Author's comments on 'The Internet for Writers'
In writing The Internet for Writers, my primary aim was to demonstrate the huge potential of the internet for writers (both fiction and non-fiction), and encourage them to get on-line.
In my view, the internet is now a must-have resource for writers. As well as being a vast repository of information, it enables writers to communicate cheaply and easily with people across the world via e-mail, get answers to complex questions from newsgroups, and market themselves and their work to millions via the world wide web. Very soon, being without net access will be as unthinkable to most writers as working with pencil and slate.
Until recently, advice specifically targeted at writers has been hard to come by. As a result, many are still wondering whether (and how) they should get connected. Others have taken their first few tentative steps, and are now looking for guidance on using the net more effectively (and profitably). The Internet for Writers addresses the needs of both these groups.
In The Internet for Writers I have strived to avoid producing yet another Introduction to the Internet. As far as possible the book is written in non-technical language, with the focus firmly on what the net can do for writers. Case studies throughout the book illustrate how writers could apply the ideas and techniques in their day-to-day commissions and projects. There are also frequent Q&As addressing the issues which, in my experience, writers new to the net most want to know about. A full list of chapter titles and main section headings is included at the end of this article.
I have devoted particular effort to compiling what I hope is a reasonably definitive list of web sites for writers. These are sub-divided into four major categories: writing sites; general research sites; publishers sites; and sites by and about specific writers. Unlike many such listings, I have also provided a pen portrait of each site, so that you can tell immediately whether it is likely to be of interest or not. Many of the web sites described throughout the book are also accompanied by screen grab illustrations. I hope that by the time they reach the end of my book, writers will have discovered at least half a dozen ways in which the internet could help them in their work. And when they get on-line if theyre not already I hope that visiting the web sites and following up the other resources mentioned will inspire them with more ideas still.
Finally, here is the obligatory background information on myself. Im 43 and have been a full-time freelance for the last nine years. I live in Burntwood, Staffordshire, UK, along with my partner Jayne and our three cats. I am the author of seven other books, four correspondence courses and three multimedia tutorials, including Creative Writing and Short Story Acumen (Way Ahead Electronic Publishing). I was a regular reviewer for Computing Today magazine, and more recently have been helping Wolverhampton University Business School adapt its courses for delivery via the internet. NICK DAWS
THE INTERNET FOR WRITERS CONTENTS LIST
What is the Internet? Getting connected E-mail Newsgroups for writers The world wide web Netiquette
2. Contacting Others
Finding out someones e-mail address Finding a designer, illustrator or collaborator Sending a proposal and sample chapter Joining online writers circles
3. Doing Research
Using a search engine Using a directory Narrowing down your search Getting help from newsgroups Top web sites for research
4. Polishing Your Work
Checking your grammar Consulting an online dictionary/thesaurus Style help from newsgroups Having your work appraised Online writing courses
5. Marketing Yourself
Publishing your writing on the net Finding jobs and assignments Promoting yourself and your work Setting up your writers home page
6. Learning for Life
Libraries and archives
Educational sites Free/paid-for online courses Virtual communities for writers
7. Getting More Benefit
Getting useful software Internet faxing and telephony Translating your work Using online bookshops
8. Working in Cyberspace
Viruses and hoaxes Electronic reproduction rights Censorship and plagiarism Contracts in cyberspace
9. Web sites for Writers
Glossary of terms Further reading & reference Useful addresses Alphabetical Index