Wednesday, October 26, 2016

No More Contests

   Today's blog is part whining and part frustration. Several years ago, I entered a couple writing contests on the suggestion of my daughter. I received some recognition from both contests which spurred me on to continue writing. I knew nothing at the time, and those stories were unedited, first drafts. After I learned that you're not supposed to submit your writing that way, I figured if I polished the stories and had them edited, I would do better in future contests.
   During the last couple of years, I've written a number of short stories, run them past two critique groups, posted online for feedback, and had them professionally edited. They've all been entered in contests and accomplished nothing. I tried different genres, including literary fiction, and still no luck.
   I hadn't paid much attention to the winning entries before, but decided to read a few to see what I was missing. I couldn't believe what I found. Oh, they were obviously well written with flawless grammar and perfect punctuation, but the stories themselves were meaningless.
   One story was about how this person made numerous bad decisions that ended up with him in serious trouble, and he blamed it all on someone he met in school. Another one was just filled with name dropping of famous people the writer had met. None of the stories held the least bit of interest for me. If these are the kind of stories the judges are looking for, then I won't bother entering anymore contests. I have better things to do than write meaningless stories in an attempt to win a contest.
   My focus will be, and probably should have been all along, to write entertaining stories I enjoy writing and hopefully others will enjoy reading.
   If you are interested in what I'm writing now, check out #saturdayscenes every Saturday on Google Plus and let me know what you think.

   Thanks for reading, and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Selling Books Locally

   This is a follow-up to a post from several months ago. Myself and four other writers got together and rented a small space at a local bazaar. The bazaar is located inside the largest mall in the area that sees a lot of traffic, especially with the holidays coming up.
   This was never intended as a money making venture, but more of an attempt to promote name recognition. Although it is nice that I've actually sold a number of books. I have to believe that some positives are happening as a number of people have approached the owner asking if and when we will have a book signing in the mall so they can meet us. I've also had two requests from folks who bought my book to meet them at the mall to personally sign their copy.
   I have been talking with the owner about the book signing, and we have tentatively scheduled it for next spring after all the holiday buzz has worn off. I'm also trying to work things out with a friend of mine, who is a local independent publisher, to have her give a presentation on e-book publishing. We think that will draw a lot of folks just to hear the presentation.
   Like I said in the earlier post, the space only costs us $25 a month, so between the five of us, that's only $5 each. Not a bad deal for getting our books out in front of the thousands of people who visit the mall every month.
   Sickness and pain the last couple of months has severely hampered my writing efforts, but I still hope to have my epic fantasy published in time for our book signing. Since I've had a number of folks ask me about the next novella in the series I started, I began writing the second book for that also. It would be great if I can get both done in time, but I'm not holding my breath.
   The picture is of our display in the mall. It sits just inside the door, and can be seen by those walking by.
   Thanks for reading!