Martha Alderson and Jordan Rosenfeld explain how to craft a compelling scene and when it’s okay to use summary.
Editor Jessi Rita Hoffman warns against the use of “stammer verbs,” words that cause an unnecessary halt in the scene.
Fair use allows you to use someone’s copyrighted work without permission. However, invoking fair use is not a straightforward matter. Learn the 7 questions to ask to help determine if your use might be considered fair under the law.
Essayist and professor Nell Boeschenstein discusses how establishing structure can liberate your writing.
Sandra Gulland discusses the delicate process of blending of fact and fiction, the allure of unhappy endings, the publishing industry then vs. now, preparation for public readings/signings, and more.
Editor Gabriela Lessa explains how to use outlining to generate a strong voice for your characters.
Indie author Teymour Shahabi explains how to find an editor for the draft of your self-published book and what to look for in a good editing relationship.
Editor Jessi Rita Hoffman explains how to craft professional and compelling back-cover copy for your book.
Author Barbara Baig discusses word choice and how it affects tone, voice, and clarity.
Alex Limberg discusses attaining the perfect balance between dialogue and description in your fiction.
A children’s author shares her strategies for promoting her picture books on Pinterest—as well as what adult fiction marketing techniques haven’t worked for her.
SELF-e offers self-published authors a way to distribute ebooks to libraries, but without any pay. The team behind SELF-e addresses the money issue.
Journalist and consultant Porter Anderson explains the new SELF-e program from Library Journal for getting self-published ebooks into American libraries.
Writing groups can cause fatal frustration, deep self-doubt, and sometimes years of wasted effort. Learn the most common dangers of writing groups, and find out how to improve your group to give you more of what you need—and less of what you don’t.
Author Carol Bodensteiner answers the seven questions she gets most about working with Amazon Publishing.
Brooke McIntyre of Inked Voices explains what to look for in a critique group and how to find the best writing critique group for you.
Blogger Tania Strauss of NY Book Editors discusses whether you should outline your novel before beginning to write.
Thriller author Todd Moss describes his own marketing efforts and the marketing efforts of his Big Five publisher, Putnam, for his book The Golden Hour.
Should literary writers consider self-publishing? How it might affect their long-term careers? Two agents weigh in.
You’ve probably heard the adage that you must begin your novel with action—even if it’s not the main action of the book. While this rule is fairly well-accepted in fiction teaching circles, not everyone agrees with it.
When we talk about plot as separate from the characters, the symbols, the locales, the dialogue, and the philosophical introspection, what we are doing is privileging events over everything else. But nothing exists in a vacuum.
More writing does not necessarily equal better-quality writing, nor does faster writing lead to faster achievement of your goals.
Learn how to improve the description of your book, and improve its metadata, when using Amazon KDP.
What is crowdfunded publishing? Learn about the two types of models now prevalent, plus the major services you can choose from.
Working with a small press is an option many authors never consider. It’s the shadowy middle ground between self-pub and a Big Five contract.
A specific and daily moment of self-reflection can revolutionize your writing by offering you a clear picture of your mental state, anxieties, and fears.
Writers flounder trying to figure out how to make their idea compelling enough to sustain a great novel. Here’s how to go from ordinary to extraordinary.
To inspire other people to engage in something that you’re concerned about, you have to avoid getting caught in the trap of writing with an agenda.
Build a bio that’s not only better than most you have read, but also compelling enough to attract the fans & clients you’d like to have in the first place.
Today’s interview is by contributing writer Kristen Tsetsi (@ktsetsi), who does every-other-Wednesday interviews for the 5 On series. Anyone who pays any attention to my Facebook feed knows that I’m more than a little happy with my newly revised website. I didn’t understand why, at first. After all, the previous (and free) template I’d been using did […]
UK author Harry Bingham describes the four stages of his career, and why he’s decided to self-publish after good experiences with traditional houses.
Most novels have some amount of back story—because they rarely start from the beginning of a character’s life. However, writers tend to misuse it or include too much.
Old post alert! This was published in 2014 and some aspects of Kindle Unlimited have changed. If you’re investigating whether KU is right for you, you’ll need to go further than reading this post. Recently, Amazon joined the e-book subscription playing field alongside Oyster and Scribd to offer subscribers unlimited access to more than 700,000 e-books […]
Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is by Sangeeta Mehta (@sangeeta_editor), a former acquiring editor of children’s books at Little, Brown and Simon & Schuster, who runs her own editorial services company. With all the changes taking place in the publishing industry, it seems harder than ever for even the best writers to secure a […]
Today’s guest post is by freelancer and author Marcy McKay. The November 2014 issue of Rolling Stone interviews the master of contemporary fiction, Stephen King. The Q&A covers a myriad of interesting topics for writers: the author’s typical working day, his literary legacy, as well as how alcohol and drugs affected his writing back in the […]
Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is by publisher and author L.L. Barkat (@llbarkat). She has one of the most gracious and welcoming personalities in the online space—so I’m delighted she’s written about how she maintains a calm and open demeanor even when faced with difficult or antagonistic personalities. In a career decision that might look, to some, […]
If you don’t like the terms offered by Amazon’s ACX for selling your audiobook, you do have an alternative. Author Lee Stephen explains the path he took.
Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is by Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy). Almost as soon as authors were told they should be on social media to build their platform, a counter-contingent of people started talking about how social media was a waste of time. They’d tell stories of using Twitter or Facebook or whatever the flavor of […]
Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is by Simone Collins (@SimoneHCollins) at ArtCorgi. See her earlier post on The Advantages of Author Portraits. Through my website ArtforAuthors.com and my company ArtCorgi, I help authors style websites and social media pages in a manner that best presents their personalities and writing style. All too often, I visit […]
Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is adapted from The Writer’s Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre by Laurie Scheer (@mediagoddess213). So you think your idea for a new vampire novel is a good one? Think again. Nine times out of ten, your idea is really quite mediocre and has been done before, actually a […]
Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is from Joanna Penn (@thecreativepenn), and is based on her new book, Business for Authors: How to Be an Author Entrepreneur, out now in ebook, print and audio. During the last five years, I have seen a major shift in the publishing arena because of emergent technology and a changing […]
Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is by Beate Boeker (@BeateBoeker), whom I met at the International Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy. It was the first writers conference I attended that offered any kind of in-depth information (geared toward authors) about the international and translation market. Find out more about Beate and her novels at […]
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 […]
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” […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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. […]