Uncaged Writer Unboxed

graphic design by Liam Walsh

 

In the past month, we of the Writer Unboxed Twitter Team have implemented some exciting changes. Currently there are five of us working together EVERY DAY to bring you the most beneficial links from around the writing and publishing world–Therese Walsh, Heather Webb, Lara McKusky Taylor, Denise Falvo, and Lydia Sharp.

Our monthly round-up here on the blog is a careful selection of links taken directly from our Twitter feed. Unfortunately we can’t cover everything here. Don’t want to miss a beat? Follow Writer Unboxed on Twitter HERE. Looking for a specific area of interest? We’ve got that too! Our new hashtags make finding what you need even easier:

#WUCraft – everything about the craft of writing from pros in the industry

#WUSocMed – social media tips and updates

#WUPromo – tips on marketing and promotion

#WUAgent – literary agent news and spotlights

#WUPrint - traditional pub news, trends, tips

#WUDigital - digital pub news, ebook trends

#WUInspire – motivational boosts from pros in the industry

Is there something else you’d like to see from us? Please let us know in the comments. We are always looking for ways to improve how we serve your needs. Now, onto this month’s round-up!

Back to School for Writers

Back to school time means learning new things and brushing up on what you already know. Meghan Ward starts us off with the basics in her short list of Common Writing Mistakes to Avoid, and Jeff Goins says you–yes YOU–can find your writing voice in just 10 easy steps. Now that you have a voice you can skip across the hall to take a refresher course with Ava Jae on How to Write Realistic Dialogue.

Janice Hardy offers 7 tips for writing a series and 8 tips for creating characters on her own blog, then she makes a guest appearance at Romance University to teach us 5 Ways to Describe Emotions Without Making Your Characters Feel Too Self-Aware.

Pop quiz from Jami GoldDo You Know Your Story’s Subtext? ~cue Jeopardy! music~

Ready to revise? Natalie Lakosil has a Plot Dot Test for that. At Write to Done, Cathy Yardley claims that if you want to be a published author, the proof is in the pudding–your revisions. Here are 4 steps to make your revision pudding as delicious as it can be. James Scott Bell offers some great revision tips of his own this month, as per usual, and Rachelle Gardner lists some things you might want to consider cutting to tighten up your flabby manuscript.

At your last class of the day, the women of Hello Giggles would like to have a word with you about 10 Words You’ve Probably Been Misusing, plus another 10 More, while Sandra Peoples suggests 5 Words to Eliminate from Your Manuscript plus another 5 More.

Social Savvy

If you’re new to social media, here are 6 Simple Ways to Make a Good First Impression Online from Copyblogger. Then Lilach Bullock helps you hit the ground running with 10 Tips to Generate More Social Media Traffic. For those who think they can do it all, Business 2 Community spotlights 5 Cool Apps to Save You From Social Media Overload.

What Does a Literary Agent Look for When They Google You? – excellent question posed by Chuck Sambuchino with some eye-opening answers from literary agents. If you’re wondering what all of this social media stuff has to do with you, The Guardian explains Why Authors Need to Join the PR Circus, and Rachelle Gardner has some tips for those who still aren’t comfortable with the marketing side of authorhood.

Looking to increase your social media ROI (return on investment)? Business 2 Community says it’s all about consistency, and using a content calendar can help you stay regular.

Who here knows how to best utilize Google+? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Okay I think we all need to watch Joanna Penn‘s video interview with Evo Terra on Google+ for Authors. STAT.

Noteworthy News

The biggest acronyms in publishing news this past month were the DoJ and B&N, and will likely continue to be for quite some time. Equally as interesting as the effects of the DoJ’s ruling on ebook pricing and B&N’s steady downfall is the public reaction to these events. The Guardian said “Apple should be breaking new ground–not the law”, while Digital Book World asked the question everyone was thinking: “Is Amazon Invincible?”, quickly followed by “Is Amazon Asocial?”

Because there is only one degree of separation between Amazon and Anything Related to Publishing now. Case in point, Seth Godin hit another nail on the head with his piece at Publishing Perspectives, “Why Vilifying Amazon Makes No Sense.” Whether that nail was hammered into a wall or a coffin, you be the judge.

And lastly, filed under “News That Surprised No One” this month, The Guardian reported that erotic fiction topped the first ebook bestseller chart, proving once again that sex does indeed sell. Carry on.

Oops, did I forget to talk more about B&N? Sorry, I got distracted by Amazon and digital sex. But despite all the doom and gloom reported about B&N, Digital Book World‘s Jeremy Greenfield offers a glimmer of hope in his footnote here: “I hesitate to call it more than a [downward trajectory] because B&N is still a multi-billion dollar company with some incredible assets.” And if that alone isn’t enough to keep them afloat, perhaps the recent settling of their dispute with Simon & Schuster will give them the necessary boost.

Get Inspired

Our favorite inspirational article this month is not typewritten text, but a collection of photos. Wofford College shared a collection of writers’ advice handwritten on the writers’ hands (originally cited by Josh Sowin, here) as “a simple reminder that you’re not alone on this path you’ve chosen.” Sometimes that is all we need to keep going–to know that we’re not alone–and that is what Writer Unboxed is all about. You are not alone here. We’re with you.

Thank you all for being a part of the WU community! Tweet on.

About Lydia Sharp

Lydia Sharp (@lydia_sharp) is a novelist and short fiction author. She has been a contributor with Writer Unboxed since 2010. For all the places you can connect with Lydia, and find her books, please visit her website.