Posted by: Kerry Gans | May 3, 2012

Top Picks Thursday 05-03-2012

On May 29th, The Author Chronicles will celebrate its One Year Anniversary! To thank all of our readers who have made this first year so successful, we’ll be having a contest with some fantastic prizes, so stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.

Librarian Sondra Eklund gives a peek into all the different ways librarians help people.

Joseph L. Mankiewicz advises what to do when your villain becomes a bore.

Roger Colby combed through J.R.R. Tolkien’s letters and culled 10 tips for writers.

Meanwhile, Elspeth Antonelli reminds us that taking time to relax will help our writing flow.


Sometimes, just getting started writing is the hardest part of the process. Liza Palmer shares 5 tips to starting (and finishing) your novel; Krissy Brady tells how to break through your busy schedule and get projects rolling; and Roni Loren lists the 6 pre-writing steps that work for her.

Mary Kole tells us how to know when you’ve started your novel in the right spot, and Roni Loren returns with 5 steps to testing your opening scene.

When you’ve finally gotten rolling and near the end of your manuscript, Therese Walsh brings us a roundup of Writer Unboxed advice about “the end.”

Writers’ Village tells how to craft a “real” fictional world, and Marcy Kennedy goes deeper by exploring the use of smell in novels.

L.B. Gale shares how to create distinctive character voices, while Orson Scott Card discusses the minor character’s role in our novels.

Broca’s Area brings us 10 writing mistakes, and since we all make mistakes, Merry Farmer shares how to be critiqued without breaking down into tears.

The final revisions of a novel can be painful. Rachelle Gardner tells us how to cut thousands of words without pain, and Gina Conroy lists some tips to remember before submitting the manuscript.

Clint Archer explains how to write a memoir short story; Electric Monkey discusses why female characters should be remembered for more than their love interests; and Brian A. Klems asks, “Can you ‘read’ and audiobook?

Jami Gold shares her first pitching experience and asks what’s the hardest “first step” you’ve ever taken. Lara Schiffbauer reminds us that most pressure comes from within, and it can be either debilitating or energizing. Daphne Gray-Grant shares her writing manifesto, and Chuck Wendig talks writing revelations and leading a story-focused life.


If, like Jane Dystel, you feel the DOJ settlement is unnecessarily onerous to publishers and bookstore, she talks about what you can do to soften the DOJ settlement terms.

Kristen Lamb contends that Big Six publishing is dead, and the future belongs to the Massive Three: Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.

Speaking of Amazon and Microsoft: The Passive Voice addresses the ongoing battle between Amazon and the publishers, while Philip Elmer-DeWitt outlines how Amazon is throwing its weight around now. Publisher’s Weekly sketches out the new Barnes & Noble-Microsoft digital partnership.

And here’s a video of the Liars Club panel on publishing at 2011 Collingswood Book Festival, with insight into all things publishing.

If you’re going with a traditional publisher, you’ll likely need an agent to get a foot in the door. Michelle Krys’ YA/MG Agent series recently highlighted Sarah LaPolla of Curtis Brown. The Atlantic’s Jen Doll, meanwhile, attempted to define Young Adult and what makes it tick.

Query letters and manuscript submissions often give writers palpitations. Agent Jennifer Laughran gives her opinion on what font to use in manuscripts, and Carmen DeSousa shows how a small change in the right place can make the difference between acceptance and rejection.

And if you get that coveted publishing contract, be very, very clear about the reversion clauses. Victoria Strauss lays out what to look for in a reversion clause, especially in this age when ebooks can mean nothing ever goes “out of print.”

Whoever hold the right to the book, we’ve all got to market. Alison DeLuca lists what should be in an author’s press kit for book review submission, while Ash Krafton talks how to write a press release.

Jane Friedman gives us 2 questions to memorize for networking events; Tonya Kappes tells us how to keep your readers one series at a time; and Nick Thacker outlines how to find the perfect audience for your book, and sell it to them.

Everyone stresses social media as the silver bullet for marketing, but Stephanie Chandler lists the top 10 reasons why your social media marketing efforts aren’t working.

As to social media itself, Ariel Cummins explores Goodreads from a reader’s perspective; Steve Kovach lists 13 tips to make the most of LinkedIn, and Jody Hedlund discusses why writers need to seriously consider Pinterest.

The indie vs. traditional debate rages on, and Melissa Foster wonders what all the fuss is about: aren’t we all writers? Andrew Jack reminds us that it doesn’t matter how we’re published—we’re all self-promoted these days.

Terrence King tells us how to avoid a self-publishing nightmare, and Rachelle Gardner asks us all to seriously consider is we are really ready to face life as a published author.


Charles Wheelan shares 10 things your commencement speaker won’t tell you (but are good to know).

Flavorwire brings us the incredible 10 gorgeous buildings made out of BOOKS!

And for those of you with a monkey obsession, the British Library brings you Monkeys in the Margins, while Mnemosyne shows us a monkey in the margin with a wax tablet.

That’s all for this first Thursday in May! Keep an eye out for our upcoming anniversary contest details!


  1. You’ve got some great links here! Thanks so much for including mine! I love the book buildings. What patience it must have taken to stack all those books! I also have to head over to Roni Loren’s blog and check out her pre-writing tips…


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