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Do Writers Love Listening to Writing Improvement Materials While Doing Other Things? September 2, 2015

Posted by shannonmuir in Things Readers and Writers Love.
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DISCLAIMER: This piece was written using an audio book copy of THE AUTHOR MINDSET: A HOW TO REFERENCE ON BECOMING AN AUTHOR EVEN BEFORE YOU PUBLISH YOUR FIRST BOOK as provided by Novel Publicity via Audible. No other form of compensation, other than a free audio book, has been received. This information provided by the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

As a busy multi-tasking author, I wondered if I might find it easier to take in advice for how to improve my writing and author business while doing other things. When the opportunity arose to review an audiobook for THE AUTHOR MINDSET: A HOW TO REFERENCE ON BECOMING AN AUTHOR EVEN BEFORE YOU PUBLISH YOUR FIRST BOOKI saw it as an excellent venue to try to answer this very question.

I ended up splitting my listening of the 12 chapter audio book – downloaded on to my Android phone – into two sessions. The first half I listened to while a passenger on a several hour car trip. The second half I played while doing some exercising at home. With the narrator of this book (Craig Beck, and not text author Falcon Storm) being clear and easy to follow, yet with a voice that kept the listener engaged, I do feel I took in and retained the content while doing other activities.

As to the actual content of the audio book, a lot of it I knew from my own personal experience, but to hear the refreshers proved great. In particular, I found the chapter on social media quite interesting as it outlined the author’s thoughts in detail on the pros and cons of each platform; as someone with hands in nearly every one of them, it was interesting hear thoughts on some social channels and their effectiveness I hadn’t previously considered.

It would seem to me, particularly with refresher material, that writers listening to helpful materials – maybe even while writing – could be effective. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so get the the conversation going on twitter with #readerswriterslove as the hashtag.


Do Writers Love Reading How-To Books on Their Mobile Devices? August 19, 2015

Posted by shannonmuir in Things Readers and Writers Love.
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DISCLAIMER: This piece was written using an e-book copy of THE FINE PRINT OF SELF-PUBLISHING, FIFTH EDITION by Mark Levine as provided by NetGalley. No other form of compensation, other than a free e-book, has been received. This information provided by the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

It’s a busy world, and everyone wants to maximize their time. Thinking of the budding writer with a full job while moonlighting for the first big break, or even a successful writer constantly on the go, I wondered about strategies for dealing with self-improvement. As someone who doesn’t drive and relies on public transit, I wondered what it might be like to read a book about the craft or the business of writing on the go from a mobile device.

To try this experiment, I looked to find a book on NetGalley that might match my needs. I found THE FINE PRINT OF SELF-PUBLISHING, FIFTH EDITION, by Mark Levine. After getting approval to dowload it to my device. I set about reading it.

The book itself covers mainly print self-publishing, in the truest sense of completely going on one’s own and buying your own ISBNs, contracting printers directly, etc. versus relying on printers such as CreateSpace, Lulu etc. (though this is certainly covered and compared to). E-books have their own chapter, which doesn’t appear until Chapter 7, but this evolution makes sense in a book originally focused to be solely about the print industry. It admittedly, though, felt strange to get to it so late in the book given the e-book prevalence in today’s market. That said, I found the words to be an insightful and engaging refresher. Most of it I knew, but I did glean a few new insights from the text. It is a worthwhile read for anyone with a serious interest in self-publishing, as long as the expectations of the book are managed accordingly.

The earliest chapters I read on a commuter bus. Once I could adjust the text size on my phone, it was comfortable reading for the duration of the commute, and I loved the convenience of being able to read on the bus without lugging extra weight around. The remainder of the text I read as time permitted in my home, in a setting where I do prefer holding paper books when I can. In that respect, it didn’t feel quite as convenient but still remained comfortable to read. If I’d been on the bus more often in the time it took me to read it, I think I would have appreciated it more.

Writers? Do you like being able to read up on improving the art, craft, or business of writing by reading books on your phone or tablet? Tell me what you think using hashtag #readerswriterslove on Twitter!

Discovering Things For Readers and Writers to Love… Where to Start? August 15, 2015

Posted by shannonmuir in Articles, commentary.
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Starting this quest to answer the question “What do Readers and Writers Love?” has been harder than I thought. It’s been difficult to find anything focused.

I’m wondering how people find out about things that they as readers and writers might love, that aren’t book recommendations.

Feel free to take the conversation to Twitter with the hashtag #readerswriterslove and I’ll share my thoughts here as I find them too!

Places to Hear My Reflections on Things August 14, 2015

Posted by shannonmuir in Advice, analysis, Books, commentary.
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With the evolution of this blog, there seems to be a need to go over again where to find the best resources for my thoughts on various media:

1)  http://shannon-muir.com is my overall website to find out about all my writing genres.

2) Commentaries on the state of publishing (self-published and otherwise),  and connections between writer and reader will be here at this blog for the time being.

3) Thoughts and inspiration on finding your path in life in general, beyond just writing, are at the Tumblr http://www.ownyourowntale.com.

4)  Insights on animation across the board, as well as my career in general, will be at Shannon Muir’s Animated Insights.

5) Information about my genre fiction and new pulp work is at the Tumblr http://shannon-muir.net.

6) Information on my self-published series are at the following Tumblr sites: willowbrooksaga.com or spontaneouschoices.com.

7) The webcomic I co-write, FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY,  is at http://www.flying-glory.com.

8) The craft of writing of all forms, and news on work not encompassing any area above,  can be found at my Tumblr muirwords.com.

9) News on my visual content for channels like YouTube and Vine is at the Tumblr http://www.discoverwords.com.

10) Interviews and excerpts from other authors books will appear at Infinite House of Books, since those areas are its focus. For highlights prior to 2015, visit the sister Tumblr site at http://www.infinitehouseofbooks.tumblr.com .


Thank you all for your continued support since 2000.

What Makes Writing More Enjoyable? August 10, 2015

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Doing research to bring added authenticity to a story can take writers on adventures and bring entire new experiences. The right kind of tools to capture research notes or even write parts of a first draft with may make all the difference.

But is there more? Are there other ways to make the act of creating more enjoyable for the author? I’m starting to delve more into thinking about these things and plan to share my insights here.

What Makes Reading More Enjoyable? August 9, 2015

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Clearly, a well-crafted tale keeps a reader engaged. However, other elements can pull a reader from an otherwise gripping tale. If the experience doesn’t happen in a comfortable environment, this may pose challenges for reading for extended periods. If someone uses e-readers or phones, battery power may affect the experience as well.


One of the things to do is to explore ways to make reading more comfortable, and find what works for you. Check a variety of sources for new insights and ideas. Whatever you do, enjoy!

What Kinds of THINGS DO READERS AND WRITERS LOVE? August 9, 2015

Posted by shannonmuir in Articles, information, products.
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That’s a pretty broad statement, admittedly. I believe it fits my audience though, as I’ve been in animation, as well as prose. It could be adaptations of one media into another. Helpful products like e-readers. Maybe it’s a great new app.

I don’t have all the answers.

Let’s find out together. Come join me.

Changes Coming to This Blog… but Animated Insights (And More) Can Still Be Found! August 8, 2015

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If you came here looking for Animated Insights, be sure to follow the link to get to its new home!

If your interest in my name comes from my new pulp and genre fiction ventures, please come visit my Shannon Muir, New Pulp and Genre Author blog on Tumblr.

Want to know more about what I’m doing on YouTube or Vine? Visit Discover Words on Tumblr for all the latest.

Lastly, to get great interviews, guest blogs, and excerpts from other prose writers, I invite you to visit my site Infinite House of Books, in business since 2013.

This blog’s focus will be changing, stay tuned for what the next steps bring for “things that readers and writers love” which should apply to everyone.

Looking at the stats, I see I still get some traffic here, but I also want to make it easier for you to find the specialty content you want. Thank you for your support. I hope you will support me in all my endeavors.


Posted by shannonmuir in Articles.
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I have no shortage of books to read around my house. This has nothing to do with reviewing – in fact, both Discoverwords and my sister site INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS moved to an interview only mode (except in extreme circumstances where it is a requirement for someone to agree to an interview) because my work schedule is so demanding. Yet that doesn’t change the fact I love to read.

My interests are very eclectic, from fantasy and science fiction to more literary fiction (and very partial to female leads across the board). Usually I end up moving between several books at once and just have to let my mood dictate. For example, the current science fiction series I’m reading has a well developed female lead (Honor Harrington in At All Costs) but at times densely packed military sequences that don’t work well for a quick pleasure read, to an ARC of a just now published book that I am eager to finish but don’t seem to be able to find the time (Cherry Money Baby) that has a much different tone. I also follow a book club, She Reads, and have often selected their choices to try as well and have yet to be disappointed – their latest as I write this was another ARC I picked up at Book America Expo (The Husband’s Secret) so I want to start that as well. So I usually just decide by what I feel I can handle that day. Some days it’s no reading at all, but on those days I’m usually writing.

I wonder how other lovers of books decide what to read. Discoverwords.com is always open for moderated comments. I’ve provided Goodreads links to all book titles if you want to see what I’m mentioning. Feel free to share and discuss!

NOTE: A slightly modified version of this post originally appeared at Discover Words. It is posted under the original post date.

The end of this blog as Animated Insights August 23, 2014

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In recent months, I’ve still been blogging but none of it here. I’ve followed the tastes of my audience, and fragmented out to multiple blogs to reach people more selectively.

If you want to continue following my writing commentary and comments similar to what I’ve done here in the past, consider coming over to Muirwords by Shannon Muir at http://www.muirwords.com. It’s the same tone and style as this blog is, but I began to find the free version of WordPress limiting for my needs and that I could do this same style with more freedom over at my own setup. So please, those of you subscribed to a feed, hopefully you can easily do the same there. A selection of posts from here may ultimately be re-blogged there, I’m still deciding. This will also be where I talk about stories I put out with publishers such as Pro Se Productions or Emby Press.

If animation has been the appeal for you, I’m not really dealing with that exclusively at this point. Your best bet is probably the new home of Shannon Muir’s Animated Insights on Tumblr at http://www.animatedinsights.com. While it aggregates all my blogs there, I also do commentary on re-blogged animation or just share animation I find compelling or nostalgic and talk about it. I may also add in the occasional new text post as necessary, but a lot more is available online now than it was when I entered the arena years ago by people who are more on the cutting edge. I thank them for stepping up and doing so.

There are also other blogs and sites I run that might interest you:

http://www.house-of-books.com: Infinite House of Books primarily consists of author interviews based on questions provided by me to book blog tours and individual authors. They’re not the same stock questions being handed out to 50 sites at once, though authors always answer the same questions.
http://www.discoverwords.com: Discoverwords.com brings excerpts and cover reveals from various authors mainly in YA, New Adult, and various genre fiction areas
http://www.willowbrooknovels.com: The latest news and information on my Willowbrook Saga independently released e-books.
http://www.spontaneouschoices.com: The latest news and information on my e-books led by women fueled by passion (though not always the best decision makers as passion sometimes blinds their logic).
http://www.flying-glory.com: FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY is the long running web comic I’ve partnered up to co-write with Kevin Paul Shaw Broden that has been on the web since 2001.

Lastly, http://www.shannon-muir.com shows all the books and stories I’ve put out with links on how to buy each, as well as links out to all the above listed sites.

See you around the Internet, and thanks for your continued support!

All the best,
Shannon Muir