Alone, We Stand Together: Lessons From ThrillerFest

At ThrillerFest, as with all writing conferences, you go into each session with a set of expectations. Most of the day consists of listening to panels on certain topics, and then interviews.  Over the course of the day, I heard discussions on everything from reading and editing to villains and violence, from debut authors and… Read more »

Surprises at Every Turn: ThrillerFest 2013

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending ThrillerFest, a fantastic event from International Thriller Writers (ITW). Like last year, the theme that tied together my ThrillerFest experience can be summed in three words: “Expect the unexpected.” You might assume an event put on by thriller writers would have an icy vibe. You might… Read more »

Social Media for Writers: Interview with Dan Blank

Today it is such a pleasure to host a friend and mentor Dan Blank of WeGrowMedia.com. Some time ago I interviewed Dan about his take on social media and how he helps writers manage their social media without getting overwhelmed. This topic especially resonated with me because for a long time I had a love-hate… Read more »

BEA Battle Plan

I’ve never been to BEA. As I approach it, I keep thinking of the children in Willy Wonka, standing just inside the chocolate factory. They don’t know what wonders await them. They only know that there are wonders ahead. That the place is huge. And they’re thrilled to be there. And Willy Wonka tells them:… Read more »

Why Writers Need to Think About Money

We’re writers. We write because we love it, not for the money. It’s a noble sentiment but deep down I think many of us harbor the same secret dream: we want to make money writing. There’s just one little problem: most writers don’t like to think (or talk) about money. And if we won’t talk… Read more »

3 Things To Know Before You Publish

When I first started learning the book industry, I thought all you had to do to publish was to write a phenomenal book. At the Writer’s Digest Conference East (WDCE), I first heard about a a new publishing survey conducted by Digital Book World earlier this year. There’s a report of the results if you… Read more »

Self-Publishing Insights Q&A Series

At the Writer’s Digest Conference, and other events I’ve attended lately, one thing has become very clear: self-publishing is no longer synonymous with vanity publishing. In fact, self-publishing can be a sound business model for writers with a more entrepreneurial bent. There’s even some fascinating research (a Digital Book World survey) suggesting that “hybrid” authors–who… Read more »

Four Questions to Define Your Social Media Presence

Not so long ago, agents and even some publishers insisted that authors (including aspiring authors) needed a social media presence. But that is slowly changing as it dawns on everyone in the publishing industry that an online presence is the means to an end rather than the end itself. Social networking comes down to GIVE: four… Read more »

Why You Should Consider an Agent, Even If You Self-Publish

These days, with Amazon and a host of other opportunities for self-publication, writers take more of a lead in getting their books in the hands of readers. If writers can upload their books and sell directly to readers then what happens to the “middle men” like literary agents? While some writers seem pleased to see… Read more »

How Practicing My Pitch Helped Me Write a Better Book

Being able to sum up a book in a sentence or two, under pressure and with focus, organization and intrigue is a skill that takes practice. Literary Agent Rachelle Gardner recommends you “give enough information—plot, character, setting, theme—to intrigue without giving away the entire story.”  Agent Kerrie Flanagan adds: “Know your story, practice your one-liner,… Read more »