Posted by: Kerry Gans | June 8, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 06-08-2017

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! We have some hot links for you all this week.

Copyright is something all authors need to understand. Reedsy has everything you need to know about copyright.

Best-selling author Tess Gerritsen is helping find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Donna Levin explores why your next favorite fictional protagonist might be on the autism spectrum.

Sandy McDowell investigates LightSail, a middle school digital library that’s changing the way kids learn to read.

As the opioid crisis reaches their doorstep, librarians at McPherson Square library wield Narcan as warriors in their neighborhood.

In more cheerful library news, late fees no longer exist at Salt Lake City libraries.

Martina Boone waxes philosophical as she wonders how we as writers combat the nasty way people treat each other that has reared its head in the world lately—up to and including threats against authors.


Geeks Guide to the Galaxy takes a look at why colleges are so hostile to fantasy writers.

Christina Delay shares why you should never, ever go on a destination writing retreat (snark alert!).

Writers have to deal with many elements at one time. Janice Hardy has 3 things to consider when writing descriptions, while Jo Eberhardt explores sub-plots and story.

Our characters carry the story—if they aren’t compelling, readers put the book down. Jami Gold shows how to strengthen our characters with strong writing, Julia Fierro investigates the 3 tiers of point of view technique: observation, interpretation, and imagination, and Cara Black explores villains and villainesses as architects of story.

Writers need to handle all sorts of technical elements, too. Lynne Cantwell gives the rundown on when to use italics, Melissa Donovan tells how to make grammar a part of your daily life, and Mary Kole addresses children’s book manuscript chapter length.

Once we have words on the page, we need to polish them. Janice Hardy talks about shifting between drafting and editing, Diana Hurwitz has proofreading tips, and Ann R. Allen tells us when to hire an editor and how to avoid scams.

Writing can be psychologically demanding for authors. Roni Loren warns that what you think you know about yourself might be holding you back, and Julianna Baggott wonders if writer’s block is a form of self-protection.

We all have times when life throws us curve balls. Karen Woodward tells how to write through the unexpected, and Kristen Lamb explains how to handle reality vs. expectations and stay calm when things go pear-shaped.

We are lucky to live in an age when established authors can share what they have learned with those coming up. Listen to a podcast interview with authors E.C. Myers & Sam J. Miller, read Arundhati Roy on why it took 20 years to write her second novel, learn about the achievement of Chinua Achebe, and see just what’s behind the love affair between Elmore Leonard and Hollywood.


Publishing is ever evolving. Jordan Dane notes some interesting publishing trends to watch in 2017.

Author collaboration has become more common in fiction. J. Thorn points out 5 critical mistakes of author collaboration and how to avoid them.

June Stevens Westerfield asks: should you create your own book cover?

You’ve got your self-published book. Now what? Fred Johnson has a five minute guide to pricing your self-published book, Michelle Deery compares selling your ebook on your own website vs. on Amazon, and David Kudler looks at distribution through Pronoun and PublishDrive.

If you write non-fiction, Jane Friedman shares 5 research steps to do before you write your book proposal.

Hayley Cuccinello examines how fanfiction went from a dirty little secret to a money machine.

Looking for a literary agent? Nathan Bransford outlines how to research a literary agent, Janet Reid shares some reasons agents reject manuscripts, and Laura Weymouth has the 3 best questions to ask an agent who offers to represent you.

Now we’ve got to sell the book. Dale Kutzera says to plot your marketing in this mad marketing world, while Chris Syme lists 5 steps to make your marketing more efficient.

A large portion of marketing is getting reviews of your book—not an easy task. Sarah Robinson describes how to use BookRazor to get a targeted list of reviewers, and Claire McKinney shares 8 tips to keep in mind when seeking book reviews.

Author brand is what sells these days. Leila Dewji has 3 steps to building your author brand, while John Fleming explores how AI chatbots are evolving the author platform.


Jasmin Nahar reveals 18 TV shows you may not have realized were based on books.

Andy Golder shares 18 posts that’ll be hilarious to book nerds.

Here are 10 books you can finish on a plane when traveling.

Edith Wharton recruited the world’s greatest artists to raise money for WWI refugees.

Patricia Thang explores real life places made more special by books.

Rivka Galchen examines how children read is different than the way adults read.

Amazing! Here are beautiful miniature books worth straining your eyesight to see.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! See you next week!

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