Today’s blog is about the resources available to you the author. Before you dismiss this, consider the following: As an author you will need to access many resources for research, publishing and marketing.

With that in mind, let’s take a look.

BASICS

Dictionary

“I don’t need a dictionary!”

Think again. A good dictionary is vital to every writer. Your word processing program’s built in dictionary is good, but not perfect. You need a real dictionary; preferably one that contains thousands of words.

Dictionary, Bible

If you are writing a story that is based on the Bible you need a good Bible dictionary. Even better, a pictorial Bible dictionary.

Grammar

Again, don’t depend on your word processor. They are not always accurate. You need a good resource such as a grammar book or a reliable online resource (in which case you bookmark it).

Newsletter

Our Writers World newsletter is an excellent resource of articles on writing. Every other week it comes out with articles on writing tips, and publishing or marketing tips. Plus you have access to the archive of articles.

Thesaurus

You don’t want to be guilty of using the same word over and over. You need a resource for synonyms and antonyms. You need a Thesaurus.

ADVANCED (Website Tools)

1.      Authors need a website

It doesn’t matter whether you are an established author or brand new you still need a website. Consider it an absolute must!

Write a bio that talks about your passion for writing as well as your dedication and enthusiasm. Include your goals, what projects you are currently working on, that which inspires and motivates you, and whatever interests/hobbies you may have. Your goal here is to paint a broad, positive image of yourself, one that the reader will instinctively trust.

The key is not to be shy. The bolder, more assertive you are (if done properly) the stronger your reputation.

2.      The Power of a website

There are many marketing tools. Don’t feel that you have to use them all. Some of them will be covered later and some of them you may decide not to use. However, it would be a severe mistake to ignore a website.

A good website has the capability to communicate to visitors. That is why you are encouraged to have a website in the first place. Many people will learn about you through your website, who you are and what you are doing.

3.      Your website is not a get rich quick scheme

Don’t think of a website as making you a ton of money. Rather, think of it as a storefront. This is where your potential customers will get a chance to meet and learn about you and explore your site.

4.      Unlike stores websites need to attract visitors

People have to be told about your website. There are many ways to tell people, such as Business Cards, newspaper ads, word of mouth, and social media.

5.      Your website is the hub of your activities

When I first started out I made my website my hub. I placed it on business cards, and used it in my email (signature), as well as in social media.

6.      Your website needs to be updated frequently

Actually we are discussing SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is another necessary thing to promote your website. Google, Yahoo, and others send out robots to examine websites resulting in a placement within their database. The higher the placement the better for you.

Part of having a good SEO for your website is frequent updating. You should update (that is, add or change content) at least monthly. The SEO robots like fresh sites!

7.      You need to OWN your website

You can’t be on the internet very long without learning about FREE websites. Be careful. Some may be scams and others are poorly written and designed.

But you need to own your website. By that I mean own your Domain name. I own the domain RFrederickRiddle.com. Therefore I have control over everything that is on it or within it.

Here is a brief list of domain providers (alphabetical order):

o      1 and 1 (1and1.com)

o      Bluehost (Bluehost.com)

o      Dreamhost (Dreamhost.com)

o      Godaddy (Godaddy.com)

o      Hostgator (Hostgator.com)

o      Hostmonster (Hostmonster.com)

o      Justhost (Justhost.com)

o      Inmotionhosting (inmotionhosting.com)

o      iPage (ipage.com)

o      Mediatemple (mediatemple.net)

o      Name (Name.com)

o      Namecheap (Namecheap.com)

8.      Website creation need not be expensive

See the list above. Hosting plans are relatively cheap.

9.      You do not need to be an expert

You can easily manage your own website. I use Godaddy which provides a user-friendly interface allowing me to build the site the way I want. No HTML experience necessary although it is helpful for a more advanced website.

ADVANCED (Other Tools)

Online

Make use of Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. Whatever your choice these are great research tools. You simply type in the item in the search box and hit enter.

Your screen will soon be filled up with plenty of documents and/or websites relating to the searched item. Just be sure the site is safe and trustworthy. (You should have at least an antivirus program or firewall in place.)

There are numerous tools online from converting your document to a pdf (free of charge) to information on the xylophone. If you can think of it, then the computer probably has an answer.

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