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.
Inform & Inspire
Kristen Lamb: Enemies of the Art: Being a Starter, Not a Finisher. Excerpt: “Starting is easy. It’s exciting, fun, new and shiny. Anyone can start something. Heck, The Spawn starts at least ten things before 7:30 in the morning. When we start something new, we are pumped. We have people around us cheering. Everything is fun. We seem to have boundless energy. Starting is necessary, but starting needs to become habit and become focused. The world rewards those who finish.”
Also from Kristen Lamb: 7 Things Confident Writers Don’t Do. But they all drink coffee (joke). Read the post, great insights.
Charity Bradford: Three Tips on Handling Writing Pressures. Excellent advice for handling the obstacles and bumps on the writing road.
Cate Russell-Cole: Bomb-Proofing Your Writer’s Ego. Excerpt: “Way, way back in the olden days, when I was new to the Internet, I enrolled in a pilot writing course. I remember very little about it, but the basic idea was to take an animal you related to; find a god or goddess who represented that animal and then there were a few months of writing exercises. It was a great idea.”
J.A. Konrath: The Million Dollar Idea. Excerpt: “I’ve written over a hundred short stories, and twenty-eight novels. Like most writers, I tend to think my work is pretty good. It sells well, and I get a lot of compliments from peers and fans. I think I can tell a good story, and I liberally use humor, violence, action, conflict, and sex. That said, out of over two million words written, I’ve only had a few of what I call “million dollar ideas.”
Linda Hall: Four Tips to Keep Readers Turning Pages. Great tips gleaned from the effective writing techniques of Dean Koontz.
Sharla Rae: Brainstorming: Tips For Getting More Out Of “What if…”. Great resource post with additional links and solid advice.
Janice Hardy: Why Character Arcs (and Growth) Make Readers Care. Excerpt: “Character arcs and plot are like chocolate and peanut butter. Separately they’re both good, but together, they’re magical. When one is missing, readers notice. A book without a plot is boring. A story without a character arc is forgettable.”
Martha Alderson / Angela Ackerman: Bring Your Inner Creativity OUT & Stop Writer’s Block! Excerpt: “Writers beware of the three major dangers responsible for writer’s block. 1) Disorganization. 2) Uncertainty. 3) Lack of Knowledge about How to Write a Story with a Plot.”
Chuck Wendig: How To Karate Your Novel And Edit That Motherfucker Hard: A No-Foolin’ Fix-That-Shit Editing Plan To Finish The Goddamn Job. Excerpt: “Editing is writing. At the end of the day, the actual execution of your editing process is writing. It’s you doing surgery and excising all the unsightly tumors from your work and filling in the gurgling wounds with better material: healthy flesh, new organs, cybernetic weapons, robot dongs. Sometimes it’s as simple as killing commas and adding periods.”
David Carr: How to Find the Just-Right Freelance Editor. Excerpt: “The editing process for a book or article is not just a matter of turning over your manuscript for correction. Generally there are two aspects for an editor to consider—the structure and the writing (each with several editorial considerations).”
Karen Lotter: Five Blogging Tips for Indie Authors. Excerpt: “Blogs are the core of most indie authors’ online platform, which is why it is essential to write blog posts that get seen by both people and search engines. Before I get down to the five blogging tips, I just want to emphasise that nothing, I repeat nothing is better in social media terms than regularly posted, well-written, original blog content.”
Laura Pepper-Wu: Blogging Ideas for Fiction Writers who feel Stuck in a Rut. Excellent tips, suggestions and plan of action in this post.
Joanna Penn: 3 Reasons for Writers to Have a Blog … and 3 Reasons Not To. Great tips and advice in this post from a master blogger.
Gabriela Pereira: Build Your Online Writing Community. Excerpt: “The hardest part of writing an article about online writing communities is that there are so many of them it’s almost impossible to make sense of all the options. Rather than giving you a mile-long list of links, today I’ll just touch on a few general categories of online communities you can explore.” Also from Gabriela: Build Your Community: Writing Classes and Workshops.
Jami Gold: 9 Tips for Making Online Friends. Excerpt: “Thanks to Laurie London, I found a great list of nine characteristics of likeable people. Many writers are introverts and making friends can be difficult under the best circumstances. So let’s take a look at how the characteristics listed in the article can translate to making online friends in the writing community, whether through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or forums.”
Kristen Lamb: Twitter Basics–The Proper Care and Feeding of Hashtags. Are your hashtags breeding like tribbles (or have you seen a tribble tweet) – find out what I mean at this excellent post for Twitter users.
Dana Lynn Smith: What’s the Best Way for Authors to Use Twitter? Solid advice for getting the most out of your Twitter account.
F.C. Malby: LibraryThing and Goodreads: Meeting Readers, Book Giveaways and Finding Reviewers. Great overview of both services along with effective tips and ideas for using them to compliment book marketing and promotional needs.
Porter Anderson: Ether for Authors: The Stay-Seated Writers’ Conference. Excerpt: “I’m reminded of writer and consultant Brian O’Leary’s A Birthday Reflection on Sunday in which he wrote: “Travel can be liberating, but too much travel is its own straightjacket. The world is all around us; we need not fly thousands of miles to see or live it.” IndieReCon’s numbers support that sentiment. Two of its leading lights, author Shelli Johannes-Wells (she writes as S.R. Johannes) and BiblioCrunch’s Miral Sattar, report counting more than 18,000 unique users during the run, February 19-21, and more than 2,000 comments were logged on various stories.”
Bob Mayer: How have things changed in the last 3 years in Indie publishing? Fully summarized version of Bob’s Keynote Speech at IndieRecon, packed with useful insight and information.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Death of Publishing. Dramatic title for a powerful and insightful post well worth the read. Highly recommended!
Susan Spann: The Publishing Timeline: Submission to Contract Signing. Excerpt: “Many authors assume that once a publisher offers a deal, everything happens at once. Contracts are signed. Money is paid. Books are published. Authors rejoice! Not so fast, there, partner. Traditional publishing takes time, and contracts are no exception.”
Joanna Penn & Joel Friedlander: How To Make A Professional Standard Print Book Interior. Learn tips, tricks, and things to watch out for in order to create a pro-grade print layout.
Roz Morris: How to get a great cover design – when you don’t know what it should be. Here is a simple, effective and (in the example) zero-cost method for handling cover design.
Rae Hoffman: Creating a Custom 404 Page with Genesis – Tutorial. Excerpt: “Genesis uses a very busy default 404 page. When I made the switch I didn’t want to lose my old custom 404 page, but couldn’t figure out how to create a new one either. But I wanted my custom 404 page damn it. So, I asked the Genesis team for some help to make it happen. Below is how it’s done.”
SEO / Metadata
Danny Sullivan: What Is Search Engine Optimization? The Three Minute SEO Video!. If you still have questions or doubts about SEO, here is an excellent 3 minute video that does a fantastic job of explaining it.
Joanna Penn: The Importance Of Keywords For MetaData And The Discoverability Of Your Book. Excerpt: “Keywords and search engine optimization have been considered important for a long time in the online world, particularly for ranking in the search engines on the first few pages so people can actually find you. But these principles and tools are also important for your book page on the retail stores. They make up a critical part of the meta-data which is crucial in the discoverability of your book.”