I know I probably should have been blasting tweets and been all social media active this weekend since I just released a new book, but I have been totally exhausted. Mostly this exhaustion has to do with what so many of us have to go through at this time of year. Getting out Christmas cards, buying presents, trying not to spend too much, making sure no one is left out, attending multiple holiday parties, calculating your end of year deductions, and so much more.
Often I am asked what I want for Christmas and mostly I just want time not to worry about any of it, but if I am to really think about it, there are a lot of things that I do want eventually and most of them have to do with writing.
Since I self-publish my books I hire an editor and cover artist to assist me in putting together the final product. All of this costs money. My cover artist has an array of services she provides which includes a website overhaul and promotional materials — all of which this little author needs, and many other new authors as well. I work with Kim Killion of Hot Damn Designs and they will issue gift certificates for their services. I am fairly certain other designers would do this as well. Consider giving your favorite indie author some assistance with the cost of their next book cover!
Giving money or gift certificates can sometimes seem impersonal, I know. Luckily there are plenty of other things I can suggest. The Oatmeal is a writer and cartoonist living in Seattle. His stuff is hilarious — but also useful. Consider getting your favorite writer The Oatmeal Grammar Pack which is a collection of posters that illustrate common grammar rules and make you laugh at the same time.
Writers always need to practice and learn more about their craft. At the most recent Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle I took two classes by Margie Lawson. She has a brilliant mind and knows New York Times bestseller prose when she sees it. I, for one, would love to delve into her lecture packets next year and set myself up to take her Immersion Master Class where you spend a week at her home in Colorado so she can kick your writing into shape! Margie sells her lecture packets online and they are a prerequisite to attending a Master Class.
The other name that I heard a lot about while at the ECWC conference was Michael Hauge. So many authors stated that he was the one who finally taught them how to structure their stories so that they finally got accepted to a major publishing house. Mr. Hauge was supposed to speak at ECWC, but was unable to. Fortunately he also sells a DVD of him speaking about story mastery on his website. Another resource I would love to get my hands on.
And last, but not least, writers need paper. Ideas come from out of nowhere and you need someplace to put them.Yes, most of us write our stories on a computer, but I can’t tell you how many Moleskines I have gone through in the last year. All shapes and sizes. And they aren’t cheap. But a writer will always appreciate notebooks and pens — and funny enough, post-its (in all colors). I haven’t met a writer yet who doesn’t have a healthy obsession with office supplies.
I really hope you all have a great holiday season. I am going to start outlining the last book in the Soulstealer Trilogy, Fae Warrior, after I have had a chance to read my own books again. I know my readers will appreciate answers to all the questions I purposefully have left unanswered thus far. *wink*