A polished author portrait

The Advantages of Author Portraits

Today’s guest post is by Simone Collins (@SimoneHCollins) at ArtCorgi. My job is to help people commission original art from up-and-coming artists via ArtCorgi, a company I started earlier this year. Though the art I help people create consists of everything from romantic gifts to mobile game assets and painted scenes for wall art, I have […]

photo by Professor Bop / Flickr

What Is a Developmental Editor and What Can You Expect?

Today’s guest post is excerpted from Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro by Katherine Pickett (@KPickett_Editor). What Is a Developmental Editor? Developmental editors (DEs) are concerned with the structure and con­tent of your book. If your manuscript lacks focus, your DE will help you find the right direction—the “right” […]

Episode

4 Things I Learned From Writing on an Emerging Mobile Story Platform

Today’s guest post is by Los Angeles–based writer Kathryn Stanley (@kathrynstanley_). About six months ago, Pocket Gems, a mobile game developer, launched a new platform called Episode. It allows writers to script a story and then turn it into an animated interactive mobile story. It combines parts of TV shows, comics, and novels, and provides the […]

Self-Publish or Perish: Why I Made the Leap from Traditional Publishing to Indie

Today’s guest post is by New York Times bestseller Eileen Goudge (@eileengoudge), whose newest novel, Bones and Roses, releases today.  I read Claire Cook’s recent blog post with great interest and a jolt of recognition. OMG. She was telling my story! I wasn’t alone. There were other authors like me who were traditionally published in […]

Why Design Matters for Your Author Website

Today’s guest post is by literary agent Maria Ribas (@maria_ribas); check out her website, cooks & books. When I was starting out as an editor, I was surprised to see just how very subjective the acquisitions process was. I think I was a little bit (well, a lot) disappointed that there wasn’t a secret equation behind […]

Jane Eyre Detail

The 4 Different Types of Conflict in Dialogue

Today’s guest post is by author K.M. Weiland (@KMWeiland), author of the newly released Jane Eyre: Writer’s Digest Annotated Classics. Conflict in dialogue provides authors with one of their best opportunities for jazzing up their stories and powering their plots. Slow scene? No problemo. Just throw in a nice, heated little argument. What could be […]

Why I Left My Mighty Agency and New York Publishers (for now)

Note from Jane: Today I’m beyond honored to feature bestselling author Claire Cook (@ClaireCookwrite), who has just released Never Too Late, from which this post is excerpted. Claire has a fascinating story to tell about her decision to leave her agency and traditional publisher, and chase after her publishing dreams. As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, […]

Both Sides Now: A New York Editor and Author Goes Indie

Today’s guest post is by author Leslie Wells. I’ve been on both sides of the publishing desk—as an acquiring executive editor for several decades, and as an author. The experience has provided insights that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and made me more sympathetic to the nerve-wracking process of trying to get your book published. […]

How to Create Your First Booktrack (and Get 2,000 New Readers)

Today’s guest post is by author Laurence MacNaughton (@LMacNaugton). When I first heard about Booktrack.com from my literary agent, Kristin Nelson, I was fairly skeptical of the idea. Ebooks with music and sound effects, really? But then I tried the Booktrack of the short story Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft. I’ll be honest—I was blown away. […]

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How to Write a Competitive Title Analysis

The following post has been excerpted and adapted from The Author Training Manual by Nina Amir, recently released by Writer’s Digest Books. If you’re embarking on a nonfiction book project, your analysis of the competitive landscape is critical, whether you self-publish or traditionally publish. You need to understand and be able to explain how your […]

The Art of Marketing Conference

7 Things I Learned from the World’s Best Marketers

Today’s guest post is by author Tiana Warner (@tianawarner). The Art of Marketing conference in Vancouver was a full day of marketing insight from Seth Godin, Nancy Duarte, Mitch Joel, John Jantsch, Brian Wong, Keith Ferrazzi, and big-name sponsors like Microsoft and CBC. Each highly qualified speaker offered a unique perspective on the current and […]

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6 Ways Micro-Publishing Strengthens Your Author Career

Micro-published books are short, tight, and swift. A meaningful discussion of micro-publishing has been pushed aside during the ongoing tug-of-war between traditional publishing and independent publishing (self-publishing). But we are well beyond “everyone is a writer” at this point. We have progressed into “everyone is a publisher,” if they wish to be—and we have been living in this realm for some time already. Fortunately, micro-publishing benefits the industry as a whole by bringing some much-needed simplicity and directness into a publishing equation that is often weighted down by its own complexity and contracts. And it also benefits you, the writer.

single career

Why I Choose to Both Self-Publish and Traditionally Publish

Since 2009, after the release of my second novel, I’ve been a so-called hybrid author, working with New York publishers as well as self-publishing. I’m often asked why I chose to combine these two seemingly disparate publishing careers, juggling twice the work.

finding your readers

4 Ways to Find Readers Who Love Your Work

So you want to find those raving fans, right? Awesome. We’re about to give you the most boring advice possible. You’re probably going to be disappointed that we’re not going to offer you a magic way to get a ton more readers, but unfortunately that’s not how it works. Ideal fans and readers are gained a few at a time, and it takes time to build that bond, even if you experience a sudden and serendipitous burst of exposure.

business plan for writers

The 7-Step Business Plan for Writers

Your productivity and growth are a direct result of forming a business plan (and sticking to it); here are 7 steps—plus a template—for creating your own.

Colleen Gleason covers

The Importance of Your Book Cover: Achieving the Right Fit

Note from Jane: The following post is the first in a series that will offer tips and advice from successful authors about self-publishing, specifically those who use Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press as part of their overall sales, marketing, and distribution strategy. This series is sponsored by Nook Press, which means they have paid for […]

publicity

The Difference Between Marketing and Publicity

No one can buy a book they’ve never heard of. So, how do readers hear about books? Everyone likes to say it’s word of mouth, but it’s not possible to tell a friend about a book until you’ve heard of it yourself. That’s where publicity and marketing come in.


Photo by fatllama / Flickr

A Call to Disarm Technology & Hype (And Boost Your Writing Productivity)

The internet and other technology keeps us on insanely high alert, ultimately producing an effect where we attend to everything and we attend to nothing (deeply). This high-alert state is producing a fatigue that’s detrimental not only to our psyches and relationships, but also to the quality of our professional output.

5 Reasons to Use a Facebook Profile (Not a Page) to Build Platform

A Facebook Profile is often a better option than a fan Page for building author platform. It’s simpler and easier to get your content in front of people, takes less time to manage, and will build a tribe or platform faster, especially if you don’t plan to run ads.

by Gilly Youner / Flickr

Book Tour Planning 101

Five things to consider as you begin planning book events to spread the word about your book.

© Salim Photography/

The Power of Understatement in Fiction Writing

One of the most useful and powerful devices for the fiction writer is understatement. You tell the reader less so that the reader knows more. Instead of having everything spelt out, the reader is given, in a very careful way, just enough information for the imagination to go to work. From understatement the reader can derive great pleasure and satisfaction.

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Is Crowdfunding Right for You? 5 Questions

Today’s guest post is by Justine Schofield, the communications coordinator for Pubslush, a crowdfunding publishing platform. You’ve probably heard of crowdfunding by now. Crowdfunding is a means for artists, entrepreneurs, and businesses to raise funds and mitigate the financial risk of their creative projects or business ventures. You generate financial backing from people who believe […]

Book metadata optimization

How to Sell More Books By Optimizing Your Metadata

One of the biggest challenges in publishing today is discoverability, particularly at Amazon and other major online retailers. You can ensure your book is found more easily by optimizing your metadata—here’s how.

Photo by Caro Wallis / Flickr

Submission: 6 Rules of Thumb From an Editor-Turned-Writer

Today’s guest post is by writer and editor Jennifer Niesslein (@jniesslein), who is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m experiencing karma. For more than a decade, I co-edited a literary magazine—I was the person who wouldn’t respond regarding your writing for three months, sometimes longer. And now, for the past nine months, I’ve been writing. It […]

Red Hot Internet Publicity by Penny Sansevieri

3 Ways to Improve Your Website Design

Today’s guest post is adapted from Red Hot Internet Publicity by Penny Sansevieri. Between Los Angeles and Las Vegas there’s a stretch of I-15 that’s just barren desert with you, sand, a cactus or two, a few vultures hoping to get lucky, and endless billboards. Most people speed down this stretch of highway as fast […]

You've Got a Book in You by Elizabeth Sims

To Be Great, Strive to Be Ordinary

The following guest post from Elizabeth Sims is adapted from her newest book, You’ve Got a Book in You, from Writer’s Digest. As you plunge into writing your book, here’s the main thing to do: Strive for the ordinary. Because that’s what the greats do. If I were a person who used vulgarities, I would […]

blogging for writers

2 Strategic and Compelling Reasons to Keep Blogging—Plus When to Kill a Blog

Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is from Dan Blank (@DanBlank) and covers a topic that was recently addressed on this site by L.L. Barkat: the value of blogging. If you remember, Barkat advised writers to stop blogging. For the other side of the story, I’ve asked Dan to offer reasons to keep blogging. In […]

The Media Training Bible

5 Things Bad Radio Guests Do (And 7 Ways to Rock on Radio)

Today’s guest post is from Brad Phillips (@MrMediaTraining), author of The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know Before Your Next Interview. Radio stations hate bad guests, since listeners will immediately switch the dial. Here are five habits of bad radio guests. 1. They give long answers. Short answers allow the […]

Replacement Child by Judy Mandel

Getting a Traditional Book Deal After Self-Publishing

Today’s guest post is by Judy L. Mandel, author of the Replacement Child, forthcoming from Seal Press in March 2013. I asked her to tell the story of self-publishing her memoir, which ultimately led to a traditional book deal from Seal. Most authors don’t give any credence to luck, but they lie. Luck has so […]

Creating Space by Ed Cyzewski

Quality Writing Projects Require Safe Places—And Here Are Five

Today’s guest post is by Ed Cyzewski (@EdCyzewski). You may remember him from a previous guest post at this site, Why Self-Publishing Is a Tragic Term. Ed’s latest e-book is available as a free download on Tuesday & Wednesday of this week—visit Amazon to download Creating Space: The Case for Everyday Creativity. After years of doubting that […]

Sell Your Book Like Wildfire

Sell More Fiction by Activating the Power of Book Clubs

Today’s guest post is by Rob Eagar, author of Sell Your Book Like Wildfire. Book clubs and discussion groups—where millions of readers congregate both in-person and online to discuss their favorite books—offer a powerful marketing opportunity for novelists. Some of the most popular social networks devoted to book readers include GoodReads (12 million members strong), LibraryThing, Red Room, […]

3 Steps for Using Prompts to Write Better & Get Published

In January of 2007—as a New Year’s resolution—I decided I was a writer. I resolved that I would stop saying that I’d start writing “someday” and instead would sit my backside in the chair and start writing now. No more excuses. I was a writer and I would start acting like one. That was when […]