Saturday, October 29, 2011

Come Visit My New Blog

Following a new path.
Hi all,

I wanted to invite all of you to visit my new, personal, blog simply titled Deanna Lynn Sletten.  In this blog, I will be sharing my experiences as a writer - not information on where to write but more about what I'm currently working on, my writing process and new things I learn as I write for websites and clients.  I will also be sharing my most recent articles or any other writing successes I experience.  And, even though this blog is titled after me - I don't want it to be just about me.  I hope that all of you and other writers will leave comments sharing what they are working on and other fun information about their writing life. 

Why start this blog when I could be doing this at Write Moms?  I wanted a new blog that is more personal and less about having to find writing opportunities.  Write Moms has sort of taken on a life of its own and people who visit seem most interested in learning where to write and how to earn money.  That's wonderful - it's what Write Moms is supposed to be.  But now that I have found a comfortable path with my writing and am no longer searching out new venues for myself (well, I am but in a different way), I really don't have too much to share on Write Moms anymore.  So, starting this new blog is an opportunity for me to start out fresh and still share about writing - just in a different way.

Yes, I will still be adding posts to Write Moms as new things come up - I enjoy sharing new writing information with others to make their writing journey easier.  But I will also be writing a more personal perspective on writing over on my new blog

I hope you will all come over and visit and will join and subscribe.  I think that, over time, there will be some fun and interesting conversations going on over there and I want all of you to be a part of it.

Happy writing,

Deanna

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Finding a Literary Agent - My How Things Have Changed!

Hi all,

Ten years ago when I completed my first fiction novel I set out trying to find a literary agent to represent and sell my book.  Back then, every business didn't have a website, Twitter and Facebook did not exist and the only way to find an agent was to buy a book that listed all the agents and go through it page by page.  E-mail submissions weren't even heard of yet, so each submission cost you the postage to the agent and the postage for them to send it back to you in the SASE.  When you consider that most submission included the first 3 chapters of a manuscript - this was very expensive.  Now, 10 years later, I'm finding a whole different world out there for submitting manuscripts.

Agents are Actually Real People

Ten years ago, literary agents were shadow figures who you never saw and only read about in a literary agent resource book.  The majority of them were men - and most did business out of New York City.  When sending out my queries and manuscripts, I pictured literary agents as older men with pinched faces who sat at gleaming oak desks that held piles of manila envelopes full of manuscripts from people - basically holding people's dreams in a slush pile.  I imagined them picking through each submission, one at a time, while looking out their high-rise office window at the cityscape, wrinkling their noses at every query letter they read and rejecting each query just because they didn't like the letterhead or the print or the name of the person submitting it - without ever reading any of the manuscript.  Then off the unread manuscript would go, stuffed into the SASE and sent back to the writer with a generic rejection letter.

Okay, so I have a vivid imagination - that's what I do!

Today, however, things have changed immensely.  Thanks to social media and websites, literary agents have become as human as the rest of us.  They tweet on Twitter, they update their status on Facebook and they publish their picture on their website.  Many today are women - young women even - which is wonderful.  They have fresh, smiling faces which make you feel they are open to receiving your book query and happy to read it.  Okay, maybe not always happy, but more so than I used to imagine.  Many take e-mail submissions - actually insist on it - and their response time is quick.  Compared to years ago, many agents actually encourage you to send out simultaneous submissions instead of one at a time.  Times have definitely changed and while it still isn't easy to land an agent in this competitive field, they are making it easier at least to try.

2012 Guide to Literary Agents

Finding an Agent

Because I am in the midst of once again trying to find an agent to represent me, I decided it would be a good time to help those of you who are starting that process.  I've added a Literary Agent page (see the top of the page) where I share some tips on how to query an agent and list agents and their websites so you can start working on submitting your new work.  As of today, the page isn't complete, but I will continue to add agents to it as time allows.  I hope this list of agents will help you find an agent to represent your book.

Happy writing,
Deanna 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Looking for an EBook Publisher - Any Advice?

Looking for an ebook publisher
Photo: Maggie Smith
Hi all,

I am on the lookout for a legit ebook publisher and thought I'd reach out to all of you for your experiences with publishing an ebook.  I know that many of my readers and followers have published ebooks so I'm interested in hearing what company you used, if you did it yourself and how you got the message out to others about your ebook. Some of my criteria would be:
  • I'd be able to sell it on more than one site (like not just on Amazon)
  • The format would be user-friendly for iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc.
  • An affordable selling price
I literally do not know anything about publishing an ebook - so whatever you can tell me would be useful.  I have been around the Internet looking at publishers but I really can't tell who to trust and who not to.

Looking forward to hearing from anyone with ebook experience.

Happy Writing,

Deanna

Friday, October 7, 2011

Need Quotes From Moms Like You

Hi all,

I am in desperate need of help from all of you for two articles I am writing for a woman’s website that I’m a contributor for.  In return for your answers, I can place a link to your blog or website with your name in the article.  This is a great way to promote your blog/website for free! The questions I need answered are:

Funny comments your kid has said


Why your husband is a great dad


If you can help, for one of these or both – I’d really appreciate it.  I need the answers by October 10th at the latest.  In your reply, please include:

Your full name

The number of children you have (and their ages)

For husband replies, how many years you’ve been married

Your blog or website’s name and link

Please don’t leave your replies in the comment’s section.  Instead, e-mail them to me @ writer11313@yahoo.com


Thanks so much – I can’t wait to hear from all of you.

Deanna



Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nothing Lasts Forever

Fall reminds us that seasons change and
so do we.
Photo: Deanna Lynn Sletten
Hi all,

Recently, I have been scraping off the wallpaper in our hallway so I can paint it instead.  I had papered the hallway 20 years ago, and it is long overdue for an update.  Homes are like that – they need to be updated every few years as styles and colors change.  And as I work on scraping away my wallpaper, it occurs to me that my writing blog, and my writing career, are like that too.

Change is Inevitable

If you’ve owned the same home for over 25 years, like we have, you find that you need to update the same things over and over again.  I’ve re-wallpapered the back porch three times, redecorated the bathroom 4 times and we’ve repainted all the rooms at least 6 times.  We’ve put in a new septic system, a new well and added onto the garage as we’ve outgrown it.  As a home grows older, change is inevitable.  On top of maintenance, styles go out-of-date and your tastes change.  So, as time goes by, you find yourself changing things that you may have once thought looked nice but now look worn and tired.

The same could be said for a blog.  I’ve had this blog since April of 2009.  In the time that I’ve been blogging, things have changed immensely.  Writing sites have come and gone, many have changed the way they do business and Google changed how many writing sites do business.  Because of this, many past posts on my blog have become obsolete.  Of course, that is to be expected over time.  But then the question rises – do I change my focus and continue blogging about writing or is it time for this blog to come to an end?

Switching Gears

As the internet writing world changed, my writing career has taken off.  I have switched gears from earning passive writing income to writing for clients and websites and being paid for my work.  After a few years of trying to build a passive income – then losing it this past year through the Google upheaval – I have to say that I am completely satisfied with being a hire-for-pay writer.  I am earning much more than I did before and am enjoying writing for some interesting websites.  Because of this change in the way I earn writing income, I don’t know if I still have anything of importance to contribute to Write Moms anymore.  I also want to pursue other forms of writing that will take up most of my free time – so I’m not sure how much time I will have to dedicate to my blog.

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At a Crossroad

I have enjoyed writing my blog and sharing it with other writers over the past 2 ½ years and I’ve met so many other writers, some of whom I consider as friends (albeit internet friends). Letting it go would be difficult, but keeping it going and not adding useful information makes no sense either.  I’m at a crossroad.  Either I continue it or decide it is time to end.  If I continue Write Moms, I want to make a few changes.  I want to change hosts as well as change the format.  Like my hallway wallpaper, my blog needs remodeling to keep up with the times.  I will also want to come up with fresh information that will help writers in their careers.  All of this takes time and energy – so I will really have to put some thought into it before I continue.

Until I decide which road I am taking, my posts on here will probably be sporadic.  I’ll let you all know for sure what I decide, when I decide it.  Nothing lasts forever, change is good and moving forward is the goal. 

Happy writing,

Deanna
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