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: The Myth About Introverts & Extroverts–Could You Be an Ambivert? Recommended Read! Excerpt: “As humans we tend to think in very black and white terms, but as writers and artists, we are wise to remember that people have many dimensions. What we see is not necessarily true, especially when it comes to labeling others as “introvert” or “extrovert.” What Does It REALLY Mean to Be an Extrovert or Introvert? Introversion and extroversion are commonly misunderstood. Just because someone is shy, doesn’t mean she’s an introvert. Someone who is bubbly, gregarious and the life of the party can, in reality, be an introvert.”
Chuck Wendig: The Admonition Of Ass-In-Chair, Or, “How Writing Is Actually Work”. Excerpt: “Writer and writing teacher J. Robert Lennon wrote a post recently, “The Ass-In-Chair Canard,” which takes aim at that oft-uttered snidbit of writing advice, a piece of advice seemingly universal across all those writers who dare to give advice on the subject of writing: Put your ass in the chair and write.”
K.M. Weiland: Be a Better Writer: Get Organized. Great tips for organizing everything from your desk to your browser and much more. Streamlining the tools we use frees more time to write and play.
Stacy Green: Writing Close Point of View. Excerpt: “Point of view is a tricky beast, especially if you are writing in third person and have multiple points of view. And one of the hardest things to pull off is close point of view–in other words, getting inside a character’s head. In order to make a reader empathize with a character and walk in that character’s shoes, you’ve got to get deep into their thoughts. “
Jami Gold: What Soap Operas Can Teach Us about Writing. Excerpt: “I don’t watch soap operas, but a bizarre conversation tangent triggered my thoughts comparing soap operas to novels. On the surface, they seem very similar. They both have characters, tension, and conflict. However, the more I thought about it, the more I saw differences. And those differences illustrated a problem many of us have with our stories.”
Janice Hardy: Are You Choosing the Best Words to Describe Your Setting?. Great tips and tricks for getting the most out of your setting descriptions.
Margie Lawson: Stellar Writing Sells! Excerpt: “When writing is bad, we may quit reading. When writing is good, we’ll probably keep reading. When writing is stellar, we’re hooked. We read faster, don’t want to stop. And when writing is better than stellar, when it’s psychologically empowered, we’re immersed in the story, and we tell friends they must read this should-be-made-into-a-movie book.”
Elizabeth S. Craig: Writers and Journals–and Online Journaling. Excerpt: “While reading blogs last month, I came across a post by Hannah Braime on the Lifehack site: 5 Killer Online Journaling Tools You Should Try Out. One of the journaling programs they mentioned was the free site OhLife. She hooked me when she used the word simple to describe it. Who has time for complicated when you’re trying to establish a new habit?”
Chris White: How to submit for publication (or do it yourself, thanks very much). Excerpt:“How to submit for publication: it’s the question you probably wonder about when you turn out the lights and you’re trying to get to sleep. But it’s not one very many authors are asking out loud these days, and for good reason. It’s because of self-publishing. It’s because of technology. We might assume the world has changed for good. But publishers aren’t going anywhere. After all, Sony Music weathered the rise of Napster and iTunes; Harper Collins and Penguin aren’t just going to roll over and die. So then… you might want to know, after all, “How do I submit for publication?”
Gabriela Pereira: How Practicing My Pitch Helped Me Write a Better Book. Excerpt: “Being able to sum up a book in a sentence or two, under pressure and with focus, organization and intrigue is a skill that takes practice. Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner recommends you “give enough information—plot, character, setting, theme—to intrigue without giving away the entire story.”
Lindsay Buroker:Attorney Laura Kirwan on Contracts, Copyright, Foreign Rights, and Other Author Issues. Excerpt: “Of all the questions I get in regard to writing, marketing, and publishing, the ones on law and taxes are the ones I’m least likely to have a clue about. I still can’t help you with taxes, but I have someone here today to answer common questions on copyright, contracts, and other legal topics related to books and publishing. Attorney Laura Kirwan, who specializes in literary and publishing law, practices here in the Phoenix area and maintains a blog that should be helpful for authors all over the U.S.”
Indie / Self-Publishing
The Passive Guy: Self publishing suits commercially savvy, genre-defined authors brilliantly. Excerpt: “Long-time traditionally-published authors have been encouraged by publishers and agents not to be commercially savvy. Don’t worry about this contract stuff or how your book is promoted or money, just go back to your desk and write. Certainly, some authors, perhaps even most authors, have accepted this role. That was before there was an alternative.”
Barry Eisler via J.A. Konrath: Eisler on Digital Denial. Excerpt: “This past Saturday, I gave one of the keynotes at the 21st annual Pike’s Peak Writers Convention (great conference and I highly recommend it to other writers). During my talk, I shared some thoughts on the choices writers have today in publishing — thoughts which, judging from some of the Twitter comments I’ve seen, have caused a bit of upset here and there. Because I think it’s beneficial when ideas are pressure-checked by people with differing views, I welcome the discussion, and I hope we can continue it here.”
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Business Rusch: Experiments. Excerpt: “I’ve suffered the frustration of the unavailable book from both sides, as a writer and as a reader. As a reader, it’s rather nightmarish and stupid. You want to give someone your money for something you desperately want, and no one wants your cash. I’ve purchased pee-stained used copies of books and held them gingerly while trying to read them, just to find out what happens next in some series.”
Tulolupe Popoola: Book Marketing: Creating Your Author Press Kit. Excerpt: “While doing research just before my novel was published, I came across the “press kit” and its usefulness when contacting people in the media for publicity. And since I started promoting the novel, it’s been a great tool, handy for sending out information quickly. It was also easy to give it to my publicist, so she could send it to her contacts as well. But it’s not just for media or journalists; your press kit can also be requested by retailers, book bloggers, event planners, editors; basically anyone who might take an interest in you as an author or in the topic of your book.”
Lindsay Buroker: How Do You Keep Your Book Sales Momentum Going Over the Months and Years?. Excerpt: “Inevitably, your time and enthusiasm for marketing wanes, or maybe you feel you’ve exhausted your options (as awesome as Bookbub is right now, they’re only going to promote the same book so many times). Other authors come along with fresh new releases and fresh enthusiasm for marketing. You scowl as your awesome book gradually drops in sales ranking, falling out of the Top 100 lists, and daily sales drop as well.”
Lisa Hall-Wilson: Did Facebook Change Something? 5 Tips For Page Owners to ‘It’s All Good’. Recommended Read! Excerpt: “Connecting with people on Facebook doesn’t have to be hard, but it will take practice. You will have to experiment and some of those experiments will fail. Facebook is the slowest of all the online social media platforms to build a tribe or community on, so be patient.” Includes a bonus offer for Lisa’s upcoming class on Facebook – be sure to check it out!
Joel Friedlander: How Much Attention Should You Pay to Book Design? Excerpt: “I’m a firm believer in the power of design. I think it affects purchasing not just in obvious ways, but also on a subconscious level. So it often frustrates me when independent authors do their own design work to keep costs low. But I also understand the need to limit financial risk. Let’s say we have to make a compromise. What do you think an author might be able to accomplish reasonably well on her own (that has least potential to adversely affect sales), and what’s the No. 1 thing an author should hire a designer for (because of its potential to increase sales)?”
Dan Blank: 2 Strategic and Compelling Reasons to Keep Blogging—Plus When to Kill a Blog. Excerpt: “While social media delivers a potentially more immediate reaction from others, I am still a big believer in blogging. There are many reasons for this, but let’s just focus on two specific reasons. Then we’ll discuss how to deal with blogging exhaustion—or when to kill a blog entirely.”
Talli Roland: Blog Tours: Waste of Time or Valuable Sales Tool? Excerpt: “One question that cropped up in the comments section was whether blog tours are still a valuable sales tool or if they’re a waste a time (I may have added that ‘waste of time’ bit for dramatic effect!). Of course, I’m exaggerating because tours may help raise awareness of your author brand, but do they actually help sell books?”
The Tweetdeck Team: Tweetdeck Apps will stop working May 7th. If you are a tweetdeck user, you’ll want to read this update from the company on the coming changes.
Dennis Abrams: Digital Public Library of America Launches with 2 Million Items. Excerpt: “The virtual doors to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), the first public online-only library in the United States, have opened. And, according to author Doron Weber, it’s “as if the Ancient Library of Alexandria had met the Modern World Wide Web and digitalized America for the benefit of all.”
Jason Boog: Best Writing Apps for Android Tablets. Good overview of the top five Android writing apps. Most of these work on Android phones as well.
Nick Ruffilo: Tips for Technologists #17: CSS Tutorial Part 1. Excerpt: “CSS (Cascading Stylesheets) is the visual language to HTML’s data structures. CSS is very easy to learn because there are limited commands and the changes can be viewed immediately. However, it can be a very difficult concept to master as there is much more to it than meets the eye.”
Jane Friedman: How to Publish an E-Book: Resources for Authors. This post contains links to pretty much anything an indie or self-pubber will need. Bookmark Recommendation!
Jason Boog: 30 Free Books by William Shakespeare. In celebration of William’s birthday, Project Gutenberg has assembled free copies of thirty of the bards best works.