Stand up and be recognized


Awards for independent and self-published books are tricky business. The Internet is awash with shady characters more interested in taking your money than giving you recognition. I know; I have fallen for a few scams. In fact, I think I can say that in most cases, the more you’re asked to pay, the shadier the operation.

Luckily, for self- and independently published authors who serve as their own marketers, ALLI (Alliance of Independent Authors) offers a vetted list of prizes and awards. I entered Tiny Shoes Dancing in several in the RECOMMENDED category.

ALLI's award and contest ratings

A few weeks ago, I saw that the results of the International Rubery Book Award had been announced. I followed the link. In the short story category, I saw Yang Hueng’s book, My Old Faithful, had been shortlisted. I was happy for her; I had heard her read and met her at Why There Are Words last August. But I didn’t see my book. Oh well. It wouldn’t be the first time. I went to my marketing tracking document and typed DID NOT WIN beside the line for the Rubery Book Award.

My scam/virus radar went up and I almost deleted the message without reading it.

Then, a few days ago, I received an email from an address I didn’t recognize, with the subject line “Short list” and an attachment. My scam/virus radar went up and I almost deleted the message without reading it. I’m glad I didn’t. It was short and simple. “Congratulations on making the Rubery Book Award Shortlist! It is an amazing achievement! I have attached a logo for you to use on your book cover and/or for any marketing you do.”

Somehow, I had missed seeing my book on the list the first time through. Interestingly, the entry fee for this award was the lowest of any I entered, although I did have to spend money to mail two copies of the book to the U.K.

The Rubery book Award is described as “…the self publishers’ and independent publishers’ answer to the MAN Booker Prize and the Costa Prize.” I am truly honored that Tiny Shoes Dancing made the list.

Now I hope I can turn the kudos into cash by actually selling some copies of the book the judges found worthy of shortlisting.


Like most office work, writing means spending a lot of time in front of a computer. For me that meant, until recently, a lot of time on my butt.

My new convertible standing desk

I finally went ahead and got myself a standing desk. Actually, I opted for one that can go up and down and that fits on my current desk, a more flexible option.

It’s not that I have fallen for the idea that sitting is the new smoking.

It’s not that I have fallen for the idea that sitting is the new smoking. It’s that I have developed some physical issues that make extended sitting extremely uncomfortable. While I can’t say my life has been totally changed, I can say that I am much more comfortable for much longer than I used to be. And that means more time for writing and editing without the distraction of pain.

Do you work in front of a computer? How do you get comfortable?

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