How I Use Scrivener for Career Planning


I’m sure most people have heard of Scrivener by now, but if you haven’t… it’s probably the best writer’s tool out there. [Related post: Moving from Word to Scrivener.] You can organise all kinds of things in Scrivener “projects” – from a novel (or a whole series of novels) to research or career planning.

My Scrivener Indie Career Planning project contains tips, advice, checklists, examples and step-by-step guidelines on how to do a whole range of things connected with being an author-entrepreneur. Continue reading

Pseudonyms and Overseas Markets

questionstickmanThis week, I received an email from a writer who is thinking about releasing her children’s book as an ebook. She had quite a few questions based on “Americanising” a book (spelling, usage) and on the use of a pseudonym.

Since there are likely to be other Indies who have the same questions in mind, I thought it best to put my answers in a blog post.

Writing for an Overseas Audience

“Do I need to Americanise my children’s fiction book? And if ‘yes’, is it only in terms of spelling and word choice, or does  the content need to change too, as if the story took place in the US with the school year etc?” Continue reading

CLEARLY a Useful Tool

clearlyiconIndie writers are constantly copying and pasting useful info from websites and blogs. (I keep a Scrivener file just for Writing Tips – I’ll blog about that later on.)

Evernote has put out a really useful tool for those who use the Chrome browser. It cuts out all the distracting side panels and other info on a page, and just pops up the article by itself. (A bit like the ‘printer friendly’ pages available on some websites.)

You can copy information and clip it directly to an Evernote folder, or paste it somewhere else. Continue reading

Your Indie Career

IndielaptopFrom time to time I get an email – or a comment – from an Indie author who puts one book up for sale, has minimal sales, and then says: “Indie publishing doesn’t work. I think I’ll go back to trying to find a traditional publisher.”

Indie publishing is a long-term deal – as is/was traditional publishing. You can read about any number of trad pubbed authors who have put out a book a year for four, five, six or ten years, and who have gradually seen their readership grow and their backlist begin to sell. Continue reading

Super-Quick Author Page

booklaunchsiteI know a lot of you agonise about setting up your author page. The process can go something like this:

I’ve got to have a website. Or a blog. Everyone says authors need an online presence….

Or maybe I should use Facebook? Would that be quicker? But first I’ve got to learn to set up a business page.

It all sounds complicated. I’ll do it next week…

Well, now you can relax. I’ve got a super-quick solution for you. If you already have a book on Amazon or Kobo or iTunes or Nook (or whatever) then you can have your author page up and running in less than an hour. (If you have all the bits ready, it can be done in 15 minutes!) Continue reading

Downloads That Writers Can Offer

downloadFollowing the “Create Downloads from your Blog” post, Karen followed up with another comment: “Now I just have to think of something of benefit to my readers!”

Actually that’s quite easy. (Not saying that it’s easy to create whatever it is you’re making available for download – that might take you some time. But it’s easy to come up with a relevant list.)

Fiction Authors

You’re talking to your fans (not other writers, unless you have a section on your website about writing tips). Your fans are interested in your characters and their world. They’re also – if you have done your job as a writer – interested in what you’re writing now. Here is a list of downloads you can make available from your website.  Continue reading

Create Downloads from Your Blog

In a recent post, “On Being Overwhelmed”, I talked about how frustrated I felt (in the early days of learning to create a website) when I couldn’t figure out how to make a download available to my readers. In the comments section, Karen commented: “Actually, I would really like to know how to go about providing a download!”

I’m not going to discuss how to do this if you have a blog created with an online provider or with a different platform. There are too many variations, and I recommend that everyone use WordPress anyway – it’s so much easier. (As I said, I also recommend that you buy your own domain name and install WordPress – but I’ll talk more about that later.)

Three steps to Offering Your Readers a Download

Continue reading

Butt in Chair

Let’s talk about BIC.

Butt In Chair.

We Indie writers know that a huge part of our success is regular output. That means we have to actually SIT in the chair and WRITE.

I’ve managed to reduce some of the BIC time by turning it into DD time (DD=Dragon Dictation.) I can walk around, lie on the bed, or sit in a recliner.

However, I still need to spend a LOT of time at the computer – and boy, is my butt feeling it. Continue reading

Dragon Naturally Speaking – Mac and Windows

Dragon Naturally SpeakingI’ve posted before about using DNS (Dragon Naturally Speaking) to turbo-charge my productivity.

I’ve been using Dragon for years, but have only recently become a serious user. When I looked at ways to increase my productivity, I decided that I really should give Dragon a proper shot. I knew that it would take a while to get used to dictating a book rather than typing it – I had to be prepared to stick with it until it felt more natural.

Here are my reactions. They may not be the same as yours – in fact, they probably won’t be. Continue reading

On Being Overwhelmed

climbing the Indie MountainI thought it was worthwhile passing on part of the comments I got in an email from D, a new subscriber to the Indie Tipsheet. (I don’t use names unless someone specifically says it’s okay.) You might like to read the previous post on the Indie Learning Curve before reading the comments below.

She says:

I thought I’d give you an update to tell you what has been happening. I am finding things overwhelming I’m afraid, but at the same time I am applying your ‘tiny steps’ philosophy and it is REALLY helping.

I think the barriers you hit in using technology are actually quite small and easily solved but they can seem enormous and impossible to scale.  (For example – get a domain name. I know what one is in a rough kind of way but where do I go to get it?? Don’t tell me – I’ll find it when I take that step). Bewilderment makes it so easy to give up. Continue reading