Thursday, March 25, 2010

Death by PowerPoint - A quick list of my favorite writer's resources

I'm not a big fan of PowerPoint presentations, especially when I'm the presenter. It's one thing if I'm giving a long speech and need slides to keep myself or the audience on track. And it's one thing if I have charts or graphs that enhance the presentation. But if I'm only giving a 10-15 minute talk, I think a PowerPoint can be more damaging than helpful, particularly if it's distracting to the audience and doesn't add value.

I'm giving a short talk this evening at University of Michigan Dearborn on my path to publication. I'm encouraged to bring a PowerPoint for the presentation, but given my reasons above, I prefer to give a handout after I'm done speaking and point audience members to this blog instead.

Publish Your Passion audience members: If you are reading this entry, thank you for your time this evening, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the following favorite webspots & resources:
  • - This is a great resource for finding agents and publishers. Keep in mind, you should always do your own research on any agents and publishers you decide to contact. I learned the hard way with my own fraudulent agent, who I happened to find on this website. It's a great spring board, but you need to do the legwork yourself to verify the information found.
  • - This website has a great forum and is visited by other aspiring authors who are eager to exchange peer edits. There's a nice community atmosphere here. You'll also find a list of worst agents, which is a good place to start researching any agents who respond to your queries.
  • - There's some valuable info on this website about getting started on your path to publishing and tips for finding legitimate agents and publishers.
  • - Okay, this site has nothing to do with the topic of getting published, but it's my favorite website. It's a place to build your vocabulary while doing good for others.
  • - Good professional development on this website and lots of contest information. Keep in mind, many of the self-publishing contests have to be entered within the first year of your book's publication, so stay on top of deadlines and requirements.
  • - My Australian editor! Just because I didn't sign with a traditional publisher for Mandolyn's Masquerade doesn't mean my work didn't need to be polished and professional. Too many self-published books read like self-published books! Remember, there's nothing wrong with a second pair of eyes, even if you have strong writing skills yourself. You will become very attached to your own work the longer you are with it and will begin to see what you want to see, not what's there. With a strong, polished book, you can recoup your expenses for editing in the first year of sales.
  • - The Association of Author's Representatives
  • - Good chat and even better peer editing. Some of the writers on this site really helped me with my queries and the first few chapters of my first book.
  • - National Writers Union
  • - Poets & Writers (The nation's largest non-profit organization serving creative writers.)
  • - My publisher for Mandolyn's Masquerade. DogEar is an on-demand publisher, which means you don't have to invest a lot of money purchasing an inventory of your own books that may or may not sell. I've heard no complaints that orders from or Barnes & Noble aren't filled timely. They've recently implemented some author tools that help writers to keep better track of their sales, which have in turn helped me to determine what personal marketing efforts are working and not working for me.

If you haven't attended one of my speaking engagements, I hope you find the above websites useful out of context! If you have, I hope you appreciate this blog entry that you can come back to again and again as needed, versus a static, boring PowerPoint!

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