Titles are the bait that authors use to hook readers. A highly effective title is not just catchy. It is true to the book. It provides a sample of the writing style and the story to come. That's a big job for one little sentence fragment! While considering different titles for my novel, Eleanor and the … Continue reading What do great book titles have in common?
Writing is a form of art, but many of us writers bemoan our "artistic" skills. We paint pictures with words, not brushes! Fortunately, when book-cover-design-time rolls around, there are many online platforms to connect writers with visual artists. 99Designs is one of the most popular platforms. It works like this: Writers create a "brief" describing their … Continue reading 9 Lessons from 99Designs
Literary agents know their stuff--and if you want to get signed by a literary agent, you need to know your stuff too. When agents describe what they're looking for in a novel, they tend to lapse into industry jargon. It's confusing stuff, even for those of us who sprinkle words like fastidious and coruscant throughout our writing. Still, understanding what agents want is crucial to finding the right agent (or, indeed, any agent) for your project. That means you have to learn to translate the jargon.
I used to believe that, when I desperately needed guidance from the universe, I could pick any book of my bookshelf, open it to a random page, and find the answer I needed. My surprising success rate probably hinged on the fact that, as humans, we have a knack for turning the tiniest glimmer of an … Continue reading Lessons from Querying Agents
As of yesterday, the first proof of my novel, Eleanor, is on its way to my mailbox! Transforming my manuscript into book format has been an arduous process: two steps forward, one step back. I thought I would share some of the know-how I picked up along my way with you all. These are the things I … Continue reading 3 Timesavers to Use When Formatting Your Book
I'm getting all excited about the release of a book I supported on Kickstarter, The Boy In the Castle. The Boy in the Castle is a picture book with a poignant message. In my mind, I equate it with The Little Prince. Like The Little Prince, The Boy in the Castle touches on love and depression. I can't wait to read … Continue reading What Kind of Book Succeeds on Kickstarter?
Last night, I received the final feedback about Eleanor from my editor! To commemorate the experience, I thought I would share some of the lessons I have learned from editing (and being edited!) with you all... Clarify time transitions at the beginning of the chapter. Pacing was one of my top concerns when I submitted the manuscript of Eleanor to … Continue reading Lessons I’ve Learned from Editing (and being edited!)
The friends who read our books after we release them are great, but the friends who read our books before we release them are priceless. Their input helps us mold our books into the shapely works of art that the rest of the world gets to see. Without these friends, our books would be very different. They might even … Continue reading The 3 Friends Who Need to Read Your Book Before You Release It
Step one) Be an amazing editor. A Simon & Schuster/Penguin Random House/Harper Collins expat. The magic behind the pages of Ken Follet, Isabel Allende, Jennifer Weiner, Bruce Springstein, Cyndi Lauper... Someone who says "for me, the goal of every edit, no matter how big or small, is to build a stronger bridge between writer and … Continue reading How to Make a Writer Jump on the Bed
The publishing industry is changing—I mean, Pangaea-during-the-Jurassic-Period changing. Many of the changes in the publishing industry are making it easier for self-publishers to get a foothold in the book market, but easier doesn't mean easy. Even with the rise of e-books, blogs, and print-on-demand services, self-publishers still have to climb a steep road to success. These 23 resources can … Continue reading 23 Resources for Self-publishers