Of course, obviously, I already have an author website, but I've been feeling that something is missing.
It's just not that interesting to look at. This week, I've started a project of indeterminate length, to try to surmise what is that special something that makes a good author website.
I’m one of those 'this comma is terrible, no wait why is there no comma here? Ugh, grammar sucks. I definitely need a comma here' types of people. For me, the beauty is in the edit.
I used to think the beauty was in the writing, but I’m also one of those people who have these tidal waves of words that crash into me and if I don’t get them down as fast as possible, they wash away. Which means theres not a lot of time for fleshing out characters, adding minor character arcs, mirroring plot points, try-fail cycles and other things that actually make a book worth reading.
Thats where the edit comes in.
This process is going to look a little bit different for everyone. Some people may like to do the copy editing first, or be their own alpha reader. But I thought I would share the process that works for me.
“Write your first draft with your heart. Edit it with your checkbook and a red pen.”
“Critiques are a necessary evil...but they don't have to be evil.” -Tweet This
I have a book full of quotes, many of them about writing, that I’ve been collecting for over a decade. But of all of them, this one has probably defined me as a writer the most. It gave me permission to be the author I wanted to be, it relieved my anxiety about writing at a time when I was taking it very seriously and trying very hard to get published. It didn’t happen then. But I kept writing. I didn’t worry about who would like it, or if it was any good (okay, I didn’t worry a lot). Because somehow knowing that you can’t predict what people will want to read gave me the freedom to write whatever I wanted.
With podcasts, I can make even the most mind-numbing tasks informative and beneficial to my someday full-time career.
What are Podcasts and Why Should I Care?
Podcasts are basically non-fiction informative talk radio shows on demand. You don’t have to be an ipod owner either; they can be played on a computer or any audio media player. Available via streaming or downloading it can be a very convenient media and, the best part, podcasts are completely a la cart. Most podcasts have very minimal advertising, shocking in this day and age of commercials on Youtube (COMMERCIALS. On. Youtube.) And they are unique in that pretty much anyone with a computer and a microphone can produce them, which means the sound quality can be iffy, but if you can deal with an occasional tangent and echo here and there, podcasts can be one of the best ways to do research and learn about new subjects during time that would normally be wasted.
I love podcasts because I have a desk job during the day and for many hours I am doing data entry and repetitive paperwork. So, instead of listening to the same eight songs on loop on the radio for eight hours, I decided to put that time to good use. It started out just keeping up to date on news and pop culture with some NPR podcasts (I am a shameless NPR addict, don’t tell my mom. She’ll never let me live it down) and it grew from there. Then one day I thought ‘hey, I bet there are some pretty awesome writing podcasts out there’ and voila, the following list was born.
So, Which Podcasts Should I Try?
What are your favorite podcasts? Have you listened to any of these? Did I miss one? I’m always looking for new things to listen to and would love to hear from you! Comment below or shoot me an email and let me know what you think.
No Man is an Island
It’s a good thing, too, because, if you’re at all like me, you know you have a good book, you know (or are pretty sure most days) that it is something people will want to read, but you have no idea what steps you should take after that. How do you get a book ready for publishing? Do you edit it yourself? How do you make it available as an ebook? Should you buy advanced print copies or use POD (Print on Demand)? Do you even know what Print on Demand is? Because I didn’t. You need a reliable, knowledgeable source to answer all these questions, show you where to find more resources and walk you through the money matters of it all.
"Take the Leap, don't worry, you're not alone." - Tweet This
The Book That Taught Me (almost) Everything I Know
It turns out it’s not quite as glamorous as loading a bunch of your best friends into a van with some second hand guitars and playing your way across the country. But what I loved about the book is it’s logical progression from chapter one on, taking you from first draft to final draft to ebook publishing and beyond. April explains it all and there are tons of resources listed in the book and a website where you can get access to even more. There are worksheets available as well that I’ve found extremely helpful for doing side by side comparisons of different service providers and keeping track of expenses. If you aren’t sure where to start and are overwhelmed by the tsunami of information pulled up when you google ‘indie publishing’, I would suggest picking up a copy of The Indie Author Guide at amazon or checking out April L. Hamilton’s website.
And don’t forget to get out there. It’s scary and nerve wracking, but you have to make yourself get active in the community. Create the website, start an author Facebook page or Instagram feed ( I have, and I promise it’s not that scary. Check them out here: FB, Pintrest and Instagram) It’s not enough to buy the book, or join the forum and then stop there and let that manuscript turn to dust in your drawer. Take the leap. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on Indie Publishing. Whats your favorite website or book that’s been most helpful on your journey? Comment below or use the contact page to drop me a line. Don’t forget to subscribe so you know when my next blog post is available.
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"Fiction gives the human soul a voice." - Helen Benedict
My thoughts on books, writing, inspiration, motivation and my incredible chosen proffession.