Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

WordPress and Word 2010

Posted: May 9, 2012 in Links

Yes, I’m doing it again—allowing myself to be sidetracked by technology when I should be working on creating fiction.

I recently upgraded to Word 2010 and still have a lot to learn about its benefits. At my regular job, I have access to Word 2007, but for my personal writing, I had only been using Word 2003. Ancient, I know, but it worked for what I needed at least. Thanks to a monetary Christmas gift I’ve been saving for just the right purchase, I have finally moved into the 21st century word processing-wise.

My first diversion this morning was investigating how to save files to the Microsoft Skydrive. When I am home, I use a desktop computer and am always plugged into the internet, thanks to my Sprint Evo phone with its hotspot. But I have recently taken to joining a group of writers twice a month at a local coffee shop where we write for an hour (individually, but gathered together at the same tables) then talk for fifteen minutes. It had been helpful in that I feel a sense of accountability to get actual writing done during that time, but also to help me “feel” like a writer, which I’ve found is an important component to actually accomplishing any writing.

So since I take a laptop to these meetings, I now need to find the most efficient way of making sure I am always working on the most current copy of my manuscript. Sure I could save files to a thumb drive and cart it back and forth, but is there a better way and, preferably, an automated way?

Yes, I found. I could decide to save my files to the Microsoft Skydrive and can even select it as the default location for my files and backup files. I haven’t yet decided if that’s what I’m going to do, though. What happens if I don’t have internet access because my hotspot’s not working, for instance?

But as I was playing with the Skydrive save feature, I notice that In the Save and Send menu of Word 2010, there is a Publish as Blog Post option. And lo and behold, WordPress is one of the blog sites it offers as an option.

So this post is an experiment with how efficiently that works. It would be handy since using the WordPress New Post screen has its limitations. I’m going to insert sample pictures and even try some font sizes and styles
to see what if anything will translate to the WordPress page. I also wonder if it will let me choose which blog to send this to. Subject matter-wise, this post probably belongs to my Writer’s Resources page, but the Debra R. Borys site is my “default” page in WordPress so it may end up there.

We’ll all by surprised together, won’t we? I’ll add notes or comments to the post once it’s done and let you know how the process went and if the experience was a Yay or nay for me.

See my comment below for post publishing observations

POD Does Not Mean Poo On Demand

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Links

As an author whose publisher uses Print on Demand (POD) through Lightening Source, I’ve already come across some misconceptions about POD when I tried to convince some local bookstores to carry copies of Painted Black.  Some people don’t get that POD with Lightening Source is a technology, not a business model.

Here’s another take on some of the stigma attached to POD.

Next time you order a book online, consider this: odds are increasing that the book itself hasn’t been printed yet. Welcome to the world of on-demand printing, where books live electronically on a hard drive somewhere until someone wants a copy.

via On-demand printing helps sustain the printed page | Marketplace from American Public Media.

 

Writing Reality as Fiction

Posted: April 4, 2012 in Links

Writing fiction means creating worlds the reader can believe in.  To do that, we take reality and twist it, a little or a lot.  This is what makes it believable.  I talk about my experience with twisting reality in the article below.

All fiction is reality, really.

I don’t believe you can write any book without writing about real life at the same time. It creeps even into the wildest science fiction and fantasy. I have written a series of short stories set in a dystopian world that falls somewhere between those two genres. The kernel of the world I created is the premise that life once was the way we see it today and the choices humanity made led to the universe of my Last Generation. Even a world or characters that have no connection to human beings relies on how the readers understanding of the real world cause us interpret the motivation and goals of these strange creatures.
via OmniMysteryNews

Hogwarts takes on the Muggles

Posted: April 2, 2012 in Links

Amazon being representative of the Muggle world, that is.  Of all the publishing organizations flapping and fuming about Amazon’s apparent invasion into the industry, Pottermore sounds like it could just have the magic it takes to keep them in their place.  Which sorting hat did you end up with?

Instead of buying the ebooks through the Amazon e-commerce system, the buy link takes the customer off to Pottermore to complete the purchase, with the content seamlessly delivered to their Kindle device. It is the first time I’ve known Amazon to allow a third party to “own” that customer relationship, while also allowing that content to be delivered to its device. Amazon gets something like an affiliates’ fee from this transaction, much less than it would expect to receive selling an ebook through normal conditions. Schadenfreude doesn’t even come close.

via How Pottermore cast an ebook spell over Amazon | Books | guardian.co.uk.

There are almost as many people creating companies that offer resources to writers as there are writers jumping into the self publishing frenzy.  There are a lot of hungry fish out there and everyone seems to be chasing those dollar-sign shaped fish hooks.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to be careful to pick a company that can be counted on to deliver some bang for your bucks.  Personally, I have no intention of paying anyone to either publish my writing or to promote it.  I don’t even enter contests if they have an entry fee.

There are lots of these companies, however, that offer free advice or tools that I am perfectly willing to take advantage of and pass on here.  I found the site below when doing some research on freelance rates that has several free offerings you might want to check out.  I’m sure they are hoping you will like their generosity enough to inquire into their paid services, but please know that I am not advocating for them.  If you are interested in what they have to offer, go for it.  Or just take the freebies and go on your way.  Your choice.

We hope you find these FREE writing resources useful for the writing you do. Check back with us often to see what other writing freebies we’ve come up with lately.

via Writing Freebies | No 2 Pen Writing and Communications.

Posted: March 25, 2012 in Links

Are you sure you want to quit your job and be a writer? Better have a back up plan.

Debra R. Borys

I’m pretty sure Rebecca O’Connor and I would be great friends if we knew each other.  The sentence quoted below is enough to make me think so (she’s a tequila advocate, people!–go Rebecca) but the sentiments she expresses in her post makes me positive it’s true.

I read this post right after my morning walk with my dog, Sophie where I was conversing with myself about my future.  It’s been almost a year since I decided to go part time at work so that I could concentrate on my writing.  The part time work has dwindled down to next to nothing, and some weeks is nothing.  Freelance writing is not going to support me in the foreseeable future. Without a college degree or technical knowledge which would make me an expert in some field, it could be years before that would be possible. If ever.  There are a lot of…

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Like Leapfrog for Bigger Folks

Posted: October 7, 2011 in Links

What a great idea. Tantor Audiobooks takes classics and adds audio to the text itself. Kind of like the Leapfrog does for the pre-school set.

Tantor Audio Audiobooks : Audio&eBook Classics.

Digitizing the Slush Pile

Posted: October 7, 2011 in Links

This could prove to be an exciting new dawn for writers, completely changing the submission/rejection cycle to be perfectly painless.

At first the PW article quoted below makes Inkubate sound like another Authonomy or Zoetrope Virtual Studio.  At these sites, writers upload their work to be reviewed and rated by other authors.  Highly rated works are then drawn to the attention of Harper Collins and Zoetrope respectively.  On Inkubate, writers upload their work just like the other sites, but the only ones who will view the material is agents and publishers who had purchased  a subscription to the site.

In addition, if your work is viewed you will actually GET PAID (probably minimally, but better than shelling out money for stamps).  In addition, the viewed work increases the writer’s value rating, which increases the odds it may be noticed by other potential buyers.

The site is in beta testing right now, but expected to go live in six months or so.  It will be by invite only, so keep your eyes open for a way to snag a ticket to get in.

Unlike online writing sites that offer feedback from a community of writer/readers, Inkubate is not a workshop site—it’s not intended to present content publicly to solicit feedback—but an online marketplace that allows agents and publishers to review content, make bids or solicit further information. “We are not a display site; writers do not see the works of other writers,” Gale said. All writers must be invited to submit content for the site and all content is vetted. Once invited to join, writers can subsequently invite other writers to join and upload content.

via Inkubate Plans to Digitize the Slush Pile.

Maximizing Digital Book Sales

Posted: October 3, 2011 in Links

I had no idea how complicated it is to get your book noticed on Amazon.com.  These two postings at Digital Book World give very detailed information about how it all works.  I’m sure it would be helpful for writers that have the stamina to take the time.

I think it is safe to say that everyone from the Big Six to smaller publishing houses to the independent author would like to sell more books. And given the extremely crowded “virtual bookshelf” on Amazon, etc it is extremely difficult to get your book (s) noticed.

How do you rise above the “noise?”

via Maximizing Digital Book Sales, Part 1 | Digital Book World.

This article covers what to expect as you increase your sales and how to leverage both external and internal sales into additional sales. From here on out I am going to show my inner math geek so please bear with me!

via Maximizing Digital Book Sales, Part 2 | Digital Book World.

Amazon’s Book Sale Statistics

Posted: August 15, 2011 in Links

Need a blow to your self esteem?  Try checking records of your book sales down to the nth degree.

Amazon has begun letting writers check weekly print sales figures from retailers around the country, by city and region.

via Obsessing Over Amazon’s Book Sale Statistics – NYTimes.com.