Admitting to Writing

A chihuahua hides its face in a plaid blanket and the post title, "Admitting to Writing" is superimposed on the left of the picture.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

There are times when I’m completely prepared to admit that I’m a writer.  These are usually social situations or parent meetings where small-talk entails being asked what one does for a living.

On these occasions, I make sure I have my business cards in my purse (and that I know where they are in the cavernous depth of the purse). I have a chirpy, cheerful response down pat by now: “I’m a writer.”  If I suspect it’s going to be a very quick conversation, that’s usually all I give. After all, there’s no point in lingering at the refreshments table or when the teacher starts talking at parent night.

For these very brief encounters, they’ll just nod their head and not ask anything else,  assuming that I’m a freelance writer or web writer of some kind.

But most frequently, and the reason I usually dread the question, this opens the floodgates to a bunch more questions.  What kind of writer? What kind of writing? What kind of mysteries? Am I published? Under what name? Where do I get my ideas from? Continue reading Admitting to Writing

Tips for Less-Expensive Self-Publishing

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I read a lot of posts that assume that writers have unlimited funds for book production. But many writers who self-publish books are having to fit the process into a budget.

First off, you’ll usually save money (not time, but money) if you contract out for everything you need instead of going through a self-publishing service.

My main costs in book production are covers and editing.  And I think most writers would agree that those are the two most important things.  Both things can vary dramatically in cost. But both things are vital to the success and sales of our book.

Cover: If you have a very small project (short story, etc.) you could consider going somewhere like fiverr to get your cover. Look at a lot of different profiles and read the reviews to compare designers. There are also sites like Covervault where you can get free designs. Continue reading Tips for Less-Expensive Self-Publishing

Twitterific Writing Links

Bluebird with beak open and 'Twitterific Writing Links' by ElizabethSCraig superimposed on the image

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 40,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers.

Have you visited the WKB lately?  Check out the new redesign where you can browse by category, and sign up for free writing articles, on topics you choose, delivered to your email inbox!  Sign up for the Hiveword newsletter here

Continue reading Twitterific Writing Links

Theme in Commercial Fiction

Sunset over the mountains with the post title superimposed on the top: 'Theme in Genre Fiction."

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Years ago I was stumped when I received an email from a middle school student. He was reading one of my books for a school assignment (this, in itself, was startling), and he was trying to figure out what the theme of the book was.  I guess he decided to cut to the chase and just ask the author directly. Because surely the author would know.

But the book was simple crime fiction. Cozy crime fiction. Maybe this is why the student was having such trouble figuring it out. I hadn’t explored theme in the story other than the typical ‘good versus evil,’ or ‘the importance of justice’ of your typical mystery novel.

After that incident, I made more of a conscious effort to incorporate theme, very lightly, in my books.  I didn’t want to hit the reader over the head with it and I still wanted to keep the lighter, comedic tone that I strive for in my cozies. Continue reading Theme in Commercial Fiction

Inexpensive Promoting

A pink piggy bank is on the left side of the picture. The post title, Inexpensive Promoting, is on the left.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig 

Anyone familiar with this blog knows that I’m not a fan of old-fashioned promoting. I think I’ve sold a lot more books by using better book metadata and following best-practices for SEO on my book pages on my website.

But sometimes…you’ve got to promote the old-fashioned way. In my case, it’s usually by request.  My audiobook producer is big into old-fashioned promo: going out into bookstores for events, doing book tie-ins, and that type of thing. He’s really, really good at it. In the past, he’s asked me for free printed copies of my books to tie-in with the audio versions for giveaways at all kinds of special events. I’ve sent them over to him…just very happy that I wasn’t doing the promo legwork myself.

It’s expensive, though. Even getting the author copies from CreateSpace.  There’s the buying of the books, and then the shipping of the books.  If you’re talking a fair number of books or doing something regularly, it does add up.

This time I told my producer that I’d like to do something a little different (and basically free on my end).  I used Canva to design bookmarks especially for my audiobooks and then added an Instafreebie code to provide a free ebook. Realizing a lot of other writers might be going to summer events, I thought I’d share what I did. (And I used to be a VistaPrint customer…nothing wrong with that, except this particular project required immediacy. I couldn’t wait). Continue reading Inexpensive Promoting