Category Archives: Tools for Writers

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

Process: Finishing One Book While Starting Another

A metal bridge stretches ahead. The post by Elizabeth S. Craig is on the process of wrapping up one book while starting another.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Some of my more popular posts have to do with something pretty ordinary and (unfortunately) boring … process.

Everyone’s process for writing and publishing books is different. Maybe that’s why we’re curious about what works for other writers.  I know I like reading those types of posts, too.  I never know when there’s something that might be helpful to try or something that I could work into my own writing process.

Keeping all of that in mind, I thought I’d share my own process for finishing a book and starting another book. It’s fresh in my mind because that’s been my last couple of weeks (some of this I touched on in last Friday’s post).

The process for the book that’s releasing

While the book is in edits, I start loading the book and the book’s metadata up on distributor and retail sites (which can be, if you use a lot of distributors, something of a tedious process).

I draft a newsletter to announce the upcoming release.

I make sure the book is linked to the rest of the series on Amazon and other retail sites.

I update my website, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.

The process for the next book in that series

Whatever book I’ve just finished, I start immediately outlining the next book in that same series.  I’ve found this is a big time-saver for me because my head is still in the series. It takes a lot less time to create situations for the characters to respond to, etc.  Continue reading Process: Finishing One Book While Starting Another

Twitter Analytics for ‘Best of 2016’ Tweets

Twitter Analytics for 'Best of 2016' Tweets is a post by Elizabeth S. Craig

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

If you’re like me, you’re in the middle of a very busy time of year.  I’m trying to wrap up a project (definitely not releasing it in December…January is better, sales-wise) in the midst of shopping, decorating, and driving my daughter to her own events.

Besides all that, I’m still trying to keep up my online presence. One of the ways I make this easier around the holidays is to schedule my ‘top tweets of 2016’. The past couple of years I’ve used a very convoluted method of discovering and then scheduling these ‘best of’ tweets.  But with Twitter analytics, I’ve found a better way.

First off, Twitter analytics is a very interesting tool, if you haven’t already been using it.  Journalist and Publishing Perspectives Editor-in-Chief Porter Anderson explains why in his post “How to Use Twitter Analytics to Boost Your Social Media Marketing.”  Even if you don’t want to schedule year-end tweets, if you’re not familiar with Twitter analytics, you should probably take a look. It’s interesting , at any rate, to see who your most influential follower is.

Here’s how to use it to learn your most popular tweets of the year: Continue reading Twitter Analytics for ‘Best of 2016’ Tweets


Information sign with the blog post title "Updates" to the right

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Here’s an update on promo approaches,  platforms, etc.  that I’ve been working with.  Not only does this type of post help me assess what’s working, hopefully you might be able to find something here to experiment with, yourself.

ACX:  This remains an important platform for me (audiobook).  I think I’m just lucky to have gotten an excellent narrator there, Judy Blue.  I was at an event in western North Carolina in late-summer and a lady came up to tell me how much she enjoyed Judy’s voice acting. It really helped me realize how widespread audiobook listening is and how readers rely on it as a way to enjoy books.  I know many authors have seen a drop-off in royalties because of royalty restructuring there.  I have too, but I have so many books on the platform that it’s still a nice source of income for me.

MailChimp: Many more subscribers.  Some is due to participating in group contests, some due to the freebie for signup that I offer.  I’ve also done a better job updating my back matter in older books to mention my newsletter. Continue reading Updates