Welcome to this week’s link roundup! With Hanukkah’s coinciding with Thanksgiving this year, we missed the opportunity to share these beautiful Medieval manuscript images of the Festival of Lights with you.
As we barrel toward the end of the year, the “Best of” lists come out. Explore put together the best psychology and philosophy books of the year, while BuzzFeed has the 14 greatest science fiction books of the year. Speaking of science fiction, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner explain why everyone should read more science fiction.
Pictures in books are undeniably powerful. In fact, the 1956 picture book Your Police affected new NYC Police Commissioner William J. Bratton so deeply that he takes it to his work—and press conferences; Bloomsbury is planning to publish all seven Harry Potter books with full-color illustrations by Jim Kay; and eBay launches a dedicated marketplace for digital comics.
The stereotype of librarians is often as old-fashioned Luddites, but in actuality librarians are often the technology leaders in schools.
We talk often about diversity in literature, and Geena Davis offers two easy steps to make your scripts and stories less male-dominated.
For fun, find out which literary heroine you are. (Guys can apparently play, too, since it does ask what gender you are!)
There’s so much that goes into crafting a great story. Starting at the beginning, there is Prologue. Agents and editors tend not to like them…unless they are done well. Becca Puglisi shows us prologue done right. Then there’s description, which can be totally overdone, like a bad holiday sweater. Getting the right balance is key.
Janice Hardy talks about creating conflict and raising the stakes—and how to set up tension in your novel. Jami Gold shows how to strengthen emotions in our writing that result from the conflict and tension.
Your characters are the lynchpins of your story. K.M. Weiland looks at how the antagonist affects the character arc, while Bridget McNulty discusses how posture can affect the way readers view your character. How your characters speak tells readers a lot about them—why not have them speak in a secret language evolved in a closed society?
James Scott Bell reminds us that first and foremost, writers must be storytellers; K.M. Weiland debunks the myth of being in the writing zone; and Elizabeth S. Craig asks: do you keep the material you cut from your novels?
We can learn a great deal from famous authors: check out this visualization of famous authors’ sleep habits vs. literary productivity; this peek at great writers’ daily routines; and author’s outlines of classic books.
Of course, the key is to find a process that works for you—and everyone is different. Authors Jamie Lee Moyer, Tricia Goyer, and Bradley Spinelli share 7 things they’ve learned so far in their careers; Sinead Moriarty lists her top 5 writing tips; and Erika Marks has the 4 best and worst things that affected her writing career.
James Altucher gives us 5 ways to do nothing and become more productive, while Wil Wheaton reminds us that not everyone is going to like the things you make—and that’s okay.
As the holiday season thunders toward its end, booksellers are wary about holiday sales.
In this era when so many authors are their own publishers, Susan Spann educates us on what copyright is and what rights it encompasses, in the first installment of a series. Also, Stef Mcdaid provides layout tips and Word templates for Kindle and epub to make ebook-making easier.
We want to get our work out there fast, and monetize it as much as possible. Joel Friedlander finishes his series on The Future of Expert Authors with his breakdown of the sideways table of contents, and how to turn that into a training course rather than just a book.
Once you’ve got the product, Jane Friedman explains the art and business of reader engagement and author platform, while Thomas Umstattd has 7 things Santa can teach us about book marketing. C.S. Lakin does an awesome experiment to see if genre is more important to sales than author platform (the results are amazing!).
We’ve talked here about being wary about what images you use in your blogs, because even accidental copyright infringement can get you in big trouble. The British Library has put one million images (with metadata) from its collection into the public domain.
THE UNIQUE SHELF
In the spirit of the season, browse through Charles Dickens’ manuscript for A Christmas Carol.
Speaking of dead authors, meet the liveliest dead authors online today.
Ever want to live inside some of the famous literary houses? Here’s the floor plans for some famous houses from literature. And although we may want to live in literary houses, would we really want to live in a novel? Here’s 9 signs you might be living in a YA novel.
Claire Fallon gives us 8 unexpected places to find your next favorite book.
For the Medievalists in our audience, check out this full facsimile of Mabillon’s 17th century travel notes, and these amazing tiny Medieval books.
That’s it for us this week! For all who celebrate, have a Merry Christmas!