We spoke with two graphic designers to get some insights on what makes for great design and why your book cover design is more important than ever before.

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Jacket copy is never going to be “perfect.” It’ll never capture everything you want readers to know about your book or your achievements as an author. So give up on trying to pack it all in and just accept the fact that this is supposed to be, much like the descriptions on a menu, a teaser. First throw your hands in the air, and then use them to karate chop all the extraneous elements into submission. What’s left over will be in fighting trim.

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You’re stuck. Something about your book just isn’t working, but you’re not quite sure what it is. Time for drastic measures. Yes, you could tinker away at the sentence level or rearrange a few chapters here and there — but when your ideas stall or you've written yourself into a corner, maybe it's time to do something radical to shake things up and revise your book. Why not GO EXTREME!? You can always return to your original stinker of a draft if these attempts at radical revision fail, right? So yeah; you’re totally safe to play around and get your hands dirty. Here are four things to try when your manuscript feels like it’s falling flat.

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Finishing your first draft is a major milestone, and here are your next six steps in your quest to publish a novel.

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As an author, when planning a publicity campaign, you probably think about contacting the press a few months before you launch a new book or embark on a book tour. But there are a lot of other ways to get press and blog coverage for your writing besides the usual book tour and book launch publicity campaign. Here are just a few newsworthy events in your literary life that journalists and bloggers might be interested in covering: 1) When you start writing a new book. 2) When you’re deep into the writing, 3) When you finish writing your book, 4) When you solidify your book title, 5) When you finalize your book cover.

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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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You can tell a lot about a writer from the way he or she insults a fellow writer. Here are some of the most famous insults hurled at one writer by another. Infographic from AussieWriter.com.

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