Monday, January 17, 2022

Shannon Lawrence & The Business of Short Stories

I'm excited to welcome my friend Shannon Lawrence, AKA The Warrior Muse, to the blog today! 

Shannon has a fabulous guide to the short story business coming out soon and I had a chance to ask her a couple of questions.

1. What was the most challenging part of writing a nonfiction book? 

I think the hardest part was figuring out how in-depth to go and how wide an array of topics to include. Luckily, I've been teaching short story workshops for years and paid attention to what attendees were asking, plus I had awesome beta readers. One of the things I asked my beta readers to do was to jot down the questions they hoped to have answered before they read the book, so they could let me know both their expectations and whether I'd met them.

2. Your cover is fantastic! How did you come up with the idea for it?

Thank you! All credit goes to my husband, who does my book covers. I pulled all the writing craft books off my shelves and we went over what I liked and didn't like about them. I knew I wanted something clean and bright and different. A lot of the craft books were dark and/or used red, but since my books are usually horror, I wanted to separate them and do something I don't usually get to do. He presented me with several great versions, including a compass I liked, but the post-its were so apropos of the writing life. I used a bunch while writing and putting this book together!


The Business of Short Stories: Writing, Submitting, Publishing, and Marketing

Author: Shannon Lawrence
ISBN: 978-1-7320314-5-6
Format/Price: Print ($13.99) and e-book ($3.99)
Release Date: February 1, 2022

Will also be available after the release date from Ingram, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and other sites.

Blurb: Whether you're looking to add short stories to your repertoire as a solo pursuit or in addition to novel writing, The Business of Short Stories covers every aspect from writing to marketing. Learn the dynamics of short story writing, where to focus your editing efforts, how and where to submit, how to handle acceptances and rejections, what to do with reprints, and how to market yourself and your stories online and in person. The information in The Business of Short Stories has been distilled from over a decade of short story publishing experience so you don't have to learn the hard way. You'll find information on submission formatting, cover letters, querying a collection, sending proposals to writing events, how to create a website, SEO, social media, and so much more. This is an invaluable resource for short story writers.

There's never been a better time to get into short stories!

Author Bio: Shannon Lawrence has made a career of short stories, with over a
decade of experience and more than fifty short stories published in magazines and anthologies. In addition, she's released three horror short story collections with a mix of new and previously published stories. Her true-crime podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem is going into its third season. 

Thanks, Shannon!

Love the answers - I'm a post-it note fan as well!

Congrats on the book! It's going to be a great resource for all the short story authors out there!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

IWSG & Regrets

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

IWSG badge

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  

January 5 question - What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

As a teacher, I believe that a person who doesn't make mistakes is a person who isn't trying anything new or challenging.

Making mistakes and taking wrong turns is part of learning. We get something from every step we take, whether that step works out or not. I don't spend a lot of time looking back and thinking about mistakes. I'd rather look forward to what I can do better next time.

However... I think my biggest regret might be not realizing I had uploaded the wrong file for one (okay 2) of my books. Instead, I uploaded the files from the next-to-last edit round. With multiple typos and errors. Not a ton, but still far too many!

It took me almost a year to realize my errors and correct them. Sigh.

How about you? Any publishing horror stories in your past? Anyone else upload the wrong file? Anyone else learn the hard way to triple-check their uploads?