Haole Wood by Dee DeTarsio

A Small-Budget Advertising Experiment

Today’s guest post is by Dee DeTarsio. While it is more of a brief advertising anecdote than a serious ad campaign with strong conclusions, many authors ask me about online advertising (where, why, how). But I find it difficult to offer concrete advice on the matter since so much depends on the place where you […]

Question mark

How to Impress the People You Interview (and Be Professional)

Today’s guest post is from author Christina Katz. Her most recent book is The Writer’s Workout. Not too long ago I received a formal interview request, which was well executed, so I said I would make time for the interview. Once we got on the phone, the interviewer said, “Okay, go ahead.” I thought, “Oh […]

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

The Reader Must Want to Know What Happens Next

Today’s post is excerpted from Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, just released from Ten Speed Press. We think in story. It’s hardwired in our brain. It’s how we make strategic sense of the otherwise overwhelming world around us. Simply put, the brain constantly seeks meaning from all the input thrown at it, yanks out […]

It Takes an Egg Timer by Joanne Tombrakos

There Are Two Kinds of “Busy.” Is Yours the Good Kind?

The following is excerpted from It Takes an Egg Timer: A Guide to Creating the Time for Your Life by Joanne Tombrakos (@JoanneTombrakos). It’s a brief but essential guide about how to get stuff done, while also helping you understand when and how self-sabotage occurs! Find out more on Amazon, or visit the author’s website. Technology’s […]

How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir

How Long Does It Take to Get Blog Readers?

The following advice is excerpted from How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir, recently released from Writer’s Digest Books. Aside from describing in detail how to launch and maintain a blog to ultimately land a book deal, Amir’s book offers a range of valuable interviews with successful bloggers who succeeded in doing just that. […]

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Hustling: How to Spread the Word About Your Work

The following advice is excerpted from The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau. For longtime readers of my blog, you probably know how often I recommend Chris’s invaluable and free manifesto, 279 Days to Overnight Success. His latest book, The […]

Platform by Michael Hyatt

Top 10 Blog Traffic Killers

The following advice is from Michael Hyatt’s newest release, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. The book is one of the most comprehensive guides on building an effective platform I’ve seen. Both beginning writers and established authors will find excellent and insightful instruction. Assuming you want to increase your blog traffic, there are certain mistakes […]

Everyday Writing by Midge Raymond

No Excuse Not to Write: 10 Five-Minute Writing Prompts

The following is excerpted from Everyday Writing by Midge Raymond. The book is meant for anyone with a passion to write but never quite enough time. Find out more at the publisher’s website or view on Amazon. Why take the time for writing prompts? Writing exercises can help our writing in ways we don’t know until […]

Art vs Commerce by Tom Giebel / Flickr

Starving Artist Vs. Slimy Marketer: How to Strike a Balance

Today’s guest post is from one of my UC students, Jarrod Welling-Cann. He is facing the issue—as we all do at some point—of how to making a living from his art. His thought process here is particularly relevant for any creative professional wondering about the role of marketing, sales, and promotion in the artistic life. […]

Broken pencil

When Self-Publishing Is More Useful As a Marketing Tool

The turning point of my long-term publishing plans came when I realized I have very little in common with author Joanna Penn. Have you heard of her? I started following Joanna on Twitter because she always shared great writing links, but I also began to follow her self-publishing story. She wrote a novel, released it […]

Mary-Jane reading

How Do You Answer “What Are You Working on Next?”

What are you working on next? is a question that always takes me by surprise (which is why it’s good advice for writers to have an answer prepared). Words gurgle in my throat. If I can’t change the subject, I mumble something about an essay or short story or blog post. I want to say My […]

CDG airport

An Author Who Markets Her E-Books in Airports

Today’s guest post is by Ann Okerson. Ann shared the following story on a listserv I belong to, and I asked her permission to share it with you, because I find it fascinating and instructive for authors everywhere. The other day I was sitting at Dulles airport, awaiting my flight to Hartford, Connecticut, reading a book […]

Peter Bowerman

Freelance Success Is About Process, Not Personality

The following interview with Peter Bowerman is excerpted from How They Did It by Diana Bocco, a collection of Q&A with 25 writers on how they earn a living through their writing. Peter Bowerman is well known in the writing world for earning a six-figure income from his writing for more than a decade. He’s the author […]

Naive Chaos by Dr. Motte

Why It’s OK to Be Naïve

Today’s guest post is by writer Nick Thacker. Many “normal people” ultimately fail to achieve what they set out to achieve. They’ll struggle for years subsisting on a 9-5 dead-end job, keeping that unfinished manuscript in a drawer—socking away 10% of their income until their blissful-yet-underwhelming retirement. It’s not very encouraging, is it? Let me tell […]

Let It Rain by Tomcat mtl

3 Possibilities for Defeating Writer’s Block

Today’s guest post is by Chris Rosales. Writer’s block. Damn. What was I gonna say? It happens to all of us. My own particular method of avoidance is to pretend it does not exist. As Marcus Aurelius said, “Eliminate the sense of injury, and one eliminates the injury.” But what if we find ourselves blocked […]

Ken Brosky

How to Get Media Coverage for Your Book

Today’s guest post is by Ken Brosky. I asked him to share his experience because many authors have made the same mistake he has. Plus, his advice on how to do things right is spot on. In addition to his post, I recommend you read one of my rants, I Hate Press Releases—and hopefully you’ll […]

Dan Blank

Your Homepage Is Not As Important As You Think

Today’s guest post is from Dan Blank of We Grow Media. Author platform is about more than your homepage. Perhaps you hope your homepage embodies the essence of your writing, that it is the gateway into the world you are creating. But oftentimes, it isn’t. A website homepage is not like the cover of a […]

Question Mark

100 Tips to Alleviate Self-Doubt

This post is a crowdsourcing effort to come up with 100 tips to battle self-doubt. Since this post went live on January 20, 2012, we’ve been able to collect 83 distinct tips. Click here to download a 1-page handout: 83 Tips to Alleviate Self-Doubt. The original post & comments are below. If you’d like to […]

Local Japan Times / Flickr

4 Ways to Find the Right Freelance Editor

Today’s guest post is from author and copyeditor C.S. Lakin. Whether you plan to submit your manuscript to an agent or publisher, or intend to self-publish, you’ve probably heard considerable advice about hiring an editor. (If you’re still wondering if the investment is worth it, read Jane’s post on the matter.) This post assumes you’ve […]

© The fantastic Tom Gauld

Why Isn’t Literary Fiction Getting More Attention?

Today’s guest post is from April Line, a freelance writer and writing teacher. Read her previous guest post for this site, Can Children Develop Adequately Without Books?, and visit her online at April Line Writing. When I was in the home stretch of my liberal arts studies, something kind of shitty happened. I got pregnant. Being […]

Brad Listi's Other People

How “Literary” and “Entrepreneur” Are Becoming Intertwined

Today’s interview is brought to us by the wonderful novelist and humorist, John Warner. Odds are, if you care about writing, reading, or books, you’ve run across Brad Listi. He’s the author of a well-received novel, Attention. Deficit. Disorder; the founder and publisher of literary website The Nervous Breakdown (and its associated publishing imprint); and has recently […]

Crowdsourcing

A Model for Crowdsourced Publishing

Today’s guest post is by Scott Vankirk (@mightyscoo). As much as we (aspiring authors) tend to get joy and satisfaction vilifying The System, the problem is not really the publishing houses nor the agents that feed them, nor their unhelpful rejection letters. The problem is the sheer number of us. Just about everyone has something […]

Ball State professor Brad King

The Design of Authorship

In the visual realm, story and technology are intricately tied together. Ask any screenplay writer about the story development process and they will tell you there are three stories: the one the writer creates, the one the director shoots, and the one the editor puts together. Each story is different and each is intimately changed by the technology used to tell that story.*

Pulitzer Prize

8 Writing Techniques to Win You a Pulitzer

Today’s guest post is from writer Joe Bunting, who blogs at The Write Practice. We all know there are novels and then there are “literary” novels. When you read Margaret Atwood, it just feels different than when you read Tom Clancy. And for some reason, these literary novels are the ones that win all the […]

Ball State professor Brad King

How We May Read

Today’s guest post is by Brad King, a professor at Ball State with a brilliant mind for emerging media and tech. He will be a regular guest here for a while, writing a series on how people read (in general) and how people read within the tablet/eReader environment. It’s a great honor and privilege for me to […]

The Writer's Workout

Platform and Social Media Must Not Be Your Center

Today’s post is excerpted from The Writer’s Workout: 366 Tips, Tasks, & Techniques From Your Writing Career Coach (Writer’s Digest, 2011) by Christina Katz. With so much emphasis on the social networking aspects of creative careers these days, you might expect an expert on author platform building to promote an extremely social approach. But I […]

lone tugboat

A Tugboat Arrived

Today’s guest post is by Louisiana writer Darrelyn Saloom. Read more of her posts here. On a brisk, clear morning in Baton Rouge, I lay in a Hilton hotel bed and watched tiny tugboats push huge barges up the muddy Mississippi. Little did I know, hours later, a tugboat would arrive and tow Deirdre Gogarty […]

10 Phrases to Purge From Your Speech & Writing

The following is excerpted from Word Savvy by Nancy Ragno, recently released by Writer’s Digest Books. The following mistakes occur so often that they have come to sound and look correct. Undoubtedly, you will recognize some entries as known errors, but others may give you pause: “Is that an error? I didn’t realize that.” Since the […]

Lego Computer Guy

How to Hire the Right Website Designer

Today’s guest post is by Eliana Berlfein, a website designer based in Boulder, Colorado. A website is a big investment in your career as an author, and often the most visible aspect of your platform. While you might be able to handle it on your own, many authors find it worthwhile to hire design help that’s […]

Cat and chicken sharing breakfast

Go Fly a Kite

Today’s guest post is by the lovely Darrelyn Saloom. Read her previous guest posts, or follow her on Twitter. The cat wakes me at six in the morning. She wants to go outside before the sun rises. I don’t want to roll out of bed yet. Even the hen is still roosting beside the back […]

Child Reading

Can Children Develop Adequately Without Books?

It is a pleasure to bring you this lovely essay from April Line. April is a freelance writer and writing teacher. She lives in north central Pennsylvania. Visit her online at April Line Writing. Starstruck The theatrical performance of Max & Ruby: Bunny Party came to my town. I freelance for the arts and culture section […]

by Garda / Flickr

3 Blunders That Can Kill Your Author Platform

Today’s guest post is from author Kristen Lamb. The digital age author has more opportunities than any writer in the history of the written word. But with more opportunities comes more competition, and with more competition comes more work. Mega-agent Donald Maass will tell you there are only two ways to sell books—a good book and […]

Write-a-thon

The Story Bible: What It Is and Why You Need One

The following is an excerpt from Write-a-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It) by Rochelle Melander, now available from Writer’s Digest Books. In writing a series of stories about the same characters, plan the whole series in advance in some detail, to avoid contradictions and inconsistencies. —L. Sprague de Camp […]

Rumors of Water

You Don’t Need a Degree to Find Your Voice

The following excerpt is from Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing by L.L. Barkat. I am opening a jar of green tea from Granada, Spain. It’s an old salsa jar, without its label. The tea is silvery and reminds me of those pictures I’ve seen of the mountain mist in China. There are […]

3 Keys to Sustainable & Successful Indie Authorship

Note from Jane: I don’t usually run posts that feature or promote a single service or solution. Authors need to find partners who not only fit with them, but also fit with their work and their audience. In Scott Sigler’s case, I think he’s found an excellent partner that helps empower his long-term author career. […]

My Memories of a Future Life

Should You Serialize a Novel on Kindle?

Today’s guest post is by Roz Morris. Last month I released my literary novel as four episodes on Kindle: 100,000 words, in chunks of 25,000 words, at 99 cents a time. Why? Like many writers who enjoy blogging, my platform is a writing advice blog, Nail Your Novel. That was perfect when I was releasing […]

Phil Gibbs

3 Tips for Professional E-Book Covers

Today’s guest post is from Biba Pearce at Your Novel Online. An e-book cover has an important job to do. Not only does it present your book to the world, but it also says a lot about you, the author. It can be a powerful selling and marketing tool, or it can damage your image as […]

Brave Rooney

What Advertising Can Teach a Children’s Writer

Today’s guest post is from Gerry Renert, a three-time EMMY nominated kid’s writer, who has recently become a published children’s book author. I never thought I’d end up writing children’s books, especially when my first paying writing job was creating print ads to convince upper-crusters they needed a certain brand of scotch to announce their […]

How to Write Your Best Story

What Is a Story?

The following is excerpted from How to Write Your Best Story by Philip Martin. It may seem to address a simplistic question, but I must agree with Steven Spielberg when he said, “People have forgotten how to tell a story.” So I hope you won’t be too proud to remind yourself what storytelling is all […]

Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields

A Hidden Aspect of Creative Life That Underpins Great Work

The following is excerpted from Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance by Jonathan Fields. Uncertainty and fear of judgment go hand in hand. The more you lean into uncertainty and the greater the risks you take to create something that didn’t exist before, the greater will be the potential for you to […]

The Memoir Project

Don’t Write a Memoir to Get Revenge

The following is excerpted from The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life by Marion Roach Smith. It would be impossible to count up just how many people over the years have come into my class hell-bent on writing a revenge tale. So here’s some hard-won advice: Never write a story because you […]

The Myth of the Lone Creative Genius

Today’s post is an excerpt from the recently published Birth Your Book! by Dr. Liz Alexander. Find out more about Liz at the end of this post. Where did the myth of the lone creative genius come from? You know, the idea that a writer must sit alone in the garret awaiting his or her muse for […]

Banksy in Boston by Chris Devers

Stop Being an “Aspiring” Writer

Today’s guest post is by Ollin Morales from Courage 2 Create. Find out more about Ollin at the end of this post.  Every once in a while I’ll come across a blog post that is absolutely brilliant. It’s gold. If I was a literary agent or a publisher, I would sign you up in two […]

Darrelyn Saloom, 1958

Behind the Curtain of Memory

Before the kidnapping, I lived with my father and two older sisters in Austin, Texas. In second grade—1963—Daddy longed to enroll me in an art program at a progressive academy because I covered our walls with words and drawings of rotary telephones. I’d never attend the conservatory, but I remember holding my father’s hand as […]