HSW December 2020 Newsletter

Next HSW Meeting 

Saturday, December 12 at 10 am via Zoom. 

As is becoming the norm, our December meeting will be via Zoom. We appreciate everyone who is logging on and joining in. You don’t have to be on camera to be part of the meeting. Contact information for the meeting will be sent by Thursday, December 10th. 

We have a few topics for the next meeting, such as what’s next after writing your NaNoWriMo novel, or any novel for that matter. Let’s talk about everything that has to be done before that novel is ready to publish or be sent to an agent. Then let’s talk about publishing options. Bring any questions you have about the process, whether it is Big Five– oops, now Four–publishing or do it yourself. 

We’ll also talk about our critique groups and how they are working for you. As you can see from these topics, Matt and Rene are going to be looking for participation from all of you. 

We’ll also announce the winner of the HSW Writing Contest for 2020. Overall, the contest committee is pleased with the number of entries and plan to do a 2021 contest as well.


Agenda for the December Meeting:

  1.  Announcements and Shameless Self-Promotion
  2. Winners of the Writing Contest Announcement
  3. Discuss Post-NaNo Activities
  4. Discussion of Traditional Publishing Versus Self-Publishing
  5. Status of Critique Groups
  6. First Pages



Matt will be doing First Pages at this meeting.  If you have a first page you would like feedback on, please send it to Matt by Friday October 9th at MattBayan@aol.com  For easy reading, please use 12 point Times New Roman and double space.  Do not include your name on the page, but indicate the genre. 


This month we’ll be discussing several topics about getting from A to Z.

Since we’re just coming off NANO, some of you may have very raw finished or close to finished first drafts. What now? If this is your first book, the road ahead may seem daunting. Well, it is. Even if it’s your third book.

Think of it as a sculptor. You just bought a five-ton slab of marble and had it delivered to your studio. You stare at it for a while and ask yourself if you just made a big mistake.

The reality is that a first draft is total crap. Doesn’t matter who you are. It’s no better than a five-ton slab of marble. The hard work is beating the thing into shape.

This will take proofreading, rewrites, and/or feedback from a critique group or trusted beta readers. If you think on your third draft, you’re finished, think again. Just look at some of the crap that’s on Amazon, flooding the market and making it ever more difficult to breakthrough. Most of those books are second or third drafts.

 “I need to get it out there.” That phrase, that desire will enter your mind at some point. Resist it. If later you’re going to spend time and money marketing your book or querying agents, give yourself the best chance of success by at least having a quality product.


As we come to the end of the year, it means your membership is expiring unless you’ve already renewed it. In case you’re not sure, here’s your name and expiration date:
If you’re due to renew, you can do it online using PayPal. You don’t need to have an account and you can use your credit card. HSW PayPal Link  If you prefer to pay by check, you can mail it to High Sierra Writers PO Box 12241 Reno, NV 89510. Please let Rene know so she can follow up. 


If you’re planning to self-publish a book over the holidays, you might not be aware that some companies have holiday hours. Thanks to Draft2Digital, Rene had a list of them this morning:
Amazon Support will be closed on December 25 and January 1. To ensure against potential delays in file review and other processing, submit your books prior to December 11. Preorders scheduled during these periods will go live as expected, provided final manuscripts are in and approved before the cutoff date of December 11. 
Apple’s publishing systems will experience delays from mid-December through early January. To help you in planning release dates around this period you may use the following schedule:
  • Release dates from December 18 have a delivery deadline of Friday, December 4.
  • Release dates from December 25 have a delivery deadline of Friday, December 11.
All submissions must be submitted prior to midnight (PST) on the dates above.

Due to the high volume of deliveries and updates they receive during this time of year, Apple does not recommend making changes between December 20 and December 27.

B&N will be closed December 25 and January 1 with limited support in between. No files will process and there will be no direct support on days when closed. Also during this time you may experience review slowdowns, and slowdowns following those dates as B&N deals with backlog. However, automated delivery will continue 24/7 through the holiday period.

Kobo offices will be closed December 25 and January 1. Additionally, they will have limited support from December 20 thru January 6. Metadata and digital files will be loaded 24/7 over the holidays however there will be a lot of data flowing through their system which may cause updates to take longer.


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