Thursday, December 31, 2015

Questions for Prospective Agents

You want to have a long relationship with your literary agent, so ask these questions up front.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bad Query Advice

It's helpful to know what not to do when you query.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

Author Bios

Whether it's for your query letter or promoting your book, you want to have a good author bio.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Aspiring Writers

Here's some advice as you set out on your journey to publication.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Not All Books Sell

No matter how good your manuscript is, it might never find a home with a publisher.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Overused Words

There are some words that many of us overuse and often should be deleted.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Before You Submit

Make sure you follow these important steps before hitting "send."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Writing Conferences

If you need encouragement to attend a writing conference, here's a list of reasons to go.

Monday, December 21, 2015


Writing too little can be as bad as writing too much.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Is Pinterest a good way to promote your book?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Revision Letters

Congratulations on receiving a revision letter. Now what?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Picture Book Advice

Here are some suggestions for beginning picture book writers.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book Promotion

Here are some dos and don'ts for getting the word out about your book.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Author Notes

Though more common in nonfiction, backmatter is sometimes appropriate for fiction.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Do you need to copyright your manuscript and will that prevent book piracy?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Cover Design

Do authors have any input over the cover design of their books?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Forgettable Picture Books

Make sure your picture book is one kids will remember and want to read over and over again.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Time to Publish

Publication takes a long time because there are many steps from initial manuscript to a book on the shelf.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fractured Fairy Tales

Kids love fractured fairy tales, so learn how to make yours the best it can be.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Query Resources

When your manuscript is ready to query, consult these websites before submitting.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Writing Tips from Ursula LeGuin

Here are eight of LeGuin's best writing tips.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Publisher Bankruptcy

It's never good news to hear your publisher is declaring bankruptcy, but it's important what you should do if that happens.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Scene List

Creating a scene list can change, for the better, the way you write your novel.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Negative Critiques

A negative critique, as hard as it is to hear, will help you improve your manuscript.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pre-Release Marketing

Here are twelve months of preparation for the launch of your book.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Leaving Your Agent

Sometimes the best of matches doesn't work out, and it becomes time to divorce your agent.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mistakes on the Road to Publication

Learn from a debut author what mistakes to avoid on your way to being published.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Email Subject Line

If you're querying by email, you should make sure your subject line gives the necessary information.

Friday, November 27, 2015

First School Visit

Your first school visit can be nerve-wracking, but a little preparation goes a long way.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Facebook Author Page

Is it worthwhile to have a Facebook author page as part of your social media campaign?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Inventing a Language

When you create a language for your fantasy novel, you want it to sound as if it were real.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Picture Book Dummies

Even if you're not an illustrator, you should make a dummy for all your picture books, and here's how.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fair Use

Before you use copyrighted material, you need to understand the idea of fair use.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Word Counts

Here are some standard word counts for each children's book genre along with specific book examples.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Self-Editing Basics

You need to be the first editor of your manuscript, and here are some basics to know.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Getting Feedback

Critiques of your manuscript are not always easy to hear, but they're a necessary part of the writing process.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Which swag do people keep and which do they toss?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Introverts and Conferences

There's still a place for you at writing conferences, even if you're an introvert.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Publishing Jobs

There are many more jobs in publishing than that of editor or agent.

Friday, November 13, 2015

When You Haven't Heard Back

What is appropriate to do when you've waited and waited and haven't heard back from an editor or agent?

Thursday, November 12, 2015


It's not easy to find errors in your own manuscript, but these proofreading tips will help.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Words to Cut

Eliminate these filler words to make your manuscript tighter.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Starting Your Novel

Here are some hints about how to and how not to begin your novel.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cover Art

As an author, do you have any say in the cover art of your book?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Historical Fiction

If you write historical fiction, you'd better enjoy doing research.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Booksellers are an author's best friends, and you should know how to talk to them.

Friday, November 6, 2015


If you're a freelance writer, you need to know how to manage your finances.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Exclusive Requests

What does it mean when an agent asks for an exclusive and how does it work.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

School Visit Fees

Find out what other people charge, on average, to do a school visit.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Writing Humorous Picture Books

Here are some techniques to add humor to your picture book text.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Developmental Editor

A developmental editor looks at the big picture items in your story.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Organizing Your Plot

These four steps can help you turn your plot ideas into a plot.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tag Crowd

Make a tag cloud from your text to see what words you're overusing.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Manuscript Wish List

Find out what specific types of manuscripts individual editors and agents are looking for.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pinterest for Writers

You can use Pinterest as part of your book's marketing strategy. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Want to Win a Newbery?

What makes a turns a good book into a Newbery-level one?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Author Platform

What constitutes and author platform and how do you build one?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Middle Grade or Young Adult?

What are the key differences between a novel for 8-12 year olds and one for teens?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Do You Have a Good Agent?

Here are some ways to figure out if your agent is doing his or her job.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Historical Fiction

If you're writing historical fiction, you have to do the research.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Get ready for National Novel Writing Month.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


The pluses and minuses of having a prologue in your book.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Contracts 101

Here are links to a series of posts about literary contracts.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Book Title

Though the title of your book may change after acquisition, it's still a good idea to choose one that will attract the attention of editors and agents.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Improve Your Dialogue

The number one suggestion on this list of how to improve your dialogue is to punctuate correctly.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Book Release Timeline

What should you do to prepare for your book release and when should you do it.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Facebook for Authors

Here are some tips for authors new to Facebook.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fair Use

Ask yourself these questions before using copyrighted material.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Picture Book Dos and Donts

Author Mem Fox shares twenty things picture book writers should (or shouldn't) be doing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Goodreads Giveaways

What's the best strategy to use in planning a giveaway on Goodreads.

Monday, October 12, 2015


It's good to use metaphors and similes in your writing, but not if they're cliches.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Are School Visits Mandatory?

It's up to you how many and what kind of school visits you feel comfortable doing.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Reducing Word Count

Whether you write picture books or novels, cutting out words will tighten your writing.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Here are some simple tricks for editing your manuscript.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Balancing Dialogue and Description

Your story should contain a good mix of dialogue and description.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


How can you use Pinterest to raise awareness of your book?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Critique Group Sandwich

A popular method of critiquing is the sandwich: what you liked about the text, what you think needs more work, and what you liked again.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Satisfying Endings

Your ending should wrap up the story in a way that resonates with your readers.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

What an Agent Looks For

Obviously an agent wants to see good writing, but what else is important?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Age Level

Make sure your writing is appropriate for the age level of your audience.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Rejection to Revision

Use the comments you gather from your rejections to make your manuscript better.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book Launch Party

Here's some advice to make your book launch party great.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Novice Writers

Avoid being labeled a newbie by making sure you don't make these mistakes.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Literary Agents

It's reasonable to expect professionalism from your literary agent.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Speaking at Conventions

How can you get invited to speak at teacher conventions?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Picture Book Pacing

Even if you're not an illustrator, it's important to make a dummy in order to check the pacing of your picture book.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Show and Tell

We've all heard the advice to "show, don't tell," but there are times when telling is the better choice.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Character Thoughts

What's the best way to show the reader what your character is thinking?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


What is your body saying when you give a presentation?

Monday, September 21, 2015


There are three components to writing a novel with someone else.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Plot Revision Table

Having a detailed chart of your scenes makes it much easier to understand your plot.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Editing Without an Editor

Harold Underdown gives advice on how to edit your manuscript.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Meeting Agents

How do you interact with agents when you meet them informally at a conference?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Book Sales at Events

You need to do more than just show up to sell books at events.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Book Profit and Loss

What business decisions go into a publisher's decision to acquire a book?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Deep Point of View

Get inside your character's head by writing in a deep point of view.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Query Opening

Use this sentence template to present the most important information about your book first.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Understanding Schools

Avoid problems with your school visits by avoiding miscommunication.

Friday, September 11, 2015

We Need Diverse Books

Visit the official site of "we need diverse books" and help make the campaign a reality.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Three tips to make your setting an important part of your story.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Author Brand

What can you do to create an image for yourself as an author?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Drafts

It's okay to write a terrible first draft.

Monday, September 7, 2015


In order to write a story with punch, you must increase the tension.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Query Letters

Here's a detailed description of everything that should and shouldn't be a part of your query letter.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Word Counts

Find out word counts of published books at this site by following these steps: select a user type; click submit; search for the title; and click on the title.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Curriculum Guides

Sell more books by creating educational materials for the school and library market.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dream Sequence

What works and doesn't work when incorporating a dream scene into your novel.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Library Sales

Do libraries buy books the same way other outlets do?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Historical Research

Whether you're writing fiction or nonfiction, if your book takes place in the past you need to do your research.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Character Names

Don't make these mistakes when you're naming your character.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Revise and Resubmit

What does it really mean when an agent or editor asks you to revise and resubmit your manuscript?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Leaving Your Agent

How do you know if/when it's time for you and your agent to part ways?

Friday, August 28, 2015


What the Authors' Guild Fair Contract Initiative has to say about book contracts.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Find out how to use spidergrams in plotting your book.


Find out how to use spidergrams in plotting your book.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

After the Offer

What should you do after receiving an offer of representation?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Why it's worth your while to go to writing conferences.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Writing Contests

Questions you should ask before entering a writing contest.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Filter Words

Filter words distance your reader and weaken your writing.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Common Core

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, it's worthwhile understanding the Common Core standards.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Getting Representation

How can you convince a literary agent to represent you and your work?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Facial Expressions

One-hundred words you can use to describe facial expressions.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Eight novice mistakes to avoid if you're writing a series.

Monday, August 17, 2015


What does it mean to you if you have a midlist book?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Publishing

Agents tell some things most people don't know about the publishing industry.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Common Grammar Mistakes

Make sure you avoid these mistakes many people make.

Friday, August 14, 2015


How to trim your overly long novel down to size.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Before the Launch

Five things to do before your book's release date.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Theme and plot are not the same thing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fiction Based on a Real Person

What are the steps you need to take if you've based your novel on a real-life person or event?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bad Reviews

Your book is going to receive some bad reviews, so you need to learn to deal with it.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bestseller Lists

How a book gets on a bestseller list is not as straightforward as you might think.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Rules for Writers

Stephen King shares twenty rules to be a better writer.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Small Publishers

Bigger isn't always better when it comes to the size of your publisher.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


A great villain is often the most memorable character in a story.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Constructive Criticism

How to give criticism that will help both your fellow writers and their manuscripts.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Writing Words of Wisdom

Fifteen tips about writing from an author who's been writing fifteen years.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Writing YA

Young adult books can be any genre, from romance to science fiction, mystery to mainstream.

Friday, July 31, 2015


It's so easy to make a typo in your manuscript and so difficult to find them all.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Avoiding the Word "Very"

There are many ways to prune all those "very" appearances from your manuscript.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Titles

Though your publisher will likely change it, it's still worthwhile to choose the best title you can.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


If you're a picture book writer, how do you handle the illustrations?

Monday, July 27, 2015


If you quote song lyrics in your manuscript, you might want to rethink that.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Book Printing

Here's a fascinating look behind the scenes at how a book is printed and bound.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Common Mistakes

What are common writing mistakes editors see and how do you avoid them?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Books in Stores

What to do if your book isn't carried in brick and mortar bookstores.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Stimulus and Response

When something happens in a scene (stimulus), your characters need to have a reaction (response).

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Choosing a Publisher

Money isn't the only thing to consider when choosing between publishers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Manuscript Gotchas

Seven types of things to weed out of your manuscript when you're revising.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Chapter Books

What's the difference between chapter books and middle grades?  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Reluctant Readers

With the right book, even reluctant readers can be persuaded to read.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Exclamation Points

The fewer the better is a good rule of thumb about explanations points.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dead Parents

Why is it that so many children's book characters are orphans?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Picture Book Characters

The limited word count in picture books doesn't give you a lot of room to create your irresistible character.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


You can play around with time in your story, but be careful not to confuse your reader.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Submission Checklist

Before you hit "send" or mail the envelope, here are some last minute things to check about your submission.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blog Tours

Setting up and participating in a blog tour is an excellent way to get the word out about your book.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

How Long to Write a Picture Book

Even though they don't have many words, writing a picture books takes more time than you might think.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Choosing a POV

You need to choose the point-of-view that works best for your story, not just the one that's currently popular.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What Makes a Good Agent?

This series of blog posts details the business expertise and activities you should expect in an agent.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Punctuation and Rhythm

The different punctuation marks can be used to speed up or slow down the pace of your readers, adding rhythm to your story.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Critique Groups

How to make being in a critique group a positive experience.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Five reasons why backmatter is important in nonfiction.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Free Book Trailers

YouTube has a free video editor you can use to make your book trailer.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Picture Book Secrets

Here are some suggestions (no magic secrets, unfortunately) about how to write picture books.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

LGBT in Middle Grade

The world of middle-grade aged children provides many opportunities to introduce an LGBT character.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

When an Editor Wants to See More

When you're asked to submit another manuscript, don't feel like you have to wait a long time before doing so.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beware of Reduncancy

Don't fall into the trap of repeating the same idea but using different words.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Agent Contracts

Things that should be covered in your agency contract.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Editing While Your Write

It's not always easy to turn off your inner editor.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Here's how one set of co-authors divvies up the work.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Tours

Here are some things to know if you're doing a real life, as opposed to blog, book tour.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Tips and goals for new conference attendees.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Top YA Agents

These agents have sold the most young adult books in 2015.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Twitter Lists

Writers share their lists of people whose tweets are useful to writers.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Trends in YA

You shouldn't write to a trend, but if you have a manuscript with a currently popular topic, now might be the time to submit it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

First Draft

Turn off your inner censor and get something on the paper.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sympathetic Characters

You can make a character, even an evil one, more sympathetic using these traits.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Meeting Agents

What to do if you meet an agent at a conference.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Evilness in Kids' Books

There are many ways to introduce evil characters and situations into a children's book.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Novels in Verse

Three authors discuss how a novel in verse is different than one written in prose.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Time-Saving Tools

Here are 15 tools that may be helpful in making your writing time more efficient.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Publishers and Marketing

Who's responsible for marketing your book--you or your publisher? You both are.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Agent Negotiations

There are many tactics an agent should be using when negotiating a contract.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Writing Red Flags

What do you need to do to your manuscript to get it past the publishing gatekeepers?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Top Middle-Grade Agents

Which agents made the most deals for middle-grade books?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015


Where do you put the beats, those incidents that change the way the main character pursues his goal, in your novel?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Improve Your Dialogue

These six tips will help make your dialogue leap off the page.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

YA Techniques

How your young adult novel is written is as important as what it is about.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Before You Turn in the Manuscript

Even though you think your manuscript is finished, it would be a good idea to do these checks.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Website Must-Haves

If you want to do school visits, you must have these on your website.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Extensive Revisions

Sometimes you need to take out those scissors and cut, cut, cut.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Author Swag

Promotional items are a way for people to learn about and remember you and your book.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Over-explaining Dialogue

Don't overuse dialogue tags to explain who's talking and his/her emotional state.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Elevator Pitches

You never know when an agent or editor will ask what your book is about.

Friday, May 29, 2015


It's not enough to just leave an extra blank line or have a chapter break to transition between scenes.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Guaranteed Rejection

Here are some way to almost guarantee that an agent or editor will reject your manuscript.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Author Websites

What information should you include on your author website?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dating Your Manuscript

Should you include current technology and pop references to flesh out your story or should you leave them out so your book is timeless?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Setting and POV

Your setting is filtered through the point of view character's senses.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

School Visit Packet

Before your school visit, send out a packet containing all the information they will need to make your visit a success.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Extra Facts in Picture Books

Remember, in picture books, you can always show those fascinating facts in the illustrations or mention them in the back matter.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Awards and School Visits

If your book receives awards, will that increase your school visit invitations?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Verse Novels

Create an image system for novels in verse to tie together the plot and increase characterization.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Many Queries

How many queries does it take to land an agent?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dialogue Tags

You don't need to use dialogue tags to indicate the speaker.

Monday, May 18, 2015


If you want to earn money as a writer, treat it the same as you would any other job.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Conference Etiquette

Conference etiquette is the same as regular etiquette--don't be a jerk.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


You can use Pinterest to increase interest in your book.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Inciting Incident

Everyone knows your book needs an inciting incident, but what does that really mean?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Humor in Picture Books

Use more than one type of humor in your picture book to maximize the funny,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How Not to Be a Spammer

Social media is great for book promotion, but not if you spam people.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Twenty-one things to look for when revising.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sending Updated Material

If you revise your manuscript before hearing back form a query, should you resend it?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Writing Nonfiction

Even if you write nonfiction, you can (and should) use many of the same techniques used for writing fiction.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Publishers Marketplace

You can't always believe everything you read about book deals.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Writing Red Flags

If you don't want to be branded a "newbie" writer, avoid these writing mistakes.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Multiple Points of View

The first question to ask when writing from multiple points of view--is this the best way to tell the story?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

First Pass Editing

After you've let your first draft sit for a bit, it's time to ask these questions.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Authorial Intrusion

You want your characters to sound like themselves, not like you.

Monday, May 4, 2015

After the Offer

Why does it take so long for a book to come out?

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Seven keys to improving the pacing of your novel.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Promotion Tip

A free, easy to implement, promotion tip is to call your book by its name where talking about it.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Why Was Your Book Rejected?

Manuscripts are rejected for many reasons, often not related to the quality of the writing.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bad Agents

Better to have no agent than to have an incompetent, or worse a con artist, one.

Setting Copyright

Unique settings get more copyright protection than historical ones.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Good dialogue can help flesh out a character and move a story forward.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Picture Book Endings

What makes a satisfying ending to a picture book?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Writing About Minorities

How do you write about minorities when you are not one yourself?

Saturday, April 25, 2015


How much money do you really make when you sell your book?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Young Adult Writers

Here's an article about the eight habits of highly successful young adult writers.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Story Idea Worksheet

How do you boil your great idea down to something that can become a book?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Co-Authoring Agreements

If you are writing your book with someone else, you need to have an agreement in writing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Events

Ways to increase your book sales at author events.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Author Visits

Get yourself of a list of authors by state who do school visits.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What Not to Say

When you're reaching out to an agent or an editor, don't say these things.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Editor Tools

These tools are used by editors to keep your manuscript on track.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Promotion Websites

Here's a list of places that you can use to promote your book.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Picture Book Manuscripts

Ask these questions about your picture book manuscript both before and after you write it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Events

What you need to do before your next author event.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Character Emotion

Ways to add emotional content to the words your character is speaking.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Is it worthwhile to get people to blurb your book?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

First Lines

Keys to writing the perfect first lines.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Historical Thesaurus

Pinpoint when and how a word was used throughout history.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Editing Clauses

Protect yourself from unreasonable editing clauses in your contract.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Telling vs. Showing

Sometimes it's better to break the well-known rule of show don't tell.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Conflict vs. Complications

Up the tension in your story by upping the stakes in a conflict.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Author Websites

Make sure your website is working for you and not against you.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Balancing Backstory

Avoid the dreaded infodump by weaving your backstory into the main story.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Beta Readers

There's an etiquette surrounding asking for or being a beta reader.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

School and Library Markets

Your nonfiction book might be perfect for the school and library market.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Editorial Steps

"The Call" is just the first of many steps on your way to a published book.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Writing Tips

An editor tells what he learned about writing from his editing jobs.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Accuracy in Fiction

Even though you're writing fiction, you need to be accurate and realistic with your setting and characters.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Blogs

Here's a directory of blogs related to books and reading.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tax Tips

Can you claim your writing expenses on your taxes?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Social Media 101

All you ever wanted to know about using social media for marketing your book.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Agent Call

What should you ask a prospective agent when you get "the call?"

Thursday, March 26, 2015


A picture books has to have heart.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Scene and Sequel

One way to structure your novel is to alternate scenes and sequels.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Contacting Literary Agents

There are ways other than query letters to get your work in front of a literary agent.

Monday, March 23, 2015

How Not to Start a Novel

Your book's opening needs to grab your readers and make them want to continue reading.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Non-Bookstore Events

Think outside the box when considering where to have your author events.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Naming Characters

How do you make your character's name match his or her personality and place in the story?

Friday, March 20, 2015


How can you condense your book into a simple "elevator pitch?"

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Picture Book, Chapter Book, or Middle Grade

Now that you have a great idea and a unique character, will these become a picture book, chapter book, or middle-grade novel?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Research Interviews

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you often need to conduct an interview to research your topic.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SF/F Categories

The genre of science fiction and fantasy has many subcategories.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Revision Questions

Ten questions to ask about your manuscript when you're revising.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bad Advice

On your path to publication, you'll hear a lot of advice you should just ignore.

Monday, March 9, 2015


You're finished and polished your manuscript, so now it's time to submit.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Picture Book University

Reading this blog is like attending a mini-workshop on writing picture books.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Websites for Writers

Links to fifty websites that writers should know about.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Viewpoint Selection

Here's a simple explanation of the pros and cons of each point of view.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Picture Book Rules

Ten commandments (or not!) for writing picture books.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Bloggers

How to approach book bloggers to review your book.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Writers' Conferences

Are writers' conferences useful, and how do you get the most out of them?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Editor Submission List

Agents work carefully to create a list of where they will send your book.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Overdone Plots

Your novel needs to be unique to stand out from the rest.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dream Agents

Don't get your heart set on a single "dream" agent.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Logic Problems

Watch out for these logic problems to prevent your reader from being pulled out of the story.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Switching to Outlining

If you're a pantser, here are some tips to switching to being an outliner.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Deep Point View

By bringing your point of view closer, you can intensify your writing.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Types of Picture Books

Picture books are written in many styles and cover a wide range of topics.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Choosing a Workshop

The first step is to identify what you want and need.

Friday, February 20, 2015

What Takes So Long?

What has to happen between the time your book is acquired and it appears on the shelf?

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Here's a blog about promoting positive images of aging in children's literature.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Historical Fiction

What's the difference between historical fiction and nonfiction?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Starting Out

Chronicle Books gives advice for writers new to the children's book business.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bookstore Events

Here are some hints to having a successful bookstore visit.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Editorial Letter

You've received your single-spaced, multi-page editorial letter. Now what?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tinkering vs. Progress

Realize that not all revising is changing your book for the better--sometimes it's just changing the words.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Pacing Problems

How can you speed up or slow down the pacing of your book when needed? 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Literary Agents

There are both pros and cons to working with an agent new to the business.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Being an Easy Author

How can you show agents and editors you would be an easy author to work with?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Outlining Your Novel

Some advantages of creating an outline for your novel before writing.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Adult Characters

Take advantage of having adult characters in your novels to add to the story.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Waiting for Your Book's Release

There are many things to consider and tasks to do in the month's leading up to your book's release.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Facebook for Authors

Some things writers need to know when starting out with Facebook.

Friday, February 6, 2015

First vs. Third

Some things to consider when deciding which point of view to use for your novel.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Worksheets for Writers

Here are links to worksheets and checklists of use to writers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sound Devices

Use lyrical writing to make your stories sing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Adult

There are key differences between young adult and new adult novels.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Does your book need a prologue or are you just using one for an infodump?

Sunday, February 1, 2015


There's a fine line between having depth to your story and it being melodramatic.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Author Platforms

Does every author need to have a platform, and what is a platform anyway?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Creative Nonfiction

Even though a picture book is nonfiction, it should still have a story arc.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Public Speaking

Here are some hints to help you survive public speaking at an event.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On Submission

What actually happens when your agent says your book is "on submission."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Legal Music

Don't violate another artist's copyright when you create your book trailer.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Avoiding LGBTQ Stereotypes

How to make your young adult LGBTQ characters fully realized instead of being stereotypes.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Picture Book Structure

Having an idea for your picture book is just the beginning.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Ten reasons why your hero needs flaws.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Close Third Person

How far is the psychic distance in your third person novel?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Historical Novels

How much history should you put in your book to keep it a novel and not a textbook?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

First Chapter

How can you write the "perfect" first chapter?  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Guest Blogging

How to be asked to write posts for other people's blogs.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Follow this checklist and make your openings pop.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New Adult

If you write YA, you should learn about the next age up category--new adult.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Author Events

Whether at a bookstore, library, or school, these hints will help make your author visit a success.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book Bloggers

How do you work with book bloggers to get them interested in reviewing your book?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ageism in Kidlit

This blog promotes diversity of and respect for character age.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Point of View

Consider these pros and cons when choosing a viewpoint.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Outlining Your Novel

There are many advantages to outlining your novel before beginning to write.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Nonfiction Picture Books

True stories that would be perfect for picture books are all around us.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Debut Book

Everyone's experience is different on the publication of a debut book.

Friday, January 9, 2015

On Submission

What actually happens when your agent says your manuscript is on submission?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Editorial Letters

Your editorial letter has finally arrived. What do you do now?