Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Is It Time for You to Write a Book Online?

If you have a lot to say, but only want to write a bit at a time, one fun way to get started... write a book online.


You can start a free blog, like this one, or pay for your own domain and url - and write a page or chapter a day. Your readers can subscribe or just check back for updates - and you can get feedback which you can use to improve your book - or dismiss - as you like.


The format - while not a term you will hear frequently, is Blook, and it's a pretty simple concept...


blog + book = blook


Some authors use the format to upload daily installments to a site (self-developed) that allows readers to sign in as paid subscribers to read magazine-length updates while other authors opt to let readers decide how much they want to pay, and still other writers post the new segments for free as a fun way to express themselves and engage readers.


How about you? Have you ever considered writing your book online in the blook format?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Should You Try Online Writing Contests?

It is unlikely that anyone will make a living participating in online writing contests, but that does not mean the experience has no value. These contests can provide a number of benefits to fledgling writers, including a chance to earn a few dollars, exposure, and professional critiquing of one's work.


Writing Contest Prizes


Prizes range from getting a piece of your work published (which actually falls under the exposure category, but some contests promote publication as a prize) to an enviable cash sum. Most fall somewhere in the middle, with a modest cash sum or small prize. Read the fine print carefully before entering to avoid surprises later.


Exposure


Winning contest entries are generally published on the website or in the publication hosting the contest. Before entering contests where the main prize is publication of your work, check to learn the readership of the contest before entering to get an idea of the exposure you can earn from winning.


Professional Critique


One advantage to entering contests such as these, is the chance to have a pro critique your work. Check to see if the organization holding the contest will provide feedback on entries. To be fair, most will not, but if you find one that does, it can be worth your time to submit just to learn where you might need to work on your writing skills.


How about you - have you ever entered writing contests online, or do you plan to? We would love to hear about your experience if you feel inclined to share.







Friday, January 10, 2014

3 Easy Ways to Build Your Online Writing Portfolio

Is our goal to be a professional Internet writer? If your answer to that was a resounding 'yes' or even a meek 'maybe' - you are going to need to develop an online writing portfolio to share with potential clients.

A little Internet research will net you a pile of tips and advice on getting started as a writer, but my short list, below, gives you a few fun and easy ways to present your writing work.
  1. Your own blog or website: The advantage of blogging or putting up your own site, is you can write anything you want - just like I am doing now. The disadvantage of this approach is - if you make a grammar mistake while writing whatever you want, no one is going to catch it and fix it for you.
  2. Content sites: Content mills are pretty much fizzling out (thank goodness) but there are  still a few around, as well as a few lower paying sites that take beginners, such as the Yahoo Contributor Network, where you can post your work, get some (very light) editorial review, and earn a few cents for your work as you build your writing portfolio.
  3. eBooks: If you have time to put together an eBook and put it for sale on Amazon or Smashwords, or even your own site, then you can put together a short summary of the book - with a link to the page where it's for sale - and include the summary in your portfolio. Writing a book, especially if you can get a few good reviews, lends credence to your effort to present yourself as a professional writer.
Let me know if you have tried any of these easy ways to develop your online writing career, and what you thought of them - if you feel like sharing.