Guest Post: Where to Find the Best New Authors; 5 Online Writing Communities To Explore

By Allison Phillips

The environment is changing for authors. What once was thought to be a solitary pursuit is evolving into an interactive process with the introduction of new technology. As we move from the printed page to the screen, it invites readers and writers to engage and share the experience through online writing communities. Writers now have access to networks that offer critique, feedback, and support to one another. This collaborative approach helps to beat writer’s block, get inspired, and obtain a fresh perspective.

Take the bestselling novel 50 Shades of Grey, fan fiction based on Twilight, and written in progress on a public fan-fiction website; it gathered fans and feedback over time before being formally published.

While online writing communities benefit writers by giving them the freedom to share their work, it benefits readers by allowing them to uncover a whole new world of storytellers. No longer are readers restricted to the bookstore in search of something captivating but can now visit a site to explore new writing styles, working plots and engage with a potential bestseller.

Here are some writing communities that readers can explore: Continue reading

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Guest Post: Confused in Choosing Digital or Traditional Marketing? Consider a Mix of Strategies

By Christopher Austin

There’s a continuous debate in the world of marketing as many people – business professionals and amateurs alike – can’t decide between digital and traditional marketing. Some claim that the future of advertising is in the digital world. Others still abide by old-fashioned techniques because they strongly believe that offline marketing works best. It’s natural to get confused. Whether we like it or not, both strategies are efficient. But in order to stand out and make an impression on prospects, you need to adopt a seamless tactic, better known as a hybrid. Continue reading

A Look at Amazon: Timeline and Indie Author News

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Amazon, but as usual, I’ve been collecting links. Here are some items that explain what Amazon has been up to (you may notice it covers a wide range of topics, which is fitting, since Amazon covers so many industries now): Continue reading

10 Companies with Multiple Channels to Control Their Branding

I’ve been hearing a lot about branding lately. Strong branding can make people loyal to you (like Apple), and the more control you have over your branding, the easier it is to make sure your audience sees the message you are trying to send.

Take Disney, for example. Disney owns a multitude of assets, ranging from production studios (Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, etc.) to retail, games, and apps, to theme parks and hotels, to music, to distribution, to books, to TV networks, and more. Because Disney owns so much, the company can make sure that their branding reaches every aspect of their business. The same message moves through each step in their pipeline, and if they ever need to change or update that message, they can easily do so.

This got me thinking, what other companies own additional assets to help with their branding? Here’s a few I’ve found, in no particular order. Continue reading

A Quick Look at Coloring Books

By Jenn Gaylor (Southeast Steuben County Library) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jenn Gaylor (Southeast Steuben County Library) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and you know what could make a nice gift? A coloring book!

Seriously, I know it was a huge fad last year (and the year before), but there is something really relaxing about taking colored pencil to paper. In that spirit, here are some resources I’ve found about coloring books (in case you want to make and sell your own, or just color your own):

Coloring Book Trends

Related Trends

Coloring Benefits

Making and Publishing Coloring Books

Examples of Coloring Books

Coloring Book Apps

Getting Started with Code: A List of Tutorials and Resources

Photo: Chief Photographer/MOD [OGL (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Chief Photographer/MOD [OGL (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Knowing how to code can be a powerful tool for an author (like if you want to build your own website). It’s not easy, but it is rewarding. Here are some resources to help you learn and get started:

Learning

HTML5

JavaScript

Git

Ruby on Rails

PHP

Python

Machine Learning

Mobile

Editors

Apple

Additional Resources

Legal Considerations for Authors

By Sachinwarankar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Sachinwarankar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

For writers and publishers, there are a lot of interesting things to consider when it comes to the law.

For writers looking to go the traditionally published route, there’s a lot to keep in mind contract-wise, including, according to Kristine Kathryn Rusch, control, fairness, and clout. She explains that you want as much control over your project as possible, though some contracts may not allow for negotiation, so you’ll have to ask yourself if that contract is something you really want. Also, things will not always be fair, but you don’t need clout to negotiate, you just need to get past the idea that you need a certain level of success before you can negotiate and just go for it. The worst thing that can happen is the person you’re negotiating with can say “no.” Continue reading

Chickadee Prince, a Small Press and Pop-up Bookstore

chickadeeprincelogo3Pop-up stores are fun. Sometimes they’re themed, sometimes they sell unique things, and they often have an urgent, fun atmosphere, since they only plan to stick around for a set amount of time.

Chickadee Prince, a small press based in Brooklyn, is planning on opening up a pop-up bookstore, in addition to publishing new titles. Read on for a great Q&A with founder Steven S. Drachman, who created Chickadee Prince from a bookseller’s perspective. Continue reading

The Growth of Audiobooks

By Dieaxtimwald (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Dieaxtimwald (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

A few weeks back, I wrote an essay for LARB about reading in the multimedia age. A big part of the essay focused on audiobooks, which are growing in popularity each year.

According to QZ, audiobooks are growing more than ebooks. MarketWatch wrote that some audiobooks are selling more copies than their print counterparts, and according to The Digital Reader, “audio can outsell print when audio is treated as its original format and not produced as an after thought.” Continue reading