10 Ways to Nurture a Young Writer
What do you do when a teen in your life is a diehard writer? When they won’t clean their room and just want to write stories or poems all day?
3 Ways Writers Block Their Success (While Thinking They’re Hard at Work)
Working hard isn’t necessarily a virtue if it masks the ways that we might be sabotaging our own paths to success and fulfillment.
When Do You Need an Author Website?
A little planning and reflection will help your website be a project you sustain, rather than discard like a half-baked draft.
When Your Characters Speak a Language Other Than English
No matter what language our characters are speaking, writers should strive to express dialogue and inner thoughts in a naturalistic way.
How to Develop a Complex Protagonist
With these four elements you’ll be able to create a more compelling protagonist and, as a result, a more interesting story.
Are You Sure You Don’t Have an Author Platform?
An amateur historian finds that her passion has led to enough expertise and authority for her book proposal to be taken seriously.
The Right Way to Ask a Published Writer for Publishing Advice
Here are some tips on what to do before approaching a published writer with questions about how to get your book published.
To Set Beta Reader Expectations, Have an Honest Conversation
Serving as someone’s beta reader doesn’t mean agreeing to read whatever a writer throws at you. It’s okay to set some expectations.
When Your Publisher Gets the Cover Wrong—Very Wrong
If your publisher’s suggested cover design feels wrong, put your foot down when necessary but also listen—really listen—to the professionals.
How to Write Nonfiction When You’re Not an “Expert”
Worried you’re not enough of an expert to write your book? That’s OK. You don’t need to be the annoying expert who knows it all. There’s another—far more effective—approach you can take when talking to readers.
First Pages Critique: Reduce Repetition to Better Seed the Mystery
In a new feature, our Ask the Editor column reviews the first pages of an unpublished work.
Harnessing the Power of TikTok: From Self-Published to Traditionally Published Author
How one author leveraged a sizable social media platform to breathe new life into a self-published book.
Why Authors Should Ditch Mailchimp and Move to Substack
Authors who’ve been using Mailchimp for their email newsletter might consider moving to Substack, as it offers several benefits—and it's free.
Why You Should Start Promoting Your Writing Before You’re “Ready”
When an author’s article went viral, she didn’t have the tools in place—a website, a social presence—to capture and leverage that audience.
Using ChatGPT for Book Research? Take Exceeding Care
Authors should consider using AI for historical research—not as a replacement for primary sources, but as just another useful tool.
The Fascinating Neuroscience of Scene
According to neuroscience, scenes make the reader feel as if they are actually in the world of the story. And that makes scene the most memorable way to share information with the reader.
Writer’s Block? Maybe You’re Writing in the Wrong Format
If your writing project has hit a wall, consider whether it really wants to be a different form than the one you’re trying to shape it into.
Boost Your Book Launch by Perfecting Distribution and Metadata
When self-publishing be sure to determine a distribution strategy, avoid gotchas when using POD, and get pricing and metadata right from the start.
First Pages Critique: Getting a Handle on Pace
An editor advises that when writing a true crime story it’s best to lean in to the lurid details that will hook readers up front.
The How, When and Why of Writing Autofiction
In this nexus of fact and fiction, writers can mine, select and transform their real life journeys, turning points and discoveries into story.
Why Beta Readers Lead You to Getting Paid for Your Writing
Building up courage to own your identity as a writer starts when you realize you need to ask someone for an objective opinion on your work.
How to Make Productive Use of ChatGPT: Q&A with Elisa Lorello
Author Elisa Lorello’s exploratory dive into ChatGPT led her to discover its usefulness—rather than threat—to fiction and nonfiction writers.
Create Effective Dialogue by Asking the Right Questions
Asking yourself the right questions about why, when, how, and how much your characters speak will help you craft more powerful dialogue.
Describe Your Book in Two Sentences: Q&A with Ann Garvin
A book pitch requires an author to distill character, plot and stakes into one or two juicy sentences that entice a reader to ask for more.
Ask the Editor: How Do You Move Beyond the Three-Act Structure?
A genre author seeks advice on letting stories unspool more organically while also honoring the reliability of the three act structure.
Are You Giving Yourself Writing Credit?
One of the hard parts of working on a book is that day-to-day progress isn’t readily visible. Give yourself credit for all the small achievements.
How to Find Comp Titles Using ChatGPT
These five steps will help you find your ideal comp titles for your query letter or book proposal, using ChatGPT. Includes sample prompts.
How to Differentiate Between Desire and Desperation in Pursuit of Publication
Submitting work shouldn’t be an act of desperation, and not every publishing deal aligns with your goals for your book—your “why”.
4 Pillars of Book Marketing, or How to Sell More Books in Less Time
Marketing strategically for 30–60 minutes per day can ensure your time, money, and energy go toward activities that move the needle.
A Framework for Moving Beyond Your First Draft
Finished a first draft and unsure where to go next? Here’s a 5-point checklist of what the second draft revision process should accomplish.
Why You Should Be Writing on Social Media
It’s still possible to write on social media to communicate our ideas, our topics, and our point of view to people who become our audience.
Banish Writer’s Block in 5 Minutes Flat
With a regular five-minute meditation you’ll become a master of focus, able to dismiss distractions before they even fully form as thoughts.
How Two Authors Collaborated on a Biography
The recently published LISTEN, WORLD! is a page turning biography of Elsie Robinson, the most read woman journalist of the twentieth century.
What Is Upmarket Fiction?
Upmarket fiction is a blend of commercial and literary fiction, but how it gets blended is where writers and industry members can’t always agree.
5 Reasons to Write Your “Taboo” Stories
When we lean into stigmatized topics, we invite readers to wrestle with the same complexities we’re examining in ourselves.
What Memoirists Can Learn from Historical Novelists
Writers of both genres have to make decisions that somehow mold real people and events into a story with a shape, an arc, and meaning.
Ask the Editor: How Can I Avoid Lawsuits When Writing Memoir?
Even lesser-known authors can experience legal issues if they don’t perform their due diligence while writing and revising their books.
Writing About Native Americans: 7 Questions Answered
A Choctaw author offers tips on researching and connecting with First Americans in order to write respectfully and without stereotypes.
Picking a Point of View for Your Story
Consider the benefits and limitations of each POV, along with the feel each might lend to your story and how well it fits the tone, tenor, and genre.
How to Write a Hybrid Memoir
Bridging the gap between research and personal experience can become a book’s greatest strength—but it might require Herculean effort.
Wattpad for Authors: It’s Not Just for the Young Folks
Three successful authors who are outside of Wattpad's key demographic discuss why they contribute to Wattpad and how it’s furthered their careers.
How to Survive Editing
Having a gut-punch reaction to being edited is part of the cost of doing business for writers. Here’s advice on how to survive the process.
First Pages Critique: How to Better Establish Your Setting
In a new feature, our Ask the Editor column reviews the first pages of an unpublished work.
How Bad Publishers Hurt Authors
When her indie publisher goes AWOL, an author finds the community and resources she needs to pick up the pieces and persevere.
To Give It Away or Not to Give It Away
It’s hard to get someone to take a risk on an unknown author. A giveaway can make your book known to thousands of readers in one fell swoop.
How to Get Emotion on the Page: 2 Most Critical Tactics
To truly put your reader in the emotional position of your POV character, focus on conveying body language and internal narration.
Always Read the Acknowledgments Page
Acknowledgment pages allow us to peer into authors’ lives, and reveal the fascinating web of the publishing world.
The Nuts and Bolts of Becoming an Independent Editor
There is no formalized career path for freelance editors. From the hosts of the Independent Editor Podcast, here are tips on what to expect.
How to Minimize Hurt Feelings When Writing Your Memoir
Memoirists can take steps throughout the writing and publishing process to minimize fallout and family strife.
How Authors Can Build Relationships with Independent Bookstores
Marketing your book to bookstores—like marketing your book anywhere else—requires research and shoe leather.