The indie writer internet space is a crowded – and sometimes confusing – place. You’re trying to juggle the pressures of daily life (at least, most of you are; if not, bravo!), keep up with your creative pursuits, build a platform, connect with readers, and remember to eat, shower and feed the animals every day. You don’t have all the time in the world to spend endlessly scrolling through YouTube, Facebook, WordPress and Twitter, reading every single little thing that goes by with #author hiding in it or clicking every “inspirational” or “how to…” pic or link.
You might like it, if that were the case, but really, it’s not.
In the interests of helping cut down search times and find things that are genuinely interesting and useful, here’s five sites that have helped me, whether by showing me something can be done, showing me how to do it, or just because they’ve provided a much-needed shot in the arm (or kick in the ass…) at the right time.
A Opinionated Man and his site are not for everyone. He’s brash, he’s offensive, he’s outspoken. But there’s two things you should pay attention to, here; first, he has a work ethic that is absolutely ridiculous. If you’re subscribed to this site and don’t see five to ten new posts from him, he’s either been struck down by a plague (or internet trolls) or he’s building a storm of content that will unleash shortly. Or you hit “refresh” less than an hour after his last post… though, even then, you’re probably going to see at least one or two new things. The topics are fluid, shifting from his hatred of certain sports teams, to political and religious discussion, to tips, advice and observation regarding the art of blogging and building (and maintaining) an audience, to random peeks into his personal life. There’s always something that will impact you here.
Second: He gives back. He runs multiple threads encouraging blog authors to connect, to share their visions, to get and give exposure to themselves and others. His primary rules are simple: Don’t be a dick, and participate.
The things to learn, here? Keep at it. Don’t stop. Don’t post once and say “Well, that’s out there. Time for a siesta.” If you’ve got something good, don’t hoard it and lord it over the lesser plebes; offer them a hand up so they can come hang out up there.
An indie writer with an impressive array of credentials under her belt and a can-do attitude that doesn’t seem deterred despite medical or professional crises, Ms. Thompson provides a steady stream of entertainment, inspiration, friendly advice and amusing “Did you know about this?” moments. Not content to only work on her own projects, she also offers an impressive array of affordable author services, helping others reach their own goals.
Oh, and she drinks a ton of coffee and loves cats, which are also bonuses in this field.
Need an inspirational quote to get you moving? Maybe you’ve hit a brick wall and a writing prompt is just what you need to get your mind off it. Want to know about books you might have missed, find out if they’re worth reading? Or maybe you’d like to see a story dissected, the secrets of where it succeeded (and failed) laid bare, with suggestions and opinions on how to push the strengths and repair the weaknesses?
A Writer’s Path is worth looking at, then. With a ton of content, excellent readability, and helpful, constructive and non-condescending reviews and editorial advice, this site always has a needed nudge when you’re about ready to throw your hands in the air and say “I quit.”
Getting lost in the forest of marketing, self-publishing and promotion? Then perhaps you should check out Chris’ site (also of note is The Story Reading Ape, but that’s more for fun. Still, click it. You’ll be happy. I promise. XD) With frequent guest posts and reblogs, tons of information on new opportunities and methods, and a veritable buttload of plain-language explanations about concepts, numbers and processes relating to book marketing and consumer engagement – plus amusing and eye opening surveys on occasion – this site is invaluable for folks like myself, who develop a thousand yard stare when concepts like marketing and tracking sales come up.
Where can you find entertaining and helpful articles on designing interesting villains, book reviews, author interviews and amusing and motivating writing challenges? Over here, that’s where. She’s also very active, contributing advice and anecdotes to a number of other sites and keeping a hand out to help her fellows find the exposure and audience they need.
And, because I like claiming I’m going to have a set number of things and then doing more, here’s two bonus places you might want to check out.
With an amusing worldview, entertaining snippets of her fiction (warning: some of it is NSFW, but well worth reading if you’re into that sort of thing), Author Spotlights and a refreshingly candid voice, Zoe Ambler is someone worth knowing about. Plus, she has style. And voodoo. Who doesn’t want those things?
Offering a wide range of author services to fit any budget (some of them are even free, guys. Free is good) and having an understanding about what makes us (often introverted) indie writers tick, Beth’s site is full of useful resources, great services, news, tips and general info that just might bip you on the head and grant you that “aha!” moment you’ve been looking for. She also provides an area for guest blogs by writers of genre fiction (and not just romance, which is a bonus), and finds time to write entertaining fantasy novels and marketing how-to books.
So there you have it; five (seven! Or eight, if we count the Story Reading Ape hiding in there…) blogs that might help you out… or at least brighten your day. Check them out! If you’ve got other suggestions, feel free to drop a link in the box below! Until next time…