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10 perfectly normal struggles when writing a novel [infographic]

10 perfectly normal struggles when writing a novel [infographic]

Adler's advice when writing a novel
Do you agonize over your titles? Are your friends worried about you because you don’t emerge from your office for days? Are you constantly rewriting?

Don’t worry – you’re not alone! Warren Adler, who has published more than 30 novels and short story collections in his 40 years as a published author, lifts the veil on some of the “perfectly normal” writing struggles he has learned to accept as part of the process of creation and writing.

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8 tough creative writing lessons from an ex-MFA teacher

8 tough creative writing lessons from an ex-MFA teacher

Writer working Main More than a few MFA teachers talk about the politics of their English departments in such a way that it sounds like an episode of House of Cards. Criticizing students, fellow teachers, the program, or even the effectiveness of creative writing programs in general — it has to be a careful dance. One ex-teacher, now freed of such considerations, has let it rip in an article called “Things I can say about MFA writing programs now that I no longer teach in one.”

In his article for The Stranger, Ryan Boudinot says: “I recently left a teaching position in a master of fine arts creative-writing program. I had a handful of students whose work changed my life. The vast majority of my students were hardworking, thoughtful people devoted to improving their craft despite having nothing interesting to express and no interesting way to express it. My hope for them was that they would become better readers. And then there were students whose work was so awful that it literally put me to sleep. Here are some things I learned from these experiences.”

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Sell them with your cover design

Sell them with your cover design

Tea_Health A great book or eBook cover is one of your best sales tools, instantly conveying the key thoughts, messages, and images that sum up your book while grabbing the attention of a prospective reader. That’s why it’s essential for you to stand out from everyone else on those crowded eBook retail sites and bookshelves.

And it goes beyond the old cliché. According to Deloitte’s research paper, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions 2015: “A key value of print books appears to be their cover. Covers have been shown to drive sales; but they also send a message to those around you about what you are reading and what kind of person you are. As has been noted, ‘the act of reading a book in public conveys important information to other readers.’”

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Should you follow the traditional or self publishing path? Numbers point the way.

Should you follow the traditional or self publishing path? Numbers point the way.

Numbers and the hybrid authorIt’s a question that thousands of potential authors are asking themselves everyday: Should I try self publishing? Or should I chase the dream of traditional publishing.

One answer is: do both! You’ll be hearing and reading a lot more from BookBaby about authors who do both traditional and self publishing. They’re called “hybrid authors” and they’re some of the most successful authors around today! Hybrid authors walk the line between traditional and self publishing by doing both. But if you’re just starting your publishing journey, you have to start with one or the other. It turns out I’m going to be speaking to a lot of writers trying to make this decision at the Storytellers Conference and Expo in Santa Rosa, CA. I’ve been searching for the easiest and best way to get my point across. And I think I’ve got it.

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Famous writers’ insults [infographic]

Famous writers’ insults [infographic]

You can tell a lot about a writer from the way he or she insults a fellow writer.
Insults
What does he object to?
What does she value?
What are their beliefs about style and content?

There it all is in a quick little put-down!

And here in this infographic from AussieWriter.com are some of the most famous insults hurled at one writer by another.

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Join me at the StoryTellers Expo in Santa Rosa, CA

Join me at the StoryTellers Expo in Santa Rosa, CA

STExpoLogoI’m hitting the road next week, heading to Santa Rosa, CA for the annual StoryTellers Expo on March 20-22. Presented by the Northern California Writers organization, the event is an opportunity for writers to meet with executives, producers, and publishers from around the globe. It features two days of speakers, plus a full day of pitching to agents, production companies, and publishers.

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#BBchat recap: hybrid authors

#BBchat recap: hybrid authors

BBchat-March-SocialFor the March edition of our #BBchat Twitter chat, we asked a few of our authors and literary friends from around the world, including Shannon McLay (former BookBaby author of Train Your Way To Financial Fitness) and BookBaby president Steven Spatz, for their thoughts on the concept of hybrid authors, the term used to describe writers who are involved in both traditional and self-publishing somewhere in their literary career, and how to navigate that transition successfully. We prefaced this month’s chat with some initial pointers to get the conversation started, as well as a brief biography of Shannon, which you can check out here.

Interestingly, a few authors who joined us for the chat were themselves hybrid authors already. While a few said that they would miss some of the guidance and marketing power of a traditional publisher, they would happily self-publish again because of the freedom and creative control it provides, including higher profits. A number of interesting marketing ideas and promotion tips were also shared; we hope you find them to be useful!

To view the entire chat transcript, please visit this link. Below is a selection of questions and answers from our discussion.

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Scoundrels, scammers, and self publishing

Scoundrels, scammers, and self publishing

Scoundrels and self-publishing scammersNot everybody in the publishing industry has your best interests at heart.

Last week I was in Portland, Oregon, listening in on phone calls with the BookBaby customer service team. One conversation stood out above the rest. A gentleman had phoned in with a long list of questions about self publishing, and near the end of the conversation he said: “You know, writing is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out what to do with it afterwards.”

I’m sure that sums up the feelings of a lot of BookBaby authors, and I was glad that he had found our toll free number so we could answer all his self publishing questions.

But it got me thinking: What if he hadn’t found BookBaby? Where would he be?

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Neil Gaiman’s advice on writing and inspiration

Neil Gaiman’s advice on writing and inspiration

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How one debut author prepared to give a great public reading

How one debut author prepared to give a great public reading

How to Deliver a Memorable Book ReadingMelville House (the rad, Brooklyn-based indie publisher) has just published my friend Josh Cook’s debut novel, “An Exaggerated Murder.”

The next step? A reading tour, of course!

Josh Cook will spend a good chunk of March reading at various bookstores in the northeast — and he’s put a lot of thought and preparation into this tour.

He says:

Ultimately, I think of this amount of preparation as one-part “Jesus, I Hope I Don’t Embarrass Myself” and two-parts, “These People Could Be Doing Anything Right Now, I Mean, There’s Probably a Bruins Game On, but They Came to See Me,” with a dash of “This Is Part of Your Fucking Dream, Dude,” and a whisper of “You Could Even Sell Some Books Tonight.”

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