Sunday, December 11, 2011

In a nutshell...

I am two issues behind with The Writer, but I'll get to every single article sooner or later. However, I did open the January 2012 issue and, within a few pages, garner some things to think about and ideas to use.

First, an article by Chuck Leddy asks, "Can bad reviews be good for book sales?" Yes, no, and maybe. For newer, unknown authors, even a bad review gets the name out there. For best-selling authors, a bad review could bring sales numbers down. (Anticipated disappointment, maybe?) Some say that reviews, bad or good, could balance each other out.

Brandi Reissenweber asks if she is right that characters can indeed act in a surprising way, or if her writing group is correct in saying they shouldn't. She concludes that surprise can indeed work as long as it works together with how the character has been presented up to that point.

Stephanie Dickison asks "Does the changing of the seasons affect your work?" and spells out some interesting circumstances in which a writer could/could not be as productive from one season to the next.

Then I read "DIY Tips for Computer Cleanup" and took it to heart--so the rest of the magazine is as yet unread. I downloaded the free malware remover, Microsoft Safety Scanner, which took over 6 hours to do a deep scan of my computer and removed 5 items. I uninstalled some programs and temporary files. My virus protection program takes care of defragmenting.

One article I'm anxious to get to is "7 Ways to Use Your Website to Sell Books" by Patricia Fry. Hitting the high points I see such suggestions as making your books prominent on the site, posting testimonials and book trailers, using podcasts/webcasts to generate interest, offering useable information to your readers, getting listed in online directories, and setting up a merchant account to take credit cards both online and in person.

.The fine print at the end of the article says that this article is a chapter in her book called (what else?) Promote Your Book, available in bookstores now. I just checked it out at and will be downloading the Kindle edition for $8.99 tonight. Looks like a winner...

Oh, and be sure to check out Dancing with Bear Publishing for their two new holiday anthologies. My story, "A Congo Christmas", is part of The Latke Hound.

AND--The Showboat Affair received a 4-heart review at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews. Scroll down to November 28 to read!

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