Scott Lorenz

    • Member Type(s): Communications Professional
    • Title:President
    • Organization:Westwind Communications
    • Area of Expertise:Book Marketing, Medical and iPhone App
    • Member:ProfNet

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    The Incredible Story Behind the Movie THE ELEPHANT MAN

    Monday, October 2, 2017, 12:41 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Remember- All Movies Start with the Written Word -

    All of Them


    By Scott Lorenz
    Westwind Book Marketing


    Movies, like books, sometimes have humble beginnings.

    Remember the movie The Elephant Man? It was a true story about a nineteenth century sideshow freak who was saved by a doctor portrayed in the movie by Anthony Hopkins. 

    THE ELEPHANT MAN, portrayed by the late John Hurt, continues to be a gold standard for artful cinematic creativity today. The movie is from Academy Award winning film producer Jonathan Sanger.

    How did this movie come about? Was it an agent’s pitch? No.

    Was it an award winning script? No.

    Did experienced screenwriters create this masterpiece? No.

    Was it adopted from a book? No.

    I recently met up with Jonathan Sanger in Hollywood when my firm Westwind Book Marketing arranged a book signing and special big screen showing of The Elephant Man at the Egyptian Theatre. Mr. Sanger introduced the movie to several hundred people where he retold the incredible story of how this movie came about.

    Where did the script come from?

    His babysitter handed it to him to read! That’s right, his babysitter. Sanger took the script and said he’d read it and promptly set it aside… for about a year. Then one day he came back from a trip opened his desk drawer and there it was… staring at him like an obligation.

    What did he do? He read it - and he loved it!

    His book “Making the Elephant Man: A Producer’s Memoir” gives us an insider’s look at the creation of one of the first ever indie films and a box-office smash, as well as a peek into the early careers of movie greats David Lynch, Mel Brooks and Anthony Hopkins.

    MAKING THE ELEPHANT MAN – A PRODUCER’S MEMOIR, in Paperback and Kindle is available on Amazon or on the author’s website  View the book trailer here:


    Few members of a film audience appreciate the intricacies of the myriad aspects of making a film. Sanger takes his experience as the producer of THE ELEPHANT MAN and opens a powerful discussion on the evolution of cinema, how he ‘discovered’ a script written by ‘unknowns’ Christopher DeVore and Eric Bergren finding “it was exactly the kind of story I would want to make, a historical biography about a wretched soul who had nonetheless lived an extraordinary life” - the true story of 19th century grossly deformed John Merrick, known as the Elephant Man working in a sideshow in London who was treated by a kind Dr. Treves.


    “When I wrote this, I was teaching a course in independent film and using my experience with this film to teach,” says Sanger. “I realized that it would be great to get these stories down and put them in a book.” For every movie he makes, Sanger keeps a notebook about the crew, the schedules, what they ordered for lunch, and other details. He was able to tap into notes from 30 years ago that brought the whole process up fresh in his mind, including the strong emotions that gripped him upon first reading the script..

    “Human stories have always moved me,” says Sanger. “I like movies about people who are outliers, who are not in the mainstream for one reason or another, even if they are famous. It’s not something I’m actually seeking, it’s just a trend I’ve noticed over the years, about myself as a producer.”

    Sanger’s latest two movies, both follow similar themes. In Chapter and Verse, a reformed gang leader returns to Harlem where he gets a job delivering meals.  Marshall is based on a true incident in the life of Thurgood Marshall, when he was a young lawyer, long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Written with passion, Sanger’s memoir takes us with elegant prose and many black and white photographs through the presentation to Mel Brooks who helped propel the young Sanger’s project into the hands of neophyte director David Lynch, the details of finding the proper crew, the cast (John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Sir John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anne Bancroft), the location, the anxieties of meeting deadlines, the technical hurdles of creating a film about such a character – facing struggles at every turn. Even the final showing of the completed film to an audience of professionals, whose silence terrified Jonathan, until he learned the silence was due to the emotional impact of the story – an unspoken Bravo!

    Brooklyn born Jonathan Sanger is a highly respected producer and director of major films, television series, and theatrical productions, having earned twenty Academy Award nominations, and winning three.


    In 1976, Sanger moved to Los Angeles, where he worked for Lorimar Television on network television series The Blue Knight and Eight Is Enough. In 1978 he was Mel Brooks' Assistant Director on High Anxiety, which led to a long professional association. For Brooks' wife, Anne Bancroft's feature directorial debut film Fatso, Sanger served as Associate Producer. During this period Sanger had acquired the rights to the script of The Elephant Man – his first production which led to a successful career in both producing and directing films – films such as Frances, Without Limits, Vanilla Sky, Flight of the Navigator, The Producers, and Code Name: Emerald.


    The Bottom Line: A good story well written delivered to the right person can be the ticket to incredible success. Remember- all movies start with the written word. All of them.


    About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

    Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

    Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

    Authors: How to Sign a Top Literary Agent

    Monday, October 2, 2017, 12:35 PM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    By Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications

    Landing an agent for many authors is the most sought after goal. Why? It’s been long considered the fastest and most profitable path to publishing success. If that is your goal then you’ll want to check out these tips, techniques and resources to help you land the quality literary agent you are seeking.

    Where to begin?

    Get up to speed with the latest information with books and resources on the topic. According to Jeff Herman, book agent and author of Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, authors should assess potential agents on the following points before sealing a deal:

    1. The list of books the agent has sold to publishers, including the publishers’ and authors’ names.
    2. The agent’s reputation online.
    3. Why s/he likes your book and how s/he plans to market your book, with reference to a timeline and how much you’ll potentially earn.

    Note that real agents do not:


    1. Charge upfront fees
    2. Offer to edit for a fee
    3. Sell adjunct services to their clients
    4. Submit books to vanity or non-advance paying publishers


    The critical step in the process is to research agents before you submit to them. Avoid agents who charge fees other than the standard 15 percent commission they receive on everything you get paid (your advance and royalties).

    Narrow Your Search

    Publishers Marketplace is one of the best places to research literary agents. Buy a subscription for $25 and access a wealth of information about publishing. With hundreds of agents hosting web pages, Publishers Marketplace is arguably the largest and most comprehensive repository to find info on top literary agencies. In fact, Publishers Marketplace claims to have “more e-mail and other contact information on more agents than any other source, updated daily.”

    Member authors can create their own Publishers Marketplace web page and indicate they are seeking an agent, which advertises you to agent and publishers.

    An added bonus to is the deals database, which includes the actual dollar figure of the advances paid to authors for many books. The daily updates provide essential information and searches reveal editors' buying patterns and more. The site also hosts a contact database that tracks editors on the move. Find out more here:

    Other resources to consider include:

    1. Manuscript Wish List visit:
    5. Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents 2017

    Social media is also a powerful tool to locate agents. Search social media for associations of agents— there are plenty. Michael Larsen, literary agent, suggests authors check out the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR) as an outlet for finding quality agents. According to Larsen, “The 450 agents in AAR are the best source of experienced, reputable agents. Members are required to follow the AAR's code of ethics.”

    Another resource for finding agents is simply the acknowledgements section in books similar to what you envision your own book to be. Read the acknowledgements and collect the names of those agents mentioned and contact them directly.

    Don’t be shy— Have a presence.

    Share your personal brand with the world, both online and in person. It’s wise to create professional social media accounts, an online work portfolio or blog. According to Michael Larsen, “Let agents find you- be visible online and off, get published and give talks, publicize your work and yourself. When you're visible enough, agents will find you.”  This strategy worked for Andy Weir, author of The Martian. After selling 35,000 ebooks for $.99 and topping Amazon’s Sci-Fi Bestseller List, an agent contacted Weir and he was soon represented by Random House for a book deal. On top of that FOX contacted him for the film rights of his novel. The rest is history.

    A popular networking strategy is to attend writers’ conferences. Particularly for first-time authors, there’s no better way to get to an agent than at a conference. Agents typically won’t sign authors on the spot, but accept their advice and remember that networking is pivotal to a successful career. According to Chip MacGregor, literary agent and author of Ask the Agent, “I love writers’ conferences. Don’t go thinking you’re going to land an agent; just plan to meet people and learn a lot.”  Where are the best conferences? Here’s a list I’ve compiled of upcoming writer’s conferences.

    Make It Perfect. Practice Proper Etiquette

    “Nothing detracts from good writing like bad editing,” says Debra Englander an experienced non-fiction editor and writer. “Submit your best work. Have it copy edited and proofread by a professional. Don’t ruin a potential relationship with an agent because of mistakes.”  Englander served as editorial director at John Wiley Publishing for nearly 17 years and was on the receiving end of thousands of pitches from agents and authors. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals and editing manuscripts.

    Also, research an agent before you submit to them and check the agent’s guidelines before packaging and submitting your work. Before you commit to an agent, settle any unfinished business with others still considering your work. Just make it clear that you have an offer that requires an immediate decision.

    If you think you’re ready to be placed with an agent, consider the direction your writing career is headed. According to Chuck Sambuchino, author of the Guide to Literary Agents, “Most agents say they’re looking to represent careers, not books.”

    Bottom Line: Agents can land you the deal you could never obtain yourself. But the pursuit of an agent can take months and years. If you still want an agent then study up and do it now!

    About Scott Lorenz
    Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous startups, iPhone app developers, authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. As a book marketing expert Lorenz is called upon by top execs and bestselling authors to promote their books. Visit: 






    How Authors Can Utilize ProfNet to Promote Their Books

    Thursday, June 2, 2016, 10:53 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    As a book publicist, I am always on the lookout for effective ways to reach book buyers and the media. One way is to utilize a service called ProfNet. As one of its first users, I’ve seen ProfNet become one of the most important ways of reaching the media in a non-intrusive way.

    Here’s how it works: A reporter, freelance writer or television producer is assigned a story. Unless they know someone who is an expert on that topic, they’ll need to find someone to interview, so the reporter will place a query on ProfNet requesting an expert with certain qualifications and who can speak to a certain issue they are writing about. They’ll include a deadline, contact information and their media outlet.

    These queries are compiled by ProfNet and are emailed out to thousands of publicists, experts, authors and other subscribers multiple times a day. I personally read just about every set of queries, as they could contain a big media opportunity for my clients. On any given day, there could be queries from the New York Times, "Good Morning America," Woman’s World, NPR and just about anybody you could think of.

    I’ve landed clients in all the above mentioned outlets and hundreds of others as well. One reason it works so well is that the media is looking for the expert rather than you or me (the publicist) pushing my client on them. In this case, they actually have a story they’re working on and need an expert.

    Who in the media uses ProfNet? Meet freelance writer Lisa Iannucci. Lisa has written many articles for consumer and trade publications, including Weight Watchers, Muscle & Fitness, Parenting, Shape, ePregnancy, SkyGuide Go (American Express), American Health, USA Weekend,  Parenting, New York Magazine and more. She has also written for New England Condominium, The Cooperator, Business Travel News, DDIFO (a Dunkin’ Donuts trade journal), Sports Travel and more. She is constantly on the lookout for interesting experts and authors to interview for her various freelance assignments.

    Authors are perfect for ProfNet because of their built-in credibility, since they wrote about the subject matter covered in their book. The media likes people who are have credentials and are authorities and experts.

    Here are key tips to remember when responding:

    1. Note the deadline. Get your response in well ahead of it.
    2. Answer the question or query directly. Keep your email short and to the point. Nobody has time to read a dissertation.
    3. Google the reporter or the publication if you are not aware of them. Get every edge you can, as you’ll be competing against others who want the coverage too.
    4. Remember: Radio likes “sounds.” Television likes a “visual.” Online services like "links." Print likes everything! So cater to the medium in your response.
    5. Put “ProfNet Query” in the subject line when responding.

    Continue reading this article on PR Toolkit: How Authors Can Utilize ProfNet to Promote Their Books.

    4 Budget-Friendly Ways to Promote Your Book

    Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 9:09 AM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    There are an infinite number of ways for authors to promote their books. Since most authors cannot afford a full page ad in the New York Times Book Review, it is imperative to make dollars stretch as far as one can.

    As a book publicist I am always on the lookout for effective, inexpensive ways to reach book buyers and the media. Here are four budget-friendly ways to promote your book:

    1. Facebook offers advertising to special interest groups. Let’s say you’d like to put your book in front of readers who like to read James Patterson books. You can do that now with paid ads on Facebook. The audience for these ads used to be based upon age, interests, place of work, gender etc. Now you can zero in on readers of specific books by what appears to be an endless list of authors and books. You can list numerous authors in your targeted audience group, including Tom Clancy, John Grisham and many more. Facebook helps you create the ad online and it’s served up only to those who are fans of the authors you select. Is it effective? Ever wonder how some of the ads you see on Facebook seem to hit you at a perfect time about a perfect item? This is how they do it. Try it. It may work for you.

    2. Tap into the power of Goodreads by using Listopia lists. How? Listopia is a free tool through Goodreads that helps readers discover new books to read. They can search for genres, topics of interest, favorite authors etc. Authors can list their own book on their list along with other books in the same genre to gain from their popularity and association. For example, if you have a book similar to "The Martian," then listing that book along with your book and other similar books, your book can benefit directly on Goodreads and as a bonus, it may show up on Google, Bing and Amazon searches.

    Continue reading this article on PR Toolkit: 4 Budget-Friendly Ways to Promote Your Book.

    How Authors Can Use NetGalley to Promote Their Book

    Thursday, October 29, 2015, 11:23 AM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Word of mouth sells books. Unfortunately, one of the most difficult things to do is to get people to read and review your book to help get the buzz going.

    As an author, how would you like to get your book into the eager hands of reviewers, bloggers, members of the media, librarians, booksellers, and educators before it was published? Ever wonder how some books have 50 reviews the day of publishing? Want to know the tricks of the trade? One way is through NetGalley and their 300,000 readers.

    NetGalley is a service that allows authors and publishers to get reviews of their work before and after it is published. Members gets galleys before others, read books digitally, share feedback, and become part of a reading community. There are also built-in benefits beyond the review, including advance promotion.

    Corrin Foster of Greenleaf Book Group says that their publishing firm uses NetGalley for nearly every title that they publish as a way to reach active and influential reviewers.

    “The NetGalley community is fair and transparent with their reviews, responsive to collaboration, and an invaluable resource for generating early reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, and social media which carry a lot of weight with general consumers. We value our relationship with NetGalley and their members very highly,” says Foster.

    “What an author will get from NetGalley, but may not always welcome, are reviews that are about as truly independent as can be,” said Tom Barry, author of "Saving Jay" and "When the Siren Calls."

    Continue reading this article on PR Toolkit: How Authors Can Use NetGalley to Promote Their Book.

    Authors, How About an App for Your Book?

    Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 10:28 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Books are turned into movies all the time, but what about other money-making avenues for repurposing content and expanding the reach of the book? How about creating an iPhone or Android app for your book?

    The bestselling book "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" has an app that is a great example of how a book can expand its reach by creating a useful companion app. Expectant moms plug the due date into the app and it then tells you via message every day what to expect, along with helpful advice. It walks with moms through their pregnancy day by day. This is a terrific companion for first-time moms and dads and the grandparents too.

    In fact, 15 seconds after my daughter announced her pregnancy, my wife pulled that book from her purse and handed it to my daughter (some people know exactly what to expect!). My daughter finds the app extremely helpful. Guess what? My wife put that app on her iPhone too. Now that is a great app that reaches beyond its target audience of expectant moms.

    Continue reading this article on PR Toolkit: Authors, How About an App for Your Book?

    How Authors Can Promote Their Book Using Webinars

    Thursday, August 20, 2015, 8:57 AM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Once you’ve written and published your book, you’ll no doubt be looking for the most cost-effective ways to promote it. Besides free publicity, if you would like to reach a large targeted audience efficiently, consider conducting a webinar.

    What’s a webinar? A webinar is an online interactive meeting where the author is able to educate, demonstrate, entertain, and sell their book to their audience of potential readers. It can be held at any time of the day -- live or recorded.

    “Doing webinars is a way to reach much larger audiences – often in the thousands – without leaving your home or office, and for less than the cost of one night in a hotel,” says Bill Harrison, co-founder of “Many authors do bookstore signings to promote their books, but it can be expensive to travel and, unless you’re a celebrity, you’ll be lucky to have 15 or 20 people turn out.”

    “JJ Virgin used webcasts to hit the New York Times Best Seller List in one of the most competitive markets of all -- health and nutrition,” says Mike Koenigs, bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. Koenigs encourages authors to “write your book from a webcast,” as it’s perhaps the most cost-effective way to capture one’s knowledge effortlessly.

    Author and media trainer Jess Todtfeld, president of Success in Media, uses webinars to build a relationship and rapport: “The advantage is that they see and experience who I am and receive something of value at the same time. I’ve conducted many webinars with authors and they are particularly useful for keeping your network warm and staying on the radar. I’ve then transcribed the recording and created content I can repackage and offer to my audience.”

    One book marketing pro I know has been conducting at least two webinars per month for more than four years. Brian Jud, executive director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales, and the author of “How to Make Real Money Selling Books,” uses webinars for several reasons.

    “First, it keeps my name in front of a targeted audience on a regular basis,” says Jud. “And scheduling speakers for my webinars, many of which are authors, gives me access to people who might not otherwise accept my call. Also, by listening to experts in a wide variety of book-publishing topics I learn something from every webinar. Finally, preparation for webinars in which I am the speaker forces me to update my material and solidify my reputation as a knowledgeable expert in non-bookstore marketing.”

    Jud conducted a webinar with me a few months ago about how to name a book, and from the transcription of the recording I created two articles and found plenty of new material that came out during the interview process. The best part is that I was able to communicate my expertise to his list of contacts. How’s that? Prior to the webinar, Jud emailed a note to his list of a few thousand authors and publishers telling them about my upcoming webinar. Some of those people signed up for the webinar and others simply read that email, so it served as a form of an advertisement for my book publicity services.

    Tapping into someone else’s list of contacts is one of the big benefits of using a webinar. Nobody can know everybody and a webinar offers an endorsement, in effect, from the person conducting the webinar.

    “The purpose of your webinar series is not only to promote book sales -- although it will do that anyway,” says Gihan Perera, author of “There’s an I in Team” and 11 other books. “It’s also to continue positioning yourself as an expert, and to remain in front of your target market’s mind, so that when they’re ready to buy what you’ve got to sell, you’ll be their first choice.”

    So, what’s the next step?

    Continue reading this article on PR Toolkit: How Authors Can Promote Their Books Using Webinars.

    Medium- A New Writing Tool For Authors

    Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6:20 AM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Medium- A New Writing Tool For Authors



    By Scott Lorenz

    Westwind Communications


    Walter Isaacson uses it. NY Times journalist David Carr uses it. Author Emily Gould, Journalist Ben Smith, and Entrepreneur Elon Musk use it too. What is it?

    It’s a new site for authors called MEDIUM.

    It was founded by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone in August 2012. On this exclusive site the authors post to a communal blog, then the site groups the posts together to create broad topics such as “Creative Writing” “On Publishing” and “Online Marketing.”

    The thought behind the interworking of Medium according to the founders, was to provide a place where the authors could write a post longer than 140 characters—Medium length content. Medium provides the “what you see is what you get” experience to provide the right amount of formatting. According to the website, you cannot change fonts, font color, font size. You can’t insert tables or use strikethrough or even underline. Here’s what you can do: bold, italics, subheads (two levels), links, lists, and block quotes. Anil Dash, cofounder of @thinkup and @activateinc said, “It’s true: Medium has the best web-based editor I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen them all.”

    According to the media experts at Medium, “Notes are one of the best parts of Medium and useful for lots of things: They help improve writing. They add valuable supplementary information. They incorporate new viewpoints. They give meaningful feedback to those who write things. And they let people connect over ideas.” Excerpt examples of a note edit:

    The collaboration of ideas among others and readers is another main idea of Medium. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Steve Job’s biographer Walter Isaacson said,” My book was formed by being posted and allowing people to make edits.”

    “While I was writing The Innovators I posted the chapter about software and received many ideas from people within the technology field. I like that there is a way to collaborate with books online, where the author is the curator and others could contribute their edits. In the end we would split the royalties,” said Isacson.  Isaacson is the bestselling author of the biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein and most recently Steve Jobs. 

    David Carr, Journalist for the New York Times spoke about his experience while using Medium and said, “The writing tool is intuitive enough to seem psychic. Just when you search for some function, it pops up out of the background. Medium’s most important feature may be all the stuff it leaves out, including endless options for sizing text or positioning pictures.”

    Evan Williams, co-founder of Medium said, “Our goal is to make Medium the best platform possible for everyone to share great ideas or stories. This should certainly include those whose profession is doing so.”

    The Bottom Line: MEDIUM, a site for serious collaboration and the verification of facts. Tap into the brainpower of MEDIUM, and allow others to comment on your not yet published work. It's the perfect way to crowd source, fact check, and edit your work all while gaining insight from some of the best minds on any given topic.

    About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

    Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

    Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at   or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist




    Must-Have iPhone Apps for Authors & Writers

    Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6:14 AM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Must-Have iPhone Apps

    for Authors & Writers


    By Scott Lorenz

    Westwind Book Marketing



    As a modern day writer, you've learned when and where you write best. Rarely, I'm sure, does inspiration strike when you're seated at your desk in front of your computer at 9:00am. More likely, you're inspired while you're out and about. In order to efficiently capture and save every new idea, detail, story line, etc., you need to download some new apps to your iPhone. The list below will help you research, brainstorm, write, and even publish your work whether you're at home, at the office, or in the middle of daily errands. Check em out.


    Wikipanion brings the Wikipedia website to your phone's catalogue of apps. It is useful for quick research on the go.


    Evernote syncs to your desktop computer or tablet. That way, if you're making additions or edits to your work on your cell phone, you'll be able to work from your most recent version and you won't lose any new ideas.


    The Google Mobile app allows you to access Google (obviously) and you can use voice commands or search by images.


    The Voice Memos app comes pre-loaded on all iPhones. This is a fantastic tool for writers because sometimes, it's just easier to say your latest and greatest idea and have it recorded.


    Dragon Dictation transcribes whatever you say, instantly.


    Your phone's camera is an excellent resource. You can snap images or video and use them as inspiration when developing location, characters, or situations.


    Feeling stumped for a topic? Download the Idea Generator app. It will generate three words for you, which will hopefully spark some sort of creative idea, enabling you to get back to what you do best - writing!


    Creative Whack Pack delivers 84 interactive creative strategies to stimulate your brain and get you thinking creatively!


    Mindjet is perfect for writers who are very visual when they're developing their work. It allows you to create visual maps as you outline articles, characters, plot, and themes.

  has created the app Writing Prompt, which generates over 600 writing prompts and you can save your favorites.


    My Writing Spot is exactly that, a spot on your phone for you to write. On the app, you can easily access a dictionary or thesaurus and it will autosave all of your progress


    Office2 is ideal if you prefer to write in a word document. The app allows you to edit your Microsoft Word and Excel documents and is also compatible with Google Docs and MobileMe, so you'll be able to access everything from your phone.


    Writer's Studio allows you to write, edit, and format an entire book on your phone. You can add images, graphics, and audio.


    WordCount is a very straight forward app. It counts your words and lets you know how long your piece is.


    Dropbox is a life saver. It backs up all of your files in real time, and saves 30 days worth of various versions. You'll never have to worry about whether or not you saved your latest and greatest piece because Dropbox will have already saved it before you could even worry about it.


    Byword is designed to make writing more enjoyable by giving you all the tools you need to write effectively and has keyboard shortcuts and word counters with live updates. The app allows you to sync your work, export it, and publish to the web platform of your choice.


    Contour is the award-winning story development system that streamlines the process of turning your movie ideas from first glimmer to full outline


    A Novel Idea is the premier tool for plotting your story and recording bursts of inspiration. You can create your characters, setting, scenes, ideas, and link them together to create your story.


    Story Tracker makes keeping track of your submitted stories, novels, poems, scripts, and articles easy


    Pages, Apple’s highly rated cloud-centric word processing app, will let writers seamlessly access and work on documents on their iPhone, iPad and Macintosh, storing them securely in the cloud. Pages has hooks built in to let you easily export your work to Word or PDF (or plain text or .mobi).


    Index Card for iPad is a must for serious writers or screenwriters working in Scrivener. You can work on elements of your Scrivener project on the iPad in Index Card files, then fairly easily sync them back to the Scrivener project. This is a pretty good workaround to the fact that an iOS version of Scrivener is not yet available.


    The Bottom Line: Download some new apps today to ensure no writing material, ideas, or concepts are ever lost again. You can brainstorm, write, edit, and share while you're on the go. There’s no need to be chained to a PC again!


    Be sure to let me know if you have a favorite app for authors and I’ll include it on an updated version of this article.


    About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

    Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

    Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at  or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

    Authors: Check Out These 21 Fan Fiction Sites

    Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6:11 AM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Authors: Check Out These 21 Fan Fiction Sites

    By Scott Lorenz

    Westwind Communications


    Overview: Fan Fiction is a great way for aspiring authors to hone their craft. Amanda Hocking started out writing fan fiction and she was signed to a multimillion dollar book deal. Fifty Shades of Grey author E. L. James started writing fan fiction after she finished reading the Twilight saga, and hasn't stopped since. Here's a list of 21 Fan Fiction sites for authors to consider.


    Ever thought about writing fan fiction? Many authors started out writing on fanfic sites.

    Amanda Hocking started out writing fan fiction and she was signed to a multimillion dollar book deal. Fifty Shades of Grey author E. L. James says "I started writing in January 2009 after I finished reading the Twilight saga, and I haven't stopped since. I discovered Fan Fiction in August 2009. Since then I have written my two fics and plan on doing at least one more. After that... who knows?" Taking a stab at fan fiction under the pen name Snowqueens Icedragon has certainly served James well. The fan fiction morphed into the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which has earned the British author $95 million, including $5 million for the film rights.

    Keep in mind that these websites translate very easily across various technologies. People will be able to read your work on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Review my list of these top 21 fan fiction sites and see where your work could fit in and stand out.


    1. Good Reads. With over 18 million users, members of the site can share their work, about 400 of which are fan fiction. The most popular books are inspired by Twilight, Harry Potter, and Naruto.


    1. FanFiction. FanFiction is considered to be world’s largest fan fiction archive on the web. The site launched in October 1998 and currently has well over 2 million users. The most popular sections on FanFiction are Harry Potter (675,000 titles), Twilight (215,000 titles), and Lord of the Rings (51,000 titles).


    1. FictionAlley. Founded in 2001, the site boasts over 60,000 registered users. Also, in 2006, FictionAlley launched HarryPotterWiki, which was the first wiki to blend information about the Harry Potter book series' characters, places, magic and things, with fan theories, stories, art, vids and music.


    1. Wattpad. Based in Toronto, Wattpad's monthly audience is over 10 million readers. Every minute, the site connects more than 10,000 readers with a new story. Wattpad is more about fanfic driven by celebrities and comics. There are over 100,000 stories about One Direction. You can also find fanfic about Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, or Zac Efron.


    1. Internet Archive. Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library. The Internet Archive allows users to download digital material, but also to upload their own.


    1. Fan Works Inc. This site launched in 2003 and while Twilight and Harry Potter are the most popular categories, be sure to check out fan fiction inspired by The Outsiders and Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.


    1. Archive of Our Own. Archive of Our Own is a project founded and operated by the Organization for Transformative Works. It’s a non-profit, non-commercial archive for fan fiction of all formats, including writings, graphic art, videos, and podcasts. Currently there are over 170,000 users.


    1. Asianfanfics. Asianfanfics is mostly about Asian characters, and topics that often revolve around Asian culture. One-shot fan fiction, which is characterized as stories no longer than one chapter, is very popular on Asianfanfics, with over 35,000 stories listed in the category.


    1. Tumblr. You can stay logged into your favorite network and search for new, fresh fan fiction; it’s just a matter of using the right tag to search the posts, and finally picking up Tumblr posts you want to follow. Try searching #fanfic, #fanfiction, or any book title you're a fan of and read what Tumblr has to offer.


    1. FicWad. FicWad is an archive of both fanfiction and original work, launched in 2005 and managed by K&D Lynch. The site is currently in beta stage, but you are able to read the stories even if you are not a registered user.


    1. Twilighted. Twilighted calls itself all-inclusive, high quality Twilight fan fiction. Founded in 2008, the site already has a large following. The most popular, and arguable most interesting, category is AU-Human: stories in which all the vampires are humans.


    1. Quizilla. Quizilla features a "stories" section chock full of fan fiction. You can also select the "read a random story!" button if you're not in the mood to sift through the site.


    1. Feed Books. Feed Books features works uploaded by the site’s users into its Original Books section. You can easily upload any of the 800 fanfiction pieces to a book application or an e-reader, as they are available in mobi (Kindle), epub and pdf formats.


    1. SecretDraft. While SecretDraft is a relatively new site, it offers a fan fiction section that is largely inspired by Doctor Who and Harry Potter. The site features a ticker of newly uploaded titles for easy browsing.


    1. deviantART. There are 176,092 deviations for fanfiction, grouped in 6 categories: drama, general fiction, horror, humor, romance, and sci-fi. The most popular one, however is Not in Harry Potter, with quotes and words that should be included in Harry Potter books – but aren’t.


    1. Harry Potter Fan Fiction. This site is obviously for the Harry Potter fans of the literary world. Founded in 2001, this site has a large inventory with over 78,000 stories and receives over 50 million hits per month! The site's filtering options make it easy to target exactly what you're looking to read.


    1. Lord of the Rings Fanfiction. With 4,936 members, this fan fiction site dedicated to Lord of the Rings offers well over 4,400 stories, which you can sift through by author, title, or category.


    1. Fiction Press. This is the fan fiction site for all things sci-fi and fantasy. One unique attribute of Fiction Press is that there are many dedicated communities of authors on the site who help edit and encourage the work of one another.


    1. Mibba. Mibba is a community that welcomes fan fiction and utilizes forums for help with writing and connecting with people who have similar viewpoints.


    1. Sugar Quill. This Harry Potter fan fiction site favors the Harry and Ginny love match, as well as the Weasley family in general. The site was founded in 2001 and is very well organized and easy to navigate. It also has a page of daily affirmations, lest you forget. 


    1. Kindle Worlds. An Amazon publishing platform that lets authors sell fan fiction based on properties like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries. Amazon Publishing retains the rights to the works and sets prices. There are strict parameters and limited offerings but Kindle Worlds pays fan fiction authors a royalty of 35 percent for works of at least 10,000 words, and a royalty of 20 percent on works between 5,000 and 10,000 words. The authors of the original properties also get royalties.


    Bonus: This just-in: It’s a growing fanfiction archive that’s almost as big as and deviantart right now.

    The Bottom Line:  I encourage you to post on fan fiction sites and take your writing to the next level. Reach out to new readers, get feedback from others and fine tune your craft. You never know, it might be the start of something big!

    About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

    Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

    Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at  or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

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