You need readers to love your novel—and finish it. Author H.R. D’Costa explains how story stakes can help you grow readership and sales.
You’re intimately familiar with the nature of your writer’s block, right? In this guest post, creativity coach and author Julia Roberts pinpoints specific tools, and how they helped her, to clarify and solve the real issue.
In late July, I’ll be returning to my home state of Indiana to offer two workshops: one for beginning writers and another for published authors.
Sharing your in-progress book cover on social media to solicit meaningful direction is like throwing a bomb into the creative process.
Writer Nancy Jorgenson tells her story of surprise success in landing just the right publisher for her book—one she had never heard of.
Authors who want to sell their work must often do the marketing themselves, and some methods are easier than others. In this guest post, essayist, memoirist and short story writer Beth Alvarado discusses the ways and reasons why you should take an active role in marketing your own book.
Narrative is a form that can be learned, like a dance move or a golf swing. Alan Gelb breaks down narrative into four elements: The Once, The Ordinary vs. the Extraordinary, Conflict and Tension, and The Point.
Big-picture editing is a series of judgment calls. But how should those judgment calls be conveyed to the writer? Two rules stand the test of time: (1) Praise. (2) Ask questions.
There are a lot of publicists out there. How can you pick the right one? This is a crucial decision, so it needs to be approached with care.
Reading your writing in public can be daunting, but the audience is your ally. Keep them engaged with these planning tips from public speaking coach James Nave and workshop leader Allegra Huston, co-authors of How to Read for an Audience: The Stuff Nobody Teaches You.
Which approach is right? Write only for yourself and in service of your vision OR write with an intended readership in mind.
Value is subjective, but readers like all consumers seek it. In this guest post, author Paulette Perhach explains how writers whose work earns income match their own sense of value to what their readers value.
In working on your craft, it’s one thing to find the right critique group. It’s quite another to know when to fly. Writer and librarian Lisa Bubert shares her experience, outlines her formula, and offers tips on leaving the nest.
Writing an essay that wins a contest is not an easy task, but it’s not impossible either. Tammy Delatorre explains the writing and revision process that has led to multiple contest wins.
Good literary agents keep fighting for books they believe in. But how do agents decide which authors to rep? In this guest Q&A, literary agents Linda Camacho and Jennifer March Soloway describe their ideal projects and offer strategic advice for authors.
Social media use can drive book sales, but not all successful authors use Twitter. If you don’t want to be on Twitter, you don’t have to be on it. Digital services consultant and AuthorPop founder Daniel Berkowitz shares why Twitter truly is optional.
This spring, I’ll be on the road speaking at a wide range of events on the East Coast (and one in Europe).
There’s a legendary joke about the writing life, often attributed to Margaret Atwood. It goes like this: A brain surgeon and a writer meet at a party.
Just like print editions, audiobooks have established outlets for marketing and promotion. Attorney and audiobook editor, director, and distributor Jessica Kaye tells writers and publishers how to make their audiobooks as highly visible and widely available as possible–without the use of advertising.
Rejection is painful, and there’s no avoiding it as a writer. But you don’t have to submit before you’re ready to deal with it. Writer and blogger Shana Scott offers some perspective on the conventional “publish or perish” advice.
Realism has its role, but don’t let it bog down your novel. The right balance of brevity, helpful details, and smooth flow preserves the story’s dramatic tension and keeps the pages turning. In this guest post, bestselling author Jordan Rosenfeld outlines the pitfalls that can bore your reader, and how to avoid them.
The commonly accepted strategy in literary journal submissions—”study the publications you submit to”—can discourage emerging writers. Here’s an alternative.
Successful writing for audio formats requires awareness of how a listener’s needs differ from a reader’s. In this guest post, playwright and fiction writer Jules Horne describes and illustrates key ways a writer can achieve listener attunement to the story.
Use of beta readers is widespread, but surprisingly little has been written about how writers actually use them and how they help—or if they do.
Learn a few simple tricks to schmooze like a pro at your next writing conference—or at least operate like a less awkward version of yourself.
Amazon has updated its advertising tools for authors, with mixed results. Kindlepreneur’s Dave Chesson breaks down the pros and cons of the new advertising modes, improved dashboard, and better ad targeting in Amazon Ads.
The writers who visit you in class, when you’re still a student—especially if you’re young and impressionable—these writers stick with you for a lifetime.
When novelists struggle to pitch their work, it may have more to do with the book itself than the query letter. Editor and book coach Susan DeFreitas discusses three reasons why a promising work never lands a traditional deal.
Whether you start writing as a child or in your golden years, it’s never too early to learn about estate planning. You may wonder which is best, a will or trust, for bequeathing your written work. Both have their advantages. Here’s what you need to know.
Publishing relies on contractual relationships, but not all contracts are equally enforceable. Here’s what you need to know about forms of legal contracts.
You don’t have to choose between planning and “simply writing.” Do both, at different times, all the way through the novel writing process.
Here is a step-by-step guide to building an email list of thousands within one year—primarily through giveaways and Facebook ads.
Voice: It’s either there in the writing or it’s not. And some writers haven’t developed or “found” their voice yet.
One of the hardest things to do—for any individual, organization, or business—is to define a vision and strategy. It involves diving deep into one’s strengths and weaknesses, and understanding the market opportunities and threats. Talking strategy usually means dealing with uncomfortable realities, as well as risking disagreement with others.
If a character is repressing an emotion, real-world behaviors can show it. Readers will catch on because they’ll recognize their own attempts to hide their feelings.
When I finished my biography, I studied how to get it published. Websites advised: platform, platform, platform. But I had no relevant background. Now what?
Today’s guest post is by intellectual property lawyer and novelist Brad Frazer (@bfrazjd). The “public domain” is not a place. It is a term used to describe works of authorship (books, movies, poetry, artwork) that either due to their age or their legal status under U.S. copyright law, the ability of the putative copyright owner […]
While it’s possible to write memoir from your own authorial POV (because you know more today than you did then), the most engaging memoirs are ones in which the author sticks to their POV at the moment of events.
Although the world of submissions can be complex and expensive, balancing your submission budget doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to help you minimize expenditures and maximize profit.
Writer Anthony Doerr once told me something his father told him, and I’ll paraphrase it poorly here: You’re going to get your neck sunburned looking up all the time.
Before writing a scene, determine what type of scene it’s going to be. Will it be a narrative scene? High-action scene? Low-energy dialogue scene?
Building a supportive network takes time and courage. It’s worth starting to cultivate community early on, even if your instinct or preference is to work alone.
Plot and structure books aren’t necessarily calling for adherence to a formula—in fact, they warn against it. Here are 3 story planning methods to consider.
Today’s guest post is by Jenn Scheck-Kahn, founder of Journal of the Month. Literary magazines, also called literary journals or lit mags, are devoted to short-form creative writing. What distinguishes them is what they publish (a single genre or a mix of genres), how often they publish (annually, biannually, quarterly, monthly), and their medium of […]
Many authors use Facebook and Amazon to advertise their books. If you’ve tried these platforms without success or hesitate to spend the money, consider experimenting with BookBub ads.
If you’re pitching a nonfiction book, at some point, an editor or agent will expect you to describe the readership that your book is intended for.
Focusing on the smallest thing you can accomplish: this is the magic trick to making progress or getting unstuck.
If you’re a writer, how do you know if it’s worth the risk of leaving your current agent? Does past representation impede your ability to find a new agent?
When you understand your SWOT as an author, you can take control over your time. You can stop fighting fires, and start focusing on the things that will truly help you in the long run.
How do you describe a character with Asperger’s—especially if your story takes place before such a thing had a name?