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What Makes You Decide to Buy a Book?

Paint chip samples

My to-be-read pile is scary.  Seriously scary.  Like I-might-need-to-check-into-a-program-soon scary. In the past year, I’ve accumulated over 100 print books.  And just since Christmas, when I received my Kindle, I’ve downloaded about 20…er, maybe 30…hmm, possibly more…Kindle books. Honestly, most of those books I got for free, either from giveaways or contests.  I’m a book […]

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June 16, 2011

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Have You Posted Your Work Online?

Chain and padlock securing double doors

Some people post their work online all the time.  Photographers have Shutterstock.  Artists have deviantART.  Non-fiction authors often base their books on their blog posts. What about fiction authors?  That’s a little trickier.  We’re not talking about flash fiction, blog hop entries, and the like here.  If we limit the discussion to novels—our babies—it’s harder […]

June 14, 2011

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How Do You Choose Blog Topics?

Multiple choice questionnaire

In case you missed it, Kristen Lamb started a debate with her post yesterday—Sacred Cow-Tipping–Why Writers Blogging About Writing is Bad.  A collective whine went up from the writing community.  “No blogging about writing?  Then what are we supposed to blog about?” *raises hand*  I was right there with the crowd, joining in the hyperventilating.  What […]

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June 9, 2011

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Branding 101: To Pen Name or Not to Pen Name

Three theater masks

When we think of pen names, we often consider the privacy or marketing aspects and assume that means using a name completely different from our real name, such as Samuel Clemens writing as Mark Twain.  But they can also address the need to make our names more distinctive and Google-able.

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June 7, 2011

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Branding 101: Be Google-able

Pen resting on signature line

If someone does a Google search on our author name, will they find us? This issue comes up more frequently now as writers want to know if they should have a website and/or blog before they’re published.  That’s a complicated question that doesn’t have an easy answer.

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June 2, 2011

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Branding 101: Online Brand vs. Author Brand

Brand name tag on Levi's jeans

Brand.  Platform.  Social media presence.  How many of us cringe at those words?  Whatever happened to the days when writers could simply write? But the truth is that as soon as we’re sociable as a writer, whether online with Twitter or in real life at a conference, we’re forming our brand.  Branding is something that […]

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May 31, 2011

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Do Stories Need a Theme?

Disney's California Adventure theme park

Earlier this week, Julie Musil had a great post about how to create story endings that resonate.  I almost wrote an epic comment to her post, but decided to save my wordiness for here.  And I get to use one of my vacation pictures—Disney’s California Adventure theme park, get it?  *snicker* To answer the question […]

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May 26, 2011

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Re-Envisioning: How to Fix Big Problems with Small Changes

Stack of pipes reflecting light like a flower with text: Revisions: Find a Different Perspective

We’ve heard of rewriting, revising, and even re-imagining, but what does “re-envisioning” mean?  I recently came across the word in a great post by Juliette Wade about how to redo a scene without rewriting. When a scene isn’t working, it’s tempting to blame the scene and get rid of it.  Sometimes, that’s for the best. […]

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May 24, 2011

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What Should We Do with Blog Awards?

Write Hard award

Sometimes it still comes as a shock to me that anyone visits my blog and cares about what I have to say.  So when I received my first blog award, I was completely unprepared. My first thought was of being tremendously flattered.  I think my exact reaction was, Me? Seriously? That thought was quickly followed […]

May 19, 2011

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What Disneyland Can Teach Us about World-building

Puzzle of globe

First, I want to thank J.A. Paul and Rachel Firasek for their guest posts.  I had fun with their interviews and I hope you all did too. Yes, I’m back from a fun, exhausting trip to Disneyland.  And yes, my vacation inspired a blog post.  You’re not surprised, are you? Anyone who has visited a […]

May 17, 2011

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