Category Archives: Writing tips

Do you charge what you are worth?

Do you sell your wares? What are they worth? The products could be anything from knitted outfits to beautiful paintings.

But how about your services?

When I became a development editor, I set in my mind what I thought I should charge for it. I didn’t want to put a number so out of reach that it would scare potential clients away. Also, you don’t want to be charging the bottom of the barrel.

Yet, that is what people want you to do. But in that comes a catch 22.

People want the best bargain. But then they question the validity of your service. It is said that the best of the best costs more. Bargain deals are for the lukewarm items.

So, if I charge a lot, I might not get clients. If I price my ware too low, people are hesitant. Even more frustrating is when people want you to do it for free.

As I started getting clients, the first few were a learning curve. The first person I charged in food. Yes, you heard me. I would meet the client at a coffee shop, and she would feed me. The experience and her testimony to build on was the goal.

Another new client gave me a flat fee for what he was willing to pay. Considering the length of his book that made my hourly wage below minimum wage. But I was building a clientele, so I did it to get the experience and another testimony.

I, for years, would reach out to my fellow authors in our area, wanting to help them. No one took me up on my offer. By the time they finally did, and we are talking years later, I was now charging much to their surprise. I didn’t budge. Taking the time and effort to build a person’s social platform, work on their website, or doing development work on their stories is high. It is time I am taking away from my platform, site, and own writings, not to mention family.

Attending a class at a writer’s conference that was on knowing your worth was eye-opening. For all of us to start charging for my wares and services. I should not let people barter me down for their own sake and against mine.

I now challenge anyone who wants to hire me, and are not liking the cost, to try to find someone, anyone, who will do it at a lower price. They won’t. I’ve checked.

I am sticking to my guns. Everyone ought to when it comes to their services. We put a lot of work into what we do. As authors, you should not expect me to lower my standards for you. Would you do that for me?

The only difference is I would not ask you to do this for me for free.

Writing a query letter: Do the research



How many writers know how to write a query letter? If you self publish than you are good to go. But if you are trying to be traditional published or get a literary agent this is an important piece of paper you will probably ever write for your book.

In a query letter it is imperative you don’t make it long. If you get more than 2/3 of a page you have written to much. In it you write everything about your book in a concise way that will entice a publisher or agent to want to reach back to you.

This paper should have three to four paragraphs tops.

In the first paragraph you are reaching out to them. If you have met them at a meeting, conference and so on you would bring this up here. But it is a quick introduction. The second paragraph you are mentioning the title, word count, target audience and a very brief synopsis on what the book is about. The last paragraph is normally just you wrapping it up with anything that can be pertinent such as awards, recognition and so forth.

Simple, right? By all accounts it is but getting it just right takes some time.

But do your research before you just slap this together. I had no clue how to write one before I started submitting my first book-Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure. But I took the time to check it out and I asked people in the business.

Please make sure you follow the guidelines on submission. Every agent and publisher have their own rules on how to do so. Follow them. Just follow them. Yes, follow their rules. If you don’t well you can guess where your letter will be filed.

Give your book a chance to be seen. Doing that involves writing the best query for your book.

Writing content for your blog: As easy as 1, 2, 3?


It is not always easy to come up with content for this blog. I mean about 95 percent of the time I know what I am going to talk about. It is those last 5 percent that I sit back in my chair, which our neighbor Rick gave me that is way too comfortable for its own good, that I ponder on what to talk about.

There are so many sites on the matter on what to write about. There are even people you could pay to write content for you. To me that is extreme at this point in my career. I don’t consider myself cheap. I call it frugal. If I can do it myself, even if it takes me some time, than I will do most things in life myself before paying anyone for anything.

But as I sat back it hit me. Content. I would write about the topic itself. It all goes back to what kind of blog you are running and what is the point of it. This blog is geared toward my brand, myself and all aspects of writing whatever those may be.

Now there are tons of topics on blogging. As I went over my history of what I have talked about here I have discussed a lot of things. I even discussed content. But somethings do need repeating for those new to my site or just as a refresher course.

It is when I remind myself however of the point to this blog that an idea comes to me. If you are avid in your blogging and your brand content really shouldn’t be an issue at all. If you are in the game long enough finding ideas to discuss and share with your readers should not be that hard. Just sit back and think on the conferences you go to, the newsletters you receive, the email and letters you get, the people you interact with and a host of other avenues. Everyone, if you are doing it right, has a network of all of that and they are talking about some topic of what your career is about. There is a good chance you know something about it to write on.

Take a breather. It will come to you. If it doesn’t just holler. I’ll toss ideas your way.