They’re our readers…...

by Phil Sexton Publisher, Writer’s Digest We often talk about where to find readers and how to build an audience for our work. It’s all part of developing a platform, right? Write consistent blog posts. Send out an email newsletter. Develop a Twitter following. Write the best book you...

5 Tips for Networkin...

by Phil Sexton Publisher, Writer’s Digest Twice a year, every year, Writer’s Digest hosts two large writing conferences, one in New York City, the other in Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles conference will take place Friday through Sunday, 9/27 – 9/29. This year we’re launching the...

Say no to structure and let your imagination run w...

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E.L. Doctorow We know everyone’s writing style is different, so we believe as long as you get it down in paper who is to say you didn’t do it the “right way?” Just because you didn’t create an outline or know the ending to your novel before writing Chapter 1 doesn’t mean you’re wrong. You shouldn’t feel obligated to do things how others tell you do them – keep doing what works best for you. You don’t always have to clearly see everything laid out before you – just enough to...

The Never Ending Jou...

Guest Blog by Grant Faulkner Did I choose my writing process, or did it choose me? This was the question I asked myself after 20+ years of writing fiction. I wondered if I’d stumbled thoughtlessly upon my creative practice, and instead of actively scrutinizing it or consciously constructing...

6 Secrets to Writing a Novel No One Ever Told You

Writing a novel can seem like a daunting task, and a first-time author might even be hesitant to start. But if you’re passionate about writing and are willing to put in the work there is nothing to be afraid of. Telling stories is something you do every day, whether you are discussing your work day with your spouse, or reminiscing about past experiences with friends. Telling stories by word of mouth is something we do naturally, and writing a story is just taking those words and putting them on paper. When starting your novel, it is important to remember that it will take some time; it’s not a race. You need to be willing to commit the...

Let’s Talk About Que...

The following blog post was originally written by K.C. Sherwood on June 6, 2013 Ah yes, the dreaded query letter. Pure, unadulterated torture. In my opinion, the whole querying process should be considered one of Dante’s circles of hell. But, if we want to go the traditional route, we all...

The Making of a Best...

In Brian Hill and Dee Power’s book, The Making of a Bestseller, they interview dozens of authors, publishers, editors, and publicists to try and determine what actions help turn a book into a bestseller. It’s an older book written in 2005, prior to the modern age of self-publishing. Most...

Read a book to keep your mind fresh

You may not be a fan of Stephen King’s books, but you can’t deny that he knows what it takes to write a book or two. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”  – Stephen King If you want to continue honing your craft, you must continue reading. By reading another author’s work you enjoy, you pick up new plot ideas, different ways of holding dialogue between characters or even inspiration for your next book cover. We urge you to go a bit beyond your preferred genre and pick up something you might not normally consider. It doesn’t have to be the classics, but...

Benefit from in-person book promotion Aug01

Benefit from in-pers...

Get to know your audience. There’s no better way to do it than through meeting them face-to-face. Have a conversation, tell a joke or share an experience; it can make a big impact when it comes time to ask them to become a customer. Forty percent of prospected buyers actually purchased...

4 Ways to Prepare for a Writing Conference Jul18

4 Ways to Prepare fo...

We highly recommend you take advantage of at least one writing conference each year that takes place near your city. If you’ve never attended an event before, it can become a bit overwhelming. Review these four tips to ensure your experience at a writing conference is a success. 1.  Set...

Effective Author Marketing Jul03

Effective Author Mar...

Now that you have published your book, it’s time for you to take the next step: marketing.  It is important to have a well-planned marketing strategy to help boost the sales of your book. Part of the thrill of being a self-published author is getting to make most of the decisions and...

Learn to Love Deadlines

As a writer, you probably have an interesting relationship with deadlines. As easy as it is to give yourself deadlines and get excited about the prospect of meeting them, it’s even easier to ignore them. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” ― Douglas Adams It’s usually no difficulty to let deadlines pass you by — especially the ones you set for yourself. If you have a hard time holding yourself accountable for your own deadlines, let outside influences help. Look to writing contests, literary journals, conferences and workshop groups to set your deadlines for you. You’re likely to...

How to Use Author Materials to Promote Your Book Jun20

How to Use Author Materials to Promote Your Book

  A bookstore is a cornerstone to a community; a gathering place for people and books. But, readers are increasingly purchasing books online, too. You already know it’s crucial for you to have your book available where readers shop. So, how do you effectively use promotional materials in order to reach both the brick-and-mortar shopper and the online browser? Bookmarks, postcards and business cards are a great resource and a cost-efficient option. Why? These materials can generate interest and are versatile promotional materials that will work for both online and in-store shoppers. Here’s how: These materials have all of your...

How to Get Your Self-Published Book on Shelves

  While e-books are great (and steadily becoming “the norm”), most first-time authors still look for the thrill of seeing their hard or soft cover books on the shelf of a bookstore. After all, if your book is on a shelf in a brick-and-mortar store, you can claim the same mantel of “author” as Stephen King, John Grisham or Nora Roberts, if not the same sales figures. Of course, for authors who are published the traditional way through the major publishing houses, books in stores is generally part of the package. For those of us who self-publish, we need to find other avenues to see our books physically displayed. As a first-time...

Our Most Effective Writing Habits

The editors on the Writer’s Digest staff are often asked what their favorite habits are for overcoming writer’s block and finding inspiration. Following are the ones they’ve found to be the most effective: “When I have trouble focusing, I listen to white noise — like the whir of a fan. It helps me calm myself and step away from “busy work,” be that cleaning the house or talking on Twitter. White noise settles me, and I can get more good writing done when I’m settled.” Chuck Sambuchino, Editor   Tweet This   “When I’m stuck, I always read over what I wrote the day before. It jogs my memory...

What type of writer are you?

If you’re searching for a way to classify your identity as a writer, look no further than this great quote from George R.R. Martin: “I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of...

Mastering Conflict a...

Mickey Spillane once said, “The first line sells your book. The last line sells your next book.” But how do you bridge the gap between those two lines? How do you get readers from Point A to Point Z without them giving up around Point F? (F as in Failed your job as a writer to engage the...

Now’s the Time to Pursue Your Writing Goals

In the writing world, there’s little room for fear. The moment you decide you want to be a writer, the time has come to put all self-doubt aside and simply go for it. It takes confidence, persistence and action to reach any writing goal — from finishing a draft of a manuscript to promoting your published work. “I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.”  ― Anne Lamott Most writers — no matter how talented — go through phases of writing work they’re not happy with, getting rejections, and struggling to find people who are interested in their work. It’s...

Get into the Zone an...

Sometimes the hardest thing about writing is the act of sitting down and getting the work done. Many writers have rituals that they use to get in the right frame of mind to produce material. Mine – which I admit is odd – is to eat a giant bowl of cereal, then put the bowl down next to my...

Spring Cleaning For ...

It’s that time of the year when winter fades away and spring slowly emerges. With this changing of seasons, a lot of us turn our focus toward spring cleaning. The start of a new season mixed with the cleanliness of your home gives one the feeling of being refreshed and recharged. Just like...