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Branding: The Right Way vs. the Wrong Way

Painting of an R in a circle with text: Authors, Trademarks, & Ethics

A crazy story erupted on social media with the hashtag #cockygate involving authors, Amazon KDP, and trademark law. One author is attempting to prevent others from using a word in their book titles, as she mistakenly thinks our book titles are our brands.

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May 8, 2018

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Reader Connections, Fake Personas, and Catfishing

Yellow figurine on pile of fake coins with text: When Does "Fake" Become "Fraud"?

Many authors try to create a sense of friendship and connection to their readers. But some “authors” aren’t authors at all—they’re marketing people using ghostwriters and fake personas to trick readers into forming those connections.

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April 17, 2018

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Do You Share Your Work in Progress?

Keyboard button labelled "Share" with text: Do You Share Your Work in Progress?

The stereotype of a writer pounding away in isolation ignores how the online writing community gives us more options. We can work in secrecy or involve others by sharing our work in progress. There’s no right or wrong answer, but we should figure out which approach works better for us.

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August 23, 2016

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OnDemand Workshops & Blogging Basics

Starting line of a race with text: Blogging: How Do We Start?

On social media, I often encourage people to ask me questions. That’s not a superficial platitude. I am pathologically helpful, so when a reader asked for my advice about blogging, specifically how we would start and when we should get started, I decided to do a mega-link post with all my tips.

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October 14, 2014

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When Should We Start Building Our Platform?

Red flag with text: Don't Have a Platform? Red Flag!

In my post about book pirates and plagiarism, I mentioned that book bloggers and reviewers are now more wary of debut authors, especially those who are self-published. I don’t blame them. Some people out there are willing to do an insane amount of work to fake legitimacy. A book blogger […]

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August 6, 2013

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The New Face of Book Pirates: Plagiarists

Pirate skulls with text: Pirates and Plagiarism

Surprisingly, many authors haven’t bothered worrying about book pirates. They figured a few copies going to readers who never would have paid for them anyway didn’t matter. Heck, some authors even thought book pirates could be good for their career. Spread the word, appeal to more readers who might buy their […]

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July 30, 2013

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Behave…The Internet Never Forgets

Couple whispering secrets with text: Behave...The Internet Never Forgets

When we interact with people in real life, we’re often advised not to talk about politics or religion. Bringing up those emotionally charged topics is a good way to start arguments with strangers and friends alike. Yet I’ve seen countless authors, aspiring and published, break this rule online. If they’re […]

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January 24, 2013

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‘Tis the Season to Be Chaotic, Is Reblogging the Answer?

Chaotic colors with text: Is Reblogging an Easy Way to Handle Chaos?

I don’t know about anyone else, but this is a rough time to get any writing done. I did great throughout November for NaNoWriMo, but since then I think I’ve gotten in only 7,000 words. And most of those words were written the first weekend of December, right after NaNo […]

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December 20, 2012

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Fan Fiction to Published Book: A Case Study

Into the Dark cover image with text: ...And the Journey from Fan Fiction to Published Book

Last time, we discussed the different options for publishing a story that had its genesis in fan fiction: name-change-only, reworking, and rewriting. Whether we believe there’s ever a “right” way to publish a story that began as fan fiction (fanfic), authors who completely rewrite their story should be recognized for at least […]

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December 13, 2012

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