Should You Write to Market? | What Readers and Literary Agents Want in a Novel

If you’re an author hoping to get traditionally published, you might have asked yourself if you should try to write to market. Is it necessary to worry about what readers want in a novel—well, maybe we should say what literary agents and major publishers think readers want in a novel—or should you not care at … Continue reading Should You Write to Market? | What Readers and Literary Agents Want in a Novel

Post-Pandemic Querying | How to Get a Literary Agent in 2022

At a time when concept is king, character development is the way to win the day. You’re querying literary agents with your latest novel in the slow-motion, post-pandemic publishing nightmare of 2022, and it feels like you’re getting nowhere. Rejections pile up in your inbox—if you’re lucky. The truth is, you’re so used to getting … Continue reading Post-Pandemic Querying | How to Get a Literary Agent in 2022

How I Write a Manuscript Critique | An Editor’s Rant About Debut Novels

I’m writing this post to explain how I, as a developmental editor, go about reading a book and writing a manuscript critique so prospective clients will know what they’re getting, but I also have some thoughts that might be of interest to writers in general, including my take on what’s required of a debut novel … Continue reading How I Write a Manuscript Critique | An Editor’s Rant About Debut Novels

2022 Market Trends in Book Publishing | My Unqualified Speculation

Last year I laid out my predictions for what book market trends would look like in 2021—including what readers would be reading and what publishers would be buying. It turned out to be the most popular post I’ve ever written, so it behooves me to make my admittedly unqualified speculation an annual tradition and offer … Continue reading 2022 Market Trends in Book Publishing | My Unqualified Speculation

Memorize Your Story Before You Revise | Advice on Editing a Novel

This post is a revised version of my previous post. I thought it fitting to explore the topic of revising a novel by actually revising something I’ve published on this blog. This post also explores the practice of memorizing your story for the purpose of revision. Like all writing advice, it’s ultimately subjective and by … Continue reading Memorize Your Story Before You Revise | Advice on Editing a Novel

How You Can Kill Your Novel With Revision | Writing Advice Nobody Asked For Vol. 327

When we complete a first draft of a novel, we often jump right into revisions, perhaps initially driven by the desire to add or change things we know for certain need to be added or changed. But then we start tinkering. Maybe just here and there at first. Then maybe starting at the beginning. We're … Continue reading How You Can Kill Your Novel With Revision | Writing Advice Nobody Asked For Vol. 327

Great Stories Start with Great Characters | Guest Post by Ichabod Ebenezer

I invited Ichabod to write this guest post in celebration of the release of his new horror short story collection, Beyond the Rail and Other Nightmares. Beyond the Rail and Other Nightmares by Ichabod Ebenezer, available now Great Stories Start With Great Characters We’ve all run across that particular bit of wisdom at some point … Continue reading Great Stories Start with Great Characters | Guest Post by Ichabod Ebenezer

Gaining Readers and Growing an Audience | The Self-Published Author Problem

I should have titled this post How to Build an Audience as a Self-Published Author in Three Easy Steps: Email List, Reader Magnet, Traffic. Because it's really that simple. Though this post focuses on how to gain readers and grow an audience as a self-published author, it’s the dream of any internet entrepreneur to garner … Continue reading Gaining Readers and Growing an Audience | The Self-Published Author Problem

From Harry Potter to Gone Girl | A Love Story in the Most Popular Books

You fall in love with the Harry Potter series when you’re young. You almost feel like you’re growing up at Hogwarts. You take the online sorting hat quiz, but you know which house you belong to and if the quiz gets it wrong you blow it off. By the time you hit your teens or … Continue reading From Harry Potter to Gone Girl | A Love Story in the Most Popular Books

Twelve Things to Think About When Revising and Editing Your Novel

Writing is hard. Rewriting is even harder. Or maybe it’s the other way around. In any case, here is a quick checklist for things you can focus on when revising your book. While this isn’t an exhaustive list of revising and editing tips, it’s more than enough to think about when working on that second … Continue reading Twelve Things to Think About When Revising and Editing Your Novel