Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer

One of America's most influential writing teachers offers a toolbox from which writers of all kinds can draw practical inspiration. "Writing is a craft you can learn," says Roy Peter Clark. "You need tools, not rules." His book distills decades of experience into 50 tools that will help any writer become more fluent and effective. WRITING TOOLS covers everything from the … [Read more...]

The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile

Rejected again? It happens to all writers, even those with many publishing credits. Literary agents and editors receive and reject hundreds or even thousands of manuscripts each month. While it's the job of these publishing professionals to be discriminating, the writer's job is to produce a manuscript that immediately stands out from the competition. And those outstanding … [Read more...]

My Decision to E-Publish


After four successful novels that were released by mainstream publishers and a lengthy hiatus in writing, I decided to independently publish my fifth novel as an e-book. My previous novels, published by Doubleday and DIF, did well in hardcover and in paperback. They had good reviews, sold foreign rights, and were chosen by book clubs. One was a Novel of the Month in Good … [Read more...]

Using Meetup to Find Local Writers to Help Promote Your Book


Your journey as a writer might be largely independent, but finding a network of other writers can encourage your creativity and, ultimately, help publish and sell your work. Thanks to the Internet and websites like Meetup.com, you can instantly be connected to a network of other local writers, which can positively impact your career. If you’re a new writer just starting out or … [Read more...]

Conveying a Character’s Journey On The First Page of a Novel


Notes on Good Grief, by Lolly Winston I teach that a story creates movement and the movement transport an audience. In many of the unpublished novels I read, I'm often 40 pages into a manuscript before I have any idea of a main character's journey. In some cases, I have to read to the end of a novel to understand that journey. This puts me (and readers) in the unfortunate … [Read more...]

Four Options for eBook Production

ebook reader

Anyone who has even a half an ear to the publishing world has heard the horror stories—books by well-known authors from big publishing houses in eBook formats that are an embarrassment to all concerned. I suppose this type of thing is inevitable with any new cultural phenomenon, especially a phenomenon in which a buck can be made. It's understandable, since there's a mad … [Read more...]

Ten Things I Learned on My Way to Market


So your book is off to the publisher, and you’re ready to think about marketing. In the literature on marketing, the core idea is to tell everyone you know the projected release date and ask them to tell everyone they know. After you’ve told everyone, including your barista, and you even have some tentative dates for author events, what next?  I’m going to assume this is … [Read more...]