Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Don’t be cheap with your book cover.

It may sound like obvious advice, but you will be surprised at how many choose not to listen to it. If you are self-publishing, you need to be prepared to put money into your book cover. The cover will be the first thing that people see. Hence, it needs to be eye-catching, but in a good way. If your book cover looks cheap, people will instantly assume that you didn’t take the time to edit your writing before publishing. However, if you have a professional looking cover, then they might actually stop long enough to look at the blurb. There are many graphic designers out there who produce beautiful covers for a reasonable price. Ask other writers as to who they recommend.
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Backups & Cloud Syncing in Scrivener

Tips and Tricks for Scrivener: Video Series

It has been a long time in production, but it's finally here. The first of the new videos in Tips and Tricks for Scrivener is now available.

As a reminder, in the first series, we examined the steps needed to get started and compile your manuscripts. There were videos on how to start a new project or import Word files. We looked at how to compile your manuscripts for submission or into eBook format. We even looked at some of the differences between the Mac and Windows versions of Scrivener.

In the second series, we'll delve a little deeper into the capabilities of Scrivener, including how to make templates and backup files.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: New professional editors are good editors too.

A good professional editor is worth every penny that you pay them. They can save you from that embarrassing mistake of sending Jack down the road to “sale” the cow. However, don’t be afraid to work with the new editor that is still getting their feet wet. Editors need experience in particular areas so they can market themselves accordingly. Many new editors will give you a great rate, but they should also be honest and upfront about their experience. If in doubt, ask for a sample edit. If they do charge for this, it should be a nominal fee, often discounted from longer contracts.
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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Writing is like art — filled with subjective opinions.

It’s often difficult to remember that writing is actually just another form of art. There is a reason it’s called creative writing. What one person loves, another will hate.  The writers that try to please everyone will drive themselves crazy in the attempt. But this subjectivity goes for the professionals in the industry too. Just because an agent/publisher has turned down your beloved manuscript doesn’t necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with your manuscript. It just means that they weren’t as passionate about it as you are and hence didn’t feel that they could best represent that story. One should always remember this in any dealings about your manuscript. At the end of the day, there is only one person that you need to make 100% happy with what you have written: yourself. Your name is attached to that story. Make it a story that you’re proud of.
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What is a Platform?

The whole concept of building a following can be overwhelming at times, and there really isn’t much solid advice out there. However, a writer’s platform is not the complicated concept that many turn it into.

A writer’s platform is NOT marketing, promotion, or publicity. It’s not just a website or social media — for that matter, it’s not just your books. A writer’s platform is everything that you do to connect with readers.

It’s your local writers’ group that you attend once a month, or more frequently, as the case may be. It’s those conferences and book festivals that you save your pennies for so you can afford the registration. It’s your participation in special events that have nothing to do with writing and your books.

Yes, a writer’s platform includes your books, website, and social medial, and yes, this online component in today’s market is important, but it’s not everything.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Have a marketing strategy for your book.

Whether you are self-publishing or traditionally publishing, you need a marketing strategy for your book. It’s not good enough to just post your book on Amazon and expect people to buy it. The “build it and they will come” philosophy only works for Kevin Costner. The exact strategy that you use will depend on your personality and goals. There is only one wrong answer: doing nothing.

By the way, marketing begins before your book is published and continues long afterward.
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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Get involved in the writing community

Writing can be incredibly isolating.  Let’s face it, family and friends will nod and smile sweetly, humoring our writing aspirations, but unless they are writers themselves, they will never understand the obsession that writing is. It is vital for your development as a writer to find other writers. Search for local writing groups. Join on-line networks. Participate in Twitter events like #PitchWars. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: There is a BIG difference between professional and self-editing.

Self-editing is always an attractive option to the financial purse strings. However, professional editing is always preferred. A professional editor has no emotional attachment to your writing. Hence, they are likely to pick up things that you would have completely missed otherwise. However, before you hire a professional editor, ensure that you are hiring the right editor for the job — don’t hire a copyeditor for developmental editing, and vice versa.
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