Category Archives: Tools for Writers

Amazon Author Insights

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Amazon Author Insights is a new author-facing  Tumblr site to help both new and established writers find writing-related resources and Amazon services for writers in one spot.

I was asked by Amazon to be a beta-tester for the site and to contribute some of its content (here are a couple of my posts on building an author platform and Kindle Instant Preview).

There are tabs for writers looking for information on writing, publishing, and marketing.

Amazon Tools and Services Page

One of the most helpful things about the site are the links to Amazon’s tools and services. I’ve always felt as if it was tricky to find everything Amazon offers all in one place (out of sight, out of mind for me.)

Although I’d heard about Amazon’s free screenwriting tool online, for instance, I’d never run across it, despite the time I spend on Amazon.  I think that’s because when I’m on Amazon, I’m either on Author Central or KDP bookshelf/reports and not searching the site.  I’m no screenwriter, but it was interesting to see they offered peer collaboration, auto-formatting (a nice plus), and the ability to submit finished scripts directly to Amazon Studios.  For scripts in the brainstorming stages, they also offer Amazon Storybuilder. Continue reading Amazon Author Insights

Organization: Top Time Savers

An alarm clock in the foreground emphasizes the need for writers to save time and be able to write more.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

This is the last post of the time saving series. You can find the first post here (on social media), post two here (on saving time writing), and the third post here (on book production). Today, I’m focusing on general organization. I’ve found if I’m better organized, I can free up more time for writing.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got tons of information to organize and work through. It could be writing craft posts. It could be research for your book. It could be ideas and images for blog posts.How do you store this information so that you can easily access it?

I use a couple of different tools for organizing information: one is Evernote and the other is OneNote.  Both are free (Evernote has a paid version if you’re an especially heavy user).  This post will include both the writing-related and personal uses of the apps because, in my house at least, if I’m not organized with both home and writing it impacts my writing time.

Continue reading Organization: Top Time Savers

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