You never know what you may find when you stumble upon a delightful mystery. And bestselling author Elizabeth Spann Craig knows this well. This week, in You Gotta Love This Writing with Elizabeth Spann Craig, our very special guest is the writer of more than 20 mystery books, including part of the Myrtle Clover, Southern Quilting, and Memphis Barbeque Cozy Mysteries series.
Elizabeth, whose love of writing came at a young age (Thanks, Scooby-Doo!), is the perfect example that bird by bird, writing and book publishing have come a long way–even when the little ones’ care and motherhood priorities can take most of your time.
Besides her books, she shares valuable resources on her website, which made the list of “101 Best Website for Writers,” according to Writer’s Digest. It’s with pleasure that we welcome author Elizabeth Spann Craig to share some of her writing goodness with us, in her own words.
Although a lot is expected of writers these days, we have a lot of tools and information at our disposal, too. Here are some of my favorites:
D2D is an ebook distributor that has a formatting tool that’s free to use even if you don’t use their service. Writers can upload a regular Word document and download a formatted file for ebook, mobi, and print. You can find more information on the service in the Draft2Digital blog and this video tutorial.
Sending advance reader copies and ebooks for giveaways (or even books as ‘thank yous’ to members of my production team) was awkward before the advent of services like InstaFreebie. Now it’s as easy as uploading an epub file. They host the file and give writers a link to share with the ebook recipient. They even offer tech support to readers who run into problems when accessing the book.
I love having my ebooks in libraries around the world. OverDrive is the service that helps put them there. Although writers can’t access OverDrive directly, if you go through a distribution service like PublishDrive, StreetLib, or Draft2Digital, you’ll be able to sell your books to libraries, too.
4. Online Writing Workshops from RWA
I’m frequently asked for help finding reasonably priced online writing courses. Look no further than the Romance Writers of America. You don’t have to be a romance writer, American, or even a member of the group to take part in their courses. Most of the workshops are $30 or $35 (nonmembers pay a slightly higher fee). The courses are on a variety of topics from self-editing to craft to time management to business. For upcoming workshops, you’ll need to scroll fairly far down the page to get to the workshops.
5. The IWSG
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by writer Alex J. Cavanaugh, is an online group that encourages and informs writers, helping them become more confident and successful. They have a monthly blog hop and offer a long list of resources for writers.
6. The International Indie Author on Facebook
Run by writer Mark Williams and billed as “your guide to going global,” this indie authors group offers best practices for writers and news on unfolding international markets. You’ll need to ask permission to join.
7. Google Keep
If you get lots of ideas on the go (and what writer doesn’t?) you’ll be interested in Google Keep. It’s a free notetaking app that will sync with other devices. You can use your phone’s voice recorder to speak your ideas and then pin it to the top of the page or set a reminder to access it later.
8. The Writer’s Knowledge Base Search Engine
This free search engine with over 48,000 links to writing-related articles is the brainchild of software developer Mike Fleming at Hiveword and is full of posts that I’ve personally curated. You can search by topic or by category (e.g., business, creativity, promo). You can also sign up to have these posts delivered to you via email (customizable by frequency and category).
Elizabeth is the bestselling cozy mystery author of the Southern Quilting mysteries, Memphis Barbeque mysteries, and Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. Follow her on Twitter, where she shares writing links, or at her blog, where she offers tips for writers. She lives in Matthews, North Carolina, with her husband and is the mother of two.