Today I discovered another very useful warning, written by Victoria Strauss on the ‘Writer Beware’ blog. Thanks so much for all the work you do, Victoria. We really appreciate your support and efforts.
I’ve gotten several alerts over the past week about a pirate site that’s new to me (though not new: this warning was first published in September 2017): Kiss Library, where many authors are finding unauthorized electronic versions of their books.
Kiss Library differs from the typical pirate site in a couple of ways. Unlike, say, Ebook Bike, run by serial copyright thief and “information wants to be free” ideologue Travis McCrea, it doesn’t simply offer pirated books for free download but appears actually to be selling them. Also unlike Ebook Bike and other pirate sites, it seems to promptly respond to DMCA notices.
I found two of my own books listed.
Also on ‘Writer’s Beware’ I found the latest blog post about scamming emails from the Philippines. Victoria Strauss worked hard to provide us with an entire list of senders we should be aware of. Thank you very much, Victoria!
Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®
I’ve been expending a lot of words and time lately warning about the latest scam phenomenon to hit the writing world: fake publishing and marketing companies that, through outrageous prices and worthless services, extract enormous amounts of money from unwary writers.
Based in the Philippines (despite their apparent US addresses, phone numbers, and telemarketer names) and focusing primarily on small press and self-published authors (particularly authors who’ve published with one of the Author Solutions imprints), these companies recruit writers with relentless–and highly deceptive–phone and email solicitations. Some do provide the services authors pay for, albeit at seriously inflated prices and often of poor quality. Others just take the money and run. I’m hearing from a growing number of writers who’ve paid five figures in fees to one–or, in some cases, more than one–of these scams, with next to nothing to show for it.
Jane Friedman provides us with an excellent informative article about public libraries. Thank you so much, Jane.
When you see headlines discussing the staying power of print and the decline of ebooks, it’s important to remember those headlines are describing only sales of traditionally published books. Such headlines aren’t factoring in other market trends, such as digital subscription services, self-publishing, and—perhaps the most overlooked sector—library lending.
In 2017, OverDrive (the largest digital content catalog supplying libraries and schools) recorded 225 million ebook and audiobook checkouts around the world. To put that in context, consider that—during the same year—US traditional publishers reported 162 million ebooks sold.
Derek Haines provides us with a list of the best free passive voice checkers online. Thank you very much, Derek.
Are you looking for a reliable passive voice checker?
That’s an excellent idea. You should always avoid using the passive voice in writing as much as you can.
But sometimes it isn’t easy to spot when you are doing a quick proofread of your text.
A much easier, and more accurate way to locate a passive sentence or passive construction is to use an online checker.
There are many free online tools you can use to help you. The bonus is that many of them will help you find other grammar errors and spelling mistakes as well.
Ari Meghlen introduces us to ‘LinkTree’, a fabulous site where we can store our links and just share the LinkTree URL instead of constantly listing all our links everywhere. But let her explain:
I don’t know about you, but the number of places I can be found on the Internet seems to be growing.
While I don’t do much on all my social media platforms, it can be good to have a presence.
Thankfully, my blog allows me to automatically post on some of them, keeping them active enough but without me putting in more effort (no one has time for all that!)
But this means I have a ton of links to share. That’s where LinkTree comes in.
On the ‘Jane Friedman’ blog, Justin Attas wrote a guest post about three common pitfalls and how to avoid them. I find this an energetic, educational and interesting blog post which I thought I needed to share.
Today’s guest post is by novelist Justin Attas (@justinattas).
Writers always seek to produce a unique story, hoping readers will choose their book from the increasing pool of what’s available. But this can lead to creating a character or story that is “different” sheerly for the sake of, well, being different.
I’ve found three dangerous pitfalls for writers struggling to stand out:
- “Strong” female characters
- enemies-to-lovers storylines
- Leading characters who are damaging, not damaged
Luckily for anyone struggling with one of these tempting story blackholes, there are ways out of all three.
Elizabeth S. Craig provides us with a phenomenal article about setting ourselves up for success. Thank you so much for this educational blog post, Elizabeth.
This is another post in my series ‘making your life easier as a writer.’
This one covers how we can set ourselves up for a successful writing session with a little prep work.