A month in Bali: Paradise or Purgatory?

We first came to Bali last year and spent two months. I enjoyed it, my wife didn’t. That was mostly my fault, for booking hotel rooms instead of villas so she could have a kitchen and her own space (living on a bed kind of sucks for weeks on end). I convinced her to come back. So far it’s not …

Read More »

The joy of personal branding – be someone worth following

how to be someone worth following

I’ve never put much thought into personal branding – I had a bunch of stuff I liked, but I couldn’t put them all together in way that made sense. My first header logo was a dumpster fire. I’ve had to learn to withhold enthusiasm, and add more space, because less is more. I’ve always focused on simple, minimal WordPress websites …

Read More »

Can you ever forgive me? Fraud and plagiarism in the publishing industry

This is a post about authenticity and craft vs. fraud and plagiarism, but it’s not a moral tirade. You can look elsewhere for that. The reason I don’t want to point fingers or make ultimatums is because ethical concerns often ignore market conditions. As we dig deeper into this subject, you’ll find I’m skeptical about demonizing certain tactics in indie …

Read More »

Velvet Buzzsaw: art is murder, and critics deserve brutal justice

Netflix’s Velvet Buzzsaw is a fun horror flick based on a nearly universally accepted belief about art: that “real art” is done for the passion, not the money. In this particular version, a dead artist’s paintings come to live and brutally murder his critiques. More than that, Jake Gyllenhaal as a snobby art critique, goes through a character arch of realizing …

Read More »

Why you should never hire a publicist for your book (do this instead)

book publicist and promotion

A common question I get in my private facebook group goes like this: “my book is published but I have zero sales and no visibility, and I don’t know anything about book marketing. Should I hire a publicist?” The short answer is NO. A book publicist or book launch specialist will often charge 10K or more, guarantee nothing and focus on …

Read More »

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 »

20+ Amazing Writing Retreats To Check Out This 2019!

writing retreats list for authors

With the new year comes a new set of writing workshops to participate in! If you’ve joined a workshop before and wish to join again, or if you’ve never tried joining a workshop and want to see what it can do for you, then this list might come in handy when helping you pick! There are all kinds of workshops …

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 »

7 empowering insights to help you have your best year ever

empowering insights for 2019

  I started this post in summer 2018 with the line: “I don’t feel ready to write this post, but I’m going to anyway.” But I didn’t publish it. Now at the end of 2018 I’m trying again, to see if I’ve figured this stuff out enough to share it with you. There’s something I want to say, or maybe …

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 »

A novel plot outline for your story (FREE fiction writing template!)

A few years ago I made the Plot Dot – 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 24 step chapter outline …

Read More »