It’s Wednesday, and the perfect time to browse the best writing, book marketing and blogging links I’ve come across this week.
In last week’s comments, C.C. MacKenzie asked for advice on how to write a good blurb for your book. I have some links for you in the Author Platform category. The pitching links might also be helpful.
Marcy Kennedy was interested in learning about formatting eBooks and cover design. I created an extra category for those links.
For the next month I hope you’ll sate your link love with the excellent mashups featured in Collected Wisdom.
Instead of my regular posts, I’ll be doing a huge blog series about the Myers-Briggs personality types. The next Link Feast rolls out in 17th of October. Meanwhile, enjoy learning more about how people tick.
And this week’s links, of course.
If You Have Time For Only One Thing:
(Yes, many of you have already read this great post. But read it again. It’s really worth it.)
How To Write a Kick-Ass Outline and Get Hooked by Veronica Sicoe
The Heroine’s Journey by Jo Walton
Arena Stories & Outer Motivation by Michael Hauge
Jim Butcher’s Villain Building Tips by Karen Woodward
The Archetyphal Character (at TVTropes. Consider yourself warned. I plead innocence for the time you spend at the site 😉 )
Visceral Rules by Margie Lawson
Finding Your Novel’s Theme and Your Universal Theme by Roni Loren
Crossing Genres with Vicki Hinze
The 6 Categories of Romantic Comedy by Michael Hauge
J.R.R Tolkien – Enemy of Progress by David Brin
5 Tips on World Building From Scratch by Jordan Dane
How To Edit Your Book In 4 Stages by Mike Nappa
(*points above* Personally I disagree with editing while you’re still writing the book. It’s hard to shift back to the writer mindset again unless you are a pro with 50 books behind you, like Mr. Nappa. But the advice about reading your book out loud is brilliant.)
5 Qualities of the High Value Writer by Jenny Hansen
6 Forms of Distraction (And How To Prevent Them) by Krissy Brady
Writing Lapses: 5 Tips To Get You Back on Track by Sarah Baughman
Repetitive Work Injury Syndrome – Easing the Symptoms by Pauline Baird Jones (a book review)
Crafting Your 90-Second Pitch by Marcy Kennedy
How To Slam Dunk Your 90-Second Pitch by Debra Eve
How To Keep Your Inbox At Zero by Caitlin Muir
Your Author Platform
How Can Readers Help Authors? by Nancy J. Cohen
How To Research Your Market Online by Cory Huff (see what other writers are doing and emulate the best practices IF they suit you)
The Internet and Discoverability by Jen Talty
Book Promotion: Where Is The Line? by Karen Woodward
How To Sell 100 Books Per Day: 6 Things You Need To Do by Karen Woodward
Self-Publishing Tips For First Time Writers by Karen Woodward
6 Things Readers Want From Your Author Website by Thomas Umstattd
Websites 101: What the Unpublished Author Needs by Jeannie Ruesch
Websites 101: What the Newly Published Author Needs by Jeannie Ruesch
Why Use Premium WordPress Theme Instead of a Free One? by Laura Pepper Wu
How To Write Back Blurb For Your Book by Joanna Penn
Tips For Writing Back Cover Copy by Roz Morris
5 Tips For Writing a Compelling Book Blurb by Amy Wilkins
Book Trailer Resources by Jeannie Ruesch (links to stock photos, audio & video sites)
Do Blog Tours Work and How Do You Set One Up by Michelle Isenhoff
How To Gift Ebooks by D.D. Scott
5 Places Indie Authors Can Get Their Books Reviewed by Chris Robley
Self Publishing: eBook Formatting & Cover Design
Smashwords Style Guide (PDF)
A New and Improved, Even Easier Way To Format Your eBook by Catherine Ryan Howard
How To Format an eBook Starting With Microsoft Word by Lori Devoti
Free Word To Kindle Conversion Through Amazon DTP (Foner Books)
Ruth Harris Reports: Covers & Cover Designers – Part 3 (how to choose a designer & how much a cover costs)
How To Design a Book Cover If You’re Not a Designer by Masha du Toit
Worth a Thousand Words: Book Cover Design 101 by Nancy Brauer
Design 101: How a Book Cover Gets Made by Isaan Stewart & Stacy Whitman
Judge a Book by It’s Cover: Interview with Larry Rostant by Mike Shackle
8 Tips For Blogging Success by Karen Woodward
Why You Shouldn’t Read Blogs by Ramsay at Blog Tyrant
How To Get 40 000 Readers Without Guest Posting by Gregory Ciotti
10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Blogging by Johanna Castro
The Spell It Out Technique: 5 Critical Moments To Educate Your Readers by Ramsay at Blog Tyrant
Let Me Show You Inside a Secret Blogging Alliance by Darren Rowse
13 Ways To Make Idea Generation a Daily Habit by Kerry Jones
32 Most Popular Blog Post Ideas (The Blog Stylist)
How To Use Headline Swipe Files To Grow Your Blog by Yeremi Akpan
What Every Blogger Should Know About Headlines by Adam Hayes
Why Your Post Style and Structure Are Killing Your Blog by Ramsay at Blog Tyrant
Rapid Blog Post Writing: A Step By Step Strategy by Yeremi Akpan
12 of the Best About Pages on the Internet by Ramsay at Blog Tyrant
WordPress Plugin: Pretty Pinterest Pins by Jeannie Ruesch
How To Track Social Media Traffic With Google Analytics by Eugen Oprea
25 Things Writers Should Know About Social Media by Chuck Wendig
Top 5 Creepy Social Media Marketing Tactics by Kristen Lamb
Dawn of the WriterBots by Veronica Sicoe (Cautionary tale of using Triberr the wrong way)
26 Things To Share On Twitter by Debbie Hemley
4 Excellent Examples of Successful Twitter Contests by Aaron Lee
The Bro’s Guide To Pinterest by Ryan Sammy (do your Pinterest boards appeal to dudes?)
5 Ways Writers Can Get The Most Out of Goodreads by Patrick Brown
Blog Treasures by Gene Lempp
Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig
Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas
Fill-Me-In Friday by Roni Loren
Are You Starring In Your Own Life by Jenny Hansen
The Lucifer Effect: Why Good People Turn Evil by Elaine Aron
Inspired Relationships by Steve Pavlina (it’s easy to be around you when you expect nothing from the others)
“Am I Happier Single?” Learning To Love and Hyper-Sensivity by August McLaughlin
After reading August’s post, if you feel like you or someone you know might be hyper-sensitive, I really recommend checking out Dr. Elaine Aron’s website.
Goals Into Habits by Steve Pavlina
How To Maintain Not Quite Daily Habits by Steve Pavlina
Beat Procrastination (MindTools)
Networking Tips for Introverts by Penelope Trunk
The Moomins – Books Full of Introverts (MoominLight)
Culture Shock: When an Aussie Moved To US by Kate Paulik
Teenage Heroes & Teenage Hubris (Breakfast With Pandora)
Raising Expecations Pretty Woman Style by Lisa Hall-Wilson
(What would be your writer outfit? What kind of a dress would make you feel like a total pro who can crank out page after page?)
The Publishing Process in GIF Form by Nathan Bransford
Make Me Laugh by Lisa Hall-Wilson
21 Tools To Unlock Your Creative Inspiration by Amanda Milligan
Writers Say the Darnedest Things by Colin Falconer
Ladies and Their Knights and other gorgeous Pinterest boards by Shelly Fifer
A Prayer For Each Myers-Briggs Type (The Thinker Blog)
Me Tarzan, You Jane. An excerpt from the book telling the story from Jane’s perspective. (Tor.com)
Top 20 Best Fantasy Books of 2011 (The Ranting Dragon)
Top 20 Fairytale Retellings: An Introduction to the Genre (The Ranting Dragon)
Friday is the fantasy day so this post comes a little late. My apologies. My internet connection was acting up so I couldn’t put the post up until now.
In Wednesday’s mashup I offered some male eyecandy and today we’ll take a brief look at how women are portrayed in recent fantasy and urban fantasy book covers and gaming culture and where the trend begun.
Chainmail bikini babes have been a phenomenon of the fantasy genre since Marvel’s Red Sonja comic in the 70s. A good example of the phenomenon is work of profilic artist Larry Elmore. Many of his 80s and 90s pieces show women in scanty armor and even if most body parts are covered, the boobs are always displayed. Elmore has done illustrations for Dungeons & Dragons roleplayin game a lot of fantasy book covers, including the early Dragonlance novels.
The trend of showing off the curves is still rampant in computer games and many illustrations in roleplaying games. Both being male dominated hobbies likely has a lot to do with the fact. With outrageous armors like these, it’s no wonder that some ladies don’t feel welcome in the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games) circles.
While I was playing World of Warcraft, the biggest online game with over 10 million players all over the world, the big difference between the male and female versions of the same armor really annoyed me. Armor’s purpose is to protect, dammit, not display you. And pretty much all the available female avatars were much shorter and daintier than the beefy male avatars of the same fantasy race.
As for current fantasy covers, my biggest issue with many female cover characters is their weird poses. The women are supposed to look strong and menacing with weapons bared but the way they stand sends the opposite message. Jim Hines demonstrates the trend by assuming some of the poses. And here’s Anna at Genre Reviews showing a female version of the same poses and some male poses for contrast.
Also, have you ever heard the term tramp stamp? If you’re an urban fantasy or paranormal romance fan, you are likely very familiar with the ‘back pose, butt display’ trend. Here’s a very illuminative video by Scifi Guy in which he has collected tens of tramp stamp covers together.
The similarities between the covers are staggering. I like to admire female beauty portrayed with taste but with so many urban fantasy covers looking the same, no one stands out anymore. All the flaunting has lost its shock value and could be toned down. It makes simple elegance, like these Holly Black covers, pop out all the more.
Have you noticed the phenomenon? Is it present at other genres than fantasy and urban fantasy? Have you read a book lately that had a cover you loved? And how much does a cover affect which books you pick up? I’d love to hear your thoughts.