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Writer to Writer - December 23rd, 2005

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Where did the year go? I’m sure I don’t know. <sigh>

Like just about everyone else, I’ve been running around like a chook with its head cut off. (Aussie expression for way too busy!) Apart from the quickly approaching Christmas Day, I’ve edited and compiled a Christmas cookbook, as well as finishing off and setting up another one for sale.

The Christmas cookbook I compiled was a project for Authors Unlimited, my promotional website. It was purely a promotional effort, and is fr*ee to download. If you’d like a copy, go to and grab your copy. (The book is 40 pages long and packed with scrumptious Christmas recipes!)

I’ve also been putting the finishing touches on my non-fiction submission, which had to reach the publisher before Christmas. I barely scraped in, but got it there.

This book has been and continues to be a lot of work, but the end result will prove it is worth the effort. Hopefully I’ll know within a couple of months whether or not the book will be contracted. (I only have until September to finish it if it is!)

I had intended to write an article about setting goals (I don’t believe in resolutions!) but on top of everything else, I’ve had another major chest infection, and my specialist thought I may end up in hospital for Christmas. But his little magic pills have averted pneumonia, so hospital treatment will not be necessary. Hallelujah!

I will endeavour to write the planned article for the next issue.

I’ve been a subscriber to Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s "Sharing with Writers" newsletter for as long as I can remember, and recently came across an advertisement there about a contest Carolyn and Star Publish were sponsoring.

I decided to enter, then immediately forgot – until Carolyn sent out a reminder. I quickly wrote up my entry, sent off my payment, then promptly forgot about it.

A few weeks back I received an email from Carolyn notifying that I was the Grand Prize Winner! As well as a monetary prize, I also won a number of excellent writing-related hard-copy books - one of which I contributed to some time back, but had never seen. The books have started to arrive on my doorstep, and what I’ve received so far are of a very high standard, as well as being extremely informative.

As if all that is not enough, part of the prize is ongoing promotion for some months to come. Sometime in January, all entries will be compiled into an ebook that will be freely given away at the Star Publish website. As the Grand Prize Winner, my biography and entry will take pride of place.

To read more about the contest, go to

The entry I submitted centres around the Authors Unlimited website which I created earlier this year, and is proving to be very successful to all the authors involved.

Once again this month we have some great articles for you. Sensuality Times Five is this month’s romance article from Cynthia VanRooy, who has had another book released recently (Congratulations Cynthia!), and Beth Morrow has once again provided a thought provoking and informative book review. This time Beth has reviewed The Writer's Retreat: A Guide for Creative Exploration & Personal Expression, by Judy Reeves. Marilyn Henderson discusses marketing plans, something that many authors do not think about when they’re either ready to find a publisher, or their book is ready to be released. (For the record, I generally include a marketing plan with my book proposals.)

There is also an interesting and provocative article from Hope Clark this month, one that may get you rethinking your strategies.

Although I’m running way behind with this issue, and Christmas is almost upon us, I’ve put together some Christmas specials – you can check them out here. All special offers will finish January 25, so don’t delay or you will miss out.

And finally, but certainly not least, as we are so close to Christmas, I’d like to give you some gifts. One of those is access to a Santa Letter, to allow you to create a letter to your child. Feel free to create as many letters as you like, and also pass the info onto friends and family etc. You’ll find the script to create the letter at: which is another of my websites. there are also a number of other free gifts there too.

Three other gifts I have for you can’t be found at the site. They are:

McSanta, which is an activity book for kids

Shop Safe Online at Christmas, which is being sold on many sites around the internet for between US$10 and US$15.

Christmas Colouring book which as the name implies, is a colouring book.

Success Quotes - this is the book I use to source a lot of quotes used in this newsletter.

(Click on the book name to download your copy.)

Now it’s time to sit back and relax with your favourite beverage.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and a fruitful and prosperous New Year.

Til next month,








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Please note: Language is set as "English - Australia" - words are not spelled incorrectly. (Not intentionally, anyway!)



Writer's Digest magazine is once again putting together its list of the '101 Best Websites for Writers'! If has helped you in any way, I’d be very appreciative if you could take a moment to write to Writer's Digest and nominate for their 2006 list. Nominations should be emailed to  with your nomination and any comments you have about the site. The subject line should be "101 Sites".

Thank you for your support!


Christmas Specials!

Check out our time-limited special offers -


To Market, To Market

Marilyn Henderson - All Rights Reserved.

Are you ready to sell your novel?

Before you shout, "YES!" let me define the question a bit. Are you prepared to work hard to help your book sell once it's published?

If you think that's the publisher's job, don't bet your success on it. The publisher expects you to work harder at selling the book than he does.

It's time to get busy on your marketing plan.

Unless you already have a proven track record of sales that indicate a substantial following, the publisher's marketing budget, if there is one, for a first novel by an unknown author will probably range in the low five-digit figures. Most publishing houses send out review copies and press releases to major reviewers and newspapers, but it's up to you to pick up the ball and run with it.

If visions of the bestseller lists and regular royalty checks dance in your head, start laying the groundwork for your own marketing plan as soon as the ink is dry on the contract. Some of the essential things that will help sell your book need preparation ahead of time. Here are some ways to get readers ready for your novel.

Read the full article here


Learn to write mysteries! Click here for information.


How do I?

No questions this month.

If you have writing related question you would like answered, send it to:


Affordable Writing Courses:

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Become a Food Writer

Love to eat? Is writing your passion? Combine the two with a career in food writing. Pamela White, author of FabJob’s Guide to Become a Food Writer, publisher of Food Writing, the online newsletter, and online food writing teacher for over five years has created an updated and more in-depth version of her popular food writing class: Eat, Drink and Make Money: All About Food Writing. Classes are filling up, so register now for the August 28, 2005 class session. All information can be found here.


Guest Article

The Writer's Group - Fair or Foul?

C. Hope Clark - All Rights Reserved.

Some writers love them, others despise them, but writers groups exist in every library and bookstore in America and most of the world. Some discuss books and others share promotional tips. Many cover current trends in publishing and others get down and dirty into the world of critiques.

Shop for a writers group like you would a family doctor, agent, or financial broker. The personality has to fit snug, like a glove. It should feel natural and comforting, encouraging and beneficial. If you cannot open up before the group, the experience is worthless. If your doctor cannot fix your ills, you find another one. If your writer’s group cannot aid your writing career, find another one.

Read the full article here



Click here to read Part Two


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Please note: Inclusion of a product, market, contest, anthology or similar is not necessarily an endorsement. It is strongly suggested that you do your own legwork in checking out any markets etc you decide to approach. If you feel wary or uncomfortable, there's probably a reason!

Contact details:

Cheryl Wright, P O Box 913, Springvale South 3172 AUSTRALIA