Motivate Me

myWriteClub logoAs the mother of two young children with limited writing time I need to make sure the time I do get is focussed. My goal is to produce six books a year. I feel like this is realistic for this stage of my life. I have one son in school and the other attends four mornings of kindy a week. Altogether, I probably get about 15 hours a week as long as no one is sick and there are no unexpected mishaps (which basically never happens). So let’s reduce this to 10 hours a week of pretty decent writing time.

In order to meet my goals I have to work hard and stay on task. It’s so easy to get distracted by Facebook and emails and sometimes finding the motivation to just sit down and write what I have planned can be really hard. (Kudos to Martin Crosbie and his 1,000 Words a Day Project!)

I have had to fit work in around two school holidays that have happened very close together thanks to Christmas and Chinese New Year (now that we are living in China). I have a family first policy, which means I try very hard NOT to write during holiday time. For my last writing project I managed to finish all my planning prior to Christmas, which meant I had three school weeks to write my first draft before the second lot of holidays began. I was determined to get it done…and you know what, I did.

One thing that really helped me achieve my goal was a new website I discovered called myWriteClub. This website is still in beta stage, but I signed up thinking it looked like fun and could really help motivate me. Continue reading “Motivate Me”

Linking Books to Author Central

The last guy who told me I was wrong.

Oh my. I wish I had a dollar for each time I told someone their book wasn’t claimed to their author central page and they replied “Yes it is.”

Guess what? NO IT’S NOT.

Just because you have an Author Central page and your book is showing up on it does NOT mean it’s properly linked. Honestly, I don’t sit around making this stuff up because I’m bored.

A book which is properly claimed to an author central page will have a little drop-down arrow next to the author’s name. I’ve circled it in magenta and drawn an arrow to it in the photo below. Continue reading “Linking Books to Author Central”

Let’s Talk About Me: Writing Your Bio

Your author photo?

Hi! I’m Anita Smoke and I write because I breathe! I right in many genres which makes my fans very happy. I never know what type of story I’ll be writing next! I was born in California but moved to Texas, Chicago, and finally Virginia when I married my soulmate. We’ve got four furry children, and boy is the bed crowded! When I’m not writing, I’m running the styrofoam boat races in my neighborhood, knitting snap-on extension panels for leg warmers, and developing a myriad of recipes for boil-in-bag toast. Stay turned for my next book! It’s coming soon!

Seriously – is that the type of impression you want potential customers to get when they read your biography? Are you looking for readers or for a new bff?

Your biography is basically your resume and cover letter built into one. The facts need to be there; they need to be presented with the right amount of friendliness and professionalism. It can be a very tough balance to achieve. So, here are some tips to help you create, update, and/or revamp your author biography. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Me: Writing Your Bio”

Tutorial: Resizing Pictures

Why in the world could I possibly need to know how to resize a picture? you ask. Well, Skippy, it goes like this. A reporter or blogger or some other nice person who wants to feature your book asks you for a jpg image of your book cover – or a head shot – no larger than 500kb. But the only image you have of yourself looking all sexy and authory is 4 megabytes. So you send it anyway. BAD AUTHOR!!!! That’s a really good way to annoy someone who’s trying to help you. But…how do I make the image smaller? you say. Well, I’ll show you.  Aren’t you glad you asked?

See the cover above? The size of the original file is 606 kb. That’s over half a megabyte and still doesn’t meet the criteria of the 500kb requested by whomever. Making it smaller is very fast and easy. Go to the folder where your picture is stored. If you mouse over it, that should tell you how large the file is. (I knew you were going to ask that next. Ha!) See the photo below. Continue reading “Tutorial: Resizing Pictures”