Category Archives: Tools for Authors

Intentional Blogging

One of my all time favorite blogs on writing is written by Jeff Goins, and I just found out that he is offering a free course on intentional blogging! So, since I was so excited, I decided to chuck the review that I was planning on sharing with you out the window, and tell you about it instead! 😀

A little bit about Jeff Goins:

Jeff is a writer who blogs about writing. He started his blog to catalog the answers he found to the questions he had on becoming a professional writer. I’m not sure how long he has been blogging, but his blog is one of the most helpful tools I have ever found as an author. His blog is so successful, as a matter of fact, that he had a publisher approach HIM about writing a book for them (which he is in the process of doing now).

He is a Pez eating missionary, who is married to the girl of his dreams and they are currently expecting their first child. You can learn more about Jeff on the about page on his website.

About the blogging course:

Intentional Blogging is said to be a 12-week email course that delivers a new lesson on blogging every week, where authors will learn about starting blog, finding topics, building audiences, and a lot more. This is a free course offered by Mr. Goins, and I for one am really looking forward to it! You can learn more and sign up at: Intentional Blogging.

 

 

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Social Media

Social media can be an authors best friend, worst enemy, or even a bit of both. There are so many social media sites around today that it’s hard to know which ones are good and how to use them. So, here’s my short list:

Twitter:

I’m still learning, however it is said to be better that Facebook because you don’t have to have mutual relationships. Just because I follow you, doesn’t mean you have to follow me too. I like this for a number of reasons! However, Facebook has that option on their pages, so for us authors with Facebook pages, we already had that… hmmm….

My favorite part about Twitter (well, it’s actually a love/hate thing), is the shortness of tweets. It takes just  a few seconds to skim my entire timeline. You don’t get stuck there for hours (although, you probably could if you clicked every single link listed… but I don’t recommend doing that!).

Oh, and you can find me on Twitter @_HeatherHart

Google+:

A fellow blogger posted this video earlier this week, and I can’t describe it any better than this:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/hC_M6PzXS9g&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

The only thing I can possibly add to that is a quote that was posted on Twitter about Google+ :

“Google+ is like the gym of social media. Everyone joins, but nobody actually uses it…”

I wrote a blog a while back about Google+, announcing my love for it. It has great potential, however before it can conquer the world, it has to get people who have their accounts, to actually interact there…

But if you are interested, you can find me on Google+ at: Heather Hart

Facebook:

I’m sure that by now you have figured out that I am a Facebook girl. I love my Facebook, however it does have its downsides. You can get totally and completely lost in Facebook. Spend the entire day there and not really get anything accomplished. Still, I personally think that having a Facebook page is a must for authors. It allows you to connect with your readers, other authors, keep track of news in the publishing world, it’s just great okay!

You can view my author page at: https://www.facebook.com/heatherhartauthoreditor

LinkedIn:

While there are numerous forums and groups for writers, LinkedIn is one that can’t be left off the social media list. It’s big, what can I say. You can link your LinkedIn with your Facebook, Twitter, and so on and so forth. It really is just a great forum. There are so many groups to choose from, and almost always someone there can answer any question that you have (although there are those that only answer with “you can find the answer to that question in my book”… yeah, that’s not helpful). Anyway, it’s worth checking out if you aren’t there already.

You can link up with me at: Heather Hart

There are still tons of other social media platforms, what are some of the ones that you use?

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Great Products at Low Prices!

Are you an author that is looking to branch out into social media to gain more exposure? If so, you don’t want to miss this moving sale at Self-Publishing-Coach.com! Shelley Hitz, the author of the series Book Marketing on a Shoestring Budget has moved and now you get to benefit. For a limited time only, when you purchase four of Shelley’s products, you get them for 75% off!

Here’s the scoop:

For 72 hours only – December 7th, 8th and 9th get the following promotional package for only $21:
• “Get Your Facebook Page Done!” ($47)
• “YouTube Marketing for Authors” ($17)
• “A Step-by-Step Guide to Guest Blogging” ($10)
• “Twitter 101 for Authors” ($10)

Get the tools you need to gain exposure, build fans and sell more books this holiday season, and save money too!

Here’s what is being said about these amazing author tools:

“Shelley helps you get your Facebook done and is a great resource if you need more personal help. She is professional, has great follow-up and will get you up to speed quickly. I highly recommend her seminars and personal services! She makes it fun.” – Linda Pyle, Author of “Peaks, Palms and Picnics”

“If you’re looking for a resource that will teach you how to increase your online exposure quickly and easily, then you need to read Shelley Hitz’s, A Step By Step Guide to Guest Blogging….A Step By Step Guide to Guest Blogging gives you the training, the tools, and the direction you need to jump into the exciting and valuable world of guest blogging. This is a must-read resource that needs to be within arm’s reach of every author tasked with doing his or her own promotion and marketing.” – Tony Eldridge, MarketingTipsforAuthors.com

“I am grateful to have found Shelley’s website because she is an incredible source of information and resources related to self publishing. She way over delivers and offers so much for free and the content is high quality. She is also warm, friendly and caring with her customers.” – Sharon Gibson, http://www.15minutewriter.com

To learn more about the products that Shelley has to offer and take advantage of this fabulous offer, visit her website at: www.self-publishing-coach.com today!

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Tweet Tweet

Well, it’s official. I finally broke down and signed up for twitter. One of my freelance jobs includes writing twitter posts for others to use. I have been finding this extremely difficult considering that I didn’t use twitter personally. I didn’t understand how it differed from Facebook, along with just a whole slew of other things, but I’m learning. Anyone have any tips for me?

Since it’s the day before Thanksgiving, I’m going to keep this short and sweet, but I still need to learn how to tweet! 😀

You can find me on twitter: @_HeatherHart

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

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Author Tools

A few weeks back, I posted about the tools I use for novel-writing. Today I thought I would share about some other great tools for authors. Authors use all kinds of tools for their writing. There are tools for outlining and note taking, various word processors, software to help you be more productive, PDF conversion tools, tools to help you edit, market, record… the list just goes on and on!  Different authors will use different tools in different stages of their writing. For instance an author who is just beginning a book might be interested in the outlining and note taking tools, where as an author who has just published a book would be more interested in the marketing tools.

The number of tools available for authors to use is insanely long, Shelley Hitz has a list of over 200 free tools for authors on her website, Self-Publishing-Coach.Com, but it doesn’t include the free classes that I mentioned a few weeks ago, and I’m sure there are still tons more out there. Still, it’s well worth checking out.

What are some of your favorite author tools? Please list them in the comments so that we can check them out!

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Possibilities

Are you an author who wants to help other authors, while making money at the same time? If so, then I have the perfect opportunity for you:

Self Publishing Coach, Shelley Hitz has an amazing website dedicated to helping authors succeed. While her primary focus is authors who are self-published or seeking to self-publish, most of the information on her website would be a huge resource to authors regardless of their chosen publishing method. Information like author interviews, recommendations, 200+ free tools for authors, information on book marketing, free templates, and so much more!

How can this help you make money? The answer is simple. When you sign up as an affiliate for Shelley’s website, post an affiliate link on your site linking to her resources, you automatically receive 50% commission on any sales made through your link. No, that isn’t a typo, you really do get 50% of the sales you generate, and all you have to do is tell your readers about her website! You can do this by posting a link or button on your sidebar, you can write a post about one of her products or even some of her free tools, or you can give your readers a free copy of one of her free PDF reports (all with affiliate links included), then if anyone purchases anything, you get money in the bank.

As a sign on bonus, affiliates receive 2 free PDF reports that they can keep for themselves, or re-distribute with their affiliate links. One is about guest blogging for success, and the other is on YouTube marketing. At this point, I must ask, why wouldn’t you want help other authors out, and make money at the same time?

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Tools for Noveling

As NaNoWriMo approaches, I am gathering my novel-writing tools. There are just certain things that I feel are necessities for this momentous task.

First and foremost, I could never complete NaNo without my computer. I can type way faster than I can write by hand (and there is no problem reading it later). Speed is a huge factor when trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I also choose to write my novel on my Netbook. I choose this because it is portable and I can attach it to my hip, er I mean shoulder, during the NaNo season if I ever have to leave the house.

The next thing is my dictionary and thesaurus. While you can google words and find both of these things online, sometimes it’s easier and quicker to have a hard copy. No waiting for the internet to boot up, no waiting for pages to load, it’s just there. I will use both the physical books, and internet searches over the next month.

My Bible. Because I am writing a modern-day version of the biblical story of Ruth, I need the original story for referencing. Most writers prepare an outline, make some notes, and those kinds of things, my Bible will replace the outline for me. I do also have some note for my version of the story that I will print off and keep available once they are complete.

I have already mentioned the internet. That is a key tool that you need to successfully complete research for a novel. Already this NaNo season I have googled some possible character names. Character names need to be local to the region in which your character was born, and two of my characters were born in Malaysia.  I have also used the internet to learn a little bit about the culture in Malaysia, and a bit about the Islam beliefs, as the MC converted to Christianity from Islam before the story started, and surely there are somethings that will come up about her prior beliefs. Speaking of religion, I have a few books that reference Islam that I will be using to make sure I don’t get any facts wrong.

Paper and a writing utensil are also important when novel-writing. I often need to make notes and it’s easier just to scribble them down then open a new word document.

While not technically a tool, I do plan on cleaning my office before NaNo starts. A clean work space is extremely important. I get distracted by clutter, and it gets in the way of spreading out the tools that I really need to finish my novel.

The last tool that has become essential to me, is my massage chair seat cover that fits in my desk chair. After being at my desk for hours, my back gets really sore. It’s amazing what flipping it on for a few minutes can do 😀 (I know, my husband spoils me).

That pretty much covers the tools I need to get started and during the writing process. During NaNo I write in a plain Microsoft Word document, after NaNo is over, then I will insert my novel into a template that is more organized. While formatting is one of my least favorite parts of writing, I don’t do this before hand because then I get caught up with perfect formatting instead of actual writing. NaNoWriMo is about the writing, the formatting, editing and perfecting comes after November is over.

After NaNo I will post about tools to perfect your novel, but there’s no need for that yet.

What about you? What tools do you think are essential when writing a novel (NaNo or no NaNo)?

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