New year, new novel? Thinking of trying your hand at penning a fantastical futuristic horror romance? Great! Here are 5 websites that might help you focus your plot, dodge the scammers, get the cover of your dreams, and sell the book you've labored to bring into existence.
- Writer Beware: I enthusiastically "ditto" Charissa's recommendation from Sunday for this priceless resource to protect yourself from the predators in our industry. Victoria Strauss and company investigate and report on fraudsters, exploiters, and scammers in publishing. No "fake news" here. Before you think about paying anyone a single penny, check this blog.
- Query Shark: Wünder agent Janet Reid's blog for critiquing queries submitted by blog readers (yes, the author(s) volunteer to receive public feedback). Why, oh why, would you care about your query at the beginning of your authorial journey? Isn't a query pointless if you plan to self-publish? Simple answer: The meat of the query is your book's plot. If you can't distill your story--at least in your head or on the back of an envelope--you're going to waste a lot of time and creative energy on tangents and revisions. Do yourself a favor by jotting down the rough draft of your query before you start. Keep it at hand as your North Star so--whether pantser or plotter--you don't stray too far from the story you meant to write. While the wrappings of a query may change over time, how to effectively convey your story's short summary doesn't change. Dig through the Shark's archive to find plenty of samples of queries in your genre.
- Art Station & Deviant Art: Whether you're searching for your next cover artist or creative inspiration, these two illustrator/artist sites are rich in offerings.
- Reedsy: Finding a great editor (dev, line, copy, or proof) who is experienced in your genre, attentive to detail, able to communicate in a way that is comfortable for you, delivers on time, and has availabilities in their schedule is no easy feat. Reedsy is a great starting point, but be sure to do your due diligence before committing. Every robust site has its share of rotten apples.
- David Gaughran: You've written the book, had it edited, acquired the eye-catching cover, and uploaded it to retailers/distributors. Now, how to make people aware that your book exists? David's site is rich in the basics and his how-to books are usually under $5 (though, depending on how marketing savvy you are, they may be a bit remedial). I stay subscribed to his newsletter to remain abreast of the latest changes in big distributor/advertiser policies and technologies. He also does a nice job of sharing best practices that he's field-tested. He'll also caution against marketing fads that make you into an asshole from whom readers flee.