Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Weekly Writing Resources

Wednesday's an odd day--half way in to the week and half way to go to the weekend. If you land yourself in the midweek doldrums, take time out for a quick visit to a few of the writing sites around and experiment with  new software to automate the more repetitive tasks you do. Find something to take the effort out of your writing/publishing ventures.

With all the November writing challenges almost here, anything that makes the writing life easier is useful.

This week I have downloaded three new-to-me programs to evaluate for ease of use and usefulness. Open Office, the free word processing system, has for some reason never worked too well on my computer so I have downloaded Libre Office. I am told this is more compatible with Word and can handle things like Track Changes which is a vital aid for both writer and editor when edits time arrives.

sceen shot Tree Sheets on Mac

Next I chose Tree Sheets , recommended for note taking, mind mapping and arranging thoughts. It may prove to be a bit of a steep learning hillock but comes with its own tutorial. I'll let you know.

And my third download is Sigil, an epub editor.

All three were recommended in Techradar's top ten best free software for writers. I shall try them out and post my reviews next week. Often I'm quicker just using the same old...same old...

What is your favorite writing software? What wouldn't you be without? Let me know your choices in the comments below.


ps: think I've solved the riddle of the missing comment boxes. If I click on the Slow and Steady heading link along the top of my blog, all the menu links and comment boxes miraculously appear. Yay!

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Benefits of Hosting Others

The Benefits of Hosting Others

guest post by Jo Linsdell

A book tour has long been known as one of the most effective ways of creating a buzz about your book and growing your author brand. With internet you now have the opportunity to do a virtual book tour and reach even more people whilst leaving a virtual footprint that will keep your marketing efforts working for you long after the event is over.

The benefits of doing virtual book tours are numerous: collecting reviews, creating a buzz about your book, increased sales, can help become a best seller, strengthening author brand... the list goes on. What I want to share with you today though is the benefits of hosting.
I recently filmed this video where I talk about the benefits of hosting others.

Do you host others on your site? What other benefits have you noticed from hosting?

Jo Linsdell is a best selling author and illustrator, award winning blogger, and freelance writer. She is also the founder and organiser of the annual online event Promo Day ( Her latest release Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home is now available from Amazon. Find out more about her at her website

* * * *
A heartfelt welcome today to Jo who dropped in to Slow and Steady Writers to talk about how to create a buzz for your book. Jo is not only an award-winning writer but an expert marketer as well. 
Best of all, she is a truly nice person, always willing to help others. When it comes to promotion, her halp and advice is invaluable. 

Virtual Book Tours
About the book:

Virtual Book Tours are a great way to create a buzz for a new release or to put life back into an older publication. 
In this book Jo takes you through everything you need to know to be able to set up and carry out a successful virtual book tour. The book is divided into 4 main sections for easy navigation: 
1) What is a Virtual Book Tour? 
2) How to organise your own tour 
3) Promoting a tour 
4) Useful resources.
You'll find it packed with links, tips, and advice to help make your tour a hit.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Create a Challenge

PiBoIdMo official competitior logo

Writers seem to thrive on challenges--a specific word count per day, a set time in which to write a book or e-book. Who's signed up for NanoWriMo for November? Yep, a real challenge. A Novel in a Month--madness!
But more and more novelists are writing and publishing because of it.

This year I'm following Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo--aiming to create a picture book idea a day for 30 days. The challenge works on the honor system and there are lots of, are you beginning to get the picture?

A good motivational idea, daily support from guest bloggers with a track record in achievement, or just your own diary of successes and failures, and the feel good factor at the end of the month.

Both Chris Baty and Nano and Tara Lazar started with very few followers...and look at them now. They have built strong self-supportive communities of creative writers and artists working together, networking for success.

Find more writing contests for November here

Search out challenges, see what makes them successful and start your own. Just not in November, please.

And be sure to share all the challenges you create in the comments here as well as on your social networking sites.