This page is a collection of links to websites, tools and resources for writers, mainly to help them manage their online reputations. It accompanies and article appearing in the Writers & Artists Yearbook 2012.
First of all, this is a Storify I put together while doing research for the article:
With a little technical knowledge (or access to a geeky friend) you can set up a good looking blog running Wordpress on your own web address. I’d recommend the following resources if you go down that path:
- The WordPress guide to setting up a hosted blog: step by step instructions.
- WooThemes: for a small fee or a subscription you can get access to some really nice looking themes (which give your blog its look and feel).
Alternatively, if you want a low maintenance approach, Posterous is a really wonderful, simple blogging platform. You can have your blog on a personalised address (like your name or the name of a book), put up new posts with emails and also publish links, images and videos easily to other services (like your Facebook page, Twitter account etc.).
Setting up a Posterous blog is as easy as sending a new blog post, image, link or video to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Bookmarking websites are great for storing all the interesting websites you come across while researching your book and you can share all that research with your readers and community.
- Delicious: The original bookmarking site and very popular…
- Diigo: My favourite, Diigo works like Delicious but with a browser plug in that lets you do nifty things like highlight and annotate text. Excellent research tool… also posts your bookmarks to Delicious if you want it to. Free, but with a premium option that gives you more features.
- Pinboard: I don’t use Pinboard, but it has so many loyal users that I had to include it in this section. You pay to use it, so maybe one to consider once you have got to grips with Delicious (which it also synchronises with).
Personal homepages or splash pages are a great way of linking to all of your web presences from one place, and you can even have them on a personal web address that you own already. They are free or cheap if you want premium features, look great and can be managed with little or no technical knowledge.
- Flavors.me: Great free service, easy to use with some useful premium features if you’re prepared to pay a little. Here’s a nice collection of Flavors.me pages people have made collected at Whitezine magazine.
- About.me: Along the same lines as Flavors.me, worth a look as an alternative…
There are two good websites for sharing documents, including writing:
- SlideShare: More about powerpoints than books, it can host PDF documents for you and let you embed them easily into your blog, website or whatever…
- Scribd: This service is more about documents. Very handy way of posting your free books, short stories etc in a public place that makes them easy to share, embed and download…
Communities for writers
There are any number of communities for writers out there. These are a couple which really caught my eye:
- The #amwriting hashtag on Twitter is a lovely way to see what a whole load of other writers are up to… There’s also a #amwriting community website for writers who have met on Twitter, which aslo has a great collection of links to writers’ blogs.
- The NaNoWriMo is a virtual event, or festival of writing (it’s short for National Novel Writing Month), where every November people try to write a novel in just 30 days. Out of this idea has grown a whole network of local writers’ groups – well worth a look…