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Kamy Wicoff shares her tips from the trenches as she promotes her 

new novel Wishful Thinking, out this April

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Blog Posts

[Breakfast with the Muse] Indie Publishing and the Temptation to Rush Work into Print

Posted by Jill Jepson on January 23, 2015 at 6:00am 6 Comments

Several years ago, I took an online writing class with seven or eight other students. One of the members of the class was a brand-new writer who’d just finished a draft of her very first novel.

I remember thinking that her novel had a lot going for it. It wasn’t very good yet, but it had promise—a clever idea, interesting characters. I thought, With some work on style and plotting, she could really go somewhere with this.  

About a year later, I ran into that same writer online again, and we shared what we’d been doing in the past few months. I learned with dismay that, soon after our class ended, she’d sent her novel out to several publishers, and after a mere six rejections had decided to self-publish it.

I was surprised at how disappointed I was. Rather…

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[REALITY CHECK] Attention to Detail, or The Importance of a Misplaced Penny by Patricia Robertson

Posted by Zetta Brown on January 27, 2015 at 7:30am 0 Comments

Have you ever read a book and got annoyed or disgusted by some anachronistic error that totally broke the spell of the book, or some bit of incorrect detail that snapped your suspension of disbelief?

I have, and I don't like it. Some readers and fans love pointing out mistakes--like Trekkies, for example. I love the TV show Mythbusters and how they've debunked things Hollywood movies have gotten us to believe and some of these myths have seeped into fiction writing. For example, the Mythbusters showed how people DO NOT get thrown across the room when shot--they just crumple to the ground.

Hey, we're all human, and we all make mistakes. But there is a difference between making a one-off mistake and doing sloppy research.

"The devil is in the…

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How Your Body Is a Gateway to Your Creative Expression

Posted by Brooke Warner on January 26, 2015 at 10:30pm 3 Comments

I read a stunning submission this week from one of my students that had all the elements of good storytelling minus one thing: body sensations. I found myself desperately wanting her to describe the sensations that must have been coming up for her as she wrote about what for her was a true-life, horrid event of discovering that her child had been murdered. And although she’s writing memoir, it’s not just memoir that requires us to get into the physical sensations our characters feel. Whether your character is you or a made-up protagonist, body sensations (literally what you or your characters physically feel in reaction to circumstances) help your reader know that what they’re feeling is aligned with what you wanted them to feel when you envisioned or wrote the…

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How to Craft a Compelling Book Description

Posted by Maria Murnane on January 26, 2015 at 8:30am 3 Comments

Book descriptions can be an effective marketing tool, but they can also be tricky. Here are three keys to writing a good one:

  1. Show, don't tell: Much like an online-dating profile, if you toot your book's horn too much, it's a turnoff. If your book is funny, don't write, "This is a laugh-out-loud story!" Instead, write something funny to describe it. Another downside to the overselling approach is that if the reader doesn't laugh out loud when reading your book, he/she is going to feel cheated. (This unfortunately has happened to me several times, which is why I decided to write this post.
  2. Don't go into too much detail: When I'm perusing potential books to read, I want to know what the story is about, period. I don't need to know all the details, or all the minor characters' names, or exactly how the book ends. None of that matters to me before I…
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