So, I think we can all agree it’s been QUITE a year. Most of us feel like we’ve aged 10 years.
We’re turning a corner, oh-so-slowly, but it’s happening. So let’s celebrate hope. And optimism.
And while we celebrate these, Becca and I have a few things to add, milestones we’ve skipped over as it never felt like a good time with everything else going on in the world. Yes, Covid is still here, but we’re breathing a bit easier as vaccines roll out. Plus, can’t we all use some celebratory cheer just now?
So, drum roll….and go!
A business milestone. Becca and I don’t often talk about the business end of One Stop for Writers mostly because it’s a lot of hard work and would bore the pants off you. But as some of you know, at the end of 2019 we were hit with a curve ball when third musketeer/co-founder at One Stop for Writers decided to exit. Becca, Lee, and I had dreamed up OSFW and spent years building it and so the void he left was huge, especially as Lee handled the technology side while Becca and I created IP, ran the business, marketing, and day-to-day support. Being non-technical, we suddenly had a rapid, steep learning curve to be able to continue. Thankfully our core developer was our technology bridge and we were just figuring things out when Covid hit.
The business owners among you know the terrifying, wheezing-into-a-paper-bag feeling of having employees depending on you while the people you serve are rapidly cutting costs due to Covid. And in our case, we also had a partner to pay out. As a subscription-based business, we felt pretty vulnerable.
The long and short is we worked like crazy to pivot. Thankfully a lot of people decided it was a good year to write novels. 2020 was a trial-by-fire year for us as business owners, but we came through it stronger than before. A genuine thank you to everyone who subscribes to One Stop. You guys are so appreciated, and we love being able to help you!
Book Milestones. We’ve been sort of terrible about celebrating these the last two years. Becca and I write books, teach, and run our businesses on our own, meaning we’re usually too busy to take a breath. And honestly, so much horrible stuff has been going on in the world that pulling attention to ourselves would have felt totally wrong. So we passed our 500,000th book, and then our 600,000th book. We’re now moving closer to 700,000 and it’s time for us to take a moment and feel good about where we’re at. It’s exciting. More amazingly is we’ve achieved this through mostly word-of-mouth, as we don’t aggressively do ads or sales.
When we started down this thesaurus road we had no idea we were creating things that would allow us to help so many people. As you guys know, helping is what fuels us. Thank you all so much for being part of our journey and supporting us.
Finally, a website milestone! Writers Helping Writers has a new look! We moved to WordPress in 2013 and kept meaning to update our design but there was never time. The developer of our theme stopped supporting it after a time and in the summer of 2020, stuff started to break. By October, WHW’s theme was in cardiac arrest. So we hired Alexis at Eat, Laugh, Learn, and ta-da, here we are! Our branding matches our One Stop for Writers site now and our design has enabled us to put together some amazing pockets of information on the home page. HINT: Check out the I need help with… section!
We’re still updating (thank you for being patient) but this milestone prompted me to check our stats. Between Writers Helping Writers and our old Bookshelf Muse site at blogger, we’re over 11 million hits!
So, with hope on the horizon and these personal milestones to celebrate, it’s time to run up the giveaway flag.
And you, my friend,
can win some amazing stuff!
This giveaway has ended…watch your inboxes!
Prize #1: Ten Editorial Critiques
One thing we love about our job is that we meet so many talented, caring people in this industry. When our friends at Angelella Editorial heard about our desire to hold a giveaway to celebrate optimism, hope, and our personal milestones, they wanted to join in and have offered the most amazing set of prizes.
For those of you unfamiliar with this incredible editor collective, well, the team at AE are all about helping you put your best work on the page. Their clients have gone on to sign with dream agents, sell books at auction, and become bestselling and award-winning authors. Angelella Editorial also specializes in kidlit but also edits new adult, adult & literary fiction, nonfiction, business books, short stories, plays, poetry, and screenplays, the whole package, and here’s what you can win:
- From Kate Angelella, a 5-page critique (any genre) and 30-minute follow-up call for brainstorming or anything other literary thing the winner wishes to discuss!
- From George Jreije, a 10-page or query critique (any genre!)
- From David Fey, a 10-page critique (YA, NA, or Adult), in any genre, plus an optional 30-minute follow-up call!
- From Danielle Sunshine, a 10-page critique of MG, YA, New adult, or memoir. (No high fantasy or erotica).
- From Diane Telgen, a Picture Book critique or first 10 pages of a MG or YA, any genre. Diane will answer questions by email if the winner has any.
- From Denise Santomauro, a 10-page critique of MG, YA, or Adult, any genre, plus a 30-minute follow-up phone call.
- From Emily Young, a 10-page critique of MG, YA, NA, or Adult fiction, either speculative (science fiction / fantasy) or action/adventure, plus a 30-minute phone call.
- From Jay Whistler, a synopsis critique for MG or YA. (No SFF, please).
- From Jenn Bailey, a Picture Book critique (no rhyming) or the first 10 pages of a MG, any genre. Jenn will also give a 30-minute follow-up call to the winner afterward.
- From Marissa Graff (our Resident Writing Coach!), a 5-page critique (non-rhyming, prose PB, MG, or YA) and 30-minute follow-up call, for brainstorming to discuss any other literary things the author wishes to.
Holy Bananas, am I right? Very excited to see who wins these critiques. I encourage you to follow each editor’s links to get a feel for who might be the best fit for you, and while you’re there, poke around. Angelella Editorial also has a terrific podcast, blog, and offers coaching if you need it, too.
The form to enter for a chance to win a critique
is here. Enter for any you wish (that match your genre!). If you win, your name will be excluded from other critique draws only. This way we can spread the love when it comes to professional feedback.
Prize #2: A Hot-off-the-Presses Copy of Wide for the Win (6 books to be won)
Mark Leslie LeFebvre is brilliance in a bottle. The former self-publishing director at Kobo and current director of business development at Draft2Digital, Mark is intensely curious and innovative, and is always seeking to use his knowledge to help others. And he does so in a big way with this one-of-a-kind guide, Wide for the Win.
If you are looking for ways to stop being dependent upon only Amazon for your author income, to expand and grow your sales on multiple platforms around the world, and to create a “publish wide” strategy, then this is the book for you! Six copies are up for grabs: 5 Digital and one Print!
Authors, you need this book! Enter for Wide to Win
right here. Then go join the Wide for the Win Facebook group and check out Mark’s website, podcast, and skeleton sidekick, Barnaby.
Prize #3: A Character Traits Thesaurus Box Set (3 sets to be won)
The Positive Trait and Negative Trait Thesaurus are fan favorites for their ability to help writers build amazing, one-of-a-kind characters, and work best when used together, so we’ve bundled them up. But rather than squish two books together in a digital box we’ve actually cross-linked them, meaning if you follow a link from an entry in the Positive Trait Thesaurus that goes to an entry in the Negative Trait Thesaurus, BOOM, it takes you there.
Is this witchcraft? Do the two books exist in a parallel universe? WE DON’T KNOW. But you could maybe win one by
Prize #4: A 6-Month Subscription to One Stop for Writers (2 to be won)
If you like what Becca and I do with our books and at WHW, we encourage you to come visit us at One Stop for Writers. It’s where we help writers beyond our writing guides. How? By tackling our “I wish this writing tool existed” list and building storytelling tools that are game changers.
We aim to make a writer’s life easier, and whether it’s our Character Builder that’s smart enough to take key details about the character you’re brainstorming and create an accurate Character Arc Blueprint for you, the largest descriptive THESAURUS database found anywhere (15 topics and growing), or something else, you’ll find it at One Stop. Enter for a chance to win here, and then go sign up for One Stop’s Free Trial.
Ready to win yourself something amazing? Enter for all draws below, and good luck! (No purchase necessary, no cash value, subject to legal blah-blah here.) Giveaway ends April 7th, midnight EST.
This giveaway has ended…watch your inbox!
And because we know everyone can’t win…
We have something for anyone who’d like to try One Stop for Writers for a month: a 75% off code.
To use it, register or sign in, and then visit My Subscription, add the code MILESTONE, and select the 1-month plan. This will reduce this first month to $2.25. (Note: This code can only be used with the 1-month plan).
Code expires April 8th.
Happy writing, all!