Writing Resources 22 June 2013

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.

Featured Post: Piper Bayard

Piper Bayard Firelands CoverA couple of years ago I met a fantastic writer and woman named Piper Bayard. Piper and I were in Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writers together. Piper’s drive and dedication to the craft and her fellow writers always impressed me–I knew she would succeed. And now she has. How cool is it to have a blurb from James Rollins on your cover? Go Piper!

Piper is throwing a superb contest for her debut novel, “Firelands.” The contest runs through July 19th. I hope you’ll take a moment to check out the contest and “Firelands.”

FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge!

Inform & Inspire

Kait Nolan: Unplugging, Efficiency, and Seeking To Improve Focus. Excerpt: “I’ve been doing a lot of reading about unplugging this week.  Fast Company has this whole CATEGORY of posts about unplugging.  They were all interesting (and did not all apply to me, actually–I’m surgically attached to my laptop, not my phone), but the one that really pinged for me was about Why You Need to Unplug Every 90 Minutes.  I’ve always known that people can’t usually focus for longer than an hour and a half to two hours.

Ali Luke: What’s “Real” Writing – and Does Yours Count? Excerpt: “Let’s take a look at some popular reasons why writers think their words somehow aren’t good enough to count as “proper” or “real” writing…

Jen Talty: Taking control of your career: What does Oz mean to you and how will you get there? Excerpt: “It’s more important than ever that authors take control of their careers and their rights. The latest trend is agents as publishers.  Many hybrid authors are very happy with this arrangement. There are intrinsic questions that have to be addressed in this arrangement such as…


Jenny Hansen: Figuring Out Your Story’s Turning Points. Excerpt: “One of my favorite speakers on writing is Jennifer Crusie. For some reason, she makes sense to me…as if she has an expressway dug directly into my writing mind. Stephen Cannell (creator of The Rockford Files) was the man who etched 3-Act Structure on my brain, but for turning points it was all Jenny Crusie.

Janice Hardy: 10 Traits of a Great Protagonist. Excerpt: “It’s so disappointing to read a book or see movie and find a great story idea surrounding a protagonist I couldn’t care less about. It robs the excitement and enjoyment from the tale, and hurts my soul a little. Great ideas deserve great protagonists. Without them, those ideas wither away and die slow, horrible deaths. But we can save our stories from this terrible fate.

Becca Puglisi: Using a Critique Checklist, or, How Not to Look Like a Twit. Excerpt: “Out of a desire to a) help my fellow writers, and b) not sit there feeling like a twit, I started a list of observations that I frequently hear at critique group. Then I turned the observations into questions. Now, when I’m hearing a piece that’s so good I can’t pick out any problems, I consult my checklist. Many times, I’m able to identify a weak area from among these possibilities…

Darcy Pattison: 6 Ways out of Writing Slump. Excerpt: “Periodically, I have to refocus. What am I doing with my time? Is that what I want to do with my time? What have I accomplished this year? It’s one of those times for me and I need to refocus big time.

Kristen Lamb: Write FAST and Furious! Learning to Outrun “The Spock Brain” Excerpt: “Many new authors slog out that first book, editing every word to perfection, revising, reworking, redoing. When I used to be a part of critique groups, it was not at all uncommon to find writers who’d been working on the same book two, five, eight and even ten years. Still see them at conferences, shopping the same book, getting rejected, then rewriting, rewriting…

K.M. Weiland: Are You Over-Thinking Your First Draft? Excerpt: “First drafts are our agony and our ecstasy. This where our glistening ideas spill onto the page. This is where we get to play around with our ideas, see our characters grow and our themes mature. First drafts are fun. They’re our creative playground.

Susan Spann: Elevator Pitches: If You Build it, They Will Come. Excerpt: “The elements you’re looking for are your novel’s protagonist, active antagonist, stakes, and high concept. And remember: the high concept might or might not make it into your pitch, but you need to keep it in mind.

Liz Broomfield: 10 Tips for Fiction Writers. Excerpt: “As a busy editor (among other roles), I work with fiction writers, many of whom are considering self-publishing. I’ve seen the same issues time and again, both with their work and with their wider endeavours in getting their work out there, and I’d like to share with you ten tips that can help you to write a good book and get it out to its audience.

Industry Awareness

Porter Anderson: Ether for Authors: Could Beta Readers Ease the Impatience? Excerpt: “We hear a lot of wailing and counter-wailing these days about the low quality of some—not all, I said someself-published work. There is some well-produced self-publishing going on. Howey’s is an example. And there’s a perceived problem (or “challenge,” per your guided-retreat enabler) with some less-well-produced work.

Diane Tibert: Bryler Sleeps with Three Dogs on Staircase. Excerpt: “Dreaming big for a writer is getting a short story or novel published. Yeehaw! to dreams. What I dislike is people crushing the dreams of others. That might be something as simple as telling a writer they’ll never get published or saying, “I’ll publish your book; give me your money,” and never delivering the product.

Victoria Strauss: Author Concerns and Complaints at Crimson Romance. Excerpt: “Recent data suggests that the astounding pace of ebook growth is starting to slow as the market begins to mature. However, that hasn’t affected the pace at which trade publishers are establishing digital imprints.


Alexandra Sokoloff: Indie Publishing: Are You Willing to Do What It Takes? Excerpt: “These days I can’t go a day without someone e mailing me or stopping me at whatever event I’m at, wanting me to tell them everything I know about indie publishing. This is on the surface good news for me, because it means I’ve made enough of a success at it that people want to know what I know. But it’s also starting to piss me off. Because what most of these people are asking for is a magic formula.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Business Rusch: Murder Most Foul. Excerpt: “In writing, business is personal—to the writer anyway—and any writer who tells you otherwise has trained herself to be hard as hell, lies, or is totally clueless about both business and personal stuff. You have to learn to separate them in your own head as a writer—you really do. You’re writing from who you are, and then you’re taking bits of yourself to market. Once at the market, those bits of you are a commodity.

Dean Wesley Smith: Stop Submitting Manuscripts to Traditional Publishers. Excerpt: “David Farland did a balanced post on the question of when to be an indie writer or when to sell to traditional publishing. And as usual, I agree with much of what Dave said, although I could quibble on the thrillers. But I don’t feel he went far enough by a long ways. And he didn’t take into account modern publishing contracts for beginning writers.


Some months ago, ALLi worked with Dr Alison Baverstock on her most recent investigations into self-publishing, the findings from which will be published soon. Here she gives us a sneak peek at what the research revealed about indie authors. – See more at: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/blog/what-successful-self-publishers-do-well/#sthash.vdEWTaZV.dpuf

Susan Hawk: Marketing: What You Really Need to Know Before & After Your Book is Published. Excerpt: “Today, I’m excited to have a guest visiting the blog, Nellie Kurtzman, Vice President of Marketing at Little Brown Books for Young Readers. I’m delighted that she took some time to chat with me about how she approaches marketing, especially for debut books.  Here are her thoughts on what’s really important for a writer to consider, what marketing to undertake before your book is sold, and once it’s about to hit the bookstore shelves!

Justine Schofield: New Crowdfunding Options for Authors from Pubslush.com. Excerpt: “Many authors want to create truly professional quality books, but are often stymied by the expenses involved in hiring editors, book designers, cover designers, ebook converters and all the other services you need to reach this goal. Some of these authors have been able to reach their goals using the new tools of crowdfunding, and there are established platforms that make this process possible. One of the newest of these platforms is Pubslush, which combines crowdfunding with publishing in some interesting ways.

Penny Sansevieri: Content Marketing, Google Plus And Book Marketing Tips. Excerpt: “Publishing is changing all the time, but so is marketing. And just as Amazon changes their algorithms, so Google changes theirs. Discoverability is a function of many things, and in today’s interview, I discuss these aspects with Penny Sansevieri, from Author Marketing Experts.

Jason Kong: How to Promote Books and Win Fans. Excerpt: “Most fiction writers hate marketing their books. You have to tread the line between awareness and overhyping. Because you have a vested interest in selling your work, others sometimes assume you’re just out to make a buck. Book promotion doesn’t always have to be so unpleasant.

Toni Tesori: How to Connect With More Readers in Just 5 Minutes. Excerpt: “You’ve been plugging away, day after day, trying to build the fan base you know your work deserves, but it’s not going the way you’d pictured when you started out. It’s like you’ve tried everything under the sun (including blogging, tweeting, and participating in promotion after promotion), but you can’t find passionate readers for your work.

Social Media

Cate Russell-Cole: No Spam Risk, Safe Twitter Hashtags for Writers. Excerpt: “Following last week’s post on “Twitter Tag Use and Tweet Scheduling for Writers: Accidental Misuse is Too Easy,” here is a list of safe tags which shouldn’t offend anyone.

Kristen Lamb: The Three NEVERs of Social Media. Excerpt: “I understand that many of you who follow this blog are new, so if you’ve made one of these mistakes, you’re learning. We all oops (especially in the beginning), so don’t sweat it. Yet, I see these three behaviors far more often than I’d like. These three professional blunders can hang on like the smell of dead fish and stink up our author career, so avoid them at all cost.

Randy Ingermanson: Does Google Know You Wrote That? Excerpt: “I am a long time subscriber to Randy Ingermanson’s newsletter (from the Advanced Fiction Writing Blog) and his latest issue carried an article that I knew I had to share with all of you. The method Randy outlines below acts as protection against plagiarists while ensuring you receive proper credit (and promotion on Google) for your published work.


Dan Blank: Things Authors Can Do With 3D Printers. Excerpt: “Let’s say you are an author, and you know that a good portion of your audience has a 3D printer at home. What could you offer them that connects readers to your work via their 3D printer?

Jami Gold: Using CreateSpace as a Learning Experience. Excerpt: “For many writers, we long to see our name on a book. Even better is seeing our name on a book in print that we can hold in our hand. I got to have that experience for the first time this past weekend. Sort of.

Jason Boog: Calibre Improves Microsoft Word eBook Conversion Tools. Excerpt: “The free eBook creation and editing tool Calibre has been updated with some helpful tools. You can download Calibre at this link. The 0.9.35 Update contains a host of fixes to help writers converting Microsoft Word documents into eBooks. Check it out.

Peaceful Journeys!

About Gene Lempp

Gene Lempp is a writer blending elements of alternate history, the paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and horror for dark and delicious fun. He unearths stories by digging into history, archeology, myth and fable in his Designing from Bones blog series. “Only the moment is eternal and in a moment, everything will change,” sums the heart of his philosophy. You can find Gene at his Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, WANATribe, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
This entry was posted in Resources and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Writing Resources 22 June 2013

  1. Piper Bayard says:

    Thanks so much for the shout out and the link (you’re officially entered). Thank you, too, for your kind words. May I always earn them.

    What a great list! I appreciate the time and thought you put into your mashups, and it’s always an honor to be included. 🙂

  2. Marcia says:

    I have Piper’s book near the top of my TBR pile and looking forward to it! Your technology section is calling to me, specifically Dan Blank’s post. A terrific list, as usual, Gene. the excerpts really help to entice me to read more of the posts!

  3. Pingback: Gene Lempp – Writing Resources | Diane Tibert

  4. Jenny Hansen says:

    OMG, so great, Gene! This is so great, I’ll be keeping this open all day tomorrow because I’ve only read like 3 of these links and I want to read the rest. 🙂

    Thanks for including me in this stellar lineup. So honored…

  5. Pingback: A Groovy New Tool + 18 Awesomesauce Links | Jenny Hansen's Blog

  6. What a great list Gene! I’m archiving this. 🙂 Thank you and hope your writing is going well.

  7. Pingback: The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . The Underwear Flask & the Wine Rack Bra « Bayard & Holmes

  8. Pingback: The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Sock Monkey Kama Sutra & FIRELANDS Apocalypse Challenge Winners « Bayard & Holmes

I'd love to chat with you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s