7 (Bad) Habits of Highly Successful Authors

7 (Bad) Habits of Highly Successful Authors I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a snippet: We spend a lot of time on this blog giving you tips on becoming a successful author. But what if you have a few… shall we say… weaknesses? Can you have a few bad habits and still succeed? The truth is, we’re all just muddling along. Even the most successful of us have habits or traits we know we shouldn’t. Nobody is doing everything exactly right. So below are what I think are the most common foibles to which many writers fall prey… and somehow they are still able to succeed. I give you this list not so you can gloat and feel superior (not for more than a minute anyway) but so that, if you happen to have any of these particular traits, you now know, unequivocally, that you can no longer...

Are You Only as Good as Your Worst Book?

Are You Only as Good as Your Worst Book? I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview. You may have noticed that there are now far more books available to readers than ever before in history. The rise of digital publishing has led to a tenfold increase in the number of books published each year, from about 300,000 to more than 3 million. In this crowded field, discoverability is the biggest challenge for an author. You must grapple with the question of how your readers will find you. Therefore, keeping readers once you’ve snagged them is essential. You want readers to finish your book and immediately want more. You don’t want to have to keep wooing them over and over. You want to win them and make permanent fans of them. Once you lose those fans—disappoint them with a book that’s...

11 Questions for Crafting a Pitch

11 Questions for Crafting a Pitch I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: As a writer, you’re always going to find it necessary to “sell your stuff.” To do that, you need to create those all important sales materials for your book: The one-sentence summary. The query. The pitch paragraph. The elevator pitch. The proposal. I want to focus on fiction here today (since our blog survey revealed 78% of you are writing fiction!) So, how do you create those sales materials for a novel? The main elements of a fiction pitch are: The main character Their choice, conflict, or goal What’s at stake (may be implied) Action Setting But it’s still hard figuring out exactly the right way to pitch. You have to simplify your story and pitch a single plot thread and as few...

When Editing Goes Wrong

When Editing Goes Wrong I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: A couple of weeks ago I told you what the editorial process typically looks like inside a publishing house. Sometimes the editing is smooth and wonderful, but not always. Today I wanted to talk about what to do when it gets rocky. As a writer, you care deeply about your words and you’ve tried to get them just right. Hence your first encounter with an editor might be a little daunting. When they send you pages and pages of notes for revisions, you might be overwhelmed, depressed, and demoralized. Take heart… this is normal! I recommend you enter the editorial process with a humble and teachable spirit. The editing process is a terrific opportunity to learn how to improve your writing. But what if your editor...

Take Our Reader Poll

http://www.rachellegardner.com//HLIC/74e11a29fef5792d6739b7c188ceac44.jpg Over at Books & Such, we’re running the 2014 Books & Such Reader Survey. If you’d like to chime in, please click through to share your thoughts. Click here to take the survey. The survey is anonymous, but if you leave a comment on today’s post on the Books & Such blog, you’ll be entered in a random drawing for a $25 Starbucks gift card. Just our way of saying thank you for participating. When you comment, please feel free to share additional thoughts or suggestions about our blog. The survey will be open for 7 days so please respond by Tuesday, May 20, 2014. Thank you for letting us hear your voice! ~Click the Starbucks logo to take the survey.~ Click HERE to get to today’s post at Books & Such to leave a comment.   Be Sociable, Share! ...

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