Posted by: Kerry Gans | July 24, 2014

Top Picks Thursday 07-24-2014

Thanks for stopping by for this week’s link round up!

The New Yorker takes a deeper look into the career of Mary Rodgers, author of Freak Friday, who died last week.

Multiple writers in Singapore pull out of National Library Board events to protest the removal of 3 children’s books from libraries.

Amy McCullough explains why children’s literary heroes need to be less white.

Here are the Bestselling Books of 2014 (so far).


From beginning to end, there are a lot of details writers have to handle. Janice Hardy lists 4 things to avoid on your first page, Susan Squires discusses writing sex scenes, and Mary Buckham handles writing active settings.

Jami Gold advocates building a character arc from the end backwards, Sharla Rae shows us how to write about hair, and Amanda Patterson lists 350 character traits (175 good, 175 bad) for us to flesh out our characters.

Chuck Wendig dispenses 25 ways to write a real page-turner, while Natalie Lakosil warns us to beware the dreaded revisionitis.

Have you ever thought of serializing your novel? Clara Kensie talks about the life of a serial novelist. And what about ghostwriting? Roz Morris gives us the ghostwriting FAQ, for those who are thinking they need one, or who want to become one.

The writing process can at times be frustrating, overwhelming, and futile-feeling. Molly Greene lists 15 tips to increase your productivity, C.S. Lakin shares 5 writer goals to help avoid overwhelm, and April Henry captures how the writing process really works.

Michael Cairns explores whether single-genre fiction is outdated, while Megan Elizabeth muses on the entire writing experience from writing to publishing.

We are lucky to live in an age where writing advice from experienced writers is so freely available. K.M. Weiland gives us 3 reasons NOT to write for the money; Jane Friedman shares lessons learned at the 2014 World Domination Summit; Jennifer Robson explains why dogs make fun writing partners; and Worst Muse shares some truly bad (and funny) writing advice.


It seems that Amazon is holding all the cards in the Amazon-Hachette dispute, but Josh Cook discusses one card Hachette can play—DRM. Meanwhile, Douglas Preston has organized the Authors United group to try and give authors a voice in the Amazon-Hachette dust-up.

Amazon unveiled its subscription service, Kindle Unlimited. Mark Coker of Smashwords asks: is Kindle Unlimited bad for authors?

As the agency pricing trial winds down with Apple as its last defendant, the New York Times reports that Apple could pay as much as $400 million in ebook settlements.

If you are searching for a literary agent, Carly Watters lists 6 things you should NOT expect from an agent.

Nick Thacker unveils the truths about self-publishing, while writers of all stripes are starting to talk about money—and that’s a good thing.

Marketing is hard work for us authors, but it comes with the territory these days. The most confusing thing about it is that there is not just one way to success—it is a combination of factors. Rachel Thompson gives some tough love to authors, advising them to stop whining and do the work. When you get to work, Nina Amir has 6 branding tips for writers and authors, and Helen Phillips and Adam Douglas Thompson share 6 tips to make a book trailer.

If you want to get the most out of your social media platform, follow these 15 Twitter stats that can get you more retweets, and Mari Smith’s tips how to get the most organic reach out of Facebook’s algorithms.


All of us start with an ugly first draft. Check out these poems by William Blake and Lord Byron, scribbled on manuscript pages.

Want a fast read? Here are 50 incredible novels under 200 pages.

Wow! Photos of 9 of the most fascinating abandoned mansions from around the world.

When did we start using affirmative interjections? Yes, a 1,000 years ago.

For those of you pining for the World Cup, Edd McCracken has a literary ode to the World Cup final.

That’s all for us this week!


  1. Thanks for the links! I’ll never get caught up at this rate. 😉


    • Me, either – always so many good ones pop up after I’ve posted every week!


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