Features (2,349)

Do You Haiku? Why I do.

I love writing a haiku when I am stressed over my writing.  Why?  These days, I write novels and screenplays-- and sometimes, it all gets overwhelming. Just so many words, pages of them (I print everything out so I literally do I piles of pages around my desk). But here's the thing, some days I need to focus on the small not the big. On the syllable and not the sentence. I need to re-charge my writing. I do so by writing a…


Added by Caroline Bock on April 18, 2012 at 1:30pm — No Comments


Book trailers are tricky.  I wasn't planning to have one at first -- at least, the publisher was not going to produce one for my debut young adult novel -- LIE.  Then a few weeks before publication in the summer of 2011, my editor called me and asked, a bit sheepishly, if I would consider making a trailer.  To be very specific: this meant for me to produce a trailer.  She even said that it could be very basic -- just something on video -- me…


Added by Caroline Bock on April 17, 2012 at 6:30pm — 3 Comments

When you cut a scene, you like, save it!

As you begin a novel, you may have an idea where you're going, but you probably don't know the exact route you'll take to get there. I've written three complete novels, and in only one of them did I (loosely) adhere to an outline. I've found that plot lines often take on a life of their own, and when that happens it's best to follow them to see what happens.

This freewheeling approach can work well, but not always, and sometimes it can lead you to a dead end. If that happens,…


Added by Maria Murnane on April 17, 2012 at 8:22am — 4 Comments

Two HYPER-LOCAL Ideas for Your Book Promotion Tool Kit

Think global, act local -- this environmentally-friendly axiom can also be a way to think of your public relations effort for your book.  And by local, I mean hyper-local.  Get your community talking about your book and knowing you as an author.

The ideal would be to have your local bookstore work with you on launch event for your book.  However, in lieu of a local bookstore being willing to have you talk and…


Added by Caroline Bock on April 17, 2012 at 8:30am — 8 Comments

What We Talk About When Talk About Book Titles

Above my desk: 

Writing is easy… just a matter of staring at blank page until your forehead bleeds-- Gene Fowler.

Gene Fowler was a screenwriter during the Golden Era of Hollywood. Today, we’d have to modify his quote to read “staring at a blank screen.” But the idea is the same. We struggle as writers. The screen stays blank. We wish for blood. Worse yet, we have no one else to commiserate with except other writers (thank goodness for she writes). We obsess. I obsessed…


Added by Caroline Bock on April 16, 2012 at 8:19pm — 18 Comments

It Pays to Give Back

I remember submitting an article once to a writer’s site in which I spoke about my school visits and my work with my youth writing programme, the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize. I remember it was rejected on the premise that they were concerned with publishing pieces that showed writers how to profit from their writing. And while it’s true that I have yet to cash in big on my writing, I feel like my involvement as an advocate of the…


Added by Joanne C. Hillhouse on April 12, 2012 at 1:51am — 5 Comments

Five Marketing Tips to Drive Excitement and Buzz

Larger books than this post have been written about effective book marketing strategies. But since I'm a brand and marketing consultant by profession, many believe I have some sort of mystic edge when it comes to promotion.

I don't. I just apply some common sense principles about "who is my audience?" and "who will care about this book?" and go from there.

The book world we all know is its own unique animal. Sort of like an ostrich, which seems to defy the laws of nature. Large…


Added by Maria Ross on April 12, 2012 at 1:00pm — 24 Comments



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Hello Victoria, thank you for allowing us this interview. Tell us about your current novel "Letting Go".

“Letting Go” is a collection of eight short stories, all with a twist in the tale. The common theme in each of these stories is how one split second can change your life. Most of them are quite dark tales but I like to think they…

Added by GMTA PUBLISHING on April 11, 2012 at 11:57am — 1 Comment

Writing About Real People: The Ethics of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

When my memoir, The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community and Coming Home to the Body, was in its just-about final, final, final draft, a friend who had recently read it told me to cut the part where I kind of diss a family member. As soon as she suggested this, a chord stuck through the core of me. I knew she was right, and I also knew how much I didn't ever want to use my writing to counter negative family dynamics in this way, and more to the point, how I wasn't…


Added by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on April 11, 2012 at 3:23pm — 14 Comments

Lessons from Poet Laureate Experience


After being Kansas poet laureate for over two years (2007-2009), I came away with many ideas about the importance of poetry to a region. Some were unexpected. Among them are the following:

Poetry promotes the most profound literacy.



Added by Denise Low on April 11, 2012 at 7:46am — 9 Comments

When To Tour On Your Own Dime (And When To Stay Home With a Good Book)

We all know the oft-repeated bad news: the publishing world, which was always going to hell in a handbasket, is now rushing down the mountain on steroids. Translation: there's little opportunity or money to be had when it comes to getting big publishers to promote their writers, send them on tour, and pick up the tab. I remember a friend of mine, who has written nine bestsellers, telling me that in the good old days, she actually had a credit card from her publisher that she could use to…


Added by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on April 10, 2012 at 5:26pm — 6 Comments

Opening Up Your Life: Fictionalizing Real Life

When I began my first novel, The Divorce Girl, I knew I was both basing this on my own life and fictionalizing it to get closer to the emotional resonance of what I had lived as a teenager. Fiction is like that: through the backdoor of imagination,…


Added by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on April 10, 2012 at 11:08am — 2 Comments

The Journey

Originally posted 8.29.10 on FlyoverPeople.net

It’s like an out-of-body experience seeing my book on the shelves at Town Crier, at my hometown bookstore.

Even though I’ve thought about the possibility…


Added by Cheryl Unruh on April 10, 2012 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Always Protect Your Personal Brand

There are more than 1,500 books published every day. That is a LOT of competition, especially if you're an indie author in control of your own marketing efforts. With all that noise, it's important to give your personal brand the best chance of making a positive impression on readers.

What do I mean by "personal brand"? Let me give you an example:

For the past few months, I've been hanging out in a handful of LinkedIn groups for aspiring authors and self-published authors. I'm…


Added by Maria Murnane on April 10, 2012 at 8:09am — No Comments

Armchair Book Tours: Getting Yourself Out There Without Leaving Home

As I plan for my Adironack-chair-on-the-porch portion of promoting my novel, The Divorce Girl, I'm excited about the possibilities of being two places at once without leaving home. Yes, I will actually go many places and do readings, talks or signings, but it's likely I will reach more…


Added by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on April 10, 2012 at 12:00pm — 23 Comments

Opening Up Your Poetry: Five Approaches to Revision

Poetry works best when it helps us see and hear the world anew. Through concise use of vivid languages and sensory images, we can bring our poetry alive, opening it up to new dimensions. "Language can do what it can't say," William Stafford said, and nothing is more true of powerful poetry. By tilting how we usually…


Added by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on April 9, 2012 at 9:40am — 5 Comments

My Memoir is About You: Why We Read Other People's Lives

At this year's AWP conference in Chicago, Ellen Cassedy and Nancy K. Miller were part of a panel organized by the University of Nebraska Press on Family Stories.  Kamy Wicoff was in attendance, and loved what they had to say on the subject so much (memoir writers, don't miss these wonderful posts)…


Added by Nancy K. Miller on April 6, 2012 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

Petals & Wings: Opening Up Your Writing & Getting Yourself Out There!

It's April in Kansas, and this year, with spring ahead of itself and yet compressed into ecstatic blooming all at once, the green is electric, the flowers are vivid, and I've even seen the return of the winged beauties: butterflies and lightning bugs. To celebrate and explore being a writer in this season in our…


Added by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on April 9, 2012 at 8:03am — 1 Comment

Five Questions for Journalist Elana Ashanti Jefferson

 Headshot 2012 by C McCrimmon.jpg


1) How has your career as a journalist evolved?  How did you get to features?


Even in grade school, writing was the way that I most comfortably expressed myself. I was the consummate journal-keeper. But I didn’t seriously…


Added by Elisabeth Kinsey on April 1, 2012 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

The Two-Hour Project: Surprises in small packages

I first met Barb Johnson in 2009, in Albuquerque. The newly-minted AROHO Gift of Freedom award winner was visiting the state to meet with the Board of the Foundation, and they’d asked me, as the outgoing recipient, to come down and check her out.


Even I—skeptic though I am—couldn’t resist the charm of this smart…


Added by Summer Wood on April 6, 2012 at 6:27am — 6 Comments

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