Amy Tipton

5 On: Amy Tipton

Freelance editor and former literary agent Amy Tipton discusses her love of young adult and middle grade fiction, the “unlikable female character,” whether agents who don’t want a manuscript will be likely to pass it along to an agent friend, her personal editing style, and more.

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.

creativity wounds

Overcoming Creativity Wounds

There’s no one recipe to overcome a creativity wound, but putting a pen between your fingers and then resting it on a piece of paper is a pretty good start to finding one.

Russell Rowland

5 On: Russell Rowland

Author Russell Rowland discusses the big mistake he made with HarperCollins, whether the journey of writing is truly its own reward, why his Indiegogo campaign worked so well, and his experiences with publishing—from one of the Big 5 to self-publishing.

nonfiction niche

6 Questions to Help Nonfiction Writers Find Their Niche

No matter how many books have been written about a topic, there is probably some important facet that has not yet been covered thoroughly or well. A key driver behind success is understanding how you fit into the existing landscape, what distinguishes your work, and why it is likely to appeal to a particular audience.

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?

instagram tips for writers

10 Instagram Tips for Writers

Younger generations (and older ones!) flock to Instagram for its feed of beautiful pictures. So how can writers use Instagram to their benefit?

how long to write a book

How Long Should It Take to Write a Book?

Writing a novel requires the creation of a living, breathing, fully populated world. Deities can pull off a trick like that in six days, but how long should it take to write a book?

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5 Steps to Writing Better How-To

Learn how to simplify the writing process for how-to books and write them in a way that provides maximum value in an information-filled world.

Elliott Hartinger Klein Mooser authors

The Rewards and Challenges of Self-Publishing Children’s Books: Q&A with Four Authors

A Q&A on children’s self-publishing with authors Zetta Elliott, who has released several books under her own imprint, including picture books; Brent Hartinger, who self-published a young adult series and a new adult series; Cheryl Klein, the author of a self-published a work of nonfiction; and Stephen Mooser, who released a middle grade book on his own.

Christmas in July

5 Ways to Sell More Books for the Holidays  

I used to laugh at the “Christmas-in-July” ads until I promoted my first holiday-related book. We actually started the promotion in July, and July turned out to be the perfect time.

birthday cake

The No. 1 Rule for Flashbacks in a Story Opening

Rule No. 1 for flashbacks: until and unless you’ve invested us in a scene, don’t flash back (or away) from it! The point of a flashback is to illuminate the scene from which it digresses, to add dimension and tension to it.

yin yang writing

How to Stay Sane While You Publish

To some degree, we get to pick and choose our publishing and publicity tasks. Sometimes we forget this and freak out because we think we have to do it all.

book marketing

The Psychology of Author Marketing

It’s one thing to know how to setup something technical like an advertisement, an email system, or your book’s sales page on Amazon. However, crafting them so a potential reader will take action is something else.

The Introvert’s Guide to Launching a Book

Unless you are Harper Lee, you are probably going to launch more than one book during your career. For the introvert, learn six ways to keep your head above water not just for your first book, but also for the long haul.

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.

What Does It Mean to Write a Scene That Works?

On the whole, stories are about change. And scenes are a boiled down, less intense, mini-story. They should do the same thing your global story does: upset the life value of the character and put them on a path to try and restore it.

writing about addiction

Writing About Addiction: It Often Takes Two Perspectives

Writing about addiction is tricky business. While most stories have a single protagonist, addiction narratives are usually about two people: the addict deep in the throes of their addiction, and the recovered narrator looking back objectively on the experience.

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.

bicycle handlebars

Art’s Highest Purpose: To Complicate Our Feelings

Now and then my students and I broach the unavoidable question: What makes a work of art? The question can be stood on its head: What makes art work? They’re the same question, really, with (to me, anyway) the same answer: a true work of art is something that doesn’t merely elicit our emotions. It confronts us with emotions that don’t quite fit into any of our ready-made boxes.

online crisis

How to Lessen Your Chances of an Online Crisis

It can happen to you. Your carefully built author business and your reputation can come under attack and threaten to disrupt your livelihood and your personal life. But you can help prevent a crisis in the first place by using some simple engagement strategies.