Features (2,371)

[REALITY CHECK] – Proofreading is NOT an option

Publishing has never been easier than it is these days, and it's because of the growing popularity (and acceptance) of self publishing. But just because things have gotten easier, it doesn’t mean things have gotten better.


There’s still a lot of subpar work being produced and published. Sometimes…


Added by Zetta Brown on February 24, 2015 at 7:30am — 11 Comments

[What's Next?] Fiction for Your Brain

Typically when I read for fun, I read fiction. I have always been this way. I love information, so it seems like I should be naturally drawn to nonfiction, but that’s never been the case. I like the idea of made-up worlds, and I like that things generally work out in a positive way in those worlds. Nonfiction is not always so positive because, well, it’s real, and you can often predict the ending. That said, I’ve recently been reading two memoirs, which is new for me. Correction: I’m reading…


Added by Caitlyn Levin on February 10, 2015 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments

The Top 10 Things All Authors Should Know about Amazon

1. Your Amazon ranking has nothing to do with sales. Although many authors are obsessed with it and like to send out mass e-mails to friends and family when the number drops, unfortunately, all your ranking means is that people are looking at your page. While it might be argued that sales will inevitably rise…


Added by Brooke Warner on February 23, 2015 at 10:30pm — 21 Comments

In Praise of Indies: They're Baaaaack!

I'm still swooning. On February 10th, I was one of eighty-some-odd authors who had the great good fortune to appear at the American Booksellers Association's Annual…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on February 23, 2015 at 10:30am — 7 Comments

Want to test the market? An e-book is the way to go

In the fall of 2011, I attended a book launch party in New York. My editor from Portfolio was there (she’d worked on the hosts’ book), and we got to talking about potential projects. I mentioned a recent blog post that had done quite well. Called “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” it…


Added by Laura Vanderkam on February 13, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Tapping Your Community

When my last book was published in 2009, I wrote a post that got more traffic than any I had written in years of blogging. Called…


Added by Eileen Flanagan on February 20, 2015 at 5:00am — 8 Comments

[Breakfast with the Muse] Write with AUTHORity

If you are an author, you are an authority. If you expect people to come to your website, read your essays, buy your books, or pay the slightest attention to anything you write, you must become an authority and write like one. This includes us fiction writers. We may feel like we don’t have to…


Added by Jill Jepson on February 20, 2015 at 11:00am — 5 Comments

[THE WRITER'S LIFE] A Worship of Writers

My mother always says she wishes she hadn’t taught my brother, my sister, and me to be so nice--because, she explains, you don’t make any money being nice and people take advantage of you. She wishes shed taught us to be accountants, so we’d at least all be making a nice living now. Sometimes I think she shouldn’t have taught us to write.…


Added by Cindy Eastman on February 16, 2015 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

Are you a writer? Or a person who writes?

A writer friend of mine says that when she begins a writing project, she has no idea whatsoever where she’s headed. All she’s about is her love of language. She doodles and she noodles. She delights in words, their sounds and their senses.

Out of that playful, trancelike state, a way forward emerges. Before…


Added by Ellen Cassedy on February 17, 2015 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments

The Biggest Marketing Opportunity Most Authors Run Away From

It’s no secret that marketing is among an author’s least favorite professional tasks. It feels pushy, impersonal and foreign to those used to spending most of their time surrounded by artistic endeavors.

Whether you’re familiar with the tools and strategies needed to promote your work or not, the attitude…


Added by Christelle Lujan on February 11, 2015 at 11:30am — 25 Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Fear is Just the Other Side of Faith

“When you take a risk you may lose.  When you don’t take a risk, you always lose.”

-A line from the protagonist, Hélène, from the movie Queen to Play.



Added by Donna Stoneham on February 16, 2015 at 8:00am — 7 Comments

Writing Tip: Keep Track of Your Ideas

The other day, I received a notification that I had a new subscriber to my monthly newsletter. As I always do, I e-mailed her to ask why she'd signed up. She replied that while she hasn't yet written anything, she has a lot of stories she wants to share when she retires from her job as a police detective, so she thought she could learn from me.


Isn't that COOL? (Not the learning from me part, the police detective part!)


Just think of all the interesting…


Added by Maria Murnane on February 16, 2015 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

[NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS] 7 Tools for Blocking Distractions

Photo courtesy of Audio-Technica via Creative Commons

Today, social media is an important component of a writer’s life, but it’s equally important to know when to turn it off. For some of us, this is no easy task, which…


Added by Meghan Ward on February 9, 2015 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

5 Tips for Scoring a Book Deal (on Top of a Little Luck)

This week I had two long-time clients score big time: One secured an agent after months and months of querying. The other landed a book deal and sent out the following stats in a celebratory group e-mail to the people who’d helped her along the…


Added by Brooke Warner on February 9, 2015 at 9:30pm — 19 Comments

[Path to Publication] How To Decide How Much to Reveal in Your Memoir

My past few posts have been more about the nuts and bolts of getting ready to publish with one of the so-called “Big Five” publishing houses. This month, as the date draws closer for my memoir’s launch in bookstores, I’m reflecting on one of the earliest decisions I needed to make about putting a true story out for public consumption—decisions we all need to make, regardless of whether we publish independently or…


Added by Tracy Slater on February 3, 2015 at 1:30am — 12 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] - The Reality of Magazine Articles by Trisha Faye

She Writer Trisha Faye is mad about magazines. Although she has experience writing for newspapers, she found she still had to transition into the "magazine mind" in order to write for them.

In today's [REALITY CHECK], Trisha reveals her tips on how to break into the still-lucrative magazine article writing…


Added by Zetta Brown on February 10, 2015 at 7:30am — 4 Comments

Talk Twitter to Me

As a social media manager, I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I just don't understand Twitter." So if you feel like Twitter is a foreign language, know that you are not alone. For this week's…


Added by Janay Lampkin on February 6, 2015 at 11:30am — 14 Comments

Marketing Idea: Set Up a Card Table on the Sidewalk

I live near downtown Brooklyn, where sidewalks are lined to the gills with what can best be described as "random stuff" for sale. On any given stroll one can find an array of sunglasses, fruit, CDs, jewelry, clothing, cell phone cases, skin creams, and, last but not least, books.…


Added by Maria Murnane on February 9, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

[SWP: Behind the Book] Learning to Be Bold

The story of how I came to publish my second novel, Play for Me, with She Writes Press relates in a surprising way to the feminist theme in the novel. But I didn’t see that until I sat down to write this essay.

Like most people who write serious fiction, I wanted to be a published author…


Added by Celine Keating on February 9, 2015 at 7:30am — 29 Comments

[Breakfast with the Muse] The Terrifying, Beautiful Work of Revision

My music teacher recently said something that sounded very familiar. “When I tell students to practice a piece, they sometimes think I mean play it four or five times. But that’s not what practice is. Practicing means picking apart a piece measure by measure. Playing small sections not five or six times, but…


Added by Jill Jepson on February 6, 2015 at 8:00am — 6 Comments

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