Posted by: Kerry Gans | May 11, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 05-11-2017

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Trees, flowers, grass, and pollen are everywhere here—all the cars are a lovely yellow-green. But we have plenty of writing links that are nothing to sneeze at!

The owners of Tate Publishing have been arrested. If you are a Tate Publishing victim, Victoria Strauss tells you what you need to do to get in on the proceedings.

Ela Lourenco with expert advice on how to write in order to encourage reluctant and dyslexic readers.

A Kingston University study finds that people who read books are nicer people.


For the illustrators in our readership, Guiseppe Castellano shares some must-read illustrator advice.

For any writers interested in ghostwriting, John Peragine has 10 tips for successful ghostwriters.

Writers hope for originality and talent. Adam Grant’s TED talk discusses the creative process and the key to being original, and Jody Hedlund lists 10 traits that are more important than talent.

Writers deal a lot with voice—authorial voice, character voice, narrative voice, etc. Julie Glover asks if you have embraced your natural voice, Jo Eberhardt examines perspective and authorial voice, K.M. Weiland explores how to write in an authentic historical voice, and Mary Kole shows how to create children’s books with readaloud potential.

Plot provides a structure for your readers to follow. Jess Lourey discusses classic story structures and what they teach us about novel plotting, and Jane Lebak examines the pitfalls of the “and then” plot.

We all want to keep the readers turning the pages. S.C. Sharman has 4 proven ways to build suspense, Janice Hardy explains what tension is and how to make it work for you, and James Scott Bell reminds us that our characters must earn their way out of trouble.

There are all sorts of techniques we can use to make our story pop. Mary Kole discusses using compressed narration in fiction, while Sandra Beasley talks similes.

Proofreading is the final step in editing your work, and Leila Cruickshank has 5 rules for proofreading your own work.

Writing can be lonely, so it’s important to gather other people around us who feed our creativity. Joanna Penn tells us how to build a network of writer friends, and Kelly Miller shares 5 reasons why every author should join a book club.

We all have problems that keep us from being as productive as we would like to be. Anna Elliott explores some bad writing habits and how to break them, and Jamie Raintree asks: are you writing out of love or fear?

Diana Schwartz lists 15 things you probably didn’t know about publishing a book, and Anne R. Allen examines 10 writing career mistakes to avoid.


Don’t know whether to self-publish or go traditional? Laura Weymouth lays out the pros and cons of indie vs. traditional.

If you have your audio rights and aren’t sure what to do with them, Elizabeth S. Craig shares her experience expanding into audiobooks.

Rejection is a fact of life for authors. Leila Dewji explains why literary agents and publishers reject books.

Steve Laube answers the question: are agents necessary? If for you the answer is “yes”, Janet Reid discusses how to know if you’ve run out of agents to query, and what to ask on agent reference calls. Nathan Bransford shares some agent statistics on personalization, credentials, comp titles, and more.

No matter how you get published, you are going to need an author persona, also called an author brand. Anne Carley walks us through creating a clear writer persona, and Diana Forbes shows how to find your author brand.

Pitching is a part of almost every stage of publishing, from query letters to marketing. Michael Larson has the parts of a perfect pitch, while Dave Chilton reminds us that in marketing sometimes less is more.

In-person events are a good way to connect with readers. Annette Libeskind Berkovits tells how to build a better book launch, and Jesikah Sundin shares 5 tips for using swag to bond with readers and increase book sales.

Most of our readers will be found online. Frances Caballo breaks down Amazon ads for indie authors, Joel Friedlander lists 14 kinds of shareable content for bloggers, and Scott La Counte has 7 social media tips for authors.

Jami Gold examines the 6 elements of strategy to maximize your writing income, while Jane Friedman explores author marketing collectives by interviewing the Tall Poppy Writers.


Have fun discovering the most popular fictional character in each state.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! To all the moms out there, have a happy and relaxing Mother’s Day.

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