Link Feast For Writers, vol. 22

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:

Maturity: The Difference Between the Amateur and the Professional by Kristen Lamb

(Yes, many of you have already read this great post. But read it again. It’s really worth it.)


On Writing

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

Want To Grow Your Audience? Understand What They Read and WHY They Read It by Dan Blank

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

9 Clever Ways To Kickstart Stagnant Email Conversion Rates, Without Annoying Your Readers by Gregory Ciotti

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 1

Ruth Harris Reports: Covers & Cover Designers – Part 2

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

The Scent of a Kitten: The 20 Irrefutable Theories of Book Cover Design by Jen Bowden

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

Evergreen Content: Why Articles for Experts Are Hurting Your Blog by Ramsay at BlogTyrant

Why You Shouldn’t Read Blogs by Ramsay at Blog Tyrant

Your Unique Selling Proposition: Why It Matters, and How to Find One That Really Works by Gregory Ciotti

How To Get 40 000 Readers Without Guest Posting by Gregory Ciotti

How To Create Reader Profiles/Personas To Inspire and Inform Your Blogging by Darren Rowse

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

How To Start a Blogging Alliance by Tina Gray (if you don’t yet know what #MyWANA is, you want to be a part of it. It’s the best community I have ever had the honor of belonging to.)

Blogging Strategy 101: Ten Things to Do After Installing WordPress by Yeremi Akpan

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

How To Score a Guest Post With These 6 Influential Blogger Types (Blue Glass)

12 of the Best About Pages on the Internet by Ramsay at Blog Tyrant

WordPress Plugin: Pretty Pinterest Pins by Jeannie Ruesch

The Blogger’s Guide to YouTube: How To Dominate Your Niche With Your Video Content by Gregory Ciotti


Social Media

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


Collected Wisdom

Blog Treasures by Gene Lempp

Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig

Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas

Fill-Me-In Friday by Roni Loren


Deep Stuff

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.

What Successful People Do With the First Hour of Their Work Day by Kevin Purdy

Goals Into Habits by Steve Pavlina

How To Maintain Not Quite Daily Habits by Steve Pavlina

Why Procrastination Is Good For You

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?)


Fun Stuff

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. (

Top 20 Best Fantasy Books of 2011 (The Ranting Dragon)

Top 20 Fairytale Retellings: An Introduction to the Genre (The Ranting Dragon)

Tramp Stamps & Armor Exposing It All

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.

Red Sonja by Maroto Adams

Maroto Adams' Red Sonja

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.


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