Author friends · author resources · writing software

Author Essentials – StoryOrigin

As an author, I rely so much on word of mouth recommendations from trusted scribblers when it comes to any kind of tech. If you’re the same, then let me be the bringer of good news (for a change, as I’m usually late to the party!)

If you haven’t heard of StoryOrigin, then this is for you. 

I realise many of you will have your own tried and trusted methods for all of these scenarios, but if you’re a straggler (like me) or just fancy checking out something new, then StoryOrigin could be right up your street. 

Within a matter of minutes, I created my account (currently free because it’s in beta mode) and also a reader magnet landing page!  which you’re free to check out 😉 

But more than that, StoryOrigin can do so much more. 

  • Review Copies: Collect requests to join your review team and automate review tracking for those you’ve given access
  • Universal Book Links: Send readers to your book’s purchasing page at their preferred, country-specific store in just 1 click.(Please, I’d love it if more people did this – not all readers are in the US or UK! – OK, getting off my soapbox now)
  • Reader Magnets: Collect subscribers for your mailing list and automate delivery of a free book or sample
  • Audio Promo Codes: Automate distribution and review tracking for Audible and Findaway promo codes
  • Direct Downloads: Provide easy downloads for newsletter exclusives, welcome gifts, or ARCs
  • Newsletter Swaps: Connect with other authors to swap mentions in upcoming newsletters
  • Group Promos: Team up with multiple authors to promote your books on a single landing page

and even that is not all … go and take a look for yourself.  As I mentioned, this is still in beta, so not everything is ready right now. That said, there is more than enough here for me to play with for the foreseeable future.

NB:This is not an affiliated link, merely a recommendation from me to you. 


Let me know what you think. 

As always, 

author resources · book review · writing craft

Book Review – The Secret Powers of the Author Mastermind

Struggle. Doubt. Fear.

Why aren’t your books selling?
How can you improve your craft?
You’re confused, feeling isolated, and not sure what you need to do to take your author career to the next level.

You’re not afraid of the work, just confused about what it is you need to be doing to live the author life.

Enter, the mastermind.

No matter how experienced, independent, and motivated of a writer you may be, forming or joining an author mastermind can accelerate your career and get you past the tipping point. Working with a group keeps you accountable to your goals, gives you support when you’re feeling hopeless, inspires and challenges you to set your expectations higher, and creates a valuable feedback group to push your work to a new level—not to mention opens doors to new marketing opportunities.

Simply put, you’ll write more, write better, and sell significantly more books while having more fun doing it.

Ben Franklin knew the secret. So did J.R.R. Tolkien. And now, so will you. Discover the Secret Powers of the Author Mastermind with J. Thorn.

With 25 years in education and experience guiding thousands of students to new, personal heights, Thorn reveals how to supercharge your career with accountability, collaboration, feedback, support, structure, and more.

Learn how meeting in a small group with dedicated peers can propel you forward in ways you could never achieve on your own.

Whether you’re looking to join an existing mastermind group or start and manage one of your own, the Secret Powers of the Author Mastermind will show you how—written by a professional who is trusted by New York Times bestselling authors like Chris Brogan and Joanna Penn.

Don’t go it alone. Transform from struggling writer to career author by leveraging the Secret Powers of the Author Mastermind.

Purchase today!

My Review

I received an ARC from the author after having heard his podcasts and interviews. And, to be honest, the term “mastermind” meant little to me as an author, but the book’s description piqued my interest.

I tend to buy a lot of “writing craft” books in the hope that the info therein will stick, but I find in many cases the tone of the delivery is a little dry. Not this one! In this relatively short book, Thorn provides a great insight into the concept of masterminds, in a way that is easy to follow and absorb. The tone is conversational and the chapters are short and well-organised. Offering up his own personal experiences, he makes the topic relatable and  – more importantly – doable!

I’ve taken on board a lot of the content, and have discussed some aspects with a few author friends. Everyone seemed to be new to the idea, and also interested in how it could work for them.

The whole concept is explained from the ‘what is’ to the ‘how do I’ and is food for thought for any writer whose intentions is to make a career from their writing.  I can see the value in masterminds for authors, not just for the accountability aspect (which is what I tend to use my writing groups for) but also for the capacity to learn from other members how to bypass or avoid certain pitfalls of the road to publication.

Informative and encouraging!

As always,


author resources · book blitz · writing

Blog Blitz ‘n’ Book Review – 52 Weeks of Writing (plus a giveaway)

52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner

Are you ready to become the writer you were always meant to be?

52 Weeks of Writing will get you cracking by making you plan, track, reflect on, and check in with your progress and goals an entire year long.

52 Weeks of Writing will help you dig deep by offering questions and writing prompts designed to unravel whatever truths about your writing you’re ready for.

52 Weeks of Writing will keep you inspired by delivering a thought-provoking writing quote every week.

  • Do you struggle with setting goals that reflect your daily reality?

  • Do you want to practise breaking goals down into manageable chunks?

  • Would you like more insight into your writing habit(s) and figure out why you keep getting in your own way?

  • And do you want to create a sustainable writing practice that honours your needs and desires as a writer?

Then the 52 Weeks of Writing: Author Journal and Planner is for you.

52 Weeks of Writing brings together every lesson Mariëlle S. Smith has learned as a writing coach and writer. Wary as she is of comparisonitis and unhealthy competition, this author journal and planner was designed to help writers develop and fine-tune a practice that works for them.

If you’re ready to get out of your own way and become the writer you’re meant to be, pick up your copy of 52 Weeks of Writing today.

Purchase Link

Author Bio

Mariëlle S. Smith is a coach for writers and other creatives, an editor, (ghost) writer, and custom retreat organiser. In 2019, she moved to Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.

Social Media Links





Giveaway to win….

Enter here

My Review

5/5 stars

Not only is this a beautiful item to look at, it’s jam-packed with tips, inspiration, and a “you can do this” attitude.

Who is it for? Well, in the author’s own words:

Not for the faint of heart!

and by that she means this is for the writer who isn’t looking for someone to hold their hand and tell them it’s all going to be just fine. Instead, it’s for those who feel their writing isn’t progressing, at least not in the
way or at the pace they want it to, and they need someone to ask the right questions—which are never the easy ones —while providing them with a safe space where they can chew on their answers.

This feels more like a workbook to me, with an easy-to-read font and an elegant design. It’s like having your own writing coach in book form. This is more than a simple notebook or to-do planner – because we all know how easy it is to write that list, but it’s just as easy to move the goalposts and get nothing done.

The beauty of this is that you can start it anytime – you’re not restricted to a regular calendar year, and so day 1 really is the day you start to use it fully.

From the very first week, the reader/writer is challenged to think about how writing makes them feel. Usually, I’d skip these “feel-good” sections and move on to the nitty-gritty, but then I realised that this is just as important as getting words on paper (or screen 😉 ) I love the idea of setting long-terms goals, not just in my head, but actually thinking about them and committing those goals by writing them down – in permanent ink, not pencil cos that’d be too easy to erase. Yeah, I know that trick too well 😉  You might think writing these things down could lead to disappointment if the deadline passes without you, but for me it actually focuses my mind on the goal.  Throughout this planner there are opportunities to look back and see how you’ve done, to work out why things didn’t go to plan, and also to celebrate those milestones that you hit. With inspirational quotes to spur you on, this is a resource every writer should have.

I’ll be recommending this to all my writer friends.

Finally, I’d like to thank Mariëlle for also offering her other books for free during this month.  Be sure to check out her giveaway page for details. You’ll be glad you did.

As always,