• Community,  Marketing,  Reading

    10 Tips for Writing Reviews with Ease

    By Sherry Howard Before my first book was published, I never really understood how it felt to get your book reviewed. Luckily for me, a few writer friends, who understood how important reviews are, jumped in to review my newly-published book without being asked. Seeing those reviews was great, even the four-starred ones, but it made me realize that I hadn’t been great about giving reviews. And, it made me think about why people some people refuse to write reviews. In fact, a friend told me she didn’t have enough confidence to post her writing publicly, even to support me. I realized that people have the wrong idea about what…

  • Creativity,  Reading

    Eleven Tips To Help You Be More Creative!

    Who wants more ideas? Who needs a brilliant thought? Who could stand a new insight? A fresh perspective? A story idea? Who needs more creativity? I know I do! I just wish I could turn on good ideas like I turn on the tap. It’s too bad our muse only shows up at inconvenient times or not at all. I believe, however,  that creativity can be encouraged. We can play with our own minds in such a way that can help solve problems and get good ideas. Here’s a long list of ways to be more creative. Try some! And leave a comment if you got them to work! 1.…

  • Craft,  Reading,  Uncategorized

    Seven Reasons Why You Should Read Your Manuscript Out Loud

      Have you ever read your work out loud? Long before you submit your work to your beta readers, before you assume that you’re done, before you start thinking about renting that billboard to advertise your latest literary genius, you should read your manuscript out loud. Start at page one. Finish at “The End.” And listen. And keep a red pen handy to make notes. I’m completely convinced that you’ll make a lot of notes. I’m convinced that you’ll hear far more errors than you’ll ever see. Reading aloud reveals everything. This is why you should read your manuscript out loud: You’ll hear words repeated. We all have writing habits that need…

  • Reading

    How To Review A Book As An Author

    By Olivia Folmer Ard In this digital age, an author’s internet presence can make or break her. Reputation, success, overall career—these are just a few of the things on the line when we power on our computers and plug into the virtual world. We’re all familiar with the horror stories about authors reacting badly to online reviews of their own books—Kathleen Hale stalked a Goodreads user who left a snarky one-star review, going so far as to physically visit the woman’s home, and Richard Brittain took stalking a step further when he tracked down a cheeky 18-year-old and bludgeoned her with a wine bottle after she criticized his work on…

  • Craft,  Reading,  Uncategorized,  Work-In-Progress

    Eleven Requirements For The First Pages of Your Bestseller

    The first pages of a book are like opening a door. I let myself go at the beginning and write with an easy mind, but by the time I get to the middle I begin to grow timid and to fear my story will be too long…That is why the beginning of my stories is always very promising and looks as though I were starting on a novel, and the middle is huddled and timid, and the end is…like fireworks. — Anton Chekov The first pages of a book are  the first impression a reader, agent, publisher or reviewer will read. Your goal is to keep them so interested that…

  • Craft,  Reading

    The Diary of A Beta Reader: A Guest Post by Sara Marschand

    Guest blogger Sara Marschand explains her thought processes while she beta reads. A beta reader is often the first or second set of eyes a manuscript gets. Their purpose is to spot holes in a manuscript and communicate to a writer, who maybe a little myopic, that changes need to be made.  For the last several years, I’ve had the privilege of beta reading for many authors. Much of my feedback highlights awkward sentence flags and unclear story parts. Sometimes it’s a setting that can’t be visualized, other times it may be a whole scene that doesn’t fit the narrative. Logical errors are the easiest to spot. One author described…

  • Nanowrimo,  Reading,  Time Management,  Uncategorized

    Top 10 Ways You Can Conquer Nanowrimo Like War & Peace

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist We’re just a few days in to National Novel Writing Month and it can feel like you’ve decided to read a Russian novel. Last spring, I read War and Peace for reasons that I can’t quite remember. I think I wanted to add to my literary experiences. I think that I had seen on too many lists that it was one of the greatest novels ever written. And I also think that somehow my 21st century American sensibilities would totally identify with the plight of rich, idle Russian aristocrats who kinda hate the French. But, oh my, that book was 1300+ pages long. I was committed to finish and I…

  • #Top10Tuesday,  Beautiful Words,  Community,  Reading

    Top 10 Tuesdays! Top 10 Ways To Love Your Local Library

    It seems fitting to me to incorporate a tribute to libraries in my theme of Beautiful Words. Where else can you get access to free  beauty?   My local libraries have been very generous in helping me with author signings and events. I’d like to suggest the sooner you start loving your local library (and the people who work there) the better your relationship and the more help they’ll give you in your marketing goals. 1. Bring them a treat.  Showing up with cookies or donuts just to say thank you would almost always be welcome. 2. Donate your books. Libraries differ on their donations policy, so it’s better to ask…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Observation,  Reading

    How Being An Armchair Analyst Can Make You A Better Writer (And Football Fan!)

    My 10 year old son knows a lot about football. He knows the most obscure penalty calls.  He knows who the third string quarterback is for the Raiders, what college he went to and why he’d probably be taken by Miami next year.  He knows who won every Super Bowl, who coached the winning teams and crazy stats like how many championship victories were earned by teams who came from behind. Along with every Patriots fan in New England, he wants to tell Coach Bellichik exactly what went wrong in last week’s game. My son doesn’t restrict his knowledge to the Patriots; he knows about the Broncos, the Jets (oh!…