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A writer's lament: Literary efforts are labors of love, but bittersweet

duluthnewstribune.com – Sunday March 6, 2016

Someday I’m gonna sit down, open my old files and figure out how many book signings, library talks, book festivals, craft fairs and book clubs I’ve attended over the 25 years I’ve been writing. In summary fashion, I can safely say I’ve been as far west as Calgary, Alberta, as far east as Youngstown, Ohio, as far north as Winnipeg, Manitoba, and as far south as Council Bluffs, Iowa.

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The mistakes writers make

barrowjournal.com – Thursday March 3, 2016

As an editor of a homeschool magazine, I get a lot of queries (i.e. “pitches” in the form of letters or e-mails) from writers wanting to write for us. I rarely respond to any of them because they rarely warrant a response. While I wish I could return each message with an instructional guide on how to make a proper pitch, it would be a waste of my time. Still, my heart goes out to these wannabe writers because many years ago, I didn’t know how to make a pitch either.

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Ross MacKenzie's whirlwind guide to writing mystery

theguardian.com – Wednesday March 2, 2016

When I first sat down to write The Nowhere Emporium, I didn’t really think of it as a mystery novel at all. It was just a story I knew I really wanted to tell. It began with the vision of an enchanted shop, a shop that moved around, appearing anywhere, at any time. But I didn’t know why this happened. So I wrote the rest of the book to find out. And as the story developed, I slowly realised that I was writing a mystery book.

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Things that nearly put me off writing my first novel

femalefirst.co.uk – Monday February 29, 2016

I don't know what the statistics are but I have a feeling that journalists don't automatically make very good fiction writers. It's a different part of the brain. And it's a different business model. When you're a journalist you write a thousand words or so are about someone, somewhere, something else. Very often, no personal opinion required. After a thousand words or so, you get paid. You park that feature and start on the next one. You also have an editor, mostly at the end of an email, saying (hopefully), 'thanks for that - good job'. And (hopefully) your byline will pop up somewhere. Both these are a journalistic equivalent of hearty pats on the back. Reasons to carry on.

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What Even Great Writers Do Badly: How to Up Your Game as an Author

huffingtonpost.com – Friday February 26, 2016

Literary agents often get a reputation for being cruel and heartless. It is true that not a one of us has escaped sending out many, many rejection letters. I am sure that there are a few slightly sadistic agents out there, but for the most part, authors, please know that we take no pleasure in saying no to you and your project!

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Sylvester Stallone's sneaky good writing advice

chicagonow.com – Monday February 22, 2016

I believe everyone has, at least, one story in their head that is begging to be put down on paper. Could be a novel, screenplay, non-fiction, memoir, a book of poems, doesn’t matter. We tell stories all the time, over dinner, over the phone, a good ol Facebook rant but when it comes time to open up a blank Word document, take a deep breath, something changes. The story ends at Once upon a time... 

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The Self-Publishers Guide to Marketing Author Blogs

publishersweekly.com – Saturday February 20, 2016

It’s great to see authors start blogs to help them build robust author platforms. Authors can write articles, create attractive sites, and post all their book and publicity information in one place. But too often this strategy just doesn’t work, because if you want people to visit your blog, you’re going to have to market your blog.

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What Happens When You Burn Out on Writing?

io9.gizmodo.com – Saturday February 20, 2016

Elizabeth Bear is one of those authors who seems like an incredible writing machine. She’s put out a huge number of books in the past 10 years, winning tons of acclaim along the way. But in a brave post on Charles Stross’ blog, she talks about the cost of being that prolific.

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4 Ways Good Editors Improve the Freelance Writing Experience

skyword.com – Thursday February 18, 2016

Hey, you. Yeah, you right there. How many editors do you work with? If you’re freelance writing for a couple of Skyword programs plus creating content for other brands, the answer is probably at least a couple. You don’t have to name names, but you likely enjoy working with some (or even just one) more than others. That’s just human nature.

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Yes, You Can Get a Book Deal

huffingtonpost.com – Saturday February 13, 2016

Back in October, I wrote a post about my efforts to write a book, my take on the publishing industry, and my desire to get a book deal. The reaction was fascinating and in some cases, very emotional. First, I learned that there's a tremendous amount of underlying bitterness about the publishing business from unpublished authors. Second, many folks believe self-publishing is the way to go because traditional publishing is broken, and self-published authors can get a better share of the profits. And third, many folks believe it's impossible for an unknown writer to get a deal.

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