help for you

The Social Media Beast Requires Regular Feeding

In this day and age we authors have to put ourselves out there, hanging weightless in cyberspace with multiple tentacles dangling into the ether. We need a “platform”. We’ve got to have an “online presence”. It’s necessary to “network”. Because this day and age is “cruel”. No? Just me thinking that? Anyways. *nervous cough* There are websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, podcasts, all asking for online participation. There are writer’s associations, critique groups, pitch fests, conferences, panels, needing your physical…

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Add Pre-Writing the Query Copy to Your Author Toolbox

I accept the concept of a muse wholeheartedly. However old-fashioned it might be, it’s a theory I like. My muse, however, does not resemble a lovely Greek statue. My muse is more like a kaleidoscope of butterflies, constantly circling my head. Only these delicate beauties carry ten pound cannonballs, which they like to release on me at random times. Me: *trying to get to sleep* My muse: WHAM!! *drops cannonball* My muse: This would make a good story. Me *buries…

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One Good Way to Make Your Brain Leak Out Your Ears

Switching from the free (.wordpress.com) website to a self-hosted (.com) site has a lot of support. For starters, there are plenty of how-to articles with step by step instructions. There are YouTube videos. The self-hosting service I chose (Site Ground) works with WordPress so that computer illiterate people, like me, only have to push a few buttons to make the transfer. Even with all of that, the whole thing took about six hours (I’m still not done tweaking the tiny…

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Plotting, for Pantsers

Welcome to the 2018 #AuthorToolboxBlogHop and my first post for the hop! Come join in and post useful, helpful or interesting things for other authors. This blog hop is the brainchild of Raimey Gallant and you can sign up on her website. By inclination I’m a Pantser (Pantsers, Pantsers, Oi, Oi, Oi!) (That’s our motto) (I just made it up) I’ve read online about plotters who get their entire book, down to each and every scene, outlined to within an inch of…

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No Filter

Did you know there’s such a thing as “filter words” when writing? I did not, but now thanks to the Tunnel of Rejection that was 2017, I do. In the course of a) submitting my manuscripts to RWA contests for judging and b) having my bits chopped off by the Axe of Editing the awesome staff at eXtasy Books wields, I have learned the stuff they teach you in creative writing. So take writing classes, is the lesson here. Alternate lesson: If,…

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Instagram For Authors: Using Hashtags

Let’s start off the new year with some good, practical, social media stuff. Yay!  You can refer back to my Instagram For Authors post if you want to refresh yourself on the basics. For now, I’m going to assume that you’ve at least clicked around on some social media and have seen hashtags, even if you don’t use them yourself much. So; hashtags. They’re not just a fun Deadpool punchline (yes, I snort-laughed at that part of the movie) or a millennial…

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Rejected Book Titles

So self-publishing is a thing, which is awesome. The author has total control over content, editing, cover art and titles. Like every great power, though, this is one that has to be used responsibly. When it comes to titles, this power is sometimes *too* mighty. Look, I know titles are hard but there are certain guidelines that exist for a reason. With this handy visual in mind I wandered over to the big list of free Book Title Generators over at Kindlepreneur.com (which you…

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