Don't forget that the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale is still on, and all the Smashwords eBook versions of my books are half price throughout it. The sale ends on July 31st, and you can find out a little more about it in my post from the start of July.
Speaking of Smashwords: they just added the option to put a link to where your book is available in audio on your Smashwords book page. So I put the Audible links on mine. Well, on the ones where the audio books are available anyhow. They already had the Amazon links for the paperbacks, which I'd changed from the CreateSpace links after CreateSpace stopped selling directly from their site. Now you can find an option for both paperback and audio book links on my Smashwords pages. I could have also added links to the paperbacks and audio books on other retailers - such as Barnes & Noble and iTunes - but haven't done so, since making it plain there are paperback and audio versions available should be enough. Plus, it took me long enough to do that much. Anyway, I'll add the Audible links for the others as the audio versions become available too.
It seems a lot of places are fiddling with their sites lately. Even ACX has a refreshed website.
I still haven't managed to get any actual writing done on my pirate adventure story. I wanted to, but it's just not happening at the moment. However, there is some progress with it, since I did get a lot of the research I needed to do for it done over the past couple of weeks. I also had a bit of a brainstorming session over the phone with Dakota (13) and Axl (12) - the children of a family friend - to name my pirate ship, so now the ship has a name. That counts, right?
By the way, if you need help naming things in your own story, check out this post for some ideas on how to go about it.
Anyway, despite not doing any actual writing on my pirate adventure story, I did do some writing recently.
I wrote a couple of short poems, as well as a story that was inspired by something that happened with our Westie girl, Lilie, a few weeks back. It's not as much as I'd have liked, and isn't progress on the story I wanted to be working on, but considering everything, and considering how little writing I've managed to do throughout most of this year, I'm pleased to have even gotten that much writing done, especially when you pair it with the time I spent doing research.
"Where's Noodles?" - the story about Lilie - is now going through the revising and editing phases. Yes, I got that far with it. It was one of those stories that demanded attention, and had to be written immediately. Anyway, I'm not sure when it will be ready to be published, but I'll let you know when I have a date set. It should be in the near future though.
That's one good thing about my doing all those blog posts ahead of time: I was able to use some of the time I'd have otherwise spent on writing blog posts to work on some writing, as well as do some research. It's a shame I didn't actually get any writing done on the story I planned to be working with, but at least I got some writing time in, which was nice after how little I've been able to do that in the past few months. Besides, the research needed to be done, and was interesting, so I did enjoy doing that too.
Just to warn you: since I've been posting other things on Wednesdays for the past few weeks, I have a lot of links I want to share, which I've gathered over the past several weeks. Because of this, I've ended up with quite a long post for you.
In case you missed my recent posts about it:
"Waves Of Broken Dreams And Other Poems" is now available in audio from Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, read for you by narrator, and fellow author, Carol Weakland. Clicking on the book's title will take you to my post, where you can see more details about the book, along with a selection of purchase links for all available formats.
Also, "Lonely Little Princess" is now available in audio from Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. This one is narrated by Jenny Bacon. As mentioned above, clicking on the book's title will take you to my post, where you can see more details about the book, along with a selection of purchase links for all available formats.
The first book in my "Zeena Dragon Fae" series is also now available as an audio book, narrated by Ella Lynch. But I'm waiting to post about it until I can post about all four books in the series. Ella is currently working on the rest of them.
Speaking of book availability: I recently learned that you can find my books on Indie Bound. Just thought I'd mention that, in case you're interested. I'm not going to grab links to them... There are over 50, after all... But if you search for me by name, or search for any of my book titles, you should find them easily enough.
Are you going to any of the writing conferences being held all over the place - or, it seems like all over the place - during the next several weeks? If not, don't worry... You're not alone. I'm not going to any either. So, if you're in the same boat as me, here are four ways to benifit from a conference you're not attending. Hope that helps you to not feel so left out.
Conference or not, do you want to support a writer you love, but think you can't afford to? Then check out these ways to support a writer without spending a dime.
Oh, and... Fellow authors, here's a post about what book bloggers want authors to know. These can apply to reviewers in general, and you should bear them in mind before approaching people to ask for reviews for your book.
Mind you, before you try to get reviews, you should decide how you'll be publishing, and figure out some sort of marketing strategy. So, here's a post that discusses how to become a professional author, which may help you get started with that. Also, here's a fantastic post about how to stay sane while you publish, based on the way the Chinese ying-yang symbol reminds us of the balance of energies that exist in the world.
Speaking of book marketing: here's a post that gives you some tips on where you should start.
If you decide to self-publish, and want to increase your chances of your books being picked up by libraries, you should probably take a look at this librarian's top five tips for indie authors.
Regardless of how you publish though, take a look at this post on building your platform and preparing to publish, which is especially useful for those intending to self-publish, but worth checking out if you plan to take the traditional publishing route too.
What are the odds of marketing your book? Well, if nobody knows about it, how can they buy it? I mean, though nothing's guaranteed, some publicity before you publish - and immediately after - can potentially help with book sales, and is more likely to result in sales than doing nothing, that's for sure. With that in mind, here's a post about what to look for in a book publicist, which also includes tips for going it alone.
Does part of your publicity campaign - or marketing strategy, if you prefer to call it that - involve writing guest posts? Then check out these ways to knock your next guest post out of the park.
Additionally, if you're doing a public reading of your book, you might want to read this post on how to perform (not just read) your book in front of audiences.
Also, here are some tips for breaking bread with journalists, or anyone else you might be meeting for the first time in hopes of some extra publicity for yourself and your book(s).
Author or not, don't forget these basic tips for social media etiquette. We should all be following those tips, but they're especially important if you're someone with a business or product to promote, such as an author.
Of course, before you try to publish and market your book, you get to actually write it, which is the best part! First comes the plate of peas part of writing. That's just the first draft though, and often you will rewrite, and it will be painful but worth it.
Next, this post gives a simple example of the story ark, and why stories captivate, so you may want to check that out.
Another thing that might be helpful while writing your story is this post full of tips on how to get the balance right when trying to make your sentences more descriptive.
By the way, here's a post on how to write an effective chase scene - just in case you could use some help with that.
No matter what kind of scene you're writing though, your story will be full of them, and they should have certain elements involved in them. So, here are the five elements of a scene. You can also check out the rest of Rachel's posts on scene writing if you like.
Do you write fantasy, science-fiction, or some other genre where you need to invent your own language? Then check out this post on how to create your own fantasy language.
Regardless of genre, if you're thinking of writing a spin-off, take a moment to read these potentially useful tips for spin-offs.
Also, take a look at this post about the basic plot of a quest, especially if you plan on writing one. WARNING: the post I just linked to contains spoilers for Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.
No matter what you're writing though, if you write for either middle grade or young adult readers, you should bear in mind the key differences between middle grade vs young adult.
Regardless of the age group you write for, here are ten helpful writing tips you might want to take a look at - especially if you're just getting started on your writing journey. You might also want to take a look at this post about why writing advice from 'experts' isn't always trustworthy.
Another thing you should bear in mind regardless of what you write, or the age group you write it for, is the need to avoid too many cooks in the kitchen situations. So don't overload your story with too many characters; only add characters you need to. Here's some advice to help you decide if you need your characters or not. If characters who don't need to be involved in your book want their stories told too, tell them to get in line, and write their stories in another book or something.
Regardless of the number of characters in your story, here are some awesome plot structures for building bestsellers.
Next, take a look at this interesting post, which asks the question, "Have you found your voice?"
Whether you've found your voice or not, perhaps you should take a look at these ideas for what to do when you hit a brick wall with your writing. If you're struggling with writers' block that's bad enough that those things don't help though, try not to let it discourage you, and maybe do this the next time you feel like leaving the writing life behind.
If you feel you really do need a break from writing though, take one. Afterwards, when you start writing again, you can always take this advice for when you begin writing after a long break.
If it's inspiration you're seeking, check out this series of posts on finding inspiration in various places, and these tips for developing story ideas.
What is this thing called writers' block anyhow?
Oh, and here's what's really happening when you think you're 'running out of ideas'. So try not to stress about it if you're just not feeling it at the moment.
Remember though: having lots of story ideas is a good thing. But sometimes a good idea isn't good enough. Not without the time and effort that goes in to turning it from idea to finished story.
Speaking of time: if your problem is finding time to write between all the other things you want/need to get done in a day, here's how to use a "time block" to get more writing done.
Anyway, let's assume you're writing regularly, and have something you need to make sure you're using commonly accepted grammar rules to write. With that in mind, here's a post that discusses the use of an ellipsis, just in case you aren't sure how to use one. Also, here's one that talks about comma abuse, and another that discusses the paragraph, in case you don't remember the rules for those from your school days.
Once you're done, it will be time to worry about editing. First though, you should rewrite and not edit. Once you've dealt with rewrites, that's when you need to start worrying about arranging editing, and proof reading too. Only then will your book finally be finished.
If you're still not sure where to start, check out this post on going from blank page to published book.
At some point during the process, you should have someone else take a look at your book, so they can help you see the forest and the trees. How you arrange this is up to you, but it really is a good idea to get someone else to take a look at your story before you call it finished.
Bear in mind though that finishing your book isn't the end of things. In fact, yer WURK is just beginning….
Speaking of which, here's a post about how to use Goodreads to promote your book. Yes, it is that simple. Although, I would like to point out that reviews pouring in isn't guaranteed. I'm active on Goodreads, and - while I do have several reviews there - can tell you from personal experience that reviews aren't guaranteed anywhere. Still, it's worth a try. Plus, Goodreads is a fun place to hang out if you're a book lover anyhow, author or not.
By the way, if you're one of those writers who has to fit in writing - and all those other tasks that go along with it - around other commitments, like another job of some kind - be it full time or part time - please remember that it doesn't make you any less of a writer than those who don't, and you don't have to love your day job.
Every writer is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Because of this, you should be careful about comparing yourself to others. There are some positive points about doing so, but it's not always a good thing to do it. With that in mind, here are the pros and cons of comparing yourself to other writers.
So, is writing a need - or a desire for you? Either way, go forth and write like the Dickens!
Oh, and you have my permission to imagine, and should give yours to others, whether you - or they - are a writer or not. Creativity and imagination should be encouraged, and you don't always need to be more productive.
Last, but certainly not least, always look for an excuse to keep writing!