Ebook Review: Apocalypse: Diary of a Survivor 2

apocalypse_2Apocalypse 2: Diary of a Survivor by Matt Pike

“I thought I had already seen the best and worst of humanity. But I was wrong.”

When a rogue comet smashed into Earth, Jack Baldwin’s life changed forever. In a single night of carnage, the vast majority of the world’s population was obliterated, while those who survived were all but sent back to the Stone Age. The lucky ones? They don’t necessarily see it that way. Especially Jack, whose dreams of a happily ever after – well as happily ever after as Armaggedon gets – were shattered in a senseless act of violence. With everything and everyone he fought to build and protect now gone, Jack is left truly and utterly alone. And with food supplies growing ever scarcer, and fellow survivors getting more desperate and aggressive by the day, it’s going to be a long way back from the brink. Can Jack find himself again, find new purpose and carve out a way forward? Maybe. But first he’s going to have to ask himself the biggest question of all: Why?

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Gumroad: An Alternate Distributor for Ebooks (And Other Products)

We all know about the main distribution channels for indie authors: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google. But there are alternative, and potentially lucrative ways, to sell your work. One such alternative is Gumroad, which allows writers, artists, and others to sell their work.

It doesn’t have to be limited to ebooks either. If you’re a non-fiction author, you can bundle products and sell resources/checklists/PDFs, online courses, additional research, and even services to go with your books. And if you’re a fiction author, you can sell subscriptions to your work. You can sell anything on Gumroad, even templates for professional resumes. Continue reading

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

140 Tools and Resources for Building Your Author Website and/or Blog

By Matthew Bowden www.digitallyrefreshing.com (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/145972) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

By Matthew Bowden http://www.digitallyrefreshing.com (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/145972) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

Author websites and blogs are important components to building an author platform. With that in mind, here is a list of resources that can help you set up and optimize your site. Continue reading

Tips and Tricks for Setting Up Your Blog

By User Gflores on en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By User Gflores on en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Blogging is a lot of work, but it can be very rewarding. Are you thinking of starting a blog this year? Here are some helpful resources to get you going:

Getting Subscribers

Driving Traffic

Avoiding Mistakes

Guest Posts

Writing Posts

Monetization

Marketing Books with Blogging

Metrics

Trends

Tools

Guest Post: 10 Common Grammatical Errors and How to Avoid Them!

By Priyanka Misra

Not particular about your grammar? Using incorrect English can diminish your charm. Here is some help.

Your ideas are only as good as the words you use to express them. The more vivid and fluently you speak and write, the more chances that people perceive you as intelligent, charming, funny or persuasive. There are 10 mistakes that we see repeated, way too often. These mistakes can ruin your efforts and put you on the back foot.

Here is a list of 10 mistakes, and how to avoid them.

1. Use of Apostrophe S

Apostrophes can be really tricky if you are unfamiliar with their rules. Many people incorrectly use apostrophes to write plurals. Others mess them when they are talking about possession. Some might even mess it up with contractions. In other words, the apostrophe S is messed up in every way it can possibly be. Harsh on it, don’t you think?

The S is used after an apostrophe when denoting a singular possession, like a boy’s football. It is, however, used BEFORE the apostrophe, when used with a plural noun. For example, boys’ shoes. It is never used to make a word plural. You can also use it for contractions, like “it’s” for “it is.” But do not use apostrophes unnecessarily, like in this second mistake.

2. Your/You’re

This set of homophones is used incorrectly, too often. The former word is used to show possession whereas you’re is just a short hand for—you guessed it right—“you are.” Here are a few ways we see people mixing them up:

3. Fewer/Less

The only reason this mistake does not get caught as often is because many people cannot tell the difference. But you know it now. Fewer is used for things that are countable, like days or hours or apples. Less, on the other hand, is used for items that you cannot count individually like water, air. Here is how you ought to use them:

4. To/Too

Homophones are most prone to be mistaken. This fourth mistake is another set of homophones that is likely to be confused and incorrectly used, way TOO many times.

‘To’ is the infinitive form of a verb, like to eat or to sleep. It can also be used, sometimes, as a short form of towards. ‘Too,’ however, means also. It indicates the presence of something that exceeds expectations. Here is how to use them:

5. Then/Than

8 out of these top 10 mistakes in this article are homophones. That puts the confusion with homophones in the right perspective. Here is the next one.

Many people mix up then and than, unaware of the totally different context of words. Than is used exclusively for comparisons. Then, however, is used to indicate a time sequence. For example, “till then.”

6. There/They’re/Their

This set of homophones is so often mistaken, that even spell check confuses them. Here is how to correctly use them.

There is a reference to a place which is away, much like the opposite of here. There is also used to state a fact, like “There is too much pollution in New Delhi.” Their reflects possession of a thing: something that belongs to “them.” They’re is a shorthand for “they are.”

7. Who/Whom

One who makes a mistakes is the one with whom you can discuss the point. Get the difference?

Whom refers to the object of a verb or preposition, whereas Who refers to the subject of a sentence. If you are confused between who and whom, try to check whether he or him would fit in the sentence. Use “who” for “he” and “whom” for “him.”

8. Effect/Affect

Despite a very subtle difference, using these words interchangeably can put you in bad situations. Put simply, one is a verb and the other is a noun. Affect, the verb, means to influence or have an impact on something. Effect, the noun, is the result of being AFFECTED by something.

9. Me/Myself/I

Beatles once used the triplets pretty well in “I Me Mine.” Oh, they did not use myself? Never mind, it is always a good time to listen to a Beatles number.

I is used when referring to a person performing the action in the verb. Me is used when the person is being acted upon (funny, right?), or to whom a preposition refers. Myself is used only if you have used I as the subject of the verb. Take a look at the examples:

10. E.g./I.e.

Exempli Gratia, id est tough, isn’t it? That is the reason why we use abbreviated forms, e.g. and id est (i.e.). Id est means “that is.” It is used to further explain something. Consider it similar to saying “in other words.”

Exempli Gratia (e.g.) is an abbreviation of “for example.” It is used to provide instances or examples of a particular type. Here is how to use them:

Which ones have you seen mixed up? Have you mixed up some of them yourself? Share it with us in comments, and let us laugh them off. This way, both of us will learn something new today.

Priyanka Misra is the Managing Editor at EnglishEdge.

From Cosmo.ph: 17 Non-Negotiables If You Want To Be A Girl Boss Someday

cosmoph

A while back, I had an amazing opportunity to write for Cosmo.ph. When I wrote the article, I’d just started a great new job, and was learning a lot. Here’s an excerpt of advice I’d give to anyone starting out.

There are certain things that apply no matter what industry you find yourself in. We came up with 17 non-negotiables you need to master, whether you’re a fresh grad or already a girl boss. Time to take down notes!

1. Adapt.

Things are constantly changing. New software, new workflows, new goals. You need to be comfortable going with the flow.

2. Constantly learn.

Take advantage of what your company offers. This could include going to conferences, taking online training, and even volunteering. If your company doesn’t pay for employee development, then find other ways to grow. Try Coursera or Udacity for free online courses.

3. Work on your passion projects.

Sometimes side hustles could lead to your next great job. Maybe you like podcasting, blogging, or vlogging—who knows, you might end up doing these full-time someday!

Read the full post here.

Earning Money From Writing

Writing is work. It takes a lot of time and effort to brainstorm, outline, research, and then finally put into words a topic or story. Then afterwards there’s a lot of editing, revising, and proofing. Electric Literature published an essay about how writing is a job, even if it doesn’t really pay:

The fact that writing is hard and there are many hobbyists doesn’t mean it isn’t a job either. It is very hard to be a professional athlete or a head chef, and many people practice sports or cooking as hobbies. But we would not pretend an NBA player or a head chef doesn’t have a job.

The argument is that if we think of writing as a hobby, it will be treated as a hobby, and then only people who can afford to write as a hobby will be writing. This reminds me of when I was in college and went to see Jeffrey Eugenides give a talk. I remember he told a story of how people don’t really think of writers as having a real job. He meets someone new and they find out he’s a writer, and the reaction is, “You know, I’ve always wanted to write a novel, I just haven’t had the time.” And Jeffrey said he thought that was strange, because you’d never go up to a heart surgeon and say, “You know, I’ve always wanted to operate on someone, I just haven’t had the time.”

Obviously, the two are not the same, but both take a certain set of skills that take time to develop. So in the spirit of treating writing as a job, here are some tips and ways you can earn money from writing:

An Interview with Howard Jay Smith, Author of Beethoven in Love; Opus 139

Howard Jay Smith is the author of Beethoven in Love; Opus 139:

A daring, compelling, and impeccably researched historical novel that offers dramatic new insight into the life of the greatest composer the world has ever known. Its fresh perspective and deeply felt understanding of Beethoven’s motivations, passions, and challenges speak eloquently to us today, connecting us to our own successes, failures, and dreams, and ultimately to the true consequence of our lives.

At the moment of his death on a snowy afternoon in March, 1827, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life. As he struggles to confront its ugliness, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven a lover with whom they savor the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

Read on for an interview with Howard, as well as an excerpt from his book. Continue reading

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