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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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Timing your book’s launch date for maximum impact

Strategic timing of your book’s publication date can give it a jet-propelled boost and have a major impact on its long-term success. Commercial publishers and booksellers have known this forever. Christmas and beyond Retailers rack up between 25-35 percent of their annual revenues during the holiday shopping season in November and December. Smart publishers start [...]


Great reasons to self-publish: 7 case histories

Writers who self-publish often reap enormous benefits that are personal and unique. This goes way beyond the usual notion of self-publishing as either an alternative or a pathway to a traditional book deal. Writing and publishing a book can strike an emotional chord of meaning and importance for the author that is rewarding beyond expectation. [...]


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 [...]


The bears and bulls of publishing: An insider steps up

EBook buyers read more books. They’re the future! We’re in the midst of a fantastic transition. Words from another outsider advocating the overthrow of legacy publishing? Nope. Not this time. Instead, these bullish sentiments come from a consummate insider, John Glusman, editor-in-chief of W.W. Norton, a mainstream highly regarded traditional house that publishes bestselling authors [...]


What should you expect from a developmental editor?

As a longtime developmental editor, I often get questions from authors about the editor-writer relationship. How exactly do developmental editors work? How can I tell if I’ve found a good one? And will you correct my typos? I can tell you that virtually all successful writers – from Ernest Hemingway to Kathryn Stockett – have [...]


What writers can learn from Barry Eisler

It’s inspiring when a successful author goes out of his way to help others in the craft of writing. Barry Eisler is one of those good guys. Though he’d probably rather be known as one baaad dude. He’s a one-time CIA operative, a judo black belt and an intellectual property attorney, who’s also a bestselling [...]