Features (2,546)


You've worked hard on your query. You followed all the “rules” you read in writing magazines. You've sweated blood to create a great opening, to get the synopsis down to a page. I'm the acquisitions editor who received this carefully constructed letter.

To be honest, before I read your synopsis, I googled your…


Added by Sunny Frazier on November 2, 2012 at 11:30am — 47 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] Book Covers: Art or Clip-Art Collage?

The saying “You can’t tell a book by its cover, but the cover helps to sell a lot of copies of the book” is true.


I am attracted to books by their covers. In fact, in addition to buying books I want to read, I collect print books by my favorite authors from a certain period and by certain…


Added by Zetta Brown on November 7, 2012 at 7:00am — 45 Comments

More easy book marketing tips

Earlier this year, I wrote a post on grassroots marketing tips, and given how much traffic it got, I thought I'd write another one. Here are two things you should be doing on a regular basis:


1. Respond to reader…


Added by Maria Murnane on November 6, 2012 at 10:04am — 2 Comments

Driving A Car At Night: Do You Outline, Or Not?

When I was a nonfiction writer, I remember being a little nonplussed by the obsession emerging writers had with established writers' processes.  In interview after interview, successful writers were asked, "What time of day do you work? For how many hours?" and inevitably, "Do you work from an outline, or not?"…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on November 5, 2012 at 3:30pm — 39 Comments

Collecting Fans

No, not the kind you plug in...

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called, "My Blog, My Tribe".  In that post, I explored a writer's use of social media outlets-- Twitter, blogs, Facebook-- and skimmed over a subject I…


Added by Julie Luek on November 5, 2012 at 5:30am — 21 Comments

[NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS] Do You Need To Be on All of the Social Media Networks?

Last week I registered for the BlogHer 13 conference, which will take place in Chicago July 25-27 of next year, and I’m very excited! If you sign up before Nov. 7, you can get the $198 early bird rate, too. After that, the price doubles, so sign up fast, so we can hang out in Chicago next year!

When I registered for the BlogHer conference, I had to fill out a form that asked me how many followers I have on…


Added by Meghan Ward on November 1, 2012 at 1:00am — 14 Comments

7 Free Tools to Market Your Book on Amazon

by Sherrie Wilkolaski

It's hard to find a needle in a haystack, not to mention a diamond in the rough, but if you look hard enough, you'll find that Amazon offers a menu of free marketing tools for authors to promote their books.  These are some real gems and the investment will last a lifetime.

Have you done all that you can…


Added by Sherrie Wilkolaski on October 30, 2012 at 7:00am — 8 Comments

Whenever I hear this, it drives me nuts!

I've become a fan of both The Voice and The Biggest Loser. Yes, it is true. However, the grammar on both shows' latest seasons has me pulling my hair out.

Christina Aguilera has an amazing voice, but her word choice could use some…


Added by Maria Murnane on October 30, 2012 at 9:28am — 3 Comments

Five Questions for...Joanne C. Hillhouse

Joanne C. Hillhouse, who hails from Antigua and Barbuda, is the author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad! (just…


Added by Five Questions on October 29, 2012 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

What’s What: How Understanding Your Publishing Options Makes You a Better, Savvier Writer

On Friday, November 2, Kamy and I will be talking with Linda Joy Myers, president of the National Association of Memoir Writers---at their FREE Fall Telesummit---about publishing. It’s a timely conversation on the heels of announcements this week about the downsizing and …


Added by Brooke Warner on October 27, 2012 at 5:30am — 5 Comments

The Future of Fiction?

Last week I attended “A Conversation with Twitter and The New Yorker on the Future of Fiction.” The event launched Twitter as a vehicle for fiction-writing, and asked writers to rise to the challenge using it as such. I’m not convince this is a challenge writers should spend their time undertaking.

The event was held at The New York Public Library, and was standing room only by the time Twitter’s Andrew Fitzgerald, Head of Editorial Programming, took to the podium to talk about…


Added by Jamie Brenner on October 24, 2012 at 4:00pm — 5 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] Interview with Margaret Riley - co-founder and publisher of Changeling Press LLC

This week my guest on [REALITY CHECK] is Margaret Riley of Changeling Press. Margaret gives you a good insight as to what she's looking for and how/where they can be found. If you ever bump into her or one of her reps at a conference,…


Added by Zetta Brown on October 24, 2012 at 7:30am — 3 Comments

[TIPS OF THE TRADE]: Hate book promotion? Three ways to make it work for you

How many times have you heard a writer say something like this? “I love writing, but I hate book promotion.  It’s just…


Added by Ellen Cassedy on October 23, 2012 at 12:30pm — 38 Comments

Avoid cliches in your dialogue

Think about the friends you find most interesting and why. Maybe it's the way they tell stories at dinner parties, or how they express themselves over email, or even how they craft their comments on other people's Facebook status updates. Chances are the people you enjoy being around the most tend to use colorful, descriptive language that makes you laugh, cry, think, or all of the above.

I highly doubt they use many clichés.

Clichés are boring, and using clichés makes…


Added by Maria Murnane on October 23, 2012 at 8:30am — 5 Comments

Mixing Reality with Fiction

When I translated the prizewinning, international bestseller The 7th Woman by Frédérique Molay, I had the opportunity to discuss with the author how she mixes reality into fiction. I share those revelations below, and would be most interested in knowing how other writers out there weave reality…


Added by Anne Trager on October 22, 2012 at 10:00pm — 4 Comments

Writing as Adventure

For me, the greatest thing about writing is the process itself.  I love getting up in the morning with the next sentence in my head.  Or even a fuzzy idea that has taken firmer shape during the night while I was asleep. Best of all is the sense of adventure--that I don’t know at the start exactly where the book will…


Added by Marilyn Yalom on October 21, 2012 at 6:00pm — 6 Comments

It's The Little Things: Share A Joyous Writing Moment!

Since I started blogging a few months ago about my experiences as a first-time novelist (at age forty, no less, but hurrah for that!), I have been very thorough on the topic of The Struggle.  You know the struggle I mean.  …


Added by Kamy Wicoff on October 19, 2012 at 2:00pm — 11 Comments

Why I'd Give Up My Amazon Refund

Sarah Glazer worries that writers are getting shafted by Amazon

Like a lot of you, I got that “Dear Kindle customer” email from Amazon last week. It told me I was entitled to refunds on some past e-book purchases due to the settlement of a price-fixing case with publishers.

 I normally wouldn’t consider myself a fan of price-fixing, but I confess my heart…


Added by State of the Art on October 19, 2012 at 5:11am — 1 Comment


If you’re a blogger, you’ve probably heard the term “SEO,” short for “search engine optimization.” You may even know what SEO is (a method for improving your website’s ranking in Google and other search engine results). But why should you care about SEO? Because few people look past the first page of results when they do a web search. If your website doesn’t come up in the top page for a particular keyword (your name, your blog name, the title of your book, a product you are selling), you…


Added by Meghan Ward on October 18, 2012 at 12:30am — 11 Comments

The Art (and Craft) of Delayed Gratification: How I wrote my first e-serial

Almost exactly one year ago, I had the idea to write my fourth novel as an e-book serial – a book published in installments, every week for a set number of weeks.  As a lifelong soap opera junkie, I couldn’t imagine a better idea – the marriage of my two favorite things, trashy television and commercial…


Added by Jamie Brenner on October 16, 2012 at 4:00pm — 11 Comments

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