Why You Need a Website If You Are a Fiction Writer

If you are a writer, you need a website or blog. There are three main reasons for this: 1. You Can Showcase Your Writing Having your own website is like a shop window online, where people can read your writing and follow you as a fan. A lot of people have turned to social media for writing and marketing, but the truth is that social media is here today and gone tomorrow. In addition, the social media sites set the rules, not you. Even if you have 5,000 fans on your Facebook page, for example, you might notice that you only get a tiny fraction of views. This is because Facebook rewards pages that have a lot of likes, shares and comments, and shows their content to more people. If your fans are not showing these “social signals”, your great content might not get seen by anyone at all. With...
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Ways Short Stories Can Earn You Money

Short stories can help you earn money in a number of way. The digital age has created a new interest in short, sharp fiction, as the internet generation looks for “snackable”, entertaining content to help pass the time when they are waiting for the bus and so on. 1. Building Your Name and Brand Smartphones and tablets have changed the way we consume content. So has blogging. If you want to get your name in front of an eager audience, write briefly and consistently and you should soon develop a fan base. In addition to your blog or site, try other prominent short story sharing sites. Wattpad allows all users to upload their stories and for others to read them for free. Readwave shares “3-minute stories” written by users. Both sites can get you noticed quickly. If you ever do decide to try to work with a traditional publisher, they...
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Useful Writing Resources to Help You Achieve Success

There are many resources dedicated to the art of writing and becoming a successful writer. And the number online is growing all the time. Here are some of the best: 1. Writer’s Market http://www.writersmarket.com This is the best writing resource available, for a number of reasons. It gives hints, tips and practical advice on all aspects of being a writer, from starting your first work to what to do once you have been published. It lists paying markets where you can start earning money as a writer. It also breaks down the information into specific types of writing, such as: * Children’s writing * Poetry * Blogging * Short stories And more. In addition, it lists contests, calls for writers, and the latest information on literary agents. Twilight series author Stephenie Meyer got her start from all she learned subscribing to Writer’s Market. Make the most of all the free...
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Traditional Publishing versus Self-Publishing

Many new writers agonize over whether to try the traditional publishing route or opt for self-publishing. Here are four factors to consider to help you decide. 1. Is it fiction or non-fiction? 2. Does it require a lot of images? 3. What genre of fiction is it? If it is comics, manga or anime, print might be the best option. 4. Is there a traditional publishing house that regularly prints your type of work? If you write romance, for example, there are a range of choices. Each of these traditional houses has a publishing program with “slots” that need to be filled. They also offer the advantage of marketing your book and getting it into stores as well as making it available online. The Traditional Process In traditional publishing, the author gets an idea for their book and either finishes it, or sends a query letter to see if the...
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Time Management Tips for Writers

Some authors write a lot faster than others. Lucky them. But many authors get writer’s block and stress over their work. Still, others struggle to meet their deadlines. Time management can help solve these issues. Here are some tips to make the most of each day. 1. Set a Schedule Try to write at the same time every day, a couple of times a day, if you are juggling it with a day job and other activities. 2. Use a Timer Set an egg timer or an online timer for 25 minutes. Don’t do anything but write. Take a 5-minute break, then give yourself another 25 minutes. Continue in this manner for each writing session. 3. Set a Goal for Each Session Decide what you want to work on and focus on that. You might be writing additional words for your novel, for example, or editing what you wrote recently....
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The Pros and Cons of Entering Writing Competitions

There are a number of pros and cons to entering writing contests. There are many out there, some more legitimate than others, and some with some very strict rules you need to follow. There are four main points you should consider when thinking about entering a contest: * Is it in a genre I want to write? * What is the cost to enter (if any)? * What prize will I win? * Would I be proud to list it in my writing credits if I won? This is the best way to start considering the pros and cons of entering any contest in particular, but here are some of the pros and cons in general. PROS 1. Making you write to a deadline There’s no time to waste, so the deadline can help you get more done. 2. Stretching you as a writer The topics and themes can often...
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The Basics of Writing Fiction

There are several basic rules when it comes to writing fiction. 1. Character Is Key You need to have a main character that readers can identify with. They don’t have to be perfect. To make them interesting, they do need to have some issues to work through in the course of the novel. 2. Outline Your Plot Write an outline of what is going to happen in the beginning, middle and end of the book. This will give the characters some direction in your novel. It’s okay to change things if your characters or situations in the book take on a life of their own, but have a general idea of the point of the story. 3. Start in the Middle of Things “In media res” is a common literary term. It is Latin for “into the middle of things”. It helps get the novel off to an active start....
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Questions to Ask Yourself before You Start Writing Fiction

If you’ve been thinking about writing fiction, there are a number of questions to ask yourself before you start. 1. Can I write what people want to read? There are two key aspects you need to think about: * Are you a great reader? * Are you familiar with the bestsellers in the genre you want to write? If you are a reader, you should have a good idea of what you enjoy. Chances are that other people will have similar tastes. If you tend to read the top bestsellers in your favorite genre, such as romance, mystery or horror, you will also have a pretty good idea of what sells. It may sound crass to talk about bestsellers and money, but the fact of the matter is that publishing is a business. You might be disappointed to find out that it has very little to do with creativity or...
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It’s Not Just about the Writing When It Comes to Fiction

Whenever a fiction writer decides to self-publish their work, they can be so excited at the prospect that they slip up on some of the most basic details. These details can make all the difference between success and failure. Here’s a checklist of essentials which go beyond the mere writing and contribute to the bestseller status of a book. 1. The Cover People really DO judge a book by its cover. It has to be as good as anything you would see on a store shelf, or side by side with your book on Amazon. Don’t skimp. Unless you are a professional artist and book designer, hire a pro on Fiverr.com. Check out their portfolios to make sure their style is in line with your vision of what your cover should look like. Discuss your ideas, and make sure your contract allows for revisions. 2. The Proof-Reading The book should...
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12 Marketing Tips for Fiction Writers

There are a number of ways to market fiction effectively. Here are some of the top ways to sell well: 1. A Great Cover People really DO judge a book by its cover, so make sure yours is as good as anything you would see on a store shelf. Hire a freelancer at Fiverr.com to turn your vision of your cover into a work of art. 2. A Great Blurb and Teaser Copy The “blurb” is what goes on the back of the book. The teaser copy can be on the back as well, or on the first page inside the book (you can put the blurb there too). These pieces of content are both designed to encourage the browser to read more. 3. A Great Author Website and Webpage Be proud of your work and showcase it on your site. Also make it a place where you are accessible,...
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