Posted by: Kerry Gans | July 28, 2011

Top Picks Thursday 7-28-2011

More details of the Writers’ Bash benefit for L.A. Banks, hosted by the Liars Club, at Smokey Joe’s on 8/6 in Philadelphia. New auctions being added all the time – including a scholarship to the Backspace Conference in NYC! Keep checking in for updated auction items!

SCBWI Eastern PA hosts top agents and editors critiquing your work in Lancaster on September 9-10. Register now!

CRAFT

Character drives most books—after all, if the reader doesn’t care about the character, why would he stick around for the ride? Child psychologist Sarah Fine talks about her systematic technique for creating character arc and staying true to the character even when it would be easier as the author not to. Sady Doyle’s wonderful satire of Harry Potter brings up the question: Who is more heroic? The hero who is born “special,” or the hero who overcomes being ordinary to do extraordinary things?

Author Gerri George’s guest blog yesterday opened the way for “untraditional” resources to deepen your description—no matter what genre or style you write.

Author Carmela Martino discusses how “reading like a writer” can improve your writing, while Eric at Pimp My Novel lists 10 tips he’s learned about writing.

Writers have plenty of obstacles to overcome—and a lot of them are self-imposed. Donna Galanti interviews Jerry Waxler, who talks about bringing self-help to writers and reaching out to form writing communities. One common obstacle is being afraid to step outside your comfort zone—but you’ll never fly if you don’t try.

BUSINESS

We all know that everything in the publishing world is changing. CNNMoney looks at the outlook for independent bookstores in a post-Borders world. The New York Times points out that publishers are bringing paperbacks to market faster. And who needs those pesky publishers anyway? Just crowd fund your book! Crowdbooks offers financing and self-publishing help for photo-based books.

And Fingers Murphy, a lawyer, talks about contract issues every author needs to be aware of regarding non-compete and right of first refusal clauses.

We’ve all had the urge to send out a manuscript that wasn’t ready yet. Jane Lebak explains why you should hold your fire.

For those audiobook lovers out there, Sarah Debraski shares insider information from watching Maureen Johnson’s book The Name of the Star being made into an audiobook read by Nicola Barber.

Author Laura Pauling discusses what self-promotion means–and why every author needs it, even if they are traditionally published. Author Dianne K. Salerni shares her strange but enlightening public reading experience at Steampunk Ball Dorian’s Parlor.

We could not talk about the publishing business today without touching on social media. Jane Friedman discusses the benefits of diversifying your online presence, while Backspace gives us a round-up about the newest hot platform, Google+. And for those of you who can’t take it anymore, author Heather Webb discusses where to draw the line when navigating the social media tsunami.

That’s it for today – we’ll be back on Tuesday with our regular posting!

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