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When Social Media Goes After Your Book, What’s the Right Response?

nytimes.com – Thursday February 7, 2019

The culture of internet book criticism is passionate and intense. Last week, Amélie Wen Zhao, a debut author, canceled her young adult fantasy novel after early readers accused her of racial insensitivity online. Here are two different perspectives from writers who have had similar experiences.

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Query the Agent(s)

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Monday January 28, 2019

How Many at a Time?

Writing the novel was easy—not! But now comes the hard(er) part. Getting an agent. Well, just take this trip one step at a time—or should I say several steps at time because you need to send out queries as if you were a query-packaging machine. 

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If I Hate Violence So Much, Why Do I Love Writing About It?

vulture.com – Thursday January 24, 2019

If anyone asks how I came to be obsessed with wrongdoing in all its most perverse manifestations, I always blame Sunday school. I think back to those weekly lessons in murder, jealousy, lust, betrayal, and revenge that made up an integral part of my childhood. My all-time favorite pulp classic is the biblical tale of King David, who sent a romantic rival to certain death on the battlefield because he’d slept with and impregnated the guy’s wife after spotting her bathing on a rooftop. I like to imagine what the lurid paperback cover for that story might look like: God made him a king. Lust made him a killer.

I recall this upbringing when I consider how exactly I ended up writing crime novels. I am a pacifist by nature — hell, I’m Canadian, which is halfway to being a Quaker — and I favor strong gun control, criminal-justice reform, and turning the other cheek over an eye for an eye. I also spend part of my days willingly and even enthusiastically imagining the most creatively gruesome methods for killing people. I’ve written three crime novels, and they aren’t parlor-room mysteries: Two of them star a gleefully murderous hit man as the hero and one centers on a community of criminals so vile that they’ve had their most brutal memories erased.

I’m definitely interested, maybe unhealthily so, in humanity’s darkest proclivities. Yet I’m also reliably shaken by tragedies like Parkland or the horrific recent story of Jayme Closs, a 13-year-old girl abducted from her home after watching her parents get murdered. I struggle to reconcile my aversion to real-world violence with my willingness to conjure it on the page. My mother, a very supportive and loving person who taught Sunday school, had this reaction when she finished my first novel: “I just kept wondering what kind of person could think of such things.” Me, Mom — I’m that kind of person. And I wonder about that, too.

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A Famous Sci-Fi Author Just Gave the Best Piece of Writing Advice You'll Read All Day

inc.com – Monday January 21, 2019

Is it possible to force inspiration?

Not really, but a famous science fiction author just gave some advice about being in the right place at the right time to receive it.

For anyone who writes for a living or who aspires to that calling, the advice will seem all-too-familiar. To those who are a little unsure about choosing writing as a profession or are just starting out, it's pure gold as far as how the process works.

That's right--writing is a process. I've always thought it felt like chiseling a statue, and you have to work hard to make it all turn into something genuinely useful.

Sir Philip Pullman is a famous author who wrote the trilogy His Dark Materials. Recently, another author asked a question on Twitter about how to find inspiration.

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J.K. Rowling ‘can’t stand’ following rules—here’s what she says to do instead if you want to succeed

cnbc.com – Monday January 21, 2019

J.K. Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” series and the Cormoran Strike mysteries, has sold over 500 million books. She was the second highest-paid author of 2018, managing to earn an astounding $54 million.

Famously, though, Rowling started out as a single mother surviving on state benefits. “I was jobless, a lone parent and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless,” she said in her 2008 Harvard commencement speech.

Rowling, now 53, didn’t turn her life around and get where she is today by abiding by conventional wisdom.

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7 Habits Of Successful Writers That You Should Copy Immediately

studybreaks.com – Sunday January 20, 2019

Most writers want to become well-known and make a living by writing, but you’ve probably heard it only happens to some people. Putting in the blood and sweat through a pen (or keyboard) will only get them so far, which can be discouraging. However, the hard work can pay off if writers continue to push themselves by practicing, aka writing, daily.

Do you ever wonder how your favorite author or poet became so popular? As a writer, you might want to be like them one day, which isn’t an uncommon thought. Of course, it won’t happen overnight, and it’ll require a lot of effort, but every writer has a chance to become just like J.K. Rowling or James Patterson. As some people laugh at your optimism to become a successful writer, you’ll have feelings of hopelessness, but the doubt of others can become your biggest motivator.

With these seven tips, you’ll be a few steps closer to being like the writer you admire.

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No, You Won't Be as Rich as Jay-Z (And Other Truths About Becoming a Published Author)

inc.com – Tuesday January 15, 2019

Becoming a published author is something a whole lot of people want to do--but very few people actually cross the finish line with a quality book they can be proud of.

Last year I wrote two novels. One has already been published by a small, independent publisher based in the Midwest. The second is another novel that will be published by a different publisher based in Austin, Texas.

Writing novels is a strange and incredibly difficult way to become a published author. There is no feeling more awkward than having to lie to your friends and family about what's based on real-life events and what isn't. That said, regardless of what type of book you write, writing books is really, really, really hard.

If you want 2019 to be the year you become a published author, here are a few things you need to know.

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5 Tips for Submitting Creative Writing

culturedvultures.com – Saturday January 12, 2019

A lot of people make New Year’s Resolutions to write more, and some even decide that they are going to submit for publication. Each type of writing has its own rules and norms when it comes to submitting to magazines and websites, but the more you practice, the better you will get at it. Here are our top five general tips for submitting creative writing and poetry – these apply to our Short Stories department here at Cultured Vultures, but they will also set you up for sending your work to all sorts of places.

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7 Publishing Insights Revealed By Last Year's Top 100 Bestselling Books

forbes.com – Saturday January 5, 2019

In the opening days of 2019, the publishing industry is looking towards the future. Popular predictions include the continued rise of audiobookspolitical non-fictionbooks clubs and the niche subscription service model. But the past still has a lot to say. Here are what fascinating publishing industry insights were just revealed by a new list of the U.K.'s top 100 print bestsellers across fiction and non-fiction alike.

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Does It Pay to Be a Writer?

nytimes.com – Saturday January 5, 2019

Writing has never been a lucrative career choice, but a recent study by the Authors Guild, a professional organization for book writers, shows that it may not even be a livable one anymore.

According to the survey results, the median pay for full-time writers was $20,300 in 2017, and that number decreased to $6,080 when part-time writers were considered. The latter figure reflects a 42 percent drop since 2009, when the median was $10,500. These findings are the result of an expansive 2018 study of more than 5,000 published book authors, across genres and including both traditional and self-published writers.

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