Author Ethics and Utilitarianism (Or, “Why Authors are Bad People”)


Tonight I read with inter­est two posts about Author Ethics. This one by Jane Steen on argues that while indie authors often lament (and admit to be chal­lenged by) qual­ity issues, the equally impor­tant issue of Author Ethics is ignored. The con­cept of “Author Ethics” refers mainly to bull­shit book reviews; a con­tro­ver­sial topic that I love dis­cussing, even ... Read More »

How BookTrope made me realize the publishing industry are all pirates


Can some­one explain Book­trope to me? I don’t get it. It looks like peo­ple can vol­un­teer to be part of a cre­ative time to pro­duce the book, then earn a per­cent­age of the sales rev­enue (and, appar­ently they only pub­lish qual­ity books that the com­mu­nity has sup­ported, which means a bet­ter chance of revenue.) If I design the book cover ... Read More »

This one easy trick will get you on the New York Times Bestseller lists

market your book

I’m lis­ten­ing to a School of Great­ness Pod­cast with Tucker Max about book mar­ket­ing. Tucker is one of only 3 authors ever to have three non-fiction books on the NYT best­seller list at the same time. When he started writ­ing, he was rejected by every sin­gle agent and pub­lisher in town. So he started blog­ging, built an audi­ence and the ... Read More »

How to use Kindle pre-orders to pre-sell your self-published book

book magic

I was excited that Kin­dle finally set up a pre-order option on KDP, which means self-publishing authors can finally com­pete with main­stream books by sell­ing pre-orders. Pre-orders are great because you can build buzz and start talk­ing about/selling your book before it’s really all pol­ished up and ready to go. In addi­tion (I believe) all the sales count on the ... Read More »

Is your book cover designer lazy and unethical? (Stock photography and cover clones/cliches AGAIN)


I wrote recently about how and why book cover designs should be clichés, most of the time, because you always want to fit into a genre and appeal to the style con­ven­tions that are being used: you want peo­ple to rec­og­nize what your book is about. No, they won’t say, “Gee that looks inter­est­ing, but I have no idea what ... 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 »