Pay-It-Forward Fridays

I saw a wonderful idea in this post by Emily Guido and I got pretty excited about it. The concept is to feature a blogger or author on Fridays. Anyone goes as long as they’re interested.

I’ve received an incredible amount of support from bloggers, authors and people I’ve met on line who didn’t know me and were just very kind, supportive souls. And, when I read that article, I thought: time to give back.

I loved this quote from Emily’s mother:

“I cast a couple pieces of bread on the water and the waves bring me back a ham sandwich.”

Karma is a beautiful thing.

What do you think? Interested? Let me know about your blog or your book or anything you’d like to see get a little boost and I’m all over it.

If you think this might interest you, give me a shout!


Indie Book Haul

Loved this post! I’ve read a couple of those books and couldn’t agree more with the talent of the authors. Thank you for the list, Callum!

Callum McLaughlin

Support Indie Authors Support Indie Authors

I live for the day when indie and traditionally published books sit side by side on bookshelves, with readers choosing stories based purely on their appeal rather than their origins. Until then, it’s no secret that gaining exposure as a self-published author is hard and I, as one myself, am always happy to help support others. In light of this, here is a brief roundup of some of the indie books I have read over the last few months or so as well as links to the author’s blogs or websites where you can find more info and links to buy, etc.

S.R. Carrillo
The Soul – A book about good and evil; angels and demons; light and dark. The writing style is so immersive and the interaction between the lead characters is one of the most interesting dynamics I’ve read in a long time. It’s…

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Authors: What to do if Your Book gets Pirated

A great tip for those indie authors out there and a HUGE thank you to S. K. Nicholls for the information!

S.K. Nicholls

There is not a lot of recourse against the site itself, especially if the site is out of the country. If the web hosting site is U.S.A., you can send a DMCA take down letter to the web hosting site. They are under pressure to break the links of sites performing copyright infringement. You are also required to share some personal information in the letter which you should do with the hosting company NOT the offending site.

How do you find the site hosting company?

You can search domain registration on at:

Once you find the web hosting site look for their contact info or legal contact. This is usually an email address link.

Gene Quinn has a sample letter you can personalize (copy and paste into email) and send to the hosting company:

You will need the offending site’s URL for your work. Once you get…

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I got a bad review. Or rather my book did.

Everyone gets bad reviews. I know that.

Weeeeelll…my head knows it. My heart has trouble remembering. It’s a pretty easy thing to forget when you get that nasty review.

Dealing with a bad review isn’t easy. Though everyone has their own way, I thought I’d share what has worked for me.

1. Writing about it. It might sound ironic but writing about painful stuff helps me. I either journal about it or I write it into a blog post :-). Writing is cathartic and helps me get it out.

2. Sending out positive energy. I find that if I send it out, it comes back to me. So, when I need support, I try to send it out. When I need a kind shoulder, I try to be kind to someone around me. If nothing else, at least I feel better about myself.

3. Working out. We have this punching man downstairs and these great boxing gloves. I go down there and punch that guy in the face until all that anger and frustration is gone. Or I go to the elliptical and run or I head to the gym. Anger is a great motivator. I can get amazing work outs thanks to those nasty reviews.

4. Sharing with other authors. I know there are trolls online but I have found amazingly supportive people in the web. I can go to them and share my misery. Odds are, they’ve had a bad review and can identify with me. If not, they’re Nora Roberts…no, wait she’s had bad reviews as well.

5. Kissing my doggies. They don’t care if I’ve get bad reviews or bad hair, they love me unconditionally and trust me. I can kiss those furry heads and tell them all my troubles and they just listen. No judgement.

6. Working at DayJob. I work with the public. Within five minutes of being at work, I’ll have an impossible demand; within ten, someone will be shouting at me. I’ll come back to my computer glad that at least that review was written and not shouted.

A nice list, with nice items. They hurt no one and are good, mature choices.

What follows is a more immature list. Choices that, so far, I’ve managed to avoid. Please notice the ‘so far’. The next bad review will probably send me over the edge.

* Throw away the computer.

* Send the author of that review a nasty email calling them every name in the book and a few I’ve just invented.

* Start a Voodoo doll.

* Go to Tibet and join a monastery.

* Take up Wicca and conjure up a spell. Or two.

* Give up writing and take up playing the banjo.

Absolutely ridiculous list. Time for some maturity. Let’s have some links.

-Try this link and see what works for other authors from Writer Unboxed.

This one is from Digital Book World and has great tips.

One more from The Write Life.

What about you? Have you had a bad review? How did you handle it? What helped? Any other items you’d add to the ‘immature’ list?

How about some cute baby animals? They always make me feel better…




8504326519_37f41d5551_zAwww!!! Okay, feeling a little better.


Reviewing fears

I’m not a reviewer. I like to give my two cents about books I read but those are books from stablished authors who probably couldn’t care one iota what I think to begin with and who certainly don’t need my review. I hesitate about giving a friend a public review–I would definitely do it privately.

Why? Well, I’m terrified of messing it up. I’m not a professional reviewer. It takes talent and good writing to write a good review. You can’t just say: good book. Worse, I could misinterpret something or disclose something and wreck the book for someone. Worse still, I could offend the writer and, if they are a friend, that’s just not worth it.

I’m not alone. The Inky Tavern posted this on reviewing for friends. Michelle D. Argyle posted her thoughts here. One more by Damyanti.

I know, I know. I just did a review for Infinitefreetime. The fear of messing that up is still with me.

What do you think? Should reviewing come hand in hand with writing? Is it a conflict of interest?

Indie Publishing tips

I found a couple of great sites for indie publishers.

This one is by Joel Friedlander. It has not only won awards, it has resources on learning from others, on Social Media, on the pros and cons of indie publishing and more. Check it out here.

This one is by CJ Lyons has a ton of resources. Everything from cover art, to a tool box, to 4 pitfalls to avoid. Check it out here.

Jane Friedman has a great page on resources. From getting started and fighting self-doubt to News and trends. Check it out here.

Wise Ink blog has a great page full of resources for indie authors. Check it out here.

Hope these help! 🙂

Write first, promote second

I just read an interview of Barbara Freethy where she mentions that the trick to her success was to write first, promote second. I thought it was excellent advice.

Like a lot of new indie authors, I started to try to promote my book on social media and quickly found out promoting can take a life of its own. Online parties, giveaways, blog tours, interviews…the list of things to do goes on and on. As well, you have to keep your presence in your chosen social mediums felt: google+, Facebook, etc. That takes time. Time that I could have used to write.

It becomes a chicken-and-egg thing. If you don’t promote, you don’t sell books. If you promote, you don’t have time to write. If you don’t write, you don’t have any books to sell. So, which should be the number one priority?

Barbara argues that keeping writing as the priority is the key to her success. She goes on to add this as advice for new writers. Like myself. Now, since I’m new and success is (hopefully) coming, I don’t yet know what will work for me. What do I give my time to writing or promoting? Making that decision was actually a matter of honesty for me.

I asked myself: If I knew for a fact that not one would read my books, would I still write? It took me a long time to answer because I really wanted to be honest answer and it was painful to be honest. But, because I was honest, I found a very powerful answer.

I would write if no one ever read a single word I’d written. I would write because, when it’s all said and done, I love the writing itself. Selling books is great, but that’s gravy. For me, the key, the gold, is writing. So, for me, my motto is write first, promote second. Only time will tell if it works.

And, just in case you don’t agree with my self-inspiring, little rant, here are some articles that say the exact opposite. 🙂

Positive thinking: You’re an awesome writer!

That post by Jeff Moore is still with me. I was looking for reviewers yesterday and their warnings sent me to a sad place. I started to wonder what I was doing fooling myself writing. So, today, I went and found some sites that have positive messages for beginning writers. I certainly needed to hear what they said. Here’s hoping some of you will find these helpful.

Justine Musk wrote 11 things writers should know here. I really liked that post.

I needed to hear that the first draft will not be perfect and that I should give myself permission to write badly. I always try to get that scene right. Not just the dialogue but the ambiance, the foreshadowing, the goal of the scene and the character quirks…not to mention the editing. With all that critique in my head, I just feel a lot of pressure. I loved hearing that the first draft should be rough!

I also related to her first item. “If you have a calling to write, it won’t go away.” I believe that. I’ve lived in different countries, learning different languages and I managed to write and read. It was in me and it certainly didn’t go away.

And I loved when she said: “Reading is the inhale, writing is the exhale.” Isn’t that so very true?

But I’m not done! Kelly Leiter has this awesome blog where you can find all kinds of goodies for writers (see her side menu). Here’s the link:

In particular, here is a post on self-doubt. I particularly liked the article by Susan Mary Malone, “Writing’s Four-Letter Word: Fear”. And the one by Michael Wallace, “On the Importance of Persistence.” I really liked when he said he could ‘wallpaper a room with rejection letters’. If he’s so good and got that many rejections, maybe there’s hope.

Finally, Kelly Leiter has these helpful quotes to get you started wherever you are in the writing process.

So, like Natalie Goldberg says: “Just write. Just write. Just write…”

One little image, just for a smile.



Best 50 blogs for Indie authors

Best blogs for indie authors. The top 50 of them, ranked according to type and worth. I found this site and I know others will want to see it. I’ve posted it here and under the tab Resources.

Just another note, August Wainwright also adds that he’d like us to spread the word and, I can’t help but thank him not only for the amazing job he did with such a massive undertaking but also for sharing the results, freely with everyone else. Genius and heart, I don’t see that mix very often.

Tips for indie authors

Found two great sites for indie authors. One on reasons to blog and another on how to blog.

When I first started out, I didn’t know the difference between a blog and a website. I didn’t think I’d need to know the difference because I was a writer. Why would I ever keep a blog?

Molly Greene has a great answer to that question. I’m not going to repeat what she says (she says it way better than I ever could). Just click here and you’ll see what I mean.

Now, getting a blog is all good and dandy but if you have a blog, you want traffic and that only comes if your blog is both engaging and worthwhile to the reader. Karen Lotter has these five amazing tips. I had no idea how important it is to use good titles and headlines. Google doesn’t ‘get’ puns and sarcasm and so they won’t lead your post to your intended audience.

I’ve also posted these sites on my Resources page along with those others already there. Have a read!