Posted by: Kerry Gans | October 5, 2017

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 10-05-2017

Welcome to the first Top Picks Thursday of October! Fall is finally here, as is another roundup of writerly links!

Kazuo Ishiguro wins the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Adrian McKinty explores class, race, and the case for genre fiction in the canon.

Donkey-powered mobile libraries in Zimbabwe.


We talk a lot about novels here, but today we have some links for picture book enthusiasts. Melissa Stewart has a nonfiction resource for writing picture books, and Amy Fellner Dominy and Nate Evans share 8 things to know if you want to write a picture book.

Why do readers stop reading some books? Roni Loren explores 3 categories of Did Not Finish.

Scenes are the building blocks of our work. C.S. Lakin lists the 10 key scenes you need to frame up your novel, while Jami Gold examines sexy scenes in two posts: 5 tips for writing dreaded sexy scenes and sexy scenes: door open or door closed?

Our writing won’t get far without compelling characters. K.M. Weiland has 4 ways to amplify your characters’ subtext, Kimberly Brock shares a writer’s perspective on point of view, and Lisa Betz wonders if your characters are too consistent.

Revision brings out the best in our work. A teacher lists all of the revision prompts they have used to teach revision, Diane O’Connell discusses drafting vs. crafting while revising, and Erika Liodice tells us how to find the right developmental editor for your book.

A lot of being an author is deciding how much of ourselves to present to the public. Some authors use pen names, but Anne R. Allen has 5 reasons not to have a pen name in the digital age. Other authors battle emotional demons. Melissa Donovan says how to circumvent writer’s block, and Nathan Bransford advises how to defeat imposter syndrome.

Writing can be a joy, but it can also be psychologically draining. When that happens, we can lose our creativity, our reason for writing, and even our health. K.M. Weiland lists 6 lifestyle changes you can make to protect creativity, Jennifer Probst practices writing naked, Benjamin Thomas reminds us that in writing, it is the journey that matters; and Emily Wenstrom talks self-care for writers.


Audiobooks are hot right now. Joel Friedlander interviews Hannah Wall and Kate Tilton about ACX University and audiobooks.

Most authors have websites now, but what happens when you get hacked? Jim Stewart has 9 tips for recovering your Google rankings after a site hack.

Steve Laube explains when a book becomes public domain, Bob Hostetler advises you to know your genre, and Judith Briles shows what to do when the trolls come out to review.

Marketing can be a confusing issue for many an author. Jane Friedman says to go local with book marketing. Reedsy has a searchable database of book promotion services. If you do a book promotion, Martin Cavannagh advises authors to use multi-tiered strategies to gain maximum exposure. Once we have sufficient books written, SFF Podcast shares 12 ways to keep your backlist selling and maintain a steady income.

Online is the most efficient way to connect with readers. Scott La Counte has Facebook tips for indie authors, Chris Syme explains why he is cutting back on Facebook ads, Penny Sansevieri lists 20 secrets for savvy search engine optimization, and Frances Caballo has 3 basic rules of social media plus 5 best practices.


Check out these 17 facts about words that will low-key blow your mind.

Ellie Bate has 11 photos that will infuriate book lovers, then 11 more to make it all better.

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

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