Resources for Writers

For new writers, experienced writers or those still dreaming and not sure if they want to attempt it - this page is for you!

In the months I've been searching the Internet, chatting in newsgroups, and looking for an agent, I've found some useful info worth sharing. Below you'll see its grouped into sections with resource links that will bring you to a new page.

If you found something on here useful please
let me know. If you have something I could add for other writers, please email me and I'll add it.
Newbies:
** Buy books on the craft and teach yourself. Practice, write, and don't give up. It takes time. I don't think anyone writes perfect prose the first time out. I felt incredibly intimidated when I found out Stephen King used to teach grammar. I have a science and art background and was completely unprepared to edit my own book.

But I learned. And so can you.
Great books on the craft of writing:

On Writing - by Stephen King

How I Write - by Janet Evanovich

The Elements of Style - by Strunk and White

No Plot? No Problem! - by Chris Baty
Essential for attempting National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)



Eats, Shoot & Leaves - by Lynne Truss

The First Five Pages - by Noah Lukeman

Revision & Self Editing - by James Scott Bell

Manuscript Makeover - by Elizabeth Lyon
Depending on your genre, there's a writing guild out there for you!

These wonderful groups offer classes, workshops, forums to talk to fellow writers, crit loops to have your work improved, and guild sponsored writing contests.

Romance Writers of America

Sisters in Crime

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Mystery Writers of America

Horror Writers Association

Each writing guild has chapters and subchapters. Some are broken up by location and some by genre. You'll find a resource of people and even have the chance to go to local meetings, workshops and conferences.
The following is a list of some spots to get your work looked at and critiqued by fellow writers. It's an option if you haven't joined a writing guild and don't have crit group to turn to.

Online Critiquing Sites:

Writing.com

CritiqueCircle.com

Critters Workshop

Great computer generated one a friend turned me onto:

AutoCrit

Never underestimate writing contests - You can get useful feedback on your work and sometimes get it in front of some eyes in the industry that can really make a difference (meaning final judges being editors and agents)

Best page I found that lists a ton:

Stephie Smith
Fledgling Writer:
** Before you think you're done with that MS - check out this revision method, it worked for me: One Pass Revision
When you're ready to look for an agent, you need to have a great query and multiple synopsis lengths. Both of mine took over a week to do. Seriously. I was shocked how hard that part was. Not only did I post mine on the critiquing sites for reviews and advice, but also visited these great sites and blogs to improve it:
Janet Reid

Query Shark (run by Ms. Reid)

The Public Query Slushpile

And, an oldie but a goodie - worth the read:

Miss Snark

Ways to get eyes on your work from fellow writers and readers (although I wouldn't consider these critiquing sites):

TextNovel

Authonomy

Litopia

Scribd
Ready to Submit? (Gosh, that sounds funny)

Research
anyone you decide to send your query to FIRST:

Preditors & Editors

Agent Query

Publishers Marketplace

The forums on this site can give you up to date info from fellow writers:

Absolute Write Be sure to check the Beware section

When you do send your queries out, you can track them here:

Query Tracker
While you're waiting to hear back from agents, or if you have the time to read before you submit, check out these great sites and blogs about the publishing industry and working with agents. It's truly amazing what's out there when you look:
Nathan Bransford - great blog from an agent that focuses on the industry

BookEnds Literary Agency

Larsen & Pomada

**more to come, please check back

Do I Need a Website?

YES!

If you think you're ready to branch out on your own or have seriously started submitting everywhere please consider starting a website and a blog. Think of it as a modern day calling card.

If someone hears your name, they check you out. It's a great place to have a professional intro of yourself and a way for people to contact you if they have an interest.

I am not techno savvy to say the least. I have no aspirations of becoming a web-designer. I realize some authors have flashy sites with lots of graphics and stuff, good for them. I have a tight budget and plan to stick to it.


That being said, I have a Mac and found an AMAZINGLY simple software program that helped me build this site. The basic software for
Rapid Weaver was $80 and the only add on you really need to buy is the Stacks one. Oh - and the blog one. Everything else is a free add-on or didn't quite fit my needs.

Do it. Don't delay. Your competition will have a site and the second an agent opens up your query it's good to have a site to direct them to. Trust me.


Non-published Author:


Thinking of going the non-traditional route? Tired of rejections or waiting 12 months for someone to get back to you? Here are some interesting reads:
The Myth of Traditional Publishing

Scientific Publishing (long, but still a good read)

How much does it cost to publish a book? Mr. King does a great blog, worthy of a look-see.
Understand the difference between Vanity Presses and Self-publication (be sure to read all the way down to the definitions on the second link).

In a perfect world, money always flows to the writer, but when trying to do things on your own you will need to lay out cash. Research to make sure you are not going with the first type of scam and then research some more to make sure you're doing the best thing for your book.
All Authors:
Please don't ever underestimate the amount of work you need to do to sell your book. The common myth that all you need to do is get your book on Amazon and it will sell is what has driven a ton of people to self publish or jump at the first deal they're offered from a legit publisher.

I'm not saying those books aren't worthy. Frankly, anyone who has taken the time to write, polish their book, and hone their craft is probably going to find a market of readers who enjoy it.

But do they come to you magically? No they don't. You must go out and hunt them down with single minded determination.

That does not mean be rude, obnoxious, or insulting if someone doesn't care for your book. Lots and lots of people don't like Vampire Vacation. Some of my peers hate my style of writing. Do I care? Not really. Because I know my book appeals to readers.

How do I know that? Because I took a chance and found out. Get your work out there, let real people read it. Listen to what they have to say. Don't cry if some don't like it. Shake it off and move on.

I actually had a guy declaring to be a fellow writer come onto my fanpage on Facebook the very first week I put myself and my work out there and told me I was "whoring myself out to readers by asking for their opinion". I was shaken a fellow writer would say something so horrid.

Being the admin of your page has its advantages and I deleted the comment. Bam! Take that you cyber jerk. ;-)

Here are the titles of some books to use for invaluable marketing help:

Sell Your Book on Amazon by Brent Sampson

How to sell anything on Amazon and make a fortune by Michael Bellomo

Aiming at Amazon by Aaron Shepard

Plug your Book by Steve Weber


Yes, I'm a bit of a book junkie and bought them all. Have I read them cover to cover and can I tell you which is the best one? No, I can't.

Each one has something to offer and is worthy of a look.
Marketing, self-promition, book reviewer blogs, guest blogging, interviews, social networkingit seems endless and daunting, doesn't it? I've found some great resources in my quest to succeed.

Please take a look. You never know, you may find something to help push the sale of your book to even greater heights.


Shameless Book Promoter

How to get your book into Costco

Book Blogs - a great Ning social network to meet online reviewers that have an interest in your genre and if you approach them professionally, may give your book a read and mention on their blog.

Facebook business page - not a personal or pen name profile page. If you don't understand the difference, please read this post, it explains the why's and how to set one up.

Here's a sample, check out
my business page on facebook - but I believe you have to have a FB account first.

Second Life (SL) - if you write genre fiction you need to consider this "game". People in it realize it's more of a social tool than a game - click here to read what I'm talking about.

Here's an
old blog post I did as an article supplement regarding SL and how I got my pen name.

Be warned - SL takes a lot of time to learn and thrive in. I'm still learning and I have numerous helpful guides. But don't discount what you don't understand. It's more popular and useful than facebook and Twitter put together.

Yes, you read that right.

Amazon - yes, we all know it. But did you know about the weight their book reviewers carry? Do an author page and start to review books. Approach the best reviewers in the genre when your book is coming out in a few months and hope for the best. If you wrote a good book you can be sure the reviewers will spot it.

On that note, please check out these other spots you can become a reviewer and then people may review your books as well:

Goodreads, WeRead, and Barnes & Noble

Didn't know there was so much to do to sell your book, did you?

More information coming soon!