Saturday, October 29, 2005

Working with Authors

One of the most enjoyable aspects of WebforAuthors is being able to respond to someone’s need. When Jeff Gibson wanted an attachment emailed to everyone who signed up for Dr. Nell’s ( mailing list, we were able to add that feature a few weeks later. Nell wanted to offer a chapter of her book as an enticement to join her mailing list and having the system automatically send it as an attachment with the confirmation email made sense.

Recently Jeff emailed me and said “… I would like to comment on … how responsive you are. I have been impressed since day one with how quickly and professionally you have addressed any issue that has come up. Also, your taking into serious consideration and acting on suggestions for improvement.”

Several authors had commented on needing a calendar on which to put their activities such as appearances, signings, etc. We did not include this on our original feature list, thinking erroneously that this would be kept under a particular book on the Updates page. But we saw the error of our ways and developed the new “Events” page and calendar maintenance system. This new feature was just installed.

Although wee have not officially announced the new calendar feature, Bertha Davis ( has already found it. She wrote “The calendar is what I really need so badly. I like the way it's set-up. I'm going to work on my site today to see if I can add some of my signings ….”

The uniqueness and power of the WFA system is when we add new features, they become available to all our subscribers. So when Nell and Bertha got their wish, everyone else benefits too.

Our next new feature is a Links page on which an author could maintain links to other websites. We pre-built navigation when we added ‘Events’ by adding a ‘Resources’ button too. ‘Resources’ will include the new Links page, plus we are discussing a download page and the ability to link to a blog.

I’m excited about these and other new features we are working on. Plus we have several new designs being prepared that are excellent. As we get a larger variety of designs, I plan to emphasis our ability to do custom designs for an author.

Think about it. By using the WFA system as the ‘backend’ of the web site, there is no need to spend bucks when we have it all for a low annual cost. Put a few dollars into a unique design (‘frontend’ or ‘facing’ side), and presto, you have a web site like no other with features you didn’t know you needed for a cost you could not have imagined.

That’s a few of the ideas anyway. Gee, I’d better get to work!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Drive to Myrtle

On the drive to Myrtle Beach I looked forward to running on the beach. The SCWW conference started the next day and Athens to Myrtle is a six hour drive. It was late afternoon, ebbing high tide when I was ready to run, but warm, especially for mid-October. There wasn't much beach above the high tide before the tiny dunes started. Many people were out enjoying the beach.

I loved the conference, despite the hotel. The hotel is being renovated. Sandra and Frances, the conference co-chairs, did a wonderful job at keeping the event running smoothly. For more on the conference, Joshilyn Jackson blogged her ramblings here

I taught a session on "How to Use the Web to Promote Your Book" Saturday morning. It was well attended and we covered why to, how to and what to, regarding websites, blogs, strategies and effectiveness. I kept it informal and solicited topics from the audience before I began. Then I covered what they wanted, but organized, I hope, so it made sense, as a whole.

Being at a beach front hotel was a treat and sets this conference apart from many others. Few can offer the ocean at your doorstep.

Speaking of great places, I will be sponsoring and attending the San Francisco Writers Conference. The date is February 17 - 19, 2006 and more can be found  Obviously SF is wonderful, but to ‘top’ that, the conference will be at the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill. The Mark is one of the grand dame hotels in the city and one of my favorite hotels anywhere. On the top floor is the famous Top of the Mark  

Friday, October 07, 2005

South Carolina Writers Workshop - Conference 2005

Established in 1990, the South Carolina Writers Workshop is a literary arts organization serving both new and established writers. Nearly every type of writing is represented, from poetry to mainstream novels to short stories to non-fiction. SCWW offers a supportive environment for people to become better writers. Their website is

SCWW membership is open to all writers, and provides a wide range of opportunities to improve one's writing, network with others, and gain practical "How To" information about getting published. There are numerous local chapters throughout the state.

The 2005 SCWW Writers Conference will be held October 14 - 16, 2005 at the Landmark Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. Information on the conference can be found at

WebforAuthors is a Silver Sponsor of the event

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The WriteStuff Writers' Conference - St. Louis

Two weeks ago, on September 24, 2005, I was fortunate to attend The WriteStuff Writers’ Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. I attend several conferences each year promoting WebforAuthors, so I have a unique perspective from which to compare conferences. One thing that I think is great about the WriteStuff conferences is that they are one day conferences – a jam packed day, but only one day. Many other conferences are multi-day events, which require a bigger time commitment.

There were three WriteStuff conferences this year – Indianapolis, Cincinnati and St. Louis. St. Louis was the last one for the year, be sure to look for this conference next year. I will post their schedule once it is finalized.

Founder J. Andy Murphy pulls in great talent and impressive sponsors to these events. The “big” sponsors are Writers Digest (, the leading magazine for writers and authorHouse (, a leading self publishing company. In addition, Andy brings in regionally and nationally known authors and experts who share their experience and advice. WebforAuthors is also a sponsor, providing subscriptions to our service as door prizes.

The WriteStuff is presented in partnership with Ambassadors for Children. AFC is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to better the lives of children around the world who live, study, and play in impoverished communities, while offering volunteers a life-changing experience. All proceeds from the conferences directly benefit Ambassadors for Children.

Here a link to the WriteStuff page at AFC: