Archive for October, 2008

Boo! Happy Halloween…


I know people…who know people…who…

Over the years, I have gotten to know a LOT of writers. I’m going to update my Rolodex next week and I am already scared by the sheer volume of people I need to input to my database. Tonight, standing in front of my book shelf, cracking open titles and scanning for signed copies, I was amazed at how many I have. How many books I have by authors I personally know.

How did this happen? When did this happen? I mean, it’s a little spooky.

I know an author on the opposite coast, who recently found out that her first book is going out of print. (This is not the first time I’ve known an author this has happened to and it’s always a bummer, though she’s handling it well. AND she has two books coming out in the next two years, so take that!)

I know an author on this coast, who is dealing with some serious permission hurdles between her and the publication of her first book. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

I “know” (from blogging) an author on the opposite coast, who just made the NYT Bestseller List for the first time. How freaking cool is that?

I know another author, again on this coast, who is happily starting to draft her first book. I’ll tell more soon.

I know a soon to be author in another country who doesn’t know which book deal is going to become official first.

I mean, I’m not sure if anyone knows it, but I am a very lucky girl! I am surrounded literally and virtually by a glowing tribe of success stories.

How did this happen?

And I’m just talking about what’s going on today. I mean, who knows how many authors I will know by this time next year or in five or ten years. I can’t imagine.

I guess I practice what I preach. Slow and steady wins the race and helps you meet really cool authors and all that.

But seriously, it just hit me, like tonight. Boom.

I think I am having belated success syndrome. When you have a book coming out, you are working so hard for so long that it’s easy to kind of lose perspective. And then one day, there it is, book two, and you kind of take it for granted, maybe like a second child.

And today I realized that I am a two-time author. Holy crap! I have TWO books and I like them both.

I like them a lot. And they are SOOOO different.


Someone tell me how it happened.

Of course, in the moring, sitting at this desk again, I will remember.

I won’t be able to avoid remembering.

It will all be waiting for me bright and early. Let’s go. Chug that coffee and get to work!

But now, in the late hours, it seems pretty cool. It seems like a miracle of some sort.

THIS must be how tales of publishing success become so crazy-romanticized.

Those authors must be up late at night, starry-eyed, and writing them down for the press.

Like they were the immaculate conception or something. Like the books just wrote themselves.

Show me an author who says that. Seriously, C’mere. I dare ya.

But don’t be fooled. It’s all good ol’ fashioned hard work. Nothing more. Nothing less. 🙂

Oh yeah…and it helps to know people.

‘Tis the Season To Assess, Plan & Celebrate

Here’s a tool I didn’t even realize that I use. I’m not giving it a fancy acronym, because I feel like that would diminish the usefulness of this simple list of necessary questions:

Every fall I begin the process of assessing how I’ve done throughout the year and by the time the holiday’s roll around I have a pretty clear idea of exactly what I’ve accomplished. How about you?

Did you achieve your goals?

Did you exceed your goals?

How much money did you make?

How much did you make compared to last year?

Which of your income streams were strongest?

What unpaid projects proved the most fruitful?

Which unpaid projects helped your career grow?

And how much money do you hope to make next year?

Professionally speaking, how much time do you have to give, and where will you give it?


I don’t go through a rigid or formal planning process even though everyone says you should. Once I’ve assessed how I’ve done in the recent past, I find it fairly easy to tune in to my instincts and trust the direction that they point me instead of being overly mental or intellectual about what I’m going to plan next. How about you?

Which past successes can you build on?

Can you get and review feedback from those you serve?

Can you informally poll or bounce some ideas off of some trusted colleagues?

Who do you want to partner with in the coming year?

Into what specific projects will you invest the lion’s share of your energy?

Once I have looked at last year and thought about what to do next, I am ready to begin to envision next year. I realize that some people have five year and ten year goals, but I tend to keep those flexible rather adhere strictly to a plan that will probably end up altered anyway. I know where I’m going, but next year first.

And now I’m ready to celebrate my past accomplishments. Not just last year but the whole ride. How about you?

Who can you thank for their assistance?

What will you do to thank yourself?

How will you celebrate privately?

How can you create an annual celebration with others?

I work hard all year. It doesn’t do anyone else any good for me to pretend that a writing career isn’t hard work. It’s incredibly important to work hard and consistently over not just months but years! And it’s also important to celebrate. This year, I’m not just celebrating my accomplishments, but the accomplishments of my friends. My book publication, their book publications or deals, and our shared success.

It’s a lot to celebrate. But I am definitely up to the task!

How about you?

And stay tuned, I’ll be announcing some big success stories between now and the end of the year.

Two upcoming live workshops with Christina Katz (that’s me!)

Hope you can come!

Christina Katz is teaching Nonfiction Writing Rhythms at Wordstock
Write short and get published sooner, rather than later. Find out why writers who set small goals typically breeze past writers who aim for the big gigs immediately. You’ll leave this workshop with a practical plan for nonfiction writing success.
Location: The Portland Convention Center, 777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland
Saturday, November 8th, 12:45-1:45 p.m.
Cost: $50.00 + festival pass, Register at
Christina will be signing copies of “Get Known Before the Book Deal” and “Writer Mama” at the Willamette Writers Booth from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Self-Promotion Round Table
If you have a book coming out or a service or class to offer, you’re going to need to kick up some interest in what you do first. People are always asking to “borrow” my brain to help them brainstorm ideas for promoting themselves and their books. But when it comes to brainstorming, we all know that several brains are better than one. So I will facilitate this round table discussion to help participants increase their visibility for all the right reasons.

In this three-hour brainstorming session, you’ll drum up ideas that will lead you to a clear-cut plan for promoting yourself and all that you offer. Bring with you a one-paragraph description of your mission, a short bio summarizing your expertise, and a list of any self-promotion you’ve already accomplished (better yet, read my new book, “Get Known” prior to the workshop). You will leave with more ideas than you can possibly carry out, including a few you might not have come up with on your own. Plan to have fun and connect with like-minded writers.
Location: The Wilsonville Library
Dates: Saturday, December 6, 2008
Cost: $99.00 for three hours (intro price for December 6th session only), Register at

Christina Katz has been empowering writers since 1998. She is the author of “Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform” and “Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids.” For more information on her upcoming classes, appearances, and giveaways, please visit

The Weather is Getting Chilly: Time to Curl Up with a Great Book…and couple of questions for you

Well, ladies, if you’ve wondered where I’ve been all week, the answer is working my buns off! And I’m not quite done yet. Get Known Before the Book Deal is now shipping from Amazon (Did you get an e-mail from Amazon about your order yet?)

I’ve updated

And I’m adding the finishing touches to

Next week, I see myself orchestrating all my sites in harmony with a clearly defined plan. And I can’t wait.

I’ve got a really crazy day today. My husband’s latest play, You Can’t Take It With You, opened last night. And Samantha has a playdate AND a dress-up event back-to-back after school.

What are your kids going to be for Halloween? Samantha is going to be a scary witch. 🙂

The weather has taken a decided turn for the colder and we’ve been pulling out the winter wear. Which reminds me, have you purchased Allison Winn Scotch’s new book, Time of My Life, yet? She is one of the featured bloggers on this site and her second book is selling so well that she is within reach of the bestseller lists!

If you love curling up with a good book on a chilly day, please support Allison and buy Time of My Life today! Visit Allison’s site for more scoop. But don’t order from Amazon. They are sold out!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

For the Love of the Library: Keep Our Clackamas Country Libraries Open

Well, it’s official. The Oregonian reported in today’s paper that the Country DOES NOT intend to continue to fund libraries even though they received some “timber money” they thought they weren’t going to get.

Fortunately for those of us who LOVE the library, we can VOTE to create a Library District and maintain the levels of quality and service we are all accustomed to.

Because I love all libraries, I hope that any other library districts that are at risk will follow the great example of the Keep Our Libraries Open campaign that we’ve witnessed here in Clackamas County.

Thanks to the many dedicated volunteers who have worked so hard to increase awareness about the need to vote YES for the library district in Clackamas County.

Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform from Christina Katz and Writer’s Digest Books on sale now!

Sell Your First Book & Develop a Successful and Sustainable Writing Career

Before you can land a book deal—before you can even attract the interest of agents and editors—you need to be visible. How do you become visible? You develop a platform, or a way of reaching your readers. Everybody can develop a platform, and this book shows you how to do it while you’re still writing.

This book offers:

  • A step-by-step approach to creating, growing, and nurturing a platform
  • An economical approach to self-promotion (you don’t have to spend thousands)
  • A clear way to uncover your strengths and weaknesses as an author
  • The strategies that are essential (or not) to online promotion
  • A philosophy of authorship that leaves you confident, empowered, and equally partnered with agents, editors, and publishers (instead of waiting to be discovered)
  • A diverse set of tools and methods for getting known (not just Web-based tools or ideas for extroverts)
  • After you read this book, you’ll be able to answer the inevitable question: “What’s your platform?” with ease and professionalism.

You’ll learn the hows and whys of becoming visible and how to cultivate visibility from scratch. Best of all, you won’t need any previous knowledge or experience to get started. Everything you need to know is here, in one source.

You’ll discover that growing a writing career isn’t just about landing one book deal and then scrambling like crazy. There is a more strategic and steady way to lay the groundwork so you can avoid scrambling altogether—and Get Known Before the Book Deal is the only comprehensive book that shows you how.

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