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For Authors

Writing Against Time – Avoid Anachronisms

By: Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban | Posted on April 19, 2019

No matter what type of story you’re writing, getting the details correct is a key component to creating an immersive reader experience. If you’re making up your own world or society, you also get to make up the details – but when your settings are based on real events and different time periods, you have to be much more careful.  Those aren’t rules and norms you can easily break – and author Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban is here to explain why and what happens when you do. As a writer of historical fiction, I am aware of the importance of adding well researched details to bring a past period to life. If the story takes place in the present, readers will have their personal experiences to draw from when imagining the characters’ daily lives, but when it is set in past times, it’s the writer’s responsibility to recreate in their minds a world… Read More >

Word Count Tracking – The Secret to Productivity

By: Ginger | Posted on April 12, 2019

There are many tools and tips that writers can use to try and increase their overall productivity, but the one thing that is the most effective – and has been used at least as far back as Hemingway – is daily word count tracking. Today, Ginger breaks down what makes it so effective and shares how he uses it to improve as a writer. Unless you’re one-hit-wonder Harper Lee, the fact is that you’re never going to become a successful writer unless you write and publish a lot. Authors like Ernest Hemingway and Stephen King are celebrated for their prolific publishing schedule and it’s certainly part of the reason for their success.  We’ve written before about how you should write every day and that’s certainly fantastic advice. I know from a personal perspective that any day I manage to commit words to paper, I feel better about everything – and it also… Read More >

A Writers Life – Mistakes I’ve Made Along the Way

By: M.G. Crisci | Posted on April 5, 2019

After over 30 years in advertising, M.G. Crisci got a late start to his writing career, but has already published a dozen books in the last decade. Along the way, he’s managed to distill his vast pool of knowledge, pulled from both his successes and failures, into a set of life lessons that can help both young and experienced authors figure out who they are and where they’re going. There’s a bit of advice on a wide variety of writing related topics here, which means almost everyone will find something useful from reading his words. My story is the same as so many authors, and yet quite different, since I didn’t complete my first book until the age of 61.  It’s ten years later, and I think I’ve learned a thing or two along the way that might be worth a read. KNOW WHO YOU ARE When you are about to… Read More >

Write a Blurb That Sells Your Book

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 29, 2019

Crafting a killer blurb is one of the key ingredients to a successful book – yet too many authors treat it as an afterthought or leave it until the last minute. Anybody who has been writing and self-publishing for a while understands that the key to success is ‘conversions.’ What does that mean? Well, it’s the likelihood that somebody who visits your book page on Amazon (or any other book seller) will actually click ‘buy’ and purchase your book. It really is what makes all the difference – you can sink thousands of dollars into advertising, and send hundreds of potential customers to your book page, but unless they are inspired to buy your book, all of that time and money is wasted. It’s generally accepted that three or four things make the difference when it comes to converting visitors to your book page into paying customers. Blowing the old… Read More >

Using Amazon Ads to Sell Your Novel

By: Liam Clay | Posted on March 22, 2019

These days, advertising is an integral part of any book launch and not something any self-published author can ignore. We’ve covered the topic of advertising in the past, but one of the things we didn’t go into in details was Amazon’s advertising platform (formerly called AMS).  Luckily, Liam Clay recently spent time learning their system and testing it out, and in today’s guest post he shares what he’s learned. Are you an indie author with a recently completed debut novel? Then chances are good that you either have, or are about to, place your book on Amazon. The question then becomes, what next? Because if you think that strangers are going to start buying your book en masse without any further action from you, I urge you to think again.  I say this because two months ago, I was in exactly the same position. Watching tumbleweeds roll through the ghost… Read More >

Write Your Routine

By: Ginger | Posted on March 15, 2019

Ginger has been hitting us hardcore with posts about overcoming the tangible obstacles that keep us from writing. The most important thing he’s discussed is the idea of creating a routine and then sticking to it. But what does such a routine look like, and how do you create one?  Today, Ginger gives us those details by walking us through the real-life example of his own daily routine, how he came up with it, and the steps you can use to write your own. Craving a daily routine? Just create one! I’ve received a couple of messages since posting my series about Overcoming the Obstacles to Writing asking why I decided to hone in on that topic – since it rung true for a lot of authors. The truth is because it’s a challenge that I continue to struggle with, and it was useful to share some of the tactics… Read More >

Three Things My Developmental Editor Fixed

By: C.J. Persson | Posted on March 8, 2019

One of the many jobs (aside from actually writing your book) that a self-publishing author has to worry about is hiring their own editor.  Even the most seasoned pros hire editors, as there will always be things you miss after staring at your own book for weeks on end – but what type of editing do you need?  Today, author C.J. Persson takes us through the three main ways a developmental editor helped improved his debut novel, and how to watch out for those same issues in your own work. In January 2018 I had burned out and I quit my job. I had a manuscript rattling around in my proverbial desk drawer and figured this was the perfect time to self-publish it. There was one problem though, my novel didn’t sing. I needed a developmental editor. This is not to be confused with a line- or copy-editor. They help polish… Read More >

Book Review: Daily Rituals by Mason Currey

By: Ginger | Posted on March 1, 2019

In recent weeks, we posted Ginger’s 4-part series about tackling the real-life obstacles that prevent authors from putting pen to paper (or, more likely, fingers to keyboard.) Part 3 of this series focused on the power of routine. As a follow-up, Ginger now describes a powerful book he recently read which outlines the daily routines of dozens of the world’s most famous creative people; and how their daily rituals can help you find your own ‘groove’ to creative flow. “Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.” With those words, from the great English-American poet W.H. Auden, the book Daily Rituals begins – a study of the daily routines of more than 160 of the greatest writers, artists, composers and creative minds in history. It’s the work of American author Mason Currey, first published in 2013, and as a writer it’s one of the most uplifting, motivational and inspiring books… Read More >

Combined Knowledge: You and Your Subject Matter Expert

By: Robin Reardon | Posted on February 22, 2019

We’ve published articles in the past about the importance of writing what you know vs writing to market, or about using personal experiences to fuel your stories – but what about when you want to step outside of your comfort zone? In that case, you need to do your research. Author Robin Reardon has a lot of experience with this, and today she’s giving us her advice on when you can research something on your own, or when (and how) it’s better to find and contact a subject matter expert.  There’s a maxim fiction authors hear all the time: Write what you know. That’s fine, as far as it goes. But does it go far enough? Not for me. But sometimes I need help. Because while much of fiction writing is making up stories, many novels are grounded in real world settings, touch on historical events, or include characters with a… Read More >

Mastering Your Mind & Life: Overcoming the Hurdles to Writing – Part Four

By: Ginger | Posted on February 15, 2019

Over the past four weeks, author Ginger has been addressing the practical and tangible issues that can prevent a writer from putting words on the page. In this final part of the series, he examines the external factors that can affect aspiring writers and offers suggestions about how to address them. You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you. Or, rather, you can if you will be ruthless enough about it. But the best writing is certainly when you are in love. I started this series with an Ernest Hemingway quote, so perhaps it’s fitting that I end it with one as well. Over the past four weeks, I’ve written about the real-life, tangible issues that impact your ability to get pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write.  After all, you’re a writer. A writer writes. You might do other stuff as… Read More >