The Best Free Tools To Help New Amazon Authors – Written By Derek Haines

Derek Haines provides us with a post about the best free tools Amazon has to offer its authors. Thank you very much, Derek!


on Just Publishing Advice:

Are you planning to self-publish your first book on Amazon?

For new authors, Amazon self-publishing is the simplest, and a free way to publish your book.

If you plan on writing a book or have already written one, there are many free tools available that will make publishing your book with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) much easier.

Before you rush in and upload your manuscript, here are some must-have tools that will help you publish a better book.

In This Article

Self-publishing for the first time

Free tools to help you succeed

Slick Write
Canva
Kindle Create
Kindle Previewer
Calibre
Sonar
Book Description Generator
Shaxpir
Summary

Continue reading HERE

A TV Show I Loved And Miss – Admiring The Writers

Leverage was an American TV show which aired from 2008 to 2012. The series was produced by executive producer and director Dean Devlin. Leverage was based on a five-person-team:

The team had decided to help people who cannot help themselves. Citizens who are not strong enough to fight corporate or governmental injustices. They say their team starts to work where the law stops.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Story plot:

Most episodes follow a set story structure: After meeting the client, the Leverage team researches the villains to find a weakness to exploit. Each con, either as originally planned or as complications develop, typically requires the specialized skills of all the members of the group. Towards the end of each episode, the villains seem to get the upper hand, only to be outwitted by the team. Because most of the narrative has seemed to follow the team’s point of view, the audience is momentarily uninformed as to exactly how they have succeeded in their con. A flashback then reveals how a seeming complication was either anticipated by the Leverage team, or used in a clever improvisation. These flashbacks, which are featured in most episodes, excepting 113, sometimes reveal only in retrospect that an earlier scene was actually a clue to the Leverage team’s plan. More often, the flashbacks reveal new information to which the viewer has not been privy. This formula is followed by every episode in seasons one, two, and three. With the exception of the final season, each season ends with a two-part finale which involves a two-part, multi-stage con designed to bring down a major adversary, such as an international crime financier in season three, with an ending that advances the team’s story into the new season.  (Source: Wikipedia)


But why am I telling you all this? It’s actually very simple: I watched that TV shows for years. After it was canceled I bought all five seasons on DVD and watched them until I had learned them by heart.

As simple and dray Wikipedia has described the story plot of the episodes and seasons, the pattern the episodes and seasons followed, is quite correctly shown.

The actors gave their hearts to the show and they visibly relaxed around each other and enjoyed working together.

No matter how well the episodes followed that pattern, each one was different and I could not tell two who were the same. Each one was thrilling and exciting.

More and more I admired the writers behind the Leverage show!

Leverage was written by show creators John Rogers and Chris Downey along with a team of writers. The team changed with the seasons, but there were never less than three or more than five writers, along with the season’s script editor.

Let me introduce you to them:

John Rodgers

Chris Downey

Dean Devlin

Wil Wheaton

Keith R. A. DeCandido

James Scura

Armin Shimerman

Marisa Guterman

Kirk Bovill

Rick Emerson


Every single episode to me was an adventure. I saw the characters develop within the show. I saw the actors develop as well and grow as a group and as a team.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who loved the show. It had (and still has) fans all over the world.

We all admired Parker’s physical abilities, we all envied Sophie’s cleverness; also we all wished we had Hardison’s IT and technology knowledge, Nate’s masterful mind – I heard men hoped they had Eliot’s strength and strategic experience – and we girls were all a little bit in love with Eliot.

Let’s celebrate the group of writers who were able to create a TV show of such sophisticated finesse that they kept fans globally on their seats for 5 years.

Thank you, writer-team! Well done! It was great!


Thank you, actor team! You were amazing!

Picture courtesy of https://boardgamegeek.com

Five Holiday Challenges Only Writers Will Understand – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb, one of my very favorite bloggers whose wisdom and helpful educational blog I appreciate very much, published an amazing post about writers and the Holidays. Thanks so much, Kristen!


It’s the holiday season, and this is a tough time for most people. For, writers, it’s peace hell on Earth, largely—though not entirely—due to the whole ‘having to wear pants’ thing.

We authors, historically, have been a misunderstood group of people.

Burned as witches. No holiday there. Survival rate after a political coup? Close to zero. Odds of being shot? Pretty much hundred percent, which correlates closely with odds of keeping mouth shut #FunFact.

Friends and loved ones still invite us to holiday gatherings. Sadly, no ‘burned at stake’ or ‘firing squad’ option. Those require pants, but less talking and no prerequisite to bring some dumb@$$ ‘White Elephant’ gift and a nut-free appetizer.

*makes note to hunt down and murder person who invented ‘White Elephant’ game’*

*Why is the elephant white and not pink?*

*makes note to google that later*

*makes note to put that in novel and kill it*

*along with the person who invented it*

Where was I? Oh yes, holiday stuff. Writers. Why writers should be able to qualify for service animals every year. Holiday honey badgers that bite.

Continue Reading Here

 

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

On this day, today, as a writer, I’m happy for many things and accomplishments:

Two published books

plenty of paper

useful pens

a working computer

a new printer

the time and chance to write

the God given talent to be a wirter

ideas for stories, posts, and books

– and last, but not least –

YOU – Followers, Friends, and Readers

Picture couresty of Google.com

*********************************************************************

I wish you and your family, an enjoyable and blessed:

Picture courtesy of happythanksgivingpictures.com

 

How To Survive Being Married To A Writer #WritingCommunity – Written By Lucy Mitchell

Lucy Mitchell published a very helpful post on her ‘Blonde Write More’ blog. The post is mainly helpful to a writer’s better half and I think she gets a few points that not only made me smile but nodding enthusiastically. See for yourself. Thanks so much, Lucy!


It’s not easy being married to a writer. We are strange creatures.

Here are some useful tips on how to survive being married to a writer:

1. Accept the fact that you will spend a lot of your marriage talking about people, events and locations that don’t actually exist.

2. When your writer wakes you in the small hours with an amazing new idea for their next story you need to wake up, switch on the light and let them talk it through. Moaning about what time it is, how tired you are and what you have on at work is not going to help your writer. This is a big moment for them, it’s the birth of something wonderful. Your support is needed 24-7.

3. Marital relations and their writing ‘ups and downs’ will become interlinked. When their writing is going well you can expect good times, kisses and smiles. When their writing is not going so well you can expect tension, tears and tantrums.

Continue Reading Here

Thirteen Reasons Writers are Mistaken for Serial Killers – Written By Kristen Lamb

 

Kristen Lamb, in her own inimitable way, published a blog post comparing authors with serial killers. I love Kristen’s posts, her fantasy, her creativity, and her humor. Wonderfully done, Kristen!


Writers really are a strange breed and just so y’all know? The normal ship sailed without you a long time ago so relax. Your family or friends might not ‘get’ you but your fellow writers do.

I love being a writer. It’s a world like no other and it’s interesting how non-writers are simultaneously fascinated and terrified of us. While on the surface, people seem to think that what we do is easy, deep down?

There is a part that knows they’re wrong. That being a writer, a good writer, is a very dark place most fear to tread.

Happy Friday the 13th! *evil laugh*

In fact, I believe somewhere at the FBI’s BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit for the non-writers), there’s a caveat for the profilers. If they think they’ve profiled a serial killer, they need to stop and double-check to make sure they didn’t just find a writer.

Hint: Check for empty Starbuck’s cups and candy wrappers.

Writers, if you are NOT on a government watch list? You’re doing it wrong.

Seriously. I once spent an entire afternoon googling Fort Worth hotels to find the right one with a balcony to toss someone off of. I was like the Goldilocks of Murder.

Nope doesn’t face a street.

Not high enough to be fatal.

Don’t want them landing in a pool.

Apparently, ‘normal’ people do not do this, which is why being normal is totally boring and for luzrs 😛 .

So, before friends and family turn you into the FBI, here’s a handy list of ways we writers are often mistaken for serial killers.

Continue Reading Here

Personality Test For Writers – What Type Are You?

Lately, I found a personality test for writers on the ‘greatstorybook.com’ website. I read that there are many different types of writers and I was curious about what type I am.

According to ‘greatstorybook.com,’ there are eight different types of writers:

Inspired Writer

Eternal Writer

Logical Writer

Savvy Writer

Closet Writer

Literate Writer

Hesitant Writer

Innovative Writer

 

The first question was, which type I think I am, and I spontaneously replied ‘Inspired writer’. As it turned out, I was wrong.

After replying to 31 questions the result told me, I am an ‘Eternal Writer’, just like Agatha Christie and Laurie R. King.

I admit I’m honored to find myself in such illustrious circles.

This is apparently the writer type I am:

Detailed Description

Many Eternal Writers have a genius intellect, but you know from personal experience that this doesn’t mean everything is necessarily easier because of that. If anything, it’s something of an annoyance because people tend to disregard anything you do as something you hardly had to work at in order to get done. You are, after all, a genius. So, of course, you can do what you do – or so the common thinking seems to be.

But you know that if you want to actually accomplish something, you still have to do the work to get it done. While not many people will really appreciate this, one thing you will find is that other professional writers, editors, and agents will indeed appreciate your abilities and the efforts you’ve put into your writing.

Eternal Writers are people who typically like to do things on their own, learning what they need to learn in order to reach a new goal. You’re the typical autodidactic, do-it-yourself learner. Your general interest in life drives you and when it comes to researching any kind of topic for the benefit of your writing, this is an enormous advantage you have over most writers.

However, you may be starting to realize the truth of the old saying that “no man is an island.” Ultimately, your choosing to let other writing professionals into your life will be one of the defining career-building decisions you can ever make.

There isn’t anything you can’t do, and you know that. At the same time, fear of success tends to hold you back. If you are truly successful, then people will start to expect even greater things from you. They will want to know more about you, your personal life, how you do what you do. You’ve probably been put on the spot before and know that this can be a very uncomfortable position.
You also know that all too often, the words you’ve said when taken out of context can be twisted into a completely different meaning. Some part of you isn’t sure this is the type of life you want, but would you prefer to be seen as the typical flakey-creative type? Probably not.

As an Eternal Writer, you also feel the need to be recognized for your work. You want people to understand you and your concepts and thoughts, even if at some level you suspect they probably never will. Does that really matter? You have a duty to use your abilities for the benefit of others – even if that actual benefit seems small to you personally.

You probably don’t realize it, but the words you say and the things you do have a great impact on other people. Truly. Whether you realize it or not, you do have that particular kind of power (which is rare) and you should put it to good use. The reason it’s important for you to realize that is because people need writers like you. You are the type of writer who inspires people and gives them hope. So do that.

Be aware too that your words also have the power to pull people down, so be cautious about the kind of writing you put out in the world. This isn’t something all writers need to worry about, but you do. Because you are the particular type of writer that you are, you are held more accountable. Your words are your ultimate tool, and you wield them well. Don’t underestimate the damage you can do to readers by taking their hope away. Not many writers are even capable of doing that, but you actually are.

That said, there’s a lot you still need to learn in order to get where you want to be as a writer.

If you’re thinking of joining a class or convention or book fair, do so. Even though you like to figure things out on your own, the best way to meet others in the publishing business is to attend these kinds of classes and events. It’s where other writers are and you never know what you’ll glean there. Even if you don’t learn new information, you’ll be inspired to keep going, and you need that extra kick every once in a while.

Just don’t give up when you hit another wall. It’s important that you keep going, and on some level, you know that to be absolutely true. Don’t worry about what will happen if you do step things up in your writing. Don’t worry about what will happen if you don’t. Just decide what it is you want to do and do that.


This is a very detailed and interesting description of what kind of writer I am. I recognize myself in parts of it. I am extremely curious if other writers are experiencing the same positive outcome of that test.

Would you mind taking it and let us know in the comments what you think about the result? I think we all could use a break and a little bit of fun.

TAKE THE TEST HERE

 

Marketing – Soul Taker “on Tour”

 

Lately, I found a link to The Good Ebooks & Books Company online, which offers book ads, free as well as paid ones. I checked it out, and it seems a decently long existing way to advertise my book. I tried it with the free version.

Not even a day after I filled out the form online I got an email which was written politely and friendly, confirming my submission and telling me that they’ll get back to me as soon as possible.

Two days later I received the information that ‘Soul Taker’ is online. Of course, they’re telling me what advantages a ‘premium’ account would have, but I didn’t get the impression they’re telling me: “Either you’ll upgrade or…”

“Good E-Books” connects authors and readers. They placed ‘Soul Taker’ in the middle as a New Release. They set it up with its cover picture, the blurb and linked it to its Amazon page.

https://www.goodebooks.net/releases.html

I will open a free author account with them and see where it will take me. So far I’m happy.

Maybe you want to try it too?

What to do when people unsubscribe from your #author email list and why it is OKAY – Written By Yechelyah Ysrayl

Yechelyah Ysrayl touches a subject that keeps all of us new authors on our toes: our newsletters and the people who unsubscribe from  our email list. Thank you very much for your valuable post, Yechelyah!


Let’s address the elephant in the room. Email unsubscribes. Yup. I’ll be that one. I don’t care what anyone says, if done right and if it’s your cup of tea, author email lists work. At the end of the day, everyone’s journey is different so none of us are in the position to say for absolute certainty what works and what doesn’t work for someone else.

That said, IF you are a fan of the email list (I don’t refer to them as newsletters….I prefer email list), check it.

Not everything about being an author is peachy. Email unsubscribes feel like silent rejections and sometimes confusing because you don’t always know why the person left. Unsubscribes can leave authors feeling abandoned, especially if the person was a long-time member of the list. All kinds of thoughts go through your head.

“What did I do wrong?”

“Am I providing value?”

“Does my writing suck?”
“Do I suck?”

Did I email too much? Too little? What happened?”

The good news is that whether someone leaves your email list or your blog, it is not a bad thing. In 2019, we are not taking losses, we are taking lessons and there are tons of lessons we can learn from email unsubscribes. I hope this list encourages you and motivates you to push past that feeling of confusion and rejection.

To read the entire blog post go to:

What to do when people unsubscribe from your #author email list and why it is OKAY

Characterization Tips – Part II – Written By Don Massenzio

February 9, 2019 I published Don Massenzio’s first part of characterization tips. Naturally I will share the second part as well. Thank you very much, Don!


Yesterday, I wrote a post about characterization listing, in simple terms, some of the pitfalls that writers face as they create and develop characters. You can read it HERE. This post will revisit those pitfalls and give you some tips on how to repair them.

These are all practical lessons that I learned as I stumbled my way through seven books with two more on the way. I hope that you find them helpful. I appreciate the kind words and discussion after the first post.

Now, let’s revisit some of the issues identified in the last post with some potential solutions.

Continue reading the entire blog post here:

https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/characterization-tips-part-ii/