Monday, April 29, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--April 29, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
April 29, 2013
A good last week! My husband had his defibrillator replaced on Monday and, praise the Lord, they could use the old wires. The procedure took about 90 minutes and he was able to come home 3 hours later….My sister’s surgery on Tuesday also went well and she came home on Saturday…An editor I submitted 3 gift books to wrote and said she liked 2 of them and would present them to the Publication Board. Catch: If they accepted them, I’d have to double them in size.
Had a nice time Saturday giving my “Freedom of Letting Go” talk to a group of Lutheran women. (If you need someone for a luncheon/retreat/banquet, etc., keep me in mind. A list of talks is included on my Web site.).
We said good-bye to our youth minister and wife this morning in a tearful service. They’ll be leaving, with their 3-year-old boy, for 2½ years in Ecuador. Pray that God will bring someone along just as faithful for our great group of teens….And we said another tearful good-bye this evening to our daughter and family who are going back to Oklahoma tomorrow. So thankful for the 2 weeks they were able to be here.
Hope to get to the father/grandfather anthology this week to make my selection. Thanks to all of you for your patience! (Note: It hit 100 degrees here yesterday!!)
Thought for Today:
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow (Ronald E. Osborn).
Laugh for Today:
Prayers from Children
  • Dear God, please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now. - Amanda
  • Dear God, thank you for the baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. - Joyce
  • Dear Mr. God, I wish you would not make it so easy for people to come apart. I had to have 3 stitches and a shot. - Janet
  • God, I read the Bible. What does beget mean? Nobody will tell me. - Love, Alison
  • Dear God, is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house? - Anita
  • Dear God, I bet it's very hard for you to love everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. - Nancy
  • Dear God, my grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go? - Love, Dennis
  • Dear God, maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they each had their own rooms. It works out okay with me and my brother. - Larry
  • Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday night. That was really cool. - Thomas
Writer’s Hints:
The following is long, but it is worth reading. I don’t have the source; someone mailed it to me, but I have several friends who were taken in by these publishers.
Poetry Scam Alert: A Little-Known Scam about Bogus Poetry Contests

Poetry scam contests rake in millions of dollars every year. They do so by promising fame and fortune and then charging 'contest winners' a fee to see their work in print. What is worse, everybody is a winner. In this issue, we address how these poetry scams operate, how you can recognize a scam, and what you can do to stop them….

How poetry scam contests work: The perpetrators of these common poetry scams often seem legitimate. You can find their advertisements in popular magazines and writing magazines. You will find them posted on websites. Additionally, you can find contest announcements posted in the major newspapers all across the country. We've even received these poetry scam contest announcements in our mailbox. Most recently, millions have received poetry scam emails.

The advertisements or poetry scam contest announcements offer large financial rewards and promises of publication. They are even known to offer contestants a freebie if they enter a poem. Many have minor requirements, including a maximum poem length of 20 lines. Additionally, unlike some contests, there is often no fee to enter. Contestants simply create their prose and drop it in the mail.

Now comes the "good" news, and the meat of the poetry scam: "Congratulations! You've become a semi-finalist," your letter says. Pride fills your soul. The letter goes on. "We wish to publish your poem in an anthology." You're going to be published! Now your heart is pounding with excitement. Until you read this next line..."To have a copy of this anthology, please send $49.95 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. For an additional $20 we can add your biography to your poem."

The poetry scam list of offerings continues. You can have your poem mounted on a plaque. You can purchase cassette tapes where a professional reader has recorded your poem. You can even join an association of poets—for a fee. The poetry scam may even go so far as to state that you have been nominated for the 'Poet of the Year'. With this nomination, you are invited to attend an award ceremony for the price of $475 plus travel expenses.

And this is how the scammers make their money. Each contestant receives the same 'semi-finalist' letter. As unsuspecting winners proudly purchase their book of poetry, the cassettes, their plaque, and more, the scammers rake in the money. In fact, some experts estimate that these poetry scam companies make almost 10 million dollars a year!

What you can do: Publishing a written work or poem is a goal that many aspire to. Don't let poetry scams squash your dreams. If you aspire to see your poetry published, contribute your poems to legitimate magazines and literary publications. Once you have a collection of published poems, you can put together your own book and submit it to editors for publication.

Legitimate writing and poetry contests are both available and plentiful. If you decide to participate in poetry contests, investigate the organization before you enter. These poetry scam companies operate under a variety of legitimate sounding names. Research each and every organization before you enter a contest.

Search the Internet for warnings about the company holding the contest. Visit our site to search our articles (although we don't name specific organizations or people as scams, we focus on education so our subscribers understand what kinds of scams to watch out for). Lastly, know that there is no reason that a contest should ask you for money for anything after you have entered.

Many legitimate contests do request a small entrance fee to cover administration and financial prizes; however they NEVER request a fee to publish or purchase anything upon winning the contest. Legitimate contests willingly post their guidelines, prizes, judges and contest rules.

If you have been a victim of a poetry scam, you can report it to the:
Federal Trade Commission at:$.startup
* * *
Enjoy this next week spreading the
gospel through the printed page!
Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--April 22, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction

April 22, 2013


Don’t have much to update—just did a couple of proofing jobs this week, one a book for women and one a great book on the Holy Spirit by Lloyd Ogilvie. Also had a birthday party for our daughter visiting from Oklahoma, and tonight we had her family, our other two children, and some friends over for hamburgers, etc., and slides from the “olden days.”

Tomorrow morning we have to be at the hospital at 7 a.m. for my husband to get his new defibrillator implanted. Our specific prayer request is that they can use the same wires. If not (and they couldn’t the last time), this will require another hospital stay and another surgeon/surgery. We appreciate your prayers so much.

Next Friday a publisher is taking a series of six of my devotional books to committee. Just praying for God’s will if that is the right publisher!

Thought for the Day:

“Don’t aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference” (Denzel Washington in GQ).
Laugh for the Day: (a little late for tax day, but funny)
Father O'Malley answers the phone... "Hello, is this Father O'Malley?" "It is." "This is the IRS. Can you help us?" "I can." "Do you know a Ted Houlihan?" "I do." "Is he a member of your congregation?" "He is." "Did he donate $10,000.00?"  (pause)  "He will."

Challenge for the Day:

Following is a testimony from reader Joana Melisia James: For a while I’ve been feeling like writing was pointless. I lost my zeal and I felt like I wasn’t really helping anyone. A few days ago, my best friend from high school—whom I haven’t seen in about a decade as she now lives in the US—sent me a message. She is engaged and 3 months pregnant. Two weeks before the wedding, her fiancĂ© called to say he wanted to postpone the wedding (he really sounded like he wants to call it off though). She was devastated and really scared for what her future would turn out to be. Then she picked up my devotional “Trusting God with your future.” Her exact words were, “Thank you for writing this book because now I know that no matter what happens, God is in control of my future.”

Is there something God has laid on your heart to write that would help someone going through a rough time today?

Writer’s Hints:

Since one day last week was Newspaper Columnist Day, I thought you might enjoy some hints on writing for newspapers:

Years ago, I wrote a devotional column called “Bits and Pieces” for a weekly Michigan newspaper. When we moved to Arizona, I sold these same devotionals to the daily newspaper under the title “Faith at Home” for the weekly church page. (These eventually ended up in a woman’s devotional book for Standard Publishing.)

How about your hobby or skill—household or car repair hints, financial tips, couponing, or gardening. Your occupation? A pediatric nurse wrote a question-and-answer column concerning children’s health problems. History? A column on what happened 50 years ago on this date will catch the eye of old-timers, as well as area newcomers. Profiles on interesting people in your area? I wrote another column entitled “The Parsonage Queen,” in which I interviewed local pastors’ wives.

Do you like to read? How about a book review column? Or humor? Do you always see the weird side of things?

If you're interested in writing a column, write or visit the appropriate editor with your bio sheet, along with several sample columns. This not only shows your writing ability, but if he or she accepts the idea, you have extra columns on hand in case of emergency or vacation.

If the editor expresses interest but says the paper can’t pay, offer to write the column for free for a period of time. Then ask friends to write or call the newspaper, saying how much they enjoy the column. After an agreed-upon period, talk to the editor again and say you’d like to continue writing at their regular rate.

Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page!


Donna Clark Goodrich




Monday, April 15, 2013

Step in the Write Direction--April 15, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
April 15, 2013
Not too much to update. I had a busy week with two proofreading jobs and working on the father/grandfather anthology. I printed out all those I had received and it came to 83,000 words. I have to get it down to around 67,000 so have work to do. One thing that will make it easier is that a number of writers sent two or three submissions and the publisher usually likes only one from each contributor, so that will cut down some….Our two children who live here in town came over yesterday after church and helped clean house—getting ready for our daughter and family who are coming tomorrow from Oklahoma for a two-week vacation! Can hardly wait to see them!...My husband has an appointment this morning to get the results of a heart ultrasound to see if there are any more blog clots (they found one last September), then next Monday, the 22nd, he’ll have the procedure to replace the defibrillator. Hopefully (and prayerfully) the third wire can be re-used. If not, that will require a second surgery later.
Thought for the Day:
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow (Ronald E. Osborn).
Laugh for the Day: (appropriate for today!)
A man on vacation was strolling along outside his hotel, enjoying the sunny weather. Suddenly, he was attracted by the screams of a woman kneeling in front of a child.

Questioning the mother, the man learned that the child had swallowed a coin. Seizing the child by the heels, the man held him up, gave him a few shakes, and a quarter dropped to the sidewalk.

"Oh, thank you sir!" cried the woman. "You seemed to know just how to get it out of him. Are you a doctor?"

"No, ma'am," replied the man. "I'm with the IRS."
Writer’s Hints:
Reader’s question: How do you get paid when you sell your book to a publisher? Upfront amount? Royalties?
Answer: Every publisher is different. Years ago when I first started selling books (in the early 70s), my first three were bought outright. One was a Bible quiz book which sold for 29 cents and I received $125. When it went out of print, it had sold over 140,000 copies, so you can see I lost money on that. The next two were small devotional books for children and women, and I received $250—also losing money.
Most publishers, however, pay a royalty percentage, usually around 8-10 percent, but you have to know if this is on wholesale (in other words, if a book sells for $10 and a bookstore buys it at a discount for $6, you just get royalties on the $6) or on retail.
Some publishers also give an advance, based on the estimated sales of the book. This is more common with well-known writers or writers who have been previously published by that publisher. You have to remember this is an ADVANCE ON ROYALTIES, so the publisher has to sell enough to recoup that advance before you start getting royalty checks.
I’m not maligning anyone, but don’t think that because it’s a Christian publisher, you can just sign it and send back—no matter how excited are! Years ago a new writer in our group called me all excited because she had received a contract for her children’s book—an outright purchase of $500. I discussed with her what the book would probably sell for and, even if it sold 5,000 copies—an average run at that time, how much she would lose. She wrote the publisher back, turning down the contract. (The publisher did write back, saying they were new and that’s all they could afford at the time, but if they could eventually go the royalty route, they would contact her again as they liked the book.)
 I usually pay Sally Stuart at: to look over a contract when I receive one. Even if everything’s on the up-and-up, you can ask for some changes—more free copies upfront, etc. The one time I didn't have her look at one (she did the original, then they sent an amended one) I'm still regretting it!
Hope this helps!
Enjoy the week spreading the gospel
through the printed page!
Donna Clark Goodrich
 "A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--April 8, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
April 8, 2013
Remember to pray for Pastor Rick Warren and his wife Beverly who lost their 27-year-old son to suicide this past week. For those of us who have experienced this in our own families, we know the pain and the “what-ifs” this can bring….My book manuscript I mentioned in last week’s blog SOLD to Harvest House. It’s titled “A-Joke-a-Day” and will make a good gift for pastors and speakers and anyone who likes a good story….Speaking of gifts, Mother’s Day is coming up and I’m sure your mom or grandma would enjoy  Grandmother, Mother and Me—250 pages of stories, poetry, and delicious recipes. Regular price $23.95 plus s&h; SALE until Mother’s Day—$20, INCLUDING postage. ….I will be going through the grandfather/father anthology submissions this coming week and making the selections…. My husband Gary is still under the weather, the result of the C-Diff that apparently can bring on severe fatigue. (And while you’re at it, can you say a little prayer for me. I have COPD and it’s getting progressively worse. Thanks!)
Thought for the Day:
"The stone was rolled away from the door, not to permit Christ to come out, but to enable the disciples to go in." (Peter Marshall)
Laugh for the Day:
A lady walked into a party, saw an interesting man across the room and went over. She said, "You look just like my fifth husband" He smiled and asked, "How many times have you been married" She sat down beside him and replied "Four!"
Writer’s Hints:
Today we’re sharing some hints on selling reprints:
  • Unless Christian writers have written one or more books, they will receive more checks from selling reprints of previously published manuscripts. One writer who has sold more than 2,000 short stories to Sunday school take-home papers actually makes a living now selling reprints.
  • You have to be as careful in your marketing of reprints as you do when selling First Rights. For example, I received a copy of a Sunday school paper with one of my stories. In that issue they printed a story from a teenager who quit a job because of his convictions, and the editor asked if any reader had a similar story to share. Immediately I thought of a personal experience article I had sold several times before in which I turned down a job because I would have had to work Sundays. I hurriedly printed it off, addressed the envelope, and stuck it in the mailbox. But something kept nagging at me. Suddenly I realized the publisher of that particular Sunday school paper was Seventh-day Adventist. Working on Sunday would be no problem for their readers. I went out and retrieved the envelope, changed Sunday to Sabbath, wrote a short note to the editor, and sent it off. The editor bought it!
  • Be careful when sending out a previously published article with the same query letter. Make sure you have changed the name of the editor and the rest of the address. Just this past week I sent out a book manuscript using the same query letter I had used in the past. I did remember to change the publisher’s information, but when I read the letter again (always a good idea!) I realized it still had a July 2007 date!
  • The biggest thing to remember is that you do not send reprints to the same denomination that published the original article. In other words, if the first publisher was Southern Baptist, you could send reprints to an American Baptist publication, but not to another Southern Baptist magazine. The only time I was successful at this was when I sold an article to a preacher’s magazine, then later sold a reprint to the denomination’s general magazine. Later I changed the title and anecdotes and sold it to the same denomination’s teen magazine.
Have a good week spreading the gospel
through the printed page!
Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"
"The Freedom of Letting Go"