Sunday, September 25, 2011

MomWriters - Outstanding Support & Encouragement

MomWriters is an online group of mothers who band together to support and encourage each other. Their web site provides an overview of the organization. However, the heart and soul of these women writers shines through the Yahoo online group.

Here daily conversations include requests for sources for articles, promotional & marketing suggestions, discussion regarding experiences with various publications and questions about what to charge for a writing project. In addition, since members are moms, parenting questions, goals and ideas are shared. There is no cost to join the group or dues to pay for continuing membership.
Carma Haley Shoemaker is a moderator at MomWriters. Carma, please tell us more about

There are writers out there who don't have support in any aspect in their life when it comes to their writing. They want to write -- it pains them they want it so badly. They do it in secret if they have to. They have tried to share it with their family and friends but have received feedback such as, "Why would you want to do something stupid like that?" or "You can't write -- you're not a real writer!" or maybe even, "Who do you think you are? J.K. Rowling?" Their efforts may be met with laughter, or anger, and it makes them feel that writing is not worth all of "this," so they quit, they don't write anymore.

Momwriters gives these writers a place to turn for support when no one else will support them. We offer them a place to say, "I want to write but my family says ..." and we listen, we hear them, and we know how they feel because more than one of the 1700+ of us have been there. We let them know that it is okay to write and that they CAN do it. We help them see that if they want to write -- if writing is what they really want to do -- then a non-supportive family of friends who don't understand should not stop them.

We have all been "beginners" at one time in our lives and we all know how scary it is. By offering each other support, Momwriters helps to make the whole process a little less scary.

Thank you Carma. If you are a mom who writes and is looking for support, visit and sign up for the MomWriters Yahoo online group.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brenda Whiteside's Debut Novel- Sleeping with the Lights On

Today we welcome Brenda Whiteside to Writers in Business. Brenda has been writing all of her life in one way or another from the captions on her childish artwork to teenage psychedelic scrolls to her current novel. After publishing several short stories, she turned to writing novels.

Brenda, tell us about your debut novel.

My first novel, Sleeping with the Lights On, was published by Wild Rose Press in the summer of 2010.

What is it about?

Sandra Holiday thinks she’s met the man to end her years of less than perfect choices; choices that not only derailed her travel-related career plans but also left her single and broke.

Carson Holiday, a Las Vegas country crooner with swoon-inducing good looks, spent his adult life pursuing a recording contract and love, never holding on to either. After eighteen years, he drops back into Sandra’s life, reigniting an attraction he can’t deny.

When Carson reappears, Sandra must choose again. Only this time, nothing’s as it seems. A secret admirer, a redheaded stalker, and an eccentric millionaire throw her on a dangerous path, with Carson her only truth.

As life confronts her with yet another turning point, will her decisions find her eternally sleeping with the lights on – or will she finally discover a way to turn them off?

Are there any other books in the works?

Yes, An Elfin Secret will be released in November 2011 as part of an anthology (Warm Christmas Wishes); Tattoos, Leather and Studs will release in November 2011 as a short e-book; Honey On White Bread, a novel, will release in January 2012; and It Happened After Midnight, a novelette, will release in 2012.

Congratulations on the success of your writing! What inspires you?

I have two main sources of inspiration. One is real life stories of people close to me. Sometimes an event someone experienced will be a springboard for my book and other times it might be a path of discovery that person is on.

My second source of inspiration is maturity. I enjoy writing about women who are 40 plus and having an adventure of the heart or taking a new direction in their lives.

My life is also blessed with three creative soul mates; my son (a singer/song writer), my husband (an excellent photographer), and my dog, Rusty (the smartest dog in the world).

Brenda is available for book club and speaking engagements. You can find her online at

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Writing Resources

Writers often contact me to ask about resources. There are many options on the Internet, but which ones are reputable? Here are a few of my favorite sites.

1. Savvy Authors
Savvy Authors strives to provide the best tools, classes, and networking opportunities for authors in all stages of their writing careers, from aspiring novelists to multi-published authors.

2. Funds For Writers
Funds for Writers emphasizes finding money to make writing a realistic career. Other websites provide guidance on how to write, how to query or how to format manuscripts, but Funds for Writers gives you direction on the funding streams. They focus on markets, competitions, awards, grants, publishers, agents, and jobs for your writing abilities.

3. Christina Katz, The Writer's Workout Coach
Christina Katz is the author of three books from Writer’s Digest: The Writer’s Workout, Get Known Before the Book Deal, and Writer Mama. Through her site she teaches writers to prosper by building solid, saleable, life-long career skills via classes and training groups that work even in a rapidly evolving publishing marketplace.

4. Well-Fed Writer
Peter Bowerman is the author of several titles including The Well-Fed Writer. He offers one-on-one coaching, classes, seminars, newsletter and a blog providing information on how to succeed as a writer.

5. Carolyn Howard-Johnson-How To do It Frugally Series of Books"Author of several books on promoting & marketing your book within a budget, Carolyn offers a newsletter, seminars, workshops and ebooks.

6. Publicity Hound
Publicity expert Joan Stewart shows you how to use free publicity to establish your credibility, enhance your reputation, position yourself as an expert and sell more products. Her site offers workshops, seminars, blog, and newsletter which can be used to promote your writing.

7. Para Publishing
Wherever you are in the development of your book (thinking, planning, writing, producing or promoting stage), Para Publishing has the tools to make your venture faster, easier and more successful. Dan Poynter is the author of more than 76 books and provides consulting, seminars and a variety of reports writers will find useful.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it's a start. What are some of your favorite sites?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Marketing Your Writing Business by Brigitte Thompson

There is a lot involved in establishing your business and getting that first customer, but it is only the beginning. You will need to build a solid client base for your writing business to succeed.

Consider hanging signs advertising your business on public bulletin boards with tear off phone number strips. Contact local newspapers to ask about writing a short column for readers where you can share tips on a specific topic in exchange for the publicity. For example, you may be able to write a column and instead of being paid by the newspaper, you are allowed to include your contact information and web site which acts as an advertisement for your business.

Local radio stations may be interested in your tips for their listeners as well. If you are a sport fishing writer who can offer their listeners tips on great places to fish, pitch it to the station. You can record the tips and the station can air them with your name and contact information.

A web site provides an affordable means to reach your customers 24 hours a day. Domain names are affordable and several low cost hosting sites are now available online. Business cards and signs are a great way to let people know about your business. Hanging flyers at local colleges is a great way to attract professors looking for help writing their next article or book. Be sure to include all the benefits your service will provide and how it will make a positive difference in their lives. Keep your business cards handy so you can share them with people you meet who may have an interest in your services.

Networking is very important for any new business. Look into your local Chamber of Commerce or national writing organizations for additional people you can connect with or advertise through.
The Internet offers a multitude of ways to publicize, market, and promote your services as well as being a fantastic resource for learning more about the field of writing. Connecting with organizations and other writers through the Internet is a productive way to spend a few hours each day. Many discussion groups are available to writers through If you visit, just go to their Groups link then enter “writing,” “editing” or be even more specific and search for “moms who write comedy” or “science fiction screen play writers.” You will be amazed at what will turn up.

Brigitte is an accountant and the author of several business recordkeeping books including Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers available through She is a freelance writer living in Vermont with her husband, three children, two cats and three dogs. You can visit her online at Datamaster Accounting Services, LLC and Bookkeeping for Writers .