Some Website Builders for Authors 

Thinking about setting up a website and not sure which company might be best to use?

This post by Alessandra Torre doesn’t go into any depth, but it gives you a bit of information about three of the most common companies.

I use wordpress for two of my websites: my personal one (free), and my work one (this one you’re on -$99/year, site ground for my domain name $15.95/year). I use wix for my books ($126/year for a 3 year contract, Hover for the domain name $15.17/year).

My wordpress accounts are not ones where I have to know code (wordpress.com), so they were fairly easy to set up. It takes a lot of time, but it’s fairly user friendly. There is also a different type of wordpress account you can have that takes more computer knowledge (self-hosting wordpress. I think that’s the type Alessandra is referring to). I know Jane Friedman has blogged on setting up a website, including a wordpress account, so if you want to learn more, go to her site.

I agree that wix is fairly easy to use but both wordpress (my type of account) and wix take a bit of computer knowledge, but neither requires coding. I don’t think the “just a few hours” comment Alessandra makes is quite accurate, but it won’t take you weeks, maybe days.

I am not a computer wiz by any means so I understand if you would prefer to have someone else do it for you. I highly recommend Valerie Biel at Lost Lake Press for setting up your website. She is an author as well, so she knows where we are coming from and what we need. I am also familiar with Joanne Sprott – Cosmic Whispers Design; she’s part of an editor group I am also a part of where she was recommended as a web designer (EFA – Editorial Freelance Association).

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Your author website is the cornerstone of your brand and should highlight your books, yourself, and your newsletter signup. If you don’t have a website yet – don’t worry! There are several easy website builders that will allow a complete novice to build a site in just a few hours.

Source: Best Website Builders for Authors — Alessandra Torre Ink

Book review: Cover to Cover: What First-Time Authors Need to Know about Editing 

Periodically I share info about editing. It’s not cheap to have your manuscript edited so for indie-publishing it’s tempting to try and work around paying someone else to do it. Here is another source that doesn’t recommend doing that (and, of course, neither do I. And it’s not just because I am an editor. If you’re serious about making money on your book, you need to have an editor look at it).

As you may have read on this blog, I think you can avoid hiring a proofer if, if, if, if you get at least 3 people to proof your book, three people who haven’t read it yet. Three people who know basic grammar and punctuation. That may be a big IF for some. (For print, it has to be on the actual book – the ARC [Advanced Reader Copy] – because you need to have people make sure things like the headers and footer are correct and the text is formatted correctly [no widows or orphans – lines of text or words left at the top or bottom of a page).

Sandra Beckwith (great book-stuff blogger) reviews this book about editing by Sandra Wendel.

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If you question the need for a book editor, be sure to read my review of “Cover to Cover: What First-Time Authors Need to Know about Editing.”

Source: Book review: Cover to Cover: What First-Time Authors Need to Know about Editing – Build Book Buzz

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Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

 

Another Book Scam

As you are looking for help with your writing or publishing, remember, there are a lot of scammers out there ready to take advantage of what you don’t know.

Of course, there are many who are legit.

So how do you know the difference?

  • You go on sites like the one I’ve linked to below (Writer Beware), or join a group like the Alliance of Independent Authors. They have an Approved Services list that can help you find reputable services.
  • You can join a local writers group and when you get one of these odd emails noted in the linked post, you can ask other writers what they know about the company. Though, really, if a publishing house is contacting you, chances are they are not legit.
  • When you are looking for services, you can ask your fellow writers who they have used.
  • You can use the “googlizer” and search for warnings about the company you are thinking of working with, but the sites google might send you to also might not be legitimate. This is not your best option.
  • Contact me. I keep my eye on this stuff and probably know if a certain company is okay to work with.

And always read the fine print of any contract. Even legitimate companies may offer you things you don’t want.

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Scam, Right Choice Multimedia, West Literary Agency, Philippines

Source: Writer Beware®: The Blog: Scammers Taking Big 5 Publishers’ Names in Vain: A Growing Trend

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

5 Easy Steps to a Successful Media Appearance

The opportunity to talk on the radio, on a podcast or even on TV may not come up very often, but you want to be ready when that opportunity does arrive. A.G. Billig gives us 5 good items to consider.

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Getting ready for a podcast, radio, TV, or summit appearance? Here’s how to make sure you have a successful media appearance.

Source: 5 easy steps to a successful media appearance – Build Book Buzz

Amazon Verified Purchase Reviews: Fact versus fiction 

Sandra Beckwith checks out the question of Amazon reviews and gives us the latest information:

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If you’re like most authors, you have questions about Amazon Verified Purchase reviews and what they mean for your books. Here’s the scoop.

Source/link: Amazon Verified Purchase reviews: Fact versus fiction – Build Book Buzz

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

6 (7) Ways You Are Destroying Your Chances of Finding Readers 

Laurence O’Bryan of BooksGoSocial makes some very good points about how to find readers.

And as he says, it’s a long haul game. It takes time and effort to do these things, but they are all doable. Make a “to do” list and slowly work your way through it, making sure you acknowledge your accomplishments along the way. It’s a learning experience, so don’t expect perfection. Miss-steps are part of the process (especially if writing and publishing is a new “game” for you), but you can decrease some of that by checking out Laurence’s list.

And I’d add one more way:
-7)  Not connecting with other writers.
So much can be learned and eased on this journey by connecting with other writers. There are lots of online writer’s groups out there (SCBWI, ALLI are just two examples) which can give you loads of help, information, and connection. And when writer’s conferences are again a thing – and they will be! – they are a great place to connect locally, in addition to a fun way to learn ways to up your writing game.

(Note: I can not give a thumbs up or down for the services mentioned in the post, but I have used their Netgalley services with good results.)

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Source: 6 Ways You Are Destroying Your Chances of Finding Readers |

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Chekhov Never Said That – Writing Tip

Daniel David Wallace shines a bit of light (pun intended) on the advice “Show, don’t tell” writers often hear. (link to post is the image and below)

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Sorry! Chehkov never said “Show, Don’t Tell”

Source: Chekhov Never Said That

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Words Bubbling Up

Okay writers. This post if for you 🙂

ckbooksblog

The meaning and symbolism of the word - «Bubble»

Do you have some words bubbling up inside you, just waiting to get out? 

We have all been hunkering down from this virus, from unrest, from…

NPR is giving us an outlet. 

Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, I know you have words you can use to describe how you’re feeling. Write them down and send them to NPR and Kwame Alexander, Morning Editing’s resident poet – yes the show has it’s own poet, who knew? – will pick out words from our entries and create a poem for us!

The NPR piece and info on how to enter is here: https://www.npr.org/2021/01/18/956827920/poetry-challenge-honor-mlk-by-describing-how-you-dream-a-world

Here is the except from the Langston Hughes poem “I Dream a World”

I DREAM A WORLD WHERE MAN
NO OTHER MAN WILL SCORN,
WHERE LOVE WILL BLESS THE EARTH
AND PEACE ITS PATHS ADORN
I DREAM A WORLD WHERE ALL
WILL KNOW SWEET FREEDOM’S WAY,

View original post 63 more words

A Writer’s Wish List – Books, Of Course

Yes, what does a writer need for Christmas? (notice the word “need”?) More books to sit on desks and tables and in bookshelves that you may or may not read!

Is this silly?

Yes, but we want them anyway 🙂

I have read a few on K.M. Weiland’s list and agree they are good: Story, Techniques of a Selling Writer, The Emotional Craft of Fiction, though Story is a bit of slog to get through and is set up for writing a screenplay, it does have good bits. If you’re a regular reader of K.M.’s blog, you know she follows the structure of screenplays with her story writing. Probably not exclusively (I don’t like to pigeon hole anyone) but in general she does, which is not a bad thing.

I would add: #1! – Roget’s International Thesaurus (I have the 6th edition but there may be newer ones). If you are ever stuck for words, this is a wonderful book! A must for any writer’s bookshelf.  Then The Writer’s Journey (3rd edition) by Christopher Vogler, Story Genius by Lisa Cron and Story Physics by Larry Brooks. On the grammar and punctuation side, (and yes, writers need to learn basic grammar and punctuation) is Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss (so funny for a non-fiction book on this subject matter), and Woe is I Patricia O’Conner (very practical and easy to use and understand!) And if you want a bit more: Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer (which hits on things that aren’t covered in the other two, if you can believe it).

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Here is K.M’s list:

Looking for Christmas gifts? Here are what I currently consider the 10 best books to buy a writer for Christmas.

Source: 10 Best Books to Buy a Writer For Christmas – Helping Writers Become Authors

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Help Disabled Writers: Here’s How

Hey all you book people out there looking for a book related charity to give to… have I got the opportunity for you!

SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – what a mouth full!), which I am a member of, is participating in #GivingTuesday by setting up a giving link for scholarships, grants, and accessibility resources for  writers with disabilities.

What could be better than supporting a fellow writer that has a disability?!

So click this link and donate to SCBWI and tag the donation with #GivingTuesday and SCBWI will use you donation to help disabled SCBWI writers.

Click the link below for more details:

Source: SCBWI | Let’s Celebrate GivingTuesday Together – Here’s How