Resources for authors: Online Writing Communities

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We all know how important it is to keep in touch with our fellow authors, the amount of invaluable advice and support that we can get from them can’t be compared with anything. Of course having a reliable network of readers, family and friends, which will always cheer you up and encourage you to keep writing is important, but no one will understand your ups and downs, your excitements and frustrations as other authors will.

That’s why there are innumerable online communities that you can join from the comfort of your home and with the same, priceless outcome as joining a writer’s convention.

To get you started, I gathered ten of the best Online Writing Communities that you can join, for free, to start creating your author’s network.


My Writers Circle

A friendly environment to get advice and resources for improving your writing skills. You can submit your writing to the workshop section and receive honest feedback from other writers.


Writers Cafe

WritersCafe.org is an online writing community where writers can post their work, get reviews, befriend other writers, and much more.


Young Writers Online

This is a community of young writers, new and experienced, dedicated to improving their writing.


Absolute Write

This is a comprehensive informational website and community for writers of all levels. It offers articles and information about fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, freelancing, and copywriting. They also provide information about editing, publishing, agents, and market research. You’ll find links to resources and a large and active online community of writers and publishing professionals.


Critters Writers Workshop

This is an on-line workshop/critique group for serious Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror writers, where they gather to help improve your craft, not only by having your work dissected by other members, but also by learning to dissect your own work.


The Writer’s Chatroom

Those chats are moderated by people whose main goal is to provide education, support and encouragement for writers. There is also a forum that supplements the Chatroom by giving around the clock access to visitors who can’t make it to the regularly scheduled chats.


Backspace

Backspace is predicated on the idea of writers helping writers, which they accomplish by means of forums, an online guest speaker program in which agents, acquisitions editors, and bestselling authors regularly conduct question and answer sessions with the group, advice and how-to articles from publishing experts on this website, as well as their real-world conferences and events.


Writing.com

Writing.Com is a writers’ playground, full of useful tools, inspirations, community support, and motivation! They offer writers hundreds of unique writing tools and opportunities for creation and productivity: your own portfolio, community newsfeed, contests, activities, rewards, and recognitions!


Critique Circle

Critique Circle is an online writing workshop for all authors, whether they write literary fiction, genre fiction, articles or short stories. Their purpose is to provide a place for writers to give and receive feedback on their work, and thereby learn from one another. The Critique Circle also includes forums as well as helpful writing tools for manuscript progress, submission tracking, character generation and more.

 

The last two are known by (almost) everyone and some of the best online resources for authors:


NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.


Goodreads

Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Their mission is to help people find and share books they love.
Besides of being a great resource for readers, they have the Goodreads Author Program, which is an invaluable tool for authors. Any author, anywhere in the world, can join the Goodreads Author Program for free. All you need is an Internet connection and a published book (or a soon-to-be published book) that can be found in their database.

The Goodreads Author Program allows published authors to claim their profile page to promote their book and engage with readers. Once verified, your author profile will include the official Goodreads Author badge, which you can use to tell your fans to follow you on Goodreads.

 

Do you use some of those resources?
Would you recommend others?
Which one is your favorite?

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Name: Richard Wright

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Vanessa Kings’ Books is back!!!

Hello everyone!

I’m happy to announce that, after about a month of not being able to post, or review any books on my blog, now I’m back and ready to start showing you some great books.

First of all, thank you for staying during this silent time, it won’t happen too often (I hope). I’ve been working on a new project and I can’t wait to tell you about it, but since I don’t want to jinx it, I will keep my mouth shut and my finger away from the keyboard, until is finished.

During, this month, besides working, I’ve joined a reading marathon on Facebook and I’m really enjoying it. I never participated in a book club or marathon before, and it’s really fun to discuss and share the book experience with other, including the author.

If you want to join the marathon, we are currently reading the second book of the series, but you can catch up quickly, since you won’t be able to put the first book down once your start 🙂

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Link to book 1

Marathon Leg 1

Link to book 2

Marathon leg 2

I will be posting my review for Breeder soon, so stay tuned!

More good news:

Our Springtime giveaway is live! More than 40 authors and bloggers are offering books, jewelry and gift cards as individual prizes, and the best of it? $180 PayPal grand prize!!! Entries are free, so start clicking…

SpringIntoReadingv2

Also, remember the Virtual Book Fair that we held in February? I won two amazing books that I will be posting soon, and you won’t want to miss them, they are absolutely great reads!

 

I’m very excited to post my first spotlights and review for this new phase and I hope you enjoy them.

Don´t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to receive the latest news and reviews!

See you soon!

Project “The diary of Amanda” on Pubslush

The “Stories of the Fairy of my Dreams” project started on February of 2013 when I decided to translate and publish one of my favorite stories.

Soon I realized that it had a lot of potential to become a full length book, not just a short story, so I added other stories that I wrote years ago, and created the “Dreams” that are shown as the chapters of the first book.

When I decided to add Melanie, the main character to become the glue of all these dreams, I noticed how complex the Kingdom of Astebeth was, and how many other stories could have place in there.
What at first was meant to be a short story, was becoming a trilogy.

My main purpose by writing this series of books is to bring the fantasy back, the old-fashioned fairy tale kind of fantasy that I read when I was a child.
I want children to be engaged on healthy fantasy stories, to work with their imagination and to be exited about opening a book because they know how many adventures they will find inside.

The first book of the trilogy was released on December of 2014 and is available to buy on Amazon, B&N and Indie Bound.

I am happy to see that people seem to like it, the ones that read it and wrote a review agree that it is a great book for children and teens, and they all said it reminded them of the books they read when they were young.

However, I found extremely difficult to promote the book and to reach my audience: Children.

With a constantly growing market, it is hard to get an indie book to be seen, and, even if people found it, the fact that is written by a new independent author, make them think twice before clicking the buying button.

I will not give up on my mission of bringing the fantasy back to our children, even if it takes more time and effort than I expected, I will make sure that the old fashioned fantasy literature is back in every child’s bookshelf.


If you want to support this project, please visit the following link:

https://pubslush.com/project/4761

Check out the rewards for every donation level.

Every help is very much appreciated

I BELIEVE IN FAIRY TALES

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Today I read an article that basically said we are unable to be happy due to all the unreal ideas that fairy tales put in our mind when we are kids, and that when we realize that our life won’t be perfect as they told us, we will be depressed and blame ourselves.

I thought about posting a comment on that article, but I also thought that it would create an unnecessary discussion, with someone that probably will not understand me.

I write and read fairy tales since I can remember, and first of all, fairy tales are not just about a princess finding her prince charming and living happily ever after.

Fairy tales are about magic, new and undiscovered worlds, dragons, knights, goblins, and fairies! Yes, there is usually a love story in the middle of all that chaos and treasure hunting, but fairy tales are about fantasy, otherwise they should be called Princesses-searching-for-love tales.

When I read a fairy tale it makes my mind fly away, I leave reality behind and I search and explore next to the characters of the books, I learn new powers and spells, I fight the enemy and rescue my friends from witches. I learn new languages and meet creatures that I didn’t know they existed.

If we wouldn’t believe in fairy tales we wouldn’t have any innocence left.

Saying that we are unable to be happy because we read fairy tales is so far from reality. I think that I would be a lot less happy if I wouldn’t have a place to go when I need to disconnect from the real world. That place are my books, and what a better place than a magical land?

We don’t idealize a romantic life because of Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, every girl (and boy) in the world wants to find that perfect person for them. If fairy tales wouldn’t exist, we would still have romantic movies and books, without a princess. What would we do then? Tell people to not watch those movies because a billionaire would never fall for the maid?

Crazy and romantic love stories happen. Probably without 12 dwarves involved, but they happen, they happen to normal people everyday, everywhere.

I will continue reading fairy tales until I can no longer see the words, and I will encourage my son and my future children to do it too. Because fantasy is what makes the world a beautiful place to live despite everything.

NEVER TRUST YOUR EDITOR

NEVER

What? Yes. Never trust your editor.

When you are an indie author, there are a few things that you have to do by yourself, or, and this is the ideal, hire someone to do it for you.

You need to focus on your writing, you don’t have a deadline, so if you keep surfing around, gathering information and waiting for inspiration to kick in, you will never finish your book.

You need to re-read what you just wrote. Several times. Look for typos, repeated words, and read it aloud, to make sure “it sounds right”.

Find a beta-reader or a professional proof-reader. This task can be done by a friend, a member of your book club, or you can pay for it. Never trust your spell-checker, that is not enough.

You need a professional editor, or two. They will make sure your book is perfectly written, they will fix the typos, the grammar and the punctuation. They will even suggest to change a few words that don’t match with the context and will send you a new file “ready to publish”.

Wrong.

Editors are human beings too (I believe), and they make mistakes too. You should never get a copy of your book and publish it blindly. And even if they didn’t make any mistakes, you may not agree with all the changes made and decide to go back to the way it was written at your own risk.

I have read several indie books in the last couple of weeks, and every single one of them had typos and grammatical errors. I am not an English professor (not even close), I am not an editor, and I do make mistakes when I write, many mistakes. The ideas just come too fast into my mind to stop to check the grammar, but that is why you need to do all the things I mentioned before.

Your book is your baby, is your work, is the way people will get to know what is inside of your mind. Then why show it to the world when it is not ready?

Some indie authors may think that hiring a professional editor is a waste of money. “I will wait to see if I sell anything, before investing my money on this book”. Well, if people read it and it looks like they bought the first draft of a very nice story, they will leave you a negative review. They will tell everyone that your book is not well edited and that it was hard to get into the story because of all the grammatical errors distracting them. And we all know that bad reviews means no sales.

There are several websites where you can find affordable and professional services for authors, edition, covers, illustrations, everything you need. You just need to look for what works for you and assign a small budget to make your book ready to publish.