writing tools

Re-Blog: Here’s a Handy Trick If You Use Word by Leah Braemel

Warning Scrivener Users!

I had a melt-down-worthy moment with Scrivener recently. (I’m on a PC, by the way.) I just finished composing my entire 113k manuscript for my next novel and Scrivener did some updates to their software. When I opened my manuscript in the updated version, it told me I had to convert the old file format in order to be used in the updated software. Where there were once seventeen chapters and an epilogue, I was down to the first three chapters of my book! Fifteen chapters…GONE!

Thank the GODS I still had my old computer with the older version of the software and was able to open the back-up and export the whole thing into MS Word. Crisis averted and I didn’t end up sitting in the corner, sucking my thumb and rocking back and forth while I lamented over losing my novel. What a nightmare! Continue reading

The Best Time to Write and Get Ideas, According to Science

Someone in my RAMN (Romance Authors Marketing Network) group posted this article in our Facebook group and I just HAD to reblog it here! I find myself referring other authors to this article often, so I thought it would be easier to re-post here. Nice reference for me and now available to those in my circle.
Author: Kevan Lee – March 10, 2014

What does your ideal day look like? Would you believe there’s a scientifically correct answer to the question?
Research into the human body—its hormone  allotment, its rhythms, and its tendencies—has found that there are certain times of day when the body is just better at performing certain activities. Eat breakfast no later than 8:00 a.m. Exercise between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Read Twitter from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. (your fellow tweeters are more upbeat in the morning).
Turns out our optimal times for performing a large number of tasks are best left up to science. If breakfast can be black-and-white, does that mean writing and creativity can be, too?

Plugin Review: MyMail Newsletter

mymailUPDATE: I still think this is a nice option for authors who have a small mailing list. However, I will caution you that if you’re actively building your mailing list – which you should be if you want to make money from writing books – you will quickly outgrow this plugin AND your website will probably be unable to handle the workload. I had only 4000 people on my mailing list and sending out a broadcast message took 13 hours to perform. Not very efficient. My current recommendation (as of 9/21/16) is MailChimp. But I’m outgrowing them, too, due to a rather complex Reader Club drip campaign I run.

However, I’m keeping this evaluation on my site for those who have a mailing list smaller than 2000 subscribers. Continue reading

Arial’s Author Toolbox

I’ve been doing a LOT of reading lately, but not fiction. This year (2015), I’ve been spending a lot of time honing my craft and doing my best to be a more efficient writer. In addition to that, I’ve been focusing on how to best market myself as an author.

Self-published authors – and actually most authors these days regardless of who publishes their books – have to devote a portion of their time to marketing. More and more publishers DON’T do marketing for their authors or the marketing is very broad (e.g., specials on a genre versus pushing a certain author).

So how does an author find the time to write AND market? THAT’S the big conundrum I’ve been putting nose-to-the-grindstone effort to find out. And guess what…you all will get to benefit from my efforts! UPDATED 2/9/16: I’ve just updated this post. See changes noted below. Also, though I’ve changed some pricing and removed other, please check pricing before you buy. They change all the time. Continue reading