Category Archives: Writing Resource

Easy & Free Ways to Support an Author

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

One of the most difficult parts of being an author is finding readers. Unfortunately, nobody tells you that up front. A lot of first-time authors have the idea that their friends and family will read it. Even if they don’t read it, they’ll at least buy a copy to be supportive, right? They’ll help spread the word once the book is released, for sure. Maybe a friend of a friend will like it and I’ll find new readers no problem!

Not so fast. It is remarkably difficult to find support in the most logical of places. For whatever reason, friends and family don’t always share the same excitement level for your accomplishment. Maybe they’re not aware of the time and effort that goes into becoming a published author. Some people hesitate to support something that isn’t established and/or popular for fear of judgment. They’re worried that if they recommend something, and people don’t react to it the same way they did, then that person will judge them for liking something “inferior.” As much as people like being the first to like something, the fact is, there’s just too many products out there to be discovered. There’s too much noise to drown out your attempts at publicity.

And with the rising number of self-published authors, it’s nearly impossible to know what quality level is being produced by a first-time writer. I hate to say it, because I want to be supportive of the indie, self-published industry, but there are endless numbers of bad books out there. Readers are also hesitant to spend their hard-earned money on something they don’t know is worth it. Without experience, and without a traditional publishing company supporting these authors (and without those traditional publishing company’s funds to pay for editing, cover design, advertising, etc), new authors get lost in the sea of nameless books.

Which is why this topic is so dear to our hearts. As an indie label, intent on supporting authors who are starting out, and are still trying to develop a readership, we want to inform and educate writers and readers alike. For authors, if our point hasn’t been clear enough already: temper your expectations. For readers who want to offer as much support as possible, or for readers who aren’t sure the best way to help, let’s get into it! Continue reading

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Call for Submissions: Circle City Publishing Presents An Absurd Apocalypse

Welcome to Circle City Publishing.

An Absurd Apocalypse: Stories from the Lame Side of the End of the World is now open for submissions.

We’re seeking short stories no longer than 8,000 words. Stories should center around the lamest world-ending events imaginable, and/or the effects those events have on normal, everyday life within the apocalypse. But don’t be confused; this collection will be far from boring. We’re looking for the quirky, humorous, outlandish, but relatable side of the apocalypse.

The price of the book will be set to cover the minimum printing costs to facilitate a low price point and encourage readers to explore the content. Due to this, there will be no profit from sales, so this will be an unpaid project. Successful submissions will receive a copy of the ebook.

Submissions close on November 1st, 2020. Two submission maximum per author.

Send your double spaced, indented MS Word or Google Docs document to authorcharleskelley@gmail.com. Please include your name as you’d like it to be published, the title of the story, and the word count. The subject line of the email should also include your name and title. All genres will be considered except for romance or erotica.

Along with that, please also include an author bio along with social media handles, web site address, and/or an email address where readers can reach you.

Reprints or simultaneous submissions will be considered.

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Exploring the Writing Community: Fae Corps Publishing

Not too long ago, I was featured with an interview with Fae Corps Publishing.  In the interest of sharing resources with the writing community, I asked if I could repay the favor, and they were gracious enough to participate!  Their mission regarding the indie community is right in line with my own, so without further adieu, let’s learn more about this great independent writing resource.

From their facebook page:

Fae Corps Publishing was created by two sisters, Patti Harris and Cyndi Pilcher. We are both Indie Authors and Artists and wanted to help others been seen.
It isn’t easy being an Indie. We all work our buns off to make sure our work is perfect before we get it into the hands of our fans. We do all the legwork once our work is done. All the marketing, the sales, setting up pages/websites, etc is all on us.
SO, Patti and I decided to create a blog to showcase Indie Authors and Artists. We will share your work, websites, and anything else you’d like us to get out there!
Later this Summer, we will be publishing our first anthology, Under the Mists with six amazing Indie Authors and we are hoping to do more, so make sure you head over to our blog, fill out one (or both) of the questionnaires, and email your answers to us so we can get your work out there!
Let’s work together to get the Indie community more exposure and help build each other up!
~Keep on Creating~
Cyndi and Patti
Owners, Fae Corps Publishing

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Exploring the Writing Community: Functionally Fictional

This post is long overdue, and I’m excited to share about this great resource for the writing community.  I discovered Functionally Fictional through a Facebook writing group that I’m a member of, because that’s where a lot of stuff happens.  I stumbled across a post seeking authors to feature, and was interested.  I’m an author.  I’d like to be featured.  So I reached out, and quickly learned how organized and well-run the site is.  It offers a plethora of features, from book reviews, author interviews, books of the week, and a running database of promoted books.  Now enough babbling from me, let’s get to know more about this wonderful internet destination!  I spoke with the curator of the site, Caitlin, and this is what I learned.

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Exploring the Writing Community: Circle City Publishing

Recently I’ve shared about some awesome writing communities that I’ve discovered via the good ol’ internet.  After putting a couple features together and working on a couple more, I realized that I had completely overlooked my own little slice of the writing world.  Whoops!  So today let’s get to know a little bit about the Indy Indie imprint that I helped co-found, Circle City Publishing!  Admittedly, the startup has lacked in being proactive and engaging, and it’s hampered by the fact that both founding members have too many time commitments to fully realize the dream and goal of CCP.

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Exploring the Writing Community: Zombie Pirate Publishing

 

ZPP

Thankfully, with the assistance of the internet, writers have endless opportunities at the tips of their fingers. In the past, you had to mail query letters, purchase/subscribe to magazines and flip to the fine print in the back on how to submit articles, stories, or poems. Now, you just do a quick online search and get instant results to an entire community that you never knew existed before that moment. That’s what happened to me with Zombie Pirate Publishing. Unfortunately, I discovered them just as their call for a flash fiction anthology had ended, which is one of my favorite forms of short stories. On the bright side, they were just starting a call for a horror-themed short story anthology. I had a rough draft of a story sitting around that I thought could be a good fit, so I dusted it off, polished it up, and submitted it!  (Turns out it wasn’t a good fit.  Maybe next time!)

 

What I discovered is that Zombie Pirate Publishing is a small, up-and-coming company who is feverishly collecting submissions and putting out anthologies. Their focus from what I can tell is on quality collections, as well as acknowledging and giving credit to the writers themselves. They don’t currently pay for accepted submissions, but it seems like that’s a short-term goal that they are wanting to change as soon as they are in a position to. In the meantime, it’s always helpful for undiscovered writers to be featured in collections and gain more notoriety with wider ranges of readers, so there’s no question about the perk that comes with being selected for one of their anthologies.

They’ve built quite a community online, with co-founders Adam Bennett and Sam Phillips being both active and supportive on the groups’ Facebook page.  They keep their community engaged, and have built a nice base because of it.

I recently reached out to one of the founders, Sam Phillips, for more information, and this is what I found out:

The company started in February 2017 with a couple of old friends from northern NSW, Australia.  They appeared in anthologies together and wanted to take their careers further as well as help others along the way.  The next logical step for them was to apply what they had learned in order to provide high quality anthologies as well as other services and a home to up-and-coming authors.  The name Zombie Pirate Publishing came about from a card game which combines factions based on popular memes. They thought zombie pirates sounded cool, so adopted that as the face of their brand.

They threw themselves into the deep end and have produced regular anthologies since.  They are up to seven now that their latest was published earlier this month, with multiple others on the horizon.  In addition to the collections, they also produce various merchandise featuring their mascot, Pretty Pete the zombie pirate captain.  (Editor’s note: he’s not so pretty.  But he is pretty awesome, anyway.)

As already mentioned, through all of these efforts, they’ve created a vibrant community on social media for writers to network and submit to their anthologies with a goal of providing a friendly atmosphere for writers to grow and a place for them to get published.

You might think this would be more than enough to keep them busy, but they still find the time and energy to produce works of their own.  Sam is a prolific poet, in addition to working with stream of consciousness and some genre fiction.  Adam primarily writes short story fiction of all types and also has some novellas to his credit.  Their works have appeared in several dozen anthologies and magazines, but writing isn’t all they know.  It turns out they both know how to juggle, and Sam also plays drums in a death metal band.

Hmm, writers.  They’re an odd breed, amiright??

Hopefully I’ll be able to make this a recurring feature on my site and be able to discover more communities such as Zombie Pirate Publishing.  Have any tips on where else I could look?  Leave me a note in the comments below!

Thank you, that is all.

 

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