Derek Murphy

Hey there! I'm a philosophy dropout and book cover designer with a PhD in Literature. After spending a decade as a starving artist, I vowed to create the life of freedom my restless spirit demands. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write young adult fantasy novels and do a few editorial critiques to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles. FREE GUIDE: Book Marketing is Dead.

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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. …

Read More »

Free fiction writing template to help you outline your novel (Word, PDF, Scrivener, Google Docs, Open Office)

A few years ago I made the Plot Dot (now free on Amazon!) – my simple 8 step outline for writing novels, with the major dramatic twists most stories need to hit. I always wanted a more in-depth plotting outline and cheatsheet, but there’s so many conflicting story structures out there… this week however, I managed to put together a …

Read More »