For writers: on the web this week - 23 May 2015

Writer training

The Dreaded Training Debate: What If It Can't Be Taught?
Porter Anderson on Writer Unboxed
"Today’s provocation is about this booming industry on all sides of us. And about expectations in a tight market. Expectations that it can all be learned."

The Academic Question
Julie Morrisy on
"I am a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at UCD, and also the MA in Literatures of Modernity at Ryerson University, Toronto. Over the past few years I have had a wealth of experience in serious academic settings on both sides of the Atlantic. I am frequently asked about the “value” of Master’s programmes, particularly in Fine Art or Writing."


How I Get So Many Reviews
Adam Dreece
"I released Along Came a Wolf in April 2014, and released a new edition (re-edited and with a new cover) in August 2014. Today (March 2015) I have 87 ratings & 67 written reviews for it and a 4.47 star average, and 47 on Amazon (about 40% are the same as on Goodreads). I released my second book, Breadcrumb Trail, in September 2014. Today I have 38 ratings & 24 written reviews on Goodsreads, and 22 on Amazon (about 20% are the same as on Goodreads)."

Social media

5 Instagram Tips For Writers
We Teach Social
I'm not that familiar with Instagram, but it seems more writers are using it now to reach their readers. This article gives tips on how writers can effectively use this social media platform.


Paid Reviews: Why Authors Should NEVER Buy Amazon Reader Reviews
Anne R. Allen
Recommended read. "Last month the Seattle Times reported that Amazon is suing a bunch of paid review mills. / Unfortunately, many paid review sites don't feel they're doing anything wrong."


e-Book Cover Design Awards, April 2015
Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer
This is always worth a look. Joel awards and mini-critiques covers that have been submitted to him each month. I'm delighted to see this month's listing includes the TBR Pile's reviewed author Lorna Sixsmith's book Would You Marry A Farmer?

Rate Book Cover
And if you want to find out what potential readers think of your book cover, there is a new free site where you can do just that. Nicholas C. Rossis has tried it (see how it worked for him ) and found it useful. I think it's a great idea, but I would worry about how it will work in practice, once the trolls find it (if they haven't already) and start marking everything down for their fun. It doesn't seem you can get written feedback, just a star rating, but that in itself would be a useful guide (you are never going to please everyone, but if you can get a majority verdict that would be handy). Why not upload your cover now and see what people think?

Meet the author

Debbie Young
Jane Davis talks to Debbie Young
This is a lovely read. Debbie is hugely inspirational and one of the few people in the indie publishing world that I read nearly everything by or about (she is just so sensible but sounds enormous fun as well!) and a great ambassador for indie publishing. "Debbie is perhaps best known for her role within the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). She is Commissioning Editor of their self-publishing advice blog, and the co-author, with Dan Holloway, of their guidebook, Opening  Up To Indie Authors. ... / She is also the author of the highly acclaimed book promotion guide, ... and a family memoir, ... / However, her first love lies with writing fiction, and in the last year she has published two entertaining collections of short stories"

Piers Alexander
For the Pigeonhole blog
"The Bitter Trade is Piers Alexander’s debut novel. Piers, who is also a serial media entrepreneur, lives in London with the singer-songwriter and author Rebecca Promitzer. He used to hate dressing up, but now thinks of it as high-concept time travel."


Adapted photo © Taskinceyhan |

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