Birth vs Battle by David Corbett suggests that conflict ain’t everything in a story.
The Cyber Exchange Principle from the Writer’s Forensic Blog explains the Locard Exchange – the basis for using forensic evidence in crime detection.
An Almost Perfect Murder by Sue Coletta. Fascinating case study of a surgeon who almost got away with murder.
11 Tips to help you build your online community by Cat Michaels provides sage advice for building your platform.
Do You Know Where Your ISBNs Are? by Joel Friedlander, is a good nuts and bolts on ISBNs plus a free download.
How to write a great love scene by Jessi Rita Hoffaman, provides some great tips on avoiding the schmaltz and getting to the gold in a love scene.
Who really killed JonBenet Ramsey by Garry Rodgers is an in depth analysis of the case and who the likely killer was of this sweet little girl.
Just for fun – I guess the shelf life for Shades has reached critical mass
And for laughs: Jimmy Fallon does a helluva Trump impression and this made me laugh out loud.
And just to get your week starting off right a little music.
I’m afraid I haven’t had much time to devote to blogging lately because I’m trying to finish a first draft of my novel. More on that later. In the meantime, following are some awesome reads for the Indie’s among us. Enjoy and have a great week.
7 Book Marketing Trends Authors Can’t Afford to Ignore. Kimberley Grabas offers some solid marketing strategies, with lots of actionable tips.
Why do we write? Lisa Kron offers a very interesting perspective on the impact that writing, even entertainment writing, can have.
Self Publishing Notebook. Jonathan Kile offers an interesting a funny perspective on indie writing and publishing.
Vetting Vendors: Public Relations Professionals. Naomi Blackburn has some advice on how to hire a PR pro that won’t ruin your PR.
Scene Structure: Understanding the Truth about Character Arcs. CS Larkin gives us a great nuts and bolts post on character arcs.
And just for fun, check out this Content Idea Generator. Who knows, it might be your next brilliant idea.
Did I just hear a mass wince? Yup, I’m sure I did, or maybe it was just me. Writing a novel is nothing compared to having to then market it. From the ‘deer in the headlights syndrome’ of just not having a clue – to the ‘it just makes me feel so icky to self promote’ whiners, none of us seem to like marketing very much. But if you’re in it for the long haul and have any hope of making it as an author, marketing is something in which you must become proficient.
Following are links to some kick-ass articles about book marketing. If you have a book you need to market, you need to read these posts.
Can You Promote a Book without Making Yourself Miserable? Jane Friedman gives us some decidedly authentic and down to earth advice about book marketing that may surprise you.
Standing Out on the Crowded Shelf—How to Help Your Fiction Find an Audience
Sage advice on what you can do to find your audience and get your books into the readers who want them.
Marketing Your Book on Social Media? How to Avoid Scams
Anne R. Allen warns about the the pitfalls of those feeding off authors with marketing scams.
A 12-Month Strategic Plan for Marketing Your Book before Release
CS Lakin writes a great nuts and bolts post about marketing your book, 12 months before release.
The 6 Most Common Marketing Mistakes Made by Authors
Another great post from Writer Unboxed about common marketing mistakes made by authors. No more excuses after you’ve read this.
In the meantime, I’ve managed to slog through week 2 of NaNo, clocking in a total of 34,993 words so far. I’m pretty sure I’ll meet the NaNo target of 50K – but that won’t produce a finished first draft. So, I’ll persist and hope I reach my target of 75K. The good news is that I have now developed some awesome callouses on my fingertips which makes the typing go a little faster.
Have a great week.
Who won science fiction’s Hugo Awards and why it matters. By Amy Wallace. A very long and detailed article about the controversy leading up to the Hugos and the results. For me, it provided some clarity on what all the ‘debating’ has been about over these last several months. Good read, but it’s a long read, so get comfy.
Simple Promo Tip: Nailing Your Email Subject Line by Sharon Bially. Nice, straightforward advice on email marketing for authors.
The Holy Grail for Authors. 5 Reasons to Self Publish by Sheri McInnis. Trad published author is going indie – she tells us why.
Six Magic Phrases You Can Use to Sell More Books by Sandra Beckwith. Yes, yes, and yes.
Best Colors for Book Covers. Is a great little gem that discusses basic design, color choices and images for book covers. Highly recommend. 😀
Meanwhile, I’m on track to make my August 30th deadline. Stay tuned.
How a Book Becomes a Movie by Jane Friedman. Dream of your book someday becoming a movie? Jane gives you the lowdown on how the moon, stars and Hollywood all have to align to make that happen. Excellent read.
The Future Is Freelance by John Bond. Mr. Bond gives us five good and sound reasons why more and more the publishing biz will be and is using freelancers. I say hooray.
Japanese readers spend the most on electronic books from Business Insider. Interesting, the favored book format in Japan is eBooks. Can’t say that doesn’t make me happy.
How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health by Michael Grothaus. “Reading doesn’t just improve your knowledge, it can help fight depression, make you more confident, empathetic, and a better decision maker.” Fascinating and insightful article about some heretofore unknown (at least to me) side benefits of reading.
A few thoughts on new writers and “doing everything right” by Kristen Painter. Sage and straight from the hip advice. Good one.
Just for fun: If you’re stuck trying to come up with a super villain, this villain generator may be just the ticket or a time suck. Up to you.
Meanwhile, I’m working on getting my series release ready to shoot out into the universe. That could be fun. More details later.
Have a great week everybody.
The Original Ghostwriter Behind Nancy Drew Was One of The Most Interesting YA Writers of All Time from Slate. Did you know that the Nancy Drew books were written by ghostwriters? Not one, but several? Fascinating article by the very first ghost writer of the Nancy Drew books.
In Our CyberVillage: So Much Anger by Porter Anderson. Really insightful article about the mob mentality and vehemance with which one can find themselves under attack in the cyber world. And also touches on IRL (in real life) issues.
How to win a twitter pitch by Bill Ferris. Who says, “You too can launch your publishing career by tweeting.”
How to Use Song Lyrics in Your Book by Kathryn Goldman. Entertainment attorney Goldman gives you the lowdown on how and if you can use song lyrics in your novel. And there’s a cool infographic too.
Why Jamie McGuire Returned to Self Publishing. Indie author Jamie McGuire hit it big with her self-pubbed books, landed a publisher, and is returning to indieville. Interesting read.
Have a great week everybody.
I’m sensing a theme this week and it all has to do with being discovered, getting discovered, making yourself discover-licious. Anyway…
How to Get Visible in Libraries. By Porter Anderson (guesting on Anne R. Allen’s blog) Explains SELFe. A program that may help indie authors get the attention of librarians and by doing so, conquer at least in part the discoverability factor.
Meeting Readers Where They Are from Writer Unboxed. Another interesting post that discusses the discoverability factor, which is ever present on the minds of indie authors.
DIY Point of Sales Programs for Indie Authors. Want to sell your books directly from your own site? This article from Publisher’s Weekly might set you in the right direction.
If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the link to the first chaper of Harper Lee’s new book Go Set a Watchman.
Top 10 Tomato Solutions. Just for fun. If you’re a gardener like me, this quick little article may help you improve your tomato crop – or at least give you a clue what may be wrong.
Have a great week everybody.
Scribd Starts to Banish Indie Authors from its Catalog by Michael Kozlowski. Who knows what this will mean for indie authors – but the ‘great self-publishing purge of 2015’ may be something we talk about for years to come. Or not.
Amazon Review Policy Under Fire: Indie Authors Call For Change In ‘Big Brother’ Policing. Looks like some authors/readers are fighting back and petitioning Amazon to change it’s policy on reviews. I hope they do.
Estate Planning Basics for the Self-Published Writer by Kathryn Goldman
Very straightforward and sound advice on how to handle your intellectual property as part of your estate.
Why Readers, Scientifically, Are the Best People to Fall in Love With by Lauren Martin. When I first saw this title I thought it was probably a silly, funny post but in reading it I actually saw it made some good points. Oddly, as a writer I never put ‘reader’ in the list of attributes I might want in a mate. How different things might have been if I had.
Everything is awful and I’m not okay: Questions to ask before giving up. This was posted by a friend in my Facebook feed. It’s a printable PDF file with a list of questions you might want to ask yourself if you’re feeling blue. Very common sense and it’s worth a look.
Have a great week everybody.
Business Musings: Gaming the System by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. A frank, direct frontal assault on those who game the system. This post applies to writers but you could apply it to anyone who believes that tricking and gaming the system equals success. Even if that were true, what an empty success that must be. I also love Rusch’s incredible analytic skills and her ability to speak the truth in no uncertain terms. Must read!
Amazon is America’s best company. Says who? You! At least that’s what most people think, according to the Reputation Institute, an advisory firm that surveys the public about companies and industries.
2014 QUICK & DIRTY INDIE EARNINGS RESULTS by Brenda Hiatt. Interesting numbers and data on indie earnings for 2014. Worth a look.
DIY: Point-of-Sale Programs for Indie Authors. Discusses the pros and cons of authors selling their works directly. Informative.
Just for fun you can go to this site and make cool free twitter ready images
Have a great week, everybody.
No men allowed: publisher accepts novelist’s ‘year of women’ challenge – by Alison Flood. Small press And Other Stories has answered author Kamila Shamsie’s provocative call for a year of publishing women to redress “gender bias” in the literary world.
Call to Arms – Book Marketing Results by Nicolas C. Rossis Although it was a limited survey, I think he still got some very interesting results on the best venues to advertise your books.
Reports of a Shrinking US eBook Market Have Been Greatly Exaggerated (Nielsen Pubtrack) by Nate Hoffelder. Apparently Nielson has no freaking idea how many eBooks sold last year and they are off by millions.
And…just for fun here’s the link to a character name generator
Have a great week.