Who will be this week’s flash fiction winner

Lightning sign

Flash Fiction Ahead…

It’s time once again for IU readers to select a winner  for this week’s flash fiction challenge.

Remember, the winning entries will all be included in the next edition of the IU Flash Fiction Anthology.

Check out this week’s entries here. Make your decision, then use those share buttons at the bottom of the post to spread the word.

Voting polls close Thursday at 5 PM Pacific time.

Which story do you think should win this week?

View Results

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NOTE: Entrants whose submissions exceed the 250 word limit are eliminated from the poll. ONE VOTE PER PERSON, please. Duplicate votes will be deleted. The results displayed above are unofficial until verified by administration.

Get Off Your Duff! 8 Simple Ways to Kick-Start Your Motivation

Donna FasanoEven the King of Just-Do-It, Tony Robbins, must have days where he feels unmotivated. It’s only natural to find yourself in a slump, every now and then — suffering through days where you just don’t feel like doing anything productive. If you find yourself feeling this way, take heart. You’re not alone. I’ve felt the same way. I have found that, if I allow one day to pass where I don’t write, it easily turns into two, and then three. But I have found a few ways to kick-start my motivation. I hope these suggestions help you get off your duff and get moving in the right direction. Continue reading

July Video Trailer View-fest

YouTube_FINALAll those new Summer book releases – and we love it when they have book trailers, right? Wait – yours doesn’t have a trailer yet? Well goodness! Recently, we ran a post about how to make your own free trailer. Check it out, then come back here and post a link to ONE of your video trailers below so we can show it some love!

And don’t forget, you can vote for the July Video Trailer of the Month. Meanwhile, if you’d like your trailer featured on IU, check out our submission requirements, and now let’s show our own videos some love with a YouTube LikeFest!

This is how it works: If you are an author, in the comments below, paste in the link for your YouTube book trailer video. (ONE trailer per person, please!) Make sure you show some love to the links in the comments above yours, and check back throughout the day to catch up.

This should be fun and should generate a lot of likes, follows, etc. for everyone who plays. I’ll kick things off with ours: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxpeL2u7FIk. (Okay, so that’s not a book trailer, but it’s pretty cool anyway!) Now let’s get the party started!

Don’t sweat it if your trailer embeds. We’ll fix it.

PLEASE be sure to reciprocate by liking those who like you. This is give and take. If everyone plays by the golden rule, we all benefit.

Consider the Criticism

Photo by Melissa Bowersock

Photo by Melissa Bowersock

Nobody likes getting criticism, at least nobody I know. It’s painful. It’s debilitating. It’s confidence-destroying.

I think it’s pretty normal to want to dismiss criticism out of hand. Bah, what do they know? They haven’t published 10 books. They haven’t been in this business for over 30 years.

The other alternative is to take it all together as a soul-crushing package and think your work is terrible. Who were you kidding? You can’t write. Look at that critique. It’s over. Done with.

Not so fast. There’s a middle road. There’s a demilitarized zone somewhere in the middle where you can walk safely between hubris and defeat. Continue reading

How to Make an eBook Cover in Publisher

publisher logoMaking a book cover in Microsoft Publisher is extremely easy. If you don’t have MS Publisher, I’m sorry, I don’t really know any comparable alternatives in freeware or on Macs. (If you know of one, please feel free to let us know, and if you’d like to write a guest post about it – even better!) I’ve been using Publisher for a ridiculously long time, and that’s what works for me.

There are so many options in Publisher, I could never talk about all of them in this article. Nor do I probably know how to use all of them. I’m a simple person – and keeping it simple works for me. I’m using MS Office 2010. If you are using a different version, some of this will look weird to you, but the basics remain the same.

Open Publisher. Select blank (portrait mode) from the options under New. Continue reading