Launch of Blog Profit Blueprint: Learn from the Best

I have been following Yaro Starak for years and trust him implicitly. You all know I am a stickler for “ethical marketing” let alone in writing and life. Yaro has consistently brought the best information and only when it was ready, not just because it was a Tuesday! ūüėČ

 

You need this¬†Blueprint (it’s free)!

This is the 2016 Blog Profits Blueprint, an 88-page free report in text and audio from Yaro Starak.

Yaro has been blogging for over ten years and made over a million dollars selling his own digital teaching products from his blog, Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

He wrote the Blueprint to teach other experts how to package up their knowledge and sell it as digital products using just a blog + email list.

If you want to break free from getting paid by the hour, per contract, or you’re tired of working with clients and want to create products that sell even when you’re not working, you need this blueprint.

Learn how to sell their knowledge online using a blog and email list.

What is the Blueprint?

It’s 100% free and will guide you through the four steps of setting up a blog and email list designed to sell your products, including:

  1. How To Refine Your Topic To Make Sure You Are Going Where The Money Is
  2. What Type Of Content You Need To Create To Attract The People Who Will Eagerly Buy Every Product You Offer
  3. How To Create “Traffic Assets” So You Only Need To Set Them Up Once And The Traffic Keeps Coming
  4. How To Quickly Turn Your Knowledge Into An Information Product That Sells On Autopilot 

The 2016 Blog Profits Blueprint is completely upgraded and will teach you how to make money from your blog

Click this link then enter your email on the page you land on to request access to download the Blog Profits Blueprint 2.0.

You will also receive a series of free training videos from Yaro to show you exactly how blogs make money. 

Download your free copy of Blog Profit Blueprint 2.0 and watch the first video in the training series. I will be posting more educational videos as the week goes on.

Don’t miss out on learning from the best. Download your free copy of Blueprint 2.0 now!

This is an affiliate link, but even if you don’t buy anything, you can watch the videos and keep the blueprint. From experience, I can tell you that you will refer to it again and again!

Sundays

Sundays are for writers

Sundays are for writers

I love Sundays. They’re unspecified, hours and hours to contemplate and allow your thoughts lead. Sundays for me used to mean reading a newspaper (the kind you hold in your hand, believe it or not), throwing on hiking gear and tromping through my favorite forests or up less than steep hills.

That has all changed for many reasons, the biggest one being my commitment to my writing.

In a strange way, I think all of our activities have changed since the website and blogging boom. Do you ever wonder how many hours you’ve spent learning website design, social media, and blogging versus simply writing? This Life 2.0 has brought us untold benefits but at what cost to our writing? A simple question that I haven’t seen addressed. Have you?

I’ve been up since 7a.m. working on css codes. You will be seeing some changes here as well as a great deal of information for you to grab and use to your benefit.

The biggest news is Mosaic has launched! You can grab a free copy here and benefit from the year of research I have dedicated to all writers in their efforts to promote their book among other writerly offerings to aid in your commitment to your writing life.

That’s all for now. Just wanted to wish you a lovely, thought filled Sunday.

Happy writing and enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

Have You Killed Your Darlings Today?

editing your work

 

editing your workI once posted on my twitter feed, “I’m killing my darlings.” Most-likely, non-writers were horrified. Those writers that follow me probably smiled. I was, of course, editing my work.

We all have to do this evil thing, which is really quite beautiful and necessary in the writing process. We would take our readers directly out of our carefully crafted story world if we put in a flowery phrase for no other reason than because we are proud to have put those words in that order.

“Aren’t I just adorable?”

Here is where your problems start. If you find yourself rereading a passage you wrote…just because; kill it. Murder it. Delete it. If you must, take it out of your work and put it by your bedside so you can look at it. Don’t show it to anyone else and don’t, I repeat, do not put it in another work. When you leave your darlings in, the ones that just sit there on the page and smile at you saying to themselves, “Aren’t I just adorable?”, those little darlings will ruin your work.

 

This is part of the writing process. A very large part of it.

 

Don’t Leave Your Readers Time to Breath

Writing is about conflict. Without conflict, in your story’s situation, between characters in the story world or conflict within a character, there would be no great books.

Gillian Flynn, the author of the bestseller, Gone Girl, has taken conflict and strewn it throughout every aspect of this story world. You can’t find many sentences without conflict somewhere. That’s what makes it so great, and horrifying.

Rolling Stones¬Ļ magazine did an interview with her which you can read online. (See link below.)

If you’ve read the book, you know that feeling of wanting the world to stop so you can read until the book is done. If there were any of Flynn’s darlings in there, it would have given you pause to sleep and go on with your tomorrow. All of her darlings were murdered.

Every Murder Needs a Detective

A clarification on the exact meaning of the phrase and who said it: Slate¬≤as a great article about the movie Kill Your Darlings. The term means that as writers, we must take our favorite passages in our work out if they don’t further the story progression. It has been used, improperly, to refer to killing or creating conflict for your protagonist.

It has also been attributed to all manner of writers: Faulkner, Chekov, Ginsberg, Hemingway, Welty, Wilde. Just name your author. Steven King repeated it in his great craft book and autobiography: Steven King, On Writing. The true source of this oft-repeated phrase is Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, who lectured at Cambridge¬†in the early 20th c. And whose lecture, which you may find at Bartleby¬≥, is one best combed through with diligence. His original quote was, “Murder your darlings.” We’ve heard all manner of iterations but now Slate¬≤ and, more importantly, I have attributed the phrase correctly to the source.

Bookmark Bartleby¬†with the URL address below. Yes, I am partial to Sir Quiller-Couch’s name, as you might imagine, but the lecture is above reproach and handily useful to any writer.

Lest you think that he eschewed all manner of writing, listen to him on the subject of, what we term, the living language:

“Literature must needs take account of all manner of writers, audiences, moods, occasions; I hold it a sin against the light to put up a warning against any word that comes to us in the fair way of use and wont (as ‚Äėwire,‚Äô for instance, for a telegram), even as surely as we should warn off hybrids or deliberately pedantic impostors, such as ‚Äėantibody‚Äô and ‚Äėpicture-drome‚Äô; and that, generally, it is better to err on the side of liberty than on the side of the censor: since by the manumitting of new words we infuse new blood into a tongue of which (or we have learnt nothing from Shakespeare‚Äôs audacity) our first pride should be that it is flexible, alive, capable of responding to new demands of man‚Äôs untiring quest after knowledge and experience.”

 

 

I hope you are deftly killing your darlings and staying true to the storyline in each line of your writing.

Please comment and share if you found this useful in your writing process. Sign up for my newsletter as I’m in the process of working on five series and two ebooks. These products are compiled after years of research to aid in your writing, productivity and the difficult task of marketing; made easier, I believe in the material to be presented. I have also been working on several series for the Quill on the writing process. This will take you from first draft through critiques and onto publication and marketing. I have an e-book on marketing your book filled with more resources than imaginable. Further series will follow the first post on The Prolific Writer, which includes writing pitfalls and their hacks with productivity and brain tips backed by science. Sign up now to get all of this information delivered to your fingertips. And no worries about your email as I never share emails with any person or organization. I will be discussing content creation and living our lives, the two are not mutually exclusive and in fact, should be paired together. Blogging tips from my years of experience and geeking out as well as the communities I have learned from will also be part of your diet to aid you in your efforts at online writing as well putting pen to paper, which is the point of the quill.

Happy writing!

Sources:

1. http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/features/gone-girl-author-gillian-flynn-i-killed-my-darlings-20141003

2. Slate, Kill Your Darlings

3. http://www.bartleby.com/190/

Changemaker 2.0 Series: CF Winn & SUKI

suki bookcover by davinci

I have recently read a book so beautifully written, so emotionally impactful that I sought out the author, Christine Winn, to discover more about her.

 

There was a lot to discover. Thus, I’ve included our interview and notes on SUKI in the Changemaker Series for reasons that will become quite clear.

For those of you who follow marketing tips on this website, you will want to discover the path that Chris has plowed through the web.

First, an introduction to SUKI

If you just glance at the five-star reviews on Amazon about SUKI, you will find reviews entitled:

“How is this book not on the NYTimes Best Seller list?”

“I only gave this book 5 stars because 10 stars was not an option”

“Like nothing I’ve ever read before”

The short introduction to the novella:

“Life offers one guarantee…death.

SUKI tells the story of Savannah, an independent go getter, who allows fear to keep her from being completely happy, and Dwayne, a softhearted ex-Marine with a talent for creativity. The couple is destined to find each other and carry out a preordained agreement made long before their human feet enter this Earthly plane. Their connection is tangible and their lives easy ‚Äď until they are presented with one challenge that shakes them to their cores.

The couple’s subsequent struggle to make sense of their imploding world comes to a head in the epilogue, where a shocking secret is revealed in an overdue letter.

We all assume we know what love is, but think again. It comes in many shapes and sizes. If you knew ahead of time that you‚Äôd never see ‚ÄĚhappily ever after‚Äú, would you choose to live at all for the sake of love?

CF Winn flexes her story telling muscle and shows us why she is an award winning author. SUKI will grab your heart and make you think about your place‚Ķand your purpose in this world.‚ÄĚ

That in itself is intriguing, isn’t it? I concur mightily with the five-star reviews and all quotes above.

The writing in SUKI is so sublime, supremely smooth that you fall in love with the love story and never want it to end. But for those, including myself, who don’t read romance novels, this is far from the genre.

It is a love story though. Love has many faces. In reading SUKI, as I was already in love with the characters, there was a point, a very real moment in time when the story become something much more than what it started out to be

Here is a short bio on Chris as an introduction:

CF Winn is a freelance writer of articles and short stories when she‚Äôs not training others in the art of Market Research. Her day job has led her to places that few of us know exist. Worlds where eccentricity is the norm and even sometimes embraced. Her off kilter muses have graciously guided her into the awards arena, most notably, Wordsmitten Storycove for her flash fiction story, ‚ÄúSUNDAY DRIVES DONE MOJO STYLE‚ÄĚ.

‚ÄúTHE COFFEE BREAK SERIES‚ÄĚ, CF Winn‚Äôs collection of short stories, are wildly popular and available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Some of the titles include ‚ÄúKAFE CASTRO‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúMOORE THAN MEETS THE EYE‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúPGB‚ÄĚ, and ‚ÄúDEJA DREW‚ÄĚ.

In between promoting the hugely successful ‚ÄúSUKI‚ÄĚ, she is editing several books by new authors and working on ‚ÄúTIME SLIP‚ÄĚ. She lives in New York with her three brilliant children.

In true George Plimpton fashion, I have become the Interviewer.

Interviewer: Thanks for coming over to the Quill.SUKI is so beautifully written; you bring us into the great love affair Savannah and Dwayne like no other author I’ve read. I’d like to know what your writing process look like?

Chris: I don‘t have much of a process. I usually write the bare bones of the story first – just to get it out of me because once I have an idea I can barely contain myself. Then I let it sit and I don’t look at it for a few days, but I do think about it. While I drive to and from my day jobs or my kids’ activities, I fill in the scenes in my mind. I take notes and when I allow myself to go back, I reread, editing and adding details from my notes. After repeating the pattern of putting the work aside before coming back to add and edit many times, the story will tell me that it’s complete. I have a background in professional acting, so I consider it the most natural thing to put myself in the place of the characters, acting it out in order to create a story that readers can feel a part of.

Interviewer: I’m sure all of your fans of THE COFFEE BREAK SERIES will be happy to know that there are more to come in the series.I know many authors do not stay within a certain genre for their writing, but I don’t think that I’ve met an author with such a breadth of emotional content and expression as you.
Chris: The Coffee Break Series stories are embellished retellings of real life events that have either happened to me or people that I know. I used to work for the NYTimes, putting together the pieces of the Sunday papers that would be delivered to different businesses. For ten to twelve hours on Saturdays I’d have nothing to do but talk to the person across from me at my table and make papers. I developed a friendship with a girl named Christine, and every week she’d ask to hear a new story. Finally, she said, “You really should write these down and sell them. People would love to read these.” I started by submitting SUNDAY DRIVES DONE MOJOSTYLE to a flash fiction contest and won. That was all that I needed to hear. I immediately started creating The Coffee Break Series. They are quirky short shorts, meant to be read on a coffee or lunch break or while waiting to be seen by the doctor – any time that one might find themselves with enough time to get bored, but not enough time to read a whole book. Each story references the ones that came before it to illustrate the fact that we are all connected, and I offer a bit more of the previous ones, just to satisfy the urge most of us have to know what happened after the story ended. Right now, four are available in e-book form only, but a fifth – HAUNTED HOUSE or HAUNTED LIFE? – will be released in August. I plan on writing ten to twelve of them before compiling and offering a print book.

Interviewer: The narrator is a very intriguing choice, and one I haven’t read before. Can you think of another author that is similar to your writing style or use of narrators?

Chris: No, can you?

Interviewer: Not at all! I think that you, and by extension, SUKI have created a brand new genre! Since you have a wide range of tastes as an author, can you give us an idea of your favorite book, author or genre that you enjoy reading yourself?

Chris: That’s a tough question because I will read almost anything….except maybe Westerns. Sorry Zane Grey. I love anything quirky, thought provoking and smart – Titles and authors that stand out for me: Augusten Burroughs, Tama Janowitz (especially THE MALE CROSS DRESSER SUPPORT GROUP), Dan Brown and JK Rowling are CRAZY smart, and 13 REASONS WHY by Jay Asher

Interviewer: You write so beautifully. You bring us into the story and when we have already fallen in love, the heart breaks ever so deeply. I am curious as to how you mold such perfect left brain and right brain skills at such a high level. I’m also aware that you do editing for other authors. Where do you think your breadth of expression and the exactitude of an editor come from? Would it stem from your days as an actress or was it further back than your acting days?

Chris: Ha ha…I think my editing comes in part from an uncontrollable urge to have all forms of writing flow smoothly. In some circles they call that OCD. LOL I really don’t know where it comes from. I just like to create art – or in the case of editing, co-create. It does NOT come from acting…if you ever saw the music video I did in the nineties – hot pants and all – you’d be as sure as I am about that. Before that I was just a crazy college kid hoping to get a degree that would eventually pay the bills. Editor is something I morphed into as a result of beta reading for my fellow indies. I went above and beyond because I wanted them to succeed and eventually gained a rep as a know-it-all, but a lovable and talented know-it-all. My first paid gig (complete with credits!), TRAILER TRASH WITH A GIRL’S NAME by Stacey Roberts is tickling funny bones everywhere.

I want to thank Chris for coming by and talking to us. She is an amazing human being and SUKI is something that I feel is a life-lesson for all of us, young or old, male or female. You can get it now on Amazon. Just search SUKI in Kindle.

 An end note: As all hybrid or Indie authors wonder about quitting the day-job and writing full-time, I asked that of Chris and her answer is put together perfectly on her blog Simply Stick.

 

Writers and Their Notes

 

artpad on dark mossy green floorAs writers, we need to come up with a name for all of those little notes we collect with dialogue or story ideas. A writer never throws those slips away, for within their scribbled lines, there a story awaits.

Do you have a cache of notes you refer to for ideas?

 

I had been considering this as I decided on a calendar for the half-year. I had plenty of calendars on the computer, but the act of writing down a note or meeting in my calendar somehow solidified it in my brain.

Then I chanced upon a study write-up in Psyblog. (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014) The study was conducted after one of the researchers, Pam Mueller at Princeton U., noticed that she had better recall of notes when written by hand. She and her co-researcher, Daniel Oppenheimer, discuss the beginnings of their research:

The study’s co-author, Daniel Oppenheimer, had a similar experience, which Mueller explains:

‚ÄúDanny said that he‚Äôd had a related experience in a faculty meeting: He was taking notes on his computer, and looked up and realized that he had no idea what the person was actually talking about.‚ÄĚ

This research was also written up in Scientific American, i09, The Atlantic & Psychological Science.

Another great study on the act of physically writing things down can be found at Lifehack.

I have looked up a great many studies on this topic, but the one that hones in on the process is conducted by Timothy Smoker, Carrie E. Murphy, & Alison K. Rockwell and ties the act of psychomotor skills while taking notes by hand and the subsequent recall rate:

This is an investigation into the possible links between psychomotor action, in the activities of handwriting, and memory.

The correlations are solidly behind the psychomotor factor in memory recall. What I wonder is if this will be an evolutionary sort of thing when you consider all of the students today take notes via their laptops or smartphones/iPads. How will this now and in the future affect their learning curves?

(Interestingly, I found the link from Lifehack re: the Norway study quite haphazardly after I had written this post. I point this out mainly to flog myself for not continuing my graduate studies in research. Also, this shows just how important this subject is, for everyone in today’s “go paperless” digital society.)

Further, I wonder how our brains work in the planning stages of something as complex as a novel. I among many have noted that outlining and many times the writing itself, during the creativity stage, is better done by hand rather than computer.

Have you noticed that as well? What are your note taking hacks? Leave them in the comments!

Oh, and I got my calendar. It’s perfect and cheap and has plenty of note-taking space. ;p

 

 

The Write Tip, Your Quick Tip of the Day for Writing

writing help

Your characters are waiting for you! Follow these tips for mindful writing.

 

Do you find that there is more to do each minute of the day than there are minutes in the day? Do you feel that you could stay up all night and not feel caught up…ever?

You are not alone.

We’ve all been there. We need to immerse ourselves within our story world to create magic within out work in progress. Yet our phones are ringing and beeping, someone is knocking on the door, and the bills are waiting to be paid. Not to mention all of the social media sites we need to keep current on to build our author platform. What is a writer to do?

 

There is more pressure today than there ever has been to accomplish everything on your to-do list, immediately.

What’s more, the barrage of information has increased exponentially since the internet’s growth. How can you relax and write creatively with these pressure?

It helps me to listen to or read a beloved author’s discussion of his writing practice. Additionally, readiwriting helpng quotes from authors is helpful. Paris Review is always a muse for writers. This site jumps deep into the writing process as you will see here with an interview with Don DeLillo.

While I’m not a famous writer (yet), I have jotted down some tips for you that I find conducive to getting my wip whipped into shape. Hopefully, you find them helpful as well.

¬†I added something I had heard Michael Chabon mention while he discussed his writing practice (see the Great Reads Page in the menu). Instead of listing the music in your iPod under style and artist, make a genius list for yourself. Pick the songs that you personally find joyful, contemplative, angst-ridden or any other emotion that you need to provoke for your writing. Use these lists as needed for the soundtrack of your writing. I am doing the same and have started an Excel sheet coupling the music lists with the style or “vibe” of writing, story or article I need to write.

While writing; forget punctuation; it brings the right (logical) brain into a left brain more creative work; go back when you are not “in the zone” and get picky about punctuation and grammar.

You will be surprised at how mindful your mindless tasks can be.

If you are not finding time to write due to pressing tasks, take 30 seconds out to look at a picture that you’ve picked to draw out your protagonist. Still working on some mindless task? Make it mindful by looking over your outline.

Back at your writing desk, start with a page that you felt good about and flip through to a spot that needs work. Do this in stages of concentration blocks; two minutes, on and off. Don’t write on the breaks for at least twenty minutes. Then, allow yourself the option of continuing to write. It’s just an option. Purely up to you.

What this does is eliminate the guilt that every writer faces when they are not writing as much as they hoped for. Instead of worrying as you run through your day, take that mindless task and use it for thoughtful consideration, concentrating on areas of your manuscript that need some polish. Work on the secondary characters or plot points that need some tweaking. Doing this as you fold the laundry, as an example, will eradicate the guilt and leave you wanting to run to your desk and finish what you had started.

Remember to have your smart phone or moleskin handy when you do this.

Important: Run through this article on writer’s block. These tips can help you get further and deeper into “the zone” and your sentence and story structure will both be better for it.

There is far more coming. I am testing a number of things for the security tutorial that I am preparing for you. I am also working with some incredible people on several intensives in which you will benefit. But in the meantime, I would love to hear of tips that you use to increase writing time during your busy day. Leave your comments in the box below.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Lifechanging Writing Course & Community Closes Enrollment This Wednesday Night

My writing community

My writing communityFollow my blog with Bloglovin

How would you like to work in a supportive environment to write and critique your work? What are you seeing in costs for the registration for writing conventions these day? Yeah. Then there’s the ticket and the gas. The kids and the pets. Shopping for needed supplies for just you and anyone left at home let alone for your computer, notebooks and the list goes on.

You’ve heard of Story Cartel, right? Joe Bunting, one of the best teachers and the man behind The Write Practice has developed this coure. Here are a few things he says about the process:

 

Most writers think writing is a solo business, that you’re supposed to do it all on your own.¬†Except this “doing it all on your own” thing is a good way to make sure no one reads your writing.

 

 

When you look at the best writers, the Brontes, the Hemingways, the Tolkiens, they never did it alone. Their success, even their creativity, didn’t come solely from themselves. It took other people, a community, a¬†Cartel.

If you are wondering why he named the course The Story Cartel, he describes it this way:

A “Cartel” is an agreement amongst competitors. You see, too many writers treat their fellow writers as competitors, when what they should be doing is treating them likeallies. By helping each other, you and I can¬†multiply¬†our efforts.

 

The course is usually run per quarter and was put off until now for Joe Bunting and his family to stay in Paris for a few months. Imagine the stories you’ll hear! It’s a writers’ mecca and sure stole my heart when I was there.

You have read my discussions on all of the opportunities to get the word out about your work, to market it and format it or stay up on the latest and greatest. This community helps you from start to finish. You grow together and you promote each other. This is different than the author clubs that I have discussed and continue to discuss as the bonds from the beginning of class last a lifetime. This takes the fear, a big problem with all writers, out of putting your work out there are wondering how to submit or format. Much like Bookbub, after you publish your¬†book, it is¬†is put into categories and sent out to subscribers for a fair and honest review, the real life example of critiquing in writer circles. The website for books is on the top fringes of new, responsive, and beautiful design to showcase your book and your blurb to all. The reviews are key for any author. It is the lifeblood and this is how it gets your author profile noticed, something I’ve repeatedly lectured on like the Paper Chase (though I don’t like comparing myself to the character. ;p)

Here is the link again: Story Cartel. It’s a not-to-be-missed opportunity. Grow your writing family tree now!

The Writer’s Read

The Writer's Read

The Writer's ReadI 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 ‚Äėseating‚ÄĚ. Additionally, I would highly recommend Carol Tice‚Äôs Freelance Writers‚Äô 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúbehind the scenes‚ÄĚ research is a great way to-get steadfast fans. One of the best examples of this is author Keith Thomson‚Äôs website which not only links to his novels, but to research for each of his works. It‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúvoice‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs not new, but there is a new ‚Äútry it out for free‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúbrave new world‚ÄĚ. 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 (‚ÄúFree‚ÄĚ 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‚Äô Unions in this day of ‚ÄúDIY‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúto blog or not to blog‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äútry men’s‚Äô souls‚ÄĚ but ‚Äúwhat won‚Äôt kill us can only make us stronger‚ÄĚ. 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 ‚Äúheart’s content‚ÄĚ.

Review of Writer’s Bounty by Valerie Hurry

writing end point of pen

Writer's Bounty: Funding, Publishing, and Writing Resources for the Literary Writer (Creative Bounty)Writer’s Bounty: Funding, Publishing, and Writing Resources for the Literary Writer by Valerie Hurry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

This is not your ordinary “writing book”. This is an actionable text to guide you through the morass of writing groups, contests, literary journals, with references for all areas that need to be covered when submitting your work; for instance, whether simultaneous submissions are accepted et al.

The work itself is aimed at Canadian and U.S. residents, but many of the links can conceivably be used by any writer around the world to assist them on their writing journey.
This book would be helpful for any poet, fiction or nonfiction writer.
I was, at first, concerned about the price for a reference work, but in considering this extensively I realized that the price is only fair as it is far cheaper than any hardbound or eBook reference on the market today. The latter resources would charge over twice as much not to mention the membership sites which would charge far more per month let alone annually.In addition, instead of having to plug in the information from a book, 98% of the links are active and thus with one click you can be on the website for further information.
Writer’s Bounty also included information on help for underserved populations, fellowships, writing workshops and internships. The book also divides the resources for the reader’s specific niche which is easily found in Ms. Hurry’s work. Literary Agents are included, thus, you will be able to hone in on agents that are actively looking for books and writing like yours.
And for any and all writers, there is the most important part of your written work which is promotion and marketing. Information under this umbrella is just as important, arguably, as the writing.
This book has everything a writer will need to submit their work for consideration in literary journals, contests, to agents, and to publishers. A necessary reference for any writer. Not to be missed.

Please note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.

book: Writer’s Bounty
author: Valerie Hurry

#amwriting

amwriting the point of the quill

#amwriting

amwriting the point of the quill

 

I am writing. Though a failed spinal reconstruction is now gripping my spine in an evil clamp, I am writing. Though I slip into fevers that last weeks from severe r.a./lupus sle, I am writing. Though I must fight with the state for the egregious bills they charge me because I’m under 50 and sick, I am writing. Though the pain grips me so much I stare into space unable to stand every second of it, I am writing.

Though I often can’t use my hands to type, I am writing. 

Why? Because a man whom I’ve never met but who understands far more than I obstacles is sitting in his wheelchair and building empires. Because of this man, I am writing. 

Thank you for your example, Jon. And this quote I am hanging on my bedside:

 

The more I write, the more I realize building a career as a writer isn’t about smarts or talent or even discipline. It’s about guts.

 

 

To guts and gumption and you.

 

What obstacles do you overcome in your writing? Be fearless and write a few words in the comments.

 

Notes:

See Jon Morrow’s Letter to Writers

An Open Letter to Writers Struggling to Find Their Courage

Photo Credit: Kozzi

Writing 2.0 Changemaker Series: Focus on Melissa Foster

Fostering Success

Fostering Success

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.
The methodology she has developed helps authors from first draft to publishing and marketing:
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
About learning to compile your book:
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.
After years and years of learning the “old system” of publishing, I took a year out to learn the new approach which is now de rigueur. That research has taken me away from my writing, and I’m sure you can relate to that frustration. Melissa has set up all of these options for other authors while continuing to publish. We all need to take a page from her book:
Author Melissa Foster
You can also chat with her here:

The Women’s Nest

forum

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.

Writing on the Brain: The Writer’s Read

writing on the brain

writing on the brain the writers readBrain 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.

I do all of this so I don’t forget. So my story will be memorable.

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 ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt Kill the Birthday Girl,‚ÄĚ as well as two collections of poetry.

This was the first time I realized how beautifully science and creative writing can merge.

Some tools of the trade.

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 ‚Äėplasticity going‚Äô 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.

What tools do you use to aid in your writing life?

To complement any reading you have finished this perfect reading day, here are some wonderful articles to help you along in your writing path.

Hints of Elain¬†e’s in The Writing Room

Collection Highlights at the Library of Congress

Free Samples of The New York Times’ Top Ten Books of the Year

Did you catch Angela Clarke’s One Minute Critique

Jane Friedman and Orna Ross discuss how to make money from your writing

Lifehack has an immense collection of articles on the Writing Life that we lead:

How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life

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.”

Lynne Neary–back at NPR–discusses how all writers rework their favorite ¬†stories.

Do you find you agree with her?

 

 

Shall I look for you in the sunset?

poem poetry bereavement writing

Some well-known people claim that you shouldn’t write a post about yourself. It should always be for the readers’ benefit. I have endeavored to do that throughout the many posts on this website.

But sometimes, life precludes such evasion.

My mother has passed away.

Grief has  engulfed me. When she disappeared, as she often did, I had mourned her even as I called hospitals, friends, acquaintances-looking for her. Our roles shifted when I was young and I became the caretaker; the mother rather than the child.

Naively, I thought all of those horrible days and nights constituted enough grief for a lifetime. For her lifetime. Of course, I find I am wrong. The tears do not end, the thoughts and pictures of our life, the happier times when she smiled. A consummate hostess for the dinner parties at our large house, she wore dresses that she had sewn but looked much like something Jackie Kennedy would wear.

I wish to remember her this way.

Thank you for your understanding. I will be back soon with the first post in the series “For the Love of Books.”, writing tips, and much more on the indie series.

Best to you,

Lee

 

 

The Framework of Publishing Has Shifted Once Again

publishing

publishing

The framework of publishing has shifted once again.

A new model has reached the showroom floor, in the form of  microcerpt, a new platform founded by George Douglas.

The chasm that once existed between the author and reader has been closing, bringing the two closer year after year. microcerpt [sic] has is the newest bridge to cross the chasm:

Independent (indie) authors find better ways to engage and expand their readership with microcerpt’s new subscription based eReader. The site today announced this enhanced functionality, that opens the door to extended creative and literary freedom for authors. Authors are now in full control as they can set the market price on their own customized package that can include just about anything they’d like, such as private book club memberships, eBook access, newsletter delivery, and opportunities for direct reader-author contact.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1539057#ixzz2kAh1F4X3

This has shifted the tectonic plates of publishing once again. 

As reported by PRWeb:

microcerpt Pro authors enjoy the following perks, among many others:

  • One year of prominent advertising throughout the microcerpt site.
  • All excerpts are formatted and submitted for the author including custom artwork.
  • The building, design and hosting of an author‚Äôs digital bookshelf equipped with microcerpt‚Äôs eReader technology.
  • Author controls to create and maintain an exclusive community for fans.
  • eBook subscription packages at an author-specified price. eBook format conversions included.
  • Additional exposure on microcerpt‚Äôs social networks as well as valuable placement within the microcerpt Showcase.

PRWeb continues:

The site is making notable progress in this regard. The platform‚Äôs novelty‚ÄĒa first-of-a-kind network of writing samples called microcerpts‚ÄĒis in line with its author-centric, unconventional approach. For example, talented yet undiscovered writers enjoy equal footing with better-known writers, as they can present their writing samples and earn clout solely on the basis of content quality.

 

See these links for further information:

http://www.microcerpt.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=AN0AS2J_KJc

http://img.youtube.com/vi/AN0AS2J_KJc/hqdefault.jpg

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1539057#ixzz2k8Un4G00

http://www.prweb.com/releases/publishing-breakthrough/ebook-ereader/prweb11226210.htm

I wonder what technological enterprises are coming our way. It’s not hard to imagine author readings with readers around the proverbial campfire, giving authors the chance to see their readers’ reactions to their work; much as¬†Shakespeare observed his audience while the story was told.

The framework of publishing is changing rapidly. Are you ready to jump in? Tell me what you think in the comments below.

Just for fun:

As reported by Wired, you can now see full length movies thanks to a subreddit all in gif format. See this link.

The Cost of Self-Publishing: POD Price Comparisons + Matchbook, NaNoWriMo & SWD PDQ

Writing & publishing in the digital age

copy-cropped-logoo-from-jack.png

Are you doing NaNoWriMo …now?…

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 clich√©, I know. And I ended the sentence with¬†a proposition!)

As an aside to the indie series, here is a promised tidbit on print on demand services:

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

  • your writing forums
  • LinkedIn boards
  • Google Plus Communities
  • and friends who have self-published.

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.

Right now, though, we have some fish to fry in the way of writing a novel in a month. (Breath in, and breath out.)

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.

What is coming up, you ask?

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!!

Forget about Road Rage; You Want Writer’s Rage! Remember William Faulkner’s advice:

‚ÄúIn 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:

Product Description

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.
 Amazon Matchbook is also relatively new. It is similar to the Amazon Audio offers you see when you purchase a Kindle edition of a book.However, instead of buying an audio edition of a book, this is retroactive and pairs up hard copy issues with Kindle editions. Amazon is taking a long-range approach to their offer. Any book that you purchased from Amazon since 1995 will get you the Kindle edition of the same publication for a lower price of the current Kindle version. This only applies to those publishers who have agreed to participate in the program.
Smashwords has something new and shiny as well, which you may check out in this document.
Some additional reading material as you take a break from your writing can be found in The Smashwords Style Guide written by Mark Coker himself, which you can find with this link¬†or, if you have a Kindle, on Amazon’s site, or in this adorable, information packed Slideshare.¬†

 

Don’t worry your pretty little head about editors for your freshly completed manuscript since Mark Coker, Mr. Indefatigable, has a list of editors that are reputable and also kindly affordable. I will keep you updated on this so all you have to do is write your wonderful story into a full blown novel.
The delectable thing about Smashwords and NaNoWriMo is the following update from the Smashword site:

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:

  1. A special catalog hosted at Smashwords.com
  2. 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.
  3. A special catalog in the native catalog of Aldiko, the #1 most popular e-reading app for Android phones
  4. Promotion in the Smashwords blog, on Twitter, and elsewhere!

 

How to list your book as a NaNoWriMo title at Smashwords:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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/
  5. 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.)
  6. 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:

  1. Use the social media links on your book page to share your book with friends, fans and family
  2. Encourage your friends, fans and family to share your work in progress with friends, using the social media links
  3. 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!
  4. 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!

 

The Details

  • 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 info@thepointofthequill.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.

From Platform to Self-Publishing House, Kickstarter and Published Book

There is a great site you should visit called Indie Author Land. It is a wealth of information on self-published books. It also has the stories behind the books in the form of ¬†author interviews posted with the books. This is the crux of the story behind Penpals; a story you don’t want to miss about a book that is surely not to be missed.

It seems that the author, Dathan Auerbach visited the social page Reddit a great deal. In particular, the subreddit No Sleep. One night, he decided to post a story to the subreddit. He was a little nervous ¬†about it, but decided to dive in; he intitled that story Footsteps and hoped for a few votes and comments. It turned out to be a hit, so he posted more and everyone loved the stories. They were clamoring for them.¬†This interview,¬†¬†conducted at the end of last year, is a bestseller again for this past week. There is talk of a movie, all because of reddit’s subreddit community NoSleep. This is what a fan base can do both for you as a novelist and your book through the self-publishing options available for you.

This interview talks first about story, which must be¬†the pillar to all of our work and then discusses an ‘impromptu’ Kickstarter project, a publishing house, isbn and publishing outlets on Amazon, over several countries, iTunes, Nook, and beyond with talks with the movie industry; all a great surprise to the novelist, Dathan Auerbach.

Please see these links about this story and more about Dathan Auerbach:

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/dathan-auerbach

http://www.indieauthorland.com/archives/882

http://www.reddit.com/user/1000Vultures/?sort=top

http://www.indieauthorland.com/archives/882

The Queen’s English and Proofreading Your Novel

proofreader, self-publish, books, editing

Cottage Garden in Tissington, Derbyshire

or:

How do I proofread my book for overseas?

 

This will be rather short today, but it follows along the lines that I have stressed, which are hiring a great copy editor, line editor and proofreader. In doing my research for the self-publishing posts, I sent an email to someone in the UK concerning the use of “while” vs. “whilst” and “curb” vs. “kerb”. I had happened to be reading a book at the time from a British author who used all of the above, but “curb”. She was not following any of my advise for her story structure which fell apart half of the way through the manuscript. Not only did she not hire a proofreader, she was  inconsistent. An absolute “no-no”!!!
In my research for the self-publishing series, I wondered what is to become of authors that send their books overseas. Whether we are sending it “from here over to there
or “there over to here”, the question still stands as to what to do about the difference in spelling. Particularly “while” and “whilst” and “kerb” and “curb”.

Skipping the “how-do-you-dos”,here is Matt Male from Future-Perfect and his response to my inquiry:

Future Perfect is an English grammar consultancy, specialising in vetting companies‚Äô written communications. English is often the only element of a document‚Äôs production without a top expert‚Äôs input. The design, colour, font, stock and message are all scrutinised by experts, yet the final copy is often not vetted beyond the level of the copywriter/proofreader or layman specifically for grammar, spelling, syntax and consistency. Working at an advanced level (usually after agencies, copywriters, proofreaders and legal experts), Future Perfect ensures that written communications are afforded specific technical and structural expertise in English, to complement the huge team effort which goes into all other elements of their production. Vetting will apply structure, without altering the intended style of a text, to achieve quality and consistency, creating the right impression ‚Äď first time.

Matt is the founder of Future Perfect. I was horrified to find out that double spacing went out in the sixties. I thought it was the eighties. But I still can’t stop doing it. Though you will notice I didn’t use it in the paragraph.   Let’s try the BBC website and specifically, an episode of “The Grammar Police/Ask Tom” to see exactly how much nearly everyone goofs up one way or another. We are all in this together.

 

While it seems that Future Perfect doesn’t proofread novels, they do pretty much everything else!. So what is the answer to our quest? In this increasingly small world, it seems the best way is to hire an editor who writes and proofreads in both languages. In the coming resource post, I have some that I will share with you and their work is spot-on.

And an emphatic addendum to Word Geek Monday from The Urban Dictionary : The phrase is “for all intents and purposes”, and is NOT “for all intensive purposes”. I will dial emergency on this one if it is not drilled into every head that wishes to use this phrase. If you are speaking of the Intensive Care Ward at the local hospital and you wish to give them a large sum of money, then yes, by all means, use the mangled phrase. No money to give, you say? Well then, use the correct phrasing.

PLEASE SEE THE ORANGE HIGHLIGHT TO UNDERSTAND HOW UPSIDE DOWN THIS PHRASING IS WITHIN GRAMMAR HISTORY.
de facto: The phrase is a corruption of “for all intents and purposes” by persons who have heard the phrase, but have not read it in it’s proper form. It means “for all intents, and for all purposes.”de jure: Taken literally, the phrase means “for purposes which are intense. All purposes which are not intense are not included.” This is almost completely opposite to what is meant by most people, and is why it is imperative that persons use the proper phrase.

The Wise Geek weighs in on the matter:

The phrase for all intents and purposes or to all intents and purposes is often used in a variety of circumstances. It tends to mean under most usual circumstances, in most practical situations, or for purposes that are practical. Another interpretation could be in practical situations.

The phrase originated in legal language in the 1500s, and it may have been first used in court cases in England. The initial wording may have been “to all intents, constructions and purposes.” Some point out that pluralizing “intent” is unnecessary since the word can be singular or plural without an “s” at the end, such as “his intent” or “their intent.”

In the modern sense, this phrase could be used in the following example. A person is interviewing for a job, and the boss wants to hire him. She might say, “We still need to check your references, but for all intents and purposes, the job is yours.” Provided the applicants references are fine, he has landed the job and, under practical considerations, he can consider himself employed.
 
Unfortunately, the phrase has gotten a little more complicated because of the numerous misquotes or malapropisms that are used in its place. One common substitution is “for all intensive purposes.” This is very commonly used, and it means something almost directly opposite to the original phrase‚Äôs meaning of “for practical purposes.”

Phrases.org puts it squarely in history:

Origin

When researching the development of a phrase it is usually the origin that is difficult to determine; the spelling and the meaning are generally pretty well established. With ‘for (or to) all intents and purposes’ it is the other way about. The origin is unambiguous, as the first recorded use was in an Act of Parliament under Henry VIII, in 1546:

“to all intents, constructions, and purposes

Welcome to all of my new subscribers! (Do know I’m only stern on Mondays ūüėČ I hope everyone is taking just a few minutes to write down a bit more in your outline and manuscript. Keep up the good work!

Image credit:  JR P via Compfight

Pretend You are the NSA; Have a Look at My Files

I have an appointment that will take most of the day, however I wanted to give you something to help you along whatever path you are on right now in your writing process.

 

I am on RebelMouse which picks up every little thing I look at and then spews it out through a link.

Take a look at what I’ve been looking at through my RebelMouse account.

No time for pruning and cutting so it’s all about books, technology and some decorating, which is a side-passion of mine.

I am working on a monster post for your book launch and continual marketing plans. I’ve even come across¬†a great template so that you may follow through it step-by-step.

That is coming tomorrow or the next day.

Happy Writing!

 

 

When Your Story Takes Over Your Life

Batik Art In My Wild River…!!! :)

Image:Denis Collette via Compfight

 

(Please note: 1 correction on Oct. 2, 2013, Tom Clancy was replaced with the originally intended¬†John Grisham reference. Nothing about Tom Clancy was ever 2-dimensional and I mourn his pacing with so many others. The author who knew too much but never said a word when it came to National Security. I have always had the utmost respect for him and his “great yarns”. May he rest in piece in the library in the sky.)

As many writers will understand, I have been working on my book for close to two years. The idea came to me out of the blue, like a flash; complete and perfect.(Or so I thought.) It was actually a tweet. I kid you not. I am deadly serious. It is still the same idea, with research behind it and still more to go, days stretching upon weeks of writing, character studies, outlining, etc. etc. The one problem is that it involved an existing company. All of the authors and lawyers that I discussed this with at, say, Quora, said (not knowing the company) that it was only going to lead to trouble, possible lawsuits and then there was the argument that the company would go out of business¬†and once you get to publishing, then where would you be? Well, they didn’t know the company and there is no way this business is going under. It also involves something I could never dream would be very timely, though it is an evergreen subject. As another author did recently, I just made a dummy corporation. The government institutions will remain the same.

If I was not tied up mind and soul to this book, I could have written five and published them already, if I were to go the self publishing route. Quite seriously. I have a ton of ideas. But this book had me in its grasp and would not let me do anything else. I could have written 15 or 20 since I started studying the craft seriously

 

Beyond the novel itself, there is a problem…my wonderful protagonist morphed into some kind of…diva.

She will not leave me alone. She is always there. A woman of few words (yeah, I know, I sent her to dialogue therapy) but a strong, strong will.

My main character has gone through four major¬†inner conflicts since her inception. I mean DSM Manual type inner conflicts. She has not been happy with any of them and secured her own counsel to negotiate. You know the type, two dimensional, straight out of a John Grisham novel. In the documents, the words “defamation of character” were used.The irony did not escape my legal team and me and, over pints at the closest pub, we all had a good laugh. The briefs were taken to deliberations, and after editing the print-out of the testimony, we settled on one that we are both “happy” about. She stuck me with the legal bills. The wench.

Then she got an attitude after all of the serious character interviews we did. Fully fleshed out now, she was in need of sustenance. She demanded it in the form of bottled water (specified bottler written in a contract to be signed by me that I found in my folder one morning). All food was to be served on my fine china and only green M&Ms were allowed. She is such a cliche!

I finally said, “Go away. Just leave me alone. Don’t wake me up at night. Don’t invade my conversations. Stop popping up when I’m reading the news. Leave me alone. ” If it wasn’t based on a real company then I would have finished it and gone on. But I can’t shake it. It’s like a bad bug. You know the old saying that the book picks the author? Or conversely, that there is a book that an author is meant to write? If that is truly the case, I curse the Fates.

I won’t even get into the other characters and the fiascos they’ve created.

Then one day, I thought to myself, “That’s it. I’m throwing that novel out. I won’t waste my time on it anymore.” I started looking through my card file of novel ideas. I set on one and began making notes. I was then turned away to do a chore. Sometime along the length of that chore, a huge solution unfolded around the structure of the novel.This unfolded over the span of two days. The problems I saw in the manuscript were gone, replaced by solutions for the overall slant of the MS. It’s’ like it took all of my critiques and came up with an updated manuscript. I had kicked this MS to the curb, and yet it came back to me better than ever.

We wonder if our characters dream, satirically. This was an author’s dream. I wanted it to go on until I could see the final page. Perfectly edited, formatted and ready with the most beautiful cover art one could image.

I am now typing away happily, and my angel turned diva is now, thankfully, back in line. I would say it was the adolescent phase of her growth.

Have you had a manuscript that would not leave you alone? What have you done about it? Tell me in the comments.

The New and Exciting Way to Increase Your Writing Profile

searching database

Imagine taking a few minutes out of your day to increase your author platform and your profile visibility. Imagine that this one site is optimized for search engines and helps your writing profile appear in all types of search engines, without you having to lift a finger.

Now imagine that such a database existed and was right at your fingertips.

No, this isn’t a fairy tale.

You have found it.

database found

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!

As of August 17, 2013 we have over 2880 Registered Members & Growing Daily

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.)

Showing, Not Telling in Africa

Africa writing research

Burchell Zebra via Lee Ouzman’s Library

Word Geek Monday is Lead Astray

Well, it was bound to happen. This word geek found the World’s Greatest Site for Unusual and Interesting Words: Jacana.

But all writers should use this for research as it’s not just the word geeks that are being helped out.

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.

Flesh Out That Outline

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.

Watch Your Characters Act Out the Scenes

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).

One of your characters specializes in zoology, I am certain. If so, she will need these words in her vocabulary: Zoological Glossary. She would pull up BioOne when she got back to base, of course.

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

APA Makes a Bold Move, One Format for All and Kittens, Too!!

Yes, would you like to buy a book? Fergus Ray Murray via Compfight

An entertaining overview…

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.

Okay, here are your kittens

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?

If only life was so easy…

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.

 

New Cool Tool to Share

I’ve been finishing up my next installment in the series¬†last night and early this morning. But I couldn’t wait to show you this great app. I’ve been lauding Evernote since they first came on the scene and only ‘geeks’ (of which I’m one) knew about them. And of course, who doesn’t love gmail?

Well, this is similar to the peanut butter and chocolate ad. Who couldn’t love two great tools that work together?

Take a look and see for yourself.

 

Let me know what you think!

The Writer’s Read 2

The whole point of the quill.

The whole point of the quill.While I’m waiting for answers back, joining communities in Google Plus and consulting my colleagues at LinkedIn, I thought I’d leave you with a few articles to chew on in this ever evolving digital age. Only one of these links has to do with digital media. (There is more to come on that in the series. My Drive is full of posts.) The other two have to do with location and how it impacts the writer. A specific study in one and a reminiscence in the other. ¬†I will leave you with my sign off from 2010; Be calm and write on.

Places every literary fan should visit from Flavorwire.

What are our children of today learning?

A New York Times Must Read.

Please leave a comment on how the digital age is impacting you. Or click over if reading this in your email. Would love to get your feedback. Please also sign up for all the series to come.

Word Nerd Monday: The History of the Hashtag

As I mentioned in another post, Twitter and Google Plus aren’t the only social media sites using hashtags. Facebook, as I’m sure you have noticed, is incorporating them and, of course, Pinterest uses them as well.

And speaking of Pinterest, this word-nerd found a dream infographic about hashtags that most any writer would find interesting. In general, the sign is used to group off categories and highlight text.

I thought you might find this useful:

hashtag history

Image credit; Social Media Today, Kevin Basset and Pinterest

You can find a hashtag dictionary on twitter for all of your needs here.

It is interesting that the Oxford dictionary has only a simple definition of the word:

  • (on social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic:spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them
  • ¬†the hash or pound sign (#):Hunt mistook an @ for a hashtag while tweeting derogatory thoughts about him.

while the definition on Dictionary.com is more extensive;

noun

1.

(on social-networking Web sites) a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#),
 used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search
 for it: The hashtag#sandiegofire was used to help coordinate an
emergency response to the fire.
2.

a hash mark used in this way.

verb (used with object), verb (used without object), hash·tagged,

hash·tag·ging.

3.

to add a hashtag to (a word, topic, or message): Someone on Twitter
just hashtagged the film festival.
Origin: 
2005‚Äď10;¬†hash (mark)¬†+¬†tag1¬†¬†(def¬†9c)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
And to highlight the hashtag use for Twitter, Chris Messina is known as the inventor of the hashtag for Twitter. You can find his blog here.
There is a great tool that you can use to track your hashtags across all networks called Tagboard. This tool is most useful for businesses and brands that wish to keep track of their marketing reach, but can be used for any search needs.
More useful articles on using the hashtag;

Happy #MondayMorning to you all!

Kinks in the Machine

The bug that forever exasperated the early computer forefathers has visited The Quill in its current form of software and cPanels. After much consternation, we are happily back on. Thank you for your patience and we will continue where we left off.

Have you written today?

Here is a good article to get your Muse in gear:

A bit of advise from Ernest Hemingway that fits perfectly with the Pomodoro Technique we spoke of here :

‚ÄúThe most important thing I‚Äôve learned about writing is never write too much at a time,‚ÄĚ Hemingway said, tapping my arm with his finger. ‚ÄúNever pump yourself dry. Leave a little for the next day. The main thing is to know when to stop. Don‚Äôt wait till you‚Äôve written yourself out. When you‚Äôre still going good and you come to an interesting place and you know what‚Äôs going to happen next, that‚Äôs the time to stop. Then leave it alone and don‚Äôt think about it; let your subconscious mind do the work. The next morning, when you‚Äôve had a good sleep and you‚Äôre feeling fresh, rewrite what you wrote the day before. When you come to the interesting place and you know what is going to happen next, go on from there and stop at another high point of interest. That way, when you get through, your stuff is full of interesting places and when you write a novel you never get stuck and you make it interesting as you go along.‚ÄĚ

Skyrocket Awareness of Your Book with These Resources

book marketing

Please note: None of the books suggested are affiliate links as the state in which I live does not allow Amazon (or their affiliates/sellers) Affiliates operating within its borders.

I have received a number of requests for information regarding the methods of self-publishing; specifically as it applies to the editing, a compilation process, book-cover design and marketing of a self-published work. Even authors who have gone through the process have questions and doubts themselves.book marketing

Today, the publishing world looks very much like the Wild, Wild West. See Porter Anderson’s report at Ether for Authors and a list of articles on the heated publishing debates at Publishing Perspectives.¬† This is evidenced by The New York Times’ Best-Seller List (June 20th, 2013). Authors who¬†are generally published through traditional publishers are now choosing to self-publish at will. Vanity Press is now an antiquated term.

Note that authors are pressed to do all of the online presence and social media through traditional publishing as well, but the rights are at issue here. Traditional publishers have the beneficial heft to push for additional rights for audio and oversees publishing. If that is what you see as important in your overall plan, you might want to take that into account

Susanne Lakin has a fantastic article at Live, Write, Thrive by guest author Dineen Miller, who writes about creative ways to market your book. If you are a longtime reader of this site, you will understand why I appreciate new ways of marketing for authors.  The article will get your creative juices flowing thinking of all of the articles you can write for various magazines or online before and after your book is published. That link again is at Live, Write, Thrive.

I have followed Jane Friedman since she was the editor of Writer’s Digest. She then went to teaching in Cincinnati and also for Writer’s Digest University as well as lecturing ¬†out at writing seminars, starting her own blog in the process. A few years ago she was called up to the Virginia Quarterly Review though somehow she still writes for her website and teaches at Writer’s Digest webinars and conferences. Recently, she has compiled a Self-Publishing toolbox, of sorts, with everything a person could possibly hope for in one nifty package. This is basically a book itself, though she will drill about the ramifications of blogging your book. ¬†Do not miss Jane’s massive compendium How to Publish an E-book.

Joel Friedlander, of The Book Designer , just guest posted for her. His whole webpage is amazing but the posts that shine for me are the following:

52 Great Blogs for Self-Publishers

5 Keys to Pain-Free Book Promotion

The greatest asset an author has to help them navigate the unknown waters of self-publishing is the accumulated wisdom of people who’ve been there before. I’ve always been impressed by how friendly the independent book publishing community is.

And BiblioCrunch has some great book designer; a direct quote from Joel himself. They also have some great article on their site:

Common Mistakes Indie and SelfPub Authors Make

Self-Publishing Costs; the Ultimate Guide

¬†Dan Blank We Grow Media¬†has published a book that is all about marketing and building a writer’s platform A Writer’s Guide to Blogging.

He also has a great post on his blog about author Hugh Howey who is the now famous indie author of the Wool series. It is worth clicking over for a great read.

Please take note of Dan Blank’s static front page. This is the portal to his website, but I think it’s a great way to market your book. You will see when you click on the link. Study what he has done, as he is a leader in the media industry.

If you would like a more interactive approach to setting out your promotional plan, Writer’s Digest University is the place to go. Writer‚Äôs Digest University Self Publishing Tutorials You can get a monthly membership to review all of their tutorials for $25 per month. If you do not want to be charged for the next month, do be advised that you must cancel prior to the next billing cycle. This is a ticket to a wealth of information on all levels of Writer‚Äôs Digest University.

Laura Pepper-Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book.

Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she’s not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, “yoga-ing” or at a coffee shop in Seattle.

You might like:

Laura Pepper Wu’s 30 Day Books, taken from her ideal book marketing course.¬†While the class is not in session now, you can get on the watch list by clicking here

What is more; there is a link to a WordPress theme designed especially for authors to promote their books. It’s priceless. Or nearly so compared to hiring a designer and paying a webmaster as well as hosting, security, e-commerce themes, et cetera. The theme is called Authorlicious.

I have several author friends who are in search of a good designer for their books and I have sent them most of this material and more (including tips from one author to another, which is why it is a good idea to get into a group of authors not only for support, but sound advise. That is what this website is about and all of what I am about

I just found a plethora of books for author platform building on Goodreads. A five starred book by Shelley Hitz at Self-PublishingCoach website is available for you at a single click.  Check out her site to see what else she has to offer.

¬†One of the books on the list is David Graughran’s Let’s Get Digital which I have lined up in my Kindle. This man knows what he is discussing as he’s been through the mill and understands all of the machinations.

In fact, if you are interested in what David has to say, you can register for a free webinar that ALLi is putting on through Shindigs right here.¬†It is set for¬†June 27, 2013 @ 9:00 pm ‚Äď 10:30 pm and I’m sure will prove to be an informative and enjoyable 90 minutes. Sign up today and put it on your calendar. ALLi (Alliance for Independent Authors) includes founder Orna Ross and is advised by¬†all of my favorite people in the world of books. Jane Freidman, Joel Friedlander Mark Coker (Smashwords), The ever alert Victoria Strauss (Writer Beware), Joanna Penn and Passive Guy, David Vandagriff, Karen Lotter,¬†among others. If you are going to publish as an indie, I would suggest signing up for their newsletter. All very good advise as is evidenced above.

Topics for the blog are scheduled as follows:

Mon: Author-Publishing News¬† ¬†(Updates, Press Releases, ALLi News)Tue: Opinion¬† ¬†(On Publishing, Writing and the Indie Business)Wed: Member Showcase¬† ¬†(Our Members’ Latest Books and Events)Thu: Advice on Writing ¬† (Productivity, Motivation, Craft)Fri: Advice on Publishing¬† ¬†(Editing, Formatting, Printing)Sat: Advice on Reaching Readers¬† ¬†(Marketing & Promotion)Sunday: How I Do It¬† ¬†(Self-Publishing Success Stories)

For instance, I found this article in my in-box just today;¬†There will now be clickable and searchable hashtags on Facebook¬†which woke me up as I am more of the Twitter and Google Plus Communities girl though I am on Facebook. You enter searchable and clickable hashtags into the mix, and I look up from my writing. That’s a game-changer for me.

And Alli has addressed many of the concerns I have for the new world of publishing; for instance, the overseas rights which are normally handled through long-standing relationships with publishers. How are indie authors to branch out? Jennifer Custer answers this here, here  and has an update for you here.

Orma Ross addresses branching out here and links to Members Pack information which archives all forums from IndieReCon and also breaks down Members benefits according to the membership level. (You can also sign up for articles alone free of cost if you are strapped for cash at the moment. This is what I have done.)

The phenom of self-publishing, Amanda Hocking has secured another deal with St. Martin’s Press. See this New York Times article for details.

Speaking of platforms, Michael Hyatt whom you all know as a wonderful advocate of helping to develop your platform has started the Platform University which will guide you through all of the necessary factors that need to be addressed to set up your own platform.

If you are lost in looking for good editing services, cover design or formatting, BiblioCrunch, mentioned earlier, has a whole ¬†set of tools and resources for you to pick and choose from according to your needs. ¬†They are there to guide you through the process¬†¬†with advisors that are trusted and know the publishing business and all that is involved. You can set your budget for proofreading, editing, design based on your budget. It’s a phenomenal service and one I think you will find very user-friendly and useful.

Along those lines, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) has a great list of editing, design and publishing services that are very helpful. With Board Members from Shelf Awareness to all sectors of the publishing and publishing news areas, there is a wealth of information on this site. Bookmark it and refer to it often.

Ann Hill, the Creative Content Coach has an article about creating Author Platforms that last.

And Bob Mayer, the Full-Time Author and former green beret and New York Times Best-Selling Author, has an information filled podcast detailing the “secret sauce” of book promotion. He has written over 50 books and just started the publishing company, Cool Gus Publishing, with author Jennifer Crusie. I had a hankering for writing a book on the incredible life of Bob Mayer. After reading about Jennifer Crusie, now I’ll have to write about both. Do you think Cool Gus Publishing would publish them?

Nick Thacker of LiveHacked¬†has “The Official Self-Published Book Marketing Plan”.¬†Yes, they wrote the book on it. ūüėČ

And if you have written a memoir, in the non-fiction rubric, the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW) has a great article helping indie authors to create a platform using YouTube. Video content is the next wave, so get ready for your close-up.

A note on breaking indie author news: Amazon World, which   has signed the famous Wool series indie author, Hugh Howie, to work within their Kindle World projects. See all of the news on this up and coming market for indie authors.

[Update: I just got the Writer’s Digest Conference sign-up form in my inbox. Please go here to see all of the details.]

Coincidentally, the next person I was going to write about is featured on the left side of  the IndieReCon page. This woman is as dynamic as she is kind. Melissa Foster. Watch for her in upcoming issues of this series. There are quite a few resources for your platform and articles and events (and explosions) that I still have left to write about. Some mentioned in this article will be discussed further in upcoming posts.

Sign up for much more in this series on self-publishing. Just add your email to the right top field and I will deliver it, sans spam, to your inbox.

Please leave a comment on any issues you are having as a self-published author and I would be more than happy to cover them.

This post is featured in Carol Tice’s Link Party. Check it out for great articles on writing, freelancing and productivity!

How the Ebook Revolution Compares to Another Great Revolution

publication changes

where are we in the digital culture?

 

I have been thinking recently about the twists and turns the music industry took when they had their great revolution; what we would now term, I imagine Music 2.0.

Remember Napster?

Back in the days of dial-up modems, the sound of the dial up modem wasn’t music to anyone’s ear, I don’t suppose, but I found the revolving triangle of the Netscape browser somewhat calming.

What wasn’t calming was the fear that the big music industry titans unleashed on music lovers when the lawsuits became frontpage news (when we bought the paper and got ink on our hands for reading it). There were more than several cases that were used to be an example for the Everyday Joe who ‘stole’ some billion dollar figure from music producers and performers every month and struck the fear into everyone on the world wide web. Yes, that’s what we called it in my day and we used all three words, as well.

Now, I wasn’t¬†an offender, and I would swear this in a court of law, ¬†because being an artist and working in the industry myself, I had a special affinity for those that produced any art in any medium and didn’t get fair-recompense. I didn’t go all medieval on the friends that downloaded music, but I sympathized with the artists that were not getting the paychecks they would get otherwise.

 

But this can go two ways.

A lot of the problem back then was one great behemoth of an organization that took over the music industry. It didn’t allow for free market competition and allow the markets to even themselves out in the economic climate. It was known as BMI. We’ve all seen the talk that Laurence Lessing gave at Ted with the overpowering support the courts give to new innovations.

 

How does this relate to writing?

Well we are going through another sort of revolution in the publishing industry with ebooks, and it’s been going on for some time. ¬†We don’t have a behemoth industry to compare to BMI though some would call Amazon that giant, but there are plenty of other corporations that have the capacity to overtake them.¬†It’s been done before. People can argue, and win in their minds, both ways when it ¬†comes to the pros and cons of Amazon.

And yet, every minute the landscape changes. See what BitLit has to say in the latest salvo here.

I think this is a fantastic idea and would like to see how it works. now logistically the writers publisher if it is a trad pub would have to set up (and pay for) ISBNs for all version: print, digital, audio and of course there are the markets outside of your particular nation; these would have to be coordinated as well. And this is just off the cuff thinking; there is surely much more cost and arranging for this idea to work be feasible.

What do you think of what BitLit has to offer? Comment below.

This is part of a multi-part series on indie publications or self-publications is coming up this week. Sign up if you are interested.

The Story Cartel Course Starts on Monday, June 10th! Hurry!

what's best way to learn to write

what's best way to learn to writeThe Story Cartel Course starts on Monday, June 10th!

But if you hurry, you can sign up and get in. Hit the logo to the right of this post. If it is full, then at least you can get on their waiting list. You don‚Äôt want to miss this door to your writing life and future book promotion success! What is it, you ask? Let’s let Joe Bunting answer that question in his words.

The Best Way to Become a Full-Time Writer

‚ÄúHow do you become a full-time writer?‚ÄĚ That‚Äôs a question I hear all the time.Three years ago, I quit my day job and achieved something most writers only fantasize about: I became a full time writer.

It wasn‚Äôt easy though. While I enjoyed the chance to do what I loved, I lived on pennies for the first year. Since then, I‚Äôve talked to NY Times Bestselling authors, editors at major publishing houses, successful freelance journalists, and even a few full-time bloggers. I‚Äôve discovered a few secrets‚ÄĒand started powerful habits‚ÄĒthat have helped me support my family and my art.

Whether you want to be a full-time writer or just want to share your art with the world, the Story Cartel Course will help you increase your audience, create industry connections, and build a strong foundation for your writing career.

A Strong Foundation to Your Writing Career.

The publishing world is changing. Publishers are going out of business, and many authors are having a harder time making a living. But the same market forces that are causing the demise of publishing as we know it are making it even easier to build your audience, launch your writing, and ultimately start a strong writing career. In this eight-week course, we will learn how to thrive as a writer in an ever changing publishing industry. 

The Story Cartel Course Includes

Practical Inspiration
Eight weeks of lessons on how to write, publish, and market your stories. Even the shyest writers can market their writing and sell more books.

Expert Teaching
Glean publishing wisdom from 11 guest experts, including Amazon bestselling authors, book cover designers, and award winning bloggers. Learn the secrets of publishing success from the best.

A Thriving Community
Join a supportive community of fellow writers and authors. You’ll receive support, encouragement, and critiques on your writing from the Story Cartel community.

Special Access to Author Tools
Get special access to Story Cartel’s tools to reach our community of thousands of readers. Story Cartel is a platform to help authors build their audience, get more reviews, and ultimately sell more books.

 

See this site for more information on The Story Cartel itself. But for a run down, here is a brief synopsis:

What Is Story Cartel?


Story Cartel is a new way for readers and authors to connect.

This is a home to any kind of book you could imagine, from nail-biting thrillers to tender romance novels, serious literary fiction to self-help non-fiction. Story Cartel is full of books that are read and discovered by people like you. Since October 2012, over 70 books have been downloaded and read by over 6,300 readers, generating more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and blogs. Thousands of readers are connecting with new authors right now.

Every book is free for a limited time.

The books you see on Story Cartel are all offered free by generous authors in exchange for your honest review. For book lovers, Story Cartel is a resource to discover great books and fresh authors; for authors, it’s a platform to build deeper relationships with readers. As long as it meets our guidelines, any author can launch their book on Story Cartel.

Readers support authors by leaving their honest review.

All books on Story Cartel are completely free, but in return you support authors by leaving your honest review, whether good or bad, of the book you downloaded. Your reviews help authors market their books and gives them valuable feedback to improve their writing.

An update from the administrators of the course: Course registration starts on Monday June 10th and ends Sunday, June 16th. The course work will begin on Monday, June 17th.

 

Grab your virtual seat now by clicking on this link or above The Story Cartel Logo to the right of this page now!

Traditional Publishing Services Brought to Indie Authors

traditional publishing services brought to indie

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¬ģ 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‚Äôs top book publicity agencies. Now, MyIdentifiers.com will include a link to Smith‚Äôs 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‚Äôs larger program to help MyIdentifiers users succeed by connecting them to trusted providers of a range of essential services.

Is One Writing Software Able to Truly Go from Draft to Published?

writing software

writing softwareIf you are like me, you have tested every available tool for the various stages of your novel creation; outlining with mindmaps or Excel, using yWriter5 for outlining and then Word for writing the draft, the list goes on and on.Thanks to our friends across the pond we have an all in one software package. But is it really able to help writers compile their manuscripts into the formats they need?

 

I tested out Scrivener and compared it to all of the other writing software available on the market. Finally, this skeptic was convinced that for my hard earned money, this was the software I wanted on my laptop to hold my drafts and refashion them at each pass.  Do you see my writers tip to the right of this post? It is no longer necessary, as of last year, for me to open a different program as this software allows me to mark up my document and refer to the notes later.

 

The compiling functions and breadth of formats are amazing. Each person that I have read, reviewed a video for, or talked to uses Scrivener in a unique way. That shows you how powerful this tool is for writers. Some writers use mindmaps to outline and then import them into Scrivener. Mindmaps have been a large component of my writing life since they first appeared. But Scrivener does one better in providing you a live document for an outline within the program itself.

 

See the video from writer Karen Price to understand more how one writer uses the software and just how powerful this program is.

 

Scrivener is available now for Mac or Windows. I was able to get it with a $10 discount and use it for a month prior to paying to make sure I was satisfied with it. Literature and Latte is the website and people behind the development of this program. There is a very active forum for anyone who needs help with a specific question, and the tutorial you get is both extremely helpful and prompts you to start writing once you see the ability of the tool before you. In fact, I  started outlining writing one of my books before I was done with the tutorial; I just could not wait. Now that is a writer’s block solution.In addition, there are thorough videos for both Mac and Windows on the Literature and Latte page. Scrivener has templates for essays, novels and screenwriting. You can also download templates for all types of projects from the press page.

 

binder and research

Scrivener puts everything you need for structuring, writing and editing long documents at your fingertips. On the left of the window, the ‚Äúbinder‚ÄĚ 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‚ÄĒso 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 ‚ÄúScrivenings‚ÄĚ 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‚ÄĒallowing you to concentrate on the words rather than their presentation.

 

 

Note; You can find the Kindle preview tool. You can find that for free here .

 

Julie Kenner has a many terrific videos on her YouTube channel. This one on Scrivener which is one of the best out there as it is to the point and shows how Scrivener can be more powerful than Word when working with your live draft. I highly recommend subscribing to her YouTube page.

 

My favorite area of Scrivener is the corkboard. This is where the  magic and power of the software is keenly felt and seen.

 

powerful writing tool

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‚Äôs corkboard rearranges their associated text in your draft. Mark common themes or content using labels, or stack cards, grouping related documents together. Scrivener‚Äôs corkboard gives you the flexibility of a real notice-board while automatically reflecting any changes you make in your manuscript.

 

(I also suppose that since I started writing using 3×5 cards, this is the virtual equivalent…but certainly not as powerful!)

 

The Outliner Tool as well is more right brain to my way of thinking:

writing tools

 

So why the funny name? Well, this goes to the key of what the software is about.

Scrivener‚Äôs innovative ‚ÄúScrivenings‚ÄĚ mode allows you to move smoothly between editing your document one piece at a time or together as a whole. It‚Äôs up to you how small‚ÄĒor large‚ÄĒyou 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‚Äôre only ever a click away from seeing the forest or the trees.

 

Hope you try it if it’s not on your computer already. It beats the quill. ūüėČ

Other Lives, Other Loves

This is a piece of mine that I shared on my more personal site. As I have a handicap, I thought I’d share it with you. If you followed me on both websites, you will be acquainted with this one

Other Lives, Other Loves

 

I was reading today a beautiful piece of writing sent to me in Brad Listi’s latest newsletter. If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with The Nervous Breakdown, it’s a crying shame.

It reminded me of my first true love. A man with a red corvette, curly brown hair and a heart of pure gold. We lived a long-distance relationship throughout our college years. Many trips from either of our college towns down the nine-hour drive to a large southern city populated with either Limos or Toyota Corollas and, for a few weeks a year, one red corvette and two people in love.

During our summer breaks, I spent many a day or evening at his college-town apartment; until 11 pm or three am-if we fell asleep in each others arms. He was the quiet shield from the beatings at home of one parent or the crass treatment by a step-mother that only wanted me gone. She got her wish; mine were not granted. Truth is slayed by hatred so often.

He has a family now, and that door has been shut to me long ago Though, for a minute, I allow myself to wonder what our life would have been like to entwine into each others limbs as the evening turned into night, and we grew closer through the years. What would our baby we lost to miscarriage have looked like? His chin, my ears, his feet, my hands. The minute has ended, and I must deal with the truth of today and count my blessings. My friends, my faith, the strength I have to fight each minute of pain. Nothing would stop me from working before, and nothing will stop me from working through this dying disease today.

The minute has passed, and I must deal with today. I count my blessings and move through the pain. Happy that it is in my bones but not my heart. That pain would be too much to bear.Those questions I also look at askance. Lot’s wife taught us not to look backward No matter how much it hurts to move forward in this body, at least it is moving ahead.

Regrets? Yes, many. But I only acknowledge them peeping at me from the corner of my eyes. There is no point at looking them straight on. I must gather my strength and keep my faith for the current fight; alone, with this disease and its unending pain.

Count your blessings and be happy for what you have. Be happy in your heart for who you have become and, whatever war you face today; keep strong and carry on.

Are You a Self-Published Author? Can Your Readers Find Your Book?

72/365 - And Your Point Is?

Helga Weber via Compfight

 

First, I am working on a multi-part series on self-publishing concentrating on the marketing of your book.

I can tell you from authors I know, this is still a topic they are learning, even after going through the process themselves.

The series I’m working on is just the best of the marketing articles for self-published authors. This alone takes days and days to compile. For instance, the first day, I began at seven a.m. and, minus phone interruptions, didn’t stop until two a.m. I am fast with my research methods so that tells you how much material is out there.

An email I received today¬†from Digital Book World, however, couldn’t wait.

DBW is running a webinar on the tools to make your e-book stand out in a very crowded marketplace. The webinar is summarized:

Finding Books Without Borders: Discoverability in a Digital and Social World

There has never been a shortage of books published. Digital is leading to an explosion in titles available as books no longer go out of print and as the barriers to getting published are coming down leading to a much greater output of new titles.

The challenge? Finding that perfect book, that book that grips and entertains us, that books we put down with a sense of satisfaction when we have reached the last page.

Online presents new opportunities for discovering books, but also challenges for a book to get discovered, for it to get picked out of the millions of other titles available. At the moment, online discovery is probably far more challenging than the discovery paths we are used to in the physical world, be it a book shop or library.

Join Digital Book World for a webcast exploring how readers find what to read next and how authors find an audience in the digital and social world.

The webcast runs on May 14th and information can be found on this page.

Please look for updates included in the post http://thepointofthequill.com/bring-your-writing-to-life-closer-to-publishing/

Bring Your Writing to Life & Closer to Publishing

antique books - Praga

Andrea Costa via Compfight

 

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.

 

#Research

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

well-written biography.

 

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.

 

#Publishing

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’.

 

#Character Development

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!

 #Editing

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.

Writers Digest has just a new article on editing your manuscript entitled, “Editing: Knowing When To Stop” which you may find at Writer’s Digest Online.¬†This is under the There Are No Rules banner.

 

#Platform

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

steps.

 

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:

Author take 6 spots on self-publishing via Media Bistro

Barnes & Noble launch E-Pub for Nook Authors

E-Books for .99 Hit Top Seller List

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.

 

#News 

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!

All Authors Should See This!

 

Author Media has developed a plug-in for all authors to sell their books and get affiliate sales. Watch this:

Kickstarter Video pulled down as of May 8th.

I was in the process of writing an article about the great writer platforms available for us; as well as great seminars from the most connected in the publishing field; Jane Friedman, among others.

But¬†I woke up this morning with a right hand that refused to work. No, this isn’t a “my dog ate my homework” excuse. I can’t lift my hand from my wrist; as much as I will it to lift–it won’t. So I’m writing to you with one hand because Author Media, one of the most respected organizations in platforms building business, is running a Kickstarter program that you must see.

We all have a day to get involved so time is of the essence.

This is brilliant! Let me know what you think.

Here is the kickstarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/authormedia/mybooktable-wordpress-bookstore-plugin/comments

 

Which Two Industry Giants That You Use Every Day Are Ready To Rumble?

I Win

 

Google Ranks Publishing Over Reading

 

Everyone is talking about the Google Reader, but what about Google Publishing?

Throughout the internet and on all social media sites, the talk has been all about what to do when Google stops their Reader service by this summer.

But that’s¬†not¬†the big story…

As I mentioned, everyone was surprised to hear the ‘buried’ news announcement at Google’s roundup of announcements. It will no longer be supporting the Google Reader as of July 1st. Even¬†Porter Anderson admitted on Twitter that he was shocked at the Google Reader announcement. He is not one to be taken aback. So, as everyone is talking about what to do with their RSS feeds before July 1st, Google has been planning a shock and awe¬†maneuver.

 

Publisher’s Lunch just came out with the¬†news that Google is in fact getting into the publishing industry.

 

A division within Google–Niantic Labs–is readying the first in a potentially extensive line of ebooks and books, in conjunction with author and co-publisher Thomas Greanias and his¬†@tlantis books. It’s known as the ALIGNMENT series and the first ebook novella, the 150-page¬†THE ALIGNMENT: INGRESS, is set for publication on April 2 in the Google Play Store, but also on all other major ebook platforms, either simultaneously or shortly thereafter. (Pricing for the title has yet to be finalized.) The books tie-in to Niantic’s hot alternate/augmented reality MMOG¬†Ingress¬†that Google has been rolling out in closed beta over the past few months.

 

I found a clue at the website of Thomas Greanias, publisher and author. On his website, in the “About” page, you can find the following:

Thomas Greanias is the New York Times bestselling author of the Raising Atlantis and Dominium Dei trilogies.  He is a widely recognized leader in digital lit with multiple No. 1 bestselling eBooks and Audiobooks through @lantis Books.  His bestselling books in print from Simon & Schuster have been translated into a dozen languages and sold in 75 countries worldwide.

Washingtonople was the original name for Washington, D.C.¬† The site plan for the new American capital was drawn up by French architect and Freemason Pierre L‚ÄôEnfant under the personal direction of George Washington, also a Freemason.¬† The site plan for America‚Äôs capital city‚ÄĒand the meaning of its alignment to the stars‚ÄĒfirst grabbed Greanias‚Äôs attention as an on-air reporter for NBC affiliates in D.C., where he had the rare experience of exploring tunnels beneath the Capitol that are older than the republic.¬† He‚Äôs been back recently, and they‚Äôve all been sealed off.

Well, most of them. A new tunnel has been discovered and will be explored in¬†The Alignment: Federal City,¬†one of the series in conjunction with the Niantic Project as well as Ingress. As an update, I checked Greanias’s page again today and if I hadn’t been unavoidably detained, I would have been able to come right on the heels of Publishers Lunch. As stated on another Updated (& fictionalized) news page of the author, “So Michael Cader scoops in this weekend‚Äôs Publishers Lunch dated March 15.”

Ingress¬†is in beta by invitation only, but in scrounging around on the site, I can see why there are reportedly “another million or so” on the waiting list desperate to play.

Niantic Project uses maps, coordinates, video, chat screen grabs, full gaming options that are incredibly realistic; putting you in map view with the characters of today-the one that just passed you on Broadway texting on his iPhone 5.

On a personal note, this takes one of my current WIP (work in progress) and wipes it off the map, so to speak. Or it might be the best thing for it. I will watch the landscape.

But in the meantime there are over 500,000 active players in the beta version of Ingress.

Amazon might have anticipated this by launching its new publishing arm in addition to Amazon Publishing,¬†With its myriad of imprints, Amazon has just announced a new publishing imprint¬†named Little A (though some have reported L’il A or simply “a”). One of the stars in the new publishing house is¬†The Magic Circle¬†by Jenny Davidson.¬†“[A] literary thriller about the culture of gaming”.

This past Thanksgiving, as Barnes & Noble was still struggling, there was¬†apocalyptic¬†anxiety running through the book world. That anxiety seems from the long distant past, doesn’t it, when it was just five months ago.

So why would Amazon want to spread its¬†back-end¬†so thin with yet another imprint? I believe, especially with the inclusion of the above mentioned novel, that Amazon anticipated it and is trying to hold all of the cards. However, as much as Jeff Bezos and Amazon spread fear throughout the book selling land, the answer seems to add up to a¬†justifiable¬†“yes”.

Yet in this high stakes poker game, Amazon might have bet high without the cards to show for it.

Google has the means and the infrastructure to knock down the digital footprint that Bezos is standing on. There is, however, a greater chip they can throw into the bidding war in the digital publishing poker game; the infrastructure for Google Play is ready to plug-and-play for this new enterprise and there are far more programmers and computer scientists at Google than at Amazon. YouTube; owned by Google. Google maps are in play across the globe. They have every GPS coordinate known to man, not to mention all of the information and framing at their fingertips  We can go into Google Books and Google Scholar along with a very long list of other resources, but you get the idea.

They are ready to roll out on all formats; not just Kindle, not just ePub-all of them.

I’m all about the story. I’ve just wanted to use the tools at our disposal to enrich the story. Google is about to do just that and has laid the ground work to become a powerhouse in the publishing business.

The big G is always ahead of the game. And I predict there are big changes ahead in digital publishing. It is a natural trend with the technology of today. For instance, even ¬†Business Wire¬†is sending out multimedia press releases with pictures and videos. Not interactive, but it highlights the move in general away from drab news releases on company letterhead into the digital age. I was invited a few days ago to try a beta test of a digital software bundle to work in conjunction with Adobe’s Creative Suite; quite similar to what Google is currently doing. This march of technology and innovation is sure to leave lasting scars on the publishing industry more than any other industry; beyond what it has already done.

What do you think about these developments? Share your thoughts below. And consider signing up for updates at right. Please do share this as this is sure to be knock-down drag-out fight to the finish coming to an augmented reality near you. More drama on and off the page coming your way!

Image: Kevin Labianco via Compfight

Update: Now I admit, the latest video, if you click on the links, is a bit cheesy. But Google has the game played out in all sectors, even with characters tweeting as the characters. If you accidentally hit the wrong key, you get a very abrupt tweet that warns you to leave certain things alone. It is being played out over social media, across maps, videos, you name it. And the book that is still soon to be released hasn’t even been price-pointed yet. Can you imagine the¬†stampede¬†to the bookstore-or more¬†likely¬† Google Play-when it gets released? Talk about an author platform. They have changed the rules for Author Platforms. And Author Media (creme of the crop for building your author platform) needs to get onto this as this is the¬†epitome¬†of¬†digital¬†media at its finest and building your ‘fan-base’ before you even release!

Update: Check out the trailer for the book alone:

Here is the Facebook page.

The Ingress Google+ Page.

Publisher’s Lunch Page for The Alignment.

And if you check out the feeds of Google Plus pages the world over in real time, the augmented reality game has become a real-time action game played out throughout cities across the globe as well as all social media channels. Can you imagine a book launch before the book launch? Well, they have managed to do just that; and the marketing after the launch is amazing. Imagine your book in this scenario:

 

 

The Writers’ Read

Writers read

Day 106 - I am a librarian Cindi via Compfight

Let me guess, you are so busy you have too many things to do, let alone keep up with the publishing changes going on.

Sound familiar?

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!

A Muse You Can Use

Web 2.0 icons Pietro Zanarini via Compfight

Please see update at the bottom of this post.

 

Earlier on this site, I spoke of a site you may not be aware of but that is a lifesaver for anyone who creates and thus needs a Muse to depend on. The problem is, our Muses are not very dependable. So, I have a back-up plan for you.

I am big on content management  That is basically curating information that I can use for other projects-with the appropriate attribution. There are a number of sites for this but people are finding some inherent flaws in the systems of the most popular ones.

I have been introduced to two new ones. One, BO.LT, is not so new but I have been lucky enough to be in a group of first users. The second one, comparatively  is much newer. They have teamed up with Time to assist in their content. They do not do this for just any old user (ie: you and me). However, if you know the state of Time currently in its holdings, you might question this approach. But, one never knows. This is something called Rebel Mouse.

If you wish to find out a bit more of my interests and what I curate in content, just visit my Rebel Mouse page.

Or my¬†BO.LT¬†page to see just how much of a geek I am. ūüėČ

Having used both and tried other page sharing utilities, in my experience¬†BO.LT¬†is THE place for curating and sharing pages with credit-ability built-in. The community there far outweighs any on-line community. If I had to compare all of the page sharing communities out there, BO.LT is like a big family gathering over a food-laden table; smiles all around when you walk in the door and a place set for you. The others…not so much.

 

One of the best things about BO.LT is that the categories are much easier to sort and manage. As someone mentioned, a bolt holds better than a pin ūüėČ And a special person on their team made a widget so you can display pages for your collections. For instance, this is my¬†collection¬†of¬†#great houses

#literature #novels #reading:

#reading #writing #great novels

#great offices

#technology #social media

#social media #technology

#great staircases

#My Left Brain

#art #amazing

#shelves

#mybookshelffetish

#design #booklovers

#innovation #small spaces

#architecture

#photography

#The Brain

#info

And there is no boring fail whale here if there is an occasional server issue. Instead, you get a revolving and hilarious bit of humor with BO.LT’s icon, the elephant. Once, I found him crying. Another time, his face seemed to be concentrating and then I noticed there was more activity on the other side of him…Cracked me up. When has a 404 error cracked you up?

But what has saved me in writing my work-in-progress is my #Muse category.This is where I  put all photography that is reminiscent of a particular mood, feeling, or character that I want to flesh out in my novels.

You can see that it relies solely on the photography of others. This is where Bolt comes in handy as not only can you categorize the bolts into subjects in their own box, rather than just having a tag, but you can also make your own page as you see with each of these categories. You can choose the background and look of the page. I obviously like the simple paper look. What can I say? I’m a writer.

Have fun. Play in a sandbox of images and information and make your own content manager with a few simple field to fill out. Voila. Your Muse!

Add BO.LT to your site:or see the  http://bo.lt/about page, and specifically http://bo.lt/tips-tricks to get the applet for your bookmark.

See TechCrunch for further comparisons.

Here are related articles for this subject:

http://blog.bo.lt/post/18425978125/how-to-make-collections-count

Also, Media Bistro

http://pro.gigaom.com/blog/bo-lt-makes-any-webpage-a-social-object/

http://news.bo.lt/i_still_love_bolt

http://support.kissmetrics.com/integrations/bolt.html

Note: Sadly, Bolt is no more. I never thought I would grieve a social sharing page. What great research has been lost. The community and shared amusements. But we still have rebel mouse and then eventually I will try and get on Pinterest and join the ranks. All of the work those that started it and devoted so much time to is now gone. It, and they will be missed.

None of these are affiliates or paid endorsement or sponsors.