Your Author’s Website: Do You Really Need One?


I read somewhere that it goes without saying how important a writer's website is. But maybe it doesn't go without saying. Your website is the center of your online platform. It's the repository of your content that you post online. Even if you post to social media, it's important to have it on your website, because the Facebook and Twitter feeds will scroll your great stuff down into the great ocean of content that burbles at our feet all the time. If your post, image, video, whatever, is … [Read more...]

Build Your Author’s Website in Just One Day

Creating a beautiful and functional author's website is something you can do in less than a day.

If you've been promising yourself an author's website for a while, I have an event coming up that will help you check that off your to-do list. It's a workshop sponsored by Oregon Writers Colony, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 28, in Portland, Oregon. We'll spend some time talking about writing goals and web strategies to achieve them, and then we'll create a WordPress website. By the time the day is finished, you'll be able to start sending traffic to it. The course doesn't … [Read more...]

Book Marketing Lessons from Charles Dickens

Letter slot

Do you ever get mail from readers? How do you respond to their questions, comments, suggestions for future books? Charles Dickens revolutionized all kinds of marketing, including book marketing. Techniques he introduced are still upsetting the publishing establishment as authors find ways to amplify them with new technologies. One technique he pioneered was making use of "white mail" -- industry jargon for listening to his readers' unsolicited advice and comments. When the young … [Read more...]

A Blueprint for Writing Nonfiction

Judy Cullins

Do you ever wonder how to get started on a nonfiction writing project? Do you stare at the screen wondering what to say? Do you get tired of the sound of your own voice? (I know I do.) If that sounds familiar, you'll want to read Judy Cullins' blog post, The One Edit Book Chapter Writing Blueprint. It gives a quick and compelling structure for informational and problem-based nonfiction. If you're writing literary fiction, memoir or biography, her approach is probably not going to be as … [Read more...]

When to Use Jargon in Writing for the Web

Speak your audience's language

From web usability expert Jakob Nielsen, a few kind words about jargon: Jargon has a bad reputation in communications circles: in fact, a thesaurus suggests “waffle”, “gobbledygook”, “guff”, and “mumbo jumbo” as possible substitutes. But that’s because jargon obscures the message for readers outside a field. For professionals, enthusiasts, hobbyists, or others who specialize in a field, using that field’s jargon improves communication. Furthermore, using appropriate argot defines you as a … [Read more...]