Posted by: Kerry Gans | July 17, 2014

Top Picks Thursday 07-17-2014

Welcome to the mid-month links round up. Hard to believe summer vacation is about half over, at least in our area.

The winner of this year’s Frank O’Connor Short Story Award is Colin Barrett’s Young Skins.

World Book Night has been scrapped in the USA, but author C.J. Lyons replaces it with Digital Book Day.

This year, Banned Books Week will highlight graphic novels.

Have questions about library ebook lending? Chester County Library answers the FAQs of ebook lending issues in libraries.

The push for diversity in writing is growing. The Diversity Movement gains visibility at the ALA Annual Conference, Disability in Kidlit’s Corinne Duyvis shares writing tips on how not to write disabled people, and Marvel Comics recasts Thor as a woman.

If you want to make a living as a writer, Bob Mayer shares 13 great truths.

Megan Whitmer shows exactly why pirating an ebook is criminal.


Writers are often advised to “write what you know.” Author Terra Elan McVoy suggests “write what you want to understand.” To understand more craft, Jane Friedman posted 3 cool ways to meet, teach, and critique online.

Plotting can be the bane of a writer’s existence. Monica M. Clark advocates condensing the plot of your story into one sentence before you even begin. Hopefully this will help guide you as you write. But if you still end up with plot holes, Roz Morris identifies causes and fixes for plot holes.

Liven up you writing with the often-underestimated power of setting, and 3 ways to use color to enhance your story.

Martina Boone wonders if readers give more leeway to unlikeable male characters than to unlikeable female characters, and MJ Bush gives us 3 steps to taking our character further and deeper with anger.

Editing and revising makes or breaks a story. Jolene Haley lists 8 must-read articles on editing, Jami Gold has a shiny new Story Development and Revision Worksheet, and Martha Alderson explains how to turn a lackluster middle into page-turning excitement.

The lonely genius stereotype gets all the hype, but Joshua Wolf Shenk reminds us of the power of creative pairs. Jen Matera lists the benefits of an open mind, and Lynne Tillman shares what to say when people ask you why you write or make art.


It’s wild out there in publishing these days. Anne R. Allen defines traditional publishing, as well as self-publishing and vanity publishing, so newbie writers won’t get scammed. David Henry Sterry also lays out the pros and cons of big press publishing, small press publishing, and self-publishing, so you can find the best fit for you.

With Amazon-Hachette still on people’s minds, Malcolm Gladwell of The New Yorker sets up a satirical, “unbelievable” encounter with Amazon, and Chuck Wendig talks more about the heated, damaging rhetoric surrounding publishing these days.

If you are going to self-publish, follow these 9 successful self-published authors right away. If you are self-pubbing a children’s book, these are 5 people you need to have on your team.

If you’re querying, Peter Knapp is running a query critique econference right now. Janet Reid tells what your chances are if you are not a debut author in the slush pile. When you get the inevitable rejection letters, Carly Watters describes how you can tell whether it is a form rejection or not. What do you do if you have an agent and the relationship is not a good fit? Stina Lindenblatt explains the steps when you have to part ways with your agent.

MS Wish List is a gold mine for what agents are currently seeking, Jane Friedman lines up 5 research steps to writing a book proposal, Marie Lamba explains what it takes to get asked for a full manuscript, and Jane Dystel lists things to think about after your publishing contract is executed.

Pamela Druckerman explains the French book culture, and how it is radically different from the U.S. model. Debut novelist Ted Thompson spills the secrets of his publishing experience–including talking money.

Marketing stumps many authors. Erik Wecks explains how to create a tagline, and Savvy Book Writers lists over 100 websites to promote your book for free.

Finding it hard to squeeze in blogging time? Penny Sansevieri shares 20 ways to reuse, recycle, and repurpose your old blog content, and Anne R. Allen lists great blogging advice in her how to blog guide for authors post.


July 11th marked the 115th birthday of author E.B. White.

125 famous authors voted for the Greatest Books of All Time. Do you agree with their list? Meanwhile, Kirkus has 9 new books that would make great movies.

We love these cool bookish places gathered together by Book Riot. And take a look at these 50 tattoos inspired by children’s books.

And if you think being a famous writer means no more social worries, take a look at this infographic of famous writers who hated each other’s guts.

That’s all from us this week! Happy summer writing!


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