Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Author E.M.S. with Guest Blogger Amy Atwell

I'm very excited to host one of my favorite people on the Veranda. Amy Atwell is an inspirationa and a wonderful writing friend. I hope you'll all enjoy her takeover of the Veranda as she shares vital information about her new website AUTHOR E.M.S. I'm putting her up front and center and hope you have a great time learning how to get your hands on all the resources you need to build your career. 

Hi Amy--have fun on the Veranda!

Author and Entrepreneur Amy Atwell
Hi Everyone,

First off, a huge thank you to Christine for inviting me back to the veranda. I love the view here—especially in spring!

Making a Difference

Not to sound like a public service announcement, but I’ve found myself thinking a lot about why I choose to do certain things. What inspires me, compels me, drives me to complete a task. Some people work well with a threat of punishment hanging over them like a dark specter. Others need the promise of a reward. Whatever it is, I believe each of us has something that triggers our mindset. Slapdash won’t do—now we hunker down and get ‘er done right.
I sum up my mindset trigger as making a difference. When I look at a situation—the circumstances, the personalities, my own previous experiences—I try to identify whether I can make a difference. Can I improve the situation or will I just be spinning my wheels in the mud until I’m exhausted?
When I started writing with an eye toward publication, I did so because I knew what a difference reading fiction has made for me. Reading sparked my imagination, provided me solace from loss and grief, encouraged me to dream beyond my humdrum suburban life. I wanted to pay those experiences forward to others. Not that I get oodles of fan letters, but when a reader writes to tell me why she loved my book, it really touches my heart.

About a year ago, I identified what I saw as a need shared by nearly all authors: a constantly updated clearinghouse or library of information to help writers with the business of being a published author.
Imagine, a one-stop resource with overviews about setting up author profiles on Amazon and Facebook, introductions to the major distributors for self-published books, lessons in how to set up a website or blog, links to timely industry information and much more.
I couldn’t let go of the idea or, rather, maybe the idea wouldn’t let go of me. And then I realized that if I put some time and effort into it, I could create such a website and make a difference for a lot of other writers.
It’s been a year in the making, a work-in-progress I doubt I’ll ever complete. But Author EMS is up and running toward its three goals:

·      Save authors’ time
·      Reduce authors’ stress
·      Improve authors’ focus

Maybe it’s all a pipe-dream, but in the end, I’m building the kind of resource I wish had been available to me when I sold my first book. This mirrors my philosophy that I write the kind of books that I want to read.
I hope you’ll swing by and check it out. There are lots of public pages plus a blog. If you want a bit more access to “the library,” you can register as a guest for free to explore more pages. Paid members gain access to the full (and constantly growing) library and our Database of Online Reviewers, a searchable database of over 500 book reviewers.

Can you think of anything that would make a difference to your writing productivity? What’s on your wishlist that would improve your writing situation?

Amy Atwell worked in professional theater for 15 years before turning from the stage to the page to write fiction. She now gives her imagination free rein in both contemporary and historical stories that combine adventure and romance. When not writing, Amy runs the WritingGIAM online community for goal-oriented writers and has recently launched the Author E.M.S. online resource library. An Ohio native, Amy has lived all across the country and now resides on a barrier island in Florida with her husband and two Russian Blues. Visit her online at, Magical Musings, Facebook, Twitter and/or GoodReads.


Betty Bolte said...

Hi Amy! It's good to "see" you again! I can't wait to check out your new site, and it's very timely as I transition back to writing full time instead of working full time. What I need to be more productive is the time to sit and focus on what I'm thinking about, which I'll soon (unless the cat interrupts...)have again. Can't wait for that, either. Thanks!

Amy Atwell said...

HI, Betty--thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy looking around the site. It's a little text heavy right now--we're focusing on adding information more than any fancy graphics. I do want a few images here and there to help direct focus (like a road map). So much to do and so little time.

Good luck with the cattus interrupts. LOL

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Amy!
I'm a fan -- and a current member of Author EMS. I used the reviewer database to find reviewers for my upcoming release. It was such a help having them all in one place!!! I've got to hop back on your site to see what's new.

Pam Asberry said...

Amy, this sounds like a fabulous resource for unpublished authors like me! I'm off to check it out. :-) Thanks to you and Christine for sharing!

Amy Atwell said...

Hi Wendy--thanks for swinging by and giving a thumbs up to the site and database. We're so pleased with the database and the relationship we're developing with reviewers that we're working on a similar database for freelancers. Hoping to make that available this summer.

Amy Atwell said...

Thanks, Pam! You're right that unpublished authors still need a lot of this business advice. Before you sell is the best time to start building your social network and to figure out your website and whether you want to blog. You'll still probably do some redesign on these after you sell, but after you sell is a lousy time to be learning all that stuff from scratch!

Pistol Pete said...

Love Author EMS. You've done a tremendous job with the site. I want to spend more time with the time management articles, and make use of the reviewer list. I'd like to see a couple blogs or articles on how to fit everything into your day - your job, your personal responsibilities, writerly business, and still write. ;) It's probably already there...

Amy Atwell said...

Thanks, Pete! Don't assume everything is there on the site yet. I've been gathering information for a good five years--long before I ever dreamed of building a website. I'm just a collector of information. But verifying all my info and getting into our website template is a long-term project. The site will continue to grow. Great feedback about the time management. If you search the website for Time (in the little search box, left sidebar on most pages), you'll probably get a number of blog posts on the topic. If you're a paid member of the site, you can add any blog post to your Favorites page for quick and easy reference in the future. Thanks for stopping by!

Patricia Preston said...

Hi Amy! Good to see you here. Author EMS sounds like a great site! Will check it out.

Amy Atwell said...

Thanks for swinging by, Pat. I hope you'll enjoy looking around Author EMS. Today's goal is to add 3 new pages!

Robin Bielman said...

Hi Christine! Hi Amy! I'm going to go check out Author EMS right now. Thanks so much, Amy, for creating something so invaluable. I so admire people like you, who write and still have the time to give back so generously.

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

For your Technology Vault, take a look at the help tips here: She has some great Word tips there - easy to understand too. :)