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Writer Resources

How To Approach Other Writers About Blurbs

Author and Rock Plaza Central musician Chris Eaton wrote about scores of people online and offline who share his name in Chris Eaton, a Biography. Over at The Believerhe interviewed another writer with the same name and a small Internet footprint.

How many people share your name online? In this encore edition of the Morning Media Menu, Eaton shared advice for making a genuine appeal to a writer, artist or musician when searching for blurbs.

Press play below to listen on SoundCloud. We’ve collected a few excerpts from the interview…

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Moleskine Introduces Photo Notebook

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Moleskine has introduced a new kind of notebook, letting you completely personalize your writing notebook by including your own photos, art and drawings.

You can design every single page of the $50 notebook, even adding inspirational notes or quotes alongside the pictures. The notebook will have 96-pages, sized at Moleskine’s familiar dimensions of 5.12 x 8.19” for a book.

If you don’t want to customize the entire notebook, you can use the FiftyThree’s Paper app, you can create 15-pages of digital art and publish them inside a customized Moleskine notebook.

Freelance Writers & the Affordable Care Act

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We collected some Affordable Care Act resources for freelance writers recently, but author Roberta Winter urged freelance writers to think carefully about these complex choices.

Winter wrote Unraveling U.S. Health Care: A Personal Guide, leading people through these tough decisions. She offered some advice for freelance writers:

Since freelance writers do not typically make much money, the insurance exchanges will afford them the opportunity to choose from 4 health plans, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze and receive government subsidies, based on their adjusted gross income. The subsidies vary between 93 percent and 100 percent of the premium, based on the silver plan premiums.

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How Authors Can Sell Through Indie Bookstores Online

Novelist Chuck Wendig reminded authors to support indie bookstores this week in a passionate post.

Below, we’ve outlined five ways authors can add links to independent bookstores on their websites, mostly using the IndieBound service. Wendig did not tell authors to stop linking to Amazon, but reminded all writers to at least include a link to their favorite bookstores. Check it out:

Indie bookstores are vital. The best of them connect authors and readers and foster a book-lover’s community in a way that Amazon never can and never will. They can compete with Amazon on a level that Amazon will never understand — like insurgent freedom fighters pushing back a militarily-superior enemy. Indie bookstores will handsell the holy hell out of your books. They are active agents promoting things they love and authors they dig — they are not the passive Amazon recommendation engine. They’re people! Who love books! Maybe your books! How is that a bad thing? So: link to Indiebound, will ya? And if you have a favorite indie bookstore, link to them, too.

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Find a Writers Group in Our New Directory

Are you looking for a writers group? Writers groups can motivate you to write more, critique your work or even help you publicize your work.

We have created an experimental project to connect writers around the globe, helping hundreds of GalleyCat readers create writers groups both online and in the real world.

Sign up to join our free directory here. Once you fill out the simple form, you will be able to access our complete directory of GalleyCat readers who are looking for a writers group–contact them directly to build a new group.

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Free Writing Cheat Sheet

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Writers have been debating the Mike Shea‘s handy cheat sheet for writers this week.

The “Writing Tips” PDF collects George Orwell‘s writing rules, Edward Tufte‘s presentation rules, Strunk and White’s principles of composition and Robert Heinlein‘s writing rules in a single page you can keep on your writing desk.

What do you think? Do these writing rules help or hinder writers? Shea has published some helpful tutorials on eBook publishing as well.

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Finish Your Book with Mediabistro’s Self-Publishing Intensive

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Struggling to finish your book?

No matter where you live, Mediabistro has a new online course designed to guide independent authors through the final and most important steps of the publishing process.

Smashwords co-founder Mark Coker, bestselling self-published author Melody Anne and WeGrowMedia.com founder  Dan Blank  will help you complete your book in Mediabistro’s Self-Publishing Intensive.

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Narratively Seeks Storytellers Of All Media

Narratively

Narratively, the year-old New York-centric website, consists of writers, photographers and reporters who want to share in-depth human interest stories with the world.

The site values long form writing, and instead of sections or columns, they have weekly themes. As editorial director Brendan Spiegel says, “Our motto is: Any way you want to tell your story, we can do that.” All of the site’s content is generated by freelancers:

[The pub] has earned its reputation on the long-form text, [but] storytellers of all media are encouraged to pitch Narratively. Photo essays, short films, audio stories and comic boards are all game… In Narratively’s first comic text story, “The Real Mermaid,” an illustrator told a narrative non-fiction story about Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade.

For more details on pitching, read: How To Pitch: Narratively.

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Charles Stross: ‘I Want Microsoft Word To Die’

strossDo you wish the publishing industry used some other standard besides Microsoft Word?

Novelist Charles Stross published an anti-Microsoft Word manifesto recently, inspiring debate among writers with a revolutionary thesis: “I want Microsoft Word to die.” Check it out:

It imposes its own concept of how a document should be structured upon the writer, a structure best suited to business letters and reports (the tasks for which it is used by the majority of its users). Its proofing tools and change tracking mechanisms are baroque, buggy, and inadequate for true collaborative document preparation; its outlining and tagging facilities are piteously primitive compared to those required by a novelist or thesis author: and the procrustean dictates of its grammar checker would merely be funny if the ploddingly sophomoric business writing style it mandates were not so widespread.

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Oxford Reference Library Free During Government Shutdown

To help scholars during the federal government shutdown, Oxford University Press has offered readers free access to hundreds of titles in the Oxford Reference Library.

Above, we’ve embedded a video tutorial about the reference tool. Check it out:

For a two week period, the entire Oxford Reference site will be freely accessible as millions of scholars, students, and researchers are cut off from crucial tools during the U.S. Government shutdown. NEW USERS: Start exploring over 125 titles in Oxford Quick Reference as well as nearly 200 titles in Oxford Reference Library by entering the following information into the lefthand “Subscriber Login” box on the homepage: Username: tryoxfordreference Password: govshutdown

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