What I learned this week, January 20, 2012

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150 Resources to Help You Write Better, Faster, and More Persuasively

As a student, writer, author, journalist, poet, or screenwriter, you know that you probably spend more time on research, editing, and proofreading than you do on the actual writing. Therefore, you might not have time to find resources to help you write better, faster, or more persuasively. This is where our list comes to your rescue, as the following links focus on places where you can conduct research, software that is free and easy to use, and services that will remove that “extra work” monkey from your back.

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We can follow the sun until the daylight is gone

Haven’t seen my girlfriend in two weeks. This is how it was when I finally saw her today.

Advice & Inspiration for Writing Short Stories

One of my own favourite quotes is attributed to Mark Twain. The great author and prolific short story writer, in a letter to a friend, wrote that he “would like to have written a shorter letter but didn’t have the time.” For me, that sums up short story writing nicely. – Clem Cairns.

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Seth Godin’s Blog – Advice for authors

  1. Please understand that book publishing is an organized hobby, not a business.
  2. The timeframe for the launch of books has gone from silly to unrealistic.
  3. There is no such thing as effective book promotion by a book publisher.
  4. Books cost money and require the user to read them for the idea to spread.
  5. Publishing is like venture capital, not like printing.

So, what’s my best advice?

Build an asset. Large numbers of influential people who read your blog or read your emails or watch your TV show or love your restaurant or or or…

Then, put your idea into a format where it will spread fast. That could be an ebook (a free one) or a pamphlet (a cheap one–the Joy of Jello sold millions and millions of copies at a dollar or less).

Then, if your idea catches on, you can sell the souvenir edition. The book. The thing people keep on their shelf or lend out or get from the library. Books are wonderful (I own too many!) but they’re not necessarily the best vessel for spreading your idea.

And the punchline, of course, is that if you do all these things, you won’t need a publisher. And that’s exactly when a publisher will want you! That’s the sort of author publishers do the best with.

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