Thanks for joining us for this week’s Top Picks Thursday. We hope you’ll find this collection of recent blog posts as informative and interesting as we did.
First, we have to say how excited we are to find our mentor Jonathan Maberry on Shan Williams’ list of 100 authors you would buy without looking at the blurb. Congratulations, Jonathan!
It’s officially summer, and long summer days are a great time to grab a book, relax on a comfortable chair, and read. If you aren’t interested in a book by one of the authors on the list above, consider a book from a new author. Daniels Lefferts of Publishers Weekly unveils debut writers to watch in the summer and fall season.
Fans of the much awarded Broadway show Hamilton might enjoy a book from Sarah Gross, Donalyn Miller, and Melissa Posten’s list of the top 10 books for Hamilnerds. For those readers who’ve already spent too much buying books, Sarah S. Davis presents 5 reasons to binge-request books from the library.
Whether you buy or borrow the books, enjoy your summer reading.
What type of book are you writing? Brooke Warner gives a high level overview of genre.
If you write children’s books, Zoe M. McCarthy shares 6 essentials in writing picture books.
So where should your book start? Joe Moore considers Vonnegut’s Rule #5 — start your story as near to the end as possible.
To shed light on the element of character, K. M. Weiland advises writers to grab readers with a multi-faceted characteristic moment and Jami Gold considers why an “unlikable” protagonist is often a deal-breaker for readers. Darcy Pattison illuminates direct and indirect character monologues and Deena Nataf explores writing phone conversations to forward your plot and draw your characters.
Alythia Brown proposes pushing the plot forward — tying (and trimming) the loose ends for a tidy finish.
The element of setting occupied several bloggers this week. Kristen Lamb lays out how to use setting with purpose and how setting and symbolism form the perfect combination. Becca Puglisi also discusses setting and symbolism and offers 4 tips for using setting to create a mood, while Angela Ackerman shows how to deliver critical backstory using the setting.
If you’re thinking about adding to your writer’s toolbox, Gordon Long evaluates how well various voice-to-text programs worked for him and Melissa Donovan shares tools for capturing your ideas in writing.
Maintaining a successful writing career isn’t as easy as many people think. Victoria E. Schwab reflects on how she became an “overnight” success.
Writing short pieces for anthologies is still a good way to break into publishing. Susan Spann examines the legal side of writing for anthologies.
No matter how they publish, writers need a presence on social media. Clare Langley-Hawthorne discusses social media etiquette and Chris Syme reveals when less is more on social media, while Anne R. Allen follows up her previous post with 8 more social media scams writers should know about.
In posts about specific social media platforms, Janet Reid discusses interacting with agents on Twitter after a rejection and Frances Caballo recommends that those who write for young adults or millenials sign up for Snapchat.
For writers interested in Indie publishing, Ash Krafton provides suggestions to help Indie authors reduce the risk of plagiarism, Roz Morris shares a checklist for redesigning your book cover, and David Kudler details how to enter code in your ebook hyperlinks so you can track where clicks are coming from through Google Analytics.
While Indie publishing gives authors more control. it’s not without problems. Holly Brady shares a little secret about Ingram Spark and book discounts and Lilith Saintcrow uses one author’s experience to warn authors using Kindle Unlimited that Amazon can remove their publishing accounts without warning.
In another look at declining ebook sales, Jim Milliot reports that limitations of e-reading devices and “digital fatigue” are causes of the decline in ebook sales.
THE UNIQUE SHELF
Lucas Maxwell revels in a used bookshop that feels like home.
As The Guardian retires its children’s books site, Emily Drabble, Michelle Pauli, and Charlotte Jones look at highlights from the last five years.
Old manuscripts offer fascinating glimpses into the past. Allie Newman speculates on what spilled ink, fingerprints, and other physical marks can reveal about medieval manuscripts.
Emma Jones reports on Tale of Tales, cautionary stories from Italy’s Shakespeare, while Loretta Chase discovers what Shakespeare’s English really sounded like and Keitha Sargent delves into understanding Tolkien.
Francine Prose relates how Frankenstein’s monster became human — how Mary Shelley’s book came to be written 200 years ago.
That wraps up this week’s Top Picks Thursday. Keep cool and join us again next week!