As a general rule of thumb, money should always flow to the author. If you have to pay to get your book published (by someone else – obviously if you’re self-publishing, it’s a different story) then the general advice is avoid it.
It’s no secret that writing a book is a monumental achievement for a reason. Beyond a deep understanding of story and writing mechanics, the sheer willpower that you need to craft a satisfying book is definitely non-negligible. That said, you needn’t go at it alone: a ton of useful resources exist on the Internet precisely to assist you in finishing your book. Almond Press already covers many of the traditional must-need resources in some excellent posts (here’s an extensive catalog of writing competitions, for instance, and a great self-publishing guide)! So this post will dive into some modern apps that can really boost your writing experience. Without further ado, these are 5 tools that should go into every author’s toolkit. Scrivener While Microsoft Word is a perfectly serviceable word processor for most people, it’s not actually ideal for writers. And that’s for a pretty simple reason: Word (and the entire Microsoft Suite, as a matter of fact) was built for businessmen. In other words, people who needed a quick and dirty platform to write memos and reports. So Word works perfectly for a certain subset of the population. For writers, though, Word is a bit of a clunky nightmare. What are all of these unnecessary buttons, for instance, and why do they exist? Why is the Table of Contents feature so hard to use when all you want to do is format this nonfiction book perfectly? And that’s not even to mention the total absence of professional typesetting options that Word offers to format a beautiful book. But don’t fret too much! Into this vacuum stepped a few great options for writers. Scrivener is a pretty popular app that was built specifically for authors — it combines outlining, writing, and researching into one powerful platform. That said, it costs a… read more →
Getting published is a traditionally difficult thing to achieve, and with increasingly high publishing costs, it can sometimes seem like a pointless task. However, as we’ve seen over the past twenty years self-publishing is no longer the underdog it once was. Online sales now account for a staggering 20% of publishing markets in the US and are flexible enough to yield a great deal more profit for authors themselves. Online publishing is enormously competitive. In order to get your work noticed you cannot always rely on dedicated marketing teams and publisher resources, so it’s a good idea to start thinking of your work with a business mindset. The Market “There’s a lot of joy in writing for yourself. It offers an untold amount of freedom and keeps us imaginative and verbose,” writes Stephen Moss, content manager at Writemyx and Australia2write, “But when you’re considering being published, it’s important to remember that you should approach your writing with an audience in mind.” After all, writing for publication isn’t only about making a profit, but reaching out to people who may face the same issues or enjoy the same ideas as you do. So it’s wise to take stock of the niche your writing fills and expand upon it. Writing a book, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, should fulfill a need in the reader, not merely serve as a passing interest. The Idea Think hard about the idea itself. You should map it out, chapter by chapter before doing the heavy lifting. Some writers believe that structuring can take away the artistry of writing. However, writing ‘up a blind alley’ and having to redraft can be draining to an author, and recurring blind alleys can be very demoralizing. A simple process to find out whether your idea has an audience is to… read more →
Writing is a strange profession. You can practice all the essential skills and increase your writing speed, but there will still be days where you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything. Without consistency, you won’t be able to improve in a linear manner and your entire set of goals with be in vain. A good writer knows how to accept bad days, but the best writer knows how to overcome them. To help you traverse all the most common challenges a writer can face, we’ve asked around the industry for some valuable input. With these 10 top writing tips from authors and other professionals, you will conquer the writing industry one step at a time. Think about what sets your story apart Lilian Chifley, an independent author and writer at EssayMama, concurs. “Whether you’re an esteemed author or a beginner, uniqueness is equally important,” she tells us. “Readers want to hear a different perspective, but that shouldn’t limit you. Find your own niche and use any means necessary to make your writing style memorable and iconic.” This point reinforces the importance of self-reflection. Be critical of your own writing, but only in an objective manner. Don’t hesitate to write different versions and to approach the same story from different perspectives. The more self-reflective you get, the easier will it be to harness your talent and hard work. Make it a routine “What makes the best writers so good isn’t a set of life-changing tips and tricks – it’s all about hard work,” says Jonathan Myers, a professional writer at Assignment Masters and Australian Essays. “For younger writers, having a bad day can have negative effects for both motivation and later performance. Make writing a daily habit, even when you don’t feel like it. That way, you will exit your comfort… read more →
Do you know why freelancing sounds like a really attractive option for those outside the industry’s bubble? – It looks easy. “Maya works from home. She can work whenever she wants to. If she doesn’t like a project, she simply seeks another one. Her job is fun and she never gets bored. She takes a vacation whenever she needs one. And she makes more money than me. I wanna be like Maya!” That’s the motivating factor that drives people towards freelancing. When you look at those digital nomads, you want that life. But it’s not as easy as most outsiders imagine. Many profiles on Upwork appear, remain inactive, and get blocked after a while. Most of these people are overwhelmed by the competition and they don’t expect to work a lot to earn decent money. But in some cases, they simply don’t know where to start. No one taught them that. That’s what we’re here for today: to show you where to get started as a freelancer. We’ll list the right websites, and we’ll guide you through the steps that will deliver actual results. Start from Your Own Website/Blog Do you know why so many people on freelancing websites find it hard to land their first gig? They haven’t established their reputation yet. They may only say they can do a great job in the niche they target, but the clients won’t believe until they see actual results. That’s why you need your online portfolio if you’re a graphic designer or a photographer, and your own blog if you’re a content writer. You don’t have to work too much on the site’s design. Its sole purpose is to show few of your samples, which have the power to convince a client that you can deliver great work for them. If… read more →
When most people hear that someone is a writer, the first idea that pops into their heads would the image of a person which is tortured by their personal demons, but which turn that pain into a literary masterpiece, or at the very least the image of a struggling wordsmith who is working some dead-end job, waiting for a call from one of the publishers. So, basically, it’s either Dostoevsky, or Bradley Cooper’s characters in “Limitless”. However, the reality doesn’t have to be as grim if you are a writer or aspiring to be one. In this day and age, there are plenty of jobs which allow you to make use of your writing talents, and which, according to key industry figures, pay really well. Let’s take a look at some best and most lucrative jobs for people who love writing. Technical Writer According to Matthew Childs, who works as writer for Essay Writing Lab, when it comes to technical writing, you need to be able to turn complex technical concepts and terminology into simple and understandable language. For example, technical writers are usually required to put together software user guides, manuals, complex technical documentation, and specifications, among other things. Also, if you are interested in this sort of gig, your soft skills will need to be on point, since you will be working closely with other professionals, such as developers, engineers, and designer, just to name a few. Not only is technical writing a fast-growing profession, but it also pays upwards of $70,000 per year. Proofreader Proofreading is especially important nowadays, since the demand for online content is bigger than ever. Content gets produced fast, but it still needs to be flawless, which is where proofreaders come in. Whether it’s books, novels, columns, articles, or blog post, it doesn’t… read more →
If you are one of those persons which liked to read a lot in college and loved to write fantasy novels, you have some writing skills. If you often find you thinking about stories, what to read next or your next essay, you might have a talent. And you should start to discover it piece by piece and start making it your job, not just your hobby. Of course, it’s not so easy to resign from your actual job and start writing without a plan. You should implement this decision slowly and with baby steps. The first one you could do is to make writing a part-time job. And if you have a talent, why not use it? Besides the reward that comes from this, you could also start monetizing it. And, step by step, you can become one of those people who love their job.But, firstly, let’s see how you can start monetizing your talent: Create a Blog Even though there are lots and lots of blogs, you can spot the one of a talented writer. You can use your blog to post your thoughts, your analyses or your stories. It’s up to you. But you should see it as a playground, a way to learn new things about you and your skills. Besides this, you can easily be remarked by the right person. You will be able to start monetizing your skills easier. Become a Contributor There are some magazines and newspapers that have collaborations with contributors. Even though it is not a full-time job, you can write articles for some publications.It is a good start for you, especially because your articles can be read by lots of people. And, step by step, you will become known and writing will become your primary job. Freelancing If you are… read more →
Transcript Have you ever tried to picture an ideal world? One without war, poverty, or crime? If so, you’re not alone. Plato imagined an enlightened republic ruled by philosopher kings, many religions promise bliss in the afterlife and throughout history, various groups have tried to build paradise on Earth. Thomas More’s 1516 book “Utopia” gave this concept a name, Greek for “no place.” Though the name suggested impossibility, modern scientific and political progress raised hopes of these dreams finally becoming reality. But time and time again, they instead turned into nightmares of war, famine, and oppression. And as artists began to question utopian thinking, the genre of dystopia, the not good place, was born. One of the earliest dystopian works is Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels.” Throughout his journey, Gulliver encounters fictional societies, some of which at first seem impressive, but turn out to be seriously flawed. On the flying island of Laputa, scientists and social planners pursue extravagant and useless schemes while neglecting the practical needs of the people below. And the Houyhnhnm who live in perfectly logical harmony have no tolerance for the imperfections of actual human beings. With his novel, Swift established a blueprint for dystopia, imagining a world where certain trends in contemporary society are taken to extremes, exposing their underlying flaws. And the next few centuries would provide plenty of material. Industrial technology that promised to free laborers imprisoned them in slums and factories, instead, while tycoons grew richer than kings. By the late 1800’s, many feared where such conditions might lead. H. G. Wells’s “The Time Machine” imagined upper classes and workers evolving into separate species, while Jack London’s “The Iron Heel” portrayed a tyrannical oligarchy ruling over impoverished masses. The new century brought more exciting and terrifying changes. Medical advances made it possible to… read more →
When people are looking for new books to explore, there are three elements that get their attention: The cover The text at the back of the cover The introduction You’ll think about the first two elements after you write the book. The introduction, however, has no time to wait. All great books start with greatness. Do you remember the first sentence of Anna Karenina? “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” After reading that first sentence and the entire introduction, you just know that something extraordinary will follow. You know it’s more than just another love story. How do you get there? How do you craft the perfect introduction to hook the reader? We have few tips to offer.
You’ve written a book, and it’s the best thing ever! So, now you want people to read it. How do you get it to them? In our current publishing world, there’s three major options. You can contact a traditional big publisher, who – if everything goes well – will buy the rights to your book, edit it, put a cover on it, market it and send you money when it sells. You can contact a smaller independent (indie) press, who have the flexibility to take chances on unusual work, and who are more likely to involve you in the details of publishing – but who don’t have the same marketing reach as the big publishers, and won’t sell quite as many as the big traditionals. Avoid anyone who asks you for money to publish (known as ‘vanity press’) with the promise of royalties in the future – it’s very likely that you’ll pay a lot and not get nearly as much back. A publisher should always cover things like editing and cover art for you, even if that means your royalty share is smaller. Or you can self-publish. This means you’re the one responsible for everything – editing, cover art, formatting, releasing, marketing, selling – so you’re putting the book out under your name, and you keep the profits from it. You can sub some of the work out (eg. hire a proofreader, purchase cover-art) but it’s down to you to sell your book to the world. And the great thing is that there are plenty of ways to do that! In this article, we’re going to briefly cover some alternative methods of getting your writing out there to your readers. While we tend to think of self-publishing as being a hard copy or ebook version of a book, that’s… read more →