Posted by: Kerry Gans | September 1, 2016

Top Picks Thursday! For Readers and Writers 09-01-2016

Welcome to the first Top Picks Thursday of September! It’s back-to-school time, and all writer-parents are rejoicing!

Books and school go hand-in-hand. Julia Seales lists 11 things all book lovers do when going back to school.


Writers are encouraged to write more, faster as a key to success. Steve Laube writes in praise of slow writing, and Roz Morris gives us 3 ways to measure progress with a slow-burn book.

How do we fashion an idea into something readable? Monica Hoffman shares 8 steps to writing a coherent novel, Janice Hardy shows how to take your novel from premise to plot, and Laura Drake lists craft books for pantsers.

Characters need to feel real to pull the readers in. Angela Ackerman discusses the emotional wound of being bullied, and Bridget McNulty has 7 rules for writing fantastic conversations.

After we write that first draft, we need to edit to make it shine. K.M. Weiland gives us a 6-step checklist to find the right critique partner, Joshua David Bellin shows how to clean clutter from manuscripts, and Elizabeth Law shares 7 ways to de-clutter your writing and your life.

Jenny Hansen asks if fear is hurting your writing dreams, and Jami Gold asks if you share your works-in-progress.

Elizabeth S. Craig explores writing in busy times, and John Saito describes how to design words.

Author Jonathan Safran Foer describes his writing day and struggles, while Clare Langley-Hawthorne tackles the issue of handling reviews.


If you are self-publishing, David Kudler examines ebook anatomy with a look inside the block box. Meanwhile, Anne R. Allen warns against jumping into self-publishing your first novel until you’ve thought it through.

Mary Kole discusses the question of whether agents and editors flogging their own books is somehow a conflict of interest.

Writers constantly hear about platform and brand. Kristen Lamb explains that ads are not a brand and promotion is not platform, while Jim Stewart shows how Yoast SEO can help polish your brand.

Promotion is the key to sales, but it can be difficult to get our books in front of our audience. Andre Calilhana shares book discovery sites that can help you find more readers, Matt Banner lays out how to promote your latest book with a blog, and Brian Jud tells us how to break into the multi-billion dollar gift shop market.

Publicity, publicity. Dorit Sasson asks: should you pay for a publicist?, while Chris Well examines how social media fits into your publicity strategy.

We spend a great deal of time on social media. Colleen Story has 7 ways to keep social media from ruining your mood, and Kirsten Oliphant shows how to be active on social media without losing your mind.


Take a look at 21 words stemming from the Latin word for “look at”.

Check out 10 weird and wonderful Guinness World Records titles about books.
Alanna Bennett celebrates raggedy-ass books.

Although we five chroniclers don’t live close to each other, we do live in the same region — southern and central New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania — and we’re going to show our support for libraries by concluding with a photo of a local library for the next several weeks (until we run out of them!) This week, we’ll give a shout out to the Abington Township Public Library in Abington, PA.


That’s it for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! We’ll see you again next week!



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