Tuesday, June 19, 2018

5 Tips for the Discouraged Writer

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

You got excited. Inspired to write. Motivated to minister. Challenged to pursue dreams.

And, for a while there—surrounded by kindred spirits cheering you on—you could almost taste the success. A book published. A conference keynote scheduled. A popular blog.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Why Tags and Labels are Important to Blogging & How to Use Them Correctly

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I get the opportunity to evaluate a lot of blogs, from writers I meet with at conferences to clients. And they all have many of the same questions. One of the most common is what are some tips to help their blogs get found.

There’s one easy answer—proper tagging/labeling with each post.

When I give this answer, I get a lot of blank looks. This is one critical step a lot of blogger miss when posting a blog. Today, I’m going to give you the tools that make labeling/tagging a breeze and immediately help your blog come up in the search engine rankings.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

She’s Got Her Father’s Eye

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

It's been almost two-and-a-half-years since Daddy won his ultimate battle with Alzheimer's and Jesus took him home. Today, in honor of Father's Day, I'd like to share some of my memories of him. 

My daddy was a man who knew how to follow his dreams—always traveling via the scenic route. As a young man, he played in numerous bands—the big band type, not the rock band type—built his own sailboat, and took to the road as he embraced his love of photography and travel. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

How Writer Dogs Can Add Dimension to our Stories

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

I’ve been looking for a dog. Not just any dog. A writer dog—a well-behaved pooch who will follow me into my writing room and lay at my feet until I’ve written my word count for the day. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

How to Build an Indie Empire—What You're Selling Matters

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

*disclaimer. This series is about following rules. I know that Indies don’t have to follow rules. That’s the whole point of being indie. But indies who pay attention to what rich and famous authors do, have a much better shot at fame and riches.*

I mentioned a software program called Vellum in part 5 of this series. I highly recommend you get this software, by hook or by crook. It makes life as an indie so much easier! Sure, you have to invest in a Mac computer to get it, but empires cost money. If you have Vellum, with the push of a few buttons, your perfectly formatted ebook becomes a perfectly formatted paperback, and having a paperback for sale matters.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Social Media Strategies in this New World of Algorithms

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

This has been a world-shifting year in the realm of social media. It began with the new Facebook algorithms in January. This was followed by the changes in the Twitter algorithms. Directly related to these two shifts, we've seen somethings change. Thunderclap has been shut down, and this past week so has Klout.

With all these changes many people are scrambling and scurrying. Chasing trends, new apps, and giving up aren't the way to deal with this new world. Today I'm going to lay out my strategy to help you find a blueprint to continue to make valuable online connections.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Book Signings – What’s a Writer to Say?

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Recently I was signing a book for someone and a friend stood nearby. After the reader left, my friend said, “How do you decide what to write when you sign a book?”

Good question. As I pondered that, several things came to mind.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What a Writer Gains By Entering Contests

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

And the winner is. . . 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve entered one writing contest or 20. Waiting on the result makes your heart skip a beat. Writers work hard on their manuscripts, and stepping out to enter them in a contest is a little scary. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Numbers Reality and the Writer’s Responsibility

by Kristen Hogrefe @kjhogrefe

My first solo lasted two whole verses. I was thirteen, and since I don’t do math, that was a while ago. But I still remember the chorus by heart: “It was little by little, minute by minute, for little is much when the Lord is in it …”

Those words well-describe God’s work in my life and perhaps my whole career as a writer.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

What Song Plays in You?

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

Focused in nature, thematic in expression. Central, intrinsic, permanent, though not static. Unmoving, but not unbending. 

There is something in you fitting this description. A force you hold unique to yourself. You may have unearthed it, or maybe not. Others may see it more clearly than you do, but it is there. In the core of who you are is one melody that plays, one song that sings, one message that rings out. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Lessons Learned

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

I like John Wayne. To be more specific, I like his movies. Some of my favorites are Hatari, Hellfighters, The Quite Man, Rio Bravo, The Searchers … okay, I’ll stop there. I had fun weaving my love of John Wayne movies into to my newest novel, Somebody Like You. My heroine, Haley, likes John Wayne movies too.

Friday, June 8, 2018

One Writer's Story of the Takeaway

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

Several years ago my memoir manuscript, Call of a Coward, won the nonfiction award at a writers conference. The following week, puffed with pride, I shared the first few pages at our critique-group meeting. To be sure, even if I didn’t mention my recent honors, I was certain everyone would be impressed with my excerpt.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

It's Okay to be a Beginner

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

A few months ago, I learned to SCUBA dive. 

I was so excited! I’ve wanted to learn for a long time. 

Unfortunately, I was NOT a star student.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Triangle Structure for Writers, Part 2

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

We’re working on the Triangle of Structure, to understand how even a three-point structure can make the difference between a good book and a great book.

If you missed it, here's part one of The Triangle Structure for Writers.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Book Launch Teams – What Authors Need to Know About Picking Members, Part 2

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyADict

Earlier this year, I contacted authors Mesu Andrews, Cathy Baker, Lynn Blackburn, and Rachel Dylan to learn about their experiences with book launch teams. They shared so many great ideas, I had to break their insights into multiple posts. 

Last month we looked at how to design your book launch team. If you missed the tips for envisioning your team, getting help, or initial planning, check out part one of What Authors Need to Know About Book Launch Teams.

This month, we’re taking the next step, investigating how to fill your team.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Increase Your Writing Productivity by Finding More Time to Write

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I had always believed that I needed at least an hour, and preferably three, to make any progress at all with my writing. 

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Tethered Writer

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Tether: to tie with a rope or chain so as to restrict movement (New Oxford American Dictionary).

“You are tethered!” said my friend, her blue eyes sparkling. 

Her eyes were not supposed to be twinkling with mirth, the corners of her mouth turned up in the shadow of a smile. Eyes brimming with tears, I had just poured my heart out to her about how overwhelmed I was, how many difficult things had happened since I signed the contract for my first book. My friend was supposed to murmur in sympathy and cry with me. But she seemed to be happy about my misery!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Writer Shouldn’t Write Alone

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

When I attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference with about 500 other writers, I had a blast. I felt I was with my peeps. Edie jokes that it’s when we’re with other writers that we can most feel that we are understood.

Friday, June 1, 2018

5 Creative Ways to Share Your Work While on Vacation

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

The month of June offers summer vacations, time by the pool, and family road trips but who says we can’t also share our work while we’re away? If we put in a little time prior to packing, three of the following ideas will take care of themselves while you’re busy soaking up the sun.