Writing tips and publishing news hot off the press.
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Welcome to Sacha Black's Newsletter

First up, let me ask you a question. What would you find most helpful in this newsletter? Is there anything missing? What else would you like to see? DROP ME A LINE by replying or emailing:

This month we have loads in store, including:

  • Scrivener for iPhone and iPad is FINALLY here
  • Lead Generation for twitter
  • Best eBook advertising sites
  • August writing competitions 

If you like this newsletter, or find it useful, why not share it with someone who would appreciate it? Also, don't forget to add me to your contacts list so I don't end up in your spam folder.

Book Updates

Last month I told you I needed to re-write 20k of my book Keepers in July, to take me to 55k. I reached 47k which is a little short, but the words I have written have also been edited, so I don't feel as bad. Besides, I love a challenge and there's still time to hit my deadline of 30th Sept.
On my non-fiction book 13 Steps to Evil, I had a wonderful friend create a book cover to keep me going as motivation. So by the time you read this, I should have written another chapter...she says....*cough*
Competition Time

We writers sit on our botties for far too much of the day. If I can't tempt you down the gym, why not flex your writing muscle instead and enter some competitions? Two out of three are flash so no excuses that you haven't got time.

So, August closers:

Early Works - Entry fee £3, 100 words. Prizes: £100 and publication. Closes 31st August.
Invent a Word - Entry fee free, 65 words. Prize: free writing course. Closes 15th August.
Dragonfly Tea Competition Entry fee free, 3000 words. Prizes: £1500; £750; £250 (plus a children's comp). Closes 29th August.

Monthly Round Up

Need a bit of writing inspiration? Try this month's Writespiration challenges:

The Hug You Always Wanted
First & Last Lines

For some strange and unusual wonderings that never fail to inspire stories, check these posts out:

The Other Pyramid - Mysteries of Bosnia
The Ancient Nuclear War No One Told You About


This month there's stacks of publishing news.
Amazon Sales Rankings Experiment
First up, Dan Kobolt ran a fascinating experiment on Amazon Sales Rankings. Dan wanted to answer the following:
  • How long does it take for Sales Rank to reflect new sales? - More detail in the post, but on avg. 8hrs.
  • What rank could be reached with 50+ sales in a single day? Rankings increase quickly, and decrease slowly. 50+ sales will have you reach a 5000+ ranking.
  • What’s the effect on subcategory rankings? Likewise, in the subcategories, you can reach 30+.

Stop Torrent Downloads
Book Funnel - a website built by an indie author to help him deliver his free eBook to new subscribers. It has a mechanism to help you identify who has uploaded book review copies to torrent sharing sites. They do this via generating unique links for downloads and watermarking review copies.

Book Funnel is between $20-$50 dollars per year for most authors.
Best eBook Advertising Sites
Next in, the Alliance of Independent Authors have created an awesome post full of information about eBook advertising sites. 

The curated list is for when you want to advertise your free or discounted eBooks.

Conclusions include: Best FREE book advertising remains Bookbub, but for paid for books, the Fussy Librarian is the champion.
Twitter - MailChimp Lead Generation Combo

MailChimp and twitter have combined efforts to create a mechanism for lead generation. This means you can have real time sign ups in twitter direct to your subscriber list.

It requires a paid twitter ads account but I, for one, as a prolific twitter user, am very interested in what results come out of it. Check out more here.

This month the tool of the month is Scrivener for iPhone and iPad.

If you don't use Scrivener, then I highly recommend it. It's an all-encompassing tool to write novels, blogs and any other written document. It will house all your research and has a myriad of neat tricks. It is, however, complicated to figure out if you're new to it. I STILL think it's worth the time you put in.

But the news is, Scrivener have finally developed an app for iPhone and iPad. There's a useful review someone posted here.

I've downloaded, installed and finally got to grips with the app. I'll be honest, importing existing documents was quite difficult. You can't just open a Scrivener file from say, Dropbox. You need to go through iTunes. Once you have the app, there's a handy how-to guide in TUTORIAL > draft > exporting and printing.

Despite the issues getting existing documents in, and having to manually sync/save, its functionality is fantastic. I'm just super happy I only have to lug my iPad to work (for lunch break writing) instead of taking my work and personal laptops.
Writespiration of the Month: Utopia
I'm obsessed with the concepts of utopia and dystopia, so this month, why not use a Utopian setting as inspiration?

A desire to alter your life, the feeling that pushes you to travel.
Something I get a lot!
Wonder of the Month: Thor's Well
Thor's Well is a sink hole in Oregon, USA. It appears to swallow the ocean in a seemingly endless cycle. The photos are stunning. Check it out.
"You are the only person that can write your story."
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Sacha Black Author · Hertford · Hertfordshire, sg13 8by · United Kingdom

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