Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Learn How to Set Default Formatting in Microsoft Word

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I do a lot of teaching around the country. And one of the things that newer writers often struggle with is how to change the default settings in Microsoft Word. We use this program for everything, so it's important to learn how to do this. 

Today I'm going to share some of the basic changes you need to make to the default settings.

Monday, February 26, 2018

3 Ways to Build a Social Media Audience that Loves You

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

We must think about our content from our audience’s point of view and focus on the results they want, not the products we offer (aka, our books). In Headlines that Make You Rich, David Garfinkel says “The O.M. Scott and Sons Company was founded in 1907 as a mail-order seller of grass seed. Mr. Scott once told his employees that their customers weren't buying grass seed from the company; ‘They're buying greener lawns.’”

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Messy Life

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

How can I keep from messing up? What happens when I mess up anyway?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

What No One Told You About Becoming an Author

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

You’re an author! Congratulations! You are now a part of an elite club, and there are some rules that you need to know now that you’re a member. Not that you have to follow all these rules; but some of these rules will allow you to boost sales and help you fully enjoy the benefits of membership.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Word Play for Writers—Marvelous Malaprops

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

“You can lead a horse to manure, but you can’t make him drink.”

“We’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.”

Ahhh, the marvelous malaprop – Grammarist.com defines it as “a verbal mistake in which a word is substituted with another word that sounds similar but means something entirely different, often to comedic effect.”

Thursday, February 22, 2018

An Author's Promise to His Readers

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

As writers, we’re constantly making promises to our readers. Often they start with our title and cover. A cover of a couple looking longingly at each other promises romance. How disconcerting it would be to discover a horror story on the pages. Even though some romances can end up horrible.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Be Fluid With Your Social Media Brand

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

Who are you, really? Are you just a God-loving, cat-cuddling, coffee drinker? Or is there more to you, more to your writing? Maybe your manuscripts are full of prose you want to share with the world, but you also enjoy baking for your family and neighbors.

My point is, there’s not just one, two, or even three aspects of you. The many people in your world see the many facets of you. Like a diamond, shining in all your hard-pressed glory. The viewing angle determines the color and intensity reflecting what’s inside.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

When Writing Love Scenes—the Eyes Have It

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

Ah, February. Somewhere between January’s frigid days and March’s warming trend, nature stirs from her winter rest, and our hearts turn to love. Store windows lure us in with dangling red hearts. Men of all ages line up at grocery store check-outs waiting to purchase a bouquet of flowers. The pull of love is so irresistible that it has the power to compel a level-headed person to step out of the ordinary into it’s charming embrace.

Just how does a writer describe this phenomenon called love?  I contend, it has to start with the eyes.

Friday, February 16, 2018

How Authors Can Build An Indie Empire—How You Advertise Matters

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

*Disclaimer from Traci. 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.*

Have you ever heard of a loss leader? The grocery store has 18 eggs for just 75 cents! Limit 3! You would never pass up that deal, even though you are clever and know it’s just a trap to get you to come into the store and buy a bunch of stuff marked up enough to make up the difference in the cost of the eggs.

This is what you have to do with your books. But how do you do it?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

2018 Emerging Publishing Trends Aro/Ace

Edie here. This is a difficult post to share and was difficult for Cyle to write. However, we cannot hide our heads in the sand when it comes to these issues. How we choose to address them (or not) in our writing is a personal matter. But we must stay informed. Please read this post with this in mind and share your thanks to Cyle for being brave enough to address this issue. 

2018 Emerging Publishing Trends Aro/Ace
by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Following the overall cultural sway of 2017, the publishing industry-at-large made a heavy push for LGBTQIA+ characters and authors. This trend was a continuation of 2015-2016 initiatives that began at a large number of publishing houses and imprints.

But every trend doesn’t last forever. Companies are still searching for diversity amongst their stories and authors, but 2018 has seen a significant foray in Aro/Ase characters, plots, and authors. This is not a new concept as some favorite characters in popular culture and media are generally recognized to be Aro/Ase.  Some of the more well-known characters associated with Aro/Ase are Queen Elsa (Frozen), Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory), and the doctors from Dr. Who. Many of J.K. Rowling’s character in Harry Potter also display some Aro/Ase characteristics.s

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tips to Keep Your Readers Reading

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

J. R. Ewing heard a noise outside his office door. He walked into the hallway and BOOM! Shot. Twice. This was the season ender for the 1980 television show, Dallas. America was taken back when they realized two things.   1) Was J. R. Ewing dead? 2) Who shot him?

That closing scene was every writers dream come true . . . having the viewer/reader hungry for more.

Fiction is the most read genre in the country. Not only do authors vie for a spot on the fiction shelves of a bookstore, bigger yet, they vie for the reader’s attention. Thanks to the world of technology and media bumping up a viewer’s expectations, writers must step up the pace to draw the reader in.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Use Social Media to Get More Value From a Writing Conference

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

That time of year is upon us. Writers everywhere are making plans to attend writing conferences. But in the midst of your preparation, not miss out on valuable connections that can more than double what you get out of these events.

Many writers have the mistaken idea that social networking is only beneficial online. Or that it only helps when you can’t be at an event. Not true.

While it’s true that social networking can help you plug in when you’re not at a conference or event—many miss the benefits of networking online before and during the conference.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

In the Shadow of Words

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

It’s been a while since I’ve written—since I followed words across the page as they made their way to wherever they were headed. I’ve missed their shadow and walking in it. They break ground for me, sheltering me from the hot, harsh wild of uncertain terrain. My place behind them is cool and smooth, a place of comfort and security.

Do you see your words this way? 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Beautiful Things and Joy

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

You’ve heard the saying just as often as I have: Stop and smell the roses.

This week I stopped and looked at the roses sitting on my kitchen counter … over and over and over again.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Self-Publishing—A Way to Preserve Those Family Stories

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

For many of us, it’s not until after our parents, grandparents or elderly friends have died and taken their stories with them that we think of all the things we wished we’d asked about. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Enjoyment of Writing

by Del Duduit @DelDuduit

When I put my thoughts down on paper, it makes me appreciate any moment or situation better.

I can understand circumstances in a different way I never before considered. At times, I even change my mind on a few issues, or at least I see the other side from another perspective.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Reach Your Writing Goals Using Creativity

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyAdict

It’s February. The bubbly optimism of “This year I’m going to succeed at _________ because I have the perfect plan” has worn off. Whether it’s snow days with the kids, pressure from a job, family obligations, or one of a thousand other life happens moments, the road to our goals in never smooth. This is when we face a choice: give up or get creative.

Monday, February 5, 2018

A Different Perspective on Social Media for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all that’s involved in being a writer today. Not only do we have to write well, we’re also responsible for making sure we have an audience for what we write.

We’ve been told it's important to:
  • Have a platform
  • Keep the numbers growing
  • Build valuable connections
  • Schedule webinars
  • Share memes
  • Start podcasts
  • Blog every week
  • Stay active on social media

The list goes on and we get buried deeper under the weight of all our responsibilities—especially with social media and marketing.

Before we give in to weariness and discouragement we need to stop, and think about why we’re here.

Why do we do what we do? Yes, we want to earn a living, but money isn’t the main reason the majority of us have chosen to be a writer.

We do this because we heard God speak…maybe not in an audible voice…but we heard and answered His call.

Because of the avalanche of expectations, some of us are in danger of missing His voice. We want to honor His call, His willingness to issue an invitation to join Him in His work.

We find ourselves in a miserable no-mans-land between ministry and marketing.

But maybe we’re not as far from God’s call as we think we are.

I challenge you to take a look at social media from a different perspective.

I propose that we might have been looking at things upside down. We’re not doing social media to promote our message, or sell our books, or even build a following.

What if social media IS the call… or at least part of the call. What if this isn’t all about us, but about opening ourselves up, putting ourselves out there, taking chances and building bridges BECAUSE GOD HAS A PLAN?

What social media isn’t:
  • Mass marketing
  • A running commercial
  • A chance to toot my own horn

Instead, social media is a chance to connect with like-minded people WITHOUT the barrier of location.

It’s a chance to share value, spread truth, show love. It’s God’s way of building bridges, meeting needs, and changing the world…one glorious update at a time.

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14b

God is perfect with His Plan, Preparation, and Place
  • in His plan for us
  • in His preparation of us
  • where in time He has placed us

It’s no mistake that we were born in this place and time. We have a responsibility to learn how to use the tools that surround us.

Beyond that, God’s word is clear that we are called to be a light in the dark. There’s no place darker than social media. We know that, we’ve seen that through past few years.

He told us to go out into the world. Folks, that includes the World Wide Web.

He warned us that the world hated Him and it would hate us too. Is there any wonder that social media is hard?

The important thing for us to focus on the is the fact that for the first time ever, we can reach the world without leaving home. No wonder the enemy wants to convince us it’s too hard, too meaningless, too much work. He’s scared of what God can do with a few committed believers willing to make a difference through the tools He’s given us.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Beware How You Talk...to Yourself

\by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24

As a writer, I love words. In fiction, I love finding just the right words for my character to use when they speak to each other. 

But one thing I discovered.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

5 Things a Writer Can Dig Up in an Obituary

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

One morning, while I was in college, back in the day when phones hung on walls, I joined my father at the breakfast table for our daily ritual of reading the paper.

He looked over and gave me a smirk. “You’re still reading the comics?”

I looked at his section, the obituaries. I wanted to say, See your name? Instead, I said, “It’s better than being depressed from reading that.”

Oh, the folly of youth.

Friday, February 2, 2018

3 Ways to Put Creative Processes for Writing Into Practice

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

Yesterday, Lynn Blackburn reviewed Light the Dark…Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process. If you missed it, here's the link to A Book For Writers to Challenge & Inspire. 

As I read the book (I confess, I’m not quite finished), I considered ways to personally apply their wisdom to my own writing projects. Today, I’ll share some of those ideas along with practical ways to put them into practice.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Book for Writers to Challenge & Inspire

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I’m not sure where I first heard about Light the Dark - Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process. I do know that I thought it sounded great and I popped it into my Amazon cart without much more thought.