Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Neat and Cheap Tools of the Trade #2: Write or Die and BookBuzzr

Well, this is the second posting of the series. (See #1 in the February archive on the Book Design Wizard and a list of graphic artists who create bookcovers for CHEAP!)

Tool #1: Write or Die

One of the hardest parts about writing and publishing a novel, IMHO, is actually finishing it. You get distracted by work, kids, significant others, spouses, errands, Facebook, MySpace, One thing writers are always advised to do is set aside time every single day to write, give yourself a time limit and a word count. Well, I have tried this several times and usually fail miserably. I always get distracted and rarely get my word limits in. But when I get in a zone there is no pulling me away. I just need to find "the zone" far more often!

Well, this tool is designed to help you do precisely that. There are two versions--an online and desktop version. The online version is free. You set a time limit, a word count, and one of several "negative reinforcements" you must endure if you stop typing.
  • Gentle Mode: A certain amount of time after you stop writing, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writing.
  • Normal Mode: If you persistently avoid writing, you will be played a most unpleasant sound. The sound will stop if and only if you continue to write.
  • Kamikaze Mode: Keep Writing or Your Work Will Unwrite Itself

A second set of selections lets you select how strict the program is. So, it can be anything from forgiving to evil. Then they give you a text box to type in, from which you later cut and paste your text into Word or whatever you use.

I just bought the desktop version which has a few more options (only $10). If you're like me and you need an extra kick in the pants to stay focused. This may work for you.

Tool #2: BookBuzzr

In each neat and cheap tool of the trade I'm going to try and include some kind of marketing tool because marketing is so critical. This is among my FAVORITES!

BookBuzzr is a widget that you can put on your blog, website, etc. It looks like a pages flipping on your own little mini book. It is really one stop shopping for everything related to your book. You can include your cover, an excerpt as long or short as you want, your reviews, all the places where you can purchase your book, links to interviews, etc. You name it, you can include it.

One of the best features about this widget, however, is that it is connected to just about every social networking site you could ever hope to find, including Facebook, Blogger, Wordpress, Twitter, DIGG, and a heap more. With Twitter, you can set up automatic tweets that go out periodically. The tweets include the link to your bookbuzzr book. I think I've got about 2500 views so far via Twitter. And I don't even have to do the work. Bookbuzzr and Twitter do the work for me. I just set it up once.

It provides you with a cute email signature (if you can get the ding dang thing to work in your email system). For me the graphic shows up but the pages don't flip. But that's aol. Might work better in other email systems.

Did I happen to mention this tool is 100% FREE???

Anyway, if I had to do it all again, this is one of the first things I would set up. It really helps make marketing easy.

That's all I have for today!

Keep it real...and keep it real cheap!

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