Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book editor turned book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors write and publish bestselling books. FREE GUIDE: Sell your work without selling out.

How to Identify and Understand Your Target Audience as an Author (And Why This is Crucial)  

identify your target audience

Recently someone in one of my Facebook groups wrote how frustrated she was that her books weren’t selling, and she had no idea why. This is almost always because the book isn’t designed to sell to the right audience. What genre is it? Scifi? Fantasy? Contemporary? This has to be immediately clear from the cover and blurb, and you should …

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The six signs of weak writing (how to tell if your book sucks)

the six signs of weak writing

I made this video in the last few days of Thailand, while in the process of reviewing several dozen applications to write with me – to be fair, none of the samples we received “sucked” … some were infuriatingly “good”, but didn’t hold my attention, were too wordy, trying too hard, overwritten and distracting. I boiled it down to six …

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Dear BookBub, I’m breaking up with you

When I first started writing fiction, I needed someone to believe in me. I was ecstatic to get my first BookBub deal – a deal that helped me get 20,000 downloads for book one in my series and earn $8,297 in the same month. I thought I’d made it. Together, we were unbeatable. But now you’re always busy with other …

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30 Writing Tips from Charles Dickens That Will Help You Have a Merry Christmas

Last year we visited the Charles Dickens house in London, which is when we found out there was a 2017 movie about the author’s life called The Man Who Invented Christmas. I only watched it recently – it’s available on Amazon Prime – and then I watched it again and took notes. These are tips based on the movie; few of …

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Nanowrimo Prep: accountability and motivation for authors

nanowrimo preparation guide motivation

For years I’ve been wishing for some kind of automated, daily accountability to keep me inspired and motivated – and I’ve heard a lot of other authors asking for the same thing. The problem is, writing can be a very personal goal, and sometimes it’s hard to self-motivate, especially if nobody else really cares about what you’re trying to do. …

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