Marketing Advice Roundup: Best of the Last Year

I regularly read and report on marketing trends that affect traditionally published and self-published writers. Today I’m sharing the most useful articles I’ve found and shared thus far in 2018.

build traffic to your author website

10 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Author Website or Blog

This post was first published in 2012 and is regularly updated. First things first: an author’s website, whether it gets much traffic or not, is foundational to your career. It offers readers as well as the media the official word on who you are and the work you produce. If you blog, then it can […]

everything is connected

Writing for Connection Brings Both Hope and Fear

Do you write write according to your own internal motivations or creative impulses—with the intention to create serious art—or do you write hoping to create a bond between writer and reader?

silence conversation

The Power of Silence in a Pitch Situation

Silence—or, in fact, just saying less—is an art that can be strategically practiced by authors who seek attention. It is also a critical strategy when trying to influence people who hear about new books all day, every day.

In & Of Itself

You Have a Voice and It Means Something

Despite the notion that we are voiceless, the challenge of a good creative writing instructor is to teach students that they do indeed have a voice and that their voice, that all our voices in concert, have meaning.

Writing About Acts of Violence

Violence can be too sanitized, too tamed into a generic, pre-packaged mold, and so it can’t yield the kind of interesting questions or meditations readers crave, and writers must eventually confront.

Building Your Business Model as a Writer

Over the last month, I’ve been talking (and writing) about how to build a business model for career that suits your particular strengths as well as the unique quality of your work. Here are my latest appearances.

Your Characters Don’t Have to Change to Be Compelling

When a character “change” feels beautiful, it’s because the character has confirmed what we’ve hoped or suspected all along. Maybe the character hasn’t changed at all, but rather has finally been put in a situation where her truest self can be revealed.

Business of Being a Writer

My New Book, The Business of Being a Writer, Is Now Available!

My newest book, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), takes it on principle that learning about the publishing industry can lead to a more positive and productive career. It helps writers feel empowered and confident to navigate an ever-changing field.

AWP 2018: Tips on the Business of Writing and Publishing

For AWP 2018, I hired a team of writers to help me cover business-related sessions, as part of the launch for my newest book (official release date: March 16). Their blog posts are available over at the companion website for the book.

asking questions

You Can’t Get to “Once Upon a Time” Without “What If?”

Danielle Lazarin: “At every stage of my work, questions are my most essential writing tools. I use them to move through to the other side of murky. It’s only by stepping into that unknown and uncomfortable space repeatedly during my process that I can become more deliberate in the story I’m telling.”

indie authors and the value of free

Is Writing Being Devalued by Giveaways and Cheap Ebooks?

There’s growing unrest surrounding the proliferation of free and cheap books, particularly ebooks. The reasons for sharp discounts and giveaways are legion (and some reasons are better than others), but regardless of the reason, I see greater shaming of those who are seen to “devalue” literature in our culture.

writers and parents

What Obligations Do Writers Have to Their Parents?

There’s a very famous piece of advice from Anne Lamott that occasionally makes the rounds on social media. She says: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” This advice, especially when shared out of context, makes me cringe.

distraction as asset

How Distraction Can Be an Asset

Over a last year, a consistent theme has emerged in my discussions with writers around the country: They feel distracted. What is to be done?