Features (2,635)

Make your readers care about your characters

I recently finished reading a novel that wasn't terrible, but I never really got into it because I just didn't care about any of the characters. Not one.

If you want readers to become invested in your writing, they must become invested in your characters. I'm not suggesting that all your characters need to be charming, or even particularly nice, and I'm certainly not suggesting that you can't have villains. But there has to be something in at least one of your characters that…

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Added by Maria Murnane on March 12, 2013 at 9:04am — 6 Comments

Everyone's A Critic

In the old days, publishers sent out bound galleys or proofs to a limited number of reviewers, journalists, film and translation scouts, and booksellers in the hopes of drumming up early interest in an upcoming title. Now there is Net Galley, a platform where a publisher can upload an electronic version of the galleys that provides early access to reviewers, bloggers, journalists, librarians, booksellers,…

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Added by Nancy Kricorian on March 9, 2013 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

[She Self-Publishes] Book Design Basics

Hardcore critics of self-published books usually cite two major pet peeves as reasons why they won't even pick up another self-published book: shoddy editing and amateur design.

 

We've already talked about…

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Added by Emily Suess on March 11, 2013 at 8:34am — 2 Comments

Nationwide Book Tour: A Peek Inside the Sausage (+ Giveaway)

When I heard the words “nationwide book tour,” I used to imagine working an hour or two every day for several weeks and spending evenings in fancy hotels, all the while being hounded by adoring fans. Sounded pretty sweet.



Well, it may be that way for the superstars, but for the rest of us, a spring book tour begins in November, with planning, research, pitch letters, and reaching out to friends and contacts in various cities.



So there I was in November staring at a…

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Added by Pamela Olson on March 10, 2013 at 11:30pm — 18 Comments

SWP at AWP: She Writers, We Have A Catalog!

It wasn't easy getting there.  A blizzard hit Boston the day I flew in, and it took me five hours to get from New York to New England when it should only have taken me one.  I landed in a whiteout on a runway covered in snow, and thought, "Oh AWP, when will we meet in Miami?"  It was an exhausting journey, but boy, the destination was worth every minute it took me to get there.

Entering the cavernous, windowless exhibition hall at last, I admit I was feeling pretty flat.  But seeing…

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Added by Kamy Wicoff on March 10, 2013 at 9:30am — 10 Comments

Countdown to Publication—10 days

Dear She Writers,

Only 10 days to the official publication of Oleander Girl!

I say "official" because I did my first Oleander Girl event last night at Asia Society Texas, in Houston.

This happened because of a number of reasons, the first being that I'd been invited to participate in the Tucson Book Festival, which starts from tonight (3/8). 

I was up at the crack of dawn this morning, driving to the airport by 6 a.m., with ample chocolate fortifications…

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Added by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on March 8, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

[NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS] Vine: A Video Tool for Introverts

For those of you who were intimidated by the thought of marketing yourself on YouTube, here’s a video tool for you.Vine, Twitter’s new social media video app, allows you to make short videos on your computer or mobile device and easily upload them to your Vine, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. The catch? The videos are limited to…

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Added by Meghan Ward on March 7, 2013 at 8:23am — 15 Comments

[Making the Leap] Creating an Inspirational Space

Soon after my son left for college, I quit my career and decided to take the writing plunge. (I know, I know, this isn't logical, but that was all covered in an earlier post...) Like the infamous Three Bears, we live in a house that is just the right size for our family, everyone has their own room. It adequately meets our needs, but there was no extra space to create a writing office.

Well, unless I considered the college sons' room. Which I did. I waited a couple years of course,…

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Added by Julie Luek on March 5, 2013 at 9:00pm — 52 Comments

From Self-Published to Published: A Highlight Reel

It’s possible I got published because I liked somebody’s hat.



Let me back up a little.



I was 23 when I unexpectedly found myself in Palestine. Two years later, when I returned to the US, I was desperate to write about my experiences. But every time I thought about sitting down to write a book, I felt like I was standing at the base of Mt. Everest staring up into the the vastness. And the task was not to scale the mountain but to eat it.



Two years later I was…

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Added by Pamela Olson on March 3, 2013 at 11:30pm — 30 Comments

I hope this piques your interest

I often see self-published authors use the word "peak" when they should be using "pique." This mistake is just one example of why I strongly recommend hiring a copyeditor if you go the indie route. (I also recommend hiring a creative/developmental editor. See my post about the difference between the two if you're uncertain.)…

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Added by Maria Murnane on March 5, 2013 at 8:15am — 3 Comments

5 Questions for...Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki is a critically-acclaimed filmmaker and novelist, and a Zen Buddhist priest. Her first two novels, the Kiriyama Prize winner My Year of Meats and American Book Award winner…

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Added by Five Questions on March 4, 2013 at 10:48am — 11 Comments

Connecting with What Matters

It’s not always the case that we can equate believing that our writing matters with believing that WHAT we are writing matters. It’s a subtle distinction, but some of you know exactly what I mean. You can value your writing life---knowing that writing brings you alive, defines you, is an…

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Added by Brooke Warner on March 2, 2013 at 9:30am — 16 Comments

The New Author Survival Guide

First, an admission: I wrote this post a few months ago for my own author blog, so it's not original content... But after the lovely response to my post ‘How to finish the damn thing’ last week, I thought you might enjoy this, too.

(A quick thanks to everyone who read and commented on the HTFTDT post. It made me reflect how lucky we are, as writers, to have the connection and support offered by the internet in general, and She Writes in particular. We’re all in this…

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Added by Gemma Burgess on February 26, 2013 at 10:30am — 17 Comments

Countdown to Publication—20 days

Dear She Writers,

I can't believe that in about 3 weeks Oleander Girl will hit the bookstores!

Sometimes I'm elated when I think this; at other times I'm overwhelmed.

My brain is a constant flurry of trying to remember the million things that must be done before starting book tour--guest blog posts written, email interview questions answered, facebook entries made, friends in different cities informed of my events, flights and hotels booked, publicity questions handled,…

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Added by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on February 27, 2013 at 10:30pm — 16 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] Set Your Standards. You never know who’s paying attention.

You don’t have to be a genius to love reading, but that doesn’t mean a genius won’t read your work. Bill Gates dropped out of college and Albert Einstein dropped out of high school. Both of these men went on to affect life on this planet today.

 

Ever wonder what books they…

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Added by Zetta Brown on February 27, 2013 at 7:00am — 6 Comments

Writing a children's book? Three things you need to know

I don't write children's books, but my friend Raymond Bean does. He's the author of the popular Sweet Farts series, so I asked him to share his thoughts on the genre. Here's what he had to say:

I teach 4th grade by day and write children's books by night. I spend my days helping young readers sift through the book baskets and find the gems they'll want to read. Reading, writing, and sharing with my target audience has taught me a ton about the likes and dislikes of…

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Added by Maria Murnane on February 26, 2013 at 12:03pm — 3 Comments

Nine Lessons from a Book Tour

After more than a year in hardcover, my memoir, An Unquenchable Thirst, is being released in paperback today. The most exciting thing about this for me is that I’m going on book tour.…

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Added by Mary Johnson on February 26, 2013 at 1:00am — 16 Comments

[She Self-Publishes] Email Marketing for Authors

As an author, you'll probably hear a lot about email marketing. Like social media, it's seen as one of the essential marketing tools for promoting your current books, your future works, and building your personal brand and author platform.

 

In fact, email marketing is arguably more…

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Added by Emily Suess on February 26, 2013 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Is it OK to Write Journalism like Fiction?

Sarah Glazer, a fan of Katherine Boo, wonders if her technique is for everyone

“But does it work as a novel?” That question from a member of my London book club startled me as we discussed Katherine Boo’s compelling reporting on slum-dwellers of Mumbai,…

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Added by State of the Art on February 15, 2013 at 11:00am — 11 Comments

Countdown to Publication—28 Days

Dear SheWriters,

Less than a month left now for Oleander Girl’s birthday! Things are heating up.

This is the week to fine-tune the book tour and plan media outreach, so I’m on the phone a fair bit with my publicist at Simon and Schuster, discussing strategy. We’re going over media that I’ve done before in cities where I’ve been on book tour, so that she can approach them (in addition to others that she’s approaching on her own). We’re discussing reviewer venues where finished…

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Added by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on February 21, 2013 at 5:00pm — No Comments

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