Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! And check back in tomorrow through Sunday as the Author Chronicles takes you inside the 2016 Philadelphia Writers Conference.
Conference season is in full swing, and Tamela Hancock Murray has some tips for preparing for a conference.
Libraries are vital community centers. The latest study shows the critical impact that a full-time certified school librarian has on boosting student achievement—yet districts continue to cut librarians at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, Martha Conway sees libraries as the new bookstores.
Beginnings can be tough. Janice Hardy examines how we can tell if an idea is worth writing in the first place, Melissa Donovan shows how to develop your best novel writing ideas, Chris Eboch discusses how to develop a great story in 3 or 4 parts, while Martina Boone dissects great openings to show how good openings create promises in form and content.
Character captures the reader. Louise Hawes describes how using free-writing can get us into our character’s head, Kristen Lamb shows how to write about inner demons without boring the reader, James Scott Bell advises going deep with a series character, Amy Sue Nathan tells how to fine tune your dialogue, and Zoe M. McCarthy demonstrates how to write inner dialogue that speaks to the reader.
Writers want to captivate readers. Sarah Cready advises using rhythm to write foot-tapping copy, Abby Geni gives 12 tips for improving your description, P.J. Parrish tells us how to keep your story real (even when you are lying), and Nick Hilden has tips on how to write about your life without boring your readers.
Some writers love revision; some hate it. Pamela Wilson shows how to cut the crap and writer better now.
We live in an on-the-go, always-connected, forever-distracted world. Edie Melson tells us how to find time to write by using the bits and pieces of time we have, Elizabeth DiEmanuele explains how to write through distractions, and Hazel Gaynor has advice on how to find “the end”.
Jane Friedman examines the data and warns against buying into the myth of print making a comeback; Jason Illian explores Amazon, ebooks, and the lack of innovation; and John Doppler compares 8 ebook discovery services.
There are many great small publishers out there, but writers should do due diligence before signing. Agent Janet Reid offers a list of red flags to look for before signing with a small publisher.
We all know how important a good book cover is to the success of the book. Book cover designer Oliver Munday shares a secret: sometimes he doesn’t read the whole book.
Amy Collins offers do-this-not-that advice from the promotion trenches, Shelley Hitz shows how to find the best categories for your Amazon book, and Matthew Norman gives us a glimpse into a writer’s nightmare—what to do when no one shows up for your reading.
Eric Smith clears up a platform-building misconception, and Joel Friedlander tells us how to choose a domain name for your author website. Author sites often include blogs. Savvy Writers explores why to blog as a writer (and why not), and Katie Rose Guest Pryal shares tips for author blogs.
Social media and email newsletters are great ways for writers to connect with readers. Anne R. Allen shines light on 7 social media scams to be aware of, Jennifer Bardsley gives us Instagram tips, and Roz Morris warns us to avoid these annoying email marketing tactics.
THE UNIQUE SHELF
Most writers suffer from a lack of shelf space for all of our books. Take a look at these 20+ creative bookshelves to show off your collection.
Improvisation can seem like magic. Malinda McPherson and Charles Limb examine how your brain improvises.
That’s it for Top Picks Thursday! Don’t forget to check in for the next three days for our nightly recap of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference!