the writing woods, with a brief run-through of some of my freelancer hits and misses, along with a big ole congratulatory mention to a well deserving poet and visual artist.

Misses:

You guys recall me writing about how thrilled I was to open an email from Quaker Oats contest a while back, informing me that my delicious recipe submission had been selected?  Well, just like most of the five hundred thousand hopefuls out there, I waited with bated breath, months even, to claim my winning prize…

Not! The three finalists have been selected and yours truly is not on the list. Bummer! But,  because I love to eat my share of delicious foods instead of demonstrating my culinary skills or lack thereof, I’ve gladly moved on. It’s always a good thing when we release and let go, because something great hangs in the balance.

Misses : #2

I will be sharing my thoughts on traditional book publishing from my own experience with Unleash Your Pearls, including the ups & downs one might experience after signing on the  publisher’s dotted line. I will discuss research findings on the industry, including the length of time it takes from initial contract to actual book release. Patience is truly  required and a couple of glasses of spirits can’t hurt much. Anyhew, when those people call my people about my book release, we will have a celebration!

Hits:

I’ve learned not to wallow in feelings of freelance defeat or rejection and to just keep going with other interesting and oftentimes lucrative distractions.  I recently sold my 2nd nonfiction story to the Book of Hope Anthology, scheduled for publication after the holidays.

My contributing story appearing in the “Lessons from Losers in Love”  Anthology recently went to YouTube.

Dr. Alonda Alloway-Higgins, PhD, LSW,  Author and Life Coach

Uploaded a video to talk more about her book and upcoming series:

I’m working on my fourth assignment as part of How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women from Iowa University’s free Writing Workshop. This class is mentally challenging and educationally inspiring. We’re penning new stories to upload every week and so far, the feedback from class participants have been encouraging and useful. My love of learning is evergreen and when I feel the need to advance my writing aspirations, I always do.

There are numerous narratives on the informational highway in regards to getting something for ‘free’ and I’m of the opinion that one should always be a cautionary ‘buyer’. When it comes to free learning modules, however, in the form of free classes in writing, website design or advanced YouTube tutorials in your field of expertise, I’ve found them to be quite beneficial, and in some ways an advantage over many fee based online workshops.

For example, free classes offered by college institutions oftentimes differ from online writing workshops that cost, in that these curriculum based classes are taught by esteemed professors of writing, with several book fellows and awards under their belts and do not in any way, fashion or form, diminish from  a freelance writer’s creative abilities – they can, in fact, impact ones’ productivity and profit-making capabilities.

I’ve taken my share of online fee based and free classes since 2010.  Before the internet surge, I thought nothing of hopping a train in real-time, to attend fee based writing classes at Harold Washington Colleges. So, my advice, when in doubt, is to go for your gusto the way it works for you and don’t be swayed by negative  hype.  If you haven’t done it, then you can’t speak on it. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Mention~

A big ole congratulations going out to Henry Jones; Poet, Artist, Entrepreneur and friend out there in Nashville whom I hold in high regard. Mr. Jones just won the National Gifted Artist Neo Soul & Poetry Artist(GANSPA) Award!

Congrats to you, Mr. Jones!

Quote for today:

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

A Heartfelt Reminder,Writing Updates and Contests!


Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction….
The chain reaction of evil —
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars —
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Strength To Love, 1963 

Hello Creatives ,

I’m back to continue in the spirit of creating and promoting meaningful works to help you learn and live by. I hope that we continue to have compassion and empathy for one another and that Dr. King and other fighters of wrongdoers did not die in vain. Let’s stay prayerfully awake, aware and continue to speak on the need for accountability.

I’ve been writing tirelessly during my blog sabbatical and have received many emails seeking help on meaningful projects from other creatives in their work to combat bullying, hatred and violence.

You can view links to some of these concerns here:

https://wwwclara54.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/back-stabber-tv-show-on-amazon-com/

I’m not overly concerned about winning a popularity contest with my blogs by way of comments or followers. I’m more interested in making a positive impact that leads to change in the world, and so I sent an email to Arianna Huffington, (former founder & editor-in- chief) of Huffington Post, where I shared some of what I, as a woman of color could bring to the conversation on violence and race in America, as a Huffing-ton Post contributor. I will share bits of her response at a later date, but you can read my latest article here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/social-media-trolls_us_57cafbfde4b0b9c5b738cb47?

I’m also writing, editing and submitting old and newer works to various publications, and recently, among some poetry and short story rejections there have been positive results and I’m grateful and thankful for my gifts: https://thebluenib.com/tag/Clara-Freeman/

I contributed to this anthology on true life lessons learned from failed relationships. The author will compile a series of books on the subject. Check her out here:  www.BloggingDrAlonda.com

lessons_from_losers__cover_for_kindle-194x300

https://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Losers-Love-Relationships-Valuable/dp/0578184141/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474035618&sr=1-1&keywords=lessons+from+losers+in+love

I always write to maintain balance in my life and I’m blessed to be well versed in several genres. I’m sure you all would agree that writing is therapeutic. My writings keep me grounded and humbled and feeling blessed (I’m too blessed to be stressed, y’all!) Anyhow, I haven’t gotten any new  updates on the release of Unleash Your Pearls Empowering Women’s Voices from my publisher, which is a bummer, but patience is a virtue:)

Here are some great upcoming contests for y’all to check out and hopefully find something  of interest in your genre. Some contests are fee based and some are not.

Oftentimes, we writers think we’re not making a living with our work, unless we are seeing dollar bills. Ms. Robbie of Welcome To Sweetie Pies, coined the phrase “if it don’t make  money it don’t make sense.” That’s all good when you’re business minded and only centered on making money, but those of us who use our writings to make a difference are not solely centered on the grind for the sake of the almighty dollar.We are successful at sharing our work,  knowing that somewhere and with someone, we have aided in making a life better.
September kicks off my monthly blog postings, unless more exciting news find me. I’ve decided to pursue new projects that will expand under my brand leadership that includes influence-rs, motivators and thought leaders, armed with a common goal . I will always appreciate every voice who stops by Clara’s Writer’s Blog to share in this awe-inspiring world of literary creativity.  Writers, innovators and critical thinkers, I heart you all.
Be blessed and be a blessing!
“Where love is God is”~ CF

 

 

 

 

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Five Profit Making Techniques For Your First Book


thbookssHappy Easter, Authors!  It’s so exciting for a writer to finally finish a first book and put it out there for readership, rave reviews and purchase. I mean, I would love to see Unleash Your Pearls in the hands of women and men alike, getting all inspired and feeling the “ish” of just how deserving of God’s blessings they are.  Wouldn’t that be something?! Well, rest easy for now, my lucky readers, we’re still at the publishers, but  once we launch, you will get the memo:)

First time authors put in their dues, with the nail-biting that’s a nimble away from becoming a habit, the nighttime nightmares, sweating tears and negative fears, non-withstanding; it is the desire of first time authors to give readers the best extension of themselves through their art. Oftentimes, these authors find themselves in a quandary because at the end of the day, they know their validation and financial sustainability as authors come from their book sales.

thbook sale

Nowadays, more books are being published by first time authors than ever before and most authors realize that unless you are a celebrity or a bestselling Terry McMillan, the first  months of your book being out there, more than likely will result in few sales. This can be a daunting experience. As writers we have to get pro-creative to cultivate a satisfying book profit outcome. I don’t know about other authors on the scene with their first books, but I’m looking to land the bestseller list for my pearl and so can you.

Here are five profit-making techniques for your first book~

  1. Book Blurb… If you know you have a great book to offer readers. You have to start grinding and get your book into the hands of the people. Use your blog to promote your book by offering brief excerpts from time to time. This technique is one used by many authors to bring awareness to their upcoming book launch. It stimulates the reader’s interest in your book, without making them feel pressured to buy and if your book just happens to be bestseller worthy, like my (Unleash your pearls), for example, then, all the better:)
  2. Offer a free copy of your book to another blogger in exchange for an honest review on Amazon.com or on their blog…I’ve done this for many  bloggers turned authors. As an Amazon book reviewer, I know this works! Not only have authors benefited from my reviews, they have seen an increase in book readership, as a result.  Of the many reviews I’ve done over the years, only one author asked that I change the ratings authors depend on  4 or5 star ratings for their books to make a profit and I do understand this, but, I am honest in my reviews and therefore, my review are not coerced. I do book review at my writer’s blog still, when time permits.
  3.  Use your social media to announce your book’s launch, links of purchase and any other information complimentary to purchase, for example, where reader can pre-order a copy before it launches.
  4. Connect with colleagues on Linkedin… Of course, use all of your social media resources to talk about your book, but I love the connections I’ve made with like-minded professionals on Linkedin because I’ve gotten asked to participate in business ventures, joined esteemed group in my genres, appeared on blog-talk radio to promote my work and had work accepted that will bring awareness to my business brand from which my book is based. The stellar folks you meet on Linkedin can be your book’s game-changer!  You can’t always receive and not be willing to give in return and that’s why I  appreciate LinkedIn connections~ Good business practice.
  5. Finally, as a new author, you just have to make your name known, by any lawful means necessary. Get out there and tell people who you are and what your book can do for them before it launches. Be pro-creatively active, y’all and take your book to colleagues, connections, readers, reviewers and critics alike. Bring the food to the influence table! Get to know your local librarian or bookstore owner, talk about your book and set up a reading.Be that ‘expert’ panelist or guest blogger on popular brand websites or blog talk radio spots. Join a twitter chat or host a webinar.

Whether your brand teaches, entertains, motivates , inspires or encourages another to aspire to be the best person s/he can be, in order to make your book a success, you can do what needs to be done to get your book in the hands of readers. There are many creative avenues from which to sell your great book and introduce your expertise and brand to the world. Get on the good foot, new authors, time’s-a-wasting because people all over the world are waiting to read your awesome book!

Did you find this post helpful?  Do you know of other savvy ways new authors can ensure their book sale? Please share in the comments. We’d appreciate your resourceful tips.

I want to give a special thanks to all of my new and seasoned followers for being a part of Clara54 Writers Blog. Y’all bring the Sunshine! I’m taking a brief spring break and will see all of you in a few weeks. In the meantime, keep on grinding and make those book sales, people. 🙂

Why Your Book Promotion Is Serious Business


thpromoteHappy Friday, everyone! I hope you all got out to enjoy the mild temperature today. It was windy but all good, wasn’t it? I haven’t been writing so much this week because I’m focused on researching resources that will help me promote and garner reader interest and sales for Unleash Your Pearls, my empowerment book for women. But, don’t think I’m keeping what I’ve learned to myself; I don’t operate that way, unless ice cream is involved, doncha know 🙂

It’s interesting to note that according to The United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or (UNESCO), there are currently 345,766 new book titles this year, a jump from the reported 328,259 titles in 2010. You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with me? Well, everything, if you are a writer intent upon becoming a published author. Trust and believe when you transition from writer to author and now, business owner? You will want to know all stats pertaining to your book, including promotion and capacity for making sales amid the competitive onslaught of new authors in your genre.

I co-authored a relationship book, Essence of Romance, with a friend and colleague in 2015. We have been doing marketing and promotions for the book via different avenues, collectively and individually, depending upon where our strengths and weaknesses lie.  At intervals we do our little comparison talk to share notes on how our collaboration is faring and plan our next strategic move for the book’s exposure. Our little book, with a wealth of valuable information inside, bring in increments of profit, but not nearly enough to cry “Eureka!”

The debate arises for all published authors on how and where we can promote our books and possibly rack up enough sales to see us through to the next book or at least garner an honorable mention on that elusive bestsellers list.

Some of the obvious sites to promote your books includes social medias’ Facebook, twitter, pinterest, good-reads and LinkedIn, where you can use your networking skills to ask for, and offer book reviews, blog tours and author interviews via writer/author interchange in a collaborative effort to promote your book.

Mark Coker, founder of Smash-words, wrote the 2015 Book Publishing Industry Predictions where he gave authors plenty of writing, book publishing and book promotion advice. This was the stand out gem for me, however, I feel that as a relatively new author,  and with an upcoming book to launch, my book promotion has to be serious business.

Many authors spend too much time on marketing and social media when they should be spending more time writing. An author’s best marketing is a book that markets itself. If an author’s book isn’t sparking enthusiastic word of mouth without marketing, then no amount of marketing will make it a bestseller.” Mark Coker

There’s a wealth of book promotion advice by way of articles, bestselling author interviews, seminars, LinkedIn groups and publishing newsletters & periodicals. Here are four popular sites offering how to~ to promoting and marketing your book :

https://www.bublish.com/blog/

http://ariionkathleenbrindley.com/5books.shtml

http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/promote-and-market-your-book/

http://writetodone.com/10-ways-promote-your-book/

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/33825-how-to-promote-your-book-on-amazon

PS~

There will be more talking points in an upcoming post on how to rock your book promotion, along with guest insights on why new authors might not feel the book purchasing love from colleagues/cohorts and other writers in their tribe. If you want to weigh in on this enlightening conversation, send your thoughts to clarawriter@att.net with “book purchasing love” in subject.

For more of Mark Coker book publishing insights, follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter/com/mark coker. If you haven’t heard Evelyn Cogdell’s interview on RARE Woman, go here: http://www.ubnradio.com/

Next week, Clara’s Writers Blog will be participating in Joel Christian Gill’s Graphic Novel Blog Tour for Black History Month. Come on back for this awesome honor!

Was this post helpful ?  When should you start promoting your book, before or after publication? Appreciate your comments.

A Progress Report And Book Recommendation


Happy Friday, Wordsmiths! I can’t believe it’s the end of the week already. Seems like I was celebrating another “Born” day, just yesterday.
Oh well, like sand from an hourglass so are the days of our lives. I confess, I’ve wanted to use that quote from the popular soap for the longest time 🙂

I have a bit of news to share with my wonderful readers, along with a book recommendation. First, allow me to take you back to the Summer of 2014 when I shared that my poem, Brown Girl Challenge, had been selected for inclusion in the Michele Obama anthology.

I recently received an email from the authors of the anthology; Rose C. Thevenin, Paula Marie Seniors and Michelle Duster, who is the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, by the way. Well,  It’s a green light, people. The authors found a publisher for their book!

The title of the book is “But I Went, I Did Fine” – Michelle Obama: From the Southside to the White House.  How The First Lady Impacted and Inspired African American Women and Girls
I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it! Okay, so…just sayin’ though. 🙂
This is the book I highly recommend for y’all  to put on your 2016 reading list:
517WBaELb9L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_
 Soldier With A Backpack: Living And Dying Simultaneously, by Linda Diane Wattley, begins with the horrific molestation of a little  girl.  At the age of four, Linda is taken from  the comfort of her bed in the middle of the night. She is carried to her parent’s bed and sexually assaulted by her father. I’m reading this and I’m crying, literally breaking down… I cry for that little girl and for every little boy/girl child who have endured the trauma of sexual abuse .
The author guides us through the dysfunction of a family and the suffering that follows a child whose innocence is taken. She shares informative and enlightening messages on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, affecting those who  are traumatized by sexual abuse and other traumatic experiences, like our military men and women.
 There’s never been enough information about post traumatic stress disorder. As a young nurse in the 80s, I witnessed doctors who were baffled by patients suffering  from PTSD. The cases were rare and treatment questionable at best. Doctors only resolution at the time, seemed to be strong sedation and wrist and ankle restraints. I applaud the insights  the author shares about PTSD in her book.
Go here to visit the author’s website: http://www.lindadianewattley.com/
Go here to purchase a copy for your reading enlightenment: https://www.amazon.com/author/lindadianewattley https://www.facebook.com/Lindadianewattleywww.lindadianewattley.comproduct/B015QP2WEK?ref_=k4w_ss_details_rh

 

Quote for today:
If you want to change the world pick up your pen and write – Martin Luther King Jr.
Peace, Blessings and Prayers…

 

Finding The Positive In Your Story Rejection


 

logo_landingThank you for submitting “Andrew And Mullins”.

With just the two of us reading all stories ourselves, it is not possible to provide specific feedback, I’m afraid, but I can tell you that, while we won’t be publishing this piece, it was a good read—thank you!

Happy Friday Storytellers! Like most readers, I can get lost in a good story. I have been intrigued by the art of storytelling since I was a young girl and my siblings and I would sit wide-eyed in our folks bedroom listening to them share tales from their imaginations. Anyone ever hear of the “No Headed Man”?! Yep, one of the scariest  from their vault filled imaginations.

Mama and daddy couldn’t have known they were scaring the heck out of their children or did they? 🙂 of course not every story was scary, but where’s the fun in that? Anyhow, I loved story so much that I began writing my own. The short story above was submitted to Glimmer Train,  one of the most respected short-story journals in print.  You can find their website here: www.glimmertrain.com and their submission calendar  through 2015 here:  http://www.glimmertrain.com/pages/writing_guidelines.php

As you can see, Andrew and Mullins didn’t make the cut.

issue_95_cover_450x675

But, did you notice they enjoyed the read? Even when your story doesn’t  make the winning cut, you can oftentimes gauge its value by the comments from the publication of your submission. The positive comment from Glimmer trains editors encouraged me to keep writing and sharing my stories.

When you don’t win from submitting your short stories, the clues in response to your story, if positive can help lessen the blow of rejection and keep you focused on your dream to eventual publication. If you receive a negative response, still read and learn from such comments and vow to show them what you’re made of.

Editors and publishers aren’t usually so anal in their responses to your work, unless they’re overwhelmed and will send out a cold form letter of rejection. Either way, just keep rewriting and submitting until your babies find a welcoming home.

I’ve decided to change the ending of Andrew & Mullins to one of empathy for its main character before submitting it to another publication.

I love when I’m in the flow of story and even when the piece doesn’t place in one publication, I can usually take the rejection in stride and take note of the message in the rejection to use it as a learning experience that will lead me to re-work the story for a better chance at acceptance, the betterment of readers and for the betterment of my craft.

How did your upbringing influence your love for storytelling? How many re-writes do you do with a rejected piece?

I will be taking a Thanksgiving break until December. Keep writing and stay humble.

Your writer’s quote:

“It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.” — Robert Hasse

 

Worldreader: Empowering Literacy Through Reading, Thinking and Growing


Hello readers and writers and those who are published authors!

So, I just got of the phone with my publisher and everything is going well. On our next session we’ll be discussing the book cover for Unleash Your Pearls. YAY! The book won’t be out until sometime in 2016, but I will keep everyone posted.

 

Speaking of books? I received this awesome email from Jennifer Jacobson, PR advocate for Worldreader and Jacobson communications. Jennifer wanted to share the story  about world famous author Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist) and his recent donation of three of his titles to Worldreader’s digital library.

Here’s more about their collaboration and links for you to visit to get better acquainted with this awesome pursuit of literacy.

http://www.worldreader.org/blog/paulo-coehlo-now-our-supporter/

About Worldreader
Worldreader is a global nonprofit bringing digital books children and their families, empowering them to read, think, and grow in order to improve their lives and their world. In its first five years, Worldreader has reached 5.6 million readers in 69 countries with a digital library of 28,500 local and international e-books via e-readers and mobile phones, and plans to reach 15 million readers by 2018. To read free books on your mobile phone, visit read.worldreader.org. For more information on Worldreader, visit www.worldreader.org
About Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho is considered one of the most influential authors of our times. His books have sold more than 195 million copies worldwide; have been released in 170 countries and translated into 80 languages. Born in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1947, Paulo Coelho is the author of some of the most read titles of our time, such as The Pilgrimage or The Alchemist, the book that made him internationally famous. Paulo Coelho has written many other books which have touched the hearts of people around the world, among them Brida, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, Aleph and Adultery.
He has received numerous prestigious international awards. He is member of the Academy of Letters of Brazil since 2002 and a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations since 2007. In 2009 he received the 2009 Guinness World Record for the most translated Author for The Alchemist. Also, he is the writer with the highest number of followers on social media. To learn more about Paulo Coelho, visit his blog: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/.

 

Wasn’t this great news to share in the fight against illiteracy?  And not to mention we have a  direct link to Paulo Coelho’s blog and awesome web videos. I’m a fan who should have purchased The Alchemist years ago:)

Thanks Jennifer.

Quote for today:

“When its positive she’s all for it”. Clara Freeman

Happy reading all!