baby, Indie writing, marketing, Publishing, publishing manuscript standards, publishing process, Self-publishing, successful writer, Writer's Market, Writing, writing conferences, writing for success, young writers

Marketing for Success

This week’s blog material extends beyond the publishing process.  If you think about the comparison of a baby and a book, you’ll see they have many things in common.  Let’s say the making of a baby takes at least 9 months.  Perhaps there were other attempts that took quite a while.  So now the making of a baby takes 9+ months.  Much like a novel.  Carrying that baby was at the very least, challenging.  Some pregnancies are easier than others.  Labor?  Was that one push and it was over, or did it last for hours upon hours?
Now you have that baby you have wanted to hold in your arms.  All your life you have dreamed of this baby. What do you do?  Here are some possible options.  1.) Do nothing.  Let the little thing just lie there and try to care of itself. 2.) Shake your head and offer not the least bit of attention.  3.) Sell the baby. Maybe someone else will like it.  4.) Let the baby die and move on to another one.  You can see where I’m going with this one.
Harsh?  Absolutely.  But that is exactly what you are doing if you write that novel, publish it, and then fall into one of the above options.
Your best strategy?  Love your baby.  Give it all you can give.  Introduce your baby to the world and be proud.  Nourish that baby until it can provide for itself, and then don’t ever forget your journey and what this baby means to you.
So…how did my book turn into a metaphor for a baby?
Simple answer:  I went to a conference.  I had the pleasure (distaste?) of listening to an author complain about her publisher.  According to her, her small publisher had done NOTHING to promote her book.  (Drama, drama, tears.)  So, the presenter asked her what SHE was doing to market her book.  What was HER marketing strategy?
Response:  blank look
If your response is a blank look, then read on.  Each day this week, I’m providing some simple marketing suggestions.  Some are DIY; others you may need to outsource.  BUT before you opt for outsourcing, check your contract, your bank account, and your resources.
Market ’til you make it.
Agents, manuscripts, publishing manuscript standards, query letters, successful writer, Writing, writing for success

Simple Steps to Publishing Success

Who are you?  You are an author, an informed author.  Maybe you don’t have a lot of experience yet, but you will.  You will exude confidence in the publishing world.  Just make sure you do your homework.


  • For printed manuscripts, use 8 ½ X 11-inch, white paper (use only one side of the paper).  Ask if you may send your ms. electronically.  Many publishers will ask for both.
  • Set 1- to 1 ½-inch margins all around.
  • Use 12-point standard typeface: Times New Roman, Courier, Ariel
  • No end-of-the-line hyphenated words or justified right margin.
  • Double-space the entire manuscript.
  • Indent paragraphs.
  • No additional spacing between paragraphs.  Be careful here.  Word will sometimes automatically put in extra spacing.  Check your settings.
  • Add identifying information, your byline, and the header:
    • Type your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address in the upper left corner, single-spaced. In the upper right corner, type the word count. You can round the word count up to the nearest hundred or the nearest ten in short pieces, if you’d like.
    • Drop down about halfway on the first page and center your title. Your byline goes beneath it. These are double-spaced.
    • On page two (and subsequent pages), add a header that includes your title, last name, and page numbers.


Write your Letter of Introduction.  Sample from Windy Lynn Harris, #windylynnharris

Fabulous Writer (you)

Your address here

And here


November 20th, 2017


Jane Doe, editor

The Perfect Magazine

107 N. Robertson St.

New York, NY  10028


Dear Ms. Doe:

I’m submitting my 600 word humorous essay, “Magical Words for Marrieds,” for your review. I think it would be a great fit with other essays I read in your magazine.

This story was created as I reflected on my thirty-five years of marriage. I am a member of Wise Women Write and have been published recently in The Chick-Lit Review.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.


Fabulous Writer

Phone:  xxx-xxx-xxxx

Email:  xxxxxxxxxxx


Encl:  Manuscript and SASE

See Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: The Essential Guide to Getting Yor work Published, Windy Lynn Harris, Writer’s Digest Books

Tomorrow we will discuss what to do when you send in your manuscript and hear no response.  Again, more simple solutions.