Some agents and editors say that personalizing a query letter can backfire. Others say the opposite—that it’s mandatory. What should you do?
A detailed look at how NetGalley’s Stuart Evers and Myfanwy Collins went from manuscript to publication, with marketing and PR advice.
Writer Katherine Vaz discusses an assignment that is given to every student at her university: to write about “the most important thing ever to happen to me.”
Authors need help with digital book marketing—the kind of help that traditional publishers rarely provide. Co-ops and collectives can help fill that gap.
I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been working with The Authors Guild on the creation and release of their new resource guide on e-publishing.
If you dream of a full-time freelance writing career, don’t be discouraged by the largely negative messages about how difficult it is out there.
Memoir, as William Dean Howells said, is the “most democratic province of the republic of letters.” Indeed, the genre is evidence that every person in the world has a worthy story to tell, that it’s not what the story is but how it’s told that engages a reader.
We order; we catalogue. It is, simply, what the human mind excels at.
Discussions about the “resurgence” of print and the comeback of independent bookstores amounts to wishful thinking, not an understanding of the industry.
If you’ve given up on the self-publishing route and want to try traditional publishing, then there are several approaches you can take to interest agents.
Is it better to have a long or short book description on Amazon? What should go in the first line? How do you research appropriate categories and keywords? Learn principles and tools to master the power of descriptions and reach your target market.
In this post I regularly update the best resources I know of related to learning to publish an ebook, finding the right distributors and services, and staying on top of changes in the industry.
Sometimes that first draft is never going to become a final draft. That doesn’t mean it’s a waste, though.
The Mall of America residency isn’t going to be an appropriate opportunity for even a majority of writers. But it’s the right opportunity for someone.
Did you know Amazon’s print book sales grew by 15% in 2016—and the gain was primarily driven by Amazon’s own discounting on print?
A course’s success depends on anticipating and understanding the needs of writing students and producing the outcomes they most desire.
In my latest column for Publishers Weekly, I discuss the potential of online education for book marketing, particularly prior to publication.
The most important thing any author needs to know about book distribution is that more than half of all book sales (regardless of format) take place online.
Any accomplished writer is also a reader—and usually a reader first. For the writer who is the least a bit humble, this sets up one of the most significant psychological barriers to pursuing a writing career: How could I ever produce something as wonderful as [admired writer / admired book]? This is an area that Steven […]
Sarah Miniaci at Smith Publicity and Kristina Radke at NetGalley review the marketing and publicity strategies that can help increase your book’s discoverability, word-of-mouth, and reviews, using NetGalley and Goodreads in particular.
BEA is a quality industry event, and it is a legitimate marketing and promotion opportunity. But for the majority of indie authors, it does not make sense to invest what are likely your limited resources in BEA.
My industry newsletter for authors, The Hot Sheet, released a special (and free) issue last week with original reporting from Digital Book World.
Pronoun works with independent authors to distribute their ebooks to the five major online retailers: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play. Pronoun charges authors nothing upfront, and doesn’t take a cut of ebook sales either.
Sometimes endings are designed to satisfy, answering the questions posed along the way. Endings that allow you to leave as easily as you came in. But what if the ending isn’t designed to satisfy?
Is it better to look for a literary agent first, or to approach editors and publishers? Much depends on the commercial potential of your work.
Every year, I share hundreds (even thousands) of articles and reports on book marketing. Here, I look back on the best of what I found in 2016.
If you’re preparing to pitch your nonfiction work to agents or publishers, you may have heard about the necessity of platform. What if you don’t have one?
A list of the best blogs and websites focused on literary fiction and culture
A round-up of important 2016 publishing news and trends that will affect authors in the years to come.
How a self-publishing poet achieved visibility for her book—and landed a book deal with traditional publisher Andrews McMeel.
Defining a “hybrid publisher” is difficult; you will hear different descriptions depending on who you ask. Here’s what you need to know to evaluate one.
It’s sometimes easier to cut a piece of writing if you can’t see how to fix it. Just remove the offending bits, job done. But it can deaden a piece.
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.
When writers talk about where their ideas come from, the answers are as varied as wildflowers