Am I Published?

Jen Nipps @ Open Mic
(c) 2017 Richard R. Barron Used with permission

If you’ve been on this blog any at all, you know the answer to this.

The short answer: Yes.

The long answer: Yes, and I have 10 books (including 2 novels and a book of poems), 3 short ebooks, and 3 short stories available under Jen Nipps (nonfiction) and Kat O’Reilly (fiction). I have another book in the editing process with a publisher and at least two more in that series. (One in progress, one in planning stages.)

I’ve had multiple articles and other short pieces published in WritingforDollars, Ada Magazine, the Ada News, Writers’ Journal, World of Myth Magazine, and 4Health Magazine. This doesn’t include various anthologies and other websites and blogs.

Some of the articles that were published in WritingforDollars have been republished in short ebooks through JEN Enterprises Presents and are: Bop Your Way Through Writer’s Block, 3 Keys to the Kingdom, and Why You Need a Writing Practice.

The short stories I currently have available are “They Call Me Malak,” “Sex, Politics, & Vampires,” and “This Is Your Karma.”

I’m keeping track of other things I want to write, so this is not all that you’ll see from me.

Hug the Ones You Love

I have been following a story off and on throughout the day yesterday. In Oklahoma City, a six-year-old boy fell into Lake Stanley Draper. His mother jumped in and tried to save him, paramedics work on him all the way to the hospital, but he died last night.

That’s just unimaginable. I couldn’t figure out what to post for today, but there are few things more important then family and telling everyone you care about that you love them.

Hug the ones you love. We’ll be back on a regular posting schedule tomorrow.

Here’s a link to the story if you want to see it.

Live & Learn … Or Get Brain Rot

reportersnotebook_black
Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

This is something I’ve said for years. I don’t know if I came up with it or if I made it up. But it’s true. If we aren’t learning, we’re not growing. At best, we’re stagnating. At worst, we’re deteriorating.

To that end, I like to go to a couple conferences a year. And I read a lot and watch informational videos on YouTube.

Last month, I wasn’t able to go to one of my favorite conferences. This week, I’m making up for it. I found a free conference with great content. I didn’t have to go far to find it either. It landed in my lap. I saw a Facebook ad for it.

My point here is, our lives, our creativity, depend on learning. We don’t have to pay a lot for it. But we do have to invest time. That’s one thing we claim we don’t have enough of, yet everyone has the same amount of time in one day. Take 15 to 30 minutes out of your day to read or watch a couple short videos.

Learn something. Your brain, and your creativity, will thank you.

My Credentials

jen1It has been implied recently that I am not a “real” writer because I am not “serious” about my career. I’m not naming names or anything like it. That is counterproductive to what I am doing here.

It is true that I don’t brag and send out press releases every time I have something going on. That’s my fault. And that will change. But for now, here is a list of–well–a lot.

I have over 20 years of experience in writing for publication. My work has appeared in WritingforDollars.com (unfortunately now out of publication), Writers JOURNAL, Ada Evening News in the main paper (series on meth in Ada) and in the annual Progress Edition, Ada Hub Magazine, Ada Magazine, 4HEALTH Magazine, World Of Myth Magazine, and the OWFI Report (a column of website reviews and Internet-based tools for writers that ran for five years). Articles have also appeared on eHow.com and Demand Studios.

I am a hybrid author, meaning I have been traditionally and independently published. I have two novels and three short stories out under the pen name Kat O’Reilly. I have a series of short ebooks (currently three titles have been released with more to come), a book of devotions, a book about Twitter, books about creativity, and books about planning. Currently, I am working with The Wild Rose Press toward the publication of a paranormal/mystery novel, which is the first in a trilogy.

The complete list of my titles is:

Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone (currently out of print)
Get “Twitter”pated: A Writer’s Handbook to Twitter
Windsong & Other Poems
80 Creativity Tips
Create Your Own DIY Planner
Project Planner for Creatives
8 Patterns to Crochet
Journal Your Way to Creativity

JEN Enterprises Presents:
Why You Need a Writing Practice
BOP Your Way Through Writer’s Block
3 Keys to the Kingdom

Written as Kat O’Reilly:
Navajo Rose
Kiernan’s Curse
“They Call Me Malak”
“This Is Your Karma”
“Sex, Politics, & Vampires”

My articles, novels, and poems have won various awards. I have been a writer-in-residence on several occasions at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs. I have presented at conferences, civic organizations, and even this group. I have served as a contest judge for OKRWA (the Oklahoma chapter of RWA – Romance Writers of America) and OWFI. I have served in numerous volunteer positions within OWFI, including as 1st and 2nd Vice-President. If you are unfamiliar with the OWFI organization, the 1st VP is the person in charge of the contest.

I do not present any of this to put-down or disparage anyone. I mention it only to correct the implication that I am not “serious” about my career.

A New-ish Endeavor

Why do I say “New-ish?”

It’s still writing. It’s something I’ve thought about doing. But I’m finally doing it.

What is “it?”

I have been collecting ideas for short ebooks that I want to do. Then I started looking at the files on my hard drive and it hit me.

I have a good variety of articles that I have written but were either never published or published to a small audience. Why couldn’t I make those into ebooks to get this started?

So I am!

They are under “JEN Enterprises Presents.” So far, there is Why You Need a Writing Practice, BOP Your Way Through Writer’s Block, and 3 Keys to the Kingdom. They are all 99-cents. They are only on Kindle, though I will soon have PDFs available for sale on this site. I want to have at least five available before I do that, though.

In the meantime, if there is a writing/creativity subject you would like to see covered, leave a comment or send me a message using the comment form here.

Book Recommendation: Real Artists Don’t Starve

Real Artists Don't Starve coverI have been putting together a list of books that I’ve read that I would like to recommend to you. I was going to wait until I finished reading my current book before I posted that, though.

Then I decided it would be a disservice to you to put that off. Yes, this book is that good.

It’s Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins. In it, he tackles the myth of the starving artist and offers tips and suggestions for how we can thrive, regardless of what creative field we are in, instead.

He uses a combination of historical and contemporary examples, expert advice, advice from artists of all stripes, and his personal experience.

I’ve read a few of Goins’ other books and liked them. They’re all solid and have great information and advice. In my opinion, though, Real Artists is his strongest book to date.

I’m only about halfway through it and I already highly recommend you read it at least once.

Click here or on the image above for a new window to open for purchase options. (It’s currently $1.99 on Kindle.)

Making Money Writing

Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

Yesterday, a friend contacted me on Facebook Messenger with a question.

My daughter is interested in trying to publish a book she’s working on. Short stories and poems. She asked if i knew anyone that did that and of course you popped in my head. If it’s not too personal, can you tell me if you make money doing that? And what the process to do so is?

The thing of it is, there’s no simple answer.

Can you make money writing? Yes and no, because it depends on what you want to write and how much you market yourself. As a preliminary, I told her this:

The short answer is that some types of writing can and do make money. I haven’t made much because marketing intimidates the hell out of me. Even the big names have to do self-promotion. As for how to do it, take a look at CreateSpace.com. They’re pretty easy to use. The way I do it with their self-guided process doesn’t cost anything unless I order books.

Yes, I know marketing shouldn’t intimidate me. That’s really not the point here. (Plus I’m working on that and getting better at it.)

One of the biggest things to remember is that writing is just the beginning of the work. How many revisions and edits you go through will vary from project to project. And then there’s the whole publishing process.

Now, like I said in my original answer to my friend, most of my stuff is published using CreateSpace, so I follow the process laid out in their self-guided system. I don’t talk to anyone in customer support, so it doesn’t cost me anything until I order books.

I almost said the work of marketing/self-promotion starts then, but, really, you need to be doing that all along. Be talking about it on your social media platform(s). I mainly use Twitter and Facebook, but I do occasionally post writing-related stuff, especially when I have a new book out, on LinkedIn. The more you talk about it, the more interest you generate, which will (hopefully) translate into sales down the road.

Take a lesson from me: Don’t be shy about marketing and self-promotion. Most of the big names even have to promote themselves. Except maybe Stephen King.

So, what makes the most money?

Mostly, nonfiction. Followed by romance. I did a Google search on the question “what kind of writing makes the most money?” Just click the link to see the search results.

The funny thing (to me) about the timing of this question is that I’ve been thinking about that. Making money writing.

A few years ago, I taught a class through the community education program at the local college. The name of it? “Make Money Writing.” In it, I talked mostly about writing for magazines, the query process, researching articles, finding other resources, etc. I’ve been thinking about moving that online, either as a video course or an email series.

Let me know if there’s any interest in that and which format would be best.

I promised my friend a list of resources. I’ve been thinking about how to narrow that down because I have enough that I could probably fill a book with just links. I’ve decided to just list the top 5. Links will open in a new window. If you have a pop-up blocker, hold the Ctrl key down when you click it so it will open.

Resources:
Writer’s Digest
CreateSpace
Purdue Online Writing Lab
Ralan (market listing)
Help a Reporter (more for nonfiction, though can be useful for fiction)

There are a lot more I could add, but the sheer mountain of information available just from these resources can be overwhelming enough.

By the way, in speaking of making money writing, the type of writing that traditionally makes the least amount of money?

Poetry.

However, with that said, if you’re just writing for the money, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Happy creating.