To Everyone Who Wants Me to Read Their Writing and Tell Them What to Do

To Everyone Who Wants Me to Read Their Writing and Tell Them What to Do

To achieve writing success—especially commercial success—requires an inner drive that pushes you forward no matter what feedback you receive.
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What’s Selling in Children’s Books + What’s Ahead for 2022

Growth in the children’s market continues, especially for series and licensed characters. BookTok emerges as an organic social media boost for backlist YA.
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What Makes a Story Feel Like a Story?

What’s the difference between a story and a narrative that merely relates a series of events? The protagonist’s internal struggle.
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7 Steps for Tackling a Revise & Resubmit (R&R)

Receiving an R&R is good news, and a great opportunity to show agents or editors your revising skills and how you accept feedback.
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Choose the Perfect Title for Your Novel or Memoir: 7 Authors Offer Tips

Giving your book a good title that captures the essence of your story is one of the most important things you’ll do.
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Launching a Book: Baby, Art or Product?

Promotion strategy for your book depends greatly on why you’ve written it, what it means to you, and its place in the larger context of your life.
Yes, Social Media Can Sell Books. But Not If Publishers Sit on Their Hands

Yes, Social Media Can Sell Books. But Not If Publishers Sit on Their Hands

Publishers need to closely collaborate with their authors if they expect that author's large social media following to sell books.
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When—and Whether—to Hire a Developmental Editor

A developmental editor is like any tool in your toolbox. Knowing whether and when to use one will help you get the most bang for your buck.
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How to Overcome Perfectionism to Achieve Your Writing Goals

Perfectionism—the fear of risking failure—is anathema to the writing process, but can be overcome by establishing a different mindset.
The Kindle Vella Experience: Is It for You?

The Kindle Vella Experience: Is It for You?

A literary fiction author dipped her toe into Amazon’s serialization platform Kindle Vella. Here’s why she did it, and her thoughts so far.
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Art and Commerce Need Not Be at Odds

What does creativity have to do with business? A lot, it turns out. It’s just a different kind of creativity than you engage with when you write.
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NFTs for Authors: Is This a Rush for Fool’s Gold?

One marketer offers an opinion about why the promise of NFTs will most likely not upturn the whole publishing industry.
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Writing Compassionately about Parents

Applying craft techniques—like complexity and telling details—is crucial to bringing our parents, and their humanity, to life on the page.
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The Short-Run Printing Option: Pros and Cons

There are three main ways to create printed copies of your book. Which one you choose depends on your budget and goals.
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Debuting at the Age of 66

This author is living proof that neither age nor lack of experience writing fiction are barriers to becoming a novelist.
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Deciding Between Simple and Complex Memoir Structures

Will you tell your story in a linear, chronological manner, or use a more complicated structure? Here’s how to decide what might be best.
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How to Secure Early Endorsements (Blurbs) for Your Book

Even the most high-profile influencers may be reachable if you make the right connections and take the right steps.
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Maybe It’s Not Your Plot

Character arc—a protagonist’s internal journey—is less obvious than the events of the plot, but it’s what makes a story meaningful.
NFTs: What Are They and How Much Should Writers and Publishers Care?

NFTs: What Are They and How Much Should Writers and Publishers Care?

Much remains unknown about NFTs but some in publishing think they might be revolutionary for writers, and indeed the world.
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Structure Isn’t the Holy Grail You’re Looking For

Your memoir’s structure can reveal itself later, once the primary elements are in place. In the meantime, concentrate on scaffolding.
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Does the Idea of Promoting Your Book Make You Feel Queasy?

As an author, marketing your work will always be your job, but it doesn't have to be a chore. To do it well, think beyond self-promotion.
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NaNoWriMo: How to Fly by the Seat of Your Pants—and Win

For writers who prefer to work without a roadmap, here are some tips for reaching your NaNoWriMo goals.
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Use Your Analyzer Switch to Increase Productivity

Envision your inner critic as an adjustable dial: turn it lower to let ideas flow freely, and higher when it’s time to analyze and revise.
Business Bootcamps for Writers: Join Me Next Week!

Business Bootcamps for Writers: Join Me Next Week!

Next week, I am delighted to be moderating two panels in partnership with The Authors Guild Foundation on paths to publication, which are part of a larger series, Business Bootcamps for Writers.
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Book Printing 101: What You Need to Know Before Approaching a Printer

Choosing the right materials for your printed book affects not just its appearance but how a potential customer perceives its value.
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Adversaries in Fiction: Who Is Standing in Your Character’s Way?

Your story’s adversary might come in many shapes or sizes. Most important, ensure that the conflict they present has a reason for existing.
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Your Writing Matters. A Coach Can Help.

Just as coaches help athletes, writing coaches can help authors be more productive, proficient, and proud of what they accomplish.
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Why You Should Write a Novella for NaNoWriMo 2021

Only a fraction of participants reach the finish line. Setting your sights on the more compact novella form might help you go the distance.
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What Do Authors Earn from Digital Lending at Libraries?

Does library lending help or hurt author and publisher income? The debate continues.
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Black Voices in Publishing: Is It a Trend or a Movement?

The Authors Guild revisits industry efforts to improve inclusivity in publishing.
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Buying Books for the Holidays? Be Prepared to Be Flexible.

From paper manufacturing to ocean cargo, books continue to be buffeted by a variety of supply chain challenges.
Can Fiction Make a Difference in the World?

Can Fiction Make a Difference in the World?

When sociopolitical discourse seems entrenched, good fiction can dig deeper with honest curiosity about all facets of the human experience.
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What It Takes to Be a Freelance Editor

Being a freelance editor requires lifelong curiosity, persistent self-education, ruthless support—and the ability to do all this quickly.
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3 Writing Prompts to Spark Your Creativity

In this excerpt from her book The Joy of Writing Journal, Lisa Tener offers three prompts to help you see story ideas all around.
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How to Format Your Manuscript for a Designer or Publisher

When your ms is complete, it's time to think about semantic structure—a digital map that allows computers to identify the parts of your book.
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Succeeding with Self-Published Memoir: Q&A with Ashleigh Renard

The SWING author discusses the pre-order campaign for her self-published book, the importance of social media engagement, and more.
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Why and How I Got My Rights Back from HarperCollins

Despite pre-publication buzz, one author found her book orphaned when the publisher was fired and the imprint dissolved.
Want to Win NaNoWriMo? The Secret Is Preparation

Want to Win NaNoWriMo? The Secret Is Preparation

Whatever your writing goals are in November, a bit of planning can help set you up for success.
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Why Write This Book?

Identifying your story’s “why”—why it haunts you, why you care—will give your book power that readers can feel.
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Choosing a Publicist (Again): Assessing Your Changing Needs

As an author’s career progresses, the publicity needs change—and what worked for the first book might no longer be appropriate for the third.
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How to Turn Trolling Into a Fine Art

Edgar Allan Poe was a 19th century troll, virulently critical of other writers—but also engaged in literary citizenship for work he admired.
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I Like Substack. But the PR Is Getting Ridiculous.

Substack makes it easy for non-tech people to harness the power of email newsletters, and that's a good thing. Just beware the hype.
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That Second Book: To Write, or Not to Write?

An author who only set out to write one book wrestles with the question—do I really have a second book in me?
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How to Make Six Figures Self-Publishing Children’s Books

One successful self-publishing author discusses the importance of multiple formats, licensing, thinking like a publisher, and much more.
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The Art of Endlessly Revising a Memoir

Time reshapes how we view and frame the chapters of our lives. Since a memoir inevitably can’t tell the whole story, we keep writing.
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How to Market Your Book Without Social Media

One self-publishing author who opted-out offers a dozen other avenues on and off the Internet to help spread the word and drive book sales.
Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book

Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book

This is an introductory guide to the major self-publishing options available to authors today, and how to choose the right service for you.
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Starting Your Novel With Theme: 3 Strengths and 3 Challenges

In the last of a three-part series we examine the advantages and disadvantages of starting with theme, as opposed to character or plot.
The Value of Book Distribution Is Often Misunderstood by Authors

The Value of Book Distribution Is Often Misunderstood by Authors

Any self-publishing author can easily make a book available to Amazon, bookstores, libraries, etc. But availability doesn't mean visibility.
The Secret to a Tight, Propulsive Plot: The Want, The Action, The Shift

The Secret to a Tight, Propulsive Plot: The Want, The Action, The Shift

Framing the overall story, as well as each scene within it, through these key elements will help create a consistently propulsive plot.