There are many analogies drawn between writing and sports: exercising your creative muscles, learning to go the distance, pushing up against your limits.
A round-up of the best and most popular advice on writing craft and technique I’ve featured since 2010.
When embarking on a process that is new or unfamiliar, often you don’t know what you don’t know. A checklist helps you recognize what you don’t know, so that many months later, you’re not beating yourself up for complete ignorance. Without further ado, here are some of my most favored checklists, from sources I trust.
Before you buy another pen-and-pencil set for that writer in your life, consider some gift options that take their digital lives into consideration.
But being able to truly see if you’ve been successful in writing a compelling work requires objectivity and distance than can be hard to achieve on your own—and this is where a professional editor comes in.
This week, I was a guest on the Create If Writing podcast, discussing traditional and independent publishing.
If you have a book idea or manuscript, one of your first questions is probably: How do I find a publisher? Here are the most popular, essential resources.
Getting traction for your online presence—especially a new blog—can feel like an impossible task when you’re an unknown writer. But it can be done.
Author Kurt Rheinheimer discusses how the most precious vein for material is from just before he knew who he was and what was going on.
Watch my 30-minute talk on how to bring together the art and business sides of your career in a way that doesn’t feel like a bad marriage.
The No. 1 disappointment of published authors is the lack of marketing support from their publisher. Here’s how to prepare for what will—and won’t—happen.
I’m proud to have a feature in Writer’s Digest magazine on how to monetize your website and blog. I detail eight methods.
When deciding whether to write for free—or for exposure—here are 5 questions writers should ask.
Last year, I began regularly contributing to Publishers Weekly on the topic of independent authorship and publishing. Here’s a list of all my columns so far:
Just about every writer would love to have more readers—more readers of their books, their blog, their articles, or whatever creative work they’re producing. But few writers have given much thought to having a call to action that’s associated with their work.
Author Melissa Yancy shines a new light on what failure brings to the writing life—and it isn’t the usual reflection on rejection.
Traditional publishers are experiencing a slump, and the decline of Barnes & Noble isn’t helping. A look at news and trends in book publishing in 2016.
This post was originally published in 2014; it is regularly updated with new information. If you’re seeking one-on-one help with queries, I offer a critique service. The query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: to seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. The query letter is so much of a sales […]
When writers talk about where their ideas come from, the answers are as varied as wildflowers
I’m writing monthly for the IngramSpark blog, which is focused on the concerns of self-publishing authors and small presses.
I’m working with Digital Book World 2017 on a full-day of programming devoted to indie authorship and digital publishing.
The way we write can define (and transform) the way we live. Author Sage Cohen believes ferocity is our best compass for finding our true way forward.
You can find depths of meaning in the shared language and goals you’ve developed with the writers around you.
How do you treat subscribers after they sign up for your email newsletter? An autoresponder can usefully and effectively welcome people to the community.
Pop-ups have long been despited by the Internet world, but the difficulty is: They work. Here’s how to implement them in a way that won’t annoy visitors.
Why are we so curious about authors’ own lives in relation to their books, and the ways that they do (or don’t) bring their own stories into their work? Why do we wonder what’s “true”?
Author platform is one of the most difficult concepts to explain, partly because everyone defines it a little differently. Here’s what agents and editors mean by platform, plus a clear definition of what platform is NOT.
Join me for a live training to learn to write sales copy that’s as impressive as your story; you’ll improve book descriptions, ad copy and reader emails.
Writers can be like misers with their money when it comes to ideas—and ultimately that behavior can prevent you from producing great work.
Wondering why you don’t have more blog traffic—or if it’s worthwhile to continue your blogging effort? Here are the mistakes that commonly afflict authors.
Should you self-publish? There is no single right answer to this question—it’s always situational. It depends on you, your book, and your career goals. This post outlines the key questions you should ask.
Get links to my latest interviews and Q&A sessions where I discuss the publishing industry as well as marketing and promotion.
If you’re looking for an alternative to ACX and more control over your audiobook production and distribution, then ListenUp Audiobooks is worth a look.
Think in terms of “telling details”: details that let the reader see your characters while also revealing something about their minds.
It’s the question I dislike the most from writers, and that I try to avoid answering—because it lays a terrible burden on me.
In my latest post over at Writer Unboxed, I discuss what writers need to know if they’re considering video as part of their marketing and promotion strategy. In brief, here’s what writers should avoid: Don’t do book trailers. Don’t talk at length in a static shot. Don’t post unedited video longer than a minute or […]
Jane Friedman interviews author Bethany Joy Carlson about effective crowdfunding campaigns for authors.
If you’re considering WordPress as your platform of choice, here’s what you should know as you prepare to build on it.
Next week, I’m participating in the Book to Course Virtual Summit, a free event hosted by Teachable. I’ll be discussing the rise of the writer-entrepreneur.
Much of writing advice boils down to: add more conflict. But don’t forget how happy lives can involve compromise and complication as well.
For years, serialization has been discussed as a significant area of opportunity for reading and publishing in the digital age. (And note to the sticklers out there: I’m using the terms serial and serialization interchangeably to refer to any situation where content is parceled out in small bites and delivered on a specific schedule, whether the […]
Learn how you can prepare for the future of publishing in this free workshop by Jane Friedman.
Write about the things you can’t forget, the things that keep you up at night.
The problem is not whether print will survive, but how literary publishing adapts to a world where to publish something has lost value.
Every author is told to start an official Facebook page. But what if you stick with your personal profile only? Learn the advantages and disadvantages.
What authors need to know about current marketing practices and emerging business trends in the book publishing industry.
Author Gigi Rosenberg describes how she redesigned and relaunched her author website primarily on her own, only hiring assistance at the end.
Join me for official hours on Facebook—it’s free to everyone. You can ask questions about whatever challenge you’re currently facing.
I think it’s fair to say that most of us are not looking to add more social media activity to our lives. In fact, we prefer to trim online activity or drop entire networks if possible. So the advice I’m about to offer may feel objectionable and time-wasting at first, but if you stay with me until the end, […]
In the literary fiction world, it’s often taken as an article of faith that writing is an intrinsically important activity to be engaged in. Is it?