Month: February 2017

Why I Bother to Write Fiction at All

There are times when I realize fiction is really hard work. It is perhaps the most time consuming of things that I do in the writing and publishing world, and if you work out the pay by the word or the hour, there are plenty of other ways to make more money writing. At the same time, I love it. I am a born storyteller. Every article I write, every blog I post is a story of some sort. Even marketing materials take the reader on a journey, if a short one. The reader has a problem, and the writer...

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Taxes for Authors: Before You File and the Year Ahead

I’m not an accountant, but I have seen the movie and written about a few in my books. Not that any of those things make me an expert, but I have filed my own taxes as a freelancer and author for the last 10 years or so, and for five of those I had no “traditional income” from an employer: I started with only stacks of 1099 forms and a list of business expenses. Before you panic thinking I am going to launch into some professional jargon, don’t. I’ve got some solid, simple advice for you that might affect...

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Why Self-Editing is Not Enough

Double commas. Simple typos. A word that is not misspelled, per se, but is just in the wrong place. Software grammar checkers like Grammarly are getting better all the time, but we as humans keep thinking of ways to trip them up. Microsoft Word is even getting better without the Grammarly plugin, but it still misses things from time to time. That is because it uses a machine learning program: it learns from us as we type, tell it to ignore certain issues or add words to our personal dictionaries. Google docs have another delightful feature: the dictionary will even...

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5 Steps in Building A New Website

Typically, building a new website is something that, at least initially, you can do yourself. At some point, you will probably need at least a little help, unless you do this for a living. In which case, good for you. You can skip this post. But if you are an author or you just want to start a blog with your own domain name rather than a generic Blogspot or WordPress, or you have a small business and want to have a solid online presence, read further. Planning Probably the most important thing to have before you start to...

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