Publishing with iUniverse — Yea or Nay? (an iUniverse review)

I think any POD self-publishing place that is well-known can provide you a good book. The key is to get it professionally edited

Before we get into the nitty gritty details of this topic, let’s begin with establishing what exactly iUniverse is, and what makes it different from traditional publishing and self-publishing. In a nutshell, there are three types of publishing:

publishing chartSo there’s the breakdown. iUniverse is an assisted/vanity publisher, meaning you pay them money and they publish your book for you. Assisted/vanity publishers have a God-awful reputation amongst self-published authors, due to their tendency to squeeze authors for every penny they have. There have also been all sorts of lawsuits filed over missed/inaccurate royalty payments, publishing books without the author’s permission, etc. On the other hand, many authors have gone with assisted/vanity publishers and been perfectly satisfied.

So … iUniverse — Yea or Nay?

The Good

  • The friendliness. Every employee I have ever spoken to at iUniverse has been incredibly polite, friendly, and eager to assist me in any way they can…

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Not my hero, Or Wait….

I had a suggestion as a member of the Lakefly Writers Conference. Jess Riley. I think I even contacted her via Facebook. I don’t think we have even met and she was not one of my main authors I read. I never tried to emulate her. However, she lives in Oshkosh, so I ran across her book Driving Sideways. It is a great book and her later works are spirited and well-written. We want writers like that and we really want to celebrate Wisconsin authors.

Now lately I’ve been trying to remember experiences at Lakefly. Write here what kind of talent we have speak. Well, I was doing other things, so I didn’t even go to Riley’s session.

So why write about this? Because it got me thinking. I do not know a lot about Riley, except for occasionally coming across her blog and her Facebook posts. So I do know this. She is a published author. Obvious, but that is a succinct way of saying a lot. She is active in the writing community, However, she also has a demanding job as a grant writer.

We would all like to be that writer that gets up in the morning and writes for a living. In this day and age it is almost impossible. So, my goal, and probably most writers goal is to write and do it well while maintaining a source of income for groceries.

Jess Riley does that. Yet she is also to write intriguing stories. We have Driving Sideways- a story about a young woman with a recent kidney transplant dealing with that while coming to terms with her life. She has another story of a person that places a Craigslist ad to have people function as a family for a Thanksgiving dinner. I should go and jog my memory of what the title is. Instead go search for Jess Riley. I only wanted to point out that her stories stuck with me.

We can live like Stephen King or we can prod along like many mid-listers (If we are lucky and plucky). Either way we want people to read our work and for those stories to stick.

Riley and our other speakers have done that. They are my heroes.

Word of Mouth

Dan Andersen talks about how inviting lakefly Writing Conference in Oshkosh is- for all levels of writers, but especially new ones. At sixty bucks, it is a low stress conference to experience.

Isolation and a lack of direction. That’s how I feel when I haven’t interacted with fellow creators. That’s not a good feeling. A good feeling: Attending a conference. Mulling around with people who do what you do. Some of them are hugely successful. Some of still near the same plane as me (albeit still ABOVE […]

via UP NEXT: Lakefly Writers Conference — d. w. anderson

Meeting My Heroes One Conference at a Time

At the Lakefly Writers Conference, I have met writers that I really respect and many that I came to respect by meeting them.
The first year of Lakefly, we had Michael Perry and the Long Beds perform at the Grand. If you don’t have them, go get their CDs and I helped them unload and watched them rehearse and then we went to dinner at Beckets. It was just awesome that I got to go to the concert. Everything else was a gift. After performing at the Grand, they went to Beckets (Perry knows the owner) they performed some more.
The next day, Mike stopped off because Mike Magnuson was speaking. Magnuson was my suggestion for a speaker. I read about him in Perry’s book Population 485 and then picked up some of his books. I snapped a good picture of the two Mikes walking together.
Mike Magnuson is a hero of mine and he lives in Appleton. His books The Fire Gospels and the Right Man for the job are gritty and honest and stuck with me. I also recommend his Lummox: Evolution of a Man. Lakefly gave me the chance to meet him.
We also booked my old college professor at the first conference. Dr. Larry Watson. He has written great books- Montana 1948 and Orchard: A Novel and many more- are very respected works. It was great to see him again. I went up to him to tell him, “You were a great teacher, the best, but a lousy advisor.”
He thanked me after I said he was the best and I was thankful that I did not get a chance for the rest. I was trying to make a joke, but he deserved what I ended up communicating.
This is getting so long, but I must mention John Dedakis. He worked with Wolf Blitzer for many years. He has great stories, good instruction on writing, and is a genuinely good person to boot.

I am a Lakefly

I am a writer. So you know what that means. Exactly. Socially awkward as hell. I am a better communicator as a writer than as a speaker. This is especially poignant as you are reading this and this aint that good either.
Writers conferences are sometimes put on by writers. A crazy thought, but stick with me. So some conferences then are not as friendly. I mean they are friendly, but because I am socially awkward, I need them to be super friendly.
I think the Lakefly Writers Conference is. I think in my role as a volunteer, I am as well. What I am saying is that I rise to the occasion. Or perhaps it is the right environment and it fosters that in me.
Maybe it’s just that I desperately want the conference to succeed. A conference that I help put on is one less that I have to go to and not interact with people.
Actually, though, it’s a great conference. I love interacting with attendees and the speakers.
It has great attendees. I enjoy meeting writers from all over and I like the responsibility of working to make sure it goes well.
This reminds me of a story. We recently had Michael Perry as a speaker and needed to put a lectern on the risers. I told him it was probably heavy (as in he was a speaker, I shouldn’t expect him to lift it).
Mr. Perry said a very Michael Perry thing- “Are we not men?”
A great bonding moment. Unfortunately he was one of my heroes. So I was tongue tied. My response was mumble mumble mumble. Maybe I’m wrong about Lakefly fostering me.
It will for you though.

Lakefly 1st Timer

I found this blog about the Lakefly Writers Conference last year. There is so much pressure to attend a conference. You have to network and learn and conversate and find the darn rooms. We hope that we make the Lakefly as comfortable as possible.

I’m not here… I am driving. To Wisconsin. I am attending the Lakefly Writers’ Conference. And though being around a bunch of strangers makes me a bit anxious, the conference scene is getting familiar to me. I can handle that. I will be meeting a few people I met on Twitter. People I like, that […]

via Nerves… part 2 — Finding Faeries


Lakefly Writers Conference

How would you handle having something to say, getting a book deal, and then writing your version of a story?

On Saturday morning, Jerome Buting, ex-attorney for Steve Attorney, will talk about Jerome Buting writing his book, Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System. A first-time author, Buting said “I wish I had come to this event last year. I would have learned a great deal!” Buting will share the challenges […]

via Jerome Buting at Lakefly Writers Conference — writingwithdixie

Ten Things It Took Me 50 Years To Figure Out…

Great list. Is there a way for 23 year olds to learn this?

So today is my 50th birthday. Fifty. Holy shit! I’d certainly rather be 25 twice and I’m pretty sure that in my mind I’m infinitely 23…but here I am 50. So what has all this time here on earth taught me and how am I a better woman than I was at 23 or 25? If I had to break it down into just ten things, I’d have to go with the following insights.

  1. Life is a roller coaster   Be sure to fasten your seat belt and keep your hands in the cart at all times because as sure as there’s an up, there’s going to be a down. Don’t panic, hold on tight around the sharp curves and enjoy the ride. Everything always works out in the long run. 
  2. Choose your battles   Some things just aren’t worth the drain that they cause on your energy and…

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How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century

This is my review for Louis Clark’s chapbook How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century. This is from the Wisconsin Historical Press.

“The story Mr. Clark tells is fascinating. It’s his story of growing up Native American in Wisconsin and facing racism, discrimination, and a difficult childhood. Don’t worry though, Mr. Clark also focuses on humor and love. He reminds me of a priest our church had that told a homily and broke out into song to punctuate his points. Mr. Clark does that with his poetry.”

In full disclosure, I know Mr. Clark. I interviewed him for my YouTube Channel show AuthorShowcase of Oshkosh. Besides being a great guy and family man, he has many stories to tell (he tells many in this book). So I am biased. Yet I think you will find this to be a great book. He weaves poetry in the story of his life and as he tell us, he does it to the real beat of the pow wow drum.