Category: Tips

Authors: The Importance of a Website

Being an author is a profession. Writing is a part of it, like bricklaying for a bricklayer. Having a profession makes you a professional. You need to look the part. You need your readers to know you’re not a wannabe. You. Are. An. Author. A website is a must. Not a webpage on someone else’s site. It needs to be your own domain. It … Read More Authors: The Importance of a Website

Authors: Your Target Reader

As a writer, we often write to please ourselves. And so we should. WE are our own target readers. We grow and develop. We start gaining fans. At first they’re generic friends and family who love us, therefore love everything we do. But it’s not good enough to just have fans. We can’t write a children’s book and expect everyone to like it or … Read More Authors: Your Target Reader

The Care and Feeding of Agents

The first thing you need to know is that agents are business people. They need to make money just like the construction worker down the street. Just like an office manager, or a boutique owner. They make contacts in the publishing world just like a dress manufacturer makes contacts with warehouses and stores. They are the middle links, the facilitators. Nothing more. They don’t … Read More The Care and Feeding of Agents

Fermentation

Like a fine wine or a busty microbrew, a good novel should ferment. That’s what On The Sly is doing right now. I’ve finished the fourth draft (it takes as many drafts as it takes, sorry), and now it’s just sitting there, waiting for me to forget all my little thoughts about it. All my hopes and despairs. It ferments so I can look … Read More Fermentation

Of Writers and Authors

There’s a difference between writers and authors. Do you know the difference? Most people think of living alternate lives. They watch a movie or have an exciting thought, and that old ‘what if?’ comes out. More often than not, so does a writing device, just because who wants to lose the thought? That makes you a writer. Are you published or not? If so, … Read More Of Writers and Authors

Losing Perspective

I stand by the window this morning, coffee in hand, watching the clouds scud over the mountains. I can barely see them because it’s still mostly dark, but there’s a pale light on the horizon to the east. That sliver of brilliant color turns the clouds from invisible dark-on-dark to charcoal on near black burgandy. The morning go-to-work crowd rushes past the house in … Read More Losing Perspective

Preparing for Publication

The key to turning out good stuff is rewriting.  The key to grinding it out is consistency. – Forrest McDonald Let’s just assume you have a killer idea for a story or article. You have great, multi-faceted characters against a dramatic backdrop. You KNOW it’s going to sell. What now? How do you get the manuscript ready for publication? These are the steps I … Read More Preparing for Publication

Tip #13

When people come see you at a show, reading, signing, whatever, give them something to take home. I use bookmarks. Who doesn’t need more of those? I’m always losing mine. And they’re pretty, too. Most people have gotten so used to logos on their clothes, or on nearly everything they own. They won’t throw them away. These are things they’ll see when I’m not … Read More Tip #13

Tip #12

When your body doesn’t feel good, your brain doesn’t either. It can get distracted. Depressed. Dull. Eat well. Exercise. Keep your story-making machine well maintained.

Tip #11

From the moment you first set out to write a story for publication, you become a public figure, a celebrity. People applaud you, fawn over you, tell you how wonderfully clever you are. Most people can see themselves writing a book someday. They relate to you. They want to be you. But that will end quickly if you are unlikable. It will hurt your … Read More Tip #11

Tip #10

Publishing is a business. They want to make money. No-brainer, right? Yet, I hear lots of people say they can’t get a publisher. Or they write better than so-and-so, but can’t get a representative. My first advice is to look at your manuscript. Is it grammatically correct? Does it have lots of spelling mistakes? Do all your characters sound the same? Is it descriptive? … Read More Tip #10

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