Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group, Twitter Giveaway Results, and Show us Your Writer Insecurity

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

The co-hosts today are Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner!

The optional August 2 question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Reading - Something I used to do a lot myself - head-hopping.
Writing - When I write a line I know is passive but my brain can’t think of anything else.
Editing - Passive words and phrases.

Audio Book Giveaway Update and Findings

From mid-May to mid-July, Dancing Lemur Press ran a weekly audio book giveaway on Twitter. Retweet the pinned tweet to enter.

While the genre of the book didn’t appear to have an impact, the author’s online social presence did. The more involved they were online, the more retweets and entries, with those possessing the largest followings garnering the most. When the author had a very small following or did not get as involved in the promotion, the retweets were very low.

Many of the authors were smart enough to pin a tweet, pointing their followers to DLP’s pinned tweet and enticing more entries. On Twitter, retweeting others often means they will come to your site and retweet something of yours - and a pinned tweet is the easiest to retweet. (If they have to search for a tweet that originated from you, then doubtful they’ll retweet anything.) However, I noticed that a large following of retweeters didn’t help, because all they did was retweet the author’s pinned tweet - they didn’t come over and tweet the DLP tweet to enter.

All in all, the audio book with the most entries had 52 and the one with the lowest only 13, and those figures directly correlate with my findings above.

So, if you’re going to do any giveaway on Twitter, have a solid, devoted following online and be prepared to get involved.

July 27 was the very first IWSG Twitter pitch party, #IWSGPit. And it was a huge success! Alex had this to say about it:

Thanks to all who participated in or promoted the #IWSGPit Twitter pitch party. It was an incredible success – there were 2300 Tweets and we were a trending topic. The IWSG team learned a lot and the next #IWSGPit in January will be even better. Now that we’ve established ourselves and the site is a Writer’s Digest Top 101 Site for Writers, there will be five times the amount of publishers and agents watching the feed. Thanks again for such a successful event! - Alex

Dancing Lemur Press has participated in a lot of pitches. While nothing compares to #PitMad’s 900 Tweets per hour, our 200 Tweets per hour was the 2nd or 3rd most I have ever seen. And we got A LOT of submissions. Boo-yah!

On August 24th at 2:00 pm EST, Chrys Fey will be participating in a LIVE YouTube interview with Evan Carmichael, an entrepreneur who she'll be interviewing about his book Your One Word and getting some great advice for IWSG members. You'll be able to watch the interview live HERE. You can set a reminder if you click on the link, or you can watch it later.The video will be uploaded in the August 30th IWSG newsletter issue.

Show Us Your Writer Insecurity!

Are you proud to be an insecure writer?

Then show us!

On Wednesday, October 4 (IWSG Day), post a photo of yourself (or your alter ego) with any of the IWSG swag or with the IWSG logo. Then leave a comment that day at either the IWSG website’s post or the IWSG Facebook post directing us to your photo. (All blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and newsletter members welcome, but photo must be posted on a blog or Facebook to qualify.)

The IWSG site admins will visit each one and pick the top three. Why? Because there are cool prizes involved:

Third place – EBook of A Change of Mind and Other Stories by Nick Wilford, eBook of The Remnant by William Michael Davidson, eBook of Cling to God by Lynda R. Young, eBook of Already Home by Heather M. Gardner, and eBook of Dragon of the Stars by Alex. J. Cavanaugh.

Second place – The entire eBook collection of the Totem series by Christine Rains, eBooks of Princess of Las Pulgas by C. Lee McKenzie, audio book of CassaSeries by Alex J. Cavanaugh, eBook of Black and White by Nick Wilford, and your choice eBook from J.L. Campbell.

Grand prize winner - IWSG website interview, IWSG newsletter spotlight, IWSG pinned tweet for one week, C. Lee McKenzie's Featured Follower for the month, the IWSG Goodreads book club eBook for October/November, a short chapter critique, and a pair of IWSG erasers.

We have some great IWSG swag – notebooks, pens, mugs, tote bags, etc. Proceeds go to fund the upkeep of the IWSG site.

You have two months to prepare – show us your best insecurity!

What are your pet peeves?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Writing Contests, Twitter Pitches & #IWSGPit, and IWSG Writing for Profit

Want to know more about Twitter pitch parties? Visit IWSG partner Reedsy for my rundown of Twitter pitches, what to expect, and why they are important.

Want to know more about writing contests? Beverly Stowe McClure is a guest today at the IWSG website and she talks about her experiences with contests and how her books have won so many.

My next post will be on August 2nd, IWSG day, and after two months of audio book giveaways on Twitter, I’m ready to share some interesting stuff regarding books, authors, and social media.

This Thursday is #IWSGPit, our first ever Twitter pitch party. There are a lot of participating agents and publishers. See the site for details and polish your pitches.

The deadline for the IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit is July 31st. This is open to all members of our groups and can be about what works or what doesn’t work when it comes to making money as a writer. See the site for more details.


Since I gave you several important links to visit, comments are turned off here. I’ll see you on August 2nd.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, #IWSGPit, and #Giveaway

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

The #IWSGPit Twitter pitch is July 27!

If you’ve never participated in a Twitter pitch party, this is your time to dive in. From a publisher’s perspective, I can tell you, they are inspiring and exciting. This might be YOUR time to snag the attention of a publisher or agent.

Visit the site for more information.

Today’s question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

I’ve learned that promotion is everything. Great marketing can save an average book. No marketing will destroy a great book. It’s all about how much effort the author and publisher put into promoting a book that matters. Sometimes books fall through the cracks. Sometimes below average books sell like crazy. But ultimately, it is the marketing that matters.

I also learned that I’m probably a much better publisher than I am a writer. Oh well!

For the past two months, @DancingLemurPre has been hosting an audio book giveaway on Twitter.

Through today, Wednesday, the giveaway is for CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Starting July 6, it will be for Under a Purple Moon by Beverly Stowe McClure.

It’s been interesting seeing what works and what doesn’t with promoting this giveaway. I’ll post my findings very soon!

What have you learned since you started writing?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Giveaways and Tours

Book tours and giveaways help spread the word. And there’s a lot happening the next few weeks.

Audio book giveaways on Twitter:

Through Wednesday, June 21, there is a giveaway for The Remnant by William Michael Davidson.
One nation, without God...
Retweet this pinned Tweet from @DancingLemurPre to enter.

Thursday, June 22 through June 28, the giveaway is for Matowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler.
A murder enveloped in pain and mystery...

June 29 through July 5, the giveaway is for CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh.
A storm gathers across the galaxy…

July 6 through July 12, the giveaway is for Under a Purple Moon by Beverly Stowe McClure.
No Love in the Garden of Eden...

Then wrapping up the giveaways from July 13 through July 19, it’s Dragon of the Stars by Alex J. Cavanaugh.
The ship of legends...

Visit @DancingLemurPre on Twitter and click on the pinned Tweet to enter - easy-peasy!

Book tour and giveaway:

MC Book Tours has set up a week-long tour for Joylene Nowell Butler’s latest releases.

Maski: Broken But Not Dead
The print version was an Ippy Silver Medalist.
Now it’s finally available in eBook format.

Matowak: Woman Who Cries
The follow-up to Maski is now available as an audio book.

The tour runs June 26 - June 30 with giveaways of both books. See MC Book Tours for exact tour dates.

Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. has several new books in the works, including a charming middle grade book for boys set in 1969, a middle grade anthology, and a science fiction dystopian thriller for adults.

Do you listen to audio books or enter giveaways?

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group - Next Anthology

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I never really quit, but between living in Albuquerque, NM and the first ten years living in NC, I didn’t write anything. Most of my writing inspiration comes from dreams and I’d still write down ideas on occasion. Then one night, I dreamed of this girl, a blonde swimmer, and a scene in high school. From that, I created Lori, and her story became the first book in my five book series, The Circle of Friends. So, you never know what will bring you back to writing.

Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. is running a giveaway on Twitter - a new audio book every week until mid-July. Re-Tweet the pinned Tweet on their page - @DancingLemurPre

Many of those offering services on Fiverr really undercut their prices, but I decided to post my formatting services there anyway. At $30 per eBook and $60 per print book, I’m still competitive. Plus I come with many years and hundreds of books worth of experience. You can find me on Fiverr HERE. Or visit Spunk On A Stick for full details and contact me there.

Announcing the next IWSG anthology - The IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit. This will be a non-fiction book like our The IWSG’s Guide to Publishing and Beyond, which is free.


What to write: Share experiences about making a profit as an author, what it takes to become a successful writer, the many skills a writer needs to learn other than writing, share the experience going from hobby writer to published author (without making it a self-promotion piece), the fallacies behind writing for profit, the little known facts learned along the way, what you wished you knew when you first started writing, or marketing tips based on experience of what has worked and what hasn't. Please include a title, your name, and a link to one of your sites. Send as an attached Word file or pasted into the email.
If you have any questions, email us at admin AT

Word limit: 500-1000 words.

Submission eligibility: All members of the IWSG Blog Hop, IWSG Facebook group and/or members of our IWSG Goodreads Book Club. It's free to join any of these groups and a great benefit to be a part of these communities.

Deadline: July 31, 2017

Send your piece to admin AT as an attached Word document and note which IWSG group you belong to. Please include your name, a one line bio, and one website link.

The one hundred best entries will be included in the book.

Have you ever said you quit? What could you share for the IWSG anthology?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Why ISBN Ownership Matters

What makes a book traditionally, self, or subsidy published? It all comes down to two things - who owns the ISBN and payment.

Let’s tackle payment first. What did the author pay for? If the author paid a company or service to do most or all, then that is subsidy publishing. If the author paid for an editor, a formatter, a cover artist, etc., then that is likely self-publishing. If the author paid nothing and will receive royalties, that is most likely traditional publishing.

But the true test lies in the ownership of the ISBN - the 13 digit number associated with every book. ISBNs are only available from one source - Bowker. The person or company that purchases the ISBNs from Bowker is the publisher on record - forever. ISBNs cannot be sold or transferred.

If the author signs with a traditional publisher, that publisher buys the ISBNs from Bowker and is listed as the publisher.

If the author buys the ISBNs directly from Bowker, that author is listed as the publisher.

If the author buys the ISBN from Smashwords or a subsidy publisher, that entity is listed as the publisher, not the author - and the author is not truly self-published.

Before you jump into the author ring, understand the differences!

For the next two months, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. is giving away a different audio book each. Visit @DancingLemurPre on Twitter and reTweet the pinned Tweet for your chance to win. ReTweets to spread the news also appreciated.

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group welcomes new Admins, Nick Wilford and Pat Hatt.

Nick will be running the contests page.

Pat will take over @TheIWSG Twitter.

Thank you for coming on board, Nick and Pat!

Monday, May 08, 2017

#IWriteBecause, eBook Distribution, Blogging, Hero Lost, and Loss

Today at The Insecure Writer’s Support Group site: Have you ever wondered what’s involved in putting together a writing conference or book festival? Thinking of starting your own? Let author Austin Camacho tell you what’s really involved! 
 * * *

The IWSG is also helping Reedsy spread the word today about #IWriteBecause.

The graphic says it best:

EBook Distribution

Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. recently expanded with a new eBook distributor. In doing so, many of our books were updated, both in content, links, and formatting.

One thing that had been on the back burner for me was updating my own How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now! This forced me to do so, and now the dead links and information are gone and new links are added. The updated version can be purchased here - Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Amazon UK.

12 Years of Blogging

I always seem to miss it, but April 9 is the anniversary of this blog. I started it 12 years ago after attending the Virginia Festival of the Book and hearing an author and a blog tour host discuss blogging.

Blogging has changed so much since then! When I began, there was no way to follow other blogs or show a following. Yes, GFC, which is being phased out now, didn’t even exist then. The best option was Feedburner.

Blogging has changed, but it’s still a great social networking platform and a great way to bring information and news to the world. I intend to keep this blog going for many years.

Latest Dancing Lemur Press LLC Release

Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Find at Goodreads
Purchase print at Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million
Purchase eBook at Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Kobo / Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA

I’m so very proud of these writers and the wonderful stories they created!


Finally, and I hate to end on a sad note, but as those of you who follow me on Facebook saw on April 29 - we had to put our dear, sweet baby girl to sleep. Rocko truly was Mama’s Little Kitty.

Rocko and Spunky came to us in the fall of 2005. The vet estimated their age at four months, which placed their birth about the time we lost Calvin. So we gave them the birthday of July 18, 2005, the day after. (Hobbes was with us for one more year.)

Sadly, we lost Spunky to cancer in 2015.

Rocko was our “special needs kitty” and had some behavior issues. For that reason, I always joked that she would live to 20 just to drive us crazy.

Her yearly check up was perfect. Yet a month later, something was wrong, and I took her back to the vet for a full blood test. It revealed that she had early symptoms of kidney disease and hypertension. We started special KD food and medicine for the high blood pressure. Five days later, she became very lethargic and wasn’t eating. By the time we got her to the vet, she was blind. After that, she refused to eat and became very agitated and unhappy. Her joy in life was watching the birds at the birdfeeder, and I think without that, she simply lost the will to live.

For the first time in 27 years, our house is devoid of cats. It’s been really, really weird and very sad. We have no children of our own, so our four fur babies were our kids - and now they are all gone. Those who don’t love animals will never understand. Those who do know the pain.

In the meantime, I am coping. If I am slow to respond, know that it is due to a lack of fur on the keyboard.

Tweet: #IWriteBecause, eBook Distribution, Blogging, Hero Lost, and Loss

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group and Hero Lost

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

I am posting a day early due to the IWSG anthology release.

May 3 Question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

I’ve had to research a lot of things for my two non-fiction books and series of five NA fiction books.

The coolest was the research I did for Book V though. Since the main character was a new assistant coach for the Clemson Lady Tigers basketball team, I reached out to the head coach at Clemson, Cristy McKinney. She was gracious enough to answer my questions regarding the duties of a junior assistant coach and what goes on behind the scenes. I could not have written that book without her help.

By the time Book V was released, Cristy was no longer the head coach. I did manage to find her on Facebook and was able to send her a copy of The Circle of Friends: Book V...Heather.

The big news for the day is the release of the IWSG anthology!

Hero Lost
Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Can a lost hero find redemption?

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?

Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption!

In this marvelous collection of speculative fiction, we journey through twelve wonderfully written tales to find out if the tortured hero can be redeemed. - Christine Rains, author

The authors have done us a favour by all being darned good at their craft. Recommended for fantasy fans. - Gordon Long, author

Website - Lost Hero Anthology

$14.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 226 pages
Fantasy, Freedom Fox Press
Print ISBN 9781939844361 eBook ISBN 9781939844378
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find at Goodreads
Purchase print at Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million
Purchase eBook at Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Kobo / Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA

What’s the most unique thing you’ve ever researched?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Maski and the Support of This Online Community

Many of you know Joylene Nowell Butler, author and The Insecure Writer’s Support Group admin. Last week, she broke her hip and underwent surgery on Friday. As a result, she is unable to share in the joy of her IPPY award-winning book being released as an eBook for the first time.

One thing that’s great about this online community is the support. If any of you can share this week, that would be wonderful. (Many already answered the call on Facebook - thank you.) I’m going to save all the links to those posts and send them to her. It will cheer her to see that others were willing to step up to the plate on her behalf.

Available today for the first time in eBook form -

Maski: Broken But Not Dead
By Joylene Nowell Butler
Psychological Thriller
$4.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844385

An IPPY Silver Medalist!

To the Breaking Point...

When Brendell Meshango resigns from her university professor position and retreats to her isolated cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. His racial comments lead her to believe she is the solitary victim of a hate crime.

However, is all as it appears? After two bizarre days, the intruder mysteriously disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Taught by her mother to distrust the mainstream-based power structures, and with her stalker possibly linked to a high level of government, Brendell conceals the incident from the police. But will her silence keep her safe?

Then her beloved daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.

“Joylene Nowell Butler gets straight to the story, taking you from one happening to the next and keeps you turning the page.” - Martha A. Cheves, author

“A psychological thriller filled with suspense, action and drama...” - John Bell, 93.1 CFIS-FM: Prince George, BC

“Riveting and beautifully written. You won't be able to set it down.” Judith S. Avila, author

Joylene, Métis, is the author of Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and Break Time. She and her husband and their two cats reside in Canada for the summers and Nayarit for the winters. They believe life should be an adventure.

Purchase Links: Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes / Amazon

And coming in two weeks -

Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Release date - May 2, 2017

Find on Goodreads
Pre-order at Amazon / Barnes & Noble / B-A-M / iTunes / Nook / Kobo / Amazon UK

Has the online community ever helped you? Who makes up your support team?

And Dancing Lemur Press was one of three publishers featured in an interview at the IWSG this week.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group #IWSG

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

April 5 Question: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

I’ve participated 2-3 times in the past. One year my theme was leadership and goal-setting and I posted short excerpts from my book, Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK! Another year, I posted promo and other tips for writers, most taken from my book How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now! Each month moved a few extra books. Not enough to warrant a month’s worth of marketing, but if I was posting for the A to Z anyway, might as well take advantage of the opportunity.

If you’ve not had an opportunity to join yet, the IWSG Goodreads Book Club just selected its first writing book. You have until the end of May to read it, so there’s still time.

The IWSG Twitter Pitch - #IWSGPit takes place July 27. The list of participating agents and publishers continues to grow and it’s a great opportunity for writers. Join us for the event in July - Twitter pitch parties are a lot of fun.

In less than one month, the next IWSG anthology will be released - Hero Lost: The Mysteries of Death and Life. Twelve fantasy stories involving a lost hero from twelve talented authors.
Follow the Lost Hero blog and please support the Thunderclap campaign. They need just a couple more supporters.

One of Dancing Lemur Press’s titles is now free - CassaDawn.
Download the prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa trilogy at:
Amazon / iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Amazon UK

And coming April 18, 2017 in eBook format- the prequel to Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries:

Maski: Broken But Not Dead by Joylene Nowell Butler
Psychological Thriller
$4.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844385

An IPPY Silver Medalist!

To the Breaking Point...

When Brendell Meshango retreats to her cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. After two days, the intruder disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Then her daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.

To pre-order: Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes / Amazon

Has anyone else used the A to Z to market a book?

Friday, March 31, 2017

We are the World Blogfest #WATWB

Hosted by Belinda Witzenhausen, Lynn Hallbrooks, Simon Falk, Sylvia McGrath, and Damyanti Biswas.

The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there, the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope and the resilience of the human spirit. With your help, we hope to change the current landscape of social media, blogs, and news. Our first post goes live on the 31st of March and Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome.

Find WATWB also on Facebook and Pinterest.

Since I am an animal lover, I selected a story that involves a cat.

On September 12, 2016, a tiny kitten fell out of a SUV and onto a busy freeway in Kaliningrad, Russia.

For several minutes, cars swerved around the kitten and several trucks went right over him.

Then a car stopped and the driver got out to rescue the kitten, saving him from certain death. The man, Denis Degtyarev, checked him over and found the cat bruised and scared but otherwise unhurt. He took him to his kids’ school and friends found the kitten a good home.

How many people would do that? How many would show compassion for a small creature in danger and risk their own life to save it? True compassion shines on all levels and for all living things, and that man proved there are still caring people in the world. God bless his loving and generous spirit. May it be contagious.

A surveillance camera caught the whole ordeal:

Special Announcement

One of Dancing Lemur Press’s titles is now free - CassaDawn. 
Download the prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa trilogy at:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Getting the Most out of a Twitter Pitch Event

Recently the IWSG announced our first Twitter pitch event on July 27 - #IWSGPit. You can read all the details HERE.

Just what is a Twitter pitch party?

On a designated day, writers are to compose a story pitch in less than 140 characters and Tweet it with the appropriate hashtags. Publishers and agents scan the feed for pitches that catch their attention and pressing the “heart” button. That indicates they want a query from you.

Each Twitter pitch event has its own set of rules and hashtags:
  • How often a pitch may be posted
  • Hashtags for the event and for specific genres
  • How writers can show one another support

Often participating publishers and agents will Tweet instructions for submitting manuscripts that have received a “heart” from them. Sometimes they will simply direct people to their submission guidelines.

A recent Twitter pitch event garnered over 1000 Tweets an hour. That’s a lot of pitches! How does one stand out? What can writers do to make the best impression possible and follow all the proper steps?

Here are some tips for getting the most out of the experience:

  • Compose a solid pitch. It’s difficult to sum up an entire story in one line, but not impossible. Loglines have to be basic. (Think of the taglines from movies.) What’s the key plot element? Who is the main character? Aim for 120 characters to allow room for the hashtags.

  • Add some personality to your pitch. A little humor or quirkiness does stand out.

  • Test your pitch on other writers first.

  • Be sure your story fits the event. Some Twitter pitches are gear towards specific genres.

  • Use the proper hashtags. You’ll want to use the event’s hashtag AND a genre hashtag. It also helps to add the age hashtag. (Examples - #F = fantasy, #PR = Paranormal Romance, #A = adult, #YA = young adult.)

  • Consider your genre/age options. During most pitch events, #YA is the most popular age/genre. But we know that YA does not comprise half of the books published every year. Think outside the box and pitch a genre/age that will stand out rather than blend in.

  • Don’t pitch more often than allowed or you will get banned. In addition, only publishers and agents are to “heart” pitches.

  • If your pitch receives a “heart,” go to that publisher/agent’s site and review the submission guidelines. Be sure to mention the pitch event in your query. But just because you were invited to submit doesn’t mean you can ignore their submission requirements - send everything they request and ONLY what they request. No need to shoot yourself in the foot when you just got it in the door.

  • Be sure to research that publisher/agent BEFORE you send your query. Don’t waste that person’s time. The publisher/agent won’t remember that you didn’t send a “hearted” query, but he or she will remember that you sent one and then later withdrew it.

  • Once the event ends, analyze your results. If you received no “hearts” it might be time to adjust your pitch. Of course, with thousands of pitches filling the feed, it’s also possible it got lost in the shuffle. Adjust and try again at the next event.

Many authors have found homes for their books through Twitter pitches. It’s a great way to test the waters and get the attention of a publisher or agent. Don’t rely on them solely though - you still need to be querying with a proper query letter. Just give it a try and have fun.

Various Twitter pitch events:

Have you ever participated in a Twitter pitch event?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Barn Cats Are Loose! And the IWSG Goodreads Book Club

I’m excited to bring to the world a captivating tale about loss, healing, barn cats.

Follow her blog tour through MC Book Tours for your chance to win a free copy.


By Maria Santomasso-Hyde

Inspired by true events...

Losses send a woman’s soul into its darkest winter...

Maria has cared for her very ill mother for many years. Her burdens are heavy, causing a sadness bordering on darkness. When she discovers her historic barn is now home to a mother cat and kittens, she feels lighter than she has in years. As the kittens grow, they teach her as only animals can do.

Then tragedy strikes. As Maria loses her family, the darkness envelopes her like the heavy fog that blankets her Blue Ridge Mountain home each morning. She creates a scorecard: God: 9, Maria: 0. Her questions turn into anger at God. She searches to find answers as to why her loving God would take away so much in such a short time.

How will she learn to trust again? Can the kittens in her barn help her heal?

Christian Fiction / Christian Life-Death, Grief, Bereavement
$10.95 Print ISBN 978-1-939844-21-7,$3.99 eBook ISBN 978-1-939844-22-4
From Dancing Lemur Press

“...accessible, compelling and deeply infused with the heartbreaking and heart-lifting realities of life.” - Kurt Rheinheimer, Editor in Chief, Blue Ridge County magazine.

“A gracious, gentle tale of faith, told with refreshingly unexpected perspectives.” - Cathy Pickens, award-winning author of the Southern Fried mystery series

“Maria Santomasso-Hyde spins a yarn exquisitely told — a raw and truthful journey that travels from the depth of despair to the edge of salvation.” - Tom Mayer, executive editor, Mountain Times Publications

Formerly a newspaper reporter, Maria Santomasso-Hyde now owns Alta Vista Fine Art Gallery. She lives in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, with her husband, Lee, and The Queen of the Universe (Roma, their Black Cat)… and other Black Cats who decide to move in.
Website / Alta Vista Gallery

Purchase at Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / iTunes / Kobo / Nook / Foyles / Indigo / Dancing Lemur Press / Everything Cats
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Not on Goodreads?
The IWSG book club is a good reason to join.
Don’t do much on Goodreads?
This is an excellent way to dip your toes in a little more.
Not enough time in your day?
We read one book every two months.
OUR GOAL: The Insecure Writer's Support Group (Book Club) is for writers to read/learn about the writing craft. In this book club, we will swap back and forth between non-fiction writing books and fiction books that demonstrate how to do certain aspects of storytelling. 

No promo. No review or beta reader requests. 

Just writers reading books and discussing those books with other writers.
**The first book will be announced on April 1st.**
**The discussion will start on May 17th.**
For more details and to join: Book Club