No Junk Mail

Save Me From Spam Hell

So, there is this website that is offering something free and you want it. Let's face it, free things are always good — well, most of the time they're good. However, the moment you sign up for that free thing, handing over your email, you know you're going to be giving the owners of that email list permission to send you spam. You don't want that. So, what is a girl to do?

Easy. Use an email specifically intended for nothing but spam.

But for writers, it's not a simple matter of spam versus general communications. You also have administration details, submissions and blog subscriptions. The email inbox of a writer can quickly become a nightmare. Important emails can become buried without you even realizing it.

Do you want to fight the email crazies? Well, here's how.

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Coffee

Author Interviews on Radio – Guest Blog from Jessie Sanders

Writing takes a community, sharing ideas, and supporting one another. So, when we get approached with an article that shares hard-earned knowledge, we couldn't be happier to pass that information.

Today's post is written by Jessica Sanders — host of Jessie's Coffee Shop on KLRNRadio.

Radio Interviews with Kitty and Fido

Hi, let me introduce myself. My name is Jessica or Jessie for short. I host an internet radio show (podcast) where I invite authors to talk — yes, verbally talk — about their books and writing style. I give each author 50 minutes, more or less, to discuss their book.Jessie's Coffee ShopNow, what do I feel makes an interview?

  1. Have your book blurb handy. You'd be amazed how many authors can't tell me their book blurb off the top of their heads.
  2. Have your social media contact information printed out and ready to reference.
  3. RELAX! Most author interviews aren't hard hitting and filled with gotcha questions (at least mine aren't).
  4. Have a bottle of water next to you.
  5. Listen to an episode of the show you've been invited to participate in.
  6. Yes, it's your episode, but leave room for comment from the host, so listeners don't wonder if the host fell asleep at the microphone.
  7. Be in a quiet environment. I can work with many things, but you sitting in the local cafe at lunch time won't make for good audio.

Now to elaborate...

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Words Can Cut Like Knives

As writers, we carefully craft our sentences to use the perfect word to say what is it that we want to say, creating the exact image in a reader’s mind. There are times when writers have been known to spend days to find those perfect words. Yet, there is one aspect of our writing lives where many writers don’t take the same care with words as they do their stories.

I’m talking about the posts that writers put on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. The rush to get the post out there can sometimes land us in situations where the words cut like knifes.

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Working with IngramSpark

(This article was originally published as part of the August 2017 RWNZ Newsletter.)

Many self-published and indie-published writers are connected with Amazon’s CreateSpace and KDP. They aren’t bad options, but they aren’t the only options either. When I started down the road of setting up my own publishing house, I seriously looked into what CreateSpace and KDP had to offer. It was then that I quickly realised that CreateSpace and KDP had some major drawbacks for myself living all the way on the other side of the world.

Enter IngramSpark.

Before I delve in the specific reasons of why I chose to print my books, and distribute the printed and eBook versions through IngramSpark, I better explain what makes IngramSpark different to CreateSpace and KDP.Read More

How important really is grammar?

When I tell people that I’m a freelance editor (including other writers), they instantly assume that I’m a copyeditor, with a keen interest in working on the grammar and punctuation of my clients. I’m not surprised that writers often jump to that conclusion. Majority of editors that I encounter actually ARE copyeditors. However, what is the point behind looking at the appropriateness of a given word in a sentence when on page 152 the bad guys are setting up the bomb that will level the city, and the good guys find the bomb and disarm it by the end of page 154.

This may sound incredibly odd coming from a professional editor, but in all honesty, grammar takes a backseat to story and character.

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Nonfiction writers who write fiction need to retrain their brains.

There are some out there who believe that writing is just writing. If you have training in writing of one nature, surely you can write other stuff too. Well…

There are certain aspects of writing that hold true no matter what type of writing you do. The rules of grammar, for example, don’t care if you write fiction, a scientific paper, or a cookbook. However, there is a massive difference between all three of those particular types of writing.

It is becoming increasingly common for those who have nonfiction writing backgrounds to shift into the fictional realms. Let’s face it, we have big imaginations and we want to share that with the world. Rightly so. Our stories should be told. However, nonfiction writers, you need to retrain your brains if you are serious about pursuing fiction.

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You Need to Register Your Copyright

Every so often, I come across some blog post or a Facebook group message, or something, where a writer is asking about copyright certificates and the like. Amazon is becoming more insistent on obtaining those copyright certificates, and rightly so.

Too many times, I have encountered some horror story where some honest writer has had their precious work taken down from the Amazon sites because some BLEEP has chosen to claim that they own the copyright. If this happens to you, it falls on you to prove the other person is wrong.

To complicate matters, far too many writers choose not to register their copyright with a copyright authority because of the cost. However, these are the writers that run the risk of finding themselves being the victim of some copyright scam.

All writers want to protect their writing as much as possible, and for the most part, people are honest. It’s the shady ones that you need to worry about. Here is where taking a few simple steps can save you.

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The Rush-The-Process Dish

Over a year ago, I jokingly reported about some of the flavours of the Rush-The-Process dish. I’m talking about those scenarios where writers are in such a hurry to submit their work for publications that they skip vital steps in the editing or publication process.

In that post, I spoke about the ones who only have family and friends looking at their work, not other writers or editors. I spoke about the ones who take editorial reports and stick to the most basic of rewrites. Then there are those who submit to agents and publishers unfinished works, only to go into full panic mode when they get the request for fulls. And my personal favourite: upload to Amazon without editing at all, because they supposedly can’t afford it.

But there are some other flavours to this Rush-The-Process dish that also requires some attention.

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A Website and Blog are NOT the same thing.

There are many out there who will use the terms website and blog interchangeably. The difference between the two is not as clear as one might think. It probably doesn’t help that many blogs are hosted on personal websites. However, there is a BIG difference between a website and a blog, although the line is a little fuzzy.

A website is your internet home, containing information about yourself and your various projects. The pages are static, occasionally updated to reflect changes. It will contain the most up-to-date information about your work, assuming that you actually keep it up to date.

A blog, on the other hand, is like a diary. It will be constantly changing with whatever content or other information you choose to share with the world. In some respects, a blog will contain even more up-to-date information about your work. However, the information on a blog quickly gets buried, depending on the frequency at which you post. This means that you can’t rely on your blog as a marketing tool for older works.

If a reader visits your site, they want to be able to find your books, products, or whatever quickly — and with little effort. This is the key point that distinguishes a website from a blog.

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Developmental Editors are NOT Copyeditors

When I tell people that I’m an editor, the first response that I typically get is something along the lines of, “You must love spelling.” It’s amazing how many people assume that editing is just looking at the punctuation and grammar, perhaps finding typos. However, this proofreading type of editing is the final stage of the process. Before you get to that point, there are so many other aspects.

I have written about the stages of editing before, posting the below info-graphic about when you need to seek those external eyes and what type of external eyes you need. However, I still encounter many who are confused about what editing really entails.

The stages of editing info-graphic

The stages of editing

In this week’s post, I thought I’d elaborate on the two main categories of professional editors that you’ll likely encounter, and why BOTH are vital to the health (and success) of a story. I’m talking in particular about developmental editors and copyeditors.

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