Jane Knows

How to Sell Low-Cost Subscriptions to Short Stories

I received the following question from Gail McConnon: Re: Question on Serializing a Short Story Collection through a Paid Subscription I know. That subject header is enough to make the head spin. Just stay with me for a minute, though. There’s something I’d like to do, but haven’t a clue where to start. I’m really […]

Writer Unboxed

Do-It-Yourself vs. Professional Help

Yesterday was my regular contribution to Writer Unboxed. I discussed how some independent authors are putting their work out there with zero professional help. Here’s a snippet: Working with professionals should challenge you. It should raise the bar. You’ll probably feel some doubts about the quality of your work. This is a good thing. Professionals usually […]

Blank Faces by Rommel Adao

I Hate Press Releases

This is part rant, part advice. I don’t write this post as if my needs were everyone’s. But it’s frustrating to see authors AND PUBLISHERS—who probably have little time and resource to begin with—wasting their time by contacting bloggers (and others in the media) with dead-on-arrival press releases. Let’s back up for a moment. What […]

iStockphoto / urbancow

Writing on the Ether

  Inspiration Nation If they’d asked me, I’d have nixed both the spelling “Syfy” and 95 percent of that TV channel’s programming. But all I need is their slogan for a few minutes. “Imagine greater.” I’m over this inspiration jag in the writing community. Inspiration, or the pursuit of it, becomes our little drug so […]

Featured WP image

WordPress Plug-Ins: The Bare Essentials

This past weekend, I was a presenter at PodCamp Cincinnati. Many talented people in social media attended from the region, so I learned quite a few things myself. My favorite session was by Daniel J. Lewis, the event organizer, who gave a snappy session on essential WordPress plug-ins. I’m going to share a few recommendations […]

Back to Basics: Writing a Novel Synopsis

I received the following question from working writer Sharon Hale: I read a lot of information in your Writing Advice Archive regarding queries; however, I could not find any information on writing the synopsis that will accompany the query letter. I am a newbie, who is beginning the process of writing the synopsis and query […]

by Emilie Ogez / Flickr

My Secret for Battling Procrastination

To some, I may appear productive. But like many, I’m a horrible procrastinator. I try to think about my weakness in positive terms, e.g., “I work better under pressure.” That is true—I believe there’s nothing like a deadline to force you to be creative (one reason why I love blogging!). However, for some projects, I […]

heaving to port

Writing on the Ether

  Capt. Linn warned us: “Too many books!” So no, yeah, whoa, the heaving ship of publishing lists to starboard, everybody to the rails, it’s Frankfurt! And then achtung, now we’re Dramamine-ing to portside as they all skitter back, ‘twixt poop deck and TweetDeck, tote bags stuffed with digital drama. And my God, shall not […]

by Sal Falko / Flickr

Are You Worried Your Ideas or Work Will Be Stolen?

I recently received the following question from working writer Shannon Traphagen: I have been fervently working on my novel (I am 5 chapters into writing it) and feel I have a platform like no other. My protagonist and antagonist are strong, and I feel it’s a fictional story that’s never really been done before. I’m very […]

by Garda / Flickr

3 Blunders That Can Kill Your Author Platform

Today’s guest post is from author Kristen Lamb. The digital age author has more opportunities than any writer in the history of the written word. But with more opportunities comes more competition, and with more competition comes more work. Mega-agent Donald Maass will tell you there are only two ways to sell books—a good book and […]

Write-a-thon

The Story Bible: What It Is and Why You Need One

The following is an excerpt from Write-a-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It) by Rochelle Melander, now available from Writer’s Digest Books. In writing a series of stories about the same characters, plan the whole series in advance in some detail, to avoid contradictions and inconsistencies. —L. Sprague de Camp […]

Glacier National Park

3 Questions Every Creative Person Must Ask

I’m starting to find that the same dilemmas come up again and again when I talk with a group about online media and marketing. These are dilemmas that I can’t solve. They boil down to three questions you have to ask yourself—and be able to answer honestly—to find a path that’s your own, not mine. […]

Frankfurt rail station

Writing on the Ether

The digital train has so left the station. That’s a Frankfurt railway stop, as a matter of fact. Fear and loathing, at home and abroad. International publishing-industry players met to hold meetings, attend conferences, drink heavily, and attend more conferences. They tweet-gasped at hotel wi-fi costing 19 euros per day and publishers warned of a […]

Sean Platt

The Evolving Model of the Entrepreneurial Novelist

It’s pleasure to bring you this insightful Q&A with writer Sean Platt. As his own website states, Sean Platt writes it all. He writes copy, websites, books, and has most recently developed a new epic thriller series, Yesterday’s Gone, with his writing partner, David Wright. In addition to my interest in the creation and marketing of […]

Writer's Digest (October 2011)

Book Proposals in the Digital Age

I started my first publishing job in 1998, and I immediately started reviewing nonfiction book proposals as part of an editorial team. By 2010, what constituted a strong book proposal had dramatically transformed. You can probably guess why. The Internet has forever changed how we discover, access, and distribute information and entertainment. For a nonfiction […]

Rumors of Water

You Don’t Need a Degree to Find Your Voice

The following excerpt is from Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing by L.L. Barkat. I am opening a jar of green tea from Granada, Spain. It’s an old salsa jar, without its label. The tea is silvery and reminds me of those pictures I’ve seen of the mountain mist in China. There are […]

3 Keys to Sustainable & Successful Indie Authorship

Note from Jane: I don’t usually run posts that feature or promote a single service or solution. Authors need to find partners who not only fit with them, but also fit with their work and their audience. In Scott Sigler’s case, I think he’s found an excellent partner that helps empower his long-term author career. […]

©iStockphoto.com/PhotoTalk

Writing on the Ether

This is my low horse. You should see me on my high one. They’re so skittish, these creatures. Especially around loud noises. Like “BUY MY BOOK!” And “FOLLOW ME BACK!” ‘Tis the season when bales of content are heaved onto the market. And as we share our social mediocrity, my little neigh-sayer, do remember: if […]