Brooke Warner's Blog (120)

5 Things I Discovered from a Taking a Month Off from Writing

For the past five years I’ve kept a rigorous writing schedule. I’ve written or co-authored four books and one e-book. I’ve blogged religiously every other week, plus written countless guest posts and, for the last year, a monthly column. In my most recent book, I wrote…

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Added by Brooke Warner on December 17, 2016 at 1:30pm — 17 Comments

Why Literary Writers Aren’t Getting Traditional Publishing Deals

This week I had lunch with an agent friend who expressed her frustration that the best manuscripts she’s representing simply aren’t selling to traditional publishers. It’s a storyline so familiar to me that I used it as the…
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Added by Brooke Warner on October 26, 2016 at 8:00pm — 10 Comments

Confessions of a Book Editor

When I got into book publishing I was an inexperienced 23-year-old whose previous work experience was waitressing and a couple of cherry college internships that had nothing to do with publishing. I worked my way up the ranks, learning publishing and how to edit…

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Added by Brooke Warner on September 30, 2016 at 11:30am — 11 Comments

How Not to Get Sued for Your Memoir

Because I host regular free webinars about memoir writing, I’m in contact most months with hundreds of memoir writers. And even though the topics I teach typically have nothing to do with libel or slander or misrepresentation, people’s questions always go…

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Added by Brooke Warner on September 17, 2016 at 3:45pm — 19 Comments

The Best Writing Advice Changes Everything

This summer I was invited to the Mendocino Writers Conference, where at the opening reception in downtown Mendocino (where one can’t help but evoke Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote) each presenter was asked to come to the microphone to share their best piece of writing advice. I was…

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Added by Brooke Warner on September 2, 2016 at 9:30am — 12 Comments

An Author’s Guide to Praise and Endorsement Best Practices



I get an inordinate number of questions about what the industry fondly calls “blurbs,” and here I attempt to cover them all with a detailed list of how authors can approach soliciting and choosing, and everything in between. In today’s book marketplace, blurbs still matter to publishers and the industry at large, in part because they’re a bit of a holdover from a bygone era and publishing is big on tradition, and in part because household names…

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Added by Brooke Warner on August 12, 2016 at 10:30am — 6 Comments

Are You Writing a Hybrid Book?

Hybrid concepts are all the rage in book publishing. She Writes Press is a hybrid press. There are hybrid authors (authors who publish traditionally and nontraditionally); hybrid publishing arrangements (where publishers and authors split costs and royalties in ways that work outside the traditional paradigm); and hybrid books (which cross or blend genres).

I first…

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Added by Brooke Warner on July 14, 2016 at 3:30pm — 14 Comments

5 Entrepreneurial Tips for Authors Who Want to Up Their Game

This month I’m a new author all over again with the publication of Green-Light Your Book: How Writers Can Succeed in the New Era of Publishing. I wrote this book to answer the many good…

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Added by Brooke Warner on June 28, 2016 at 1:00pm — 13 Comments

How to Turn Your ‘Off’ Writing Days Into ‘On’ Days

When it comes to the discipline of writing, there’s a lot of talk about showing up. Butt in chair. Schedule the time. Keep your dates with yourself. All of this is good advice, and the most successful and prolific authors have the disposition or the drive or the self-governance required to stay the course on the long and arduous journey of writing a book, or multiple books.…

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Added by Brooke Warner on May 27, 2016 at 10:30am — 7 Comments

Where Are We in Relation to the Last Scene? Tracking Time in Memoir

Lately, with my memoir students and clients, I find myself writing the following query into nearly every submission: Where are we in relation to where we just were? As the writer of your memoir, it’s critical to remember that you lived the experiences you’re writing about, and that you must slow down and anchor the reader again and again and again as to where they are in your timeline—multiple times in a single chapter.

I encourage my…

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Added by Brooke Warner on April 26, 2016 at 11:30am — 6 Comments

5 Platform-building Steps for Writers Who Are Ready to Get Noticed

“I don’t want to be the poster girl for dysfunctional relationships,” my client told me. And yet her memoir was about a past dysfunctional relationship. She’d just spent a weekend at a writers’ conference where agents and editors she’d met with had helped her to brainstorm…

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Added by Brooke Warner on March 23, 2016 at 1:00pm — 19 Comments

Which Authors Get to Be "Indie"?

When you hear the term "indie author," who comes to mind? Do you think of an author published by a small but traditional independent publishing house, or do you think of a self-published author? Or maybe either/or?

As the world of publishing shifts beneath our feet, so does the language of publishing. The term "indie" was at one point reserved for independent small presses. It was a label that distinguished them from their bigger corporate…

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Added by Brooke Warner on March 4, 2016 at 7:30am — 18 Comments

How White People Can Respond to Book Publishing's Lack of Diversity

On Wednesday night (February 10), I sat on a panel to kick off the 2016 San Francisco Writers Conference. Its title was "Celebrating Diversity: Opportunities for Writers of Color in Today's Publishing Landscape." Weeks ago, when the panel was finalized and I realized I was the only white panelist, I figured I'd been invited because I identify as lesbian, and because I'm aware of publishing's…

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Added by Brooke Warner on February 12, 2016 at 6:30pm — 30 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…

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Added by Brooke Warner on January 13, 2016 at 11:30pm — 27 Comments

One Thing That Moves You

It's resolution time, and whether you commit to annual resolutions religiously, or you believe they don't merit a special time of year, the year's end provides a unique opportunity to consider where you've been and where you're going.

I work with writers who want to publish, which means that the goals we set forth are two-fold: to finish the work-in-progress, and also to consider new ways to nurture and grow author platform. Finishing a book is…

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Added by Brooke Warner on December 29, 2015 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

She Writes Press's 2016 Passion Project: (R)evolution: The Girls Write Now Anthology

Our CEO, Crystal Patriarche, shared in a blog post last week that She Writes Press chose as its 2016 Passion Project the Girls Write…

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Added by Brooke Warner on December 16, 2015 at 10:30pm — No Comments

What Should Authors Expect to Earn?

A funny thing about authors: they’re not a modest bunch. Even the most humble, down-to-earth authors I know have wild expectations about the potential their book has to be a best-seller; to earn out; to change their life. I get it. A lot of authors pin their dreams on their books, and there’s something beautiful about that. And while no aspiring author needs to be denied hope, or to be told not to dream big, I’ve seen the flip side of soaring…

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Added by Brooke Warner on December 8, 2015 at 11:30pm — 9 Comments

Best Practices for Selling Your Book to Agents and Editors (or How to Avoid Being Delusional about Getting Published)

Deciding you’re ready to publish is a huge deal; it’s also the point where you hand over control to someone else, putting the power in the hands of an agent, an editor, the universe.



Most writers have traditional publishing aspirations. They want an agent to fall in love with their project and champion…

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Added by Brooke Warner on November 19, 2015 at 1:01pm — 7 Comments

No One Glorifies the Grind Because It Sucks

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to our peers. It starts in grade school, or even earlier among siblings. We look to others to see whether or not we measure up. We do this in school, in jobs, in parenting, and in our creative endeavors.

 

Last week a writer I’m…

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Added by Brooke Warner on November 4, 2015 at 4:30pm — 12 Comments

My interview with Liz Gilbert (on Big Magic, permission, authority, her Facebook group, and more)

This post is part of a series with Elizabeth Gilbert leading up to our co-sponsored event with her: Writing, Truth and Community in Napa Valley on Nov. 7, 2015. Get all the event details and learn how to save 25% on your tickets>>…

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Added by Brooke Warner on October 21, 2015 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

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