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Which Comes First: Character or Plot?

Without insight into how your characters will react in even the most mundane of circumstances, you aren’t ready to plan or pants your plot.
turn Microsoft Word document into ebook EPUB

How to Turn a Microsoft Word Document Into an Ebook (EPUB)

Word doesn't export to EPUB, but you can still produce an editable file quickly, without buying software or using a "meatgrinder" conversion.
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A Debut Novelist in a Pandemic: How to Navigate a Launch Through Social Media

When the pandemic thwarted a debut author’s launch plans, she had no choice but to jump into the deep end of social media.
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Hybrid Publishing: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know

Hybrid publishing is like hiring a contractor: You pay them to oversee the design and construction and, when it’s done, you own the result.
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What Every Writer Needs to Know About Email Newsletters (They’re Not Going Away)

Even a small email list is better than no list at all, because it likely represents your most devoted, true fans.
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How to Get Accepted by a Writing Mentorship Program

Mentorship programs are a popular way to gain knowledge and exposure, but as their popularity has risen the competition has gotten tougher.
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Sometimes Better Than Blogging: Guest Blogging

Guest blogging allows you to leverage someone else’s existing audience as a way to reach new readers and grow your own audience.
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Finding Your Way to the End

Given that many of us sidestep endings in real life, it should not be surprising that writers have trouble concluding book projects.
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3 Common Pitfalls When Writing From Your Own Life

Factual details can be great fuel for your writing, but it’s crucial to recognize when adherence to them is getting in the way of the story.
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Beware of Chapter-by-Chapter Book Critiques

Misguided feedback, which can damage your manuscript, often arises from a common mistake: asking the right question of the wrong person.
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The Green-Eyed Monster: Jealousy in the Time of Quarantine

Despite our best efforts, artistic jealousy affects us all at times. But how we perceive another’s success is never the whole picture.
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Are You a Mom Writer Thinking of Quitting? Read This First.

Mom writers are wired to succeed at writing (and querying) because they can multitask like no other.
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6 Tips for Writing Deep Third-Person Point of View

Deep third pulls readers into a character’s world view, but pronoun ambiguities and apparent point-of-view shifts push readers away. These 6 tips keep prose sharp.
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3 Traps That Subvert Our Ability to Accept Feedback

Finding the right editor or critique partner is important, but so is being mentally prepared for the feedback you’ll receive.
Blogging Versus Email Newsletter: Which Is Better for Writers?

Blogging Versus Email Newsletter: Which Is Better for Writers?

A free email newsletter is the better strategic choice when it comes to long-term career development. Blogging works better for reaching new readerships.
11 Signs You’re Ready to Self-Publish

11 Signs You’re Ready to Self-Publish

When do you decide that it’s time to pursue Plan B? Taking stock of these considerations will bring you that much closer to knowing.
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Find the Ending Before You Return to the Beginning

Just as we might be conflict averse, it can be tempting to keep revising a story’s beginning instead of proceeding into the messy middle.
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Backstory and Exposition: 4 Key Tactics

There’s a good chance that getting these essential elements right are among the biggest challenges you’ll face with your novel.
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Fix Your Scene Shapes to Quickly Improve Your Manuscript

Like story arcs, individual scenes also have shapes. Understanding yours can help you improve the ones that are falling flat.
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Get Reader Reviews Now to Drive Sales Later

Whether you use giveaways, blog tours or paid ads, generating reader reviews will drive sales and create opportunities for further marketing.
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Building Your Writing Support Triangle

The key to an author’s emotional wellbeing and continued productivity is creating a support system, and knowing which part to call on when.
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Do Stories Have a Universal Shape?

The idea of universal story archetypes is not a new one—but its corroboration by an A.I. brings a new dimension to the debate.
The Importance of Finding Your Marketing Sweet Spot

The Importance of Finding Your Marketing Sweet Spot

There are hundreds of ways to market. The secret isn’t to do them all—it’s to find the few that work for your product and focus on just those.
The One Thing Your Novel Absolutely Must Do

The One Thing Your Novel Absolutely Must Do

There’s only one thing that any novel must do if it’s going to succeed, and that’s arouse the reader’s curiosity.
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Understanding Third-Person Point of View: Omniscient, Limited and Deep

Third-person POV dominates the current publishing market, so it’s helpful to learn to navigate its many facets.
Embracing a Creative Pivot: Q&A with Darien Hsu Gee

Embracing a Creative Pivot: Q&A with Darien Hsu Gee

Author Darien Hsu Gee discusses writing and publishing across multiple genres, going back for her MFA at age 50, and having faith in her creative process.
How to Restart Your Unfinished Book

How to Restart Your Unfinished Book

Your calendar will never be suddenly free of urgent distractions. To finish that book on the back burner, you must actively bring it forward.
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The Differences Between Line Editing, Copy Editing, and Proofreading

New authors are often confused about what level of editing they need. Here’s some insight into the differences.
The Key Book Publishing Paths: 2021–2022

The Key Book Publishing Paths: 2021–2022

Should you self-publish or traditionally publish? This infographic will help you determine the best choice for you and your project.
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Writing With Sharpness: Q&A with Elinor Lipman

The author discusses film adaptation, writing effective humor and natural dialogue, using a light touch with character description, and more.
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How I Landed a Book Deal Via Twitter—Unintentionally

For one unagented author, landing a publisher was a result of preparation, transparency, and a well-developed network.
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Using Book Promotion Newsletters to Increase Sales

Book promotion newsletters are a dynamic component of the overall book industry, but their focus—and results—can vary dramatically.
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Is Your Writer’s Block Really Writer’s Indecision?

When facing decisions in your writing, it helps to identify which questions have lower stakes and which ones are preventing real progress.
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How to Effectively Manage Multiple Narrators in Your Novel

There’s nothing wrong with using multiple narrators in a first-person story, but it requires some serious background work.
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The End May Only Be the Beginning: Infusing New Life Into Your Fiction

One editor’s technique to add narrative tension, deepen characterization, and force you to think past the original boundaries of a premise.
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Securing Audiobook Rights: The Rights You Need to Bring Your Audiobook to Market

Whether you’re an audiobook producer, a publisher or an author, here’s a breakdown of the rights needed to bring an audiobook to market.
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How to Move From First Draft to Second Draft to Publishable Book

When you’ve completed a draft but it’s falling a bit flat, it’s time for the Story Draft: creative work done technically.
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A Beginner’s Guide to Amazon Pre-Orders

Ebook pre-orders can be a great tool for KDP authors, but it might not be right for everyone—especially those without an established audience.
Priya Doraswamy and Carly Watters

Literary Agents Discuss Foreign Rights and the International Book Market

Literary agents Priya Doraswamy and Carly Watters discuss foreign rights, translation logistics, a book’s chances abroad, and much more.
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Pick Your Pond: How Nonfiction Authors Can Find the Right Positioning

As an author, it’s good to be a big fish in a small pond—but you’ll benefit even more if your pond is connected to a larger system.
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The Charm of the Large Word

Use of a big word can be beautiful, as long as it meets two criteria: it must be the right word and the best word.
Fiona Higgins

A Successful Author Was Rejected By Her Publisher. Here’s How She Found Another.

When big publishers rejected a book due to marketing concerns, one author forewent an advance to work with an indie that saw potential.
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Maximizing Book Sales with Facebook and BookBub Ads: Q&A with Melissa Storm

The bestselling author discusses best practices for ads, how to keep your spending in check, the top three mistakes authors make, and more.
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Emotional Truth and Storytelling: Why It Works and How

Emotional truth is the lens that allows us to see ourselves in a story, resulting in a heartfelt connection in a fictional narrative.
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4 Story Weaknesses That Lead to a Sagging Middle

If your middle’s lost momentum, check to see if your plot, characters, stakes and suspense consistently propel readers along the story arc.
Common Reasons Nonfiction Books Don't Sell

Common Reasons Nonfiction Books Don’t Sell

If you want to land a traditional publishing deal, then market conditions—and your position in that market—will affect your chances.
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Should You Hire a Social Media Assistant?

Virtual assistants take over tasks that you could do yourself. What you’re buying, in effect, is the freedom to use your time in other ways.
Why Waiting Too Long to Register Your Copyright Is a Big Mistake

Why Waiting Too Long to Register Your Copyright Is a Big Mistake

Though registration with the Copyright Office is no longer required for protection, there are still many reasons why it’s important.
Sarah Chauncey

How One Author Landed a Publishing Deal for a Gift Book: Q&A with Sarah Chauncey

The debut author discusses writing an illustrated book for adults, platform building, and listening to the little voice inside.
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Don’t Hold Out for Publishing to Make You Feel Seen. Here’s Another Goal Instead.

Publication is elusive and in many ways out of your hands, but feeling seen is something that writers can offer each other right now.