If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Five and A Half Great Free Tools for Authors by Frankie Bow

Whether you’re traditionally-published or indie, here are five (and a half?) sites to help you write, promote, and track sales. Take a look:
1.  Hemingway.
Cut and paste a chapter at a time into this interactive website. The site flags hard to read sentences, extra adverbs, and passive voice so you can slim down your prose. I use this site to clean up my final drafts.
Do words reveal personality? Of course they do—we authors depend on it.  We write each of our characters with a distinctive voice in order to show something about their inner lives.
And now, thanks to IBM’s data scientists, we can measure exactly how well we’re doing.
IBM’s Watson Services use “linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the text data that a person generates through text messages, tweets, posts, and more.” In other words, your words reveal your personality. The services are intended for marketers, but the free demo is pretty useful for authors.
Go to the page and paste in your character’s dialogue, and watch a personality analysis pop out.
Because this is also part of IBM’s Watson Services, I’m not counting it as a separate site.  Does your writing display joy or anger? Cut and paste a chunk of text into the Tone evaluator and see for yourself.
3. Booklinker.  
Wouldn’t you like a handy Amazon link that works for every country, and lets you use your affiliate code? Booklinker.net is easy and free.  For example, getbook.at/DefunctAdjunct takes you to my Professor Molly mystery, The Case of the Defunct Adjunct, will take you to the book on amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.au, or wherever your local Amazon store is.
Easy, randomized Twitter automation. With a free account you get two “jukeboxes” and up to 300 tweets that you set up in advance. You decide when and how often you want tweets sent out, and tweetjukebox will “shuffle the deck” and post a tweet at the appropriate time.
You know what your Amazon rank is; how many unit sales does that translate to? Just enter your rank and get an estimated daily sales figure.
BONUS:  Here’s one that costs money, but I’m going to put it here anyway. Instafreebie is free for one month and $20/month thereafter. It’s the best mailing-list builder I’ve found.  Pre-Instafreebie I had about 400 subscribers; after two giveaways I have 3,500. Want to see how it works? Head over here to claim your free copy of my Professor Molly mystery, Trust Fall. Enter your name and email, choose your preferred format, and click the button to claim your book and sign up for my mailing list. (You can always unsubscribe, and I never share emails with anyone.)
What are your indispensable online author tools?

Like Professor Molly, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.


Jim Jackson said...

Frankie -- thanks for the links. Once I finish my migration, I'll check them out. And great advice in your short bio about taking things personally. Insults almost always tell you more about the person casting the insult than they do about the insulted.

~ Jim

Margaret Turkevich said...

Thanks for the list of links. I'll save them for a more adventurous day. Congratulations on your books, fiction and academic.

Grace Topping said...

Thanks, Frankie. I've browsed some of the links and find it amazing that a computer application can provide me with such feedback. I'm going to test it out with some of my manuscript. I hope I'm not unhappy or surprised with the results.

Kait said...

Wow, what great links. Thank you so much. Gotta tell you, your covers leap off the page and I bet they leap off bookstore shelves too!

Warren Bull said...

Thank you. I didn't know about these.

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, Frankie. I didn't know about these sites and I look forward to using them.

KM Rockwood said...

So helpful! Thank you for sharing!

I love "academic" mysteries!