Does marijuana help you write better? The Weed Experiment

marijuana creativity

I’m in Wash­ing­ton where recre­ational mar­i­juana is legal; which means I can go to the store and buy weed and smoke it at home and I’m not break­ing any laws. Although it still has a stigma as some­thing naughty and dan­ger­ous, artists and writ­ers have always sought out mind-altering expe­ri­ences or height­ened perception. In the time of the Cae­sars it ... Read More »

Why you should give up your publishing dream (and self-publish instead)

author fail

I attended sev­eral writer’s con­fer­ences this sum­mer, and was sur­prised by my findings. I’d been pic­tur­ing writ­ers as teenage girls writ­ing Twi­light fan fic­tion; turns out they are (mostly) 40 to 80 and usu­ally tech-averse. I’d thought self-publishing had become the obvi­ous choice for a plethora of rea­sons, but here were these authors who didn’t know any­thing about prepar­ing their ... Read More »

Actionable Inspiration Without Intimidation: A Review of Write it Forward 2014

jeff goins

This is a guest post by Jeff McK­in­ney; I was curi­ous about the Write it For­ward event and Jeff agreed to do a write-up I could share. On July 25–26, authors, speak­ers and cre­atives gath­ered in Atlanta for Write it For­ward fea­tur­ing best­selling author and writ­ing teacher Jeff Goins. The event was well orga­nized, inti­mate and deliv­ered great value for attendees. ... Read More »

How to set up an email list and autoresponder (that actually gets people to open and click!)


Every­body will tell you that start­ing an email list as soon as pos­si­ble is the #1 way to grow your plat­form and sell more of anything. But how does it really work? I’m not an expert on blog­ging or email mar­ket­ing, but this week I’m sit­ting in my sister’s apart­ment in Van­cou­ver BC and finally set­ting up my list the ... Read More »

August short story prompt: star crossed lovers

romance writing

I’m a cou­ple days late post­ing this — just a reminder, it’s not a con­test with prizes, but an event where par­tic­i­pa­tion helps improve your skills and may also boost your traf­fic and plat­form by giv­ing you some vis­i­bil­ity. And if I get enough qual­ity short sto­ries I’ll pub­lish as a lit­tle anthology. Romance is and will con­tinue to be ... Read More »

Is caring about people a waste of time? (AKA, is social media marketing worth it?)


I’m at a writ­ing con­fer­ence, and dur­ing just about every ses­sion, authors keep ask­ing the same questions. And they aren’t look­ing for answers. They are look­ing for per­mis­sion not to give a damn about their readers. They ask stuff like “I know I’m sup­posed to use Facebook/Twitter… but do I have to?” They say stuff like “I just want to ... Read More »

Ask me anything about publishing (please!)

book publishing

This week­end I’m attend­ing the Willamette Writer’s con­fer­ence in Port­land, Ore­gon. There are a whole bunch of great writ­ers who are begin­ning to think about pub­lish­ing, and they are ask­ing a lot of ques­tions. I know a lot about pub­lish­ing but I don’t often address the more com­mon or basic stuff (how to set up a Twit­ter account, how to ... Read More »

How to use BuzzFeed (or any other site) to grow your platform and sell more of anything

cat gifs

A minute ago I was search­ing for images for a book cover. That led to a cat gif, which led to a Buz­zfeed arti­cle called “16 things only spon­ta­neous peo­ple can relate to as told by cats.” I spent a few min­utes watch­ing short cat gifs. What’s not to like? They appeal to every­body (even if you’re not really “spontaneous”).   But when ... Read More »

Save a lot of money on book marketing

I’m speak­ing at a book mar­ket­ing event in Cleve­land on Sept. 8th, along with Johnny B. Tru­ant (of “Write, Pub­lish, Repeat.”) Jim Kukral, the orga­nizer and founder of Author Mar­ket­ing Club, is let­ting me offer friends a dis­count code for $49 off the con­fer­ence — plus life­time mem­ber­ship to Author Mar­ket­ing Club (a $295 value, which has a bunch of ... Read More »

Are your publishing fears valid? Yes. This is the solution.

sad girl

I got an email today from a wife help­ing her hus­band pub­lish and wor­ried about the book’s poten­tial suc­cess. Putting your book out there is scary. Spend­ing a lot of money and not earn­ing it back is a very valid fear. There are ways around it, but it’s mostly a gamble. You can mit­i­gate the risk by pro­duc­ing the book ... Read More »