What Does Your Website Say about You?

Many authors have virtually abandoned their websites in favor of social media. That’s risky because you can never control what Facebook or any other social media site does with its interface and functions–or your followers. These days Facebook wants Page owners pay for reach.  Only some of your followers see your posts unless you pay to promote them. Social media sites go out of style. (Look around and you can easily see that Facebook isn’t the draw for the younger … Read More »

Need a New Activity for Your Writers Group?

Are your writers group meetings getting stale, routine? What if your speaker doesn’t show up? Try a new activity. Every issue of The Florida Writer (the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association) contains writing prompts. Issue a prompt during a meeting and allow  time to write, perhaps 20 – 30 minutes. Then provide time for a read-around (volunteers only, no pressure) and brief feedback Since the pieces are fresh, not polished, it would be appropriate to elicit positive feedback only. Of course there won’t be time to finish … Read More »

Three Tech Tools I Use Every Day

Every day it seems there’s a new app or other technology being pushed as “essential” for writers. I’m attracted to shiny techie things, and I try just about anything new, although I’m finding it harder and harder to keep up will all the innovations. After trying out the new stuff, I keep coming back to my short list of tried and trues that make my writing life easier. Some apps, with steep learning curves can make life more complicated.  At some … Read More »

Front Matter Matters

In publishing lingo, a book usually contains three major sections: front matter (also called preliminary matter or “prelims” for short), the text, and back matter (or end matter). There are long-standing conventions for content, sequence, and numbering within each section. The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), now in its 16th edition, is the industry source of authority for matters of manuscript preparation and book anatomy. CMOS provides a level of detail I won’t even try to match in a single … Read More »

More About Email Marketing for Authors

While the popularity of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and others continues to wax and wane (remember MySpace?), email remains a popular online activity. Therefore, email should be a key component of your marketing plan. In a previous post, I wrote that your author website should help you build a mailing list because you have more control over your outreach to followers via email than you do in social media. In another, I encouraged you to strategize for “top of the mind awareness” … Read More »

I’ve Heard that Story Before

I read a lot of book manuscripts, and I’m here to tell you there are some story openers in danger of being used more often than “once upon a time.” Here are some beginnings I see frequently: • Character waking up • Character looking out a window and thinking about the weather • Character thinking about the setting, reviewing the objects in a room • Character thinking or saying out loud, “This isn’t happening.” • Character pondering her life, her … Read More »

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