Writer's Resources

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A number of resources are available on the Internet for writers. This section provides links to a few of those resources along with comments.

Major Headings Include:

Writing* Publishers* Publishing/Marketing* Copyright* Major Distributors* Rejection Slips* Children's Book Sources* Internet Search Engine* Internet Privacy

Moving an idea from blank page to finished book is a process filled with many questions. Learning which questions to ask will go a long way in helping you figure out what parts of the process you love and want to be involved with and what parts you may want others to do. The Writing sites listed below focus on issues related to getting your ideas down on paper. Some of the other sites address questions such as: What about copyright laws? Do I need an agent? Will there be illustrations? How do I find a publisher to manage printing, distribution and advertising? What about negotiating contracts, royalties, film rights, foreign rights? What about electronic-publishing? How do I learn to laugh at rejection slips?

If I self-publish, how do I find a printer? (Hint: Work very, very closely with your printer, especially if you are having them reproduce artwork. Each printer is different and talks a special language. The whole process is akin to alchemy.) Is the book to be hard or soft cover? What about electronic pre-press specifications? How many pages (number and signatures)? What kind of paper (hundreds to chose from)? Do I want color and/or black and white printing? What type of binding (spiral, stapled, glued, sewn)? What about distribution? What about exclusive vs. non-exclusive distribution contracts? What about advertising? Each of these questions is followed by many other questions that must be answered. Spiritual, artistic questions always rest side-by-side with practical, everyday questions about: How much control do I want over the finished product? How much does it cost? How much can I afford?

Writing and publishing can range from your regional cookbook or story (printed and bound in your basement or local copy store) to the international best seller offered by a major publishing house. Will you get rich, be famous, lose money? Who knows? Fame and Fortune, both meager and grand, are fleeting but your efforts will always be satisfying if you pay attention to detail, use lots of common sense, and love your work. There is no substitute for loving what you do for it magically changes endless hard work, interminable frustrations and countless hours into an exciting adventure. Who could ask for a finer legacy?


From Michele Wheat, a concise Resource Guide to Writing Basics covering all aspects of writing from creation to editing.

Open Colleges, "Australia's leader in online learning", offers online courses in writing and editing, with free course guides available. Other resources include iPad apps and ways to boost your writing skills.

Word Counter and Grammar Check Editor are useful online writing analysis tools that don't require registration. Likewise, Grammar Education Resource Guide has their own list of helpful links and tools.

EnglishGrammar.org and GrammarCheck.net have free downloadable English lessons, well organized by topic.

On-Line Dictionaries Site Multiple dictionaries, including multi-lingual and specialized English dictionaries. Also, thesauri and vocabulary aids.

Oxford English Dictionary The best English dictionary in the world is scheduled to go on-line in the Spring of 2000. I recommend writers get the hard-copy, compact, two-volume set along with a good magnifying glass.

Virtual Library Just like the name says.

Internet Public Library Another virtual public library.

Research-It Dictionaries, thesaurus, translator, library and geographical tools.

How Stuff Works Articles on how hundreds of things work.

Encyclopedia Britannica One of the best encyclopedias.

National Geographic Maps Lots of maps.

Library of Congress

U.S. Census U.S. Census information.

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Do lots of research. Search the Internet (A number of Internet Search Engines are linked at the bottom of this page). Go to bookstores. Find out what type of material a publisher accepts. Do they accept unsolicited manuscripts? Look at and study magazines where you may want your writing published. The writer's section in any large bookstore will carry a number of reference books that focus on specific markets. One example is the book "Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market" by Buening.

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Make a Web Site has a handy website builder and other resources like this HTML5 Cheat Sheet.

Website Setup is a good place to get started setting up your own blog.

Book Cover Design offers custom-design book covers.

Stinky Ink Guide to Publishing covers electronic and print, self-publishing and traditional, including marketing and intellectual property protection.

Start A Blog: Gary Dek walks you through the basics of starting your own blog.

Introduction to Blogging: Website, video tutorials and a free e-book on starting your own blog.

Small Publishers Association of North America From the SPAN web-site: "Our mission statement is "to advance the image and profits of independent publishers through education and marketing opportunities." ... authors who seek to more effectively promote and sell their own books are also welcome. SPAN is your unique outreach opportunity to network with smaller presses who may be interested in publishing your manuscript."

This is a membership organization. They do carry a very good book on self-publishing that covers many practical questions: The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Ross & Ross.

Combined Book Exhibit A membership organization. You submit your finished book for consideration and, on a fee per show basis, they exhibit your book at their stand. They do lots of Library and Reading Association exhibits.

Publishers Marketing Association A membership organization. From their web-site: "The largest non-profit trade association representing independent publishers of books, audio, video and CDs."

They have multiple marketing plans such as mailings to potential review sources and mailings to libraries. Buffet style - you pick what you want and pay for it.

Para Publishing Multiple links to resources about Writing Books, Producing Books, Running a Business, Promoting Books and Fulfillment & Shipping.

Web Design and Marketing

A starting point. Some ideas about web-marketing, finding and working with commercial printers and desktop publishing.

Intuit, the makers of Turbo Tax, have written a "tax cheat sheet" for e-book self-publishers.

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Go to one of the Internet Search Engine links at the bottom of this page and do a search for "copyright law." You'll find many useful sites. Don't forget to research International Copyright Laws if they apply to you.

Publishing Law From their web-site: "Packed with helpful information for publishing companies large and small, the Publishing Law Center has legal articles that can help you create and negotiate publishing contracts as well as other helpful articles and links that can assist you in making your publishing business more profitable whether you are in book publishing, multimedia, magazine or newsletter publishing, or want help with copyright, trademark, subsidiary rights, electronic rights, licensing, other intellectual property issues, or contracts."

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Trying to get established with major distributors. They all have an application process.

Getting Started with Ingram Ingram Publishing provides plenty of information about how to work with them.

Baker & Taylor also have a comprehensive website.

QUALITY BOOKS INCORPORATED. You submit your book for consideration. If accepted, they offer non-exclusive distribution, primarily to United States and Canadian Libraries. They also offer additional exposure if you purchase shelf space at some of the exhibits they attend. No web-site. Quality Books 1003 West Pines Road, Oregon, Illinois 61061. Phone voice = 815-732-4450. Phone fax = 815-732-4499.

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The Inevitable - REJECTION SLIPS:

You need to keep laughing and learning. This also applies to book reviews.

Rejection Slips

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Children's Literature Web Guide Internet resources related to books for children and young adults.

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If you have concerns about privacy on the Internet, the following sites provide more information:


Electronic Privacy Information Center

Filtering Junk Mail

Pretty Good Privacy


Zero Knowledge


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Feel free to contact us if you have comments, additions and/or corrections.

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