Practical Tips for Online Authors by Lida E. Quillen.
As a book reviewer, I pride myself on the speed with which I can read a book - not this one. It took me HOURS to read. Why? Because I had to stop every couple of pages, dial up the internet and visit links that were so pertinent to my career that I could not wait till I had finished the book.
I am not exaggerating. Every new topic combines invaluable advice and really clever tips with absolutely awesome links. I consider myself a professional writer, and having done most of my writing almost exclusively online for the past few years, I thought I knew it all - how wrong I was. Lida has some brilliant strategies for marketing, promotion and research that had never occurred to me before.
But this book isn't just for professional writers, as she starts with the very basics and proceeds from there.
We begin our journey with short story writing, where we are instructed on submission format and markets for our completed work (with accompanying urls of course).
Then Lida explains why all writers should have their own webpage and leads us through the steps we will need to accomplish this. If you need to know how to MAKE the page - follow the links to html tutorials and learn all the coding your page will require. She then touches on how to upload your webpage and provides links to the most popular ftp programs. Now that we know how to upload our page, we might consider WHERE - Lida lists places that host author pages, so you can be in the company of your peers. Once the page is online, her insights on how to promote it and earn extra money with affiliate programs are invaluable.
Now that you have completed your website Lida recommends including a newsletter or ezine, and of course gives you the lowdown on how to produce one, promote it and get advertisers. (This section had me on the Net for a couple of hours).
Ezines and newsletters aren't the only promotional tools available for writers, and Lida is full of great suggestions for getting your work known. With some very impressive guest writers, she includes advice on query letters and marketing your books.
Lida herself says this about the book: "In these pages you will find writers groups for support and critiques, learn how to submit stories to ezines and polish your craft, send submissions via email and locate an e-publisher for your first novel." (page 1)
You will find all of the above plus plenty more. Her advice is practical, logical and very sound. Her links are categorised methodically (fortunately, considering the number of them!)
"Practical Tips for Online Authors" is worth it's weight in gold - definitely a 'must-have' resource!
Reviewed by Sandy Cummins of Writers Exchange.
"For new authors, or published authors uncertain how to use the internet to grow their careers, Lida Quillen's PRACTICAL TIPS FOR ONLINE AUTHORS is a useful resource packed with timely information. As a successful owner of an ezine, I found many tips that I wish I had known when I was first starting out a year ago. Moreover, the most common questions I answer again and again as an editor are answered here, in one comprehensive resource.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR ONLINE AUTHORS is divided into ten chapters, ranging in scope from getting your story published in an ezine to locating resources. Some of the most useful information for new authors includes: how to submit to ezines, locating epublishers, obtaining reviews, and online promotion. For published authors, Quillen includes email newsletters and self-publishing.
Much of the advice Quillen offers, this editor had to learn through trial and error, and certainly this book would have saved many hours if it had been available a year ago. Indeed, Quillen brings her own experience to PRACTICAL TIPS FOR ONLINE AUTHORS, recognizing the author's need for information by providing over 600 links to resources, as well as low-cost or no-cost solutions to publicizing one's work. Filled with enthusiasm and solid knowledge, PRACTICAL TIPS FOR ONLINE AUTHORS is a must read."
Review by Cindy Penn, Word Weaving.
Lida Quillen's Practical Tips for Online Authors is a must read! At a time when ebook authors are eagerly searching for ways to promote their works in this new medium, Quillen has come up with a definitive guide for newcomer and old hat authors alike. I found the book an immense help and will be recommending it to every author with whom I come in contact. If you are looking for an outline for success, look no further than Ms. Quillen's wonderful new book. You'll find timely tips from bestselling authors and professional explanations for everything you will ever need to succeed in online publishing. Run, don't walk, to buy this book! You'll be glad you did.
May the Wind be always at your back,
Summary: In Practical Tips for Online Authors you'll find listings of writers' groups for support and critiques, you'll learn how to submit stories to ezines in order to polish your craft, send submissions via email and locate an e-publisher for your first novel. After your book is published, you can obtain cyber reviews, take advantage of online promotion and find places that will sell your book for you. Info on how to do all this and more is included in these pages.
For published authors, Practical Tips... also covers more advanced publishing methods such as how to create an email newsletter or on-line magazine, how to build your ownauthor web site from the ground up and how to self-publish your novels. This ...book simply offers tips, advice and resources to help you get started on your chosen endeavors.
As a writer and author, I found myself taking notes and getting excited at the wealth of information I found in this book. Lida Quillen has done an excellent job in networking and gathering everything you would need as an online author. And the information for unpublished authors is a treasure trove... saving you countless hours of Internet time trying to network and find the sites to help you in your quest to get published. This book is a must buy for writers!
**** Fours stars
Practical Tips for Online Authors
This is a "how to" book to help the aspiring writer to understand and learn about online publishing. This book is full of tips for the writer and how to find a place to get your work published and how to promote your work online.
There are plenty of websites listed to visit for ideas. You also can learn how to use email to your advantage, build your own website, and do newsletters.
It also has tips for the published writer as well. There are comments by published writers to tell how they were able to get things done. It is not a detailed manual, but one that is filled with tips, advice and resources to help the beginner to get started and what to do after you get that first one published.
At this price, you canít go wrong even if you are only curious about writing. Lida is the Publisher of Twilight Times Books, so she knows her topic from first hand experience, so you can be assured that this is a well thought out volume. Highly recommended by Baryon.
Reviewed by Barry Hunter for Baryon Online.
All right, I'll fess-up. Since I spend hours each day at my computer, writing as well as emailing and surfing, the prospect of reading a book on the screen doesn't exactly float my boat. Some writers worry about contracting carpal tunnel; I fret about eyestrain. However, I found Practical Tips for Online Authors a refreshing pleasure.
Quillen states that the book "is not a detailed 'how-to' manual, rather I simply offer tips, advice and resources to help you get started on your chosen endeavors." And how! Sample query letters, promotion advice, research tools, web page and ezine design are but a few of the dozens of topics covered, with more than 600 current links. This chronic over-achiever did not take the time to follow them all, but the ones I did check gave me no trouble. Several I recognized as places where the owner recently switched to a custom domain name. In addition, Quillen invites readers to submit their favorite links for consideration in future editions.
While unabashedly geared for the "prepublished" ebook author of speculative fiction, much of the advice crosses genre boundaries and proves useful to writers aiming for traditional print markets, as well. In fact, with the Internet becoming a major force in the world of book marketing, authors at all rungs of the literary ladder of success will benefit from this handy and well-organized reference. The hypertext references make it easy to skip to specific topics within the book.
Those who may still be fence sitting with regard to the viability of electronic publishing ought to find Chapter 6 of particular interest. This chapter features remarks by Eguild president Steve Lazarowitz and best-selling ebook author Leta Nolan Childers that put to death many of the myths hounding the quality and availability of books printed in electronic bindings. Like it or not, the technology is here to stay.
Now, if someone could just invent a preventive measure for the eyestrain!
Reviewed by Kim D. Headlee, the author of Dawnflight, a novel about the legend of Guinevere garnering rave reviews and award nominations from romance and fantasy venues alike.
Book review of Practical Tips for Online Authors by Lida E. Quillen. Available from Twilight Times Books
Electronic publishing opens up all sorts of doors to authors. A problem arises when the author doesn't know how to take advantage of those opportunities. Sure, you know about e-zines and electronic publishers, but do you know how to promote your e-book online? Lida E. Quillen's book indeed offers some practical tips for online authors.
The biggest strength of this book is the links provided to markets, resources and promotional opportunities on the web. There are hundreds of links to every imaginable resource. And, knowing that on the Internet web links age faster than the speed of light, the author updates Practical Tips for Online Authors twice a year. Stale links are pruned out and new ones are added. For $4.50 (US) readers will "receive free updates for one year after purchase" according to Lida. That's the equivalent of three books for one.
It may be because of the inclusion of all the links that some of the chapters are more of cursory introduction rather than an in depth instructional. The chapter on creating one's own newsletter, for example, doesn't go into the concerns one might face with using a third party to distribute one's newsletter, or how to gain subscribers or attain advertising revenue. Plenty of links are provided so that the new writer can find out that information on her own. This may change over time as the book is revised and updated, but the experienced writer won't find anything new here.
A second strength is the anatomy of the query letter provided by the book. How the heck does one boil an 80,000 word novel into four paragraphs and write it so that it will catch the eye of an editor or agent? Reprinted in Practical Tips for Online Authors is Lynn Flewelling's no nonsense article "The Complete Nobody's Guide to Query Letters." I haven't yet come across an article that covers the sticky problem of query letters in such a clear and precise way.
Quillen has gathered many distinct, pro e-publishing voices together for Practical Tips. One chapter is dedicated solely to "E-authors talking about e-publishing." For a new writer, it's welcoming to read other, successful writers provide insight on e-publishing. And since e-publishing is still in its infancy, I guess there will always be the need to justify its existence and the work of those who choose to e-publish. So it comes as no surprise that there is, indeed, an article dedicated to how e-published authors are real authors too. Again, this is something that a new writer might want to read to bolster her confidence, but the experienced writer might want to skip this section.
Based on the links and the query letter article, I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to a new writer. This is the sort of primer that helps without condescending and that is brimming with enthusiasm for publishing. Quillen is out to help other authors. While there might not be much in the way of tips for the writer who has been publishing electronically for a while, there is still a lot of useful information available. Could one get the links provided by Practical Tips through web searches? Yes. The question is, which would you rather spend your time on: combing the web for hundreds of links or writing? For $4.50 and two updates, Practical Tips for Online Authors is a great deal.
Reviewed by Raechel Henderson Moon, publisher of Jintsu