Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Radio Interviews

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

file000734677522Yesterday morning, I had a great phone interview with writer and radio show host Sharon Vander Meer on KFUN in New Mexico, where I was a call-in guest. Basically, with a call-in spot on a radio show, you’re given a set time to call and a special number to phone in on. Or, sometimes, the station calls you.

I seem to have this sort of Radio Interview Curse. Apparently, I must have at least one of my children in the house when I’m on the radio. :) It’s either summer vacation, a snow day where school is canceled, or else….like yesterday…I’ve got a child home, sick.

Here’s a tip for parents who do interviews while the kids are home: explain everything. Explain that a radio interview means that you will be on the phone (that was a source of some confusion in years past), that they only need to interrupt you if it’s a true emergency (and clarify what a true emergency is), and explain that if the dog starts unexpectedly barking, to put her out in the backyard. Trust me. It’s better to be over-prepared. Put a sticky note on your closed door to remind them you’re on the radio/on the phone…they’ll forget.

I’ve also done an in-person radio interview. In some ways, the in-person radio interview was easier. On the phone, I’m always listening hard for any clues that I need to shush up and move on to the next subject. When you’re face to face with your radio interviewer, you get visual clues to wrap up a particular train of thought. (Hurry up motions).

A few tips for doing radio:

  • Use your land line and don’t use your speaker phone or a headset.
  • Turn call-waiting off
  • Know the station’s call letters and use them in the interview.
  • Make sure you know the demographic for the station.
  • Have water nearby.
  • Jot down your interviewer’s name and use it. Silence your cell phone.
  • Make notes for yourself—even with your website info in case you suddenly draw a complete blank under pressure.
  • Be prepared to sum up your book in a couple of sentences.
  • Know how long the interview will last so your answers won’t be too long or too short.
  • Sharon was kind enough to send me some questions in advance, which really does make life easier. The interview went really well…and there were no interruptions from my daughter, who’s happily now on the mend.

    Have you done radio or podcast interviews? Have any other tips?

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    Tips for Writer’s Conferences

    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

    Although it’s tough for me to get away, I really enjoy going to writer’s conferences. I love the chance to see other writers in person, since most of my interaction is online.

    Saturday, I went to the Book ‘Em conference in Lumberton, NC. It was a great event--well-organized and well-attended.

    Benefits of conferences:

    Meeting readers and meeting other writers.

    Meeting formerly-virtual friends. I loved meeting L. Diane Wolfe, who I’ve known for years online…it was wonderful to finally meet her in person. (And she’s just as fun, vibrant, energetic, genuine, and nice as she seems online. Thanks to Diane’s husband for taking this picture of us.)

    Informative panels: I hear interesting perspectives on the publishing industry and the writing craft when I go to conferences.

    Connecting with industry professionals: Some writing conferences can be good places for unpublished writers to find agents and publishers. (Usually the larger ones…and you’ll need to make a reservation in advance for a formal pitch session.)


    Bring business cards. Because you’ll need them. (I forgot mine. Sigh.)

    If you’re published, know in advance how the book sales will be handled. Should you bring your own books? Will the venue be ordering books? Will you be handling the sales, yourself (in which case you need to bring change) or will there be a bookstore handling them?

    Keep your receipts for tax write-offs.

    Bring water with you if you’re on a panel.

    Pick your conferences carefully. Getting to conferences can be expensive, so I’d recommend finding conferences that are a good fit for what you write and aren’t too far away, geographically.

    Pace yourself. And wear comfortable shoes.

    Have you been to any conferences? What tips can you add?

    Sunday, February 26, 2012


    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraigtwitter_newbird_boxed_blueonwhite

    Below are the writing-related links I tweeted last week. The free Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine, designed by software engineer and writer Mike Fleming, makes all these links (now over 14,000) searchable. The WKB recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. WKB

    Sign up for the free monthly WKB newsletter for the web's best links and interviews:

    7 things 1 writer has learned from Stephen King: @victoriamixon

    Go to a Workshop? No Thanks: @geardrops

    Tips for a Successful Public Presentation: @WriteAngleBlog

    An explanation of speculative fiction: @theskypirate

    How Choreography Helps a Scene: @RavenRequiem13

    3 Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest Guilt Free:

    Crime fiction--ethical considerations for PIs regarding romance: @authorterryo

    Tips for Writing Heart-pounding Visceral Responses: @jhansenwrites

    Finding the Four B's of Your Character:

    Children's Writers: Waiting to Get Published: @Margo_L_Dill

    All about the front matter of your ebook: @JFBookman

    10 Steps to Writing: @elspethwrites

    When critique partners call you out: @JoshilynJackson for @junglereds

    Tips for Fearless Writing:

    Are You Making Your Characters (and Yourself) Look Stupid? @KMWeiland

    Finding Inspiration:

    5 Promises You Make to Your Reader: @Diymfa

    The What, Why and How of Tagging Books on Amazon: @keligwyn

    What to Do When Your Novel's Too Short: @janice_hardy

    How to Simplify Marketing Your Book to Save Time and Make More Sales:

    The Crucial Question You Must Ask in Your Opening Scene: @LiveWriteThrive

    Mining For Character Emotions: @SharlaWrites

    Please Don't Blog Your Book: 4 Reasons Why: @JaneFriedman

    Deep Worldbuilding and POV Scene Preparation: @JulietteWade

    Why You Should Care About Building an Email List:

    Pride and Prejudice and the Three Movements in Every Love Story: @write_practice

    Tips for writing horror: @nicolebasaraba

    Voices of Insecurity:

    Quick and Easy Tips for Learning More About Your Readers:

    Avoid giving characters similar names: @authorterryo

    Tips for promoting in the real world (instead of virtually): @spunkonastick for @StephenTremp

    Bloggers--learn assertiveness: @Rule17

    Freelancers--how to boost your confidence to increase income: @JulieBMack

    Learning your writing style: @mjcache

    Bust 4 Myths to Gain More Writing Time: @LyndaRYoung

    Stories don't need enhancements:

    "The book was great and the typos weren't very bad": @thefuturebook

    Ebook Pricing for Short Stories and Novellas? @goblinwriter

    Top 10 Songwriting Books:

    Writing Dialogue with Purpose: @Ava_Jae

    Quitting your day job & following your writing dreams: @thecreativepenn for @ollinmorales

    Amazon vs. Big Publishing: 800 lbs vs. 798 lbs:

    The 3 Layers of Story Engineering, Architecture, and Art: @storyfix

    Is bundling ebooks with print books a good idea?

    If you don't exist on the Internet do you exist at all? @JenTalty

    How Better Happens:

    Making Your Readers Giggle: @writerashley

    8 Simple Tips for Editing Your Own Work:

    How to Recover From a Social Media Hangover: @biggirlbranding

    6 Ways to Beat the Blogging Blahs: @jodyhedlund

    Learn to Love the Pitch: @blurbisaverb

    3 Steps to Overcoming 'Almost Done' Syndrome: @writeitsideways

    Quiet & enigmatic characters in crime fiction: @mkinberg

    When sleuths have to step on toes (including ones in their own agency) in crime fiction: @mkinberg

    5 Google+ Profile Mistakes to Fix: @galleycat

    6 Guest Post Tactics: @tomewer

    A Quiz on Parenthetical Punctuation:

    How to Use the "Save the Cat" Beat Sheet for Revisions: @jamigold

    5 Tips for Great Series Titles:

    Writer Beware on Publishers' Desk: @victoriastrauss

    On Being A Professional Songwriter: @usasong

    Is Perfectionism Stalling Your Productivity? @problogger

    How to be creative: @justinemusk

    Super Powers: 6 Things To Consider Before You Write Them In: @ajackwriting

    Breaking Grammar Rules: Sentence Fragments:

    Is your antagonist a problem and not a person? @janice_hardy

    5 top tools for promoting your book on Twitter: @Rule17 for @JFBookman

    10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to Any E-Publishing Service: @janefriedman

    When It's Time to Say Goodbye to Your Manuscript:

    What Indie Production Actually Costs: @deanwesleysmith

    Promoting Your YA Novel: @Kristi_Cook

    How to Draw Your Characters Out: @write_practice

    5 basic elements of every good story:

    Polyglot vs. Translator: Different Takes on Multilingualism: @michaelerard

    A Tale of Two Ebooks: @AlexisGrant for @Problogger

    Writing in the Digital Age: Connecting with Readers: The Stephen King Problem: @KellyMcClymer

    A refresher--subjunctive mood: @readingape

    Better Procrastination as a Writer:

    Screenwriting: Is the audience listening to your dialogue? @jacobkrueger

    5 Myths About eBooks Debunked: @ebooknewser

    Why Page Length for YA or MG Novel Is The Wrong Question:

    Fantasy writers--have a Magic System: @thomasaknight

    Why Hating Facebook Is Costing You Book Sales: @bubblecow

    Dealing with Difficult Blog Visitors: @annerallen

    Are We Grounded? Setting the Scene and Engaging the Reader: @janice_hardy

    Transform Your Writing Weakness into Strength: @angelaackerman

    Revise and Present: updating your ebook:

    90 Verbs Starting with "Ex-": @writing_tips

    Every Writer's Lament: @bookemdonna

    Are you waiting too long to market your book? @WiseLouise

    When writing, the trick is to breathe: @jcbaggott

    Tips for developing writing voice: @rebeccaberto

    Creating the image arc for your book:

    21 Ways to Kill Your Creativity: @MichaelMichalko

    6 Tips On Writing Plays For Kids: @chucksambuchino

    Eliminating Unnecessary Plot Complications:

    Key Story Elements: Lessons from Musical Theater: @AlexSokoloff

    Should you publish your novel to build your platform? @dirtywhitecandy

    A Writer's Guide to Punctuation: @KMWeiland

    A Quiz on Expletives: @writing_tips

    Smart & savvy look at industry news from the past week (including Amazon's latest dirty deeds): @Porter_Anderson

    Writing on the Ether features @jimchines @DonLinn @paulkbiba @nicovreeland @annerallen @LloydJassin @jasonashlock

    The rescue motif in crime fiction: @mkinberg

    The prodigal's return theme in crime fiction: @mkinberg

    Author blogging--linking for traffic: @JFBookman

    Twitter etiquette - careful with DMs: @nicolamorgan

    Transitions and Chapter Breaks:

    What the Publishing Industry Can Learn From Kodak: @rachellegardner

    Finding Extraordinary Writing in an Ordinary Life: @writeitsideways

    Afraid to Publish Your Work? Here's the Solution: @jeffgoins

    Making the Most of Your Writing Time: @calistataylor

    Tips for writing slice-of-life essays:

    7 Essential Tips for WordPress Bloggers:

    An agent on choosing a genre: @bookendsjessica

    Figuring out Your Character's True Desire: @katieganshert

    Do you have a creative block? Do you know what you're trying to accomplish? @tannerc

    The role of dystopian fiction in a changing world:

    Why Consistency Isn't Always A Good Thing: @ollinmorales

    The Aesthetics of Good and Evil in David Copperfield: @write_practice

    5 writing myths: @ava_jae

    4 Tools to Make Writers More Productive: @HowToWriteShop

    Mixed Feelings About Pinterest: The Latest Shiny New Thing: @NicholeBernier

    Who should take the blame for the publishing industry's troubles?

    Using Kickstarter to Fund Self-Publishing Projects: @goblinwriter

    Focus and the Distracted Writer:

    10 Experts Take on the Writer's Rulebook: @writersdigest

    The Writer's Ear: Hearing Prose, Poetry and Music: @JomCarroll for @WomenWriters

    Do You Really Need to Write Every Day? @writersdigest

    10 Ways To Get More Facebook Fans This Week: @authormedia

    Tips for becoming an editor: @noveleditor

    Why Foreign Rights are a Big Deal for Small Publishers: @pubperspectives

    Fixing the holes in our manuscripts:

    How to Use Anger to Fuel Your Writing (In a Positive Way): @krissybrady

    If we didn't procrastinate, we'd never accomplish anything: @misfitsmascara

    Out Of My Comfort Zone: Exposing the Dark Questions: @BTMargins

    How to Find Your Writing Voice: @JulieBMack

    The Life Cycle of Twitter: @JulietteWade

    Do you know your customer? @rachellegardner

    Adult vs YA dystopias - A Question of Hope: @Lenoreva

    25 Subordinating Conjunctions: @writing_tips

    Zealotry in Fiction: @fantasyfaction

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Writerly Insecurity & Pushing Ourselves Out of Comfort Zones

    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

    032Last weekend, I was in South Carolina for the Festival of the Arts in the town of Anderson.

    I’m originally from Anderson and Jane, one of the event organizers, called me last fall and invited me to attend. She explained that it wasn’t a signing or speaking gig, but more of an exhibit. The artists would be there to talk to attendees about their creative process, etc.

    The word “artist” gave me pause, although I frequently use it in reference to writers. This time, though…. “Who is going to be there?” I asked.

    “Sculptors, painters, photographers, quilters, woodworkers…” The list went on.

    I wasn’t sure. “I’m going to be the only writer there?”

    That was correct.

    I agreed to go, but remember feeling…well, a little insecure about it. Those other artists are artists! In every way.

    Time went by until about two weeks ago and the organizer called me again. “I’m in the process of setting up the tables for the event and wanted to go ahead and plan your exhibit. What kinds of things would you like to bring in?”

    I paused. “What are the other artists bringing in?”

    “Photography, maybe some woodwork they’re working on or a current canvas they’re in the process of painting.”

    I said, “Jane, all my stuff is going to look like clutter! In fact, it is clutter. It’s notebooks and Post-Its and scribbles. The stuff in the notebooks is going to sound absolutely crazy. Besides, most of the writing I do is on my laptop and that’s not going to be very interesting.”

    But she convinced me to send along what I had. I put together some of my books, some of my printed rough drafts that I’d marked up with revisions, an ARC of one of my books, and a few notebooks for past projects that had sticky notes scattered throughout and cryptic notes to myself.

    And it was clutter! Mine is the center, yellow table in the picture. Jane arranged it as best she could, but there’s only so much you can do with clutter. :)

    When I got to the festival last Saturday, I learned that I wasn’t the only attendee to have second thoughts or doubts. Jane told me that a large number of the artists she’d called had told her that they didn’t consider what they did art. Some did consider their creative efforts art, but they didn’t think it was good enough to display. Some were uncomfortable with anyone viewing their art, stating it had really just been done to please themselves.

    I’m fairly confident about some aspects of my writing now. I’m confident I can finish a book. I’m confident I can deliver what my editors are looking for (or, if not, that I can tweak it to make it work.) I’m confident that I can fix whatever disaster of a first draft that I write.

    But this just serves as a reminder that we’re never really over feeling insecure about what we do, especially in comparison to others’ efforts. And that apparently is true for other areas of the artistic community, too.

    Once the exhibition started, though, I think all the artists forgot their self-consciousness. That’s because our audience came in. And they were eager to see what we were doing, ask questions, and enjoy what we’d created.

    This makes me think that if we think less about what other artists or writers are accomplishing, less about our own fragile egos, and look toward our readers, we might have a shot of getting past our insecurities.

    How do you step outside your comfort zone as a writer? How do you battle insecurities?

    I'll be traveling again tomorrow, this time to the Book 'Em Conference in Lumberton, NC. I'm speaking on a panel at 2:00 there with my writing friend L. Diane Wolfe. Hope you'll come if you're in the area.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Eliminating Unnecessary Plot Complications

    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

    Hickory Smoked Homicide 2Penguin has asked me to write a fourth Memphis Barbeque book. It was great to hear that I’d have a reason to spend more time with the characters in that series.

    I also had an idea for something I wanted to do with the plot—I wanted to feature the huge Memphis in May festival that’s such a big event there every year.

    My protagonist and sleuth for the series is Lulu Taylor, who owns a barbeque restaurant. I decided to make Lulu a judge for the event. There are many different foods to judge at the festival—everything from slaw to sauce to the barbeque itself.

    I got deeper into the research on being a food judge. I realized there were different rules these judges have to follow to keep the competition fair. I saw that there was a good deal of training that went into being one. I felt, also, that this would be something I’d need to make sure I represented well in the book, since there are people in Memphis who read this series…and I wanted my information to be correct and not something that I changed for my own purposes.

    I could also tell that Lulu would be kept very busy as a judge.

    As I got farther into the book (this is one that I’m working on now), I realized I was making this mystery unnecessarily complex. And confusing. And, really, having Lulu be a judge was going to tie up a lot of her time and make her less available to investigate a murder.

    This wasn’t a book about judging barbeque competitions. This was a mystery. And my sleuth needed to solve the mystery, not pick the top baked bean winner.

    These were some of the questions I asked myself before I decided to demote Lulu from judgeship:

    Does this forward the plot? Is it necessary?

    Am I including research simply to show off how well I’ve researched?

    Will this complication confuse readers?

    Are there other, simpler ways to accomplish the same effect?

    What’s the basic reason I’m including this complication in the book?

    For me, I decided the whole point I’d made Lulu a judge was to put her on the scene at Memphis in May. But wouldn’t she already be there? Her best friends have a booth at the festival. It’s the biggest Memphis event of the year. And Lulu has two grandchildren begging for her to take them there.

    Why wouldn't she be there? The whole complication of Lulu being a judge just wasn’t needed. It only made the plot more convoluted for readers and tougher for me to write. And required a great deal of research. Do you ever notice, like me, that you’re making things complicated for both yourself and your readers? How do you simplify unnecessarily convoluted plotlines?

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Nice Bloggers Don't Get the Girl

    by Steven Lewis, @Rule17

    Author-profile-200x255Being raised English presented considerable disadvantages to me as a writer and a blogger. The greatest of them was the English pride in understatement and self-deprecation.

    Promoting my blog and my books has required me to re-educate myself. It hasn't been easy to unprogram a lifetime's teaching. Only the other day my wife took me aside after I was asked how sales of my new book Hot Silver - Riding the Indian Pacific were going.

    "I'm no Bill Bryson," I'd said.

    With a stern look she pointed out that I was number three in the Amazon bestseller list for my category. Why on earth didn't I tell people that, she asked. Well now I have and that's what I'm learning to do with my blog as well.

    Taleist runs under the slogan "Helping writers become published authors". It's true, that's what the site is about, but it seems wrong to shout about it. I was a long time before I put the tagline up.

    The truth is that nice bloggers don't get the reader. You have to talk about your virtues and strengths. You need to tell people what your site is good at because you can't count on them investing the energy in finding out themselves. You need to back yourself, to become your cheering section.

    Certainly word-of-mouth is crucial, especially people using their social networks to share your content. But you set the tone. Your self-belief leads others to believe in you.

    The trick is to find the line between confident and obnoxious. Whatever our cultural background there is a line between someone we admire for his or her self-confidence and someone whose arrogance grates. That line is in a different place for everyone so you're also going to have to grow a thick enough skin to cope with that.

    You won't be loved by everybody but it's better to loved passionately by a few than to be a source of indifference to many.

    Some of the things I've learned to do to promote myself assertively are:

    To have an elevator pitch. As well as "helping writers become self-published authors" Taleist is “well-regarded internationally by self-publishers”. Both these statements are true but previously I wouldn't have said them out loud, I'd have hoped someone else would say it or you'd find it out some other way. Having those phrases ready in the wings means I don't need as much mental energy to say them out loud when the opportunity arises. (Note I still won't say I'm helping authors or well-regarded.)

    To use testimonials. I'm lucky enough to have found some credible people who like what I'm doing. When they say something nice about the site/the books/me, I ask to use their words. That way I don't have to assert these things myself and it doesn't look like I'm the only person who thinks I'm useful or I write well.

    To ask for what I want. No reader is as committed as the reader who has subscribed to your blog by email. I work hard to build my subscriber list, including having a pop-up window that appears on the site and asks visitors to sign up. Many people instinctively recoil at the idea of these windows. Me, too! How obnoxious they are. But they work: I've had triple digit percentage growth in my mailing list since introducing them. If you don't ask, you don't get.

    I haven't got all the answers and there are things I still need to work on. I think Copyblogger is essential reading, for instance, but sometimes I find their tone relentless and their content contrived. Their success suggests, however, that they're onto something!

    Most of all, after writing for newspapers and magazines for 15 years and having seven books on Amazon, I'm surely entitled to say "writer" when asked what I do. So why can't I? Yet.

    Taleist-Logo-120pxSteven Lewis writes the Taleist self-publishing blog, where you can sign-up for his social media check-up, a free email course showing you easy ways to make sure you're using social media to maximum effect in promoting your books.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012


    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig


    Below are the writing-related links I tweeted last week. The free Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine, designed by software engineer and writer Mike Fleming, makes all these links (now over 14,000) searchable. The WKB recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

    imageSign up for the free monthly WKB newsletter for the web's best links and interviews:

    The best structure for your book: @originalimpulse

    Storytelling & Literary Techniques: @writersdigest

    Facebook danger, smutty & genre e-reading, library ebook lending update, ind. news & views from @Porter_Anderson:

    The problem with free: @kristenlambTX

    Do Blog Tours Sell Books? @roniloren

    Violence and Gore in Fantasy: @AmyJRoseDavis

    Tips for good book endings: @TaliaVance

    Love Story Elements: @AlexSokoloff

    5 ways to bust through your freelance fears: @stephauteri for @MichelleRafter

    A notice to publishers from a librarian: @TheLiB

    20 Pairs of One-Word and Two-Word Forms: @writing_tips

    Why people use ghostwriters: @storykim

    How Should Writers Research? All at Once or As Needed? @JodyHedlund

    Stay with the agent or the agency when your agent moves? @JordynRedwood

    The Role of Editors: A Writer's Viewpoint:

    How to Create and Host a Blog Carnival: @problogger

    What Makes You Feel Legitimate? @jamigold

    Digital textbooks challenge from US government: @JohnP_Education

    The Key to Distraction-Free Writing: @jeffgoins

    Set Up Your Author Pinterest Profile In 10 Easy Steps: @authormedia

    Quick Tips for Improving Your Blog's Navigation: @pushingsocial

    Dealing with chronological breaks in your story: @juliettewade

    What Non-Fiction Authors Can Teach Novelists: @KMWeiland

    Varying sentence length:

    7 Truths About Writers: @thecreativepenn

    Are online ads a good choice for authors? @Beth_Barany

    Editor Alan Rinzler with tips for writing genre crossovers:

    Critiques, Another Angle: @HeatherMcCorkle

    Are Tablet Computers Right For Writers? @ChandlerWrites

    The Nuts and Bolts of: Impressions, Clicks and Free: @JenTalty

    Ways writers jolt readers out of the story: @EdieMelson

    Artistic Freedom, Fame & Finishing, No Matter What: @Aristonian for @the99percent

    A Quiz on the Treatment of 75 Compound Words: @writing_tips

    The stories inside our story: @storyfix

    Print Books: The New Vanity Publishing? @thecreativepenn for @jfbookman

    Non-traditional ways to market: @LauraPauling

    Permanence, Capitalists, and Ebooks: @scholarlykitchn

    Using the Evil Overlord List to Write More Interesting Villains:

    Keeping Track of Character Knowledge: @Janice_Hardy

    Writing + baby = ? @thatleila

    Making time for : @jodicleghorn

    The Ins and Outs of Critique Groups: @loislavrisa

    4 Tips to Avoid Blogging Burnout: @krissybrady

    10 Ways to Improve Your Online "Likability Quotient": @KristenLambTX

    Amazon inheriting the Earth – how does this affect their authors? @behlerpublish

    An Agent Explores the Difference Between Young Adult And Middle Grade:

    Planting the Hook: Getting Readers Past the Opening Page: @janice_hardy

    2 views of video game writing:

    How to Effectively Create More Time to Write: @KrissyBrady

    A link roundup on and delivering speeches: @speechwriterguy

    Hulk Eat Bacon--The Effect of Mood-Altering Substances on the Creative Mind: @gripemaster

    75 Synonyms for "Hard": @writing_tips

    The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing a Book that Doesn't Suck: @jeffgoins

    Will Print Books Become Obsolete? @ava_jae

    Tips for headline writing: @JulieBMack

    Relief for the Writing Rules Obsessed: @keligwyn

    How to become a writer who matters: @krissybrady

    Tips for dealing with rejection:

    Make sure your book's setting isn't missing: @KMWeiland

    What should writers blog about? @annerallen

    Being a Success, Without Being a Bestseller: @DanBlank

    Prologues: please use responsibly: @dirtywhitecandy

    Links for locating book reviewers: @DebraPurdyKong

    How to Have a Successful KDP Select Campaign: @TweetTheBook

    Is Your Author Photo Sending the Right Message? @KMWeiland

    Tips for successful scene execution: @rebeccaberto

    Descriptions that pack a punch: @PBRWriter

    7 Tactics for a Successful Guest Post: @BlogTyrant

    When is it all right to call an agent? @rachellegardner

    Both Convergent and Divergent Thinking are Necessary for Creativity: @creativitypost

    4 Reasons It Pays For Songwriters To Be Patient: @cliffgoldmacher

    What's the Right Price for an E-Book?

    Make Your Own Luck In Social Media: @AlexisGrant for @thecreativepenn

    A quiz about missing connections in our writing: @writing_tips

    The importance of keeping in touch with our readers:

    Love means never having to say you're sorry (to your characters): @SouthrnWritrMag

    A New Approach–The Concept Critique: @KristenLambTX

    What a communications workshop can teach you about writing: @CAMorganti

    Creativity Tune-up: @bookemdonna

    What Moves You The Most Right Now? Go With It. @OllinMorales

    A publisher on social media:

    The benefits of not planning a world: @Mazarkis_W

    Why (not) tell the story in present tense? @juliettewade

    Are Sub Genres Digital Publishing's Secret Weapon? @ebooknewser

    Knowing What to Capitalize: @janice_hardy

    Ebook Pricing: Why 99 Cents Might Be a Mistake for You: @goblinwriter

    Promoting your book--what *not* to do: @BryanThomasS

    Reasons Why Some Books Never Sell: @robeagar for @writersdigest

    Why Being a Jack of All Trades Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: @jeffgoins

    Self-destructive characters in crime fiction: @mkinberg

    Happy Valentine's Day, Hogwarts Style: @HP4Writers

    10 Ways to Love a Writer: On Valentine's Day and Forever: @ainegreaney for @womenwriters

    Why Romances Are Valid Literature: @JodyHedlund

    A few tips for writers planning romantic evenings: @MistyMassey

    Literary Pick-up Lines for Valentine's Day: @galleycat

    10 Lies to Twist a Love Story: @CherylRWrites

    How To Write A Kissing Scene...Valentine Edition:

    Showing Valentine's Day Love to Writers:

    Feeling the Love:

    5 things 1 writer learned from Shirley Jackson: @victoriamixon

    Answers to writers' legal questions: @DIYmfa

    How to Overcome Writer's Block:

    Writing and the Ugly Duck Syndrome: @mooderino

    Writer Confidence—Too Much or Too Little: @pattyjansen for @BryanThomasS

    6 Tips for Creating a Blogged Book Manuscript: @NinaAmir

    Book Publishing and ISBNs … Do You Need Them? @mybookshepherd

    50 Synonyms for "Idea": @writing_tips

    The Most Important Part of the Creative Life: @jeffgoins

    7 Free E-Books for Writers: @janefriedman

    Writing Lessons from The Hunger Games: Stakes and Characterization: @4kidlit

    5 Reasons to Embrace the Brave New World: @rachellegardner

    6 Tips To Resuscitate a Dying Author Blog: @ChuckSambuchino

    Self-Publishing Is Easy (and Other Myths): @talliroland

    A list of great blogs for writers to follow: @robertleebrewer

    Making the Most of Endorsements: @MuseInks

    Book Covers: Are They Important in the Digital Age? @jodyhedlund

    "Speechtags are of the Devil," he said: @janice_hardy

    Why Agents Edit: @bookendsjessica

    One Size Fits Some: @eMergentPublish

    8 Quick Tips for Writing Bullet Points People Actually Want to Read: @copyblogger

    Who's Whose: More Help With Pronouns: @write_practice

    Confessions of a Newbie Independent Bookseller: @deadwhiteguys

    Fuel your writing by penning a manifesto for your book: @originalimpulse

    Tips for Finding inspiration:

    Suspended Perceptions: @Ravenrequiem13

    Fast Drafting: A Word Count Builder: @LynnetteLabelle

    9 truths about ebook publishing: @thefuturebook

    Comics to relieve writing stress--from @inkyelbows: & &

    It's tough for writers to escape from stories: @TamarMek

    The role of attorneys in crime fiction: @mkinberg

    A different take on copyright from author James Hutchings for @MasonCanyon:

    5 Hidden Benefits of Writing Slowly: @ollinmorales for @thecreativepenn

    How an agent evaluates book blogs: @SaraMegibow

    Crawling Into a Writer's Cave:

    How To Jumpstart Your Creative Career in a Bad Economy: @the99percent

    16 Misquoted Quotations: @writing_tips

    8 Reasons Your Self Published Novel Won't Sell: @ajackwriting

    8 Things That Surprised 1 Writer About Book Launches: @Julias__Child for @BlurbisaVerb

    Charles Dickens and the Facebook generation: @Salon

    6 Ways to Energize Your Writing Naturally: @ChrystleFiedler

    5 Tips on Plot Twists:

    Interesting discussion in the comments: Fiction and Social Justice ~ Can They Coexist? @PassiveVoiceBlg

    Defaulting to the Protagonist:

    To Champion Worthwhile Books: @rachellegardner

    Music that helps with the dreaming stage of a novel: @reclusivemuse for @byrozmorris

    Disdain for authors?, Amazon absence, relevance through SEO, & other thoughts from/on #ToC from @Porter_Anderson:

    Writing on the Ether by @Porter_Anderson features @SourceFabienne @KatMeyer @diannadilworth @bsandusky @cjoh @ikert

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Mystery Writer in the Family. Blogger in the House.

    by Anora McGaha, @anorawrites

    SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAMysteries scare me.

    As a girl, I started with Nancy Drew. Loved her curiosity. Her intelligence. Her courage.

    But I would get scared and have to close the book. Wait until another time.

    Read in the living room when others were around.

    Couldn't stay away long though. Always wanted to know what happened next.

    Balancing fear and curiosity. Curiosity and fear.

    Before grade school was done, I put mysteries aside. For decades. Just didn't need to risk the tension of fear.

    Then my aunt wrote a mystery. Her first book. And another, and another. She found what she called a "sleezy" publisher who paid mere pennies a sale, but it was a start. The Trouble With... series was launched.

    A novelist in my own family. Leading the way. I had to pick up a copy and risk the fear.

    Murder always gave me the creeps. It's horrific. In the news every day. Why would anyone want to take it on for leisure?

    C. Crespi, as she called herself at the time, wrote light mysteries. She named her characters after her pets. She drew from experiences in the big Apple. Wove her sweetheart into the tales.

    They were filled with fascinating details about life in the city, a quirky detective, with an international background like her own. Yes there was always a murder, but most of them weren't scary. The stories were delightful.

    Getting an agent was awful though. So many unanswered letters and emails.

    Disappointments. Until the one acceptance that made it all worthwhile.

    I was grateful to hear the reality of being a writer. Not sure I’d have the stomach for it.

    Camilla broke into the big time - selling a few books to a major publisher, Harper Collins. Hardbacks. Book tours. Publicist. The works.

    I was so proud. Excited too because she was paving the way for my own writing. Not by opening doors, but by doing it, simply showing it could be done.

    Her writing stepped up. She wrote a psychological thriller. The Price of Silence was literary fiction. A gripping story. Stirring. Questions that beg an answer from the first page. Catch a reader by the first paragraph and keep us wanting answers until the end, and, beyond.

    Having an agent for one book doesn't mean an agent for every book. The agony of the search. Finally one. A sale to Soho Press. Now publishing under her own name, Camilla Trinchieri.

    Then presto. Price sold across the ocean. In Italy, where her father, my grandfather was from. Where she had lived for years, and I too, for a few.

    Il prezzo del silenzio. A direct translation of her title. Marcos and Marcos press.

    Completely different cover. Picking up on the Chinese thread. A launch in Rome, Florence. Sardinia. Radio interviews. Magazine interviews.

    An American. A New Yorker. Translated into Italian. Fluent in Italian, half Italian really. Welcomed. Celebrated. A prodigal daughter.

    I had just discovered the power of blogging in 2008. Excited about what was possible, I launched a publicity blog for her.

    She wasn't into blogging. She stays focused on writing books. (A good focus for a writer, one I should take a lesson from.) But I scoured the Internet for everything I could find about her American edition, and then scoured the Italian Internet for everything in Italian about her. shows different results than

    Hours and hours of wonderful work, researching every result of thousands month after month. Discovering all kinds of reviews and comments. Discovering that her books were sold online in dozens of countries around the world. South Africa. India. England. Australia. Germany. France.

    After adding a Feedjit widget on the sidebar, we could see that visitors were landing on the blog from all over the world. Whether or not any books were sold, people were visiting, and the posts were a wonderful public record of all her events and all the reviews she’d received.

    Mysteries are still not my cup of tea. Too scary, still. But I know this much. Every book could take a lesson from the genre. Hook your reader with intrigue from the start, tantalize with unanswered questions, leave subtle clues that sneak up and surprise us, and leave us dying to know more.

    FrontCoverPublished-smallAnora McGaha is a poet, non-fiction writer, author of Social Media for Business and personal essays in three anthologies. She is the editor of Women Writers, Women Books at @anorawrites is her writing handle on Twitter, and @womenwriters is the handle for her online literary magazine for women writers.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    6 Ways to Energize Your Writing Naturally—by Chrystle Fiedler

    by Chrystle Fiedler, @ChrystleFiedler

    9781451643602It's fun to take a break from writing and visit Elizabeth on her blog! Thanks Elizabeth! I thought it would be fun to write about natural remedies since my new book Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery features a holistic doctor who dispenses natural cures. I also thought that readers might be interested in natural ways to boost energy when it comes to writing.

    I don’t know about you ut the best time for me to be productive and hopefully brilliant! is in the morning from 9 to noon. But once I have lunch, I feel less energetic. However, if I’m under a deadline I need to power through less productive times and write throughout the day. That’s when I turn to my favorite natural remedy – coffee! I buy mine from 7-11 because home brewed just isn’t strong enough.

    I interviewed a doctor at Harvard Medical School years ago for an article and he told me that coffee at 7-11 and Dunkin’ Donuts is 8 times as strong has home brewed! Not only does coffee give me a much needed pick-me-up, I’ve found it also boosts my mood (recent research shows that coffee can help with mild depression) and helps me see things more clearly. In addition, these natural cures can make you more alert and focused, with writing or whatever you need to do!

    1. Sip small amounts of chilled water every 30 minutes. Studies show that when you consume small amounts of chilled water every 20-30 minutes during the day, it sends a clear and immediate signal to your brain to increase alertness and energy.

    2. Smell peppermint. According to a study in the North American Journal of Psychology drivers had more energy when exposed to this scent. Peppermint increases alertness and decreases fatigue. Chew a nice strong peppermint gum or peppermint mints while you write or drive to decrease fatigue and increase alertness.

    3. Use acupressure on your outer ears. Applying pressure to acupressure points all along the outer ear helps to clear the head, gets rid of dull pain above the neck and charges up your entire energy system. Just take your thumb and first finger and go up and down the entire outer ear two or three times and give it a good brisk rubbing.

    4. Drink green tea. Green tea has some energizing caffeine, but it also contains theanine, an amino acid that has a stress-reducing effect on your brain. It calms you while giving you mental clarity, leaving your mind clear and sharp and alert.

    5. Inhale Eucalyptus or spearmint essential oil. The nose is the only part of your brain that extends to the outer environment is your sense of smell so it’s very charged. Volatile oils such as eucalyptus or spearmint stimulate a part of your brain that triggers alertness. For a natural pick-me-up place a few drops of eucalyptus or spearmint essential oil on a tissue and inhale deeply.

    6. Eat Dark Chocolate. Although it’s weaker than caffeine, the chemical theobromine in chocolate is a mild stimulant. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, (PEA) which is a feel good mood elevator. Choose a high quality, imported dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa content. It has less sugar and its rich flavor will satisfy you with less. Aim for 1 ounce of dark chocolate a few times a week.

    What is your writing routine?

    9781451643602About Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery:

    Dr. Willow McQuade, N.D., a twenty-eight-year-old naturopathic doctor specializing in natural remedies, has decided to take sabbatical and visit her Aunt Claire, the owner of Nature’s Way Market and Cafe in idyllic Greenport, Long Island. But the idea of rest and relaxation is quickly forgotten when Willow arrives from a morning meditative walk to discover her Aunt Claire dead in the store, a strange almond-like smell emanating from her mouth and a bottle of flower essences by her side.

    Despite her Zen nature and penchant for yoga, Aunt Claire had a knack for getting into confrontations with folks. An activist, she held weekly meetings for different causes every week in the store. The police want to believe the death is accidental—but Willow thinks she may have been poisoned. Things get worse when Aunt Claire’s valuable recipe for a new natural age-defying formula, Fresh Face, is stolen during a store break-in, and an attempt is made on Willow’s life. Desperate for a way out of the mess, she turns to a handsome young cop Jackson Spade. Together the two set about solving the case the natural way—through a combination of hard work, common sense, and a dose of luck.

    Praise for Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery:

    “With a terrific premise and an interesting topic, Fiedler’s debut shows promise.” - Library Journal

    “An engaging investigative thriller…an enjoyable whodunit.” The Mystery Gazette

    Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery is available for pre-order now and on sale February 21st . To order please visit

    Chrystle Fiedler and Wallander her Detective Dachshund _1Chrystle Fiedler is the author of DEATH DROPS: A NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY (Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster) which will be published on February 21st 2012. I’m also the author of the non-fiction title THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO NATURAL REMEDIES (Alpha, 2009), co-author of BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! COOKBOOK (Fairwinds Press, 2012) and THE COUNTRY ALMANAC OF HOME REMEDIES (Fairwinds, 2011). Chrystle's magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in many national publications including Better Homes and Gardens, Natural Health, Vegetarian Times and Remedy.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry (to Your Characters)

    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

    file7031236446409Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  Today I’m over at the Southern Writer’s Magazine blog with a post on torturing our characters…for their own good. 

    Hope you’ll be able to pop by.   Have a great Valentine’s Day!

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Keeping in Touch with Readers

    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

    file2431249302317Hope you’ll join me today over at A Good Blog is Hard to Find. I’m on the rotation for this blog of Southern-US writers and my topic today is keeping in touch with our readers (or future readers)—why it’s important and basic ways to open up the lines of communication.

    Sunday, February 12, 2012


    by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

    Twitter2Below are the writing-related links I tweeted last week. The free Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine, designed by software engineer and writer Mike Fleming, makes all these links (now over 12,000) searchable. The WKB recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

    imageSign up for the free monthly WKB newsletter for the web's best links and interviews:

    Midpoint, & Second, Third Plot Points: @rebeccaberto

    New Facebook data: Be topical, ask questions, and tell jokes to win audience: @niemanlab

    The problem with using dialogue to dump backstory: @theresastevens

    A post with some guidance on copywriting rates: @MichelleRafter

    The importance of opening up a vein when we write: @sarahahoyt

    5 Attitudes Toward Publishing You Should Avoid: @JaneFriedman

    The best writing advice you'll never get: @ejcop for @junglereds

    Ebooks--are we still in the Stone Age? @jfbookman

    When you want to stray from your current manuscript: @Mommy_Authors

    Art History Through Sci Fi-Colored Glasses: @IreneGallo

    The importance of building readership and maintaining the relationship: @KristineRusch

    Freelance Writing 101: Overcoming Where-do-I-begin-itis: @krissybrady

    Before and After: Reveal Character:

    Why a Book Editor Becomes a Literary Agent: @oliviasnaije

    A checklist for novelists:

    What Do You Love About Your Characters? @mooderino

    A checklist for self-publishing: @goblinwriter

    One Author's First Month in KDP Select: @victoriastrauss

    When promoting, remember not to trivialize your story: @behlerpublish

    Some agencies wanting a 15% commission on self-pubbed books? @theresastevens

    Outlining your novel: a method:

    A scene checklist: @janice_hardy

    The DNA of a Book's Beginning: @BretBallou

    Desensitizing your inner censor: @eMergentPublish

    Top 5 Tips Writers Can Learn From Reality TV:

    4 ways your protagonist can learn the truth: @jammer0501

    Learning the Writing Craft--of Magicians, Wizards, and Apprenticeships: @gary_author for @jhansenwrites

    Gaining Something From Fairy Tales and Mythology: @greyhausagency

    25 Reasons Why Google Hates Your Blog: @problogger

    Self-Editing: Back to Basics, Part 2: @authorandeditor for @DavidGaughran

    Character Development: Fear: @ava_jae

    Seth Godin's thoughts on beating writer's block:

    An agent with a reminder about keeping it professional on social media: @literaticat

    Making time to write:

    3 Steps to Freedom–Grab Hold of Your Brilliant Future: @KristenLambTX

    Tips to Make Selling Your Fiction a Reality: @robeagar

    100 Words for Facial Expressions: @writing_tips

    Novel Plotting Worksheets: @AnnieNeugebauer

    How To Sell 130,000 Books Without A Publisher: @thecreativepenn

    Wanting to have your book published? A beginner's guide: @janefriedman

    Heightening the Tension and Emotion in Your Scenes: @janice_hardy

    How 1 writer tripled her daily word count with Google+: @phoebenorth

    How to Get Out of Your Own Way: The Secret to Becoming a Successful Writer: @annerallen

    7 Tools for Tracking Ebook Sales: @PYOEbooks

    The empty world – is your novel eerily deserted? @dirtywhitecandy

    Watermarking ebooks instead of using DRM: @matteoberlucchi

    Create An Inner Dialogue Within your Hero, and Your Villain: @storyfix

    10 Types of Wordplay: @writing_tips

    Why 1 writer hates grammar Nazis...but is one: @KMWeiland

    Tips for instant networking: @MrBuzzFactor

    YA writers--know today's schools: @StevenPiziks

    Tips for dealing with Sock-Puppet Cyber Bullies:

    Gender Issues In Publishing. Using Initials As A Female Thriller Writer: @thecreativepenn

    When Your Critique Partner's Career is on the Move and Yours is Standing Still: @AdriennGiordano

    All about pen names: @deanwesleysmith

    All the links I shared on Twitter last week: htp://

    Your Book Tour: Seize the Opportunity to be Memorable: @RCchrps

    About book tagging: @judy_croome for @JFBookman

    How to start building your platform: @chrisbrogan

    Writing a 1-2 punch at the end of your story (using a middle grade book as an example): @laurapauling

    Handling changes in the publishing ind: @ericavetsch

    4 Ways to Find the Right Freelance Editor: @cslakin for @janefriedman

    Crafting Your 90-Second Pitch: @marcykennedy

    Think Backward to Write Meaningful Metaphors: @serbaughman

    A look at agents' quick impressions on queries: @sierragodfrey

    'Social' media: What isn't in a name: @PorterAnderson

    Use strong nouns: @janice_hardy

    Imagining Multiple Platforms: @Kid_Lit

    Reverse Outlining: @KMWeiland for @angelaackerman

    Time for publishers to get (even more) social (a look at Google+): @thefuturebook

    Using projection/anticipation to improve your manuscript: @juliettewade

    Writing is More than the Writing: @KristenLambTX

    10 habits for a positive workshop experience: @CAMorganti

    Links to help create a book trailer:

    Truth is stranger than fiction--

    Working with images for more emotion:

    The Two Most Important Things About Writing a Book: @bookemdona

    Exercising for writers:

    Infringement, Fair Use and Derivative Works: @diymfa

    How To Develop a Subplot: @ClaireAshgrove for @roniloren

    Tips for author photos:

    Scene execution @rebeccaberto

    Scriptwriting: The Power of the First and Last Image: @jacobkrueger

    7 things 1 writer has learned from Stephen King: @victoriamixon

    What Can We Learn from JA Konrath's $140,000 E-Publishing Sales Month? @goblinwriter

    The art of being an introvert creative (forced to cope with social media): @justinemusk

    Why Every Entrepreneur Should Self-Publish a Book: @jaltucher for @techcrunch

    Pros & cons of social media for writers: & @JulieBMack

    Go to a Workshop? No Thanks: @geardrops

    No Website: The Biggest Mistake Most Writers Make: @seanplatt

    Author anxiety: @Ravenrequiem13

    What to Do When Your Writing's Worst Enemy Is You: @krissybrady

    Effective openings for your book:

    Superhero stories: Creative Ways to Use Supersenses:

    A Quiz About Misplaced Modifiers: @writing_tips

    Setting: It's in the Details: @yaHighway

    Author blogging 101--platforms: @JFbookman

    10 Tips to Avoid Clich├ęs in Writing:

    Narrative Tense—Right Now or Way Back Then: @noveleditor

    3 Numbers That Matter to Your Platform: @JaneFriedman

    Drawing on Literary Traditions: "The Hunger Games" and "The Maze Runner" as Case Studies:

    Pitching Is A Job Interview: @greyhausagency

    Will Only Those Who Shout the Loudest Be Heard? @JodyHedlund

    DRM, "social DRM," and the madness of publishers: @doctorow

    Never Enough Conflict: @mistymassey

    Advantages of a small press: @aliciarasley for @HP4Writers

    5 techniques for writing poetry: @writersdigest

    Changes in the crime fiction genre: @mkinberg

    More changes in the crime fiction genre over the years: @mkinberg

    Writing and a busy life? 4 tips for making it work: @WomenWriters

    Keys to a Reasonable Blog Schedule: @EdieMelson

    Ways to View Your Manuscript with Fresh Eyes @CherylRWrites

    Facebook danger, smutty & genre e-reading, library ebook lending update, ind. news & views from @Porter_Anderson:

    Writing on the Ether's @Porter_Anderson features @AndrewRichard @RebeccaBricker @philipdsjones @ScottDAnthony

    The Pacing Triad:

    Facing (and Writing) the 2nd Novel: @BTMargins

    Prepare 5 articles when you submit 1: @GLeeBurgett

    10 Tips for Submitting Short Stories: @writersdigest

    Tips for a Successful Public Presentation: @WriteAngleBlog

    Visible Plot Goal Gets a Twist: @LiveWriteThrive

    Chinese Element Personality Types for Writing: @FaeRowen

    An explanation of speculative fiction: @theskypirate

    Don't pick typefaces and sizes strictly "by the numbers": @jfbookman

    Differentiating Your Blog and Your Writing: @julien for @NinaAmir

    50 Musical Terms Used in Nonmusical Senses: @writing_tips

    The Fictional Family: No character is an island:

    Preparing for a writers conference--the pitch: @Bob_Mayer

    Tortured Language – Discerning Ebook Rights in Ancient Publishing Contracts: @PassiveVoiceBlg

    Forensic Evidence of Motive, Means, and Opportunity: @AuthorTomAdair

    Research vs. Observation: @DonMaass

    7 Book Marketing Tips for Writers:

    Don't hit your reader with repeated strong emotion in your book: @Kid_Lit

    Top 10 Self-Editing Tips: @janice_hardy

    The Secret to Writing a Standout Picture Book: @writersdigest

    Author's Guild Argues That Amazon's Dominance Comes From Antitrust Laws: @ebooknewser

    Don't Even Think About Using First-Person Unless...: @KMWeiland

    Who, Whom, and How to Misuse a Pronoun: @write_practice

    An agent critiques a query: @bookendsjessica

    Authors need intent, reminds an agent: @greyhausagency

    How Choreography Helps a Scene: @RavenRequiem13

    Why Some Book Buyers Are Increasingly Resistant To E-Readers: @laurahazardowen

    3 Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest Guilt Free: @AuthorMedia

    Worldbuilding--cities: @JulietteWade

    3 ways 1 writer judges contest entries: @LadyGlamis

    The fallacy of creative success: @tannerc

    Dig Up and Rebuild Writing Platforms:

    Using Social Media Effectively: @AnnetteLyon for @pegeditors

    What's Good Controversy? @Beth_Barany

    Licensing vs. Work for Hire: @DiYMFA