Congratulations to Beth Watson, who was randomly selected as our winner for the $36 gift certificate! I appreciate all of you who turned out to celebrate libraries and librarians. –Amy
Yesterday, I got lost. Not physically lost, but lost in research. Writers will nod, it’s happened to the best of us. I go looking to verify one fact, and the next thing I know I’ve spent four hours following a rabbit trail that I can only compare to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The things I see! The places I go! And half the time, when I finally shake myself loose and return to my manuscript, I realize I never answered the initial question that sent me on the search in the first place.
As one good writing friend would write: <head desk>
The Internet is an amazing research tool. I have access to so many sources. But I find myself yearning in some ways for that bygone era where doing research meant a trip to the library. The quiet seriousness of people in study, the shelves of books, the big expansive tables where you could spread materials an take notes, the tiny cubicles where you could hide while you toiled over a book report or term paper.
Am I taking you back? The Internet may be faster and easier, but libraries were special.
I could concentrate in a library. I could hear myself think. On the Internet, my email is always dinging me, Tweetdeck is always purring, I’m listening to iTunes, and I might even be online chatting with others. Hey, multitasking is a talent, right? But all that fragmenting of my brain also means that when my search results pop up a pretty picture in an ad in the sidebar (thank you, Google…), I’m clicking my way to check out vacation results (I cannot afford), or looking up recipes, or window-shopping for shoes, or….
Well, you get the picture.
I also miss the librarians. Oh, sure, there were one or two who were the human equivalent of battle-axes, always shushing me and my friends. But there were also the generous and knowledgeable ones, particularly those who worked in the reference sections or resource centers. These were the women and men who helped me look beyond the encyclopedias and helped me find original sources in books, filmstrips, microfiche and maps.
And so, I’m happy to announce that I’ve established an online resource library for authors. The website is Author E.M.S. (Entrepreneur.Management.Solutions.)
Our goal is to help authors save time, reduce stress and improve focus on the creative work by offering simple structures and systems and developing efficiencies in the areas of basic business, research, promotion, social media and self-publishing.
I’m still busy building it, but the concept is simple: a quiet site on the Internet. No advertising, not a lot of flashbulb graphics, just loads of information divided into sections like Amazon, Book Reviews, Business, Facebook, Promotion, Self-Publishing, Websites & Blogs, and more. The pages are filled with how-tos, links to other sources and the search function on the site is pretty amazing.
There’s also a cool searchable database of online book reviewers. For authors this is a great way to find reviewers who are the best match for your particular book release. The database also shows if the site offers author interviews or advertising opportunities. My talented husband created a short video that shows how it works.
The site has lots of public pages and a Daily Tips blog that are all free, plus guests can register (name and email addy) for limited to access to the library—including a 12-lecture series on building a WordPress website. Access to the full resource library and database is restricted to paid members. Our introductory annual membership is just $36. I hope you’ll come by and check it out!
So, that’s me these days. Librarian by day, author by night (or, in my case, wee hours before dawn, usually). I hope Author EMS can help other writers avoid that overwhelmed feeling of getting lost on the Internet trying to answer a single question. Plus, maybe build a happy community. I leave you with one of my favorite tributes to librarians. Happy Tuesday!
Do you have a fond memory of libraries or a librarian? Do you ever get “lost” on the Internet? How do you cope with it?? And, by all means, if you have questions about Author E.M.S., feel free to ask!
Today’s giveaway: one randomly-selected lucky commenter will receive a $36 gift certificate to your book retailer of choice in order to add to your personal library. Or, if you prefer, I can credit the $36 toward a membership to Author E.M.S. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post by midnight, Wednesday, March 7 (that’s the end of Wed., not the beginning of Wed.). I’ll use the time stamp here on the blog (Eastern Standard Time). I’ll announce the winner at the top of the post on Thursday, March 8.