Features (2,547)

[SWP News] Show these Books some Love!

The Longest Mile by Christine Meyer

In the course of their lifetime, one out of two men and one out of three women will be diagnosed with cancer. Many of us watch in desperation as our friends and loved ones fight for their…


Added by Caitlyn Levin on February 6, 2016 at 10:30am — 2 Comments


The Way of the Mysterial Woman: Upgrading How You Live, Love, and Lead

By Suzanne Anderson MA and Susan Cannon PhD

The Way of the Mysterial Woman is for every woman who feels the call into greatness, authenticity, and meaningful living; women who are finally ready to step into their lives with mind, body, heart, and soul fully engaged and awaken their true potential. Women’s…


Added by Lauren Wise on January 26, 2016 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Best Resources for Authors in 2016


Added by Steph Rodriguez on February 2, 2016 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

Commercial vs. Literary Fiction

What is commercial fiction? The term gets thrown around a lot. Do you write “literary” fiction, or “commercial” fiction? As a writer, I hate this question. Labelling some kinds of fiction as commercial and others as literary implies that one is a higher calling than another. This question seems to be a…


Added by Caitlyn Levin on February 10, 2016 at 12:30pm — 10 Comments

Promote Your Book with Book Awards

Book award contests can be a great promotion tool for authors. When your book wins an award, you can promote yourself as an "award-winning author" and the book as an "award-winning book."

In addition, the award organizers often promote the winners and they usually provide some kind of a graphic (such as the one shown here) that you can use for promotional purposes.

For example, my book,…


Added by Dana Lynn Smith on February 10, 2016 at 6:00am — No Comments

And the Award Goes To…Socially Engaged Fiction

Are you writing a novel about "the world as it is with an eye for how it could be”? If so, Barbara Kingsolver may have a prize for you.  Check out the submission guidelines for the PEN/Bellwether Prize (and join the conversation below for a chance at a free book.)

Kingsolver launched the PEN/Bellwether Prize in 2000 to promote…


Added by Ellen Cassedy on June 27, 2012 at 6:30am — 16 Comments

Marketing Tip: Reach out to Your Local Library

No matter who publishes your book, there's no guarantee that libraries will carry it. However, if you walk into your local library with a smile and a copy of your book and say, "Hi there! I wrote this book. Will you please carry it?" there's a good chance the answer will be "Sure." It can't hurt to ask, right? The worst the librarian can do is say no, and as I explained in a …


Added by Maria Murnane on January 18, 2016 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

Why Grammatical Errors in Your Bio Can Hurt Your Sales

I'm always looking for ideas for this blog (as well as a good book to read), so I spend a chunk of my day keeping tabs on the publishing industry. Often when I stumble across an article about a new author, especially a new indie author, I head to Amazon to check out the book and the author's page. Who knows? I may buy the book or even contact the author about a possible interview. 

If I see multiple grammatical errors in an author page, however,…


Added by Maria Murnane on January 11, 2016 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

To Pitch or Not to Pitch: Lessons from the Jewish Book Council

Have you ever found yourself struggling to make an important decision that could be a potential game changer, but money is the one thing getting in your way? 

When I started writing my memoir, I struggled believing I could  write the damn thing. Every day, voices of self-doubt crept in but at the same time, telling my story motivated me to the finish line. Now, that the book is on the track to be published, I freak out every time I have to…


Added by Dorit Sasson on February 4, 2016 at 8:00pm — 7 Comments


“When did you write your first story?” It’s a standard question for novelists. “As soon as I could hold a pencil” is the right answer.

Not me though. I didn’t even think about writing a novel until I was in my mid-fifties, and didn’t get serious until I retired early a few years later from my university position—so I could concentrate on making stuff up. Five years on I’d ‘completed’ three novels, queried countless agents, and found ways to…


Added by Jenni Ogden on February 4, 2016 at 5:00pm — 16 Comments

The Accidental Poet


I have always been a poetry lover.  From the time I pored over the dog-eared copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses that had belonged to my own mother, I was hooked.


How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do!


This was the first…


Added by Yona Zeldis McDonough on January 20, 2016 at 4:30pm — 8 Comments

How I Came to Write, SCATTERING ASHES, A Memoir of Letting Go

As a kid, I spent hours hidden between the pages of books.  I loved to read — especially stories about people and how they got through the tough spots in their lives. One of my favorites was…


Added by Joan Z. Rough on January 29, 2016 at 1:00pm — 23 Comments

5 Things Every Author Needs to Understand about Book Cover Design

We all know that books are, in fact, judged by their covers. Because of this, and because the marketplace is so crazy competitive, your cover can make or break your book. But there’s a bit of a rub where cover design is concerned, which is that many authors fancy themselves book designers. But being the expert on your book does not necessarily make you the expert on your book’s design.

I’ve worked in book publishing—and therefore…


Added by Brooke Warner on January 13, 2016 at 11:30pm — 26 Comments

What It Takes To Become A Writer

Virginia Woolf is famous for having said that to be a woman and a writer, one needed a room of one’s own and five hundred pounds a year. In essence, she was advocating for space and time. Of course she was correct. Of course these are two essential components of a successful writing life. It’s better to work uninterrupted and undistracted, isn’t it?

But our dear Virginia didn’t have any children, and so didn’t…


Added by Anne Leigh Parrish on September 18, 2015 at 11:30am — 12 Comments

[SWP News] New Books Coming this Spring!

True Stories at the Smoky View

After attending the funeral of her estranged friend Skip in Knoxville, Tennessee, Vrai (short for Vraiment), a forty-something art history librarian with sons of her own, rescues ten-year-old Jonathan, who has been abandoned with no shoes in the funeral home parking lot. The Blizzard of…


Added by Caitlyn Levin on January 20, 2016 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Writing Tip: Just Keep Going

When I'm working on the first draft of a novel, at times it can feel like I'm pushing an enormous boulder up a mountain. Have you ever had that feeling? It's during those periods that I have to trust what I've learned over the course of writing multiple books, which is that I have to keep going. So day after day I force myself to sit down and inch the story along, however slowly, because I know that by doing so, I will eventually…


Added by Maria Murnane on January 28, 2016 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments

The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing Your Novel

I've been writing for (yikes) 20 years now.  I traditionally published the first 50 or so novels I wrote, then I started a self-publishing venture to re-release a dozen books I'd written early in my career and had gotten the rights back to.  For a while, I had a foot in both traditional publishing and…


Added by Stephanie Bond on January 26, 2016 at 9:00pm — 12 Comments

. . . that time a famous writer answered my email!: Getting Endorsements for Your Debut Novel

I’m a whiz at getting rejected. It is in m blood, it seems. It began at a young age. I was the last picked for kickball teams, a perpetual member of the chorus in school plays, and a recession-age job hunter. Don’t even get me started on the subject of my love life! Then there were the bazillion rejections I got from literary agents and publishers for my novel. But I kept going! No matter how many times you get rejected and no matter the reason, it…


Added by Garine Isassi on January 24, 2016 at 5:30pm — 16 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Novel as "Second Act"

I was inching closer to the end of my forty-year career in science museums. I had realized that the museums needed to be updated for the next generation, and I wasn’t one for the job. Institutional dynamics no longer fascinated me, and my son had left home, taking with him my opportunity to understand digital natives. Change was in the cards, and I had begun to plan its trajectory.

            And then my mother, who lived with my sister two…


Added by Sheila Grinell on January 18, 2016 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Use Blind Copy in Marketing Emails

Given all the hard work that goes into writing a book, when yours finally comes out, of course you want to shout it from the rooftops. And you should! There's nothing wrong with sending out an email to announce the big news. Just be sure to use the "blind copy" feature in your email program.

If you're not familiar with blind copy, it's the "Bcc" option underneath the "to" field, usually right next to the "Cc" (carbon copy) option. When you…


Added by Maria Murnane on November 16, 2015 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

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