Here you will find a selection of the best of the blogsphere from the past week. Grab your coffee, straighten the glasses or spritz those contacts and above all – enjoy.
Top Read Recommendation!
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Business Rusch: Out! All of You! Excerpt: “Four very important words. Out! All of you. All of you who don’t believe, who offer bad advice under the cloak of good advice. Who recommend that something innovative get tossed because it is unusual. Better to blend in, better to try to be like everyone else. All of you who are afraid of risks. You—out!”
Inspire & Inform
Alex Mathers: Why No One Likes Your Art: 26 Reasons. Excerpt: “You work hard at creating pieces of art, design, writing, music, song and dance. But do people truly like what you do? If you want to do well, earn and survive in this industry, it’s quite important that at least a few people do. What follows might come as a reminder of your brilliance but it could also be a reality adjustment for some of you. The aim here is to reveal some of the things that turn away people from the art that you create, so that you can start with greater clarity to really make the most of what you can offer the world.”
Chuck Wendig: How To Push Past The Bullshit And Write That Goddamn Novel: A Very Simple No-Fuckery Writing Plan To Get Shit Done. Need I say more? Read this!
Anne Peterson: Facing Failure: The Art of Eating Live Frogs. By considering the sources of what is holding us back we can find effective strategies to overcoming them. Eat the frog *smile*
Mhairi Simpson: Being different is both a weapon and a tool. Excerpt: “Being different is both a weapon and a tool. Take what makes you different for the gift it is and revel in it.“
Beauty of a Woman
August McLaughlin: Women in the Media: Why Our Stories Count. Excerpt: “I wasn’t sure if I would post twice this week, given President’s Day and the soon-coming Beauty of a Woman BlogFest. Then I saw Miss Representation, Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s poignant documentary on the media’s portrayal of women. The 2011 release left me heartbroken and hope-filled, and my teary eyes more fully open. It heightened my determination to keep writing and supporting artists and creative works that uplift women, rather than hold us back or beat us down.”
Be sure to check out the Blogfest as well: The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest II!
Jess Witkins: What Makes a Woman REDHOT? Find out what the Jess’s experts, women and men, think makes a woman sizzling hot.
Jami Gold: Can Story Themes Help Pantsers Write? Excerpt: “When we draft stories by the seat of our pants, it’s easy to get sidetracked by tangents, subplots, interesting side characters, etc. That can make for a tough revision. Okay, now here’s where all of you who have struggled with a hot mess of a pantsed story will hate me. Um, those sorts of don’t-fit-the-story tangents have never happened to me. Ever.”
Kathleen Harrington: Creativity — Opening the Door of the Treasure House. Excerpt: “Every culture on Earth has its myths. Legends as old as time. Which seems to beg the question: What do we and the cavemen have in common? Everyone loves a good story! Those ancient cavemen sat around the fireside spinning yarns to entrance their listeners. As the storytellers of our generation, we sit at our computers instead. But our goal is the same. To captivate our readers. Where do our own stories come from? They spring from the treasure house within us, that gift of creativity that lies within all human beings.”
Janice Hardy: Three Ways to Ground Readers in Your World. Three great techniques for bringing readers into your world without a massive info dump.
Tammy Salyer: Worldbuilding for Non-Planetary Engineers. Interesting tips and ideas for building a fictional world without a need for a science degree.
Anne Cleeland: Writing Historicals – How Accurate Must You Be? Great tips and questions to ask yourself when planning to write from a historical perspective.
Robert Ferrigno: Visual Methods of Writing. How to use film-making methods to strengthen your fiction.
F.C. Malby: 5 Ways to Write More Effectively. Five simple tips to up the production, quality and serenity of writing.
Cate Russell-Cole: Advanced Editing Resources. Excellent videos and tips in this post!
Jami Gold: How to Revise for a Stronger Theme. Excerpt: “Our stories can have multiple themes: for the story itself, for the characters, for the relationships, etc. That’s not a problem unless the different themes interfere with each other and prevent the others from being strong.”
Gemma Halliday: Self-Editing Tips from a New York Times Bestselling Author. In-depth look at self-editing. Full of great tips and information you’ll want to consider.
Chuck Wendig: How to Read like a Writer. We all know writers should read, but when we do so are we getting the most out of the read? Here are some great tips for maximizing our reading time.
David Gaughran: Penguin’s Solution for Authors: One Racket To Rule Them All. Writer Beware – Highly Recommended Read.
Susan Spann: Learning to Find the Middle Ground. How finding effective compromise during negotiations can lead to better outcomes.
J.A. Konrath: Hungry Dogs. Interesting article, not about dogs, that goes into indie marketing, visibility and some excellent tips from Konrath on what he is finding useful.
Dean Wesley Smith: Think Like a Publisher 2013: Chapter 6: Sales Plans. Basic structure for an effective indie sales plan. Excellent information.
E-Pub Business Models
Daniel Kalder: Killing the “Pay First, Read Later” E-bookselling Model. An emerging business model with some heavy implications and ramifications when one considers it. Excerpt: “The system is logical — if you read 10% then you pay for 10%, if you read 100% you pay for 100%.”
Bri Clark / Russ Nosalaski: Does Your Reputation Suck Online? Excerpt: “As a small or a medium sized business owner you are responsible for marketing your business and that means finding the best marketing opportunities available right now. You need to have an internet presence, as the internet arguably is one of the most powerful marketing platforms available. If you are marketing your business and have a bad online reputation you are throwing some of that money down the drain because your potential customers and clients will be looking you up online to see what others are saying about you and your business.”
Shawn Jackson (Copyblogger): The Surprising Effect of Freshness and Authority on Search Results. Great ideas and information for using simple techniques to give huge results in SEO.
Gabriela Pereira: Build Your Writing Community: In-Person Events. Excerpt: “Writing can be lonely work. As writers we spend most of our time working alone so a community of like-minded creative people can bring a ray of social light to an otherwise solitary existence. But how do you go about finding that magical group of writers to call your own? How do you find a writing community?”
Shannon at Duolit: 4 Steps to Making Your Own Book Trailer. Well presented, simple system for generating a book trailer to meet your target needs.
Molly Greene: Why Do We Blog? Making your blog a successful part of your platform requires knowing what you are trying to accomplish with it. Great tips in this article!
Ed Ditto: 3 Minutes to Better Scrivener Chapter Headings. Excerpt: “Since a correctly-constructed Kindle book opens to the first page of Chapter One, a reader’s first impression of your work often arises from your chapter heading. Does it look professional? Aesthetically pleasing? Does it fit your book’s subject matter? Is it ho-hum? Or does it cause immediate buyer’s remorse? What follows are three jazzed-up chapter headings for Scrivener users to reproduce or riff on. Each is a snap to set up. They highlight the capabilities of the “Formatting” pane of Scrivener’s Compile wizard, as well as Scrivener’s “placeholder tags”—two tools no self-publishing author should be without.”
Joanna Penn: How To Make A Professional Standard Print Book Interior. Excerpt: “The problem with DIY is that it can look unprofessional and while paying a pro is fantastic, if you have a lot of books, it can cost you a lot of money over time. So what’s an indie author to do?”
Joel Friedlander: Self-Published Books Get a Major Overhaul. Joel launches a new book formatting service: BookDesignTemplates.com – give it a look.
Jane Friedman: How I Got a Six-Figure Twitter Following (and Why It Doesn’t Matter). What does your “number” really mean? How many are you really influencing? Jane breaks down her numbers and the conclusions are well worth the read.
Nick Ruffilo: Tips for Technologists #10: Learning a Programming Language. For those interested in running or looking to improve a self-hosted blog, learning a programming language is an essential asset to have.