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.
How much input should an author have when it comes to the narrator’s interpretation? When is feedback helpful, and when is it frustrating? What is a reasonable cost per finished hour of audio? An interview with Rich Miller.
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?
Freelance editor and former literary agent Amy Tipton discusses her love of young adult and middle grade fiction, the “unlikable female character,” whether agents who don’t want a manuscript will be likely to pass it along to an agent friend, her personal editing style, and more.
Meaningful swag offers the reader something connected to the book and something that’s memorable—but you need something that doesn’t break the budget.
The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic,
I regularly read and report on marketing trends that affect traditionally published and self-published writers. Today I’m sharing the most useful articles I’ve found and shared thus far in 2018.
Misconceptions pervade popular science fiction. Many, if not most, could have been avoided if the writers spent some time doing research.
Readers start their journey to find new books in a broad sense, but eventually gain experience and understand more about what they are looking for. By understanding the awareness level of a reader, we can better position our books and gain long-term fans.
It can be challenging to make back the cost of your books and the price of a table when exhibiting at a book festival. So, finding cheap but cool things to use at book events is essential.
Publishers and authors can use sophisticated language to describe books—to sound unique, clever and smart. But readers describe books in more direct ways.
When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are valued in society.
There’s no one recipe to overcome a creativity wound, but putting a pen between your fingers and then resting it on a piece of paper is a pretty good start to finding one.
How do you navigate the writing life when you have an intense day job? Does such a thing as work-life balance exist?
Novelist Cai Emmons discusses how a van tour to meet booksellers in person helped her overcome her timidity toward book marketing.
Author Russell Rowland discusses the big mistake he made with HarperCollins, whether the journey of writing is truly its own reward, why his Indiegogo campaign worked so well, and his experiences with publishing—from one of the Big 5 to self-publishing.
No matter how many books have been written about a topic, there is probably some important facet that has not yet been covered thoroughly or well. A key driver behind success is understanding how you fit into the existing landscape, what distinguishes your work, and why it is likely to appeal to a particular audience.
This post was first published in 2012 and is regularly updated. First things first: an author’s website, whether it gets much traffic or not, is foundational to your career. It offers readers as well as the media the official word on who you are and the work you produce. If you blog, then it can […]
Do you write write according to your own internal motivations or creative impulses—with the intention to create serious art—or do you write hoping to create a bond between writer and reader?
Younger generations (and older ones!) flock to Instagram for its feed of beautiful pictures. So how can writers use Instagram to their benefit?
Public speaking skills are more akin to musical or athletic skills than intellectual knowledge alone. Mastery does not take place simply in your brain; it takes place in your body, in the “doing” of it.