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How Author Platform Connects to Author Brand

Every effective brand—even an author’s—has three essential characteristics: uniqueness, consistency, and authenticity.
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Create a Book Map for Your Nonfiction Book

A book map—a visual representation of your book’s structure—will help you maintain momentum and ensure a smooth journey for your reader.
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Promoting Your Book as an Introvert in the Age of TikTok

Planning a book launch can be daunting for introverts. But finding strategies that fit with your skills and personality can make it easier.
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The Key Value That Makes Retreats Magical

When hosting a retreat, whatever the subject, providing small, achievable steps lets your participants feel that what they’ve done matters.
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Backstory Is Essential to Story—Except When It’s Not

Focus on the main story’s forward momentum, and use backstory as the seasoning that makes the stew.
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The Author-Creator Marketing Playbook

The key to creating successful content as an author-creator lies in the same ingredients that make your stories so great.
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The Biggest Mistake Even Expert Writers Make

Your audience won’t remember the chapter where your hero took a breather. What’s memorable are the forces of antagonism, and how your hero reacted.
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3 Critical Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Draft (or Revise!) a Novel

Before spending time on a story that doesn’t work, ensure you’ve addressed the critical questions of character, plot, goals and motivations.
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Before You Hire a Developmental Editor: What You Need to Know

Three editors discuss the types and stages of editing, whether publishing industry experience matters, hiring guidelines and much more.
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What I Learned From 90 Queries

Even with an excellent query and opening pages, you’ll still get rejections. A lot of them. Success comes to those who refuse to give up.
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Blurb Matters: A Quiet Manifesto

If we were to reposition blurbs as affirmations as opposed to marketing tools, would that also shift the way we traffic in them?
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How Writing Your Synopsis Can Fix Your Book

More than just a tool to sell your book, your synopsis is a roadmap to making the next draft of your manuscript much stronger.
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Build Your Writing Self-Efficacy

Here are four ways to help create the mindset that we can realistically accomplish something we’ve never tried before.
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Unlock Better Reach: Bridge the Gap Between Online and Offline Activities

To build an audience, close the gap between your offline-self and online-self by showing up with consistent value on your core topics.
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An Argument for Setting Aside Arc in Story Development

It might not be essential to impose a standard arc structure on a character who’s non-traditional or isn’t affected by the story’s actions.
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The Necessity & Power of Sitting With Your Critiques

We writers know that critiques are an integral part of improving our work. But we rarely learn how to receive feedback or what to do after.
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Nobody Knows Marketing Like Romance Authors: Q&A with Kitty Thomas

The author of dark- and paranormal romance discusses negative attitudes toward the genre, why sex scenes are the hardest to write, and more.
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Michael Lewis (Once Again) Tells the Biggest Story in Finance

Central to most of Michael Lewis’ works are larger-than-life characters who find themselves at the center of major industry or societal shifts.
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How to Get Back to Writing

When completing a readable draft left one author exhausted and overwhelmed, these three steps helped him start writing again.
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You Don’t Need a Platform If You Can Find an Audience

If your subject already has a large existing fandom, how can you quantify that audience, using the data to impress agents, publishers, and editors?
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How to Use a Long-Form Synopsis to Plan Your Novel

Whether you’re a planner or a pantser, this brainstorming document can take your story to places it might not have gone otherwise.
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Why Prologues Get a Bad Rap

A prologue can open the door to your story and entice the reader in, or throw up a barrier that delays or prevents their engagement.
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Write a Sympathetic Villain Your Readers Will Love to Hate

A great villain character should have complex motivations and be able to evoke sympathy from readers.
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How to Free Yourself from Endless Revision

The writers who get their books into the world are those who find a middle ground between refining their work and endlessly tinkering.
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3 Key Strategies for Effective Fiction—Derived from Neuroscience

Science says these three techniques can draw your readers in, keep them engaged, and provide them with a compelling experience.
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How to Write Your First Paragraph

You can mine the first paragraphs of well-written novels for four critical components that keep readers hooked.
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The Secret Sauce to Being a Good Writer

What makes a good writer? Relentless internal drive, a thick skin for editorial feedback, and reading voraciously across many genres.
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20 Reasons Why Everybody Should Write Short Stories

From appealing to short attention spans to offering no-fuss ways to play in another sandbox, short story writing has many benefits.
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What You Should Know About Writing a Co-Authored Book

Writing a book with multiple authors requires trust, vulnerability and patience. But done right, group writing has some surprising benefits.
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Writing Through the Impossible

When we’re dealt life-altering circumstances, how do we stay true to creative ambitions while finding a whole new way of existing?
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Using Weather to Convey Mood in Fiction

Your writing might soar to new heights when you make weather—and the words describing it—an important element in your characters’ lives.
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Why It’s Better to Write About Money, Not for Money

Along with sex and death, money is a topic with evergreen appeal. So when you write about money, you put the odds of a breakout on your side.
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You Have a Great Idea for a Story. Where Do You Start?

Some writers struggle with ever getting one word of their Great Idea down on the page, for fear of crafting an imperfect beginning.
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The Key Elements of Eye-Catching Book Cover Design

In an excerpt from her new book on cover design, Jessica Bell offers tips regarding how to utilize space and color for maximum effect.
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Motivation Doesn’t Finish Books

Some writers can finish a book all by themselves, but even more of them have support systems, deadlines, teachers, exercises, instructions and help.
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Write Small for a Bigger Impact

To write something that connects on a universal level, concentrate on specifics. Small truths are easier for readers to identify with.
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When Is It Smart to Submit Your Work to a University Press? (You’d Be Surprised!)

When a Vermont author’s book was accepted by a New Mexico university press, she decided to ask its editors about the acquisitions process.
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5 Ways to Use Community Marketing for Your Book

It’s possible to create connections with readers by utilizing some fun and interesting ways for them to interact with your book.
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Why Plots Fail

An elaborately structured plot, without clearly-defined character goals and motivations, is like mapping a trip and calling it a vacation.
To Nail Your Book Proposal: Think in Synergies, Not Sections

To Nail Your Book Proposal: Think in Synergies, Not Sections

A successful nonfiction book proposal addresses market demand and cements the writer’s authority throughout the entire document.
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Transforming Coal Into Diamonds: Telling Painful True Stories Through Fiction

Shifting from memoir to fiction allows painful memories to be expressed, while sharing the hard-won wisdom we’ve gained through experience.
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The Art and Purpose of Subtext

Subtext, the real conversation hidden by surface talk, can deepen the story with unpredictable outcomes and emotion.
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3 Ways That Writerly Grit Leads to Publishing Success

It takes grit to seek and implement qualified feedback, and to keep finding ways to improve a manuscript even after you’ve given it your all.
Photo of Kern Carter, with a quotation: Studying the industry gave me an understanding of what it would take to make my manuscript a commercial success. And I know some authors might be cringing at the word “commercial,” but I didn’t sacrifice an ounce of creativity when writing Boys and Girls Screaming. In fact, it’s probably my most creative novel and the story where I had to use my imagination the most.

Business and Creativity Go Hand in Hand: Q&A with Kern Carter

The Toronto-based novelist discusses his journey from self- to traditional publishing, marketing, the art and business of writing, and more.
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How to Get Published in Modern Love, McSweeney’s or Anywhere Else You Want

If you’d like to see your work in national publications—and get paid—tailor your essay to smoothly fit their voice and mission.
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Persistence Pays the Weary Writer

A half-hour’s writing might yield only 500, 300, even a mere 100 words. But a half-hour’s writing over 7 or 8 months: a book’s worth of words.
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Want to Build Tension? Encourage the Reader to Ask Questions

Anticipation—“Will it happen or won’t it?”—keeps readers on edge, and we can make use of their need to know by building scenes that cater to it.
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Grow Your Writing Business by Stepping Away From Your Computer

Why one freelancer believes that spending too much time at a computer holds writers back from producing their best work.
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Don’t Fall for These 5 Writing Myths That Can Set Back Your Writing

As writers, we often cling to certain myths that suck up emotional energy and reinforce practices that undermine the creative process.
Get in Front of Readers’ Doubts and Objections

Get in Front of Readers’ Doubts and Objections

When writing a prescriptive nonfiction book, anticipating doubts and objections lets your readers feel seen and keeps them on the page.