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Writing Tips from Famous Authors


GalleyCat reported this week that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), the writing challenge that entices thousands of writers to pen a novel in a month, is getting a financial boost from the Pubslush Foundation . It has given NaNoWriMo $10,000, donated by Pubslush authors, which will be used to fund literacy initiatives, including the Young Writers Program. Pubslush has been an official partner of NaNoWriMo, mainly to help promote its crowd-funding platform for participants in the writing challenge.

“We’re thrilled to receive such generous support from Pubslush,” NaNoWriMo Executive Director Grant Faulkner said. “We believe that everyone has a story to tell, and that everyone’s story matters. This grant will help fuel NaNoWriMo’s creative revolution so that more people can realize themselves as creators.”


Indie authors don’t have to go it alone. That’s the lesson self-published thriller author Alison Morton learned when she got ready to publish her first book, Inceptio. She described her decision to buy a publishing package that helped her through the more technical aspects of self-publishing this week in ALLi’s Self-Publishing blog. Though she had the background to go it on her own – Morton self-published a nonfiction book in 2012 and did everything herself – she asked herself how her time was best spent. And she decided it was best spent writing, especially we she considered how polished and professional her finished product needed to be. “I did not want to spend my time learning a whole new skillset which may or may not be up to the highest possible industry standards when others, professionals, could do it for me. All I wanted to do was write,” she explained.

So she began to research editors, formatters, ISBN providers, registrations, and both individual services and full-service providers. And she turned to ALLi for help as well. When she weighed all her options, Morton decided a complete package was what she needed: one person to talk to, a coordinated service, and one with plenty of credentials. She dodged vanity and subsidy “publishers” eager to take advantage of her until she found SilverWood Books. They handled ebook formatting for different retailers, interior design, ISN allocation, and more [EDS NOTE: IndieReader Publishing Services offers similar packages]. And what did she gain? Time to write. “I’m sure this is one reason why I’ve been able to turn out a substantial series of top quality, full-length books in a relatively short space of time.”


Sure, ebooks are big. But that doesn’t put print books at the bottom of the trash can. In fact, Digital Book World reported this week that recent surveys suggest print is as popular as ever – for both authors and readers.  Pew survey data doesn’t give a complete picture of all authors, but it shows print is growing enough to overshadow ebooks’ popularity and is an important source of income for authors. And print has a certain appeal – readers like the feel of a real book, and authors like to see their words in a more tangible form.

Pew offered some stats to chew on. In 2014, 28% of American adults read ebooks – up 11% since 2011. But 69% read print books in 2014; 71% did so in 2011. And though young readers are more likely to read ebooks, the stats don’t show that they’re ditching print books because of it. In fact, 79% reported reading a print book last year. But print is usually the medium of the traditionally published author; self-published print books didn’t nab significant sales for their authors, according to the Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey.


Need some writing tips? Why not borrow some from some famous authors? We think the most helpful one in this infographic is on writing quotas: Stephen King aims for 2,000 words a day, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 3,000.


If you’ve forgotten some of your standard rules of grammar,  here’s an infographic to remind you.


This week’s IR’s “The List Where Indies Count”, featuring the top ten list as of March 2nd, 2015, features a great variety of titles to keep you occupied during these last freezing weeks of winter.

Titles are compiled on Sunday for Monday’s post, culled from The New York Times, USA Today and Amazon best-seller lists.

Happy Indie reading!

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