The new year brings a sense of renewal and hope–something most writers can always use! I kicked off my 2016 with several writing resolutions, including completing (and perfecting) my latest YA novel, Barn Shadows. I’m continuing my quest for an agent for my recently-completed thriller, Top Producer, and thinking of new and exciting ways to market Trail of Secrets. I plan to attend at least two writing conferences. Finally, I strive to read at least five books on writing in 2016.
I’m on track in the reading department. This month I read Stephen King’s highly-acclaimed book, On Writing, and loved it! It was not what I was expecting, especially the first half which was more of a memoir and less of a “how-to” book. The second half covered the nuts and bolts of the writing process, as it applies to Stephen King. I found the whole thing engaging and difficult to put down. I don’t often read books more than once, but this is one that I may revisit in the coming year.
As for revising my work in 2016, I plan to make more use of a tool I discovered through my publisher called EditMinion.com. This fun website allows writers to paste one chapter at a time of their writing into its screen. The program identifies common mistakes, such as over-used words, clichés, adverbs, and so on. The best part? It’s free! While the program may not replace the use of a human editor, it is a great way to get an extra set of (virtual) eyes on any work-in-progress.
Now for marketing in the coming year…I plan to win awards. Many awards. But if that doesn’t work out, I’m going to check out BookBub — a website which compiles free and deeply discounted books for its readers based on their interests. Authors may list their books when they have a sale or if they’re willing to give away their book for free for a limited time. One word of warning, listing a book on BookBub takes some planning, as the website approves each book individually and coordinates posts with the book’s sale dates.
So that’s me. What writing tools and marketing ideas do you plan to use for 2016?
Be sure to check back in a couple weeks, when I’ll report back on the top five things I learn at the upcoming Write on the Red Cedar conference in Lansing, MI!