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’t 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

“How do you become a full-time writer?” That’s 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’t easy though. While I enjoyed the chance to do what I loved, I lived on pennies for the first year. Since then, I’ve talked to NY Times Bestselling authors, editors at major publishing houses, successful freelance journalists, and even a few full-time bloggers. I’ve discovered a few secrets—and started powerful habits—that 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® is expanding resources available to authors and small publishers on its MyIdentifiers.com website by teaming with Smith Publicity, widely recognized as one of the industry’s top book publicity agencies. Now, MyIdentifiers.com will include a link to Smith’s website where authors and publishers can take the first steps in exploring public relations programs that can effectively support their publishing efforts. The cooperation with Smith is part of Bowker’s larger program to help MyIdentifiers users succeed by connecting them to trusted providers of a range of essential services.

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 “binder” allows you to navigate between the different parts of your manuscript, your notes, and research materials, with ease. Break your text into pieces as small or large as you want—so you can forget wrestling with one long document. Restructuring your draft is as simple as drag and drop. Select a single document to edit a section of your manuscript in isolation, or use “Scrivenings” mode to work on multiple sections as though they were one: Scrivener makes it easy to switch between focussing on the details and stepping back to get a wider view of your composition.

With access to a powerful underlying text engine, you can add tables, bullet points, images and mark up your text with comments and footnotes. Format as you go using the format bar at the top of the page, or use any font you want for the writing and let Scrivener reformat your manuscript after you’re done—allowing you to concentrate on the words rather than their presentation.

 

 

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

 

(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’s innovative “Scrivenings” mode allows you to move smoothly between editing your document one piece at a time or together as a whole. It’s up to you how small—or large—you want to make the individual sections of your manuscript: novelists can write each scene in a separate document or whole chapters as one; scriptwriters can work scene-by-scene or act-by-act; academics can break down their ideas into individual arguments. However finely you break up your work, Scrivenings mode allows you to collect the constituent components into a single editor, so that you can edit them as though they were all part of one document: in Scrivener, you’re only ever a click away from seeing the forest or the trees.

 

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

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.

Can Anyone Give Me a Hand?

espejo

 

 

(from http://thepointofthequill.wordpress.com/?p=554&preview=true)

 

It is time for me to roll out the red carpet for my awards ceremony thanks to TLN and his award. I will have to wait a bit though as I have had an injury of sorts.

Before I go further, I want to thank the beautiful Cheryl Moore for dedicating part of her ongoing story to me. She writes and draws at Unbound Boxes Limping Gods , an incredible work in progress. Both her words and artwork are a dream. I had written her after being transfixed with a drawing of one of her characters, Ancille , that seemed to me to move off the page, so enlivened was her artwork. The amazing thing is she thanked me for her work of art. How that generosity of spirit manifests is itself a thing of beauty. Thank you, Cheryl.

I haven’t written lately due to a hand injury. I had lost the use of my dominant hand. I couldn’t will a finger up if I tried. Now there is a revolving door of sweet nurses, talented physical therapists, occupational therapists; and I must leave shortly for a doctor’s appointment.

Thanks to an angel of a friend, I have now Dragon, the speech-to-text software which still is trying to learn the funny ways of my speech and thanks to a dear friend, Jen, a wonderful headphone and mic. Thank you, Jen.

The hand is getting better, but it has been very frustrating. This happened just after I was accepted with a scholarship to The Story Cartel. I am reminded of the injury my brother sustained as a violinist when he broke a wrist bone. He went into a severe depression due to his limitations. Though my reaction has been somewhat different, there have been periods of, well, even a writer finds it hard to find words for the abysmal feelings we must fight against as if our very soul depends upon it. In many ways, I believe it does; our soul must create, and any wall we encounter to that goal seems higher as our spirit is crushed further. My fight has been both physical and spiritual; but I am fighting. I am fighting the good fight, as a writing friend has stated.

Though it sounded quiet Freudian to me, it turned out to be an autoimmune reaction; as it was explained to me. The circuits between the hand and brain just stopped. Okay. Whatever; I just wanted my hand back. It was quite timely as May is the month of Lupus Awareness Month. Ironically, the Lupus Association decided this year that a symbol of awareness and solidarity for a cure would be to hold your right hand up in an L-shape. I just had to laugh as this disease is nothing if not ironic.

I must go to the dreaded doctor, but I will be back to post more and will be visiting all of you as I have missed you. Be well and happy.

Image credit: Agustín Ruiz via Compfight  

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 SuccessThe 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’Enfant under the personal direction of George Washington, also a Freemason.  The site plan for America’s capital city—and the meaning of its alignment to the stars—first grabbed Greanias’s 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’s been back recently, and they’ve 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’s 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. 😉

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 😉 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.

Have You Lost It Completely?

Wonder Free SpiritTired of the day-to-day grind? Tired of all of the must do now society? Are you just tired?

Do you remember the days of yore when you jumped through the rain puddles and not over them?

When you caught fireflies in a glass jar to wonder at them and then set then free to fly again and light up?

Read more

An Intro to Procrastination, Neuroscience and Writer’s Block

procrastination, neuroscience, writer's block

what time is it

I wanted to update this post with new Pomodoro* apps that have come out. I’ve been collecting a list and then Zapier came out with this great list.

[tweetthis]What do tomatoes have to do with your writing word count? Find out here http://bit.ly/1igQYMN[/tweetthis]

We will be discussing writer’s block, procrastination and the science behind them…later on…

But first…

There is a movement just starting in the writing sphere of the blogosphere; writers are pushing away from the confines of immediate social media constraints to concentrate on, you guessed it, writing. See ‘s  goodbye post at Writer Unboxed and the comments that follow as well as Chuck Sambuchino’s Letter at Guide to Literary Agents.¹(additional links in footnote)

Read more

May 2013 Fulfill All of Your Goals and Dreams! Happy New Year!

 

Boz wishes all of you a very happy New Year. Lee is typing away on her laptop-as humans like to do-and thus he stopped by to send greetings for the following year. As his namesake is Charles Dickens (Boz was Dickens’ pen name), he is used to humans ignoring him while they hone on their precious words. So he is taking over the website to ensure proper manners are employed. 

May your New Year bring all that you hold dear and a very hearty wish is sent your way!

writing, typng, Charles Dickens, Boz pen name
Happy New Year!

Websites and Resources for Writers

 

websites for writers extensive listing an updated daily

 

 

 

 

 

Mardi Gras or not, let’s not hide behind any masks, agreed? Make me a happy reveler and check out the Websites for Writers Toolkit. You’ll be surprised to find some pretty colorful links there.

Via Author Media

Hot off the presses from Author Media, there is a free webinar tomorrow, December 20th, with Thomas Umstattd Jr. as the presenter. He will be discussing:

 4 Novel Marketing Tools You Can Implement in 30 Minutes or Less at Thursday, December 20 at 07:00 PM CST.

You can register through Author Media by going here.

More to come on this site on Ilie Ruby’s The Salt God’s Daughter.

 

The Town that Evil Visited

I wrote to a friend twenty minutes from the place where ‘evil visited’, that I struggled to find words, any words to give voice to the grief and incomprehension of this quiet village erupting in gunfire and twenty children still laid out on the school floor and not in the arms of their parents as they read them a good night’s story. He, also a writer and a father to two little children, was wondering how he would explain evil to his kids. Against one horrible image in my mind laid next to another, I see parents watch their children’s school mates being picked up by their parents and worried off to home until the announcement that “There will be no more reunions.” The horror of that moment -couldn’t that have been avoided? If nothing else, couldn’t just that have been avoided?

Read more

NaNoWriMo Finish Line Juice or Storyteller Muse

Busy blogger? Free, simple tip to keep your correspondence organized.

Evernote logo
Evernote, photo cred: Fiddler Studios

Do you feel that you often write more on other people’s blogs than your own? Do you remember what you wrote and why? Is the blogosphere coming at you at an alarming rate? Reading and commenting at top speeds; faster than the speed of light? Those comments, if they are substantive, can lead to guest posts down the line if you remember what and where you posted the darn things. I have a simple tool to help you.

Read more

Whatever It Takes…Write

Not soccer gear, just a knee-support.

Friday I went to the doctor and ended up in the hospital. Two things I hate the most. Apparently I passed out on the sidewalk (just “this close” to leaving the dreaded, but ever so helpful, doctor) and woke up with nurses holding me, an ambulance on the way, and a friend talking to whoever was holding my feet. “Tell us your name.” I tried to get the words out but couldn’t. Finally, with much effort, “Lee” from a long distance away but I finally said it. My friend helped them with the rest as the sirens got closer. (I very much dislike ambulances, more than the other two listed above; so Friday was not a banner day.)

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Hard Day’s Night

  

lupus sle

 Amir Jina via Compfight

 

The Beatles had a song for everything. I slept finally, my brain drained from the pain; screaming in my sleep where I used to laugh. None of us knows when we are going to die, but it gets a little closer when you are facing down the barrel of the gun that is going to kill you; in my case, the gun is an unseen disease called ‘autoimmune disease.’

 

One of the many ironies of my life; I have something that attacks my body and causes it slowly to eat away at every cell, organ, bone on the inside.

 

It is what the normal process of life is but sped up like night lights on a fast photo time lens.

 

When the doctor had first mentioned it to me, I had to ask him to say it again and slowly. “Your cells are attacking themselves.” blah blah blah,” he said.

 

“No please how can that be?” I asked. “It makes no sense.”

 

It was like the game my older brother and sister played with me as a child; “stop hitting yourself.”

 

The game made me laugh because it was so ironic; the love of irony a gift from God given to me early in life. This game involved the elders taking my arm and hitting my face with my arm while saying, “Stop hitting yourself!”

 

I would laugh and laugh, and it got to be harder and harder to pull my arm away because I was laughing so much; I couldn’t stop myself.

 

Well, believe me, I’m not laughing now.

 

The auto-immune cells that would protect a normal person attack cells that help with the natural daily living of a body. They attack other “helpful” cells where they should actually leave them alone.

 

This speeds up the natural flow of death at a certain percentage (in my case ‘aggressively.’)

 

I don’t sleep much now partly from the pain and also what I term the ‘pain nightmare’: Every time I moved I groaned becoming more and more conscious of the pain. All the more ironic because I pray for relief from the ever-presence of this aggressive beast.