Posted by: Kerry Gans | November 26, 2015

Top Picks Thursday 11-26-2015

Welcome to Top Picks Thursday! It is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA, and many of us are partaking of turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce. We here at the Author Chronicles are thankful for all of our readers here—not just today, but every day.

Jarry Lee gathers 17 literary Thanksgiving puns.

The 2015 National Book Award winners are announced. Congratulations to all, and that’s something wonderful to be thankful for today!

Writers often shy away from controversial topics on social media because we don’t want to alienate our readers. Yet many feel frustrated by having to bite their tongues. Tracy Hahn-Burkett discusses the power of a fiction writer’s pen, and her journey to deciding whether or not to engage in non-fiction political discourse.


It takes a long time to learn to write well. Like anything else, mastering the skills does not happen overnight. C.S. Lakin challenges writers to play the waiting game, and gives ideas n the most productive uses of that time.

Sometimes you can speed up your learning (and ramp up the fun) by entering into a writing partnership. Before you do, read Jennifer Hale’s 7 tips for a successful writing partnership.

Characters will carry your story. K.M. Weiland shows how to write multiple antagonists effectively, Julie Glover tells us how to use grammar to strengthen voice, and Alex Limberg shares 3 simple tricks to create a character different from you.

Writers try hard to avoid cliches and stereotypes in our work. Bonnie Randall urges us to consider the dysfunctional home your character was raised in, K.M. Weiland busts 6 strong female character stereotypes, while Elizabeth Hall Magill discusses feminist storytelling.

Our writing process and our writing tools can speed up our writing output. Molly Greene describes how a pantser outlines, and Gwen Hernandez gives a tutorial on Scrivener fundamentals: what every user should know but probably doesn’t.

The point where our writing moves from craft to business product is often stressful and fraught with angst. Paula Munier explains the big reason why agents and editors often stop reading, and James Scott Bell tells us why the writer and the market should be friends.


The Wall Street Journal writes about $1 million advances. We may all dream of getting one of those, but are $1 million advances good for the industry as a whole?

In today’s publishing world, many of us choose to self-publish—which means we need to know everything about everything. Those of us who traditionally publish should also educate ourselves, because the more we know, the better we can advocate for our career. To that end, Laurie Boris tells us almost everything we need to know about ISBNs, David Kudler explores various ebook conversion tools, and Marcy Kennedy shares 7 tips to make the most of working with a cover designer.

There’s a lot of legal stuff to deal with in publishing. Some of us seek an agent to deal with it for us. Rebecca Faith Heyman describes 3 ways you could be sabotaging your chance with an agent, and Janet Reid reminds us to clean up our web presence when seeking an agent. For those of us dealing with contracts on our own, Victoria Strauss shines a light on arbitration rights, and how you could be signing away your rights for a fair hearing, while Kathryn Goldman discusses literary trustees and author estates.

Book promotion and marketing are meant to raise discoverability. Three main ways authors look for promotion is book bloggers, reviews, and search keywords. Janet Reid parses a totally inept book promo letter aimed at book bloggers, Jody Hedlund clarifies the difference between a book reviewer and an influencer, Anne R. Allen tackles the frustration of disappearing Amazon reviews, and Jordan Smith explains how to optimize your Amazon search keywords.

Other ways authors reach out to readers are via email, newsletters, blogs, and social media. John Krone gives 6 tips to writing emails that get double the response, Michael Kelberer gives content ideas for fiction authors’ blogs and newsletters, and Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine share 5 ways authors can use Instagram effectively.

That’s it for Top Picks Thursday this week! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Thanks for the mention! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 🙂


    • You’re welcome, Gwen! Thanks for writing a great post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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: