As writers, we all rely on certain types of author resources – many of which include topic research. If you are a non-fiction writer, it is necessary to be the expert or give proper attribution to the experts who provided the foundation for your research. As a fiction author, however, your research should be sufficient enough that a fact finder, when editing your book, would find accuracy and attention to the small details that provide credibility to your writing. One of the author resources which enhance your research is discussed below.
According to Google Support, Google Alerts are in response to a query you establish at their site, whenever Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term. Each time a new result is found, you receive an email that helps you:
- Stay alert to what is being said in myriad news sources about your topic;
- Monitor current news reports;
- Maintain clear vision about competitors or activity within a certain industry; and
- Remain aware of what is being discussed about you… the author!
The process is relatively simple, starting with setting up a Gmail account. Sign in to Google Alerts and enter a query of your interest. Google’s amazing search engine frequently monitors for new results matching this query – sending them to your email when something relevant is newly published.
How does this apply to my own writing? I have a Google Alert for the term, bartering, since each book in the trilogy of The Secrets of Clayton County, retains a focus on the bartering culture of rural Iowa, which I am confident remains true of much of rural America. Today, long after the writing of Clayton County, Google pops up with a new site that may have many articles to be used for author resources, Mint.com, where Google directed me to a history of bartering.
Not too long ago, a site named Penny Thots hosted an article that begged the question,“Is Bartering Taxable?”, which of course is the “heat” of the first book in the trilogy… opening the scene for Sarah Hunter, IRS agent, to arrive in the sleepy little Iowa town – to investigate all the possible income tax dollars being denied the IRS because of a cultural predisposition to survival through the benefits of bartering.
To bring attention to the broad spectrum of “alerts” about bartering – telling me it remains a hot topic, a story in the Columbus, Indiana, Republic, open the news of the effects of bartering in yet another rural America town.
I would love to hear your thoughts about:
- The Secrets of Clayton County
- Bartering as part of a rural American culture
- Google Alerts a part of author resources