Stacey D. Atkinson

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From Pinterest to dialogue tags to author press kits to picking the perfect book title, this month's indie author news is full of really helpful tips for new and experienced authors. Here is my curated list of the top news stories, industry buzz, and advice for self-published authors that I found in August and shared via my Twitter and Facebook feeds.

I feel like I'm in a time warp. Days and months are flying by in the blink of an eye, and I haven't published a new blog post in what seems like forever! So to quickly get back on top of things, I am going to share with you my curated list of the top news stories, industry buzz, and advice for indie authors that I found last month and shared via my Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Here we are, two years later, and I am still working on my second novel. In order to commemorate all that I’ve learned during this time and to pass on this great wisdom to you, I have compiled a list of everything you need to know about how not to finish writing your book.

Sometimes our pets are better at taking breaks than we are.

What a great feeling to look over at your bookshelf and admire all those shiny-covered books: a dictionary, a thesaurus, a few style manuals, and a grammar guide. Such a proud display of literary tools. But have you ever found yourself being a tad lazy and not wanting to actually get out of your chair, go over to the bookshelf, and pick up that heavy hardcover dictionary just to check the hyphenation rule on one crummy little word? Don’t get me wrong—as a writer and an editor, I love my resource books, and there is definitely a time and a place for them. But I also think there is value in online tools. Perhaps the best of both worlds is needed: a mix of traditional ways (books) and new ways (online subscriptions) of working.

We all know it’s hard to make the time to sit down and write, especially with our chronically busy schedules. Then comes the rewriting and editing phases, which are also very time consuming. So for this reason, I wanted to share some easy shortcuts to save you time when cleaning up your manuscript, to help you get it closer to being publishing ready.

I'd heard about On Writing by Stephen King--a book about the craft of storytelling published in 2000--but it took me years to finally get a copy. I guess I wasn't sure what it could offer me since I don't write in the same genre as he and I've only read a couple of his books. But I knew that as a prolific writer, he must have something important to say. Plus the book's liner notes say he is the author of more than 50 books, all of them bestsellers. Can you imagine? I just had to learn more about his magical powers.

Have you ever wondered if you are keeping pace with trends in writing and editing, or even the English language for that matter? It's important to know about changing norms and standards, and to be inspired by conversations of like-minded people talking about the same things that you are passionate about. Here are some ideas to help you find your tribe.

Last week, Toronto hosted the inaugural INSPIRE Toronto International Book Fair which was a great event for publishers, authors, and book lovers alike. The fair featured workshops, guest speakers, and lots of booths and author signings. Publishers big and small gathered for this literary celebration, including the vibrant, self-published author community.

This week I participated in a discussion on book awards as part of the pre-taped Ottawa Writes podcast (to go live in January) with author Catherine Brunelle. I am a big fan of entering book awards because if you win, it can help increase publicity, sales, and credibility for your book as a self-published author. During the podcast, I promised to share with everyone my top book awards for indie authors, so here they are.

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