A New Use for an Old Feature on Amazon
March 10th, 2023 | Articles |
If you haven’t heard yet, I’m here to tell you about a new use for an old feature on Amazon: the follow. If you have an author you love and want to hear about their new releases, people have had the option to hit the follow button on their books and amazon profile.
In the past, this was a nebulous number that we weren’t exactly sure if it did anything. In actuality, it should be sending anyone who follows you an email letting them know about any new release you have. The logistics is that if you had a pre-order up more than 30 days in advance, it emails them. Actual execution meant that your followers usually got an email within about a week of release. Better than not knowing at all!
Your Website Photoshoot: 13 Tips to take great brand photos for your website
January 20th, 2023 | Articles | April Hiatt
“A picture is worth 1000 words”, as the old saying goes. And in today’s visual world, that is more true than ever.
Especially for your website!
When someone lands on your website, the very first thing they see is whatever image is at the top of your website (often called the “hero section”). And that website visitor will usually make a split second decision on whether your business is professional, or not!
BOOK HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS 2022
December 13th, 2022 | Articles |
As the weather gets colder, many families are turning to warm thoughts of gathering and gift-giving for the upcoming holiday season. Whether you’re buying for children or adults, you can make a book one of the most memorable gifts they receive this year by pairing it with an added personal touch.
Pros at Cons: How Professional Authors Build Their Careers at Conventions
March 22th, 2022 | Articles |
In the digital book era, in-person conventions give authors great opportunities to build their brands and careers.
Dictation: Speed Up Your Writing Process
January 19th, 2022 | Articles |
For many authors, the greatest obstacle is often not a lack of ideas, but too little time.
One potential solution may be easier than you think: increase your writing speed by speaking your first draft rather than typing.
Why Dictate Your Stories
If speed is a challenge for you, and you find yourself intimidated by the idea of blocking out enough hours in your day-to-day life to produce a novel before a deadline, you may want to give dictation a try.
Strategies to Tackle Challenging Books: Improve Your Reader Experience
January 12th, 2022 | Articles |
The thought of new year’s resolutions can sometimes have us looking back on previous promises where we fell short—like reading that one life-changing novel everyone recommended but you struggled to start.
This year, if you decide to give that book another try or to tackle a new, intellectually challenging book, there are several steps you can take to set yourself up for success and improve your reader experience.
Writing Groups: Why You Should Join and How to Find Them
January 6th, 2022 | Articles |
In the new year, many of us find ourselves feeling extra inspired and excited to complete goals . . . but sometimes those goals can be hard to stick to within a few weeks.
Heading into 2022, many have made the goal or resolution to write more. Are you looking for a way to stay committed to your writing goals? Consider joining a writing group!
Why You Should Read More Tragedies
November 9th, 2021 | Articles |
“It’s so sad!”
Have you ever had a friend begin recommending a book by using that line?
If any story has a reputation for being a tearjerker, you might find yourself wondering why anyone would consider that a positive recommendation. And yet, many of the most award-winning films of the last century were tragedies, and many of those were based on novels or biographies.
What is it about tragedies that audiences find so compelling, and why should you give them a shot?
Novel Writing: How to Set Up Your Ending for a Stronger Payoff
November 2nd, 2021 | Articles |
As we dig into the month of November, many novelists are working their way into new plots. Some have meticulously outlined, and others are making it up as they go. This question is vital to both:
“Will my ending be satisfying?”
Whether you’re writing the end of a chapter, a character arc, or the climax of the novel, an exciting conclusion is only part of the equation. A satisfying ending relies on the strength of the setup and the “seeds” the author plants along the way.
NaNoWriMo: Prepare for National Novel Writing Month
October 26th, 2021 | Articles |
Setting out to write a novel can be daunting. This fact is true for both the seasoned veteran and the first-time novelist. Fortunately, all writers can participate in a free event called NaNoWriMo, which provides support and encouragement through an annual month-long writing challenge.
What is NaNoWriMo?
National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) occurs every November, throughout online and various local communities. Chances are, if you’re part of a writing group, you can find others in your circle of friends or local area who will also work toward the NaNo goal.
“True Story” – Why You Should Start Reading Creative Nonfiction
October 20th, 2021 | Articles |
On my first visit to a public library, I was told that all books could be grouped into Fiction and Nonfiction. In the Fiction section, I could find amazing adventures set in made-up worlds with wonderful descriptions and dialogue. The example for a Nonfiction book was a dictionary, so, like many, I grew up thinking of Nonfiction as dry, boring reference materials and dense textbooks.
All of those assumptions changed when I was introduced to creative nonfiction, an important kind of storytelling that can enrich all readers.
The Plotting-Pantsing Continuum (aka Planning Your Story)
October 5th, 2021 | Articles |
Before authors begin writing new stories, many will create thorough outlines as their roadmap. This process is often referred to as “plotting” because plotters prefer to predetermine the steps and beats of their plot.
Another, seemingly opposite, school of thought is called “pantsing,” meaning that certain authors like to “fly by the seat of their pants” and just write.
But if you’re newer to novel writing, it can be hard to figure out whether you’re a plotter, pantser, or somewhere in between. More than a strict divide between the two, many writers view the two opposites as part of a continuum, which includes various outlining and discovery writing approaches.
Where SciFi Meets Fantasy
September 7th, 2021 | Articles | Mike Jack Stoumbos
Have you ever wondered why “Science Fiction & Fantasy” is one combined section of the book store—especially when our mental images of the two genres might feel very different?
Typically, science fiction depicts a plausible, explainable future, with robots or spaceships. Even the most unlikely scenarios, like alien abductions or time travel, rely on some kind of “science,” whether real or made up for the story.
The Benefits of Reading with Children
August 3rd, 2021 | Articles | Mike Jack Stoumbos
Many of us have heard the Harry Truman quote “…all leaders are readers.” As trends in education inform us, these reading habits can be cultivated at a young age. Parents, teachers, and even older siblings help develop children’s mental, emotional, and academic growth simply by reading with them.
Writing For Young Children
July 20th, 2021 | Articles | Victoria Passey
Stories are where many of us first learn to use our imagination and think outside ourselves. We learn to empathize, experiment, and build connections through the power of words.
According to Jim Trelease, author of best-selling Read-Aloud Handbook, several studies have shown that children can begin to enjoy reading while they are still in utero, associating the familiar sounds and tones of being read to with comfort and security. It’s no wonder there’s such a large emphasis on reading in school and so many authors dream of seeing their books on display at the Scholastic Book Fair.
When Is Fair Use Fair?
July 1st, 2021 | Articles | Michele Preisendorf & Angela Eschler
Writers love quotes, songs, and funny or inspirational images. What word-nerd doesn’t? We tape them on our mirrors, dashboards, and walls and post them to our websites. We like them to set the tone for our novels, start our nonfiction chapters off with inspiration and insight, and add authority to our own ideas. But many writers are never quite sure what’s safe to quote—how much, and in what contexts? Are there instances when you can safely borrow material that belongs to someone else without infringing on their copyright? And what happens if you do—accidentally, of course—infringe on someone’s copyright?
7 Steps for Hiring a Good Editor
June 14th, 2021 | Articles | Victoria Passey
There are several types of editing: content/developmental editing, substantive/deep-line editing, copyediting, and proofreading, as well as edits for style guides and fact-checking. Together, they create a funnel of sorts, progressively narrowing down to your finished, publication-ready manuscript.
Carving Out Time to Read — You Know You Want to Do It!
May 31th, 2021 | Articles
You know all about the benefits of reading—you know, boosts your intelligence, expands your vocabulary, improves your writing skills, reduces stress, increases your critical thinking ability, improves your memory. (Oh, and it’s just plain enjoyable!) You might also know by now that many successful people have one thing in common: they read every day. Since you know all that, you probably want to read.
How to Choose the Best Distribution Model for Your eBook — Direct vs. Third Party
May 18th, 2021 | Articles | Mark Leslie Lefebvre
Authors regularly ask what the best option is when it comes to distribution for their self-published eBooks.
My usual answer is, it depends.
There are definite pros and cons to publishing direct. Using a third-party distributor can have its own pros and cons. The trick is to leverage those specific pros and cons within the goals, plans, strategies, and tactics you want to employ for every single book you publish. Remember, you can always decide different things for different books.
Why You Should Read Outside Your Favorite Genre
May 10th, 2021 | Articles
How to Find Inspiration as a Writer
May 3rd, 2021 | Articles
“Print, Ebooks, and Audiobooks – Which is the Best?”
April 16th, 2021 | Articles
What Genre Should You Market Your Novel As
March 1st, 2021 | Articles
Why Adults Can and Should Read Young Adult Fiction
February 11th, 2021 | Articles
If you’re over the age of eighteen, you’ve probably experienced this: You walk into a bookstore or library looking for something to read. You start to go toward the young adult (or YA) section, but you hesitate. After all, you’re an adult now. You should be reading adult books. Unfortunately, when you get to the adult section, you can’t find anything you want to read, so you end up not reading anything.
Essential Online Marketing Tools to Build Your Brand
February 3rd, 2021 | Articles
For authors and entrepreneurs alike, the internet is the single greatest window to your audience. As time passes, this will only grow truer. It’s essential to build an online platform, but we know this can be intimidating. Luckily, you can create a professional brand without degrees in graphic design or marketing.
How to Become a Better Reader
January 25th, 2021 | Articles
The Hidden Benefits of Reading
November 30th, 2020 | Articles
We’ve all been told about the importance of reading, but many of us feel like we barely have time to sit for a full meal, much less to pull out a book. As obligations increase and time does not, reading becomes the least of our priorities. So, how important is reading? And what types of books are the best?
Five Ways to Fight NaNoWriMo Burnout
November 19th, 2020 | Articles
By now, as we come close to the middle of November, you’ve probably heard of a little something called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). In fact, you may have even joined the frenzy yourself!
For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is both a community and an event. Once a year, this group of writers gets (virtually) together and attempts to maintain a writing streak of 1,667 words a day for the entire month….
Authors, Now is Your Time To Act!
Mar 25, 2020 | Articles
With all the uncertainty and general scariness of the world around us right now, specifically in regards to Covid-19, many writers have been asking themselves a question they never thought they’d contemplate. Should I even be writing anymore? The answer is absolutely yes.
Yes, we are in a period of social isolation right now. The economy feels like it’s on a roller coaster. Some people have lost their jobs or have had their hours drastically reduced. A lot of people are cooped up in their homes. They’re trying to find ways to cut back. We see reports of bookstores suffering. The natural question is will people be buying books? For the surprising answer to that question, let’s look back over a decade…