Is Amazon Changing How We Write Books, As Well As How We Buy Them?

Excellent post, Tara! Must share!

Tara Sparling writes

Is Amazon Changing The Way We Write Books, As Well As How We Buy Them? Yay for uniformity!

The other day, I tried a little experiment, and attempted to browse Amazon as though it were a good old-fashioned, bricks-and-mortar bookshop. It didn’t end well. It’s a miracle that my laptop survived the experiment, given my frustration.

Most bookshops I know, whatever the size, broadly have 3 sections for adult fiction: ‘Bestsellers’, ‘General Fiction’, and the perennially popular* ‘Crime’.

The bigger bookshops, in this country at least, might have further sections for ‘Sci-Fi/Fantasy’ or ‘Irish Interest’: but broadly, and for decades, booksellers simply used to separate ‘Fiction’ from ‘Non-Fiction’ and ‘Children’s’.

My experiment on Amazon went broadly as follows: first I stupidly thought I’d browse through ‘Bestsellers’. But Amazon said ‘No’. Amazon decreed that I couldn’t merely browse by ‘Fiction’ bestsellers from their home page. There were only 5 Fiction bestsellers available on the landing page, and no option to click through to a longer list.

Is Amazon Changing The Way We Write Books, As Well As How We Buy Them?

With some effort I eventually…

View original post 741 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Your Author Bio: Does it help your Book Sales or Stop Them Dead?

This is an awesome guide. Author bios are hard! Great post. Must share!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

by Anne R. Allen

No matter how great a book’s cover and blurb, one thing can stop me from buying yet another ebook for my Kindle: an author bio on the buy page that screams “amateur.”

I spent some time as an editor, so when I pick up a book for relaxation, I want to know it’s going to be a professional work and not something that makes me want to run for my red pencil.

If you start your bio “I’ve always wanted to write a book, ever since I won a penmanship prize in third grade, and now that I’ve self-published, “If My Cats Could Talk” my wish has come true…,” all you’ve told me is you’re a beginner.

Is that really what you want your customers to know?

Your buy page at Amazon or any online retail store is like your own personal storefront. It can be…

View original post 187 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#amwriting: worldbuilding: a framework to hang a story on

Awesome post! Must share! Very well done!

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

I write in many different worlds with widely varying levels of technology and forms of government, some set in fantasy worlds and some set in contemporary real-world environments. When I first began writing I had been reading and studying the works of Ursula K. Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, and the many other pioneering sci-fi and fantasy writers of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

This was long before eBooks, and I had discovered the joys of the secondhand book store. Every payday I had several new books to add to my collection. In fact, it became hard to find people to help me move whenever my work took me to a different place, because of my large collection of secondhand books.

Many times the actual details of the society and the infrastructure didn’t matter and didn’t come into their stories at all. But the authors knew them, and their visualization…

View original post 1,167 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Awesome idea! Have to share! Thanks for the instructions!

Kobo Writing Life

Guest Post by Deborah Cooke (Abridged from a version originally published on

Book charms are adorable and readers love them. I’ve bought them in the past from Etsy vendors, but when I realized I needed at least 100 of them for an event last August, I decided to try making my own.bookcharms

A big part of this decision was that I found little blank books in the dollhouse section at the craft store. They have paper pages and little covers, which are so much more realistic than book charms made of clay. Since these look like little hardcover books, I decided to make slipcovers for them (instead of just gluing my front cover on the book). This is, of course, the Hard Way, but I think the result is worth the trouble.

smallbooksThe tricky bit is getting the proportions right on the printed slip cover. I measured…

View original post 807 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#amwriting: the #nanonovel: starting with the basics

Awesome post about the fundamentals of writing. Must reblogged! Thank you for setting it out so clearly!

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

a writer's styleI receive a lot of unsolicited manuscripts, by new authors looking for an editor. Most of them are from authors who just completed NaNoWriMo. They’re just learning the ropes and don’t realize their work is still in the unreadable stage. I always explain to them why these manuscripts are not submission ready, much less ready for an editor to have a look at.

What many first-time authors lack is knowledge, so I direct them to workshops, seminars, and writing groups.

This is where the work comes into it. We must learn and use the basic writing conventions that underpin how all English literature is written. These conventions consist of:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Capitalization
  • Grammar

These are the fundamental rules authors follow so their work is understandable by any person who can read English, no matter if they are from Sacramento, London, Sydney, or Mumbai.

Kathleen Cali, in an article at Learn NC

View original post 884 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two cool ways to use misdirection as a storyteller

Awesome post on misdirection! Have to share! Hope you wild and woolly wordsmiths enjoy Nail Your Novel’s post as much as I did!

One literary example of the same thing for all you Harry Potter fans would be Sirius’ motorcycle. Hagrid has it in book one. He tells Dumbledore ‘Sirius leant it to me.’ Not until book three do you find the significance of the fact that Sirius was in Godric’s Hollow the night James and Lily were murdered.

Nail Your Novel

2793817435_69e8a3a701_zI’ve had an interesting question from Jonathan McKenna Moore (who was one of this blog’s earliest readers – quick fanfare 🙂 ).

Jonathan had seen Anthony Horowitz talk about writing new Sherlock Holmes stories, which led him to ask this question:

‘How does misdirection work in prose? Horowitz says that one of the functions of Dr Watson is misdirection, following false trails that Holmes would never entertain, and lulling the reader into considering them. He goes on to describe misdirection as drawing attention to one object in the room so the audience doesn’t notice another. While I can understand how that would work in a film, in prose you have to go out of your way to mention object 2, and spend time describing it. It isn’t just set dressing. How do you show the reader something, without letting them know that it’s important? Is it just a case of losing…

View original post 785 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Brilliant residency opportunity for writers with a head for heights

Sounds like a lot of fun for some adventurous writers. Boosting the signal!


Maison de L'Ecriture, Montricher. Photo © Claudine Garcia
Maison de L’Ecriture, Montricher. Photo © Claudine Garcia

This is a writing opportunity that is the epitome of cool…

A Swiss Foundation is offering writers the chance to live and work in a newly built centre at the foot of the Jura Mountains and get paid while you are there. Oh and ny the way, you will be living in a hanging treehouse in a group of eight. Six overlook Lake Geneva and the Alps and a seventh faces the Jura mountains. An eighth treehouse will be a communal space where residents can cook in the kitchen or relax in the living room.

The Jan Michalski Foundation is inviting writers from around the world to apply and you don’t have to be famous with a string of publications to your name: applications from new or emerging writers are welcome.

You can stay for two weeks or up to six months…

View original post 113 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

…GoReadMe!… m’Lady, Susan M. Toy’s fabulous idea for Authors and Readers…

Boosting the signal for this AWESOME idea… why hasn’t anyone thought of this before. Go ReadMe!!! Because Jack Calder. Just Sayin’ Can’t go wrong with a kick arse hero in a kilt!!!

Seumas Gallacher

…from daft ideas often come the next ‘great thing… the following Guest Post from my dear friend and fellow scribbler, Susan Toy, may interest other Writers and Readers… feedback on it is encouraged… please let us know if this is sum’thing yeez could support:

GoReadMe! – an idea on Crowd Reading


Susan M. Toy.

The marvelous Seumas Gallacher posted a status update to Facebook, a joke really, that had me laughing out loud here in my little trailer …

“…thinking of doing a GoFundMe thingy for a movie about my ‘To Be Read’ pile on my ebook Reader… calling it ‘Kindler’s List’… all contributions welcome… J”

Then an idea struck me – “What if,” I thought (those great little words that lead to the beginning of many great ideas, stories and novels). And I wrote a message to the kind sir himself, running past him first the kernel of…

View original post 938 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

5 Ways to Improve the Action in Your Story

Whoa! Awesome advice from Lillian today… Must reblog!

Hopes and Dreams: My Writing and My Sons

by Lillian Csernica on August 13, 2016


Writers tend to be visually oriented. We see our stories playing out much like movies inside our minds. Whatever we can do to enhance the clarity of the images and information we want to convey to the reader will improve the strength of our stories. That clarity begins with making sure we can see exactly what’s going on.

Map out the key locations.  Start with just the distances between the major settings. If you want to get into topography, go for it. Bear in mind there’s a difference between miles on land and nautical miles.

Draw the important action. Draw one scene between two characters on a stage. You could also look down on the action, using an aerial view to keep track of items or characters outside of the protagonist’s sight lines. Split the page into four sections…

View original post 237 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What are you writing – Crime, Horror or Suspense? Infographic…

The story reading apes has found another good infographic. Must share!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


View original post

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at