Tag Archives: free writing

Want to Read More in 2016? Huge Kindle Discount!

Read-more-in-2016Want to read more in 2016? Start the year off right with something spooky! For a limited time, Bad Neighborhood will be on sale for Kindle. If you’re like me, your goal for ‘number of books read’ for the year is always much longer than you end up having time for. I’ve found that the trick is to start strong so that when your schedule begins to fill up throughout the year you can still make your goal. (It’s an approach that seems to work for Nanowrimo, so why not for reading?)

The sale on Amazon will go into effect for Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk customers, I’m not able to change rates for Amazon.ca or any other areas yet, but if I do I will be sure to announce it!

Amazon.com – or USA Readers:

The US-based sale will run from January 1, 2016 at 8am EST-January 8, 2016 at 3am EST. Keep reading, though! The sale will have different prices throughout, with each step heading back towards the original $4.99 price tag. Please pounce on these deals while you can, because we don’t intend to drop the price this dramatically in the near future.

January 1 8a-January 2 8a: This will be the greatest discount by far. For this short 24 hour span, you can get Bad Neighborhood for your Kindle or other mobile device (using the FREE Kindle Reading App) for the ridiculously low price of $0.99! That’s 81% off retail, and you WILL NOT find a better price anywhere.

January 2 8am EST-January 4, 8am EST: Bad Neighborhood will be $1.99. With $3.00 off a book containing 29 stories, poems, and multiple pieces of original artwork, this isn’t an ebook deal to be missed!

January 4, 8am EST-January 6, 8am EST: If you missed the first several days of sales, don’t fret. The book will only be $2.99 from Jan 4-Jan 6.

January 6, 8am EST-January 8, 3am EST: Our multi-author horror anthology from Spooky Words Press will be on sale for $3.99 until January 8th at 3am EST when it returns to its regular $4.99 price.

Amazon.co.uk – or UK Readers:

The UK sale will be shorter and have fewer price tiers, so please take note of what the rate is prior to making a purchase. This sale will run from January 5th and 9am GMT (4am EST) to January 10 at 12am GMT. If you’ve been thinking about getting Bad Neighborhood you won’t find a better time. As I stated in the above section, we won’t be dropping the price this dramatically in the near future.

January 5 at 9am GMT-January 7 at 9am GMT: You will be able to buy Bad Neighborhood for the low, low price of £0.99.

January 7 at 9am GMT-January 10, 12am GMT: The ebook will be £1.99. After midnight on January 10, the book will return to its original price!

Not in the UK or US, but want to be notified of sales when they happen? Please sign up for our mailing list. For a limited time, when you subscribe to receive emails from us, you will receive a pdf copy of one of the chapters in Bad Neighborhood free – so check your inbox for our email after you hit “subscribe”.

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Top 5 Free Writing Tools for Bloggers and Freelancers

Top-5-Free-Writing-ToolsOne of the benefits of being a technophile is that over the course of my travels through the expansive world wide web, I come across a variety of resources that will benefit not only me, but fellow writers. (Bloggers, YES THIS MEANS YOU, TOO!) All of us have to write at some point or another, whether it’s a short story we’re submitting to an anthology or a notice to a landlord that you will be vacating a property on a certain date. Written communication is of the utmost importance, and in many instances it can convey messages or meanings which are not intended simply due to missing words, absent clauses, or typos. I will defer to my favorite argument for the Oxford comma:Quite a Difference

Due to the fact that not all of us are grammar experts, I’ve compiled a list of helpful free writing tools for writers of all stripes. Whether you struggle with grammar, passive voice, utilizing cliches, getting started, thinking of a clever headline, or all of the above – I have resources which will help you! The list officially states there are five, but I hope you will appreciate the bonuses I’ve thrown in along the way. Please enjoy the top 5 free writing tools I’ve located just for you! (…and me.)

1. Edit Minion – http://editminion.com/
If you only have time to use one of these tools, I would suggest you utilize Edit Minion. It combines the utilities of the Hemingway Editor, Cliche Finder and After the Deadline, three of the items which will follow on this list. One should tread carefully when utilizing this tool, however. The interface is a bit cumbersome and it can be difficult to sort out what exactly it is that you are looking at or looking for. As they say, with
great power comes great responsibility, so writers are encouraged to play with this one when they have time on their hands so that they can become more familiar with the interface as well as the variety of options provided.

2. Grammarly – https://www.grammarly.com/ or After The Deadline – http://www.polishmywriting.com/
Grammarly is one of the most widely recommended grammar tools available today thanks to their free chrome extension. While this extension does not catch every error (and sometimes catches errors which aren’t there) it is still a useful resource. If you are not well versed in the English language or appreciate having a double check before you hit “submit”, Grammarly is an excellent choice. There is a paid version, but the basic version will catch many standard mistakes on its own without much trouble.After The Deadline is an alternative to Grammarly which some like better based on the simpler interface and the lack of repeated encouragement to buy something from the creators. The web-based application provides spelling, grammar, and stylistic suggestions which are all designed to improve your writing.If you aren’t sure which to try out or which you would like best, my method is to install the Grammarly Chrome extension, and then after writing something using the Grammarly extension I check it in After The Deadline. It might seem excessive, but if I can edit my writing as I type (thanks to Grammarly) I reduce the number of changes I need to make in my secondary revisions (with ATD). It works for me. Find what works for you!

3. Hemingway Editor – http://www.hemingwayapp.com/
The Hemingway App is designed to improve clarity in your writing. It highlights long, complex sentences so you know to shorten them or rewrite them. (You will know which to do based on the color of the highlight.) This app also draws attention to passive voice, complicated word choice, and adverbs. I personally prefer a Hemingwayesque style of writing as opposed to that of Faulkner, so this tool is one of my personal favorites.

4. Cliche Finder – http://cliche.theinfo.org/
The Cliche Finder does exactly what you would imagine. It analyzes your writing for any uses of cliche terms or turns of phrase. As stated above, Edit Minion does have the capability to look for cliches, but Cliche Finder has a much simpler design which makes it an obvious choice for less tech savvy and/or more timestrapped writers and bloggers.

5. Write or Die – http://writeordie.com/
Write or Die is a product created by the makers of Edit Minion and is designed for those times when writers block is threatening to keep you from meeting your deadlines, whether they are self-imposed or client-driven. With Write or Die you plug in the amount of time you wish to write, how forgiving you wish the timer to be, and then start the clock. If you stop typing during that period of time the screen will gradually change color and then obnoxious sounds will go off, reminding you to get back to work! If you struggle with productivity on days that you “aren’t feeling it” I would encourage you to try Write or Die the next time you have a project to complete. It’s a somewhat silly tool that can be cheated, but it succeeds at keeping you focused on the task at hand, even if you’re just working the system.

6. *BONUS RESOURCE* Blog Post Headline Analyzer – http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer
For my blogging readers I wanted to provide this amazing resource for determining clever titles which is offered by our friends at CoSchedule. Often, the number of shares we receive on social media, the clicks we get on our Newsletters, and the number of sign ups we receive for our newsletters is determined by what we decide to name our blog articles. Often, the most difficult part of writing a blog post for me is not creating the content, but figuring out what to call it! If you struggle with this as well, you can plug in your title ideas to the Blog Post Headline Analyzer and receive immediate feedback as to whether or not your proposed headline is SEO friendly

Is there some part of writing that you need help with that one of these tools can’t fix? Sound off in the comments! I might have a solution up my sleeve to share with you. (If not, I may be able to track one down!) – If you find that any of these tools helps you, let me know and give this post a share on social media to help out your writing friends!