Effective “defamiliarization”—an unexpected comparison—results in readers viewing the commonplace in new ways, but beware of employing it in half measures.
Description alone won’t bring a character to life; it must be supported with evidence of a personality—and the more concrete, the better.
When you’re a one-person marketing team, try these foundational tips for approaching libraries about having your book added to their collections.
When your narrator walks readers into the story, hand-in-hand, make sure you’re really going somewhere and not just blowing smoke.
An unpublished writer describes how she built a five-figure Twitter following within a year, by helping other writers and engaging on a personal level.
Exposition works when it arises organically from a scene. But a scene that only exists to deliver exposition might leave readers disengaged.
A debut novelist surveyed readers on Facebook. The result? In publishing, as in life, first impressions matter—and we do judge books by their covers.
Our lives contain an abundance of indelible experiences, but a good memoir isn’t just about us—it’s about illuminating a facet of our shared humanity.
Skip the book signing; there’s greater reward in identifying and connecting with the audience that already shares a passion for your topic.
To read your work aloud well, you must train like a pro. From public speaking coach Gigi Rosenberg, here’s a guide to what you need to do to show up with confidence.
To convey a sense of immediacy, nothing beats the present tense. But for readers to want to stay in that moment, your scenes must be suspenseful and compelling.
Research shows that most people reach peak cognitive performance under moderately noisy conditions—roughly the sound of a coffee shop on a busy day.
You don’t need an influencer’s clout to make your book and brand successful, but it can help expose your work to a larger audience. Before you reach out, here are some important do’s & don’ts to keep in mind.
The point of fiction is to make believers out of us. Small details provide authenticity, making an invented world feel real enough to invest in emotionally.
At times when reading seems like a chore and writing every day is like squeezing blood from a stone, try nurturing your creativity in different ways.
To convey a scene clearly, your narrator must experience it clearly—from a specific, well-defined perspective rather than a vague, general one.
Ensure that your work continues to generate earnings for you and your heirs by staying on top of contracts, royalties, licensing, and available formats.
When you’ve taken your work as far as you can, a manuscript evaluation can address problems before you begin querying and submitting.
Used judiciously, metaphors and similes can help readers see more clearly. Overuse, or ones that seem forced, can draw attention away from the story and onto your writing.
Most people don’t read websites; they scan. The same is true for your book description. In this guest post, Penny Sansevieri offers tips to make your promotional copy appealing enough for readers to linger.
With low barrier to entry, livestreaming can be a great way to give your audience a chance to fall in love with you and your message. Here are some essential tips from the team at Best Seller Builders.
Obtaining readers for your book is hard enough. Once you have their attention, how do you make the most of it? Dave Chesson suggests “reader magnets”—incentives that turn strangers into subscribers.
In a story that straddles multiple genres or narrators, they can’t all have equal weight. Avoid confusion by making one dominant and others subordinate.
To write in plural perspective—articulating the inner thoughts of a group—ensure you’re also giving enough personal expression to your narrator.
Mastering POV—a particular sensibility operating from a specific vantage point—can make the difference between bland and vivid storytelling.
Readers come to a memoir in hopes it will shed light on their own life experiences. Stay on the right track by focusing on what makes your story unique and engaging.
Writing takes grit and so does publishing, but your odds are better if you understand what you’re up against. In this guest post, author and educator Susan DeFreitas shares some “secrets” everyone should know.
A series of setbacks can easily lead to feelings of failure. In this guest post, author Rachel Pieh Jones offers lessons on overcoming discouragement, refocusing, and getting back on track.
Even a trivial detail can justify its place in your first sentence, so long as it achieves every sentence’s ideal goal: rendering a distinct character.
Who, what, when, where, why and how: An effective opening doesn’t necessarily address them all, but presents the best ones to serve the reader on a particular journey.
There’s a big difference between writing a book for ourselves and writing one for the reader. In this guest post, nonfiction coach and memoirist Tanja Pajevic offers five steps to keep in mind when crafting your story.
When stuck in the doldrums, writing coach Mathina Calliope recommends “writer candy”—literary distractions that nourish the muse.
Copy editors are known for perfectionism. But while there’s no end to the fussing you can do, there’s a limit to what someone will pay you to do it. In this guest post, CMOS contributing editor Carol Saller explains how to determine what your time is worth.
Perspective—gained from time and distance—can make the difference between an airing of grievances and a memoir that expresses deeper, universal truths.
For some authors, a single book deal is validation enough. For others, it’s the beginning of a lifelong journey through en ever-changing landscape. In this Q&A, literary agents Sarah LaPolla and Kim Lionetti discuss what it takes to sustain a career beyond the first big break.
In this guest post, author and nonfiction writing coach Boni Wagner-Stafford explains why defining your objectives up front leads to a more focused and effective book marketing strategy.
Taking the time to add the skills of creative imagery to your writer’s toolbox will help you become a master of the emotional craft.
Imprints aren’t just for big publishers; any self-publishing author can invent an imprint under which to operate. In this guest post, consultant and author David Wogahn explains the many ways that an imprint can help your branding and marketing.
It’s been proven by research: reviews help drive book sales. And reviews on Amazon can help your book turn up more often in customer searches. So you want reviews—great reviews—but they need to be authentic. Here’s how to get them.
A ghostwriter discusses the novels she’s written for teens from wealthy families who pay up to six figures to bring their kids’ dreams to life.
Writers always seek to produce a unique story—but this can lead to creating a character or story that is “different” sheerly for the sake of, well, being different.
You’ve probably heard writing advice such as “Ass in chair” and “Write every day.” While the advice has its limitations, there’s a good reason it’s mentioned so often.
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.
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.
Is it still necessary today to encourage men to read women, or to shine a targeted light on female writers? Bill Wolfe says yes.