Posted by: Kerry Gans | February 8, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 02-08-2018

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! We are cruising through February, and bringing you more writerly and readerly links this week.

Check out these 42 amazing books written by black authors!

Think being a librarian is a cushy job? Think again. Katie McLain talks about the stress of library work, Terri Pous shares the solution for people who can only remember what color the book cover was, and Steven Kurutz praises the small town library.

Going to conferences this season? Andrea Merrell tells how to make the most of your conference experience.


“Voice” is an essential element to any piece of writing. But how do you get voice? Mary Kole encourages reading as a path to a great writing voice.

Lisa Tener discusses how to choose a book idea and know if you’re writing the right book.

Every story takes place in a world. How much world-building you need to do depends on the genre. Janice Hardy shares 7 tips of creating believable fantasy or science fiction worlds.

Writing is full of craft elements writers must use properly to draw the readers in. Gabriela Pereira talks pattern and repetition, Laurence MacNaughton shares how to write kick-ass action scenes, and Jo Eberhardt compares foreshadowing vs. callbacks.

Characters inhabit whatever world we create—and we’d better make them compelling. Stavros Halvatzis discusses character traits, wants, and needs, and Anne R. Allen shows how to keep your characters from babbling with indirect dialogue and other dialogue tricks.

When we’re done writing, we need to clean up our manuscript. Jessi Rita Hoffman has hedge words and inflation words to beware of, Elisa Beatty tells us how to get tight without losing any of the story, Jami Gold examines how to improve our editing processes, and Carol Cram lists ten reasons why you need an editor.

We each have our own writing process. Kelly Maher shares her experience of story development through travel and inspiration, and Roz Morris explores 3 wonderful paradoxes of a slow writing process.

At some point in the process, writers need to consider the audience they are writing for. K.M. Weiland has 4 tips for writing to the right audience, Cathy Yardley explores what actually matters to your audience, and James Scott Bell tells how to avoid burnout by taking strategic breaks.


Barnes & Noble has announced Barnes & Noble Press, an enhanced self-publishing platform with more tools and options than before, Ingram Spark shares 8 tips for self-publishing a book, while Amazon is shaking up the audiobook market.

A book’s cover is a major marketing tool. Sandra Beckwith shares 7 ways to make a good book cover decision, and Joel Friedlander has 7 best book cover trends to stay current in 2018.

Janet Reid discusses the dangers of pitching to editors at conferences and the appropriate timeline for nudging agents and editors.

Marketing only works if you reach the proper audience. Brian Jud has tips on how to target your book’s audience, and Dan Balow explores marketing to younger readers.

David Wogahn declares that book reviews, not sales, are the essential first step for authors. On the other side of the coin, Janet Reid tells us what to do if we’ve gotten an ARC to review and don’t like the book.

Thinking outside the box can get your more sales. Joan Stewart shows how to submit your books to holiday gift guides, Christina Delay demonstrates how to use Facebook Pixel Codes to get the most out of your marketing, and Frances Caballo advises not to buy Twitter followers.


Check out these 17 books before they become films in 2018.

These 12 books will make you want to pack your bags and travel across India.

Think librarians are boring? Look at these 6 bad ass librarians from pop culture.

When you read because you have to, it can be hard to read because you want to. Ashley Wertz discusses post-college reading fatigue and how to combat it.

People love a good mystery. Lorraine Berry examines why we’re so fascinated with lost books.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! See you next week with all the links you need to keep you in the know.

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