Writings of Stuart Whitmore

If you're looking for the latest news about the writings of Stuart J. Whitmore, you've found the perfect blog for that! If you're not interested in news and just want to see what books are available, see: StuartWhitmoreAuthor.com

NaNoWriMo 2012: Back to the Winner's Circle

After my first NaNoWriMo "loss" last year, I'm happy to be back in the winner's circle this year. I even managed to cross the 50,000-word finish line a few days early.

Experimenting with Bitcoin Book Sales

Have you heard of Bitcoin? If you have, skip ahead to the next paragraph! For those who are unfamiliar with it, Bitcoin is a "digital currency" – an alternative type of money that is designed and intended for the modern digital age. Unlike a national currency (e.g., the US Dollar), there is no central issuer of Bitcoins. Instead, they are "mined" by computers solving difficult problems. The currency system is controlled by a peer-to-peer network. While the system itself is very complex, you can use (obtain and spend) Bitcoins without worrying about all of the underlying details. Of course, this blog is about writing, not techno-geeky topics like digital currency, so I won't delve into more detail. You can always learn more on Wikipedia. Otherwise, it should be sufficient to say that Bitcoins are digital coins that you can use to buy both digital and physical products and services.

Four First Paragraphs

I recently had a brief discussion on Twitter with Ksenia Anske about the importance of introducing a story's main character in the first paragraph. As I will explain later in a more detailed blog post, I am skeptical of some of the "rules" that are passed around among modern authors, and the idea that the "MC" must be introduced in the first paragraph seemed like one of those ideas that sounds good at first but is really unnecessary. You can find some rather popular books (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Fellowship of the Ring for two extremely successful examples) that do not introduce the main character right off the bat.

Rather than delve into that rule or any other, however, I thought it might be interesting, or perhaps vaguely amusing, to offer up the first paragraphs of the four books I currently have on the market. So, that's the purpose of this blog post. Although I certainly did not intend, in advance, to introduce my main characters in my first paragraphs, that is indeed how it turned out. (Considering my generally low sales, I can't imagine that not doing so would make my sales any worse.)

New Book Released Today: Financial ABC

Does your way of handling your money amount to crossing your fingers and hoping your checks and debit card purchases don't bounce before your next payday? Or do you have a large amount of money sitting in a basic savings account or low-interest CD? If so, you're giving up control of your future by not understanding and effectively managing your finances. If the very word "finances" makes your eyes roll, my new book – released today – is designed to get past that aversion and get you started on the road to financial education. Assets, Budgets, and Credit: A Financial ABC is in the format of a children's ABC book, but it was written for adults and teens who could use a jump start toward effective money management.

Creating (Analog) Artwork for eBooks

This originally started as a reply via email, in answer to a question about creating non-digital art for ebooks, but I realized it was general enough that others might want to read it here. Oh, and my reply bounced anyway...?

The artwork for your book can be created in any medium you prefer, as long as it can eventually be digitized if it doesn't start out that way. When I collaborated with the illustrator for my children's book (Two Boys, Two Planets), she created the illustrations using watercolor pencils on watercolor paper. However, if we were going for a different look then the artwork could have been done with chalk on the sidewalk, or oil on canvas, or wood carvings, or dry-erase markers on a white board, or... well, you get the idea. Basically, you can use anything that can eventually be scanned or photographed to become a digital file. Naturally, that also includes working entirely with digital tools like GIMP or Inkscape right from the start. As long as you are comfortable with the tools and it gives you the look you're going for, you should be fine.

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