by Lauren Sapala
For writers, there are two proven harmful effects of engaging in too much social media. (And let me say first that I’m guilty of overindulgence myself—it’s easy to start out with the intention of quickly checking Facebook and Twitter and then get sucked into a black hole and come out dazed and woozy on the other side.) But if you can keep these two harmful things in mind before you even go in, your chances of coming out unscathed are much better.
First, it’s a time suck. Every writer knows that. Social media is a hungry beast that wants to feed on your precious minutes. There are many ways to combat this, and many articles to be found on social media itself about how to combat the evils of time-sucking social media. That’s the easy one to overcome.
Continue reading Why We Compare Ourselves to Other Writers (and How We Can Stop)
by Helena Fairfax
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, or read any of my books, you’ll know how important setting is to me in my writing. In this post about Richmond Park, for example, I wrote about how I tried to combine the setting for The Antique Love with the theme of the book, and how I used the setting to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of my characters.
So far I’ve been able to visit most of the locations I’ve used in my books. My settings range from Edinburgh to the south coast of France, and they are all within easy reach for me. But sometimes it’s just not possible to get to the place you want to write about. I used to agonise about this. I like to “see” exactly what it is my characters see.
Continue reading How to Research a Location You Haven’t Actually Been To
by Allison Maruska
Sometimes I hear gripes from critique partners or beta readers that one of my characters isn’t likable (I won’t say which characters because I don’t want to poison the well, in case any of you want to read my stuff). After making sure I haven’t created an unnecessary asshole, I ask myself this question – does the character have to be likable? Or just livable?
Continue reading Story Stuff: L is For Likable vs Livable
by Dr. Kent Gustavson
When it comes to writing, publishing, and marketing a book, there are many mistakes to be made (many more than 99). The #1 most important mistake NOT to make is over-investment. I’ll give a quick anecdote about that, and then give the whole list of my 99 favorite book mistakes.
One of my favorite stories about over-investment is of two (real) people. Let’s call them Dolores and Ben.
Dolores spent $57 writing, producing, and publishing her book. Sure, it was self-published, but it looked great, and was well edited by friends and family members. She currently gets tons of gigs because of the book, and is an Amazon.com bestseller.
Continue reading Ninety-Nine Ways to Fail in Writing, Publishing, and Marketing
by Mercy Pilkington at GoodEreader
With the end of a pretty rough year behind us and the first few weeks of 2017 under our belts, it’s a good time to take a deep breathe and take stock of the state of publishing. There’s perhaps no more comprehensive analysis of the current trends than the annual Smashwords Book Industry Predictions, written each year by founder and CEO Mark Coker.
Continue reading Does Publishing Have a Future Without Amazon?
The Half Price Gift Certificates page has been updated with services to benefit the writer and author. All gift certificates on the page are half off the face-value amount.
If you haven’t stopped by in a while, give it a peek and see if anything on there can get you closer to your writerly goal.
by Gary Smailes
When a book publisher offers a book deal to a new author, the contract will talk about ‘advances’ and ‘royalties’. These can be a little confusing to new authors, though a little bit of knowledge will go a long way to helping you fully understand what you are being offered.
In this article, you will learn about royalties and advances, you will discover what is usual for a book publisher to offer and you will find out how the publishing world is changing the way it provides advances and royalties.
Continue reading A Simple Guide to Book Advances and Royalties
by Laura Northrup at the Consumerist
In the age of online shopping, are bookstores irrelevant? The new CEO of big-box bookstore chain Barnes & Noble doesn’t think so. If they were, why would Amazon be opening physical bookstores across the country, with a new one opening in New York City tomorrow? He sees this growth as proof that bookstores are still relevant.
Continue reading Barnes & Noble CEO Uses Amazon to Justify His Company’s Continued Existence
by Laura Peters
Every writer has a story to tell, and all they want to do is share that story with the world. There was a time when, if you wanted to tell your story, you’d have to send your manuscript off to several publishers and hope they would deem it worthy enough to print in their periodicals, or as a full-length novel. Thankfully, sharing stories has now become a lot faster thanks to the internet. Here are the best ways to get your story published.
Continue reading The Best Ways to Get Published
by Matt Frick
“The Official Motion Picture Soundtrack.” How many of those do you own? I know I owned a few soundtracks on cassette tape when I was growing up. Some of these albums were a central part of the film for which they were recorded, like Purple Rain (which I wore out listening to) or [insert musical title here] (which I did not own…because I don’t like musicals).
But most soundtracks were recorded to provide an audible background intended to enhance the movie by putting the audience in the right mood or frame of mind at just the right time, so they would experience the film the way the director intended.
Continue reading How I Use “Soundtracks” To Help Me Write When I’m Not Writing