Winners! Chuck Sambuchino and the Writers Digest team have chosen the three winners of the Worst Storyline Ever Contest 2.0. Here are the winners, and their winning Worst Storylines. Drum roll please…   Linda Hofke After his wife leaves him, an old, bald, former 80s rock star goes on a quest to reunite with his first love— his hair–but is he brave enough to endure a hair transplant or must he settle for a cheap wig in order to sport those big, long locks once again? Jennifer Ruth Jackson Karl wants nothing more than to watch the kitchen linoleum curl all summer long but, when his wife insists on doing a time-lapse project of the event, Karl’s “me time” becomes a forced “we time” he soon resents. Lyndsay Johnson When a family intervention forces hemophobic vampire...

5 Things To Do Before Hiring a Freelance Editor

5 Things To Do Before Hiring a Freelance Editor More writers are hiring editors these days, whether they’re going indie or just making sure the manuscript is polished before submitting to agents and publishers. If you’re a newer writer, unpublished, here are some things I think you should do before spending your hard-earned money on a freelance editor. (1) Get objective feedback. It’s best to have a critique group or partner, if possible. Try to get the most honest feedback you can—not on grammar and punctuation, but on the overall content of your book. Are readers finding the book engaging? Are they reading to the end? Are they confused? (2) Edit & revise your book using reputable sources. Find fiction resources HERE. My favorites for the revision phase are Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne &...

What the Heck is Content Marketing?

What the Heck is Content Marketing? I’m always talking with authors about marketing their books and growing their platforms. It’s a challenge for most writers, who are constantly trying to figure out the formula for gathering more fans (i.e. potential book-buyers).   While writers typically don’t love the idea of marketing their books, ironically they’re more suited to it than many other kinds of business people these days. (Click to Tweet this.) Why? Because today the #1 strategy for marketing in every kind of business is CONTENT MARKETING.   And what is this newfangled, businessy sounding term?   According to Content Marketing Institute:   Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to...

OMG! What if B&N Closes?

OMG! What if B&N Closes? “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” So said Mark Twain in 1897, and I’m wondering if Barnes & Noble might be saying the same thing right about now.   Over the last week, an article by Michael Levin has been making the rounds, causing fear and trembling among certain groups of authors and publishing folks.  Syndicated on news websites all over the U.S., Levin’s article predicts that Barnes & Noble may close all the rest of their stores by the end of the year. It proposes five reasons for B&N’s demise, and goes on to lament the awful tragedy this would be. (You can read a version of the article HERE.)   I just want to add my two cents to the pot:   Everybody, get a grip.   1. We’ve known for a long time that...

Books Covers and My Experience with 99 Designs

Books Covers and My Experience with 99 Designs Whether you’re self-publishing or working with a publisher, creating an effective book cover is extremely important. I’ve worked with publishers on hundreds of covers, and now I have the experience of working with designers on the cover of my own first e-book. From my perspective, the single most important thing to understand about book covers is:   Getting a powerful, appealing, and appropriate cover design is vital, and it’s more difficult than you might think.   Why is it so hard? First, it’s so subjective. One person’s great design is another’s “fail.” Second, it’s more than just creating an image you like—you should take into account the psychology behind what makes a cover appealing to the intended audience....

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