It’s starting to look a lot like spring here in northern California, and bloggers are close behind. This week, from the vast content flow passing by my window, I’ve selected articles for you on author blogging (always a hot topic around here), working with Google, managing your social media efforts, dealing with the trauma of Google Reader’s announced demise, and a new distribution option. Enjoy your Sunday.
L.L. Barkat on Jane Friedman
It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging
“Does this mean I would recommend that everyone stop blogging? No. I encourage new bloggers, just the way I always have. It’s an excellent way to find expression, discipline, and experience. But if writers already have experience, and they are authors trying to promote themselves and their work, I tell them to steer clear.”
Demian Farnworth on Copyblogger
10 Reasons Writers Should Claim Their Google Authorship Markup
“Authorship markup and Google+ are two sides of the same coin. Google+ is the identity platform (which is why your Google+ ID is a long string of numbers, not unlike your Social Security or driver’s license number) … and now authorship markup is the digital signature.”
Kristen Lamb on Kristen Lamb’s Blog
Can Social Media Tools Make us a Social Tool?
“Social Tools can make life a lot easier. I cannot imagine trying to keep up with all the people I follow on Twitter without the aid of TweetDeck or HootSuite. This said, those tools offer some little extras that are enticing, but I am here to warn you to stay away from the shiny.”
Nate Hoffelder on The Digital Reader
Updated: Six Google Reader Alternatives for the Hard-Core User
“I follow 1900 feeds, and while that is a little extreme I bet that anyone who follows more than 100 RSS feeds has the same needs I do. Rather than suggest useless apps, I am going to list the ones that I plan to test.”
Kristine Kathryn Rusch on The Business Rusch
More Distribution Changes
“we asked what if someone took on a non-exclusive distribution of the paper books of indie writers, provided a good discount for booksellers, made money for the publishers, and offered pre-orders. The idea was too good to ignore. So we, crazy people that we are, backed Ella Distribution, which officially launched this week.”
eBook Cover Design Awards Post Coming Tomorrow
Keep an eye out for your monthly feature where I’ll look at 88 covers submitted by readers. You’ll learn which ones work well, mistakes to avoid, and generally get a sense for what other authors and designers are doing with this form.
And hey, I’m in the business of “picking winners and losers,” but I also have a pocketful of gold stars to hand out to finalists.
Not only that, our competition for a new awards badge has ended. We’ll be awarding the new badges in tomorrow’s post. It’s all good.
Nonfiction Book Templates in Development
Tracy and I are hard at work on the most-requested item from our recent launch of BookDesignTemplates.com—nonfiction-specific templates.
We’ve found some great new fonts to include with these designs, which will be a lot more complex than the current offerings, which were designed to work well for fiction, memoir, and narrative nonfiction.
For instance, these templates will include bullet and number lists, extracts, pull quotes and lots of other formats nonfiction books demand.
To answer another question, the current templates are just fine for nonfiction. The new ones will just have a lot more features to them, so keep your eye out for our announcement.
Self-Publishing Roadmap is About to Re-Open
Yes, the internet’s premier training program for self-publishers will be accepting a new group of participants later this month. Here’s some sample feedback from one of the recent participants:
“The venue was perfect, the content relevant, you were accessible. I have two 4-inch binders of material to reference and the video or audio content saved as backup. The only thing that could be better would be having you on speed dial or living next door!”—Linda Zercoe
The course will also have new content, and I can’t wait to get started with a new group of authors. If you want to take your publishing to an entirely new level, really get a grip on how all the pieces to this amazing puzzle fit together, watch your inbox for dates and times.