Essentials
Essentials

Ergonomics for Writers

Ergonomics is the study of humans in their work environment. The part of it that matters to us is how it relates to keeping us healthy and safe and avoiding aches and pains and repetitive motion injuries. A comfortable writer is a productive writer, so don’t skimp on your office setup.  Everyone is comfortable in slightly different positions. So, before we get into the “correct” ways to work, let’s look at some general advice that should always trump whatever specific advice you get if the two are in conflict.   What The Experts Say  Correct ergonomics, according to the experts, means...

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General Novel Study Materials

Online Resources Plot Development Charts and Tips — from Writer’s Digest and author Jess Zafarris. Downloadable Worksheets — from Writer’s Digest and author Joseph Bates Salman Rushdie teaches storytelling and writing and Margaret Atwood teaches creative writing at Masterclass.com How to write a Fight Scene — by Rita Chang-Eppig Melissa Febos on Writing About Sex — “My whole practical thesis around the craft of writing a sex scene is this: it is exactly the same as any other scene.” 100 Tips That May or May Not Improve Your Writing — Caveat lector Books to Read Writing the Novel — Lawrence...

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Using Vellum to Format Your Book

Though there are other tools out there, Vellum is simply the best we have found for formatting your book. Let’s walk through formatting your book using this excellent program. Start Up Start Vellum and pick either New Book or Import Word File I picked new book just to look at a clean interface before importing a Word document. You can write your whole book directly into Vellum, but it lacks robust editing tools, especially change tracking if you are having critiqued or working with a coauthor. Better to write your book in something else and then import it. There are...

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Email Lists

There is no other marketing tool as effective as a list of emails people have voluntarily given you. Besides the fact that it is proven out by every metric tested, it just makes sense: people gave you their email, so they are receptive to your pitch. They may even be anticipating it. Email lists have the greatest success rate of any other "advertising" and their cost-per-click? Absolutely free until you have at least 500 subscribers, at which point it is profitable to pay for the mailings you are doing.

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The Indie Mindset

Let’s talk mindset. Many of you have come out of the Traditional Publishing (TradPub for short) world, either directly, or having been raised and trained to think that way. You see a specific career arc that you need to follow, in order to achieve success. Does this sound familiar? Start in short fiction, honing your craft at 5000-word stories until you think you have the ability to write a pretty good story for one of the periodicals in your genre. Then you start submitting them and to various open anthology calls until you start to achieve some level of success....

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Simple Guide To Social Media Promotion

This isn’t as tough as you might think, we promise. Listed below are the basics to any social media campaign and the specifics to the major ones. Study them, find the ones that suit you, and become a social media maven. Two Steps to Social Media Success If you want to successfully use social media to promote your books, you must begin to use it as a tool — not for fun, not to troll, not to find someone who is wrong on the internet and scold them, but as a tool for finding readers and turning them into fans....

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Making an Amazon Ad 2: Reading the Data

In the first Making an Amazon Ad Essential, I showed you how to start an Amazon ad campaign by walking you through starting one myself. It’s been two months, so now we have data to look at. Here’s how it went. Week 1 When you view your ads, you can adjust what shows on the chart and what boxes are visible by exing out or clicking on the top boxes. I have it set to: I would normally not adjust an ad after only a week, but this ad was clearly not getting it done. 99 impressions is brutal. Also,...

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Formatting Your Book

Before you sell your book, you have to get it into a format that people can buy and read. This will be one of the few times I recommend you spend some money. Yes, there are free tools you can use. If you want to go the free route, I’d go to Kindlepreneur and get the free Word templates for the setup. Then, I’d go to Calibre and get their free software to convert those into eBooks. But this takes a lot of time and effort, and the results may still not be what you’re looking for. You could also...

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Publishing Your Book

In this Essential, I am going to walk you through the steps of publishing a book. We’re going to do it on Amazon, as it is the biggest platform, but the steps will be essentially the same wherever you choose to put your book out. Before You Begin Before you can publish your book, you’re going to need several things, all of which have an article or essential dedicated to them The Golden Rule The last thing you absolutely have to know before we publish your book is that you do not have to pay to publish your book. Amazon...

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