WWBB on Facebook!

You are invited to post your book links, blurbs, snippets on WWBB's Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter and use @louise_wise for a retweet.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Join up to Real Romance

Just in... a new FB page for writers/readers of romance.

REAL ROMANCE


This is an open book group for independent female authors of romantic or contemporary fiction and the heavier end of chick lit. 

Authors: Discuss and promote your book with us.
Readers: Discover new books worth reading.

This group is strictly for contemporary romance/modern fiction for women.

Sorry NO historical, science fiction, fantasy, crime or thrillers. No Harlequin romance or Mills & Boon, cowboy romance or erotica/porn. No paranormal, vampires, YA, children's. No non-fiction or biographical.

Anyone posting inappropriate material will be removed from the group.

Join up to Real Romance

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Goodbye September...



and Hello October!

October is all about science fiction and fantasy books. Writers are invited to write in about their genre. I'd like to know how they build their worlds, how do they research worlds that don't exist and how far can they stretch reality and still remain credible.

If you have any questions to my line up of authors feel free to put your questions to them in the comment box below.

Guesting posting in October are:

Anne E. Johnson
Rocky Leonard
 Mel Chesley 
AK Taylor 
Peter Salisbury
PR Pope

Thursday, 27 September 2012

How important are Secondary Characters?

The Girly Book Blog Hop Main Site

Best answer wins a PRIZE!
by 
Louise Wise

How important are secondary characters? Put it this way wouldn’t a novel be flat without them? Who would your character fight against? Fall in love with?

Ellen Semple or Ellen Simple, as main character Valerie Anthrope calls her, is far into middle-age, has no interest in fashion, wears bobble hats and long woollen scarves, calls everyone ‘dear’, and is bossy, interfering and downright annoying! Yet she almost became the star in my latest chick lit novel The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch therefore I am.

And I LOVED writing about her! You don’t have to worry whether your readers will like or dislike a secondary. They can be hateful, annoying, evil and downright unpleasant. It’s brilliant!

But what is it about secondary characters that take over? Or try to? Should we have written THEIR story instead? Oh no, no, no. It doesn’t mean that at all. If we did that we’d have to make them ‘sympathetic’. That means they will need to have redeeming qualities and have something that readers can connect with.

Think of all the secondary characters in books you’ve enjoyed. It’s the MAIN character you loved, the secondary were either the baddies—and they died or got their just deserts in the end, or they are someone your MAIN character bounces off. In other words, we need strong second characters to carry the main one, without them our characters become flat and one dimensional.

Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
So what is it about Ellen Semple that I loved? All she wants from life is to help people. She and her husband went to places like Ghana and Afghanistan to help build hospitals and schools. They were the type of people to march the streets carrying banners for better sanitation in prisons or stop animal experiences. They’d tie themselves to railings for their beliefs. When her husband died she vowed to carry on his life work. It took her away from home for long periods, so when she discovered her nephew (she never had children of her own) had split up from his wife and she didn't even know, she was horrified and came home immediately. She decided she'd stay home and keep an eye on her beloved nephew, Alex. But, and it's a big but, she couldn't' stop 'helping'.

She spotted Valerie putting flowers on a grave when she was there visiting her late husband's resting place. She saw her again the following month and the next. Valerie looked so lonely, Ellen thought, and so decided to help her.

By chance, Valerie was looking for staff for her brokerage and Ellen bustled her way in and practically employed herself. She decided that Valerie was poor and needed financial help, so she coerced Alex into buying insurance from Valerie's brokerage, but didn’t envisage him falling for her!

He's one of those rich playboys and one of the reasons why his wife divorced him, Ellen thinks, and she worries that Valerie will get hurt and become even more damaged than she already is.

Ellen brought them together but now she has to part them! Sometimes it's hard being a busybody.

The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch therefore I am is out 
NOW on Kindle: Amazon.UK and Amazon.com

Paperback coming SOON

Join me and others on 
The Official Chick Lit FB Page for writers and readers of contemporary romance





Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Agy Wilson on why you need to suck it up and keep going.

 Nan's Gift is a quiet story with fun language
and warm illustrations,
Nana's Gift is appropriate for readers young and old.
 

Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
There is a great deal of paradox to any art. Pushing on through creatively means a lot of butt-in-chair time, and one has to master both objectives in order to succeed.

My mother and grandmother gave me permission. Go write, go draw. More than likely to get me out of their hair, but it became a good use for my time. I fell into the love of creating images whether with words or lines quite by accident. I soon found people responded with "ooohs" and "ahhhs". I still love the appreciation people feel about my work, and I love the time spent ferreting out expression from a page. Each step of the way though I improved, there was more to challenge me. That was true then, it's just as true over forty years later. I hope it's still true in another forty.

Perhaps you're not as luck as I was, being a pain and then being directed toward falling in love with something before you can say no. But you can pick up a craft anytime along the path of your life.

Frannie never expected a ghost
with revenge
on her mind!

Coming Soon!
Mid-grade
It's the doing of something, the investment of yourself your time and thought, which transcends craft into art. Or, as one of my favorite sayings put it, "It's never to late to be what you might have been." (George Sand).

My new venture has catapulted me into uncharted territory. I published Nana's Gift last year after years of traditional pursuit and moderate success. The goal is to publish more of my own books, and a co-adventure with the fabulous Margot Finke. I'm not only illustrating and formatting epicture books, but in Margot's case, I'm animating her charming stories-- they just lend themselves to it.

But I knew nothing of Photoshop, and I only knew of WacomTablets a year ago. This year I learned about Mobi and Sigil and InDesign and Smashwords. As you read this, I'm in the process of learning about applications, animations, Adobe Catalyst and DRM, and sometimes my mind is boggled about how much I've learned and how much I need to know. Pushing through means really applying myself in ways I've not done. Perhaps ever. Whether you're already doing something outside your comfort zone or thinking about it, a lot of success is mindset. I thought I'd tell you my secret to the paradox in case you're thinking of doing something crazy as well.

Imagyne
OF COURSE DO YOUR BEST!  But just as importantly LEARN to your best. Absorb as much as you can from the best sources you can find and don't be afraid to go back or spend some time really becoming comfortable with your subject. Recently I decided to revisit character development, I found someone outstanding in his field, and for a twenty dollar investment in his books and the time to read and process them (about two days), my characters became ever so much stronger. Don't have the money? Get a library card, and check out interlibrary loan. Research through Youtube, your friends, any professional groups, and don't be afraid to ask people you admire, what their influences are. Join a critique group. Can't find one, find a few friends who you can trust, and start one. Yellapalooza just celebrated its tenth anniversary and I would have been lost with them.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

5 Ways to Promote Your Book that You May Not have Thought of

by
Kathryn Jones

When it comes to book marketing you may have heard the standard answers such as reviews, blogging and book signings; what is less spoken about, however, are those new answers that will make what you have to share stand out from the proverbial pack.

Here is a list to get you started:
Author Kathryn Jones

  1. Video. When it comes to video, many authors put up a red flag because they believe they have to put their face on the video in live action. They worry about not sounding professional enough; i.e. making a mistake. But video doesn't have to include you: at least not in a real way. Animoto, for example, allows the user to add pictures, text, video and music. The good news about Animoto is that your video can look and sound professional without any stress. Just follow the step-by-step directions. As a step up, Windows Live Movie Maker allows the user even greater free reign on choices. Just be careful to remember the importance of following copyright laws. 
  2. Blog radio. Get an interview with a blog radio personality by querying them about your book and expertise. If your book focuses on a common human dilemma or gives the reader a unique view on something or even causes them to laugh, you'll probably have a winner on blog radio. Even fiction writers do well here; what makes your book different from others out there? Express this in the short query you send off to get potential interviewers interested in your book.
  3. Book signings NOT at a book store. Instead of offering the standard fare, get your readers interested in your offering by creating a book signing to be remembered. My most recent will be in my back yard. There will be a breakfast for friends and family to introduce my new book, "Scrambled." Yep, scrambled eggs will be the main course. Other ideas include a signing at a hair salon, a local fair, or a store (other than a book store) that relates well with the theme of your book. Some authors have tried grocery stores and even hospitals for book signings. 
  4. Discover sites, like this one, that will advertise for free. It's amazing how many authors, reviewers and book lovers care about writers and will offer to post your book on their site along with links!
  5. Postcards. We all know the value of business cards, but have you considered what it would mean to have a postcard to hand out and mail whenever you chose? Let's say you're eating dinner. You compliment the waitress on her service and hand her a post card. On the card is your book cover along with contact information and a synopsis of your book. How about starting a conversation by handing someone a card? Postcards allow you to place more information about who you are and what you've written. 
One thing about book marketing, it will continue to evolve. And that's the best news of all. For no writer has to settle for one or only two promotion ideas but can tack on new ideas as soon as they become available.
 Like the ones listed above.

Author  Kathryn Elizabeth Jones can be contacted via her website or in the comment section of this blog.



Scrambled
A Susan Sleuth Mystery


BUY NOW!
Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
Barnes and Noble
What happens to an unhappy woman who leaves her husband only to discover that she may have just made a terrible mistake? So horrible, her choice threatens to end her very life?

I’m looking for reviewers for my 4th book, “Scrambled,” a Susan Sleuth Cozy mystery (the first in a series) set on the east coast.  “Scrambled” will be ready for release in September and I am looking for reviewers who are willing to read and review my book before publication.

Susan believes that the grass is greener on the other side. Not that her current life is bad, necessarily; it’s just boring and lifeless, kind of like the old matted rug on her dining room floor. Susan thinks her marriage has just grown—well, old. Her husband, Bob, has gained tremendous weight and continues to gain, and his health suffers. She must work at a job she hates full-time to provide the little sustenance they have. He, on the other hand, works very little (because of his health) and prefers spending his days watching television or surfing the Internet. Besides, there’s her problem of not getting pregnant that can’t help but contribute to his unhappiness.

Can Susan continue to live her life at the hotel knowing that she might be killed herself or imprisoned for life? Will she be able to find the real murderer with the help of the eccentric Ms. Martha Boaz?

Friday, 21 September 2012

FREE chick lit! Shame about the blurb!


by 
Louise Wise


Some writers hate writing the synopsis while others hate the editing. Me? I detest the blurb. Unlike the synopsis you have to make it exciting! Make it sound like it's full of exclamation marks without using them! That's how one writer advised me once, anyway!

OK, I'll stop using them now. 

The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch therefore I am is only obtainable on Kindle at the moment, but soon it will be made available as a paperback. And that means I want my blurb to be perfect (I can easily change my Kindle doc.).

Here are my chosen blurbs:

Available at the following:
Amazon.UK
Amazon.com
(1) Welcome to the dark side of chick lit. (Love this bit! Will keep this.)
Valerie Anthrope is a woman not on the edge, but in an abyss. Love and friendship have become memories, and are numbed in her heart. (A bit Mills and Boon?) And that's fine with her. She doesn’t want to disturb them, because awakened, people die. (Sounds like a horror novel!)
Valerie doesn’t know it but her heart is about to thaw and her curse is about to erupt. 

(2)
Valerie is trapped in an abyss of unhappy memories. She is a woman on the edge and most people are happy for her to stay there. Everyone is doing just fine without her. But when she begins to thaw, and the terrible secrets surface, her world is changed forever. Do you still want to be her friend? (Short and sweet, but does it sound like chick lit? Hmm, not sure.)
Welcome, to the dark side of chick lit... (so love this bit.)

(3) Valerie’s life fell apart a long time ago, the crux of her, like a mismatched jigsaw, is pieced together in a vacuum of independence and self-preservation so strong no-one is brave enough to see that it is all an act. (OMG! A little bit Wuthering Heights, dontcha think?)
Love and friendship remain memories; buried in her subconscious. She can’t disturb them, because unearthed, people die. (Maybe I should write horror?)
Lex Kendal is prepared for the consequences, but will it unleash Valerie’s curse?
Welcome, to the dark side of chick lit. (Told you I loved this bit!)

(4)  How fragile is the human mind? Nurture or nature? What makes us us? (A bit documentaryish?)
Valerie Anthrope is a cut-throat business woman and happy being alone. She answers to no-one. She’s The Boss. (Oooh, if I hadn’t of written this book, I’d have bought it because of that line! How clever am I!)
But enter Ellen in the guise of her fairy godmother wanting to make the world rosy and smelling of marshmallow. (Marshmallow? Maybe not so clever, after all!) How can Valerie cope with this burst of sunshine? It gets worse, Ellen has a nephew who’s equally chirpy, but he thinks it’s Valerie taking advantage of Ellen and sets out to take her down a peg or two! (Better. But where’s the ‘welcome to the dark side of chick lit’ gone? Should I keep it?)

(5)  Follow The ‘fall’ (see, what I did there? Clever? Stupid?) of the Misanthrope. A dark chick lit (got the ‘dark’ back in) that's filled with humour and warmth, and heart-wrenching moments of heartache when she discovers her heart can be thawed. 
Valerie lost everything she cared about years ago, and she keeps on losing those she loves. Not any more. Valerie is so determined to never to feel that emotional pain again that she vows never to fall in love. Ever.

(6)  Valerie Anthrope lives alone, and works alone. She is a bitch that no one wants to be around, and that suits her fine. B
ut busybody, Ellen, is watching her and wants to ‘mend’ Valerie. In fact, she makes it her mission. She thinks she’s a struggling broker for Sunny Oak Brokerage and coerces her rich nephew into buying insurance. But nephew Lex wants Valerie to become another notch on his bedpost.
While Valerie brings Lex down a peg or three, Lex teaches Valerie that life is for the living. Only neither Lex nor Ellen realise that Valerie is cursed, and the very reason that she is a bitch is that it keeps people from dying. (Too long? Not chick littey enough?)

(7)   Welcome, to the dark side of chick lit. (Yay!)
Being a misanthropist is Valerie Anthrope’s defence.
She is a cut-throat business woman and happy being alone. She answers to no-one. She has no time for romantic trivialities, and definitely no time for Ellen who nominates herself as her fairy godmother. (I like! Think I’m getting the hang of this now!)
But what of Ellen’s playboy nephew? The one who Ellen coerces into buying insurance from Valerie’s brokerage? The one who is full of himself and smitten with Valerie’s cool demeanour. His cocky know-it-all manner, posse of female admirers and playboy reputation are more than enough to put Valerie off – or is it enough to keep her interested? After all, being in a relationship with a playboy means there’s no burden of commitment.
Or is there?

Anyway, The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch therefore I am is FREE this weekend 21st – 24th September. But in the meant time, if you’ve any suggestions for the blurb…?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Is twitter driving you demented?

 Exorcise that demon, right here!
guesting posting today is 
RUBY BARNES

Social media fads come and go. Remember MySpace? A few months ago Google+ was to be the next big thing and the predicted demise of Facebook has had people scrabbling for footholds on Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon and goodness knows where else. Everything is becoming a bit blurred in a whirl of social networks, blogs, photo collections, discussion forums, online chat and update feeds.
Amazon.UK
Amazon.com

So, why bother with Twitter? What is the point of a 140 character message which might not get read by anyone before it sinks into the 340 million daily tweets? On the face of it, unless you are a microblogging wizard and manage to get your tweet to go viral through retweeting or on TV shows, Twitter doesn't seem to offer much. Unless you are a blogger.

Content is the key to good blogging. Some folk blog about their daily life, others  about a book release / product review / competition. Authors engage in round-robin writing challenges, give updates on their WIP and share writing tips. People tend to follow or bookmark the blog if the content has value for the reader: well written, entertaining and pertinent.

If you write a good blog post it can pull in considerable traffic to your platform and you might even sell the odd book or two (although the jury is out on whether there's any real correlation between blog traffic and book sales). Write a great or controversial blog post and it could go viral, even be the catalyst that catapults your writing from relative obscurity to Amazon top 100 (John Locke, of purchased review infamy, believes his viral blog post about baseball was the tipping point for selling a million).

The killer is this: when you've written a good blog post, it's still there and will pull some traffic through tags, keywords, SEO stuff, but it soon becomes old news, after a week or so. Right? Wrong. How many people viewed that post? A hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand? That's peanuts. Goodreads alone has 10 million members. The majority of your target audience haven't read your stuff. My Compulsive Communication Syndrome post has had over 10,000 views but, until I start getting irate emails telling me to shut the hell up about those elephants, I haven't reached saturation with it. That post is still news.

So how best to leverage all that great content you've slaved over when you should have been writing your latest novel? Send a killer tweet. Use keywords, hashtags and a link to the blog post. Sounds easy, it can be done. Did anyone spot it on Twitter? Any increase in page views? Now it's disappeared again into the 340 million daily tweets.

Author Ruby Barnes
You need a way to share your best tweets about your best blog posts with people around the globe, in different time zones and on different days. I discovered (yeah, discovered - I'm always the last to know) how to do this while away from home having a Bunfight at the Breaffy House Hotel on the west coast of Ireland. Trawl through your old tweets and find the best one you sent for that post, the one that was retweeted and favorited by others. Do that for all your best blog content and build up a list of tweets in excel, notepad or similar. Make sure you check the tweets don't refer to expired competitions or offers, and click all links through to be sure they still work. Now you need to schedule those tweets using something like Hootsuite. Watch the stats on your blog and see the numbers grow. Try scheduling at different times to catch the Americas, Europe, Australasia and Asia. Look at the audience and work out what's effective for you and your content.

Your blog traffic should have multiplied with this little exercise, but your twitter dementia will be escalating. Try scheduling nothing for a couple of days (if you can bear it) and see your blog traffic drop. You'll soon be back on the scheduling, trying to build the numbers back up and keep your content live. Oh, talking of content, shouldn't you be writing a new blog post? And how's the new novel WIP coming along? Feeling stressed? Don't panic, we have a couple more cards up our sleeve that will exorcise this compulsive communication demon.

Feed140. How about if you could take your list of top tweets and schedule them in a never-ending loop? Even better, randomise the sequence in that loop / play list. How many of these great tweets do you have and how often are you prepared to repeat them? Say you have 100 in your list, that's enough for one an hour spread over four days. You'll repeat them after those four days but the random order will probably put them in a different time zone. That's what Feed140 can do for you. All your back catalog of blog content getting Twitter airtime. You'll start to find comments appearing on posts you'd forgotten existed. Tweeps will begin to retweet and favorite your tweets when they enjoy the blog post or even just the content of the tweet itself. Now you have time to get back to your new blog posts and, even more importantly, your novel WIP. When you write a hot new blog post go revise your Feed140 playlist to include a tweet for the new post. (Note: Feed140 is in beta phase. If you can't join without an invitation code then drop me a line, I have some codes.)

So, semi-automated top tweet content, driving traffic to your blog back catalog. Your twitter and blog followers are increasing, you use some tool like JustUnfollow to drop unfollowers and follow back new fans, and everything is dandy. Until someone unfollows you, a someone you value as a top tweep influencer. Are they fed up with your play list? Are you swamping their twitter feed? It could be that they followed you for interaction and aren't getting it from you anymore. Unfollow them and then follow back, in case it was a mistake by them. They'll come back to you if it was. It's always a good idea to keep putting those personal tweets in manually, those run-to-the-computer moments when something great pops into your head. And don't forget to say thank you to folks when they mention you and reply to any valid direct messages.

After a while with Feed140 you'll hear the buzz of activity coming from your blog. But, like an MP3 player with your entire CD collection uploaded, it starts to feel a bit stale. And why aren't you getting more hits on your latest blog post? You have a twitter following of a few thousand but that great new post is sinking into the mire after just a few hundred views.

Triberr can be a bit tricky to get yourself set up and connected with the right people, but Triberr is a great source of expanded coverage for new blog posts. Connect your blog and twitter to your Triberr account (and Facebook and LinkedIn if you wanna go the whole hog). Join a tribe that has members with blogging interests you want to share on your social media platform (this is important - their content should be pertinent for the people in your network). When you post on your blog it will automatically be shared with the tribes you are a member of. They have the option to share your posts with their social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Stumbleupon).

Example: I have 3,700 Twitter followers, I'm a member of four tribes on Triberr with 60 tribemates and a reach of 229,045 Twitter followers. When I blog around half of those tribemates will share my content to their networks. Depending upon how well my blog post title works as a tweet (and it can be edited on Triberr to put in a hashtag or extra keyword) I'll get a boost of extra traffic on my new blog post for every day the post remains active on Triberr.

Conversely, in the spirit of give-and-take that is Triberr, I go onto the site once a day and share every post in my tribal stream that has content I consider relevant to my network. I share writing and publishing tips and news, good book reviews, author interviews, relevant competitions and beautiful/clever writing on any topic. Those posts enrich my tweet stream with something new at a maximum frequency of every half an hour. I read most every post that I share and have benefited personally from a lot of that content too.

Phew! Sometimes it all just has to come out. How to keep your blog content alive, re-use your twitter microblog moments of glory and broaden your social media reach. It's easy to set the machine running and keep it ticking over. Does it sell more books? The only way to be sure is to switch your platform off for an extended period. Are you going to take that risk? See you on the other side.


Ruby Barnes is the author of PerilThe BaptistTheCrucible Part 1 and The New Author

Contact:

Ruby Barnes' newest release:
The Crucible
Part 1


Southern Cameroon, West Africa 1936 A virus mutated and crossed the barrier from primate to human. In less than a century it had claimed the lives of twenty-five million people. Africa, a land of natural beauty and riches, ripe for plunder, full of dark menace. 

In a near future scenario of viral pandemic, global religious conflict, climate change and mass migration, America and the Middle East are locked in a religious fundamentalist race to Armageddon, while the old nations of Europe flex their imperial muscles. Will mankind rediscover the Garden of Eden or ignite the crucible of the apocalypse? 


Monday, 17 September 2012

Stop Watching Jersey Shore!

There’s a New Sheriff in Town—Now Write
by 

Stephen M Holak 

First off, a grateful tip of the hat to Louise for inviting me to post a guest blog here. As a newly-minted Indie author, I appreciate every opportunity to market myself and build an audience. Second: my personality lends itself very well to standing on a soapbox and pushing my views and opinions on that audience. Just ask my friends and family. I’m not shy; everyone is entitled to my opinion.

I headed over to these parts to introduce myself, my works, let you to get to know me, promote my stuff, you know? But then I changed my mind.

I decided to do you all a favor and spank you.

If you’re a struggling writer, a pre-published author, or a recent self-published / Indie author, what I’m about to tell you should strike a chord. A deep one. It should leave a deep red handprint on your buttocks, Lieutenant Dan.
Amazon.UK
Amazon.com
Tell me you haven’t said this to yourself: “I really don’t feel like writing today; what’s the point anyway? I’ll hammer away at something for days / weeks / months / years / decades on my lunch hour / train ride / midnight oil-burning session, polish the crap out of it, throw an agonized-over query letter over it, and submit it to an agent / editor / publishing house / magazine, and six months later I’ll get a polite letter thanking me for my submission, the story had promise, but it wasn’t a good fit for (whatever), blah-blah effing blah.”

Your self-imposed word-count for the day just went from one-thousand down to five-hundred, or five-hundred to two-hundred, or to . . . zero; you cracked open a beer, plopped on the couch, and dialed up last night’s episode of Jersey Shore.

I know you do this. I did it for years. For decades. I didn’t work as hard as I could at my craft, and got absolutely nowhere. What was the point? Deep inside, I thought it was hopeless. I thought I had no control over a writing career, that I was playing a literary lottery. (Oooh. I like that!)

I’m here to tell you, peeps, that those days are over. It’s a Brave New World. Nuclear winter is over—open the door and take a look. See the sun? I’m not yanking your chain. There are absolutely no excuses for the above excuses. None. There’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Jeff. Jeff Bezos. (I’ll give you a minute to Google him.)

In Ancient Times, the Gatekeepers guarded the, well, Gates. The Big Six publishing houses, (hereafter BS) , stood between you and your customers—the readers. BS decided what was good. They decided who would get the shelf space in bookstores. BS paid authors a tiny royalty and don’t-spend-it-all-in-one-place advances. They kept rights to works even when the print runs were over. BS kept over 50% of the price the reader forked over for your sweat, blood and tears--if you were lucky enough to win the lottery, and your chances are about the same—and be published, you got to keep maybe 15% after you paid your agent and traveled the universe signing and promoting your book on your dime

What they really did, dear colleagues, was decide what they could sell. Not what was good, not what had literary merit or what they thought readers wanted or would enjoy reading, but what BS could sell. What could make BS money. They had absolutely no interest in you, or helping you grow as a writer. You were meat to them. If you weren’t marbled just right, well . . . the metaphor breaks down here, but you get the idea.

And somewhere deep in your brainstem, you knew this. (This is why, by the way, Jersey Shore has such high ratings.)

Amazon, and the explosion of self-publishing options like Kindle Direct (KDP) and Createspace and Smashwords has changed all that. You can publish yourself. With one terrifying click of the mouse, the barriers between you and your potential readers, between anonymity and notice, vanish. Poof.

Repeat after me: There are no more gatekeepers. Readers are free to judge your work on its own merits. If you work hard at learning your craft, if tell a good story, if you edit the hell out of your stuff and edit it some more, if you learn eBook formatting and cover design (or pay someone to do it for you), write a good blurb, and upload the effer to cyberspace and market yourself, people will read your stuff.

If they like it, they’ll buy it. If readers like your product, you’ll not only be a published author, you’ll be an author with sales. (If you care about those sorts of things, that is. I do. That’s partly why I’m here. The other reason is the spanking.) You can write more works and publish them and build an audience and make some money.

So use that train ride, that lunch hour, that rainy Saturday, that restless night. Buy a case of Red Bull and a book on editing (better yet, spring for a good editor; it’s an investment) and a book on eBook publishing and learn Photoshop or marry a girl who owns Photoshop and bang out some great covers (which you by the way, have complete control over), and publish your work. Be a writer. Be an author. No one is holding you back any longer.

No BS stands between you and your potential readers. Stop reading books on writing and blogs on writing (except for this one, and mine, and maybe Joe Konrath; he’s good and I want to be like him), and write, damn it.

Luke Skywalker: Whine, whine.

Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.”


Oh, I almost forgot, my novella, “A Fairy for Bin Laden,” about a foot-high pixie named Tinkerbelle who helps the CIA and Army track down Osama Bin Laden, is available on Amazon.com. (http://amzn.com/B0088IBE3I) Please buy it. And my other novella, “O’Reilly’s Sacrifice,” if you like baseball fantasy stories like Field of Dreams. And my epic fantasy novel coming out in December.

I missed a dozen episodes of Jersey Shore writing this, and feel the Universe owes me some compensation.

*If you want to discuss this guest post on Twitter the hashtag is #wwbb

Friday, 14 September 2012

Is a college degree necessary to become a full-time writer?

another guest post on #wwbb
by
Lauren Bailey



It’s the age-old question of whether institutionalized credit trumps raw talent. Before you begin chomping at the bit to defend either direction, I have to come clean and say that there are opportunities for writers of all education backgrounds, which makes the title a bit of a trick question.

The first step to understanding the world of full-time writing is to broaden your perception of what a full-time writer does. There are many different occupations that demand writing, but most of my fellow creative writing majors have landed jobs in other sectors – like finance and education. Being a full-time writer means being a full-time thinker. Some people, even passionate and talented people, find that writing full-time is more of a burden than a joy.

It’s true that the intellectual and creative demands of being a full-time writer are sometimes exhausting; and no matter what anyone tells you, being a writer is full of rejection and disappointment. For most of us; however, writing is as natural as breathing, and when things go awry, it’s just part of the job and part of life.
Anyone who wishes to become employed by a major corporation will need an undergraduate degree. The market for writers is extremely competitive. A degree in English literature, technical writing, journalism, creative writing or PR is a good place to begin. For those who wish to publish as freelancers or as book authors, the market is less about credentials and more about writing samples.

Common jobs for writers

Book Authors – Writers of fiction and non-fiction alike have come from various backgrounds and levels of education. Authors are artists, plain and simple; but the disadvantage to being a book author is that the art must also be marketable in order to become a full-time job. Alas, you have to be a real literary genius to pull off anything completely avant-garde these days.

Participating in workshops that are offered in creative writing programs will expose beginning authors to the basics of proofreading, editing and writing on a deadline. Although it can be stifling at times, a creative writing emphasis can usher budding writers into the first stages of publishing, and it is, as the name suggests, the most liberal of education in terms of creativity.

Journalists – Good journalists have highly analytical minds and a natural ability to restructure information. Though sometimes the job can be a bit dull – there is a ton of research and sleuthing involved – it can also be controversial and fast-paced. Unlike book authors, journalists work with other writers and benefit from the mentorship of an editor. Community-minded individuals may be better suited for a journalism career rather than a solitary life as an author.

PR Manager -- Corporations across the nation are looking for public relations managers who can mitigate damage in crisis situations and serve as connecting points for media campaigns. The day-to-day life of a PR manager is full of press-releases, both writing and reading; but it may also include managing public statements and organizing events. Highly social writers and all-around great communicators would enjoy this job. Oh, you also have to be extremely business minded. Some elements of PR can be a bit nasty, especially when smoothing over a company’s mistakes. Mitigating damage in crisis situations can be extremely stressful and demanding, making this job perfect for the adrenaline junkie.

Copy Writers – Another business-minded job, marketing writers are those who work well under direction or with a specific goal in mind. Often, writing is a bit of an open-ended venture; but for the copy writer, the message needs to be succinct and clear while also being cleverly cloaked. It’s a tricky business, but like the journalist, a copy writer is a part of a larger team that works under a creative director.

Content Writers – In the dawn of the Internet age, the position of content writer has cropped up in major cities. Content writers write articles for Websites and blogs. The job is a unique merging of journalism and marketing; as the content is researched and independent, yet affiliated with the host site.

Wait…there’s more.

Education is essential to capturing the attention of a major corporation, but more important than a college degree is an outstanding portfolio. The first step to becoming a full-time writer is producing large volumes of work – whether through freelance articles to your local newspaper or your indie blog. The more you write, and the more you get rejected, the better you will become.

If you are interested in learning more about writing, consider taking a free online course before you enroll in any major.

Lauren Bailey is a freelance blogger for bestcollegesonline.com. She loves writing about education, writing, and health. As an education writer, she works to provide helpful information on the best online colleges and courses. She welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren 99 @gmail.com.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Voice Command Software

by 
Charissa Newark

The average person spends around four hours a day typing e-mails, lists and other correspondences. Dictation software can record one hundred words per minute as opposed to the expensive thirty three words that the average person can type.

Now you can save up to three hours a day by simply using the new voice command software. When you add these hours up, over forty years time, that equals one thousand eight hundred and twenty five days! Imagine what you can do with 5 years of free time!

Carpel tunnel, eye strain and constant neck and shoulder pain are only a few of the consistent complaints of people that work on computers daily. All of these aches and pains can be easily eliminated with the use of dictation software. Not to mention, hundreds and thousands of dollars in doctor visits and pain medications.

Not to mention the monotony of typing for hours on end, with the new voice command software, writing can be fun again! The tongue is much quicker than the fingers, regain your motivation and put procrastination behind you, with dictation software, you can make more money in less time and enjoy what you do without spending hours on end staring at a computer.

Turn your computer off, save electricity and regain your sense of freedom without being tied down to your office chair! Save time, money and be pain free by simply switching to dictation software, available at the tip of your fingers – anywhere, any time!

Created by www.accountingdegree.net

That's the advert--but what are your views? Does anyone have voice command software? I had one years ago and I had to read several books into it so it could get used to my voice. It still didn't work for me and spouted out gobbledygook. But that was years ago, and technology has moved on in leaps since then. What are your thoughts? - WWBB