If you write long enough, at some point you are going to experience a lag in productivity. Whether you call it “writer’s block” or “resistance” or just “a slump,” the moment will come when you struggle to put words on the page, and you just can’t find motivation to write through the struggle.
One way to overcome that lag is to lean into what motivates you. Do you know why you write?
If you are a writer (and you are), then I know you are reading. As we read both masters and peers, it’s easy to fall into comparison and even disillusionment. How can you learn from your reading without letting it distract you from your own writing journey?
For years, I didn’t know how I was ever going to sell books. I’m painfully shy and, unfortunately, have a complexion that tends to redden easily. Like lava-covered-tomato red. The idea of calling someone, sometimes even people I know, gets my heart racing. The idea of standing in front of a small group of people and talking is my worst nightmare. And don’t even get me started on going to conferences and the like. Oh, the terror.
None of this is really news for writers. “Writer” and “extrovert” don’t often appear in the same sentence. Day-to-day our hermitic proclivities aren’t really a problem. We happily plug away at our keyboards in a dark room somewhere and don’t have to deal with another soul.
Until we want to sell our books.
Italics, quotation marks, underlines, plain old capital letters—when it comes to writing titles, the rules can feel like a confusing mess. Do you italicize book titles? What about movie titles? And for goodness’ sake, what should you do with pesky things like TV shows, short stories, or Youtube videos?
With so many different kinds of media, it’s easy to get lost in all the rules. Let’s demystify them, shall we?
Whether you’re self publishing or you have a traditional publisher, it’s up to you to sell your books. Email marketing is the number one way to sell books. But in order to use email marketing effectively, you first have to gather a list of email addresses, a group of readers who want to hear from you.
Struggling to build your list? Try this.
If you’re like most writers I hear from, you’re probably wondering how to sell your book to a publisher. Publishing is a strange and mysterious industry, and it can be very hard to find your way through it so you can achieve your writing goals. You’re in the right place though, because often, the very first step on your journey to publishing your book is writing a book proposal.
How to write a book proposal, though? In this article, we’re going to talk about how to write a book proposal for both nonfiction and fiction writers. We’ll also look at when you need to write one. And at the end, there will be a fun exercise that will help you get started writing your book proposal.
I subscribe to several writing web and blog sites. I trust them to give me sound writing advice. But sometimes the sheer volume of advice engulfs me, and I feel like I’m in the middle of a tidal wave.
Being overwhelmed can lead to creative paralysis. I work myself into a frenzy trying to apply everything to all my writing right now. Or, I close the computer or put down my pen and count the leaves on my philodendron plant. Neither approach is helpful.
With so much useful writing advice, how do you know where to start?
It’s your dream to publish and sell a book. Thankfully, there’s never been a better time to do it, as all the tools you could possibly require are at your fingertips. And the best news is that many of them don’t cost a penny, allowing you to publish, market, and sell your book for free! All you have to do is figure out how to sell books.
Of course, what you don’t pay in cash you will be paying in gumption. As with any publishing route, there are pros and cons to using mostly free resources, and I’ll illustrate those as we go so hopefully you can avoid some of the mistakes I made in my own free publishing journey.
The Summer Writing Contest stories are in! Now it’s your turn to vote for your favorite to win the Readers’ Choice Award.
One of the great benefits a traditional publisher brings to the relationship is a network of agents and bookstores designed for the purpose of selling books. Like sailing a small boat into the ocean, without that pre-established network, self-publishing is scary. When we are first drifting into open waters, there is so much we don’t know.
Here is the good news: It is possible to sell books without a publisher. You just have to learn how.
Last week, I overheard a conversation at a neighboring table where a woman said, “He’s always trying to prove himself. It makes him look less competent than he is.” I didn’t know the parties involved, but I grabbed a napkin and jotted it down. When I added it to my notebook, I realized characters with something to prove often undermine their own success. And those insecurities make for an amazing writing prompt.
Do you sit down to write and it seems like a million thoughts are dancing in your head? You know, they’re just there having a loud obnoxious party. With all those bouncing thoughts, it’s hard to focus on writing. To combat those mental distractions, try a daily writing habit of Ray Bradbury’s.
Self-publishing is on the rise, but places like Amazon aren’t marketing platforms; they’re sales platforms. You can’t just upload your book and think it’ll sell. You have to do the heavy lifting to get the word out.
Email marketing is the number one way to connect with your audience, which means it’s the number one way to sell books.
But what should you send to your audience? How do you turn email subscribers into loyal readers?
Words in English are tricky things. They merge and morph, even little changes adding layers of new meaning. Don’t believe me? Here’s an area I see lots of people getting tripped up: setup vs. set up. Is it one word or two? And does it even matter?
Actually, it’s both, and yes, it does matter. Let’s take a look at why, shall we?
According to James Scott Bell, the fastest way to improve any manuscript is by learning to write dazzling dialogue. Nothing grabs and holds reader attention like well-written dialogue, but how do you do it?
There are a lot of pitfalls to watch out for when it comes to using dialogue in your writing. Whether you’ve given this a lot of thought, or none at all, the subject bears exploring. Let’s take a look at six hazards to be wary of, and what you can do about them to make your dialogue more engaging.
A few days ago, as I was in the middle of revising my book, a question occurred to me: “How do you sell 100 million copies of a book? Is there a way to reverse engineer that kind of success?”
In this post, we will dissect what makes the top best-selling books of all time books so popular, and then look at how we can apply those lessons to our own writing.
Often times when writers dream of becoming bestselling authors, they picture worldwide success, with their novels translated into dozens of different languages and adapted into major motion pictures. One of the most important things to keep in mind, though, is that learning how to sell books is a process that starts small and, usually, starts locally.
Let’s be honest: most of the time, we have no clue how our stories will end. Perhaps there’s a general idea or sense of the finale in our minds, yet when we sit down to write the conclusion the words don’t come. We’re stuck. We don’t know how to find our story’s ending.
Despite all the troubles with writing the final moments of your story, it is possible to conquer this particular writing obstacle and learn how to find your story’s ending!
If you’ve ever had the middle of a manuscript sag and feel flabby, congrats. You’re a writer! One of the questions I ask when get stuck in the middle of a manuscript is this: “How can I make this worse for this character?” One of the key elements you might use is the very thing we try so hard to avoid on a daily basis: abrasive people.
How can an abrasive character push your character’s arc, keep the plot moving, and deepen the theme? Read on to find out.
For some of us, engaging on social media is tricky. Writers tend to be introverts by nature, so putting ourselves out there can be intimidating or seem like a useless waste of time. (It’s neither, and you need to be on social media in this industry. It’s just how it works now.)
Then there’s the other side of the coin, those writers that are on social constantly, using it as a procrastination technique to keep from writing. (Don’t do that.)
As a little starter pack, I’m going to give you a few Twitter hints and a list of hashtags that will help you connect with other writers, agents, publishers, and, most importantly, your readers.