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Here are some ideas that have popped into my head this week. Not everything works for everyone, but they’re worth taking a look at anyway.
(1) If you’re a published author and have books on Amazon.com, look into setting up an author page. The link is hard to find—a friend had to point it out to me—but basically if you type in Amazon.com, Author Central, you’ll get to a starting point. You can find your books and designate them as yours, write a bio and upload a picture, even start a blog which can be posted using an RSS feed.
Hint: Amazon.com will set up your page and let you know when it’s ready. Then you can work on the blog. It may take a couple of times before it ‘catches’, but you can keep going back and editing, etc. until it does. I set up a new blog, Someday Is Here, just to chat about writing in general rather than feeding this one in.
(2) Check your local library’s genealogical section for the publications of various genealogical groups. Look for the ‘quarterlies’ in which people have written about their families, the history of a particular location, an event etc. You’ll find tons of good ideas for stories!
(3) As soon as The Showboat Affair goes to print, which should be sooner than later, I’m taking a break from novel-writing and concentrating on some short, for-pay stories. Everyone knows about the Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market published yearly by Writer’s Digest, but it’s a lot to plow through and easy to get bogged down in. (I use it, but…) Take a break by browsing the periodical section of your local bookstore and jotting down names of promising magazines in the notebook which OF COURSE YOU CARRY WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES! Then go home and look up their submission guidelines online and print them out if you think you want to pursue the market.
(4) Now is the time to stock up on three-prong pocket folders cheap cheap cheap! I always watch the back-to-school sales and buy my limit. They’re perfect for organizing research notes, writing tips, market listings, and the thousand and one other things writers seem to hoard. Stick a blank address label on the outside and specify the contents. Where to keep them? Visit your nearest Michaels or Hobby Lobby and look for sales on those pretty shoebox-size storage boxes. Put the cover on the bottom and stand the folders inside.
(5) I’m always out of printer ink, it seems. It’s cheaper to buy online when there’s free shipping included in the deal. Check the website for your brand of printer. Also, I’ve had pretty good luck with 4InkJets, which are recycled and refilled. Buy three or four at a time and make out like a bandit!
If you have any tips you’d like to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll include them here AND credit you for the idea. Remember—we’re all in this together. Writing doesn’t have to be a lonely business!