Writing Resources 06 July 2013

WR07062013Here 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: When it Comes to Success, Is It Hard Work or Luck? Excerpt: “Luck is useless if you can’t use it. Back in 1993 I made friends with a guy who wanted me to partner in his business, but I had to raise equal capital. Unskilled at how to do this and lacking any savings (was living hand-to-mouth throwing newspapers) I was unable to invest even though I knew he had something. This man invented the pre-paid phone card. I think he has his own island now.

Ali Luke: Finding Time – or Making Time – to Write. Excerpt: “One of the biggest problems writers face (80% of Writers’ Huddle members said they struggle with this) is finding enough time to write. You’ve probably tried some of the usual advice – things like: Write for 20 minutes every day.

Julie Varughese: How to Stay in Action When You Get Rejected. Excerpt: “You didn’t hear back from the agent. Perhaps the editor rejected you. You may be asking, “What the heck?” Firstly, congratulations on putting yourself out there. Now, here’s something to take on: Look beyond the anger, the embarrassment or the frustration. What is there for you? Consider that a rejection or a lack of response is a gift. It gets you in touch with what you fear, which helps you build the muscle of courage.

Jenny Hansen: 3 Writing Commandments and Why I Love ROW80. Excerpt: “I’ve written software training manuals, short stories, a memoir and more than 500 blog posts and still full-length fiction makes my soul shake in fear. I hitch on my titanium panties and keep writing, and I really (really, REALLY) try not to think about it…but my writer soul shakes all the same.

Joe Konrath: Guest Post by Tracy Sharp. Excerpt: “Okay, so is anyone else feeling like this? Lately I’ve been getting really frustrated and short with folks who tell me how unhappy they are. I’ve been hearing a lot of “if only”. Like, if only, I had more time I could do what I really want to do.  If only I won the lottery, I could do whatever I wanted.


Jami Gold: 7 Methods for Handling Point-of-View Changes. Excerpt: “How do we avoid head-hopping? The answer might be different for each story we write. Remember how we defined head-hopping previously? If a story uses a character’s voice for narrative introspection/internal monologue, we need a transition between each character’s point-of-view (POV). Otherwise, we risk confusing the reader, taking them out of the story, and breaking the reader’s connection to the characters.

K.M. Weiland: 8 Promises You’re Making to Readers—and Then Breaking. Excerpt: “A book is a contract between reader and writer. The reader is promising to pay attention to the story and emotionally invest in the adventure. In return, the writer is promising to fulfill certain expectations about the fictional experience. When we fail to fulfill this contract with our readers, we are, in essence, breaking our promises to them.

Janice Hardy: 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Setting. Excerpt: “Some writers craft meticulous settings and build an amazing worlds, while others use the minimal details to suggest a place. But no matter what kind of story you write, it takes place somewhere. Maybe it’s a small room, a town, or even a galaxy. What’s more, setting can be a backdrop or a character in the novel. It’s versatile!

Sharon Lippincott: Writing Excellent Descriptions. Excerpt: “Several years ago I began collecting examples of scintillating material from books I read. I created the collection to study techniques of authors I admire, and it has dramatically benefited my writing. Perusing those clips has furthered my understanding of effective description and my skill in writing it.

Janice Hardy: Give Me a Beat: Rhythm in Dialog. Excerpt: “Just like rhythm in the narrative can hook or bore your reader, the flow of your dialog can also cause a reader to stay or skim. Too many tags can sound choppy, too few can get confusing. How you say it plays a big role in how much your readers want to hear, so look at how your dialog — and what comes after it — hits your reader’s ears.

Industry Awareness

Joe Konrath: Guest Post by Iain Rob Wright. Excerpt: “Hi my name is Iain Rob Wright and I am a Horror and Thriller writer from the UK. I am also an “Indie” writer who is making a good living (about $55,000 last year). In the spirit of Joe’s blog, which is primarily focused on sharing knowledge and experience, I am going to try and identify some of the things that have worked for me. They may work for you, they may not, but my hope is that they do.

Dennis Abrams: Genre Fiction and Digital Publishing: A Marriage Made in Heaven. Excerpt: “Along with the continuing growth of digital publishing (numbers for 2012 showed a 44.2% increase over 2011) has come, according to Wired.com, an increased focus on so-called “genre” fiction – sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and romance.

Kristen Lamb: Freedom isn’t Free—5 Common Tactical Errors in Self-Publishing. Excerpt: “This business is hard work. There are no shortcuts. I recently self-published my new book Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World (and it’s on sale for $7.04 to celebrate Independence Day). Yet, for the record, I had 1) sound business reasons for doing this (NY is too slow to publish anything about technology and I wanted creative control) and 2) I have at least a million and a half words under my belt just in blogs. Granted, I’m new to the whole self-publishing thing. I’ll share as I learn.

Social Media

Jami Gold: Should We Use a Blog Commenting System? Excerpt: “I’ve mentioned before that I wish I could change how comments work on my blog. I’d love for readers to easily see when someone replies to their comments here or provide the ability to subscribe to comments for a post. A system like that often encourages more interaction on a blog by enabling back-and-forth conversations. I’d also love for people to be able to edit their own comments.

Joel Friedlander: 3 Ways to Turn Blog Failure Into Success. Excerpt: “There’s nothing I find more depressing than running across blogs that have been abandoned by their authors. You see the archives: lots of posts for a couple of months fading to a trickle, until there’s one post left that starts with something plaintive like, “Sorry I haven’t posted in a while…” and then silence. I don’t want that to happen to you. Let’s take a look at the 3 biggest mistakes authors make when they start blogging. If you can get these things right, you’re much more likely to stick it out, find readers, and build a community you’ll enjoy—and profit from—for years to come.

Dean Wesley Smith: The New World of Publishing: Helping Readers Find Your Work. Excerpt: “It seems to me that everyone out there in blog land yells about visibility. This article is about helping your writing be found by readers. In other words: visibility. An Example I Have Seen Hundreds of Times Already: A young writer finishes a first novel, pays to have a cover done (because they are too afraid to learn how to do it themselves) and then puts the novel up electronically only, thus hitting only about 20% of all readers.

Dianna Dilworth: 5 Reasons Recruiters Don’t Click Through to Your LinkedIn Profile: INFOGRAPHIC. Excerpt: “According to the graphic, 97% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find job candidates, and a bad LinkedIn profile can hurt your chances of landing your dream job. One mistake, no photo. You are there to network, digital networking requires having some kind of image to represent yourself. On LinkedIn that probably equates to a headshot. It’s easy enough to take one with your phone.


Lindsay Buroker: Is Using a Free Ebook Still a Viable Strategy for Increasing Overall Sales on Amazon? Excerpt: “Before Christmas of 2011, I made the first book in my Emperor’s Edge series free at Amazon (by setting it to free at Smashwords, Kobo, and other stores that allow the practice, which in turn can cause Amazon to “price match” an ebook to free), and it was shortly after that that I was able to quit the day job and start writing full time. Lots of people who wouldn’t have otherwise tried a new author (and a self-published one at that) downloaded the free Book 1 and went on to buy other books in the series.

Steena Holmes: The How and Why of Author Newsletters. Excerpt: “In my last post, I talked about Street Teams and using my newsletter to connect with my readers. It raised a few questions about newsletters to which I replied “but that’s another blog.” The ladies at WITS took me up on that. So today we’re going to talk about …Newsletters.

Roz Morris: Should you change your book’s cover? Tips for success. Excerpt: “Proverbs notwithstanding, covers are perhaps our most potent marketing tool, so I thought I’d talk to various authors who’ve changed theirs with good results. My panel are literary authors Jessica Bell, Melissa Foster and Linda Gillard, chick-lit author Talli Roland, and travel writer and novelist Catherine Ryan Howard.

Kay Kendall: Cause-Related Marketing. Excerpt: “Everyone knows the publishing world is in upheaval and it’s a dog-eat-dog world as far as promoting books is concerned. At first the various ways to connect through social media seemed to be heaven-sent, yet now, after only a year or two, folks on authors’ chat groups across the Web lament that book sales are flagging. They say that the kinds of promotions that used to work are not as effective anymore.

Orna Ross: A Guide To Rights And How You Can Exploit Them As An Indie. Excerpt: “Your book can be so much more than just a book! The publishing industry has been ‘exploiting’ (their word!) the rights of authors for many years, but as indies we can now start to exploit our own and make the most of our intellectual property. In today’s interview, Orna Ross explains the different rights related to your work.

Resource Heaven

Cate Russell-Cole: Blog Promotion Directory. Excerpt: “I have been slowly bookmarking various communities and directories for bloggers as I have been reading through other people’s blogs. It’s a frustrating process, particularly when you dimly remember there was a badge you wanted to check out and you can’t remember where it is, or the source code behind the badge doesn’t work! So I wanted to put everything I have found together in one spot so everyone interested can benefit.

Joel Friedlander: Free Print Book Resource for Authors. Excerpt: “I couldn’t go without telling you about a free resource I created in conjunction with BookBaby, the ebook distributor. Since BookBaby also produces short-run print books for their customers, they asked if I would put together my best tips for print book authors, and that’s exactly what I did. The designers at BookBaby have turned it into a beautiful PDF, and it’s completely free. Just click the image below and it will take you to the page where you can download your own copy now:

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.
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7 Responses to Writing Resources 06 July 2013

  1. Laura Drake says:

    Excellent, as always, Gene. Thanks so much for the info – and for citing WITS!

  2. Thanks for the low down. I found a couple of new things here that I’m going to go check out.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  3. I’ve surprised myself in getting around the web more than i thought this week. Turns out I’ve read most of these awesome posts but I have to read Dean Wesley Smith’s post. And I’m so glad you have Steena’s post here. I just popped over to read it and it’s a must read! There are a few others I’ll have to fit in as well. Another awesome compendium of the best of the best!

  4. Jenny Hansen says:

    WOWZERS, Gene! It’s a treasure trove and I’m driving all day tomorrow. Why can someone just read me all these links? We’re gonna have to figure out the car-ride way to surf the web….

  5. Jenny Hansen says:

    And to Jami’s wish…I’d love to be able to edit my “can” to “can’t” and thank you profusely for including my Writing Commandments post!!!

  6. Cate Russell-Cole says:

    Gene, thank you so much for the shares. Best wishes.

  7. Pingback: MInd Sieve 7/8/13 | Gloria Oliver

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