Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Writer’s Workout by Christina Katz

The Writer’s Workout: 366 Tips, Tasks & Techniques from your Writing Career Coach By Christina Katz

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. Her writing career tips and parenting advice appear regularly in national, regional, and online publications. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in English from Dartmouth College.

A popular speaker on creative career growth, Christina presents for writing conferences, literary events, MFA writing programs, and libraries. She is the creator and host of the Northwest Author Series in Wilsonville, Oregon, where she lives with her husband, her daughter, and far too many pets.

Christina, Welcome to Writers in Business! Tell us about your new book, The Writer’s Workout.

The Writer’s Workout contains 366 ideas—one idea per day—intended to encourage writers into prosperous action. It reviews critical skills for every writer such as improving craft, learning to sell work, how and when to specialize, ways to keep learning and growing, self-promotion from the basics through advanced topics, and how to balance traditional publication with self-publication.

How is The Writer’s Workout different from other writing books already out there?

One thing that makes The Writer’s Workout unique is that the rise and fall of the how-to curve is set against the backdrop of the seasons of the year. The seasonal backdrop helped me deliver advice for writers on four levels: beginner, intermediate, seasoned pro, and veteran—each paralleling a season: spring, summer, fall, or winter. The result, I hope, is one idea every day that will help writers find and maintain literary momentum all year long in these highly distracted times.

Some people say these are tough times for writers. Others say there are opportunities around every corner. What do you say?

I say we are living in a gig economy, where professionals are stringing freelance jobs together into creative careers. We’re all doing the best we can, finding and maintaining our momentum. Not only can The Writer’s Workout assist folks who are just getting started supplementing their income with writing, it can help people who have already been writing professionally recognize that there are more opportunities to build income streams writing than any of us have realized. And then it’s just a matter of choosing the goals that will best suit your goals.

I understand The Writer’s Workout originally had a different title. What was the original title?

The Writer’s Workout actually had three previous titles. I’ll share them if folks, who have read the book, will tell me which they think is the best match with the final version.
1. The first title was: Read. Write. Grow.
2. The second title was: The Everyday Writing Coach.
3. The third title was: The Anyday Writing Coach.
4. And the fourth and final title was: The Writer’s Workout.
Personally, I prefer The Writer’s Workout. But what does everyone else think?

Any final comments you would like to make in closing?

At the end of the day, it does not matter if you are self-published or traditionally published, blogging or not blogging, a book-sniffer or a digital diva, a social media maven or a social media deer-in-the-headlights—what matters is that you cultivate the creativity that wants to be expressed through you. That’s your job. Go do it!

Wonderful advice! Thank you Christina! To learn more about her writing visit,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Allan Douglas Writes!

Self described as “an author, writer, prattler, dreamer” Douglas Allan Bittinger (pen name Allan Douglas) has been writing articles, short stories, poetry and novels since the late 1960's.

Three of his books have been published so far; a fourth book is in progress. Stories about his life as a mountain man wannabe are posted on his blog, Simple Life Prattle. He also blogs about writing at The Write Stuff.

Welcome to Writers in Business! Let’s start off with an overview of your experiences and they have become part of what you write.

I have blogs that share what I've learned as a woodworker, as a gardener, as a writer, and as someone who has learned to live a less frantic lifestyle. I have been a real teacher: I've taught many woodworking classes at Rockler Woodworking, taught 5th grade computer science, I was a pre-school teacher for many years, taught gymnastics, and I currently teach a young adult Sunday School class.

The Write Stuff is a way to inform others but was conceived as a marketing tool for my books for writers. The other blogs have no such ulterior motives - yet. I am working on my Mountain Man's Gardening Guide, which would be featured on one of my other blogs - and mentioned frequently in my column for Grit Magazine: Of Mice and Mountain Men.

You are a man of many talents! Tell us about your Simple Life Prattle blog.

Easy to understand, deal with, and use. Not elaborate, ornate or complicated. Free of deceit, unpretentious. Humble. Those are our favorite dictionary definitions of the word Simple and they express our vision of The Simple Life.

We are accomplishing this by moving closer to nature and being aware of the Earth, by seeking God’s will for us, embracing the good things and happy times that are here for us right now, and by uncomplicating our lives. We can not (yet) claim to be minimalists, but we do embrace many of those precepts.

We moved from St Louis MO. to the Great Smoky Mountains in 2001 to begin our pursuit of simplicity. We live on 5 acres of wooded, steeply sloping mountainside land. Mountain side living can provide a few challenges, but it is serenely beautiful here, the air is clean and fresh and we love living where the clouds recline for the night. The articles offered in the blog posts are snippets of our journey and discoveries we have made along the way.

The articles I have read on your blog are inspirational. I admire the simple, uncomplicated way of life and hope someday to follow that path. Your other blog is for writers, the Write Stuff.

The Write Stuff is a collection of articles on the topic of being a writer. Some apply to blogging, some to writing for magazines, some to writing a book, some to marketing your work, and some to the life, frustrations and blessings of being a freelance writer.

I am not a world famous author, nor a teacher of creative writing. I am just a guy sharing what I’ve learned. If you are wondering if I’m just parroting what others have said or actually know something to talk about, check out the About The Author page. I think you will see that while I may not be on the NYT Best Sellers list, I *do* have some experience.

While exploring your web site and blogs, I read your article Writing for Profit or Pleasure: Where (and how) to Publish and was impressed by the amount of information it contained. Useful tips, thoughtful suggestions and concise instruction. I understand you share details in your book, Writing for Profit or Pleasure; Where to Publish Your Work. Can you tell us more about it?

Yes, my book is 146 pages, 30,000 words of concise, insightful information about where and how a writer can achieve publication of their writings. Whether you write for income or for the joy of it, whether you aspire to write on-line or for print, this book has a wealth of information to help you find and secure publication.

It can be purchased through Amazon as a print book , in Kindle format and for the Nook .

Can you share a tip with my readers?

In my view, blogging and social media are about quality not quantity. By that I mean that gathering a group of 2,000 people who are actually interested in what you say and will read your stuff is far more valuable than 10,000 people who ignore you. Big numbers may look impressive, but are of little use other than impressing people who don't know better.

Very true words of wisdom! Thank you for visiting us at Writers in Business! Readers, you can learn more about Allan Douglas by visiting him online at Allan

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

C. Hope Clark's Lowcountry Bribe- Part of the Carolina Slade Mystery Series

“He winked and clicked his tongue. Panic coursed through me at the altered state. Like hearing that your church-going mother likes her bourbon straight and sex on top. He’d offered me a bribe.”

Welcome to C. Hope Clark’s other world. Lowcountry Bribe, released in February 2012, is the first book in the Carolina Slade Mystery Series which is set in South Carolina and is certain to captivate you.

C. Hope Clark was born and reared in the South, from Mississippi to South Carolina with a few stints in Alabama and Georgia. The granddaughter of a Mississippi cotton farmer, Hope holds a B.S. in Agriculture with honors from Clemson University. She has 25 years’ experience with the U. S. Department of Agriculture all of which enable her to talk the talk of Carolina Slade, the protagonist in most of her novels.

Welcome to Writers in Business! I understand there is an interesting story behind the concept for your series.

Yes, the concept of the series originated from my many experiences with USDA investigations as well as those of my husband, retired Resident-Agent-in-Charge Gary W. Clark, Sr. I spent a career in the rural arena, covering every county in South Carolina via my positions within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The main character in my series, Carolina Slade, fights crime, with the aid of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General, a little touted arm of the federal government filled with badge-toting agents just like the FBI.

Can you tell us more about Carolina?

Carolina Slade is smart, sometimes too smart. She’s cocky, sometimes too cocky. She has a white streak in her long dark hair, and what goes against the grain of many mystery writers in the industry, she has two kids. Ivy and Zack provide a three-dimensional side to Slade unseen in other mysteries with female characters. And they can be a hoot!

Slade stumbled into sleuthing by accident then fell in so deep she had to embrace it. Then she learned to love it. Then it became her job. Her love life, well, let’s say she has one, but the kids and solving cases seem to come first, turning into a rub with the man who wants to become her guy. .

In researching for our interview, I was thrilled to discover your book had already won several awards.
Yes, Lowcountry Bribe's opening chapter took first place in the Phillip Mangelsdorf Award, third place in Alabama Writer’s Conclave Competition and honorable mention in The Writing Show Chapter Competition as judged by bestselling mystery author C. J. Box. The chapter also made top three finalist status of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense sponsored by Romance Writers of America. The novel enjoyed semi-finalist status (top 100 out of 10,000) in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.

As an award-winning writer, you have been published in The Writer Magazine, Writer’s Digest, Chicken Soup, Next Step Magazine, College Bound Teen, Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), TURF Magazine, Landscape Management and other trade and online publications. Can you share a marketing tip with us based on your experience?

The most successful marketing tip I can give writers promoting themselves and their work, whether novel, copywriting, plays, etc., is to write articles. That means guest blogs, magazine articles, newsletter pieces. Do you know that one article can reach more people in a weekend than your book could sell in a year? That's serious promotion.

I love guest blogs, no matter how large or small. They are today's word-of-mouth, and so quickly re-delivered via Facebook and Twitter. How hard is it to write 500-700-word pieces? And each article improves your search power on Google, and the viral potential is phenomenal. People find me more through articles on other sites than any other method.

Thank you Hope!

You have until March 15th to win a free copy of Lowcountry Bribe through GoodReads . If you don’t win, be sure to buy your copy through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Bell Bridge Books.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Carolyn Howard-Johnson - Frugal Book Promoter

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a multi award-winning novelist and poet. She is also the author of the award-winning series of books for writers, How to do it Frugally. Carolyn has been an instructor for nearly a decade at the renowned UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. She is visiting Writers in Business to announce her newest release, the second edition of the Frugal Book Promoter.

Welcome Carolyn! Congratulations on your new book! Please tell us about it.

The new edition of The Frugal Book Promoter is bigger (nearly twice as big!) and updated. This edition even has its own subtitle to reflect the broader audience it appeals to. It is - “Ta Da! How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher.” But it still has all the award-winning qualities of the first edition, maybe even more! This book is the self-promoter’s bible.

I’ve learned a lot from reading your books! You share great ideas that are affordable and easy to put into action. Could you share one tip with my readers?

Sure, the Internet is traditionally a place where freebies abound. To assure traffic to your site, give something away. E-books are a good way to start because they cater to our need for instant gratification (and information!).

I understand you have received some influential endorsements for this book.

Yes, Dan Poynter, author of The Self-Publishing Manual said “The most expensive parts of book promotion are the mistakes. This book will save you time and money.”

It has been honored by USA Book News and Los Angeles Book Festival.

Tony Eldridge, author and blogger at Marketing Tips for Authors also endorsed my book. He wrote “I love this is the answer to an author's prayer. Most authors are shocked and unprepared for the marketing that goes into having a successful book. Carolyn creates a resource that you'll go to again and again for advice and instructions on promoting. Seldom do I see a resource packed with as much practical information as I see in The Frugal Book Promoter II."

This praise is well deserved. You have authored several books on effective, frugal promotion and I understand you also offer a newsletter for writers.

My newsletter, Sharing With Writers Sharing With Writers, is published semi-monthly and offers useful tips for writers including the craft of writing, marketing, promotion, editing and social networking. It’s a place where writers can come to learn and share what they know.

You can sign up for the newsletter by sending an email to Learn more about the Frugal Book Promoter and Carolyn’s other outstanding books by visiting her online at How to do it