DIY For Inquiring Minds

DIYDay Lesson 20: Author Websites

And we’re back! This time I thought I’d get into a little more detail of things like style, layout and content. Things every author should know and wield with impunity.

First thing’s first. DISCLAIMER: Everything that follows is totally subjective opinion content based on a few years experience trying to sort my own website into some kind of order, and browsing other authors’ websites and (more often than I care to say) cringing at what I found. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt.

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DIYDay Lesson 19: Excerpt Graphics

Another late post (sorry!!) but I wanted to get this info out there ASAP.

If you’re on any form of social media and following an author, you’ve seen excerpt graphics before. They are basically pictures with text over them, sometimes info about release dates, the book cover, etc. Some are so great you look for the Buy link only to realize it’s still “coming soon!” And some you can barely read. In terms of marketing value, excerpt graphics are right up there with cover images. They make a huge first impression. I’ve done a fair number of these as well, and I’ve learned a trick or two from all the greats, the not so greats, and my own experiences. This is a quick guide on how to catch your audience’s eye.

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DIY Resources Every Author Should Know About

Greetings and salutations! I come to you a few days late with my DIY post. I apologize for the delay. If you follow me on Facebook, you already know about the miserable plague that has taken hold of my respiratory system. Thank you to all for your well wishes and prayers. I am slowly getting back to myself and the only thing that now bothers me is how behind schedule I’ve gotten because of it.

To make up for my absence, I have decided to do some spring cleaning on my Links and Resources page. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do! All the info on it is for your benefit, whether you’re an indie author, traditionally published, or just looking for some help in marketing yourself or your business.

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DIYDay Lesson 18: How NOT To Write

Write

When I began this series with the very first post, I told myself (and all of you) I would never tell you how to write. It’s not for me to say; I have been writing something or other since I could hold a pen in my hand, which gives me roughly 22 years of experience on the subject, and I still don’t feel qualified to give advice.

I have, however, received a lot of advice on writing, much of it unsolicited, some of it useful. Lately I have seen a lot of posts by bloggers, authors, etc. containing lists of rules for writing a successful novel. Rules for avoiding elements, things that are overdone in writing, things new writers do wrong… you name it, and there is probably a list out there for it.  It’s a thing now, people want to know the secret. How did you do it? How did you get so famous? What do I need to do to break through into the NY Times Best Sellers list? TELL ME!

I won’t tell you. Mostly because I haven’t done it myself yet, but also because I believe all those lists and rules are a lot of snake oil. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. In the end, we’re the ones who decide the outcome. We’re the ones holding the pen. All the rules and guidelines in the universe won’t make your story stand out if you don’t have a good story to tell. They might even smother your book, diminish its potential if they make you cut out what makes your story unique. Because that is what rules do: create cookie cutter novels for public consumption.

Here’s how I approach writing:

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DIYDay Lesson 17: Swag

Greetings and salutations! I know you’ve all been itching for more of these lessons, so I figured the next step on our DIY journey is author swag. If you are just tuning in, I strongly suggest you check out the… Read More »DIYDay Lesson 17: Swag

DIYDay Lesson 16: Taking Care Of Business: Getting A Book Published

Introduction

Time is moneyThis lesson is one every author should know. We are artists at heart, which means we don’t often think about the business side of writing, but believe me, there is one. To us, our books may be about the art, but to everyone else behind the curtain they’re about numbers. To them it’s as much about how you market yourself as it is about how well you write, and that is where a lot of writers (myself included!) stumble. We expect others to have the same passion for our stories we do. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Today I want to share what I’ve learned throughout the submission/publishing process in the hopes it will open some eyes and help some authors out. Fair warning ahead of time, it’s going to be a long post, but I think well-worth reading.

So let’s say you finished a book and are looking to get it out there for the enjoyment of the world. You now have a product. What do you do next? You should be thinking about two things: Strategy and Execution.

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DIYDay Lesson 14: HTML Basics

DIYDay Lesson 14: HTML Basics. Ready to get back on the horse? Now that you know how to format a book, make a cover page, and all that jazz, let’s see if we can spruce up your internet homestead. Before I begin, I would like to say that there are many places out there which provide you with pre-made templates to make your life easier. But if you want more of a personal touch to your template or want to make your own, begin with the basics. Get ready for a lot of reading.