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Women mystery writers break out of the shadows

The tired old stereotype of a mystery writer as some hard-boiled noir guy with a cigarette in one hand and a tumbler full of whiskey in the other is obsolete. Over. Done. Make way for Sisters in Crime, a nationwide organization of women mystery writers who are achieving commercial and literary success. Ever since Sara [...]


Eavesdropping for story ideas and other tips from a veteran novelist

Today we have some sage advice for writers from a proven practitioner of the art and craft of literary commerce who’s had a successful career as a writer for more than 50 years. Warren Adler has published more than 32 novels and short story collections, including The War of the Roses, which was made into [...]


Prequels build buzz!

Have you heard what some savvy authors are doing to build excitement and attract readers to their upcoming books? They’re writing prequels: tantalizing teasers in short story form that preview the key characters and settings of an upcoming novel. Some prequels predate or provide backstories for the longer books to come. Others are like outtakes [...]


An interview with yours truly about self-publishing

A while ago I sat for an interview with Brian Felsen, CEO of BookBaby, a service provider for self-publishing authors. He asked a lot of good questions for authors about working with an editor, getting published, and effective book promotion. Here’s the video, in which we talk about how the role of the author has [...]


How to find a hungry agent

Here’s a literary agent who’s very specific about the kind of book she’d like to see in her inbox: “I love books with some kind of psychological element, like if the MC has a mental illness or if they can’t trust their mind.” Working on anything like that? Or something close? Want to know more [...]


How winning a literary prize can change your life

“First, it got my book published,” says Kirstin Scott, whose novel Motherlunge won the 2011 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award. “And with that, the prize gave me readers.” There’s no doubt that winning a well-respected competition can help validate your work with agents and publishers. It proves someone thinks you’re good and helps [...]


Market sizzles for debut authors

“Editors still love a chance at debut fiction,” says Manhattan literary agent Michelle Brower. “If the book is unique and meaningful, the debut author doesn’t yet have a bad sales track record so we can look at their book with all of the rosiness of potential rather than reality” Good news That’s some of the [...]


The career-boosting power of your name on a book

Many authors I’ve worked with have written books that promoted and enhanced their professional lives. Some have written a book precisely with this hope in mind: to advertise their special skills and passions. Other writers have enjoyed the surprise of being propelled in their careers with major elevations of their workaday status and financial potential. [...]


Why should anyone give a shiitake about your book?

That’s the first question to ask yourself, writes Guy Kawasaki in the opening chapter of a definitive new book on self-publishing, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book, written with co-author Shawn Welch. Kawasaki is passionate about writers creating worthwhile books for principled reasons. To make a difference in people’s lives, to [...]


Big-6 publisher jumps on the indie bandwagon

Was it just a matter of time? The news came recently that Penguin Group, one of the largest book publishers in the world, has acquired Author Solutions Inc (ASI), a leading provider of services for self-publishing writers, for $116 million. Penguin’s CEO, John Makinson, waxed rhapsodic in remarks made at the time and quoted this [...]



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