The Human Side of the Publishing Industry

Last week, I was inspired. Truly inspired. After several days of chaos and anxiety–worrying about and tracking down friends, family and colleagues–I finally ventured out into New York City to attend the Backspace Agent-Author Seminar. By some miracle, the hotel hosting the conference still had power (the blackout area started just a few blocks south)…. Read more »

Agents Share Conference Tips

In less than two weeks, I will be attending the Backspace Agent-Author Seminar (Nov. 1 & 2) in New York City. I attended a Backspace conference once before–it’s actually where I first met my agent–and loved it. A newbie writer at the time, I appreciated the practical, no-nonsense advice I got on how to navigate… Read more »

New Features at DIY MFA

DIY MFA has a whole new look, complete with new site, new logo, new FREE eBook and even a shiny new web app designed to help you come up with story ideas. With this new look, it means that we’ve made lots of changes to the format at DIY MFA. Read on for details about… Read more »

Announcing the DIY MFA Team

This has been an exciting week here at DIY MFA. It may not look like a lot has happened on the surface, but behind the scenes we have a lot of awesome things cooking. One of those things is that I’ve assembled the DIY MFA Team! In the coming weeks, I’ll be talking more about… Read more »

5 Lessons About Community that Writers MUST Learn

You’re a writer. Time may be your most precious commodity, but your strongest asset is… people. That’s right. Even the lone writer needs people to make things happen. We can’t do this on our own. So why is it that this valuable asset–this community of twin souls–is often the first thing writers ignore or let… Read more »

How to Present Yourself as a Writer

Once upon a time, writers could hide away in ivory towers and immerse themselves in their work, not worrying about what the world beyond those hallowed walls thought of their writing. No longer. Now writers must engage with the world at large and connect with their readers. This, of course, raises an important question for… Read more »

Networking for Authors: 5 Survival Tips

Once upon a time, all authors had to do was write a good book. All that other stuff, like branding and publicity, was taken care of by the marketing experts. But times have changed and now more than ever the onus has been on writers to be part of both the writing and business sides… Read more »

Branding Basics from ThrillerfFest

While at ThrillerFest I attended two panels about branding. How Do You Build a Thriller Brand? was headed up by Jaime Levine (Executive Editor, formerly with Grand Central Publishing) and included big names such as: agent Dan Conaway and authors Catherine Coulter, Joseph Finder, Lisa Gardner and John Sandford. (You can see them pictured in… Read more »

Branding for Writers

It might seem a bit like putting the cart before the horse to focus on branding when many writers at DIY MFA are pre-published. There is a logic here, though, I promise. I attended several talks and panels at ThrillerFest on this very topic and one theme kept coming up again and again. While most… Read more »

What I Learned at ThrillerFest

This past week, I attended ThrillerFest, the International Thriller Writers(ITW) annual conference. While I myself do not write thrillers, I knew I would learn a lot of techniques I could apply to my own writing–like how to plot a novel and build suspense–by attending a thriller conference. I expected plot would be the focus of… Read more »