Pick of the Twitter: June, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

 

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for June, 2015:

  1. Query Question: maps, illustrations and other visuals in novels  @JanetReid

  2. 3 Steps to Driving More Traffic & Selling More Books or Products via LinkedIn @WriteToDone

  3. How Authors Can Evaluate Hybrid Publishers @JaneFriedman

  4. Why Small Business Owners Should Seriously Consider Blogging @socialmedia2day

  5. The Complete List of Creative Distractions and Defenses Against Them @WriterUnboxed

  6. Want to Build an Email List? 7 Newsletter Platforms to Choose From @thewritelife

  7. Writing About Guns: 10 Errors to Avoid in Your Novel via @JaneFriedman (TY. Am writing thriller. Vital to know facts!)

  8. How to take a break from writer’s block by James Chartrand @menwithpens

  9. Writing a Book? How to Know When to Stop Editing and Move On @thewritelife

  10. Q&A On Writing, Self Publishing And Book Marketing @thecreativepenn

  11. Split Narratives: Dividing Your Story Between Two or More Narrators  @aliventures

  12. What Every Writer Ought to Know About the Omniscient POV @KMWeiland

  13. Writing When It’s Difficult to Write @elizabethscraig

  14. The Great Big List of Twitter Lists, Ideas, and Tools @socialmedia2day

  15.  A HUGE list of free ebook sites for authors to promote their free ebooks!  @bkmkting

  16. The difference between editing and proofreading: @LeahMcClellan

  17.  Where’s the white space? How writers can show, not tell, through dialog and narrative @CSLakin

  18.  “Long Term Book Marketing” @bkmkting

  19. The Only Thing You Need to Know About Writing Strong Female Characters @KMWeiland

  20.  Email Newsletters for Authors: Get Started Guide  @JaneFriedman

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

 

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Writers’ Associations: Of Value to You??

by @AnnieDaylon 

Writers Associations Value


I am a member of three writing associations– the Federation of British Columbia Writers, the Houston Writers Guild, and the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador–all of which have proved valuable. How? Here are three examples: 

 

 1) At a recent meet up of the Federation of British Columbia Writers, I met up with a very talented artist, Loreena M. Lee who is now preparing illustrations for my upcoming picture book, THE MANY-COLORED INVISIBLE HATS OF BRENDA-LOUISE.

2) I entered my novel, CASTLES IN THE SAND, into a contest at the Houston Writers Guild, won the contest, and have since received the B.R.A.G. medallion for excellence in independent writing for that novel.

3) For most recent manuscript, OF SEA AND SEED, which is set in Newfoundland, I wanted an evaluation by an author/editor who wrote historical fiction in the same setting.  I have worked with editors across Canada and in the United States and am fully aware of the range of cost factors. I found exactly what I needed at a price I could afford through my membership in the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Members of WANL are entitled to receive a manuscript evaluation at 50% off the actual cost; the Writers Alliance pays the rest. The fees for this service are based on the number of pages in the manuscript. My manuscript is 306 pages long; the total cost, tax included, came in at about six hundred dollars. The cost to me? $300. (My membership costs me twenty-five dollars per year.)
The WANL contract promised a turnaround time of three weeks. It was actually two weeks from the day I agreed to the contract that my evaluation arrived. I received not only a fifteen page, single-spaced anecdotal evaluation but also a full version of the manuscript with Track Changes applied.

The take-away for you? Spend a little time checking out your local or national writing associations. Maybe you are a member of one or two, yet don’t know all of their offerings. You too could benefit from a meet up, a contest, or a professional critique.

Thank you to all of the above writing associations for the services they offer. A special thanks to Alison Dyer, Executive Director of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, and to author/editor Paul Butler for his prompt, detailed, and professional evaluation of my work.

Free Short StoryA Free Short Story will be yours when you subscribe to my author newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured that your email address will be held in the highest confidence and will not be shared or distributed for any purpose.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: May, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for May, 2015:

  1. Recently, I watched, then tweeted about SHOWRUNNERS: THE ART OF RUNNING A TV SHOW  (Don’t usually include my own tweets here, but I was blown away by the amount of work these writers do! This show is available on Netflix and is well worth the watch!)

  2.  Wondering how to use Pinterest for author website? Check it out! via @BublishMe

  3.  Writing Different Genres? This is one of many Reasons to Use a Pen Name  by Danielle Hanna

  4. How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd by Kathleen Boucher via @shareholic @bkmkting

  5. 10 Ways to Promote Your Self-published Book [Infographic] by @chrisrobley via @bookbaby

  6. Chilliwack used book store parody video goes viral – Chilliwack Times  via @BlackPressMedia  @MargaretAtwood

  7. Book Marketing: How to Sign a Book  by Debbie Young @IndieAuthorALLI

  8. Steve Jobs: Do What You Love Motivational Video via @111publishing

  9. Pros And Cons Of Being An Indie Author by Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn

  10. Aspiring writers: Before worrying too much about networking/promo, FINISH WRITING YOUR BOOK by Debbie Ridpath Ohi @inkyelbows

  11. No, Not Anyone Can Write a Good Book  (Patricia Park on Becoming a Writer After Life in the Publishing Biz) via @GalleyCat

  12. James Patterson Gives Tips on How to Kill Off a Character  @GalleyCat

  13. 10 Book Marketing Tips from 2 authors, one traditionally & one indie published. @bkmkting

  14. 4 tips for writing children’s books by Alexa Elheart @bookbaby

  15. Spring Cleaning Your Blog in Ten Easy Steps by Allyn Lewis @allyn_lewis

  16. Want an Unforgettable Protagonist? Your Minor Characters Are the Secret  by @KMWeiland

 Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

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Reading: Book Nook and Book Choices

by @AnnieDaylon

Book Nook 012The Book Nook
A while back, I shared my designated working place in a post called My Write Space. Now I am sharing my designated place to read. From humble beginnings as a child when I hid beneath the covers with a flashlight to cherish my books, I have graduated to the perfect reading space. Ta dah! It includes:

  • A buttery soft chair, swivel, rocker-recliner.

  • A sculptured side table which I am sure is the envy of all avid readers.  (It’s mine: eat your heart out!)Book Nook 034

  • A storage bench which holds treasured books that used to be stacked on the dresser, the night stand, the floor.

  • A lush throw, the color of sea foam, a perfect match for the scheme of the room.

  • A discreetly-covered armchair caddy which holds so many crucial comforts: reading glasses, notebook, post-its, Kindle, pens.

The Book Choices
With reading, as with most things, I plan ahead; I prefer to have a stack of books at the ready as the lack of same prompts me to use the BUY button on my Kindle far too often. I prefer print copy and usually borrow the book first; if I love it, I buy it.
I read more fiction than nonfiction (most nonfiction choices are about the art of writing.)  I choose fiction based on author, content, style, sometimes even the cover. I search for Giller winners and Booker  winners and Pulitzer winners and Indie BRAG winners. I also seek recommendations from Goodreads. But my favorite way of meeting a new book is word-of-mouth.
A Few Words of Thanks

 

  •  Thank you, Shirley from Tai Chi who suggested My Reading Life . In it, author Pat Conroy listed the books that influenced his writing (if you want to know what those were, check out this Pinterest Board by Liz Whittaker.) I am now reading a book from his list, Look Homeward, Angel which I first borrowed. Then I bought it from The Book Man. From Shirley also came The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber, one of my favorite books of all time.

  • Thank you  to the staff of the aforementioned Book Man: Sara for  White Oleander by Janet Fitch, David for The Timetraveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and Linda forThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. (If you are an avid reader, you will love this video-gone-viral parody by The Book Man: All About Them Books.)

  • Thank you to critique partner, Mary, for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. What a surprise and a connection it created last spring  when I went via float plane Victoria to meet up with my sister and three nieces, and discovered we had all read and loved that same book.

  • Thank you to former fearless writing group leader, Ken, for literary novel Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks and suspense novel, The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner. I refer to the former when I need a lesson in historical fiction and to the latter when I want to create just the right mood for a dark scene.

  • Thank you, Jeannette who, in email response to  my post Favorite Reads of 2014, suggested Room by Emma Donaghue. That one haunted me and jumped onto my favorite list for 2015.

  • Thank you, Paula, for your comment on that same post, wherein you recommended Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen. I have since read another of Quindlen’s novels and am seeking more.

  • Thank you to a long-time friend, Gini, for a long-time-ago mention of The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  This was a powerful story that stayed with me for a long time, but also a Masterclass in writing: each family member had a point of view and each voice was remarkably distinct.

  • Thank you Margaret at Tai Chi, for Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. And thank you for warning me that it is challenging and it’s worth if you stick with it.  I have since read everything that Kate Atkinson has written.

     

I am always seeking a great read and a good excuse to spend time in my Book Nook. Any reading suggestions? Please send them along in comments or by email. 

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Troubles with Tech? 3 Places to Get Help

by @AnnieDaylon

shutterstock_127171886 I knew nothing about tech three years ago. (See former Technology Woes post.) I have learned a lot, but every now and then, tech woes build and I still long to put my computer out of its misery. Something I’ve noticed while attending online conferences is that I’m not alone: tech issues are common. Something I’ve learned from webinar presenters is that you (calmly) work through the problem.

Sometimes, however, you can’t fix the problems yourself. What follows is a list of three sites where you can get help. I have used only the first of the three but have heard good things about the others.

1) Odesk : “What Kind of Work Can I Get Done?”
“Anything you can do on a computer—from graphic design to software development—can be done on oDesk. Our freelancers can tackle a wide range of projects: Big or small, Short or ongoing,
Individual or team-based.”

I have used Odesk twice, both times successfully. Once you post your job, you will receive applicants and you communicate with them before hiring.  Fees of freelancers range from $4/hr to $50/hr. Note: Posting a Job is FREE.
 

2) Elance  “Hire a talented Freelancer” 
“We’ll help you find and hire the perfect Freelancer, making it easy to grow your business even faster.”

I signed up for Elance for the work I am having done currently, but found a suitable candidate on Odesk first. With Elance, as with Odesk, posting a job is FREE.

3) Fiverr    “What do you need done? Find it on Fiverr”

I am actually waiting for something to crop up to use this one. Apparently, the motto is “anything for five bucks.” Yes, they have a “programming and tech” section. I know  someone who had his email signature designed there (Yes, $5.) I also know someone who hired a violinist to accompany a vocal/ piano arrangement. (Can’t beat $5 for that!)

 

Caveat Emptor: Exercise caution in hiring for tech as in all things. The first time I hired from Odesk, I hit it out of the park. This time, I communicated with three freelancers before I found the right fit. (Thank you to Edward Unger for all his hard work!)

If you have any suggestions for tech help, please share in comments below. Many thanks!

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The Rule of Three in Writing

by @AnnieDaylon

The Rule of Three in WritingHave you noticed the prevalence of threes in writing?

I was reminded of it last week during a beginning course in photography when the instructor explained the rule of thirds in the composition of a picture. Instantly, I thought of creating a blog post about the rule of three in writing (defined by Wikipedia as a principle that suggests that threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying or more effective than other numbers of things.)

When a smattering of research on my part revealed an abundance of readily-available info, I chose to share rather than reinvent. What follows are posts (three, of course) related to the rule of three in the writing of speeches, blogs, and stories.

 

1. How to Use the “Rule of Three” to Create Engaging Content by Brian Clark
“…Think in terms of three when crafting your content, and you’ll likely end up with a more engaging outcome. If at first you don’t succeed, remember—the third time’s the charm…” Read More

2. How to Use the Rule of Three in Your Speeches by Andrew Dlugan 
“The rule of three is powerful speech-writing technique that you should learn, practice, and master.
Using the Rule of Three allows you to express concepts more completely, emphasize your points, and increase the memorability of your message.
That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.What is the rule of three? What are some famous examples? How do you use it in speeches?”  Read More

 3. Omne Trium Perfectum by L.G. Smith
“Omne trium perfectum! No, it’s not an incantation lifted from Harry Potter, but it could be considered a magic spell for crafting effective stories. Literally it means everything that comes in threes is perfect. In writing it is referred to as the Rule of Three.” Read More

Many thanks to bloggers Brian Clark, Andrew Dlugan, and L.G Smith.shutterstock_48236599

My favorite post from above?
As a lover of Latin, I have to tell the the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The third one’s a charm. 🙂

Latin Textbook Series, Grade 7-11

Amo, amas, amat… From my past: three Latin textbooks that have been in my library for more than three decades.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: March, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing/tech tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for March, 2015:

  1.  How are short stories evaluated for publication or awards? by @JodieRennerEd via @KMWEiland

  2. 5 Ways Pinterest Can Help Authors  @IndiAuthorALLI via @K8Tilton

  3. Top Ten Things You Need to Know About the Writing Life  by @JamesScottBell via @thecreativepenn

  4. How to make pictures behave in WordPress  @BakerviewConsul via @sugarbeatbc  @christinenolfi (Love this one!)

  5. Great Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary by Maria Popova @penguinrandom @brainpicker

  6. Blogs Vs. Newsletters: What’s the Diff? by Jim Devitt

  7. Tips on writing an e-book series by Nikki Moore via @WomenWriters

  8. The Complete Italicization Guide  @write_practice

  9. The Benefits of Hybrid Publishing by Melissa Donovan @WritingForward

  10. Build your audience WHILE writing your book! -Jason Wiser, The Author Hangout! @bkmkting

  11. 21 Book Marketing Tips for Authors by Heather Hart

  12. 10 SIMPLE, CLEVER TIPS for Computer, Web, Smartphone & Camera Users.  by columinist David Pogue @Pogue (Great Tips! Love this!)

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!shutterstock_48236599

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

 My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

Self-Publishing a Story Collection? 6 Tips!

shutterstock_163750679 (2) story collection

by @AnnieDaylon

Are you about to publish a collection of your short stories? I have done that once and am considering a second. Here are six suggestions based on hindsight:

  1. Go for a ‘sense of book.’ Group stories around one theme, one character, one setting. My first collection is varied: most of its stories were written, not with the idea of a book in mind, but for contests based on prompts. It was long after their completion that I chose a theme.

  2. Give thought to the title.

    Take time to examine your collection. Perhaps, as book title, you might choose the title of one story or the name of a place that is common to all stories. After I read through my stories, I realized there was indeed a thread: the choices we make and the paths we take. Thus the title: Passages.

  3. Consider, as title/subtitle, “a collection of short fiction,” not “a collection of short stories.”

    I used stories in the subtitle of Passages and wished I had used fiction, especially after I dropped a narrative poem into the mix. (Yes, I know: could have eliminated the poem. Sigh.)

  4. Acknowledge previous publications.

    List the stories that have been previously published, and include publisher, publication, and date of same. In Passages, in acknowledgements, I thanked creators, administrators, and judges of writing contests, and named a couple of specifics. There was no ill intent in my lack of a list of previous publications; I was simply unaware of the courtesy.

  5. Share background of story.

    Many of the short stories in Passages were written for contests. In retrospect, I could have enhanced the reader experience by writing a paragraph or two before each short, revealing the prompt or inspiration for the story.

  6. Give thought to the placement of stories.

    You might consider placing your best story first and your second-best last. I went a different route: I put an award-winning short story first because I wanted to draw attention to the fact that it had grown into an award-winning novel. As for the last story in Passages, it is a very short piece called Final Passage, a piece that is more than appropriate for its position in the book. The only thing I would have done differently with it is listed above: I would have revealed the inspiration for the piece.

    shutterstock_163750679

    Why do I love story contests? Click on image to link to “Why Enter Story Contests.”

    Are these suggestions helpful to you? If  you have already published a book of short fiction, what were the steps that worked best for you? What, if anything,  would you do differently the next time?

     

    My best to you, Annie Signature Light Blue    

Two Routes to Publishing Short Stories and Poetry

by @AnnieDaylon

Looking to Publish short Fiction and PoetryAre you looking for ways to get your short stories and poems published?

I recently received an email from a writer who was seeking ways to do that. What follows is what I offered her, what I thought could be shared here as well.

I have used two avenues for publication of short stories: Story Contests and Literary Journals.

I use story contests to hone my craft; therefore, I’ve researched them and have entered many, including 24-hour story contests. This has resulted in having many stories published, both online and in journals in Canada and the United States. 

The most comprehensive resource for contests in Canada is the Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar.  This calendar is published in the fall of each year, usually by November. All contests are listed by deadline. Everything you need to know—submission guidelines, eligibility, word count limits, etc. — are given for each contest and, yes, poetry contests are included.

The best site I’ve found for information on contests and journals in the U.S. is Poets & Writers, “the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers.”  On the right hand side of the landing page, under Tools for Writers, you will find an impressive list of databases for literary magazines, contests, agents, etc.

I know how much time and energy go into the pursuit of publication. I hope the above is helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions to share? Please send them along.

Annie Daylon reading Buryin' Day

Annie Daylon reading short story “Buryin’ Day” at launch of Freefall Literary Magazine (Vol XIX, Number 1) in Calgary. (First contest entry, second place!)

Good luck on your journey.

Please subscribe to my Author Newsletter by placing your first name and your email address in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Pick of the Twitter: February, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for February, 2015:

  1.  Literary lingo to know by Kristen Kieffer @Shesnovel via @elizabethscraig

  2.  Novel Writing Tips: How to Keep your Novel on Track  by Lisa Wingate via @WomenWriters

  3. 10 Brilliant Tips for Writing Fiction Inspired by Famous Authors  by @WriterJoMalby via @SarahBrentyn

  4.  24 Things No One Tells You About Book Publishing  by Curtis Sittenfeld via @Buzzfeed via @HughOSmith

  5. Twitter has Analytics? They sure do and here are five key ways of using them by Larry Kim via @Mobilized_Social

  6.  Should You Self-Publish? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself  by Claire Cook @ClaireCookwrite via @elizabethscraig

  7.  Nonfiction Authors: How to Find Your Ideal Reader  by @CathyYardley via @JFbookman, @WritetoSell,  @thecreativepenn

  8.  Attending a Writers’ Conference Soon? Here’s how to prepare by @ChuckSambuchino via @thewritelife @WritersDigest

  9.  How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 14 Tricks That Work by @JeffGoins via @writerstevens, @RMFWriters

  10.  How to SUCCESSFULLY Announce Events on Your Social Media Sites @111publishing

  11.  10 Ways to Leverage Google Alerts for Your Business http://ow.ly/FhU1r   by Stephanie Chandler via @bizauthor

 

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue