Posted by: Kerry Gans | March 5, 2015

Top Picks Thursday 03-05-2015

Welcome to this week’s link round up! March is definitely coming in like a lion in our part of the country. Can’t wait until that lamb shows up.

New England has been hit pretty hard this winter, so Brendan Halpin does what any self-respecting author does with 8 feet of snow—he writes a blog post called Boston Is a YA Dystopian Novel.

Most writers don’t earn their living with their writing, yet public perception is that all writers are rich as soon as they have a book out. Ann Bauer explains why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from.

If you’ve ever had content stolen, or are worried you might, Helen Sedwick provides a step by step guide to dealing with content theft.

All authors need to know what’s in their contracts. Victoria Strauss calls out two red-flag sentences about marketing in publishing contracts.

In this age of unprecedented connection between author and reader, sometimes authors feel pressured to bow to the wishes of their readers and critics. Anne R. Allen examines the line between artistic freedom and crowdsourcing our content.

The diversity discussion is nothing new, and does not just encompass race and gender, but also the perception that boys will not enjoy “girl” books. Joan Didon wrote a 1968 essay on Hollywood diversity that still applies today, Ellen Oh discusses the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement, and Shannon Hale breaks our hearts with the story of a segregated school visit in her No Boys Allowed post.


If you’re writing a mystery and need a good cause of death, check out these 5 strange causes of death in the Medieval period.

Trilogies are a different beast than a stand-alone book. Gareth L. Powell shares a trilogy of things he learned writing a trilogy.

The first draft is an odd animal. Stephanie Orges explains what to include in your first draft (and what to skip).

As we progress, we want to connect to the reader. Jackie Johansen explores how to create a strong emotional response in your readers, and Karen Wood shows how to pull your readers through your book by using properly structuring chapter endings.

Jen Matera tells us how to keep voices distinct when using multiple points of view, and Marissa John discusses when you should use was and were.

We all make mistakes—that’s what revising and editing is for. Sarah Alderson shares 5 mistakes writers make (and how to avoid them), and Cate Baum lists 10 most common editing mistakes.

We all want to find success, and a lot of success is in the mind. Kristen Lamb lays out 5 principles of achievement, while Nina Amir tackles how negative statements impact our choices and how to combat them.

Lisa Gail Green shares 5 secrets she learned while waiting to be published, Robert Blake Whitehill gives us 3 tips on how not to stink at writing, and Henry Miller has 11 Commandments of writing and daily creative routine.

Productivity can be hard to find in our busy lives. Jami Oetting lists 7 methods to spark creativity, Author Marketing Institute shows us how to eke out 2 hours of writing per day, and Janalyn Voigt urges increasing productivity by unplugging.

We all get frustrated with our writing sometimes—sometimes because it’s not making enough money, sometimes because it’s so very hard to do well. Don’t fret your day job—take a look at what these famous authors did to make ends meet. As for writing losing its magic and become too much like work, take a page from Donna Galanti’s book and find your childlike wonder again.


In publishing news, Lerner Publishing Group acquires Egmont USA’s list, and news that the Nook will not be spun off sends Barnes & Noble stock soaring.

Dalya Alberge examines a new trend in the UK—publishers opening to unagented submissions.

If you are seeking an agent, Janet Reid explains when it is okay to use questions in a query and why you never call an agent during the query stage.

What type of agent is right for you? Writers Relief has 5 questions to ask yourself about what you are looking for in an agent. Hopefully, your agent will be as honest as Jennifer Laughran when she discusses book money and the mythical six-figure deal.

Every author knows he has to have an author platform. But how do we know if we’ve got all the pieces in place? Author Marketing Institute lists 50 questions to ask yourself about your author platform.

Your author website should be your centerpiece, but many authors also have a blog. Author Chris Jane interviews designer Richard Kelsey to see if your website could benefit from a redesign, and Jeff Goins shares 25 blogging tips.


Like graphic novels? Sarah Hunter lists the 2015 top 10 graphic novels for youth

Bill Bryson’s first travel book in 15 years comes out from Transworld this autumn. 

Paul Lay discusses an interesting side effect of historical fiction. Because fiction needs heroes, the book always depicts one side as good, the other bad. When this perception of a historical figure seeps into the mainstream consciousness, it can make the study of actual history harder because of those pre-conceived notions. 

When designing your book, don’t neglect the book spine—it’s often the only part of the book a reader will see in a store! 

Mary Norris shares her life as a Comma Queen at The New Yorker.

Take the quiz: which female literary character are you

Charlotte Bronte wrote under the pen name Currer Bell. Now, they might know what book inspired the name Currer

A hoard of fan letters reveals that Agatha Christie’s books inspired devotion even from the darkest of places.

That’s all for this week!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: