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How Bad Is Plagiarism?

Broken doorknob from a forced entry crime

(Read below for updates.) Recently, a thief broke into my brother’s house.  They weren’t home, so no one was physically hurt.  However, the shock of the crime still caused emotional pain. The thief didn’t take too much, mostly just small things he could carry, but now they wonder if the […]

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October 18, 2011

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What Does It Take to Sell Books?

Old-fashioned cash register

Subtitle: Über Blogging, True Fans, or ??? In case you haven’t heard, recent statements by agents have started a kerfuffle over whether blogging is a waste of time for most writers.  The first I heard of it was through agent Wendy Lawton’s post, What’s Not Working, where she says: “I wouldn’t recommend a […]

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October 13, 2011

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Are All Writers Delusional?

Question marks around a face

My first sarcastic impulse is to answer that question with “Duh.”  Writers have to be somewhat delusional to pursue a career that has such a minuscule chance of financial success.  (Not to mention that fiction writers exist in a constant state of make-believe.)  But there are different styles of delusion. There’s the […]

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September 29, 2011

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Should We Do Guest Posts?

Red carpet running up lots of steps

Last week turned into an interesting demonstration on the benefits of guest posts.  We’ve heard the typical reasons for allowing guests or agreeing to guest post: * increased traffic * networking * and marketing. We bring in guests and hope their readers will stay at our blog for a while, […]

September 27, 2011

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Religion in Novels: Terrific or Taboo? — Guest: Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund picture

I’m excited to share today’s guest post with you because in addition to being a lovely person, Jody Hedlund runs a fantastic blog for writers.  As if that wasn’t enough, she’s also graciously arranged for a book giveaway of her latest release, The Doctor’s Lady (see bottom of post for details). Jody writes historical […]

September 22, 2011

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Are All Distractions Bad?

Most writers have day jobs and families to take care of, so our writing time is precious.  Yet the hour we had set aside for writing instead often goes to…something else. I’m no exception.  I’ve spent too much “writing time” playing on Twitter or reading blog posts, etc. Sometimes I […]

August 30, 2011

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What Does Your Author Bio Say about You?

Hand offering a blank business card

I’ll be going on the road for some upcoming blog posts while I endure enjoy time with extended family.  Wish me luck. One of my guest blog hosts also asked me to provide my “author bio.”  Uh-oh.  I thought I wouldn’t need that until I was published. But if we […]

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August 16, 2011

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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 […]

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June 16, 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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