Posted by: Kerry Gans | August 10, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 08-10-2017

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Mid-August fast approaches, and here are some steaming hot links for you!

Harold Evans staunchly defends the English language.

Love libraries? 10 quotes about libraries, because they’re truly the most magical places on Earth.

Janalyn Voigt tells us how to make the most of your writing retreat.

Jeff Goins advises authors: Learn to love the work, or do something else (and other lessons on enduring greatness).


We all start with an idea. Larry Brooks shows how to elevate your novel by infusing your premise with something conceptual.

There are many overarching elements in a story that writers have to juggle. Dawn Field looks at pace, the engine in your book; Jami Gold examines the subtext of tropes, and Aden Polydoros shares great tools for establishing setting.

Characters walk and talk and power your novel. Janice Hardy explains how to write characters who don’t all feel the same, Hannah Heath has 10 tips for writing socially awkward characters, Kristen Lamb defines an antagonist, Harrison Demchick shows how to write your character’s actions with clarity, and K.M. Weiland lists 5 types of clunky dialogue.

Once we’ve got that first draft in hand, we need to fix it up. M.L. Keller discusses how to evalute writing feedback, Kristen Lamb gives us 6 simple reasons our story sucks and how to fix it, and Janice Hardy lists 7 words that often tell, not show.

We can learn a lot from other writers’ experiences. Jennifer Kitses shares what trying to finish a crime novel taught her about writing, Ali examines how you can keep writing if you work long hours, Tal Valente practices good writing habits with help from Habitica, and James Scott Bell warns us to resist the midstream temptation.


We all know presentation is important in selling books. Damon Freeman has 4 reasons why a great book cover is essential for sales, and Joel Friedlander discusses design for chapter openers and part openers.

Even before the book is published, presentation matters to agents and publishers. Janet Reid shares some tips to make your requested fulls look professional. In other agenting issues, Tamela Hancock Murray gives us 2 questions agents might ask writers seeking a new agent and why, and Steve Laube asks whether authors should send simultaneous submissions or not.

Marketing is a big piece of the author pie these days, like it or not. Rachel Thompson explains the reasons book marketing is exhausting you and how to fix it, Joan Stewart suggests using a sex angle to flirt with media for book publicity, and Janet Reid tells us what to include if an agent asks for a marketing plan for a novel.

Writers have a ton of different marketing options open to them these days, but there are so many details about marketing to learn. Chris Syme discusses how time zone differences affect book marketing, Richard Dee shows how to use leaflets to market your self-published books, Savvy Book Writers extols the benefits of getting your own ISBN, and Angela Ackerman has 6 smart ways indie authors can collaborate when marketing.

Writers have a lot of options, but many are online. Deanna Cabinian shares a detailed analysis of using Amazon ads to sell her books, Scott La Counte explains how to tweet like a best-selling author, The Passive Voice explores if there is anything better than BookBub out there, and Jane Friedman lists the 4 key elements that belong on an author website homepage.

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


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