I hope this finds you well and writing to your heart’s content.
Per the usual round-up, I have compiled a list of great reads that I have come across regarding writing, publishing, your platform, writer schedules, advice to writers and marketing information. Please let me know if you would like additional information for your writer’s read.
I came across a blog on twitter that I wasn’t familiar with but, it turned out, had a very well-thought-out article on Amazon’s move to cut and cap the rates of audiobooks for its ACX platform for indie authors. This is fully worked over in the article and equates the expense of production and the rate of return nearing traditional publishing rates. Have a read here.
Are you an indie author who likes to make people laugh? As I have mentioned before, (see microcerpt) there has never been a time in history where author and reader can communicate at such crucial points in the writing, publishing and promotion process. This is further borne out with the newest website connecting authors and readers. It’s called Riot Press and is worth a look and the article on GalleyCat is a nice write-up of the site. Check it out here.
Did you know GalleyCat runs educational programs for freelancers? You can even try your luck at getting a discount to this program. This is limited offering, both in time and in ‘seating”. Additionally, I would highly recommend Carol Tice’s Freelance Writers’ Den. She is such a powerhouse and will guide you through the learning process of this exciting new career and help you avoid the pitfalls that scare us all. Head over to Freelance Writer’s Den now to sign up for an opening.
Clive Eaton always has great marketing tips for authors. His article can show you how humor can capture attention. If you are feeling overwhelmed at this point, this is a good article to read.
Including your readers (and future readers) in your “behind the scenes” research is a great way to-get steadfast fans. One of the best examples of this is author Keith Thomson’s website which not only links to his novels, but to research for each of his works. It’s a great way to leave them wanting more (ie:your book!).
The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) announce a discount on their JPass membership. Head to that link if you would like access to all journals in your research. This applies to freelancers, fiction and nonfiction writers.
In line with the last item, if you are in the midst of sussing out information on the computer for instance who really wrote that piece that does not have the “voice” of the author listed, than you might be interested in reading this piece in the Smithsonian.
As part of the self-publishing series, though it is quickly becoming mainstream, there is a post on changing book covers if you decide to ditch the first cover. You can find the link here. The author is no less than Joanna Penn. If you are a self-published author or are considering it, she is a must follow. Her website is called The Creative Penn.
And for those who are looking to find where their readers hang out, try wattpad. No, it’s not new, but there is a new “try it out for free” marketing tool that you will, I believe, start seeing more and more. This has been a possibility with Amazon in the read a section option, but this marketing campaign is catching the eyes of readers and other important people within the publishing world. And this is really what we all want, whatever our goals in the publication “brave new world”. The only thing we have to fear is, obscurity. Get your name out there with wattpad. See this campaign for The Nememiah Chronicles by D.S. Williams.
There is a petition going around to stop bullying of authors on Amazon. It’s more intriguing than at first glance. Read up on it here.
This fills all of the loops in marketing and is one of the most brilliant tweets I have seen. He will drive attention to his book by the sheer number of eyeballs drawn to the offer, he will add to his email list one way or the other He is marketing his book, increasing the views on his tweets with the offer (“Free” is one of those words that grab attention. See: GoinsWriter, Michael Hyatt and the king of grabbing attention, Jon Morrow. He literally wrote the book on writing great headlines.)
Russell Smith asks if we need Writers’ Unions in this day of “DIY” publishing. See what he has to say about it here.
After the big hoopla over Wool series author, Hugh Howey’s disclosure of earnings, are you studying everything that Hugh is doing? Tracking every move that J.A. Konrath makes? Well, here is an article that can help you without cyberstalking.
Are you wondering about all of the discussion about blogging? This is what I call the “to blog or not to blog” question? (That sound you heard was The Bard rolling over in his grave.) There is a great article on Write to Done by Kimberley Grabas about this very issue. You should also look at all of her posts at Your Writer Platform. She does a stellar job helping us writers write.
There are fewer newsletters coming since I have tied myself to a strict writing schedule. I am also reviewing a number of books, so please excuse the lack of information. I do have quite a few drafts that I’m adding to so those will come out as the writing schdule allows. Do know that if you “mouse” over the grey outlines in the upper right corner of the page they will become hyperlinks for social media. Feel free to follow me on your favorite. You can also write to me using the contact form.
I also want to thank all of the kind people who have sent me messages. These are the times that “try men’s’ souls” but “what won’t kill us can only make us stronger”. Platitudes, and yes, cliches, but there is a reason we fall back on them in real life; but never in our writing. ;p My warmest wishes as your write and create to your “heart’s content”.
This is the first installment in a series I have entitled the Writing 2.0 Changemaker Series. In each interview, I will bring you the trendsetters in the new age of publishing for both traditional and self-published authors. My goal is to bring you those who are paving the way to educate authors in all sectors of the writing process from blank page to marketing. Our focus today is on New York Times & USA Today bestselling & award-winning author, Melissa Foster.
I had the distinct pleasure of discussing a number of issues that fall on writers these days with Melissa Foster via email. She has somehow managed to keep her fiction writing up, form an incredible support group called World Literary Cafe (renowned and respected), written her non-fiction book Fostering Success and pulled together a cadre of trusted format experts, editors and designers. She is also a delight to know.
Here is her philosophy and moral compass underlying all her enterprises:
My goal is always to help as many authors as I am able–and I take no compensation from either of my businesses, this is my way of giving back to the literary world. We are so very lucky to have the opportunity to bring our books to readers, but if we don’t understand how to publish, or the layers and processes behind book marketing, the gift we’ve been given will be meaningless.
I am asked on a daily basis basic, as well as complex, questions about all aspects of the self-publishing and book marketing arena. While I’ve tried to help authors with one-on-one consulting, I found that my window of writing time was becoming smaller and smaller, and I wasn’t able to help as many authors as were requesting my time. Fostering Success offers effective, easy to understand, answers along with real life, immediately usable solutions for self-publishing newbies to experienced traditional and non-traditional authors through self-guided courses that are available 24/7 with downloadable transcripts and multitudes of bonus materials that can be used over and over again–to breathe new life into old titles and to launch new titles as well. What pleases me the most, is that authors no longer have to flounder about in the industry. Between Fostering Success and the World Literary Cafe, authors are guided from pre-publication down their marketing path, so they can find their book’s success
My take on formatting a book -both paperback and ebooks, is that while you can learn them, the ease of doing so depends entirely on how computer savvy you are, and how much you value your writing and marketing time vs spending time formatting. I know how to format ebooks and paperbacks, but I have my staff do that for me (and I pay the same rate as everyone else to do so), because for me, writing and running my businesses are essential, and I believe in letting experts do their jobs. I can rely on my formatter and my cover designers, therefore, they save me money, and surely save me headaches of both time and money from improperly formatted files. Everyone has an opinion on this topic, of course.
And please like her Fanpage on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @Melissa_Foster.
As always, commenting is free on this site. Sign up for newsletters and follow me on Twitter @LeeJTyler.
Brain function and the writing process are my passion and my life’s work.
I have studied the brain for years. I researched head injuries and the effects of neurotransmitters in arthritis, not knowing, as I kept my head down in the research building plugging in neurotransmitter formulas to aid in an answer, that I would be contracting R.A. and Lupus s.l.e. in my thirties. Life is ironic.
But finding this amazing infographic from Apple Copywriting (a site you must visit), was like coming home. The occipital, parietal and frontal lobes and their workings are infused into my memory. Broca’s and Wernick’s areas are my areas of study; like old friends.
In the Wayback Machine, here is a story on conquering procrastination that I wrote some time ago. The research I cited and the tools provided seemed to help many writers. Hopefully, you can find some benefit to apply to your writing.
This, kids, is why we must use evocative words for all of the senses. It’s why Jesus spoke to us in parables. These stories have been with us for over two thousand years. We are Wired for Story, as Lisa Cron, the author of this great craft book has famously said. I will share with you soon the mapping software I use to highlight the areas I need to hit more and the processes I make habit in order to add content to my story that comes up in the course of the day. I am always writing, even if not actively. The fleeting thoughts that tie the plot points together or help make that secondary character come to life in one sentence, that’s the writing life. That is what I live for, and I’m sure you feel the same way.
In fact, Margo Fritz, writing from Cornell happily recounts “the first time [she] realized how beautifully science and creative writing can merge”.
Stranger than fiction
In Block 3 I took Stranger than Fiction: Creative Non-Fiction Writing About the Sciences. It was taught by Sandra Beasley, a visiting professor and author of a memoir and cultural history of food allergies called “Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl,” as well as two collections of poetry.
This was the first time I realized how beautifully science and creative writing can merge.
To help in that area, I head to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. You can see within the link that I was working on an evocative analogy for the time needed for reflection and the growth leading to a freer and more beautiful existence. The process I was looking for is in the link and is now one of my favorite words.
There are quizzes and brain training games that you can play to keep your mind sharp. For instance, if I am feeling too sluggish at the beginning of a writing session, I will play one of these games to drill down to the core of my brain and get the ‘plasticity going’ as I phrase it and the neurons firing.
Some of these tools require a paid membership and lose many of their best features after the trial period. And how much extra cash do writers have on their persons? Um hmm. Unless you are born into or married a duke or duchess than it is the free tools that are left. Frankly, my imagination and the free thesaurus are enough to get words, phrases and even whole sentences on the page. I’m sure you can do much better.
To complement any reading you have finished this perfect reading day, here are some wonderful articles to help you along in your writing path.
Lifehack has an immense collection of articles on the Writing Life that we lead:
Ten Simple Rules for Good Writing This isn’t just the usual list. We “know” these, but we need to be reminded of them every once in a while.
And this one is stellar: 20 Free Resources to Create a Simple Ebook
I use a lot of these already, but it is wonderful to have all of them tied up in a neat little bow. ;p
This one fits my research and writing life if you’ve ever wondered How Does Writing Affect Us?
NPR has the Best Books of 2013
Stephen King famously and wisely said,
Among the forty writing books I have, I prize my copy of Stephen King’s On Writing. However, there is a quote I came across on Goodreads from Mr. King’s Different Seasons that is one of the most poignant thoughts I have come across, and I’d like to share it with you. You, as a writer, will understand this.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
Well, if so, I have some juicy things for you so keep reading.
If you aren’t doing it this year, then sit back and read at your leisure. There is plenty more where all of this comes from. (Terrible cliché, I know. And I ended the sentence with a proposition!)
Writer’s Weekly has a whole host of articles on the cost of print on demand this week. But, as always, I want you to check your choices against sage advice from
Remember also to check for a top-dollar to be paid; ask your friends what they would consider the top-dollar to be for, in this case, POD.
I will bring you much more in the way of POD, beta-readers, editors, interior and exterior book cover designers and information for formatting your own novel or reputable organizations that can do this for you.
For your resources this NaNoWriMo, I will be giving you questionnaires that I have dug up throughout the years. We cannot be writing with two-dimensional characters in November or any month of the year.
Here are some great writing prompts for NaNoWriMo at The J Letters.
If you, by chance, haven’t started the outlines or research yet and are someone who prefers to write by “the seat of their pants”, also known in some circles as a pantsers*, then the following character cheat sheets should come in handy right about now.
First up is from Wikiversity with a wonderful character check list that goes beyond just a questionnaire. The “pocket contents” is my favorite.
Ebooks4Writers has a great universal sheet for your novel. It is your roadmap on this journey.
They also have a great post on getting your novel logistics right.
P.J. Sloan has a great character quiz which you can find here.
Now, if those don’t help, Angela Ackerman wrote a great post which is on The Bookshelf Muse site explaining her tricks to get inside the head (or desk drawer) of your character.
I have plenty more to help you out throughout this month. These will be a good start for now. For those who follow this site and do not plan on being self-published, you will find in almost all of the posts information that will help you from conception to promotion. Feel free to ask for help if you do not find it in the existing posts.
And a reminder to all writers; we are a sensitive lot, we are the ones who step around the ant hill, amazed at its system of holes and transport tunnels. It is quite hard to be anything else but careful of life in general. But remember, your protagonist is not alive and to save his or her literary life, you must be mean to them. At every turn. Make every day the worst day of their lives. Make sure that there is no pair of socks that match for them to wear, and the coffee pot is broken, and they have no money for take out. The person knocking on the door is not their friendly neighbor, but the killer who wants to chop off their limbs. And you, the writer, has left the door UNLOCKED!!
“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”
In publishing news:
We know that Amazon is a publisher as well as distributor/retailer/lending library et al. But did you know they are starting their own Literary Magazine? It’s called Day One
Your first 30 days are free, as in blog and other periodical publications
Caveat: You name and address will be given to the publisher. Not surprising as they say that for all periodicals. What is ironic is that this time, Amazon is the publisher.
As there are no Editorial Reviews yet, this is the content under the Editorial Review section:
Day One is a weekly literary journal dedicated to short fiction from debut writers, English translations of stories from around the world, and poetry. Each issue showcases one writer and poet and includes an introduction from the editor, an interview with the authors, and occasional bonus content. Day One features cover art commissioned from emerging artists and illustrators, and readers will learn more about the artist and the genesis of the cover each week.Kindle Magazines are fully downloaded onto your Kindle so you can read them even when you’re not wirelessly connected.“Sheila” seems to be getting a lot of buzz, but I’m sure all of the stories in this inaugural issue are fantastic.The first issue is available now for download. A low-priced annual subscription for 52 weeks will run you $9.99. (Not an affiliate link.) Try it out.
About the Smashwords/NaNoWriMo Promotion
Smashwords is opening up the Smashwords platform to allow all NaNoWriMo participants to publish, share, track and promote their works-in-progress.
All NaNo books will receive promotion via:
- A special catalog hosted at Smashwords.com
- A special catalog in the native catalog of Stanza, the #1 most downloaded (2.5 million +) e-reading app on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
- A special catalog in the native catalog of Aldiko, the #1 most popular e-reading app for Android phones
- Promotion in the Smashwords blog, on Twitter, and elsewhere!
How to list your book as a NaNoWriMo title at Smashwords:
- Sign up for free with Smashwords (if you’re not already a member) http://www.smashwords.com/signup
Between November 1 (12:00am PST) and November 30 (11:59pm PST), publish your NaNoWriMo novel:http://www.smashwords.com/upload/nanowrimo
- You can set the price of your book to FREE (recommended if you want to get the most readership), or you can set a price let readers pick their own price if you want friends, fans and family to financially support your month of writing madness. Free is better! If you do charge people to read your book, we suggest you donate your proceeds during November directly to NaNoWrimo to support their great program.
- During that same time period, whenever you feel like it, upload a new revision of your novel by going to your Dashboard and clicking “Upload new version” next to the title: http://www.smashwords.com/dashboard
And yes! readers will always be able to fetch the latest version!
A dynamic display of a bar graph and other statistics on your book’s public info page will help you and your fans follow your progress.
- Please note: Our word count may not match the official NaNoWriMo one!
Send your friends, fans and family to Smashwords to read your novel, other NaNoWriMo novels, and to discover thousands of other great ebooks! http://www.smashwords.com/
- If you write 50,000 or more words by November 30th, you’ll see “Goal reached!” (If you finish after November, we’ll show your latest progress, but also point out that you eventually did reach the goal.)
- REMEMBER: Smashwords is providing a fun way to publish (and sell, if you want) your new novel. You still need to sign up for NaNoWriMo and submit your book there, too, to participate in the offical contest!http://www.nanowrimo.org/user/register
How to Promote your NaNoWriMo title at Smashwords:
- Use the social media links on your book page to share your book with friends, fans and family
- Encourage your friends, fans and family to share your work in progress with friends, using the social media links
- Celebrate your Nano entry by posting links to your Nano book at Smashwords, so fans can download your work-in-progress, readable in multiple DRM-free ebook formats!
- Review our free ebook, The Smashwords Book Marketing Guide, for additional marketing tips. Smart book marketing begins before you release your finished book, so star now!
- Since you cannot begin your novel until NaNoWriMo starts, you cannot add your book to Smashwords until then, either. (In other words, your book must have a “published” date at Smashwords within the month of November, or it won’t be listed on this page.)
- The book must be within the Fiction category at Smashwords.
- During the month of November, whenever you upload a new revision of your work, its NaNoWriMo word count will be updated automatically.
- Your book’s participation in NaNoWriMo will be listed on the book’s info page at Smashwords, along with the latest word count we saw during November.
- Even after NaNoWriMo is over, please keep updating your book at Smashwords. And when you finish your novel, remember to uncheck the Work in Progress setting for your book!
- PLEASE NOTE: Smashwords does not send your book or word counts to the official NaNoWriMo site! To officially participate in the contest, be sure to sign up at NaNoWriMo.org and update your book there, too!
Click here to register at NaNoWriMo.org >
After NaNoWriMo is Over
How to Publish Your Finished Book on Smashwords
When you finish writing your novel, and after you get it properly edited and proof-read (ALL books need many revisions and edits before they’re truly ready to publish), and after you have carefully formatted it per the requirements of the Smashwords Style Guide, you can return to your Smashwords Dashboard, upload the finished version, and uncheck the “Work in Progress” setting to make it ‘live’ on Smashwords and eligible for free, Premium distribution to major online retailers such as Barnes and Noble, Sony, and others to be announced soon. Learn more about how Smashwords can distribute your book on our Distribution Information Page.
Commenting is free on this site:
A gracious nod to all of the new subscribers. I would like to hear from you if you have left a comment and it didn’t show up. Please use the contact form or email me at email@example.com making sure that you write my name, Lee, somewhere. I am inundated by spam both on the site itself and through the contact form, and I have found that it is impossible to go through 400-600 spam per day and get anything else accomplished. If you have been caught up in the spam, I am truly sorry. I am working on making this a members site, looking at other commenting services (I’ve tried more than a few, including disks), or finding another way to make the process as smooth as possible. I appreciate your time in informing me how things are on your end. I give the second shoutout to those who have already written to me.
*From Plot and Pant mash up. Yeah, I’m not a fan of it, either.
You are no doubt familiar with the database for movies and actors.
Now there is one for writers and authors as well! It is called, appropriately, AuthorsDB and was started by a man named Jason Matthews.
This is an award-winning site with an easy-to-use interface: And it’s free!
At AUTHORSdB, it is easy to sign up and get started right away. All you need to do is:
1. Create an account using your facebook, google or windows live account or sign up with your personal email.
2. Log in and add your bio, photos and book images
3. Add all your social media contact information
4. Add your ‘Buy Here’ links to Amazon, B&N, etc
5. Share Share Share
If you are not a writer but have a service for writers such as editing, and promotions, you may add your business to this site for a great way to get found! What a fantastic idea!
This site also covers all of the major formats:
Don’t wait as every minute counts to increase your visibility whether you are already published or are currently working on your novel.
Hint: see how fast this website loads the minute you hit the connection. With all that it provides, that shows you what a powerful website they have; reinforcing their search engine capabilities.
Head over to AuthorDB now to check out even more great ideas.
(Images courtesy of Hubspot.)
Burchell Zebra via Lee Ouzman’s Library
Well, it was bound to happen. This word geek found the World’s Greatest Site for Unusual and Interesting Words: Jacana.
Is your character working with an antagonist in a lab? Need to know what to call the “whatchamacallits”? Jacana has it. And if you aren’t sure what your antagonist is working on in his lab, this is a great spot for brain storming. Much better than Google as the possibilities are offered up to you on a virtual silver tray.
Through osmosis, you can outline your next five scenes if not more by skimming for information close to you research inquiries. The setup of this site is what makes it so thought provoking.
We all know Google is the best, but you need to know what you are looking for to search for it. Jacana has subjects from Technology with sub-categories, Leatherman is listed with a wide array of self-defense tools for your hero. Safari sites and maps are all included in addition to pictures, GPS coordinates, and Safari clothing; just when you need to find the right word for what your characters are wearing as they start on a great adventure. Certainly you must include the specific Rogue hats they need to keep the sun out of their face and add that certain swagger and character trait to reveal a mood or emotion to your readers. Hats are great for “showing, not telling”. Certainly, that wasn’t just my secret, right?
Binoculars, knives, torches; all named and pictured for your imagination. I suggest that you start with the main page and dig deeper as you choose which way to go since this will bring you to your most fruitful sites for your novel. Who is the interesting pilot that your MC hires to charter them to their first scene in their adventure? The outline isn’t there, of course, but the ideas are if you look for them.
And, of course, there is a site for Unusual and Interesting Words. I won’t geek out on this post, but I linked to it for fellow word nerds (sobriquet used in the best possible light).
Need translation tools, synonyms; Reverso is the new cool tool to use.
As for those that are interested in the self-publishing posts, I have enough information and book references, editors, formatting tools, etc. that this series will run long. Great book marketing tools coming up. And speaking of, I would follow what Jeff Goins is doing with his new book, The In-Between as news of it has been bubbling to the surface in all areas of the Inter-Webs. He has his tribe in full gear. Are you gathering your tribe?
I appreciate all of the shares. Please share with this link:http://bit.ly/1c4glfz
As always, please leave comments below and let me know what you are working on and any help you might need. This site is all about writers helping writers. I am here to help you.
As I’ve said since 2010: Stay Strong and Write On
I’ve had this article in my research database since it was published in TechCrunch. It is truly one of the best articles that I have come across on the entire process of self-publishing. There are many details I will be highlighting in this series. Adding to the editing, formatting & book design, marketing, audio and foreign rights but for now this article serves as an excellent aid in the series, which will be ongoing. I will be drilling down on the programs and processes, tips and referrals that you will need.
I just have to say I love James Altucher’s no-nonsense approach to everything in this Publishing 3.0 world we are in. The research and marketing points are amazing. Here is the article for your education and entertainment.
And to show you the changes that have transpired within the last two years, I am linking two articles by Kristine Kathryn Rusch who runs a series called “The Business Rausch” detailing the changes in the industry and why she decided to go from traditional publishing to indie publishing. The first article was written just about two years ago, entitled Popcorn Kittens.The newest post was made at the advent of the “new” self-publishing era. And the follow up to that she published this week. The latest article shows how an author with a series yet to be written, a back-list to publish and audio and foreign rights to be handled, copes with such an onslaught of work. I am betting you will become just as addicted to reading her site, let alone her books, as I have become.
There is a treat in here that will be both symbolic and entertaining. You can find the article she wrote two years ago here and the one this past week here. Do you see why we are already in the Publishing 3.0 era?
And finally, though I doubt that Amazon and Kindle will jump on the bandwagon with this (think of cell phones and proprietary software.), there is a push by the American Publishers Association to move to EPub3 which would allow all e-books one format for cross-device reading. I am skeptical, but I would like to be proven wrong. This article is from one of my go-to favorites, Digital Book World, also known as DBW.
This is a quick post for the multi-part series on Self-Publishing. An interesting take on the traditional vs. self-publishing option.
In their continuing efforts to support self-published authors, Digital Book World has spotlighted a service that brings the traditional publishing services to authors through Bowker.
If you buy your ISBN through Bowker, it will offer the promotional services of Smith Publicity.
As stated in the press release:
ProQuest affiliate Bowker® is expanding resources available to authors and small publishers on its MyIdentifiers.com website by teaming with Smith Publicity, widely recognized as one of the industry’s top book publicity agencies. Now, MyIdentifiers.com will include a link to Smith’s website where authors and publishers can take the first steps in exploring public relations programs that can effectively support their publishing efforts. The cooperation with Smith is part of Bowker’s larger program to help MyIdentifiers users succeed by connecting them to trusted providers of a range of essential services.
Scrivener puts everything you need for structuring, writing and editing long documents at your fingertips. On the left of the window, the “binder” allows you to navigate between the different parts of your manuscript, your notes, and research materials, with ease. Break your text into pieces as small or large as you want—so you can forget wrestling with one long document. Restructuring your draft is as simple as drag and drop. Select a single document to edit a section of your manuscript in isolation, or use “Scrivenings” mode to work on multiple sections as though they were one: Scrivener makes it easy to switch between focussing on the details and stepping back to get a wider view of your composition.
With access to a powerful underlying text engine, you can add tables, bullet points, images and mark up your text with comments and footnotes. Format as you go using the format bar at the top of the page, or use any font you want for the writing and let Scrivener reformat your manuscript after you’re done—allowing you to concentrate on the words rather than their presentation.
The cork notice-board is one of the writer’s most familiar organisational tools. Before Scrivener, though, the index cards were not connected to anything; any alterations made to the sequence of cards on the corkboard would have to be replicated manually in the draft. In Scrivener, every document is attached to a virtual index card onto which you can jot a synopsis; moving the cards on Scrivener’s corkboard rearranges their associated text in your draft. Mark common themes or content using labels, or stack cards, grouping related documents together. Scrivener’s corkboard gives you the flexibility of a real notice-board while automatically reflecting any changes you make in your manuscript.
Scrivener’s innovative “Scrivenings” mode allows you to move smoothly between editing your document one piece at a time or together as a whole. It’s up to you how small—or large—you want to make the individual sections of your manuscript: novelists can write each scene in a separate document or whole chapters as one; scriptwriters can work scene-by-scene or act-by-act; academics can break down their ideas into individual arguments. However finely you break up your work, Scrivenings mode allows you to collect the constituent components into a single editor, so that you can edit them as though they were all part of one document: in Scrivener, you’re only ever a click away from seeing the forest or the trees.
The following is a compilation of resources for writers. You can find the subject that is on your radar by looking at the hashtags.
[Update: May 2nd, 2013 This is an update from the previous release date of this article. Please see the hyperlinked article on Editing: Knowing When To Stop from Writer’s Digest which is under the There Are No Rules banner.
Are you in the research phase of your book? Most of the links in this resource
are tailored to the non-fiction writer but do be aware that inspiration for your fiction
characters can be found be reading about people in our history; especially if it is a
Let’s say you want to know more about Edmund Spencer, who wrote for Elizabeth I in
varied poetry and prose. The Bio Website can help you with loads of info. Officially, it is
called Biography as it is taken from the much-lauded Biography Channel. Play
around in the sandbox of all of the information in various formats they have
gathered for your perusal. You can have fun and fill in your weekly research
goals at the same time.
Anyone in the book business should read Publishing Perspectives everyday
along with their morning cup of coffee. Packed with information that you
can use and should be ‘up on’.
There are several great sites that help with character development Also,
as writers, we tend to pass around our own cheat sheets on questions that
we have worked up for our characters.
There are a few that I would like to highlight: The first is Critiques Circle which is an
online writing workshop. You will need to sign up to be a member. They have free
and premium version. It is a great community and the tools that
they give the author are incredible.
At J.P. Sloan’s Fistful of Fiction, he has created many workbooks and
cheat-sheets to help you flesh out your characters.
Creative Writing Now has a wonderful site with a character questionnaire
for your characters to which I am very partial.
Hope this helps in your efforts on three-dimensional characters that will
jump off the 2 dimensional page. Let me know!
We all need this article on self-editing.This is an article from Anna Lewis
who is a co-founder of VoxBox and a pretty incredible person. Do yourself
a favor and check out this webpage.
In my efforts to find you the best assistance with your author platform,
I have put together some resources for you. All of these are built from the
ground up by writers who have the networks necessary for word-of-mouth
and have gone through the trenches themselves. For instance, check out this
wonderful font of information at The Writing Platform.
Melissa Foster fits perfectly under the rubric of authors who have been through
the publishing and marketing process and have the contacts and knowledge to
help others beyond writing and editing. She has just written a wonderful book
called Fostering Success. The tag-line for the book is “You’ve written a book.
Now What?” I think this will hit home to a great deal of authors, if not all, who
are in need of guidance with publishing and book marketing. You can find
massive amounts of helpful author platform information on the book here
If you need help in promoting your book, the Shameless Promoter has a
wealth of experience under her belt and is there for you with the tools,
connections and coaching you need to help guide you through the necessary
Best-selling and self-published author Hugh Howey who authored the Wool
series has a great piece at MediaBistro about what he does for self-promotion.
You would be surprised! This piece was based on the Ask Me Anything interview
he did at Reddit.
Also at the Galley Cat are several more articles on your platform and promotion.
You can find them listed right under Hugh’s article or below:
If you are looking for a well-qualified coach and well as book marketer and social media expert to increase your sales and profile of you and your book? Susan Gilbert is the person to contact. Check out her site which shows just how many media outlets she has ‘ins’ with and book her stat. (No pun intended.)
#Social Media for Writers
Kristen Lamb’s blog always has great content with a friendly manner attached
to her writing voice. This week, she has a great piece on social media (of which,
she wrote the book We Are Not Alone) and disasters; specifically the automation
of tweets during the Boston bombing. I have her book, by the way, and highly
recommend it. Check out her blog.
Porter Anderson in his characteristic character, has written an amazing
Amazon buys Goodreads post including all reactions from all perspectives
and all social media at Publishing Perspectives in his Ether for Authors.
As I have always said; Keep Calm and Write On.
Sign up for the blog or follow me @LeeJTyler and thanks for commenting!
Let me guess, you are so busy you have too many things to do, let alone keep up with the publishing changes going on.
You have your own writing to do let alone reading about other people writing; right?
Well, never fear as that is what I am here to do. I separate the wheat from the chaff and bring you some of the best reads to date in the book world for you to scan at your leisure. So let’s get started.
First, Shelf Awareness is an incredible resource for the best of literary fiction. Visit this page or sign up for their newsletter to find your zen in the writing life. Articles of just released literary fiction in all genres are fascinating, and the glimpse into the lives of the authors is not to be missed. Their BookTrade page is a must visit, and the Maximum Shelf has an incredible article on The Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. Find out how this novel is linked to Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad. See all their book articles here and all of Maximum Shelf Wednesday editions here.
Are you a freelance writer or journalist? Well then you are most likely keeping an eye on changes to your field.
We are all watching the pay rates change in both the economy for freelancers and the upheaval in the current digital and publishing world of magazines and newspapers. Two links that you will be interested in reading are from Reuters and Forbes. The latter is an article about one of my heroes, Warren Buffet. I fell for him long ago when he was advising at The Washington Post and have followed him in his continual rise; applauding him when he gave away half of his wealth to charity.
It is also worth watching the price of best seller e-book fluctuations at Digital Book World.
And speaking of book selling, for all authors looking for new ways to promote your book, there is an interesting new book club that Real Simple has with interviews of the authors, including Jodi Picoult among others. The question and answer with the readers sections are not to be missed.. It is called The No-Obligation Book Club and you can find it here.
And for all things publishing, I subscribe to and eat up The Publishers Lunch. There is news of a new agency being formed; you’ll want to check that out. The PEN/Faulkner Finalists have been announced. There are abrupt departures and not so abrupt partnerships. There always is a lot on this menu.
To be connected to many of the writers and editors at the Writer’s Digest, visit the Writers Digest Blogs. Also, take a peak at the Writer’s Digest Forums and their Competitions for Writers. To find a wealth of knowledge about writing and the business of writing, visit The Writer’s Digest Workshops The Writer’s Digest Writers Market. You can also become a VIP which bundles a subscription with access and discounts to their complete database and connections to people at the forefront of the writing life, craft, business and community. It is a box of golden opportunities wrapped up for you and just waiting for you to open.
And there is always Hope at Funds for Writers!
I have been writing furiously, or rather, happily on two books, backing up my Scrivener every chance I get. I hope your muse is keeping you active. If you need a break or some inspiration, enjoy the reading and insights!
Don’t forget to read The Writer’s Tool-kit. There is a vast amount of resources and information for you. Just look for it at the top of the page.
And if you enjoyed this article or think it would be useful to others, please tweet and share it!
I wanted to update this post with new Pomodoro* apps that have come out. I’ve been collecting a list and then Zapier came out with this great list.
We will be discussing writer’s block, procrastination and the science behind them…later on…
There is a movement just starting in the writing sphere of the blogosphere; writers are pushing away from the confines of immediate social media constraints to concentrate on, you guessed it, writing. See Yuvi Zalkow‘s goodbye post at Writer Unboxed and the comments that follow as well as Chuck Sambuchino’s Letter at Guide to Literary Agents.¹(additional links in footnote)