Publisher’s Note: Finding the Time

I’m a schedule-driven person. I need deadlines and organization. Without them, I’ll procrastinate indefinitely. But give me a deadline and I’ll move heaven and earth to meet it.

This year, however, has been chaotic (to put it mildly). Some business years are more challenging than others, and this was one of the more challenging. Because of a couple of unexpected life rolls, we made a lot of changes to some aspects of our business (the retail and teaching side of the business primarily), and I found it was impossible to maintain a schedule.

So, I did what any effective leader does, I adapted. I realized part way into the year that a rigid schedule wasn’t possible, and I would need to be very flexible with handling projects on the fly. The more people involved in a project (and some of our projects, like Fiction River, involve a lot of people), the harder that is, but thanks to our amazing staff, we managed.

The most difficult part of steering a ship through rough waters, as I’ve done this year, is time management. So, how do you manage when there literally is not enough time in the day?

It means knowing that you’ll get overwhelmed and being honest with yourself about how long you can continue working at that pace. It means controlling what you can and recognizing what you can’t but leaving room in the day/week/month for the unexpected. It means, if you’re a schedule-driven person, staying as organized as you can to keep your sanity.

It also means recognizing when you can’t do any more and speaking up.

Sometimes, effective time management means taking time off.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch wrote a wonderful piece called Time Management (it is part of her Freelancer’s Survival Guide as well as a standalone short book). I find it a handy book to help remind me of best practices during challenging times.

You can find it here.

Speaking of helpful books, don’t forget that there’s another Freelancer’s Survival Guide Short Book called The Secrets of Success in The 2018 NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle on StoryBundle, which, along with 11 other informative books, is available until the last week in November for National Novel Writing Month.

You can learn more about that bundle here.

But hurry. Time is running out on this one.

And while you’re there, check out the new Valor: Military SF Storybundle. I’ll have more information about that one in next week’s Publisher’s Note.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: Learning Something New Every Day

I was helping my daughter with her math homework the other day and she didn’t know the answer to the question, but she didn’t want to say that. She’s quite advanced at math (even more so at reading), so she felt like she should know all the answers. She was afraid that if she admitted she didn’t know something, the teacher would think she was stupid.

I was taken aback.

I told her no one knows everything, and there is no shame in not having all the answers. The key is to find out that answer. To investigate. To seek out understanding. To learn.

And never stop learning.

That’s a lesson all of us need to be reminded of from time to time.

It’s why we offer writing and publishing business workshops, for example. To pass along what we’ve learned. And as we keep learning, the workshops grow and evolve.

We just finished up the 2018 Business Master Class, for example. We learned a lot, including that Las Vegas is a much better—but also more expensive—venue for the in-person workshops. Which means we probably need to raise the rates.

But for a limited time, we’re offering an Early Bird Rate of $750 for the 2019 Business Master Class, which will be held October 25-30, 2019, at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. The focus of this workshop is Long-Term Business Strategies for Writers and Independent Publishers. We will be announcing new instructors through the spring and should end up with around ten to twelve again. So, if you’re interested, now’s the time to sign up. You can do that here.

We also have about four spots left for the 2019 Anthology Workshop. The writing for this workshop starts at the end of November, so if you want to sign up for this one, you need to act fast. The fee is $750 and the dates for the workshop itself are March 1-6, 2019, at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. Learn more here.

And don’t forget that we have online lectures and workshops going year-round. Lately we’ve added a new series of workshops to help writers plan the future of their writing business. Because it is a business, and businesses need a plan.

We address this topic in a series of four six-week workshops called The Future Workshop Series. They are:

#1: REFRESH AND RENEW: How to Keep Your Inventory Selling.
#2: OPPORTUNITIES: How to Evaluate and See Opportunities.
#3: STRUCTURE: Habits and Structures for Long-Term Survival
#4: PATIENCE: How, When, Why… Pacing a Career.

The first of these workshops starts this Wednesday, Nov. 7. There are three ways to sign up: you can buy one at a time (the workshops are $300 each); purchase the bundle of all four of them for $1,000 (a savings of $200); or sign up for a lifetime subscription to all the workshops (which has a value of more than $14,000) for $3,000.

For more information or to sign up, go to https://wmg-publishing-workshops-and-lectures.teachable.com/.

They say you should learn something new every day. If you’re a writer, these workshops are an excellent place to start.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: Let the festivals begin!

Dia de los Muertos. Calan Gaeaf. Halloween. Samhain. Diwali…The names themselves sound like a magic incantation, a calling from one world into the next. These are all fall festivals that have roots reaching into the distant past where myth and memory mingle.

I love this time of year. And it’s mostly because of those ancient human feelings that we still have: fear of the dark and a need for reassurance when the nights get long and the cold creeps into our bones. But we also still harbor a fascination with the unknown. What is out there in the dark? And who?

These days we entertain ourselves with scary symbols and images during this season, ghosts and skeletons and eerily carved pumpkins, almost as a reminder of the wonder and fear that originated so long ago. But last year, during the total solar eclipse here in Lincoln City, Oregon, when the moon covered the sun and the day turned to night as though someone flipped the off switch, I had the kind of overpowering sense that I imagine our ancient ancestors must have had when darkness conquered the light. It’s a feeling that bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the soul, a sense of astonishment, of the power of the natural world, and an instant certainty of my own feebleness and insignificance. It was both uncanny and absolutely thrilling. I was agog.

No wonder we conjure spirits to guide us through these encounters with the great mysteries of the universe and our place in it. If there’s one thing we at WMG can provide you with, it’s informative and entertaining guides through the liminal worlds of Halloween, Samhain, Dia de los Muertos and the rest. Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith seem to feel right at home there. Dean has created ghosts who fall in love and spend the afterlife helping the rest of us in the Ghost of a Chance series, as well as dozens of creepy stories with weird characters who inhabit that most liminal of suburban neighborhoods, Bryant Street.

It’s hard to know where to start with all the weird and wonderful characters Kris has created: her books are chockablock with ghosts, mermaids, wizards, and familiars.

Hands down my personal favorite is Ruby.

When she first appears in “Familiar Territory,” she is still a little kitten who intends to become the familiar of a wizard named Winston. He is a kind and humble wizard, with small magic powers. Ruby herself is tiny, soft, black and there is nothing humble about her. Her body is small and her mouth is big. And the adventures she and Winston tackle together are matters of life and death.

Just for you, we have made the Ghost of a Chance Starter Bundle, three novels in one ebook, available. Ruby is also yours for the taking by way of Familiarity: A Winston and Ruby Collection. And we’re tossing into the mix a classic volume of Fiction River—Haunted, which is bursting with ghosts. You can get all three for $2.99 each, but only this week.

Take your pick of guides and enjoy this festive time as we slide into the darkness.

Gwyneth Gibby, WMG Associate Publisher. October 29, 2018.

Publisher’s Note: A Beautiful Autumn

October has always been my favorite month of the year, but for different reasons based on where I’ve lived.

Growing up in New Jersey, in was about the cool, crisp air and the amazing fall colors and the piles of leaves everywhere and pumpkins and apples and everything, you know, traditionally autumn. (I have learned since moving from New Jersey to other parts of the country that what tends to be portrayed as typical weather is really Mid-Atlantic East Coast weather.)

Now that I live on the Oregon Coast, I love October because it’s our best opportunity for beautiful, peaceful weather.

We had a stretch of such weather recently. Sunny, warm, relatively windless. Not cool and crisp but very pleasant. And the colors don’t compare to those in the Mid-Atlantic states, but you can still find some color (and the pumpkins and apples, etc.) by taking a drive.

One such sunny day, my husband and I drove in a loop of an hour east then about 45 minutes south, then an hour west and 45 minutes north. I was struck by the amazing juxtaposition of scenery in Oregon. The drives east, south, and west were all about fall color amid the dominant evergreens of the region. But the drive north was all about sparkling, blue ocean. Breathtakingly beautiful.

Growing up I would never have associated the ocean with fall. But I do now.

So, let me send a little bit of that beauty and peacefulness across the internet to you with a lighthearted story suggestion that puts a fun twist on the classic fairy tale fare: “The Charming Way” by Kristine Grayson.

Here’s the synopsis:

Mellie keeps a secret: she blames fairy tales for ruining her life. She believes she can stop fairy tales from ruining other people’s lives by forcing booksellers to stop selling fairy tales. 

But on the way to her protest at a book fair, she runs into a handsome man. A very handsome man who also happens to be Prince Charming. And he loves books. Even fairy tales.

The short story that provided the inspiration for Grayson’s paranormal romance novel, Wickedly Charming.

Click here for more information.

Happy Fall!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: Bundling Up for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is fast approaching, and Kevin J. Anderson has curated another of his annual Storybundles to help you writers out there make the most of it.

We have not one but two WMG Writer’s Guides in this informative 12-book bundle: The Secrets of Success by New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch and How to Write a Novel in Ten Days by USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith.

Here are a few words about The 2018 NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle StoryBundle from Kevin:

It’s that time of year: November is “NaNoWriMo” or National Novel Writing Month, when ambitious authors take the challenge to write the first draft of a novel from start to finish in a month. While gearing up for the challenge, writers are looking for advice, techniques, and resources.

And boy do we have a toolkit for you! I’ve curated an impressive collection of a dozen books on writing that will be inspirational, helpful, maybe even provocative. You can get all of the books for as little as $15, and a portion of the proceeds goes directly to benefit the Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education.

In this bundle, you’ll get titles with basic nuts-and-bolts advice on writing, including How to Write a Novel by Simon Haynes, Story Pitch by Scott King, The How-To Structure Workbook for Trilogies, Series, and Parallel Worlds by C. Michelle Jeffries, Writing As a Team Sport on collaboration by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta (we included a partial sneak-preview of this book in last year’s bundle, and this version is greatly expanded), and How to Polish Your Manuscript into a Rock-Solid Book by Andrea Pearson.

We’ve included inspirational and motivational titles to get your book done, You Must Write: Success Through Heinlein’s Rules by Kevin McLaughlin, Pulp Speed for the Professional Writer by Blaze Ward, and How to Write a Novel in Ten Days by Dean Wesley Smith (and, yes, he does that…regularly).

And for those of you thinking about the big picture, we have important career advice with The Secrets of Success by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Become a Successful Indie Author by Craig Martelle, and The Healthy Writer by Joanna Penn. For those of you interested in the whole process of bundling, we include the StoryBundle exclusive, Bundle Up! by Jamie J. Ferguson.

In short—you need these books!

Click here to read much more about the bundle.

Happy writing!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.