Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Author Etiquette: Fortune favors the bold...and the polite

For the fifth time today I received an automatic message after accepting a friend. Immediately following was the author's newsletter. 
Even my love for writers can't stop the involuntary cringe. 

Authors, whether we like it or not, we are self employed. The surge in direct sales and multilevel marketing (think LuLaRoe, Amway, Nuskin...) has emboldened otherwise relaxed entrepreneurs. Sadly, this is chasing would be readers, including agents and editors, underground.

Temptation is ever present. 
We spent years honing our craft and are eager to share it with the world. 
Fortune favors the bold, right?

Yes. And no.

Bold is asking a newly minted friend if he would like to be added to your newsletter/email chain. 
It's taking a risk and extending an offer. 
But more important, it's polite. 

An automatic message to a friend/acquaintance is less polite and typically, the message is a not-so-subtle solicitation for their book or service. 
It's tacky and leaves bad taste in our mouths. First impressions once given, are hard to overcome.

Adding your new friend to a Facebook group or newsletter without asking, isn't bold. 
It's downright rude.

The breach of etiquette in social media has been the driving force behind Instagram's success. 
No one can add you to a group, post links in comments or take over your feed with their self promotion.

Be bold, but be wise as well. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Dear Writers

Dear Writers,

Cheering authors started out as a simple hobby but mushroomed to an all consuming career. For months, I vacillated back and forth on whether to accept the upcoming nomination for President of my local California Writers Club branch.

Thankfully, the decision forced me to revisit my priorities and schedules. With three small children (ages eight to thirteen) who are active in both the school and the community have more than the lion’s share of my time.

Add critique groups and clients, I had mere seconds left for my writing until I reached out to an incredible board. Overnight, I had volunteers help with critique groups and substitutes for the upcoming months already pegged for my daughters’ events.

I spent the last several years working side by side with a dedicated board—even saying an earthly farewell to a dear, dear friend. Through these friendships, we built a new caliber of critique groups, added Young Writers of Kern and expanded membership. It was a beautiful experience but also an overwhelming expectation to continue.

We—the board—played a bit of musical chairs and restructured positions; our past president now sits at the helm of our indie imprint while our past Vice President captains our ever-growing young writers program.

And now, we embark on a new fiscal year with the same eagerness and same hunger to help our authors with our new Mentorship Program. Writing might be solitary but editing and publishing doesn’t have to be.

Sending that first submission (or the hundredth) can be demoralizing—we’re unrolling a plan to help with the entire publishing process. From contests to queries, we’ll be here to help our members through their publishing journey.

 For more info on membership, click here.


Clarissa Kae

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Because I'm shameless (or just bursting with maternal pride)
I have to share my daughters' cover story in the Kern County Family Magazine.

Just over a year ago, my older two girls wanted to know why an anti-bully campaign focused on "how to respond to a bully" instead of being preventing the bully. 
It wasn't a day later when a riot broke out on the other side of the country, prompting my daughters to found Kind Girls Make Strong Women

Once a quarter these little ladies host a donation drive in our backyard (or sometimes online) for a non profit organization. They've provided Christmas for sixty five local families and fed hundreds again and again. They've helped raise awareness and donations for animal rescues and recently, helped raise funds to reunify separated children to their parents.

The three of them work together, each with their strengths (one is creative, one is logical and one can outwork an ox). They've counted every penny and worked every moment behind the scenes; this is very much their company. 
They've sold t-shirts as far away as London, England (the money is transferred to the current non profit they're helping). The girls are getting ready to add Kind Boys Make Strong Men, asking for male counterparts to join in their Kind Revolution.

A few weeks ago, I was stopped by an elderly man. After asking if I was the mom of the Kind Girls, he shook my hand and said, "It's going to take a kid to change the world."

Yes, yes it will.

For more info: follow Kind Girls Make Strong Women on Facebook & Instagram.