Category Archives: self-publishing

Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards


deadline extended to April 30, 2012; 75+ categories; book must have been released on or before 3/11/2012; details HERE:

2012 Anderbo Self-Published Book Award (writing contest)


Fiction or nonfiction; deadline is Oct. 15, 2012; $500 cash prize; details:

Book Authors Wanted for Interviews


Cathy Stucker of is seeking authors of fiction and nonfiction books (self-published and ebooks ok) for daily interviews

Send an mail to to get an autoresponder that will send you a questionnaire and details.

Previous interviews here:

Writer’s digest self-published book awards


May 3, 2010 deadline; More than $17,000 in prizes; tons of categories – (poetry, YA, nonfiction, reference, life stories, inspirational, genre fiction, etc. etc.)

Info & entry HERE:

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Carolyn Howard-Johnson, the Frugal Book Promoter!


Author interview with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, your Frugal Editor and Frugal Book Promoter (-:

Carolyn was raised by a depression-era mother, thus the Frugal thing. Her fiction is informed by The Place she grew up, beauty, warts and all. Utah. And, like Wendy, she loves to share and help writers promote their books. Find her frugal stuff at and her fiction and poetry at .

1. Tell us about your latest book.

It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques . It was launched at the National Stationery Show at Javits Center in New York (about the time of last year’s Book Expo America) and is based on my many years as founder, owner and marketer for a chain of gift stores. Find it at

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I thought the boys on my high school newspaper staff were cute. We said “cute” back then, not “hot.” I wouldn’t have known from “hot.”

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I look like a toadstool growing out of one of those ergonomic chairs that sit in front of computers. In the afternoons I got to movies, a habit born out of the days when I reviewed film for the Glendale News-Press. Movies also inform my writing.

4. Describe your workspace.

Messy, very messy. If you’d like a photo, I’ll send it to you. It was taken a couple of years ago. It’s worse now. There is still room, however, for my Great Dane to spread out on the floor.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers).

Oh, so many. Wendy, I’m reading yours. Just got it. One of my favorites these days is an e-book by Larry Brooks on story structure. It’s the best I’ve ever seen on that subject.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you.

  • Mmmm. I dye my hair the same color it comes out at the roots. Go figure.
  • I was a redhead before I was a blonde. Wishing made it so. You can call it silver, or gray and get a swat. You can get away with “platinum,” though I still want to be “blonde.”
  • I was only 18 when I started my first writing job. You can learn how I got that job by reading the fictionalized account in my novel This Is the Place.

7. Favorite quote

“Careers that are not fed soon die as readily as any living organism given no sustenance.”

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

You’ll find it on my handouts for the classes I teach at UCLA, all over my Website, in th footers of some of my books, etc.

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Oh, gosh. Best part. I love it. It cured me of cancer.

Truly, no worse part. Truly.

9. Advice for other writers

Read. Read in your genre. Read outside of your genre. Read how-to books on every subject related to writing and the marketing of books. Read more than one on each subject. Buy books for gifts.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.

I love your story. It’s hard to beat.  So I won’t try.

At that first job in journalism I wrote a cooking column for teenagers, using their recipes. I was also learning layout and had to write the cutlines (those little explanations beneath pictures) and it is hard to write them for one column headshots. One week I featured a brownie recipe that didn’t have to be baked from a teen in Salt Lake City. I wrote (name changed to protect the innocent), Diane Dotson . . . Easy to make while studying.” It ran in most editions. Editors caught it before the city edition hit the press. Luckily for me and for my job.

Where can people buy your books?

Oh, so many! Just know that I know my HowToDoItFrugally books will help authors make their dreams come true and that I consider even The Frugal Editor ( important in marketing your book to a publisher, agent or anyone else. Editing is just so important. Your readers will find everything from my award-winning poetry to The Frugal Book Promoter ( at

Contest for romance novels published in 2009 (ebooks too)


Variety of categories; Jan. 8, 2010 deadline; $20 entry; contest is sponsored by CO Romance Writers

Info & Entry HERE:

Cash award for self-published/indy books


Jan. 21, 2010 deadline; $1,500 cash prize; $45/book entry; various genre categories

info and entry here:

Free ebook on getting published



Lisa Saunders offers 17 pages based on her own experiences as a writer. Also, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see tips from writers (including Wendy!) about publishing, promoting yourself, etc.

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Shel Horowitz, “Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers”


Author interview with Shel HorowitzShelbigsmilefulltorsoGMAPcoverFinalFront

About Shel: “Marketing consultant and copywriter specializing in affordable, ethical, effective methods. Author of eight books, six of them on marketing. I live in a 1743 antique farmhouse on a working farm in Hadley, MA (we don’t farm it but our neighbors have 400 cows).”

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers is a comprehensive one-stop collection of ideas, strategies, and examples to differentiate your book in a marketplace with over 400,000 books published a year, just in the US. While it has two chapters on the bookstore system, it also covers many nontraditional ways to market books, including methods to get them bought in quantity. Full of examples of press releases, marketing plans, pitch letters, and much more. Also, when people buy the book directly from me at, it comes with two extra e-books: How to Write and Publish a Marketable Book, and Web 2.0 marketing for the 21st Century (as well as assorted other goodies).

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I like to say I became a writer because I’m interested in almost everything. I started writing as the token liberal for my high school’s conservative underground newspaper (they ran my stuff with disclaimers!) in 1971 or 1972, and I’ve been writing ever since. I thought I’d make my living as a journalist, but instead, I’ve been running my commercial writing service since 1981.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m usually at the computer by 6:30 or so, and then I work in short bursts with lots of breaks–mostly because the computer makes my eyes very tired. Usually I mix various tasks during the day, so I don’t burn out on any of them. So for instance, I’ll alternate among my own writing projects, client projects, promotion/marketing, and trying to keep current in the e-mail deluge.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

It’s messy. Usually there are several piles related to current projects, a bunch of business cards from recent networking events, and of course my iMac. Over on my right I have a shelf with the books I’ve written or those I’ve produced for clients, some basic office supplies, phone, and my credit card machine. The best part of my workspace is the view of the farm and the mountain behind it, and the second-best is the family cat, who is often parked directly to the left of my computer chair.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

I have tremendous admiration for skilled novelists. I enjoy Alice Walker, Ray Bradbury, J.K. Rowling, Phillip Pullman, Mark Twain, Barbara Kingsolver, and dozens of others. I can explain how to do pretty much anything, but I have never succeeded with plots and characters. Nonfiction, I tend to read a lot of books on marketing and persuasion, including those by Mark Joyner, Joe Vitale, Jay Conrad Levinson, Dave Lakhani, Susan Harrow, David Ogilvy, Ted Nicholas, Claude Hopkins…and these have made a bigt difference in my 0own writing, especially in the writing I do for clients. I’m a voracious reader, usually have several books going at once. Of course, I’m a fan of my own books too, especially Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First–which I think could actually change the world.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

1. My wife, novelist D. Dina Friedman (, and I met at an open poetry reading in Greenwich Village, NYC, in 1978—and it turned out we went to the same high school. There’s a picture of us in my yearbook, next to each other in a crowd of people.

2. I decided to be a vegetarian at age 12, but my mom convinced me (and I didn’t have the Internet to prove her wrong) that I’d stunt my growth. So I waited until I was a 16. Still a vegetarian, as are Dina and the kids.

3. Going to Antioch College, where every three months I was thrown into the outside world and had to find housing, build community, etc. in a very short time before returning to campus three months later–and also being a member of a homestay organization ( for the last 25 years, made me a very good traveler. I can hit a strange city and very quickly figure out where I should go, what I should do, etc.

7. Favorite quotes

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity” (Horace Mann)

“It is a sin to be silent when it is your duty to protest” (Abraham Lincoln)

“Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right” (Henry Ford)

“From Pacifica, this is Democracy Now” (Amy Goodman)

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

I’m the rare writer who actually loves writing! When I write for myself, it’s a doorway to exploring anything I want, and when I write for clients, it’s a fun challenge to make even dull-appearing subjects fascinating. I’ve had to learn to be temporarily excited about everything from accounting principles (the excitement on that one, I confess, didn’t last long) to water rights in Nepal—whatever my clients need marketing copy for.

The worst part is physical: eyestrain, repetitive stress issues in my hands, and the occasional backache. Alexander Technique, naps, vision therapy, and better glasses have helped somewhat, but it’s still frustrating. I could get SO much more done if my body would play nicely with the computer.

9. Advice for other writers

Sit down and write, stop making excuses. Learn to take advantage of short bits of free time. Back in 1991, I wrote big chunks of Marketing Without Megabucks during my daughter’s brief naps, using a primitive laptop and sitting on the porch while she napped in the playpen; some of these were only 15 minutes before she was up again. I snatched bits of time on the deck of a cruise ship to write the first 10,000 words of Principled Profit, not to mention a very detailed travel journal. Recognize that the NYC publishing process is closed to most people, but you can make a success through other paths (I’ve helped quite a few writers set up their own publishing companies and produce terrific books). If someone asks you to write “for exposure,” say yes when it makes sense and no when it doesn’t. (yes, sometimes it actually does.)

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

A few years ago, I opened my e-mail and found an order for my $8.50 e-book on how to have fun cheaply—from Mark Joyner, an Internet marketing superstar and best-selling author of several business books published by John Wiley. When I acknowledged the order, I added a note offering to send a gratis copy of Principled Profit, which I thought would appeal to him. He loved the book and not only wrote a very nice testimonial but began a correspondence. He asked me to contribute an essay to his book The Great Formula, which I did–and which is one time that “exposure” turned out to be pretty decent pay, as that has led to some very good contacts. Then I asked him if he’d do a teleconference just for the members of my list and the listeners to my radio show, which he did. And then he asked me out of the blue if I’d like the contact information for his editor at Wiley. The result, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, will be published next year, co-authored with another superstar, Jay Levinson. That’s another nice partnership related to the deal. I brought Jay in because I thought this was a strong fit with the branding he’d already done for 20+ years, and I knew I could benefit greatly from association with the Guerrilla Marketing brand. Everybody I talk to about this book is extremely enthusiastic and eager for the book to come out.

Where can people buy your books?

I’ve just set up a portal page leading to all my books, websites, blog, newsletters, etc., at