Since a lot of friends know I have my own website, it isn’t uncommon to get questions about how they get their own website, dipping their toe in the vast sea of having their own presence online. Usually I frame the discussion around three questions.
A. Do you want your own domain?
This is almost always a no-brainer for people as they often think in very specific terms and have some domain names in mind. My domain, polywogg.ca, is registered to me and only me. It is the same for every company on the planet that has a site, usually. They all register a domain name that is unique to them.
It isn’t the only way to go. Lots of people use free sites at various hosters and end up with sites like “http://AndreasWorld.wordpress.com” or “LoveOfBooks.blogger.com”. Their “unique” presence is still there but the hoster’s name shows up too. For some, they don’t care about that; for most, they do. » Read the rest
I’ve been going through some of my saved/bookmarked pages, and I came across this one from April Hamilton from back in July 2011. It’s a great summary of some problems that newbie writers (like me) have with dialogue (Indie Author: 6 Dialogue Traps To Avoid).
So it mentions that newbies often have the characters talking the same way i.e. with the same “voice”, which doesn’t happen in real life and is really boring to read. I’m not sure I like her examples of fixing it, as it starts to sound a bit cliché to have 20-somethings or ex-military people talk like caricatures, but it can give flavour to their voice. Equally, newbies often go for melodramatic scenes that are tripe for soap operas, or heavy on the exposition dump. And I like the overall premise of “when in doubt, read it out loud”. If it sounds wrong, it probably is. » Read the rest
Since I aspire to being a published writer, and will be eventually when I get some time and some butt glue to keep me in my writing chair, I haunt lots of writing sites and blogs and discussions to keep learning more about the business. Recently I came across a link to a post from Jane Friedman, one of the gurus in the indie biz talking about marketing, digital tools, and such. She was basically summarizing presentations at Digital Book World (DBW), and while I think JF has tons more experience than I, I found myself wanting to quibble with some of the conclusions (4 Lessons for Authors on the Current State of Publishing).
An author’s online presence is more critical than ever to long-term marketing strategy.
I don’t disagree that it is important, but hardly “critical” or even the greatest challenge in publishing. The changing nature of the marketplace from traditional to indie or self, the shifting weight from paper to digital, these are tectonic shifts. » Read the rest