Developing story skills

Updated: Best books on writing for writers

Do you get sucked into spending more time reading about writing fiction than actually doing it? I’ve just updated my short list of the best books on writing, so you can level up and take the techniques back to your manuscript. One of my favorite ways to help writers is recommending books that will help Read more about Updated: Best books on writing for writers[…]

How much money do novelists make?

So how much money can you make writing novels, anyway? For traditionally published author income, short of a few blockbuster outliers, the total is probably neither as substantial nor as reliable as you might assume. On the flip side, the income potential of self-publishing has evolved dramatically in entirely different ways over the past handful Read more about How much money do novelists make?[…]

Publishing Options

Publishing options: Which one is right for you?

Today’s publishing options have changed since you first dreamed about getting your book into print. Most authors arrive on my editorial doorstep declaring their intentions of finding literary representation, with the caveat that “I’m open to self-publishing, I guess, if nothing else comes along.” Please don’t handicap yourself with such an indecisive start. Waffling over publishing options Read more about Publishing options: Which one is right for you?[…]

Keep the flame burning: Querying your novel

How long should you query your manuscript?

The decision on how long to query your manuscript can’t be determined by a formula. There’s always the chance that your very next query will knock at the right door at the right time to generate that singular confluence of fortunate events resulting in emails and phone calls and contracts and publication. But let’s face Read more about How long should you query your manuscript?[…]

The Editing Podcast

The Editing Podcast’s 18 writing blogs for editors and authors

Just look at this lineup of writing craft blogs and resources for authors and editors from Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle of The Editing Podcast. Denise and Louise are two pro editors in the UK who help authors publish better books. I’m honored to be listed among these leading resources for writers and editors. Among Read more about The Editing Podcast’s 18 writing blogs for editors and authors[…]

Best books for writers

Updated for 2020: Best books for writers

Updated for 2020: Best books for writers of fiction It’s been a stressful year to try to write a novel. It feels easier for many authors to step back from their own pages and reframe their thinking. How do experienced authors go about developing a concept into a novel? What are turning points and what Read more about Updated for 2020: Best books for writers[…]

Setting goals

The author’s guide to publishing goals

At what point is your novel a success? Is it a sales total or sell-through percentage? Is it a number of starred reviews? A four-figure advance? A five-figure advance? How much confidence must you have in your writing before you quit your day job? Have you even thought about setting goals for your book? If Read more about The author’s guide to publishing goals[…]

writing software

Writing Software: Why you need Microsoft Word

When your book is ready for editing, it’s time to pack it neatly into an industry-standard file format. Whether you write in dedicated writing software like Scrivener or key your story into Google Docs after writing it longhand, a finished novel isn’t a private creative endeavor or hobby anymore. Now it’s a product for an Read more about Writing Software: Why you need Microsoft Word[…]

Decide Now, Decide Later: Decisions to make before an edit

The internet is afloat in advice about the different types of editing your book could use: developmental editing to optimize the story, line editing to polish the writing, copy editing to steer the usage and style, proofreading to catch remaining errors … I’ve got one of those articles on the types of editing on my Read more about Decide Now, Decide Later: Decisions to make before an edit[…]

Editing

Should you use volunteers to proofread your book?

What if you skipped paying for a professional editor and crowdsourced your editing instead? Or what about your neighbor who’s a retired English teacher? She says she’d only charge $200 to edit the entire book, and you know how sharp she is based on painful experience. Couldn’t you save big money with crowdsourced editing? You Read more about Should you use volunteers to proofread your book?[…]