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Writer’s Block is A LIE

Let’s go through a common event, one that we all have experienced. A police officer has pulled up behind you. Lights flashing, that crunch-crunch-crunch as he stomps his way over the asphalt. Your window is already open ’cause you know the drill, and your butt is clenched so tight an onlooker would think you’re three…

Is the Press Release Dead?

Does Santa Claus exist? Is the press release dead? These questions come up every year. While the existence of Santa Claus has been widely proven to be true, I’ll weigh in on the other question as one of my coaching clients asked me that question just the other day. My answer is simple. If you…

#PR Predictions for 2015 from #Publicity Expert Dan Janal @prlead

Note from Cathy: Dan Janal offers some interesting predictions about PR and publicity in the coming year. I agree with Dan’s predictions, and I believe that #2 is absolutely critical. It is no longer just about the media promoting us; we need to promote them, too. And despite what some say, press releases are not…

Must-Have iPhone Apps for Authors & Writers

As a modern day writer, you’ve learned when and where you write best. Rarely, I’m sure, does inspiration strike when you’re seated at your desk in front of your computer at 9:00am. More likely, you’re inspired while you’re out and about. In order to efficiently capture and save every new idea, detail, story line, etc.,…

Writers’ Conferences Put Authors on the Road to Success

There are several good reasons why writers should invest the time and effort required to attend writers’ conferences. Attending a writers’ conference only takes a few hours or days at the most, a few bucks, and a little effort to register and arrange travel and lodging, but the payoff can be big. If the book…

Medium – An Online Writing Tool for Authors

Walter Isaacson uses it. NY Times journalist David Carr uses it. Author Emily Gould, Journalist Ben Smith, and Entrepreneur Elon Musk use it too. What is it? It’s a new site for authors called MEDIUM. It was founded by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone in August 2012. On this exclusive site the authors…

Book Publicity Idea: Link Your Book to Holidays and Special Events

One creative way to get publicity for your book is to tie it to a holiday or special event. You’ll be able to reach out to the media who often need a ‘reason’ to showcase your book right now. Furthermore you may be able to reach your audience on a more personal level by promoting…

What Can Authors Learn From The ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge”

The “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” today’s social media explosion, has caused a dramatic change in awareness among many. Whether on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, the “icing” videos took over everyone’s newsfeeds. The challenge involves filming a video of yourself while getting drenched by a bucket of ice water, share it on social media, and challenge…

Why You Should Use WordPress for Your Author Blog

If you are an author and you are toying with the idea of starting a blog so you can either promote your existing books or highlight or showcase your writing skills or maybe jog your creative juices, you should use WordPress as your blogging platform. While you can go with other blogging software, when it…

21 Top Fan Fiction Sites for Authors

Overview: Fan Fiction is a great way for aspiring authors to hone their craft. Amanda Hocking started out writing fan fiction and she was signed to a multimillion dollar book deal. Fifty Shades of Grey author E. L. James started writing fan fiction after she finished reading the Twilight saga, and hasn’t stopped since. Here’s…

Cathy Stucker's Publishing Blog

Editing Resources for Writers

Making your manuscript the best it can be is a critical step in your book’s success. We can not recognize all of the issues in our own work, so it is important to hire a professional to edit your book before you self-publish it or submit it to a publisher. (No, it is not the job of the publishing house to turn rough drafts into polished prose. Your work should be the best you can make it before you send it off.)

Although it is important to have other sets of eyes review your work, you should also revise your manuscript before turning it over to an editor. Here are some resources to help you be a better editor of your own work.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

In this completely revised and updated second edition, Renni Browne and Dave King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited.


Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies

This book, from the popular For Dummies series, is designed for those who wish to be professional editors and proofreaders. If this is you, this will be helpful in launching your freelance career.

Writers can benefit from an understanding of what copyeditors and proofreaders really do. It is a good way to set your expectations of what an editor can do for you and how to work with a professional editor.

Editing Made Easy: Simple Rules for Effective Writing

This useful book is a quick read, and an easy reference for anybody who wants to communicate clearly with American English. The book is non-technical in its approach. It doesn’t cover grammatical terms such as present perfect progressive or correlative conjunctions. It boils grammar and style into a few simple rules that will serve you well whether you are a journalist, a student, a novelist, a business executive, a blogger, or anybody else who would like to make effective use of written language.

The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers: 12 Ways to Take Your Book from Good to Great (Little Books for Writers)

Part One: Search and Destroy
Whether it’s fish heads, zombie nouns, vampire verbs, or the dread dangling participle, these chapters will show you how to find and eliminate common early-draft mistakes.

Part Two: The Self-Editor’s Toolkit
Learn to create richer language, set the pace, and wrangle dialogue tags while pondering “The Most-Hated Writing Advice Ever.”

Part Three: Self-Editing Resources
Links to good books and helpful websites for writers, and a handy quick-reference to all the pointers in The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers.

Author’s Quick Guide to Editing Your Book
This Kindle book provides a concise look at both self-editing and working with an editor. This e-book will help you discover:

  • How to self-edit your manuscript
  • How to find free editors to help your budget
  • What type of professional editor to hire and where exactly to find your perfect match
  • How to format your manuscript for editing

Words are, like, important?

Anyone who appreciates the beauty and utility of language will enjoy this poem by Taylor Mali. There are people who will tell you that the meaning is what matters, not the way it is expressed. But when words are used carelessly and incorrectly, how do we know what the speaker or writer is trying to…

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWritMo is coming! Here is a fictional look at one writer’s approach to this annual November event. I got a kick out of it, and I hope you do, too. Mike, the writer, shares a bit of his fractured take on life at bikeswine.com. More and more you hear the stories of preppers – men…

How To Write a Book Without Writing

Here’s what happens when most people sit down to write a book: First, they procrastinate because they don’t know where to start. Next, they finally get going and they even manage to write a chapter or two, but then they get stuck. Finally, they shelve the book to “finish later” and it never gets done….

Who or Whom? Which is Correct?

This is possibly the trickiest confusion-causing grammar rule imaginable. So many of us see the two words “whom” and “who” and our eyes begin to cross because we can’t even start trying to figure out the difference between them. I see many people try to sound correct by using “whom” even when they should use…

How to Write Haiku

  Haikus are famous around the world for many reasons, one being that they’re always short and sweet and easy to write. While haikus may be short, they’re definitely not easy. They’re a very structured form of writing that packs a huge punch in very little words. Originally, haikus focused on senses and had a…

Librarian Love: Helping You Get Published

Most people won’t believe you when you tell them that librarians can play a role that could prove vital to getting you published. The image of a cranky woman at a desk persists—but most don’t realize that behind that woman is a world of resources that could pave the way to success. It’s never too…

Researching For Your Novel: Librarians as Friends

Writing a novel can be very intimidating, and very difficult. One of the hardest tasks any author needs to undertake is research. Whether it’s looking at the historical context of a war being used as the background of a romance novel, or understanding how an engine works for your new steampunk series, research is essential….

How Writing a Novel Actually Works

This infographic shows some of the myths believed by new novelists. Many new writers believe that writing the first draft is the hard part. In fact, when you finish the first draft you work has hardly begun. You may get a chuckle from this graphic, or you may find that it is too true to…

How to Write Faster

If you want to write a book or if you want to write for a living, one of the biggest factors that will determine if you make a good living with writing is your writing speed. Writing faster is not just a matter of how fast you type. You have to actually compose your thoughts…