Tag Archives: websites

57 Links of Awesome Writing Information and Help

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As someone new to the writing industry as of last year, I acquired an extensive listing of helpful links. Here are some of the most useful. I think even seasoned writers might find info here of interest.

If you know of additional awesome links, let me know and I’ll add them.

teen lingo http://www.thesource4ym.com/teenlingo/index.asp book doctor on http://coolstuff4writers.com/BookDrMain.html whole lot of author interviews http://coolstuff4writers.com/Interviews.html read about fav authors or discover new ones http://armchairinterviews.com/ character naming resource babynameworld.com copyright info from the horse’s mouth copyright.gov basic grammar info grammarbook.com best blog for word usage/meanings http://kathytemean.wordpress.com Writer Beware resource sfwa.org/beware International Conference listing http://writing.shawguides.com/ everything about fiction writing fictionfactor.com everything about writing horror horror.org/writetips.htm writer’s resource website and discussion forum dedicated to the romance romancedivas.com supports women writers wow-womenonwriting.com a free writers’ resource listing over 2700 current Fiction and Poetry publications http://duotrope.com/ weekly submission calls to paying markets writergazette.com Association of Author’s Representatives aaronline.org check out new agents agentresearch.com/agent_ver.html find agents easily/great forums agentquery.com Preditors and Editors-Beware of Scams anotherrealm.com/preditors the business side of writing authormba.com chart compares POD companies booksandtales.com/pod/index.php plot tips plotwhisperer.blogspot.com everything about agents and queries querytracker.net up to minutes news about publishing industry writenews.com connect with published or not authors writerschatroom.com every contest the editor can find writingcontests.wordpress.com Q&A section, a job thread and a critique section mywriterscircle.com science fiction and fantasy writers or am sfwa.org share your MS for annotation & chat bookglutton.com give and receive  reader feedback critiquecircle.com online destination for your writing group rallystorm.com Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network spawn.org Janet Reid dissects queries queryshark.blogspot.com Rachelle Gardner gives a lot of helpful info cba-ramblings.blogspot.com Janet Reid’s other blog- tons of resources jetreidliterary.blogspot.com Nathan Bransford- industry info nathanbransford.blogspot.com A Writer’s Guide to Self Publishing http://www.bubblecow.co.uk/2009/10/a-writers-guide-to-self-publishing/ 12 Random But Pretty Good Ideas for Selling Your Book http://www.yourwritersgroup.com/mywritersgroup/2009/10/a-lot-of-what-i-talk-about-here-falls-into-the-large-area-of-intangibles-craft-meditations-interesting-uses-for-your-left-.html 30 One-Minute Tips for Strengthening Your Novel http://www.darcypattison.com/revision/30-days-to-a-stronger-novel/ thousands of links for writers on all topics http://www.suite101.com/writingandpublishing cliché finder http://cliche.theinfo.org/ The Difference Between MG and YA http://www.write4kids.com/feature6.html Lulu Titlescorer http://www.lulu.com/titlescorer/index.php more info on writing for kids than you can stand http://cbiclubhouse.com/ best blog for helping writers write http://storyfix.com/ Website Grader by HubSpot http://websitegrader.com/ A site for writers, readers and fans of children’s literature http://kidlit.com/ Reasons Why Your MS Got Rejected http://www.inkygirl.com/scbwi-2009-notes-reasons-why-your-manuscript-got-rejected/ scbwi Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators-fee based, has conventions http://www.scbwi.org/Pages.aspx/Who-We-Are—What-We-Do Goodreads- Great site for Readers & Writers http://www.goodreads.com/ She Writes a site for women writers http://www.shewrites.com/ Inked-In a community for writers, musicians and artists http://inkedin.ning.com/ Red Room – Where the Writers Are; a collection of blogs, information, networking, videos and much more http://redroom.com American Christian Fiction Writers – a fee based organization with tons of resources for writers as well as local chapters http://acfw.com inkpop-a YA writers’ site by Harper Collins similar to Authonomy http://inkpop.com The Muse Online Writers Conference http://themuseonlinewritersconference.com
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Designing a Good Author’s Website Can Be Tricky

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For those of you who are unaware, Goodreads is a growing community of Readers and Writers. There are forums for every possible topic within Groups of every type. One of the awesome groups I’m a member of is called Book Trailers ™ & Author Web Sites. It provides tons of info and friends. http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/9066.Book_Trailers_tm_Author_Web_Sites

One of the interesting forum threads is Post your Book Video and get it rated while you rate others. http://ratemybookvideo.wordpress.com/. This is a great place to see what types of trailers other authors are making as well as posting your own for comments or suggestions.

Another awesome forum is the Goodreads thread about What Makes a Great Author Web Site. http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/62018-what-makes-a-great-author-web-site There are a lot of discussions and suggestions but these two lists stood out as explicit and very helpful.

Kristin Blizzard said:

Personally, I believe there are many aspects to creating a sound website. Hopefully, writers at some point did create their marketing plan. I bring this to attention because of the information that it should contain. Before you sent query letters to agents or publishers, you should have started to collect what would become your selling points.

As you should have been asked by everyone, why is this book amazing? Is there something about the author that gives a different or special angle? What genre does you work fit into and exactly who is your targeted audience? The answers to the questions should lay out what kind of a website you should be aiming toward.

Dee brought a great point with determining what do you want to offer your readers. Do you want to offer them a link to purchase?

Bottom line, this is what I believe you really must tell them:

1. Your name silly. Be clear about it (you would think i would not have to say that huh lol)

2. Title (s)

3. ISBN!!!

4. Information about the titles

5. Depending on background, people might know about you

6. Optional link to purchase

7. Contact information – give them an email (most websites will include at least 1 free email I would never use your personal)

8. Color is good, not too much, you do not want to take away from your books.

9. If you have a good review, use it!

10. If you are appearing at signings, event, radio, tv, or even a scout meeting (kidding) let people know.

Paul Mitton had this to say:

1/ Easy to read (and by that I mean not dark backgrounds and white text – sorry, I know that describes many author websites, but it does present challenges to the visually impaired).

2/ Easy to navigate – identical links at top and bottom of the page, or at the side – not both.

3/ Each page should stick to the consistent theme (background, colour, style)

4/ Quick to load – don’t forget that many people still don’t have access to Broadband/DSL/cable

5/ Which means no big images on the pages. Use thumbnails and click to see a larger image

6/ No page should require horizontal scrolling; few pages should require vertical scrolling, so keep the text concise.

7/ Every page should be tested in a variety of browsers and at a variety of resolutions. If your website looks fine in Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Firefox 2 and 3, later versions of Opera and Safari, then you have covered 99 percent of the browsing audience. It should also be tested at resolutions of 800×600, 1024×768 and 1200×1024.

8/ Use CSS and JavaScript includes for ease of maintenance and to address the resolution issues.

9/ Validate every page using the W3C tools such as Bobby and Lint

10/ When using JavaScript includes, always include a no-script option. Why? Because most search engine spiders can’t follow page links that are held somewhere off the static page. The more other pages your page is linked to, even other pages on your site, the higher it features in search engine rankings. Use a text-only browser like Lynx to make sure that you can see lots of links on each page.

11/ Don’t embed music or sound on your pages. By all means put a clickable link to listen to something, but the last thing you want is for a potential buyer to wake the baby at 2 in the morning because they’ve surfed to your site and suddenly Celine Dion is blasting out loud enough to wake the dead!

12/ Never use scrolling or blinking text.

13/ Don’t have a Flash intro page with that hugely irritating ‘click here to enter the site…’ link. Why? Why not just enter the site straight away?

Now the marketing bits:

1/ I think that if you intend to have many books published, have one author site , not individual ones for each book. You are the brand!

2/ Yes, by all means have a blog. If you want people to post comments, you need to have some sort of membership and file locking system, which probably means you would need to be able to run and configure PHP or Perl Scripts and have a My SQL database system running on your web-server.

3/ Include a preview of your work(s) (but yes, check the contract with your publisher first.

4/ MOST IMPORTANT Include a link so people can purchase your book via Amazon, B & N etc. That is why you have the site in the first place, isn’t it?

5/ Do have book preview videos available on your site, also on You-tube, MySpace, Facebook, Bebo (depending on your target audience).

6/ Email – yes, fred@fredsworld.com is much more professional than fred991@hotmail.com – so own your own domain and have email re-directs to your private email address.

7/ Optimize your pages for search engines – use Google webmaster tools and create XML indexing pages.

Hopefully these lists will help anyone thinking about or in the beginning stages of setting up a new Author website.

50+ Awesome Resources for Writers

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As a writer I know how difficult it can be to find really good information and help on the web. I found these 50  plus websites and blogs to be very helpful and hope that you will too.

teen lingo

http://www.thesource4ym.com/teenlingo/index.asp

book doctor on Coolstuff4writers.com

http://coolstuff4writers.com/BookDrMain.html

whole lot of author interviews Coolstuff..

http://coolstuff4writers.com/Interviews.html

read about fav authors or discover new ones

http://armchairinterviews.com/

character naming resource

babynameworld.com

copyright info from the horse’s mouth

copyright.gov

basic grammar info

grammarbook.com

Writer Beward resource

sfwa.org/beware

International Conference listing

http://writing.shawguides.com/

everything about fiction writing

fictionfactor.com

everything about writing horror

horror.org/writetips.htm

writer’s resource website and discussion forum dedicated to the romance

romancedivas.com

supports women writers

wow-womenonwriting.com

a free writers’ resource listing over 2700 current Fiction and Poetry publications

http://duotrope.com/

weekly submission calls to paying markets

writergazette.com

Association of Author’s Representatives

aaronline.org

check out new agents

agentresearch.com/agent_ver.html

find agents easily/great forums

agentquery.com

Preditors and Editors-Beward of Scams

anotherrealm.com/preditors

the business side of writing

authormba.com

chart compares POD companies

booksandtales.com/pod/index.php

plot tips

plotwhisperer.blogspot.com

everything about agents and queries

querytracker.net

up to minutes news about publishing industry

writenews.com

connect with published or not authors

writerschatroom.com

every contest the editor can find

writingcontests.wordpress.com

Q&A section, a job thread and a critique section

mywriterscircle.com

science fiction and fantasy writers or am

sfwa.org

share your MS for annotation & chat

bookglutton.com

give and receive  reader feedback

critiquecircle.com

online destination for your writing group

rallystorm.com

Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network

spawn.org

Janet Reid dissects queries

queryshark.blogspot.com

Rachelle Gardner gives a lot of helpful info

cba-ramblings.blogspot.com

Janet Reid’s other blog- tons of resources

jetreidliterary.blogspot.com

Nathan Bransford- industry info, very useful

nathanbransford.blogspot.com

A Writer’s Guide to Self Publishing on Bubble Cow

http://www.bubblecow.co.uk/2009/10/a-writers-guide-to-self-publishing/

12 Random But Pretty Good Ideas for Selling Your Book

http://www.yourwritersgroup.com/mywritersgroup/2009/10/a-lot-of-what-i-talk-about-here-falls-into-the-large-area-of-intangibles-craft-meditations-interesting-uses-for-your-left-.html

30 One-Minute Tips for Strengthening Your Novel

http://www.darcypattison.com/revision/30-days-to-a-stronger-novel/

How to Name the Characters in a Novel

http://www.suite101.com

cliché finder

http://cliche.theinfo.org/

The Difference Between MG and YA

http://www.write4kids.com/feature6.html

Lulu Titlescorer

http://www.lulu.com/titlescorer/index.php

more info on writing for kids than you can stand

http://cbiclubhouse.com/

best blog for helping writers write

http://storyfix.com/

Website Grader by HubSpot

http://websitegrader.com/

A site for writers, readers and fans of children’s literature written by Mary Kole, associate agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency!

http://kidlit.com/

Reasons Why Your MS Got Rejected

http://www.inkygirl.com/scbwi-2009-notes-reasons-why-your-manuscript-got-rejected/

scbwi Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

http://www.scbwi.org/Pages.aspx/Who-We-Are—What-We-Do

Goodreads- Great site for Readers & Writers

http://www.goodreads.com/

She Writes a site for women writers

http://www.shewrites.com/

Inked-In a community for writers, musicians and artists

http://inkedin.ning.com/