Personal editing. Professional results.
April 5, 2024
Women are tops in lit

An extensive article from NPR tells us that women are the most likely gender to succeed in literature and books. What's more, female writers have a better chance of making a good living off writing books, more so than directing movies or producing shows. Planet Money reporter Greg Rosalsky notes that women once authored less […]

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October 27, 2023
Look at what makes covers soar

Designer Jessica Bell rounds up the major elements of strong cover design in her book Can You Make the Title Bigga? Use open space. Avoid clutter. Choose fewer colors. Make colors complement one another. Jane Friedman's blog features a post from Bell with visuals to help you see the difference these elements can make. Bell's […]

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October 15, 2023
Setting on-sale dates for Amazon books

At last, Amazon is letting authors specify their on-sale dates for books. This is the calendar date when readers can first buy your book at the 'Zon. It didn't used to be as easy as plugging in the calendar date when your sales metadata would appear on the Amazon site. IngramSpark will ask you for […]

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September 29, 2023
BookFunnel tool sells your books

Authors are selling their books themselves, instead of waiting for Amazon to deliver readers. An automagical delivery link from BookFunnel lets your website buyers download your book immediately after purchase, without having to check their email. BookFunnel says, "This is exactly the experience that authors — and their readers — want when selling direct." Selling direct is […]

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September 24, 2023
Get your slice of writing pie

Pies made Karen's stories a household name I once heard that writing is like a pie eating contest where the prize is more pie. Long ago, Karen Stolz was a mentor to me in the earliest days of my fiction career. She evaluated my submission pieces for my unsuccessful application to Texas State’s MFA program, […]

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August 18, 2023
Get endorsements, create blurbs

There's a lot of talk about blurbs in the author world. Even if you're traditionally published, you'll be asked to help out with something called endorsements. These are not blurbs. You create a blurb while you're making marketing copy. They sum up the goodness of the story. Endorsements are those powerful snippets of praise from […]

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February 10, 2023
How to do beta reading

Beta reading is the turbo-charger for revising a book. Finding a beta reader or three and delivering a good beta is not simple, but there are practices and rules that make this important task easier to accomplish. During my Workshop's in-person era, writers took on beta duties for each other, twenty pages at a time […]

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September 26, 2022
Let's talk about your book's pricing

It's time to have a genteel discussion about pricing, especially as established by small presses. Too few of them seem to recognize that buying a book is a price-sensitive transaction. I would not want to be the author trying to sell my book on my limited platform for 30 percent more than a bestseller's novel. […]

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August 31, 2022
The Future That Was Viral Times

 A dream delayed is better than a dream denied. It's a natural element of being human to look into the future, a skill that the community of HP 3000 computer owners polished over the first decade of the 21st century. Across the same period, working as an editor of a monthly newsletter, I did polishing […]

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August 12, 2022
What an agent's request gets you

You may have returned from a writing conference this summer. There were three big ones in a row. Conferences in Austin, San Francisco, and New York all unfolded within 30 days of each other. Chalk up that close timing to the pandemic, which delayed San Francisco from its usual February weekend. A big prize from […]

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