Posted by: Kerry Gans | January 9, 2014

Top Picks Thursday 01-09-2014

Welcome to our first full Top Picks Thursday of the year! I hope all of our readers are weathering the cold well.

Dan Holloway asks: what do you want from writing in 2014?; Alice Leiper starts a new page for a new year; and J. Rose Allister shares 6 resolutions to make you a better writer.

Beth Bacon has a vision of the future of libraries as ebookstores.

It may be a new year, but some things, sadly, never seem to change. Molly Wetta brings a round-up of books challenged or banned in 2013.

Got a book? Joanna Penn reminds us that it’s not just one book—it’s multiple revenue streams all rolled into one. Similarly, Stefanie Flaxman shares how to write 16 knockout articles when you only have one idea, and agent Janet Reid tells us what we need to know about series rights.


Titles can grab people’s attention or leave them yawning. Nutschell discusses how to choose a title for your fiction or non-fiction book. When titling blog posts or articles, consider the points Sean Smith makes in his post “This Title Doesn’t Work.

A story is a construct, and we need to build it right so people can follow. Joshua Chaplinski shares 5 lessons about storytelling from the films of 2013, while C.S. Lakin teaches novel construction 101.

Try these techniques next time you’re writing: using time as a torture device, 6 tips for writing knockout fight scenes, and authorial intrusion.

Writing is an evolving process for all writers. Sometimes writers get stuck. Victoria Grefer lists 3 parts of the writing process that get authors stuck—and how to work through the halts. Jordan Bishop shows how to become a better fiction writer in 5 minutes a day.

You know those pages of notes from your editor that can be so disheartening? Roz Morris explains why your editor admires you even when you might not realize it. And L.Z. Marie shares fun literary terms, so you can impress your literary pals with your knowledge.

Many of us are not full-time writers. Nikolas Baron shares inspiration for part-time writers; Chantel Boudreau talks distractions; and Alison Wells gives us ways to find space and time to create.

Juggling a lot of projects? Liz Danzico explains how having multiple projects at the same time lets them inform each other rather than fight against each other.

Kristi Holl shares the importance of persistence in writing success, while Kristen Lamb counsels finding success through quitting.

Advice from those who have been in the trenches: Jackie Castle shares advice she wishes she’d been given when she started;  Kristi Holl discusses how to do successful course corrections; Jody Hedlund lists 9 lessons she’s learned so far about writing and publishing; and Kristen Lamb tackles cyber-bullying and how to cope.


Publishing is in upheaval, with multiple avenues to get our work out to readers. Mike Shatzkin talks about what the big publishers need to know to optimize marketing, but some of these tips can be applied to indie publishers as well—to anyone who markets books, really.

Brian DeFiore does the math and proves that ebooks make publishers more profit—at the expense of the author; Kristen Lamb highlights 5 mistakes killing self-published authors; and Janet Reid explains how digital-first publishing can boost your career.

Enter the micro-age. Christina Katz lists 6 ways micropublishing can strengthen your author career, while Kristen Lamb explores the invasion of the micro-trend.

Several ebook subscription services have made a splash lately, but William Petrocelli says that writers gain nothing from ebook subscription services, while Jami Gold talks ebooks: what we buy vs. what we read (includes a poll).

Most writers dread marketing, but David Gaughran says if you don’t enjoy marketing, you’re doing it wrong. Meanwhile, Jane Friedman picks up the conversation examining how much does author platform impact sales? Stina Lindenblatt shares 11 tips for making book trailers that work.

You know your book needs a tagline, but how about you? Jami Gold discusses how to create an author tagline. Put your tagline on your blog, and then make sure all your posts contain these 11 essential ingredients every blog post needs.

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