Our One Stop Adventure: Sharing Lessons Along The Way

OSBanner_high_WHWRecently Becca and I announced we are bringing something new to WHW–the One Stop For Writers brainstorming software. While doing something not book-related is new territory for us, making the decision to create software was an easy choice, because we are passionate about helping writers, be it through books, our blog or something else.

As writers ourselves, we know that to be successful in this industry, we all must do more, be more, and juggle more. The problem isn’t that writers aren’t up to the challenge, it’s that tackling these things requires a shrinking commodity: time.  And while all of our books, tools and blog lists are geared towards giving you the information you need to brainstorm and create efficiently, they are stored in different places, and in different formats. This means a bit of a scavenger hunt at times. Hopefully our One Stop library will change this, and truly become a one-stop destination for anyone needing help with the process of story creation.

Now I did say the easiest part was deciding to drop the hammer, especially as our partner in crime, Lee Powell, is a talented developer who also works on Scrivener, is a writer himself, and fits in with Becca and I like the proverbial third pea in a pod. The harder part came after our euphoric decision…following through on all the many details.

becca and AngelaBecause of our books, Becca and I already share a company. It’s quite simple and straight-forward, all told. But creating a new one, from scratch, to house an entity like One Stop? Completely different animal. It took significant research (all Becca–she’s a superhero!) to find a way to set up a new company when all three partners live in different countries.

(And the business set up was just the beginning–there’s also the actual building of our One Stop framework, the content creation, formatting, account management set up, finding and testing a payment engine, dealing with trademarks, copyrights, logos, design, branding, deadlines…and so much more!)

Lee, Becca and I have had to really stretch ourselves to plan and set everything up. Most importantly, we had to come together as a team. And as we move forward with implementation, I can’t help but think of all we have learned so far. Becca and I have grown so much during this process, and gained new skill sets, so we thought maybe we could share some of what we’ve learned with you.

We know you haven’t seen One Stop yet, and it’s still a ways from being complete, but maybe some of our insights during this experience will be useful as you go forward and brand yourselves as authors, set up small businesses and even tackle similar challenges of your own. So, we’re going to blog about our journey a bit and hope you’ll stay tuned.

If you have any specific questions or areas you’d like us to cover, just ask!

Heads up: The One Stop library is going social! Find your favorite librarians on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook!

 

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About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is an international speaker and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also enjoys dreaming up new tools and resources for One Stop For Writers, a library built to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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23 Responses to Our One Stop Adventure: Sharing Lessons Along The Way

  1. This sounds amazing. Can’t wait to use it. 😀

  2. Cool. Hope it’s up in time for NaNoWriMo planning season.

  3. Leslie Rose says:

    The words treasure chest come to mind. What an awesome idea. Can’t wait for it to grow wings.

  4. I currently use Scrivener. Do you see your brainstorming software as something for the pre-Scrivener phase when we’re explore possibilities and then try to organize those thoughts and ideas, or do you see it as an alternative to Scrivener? Might it have a way to connect to Scrivener?
    I know some people use the Scrivener cork board for planning, but I find that awkward. It’s too much structure for me when I’m brainstorming and doesn’t make it easy to see the big picture when I have a bunch of entries.
    I’ll definitely give OS a look when it’s available.

    • Hi Janet,

      I don’t use Scrivener currently, but from what I know of it, I would say it would work well both before & with it. Scrivener gives you the space to pin ideas, character information, setting details, etc., but it is primarily a tool for writing a book, and organizing it into manageable pieces. One Stop is not a platform to do your writing on, so not a competitor to Scrivener, but rather acts as a library of descriptive information so that you can find inspiration on characters, plotting, sensory detail, theme and other aspects of planning. The focal point of it is our extensive thesaurus collections, but there are other tools there as well, all geared to help trigger ideas and inspire you quickly so that you in turn can get what you need and then be right back in the writing zone. You can use it to do your pre-planning, and also for when you get stuck on how to describe something. Does this help? 🙂

  5. I’m hooked. This sounds so exciting. I’m craving for more info.

  6. CJ Verb says:

    Very exciting! Looking forward to learning more about One Stop For Writers.

  7. This sounds very interesting. I look forward to learning more about it.

    • Thanks Theresa! We are looking forward to exploring different considerations and steps we had to take as we moved down this path. The biggest thing is a great team, and we have that. I feel so lucky–I can’t wait to see the final product as Lee’s and Becca’s brains are pretty awesome to work with! 🙂

  8. Mary Jo Caffrey says:

    Will One Stop include formats, generic genre ones, showing, for example, the typical mystery plots that successful authors use?

    How about “Angela’s List,” like the one advertised on TV for handimen, only the writer’s version? It could include recommended editors and marketers, for example.

    Will there be “Becca’s Advice Line” available? Where writers seek help for problems and get answers that might help them with their WIP or at least provide readers a laugh?

    Is Lee going to tell us all about the latest tech aids for writers?

    These are just some questions that come to mind over what One Stop will do for writers. Wishing you much success on this big project. Can’t wait to explore the pixeled halls of Writer Valhalla.

    • Hi Mary Jo! Glad you took me up on my offer to answer questions. I don’t know if you’ve read the opening post or newsletter talking a bit about OS, but if not, there’s some detail here: http://writershelpingwriters.net/one-stop-for-writers/

      One Stop is primarily creative brainstorming software, and it will evolve over time as we build onto it and add new cool things to help writers. At this point, it will only look at the creative & descriptive side of writing, not the publishing end. For recommendations on where to go for publishing and editing help, we will continue to use the blog–in fact, we have a resource page now here: http://writershelpingwriters.net/resources-for-writers/

      The WHW blog will also continue to be our collective spot for writers to come for advice and how to articles (and hopefully a bit of humor too). We hope that this blog will be a great partner for OS, providing the help advice in different areas that we maybe can’t explore as effectively at OS.

      OS will have tutorials and lessons center on aspects of writing craft, some at release, others over time. These will help writers get the most out of the descriptive information we will house there, helping them do more with less as they write. But mainly OS will be a one-stop home for all of our past and future thesaurus content, tools, and other cool brainstorming features that will hopefully save writers time so they find what they need and get right back to getting words down on the page.

      We will dish a bit more on OS’s nuts and bolts in upcoming newsletters, so stay tuned! 🙂

  9. Cannot wait to see this, Ange. It sounds positively wonderful. I like the title too. One Stop. Wondering how long it will be until the unveiling?

    • Hi Robyn,

      ((HUGS))

      We are so excited. Right now, we are looking at October for release. We want to have it out and ready for NaNoWriMo, because this will give people an opportunity to test it out as a planning & writing partner. In the weeks ahead we will be ready for beta testing, and will put out a call for people to apply if they are interested. We don’t know what the response will be so can’t promise everyone will get in, but we are looking for a variety of user types in different stages of writing to see how OS performs for them. We’ll announce the call in our OS newsletter. 🙂

      • Ooooooo. I will zip by when I hear the call. Sounds wonderful. I am so excited. I’ve told a bunch of people. They are excited. So sounds like you guys have a winner and we haven’t even seen it. Just with your name and Becca’s name on the thing makes the difference. Love you, Ange. Becca too.

        • Robyn, this morning I was feeling so utterly overwhelmed, and then I read your post and some of the weight lifts. Thank you so much for these much needed words–your belief in us really is such a boost! <3 HUGS ALL ROUND!!!

  10. Andrea says:

    Sounds like an interesting project! Looking forward to learning more about it.

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