Top Time Savers for Writing

Alarm clock in foreground demonstrates that time savers are important to writers.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I rely on a lot of time savers to help me stay productive. I’ve spoken to writers before who’ve asked me how long I spend writing each day.  I usually spend no more than thirty minutes writing, but that thirty minutes is enough for me to publish 2-3 books a year and get a head start on another.

I think it’s because of these time saving tricks. Not everyone wants to be a faster writer or needs to be a faster writer.  If you’re someone who is already trying to increase your writing speed, here are the things that work for me. Some of them help me stay on track and fight distraction. Some of them are memory crutches that help cut my revision times dramatically.  Continue reading Top Time Savers for Writing

Better Images for Social Media Sharing

Boat on lake at sunrise demonstrates the importance of good images.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

For a long time I was oddly resistant to rethinking the way I approached images on my blog.

I knew there was a better way than the method I was using, but I didn’t want to find the time to figure it all out. I also am terrible at design.  Additionally, I didn’t really see what the big deal was, although I kept reading that better use of images can help us in terms of sharing. Images can give a post more views, especially on platforms like Facebook.

I finally got the memo when Twitter suddenly got more visual.  I also noticed that when I’d share links on Twitter, if the image on the writer’s post was optimized, it would automatically share the image with the text of the tweet.

I have a feeling that my process here is slightly convoluted, but I’ll share it anyway, along with resources that I know of to make better blog (and other platform) images. Continue reading Better Images for Social Media Sharing

Twitterific Writing Links

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

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

A weekly roundup of the best writing links from around the web.

Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 39,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers.

Business / Miscellaneous

Conferences and Events / Miscellaneous

Creativity and Inspiration / Careers in Writing and Day Jobs

Creativity and Inspiration / Goal setting

Continue reading Twitterific Writing Links

Top Time Savers for Social Media and Blogging

 

Image shows an alarm clock in the foreground and the post title, "Top Time Savers for Social Media" by Elizabeth S. Craig is superimposed. by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

The biggest complaint I hear from writers is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all that we need to do.

Tasks facing writers include reading publishing-related news, doing research, promoting, updating websites and social media…on top of working on our books.

And most everyone is doing the above in addition to a day job, parenting, or caregiving.

It’s a lot, for sure.  The only thing that I can recommend is that we save time where we can.

With that in mind, I’m sharing my own biggest ways of saving time.  With these methods I give myself more time to do…whatever.  It could be more time to write, more time to do housework/cook/run errands, more time to spend with my family.

I started to include all of my tips in one post, but realized it was far too long for a post. I’ve divided them up by category: social media and blogging, writing, book production, and general tips.  I’ll run this series on Fridays for the next month. Continue reading Top Time Savers for Social Media and Blogging

Tracking Our Books’ Distributors

A woman's hand rests on a keyboard and next to her is a notebook and pen. The post's title "Tracking Our Books' Distributors" is superimposed on the photo.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

When I first started self-publishing, I decided that I wanted to upload each of my books to each individual retail outlet myself. I liked this idea for a couple of different reasons: for one, I liked having the control over pricing (maybe I wanted to run a sale at Kobo and not at Apple, for example). For another, I liked not having a percentage of my earnings go to a distributor.

It wasn’t hard to upload to the different channels.  Well, except for Apple. Apple was a pain.

Fast forward 6 years down the road and I’m using aggregators to distribute to most retailers (aside from Amazon). Because what I learned that I didn’t like was tax time. I didn’t like the fact that I had to figure my earnings from so many different places (with 24 titles, this gets tedious).  I also admired the way that these distribution platforms could get my book free at Barnes and Noble or put them in libraries, or list them for sale at foreign retailers, or put them with subscription services. I liked being able to use a single dashboard when I wanted to run promotions.  Individual pricing is nice, but it was hard, frankly, for me to keep up with…even when I’d put reminders on my calendar to check in with a particular retail outlet for a particular title. Continue reading Tracking Our Books’ Distributors