Business

Here’s how to write a query and a synopsis, how to find an agent, and everything else that goes along with traditional publishing.

5 Reasons Why You (Probably) Shouldn’t Query Literary Agents…And What You Should Do Instead

A few posts back, I answered the question of “Should I hire a professional editor before I self-publish my novel?” (TL;DR answer: probably not). In that post, I mentioned I was on the cusp of recommending writers not bother querying literary agents at all.

After years of personal experience in the self-publishing and traditional publishing worlds, and after hearing about other authors’ experiences, I’ve now officially reached that conclusion—don’t query literary agents. It’ll almost certainly be a negative return on your investment…[keep reading]

Prefer to self-publish…or perhaps it’s your only option? Here’s how to succeed when you’re on your own!

Do You Need A Professional Editor?

Say you’re finished writing a book—congrats! You’ve made a few editing passes through it, roped a few of your friends and relatives into reading it, gotten their feedback, and tweaked it into what you think is an acceptable form to show to the world at large. Maybe you’ve even queried a handful of literary agents and received either “Thanks but no thanks” rejections or (more likely) radio silence…[keep reading]

How to Self-Publish a Book

Greetings my dozens of fans!

(…Is it presumptuous of me to assume I have fans in the double digits?? Probably, but I feel like indulging my massive ego today!)

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been hard at work getting my next novel, The Colonel and Her Sergeant, ready for publication on June 14th. I’ll post more about my future Pulitzer Prize winner later…[keep reading]

Easily the worst part of publishing, I’m not gonna lie. Here are some tips on how to make it less of a chore.

13 Nuggets of Advice on Marketing Your Novel

I’m gonna be honest up front: I have yet to find a marketing strategy that’s worked well for me. I’ve published six novels so far, traditional and self-published, and hustled to market each one. I’ve read a bunch of books and blogs about marketing and tried lots of different tactics. Money was never a limiting factor for me (I make decent dough at my day job, though I’m not rich—#middleclassbabe), so lack of spending was definitely not the problem. I even tried hiring a company to do it for me, and the results were the same: somehow, I’m still not a bestselling author.

So, I can’t offer steps to success like my other blogs…BUT I can offer some hard-earned wisdom and advice. [keep reading]

…Oh, you want people to actually READ your book after you publish it? In that case, people need to know that you exist. Find out how to launch yourself into the public consciousness right here.

Author Newsletters: All Your Burning Questions Answered!

Author newsletters are one of those things that used to be super-hot when the first author stumbled upon one like the ape in 2001: A Space Odyssey found the black monolith of human evolution. But now that everyone’s got one, they’re less potent than they used to be. Who doesn’t have a black monolith they keep in their basement but now mostly use as a clothes rack, amiright?

So you might be wondering: do I need one or what? And what the hell am I supposed to do with it? [keep reading]

Author Websites: The Essentials

Every author needs a website, it’s a simple as that. It’s your central hub for everything, like your online house. Luckily for you, what’s actually on your website is pretty simple. The basics are:

  • Home (your default landing page)
  • About You (aka Author Bio)
  • Your Books
  • Blog
  • Newsletter Signup

You can add whatever else you want for shits and grins—I certainly have!—but those are the essential tabs…[keep reading]

Social Media: What’s In It For Authors?

Most social media platforms have accounts you can maintain specifically for a business, where you have access to a mix of features that’s similar to but not quite the same as a personal account. For instance, a business account on Facebook will let you create events, run ads, and track analytics. You also don’t have “friends” on a Facebook business account like you do on a personal account; people simply like and/or follow your page.

Different demographics frequent different social media platforms. Therefore, it’s important to understand the general demographics of your genre—for instance, whether they skew young or old, liberal or conservative, wealthy or cash-strapped, male or female—and focus more on where those people spend their online time. For example, YA readers skew young and female, so cultivating a strong presence on Instagram may be the best use of your professional social media time…[keep reading]

Get your hot iron ready and brand yourself! Learn how to tell the world who you are and get them excited about your existence.

4 Reasons Why You (Probably) Shouldn’t Bother Writing Short Stories

I started my literary career writing short stories; thought that was my niche since I’ve got lots of ideas for which the short form is the perfect medium. Turns out short stories have their uses, but establishing your writing bona fides is not one of them.

I’ve written almost a dozen short stories and had most of them published. Here are some truisms/advice from someone who’s toiled in the trenches of the short story market…[read more]

If all of this sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. And then after you’ve done all that work, get ready for lots and LOTS of rejection and heartbreak. It’s rough out there, babe. Read here for guidance on how to keep on keeping on.

Self-Care: 6 Steps to a Better Writing You!

Self-care is something we could all stand to get better about. At the risk of dating this post, when there’s a pandemic happening and some leaders seems totally unequipped to handle a real-life crisis, you gotta take shit into your own hands, you know what I’m sayin’?

I’ve always been one of those people you want to be with when the ship is sinking: I will make sure we LIVE, GODDAMMIT!! I’ll find a way. Leadership can’t make a decision? Screw that. I’m the captain now...[keep reading]

Share

A How-To Writing Website for My Mom – and You