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The Shatzkin Files

  • Temperature check from two US CEOs at Frankfurt 2017
    It is no surprise that the public remarks at Frankfurt by Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle and Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy contain gems worth pondering. Book publishing has been fortunate to have really smart people leading the biggest companies during our period of digital transition. The apparent collusion over the implementation of […
    - 1 day ago, 18 Oct 17, 8:23pm -
  • Amazon and the future of physical retail
    There are two parallel conversations about the future of retail that are quite active. One is within the book business and it centers around what the future will be — and will there be one? — for Barnes & Noble. The other one is about the future of retail competitors to Amazon in the broader […]
    - 29 days ago, 20 Sep 17, 7:18pm -
  • Pointing to two posts all or largely mine that are not on this site
    Readers of The Shatzkin Files might be interested in two current posts in other places. One carries my byline and is not about publishing. The other is an extensive interview with me about “what if Barnes & Noble disappeared?” The Barnes & Noble piece is a Nathan Bransford blogpost. It is totally relevant content for […]
    - 37 days ago, 13 Sep 17, 2:00pm -
  • Are the tech giants too big to be good partners for book publishing?
    An online discussion forum that includes publishers and librarians and tech people usually sends me several emails a day. About 10 days ago, a conversation evolved about Google Book Search and the Google Library Project, two initiatives by the search giant that were initiated in the early part of the last decade. Because both programs […]
    - 59 days ago, 21 Aug 17, 8:18pm -
  • Strategies to cut overheads in a shrinking book business make a lot of sense
    An inexorable reality of today’s commercial book publishing world is that it is shrinking. Although there have been no obvious signs yet that actual long-form book reading itself has declined (even though that would seem a likely consequence over time of the changed ways we get our reading inputs), the self-publishing and indie segment of […]
    - 81 days ago, 31 Jul 17, 2:10pm -
  • Digital marketing scales and that could create new opportunities for capable publishers
    There are three new promotion and marketing opportunities for publishers of ebooks that have been created by the original upstart ebook publisher, Open Road Integrated Media. They all come from OR/M’s development of tools to promote their own extensive list of ebooks, but which now actually benefit from the inclusion of a broader array of […]
    - 94 days ago, 17 Jul 17, 7:10pm -
  • Dick McCullough was a great client for me, a great boss for many, and a great guy for everybody
    I hadn’t seen Dick McCullough, who was my most-fun-to-work-with client of all time and the best leader I ever met in the corporate world, for at least a few years when I got a phone call from him at 7pm last New Year’s Eve. He was calling to tell me that he had just had […]
    - 19 Jun 17, 1:23am -
  • First impressions of an Amazon bookstore
    The new just-opened Amazon bookstore in Manhattan made my wife think of an airport bookstore or a “gallery, where the books are displayed rather than sold”. Everything is faced out. The selection is limited. An airport bookstore would almost certainly have a different mix of titles: far fewer cookbooks (the Amazon store gives them quite […]
    - 29 May 17, 9:31pm -
  • Introducing a tool to help tackle the critical marketing challenge in digital times: what to work on next
    Every publisher with more than a handful of published titles has a daily challenge to assign the marketing resources available to where they will do the most good. Efforts no longer have to be restricted, as they sensibly were until the most recent past, by what titles have inventory in front of customers on store […]
    - 23 May 17, 5:57pm -
  • Knowing which titles to work on is a challenge today that was not important 10 years ago
    About 15 years ago, my friend Charlie Nurnberg, then the Sales VP at Sterling (which was, then, an independent publisher not yet bought by Barnes & Noble) threw me a challenge. “For years,” he said, “I got the B&N green-bar report [by which he meant an Excel spreadsheet] every Friday. I had 800 titles on […]
    - 11 May 17, 2:38pm -

Seth Godin

  • newA publishing master class
    Announcing a two-day workshop in my office for 8 people. I define publishing as the work of investing in intellectual property and monetizing it by bringing it to people who want to pay for it. The world of publishing is...       
    - 12 hours ago, 19 Oct 17, 3:19pm -
  • newProcessing negative reviews
    Assumption: Some people love what you do. They love your product, your service, the way you do your work (if that's not true, this post isn't for you. You have a more significant problem to work on first). So, how...       
    - 19 hours ago, 19 Oct 17, 8:07am -
  • On leveling up
    I got a note yesterday from a recent grad of the altMBA. He said, "I have to say that the value I have gained from this group far exceeds anything I could give back, and please know that it is...       
    - 2 days ago, 18 Oct 17, 7:52am -
  • What makes your sirens go off...
    Somewhere, someone is doing something that got your attention, inciting you into action. Somewhere, someone is: Taking your share Wasting an opportunity Cutting ahead in line Suffering at the hands of bully Invading your territory Announcing a deadline Sharing breaking...       
    - 3 days ago, 17 Oct 17, 9:15am -
  • Price vs. cost
    Price is a simple number. How much money do I need to hand you to get this thing? Cost is more relevant, more real and more complicated. Cost is what I had to give up to get this. Cost is...       
    - 4 days ago, 16 Oct 17, 9:44am -
  • Look around
    Proximity matters a great deal. Detroit car executives in the 1970s and 1980s consistently failed to respond to the threat from Japanese imports. They weren't merely arrogant—they were blinded by proximity. Everyone in their neighborhood, everyone on their commute, everyone...       
    - 5 days ago, 15 Oct 17, 8:02am -
  • On speaking up
    The status quo is not kind. It works overtime to stay the status quo, and that means that new ideas, urgent pleas and cries for justice are rarely easily voiced. We're pleased that Annie Kenney stood up for a woman's...       
    - 6 days ago, 14 Oct 17, 8:19am -
  • Seeking sonder
    Sonder is defined as that moment when you realize that everyone around you has an internal life as rich and as conflicted as yours. That everyone has a noise in their head. That everyone thinks that they are right, and...       
    - 7 days ago, 13 Oct 17, 8:14am -
  • Distance to the top
    It's tempting to enter a field where mastery is assured, where you have a very good shot of being as good at it as everyone else. It turns out, though, that the most exciting and productive fields are those where...       
    - 8 days ago, 12 Oct 17, 8:31am -
  • Oppositional
    When someone is frequently naysaying a proposal or a situation, it's tempting to figure out how to make them happy. What can you change to find a compromise, how can you listen to their objections and respond in a way...       
    - 9 days ago, 11 Oct 17, 8:34am -

Michael Hyatt

  • 4 Practices to Become a Self-Aware Leader
    When a high-performer encounters a startling career setback—perhaps getting fired or passed up for a promotion—the culprit is easy to predict. Nine times out of ten, it stems from a lack of self-awareness. Understanding your shortcomings is a prerequisite for correcting them. That’s why your level of self-awareness has the power to either slo…
    - 3 days ago, 17 Oct 17, 5:05am -
  • Why You Need to Hit Pause to Keep Moving
    4 Simple Steps to Stay Self-Aware, Even During the Craziest Day Ever. After conducting an in-depth study of seventy-two high-performing CEOs, Cornell University researchers reached a surprising conclusion. The key predictor of success for leaders wasn’t grit, focus, education, decision-making skills, a knack for strategic planning, or even IQ. It…
    - 3 days ago, 17 Oct 17, 5:04am -
  • How to Avoid Our Most Common Thought Traps

    - 3 days ago, 17 Oct 17, 5:03am -
  • Do You See Yourself Clearly?
    How Teams Can Help Leaders Overcome Their Blindspots. When you see a group of friends roar with laughter after taking a selfie, you can bet they used a warp app to capture the moment. Like the funhouse mirrors of yesteryear, the app stretches our bodies and squeezes our faces to hilarious extremes. We have to laugh because the reflection has nothin…
    - 3 days ago, 17 Oct 17, 5:02am -
  • How to Break out of Business as Usual
    The Enneagram Solution to Upgrading Our Outmoded Conflict Responses. Whether we know it or not, we all rely on a few basic strategies for moving through the social world. Different people adopt different strategies. Some try to be helpful and friendly; others aim for perfection. Some try to be attractive and productive, while knowledge is the goal…
    - 3 days ago, 17 Oct 17, 5:01am -
  • Your Power as a Leader
    The 4 Realities of Your Impact on Others. As leaders, we possess more power than we think. But we can only use it for good if we understand it and embrace it.
    - 7 days ago, 13 Oct 17, 9:45am -
  • Are You a Responsive Person?
    4 Ways to Set Expectations for Collaborative Communication. Unresponsive people drive me crazy. I hate sending an email or Slack message to someone and then waiting days to hear anything back. (Admittedly, I have sometimes been guilty of this myself.) This is particularly maddening when you don’t hear anything at all. One of the questions I alway…
    - 9 days ago, 11 Oct 17, 9:45am -
  • 5 Reasons You Need to Get Better at Saying No
    Finding the Positive in the Negative. I have a hard time saying “no.” Perhaps you do, too. I think it is more common than we think, especially for those who are empathetic or nurturing. Here are five reasons why we must get better.
    - 11 days ago, 9 Oct 17, 9:45am -
  • 3 Ways to Go Further, Faster
    The Secret Power of Sherpas, Experts, and Coaches. What is the single most important thing you can do to make your dreams become reality? In this post I share a critically important success principle and three ways to apply it.
    - 14 days ago, 6 Oct 17, 9:45am -
  • Why Keeping Commitments is Critical to Your Influence
    3 Reasons Integrity Is Key to Your Success. When we think of someone with integrity, we think of someone we can count on to come through on what they promise. Unfortunately, that’s not always a safe bet today. Over the last several years I’ve noticed a change in the way we use the word integrity. Having integrity requires staying true to your w…
    - 16 days ago, 4 Oct 17, 9:45am -
  • What It Takes to Become a Person of Influence
    4 Simple Behaviors Any Leader Can Adopt. I was recently talking to a neighbor about an ordinance being considered by our city council. She didn’t like it and felt strongly that it shouldn’t pass. She went on to make the case to me, raising several valid points I had not considered before. I reminded her that the city was holding a public […]
    - 18 days ago, 2 Oct 17, 9:45am -
  • The Brand New Podcast is Coming!
    Listen to the Teaser and Subscribe. Short-term wins are easy. Sustained achievement is another story. In this brand new podcast—Lead to Win—we help you discover how current research combines with timeless wisdom for lasting success. From personal productivity to personal development, self-leadership to team leadership, and intentionality to inf…
    - 18 days ago, 1 Oct 17, 4:25pm -
  • Can the iPad Pro Replace Your Laptop?
    My 21-Day Experiment. From the day Steve Jobs first introduced the iPad in 2010, I was hooked—at least in theory. The promise of a small, ultraportable tablet was a dream come true. I saw the potential immediately. Unfortunately, it never worked out for me in practice. I bought every iPad ever produced (with the exception of the iPad […]
    - 21 days ago, 29 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • You Are Not the Energizer Bunny
    3 Ways to Get the Rest That You Need to Succeed. One of the most important lessons I have learned about productivity is this: It’s less about managing time and more about managing energy. Why? Because time is fixed, but our energy can flex. Most people get this exactly backward. They cram their day with tasks, thinking they can get it all done. I…
    - 23 days ago, 27 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • Do You Have a Not-to-Do List? You Should
    6 Steps to Greater Freedom. Everyone’s heard of a to-do list. But what about a not to-do list? I know of no better way to reduce your workload than this simple tool.
    - 25 days ago, 25 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • Why You Get Distracted at Work
    3 Things That are Sapping Your Productivity. It’s hard to maintain your focus in an office. With so many meetings to attend, drop-ins by coworkers, calls, emails, and countless other interruptions, it can seem like a miracle that anything ever gets done. But do you know who the biggest culprit often is when it comes to sabotaging your productivit…
    - 28 days ago, 22 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • Are You Committing One of The 7 Deadly Sins of Productivity?
    My Free Webinar Will Help You Overcome Them and Get Things Done. There’s a lot of bad productivity advice that’s widely practiced. Because the nature of our work changes so much, you might not even be able to spot some of the time-wasters hiding in your schedule right now. They’re secretly a routine part of your schedule. Worse, they’re beh…
    - 30 days ago, 20 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • The Problem with Whack-a-Mole Productivity
    The Real Purpose of Workplace Efficiency Isn't What You Think It Is. When I started my career, I quickly discovered that I had more to do than I could get done in a forty-hour workweek. So, I worked more hours. I got to the office at 5:00 a.m. and usually didn’t leave until 6:00 p.m. I often worked on Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings, too. I…
    - 32 days ago, 18 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • Five Consequences of a Life Out of Balance
    And How My Free E-book Can Help. If you are working more than fifty-five hours a week, you are working too much. Here is what you are putting to risk.
    - 35 days ago, 15 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • What’s Your Productivity Personality “Type”?
    Take the Quiz to Discover the Pros and Cons of Your Specific Approach. Low engagement and productivity are serious problems for organizations. As I mentioned Monday, Gallup’s numbers show only a third of workers are engaged on the job. The office is actually the last place most people want to be when they need to be productive and complete a task…
    - 37 days ago, 13 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • 5 Reasons Why People are Unproductive at Work
    What Organizations Must Learn From the Disconnect. Take a guess: What portion of the American workforce said they were “most productive” at the office during normal work hours? According to a recent FlexJobs survey, the number could be as low as 7 percent. Many more said they get some things done at the office “because it’s not an option to…
    - 39 days ago, 11 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • Don’t Want It? Get Rid of It!
    3 Ways to Let Go and Find What You’ve Been Missing. I spent an afternoon last week cleaning out my closet. It was high time I did. I had shirts, pants, shoes, and hats that I had not worn in months—in some cases, years. When I thought about it after, the whole experience became a kind of a metaphor for improvement. It occurred to me that […]
    - 42 days ago, 8 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • 4 Ways to Stay Positive in Work and Life
    A Former Pessimist Shares His Secrets to Success. We often assume that people simply are a certain way. “She’s such a bright, sunny person.” “He’s always such a gloomy Gus.” Nature gives us optimists and pessimists, and that’s all there is to it. But according to Jon Gordon, that’s a myth, a limiting belief that may be holding you b…
    - 44 days ago, 6 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • We’re Taking Labor Day Off [Announcement]
    We’re Taking Labor Day OffWe’re taking Labor Day off. It is a holiday here in the U.S.According to Wikipedia, Labor Day celebrates the economic and social contribution of workers. The first Labor Day was observed on September 5, 1882. It ultimately became a federal holiday in 1894.Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans a…
    - 46 days ago, 4 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • Why I Broke Up with Slack—And Went Back
    The 3 Changes that Made It Work for Me and My Team Again. My team and I have been using Slack as our primary communication platform since June 2014. As we grew, email became unmanageable and other solutions like Basecamp weren’t a fit. After a full-immersion trial, we were sold! But then we unsold ourselves. It took three years. But, just as emai…
    - 49 days ago, 1 Sep 17, 9:45am -
  • 4 Benefits of Meditating Every Day
    My Team Took the Challenge, and Loved It. In June, some of the Michael Hyatt & Company team signed up for our first month-long mindfulness challenge. Folks meditated every day and reported back in a special Slack channel on what worked and didn’t work for them, and whether or not they found it worthwhile. You might wonder why we would do this as…
    - 51 days ago, 30 Aug 17, 9:45am -
  • One Simple Trick to Bring Out the Best in People
    How Leading with Positive Expectations Can Work for You. Winston Lord is a former ambassador to China who once wrote speeches for Henry Kissinger. Looking back, he said he couldn’t “recommend that to anybody.” Why? “You’d have to go through about 20 drafts and many insults before you got to the final speech.” In one outrageous but true…
    - 53 days ago, 28 Aug 17, 9:45am -
  • When Delegation Becomes Abdication
    3 Reasons Your Leadership Doesn’t Get the Results You Want. Tell me you’ve had this experience. You assign a task but then forget about it. I sure have. As a leader, I am not a micromanager. That’s good news for my team. But I have to be intentional that delegation doesn’t drift into abdication. It’s not always disastrous when this happen…
    - 56 days ago, 25 Aug 17, 9:45am -
  • Let Me Be Your Coach in 2018
    Join Me in Nashville for the Best Year Ever Live! Event. Earlier this year we did something exciting. I’d hosted a conference for Platform University before. But January 2017 was the first time we’d ever hosted a live version of my popular 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever goal-achievement course. It was a blast! But there was a problem. It was wel…
    - 58 days ago, 23 Aug 17, 9:45am -
  • How Introverts and Extroverts Can Get Along
    3 Things We Both Need to Know to Make It Work. Sometimes I think that introverts and extroverts are from different planets. This is fine, until they find themselves married to one another or working in the same office. If they are not conscious of the differences, they can quickly frustrate one another—or worse.
    - 60 days ago, 21 Aug 17, 9:45am -

Copy Blogger

  • newClickbait, Insomnia, and Writing Fears … Nevermore
    You can tell we’re heading into Halloween — around the blog, our thoughts have been turning to topics dark and creepy. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman brought up a thorny question — is it okay to use all of those fiendishly effective headline techniques, or do we run the risk of turning our content into “clickbait?” Read More...The post Cli…
    - 14 hours ago, 19 Oct 17, 1:00pm -
  • What’s Your Worst Writing Fear? Dread and Trepidation from Our Editorial Team
    It seems straightforward enough. We human beings are innately verbal creatures. Writing is just taking the language we dream, think, and speak in, and arranging the words on some paper or a computer screen. So why is it so hard sometimes? I think it’s because the same inventive brains that gave us Harry Potter, A Read More...The post What’s Y…
    - 2 days ago, 18 Oct 17, 1:00pm -
  • The Best Place to Consistently Find Winning Content Ideas
    For the fourth night in a row, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to the sound of a bird outside my window squawking in a unique, almost understated, way that echoed through my apartment as a clicking noise. On this particular night, I was accompanied by a pounding headache — but neither Squawking-Clicking Bird nor Read More...The post The Best Place to Co…
    - 3 days ago, 17 Oct 17, 1:00pm -
  • Clickbait or Damn Good Headline?
    When I review applications from students in our Certified Content Marketer training program, I get to read some great content. And giving feedback on headlines to make them more powerful is one of my favorite parts of the process. My reason for that is simple. No one will ever know how good your content is Read More...The post Clickbait or Damn G…
    - 4 days ago, 16 Oct 17, 1:00pm -
  • Strongly Worded Advice Week on Copyblogger
    This is a week of strong opinions on Copyblogger — designed to make you more productive, wiser, saner, and maybe even happier. We want you to do amazing things, so we’re not pulling any punches. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman encouraged us to get a handle on our information overwhelm, starting with getting smarter about the Read More...The post…
    - 8 days ago, 12 Oct 17, 1:00pm -
  • The Internet Is Not Your ATM
    Maybe you have hopes and dreams about making a living online. Maybe you’ve envisioned a beautiful future where you work four hours a week, you never trade time for money, you sail through a life of ease because you’ve learned to “work smart” and figured out “one weird trick.” The internet doesn’t care. The internet Read More...The p…
    - 9 days ago, 11 Oct 17, 1:00pm -
  • 21 Productivity Hacks from 21 Prolific Writers
    Ah, the #writerslife, #amwriting, #wordcount — wait, hold that thought — #amlookingatmyphone, #destructiveprocrastination, #twitterblackhole, #zerowillpower … dammit what just happened? Every time I pick up my iPhone, I lose a minimum of 20 minutes that I could be writing a first draft of something, anything. The cult of “busyness” beckon…
    - 10 days ago, 10 Oct 17, 1:00pm -
  • How to Get More Value Out of the Content You Consume
    It was 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night. As I returned home, the battery in my garage door opener ran out of juice and I was unable to enter my car hole. I knew I’d have to buy a nine-volt battery for the device at some point in the near future, so I decided to Read More...The post How to Get More Value Out of the Content You Consume appeared first…
    - 11 days ago, 9 Oct 17, 1:00pm -
  • 15 Takeaways from Our Private Community (Plus Some Time-Savers for Writers)
    Did you know we have a thriving private community of content marketers who get to sink their teeth into fresh, in-depth education every week? Well, we do — and this week we’re sharing insights from that community. On Monday, Jerod Morris recapped an epic answer he gave in one of our Authority Q&As recently. (As Read More...The post 15 Takeawa…
    - 15 days ago, 5 Oct 17, 1:00pm -
  • 5 Keyboard Shortcuts to Help You Write and Edit with Ease
    We’re all guilty of it at some point. I know I certainly am. Glamorizing writing is an easy trap to fall into … You forget about the countless hours of drafting and imagine a cushy writing life where the right words flow effortlessly from your finger tips as you sit in your ideal setting and Read More...The post 5 Keyboard Shortcuts to Help Y…
    - 16 days ago, 4 Oct 17, 1:00pm -

Steve Laube

  • newYes, It’s Personal

    Yes, It’s Personal

    Author: Tamela Hancock MurrayWe’d all like to think everyone will love all our books. But it just won’t happen. It’s personal, and that’s okay. Based on past posts, regular followers of this blog might conclude that I don’t like any book I start. That’s not true, but I’ll admit I’ve ditched a couple …The post Yes, It’s Persona…
    - 17 hours ago, 19 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • Be Published? or Be Read?

    Be Published? or Be Read?

    Author: Bob HostetlerIs your goal “being published” or “being read?” What pieces of writing and publishing advice do professional agents and editors wish would go away…forever? I asked that question of some of my friends in the industry (yes, I have friends, and most are much smarter than me). The last two …The post Be Published? or B…
    - 2 days ago, 18 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • The Damaged Reader

    The Damaged Reader

    Author: Dan BalowNot like I am some overly sensitive guy, but often when I hear a sermon in church or some Christian presentation, I cringe when a pastor or speaker might say something to the effect, “Raising a family is the most important thing a married man and woman do in their …The post The Damaged Reader appeared first on The Steve Lau…
    - 3 days ago, 17 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • 10 Publishing Related Facts About Winnie-the-Pooh

    10 Publishing Related Facts About Winnie-the-Pooh

    Author: Steve LaubeWinnie-the-Pooh turned 91 years old today, Saturday, October 14, 2017! The book, Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, was first published on October 14, 1926. Our family celebrates the day each year. Even with our kids all grown up and married, my wife still bakes Pooh cookies and decorates them. Here are some …The post 10 Publish…
    - 6 days ago, 14 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • Fun Fridays – October 13, 2017

    Fun Fridays – October 13, 2017

    Author: Steve LaubeIn this video, comedian John Crist imitates your favorite Bible-quoting Aunt. A few of these crack me up (“Microsoft only for me, thank you…” – watch to see it for yourself). [HT: Ronie Kendig]The post Fun Fridays – October 13, 2017 appeared first on The Steve Laube Agency.
    - 7 days ago, 13 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • What Makes a Great Hook?

    What Makes a Great Hook?

    Author: Tamela Hancock MurrayLately, smart publishing professionals have been saying “it needs a great hook” to describe  books they seek. Recently I wrote about the all-important first page, which of course should seize the reader and not let go. However, that’s not the same as the story hook itself. The hook must make …The post What Ma…
    - 8 days ago, 12 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • Writing Advice We Wish Would Go Away

    Writing Advice We Wish Would Go Away

    Author: Bob HostetlerI mentioned in last week’s blog that I asked some of my writing and publishing friends to tell me what one “writing rule” they’d like to see go away…forever. Many cited the timeworn, “Write what you know” (see here). Others, however, gave different but similarly helpful answers. Author, speaker, and …The post…
    - 9 days ago, 11 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • Attack of the Writing Robots

    Attack of the Writing Robots

    Author: Dan BalowI have a number of personal friends and long-time acquaintances who are talented voice-over artists. They work in radio, television and narrate audio books. I frequently get together with three other guys who are all professional speakers and radio people. I sound like Elmer Fudd when I am around those …The post Attack of the W…
    - 10 days ago, 10 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • Grammar and the Singular “They”

    Grammar and the Singular “They”

    Author: Steve LaubeYesterday I opened a can of worms. There were many worms in the can; some male and some female. I discovered that a few of the worms were married to each other. One couple was having a marital disagreement. They were arguing about grammar, of all things. The fight was about the proper use of gender pronouns. Here is the sentence…
    - 11 days ago, 9 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • Fun Fridays – October 6, 2017

    Fun Fridays – October 6, 2017

    Author: Steve Laube“Destroy a Book Title with One Word” A fun game to play today! This hilarious pun-related exercise has been around for years but thought we might have fun with it today. Below are some Christian book titles which either have a word added, a word changed, or a letter added …The post Fun Fridays – October 6, 2017 appeared…
    - 14 days ago, 6 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • Don’t Let Anything Happen to That Book

    Don’t Let Anything Happen to That Book

    Author: Tamela Hancock MurrayAwhile back I asked everyone to name a book that changed their life. Today I want you to remember a book that means a great deal to you. It doesn’t have to be the same book. My mother will tell me not to let anything happen to Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime …The post Don’t Let Anything Happen to That Book appeared fir…
    - 15 days ago, 5 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • Don’t Write What You Know

    Don’t Write What You Know

    Author: Bob HostetlerI asked some of my writing and publishing friends to tell me what one “writing rule” they’d like to see go away…forever. Many of them gave the same answer. Emphatically. Author, blogger, and writers’ conference director Edie Melson said, “We need to quit killing creativity with the time-worn advice, ‘Write …Th…
    - 16 days ago, 4 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • Author Nuances

    Author Nuances

    Author: Dan BalowWriter and humorist Dave Barry wrote, “The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnic background, is that we all believe we are above-average drivers.” The same applies to artists and writers. Most feel they are pretty good at their craft. But success as …The post Author Nuances ap…
    - 17 days ago, 3 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • When Does a Book Become Public Domain?

    When Does a Book Become Public Domain?

    Author: Steve LaubeWriters frequently ask about whether they need permission to quote from another book. The answer is usually yes. But if the book is in the public domain that permission is unnecessary. I don't want to tackle the issue of "Fair Use" today, but instead provide a few links that you can use to find out if a book is in the public dom…
    - 18 days ago, 2 Oct 17, 10:00am -
  • Fun Fridays – September 29, 2017

    Fun Fridays – September 29, 2017

    Author: Steve LaubeEvery. Single. Action movie trailer in one short visual instruction kit. While hilarious in it’s send up of cliches, it should make every author think of how they are pitching their current book to an agent or a publisher. This “formula” is a form of your competition for people’s attention. …The post Fun Fridays – S…
    - 21 days ago, 29 Sep 17, 10:00am -

Rachelle Gardner

  • Why Pursue Publishing?

    Why Pursue Publishing?

    Sometimes when I open up my email and find the queries exploding all over the place, or I go to a party and random strangers find out I’m an agent and begin pitching me, it makes me get all philosophical. I begin to wonder: Why do so many people want to be published? I think…The post Why Pursue Publishing? appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.
    - 74 days ago, 7 Aug 17, 1:23pm -
  • That All-Important First Line

    That All-Important First Line

    Let’s talk about the opening line of your book. The first thing to know about “first lines” is that they are not going to make or break you. Sure, it’s a lot of fun coming up with great ones. But as long as the first line makes someone want to read the second line, and…The post That All-Important First Line appeared first on Rachelle Gar…
    - 78 days ago, 2 Aug 17, 5:23pm -
  • Traditional or Self Publishing?

    Traditional or Self Publishing?

      I’ve got an e-book available on Amazon: How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing can help authors figure out which path to take. How Do I Decide? is a concise, definitive resource that will guide you through the decision, allowing you to ignore the noise and hype and focus on the right path for…The post Traditional or Se…
    - 16 May 16, 10:55pm -
  • Answering Questions about Queries

    Answering Questions about Queries

    I get mail! My inbox is always filled with questions. Today I’m answering some I’ve received on the topic of Query Letters. You’ve said on your blog, “don’t pitch a novel unless it’s complete.” Do you feel the same about query letters? Do we only query completed works, or are ideas fair game? If you…The post Answering Questions abo…
    - 11 Apr 16, 7:18pm -
  • So Many Ideas, So Little Time

    So Many Ideas, So Little Time

    Are you the kind of writer who has several book ideas (or even written several books), possibly in different genres? If so, you may be wondering where to start. Which book should be the first one you write, or pitch to agents and editors? It’s a question worth asking, and you’d do well to put…The post So Many Ideas, So Little Time appeared f…
    - 11 Mar 16, 2:09am -
  • How to Get Published

    How to Get Published

    I get emails every day asking for advice on getting published or getting an agent. This is the post for people needing an entry-level introduction to publishing.   Dear Writer,   Congratulations on your decision to pursue publication. Before approaching literary agents, you’ll need to create the appropriate materials:   → If you’re a non-…
    - 5 Mar 16, 7:00pm -
  • When You’re Missing the Mark

    When You’re Missing the Mark

    Katie asked:   I was wondering, what if I get an agent and she tries to sell two or three of my novels, all in the same genre, and nothing sells. What would happen in this case?   Well Katie, sounds like you and your agent will be at a crossroads and need to make…The post When You’re Missing the Mark appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.
    - 18 Feb 16, 8:15pm -
  • Valentine to the Publishing Life

    Valentine to the Publishing Life

    In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up this Sunday, I thought I’d wax poetic about what I love in this industry… and in my job. ♥ First of all, I love the way writers, editors, and yes, even agents, are a true community. Competition exists, but it doesn’t get in the way of real relationships. That’s what…The post Valentine to the Pu…
    - 12 Feb 16, 7:00pm -
  • Nobody Knows Anything

    Nobody Knows Anything

    “Nobody knows anything…… Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.” ― William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade I’ve always liked this quote, because it’s so true—and it applies to publishing, too.…Th…
    - 10 Feb 16, 3:34am -
  • Avoid this Platform-Building Mistake

    Avoid this Platform-Building Mistake


    - 7 Feb 16, 11:13pm -
  • Lessons from the Gym

    Lessons from the Gym

    If you know me at all, you probably know I have this annoying little habit of getting out for exercise everyday. Either the gym, or outside for a hike or bike ride. I admit I love my exercise. But not for the reasons you might think. I mean, physical health is important and all, but…The post Lessons from the Gym appeared first on Rachelle Gardne…
    - 4 Feb 16, 11:03pm -
  • Finding Comparable Books

    Finding Comparable Books


    - 1 Feb 16, 6:21pm -
  • Focus on Writing the Best Book You Can

    Focus on Writing the Best Book You Can

    It seems in the last few years, dialogue about all-things-publishing has been focused on platform, marketing, increasing output, distribution platforms, technology, and self-publishing.  But I think it’s important to call our attention back to the work.    Two years ago in January 2014, I posted a prediction for the coming year:   “I think…
    - 28 Jan 16, 7:29pm -
  • How to Talk with Publishers and Agents

    How to Talk with Publishers and Agents

    As a literary agent, I love attending conferences and meeting authors. My career is about helping writers share their words with the world, and at conferences I get to sit down with them and spend a few minutes getting to know what they’re passionate about. There’s nothing more rewarding. When I meet with you, my goal…The post How to Talk w…
    - 25 Jan 16, 8:19pm -

C.S. Lakin

  • Thinking about Hiring a Copyeditor?
    What does a good editor do?A good editor will not just point out errors; she explains them, providing you with an education to enable you to perform a stronger rewrite. For instance, if your manuscript includes point-of-view violations—a major reason for fiction rejection—she will offer a thorough explanation of the concept and provide easy-to-…
    - 12 Dec 11, 3:18pm -
  • What's Your Motif?
    Using motifs in writing fiction is one of the most powerful and evocative ways of getting across your themes in your novel. Few authors use them, and few use them well. My favorite novels of all time are ones that use motifs beautifully throughout their novel, and these elements weaving through their stories tend to stay with me for months and year…
    - 12 Nov 11, 5:50pm -
  • Life in the "Fast" Lane
    When I started my fast last week, I really hadn't spent any time researching fasting from a biblical standpoint. Years ago I used to fast for six days every few months as a healthy way to clean out my "system" and it always felt great.But this fast was begun out of desperation. I needed to hear God in my situation, and needed serious intervention.…
    - 5 Jul 11, 2:13am -
  • Father Along ...
    No, that's not a typo. Since Father's Day is approaching, I thought it might be appropriate to discuss fathers. Two of my recently written novels center around the theme of fathers. I didn't really realize that until I started thinking about this post. Since I grew up without a father, it's interesting how God put this topic in my heart in a big wa…
    - 9 Jun 11, 12:38am -
  • Using a Cinematic Lens in Writing a Novel ~ Part 1
    We just covered a few sessions on first scene structure, and there is so much more to that. However, since I'm gearing up to start teaching workshops at conferences this summer and fall on screenwriting-related topics, I thought I'd share some of the techniques I'll be teaching on. In particular, how to utilize camera direction in your novel to mak…
    - 31 May 11, 12:47am -
  • First Scene Essentials ~ Part Two
    To briefly review what I introduced last month, I'll mention the first important elements again (and if you want more elaboration, retrieve that blog entry and peruse it).Some of the main points discussed involved picking just the right starting place to begin your book. This means the story starts in present action, in the middle of something happ…
    - 25 Mar 11, 12:43pm -
  • First Scene Essentials ~ Part One
    Because I read hundreds of first chapters of novels a year as a writing coach and copyeditor, I've been compiling my list of essentials for a first scene. When you think of all you have to accomplish in the first few pages of a novel, you really understand how writing a great first scene requires numerous hours of study, practice, and concentration…
    - 17 Mar 11, 12:41am -
  • Intention as a Theme
    As I begin the upward climb to the big finale of my latest novel, Intended for Harm, I've been dwelling more and more on the themes of the book and how to bring them out in a powerful way. As with all my books, I am prompted to write this particular story because a key idea drives me--whether it be about jealousy, revenge, greed, grief, or betrayal…
    - 1 Feb 11, 4:43pm -
  • Not-so-sudden Flash about Sudden Fiction
    I've been enjoying this strange, intriguing journey of writing short scenes in my new novel, Intended for Harm, inspired by a book I had read many years ago: Palm in the Hand stories by Japanese Nobel laureate Kawabata. When I began plotting out my novel and knew I had to unveil a family drama over a period of forty years, I saw immediately how to…
    - 17 Dec 10, 7:30pm -
  • That Controversial Topic: Word Count
    From time to time I make a comment on Facebook about Word Count. Granted--and I need to get this out of the way first--some authors are under contract. Some very much need to schedule themselves to write a certain amount of words each day in order to meet a pressing deadline. I get that. Although I will still argue that's a skewed way to look at wr…
    - 20 Nov 10, 10:28am -
  • Intended for Harm
    Intended for Harm. That's the title and theme of my new novel. I'm now about fifty thousand words into it, but have only just begun this family saga. As always, I learn a lot as a book progresses. It's as if while I write, its secrets begin to spill out. Not just characters' secrets, but the subtext that probably comes from my subconscious. We are…
    - 16 Nov 10, 10:07pm -
  • Partnering with God in Writing
    Here's the thing. I hear different opinions on this topic, but I've come up with my own intuitive and convicted understanding of how the gift and anointing of God works, at least as it pertains to writing. Perhaps the basic principles apply to other giftings as well.An editing client of mine wrote me last week expressing concern over what she shoul…
    - 13 Oct 10, 3:58am -
  • The Heart of the Story
    I've been pondering lately about what makes a fantastic story, and also thinking a lot about the things Donald Maass discusses in his book The Fire in the Fiction. Because I want very much to reach my readers' hearts with powerful stories that will make them rethink their lives and values, I spend a lot of time considering the themes of the books I…
    - 5 Oct 10, 9:37pm -
  • Microtension adds a FACElift to your writing - Part 3
    I've been discussing the elusive concept of microtension--making every word enticing, every phrase evocative. Microtension makes your novel stand out among a crowd of well-written but mostly prosaic construction. How many times have you read a book that is structured well, has pretty interesting characters, a compelling plot--yet reads flat and sam…
    - 8 Aug 10, 3:20pm -
  • Microtension Gives Your Writing a FACElift
    Thus we move off the theme of themes and into something nebulous that agent Donald Maass touts as essential if you want your book to sizzle. I looked up numerous articles about microtension to see if I could glean more on the topic other than what I heard straight from the master's mouth at his Fire in the Fiction workshop a few months back. As a r…
    - 2 Jun 10, 1:56am -
  • Conundrum
    I feel like I just got off a roller coaster. The ground is still shaky--and so am I. Finishing Conundrum, my ninth novel, was an extremely hard accomplishment. The writing aspects of it weren't any more difficult than my other novels, albeit the many plotlines and timelines were a bit complex. But the emotional journey sure had its ups and downs. B…
    - 28 Jan 10, 6:48pm -
  • Writing Themes-Slicker than Slick

    Writing Themes-Slicker than Slick

    As we continue the topic of using universal themes in writing, here's another movie just chock full of 'em. Not many comedy movies do such a brilliant job of juxtaposing humor with heavy issues, but City Slickers is a gem of an example. Half the time you don't know whether to laugh or cry--if you're paying attention.There are two big themes happeni…
    - 21 Sep 09, 4:55am -
  • More on Writing with Themes-A Little Pig Goes a Long Way

    More on Writing with Themes-A Little Pig Goes a Long Way

    Who would have thought such a simple, small children's book would have become such a blockbuster movie? A lot of children's movies are entertaining and funny for all ages, but Babe excels in a number of ways--not just in the quality of the animation and acting, but because there are some great themes going on here.The most obvious one has to do wit…
    - 8 Sep 09, 12:17am -
  • Continuing on Writing Themes: Nell

    Continuing on Writing Themes: Nell

    Here's an amazing movie. Brilliant on so many levels. The plot itself is wonderful and enough to drive the story. But we see again another story where there is a theme underlying the plot. It's not just about a girl who has spent most of her life in isolation. In Nell, we are put face-to-face with the question about our place in the world--what is…
    - 5 Aug 09, 12:15am -
  • Continuing on with themes in writing: Strictly Ballroom

    Continuing on with themes in writing: Strictly Ballroom

    I can't resist talking about my favorite movie--well, my entire family's favorite movie. We have to get our fix, watching Strictly Ballroom, nearly every time we're all home for a weekend. Although we can mouth and act out every line (can't quite master all the dance steps yet!), we never tire of this movie. We sit, absolutely transfixed, as we wat…
    - 31 Jul 09, 9:57pm -
  • Being Born Upside Down
    [NOTE: this was posted a while back, but I wanted to revisit it]The first time I read the last few pages of G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, my heart pounded in awe. If you haven't gone out and bought a copy after reading the last two posts, I hope you will after reading this one.Most of us are born upside down. I propose God planned that huge metapho…
    - 13 Jun 09, 4:00am -
  • History as Mystery
    As I stare down the imposing novel I am attempting to write, Conundrum, I wield my vorpal sword in hand. Snicker-snack it goes, one two!...oh wait, that's used to fight the Jabberwock, my son... Jabberwocky and many other poems are finding their home in my new novel, an unravelling mystery based upon the bizarre tailings of my father's death in 196…
    - 1 May 09, 7:50pm -
  • Zondervan Contract and Playing Dominoes in Prison with Joseph
    I'm not one to blog much about strictly personal things. My site is more for exploring God, writing, and fantasy. But after twenty years of submitting agented work to publishers, God has kindly dropped a book contract in my hands. It's funny to reflect on this. I had just finished the second fantasy book in my series when I went to ACFW and chatted…
    - 8 Apr 09, 9:08pm -
  • Get on your dancin' shoes and praise the Lord!
    I don't often write in my blog, but I put on my favorite Yes song: Onward (the lyrics are on the left side bar of my blog.) This song is my prayer. The words are simple. When we were living up in the snow, I kept praying to God to lead us to a church where people really praised God--not just halfheartedly sang along with corny cowboy praise songs.…
    - 6 Mar 09, 4:38am -
  • Quotables
    I thought I'd take a break from all the heavy thinking I'm doing while writing Time Sniffers and share some hilarious quotes. Thinking about matter, dark energy, and time travel has got my brain spinning. You'd be surprised at some of the strangely funny things famous people have said. Let's start with Isaac Asimov:People who think they know everyt…
    - 3 Jan 09, 4:29am -

Joe Wikert

  • Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition is about so much more than groceries

    Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition is about so much more than groceries

    Yes, the grocery business is huge. And while it's one of several industries Amazon hasn't yet dominated, there's something way more significant about their acquisition of Whole Foods. This deal is about location, location, location. No, it's not just about...
    - 18 Jun 17, 8:51pm -
  • Here's how to turn book samples into a powerful B2C tool

    Here's how to turn book samples into a powerful B2C tool

    Book samples are one of the most under-utilized tools in a publisher or author's marketing arsenal. Most consumers will not buy a book without at least flipping through it, so many download samples before making a purchase decision. But how...
    - 19 Mar 17, 5:06pm -
  • Which digital book format has the most growth potential?

    Which digital book format has the most growth potential?

    The answer might surprise you… Amazon’s Kindle format dominates the ebook market today and it’s easy to assume that will remain the case going forward. Despite that fact, I see a number of trends indicating the digital book space could...
    - 12 Feb 17, 6:48pm -
  • Here’s another way digital could complement print

    Here’s another way digital could complement print

    As I’ve said before, the publishing industry needs to get beyond the current “print or digital” mindset and instead explore ways for one to complement the other. Plenty of industry stats show that most readers are comfortable with either format...
    - 8 Jan 17, 6:31pm -
  • “The Content Trap” is the must-read book of the year

    “The Content Trap” is the must-read book of the year

    A recent trip to a local brick-and-mortar bookstore helped me realize that even the best algorithms and email campaigns can’t replace in-person product discovery. I noticed a book called The Content Trap sitting face-out on the shelf and couldn’t resist...
    - 11 Dec 16, 4:45pm -
  • Amazon Rapids and the dumbing-down of reading

    Amazon Rapids and the dumbing-down of reading

    At first I thought it was an SNL parody about ebooks for kids. We’re so addicted to info snacking, seemingly less able (and interested) in focusing on long form reading, so let’s create a new platform that helps foster even...
    - 6 Nov 16, 7:39pm -
  • Here’s a better model for book search and discovery

    Here’s a better model for book search and discovery

    How are you helping consumers find the perfect book for their needs or interests? If you’re like most publishers, you offer a search function on your site. Visitors simply type in a topic and relevant titles from your catalog are...
    - 16 Oct 16, 3:41pm -
  • Google experiments with book discovery…and fails

    Google experiments with book discovery…and fails

    Even though you probably never stray from the Kindle reader app I’d like to encourage you to expand your horizons. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on Apple’s iBooks and Google Play, for example, to explore other platforms...
    - 1 Oct 16, 8:22pm -
  • 2016 Trend Report: What publishers need to know

    2016 Trend Report: What publishers need to know

    The Future Today Institute has created a terrific, free report summarizing key technology trends and what they mean for tomorrow. I’ve embedded the report below so you can quickly flip through it. I read the whole report and highlighted the...
    - 18 Sep 16, 3:22pm -
  • How are you connecting with your customers?

    How are you connecting with your customers?

    The people who actually buy and read books are still mostly nameless and faceless individuals from a publisher’s point of view. This, despite the fact that there are plenty of opportunities for publishers to establish a direct relationship with consumers....
    - 6 Sep 16, 2:02pm -
  • Why shop at a brick-and-mortar bookstore?

    Why shop at a brick-and-mortar bookstore?

    Do you still shop at your local bookstore? I typically go once, maybe twice a year, and the last time for me was December 2015. I made a rare summer visit to my local B&N this weekend in search of...
    - 21 Aug 16, 5:06pm -
  • What can publishers learn from Pokemon Go?

    What can publishers learn from Pokemon Go?

    Long considered nothing more than a gimmicky fad, it turns out that augmented reality (AR) is actually alive and well. At least that’s the case when it’s associated with a brand as large as Pokemon. By now you’ve undoubtedly heard...
    - 7 Aug 16, 2:08pm -
  • The short-form content resurgence

    The short-form content resurgence

    I remember the first time I heard the phrase “info snacking” back in 2007. It was when the Kindle launched and Jeff Bezos said his newfangled device would slow the info snacking trend and enable deeper engagement with content. The...
    - 24 Jul 16, 2:04pm -
  • Agile publishing: Creating better books through transparency

    Agile publishing: Creating better books through transparency

    Trade book publishing is not a complicated process. Publishers acquire the rights to publish new titles primarily through relationships with agents. Once the agreement has been signed, the process from manuscript to shipping is fairly predictable and more or less...
    - 17 Jul 16, 2:53pm -
  • Amazon extends their dominance with Audible Channels

    Amazon extends their dominance with Audible Channels

    Even though they’re gaining momentum I’ve never been a big fan of audio books. Amazon, of course, owns the market with both Audible and Brilliance. Although it didn’t receive a lot fanfare last week, Audible introduced one of the most...
    - 10 Jul 16, 1:30pm -
  • Here’s what book publishers can learn from the podcast model

    Here’s what book publishers can learn from the podcast model

    Did you make the same mistake I did and assume podcasts are yesterday’s platform, that interest in them has plateaued (at best) and they’re not worth thinking about today? If so, here’s a short article that might help you re-think...
    - 26 Jun 16, 6:25pm -
  • Here’s how Siri, Alexa and other IPAs will revolutionize publishing

    Here’s how Siri, Alexa and other IPAs will revolutionize publishing

    For the past several years I’ve been writing about how containers such as books, newspapers and magazines are slowly fading away. They’ll certainly be around for many years but their relevance will slip into the background as personalized, digital content...
    - 12 Jun 16, 12:43pm -
  • Let’s take “Search Inside the Book” to a whole new level

    Let’s take “Search Inside the Book” to a whole new level

    Do you remember when Amazon introduced both “Look Inside” and “Search Inside” functionality for books? They were such simple yet revolutionary features at the time. Before Look/Search Inside it was impossible to do a simple flip test like you could...
    - 5 Jun 16, 4:47pm -
  • Here’s how one question can improve creativity and problem solving

    Here’s how one question can improve creativity and problem solving

    If you only listen to one podcast this week make sure it’s the one embedded below. It’s one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking talks I’ve ever heard. The speaker is Bernard Roth and the talk is from a series...
    - 22 May 16, 8:44pm -
  • This idea is both a consumer feature and a marketing opportunity

    This idea is both a consumer feature and a marketing opportunity

    We take it for granted that when we open our favorite ebook app it automatically jumps right into the last book we were reading. And while that’s handy, I’d like to see at least one other option when I open...
    - 15 May 16, 8:54pm -

Joe Konrath

  • Ebooks Sales Slowing? Yes and No

    Ebooks Sales Slowing? Yes and No

    Joe sez: This blog originally appeared in 2010. It's extremely prescient about the future of ebooks, but that isn't the reason I'm reposting it.I'm reposting because I got my very first DMCA Takedown notice.Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged…
    - 4 Apr 17, 5:33pm -
  • How Good is Good Enough?

    How Good is Good Enough?

    Bear with me while I work out some doubts.Last month I published GRANDMA?, a YA comedy horror novel I wrote with my nineteen year old son, Talon.A lot of the writing was rewriting his prose. He's young, he's still learning, and his stuff wasn't up to the standards I've had since I was first published in 2003.As I was rewriting his scenes, I got to…
    - 16 Feb 17, 7:36pm -
  • Joe's Got a Movie Blog
    Those of you who have been paying attention have probably been wondering why I've only done two blog posts in the last six months.It's because there isn't much more I can say about the publishing industry.From 2005 until 2009, my blog was all about self-promotion, landing an agent and a publishing deal, and working with publishers to make your book…
    - 22 Jan 17, 12:01am -
  • New Konrath Zombie Novel GRANDMA

    New Konrath Zombie Novel GRANDMA

    Randall just wanted to have a fun summer vacation with his family, visiting Grandma at her cabin on a lake in the Wisconsin Northwoods.Then everything went horribly wrong.Join fifteen-year-old Randall, and his younger brother Josh, as they fight for their lives on the eve of an elderly undead apocalypse.GRANDMA? - The Complete NovelShe won't bake y…
    - 16 Jan 17, 6:34pm -
  • Konrath's New Year's Resolutions for Writers 2017
    Every December I do a post about resolutions for writers, and every year I add more of them. They've changed a lot; after all, when I began this, there was no Amazon Kindle, self-publishing was a bad idea, and this blog was for writers eager to find agents and land deals with the Big 6.But a lot of the advice from a decade ago still holds true, so…
    - 15 Dec 16, 7:31pm -
  • Do Ebook Preorders Work? Part 2
    A few months ago I wrote a blog post about preorders. I experimented with three preorder titles, curious as to how they'd perform.Here are some of the topics I addressed back then, and my results.1. Deadlines. I wanted to light a fire under my ass and get some work done. On one hand, why invite extra stress into your life? On the other, consider w…
    - 28 Jun 16, 2:20pm -
  • Last Call is Released!

    Last Call is Released!

    LAST CALL by JA Konrath Now AvailableMy tenth (and last?) Jack Daniels thriller, LAST CALL, is available today in ebook and paper.Fans have been waiting over two years for this conclusion to the Jack Daniels/Luther Kite story. It was a lot of fun to write, and it ties up all of the loose ends from STIRRED and SERIAL KILLERS UNCUT.RUM RUNNER, the ni…
    - 27 Jun 16, 1:11pm -
  • Chasing Publishing Trends

    Chasing Publishing Trends

    It's never wise to chase fads or trends, because by the time you get a product to market, it may be over and you've missed the bandwagon.Unless the product is a book and you self-publish. Then you can write, edit, create cover art, and get three books live in less than three hours.Presenting my latest epic trilogy:JA Konrath Adult Coloring Books!!!…
    - 9 Jun 16, 8:31pm -
  • Permafree

    Permafree

    Whenever I have a chance to bend Amazon's ear, I make a few pitches. The top three always are:I'd like to see cumulative sales figures, for both units and royalties, in KDP and Author Central reports.I'd like to be able to automatically split royalties with co-writers.I'd like the ability to make ebooks permafree.Currently, it's a PITA to make a bo…
    - 6 Jun 16, 2:40pm -
  • Self Publishing my First Audiobook

    Self Publishing my First Audiobook

    I'm pleased to announce that I've begun self-publishing audiobooks. My first, RUM RUNNER, is currently available.What took me so long to self-pub audio?It all began 30 years ago...When I was a sophomore in high school back in halcyon days of 1986, I was flush with cash from my job at Burger King (all about the fryer, baby) and eager to spend my who…
    - 25 May 16, 1:09pm -
  • Fisking Porter Anderson

    Fisking Porter Anderson

    There was so much bad information in this piece, Books’ Prices and Writing’s Value: Careful What We Asked For? by Porter Anderson, including cherry-picking a quote from me. Rather than respond in his comments I went ahead and fisked it.Porter's nonsense in italics, my common-sense replies in bold.“The biggest issue is one that will be diffi…
    - 23 May 16, 5:10pm -
  • Harlequin Settles
    In 2012, Ann Voss Peterson wrote a blog post about Harlequin’s contract terms. TL;DR - Harlequin allegedly leased ebook rights to a company that it also owned, which effectively reduced author royalties from 50% to 3% for contracts signed in 1990-2004. Several months after the blog, a group of authors filed a lawsuit against Harlequin.Since then,…
    - 21 Apr 16, 8:13pm -
  • Do Ebook Preorders Work?

    Do Ebook Preorders Work?

    So I've been trying out Kindle preorder pages for some new books (including my latest horror thriller  WEBCAM, which launches today), experimenting to determine if this is a smart way to run my self-publishing business. Here are the pros and cons I've encountered.Preorder Pros1. Deadlines. I wanted to light a fire under my ass and get some work d…
    - 15 Apr 16, 4:13pm -
  • Webcam
    So my new Jack Kilborn horror novel, WEBCAM, comes out in a few days.It involves a maniac stalking models on the website www.HotSororityGirlsLive.com.For fun, I asked my web designer to put something on that URL. Check it out. :)
    - 6 Apr 16, 10:26pm -
  • New JA Konrath Preorder

    New JA Konrath Preorder

    In my last post, I told you I'm experimenting with ebook pricing.My results have been surprising, to say the least.If you've been a long time follower of this blog, you know that way back in 2009 I advocated for $0.99 ebooks.Years passed, and I pushed prices up to $2.99, then $3.99, and my current Jack Daniels novel, RUM RUNNER, has been performing…
    - 1 Apr 16, 12:06pm -
  • More Advantages to Self-Publishing

    More Advantages to Self-Publishing

    Today my ninth Jack Daniels novel, RUM RUNNER, launches.Incredibly, I haven't released a solo book since 2010, when SHAKEN came out. Got to say, it feels good. And I'm not done with Jack yet. Which brings me to this blog post.On this blog, I've written hundreds of thousands of words touting the advantages of self-publishing over traditional publis…
    - 25 Mar 16, 11:56am -
  • Fisking Lee Child
    I like Lee Child. He's a generous guy, pleasant, smart, and a decent writer.But Lee has aligned himself with the pinheads of Authors United, and though his views differ enough to be considered on their own merits rather than instantly dismissable like the majority of AU alarmism, Child's continued anti-Amazon stance is getting boring.Yes, I know he…
    - 19 Feb 16, 6:33pm -
  • Konrath's Advice For Indie Booksellers
    I just sent out a newsletter to 10,000 people on my mailing list. Some of those people have been on that list since I first started in this biz, back in 2003.I haven't sent out a newsletter since 2014, so I wasn't too surprised to get this reply from an indie bookseller:One of the first rules of marketing is know your audience.It is not the best te…
    - 17 Feb 16, 9:20pm -
  • Attack of the Bibliography!

    Attack of the Bibliography!

    I noticed an Amazon trend a few months ago. Some third party indie publishers were creating Kindle bibliographies for bestselling authors who had a lot of titles.I thought it was interesting, but probably not necessary. Amazon makes it pretty simple for readers to find books. Why should readers have to buy an ebook to get a list of ebooks to buy?Bu…
    - 8 Feb 16, 10:27pm -
  • Book Cover Art Sale

    Book Cover Art Sale

    My cover designer is having a sale on his pre-designed covers, and they're gorgeous.As I've said many times in the past, a great book cover is one of the four essential ingredients to finding readers (the other three being a great book, great description, and reasonable price).If your sales are slumping, one of the things you should look at is your…
    - 31 Jan 16, 3:51pm -
  • Guest Post by Silas Payton

    Guest Post by Silas Payton

    The F-word Authors Should Learn from Rap MusicHip hop, or rap, has done extremely well in the past twenty years and I would argue it is largely because of the F-word. Fans want the F-word, plain and simple, and I'm willing to bet this holds true with writing just as much as with rap music. The F-word I'm referring to is featuring. It's seen after t…
    - 26 Jan 16, 5:01pm -
  • Freedom of Expression?
    A guest post by frequent contributor to this blog, Barry Eisler. I chime in midway.Barry sez: I just learned about an event put on by an organization called New America(formerly The New America Foundation): Amazon’s Book Monopoly: A Threat to Freedom of Expression? Ordinarily, propaganda is something that concerns me, but when it veers this far…
    - 15 Jan 16, 6:26pm -
  • Latest from the Authors Guild
    From the Authors Guild website:January 5, 2016AN OPEN LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN PUBLISHERS FROM THE AUTHORS GUILD, MEMBERS OF THE AUTHORS COALITION, AND MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL AUTHORS FORUMUnfair terms in publishing agreements negatively affect authors’ incomes and even their ability to write at all. That’s the conc…
    - 5 Jan 16, 10:24pm -
  • Pay the Writer?
    I just read a repost on Passive Voice called Pay the Writer. And I disagreed with most of it.Why?Because no one owes me a living.Repeat that to yourself. Say it out loud if you need to.No one owes me a living.A sense of entitlement is a dangerous thing. If you're lucky, you'll find readers. If you're really lucky, you'll make a few bucks.But just b…
    - 3 Jan 16, 10:25pm -
  • Konrath's New Year's Resolutions for Writers
    Every December I do a post about resolutions for writers, and every year I add more of them. They've changed a lot; after all, when I began this, there was no Amazon Kindle, self-publishing was a bad idea, and this blog was for writers eager to find agents and land deals with the Big 6.But a lot of the advice from a decade ago still holds true, so…
    - 28 Dec 15, 8:37pm -

Beth Behler

  • Get Back to Work!

    Get Back to Work!

    Filed under: publishing
    - 66 days ago, 14 Aug 17, 9:12pm -
  • Author Platform: Done It vs Gonna Do It

    Author Platform: Done It vs Gonna Do It

    I read book proposals all day long, and one of the most important parts of the proposal is Author Platform. I need to know is how well I think an author’s book will sell, and that’s where Author Platform comes into play. Author Platforms are a toughie to explain because everyone has different definitions for […]
    - 95 days ago, 17 Jul 17, 12:21pm -
  • Cleverness Has its Limits

    Cleverness Has its Limits

    Dear Authors, There is no bookstore or library category called Hybrid Memoir, so it’s truly unnecessary to label your book as such. Besides, it doesn’t tell me anything. A hybrid of what? And who cares? At the query stage, this is unimportant because it’s not a selling point. Use your gifts of words by showing […]
    - 98 days ago, 13 Jul 17, 5:24pm -
  • If You’re Gonna Write It, Know It!

    If You’re Gonna Write It, Know It!

    Authors, one of the most important things you owe your readers is to be unimpeachable. That’s shorthand for know what you’re talking about. If you make a mistake, you’ll lose the reader’s trust. If you lose their trust, you may find your book skittering against the walls, removing the paint.  That’s a bad thing. And […]
    - 22 Jun 17, 7:43pm -
  • Marketing Your Book – Think Outside the Box

    Marketing Your Book – Think Outside the Box

    Recently, I had the honor of talking to a talented friend who is self-pubbing his book and wanted to send me a copy. I was so pleased that he’d think of me! I asked him if he planned on doing any signings, and he indicated he didn’t think there would be enough interest. Considering his […]
    - 11 Jun 17, 2:27pm -
  • What’s Your Weekend Look Like?

    What’s Your Weekend Look Like?

    Rush thee to the bookstore and pick up copies of our amazing books. Your soul will thank you. Filed under: publishing
    - 8 Jun 17, 3:19pm -
  • Using Your Foreword as a Selling Point in Queries

    Using Your Foreword as a Selling Point in Queries

    There are many ways you can sabotage your query letter – of which I have blabbered about for the past fourteen years (gah! Has it been that long?). But I encountered a new one today; pushing the bio of the person who wrote your Foreword. Huh? What concerns me is that authors are putting their […]
    - 5 Jun 17, 1:39pm -
  • THE CHICKEN WHO SAVED US: Fabulosity Ensues

    THE CHICKEN WHO SAVED US: Fabulosity Ensues

      Huge congrats to our beautiful author, Kristin Jarvis Adams, for snaring the cover story at King5 News for her incredible story about a gravely ill little boy and the chicken who save them all. If that wasn’t lovely enough, 500 books flew out the door at four Seattle Costcos. Yup, sold out. In five […]
    - 26 May 17, 2:15pm -
  • Riding the Fence – Indecision at Your Own Peril

    Riding the Fence – Indecision at Your Own Peril

    There’s something that’s been ricocheting around my pea-sized brain for a while, and it has to do with Riding the Fence…as in, “Do I wanna self-publish, or do I wanna go with a publisher?” This makes my teeth itch, and I’ll tell you why. Time Suck I had an experience recently where the author was […]
    - 11 May 17, 10:29pm -
  • More Warped Editor Humor – We’re a Sick Lot

    More Warped Editor Humor – We’re a Sick Lot

    BAHAHAHA! Um….sorry. I’m pathetic, I know this.Filed under: publishing
    - 10 May 17, 12:33pm -

Cec Murphy

  • Secrets from Professional Writers (#1)
    1. We Don’t Bore Our Readers.We can't bore readers. Instead, they stop reading. Perhaps that sounds obvious, but too many writers are fascinated with their topic—usually their own lives—and assume everyone else cares. If we write as a form of therapy (and that's valid), and recognize what we're doing, we don't try to push the rest of the worl…
    - 3 days ago, 17 Oct 17, 11:00am -
  • Statements I Hate to Hear from Writers (Part 3 of 3)
    "If I could just find the right publisher/editor/agent."In 1997, I taught at the Greater Colorado Christian Writers Conference. One man had a lengthy manuscript and asked me to look at it. I thought he had a few good ideas but nothing particularly original. It wasn't different from anything I'd read many times.I told him, but he didn't listen."If I…
    - 10 days ago, 10 Oct 17, 11:00am -
  • Statements I Hate to Hear from Writers (Part 2 of 3)
    "God gave this to me so I know you'll publish it." I've heard variations on that one, but they all say something like this:• "God gave it to me."• "God dictated every word."• "God awakened me in the middle of the night and said, 'Write!' "My wife heard all the stories. For several years, she was the acquisitions editor of a devotional magazin…
    - 17 days ago, 3 Oct 17, 11:00am -
  • Statements I Hate to Hear from Writers (Part 1 of 3)
    "I know there are mistakes, but an editor can fix it. That's what editors do, isn't it?" While I was doing a Q & A on a radio station, a caller said those words.Yes, that is what editors do—after they accept a manuscript. They expect well written, grammatically correct submissions. Their job is to improve a good manuscript and make it into an ex…
    - 24 days ago, 26 Sep 17, 11:00am -
  • Overselling Yourself
    (This post by literary agent Dan Balow is excerpted from an article that first appeared on The Steve Laube Agency blog. It is used with his permission.)The desire to be noticed can lead to overselling yourself.The emphasis on marketing platforms tempts authors to oversell themselves in an attempt to gain more attention. (I define overselling as a s…
    - 31 days ago, 19 Sep 17, 11:00am -
  • Being in Print Doesn’t Make It Good Writing
    As we grow in our writing skill, we also grow in noticing weakness and errors in print. Not always wrong as much as careless is the author using the same word twice in the same paragraph or (worse) in the same sentence. Mary Higgins Clark’s The Melody Lingers On has this awkward sentence on page 91: “At least you have to give him credit…
    - 38 days ago, 12 Sep 17, 11:00am -
  • Send Simultaneous Submissions or Not?
    (This article is written by literary agent Steve Laube and first appeared on his agency blog. It's reprinted here with his permission.)Bryan Mitchell asked, “What is the max number of submissions you should send at a given time? I’ve heard ten but that sounds off; to me, it seems it should be less than that if you are carefully considering the…
    - 45 days ago, 5 Sep 17, 11:00am -
  • The Lifeblood of a Million Dollar List
    (This article was written by Rob Eagar of Wildfire Marketing and is reprinted with his permission.)If you're new to the idea of building a million dollar email list, here's a principle that is crucial to success regardless of whether you're an author, business, or non-profit: List revenue follows list growth.You must constantly add new subscriber…
    - 52 days ago, 29 Aug 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 16 of 16)
    May and Can. We might as well give up on this rule because the can-ites won the war. No one seems to have trouble with can, but my guess is that the use of may sounds too formal. In school, most of us learned that may referred to authorization or permission while can denoted physical or mental ability. “May I have this dance?” asks permission.…
    - 59 days ago, 22 Aug 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 15 of 16)
    Dropping or keeping the final e in words can be troublesome. Many words end with a silent e— brave, move, late, rinse. The general rule is to drop the final e when you add endings that begin with a vowel. Advise + able = advisable.Guide + ance = guidance.Force + able = forcible. If the final silent e is followed by an ending that begins with a co…
    - 66 days ago, 15 Aug 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 14 of 16)
    Let’s look at sentences that begin with there is or there was. I suggest you avoid using that construction for three reasons. 1. It adds nothing to the value of the sentence. 2. It makes sentences longer. (And today, the rule is short sentences, or bite-sized.) 3. Using that construction means you put the verb before the subject, which i…
    - 73 days ago, 8 Aug 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 13 of 16)

    - 80 days ago, 1 Aug 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 12 of 16)
    Almost as bad is the difference between rise and raise. One way to help is remind yourself that raise is usually transitive. That means a direct object (noun or pronoun) follows. Rise is intransitive (no direct object following). If you can substitute “get up” or “go up” for rise, you know you’re right. Raise means lift or cause to go up.…
    - 87 days ago, 25 Jul 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 11 of 16)
    Lie and lay are probably the most troublesome and wrongly used words I see regularly (or hear in conversation). As you probably heard in school, lie means to recline; lay means to put. Here are two simple rules. 1. If you will remember the principal parts of the verb (present, past, and past participle), you can’t go wrong. They are…
    - 94 days ago, 18 Jul 17, 11:00am -
  • Common Problems (Part 10 of 16)
    Is it until? Till? ‘Til? That’s an easy one to remember: Till and ‘Til are both acceptable today, but many of us still prefer until.What about beside and besides? Both are prepositions but with different meanings; they’re not interchangeable. Beside means at the side of or close to. Besides means in addition to. Here are examples of the cor…
    - 11 Jul 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 9 of 16)
    While teaching a class recently, I used the word antecedent. Two people looked confused. We writers (and especially editors) throw that word around quite a bit. We usually ask, “What is the antecedent?” Here’s a simple answer: An antecedent is a noun which is replaced by a pronoun. Sometimes antecedent stands for a group of words that…
    - 4 Jul 17, 11:00am -
  • Common Usage Problems (Part 8 of 16)
    Do you have options or alternatives? I’m amazed that people have trouble over this one, but they do. Here’s the rule as simply as I know to phrase it. When you have several ideas on how to do something, that means you have options. If you have only one possibility, it’s an alternative. One expert says to think of the “o” in optio…
    - 27 Jun 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 7 of 16)
    What’s the difference between a while (two words) and awhile (one)? Here’s the rule: A while is an article and a noun and normally comes after the preposition for. When you use two words, you’re going to use a noun and refer to a period of time. Example: It has been a while since I saw you. You could substitute another article-noun, such as a…
    - 20 Jun 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 6 of 16)
    A trend today, and I hear newscasters say this regularly, is as to. That’s an awkward expression and it’s better to say, about. Instead of “As to the situation in Central Park,” try, “About the situation in Central Park.”A friend said, “I have no idea as to where I want to eat.” It would have been better if he had said, “I have no…
    - 13 Jun 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 5 of 16)
    Many writers aren’t sure of the difference between among and between. Both are prepositions. Among always implies three or more; between refers to two people or groups. Another way is to use among when you refer to things that aren’t distinct items or individuals. Mary had to choose between Harvard and Yale; Yves chose among the universities in…
    - 6 Jun 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 4 of 16)
    Eldest or oldest? What’s the difference? Both words refer to those greater in age. The difference is that eldest can be used only to related individuals, such as, “Jack is my eldest living relative.” Oldest is more general and fits most situations. Eldest and oldest are what we call the superlative—meaning more than two. James is older than…
    - 30 May 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 3 of 16)
    Reflexive pronouns trouble some writers. Some, who don’t know grammar but try to act knowledgeable, often use sentences like “He gave the money to Maggie and myself.” The person should have said, “Maggie and me.” The incorrect usage is because the speaker probably doesn’t understand reflexive pronouns. Here’s the rule: Whenever we use…
    - 23 May 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 2 of 16)
    All ready (2 words) is a phrase that means completely prepared. We’ve finished lunch and we’re all ready to leave. Michael hooked up my computer so I’m all ready to start typing my manuscript. Already is always an adverb and refers to something that happened before a certain time. Doesn’t every American city already have the Internet? The…
    - 16 May 17, 11:00am -
  • Those Nagging Little Problems (Part 1 of 16)
    In this series, I want to point out problems many writers face (and their incorrect usage). We’ll start with adopt and adapt. Most writers have no problem with adopt, which means to take something as your own. Adapt means to change. If your book is sold to the movies, the producers used to list the title and byline and then add, “adapted by .…
    - 9 May 17, 11:00am -
  • Life Hands You a Platform
    This post from Dan Balow first appeared on the Steve Laube Agency blog. It's used here with Dan's permission.* * * * *Every writer’s conference or gathering includes at least one presentation about developing or maintaining an author-marketing platform.Social Media, public speaking, blogging, newsletters…everything working together to establish…
    - 2 May 17, 11:00am -

Debra Benton

  • No. 133 – The Downside to Success

    No. 133 – The Downside to Success

    A caution about your pouring your heart into your “art”: it will spark jealousy. Surprisingly one of the toughest parts of success is finding a colleague happy for you. But as they say, “Anyone can get pity. Jealousy you have to earn.” Following the advice in my blog might cause you some trouble. When you […]
    - 31 May 17, 10:22pm -
  • No. 132 – Every Decision is a Calculated Risk

    No. 132 – Every Decision is a Calculated Risk

    Don’t wallow in indecision. Problems are solved by making decisions; problems are avoided by making good decisions. The sooner you make a decision, the sooner you benefit from it. The earlier you make a bad decision, the sooner you can correct it. The unanimous response from CEOs and C-level executives when I’ve asked the question, […]
    - 25 May 17, 1:14pm -
  • No. 131- Do You Take Calculated Risks for Career Advancement?

    No. 131- Do You Take Calculated Risks for Career Advancement?

    I’m not asking for utter fearlessness and risk without thinking. Just “go for it” a little more and more often than you have in the past—and more often than others do. If you hold back, you’ll get into a rut, slip behind, fade out of sight, and sink into the sameness of the people around […]
    - 17 May 17, 1:30pm -
  • No. 130 – Why is a Positive Attitude Important?

    No. 130 – Why is a Positive Attitude Important?

    It’s human nature to gravitate toward people, information, or places that imply a happier outlook. You provide that outlook for yourself, one that no one can take away. Frankly, few of us have any justification for the negative, pessimistic perspective that we let ourselves get bogged down with. No matter what you’re going through that’s [……
    - 10 May 17, 1:36pm -
  • No. 129 – How to Act Self-Confident

    No. 129 – How to Act Self-Confident

    To help with confidence development, simply try “acting confident” to the outside world, practicing how it feels. The outside “show” helps the inside “take.” It’s okay to display confidence you don’t feel, to take a leap of faith. Pretending is not faking or hiding weaknesses. It’s playing the part you want to achieve. When I [……
    - 4 May 17, 3:54pm -