Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting Published Wrap Up

If your Dream-Not-Come-True is to get published, you now have several avenues to get there. To a large degree, it is up to you to seek out ways to make your dreams come true. Are you looking for ways or simply accepting that the time has passed? I'm the first one to tell you if you want to see your dreams come to fruition, you must take action, do something.

I'm confident that I've given you the resources (check out the archives for Publsihing Syndicates web site) and numerous ideas to get published, now it's up to you for make it happen!

On Wednesday we will start a new DNCT. If you want me to address yours, send it to me! In the meantime, take the Orange Roads and enjoy the journey...there is no destination!

Friday, February 25, 2011

What Do You Think?

Has this month inspired you to find ways to get published? I hope so! I don't want to say it's not easy because I really feel that it is easy, but possibly it's not as easy to get to the top as you would like. Let's define the top as the place you see as your ultimate goal.

I say it all the time, if you are enjoying your time onCheck Spelling the Orange Roads, it won't seem like it took as long as you dreaded it would. In fact, you may find these treks off the beaten path more fun that you thought and doors you never knew were there, are now open for you.

Please let me know if you submit something for publication. I would love to post updates on all of your progress through the year. Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Articles, Newsletters and More!

One of the fastest ways to get published is to write content for newsletters for businesses and schools. My son's school does a weekly newsletter that provides updates on coming events not only for the school, but sometimes for the community as well. Real estate offices are also great businesses to reach out to; suggest that you provide them with a monthly calendar of events for your city or town. In addition to just providing a list of goings-on, write an introduction to the month, or a little known fact about your community and all it offers it's residents.

Something as simple as a list of community events could easily grow into a journalism job doing interviews with the chief of police or the Mayor. Wow! Look at that, we traveled down the newsletter road and wound up working as a journalist! Now that's Orange Road heaven, don't you think?

I personally enjoy writing articles because they are short, to the point, and an easy way to get my name out there. In fact, I started my writing life writing articles for businesses on how to implement and utilize in-house voice mail systems. Those articles turned into pieces for end users and those turned into a monthly advice column for a trade publication. That was back in 1993-1994, do you remember when it was a big deal for a business to have a voice mail system? Today it's a big deal for a business to have a live body answer the phone!

I digress. My point is if you want to write and be published, find ways to do that whether it be newsletters for businesses, articles for industry specific publications or publishing community events. One thing always leads to another and hopefully for you, it's another writing gig!

Monday, February 21, 2011

From Kevin P.

Dear Kathy,

I completely get what you mean about the Orange Roads and maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but I think I can write a great book without doing all kinds of other "little" writing projects. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but my book idea is really great. I honestly feel like it's just a matter of getting it in the right hands. You even posted it yourself telling us we have to believe in our work and toot our own horns.

Kevin P.

Kevin might be right, he may have a book that is accepted on the first submission. There are names for things like that; a hole in one, that's the name for it in golf. Winning a lottery jackpot playing just one dollar. I'm sure you can think of plenty one-in-a-million examples as well.

Kevin, I would say that doing what you love and believe in is paramount to success. Write your best selling book and submit the manuscript. In the meantime, I know you are doing all kinds of "little" writing projects because writers write. Whether it's a blog, a story, a book, or a newsletter for your business, writers write.

I stand behind my posts on this subject as some of the ways to get published. I am learning more every day and loving it. I can't stress enough the importance of proper English and grammar and having someone who knows as much as (or more than) you do to edit your work. I wish you the best and hope you will let me know when you get that "Yes!" and your book is available for me to purchase. Happy writing!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Subscribe and Submit

If you don't already, subscribe to writers periodicals such as Writer's Digest. There are many to choose from just put your google skills to work or visit your local library. With the major presence the Internet has in our lives, the library seems to fall by the wayside. It's a great place to do research both on line and by browsing rows and rows of the written word.

Once you peruse the magazines, digests, and trade magazines (the ones specific to your areas of expertise), see where to contact them and submit your work. In my experience, the trade magazines are easier to break into when you have credentials. I started writing for a telecommunications publication when I was selling and scripting in-house voice mail systems for businesses. I wrote a monthly column, sort of the Dear Abby of phone systems!

Once you find out where to submit, get to work. Submit your writing and don't take no for an answer. I've found that I don't get told no, I just don't hear anything at all. I still submit work to the national magazines and though I've not landed that prime real estate yet, I will keep trying.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To Promote or Not Promote...That is the Question

This is one of many amazing examples of what you will find by subscribing to Publishing Syndicates Wow Principles Newsletter. I can't stress enough how much great information these two make available to us writers every month. Dahlynn encouraged me to scroll through the archives to look for some of the information about getting published that may not be obvious. It wasn't long before hours had passed and I was reminded what a wealth of knowledge their archives are. Here is just one article from March of 2007. I couldn't bear to paraphrase so I am publishing this piece in its entirety (with permission, of course!). Visit Publishing Syndicate and get a whole lot more where this came from!

To Promote or Not Promote...That is the Question

Dahlynn McKowen, March 2007

During fall 2005, I was given just a few months to rewrite Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul. During that time, I approached sixty of the nation’s top CEOs and entrepreneurs, convincing nearly all of them to submit their start-up stories for this title. Many amazing entrepreneurs joined me, from Jim McCann of 1-800-flowers to Cookie Lee of Cookie Lee Designs to Tom Chappell of Tom’s of Maine.

Due to my requirement of a six-week or less turnaround on new copy,one person who couldn’t join me was Donald Trump. I asked for a story from him on “branding” oneself, which, regardless if you care for him or not (and I happen to like him), “The Donald” is the master of branding a name. In his book Trump: How to Get Rich (Random House, 2004), Trump talks about modesty and the importance of “tooting your own horn.” From Trump’s book: “…you better learn to speak up and announce your significant accomplishments to the world—nobody else will.”

This phrase has stuck with me since. Between Ken and myself, I’m the extrovert of the duo and marketing and media savvy is my forte. Though few people promote themselves in the grandiose way Trump mentions in his book, it’s important that you toot your own horn, and TOOT IT AS LOUD AND AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN!

How many times do you promote your accomplishments related to your writing? Selfpromotion is one of the primary keys to becoming a successful writer, and take it from us, you’re on your own when it comes to promotion; if you’re working with a publisher, your book will be the “flavor of the month” for the marketing department until their next book comes along. And if you’re self-published, marketing is a must.

It’s interesting to me that so many writers are afraid to promote their work. About a year ago, I was at a local children’s book writing event. As the open discussion ensued about myriad writing-related topics one woman sitting in the back row sheepishly asked, “I’m too scared to talk to the media about my children’s book. Isn’t that a publisher’s job?” What surprised me was that the majority of the audience shook their heads in agreement. I offered several ideas and resources to her on self-promotion, but she still felt that it was a publisher’s responsibility. My jaded, but polite, response was that if she and her nodding audience allies were not interested in promoting themselves and their accomplishments, they should plan on only producing enough copies of their books to give away as “legacy” gifts to family and friends, as sales were likely not a part of their futures.

I realize my response was a bit crass, but it was sheer reality. If you’re not willing to promote your work—in essence, yourself—then why should the media, a publisher or any other marketing entity tied to your book want to promote it? And think about this; non-promotion is the kiss of death for those who self-publish their titles, as they don’t have publishers to help. For those of us tied to publishers, non-promotion equals no royalties, and thus, no earned income.

Here’s a great example of tooting one’s horn; our book Best of California’s Missions, Mansions and Museums is a finalist in ForeWord Magazine’s 2007 “Book of the Year” Award, travel category. Being a finalist is a huge deal, let alone winning the category, so we instantly started promoting this accomplishment. This week alone, we had five public appearances, including a regional National Public Radio (NPR) interview, all based off this one nomination. And we’re booking future speaking engagements/sales opportunities based on our NPR interview.

Again, book promotion is a huge part of becoming a successful writer. This topic is so vast that we’re creating a Wow Principle’s e-booklet on the subject. Watch for it, but in the meantime, get out there and promote yourself…and your work!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blogging - Let's Talk About It - Part II

Blogging is certainly one way to be published immediately, but there's other reasons to blog. Let's talk about the dream of being a New York best selling author. For a publisher to buy your book, they need to know they can promote it and you. This means you have to be able to hold your own and do interviews on television and radio, book signings in every kind of environment and more. When I say hold your own, I mean be articulate, be able to answer questions in a conversational way, and be good with people from all walks of life. All of this is true if you self publish your book in which case, this kind of promotion is much more difficult. Most writers believe their work will sell itself, that may be true, but you have to get enough influential people to read it first before it has an opportunity to sell itself. Truth be told, you have to have a great book and be a dynamic individual.

You can use your blog to build your author platform. If you are reading blogs and blogging, it's highly likely you are using social media sites such as facebook and twitter. Utilizing these free resources to connect with thousands of people and drive traffic to your blog will hopefully create a following of people who will be anxiously waiting to buy your book as soon as it's published. A publisher will look at this as a proactive approach on your part and it will also give them a real sense of your ability to write, your style, how you organize content and how many people think you have something worthwhile to say.

This is just one of the reasons to blog. There are bloggers out there who understand the power of blogging and make money by selling ads on their blogs. Can you imagine it, making a steady monthly income by doing what you love, writing? It's happening and to the tune of five figures monthly for some. Just like any business, you must understand all avenues to generating income, what would be expected of you personally, and how equipped are you to meet those requirements. If you didn't think blogging was a worthwhile use of your time, I would ask you to reconsider.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Meet The McKowen's

There are many aspects to making your living as a writer and I want to introduce you Ken and Dahlynn McKowen.

Ken and Dahlynn are Authors having many tittles to their credit (see below). Not only do they write for a living, but they provide writers with wonderful information about how to get published, where to find writing opportunities, and so many more pertinent topics. You can subscribe to their monthly Wow Principles Newsletter here. Not only can you sign up to get their monthly e-mail, but you can even go back through the past issues dating all the way back to 2005.

On a very personal note, Ken and Dahlynn have been my dear friends for years, too many to mention without making us all feel old! I wouldn't be the writer I am today without their advice, guidance, and editing. Ken and Dahlynn are the real deal and if you want to get published, don't wait, get over to their site, grab a snack and read, read, read! Better yet, write, write, write!

Find Ken and Dahlynn on Facebook and follow them on Twitter: @WineWherever.

The Formal Scoop on the McKowens:

Together, Dahlynn and Ken McKowen have 50-plus years of professional writing, editing, publication, marketing and public relations experience. Full-time authors and travel writers, when they reached more than 2,000 articles, stories, and photographs published, they stopped counting!

The McKowens have been consultants and coauthors for Chicken Soup for the Soul for the last ten years, where they collaborated with series founders Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen on several books such as Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul; Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause; Chicken Soup for the Fisherman’s Soul; and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating Brothers and Sisters. They have also edited and ghostcreated many more Chicken books for this company.

For acclaimed outdoor publisher Wilderness Press, the McKowen’s books include national award-winner Best of California’s Missions, Mansions and Museum; Best of Oregon and Washington’s Mansions, Museums and More; and The Wine-Oh! Guide to California’s Sierra Foothills. They are currently completing the first book of their new series, Wine Wherever: In California's Mid-Coast and Inland Region, and are actively researching wineries for Wine Wherever: In California's Paso Robles Region, the second book in the Wine Wherever series. If that's not enough, they are also the creators of 13 iPhone mobile winery-destinational journaling apps under the Wine Wherever brand.

The McKowens are the owners of Publishing Syndicate, which publishes travel books and also provides writing and editing services for other publishers. The duo ghostwrites for CEOs and founders of some of the nation’s biggest companies, and have even ghostwritten for a former President and a few California governors and elected officials.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Soup For The Soul

I mention this anthology because it is Chicken Soup for the Soul! My first nationally published story was in Chicken Soup for The Mother and Son Soul. I've gone on to submit and be published in four other CS books. Most CS stories come from "new" writers but you have to be good to be selected. Only ten percent of stories submitted make the first cut and that's out of thousands of stories submitted. There is an amount of editing help that will be provided to help you, but that depends on who the Co-Author is and if you have a really great story.

I bring up CS for several reasons. First and foremost, anthology series are a great place to submit your work and CS always has titles they are accepting stories for. Visit their website to see if you have something to contribute. It's great practice not only writing, but learning the process of story submission and hopefully selection. Additionally, read the CS history, it's a great story of an idea grown to world wide success!

I'm going to post Blogging: Part II and also introduce you to some writer friends of mine who will provide you with so many resources for opportunities to write. It may not be where you want to be ultimately, but we are talking about Orange Roads, getting the journey under way!

I started my writing career with a column in an industry newsletter - I was the Dear Abby of the new era voice mail systems being sold to large corporations. I've also written a weekly e-mail column since 1999 called The Monday Motivator - every Monday, and numerous other books, copy for web sites, and more.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blogging - Let's Talk About It - Part I

Blogging or as it was originally called - a Weblog, started back in 1997. Think about this for a minute, the world wide web (www) was available to people in late 1994 and I learned of it the summer of 1995. Blogging started darn near as soon as people realized the power of the Internet.
I did some research and liked this piece on the history of blogging. Part of why I like it is because of when it was written, back in September of 2000. It was written not long after the time it references. I can't speak to the accuracy of the post, but the time lines add up. It doesn't really matter beyond being interesting, it just gives you some idea of where blogging started and why if you want to be a writer, you may want to write a blog.

If you want to be published, this is Orange Road number one - one way to be published this very minute. You can visit a site like or and create a blog in literally 10 or 15 minutes. Think of a title, what you want to write about and start! If you've not already created a blog, let me give you one piece of advice - give some thought to your first post and write it with intention. The reason I say this is because as the months and years pass, people will find your blog and they will want to know why you started it. Your first post is your introduction to those who don't know you. If you're five years in, someone should be able to go to your first post and see why it is you started writing your blog.

I will talk more about how to use your blog for other avenues of being published but for now, think about it. If you have one, how often are you posting? Is it public or private? Why do you write it and who reads it? These are all questions that will be part of your journey. In my next post I will talk about how a blog can benefit you and even make you money. Stay tuned and remember, the best way to be a good writer is to write, write, read, write, read, and write some more!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Grammar And Punctuation Count!

No matter if you want to publish yourself with a blog just for family or dream of one day being a New York Times best selling author, you have to know how to write. It's not simply knowing how to spell and put sentences together, you need to understand punctuation and grammar, current writing styles, and by all means, have someone edit your work.

Not all of you may know what I mean by current writing styles. An example of this would be for those of us who learned to type on a type writer. We were taught to put two spaces after a period to start the new sentence. This was because on a type writer all letter spacing was the same regardless of if you were typing an "i" or an "M." With word processing this two spaces at the end of a sentence isn't necessary. There are several style resources but in the United States, most most non-journalism writing follows The Chicago Manual of Style. C By all means, research this for yourself as it is certain that you will at some point reference a Style Guide if you want to be an Author.

Writing is a skill and a talent. Anyone with a basic education can write, but that doesn't mean they can write well. The best way to learn to write well is to read and write a lot -- a whole lot! Have someone who writes well edit your work and if you don't have someone in your life who can do a good job, pay for editing services. Getting your paper back with corrections is a great way to improve your skill.

Writing is like any other profession, you must have the tools to do the job and in this case, it's a strong understanding of the language you are writing in. Add your style and tell your story, there are many Orange Roads to travel as a writer or Author!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I Want To Get Published!

This dream came to me from several different people and each one of them had a different idea about what making their idea of this dream come true would mean. For Robin, it is to freelance for national magazines, and for Kevin, it's to have a New York Times Bestseller (non fiction is his genre). For me, I want my Intentional Winning in Life anthology published on the same scale as the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. That's not too much to ask now is it?

In today's day and age, being published is as easy as creating a blog (more details on the how-to of that in a separate post), but many don't see blogging as truly being published. That's neither here nor there, this month we are going to look at all the ways Robin, Kevin, you, and I can make our writing dreams come true. Whether it's to write a blog to simply document your life or to pen a phenomenal work of literary art, you can make it happen. Who knows, with lots of hard work and a little bit of luck, you just might make it all the way to number one on the New York Times bestseller list!