In my last blog post I mentioned the amount of online help available to authors and indie publishers. Over time I’ve grown to appreciate the importance of such websites and they have been a source of advice and inspiration. When I wrote my first novel, The Map of the Known World, it felt a somewhat lonely venture – now with a wide, varied online writing community it is much easier to find advice and get connected to other authors.
I’d like to outline five of the best websites out there for writers:
The Creative Penn
This site is run by thriller author JF Penn and is a mine of information and inspiration. The blog is regularly updated with new, relevant articles, keeping readers up-to-date with the latest (and future) trends in the world of indie publishing. There are also extensive archives of articles on all facets of writing and publishing – whatever stage you have reached on your writing journey, The Creative Penn can help you!
I’ve only recently discovered this site, which is run by professional editor Ellen Brock. The site has a wide range of articles and advice on the technical skills of writing – in addition Ellen has a host of videos (which can either be viewed via the website or on YouTube) on writing, publishing and editing, all of which are well worth watching. If you have a query on any aspect of the craft of writing, you are highly likely to find the answer on this website!
This is the website of best-selling author and self-publishing guru Mark Dawson, and it is chocked full of content, with an excellent range of podcasts that are both fun and highly informative.
Alliance of independent authors
You could spend many, many hours going through the content on this site and it would be time very well spent! There are articles on every aspect of self-publishing you could possibly imagine (from writing, editing, production, marketing and many more). The site also has a regularly updated blog, jam-packed with useful information and inspiring stories from other authors. As with The Creative Penn, I find this site a good way of keeping up-to-date with trends in the writing and publishing world.
Publishing expert Jane Friedman’s blog covers both traditional and self-publishing topics, including interviews with successful authors and industry figures. Highly professional, thought-provoking articles are the norm here.
I would also like to mention a couple of online communities I use. The first is SFF Chronicles – this is aimed primarily at fans of SF and Fantasy, and if you write in either of those genres, then joining this forum is an absolute must. This is a really fun, supportive and helpful community – highly recommended. The second is KBoards, which is a good way of connecting with fellow authors publishing via KDP (it is not limited to authors on the KDP Select programme).
This is really only the tip of a very large iceberg, but all these sites, in my humble opinion, give thoughtful, trustworthy advice and can help to inspire and improve your writing skills.
The fact that there is so much advice and support (and much of it free) out there means there really hasn't been a better time to be an author. More and more authors are sharing their content, their experiences and discoveries, and passing these onto others.
I could never hope to offer advice that matches the quality and depth given by the websites I've mentioned, but I have tried to share my writing experiences - for example, after writing This Sacred Isle, I posted a series of articles looking at different aspects of the journey of creating that book (if you're interested, the first post is here). I really wanted to tap into the supportive and collaborative attitude I have often discovered online, an attitude which can make the lonely job of writing just a little less lonely!
Which websites do you use for writing advice? Add a comment and join the conversation.