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Blurbs that Bore, Blurbs that Blare

There seem to be a lot of misunderstandings about the back cover copy—the “blurbs” that so many writers have to put on the back of their books. In Ye Olden Tymes, some person who was paid to do stuff like that—meaning, a fellow who probably looked like a dumpier version of a Mad Men character—would…

Writers Need a Platform

Note from Cathy: For more on how to build your platform, get my audio program, Build an Effective Author Platform. It’s free when you sign up to get my free Selling Books newsletter. One of the most significant changes in publishing in the past decade has been the shifting by publishers of the responsibility for…

How to Make Money with a Blog

Many bloggers think that the best way to make money off their blogs is to install Google Adsense. This is a very popular way of monetizing blogs because it is so easy. You only need to sign up to Google Adsense, get your code, and install it on your site. Given that there are many…

Choosing Point of View

Determining point of view (POV) for your story may seem like an easy thing to do. You pick a view and start writing. However, understanding that choosing point of view is one of the most important decisions you will make when writing your story. Choosing your point of view affects how much the readers will…

Coping with Rejection

Rejection slips. Is there anything worse than those humbling, preprinted letters, too light to trick you into thinking your SASE might contain an acceptance, too impersonal to tell you why? Rejection slips are the writer’s gremlin, the nagging suggestion that we don’t measure up. What can we do about them? How can we live with…

Blogging Ideas for Authors

There are two main reasons why authors blog: to promote their books or to flex their creative muscles. In fact, many authors blog due to both these reasons. If you are an author looking for blogging ideas, you have to always keep these two main reasons in mind. If your blog promotes your books If…

Writing to Win

Excerpted from Writing contests offer more than just the joy of being published. They offer not only the sense of being accepted, but the sense of having won. They are the ultimate affirmation of one’s ability as a writer. But what does it take to be a winner? Every year, thousands of writers enter competitions…

How Often Do You Need to Blog?

Figuring out how often you should blog is a big deal. If you don’t update your blog enough, you might lose your hard-earned viewers. If you update your blog too much, you might overwhelm your loyal blog readers and many of them might never come back to your site. To avoid these problems, you have…

Setting Effective Writing Goals

One of the greatest challenges we face as writers is the lack of “structure” in our job. There’s no one to tell us what to do, when to do it, how to do it — or even whether we’ve done it well. (While acceptances are certainly a sign of success, rejections are not necessarily a…

How to Write Concisely

‘Write concisely.’ That phrase should be familiar. Chances are, your high school teacher or college English professor said that to you, and it is good advice. There are some serious benefits and advantages to concise writing. The three most common reasons why people should write more concisely are: writing concisely magnifies the power of your…

Cathy Stucker's Publishing Blog

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly

This infographic from Copyblogger features some of my favorite grammar pet peeves. Making these mistakes can brand you as an amateur, so learn when each choice is correct and make sure your spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct before sending your writing out into the world. Of course, knowing the correct choice does not free…

How to Get Your Book Reviewed On Amazon

Book reviews sell books. Although we all like to see glowing reviews, surprisingly even some bad reviews can sell books. However, getting reviews can be challenging when you are a new, unknown author. Here are some tips on what you should (and should NOT) do to get your book reviewed on Amazon and elsewhere. Go…

29 Ways to Stay Creative

29 ways to stay creative-A1_Final

The folks at Creattica shared this infographic with 29 ways to keep your creative juices flowing. 1. Make lists. 2. Carry a notebook everywhere. 3. Try free writing. 4. Get away from the computer. 5. Quit beating yourself up. 6. Take breaks. 7. Sing in the shower. 8. Drink coffee. 9. Listen to new music….

How to Promote Your Book on Twitter

Can Twitter sell books for you? Well, no, not all by itself. But Twitter is one of the tools you can use to promote your book. Writing your book was the first step. Now it’s time to promote it so that you achieve your publishing goals. Whether you published to make money in royalties, generate…

Writing Advice from Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard is a prolific writer who has entertained us with more than forty novels, including , , , , and many more. Hollywood is an Elmore Leonard fan, and many of his books have been made into movies. Leonard began writing while still working in advertising. He published a short story in Argosy magazine…

The Right Way for Authors to Blog

Blogging is a great way for authors to stay in touch with their fans and attract new fans, too. For many authors, though, blogging seems a little scary. How do you set up a blog? What do you write about? How do you get people to read your blog? Here are some tips to help…

Find the Right Graphic for Your Ebook Cover

The cover forms readers’ first impression of your ebook, and the cover graphic can make or break your ebook. People decide in seconds whether or not they’re interested in a book. Whether in the bookstore or online that gives them about enough time to scan the title and graphics, which makes both critically important in…

Get Your Ebook Done

It seems that everyone is “thinking about” publishing a Kindle ebook, or they are “working on” one. But fewer people have actually finished and published their ebooks. Are you one of the people planning to write and publish an ebook? Maybe you started writing months ago, but you have put it aside and can’t seem…

Dealing with Negative Reviews on Amazon

“This book is the worst book in the world. I read half way through the book and gave up because it made no sence” [sic] —Actual One-Star Review from Amazon.com Every author has it happen sooner or later: the dreaded one-star review. Any review less than glowing is likely to sting a bit, so a…

Ray Bradbury on Creativity

Ray Bradbury is one of the most respected American authors of the past century. He is credited with writing 27 novels and over 600 short stories, including the classic novels Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. Here are some of Bradbury’s thoughts on creativity: Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and…