PictureBefore Facebook, authors could only meet on Wednesdays.
Facebook groups are a great way to connect with readers and other authors. In addition, they provide a venue for announcing your new release, promoting your free days on Amazon, discussing topics related to publishing, and marketing and writing tips, and anything else related to books.

Do read each group's rules before you join, and make sure to follow them. (You will be banned if you spam the group with multiple posts, or if you stray off topic, e.g. you decide to post an ad for your hand-knitted dog sweaters.) 

Note that when you are on a group's Facebook page, similar groups will pop up in the right hand column. You may find some niche groups there for your particular genre or interest.

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General Reading and Book Promo Groups
  1. Amazon Book Clubs: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmazonBookClubs/
  2. Great Deals on Amazon Kindle: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kindle.deals/
  3. Books: https://www.facebook.com/groups/29851114873/
  4. All About Books: https://www.facebook.com/groups/9476163038/
  5. KindleMojo: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kindlemojo/
  6. We Love Books: https://www.facebook.com/groups/332043700233334/
  7. Books: https://www.facebook.com/groups/497598173615103/ (book links only– no contests, etc.)
  8. Books #2: https://www.facebook.com/groups/174224899314282/
  9. Books #3: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2213398116
  10. Passion for Books: https://www.facebook.com/groups/13284802558/
  11. Books Gone Viral: https://www.facebook.com/groups/booksgoneviral/
  12. Books, Books and More Books: https://www.facebook.com/groups/320356974732142/
  13. Ready to Read: https://www.facebook.com/groups/469592073074586 (new releases)
  14. BOOK PLACE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bookplace/
  15. I Luv Books: https://www.facebook.com/groups/iluvbooks/10152026776808989/
  16. Book Junkies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bookjunkiepromotions
  17. Book Promotion: https://www.facebook.com/groups/725631810822368/

Free Book Promos

  1. Free eBooks for Kindle, Nook and More:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/FreeEbooksGroup/
  2. Free Today on Kindle and Beyond: https://www.facebook.com/groups/freetoday/
  3. Free Kindle and Nook Books for Readers:https://www.facebook.com/groups/293618244055941/

99-Cent Book Promotions
  1. Author 99cent Book Promotions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/444695995585913/
  2. 99 cent Kindle Deals: https://www.facebook.com/groups/215681398501172/


Author Groups
  1. Author & Book Lover Discussion Group:https://www.facebook.com/groups/authorspostyourbooks/
  2. Indie Authors International: https://www.facebook.com/groups/160213917377540/
  3. Author Meeting Place: https://www.facebook.com/groups/authormeetingplace
  4. Authors, Agents, and Aspiring Writers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/204725947524
  5. Authors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/179494068820033/
  6. Marketing Ideas for Authors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/146813612165228
  7. Aspiring Authors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2204546223
  8. Author Exchange: https://www.facebook.com/groups/200396383343774/
  9. Writers' Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/memberswritersgroup/
  10. Kindle Authors Helping Authors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KindleAuthorsHelping/

 
 
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Getting reviews is the bane of the self-published author's existence. Without access to major media channels, self-published authors have to rely on contacting individual reviewers, which is roughly the equivalent to handing out flyers in malls. 

In spite of the fact that contacting individual reviewers is time-consuming, arduous, and less efficient than, say, a review in the New York Times, it is probably the best way to get reviews. Book bloggers will more likely respond to an email requesting a review than a giveaway, or getting a flyer from a chicken. (Paid services, of course, will always generate reviews, but these are, for the most part, editorial reviews, which won't increase your ratings.)

Below is an article that summarizes all the different strategies you can employ for getting reviews.

Related postsTop 12 Sites for Finding Reviewers

List of Online Reviewers Who Accept Self-Published Books
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The Indie Author's Guide to Customer Reviews

By Daniel Lefferts

SourceBook Life, Nov 24, 2014

The self-publishing revolution has taken place, in large part, online, with readers discovering books and connecting directly with indie authors through sites like Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Wattpad, Smashwords, and more. In addition to book blogs, online book clubs, and online advertising, one of the central means by which readers learn about self-published books is the customer review. Reviews offer (ostensibly) unbiased commentary about a book, and while positive reviews are undoubtedly more desirable than one-star pans, having a mixed bag of reviews is better than having none at all.

“Along with the cover image, a book’s aggregate review score creates the first impression on Amazon” says Aaron Cooley, who self-published his novel Shaken, Not Stirred. “But the total number [of reviews] is important, too.”

But if customer reviews are, by their very nature, customer-generated, what can authors do to get more of them? Without resorting to “sock-puppet” reviews—that is, reviews written by the book’s author using an alias—how can authors turn that discouraging “no customer reviews yet” message into a smattering of star ratings and commentary?

Blogger Outreach

It’s common for indie authors to reach out to book bloggers to pitch their books for review. If you’ve succeeded in getting your book reviewed—or you’re still shopping for the right blogger—ask the blogger if they’re willing to post their review to Amazon or Goodreads, in addition to their own blogs.

Jane Litte, owner of the popular romance blog Dear Author, says that, when it comes to posting reviews to other websites, “Each reviewer has their own practices and habits. Personally I post a short review of books I’ve read at Goodreads.”

"You can be sure that the Amazon top customer reviewers put a lot of thought and energy into their reviews."

Others will post to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other sites, such as Shelfari. On Indie View, a site that hosts a list of bloggers and writers who review self-published books (for free), reviewers specify which sites they’ll post their reviews to.

Paid Review Services

It’s equally common for indie authors to purchase reviews through paid review services. These sites, such as BlueInk Review and Self-Publishing Review, will often post their reviews to commerce sites such Amazon, or will allow authors to repost reviews to those sites.

BlueInk Review, for instance, offers detailed instructions for uploading a review to the “Editorial Reviews” section of book’s Amazon and Barnes & Noble pages. Customers of Self-Publishing Review can request to post their reviews to the “Editorial Reviews” sections of those sites, along with several others, as well.

Editorial Reviews vs. Customer Reviews

Whether you’re pitching a book blogger or purchasing a review from a paid review site, it’s important to understand each reviewer’s reposting policy. Some bloggers (such as those listed on Indie View) will post their reviews to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads as customer reviews, which generate star ratings and contribute to the overall rating of your book. Other reviewers, such as BlueInk Review and Self-Publishing Review, repost their reviews as “Editorial Reviews,” which do not generate star ratings. Both types of reviews are, of course, valuable, but it’s important to know what you’re getting with each. Indie authors in search of star ratings may have to supplement editorial reviews by taking alternate approaches.

Approaching Reviewers on Amazon

Reviews from Amazon customers can be helpful to indie authors trying to drum up conversation around their books. But a review from a Top Customer Reviewer—identified by a small tag next to their name in their reviews, and also listed here—can be especially beneficial. These are reviewers that Amazon has singled out for being highly prolific and helpful in their feedback. Lauren Pepper Wu, writing for the self-publishing blog The Creative Penn, recommends pitching top reviewers. “You can be sure that the Amazon top customer reviewers put a lot of thought and energy into their reviews,” she writes. And since they’ve “proven themselves to be fast…[they] will therefore most likely have a quick [turnaround].”

Top reviewers typically have a profile page containing their contact information, details about their background, and reading preferences. Be aware that some reviewers do not wish to be pitched (and will state as much on their profile), and that not every top reviewer reviews books.

Finding a top reviewer to contact can be time-consuming. In addition to wading through the Top Customer Reviewer list, indie authors can also look at customer reviews of books comparable to their own (whether in terms of genre or subject matter) and see if any top reviewers have reviewed them.

Getting Reviews on Goodreads

There are two main ways to tap into Goodreads’s avid user base and increase your chances of getting reviewed on the site. If you join the Author Program, you’ll have the ability to host a giveaway. [Note: Giveaways are for print books only.] According to Goodreads, “40,000 people enter Goodreads giveaways every day” and “an average of 825 people enter to win any given giveaway.” Authors typically give away advance copies of their books, and can choose how many books to send out (the site recommends 10 minimum). In your giveaway announcement, you can also include a message requesting (tactfully, of course) that winners of the giveaway review the book on the site. (There is, of course, no guarantee that they will.)

Another way to reach readers on Goodreads is by joining groups. If, let’s say, an indie author has written a historical novel set in medieval times, she can join the Ancient & Medieval Historical Fiction group and contribute to its discussion boards. As with other online social environments, such as Twitter, it’s best to communicate with other members organically; spamming users about a book is unlikely to generate reviews, and it may result in removal from the group. “Many groups have rules for how authors can or cannot participate,” the site says.

Ultimately, whether online or off, indie authors engaging with other book-lovers about their titles and asking for feedback is the most direct, and perhaps most satisfying, way to get reviews. “I’m always asking people who tell me they love [my] book to please also post a review,” Cooley says.

 
 
Here are two new agents looking to build their client lists. Both are from established agencies with good track records. Be sure to read the agency's website to get an idea of the type of books they have represented before you submit.
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Abby Saul of Browne & Miller Literary Associates

About Abby: Abby joined Browne & Miller Literary Associates in 2013 after spending five years on the production and digital publishing side of the industry, first at John Wiley & Sons and then at Sourcebooks. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Wellesley College. A zealous reader who loves her iPad and recognizes that ebooks are the future, she still can’t resist the lure of a print book. Abby’s personal library of beloved titles runs the gamut from literary newbies and classics, to cozy mysteries, to sappy women’s fiction, to dark and twisted thrillers.

What she is seeking: Abby’s looking for great and engrossing writing, no matter what the genre. Her top picks from the current Browne & Miller agency wishlist: (1) Complex, literary-leaning psychological thriller/crime novel. We love a dark story really well told—think Tana French or Gillian Flynn (or, for the TV junkies, True Detective, Top of the Lake, or The Fall). (2) Gothic novel, contemporary or historical—anything that takes a cue from Rebecca, Victoria Holt, or The Thirteenth Tale but offers a fresh twist. (3) Substantive women’s historical fiction with romantic overtones—love American, English, and French history, but we are definitely open to other settings and time periods. Check out Abby’s manuscript wishlist online.

How to submit: Query Abby at mail [at] browneandmiller.com. Please send only a query letter copied in the body of your email and addressed to Abby. If she is interested in your idea, she will contact you about seeing more material (which will typically include a detailed synopsis plus the first five chapters for fiction and, for non-fiction, a full proposal plus the first three chapters).
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Melissa Edwards of The Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency

About Melissa: Melissa is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Vanderbilt Law School. She is a member in good standing of the New York State bar. While Melissa began her career as a commercial litigation attorney, she always maintained aspirations to work in publishing. At present, Melissa handles foreign rights for Aaron Priest and is actively reading to develop her own list.

What she is seeking: Melissa’s taste ranges in genre from classic Victorian literature to hard-boiled crime dramas. She is interested in reading international thrillers with likeable and arresting protagonists, lighthearted women’s fiction and YA, female-driven (possibly small-town) suspense, and completely immersive fantasy. Ultimately, Melissa is looking for a book that will keep her glued to the couch all day and night, and continue to occupy her thoughts for weeks later.

How to submit: Submit a one-page query letter via e-mail that describes your work and your background to queryedwards [at] aaronpriest.com. Do not send an attachment, but if interested, you can paste into the body of the email the first chapter of your manuscript.
 
 
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PitchMAS is a biannual pitch fest for writers held in December and July. It is co-hosted by Jessa Russo, a native Californian who describes herself as "the most extroverted introvert you know."

Most pitch fests are for screenplays, so this is a rare opportunity for those who write books to present their pitches directly to agents. (For a list of agents participating in December's pitch fest click HERE.)

Does PitchMAS actually work? 

The answer is yes. Vicki Leigh found an agent, and subsequent publisher, through participating in PitchMAS. (Read her story HERE.)

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From the PitchMAS website:

FRIDAY 12/5/14

*PITCH-HONING WORKSHOP*

(A blog post will go LIVE on 12/5, right here on the PitchMAS blog, where you will post your pitches in the COMMENT SECTION. Your peers will then hop around and critique/advise you on what works/doesn't work. Tamara and Jessa WILL NOT be participating in the workshop; this is for peer critique/help only.)
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SUNDAY 12/7/14 - MONDAY 12/8/14

*SUBMISSION WINDOW*

For this event, we will be accepting your 35-word pitch submissions VIA EMAIL ONLY--email address will be posted when submission window OPENS. Submission window will be open from Sunday 12/7/14 at 9:00 am PST until Monday 12/8/14 at 6:00 pm PST

We will delete any submissions received before or after that submission window, and it is up to you to figure out your own time zone differences.


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THURSDAY 12/11/14

BLOG PITCH PARTY

{35 Words or Less}

The TOP 50 pitches will go live on the PitchMAS blog at MIDNIGHT on Thursday, 12/11/14. Agents and editors will have the entire day (as well as all day Friday!) to comment and make requests. 

Please do NOT comment if you are not an agent or editor. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE is if an agent/editor has asked a SPECIFIC question. Any other non-agent/editor responses or comments will be deleted. 
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FRIDAY 12/12/14

TWITTER PITCH PARTY


{140 Characters or Less}

All day long on Friday, 12/12/14, we will have our PitchMAS Twitter Party! Agents and editors will follow the hashtag #PitchMAS, reading your awesome pitches. ANYONE can participate, even if you didn't make it into the 50 selected blog pitches. However, your manuscript MUST BE COMPLETED and POLISHED. 

Twitter pitches MUST BE 140 Characters or Less and HAVE TO include the hashtag. Don't make the agents and editors work by breaking your pitch into more than one tweet. That will just annoy them and your fellow pitchers. We also advise against making them click a link to get to your pitch. Guess what? They won't.  

Please keep your Twitter pitching to no more than TWO PITCHES PER HOUR. Do not fill up the feed with your pitch over and over again. This will annoy the agents and editors involved, as well as ruining it for everyone else and people WILL remember you for it. 

Follow along with the hashtag: #PitchMAS

Click HERE for more information.


 
 
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The bottom line for any writer is not how much money a book makes, but how many people have read it.

If you are writing a novel and would like some unofficial "beta" readers - or if you have published a short story, and the readership of the literary magazine has run its course - it's not a bad idea to post your work on a site that has a devoted readership.

Reading and writing communities can be a great way to get feedback on your writing. They also host competitions for the most popular stories, which are then publicized. On some of the larger sites, notably Wattpad and authonomy, there are tie-ins with media, publishing houses, and, in the case of WEbook, a service that helps writers pitch directly to agents.

Be sure to read the "about" and "FAQs" sections of the sites before you start posting. Each community offers something a little different, so, given that when you post your work it will be made available to thousands, if not millions, of readers, it is important that your goals mesh with what the community has to offer.

Please note that not all of these sites block the copy/paste function.

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Wattpad

With over 18 million users, Wattpad is the world's largest reading and writing online community. It began in 2006, as the result of a collaboration between Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. In February 2007, Wattpad added over 17,000 eBooks from Project Gutenberg making them available to mobile users. Over 64,000 stories are uploaded to Wattpad or expanded every day. Wattpad is mainly geared to a young audience, with a large number of readers in the Philippines, where several Wattpad stories have been adapted into teleseries. Wattpad blocks the copy/paste function, so you can post unpublished works on the site.

Scriggler

Scriggler describes itself as "a place where anyone can share their stories, opinion, essays, poetry, research, ideas or reflections without constraints on topic, genre, or length of publication." The start-up was founded in 2013 and is run by three partners in New York, London, and Russia.

Scriggler holds a monthly writing contest in four categories - opinion, story, poetry and author of the month. The piece with the highest popularity score (based on number of views, likes, comments, etc.) is promoted across multiple social networks, and gets featured in their newsletter (currently 1400 subscribers). While Scriggler does not yet have the number of readers that Wattpad and other established reading communities have attracted, its presentation is elegant, and the pieces submitted do not get lost in a sea of daily publications. Scriggler also emails a selected publication of the day to its members, which is a great way to reach readers. Scriggler does not block the copy/paste function. To be on the safe side, only post pieces that you have already published.

WEBook

WEbook is geared towards discovering new writers and helping them on their path to publication. It brings together writers, readers, and literary agents, WEbook was launched in 2008, with corporate offices based in New York City.

In addition to providing a venue for writers to reach an audience, WEbook actively helps writers find agents through their AgentinBox service. This service pre-screens query letters, guaranteeing that queries will meet industry standards, and allows writers to choose agents from the list of those interested in specific genres. Writers can also easily tailor manuscript samples to make sure every agent gets what they’re looking for—AgentInbox will automatically match each agent with the right sample version. Because the ultimate goal of writers joining WEbook is to get an agent (and get published), the copy/paste function is blocked on this website.

authonomy

Authonomy is owned and operated by HarperCollins. Unpublished and self-published authors may upload their manuscripts, in full or in part, for visitors to read and critique online. Every month, five authonomy manuscripts are selected to be reviewed by HC editors for possible publication. Users retain copyright. Authonomy also maintains a blog, features writing tips by published authors, and hosts forums for writers.

Booksie

"Booksie is a free social publishing site that provides a place where writers and readers can connect from across the globe. Over the past seven years, tens of thousands of writers have posted hundreds of thousands of short stories, novel, poems, articles and more. Booksie is for writers 13+ (no adult content). Booksie organizes your portfolio and gives you tools (including a micro-Blogger) to connect with your audience. You can Feature certain work in your portfolio, embed images and video, tell your writers about the latest news (micro-Blogging), and keep tabs of your fans." Note: A Booksie spin-off, Booksiesilk, is for erotica and adult content. Booksie blocks the copy/paste function.

Critters

"Critters is a member of the Critique.org family of on-line workshops/critique groups, and is for serious writers of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. You get your work critiqued in exchange for critiquing the work of others, both of which are invaluable ways to improve your writing. It's run by Andrew Burt, former vice-president of SFWA and his army of software minions." Critters is listed as one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer's Digest,

Critique Circle

CritiqueCircle.com officially opened on October 21, 2003. There are 3,112 active members. Over 100,000 stories and 475,661 critiques have been posted, with over 24 million visits to the site. "During your first visit to CC you will be a Trial user which means there are restrictions on what you can do. Once a CC Moderator has reviewed your application you will be upgraded to a full registered member and these restrictions will be lifted. This usually only takes a couple of hours. Critique Circle runs on a credit system. You "pay" three credits to submit a story, and receive credits for writing a critique of someone else's story. The credits you receive range from 1/2 to 2 per crit, depending on the length of the crit and the length of the story." Critique Circle is based in Iceland, where 1 in 10 people will publish a book.

Elfwood

Elfwood is a popular sci-fi and fantasy writing site owned and operated by a Swedish company called Usify. Elfwood claims that it currently gets around 3,500,000 page views a day and around 3 million unique visitors every month. Their terms of service include the right to "use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the services in any media formats through any media channels and through third party services." In addition to providing a venue for stories and art, Elfwood offers a series of tutorials on writing and drawing. For ages 13 and up.

Figment

"Figment is an online community and self-publishing platform for young writers. Created by Jacob Lewis and Dana Goodyear, who both worked at The New Yorker, the site officially launched on December 6, 2010. Figment currently has over 300,000 registered users and over 370,000 'books', or pieces of writing. Other features include frequent writing contests, a blog, forums, and The Figment Review. On February 27, 2012, Figment announced it would purchase and merge user bases with its rival site, Inkpop.com. On March 1, 2012, the two sites merged userbases and works. In 2013, Figment was acquired by Random House Children's Group." Make sure you read their terms  of service before you sign up. 

Mibba

Mibba is a reading and writing community aimed at teens. Users can post stories, poems, blogs, articles, book reviews, and get feedback, Mibba hosts a forum, and provides writing tips and a grammar handbook. Good for budding writers.

Protagonize

"Protagonize is an online creative writing community based in Vancouver, BC, Canada which was established in 2007 . It is owned and operated by Taunt Media. The site caters to both amateur and experienced authors interested in online collaborative creative writing, and is currently home to over 32,100 pieces of writing and 126,000 pages, and has over 22,000 members from around the world." Protagonize has FAQs that give detailed information about how the site works, which sets it apart from many other less well-organized writing communities.

Scribophile

Scribophile is an online community where writers can post their work and get critiques from other writers. The site works on a "karma" system. Before you can post your work, you must earn karma points either by critiquing someone else's work, or when other members like your critiques. The longer your critique, the more karma you earn. You "spend" these karma points when you post your work, Posting on Scribophile does not affect first publication rights, as your work can only be read by members, For more information, read their FAQs.

Twimagination

"Twimagination is a free Twitter application that allows you to share your imagination through Twitter like you used to share your opinions, experiences or media. With Twimagination you can instantly publish your writings such as fiction short stories, poems, novels, fairy tales, fantasies, dreams or any other products of your imagination. Even without login you can: read short stories and poems online in various languages on the main page (using language filter); view authors' timelines; mark any posts you like and then export them using 'Export' link in the top menu. There you can convert the posts to your favorite reader format. Output formats are: html, epub (iPad and many others), lit (MS Reader), pdf (for printing), mobi (Kindle)." 

Twimagination is an interesting concept, but because it allows all formats, including printing, and because everything you post will be available on Twitter, I would suggest limiting your posts to work you have already published.

Writing.com

With 1,137,125 members, writing.com is one of the largest online writing communities. Started by a husband and wife team, writing.com promotes a friendly environment for writers.   The site offers writing portfolios, email, a newsfeed, groups, contests, survey forms, madlibs, and submission tracking, as well as tutorials. Writing.com is geared to amateur writers.

Young Writers Society

"Formed in 2004, the Young Writers Society serves as a keynote global community for young writers. We aim to promote creative writing as a pastime, prepare aspiring authors for future publication, and create lasting bonds across continents and cultures alike." Membership is geared to writers between the ages of 13 and 25.

 
 
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BOSTON, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Strategy Analytics' "Global eBooks Market Forecast 2001-2020" predicts that the global consumer ebook market will more than double from $7Bn in 2013 to $16.7Bn in 2020, driven by more consumers accepting e-reading, more content made available through different business models, and the accelerating growth of emerging markets, especially China.

Click here for the link: http://bit.ly/1srb1Fq

Globally, more consumers of all ages are now including ebooks as a part of their reading behavior.

"A clear trend in recent years has been the shift of e-reading from desktop computers to mobile, in particular to reading on smartphones and tablets. At the same time, more readers are choosing multi-purpose tablets over dedicated e-readers as their primary ebook reading device," said David MacQueen Executive Director, Apps and Media. "All in all, we expect ebook reading penetration to increase from less than 10 percent of the total population in 2013 to close to 25 percent in 2020. China, the biggest smartphone market in the world, has just begun to see accelerated growth in the ebook market. We are seeing China join the traditionally big book markets in the US, Japan, Germany and the UK to form the 'billion dollar club' in 2020."

"From the content perspective, more publishers are releasing books simultaneously in digital format and print format. Meanwhile, an increasing number of new and established authors are opting for digital self-publishing only, made possible by ebook service platforms, which brings them closer to the readers," said Wei Shi, Analyst of Wireless Media Strategies (WMS). "Another nascent but significant development in the ebook market is the subscription based services launched by more platforms, including Amazon. In essence this is similar to how Spotify and Pandora have evolved the digital music market beyond downloads. We expect to see subscription service gaining more momentum in the second half of this decade, and contributing to close to a fifth of the total market by 2020."

 
 
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Reading periods are closing for several speculative fiction and fantasy publications.

All of these magazines are open to submissions right now.

(Don't worry, if you miss the deadline, there will be other opportunities to submit. See their submission guidelines for future reading periods.)

NoteAll of these are paying markets.
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Midnight Breakfast 

DeadlineNovember 30. 

 "We’re open to loose genre, though we tend to skew more towards literary and speculative fiction. We also love a good, well-written humor piece. What we’re not looking for: fan-fiction, erotica, or anything that requires excessive world-building (as much as we love Game of Thrones in these parts, that kind of work isn’t for us)."

Payment: $50 per accepted work. Read submission guidelines here.
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Lakeside Circus 

Deadline: November 30 (?) 

"We want speculative fiction, particularly science fiction (hard, soft, near-future, etc), urban fantasy, magic realism, mad science, and apocalypse tales. Whether prose or poetry, we’re looking for the same kind of almost-weird fiction we publish in our anthologies. We like fiction with layers of meaning; stories that are odd or different without being too strange to understand. We enjoy interstitial, genre-bending, and “literary SF/F” writing. Your work has to encapsulate a complete moment; more than a vignette, each submission must have a beginning, middle, and end. Something has to change along the way, but parts of the story can happen off stage. As always, we want beautiful, dark, unusual, and meaningful." 

Payment: 2 cents per word (fiction or non-fiction), with a minimum of $10 US, payable on publication. In addition, Authors will receive a one-year digital subscription to the magazine. Read submission guidelines here.
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Crossed Genres 

Deadline: November 30.  

"It’s the mission of Crossed Genres Publications to give a voice to people often ignored or marginalized in SFF, which has led us to publish titles focused on older women, overweight women, immigration, skilled laborers, QUILTBAG families, and people marginalized throughout history." Crossed Genres Magazine is an official SFWA Qualifying Market. 

Payment: 6¢ per word for fiction. Authors will also receive a gratis print and ebook copy of the anthology in which their story appears. Read submission guidelines here.
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Betwixt 

Deadline: November 30

"Betwixt publishes speculative fiction of all sorts—fantasy, science fiction, speculative horror, slipstream, weird fiction, steam/diesel/cyber/etc.punk, you name it. We particularly like stories that smash genre boundaries to smithereens, but we also love fresh takes on established genres and in-depth explorations of ultraspecific niches. Experiments in form and style are welcomed enthusiastically—but a straightforward narrative with tight, crisp language is just as beautiful." 

Payment: $0.03 per word up to $225, payable upon receipt of completed contract and author questionnaire. Read submission guidelines here.
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Urban Fantasy

Deadline: November 30

"Urban Fantasy Magazine is a professional fantasy magazine publishing fiction, articles, and reviews.We are looking for urban fantasy fiction of up to 4000 words (we may accept longer stories, but only the first 4000 words are paid). We like to read stories set in the world where we all live, albeit with fantastical elements. We’d like for our readers to imagine that our stories are taking place in the city next door. We do accept stories about vampires, werewolves, and zombies, but keep in mind that you’ll be facing strong competition from other writers, including established writers whom we solicit directly." 

Payment: 6 cents a word. Read submission guidelines here.
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Shock Totem 

Deadline: November 30

Shock Totem Publications (commonly referred to simply as Shock Totem) is an American small-press publisher specializing in dark fantasy and horror. Shock Totem’s main goal is to promote and support new and established authors by focusing primarily on fiction, but also through editorials, essays and interviews. "We’re not interested in hard science fiction, epic fantasy (swords and sorcery), splatterporn (blood and guts and little more), or clichéd plots." 

Payment: 5 cents per word for original, unpublished fiction; 2 cents per word for reprints. There is a $250 cap on all accepted stories. Read submission guidelines here.
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Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly

Deadline December 1.  

The Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly is an online magazine devoted to science fiction romance. Each issue includes news, reviews, opinion columns, and an original, exclusive short story. 

Payment: 2 cents/word (US) paid upon publication, promotional biography with two links, and a complimentary quarter-page advertisement. Read submission guidelines here.

 
 
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The Author's Guild is promoting an event to support independent bookstores on Saturday, November 29. If you are an author, do consider participating. Independent bookstores have been hard hit, first by the national chains, and then by online retailers. Every time bookstore closes, there is one less outlet for our work, one lost venue for a book signing, and a hole in the community of book lovers.
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From the Author's Guild

We all know that books make the best gifts. So do our friends at the American Booksellers Association, who have brought back a winning initiative this holiday season to help spread the word in support of independent bookstores.

That’s right, Indies First returns to your local independent on November 29, otherwise known as Small Business Saturday (think of it as the grassroots Black Friday). The brainchild of Guild Council member and self-confessed “book nerd” Sherman Alexie, Indies First recruits authors to spend Thanksgiving Saturday hand-selling books at their favorite independent bookshops. Last year—its first—over 1,100 authors participated in the program.

This year Indies First will be helmed by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. Take a look at their letter about the project here. Per Gaiman and Palmer, directions are as follows:

Choose your independent bookshop, talk to the owner or manager, and agree on what you are going to do that day. If you have a website, put that store’s buy button in a prominent place on your website, above the Amazon button and the IndieBound button. If you prefer, you can sign up on the author registry so that a store can contact you.

We wish everyone involved the absolute best. There’s still time to sign up on the author registry. While you’re at it, take a look at IndieBound’s map to see participating stores. Hundreds of authors have signed up so far, including David Baldacci, Roz Chast, and Jeanne Birdsall.

Even if you can’t participate, remember that books make great gifts. Support your local independent this holiday season.

The Authors Guild | 31 E 32nd St | Fl 7 | New York, NY 10016 | United States 

 
 
New agents are a boon to authors. They are hard-working and enthusiastic about their clients. (Nothing convinces an editor to take on a project more than an enthusiastic endorsement.) Jane Rostrosen Agency is located in NY. Rebecca Friedman Agency is located in LA.
About Rebecca: Unable to narrow her focus to just one subject, Rebecca Scherer earned her BA from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in Political Science, English Lit, and German language. After several years at the agency, Rebecca now has daily opportunities to put her wide range of interests to use as she actively builds her client list. Find her on Twitter: @RebeccaLScherer.

What she is seeking: women’s fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, romance, upmarket fiction at the cross between commercial and literary

How to submit: Contact Rebecca via e-mail: rscherer [at] janerotrosen.com. Put “Query: [Title]” in the subject line. Send a query letter, brief synopsis (1-2) pages, and the first three chapters. Please paste the letter and synopsis in the body of the email, though the chapters can either be pasted or attached.
About Kimberly: Kimberly fell in love with reading when she picked up her first Babysitter’s Club book at the age of seven and hasn’t been able to get her nose out of a book since. Reading has always been her passion, even while pursuing her business degree at California State University, Northridge and law degree at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. By joining the Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency in 2014, she has been able to merge her legal background with her love of books. Although she loves all things romance, she is also searching for books that are different and will surprise her, with empathetic characters and compelling stories. Follow her on Twitter at @kimberlybrower

What she is seeking: Kimberly is interested in both commercial and literary fiction, with an emphasis in women’s fiction, contemporary romance, mysteries/thrillers, new adult and young adult, as well as certain areas of non-fiction, including business, diet and fitness. Kimberly is interested in representing English-language writers from all countries

How to submit: Email a query to Kimberly at kimberly [at] rfliterary.com. Submit a brief query letter and your first chapter (pasted into the email, not to exceed fifteen double-spaced pages) and for security purposes, do not include any attachments unless specifically requested.
 
 
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Writing contests can be a powerful boost to your career. Agents and editors take note of who wins writing awards, and it's a tremendous lift to be able to put "award-winning author" on your resume.

That being said, entry costs can mount up. For that reason, it's good to start with contests that don't charge an entry fee. Below is a pot-pourri of writing contests, covering all genres and topics. If you don't find one that suits you this month, you may find one the next.

Be sure to check this Free Contests page for a month-by-month list of contests.

Related postHow to Win Writing Contests and Big Publishing Contracts
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The Schneider Family Book Award is sponsored by the American Library Association. The award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Prize: Three annual awards each consisting of $5000 and a framed plaque, will be given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0-10), middle school (age 11-13) and teens (age 13-18). (Age groupings are approximations). Genre: May be fiction, biography, or other form of nonfiction. Deadline: December 1, 2014. Read details here.

The David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction is offered annually to the best book in American historical fiction that is both excellent fiction and excellent history. Prize: $1.000. Deadline: December 1, 2014. Read guidelines here.

The Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award introduces emerging writers to the New York City literary community. The prestigious award aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement. Since Poets & Writers began the Writers Exchange in 1984, 85 writers from 33 states and the District of Columbia have been selected to participate. Restrictions: Open to Nevada residents. Genre: Poetry and Fiction. Prize: A $500 honorarium; A trip to New York City in October 2015 to meet with editors, agents, publishers, and other writers. All related travel/lodgings expenses and a per diem stipend are covered by Poets & Writers. Winners will also give a public reading of their work; and One-month residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Wyoming. Deadline: December 1, 2014. For guidelines click HERE.

The W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction. Genre: Military fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: December 1, 2014. For details click HERE.

White River Environmental Law Writing Competition is sponsored by the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and Vermont Law School. Restrictions: Open to all students currently pursuing a degree (J.D. or LL.M) at an accredited law school in the United States. Submissions written as a class component, as a journal requirement, or otherwise for academic credit are acceptable. Genre: Original essays addressing any relevant topic in the fields of environmental law, natural resource law, energy law, environmental justice, land use law, animal law, and agricultural law. Prize: $1000 cash prize and an offer of publication with the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. Deadline: December 10, 2014. Read more details HERE.

Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Novel CompetitionRestrictions: The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any published novel (except that authors of self-published works only may enter, as long as the manuscript submitted is not the self-published work) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel. Genre: Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: December 15, 2014. Entry form and details here.

Spark Award: Held by SCBWI , open to members of SCBWI who are self-published. Genres: Fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults. Prize: Envy. The SCBWI is our most prestigious national organization (US) for children's book and YA writers. Deadline: December 15, Read submission guidelines HERE.

Hidden Prize for Prose is sponsored by Hidden Clearing Books. Restrictions: Open to US and Canadian residents 18 years or older. Genre: Previously unpublished English-language manuscript between 15,000 – 30,000 words, literary as well as speculative (contemporary fantasy, light sci-fi and horror) genres. Hidden Prize for Prose also accepts memoirs and creative non-fiction. Prize: $250.00 + 25 contributor copies. Deadline: December 31, 2014. Entry form and details here.

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognizes outstanding works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Awards are given for both fiction and nonfiction. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: December 31. The winners are announced in the spring. Read full submission guidelines HERE.

GENEii Award. The Southern California Genealogical Society sponsors its annual family-history writing contest to support and encourage the writing of family history, local history, and memoirs, both by genealogists and by the public at large. Genre: Nonfiction. Prize: $200. Deadline: December 31. Read full submission guidelines HERE.

Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Early American History will be awarded for a distinguished essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: December 31. Read full submission guidelines HERE.

Nightlight Readings Short Story Writers Contest is geared to at-risk boys in the 10-12 year age group who often stop reading for pleasure. Nightlight Reading’s goal is to fund and promote literature that appeals to boys and keeps them engaged and reading. Genre: Short stories. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31. Read full guidelines HERE.

 

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