Developmental editors, critique partners, sensitivity readers, friends—feedback comes from different people, for different reasons, at different times.
A book publishing–focused newsfeed gathers headlines from across the industry; it is free to all and continuously updated and maintained by Jane Friedman.
Small presses are their own ecosystem. To understand the landscape, study the review sites, awards, and distributors catering specifically to that market.
You can get your readers behind a character they don’t want to grab a beer with—if you allow enough humanity to show through.
We’re often told to read the best books first and apply their lessons to our own work. Here’s a wrinkle: Books you don’t like can be great teachers too.
Everything authors need to know about the audiobook market, including retailers, distributors, and payments.
When used properly, flashbacks can be illuminating. When used haphazardly, they detract from the narrative and leave the reader confused (or worse, bored).
I strongly advocate all authors start and maintain a website as part of their long-term marketing efforts and ongoing platform development. But it’s an intimidating project because so few authors have been in a position to create, manage, or oversee websites. Where do you even begin?
The human condition in its alienation, pain, and joy yearns for a faithful scribe. Memoir offers readers that ultimate safe harbor: the knowledge that they are not alone.
You’ve got something that corporate brands don’t—yourself. Nurture a relationship with your readers, and they’ll do the marketing for you.
Is your reader being told a story, or experiencing it by your protagonist’s side? When revising your novel, here are four important red flags to look for.
Unless you’re a celebrity, your expertise in a field may not be enough to interest publishers. A partner can increase your book’s credibility and reach.
A big mistake authors make is assuming that the influencer needs to read a copy of the book—or have a copy—in order to support it. Not true.
Here’s what I’ve learned over 20 years about making the most of any writers conference, whether you’re an attendee or a speaker.
If there’s an organization whose mission aligns with your story or characters, a partnership might help both parties promote one another.
Here’s a System and Template for Tracking Your Submissions (Bonus: It Reduces the Sting of Rejection)
You can’t control rejections, but you can control your next steps. Staying organized and focused helps isolate and minimize the impact of any one rejection.
Just like your hero, your villain should be fully three-dimensional: fallible, flawed, and complete with a backstory that explains being so downright nasty.
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 piece that it’s quite possible to write one without having written a word of the manuscript. All it requires is a firm grasp of your story premise.
No two publishing paths are the same. When choosing an agent, find someone you can stand strong with, whether lashed to the mast or gliding in calm waters.
A book is often the product of teamwork. The ability to revise—to accept feedback and apply it with diligence and insight—is essential to success.
Book coaching is much more than editorial support. Coaches help clients complete a transformation—from someone who wants to write a book into someone who has created a book they are proud of.
While it’s not wrong to open in these ways—and a great writer can make even the most pedestrian series of events read as fascinating—consider if you can find a more advantageous way to begin.
In this Q&A, literary agents Jim McCarthy and Paula Munier discuss the priorities and responsibilities—to yourself and to others—of being a working writer.
In conversation we describe dialogue simply—”She said,” “He asked”—but writing enables a broader palette. How do we decide which words to use, or not use?
My favorite digital media tools that have enhanced my productivity and creativity as a teacher, author, and entrepreneur.
It may be on the wane for reasons ranging from linguistic evolution to feminism, but one writer says exclamation point usage is a simple kindness.
Like trying to outrun a semi bearing down in your rear-view mirror, writing serially for release in real-time can be both exhilarating and exhausting.
The point of line edits isn’t to say, “My way is better!”, but to give a fellow author the gift of a fresh pair of eyes and ears and alternatives to reflect upon.
In this interview, Bob Eckstein discusses art vs. commerce, newspaper/magazine cartoons vs. TV as communication delivery systems, the influence of just the right validation, and much more.
In this interview, she discusses discovering writing in mid-life, how she knew when her writing was ready, why she opted to self-publish, and much more.
Effective “defamiliarization”—an unexpected comparison—results in readers viewing the commonplace in new ways, but beware of employing it in half measures.
Description alone won’t bring a character to life; it must be supported with evidence of a personality—and the more concrete, the better.
When you’re a one-person marketing team, try these foundational tips for approaching libraries about having your book added to their collections.
When your narrator walks readers into the story, hand-in-hand, make sure you’re really going somewhere and not just blowing smoke.
An unpublished writer describes how she built a five-figure Twitter following within a year, by helping other writers and engaging on a personal level.
Exposition works when it arises organically from a scene. But a scene that only exists to deliver exposition might leave readers disengaged.
A debut novelist surveyed readers on Facebook. The result? In publishing, as in life, first impressions matter—and we do judge books by their covers.
Our lives contain an abundance of indelible experiences, but a good memoir isn’t just about us—it’s about illuminating a facet of our shared humanity.
Skip the book signing; there’s greater reward in identifying and connecting with the audience that already shares a passion for your topic.
To read your work aloud well, you must train like a pro. From public speaking coach Gigi Rosenberg, here’s a guide to what you need to do to show up with confidence.
To convey a sense of immediacy, nothing beats the present tense. But for readers to want to stay in that moment, your scenes must be suspenseful and compelling.
Research shows that most people reach peak cognitive performance under moderately noisy conditions—roughly the sound of a coffee shop on a busy day.
You don’t need an influencer’s clout to make your book and brand successful, but it can help expose your work to a larger audience. Before you reach out, here are some important do’s & don’ts to keep in mind.
The point of fiction is to make believers out of us. Small details provide authenticity, making an invented world feel real enough to invest in emotionally.
The rise of Millennial nostalgia and graphic novels, the decline of political tell-alls and publisher-driven marketing: all of this and more in 2019 trends.
At times when reading seems like a chore and writing every day is like squeezing blood from a stone, try nurturing your creativity in different ways.
To convey a scene clearly, your narrator must experience it clearly—from a specific, well-defined perspective rather than a vague, general one.
Ensure that your work continues to generate earnings for you and your heirs by staying on top of contracts, royalties, licensing, and available formats.
Loss can make fiction feel like an obnoxious waste of time. And maybe it is. But what if all of this loss is the exact reason to read? To write?
When you’ve taken your work as far as you can, a manuscript evaluation can address problems before you begin querying and submitting.