Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | July 5, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 07-05-2018

The Author Chronicles, Top Picks Thursday, fireworks, July 4

Photo by Jeffrey Hamilton on Unsplash


Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday. Can you believe we’re halfway through 2018? Hope you all had a great Fourth of July yesterday!

For everyone in the writing and publishing community, Debbie Burke fills us in on Book Expo America 2018.

We Chroniclers love libraries. So does Sarah McCoy: for the love of libraries.

Richard Sandomir reports in The New York Times on the passing of prolific, irascible writer Harlan Ellison at age 84.


The Author Chronicles, Top Picks Thursday, laptop, glasses on notebook

Photo by 85Fifteen on Unsplash



One way to improve your craft as a writer is to try writing in another form or genre. If you’re hesitant to try poetry, Katharine Grubb reveals five lies she believed about writing poetry.

A number of blog posts this week focus on the writer. Yuvi Zalkow explores writing through pain, Roni Loren considers self-care necessities, and K. M. Weiland advises judge yourself less, trust yourself more, and write better. Kristen Lamb encourages learning to feel: put down the iPhone and embrace the iFeel, and Daphne Gray-Grant tells us how writers can become better at self-management.

Having problems with your writing? Joanna Penn shares tips for dealing with writer’s block and explains how to write a story that connects with readers. John Warner considers what we learn when our writing ‘fails,’ and Melissa Donovan lists 36 tips for writing just about anything.

For those working on particular story elements, James Scott Bell considers building characters layer by layer, and Stavros Halvatzis delves into how crisis leads to the story climax.

If you’re seeking background information for a genre novel, Sue Coletta shares 6 unusual forensic techniques, and E. L. Skip Knox clarifies history for fantasy writers: merchant guilds.

You’ve written your manuscript — time for revising and editing before submitting. Janice Hardy clarifies the difference between editing and revising a novel, Jami Gold expounds on breaking down the steps of revision to improve storytelling, and Angela Ackerman stresses 5 areas to polish before submitting a manuscript.


The Author Chronicles, Top Picks Thursday, business newspaper, laptop, hands holding phone

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Lisa Tener answers some questions for struggling writers about working with agents, pitching to publishers, and more, while literary agent Rachel Gardner insists “I am is not a gatekeeper.”

Working on your synopsis? Janet Reid discusses the short short synopsis, and Anne R. Allen shares 2 hacks for writing the dread novel synopsis.

In addition to pitching to agents and editors, you might be interested in Stephanie Chandler’ 5 tips to locate and pitch internet media sources.

Writing may be an art, but publishing is a business. To help with the business side, Anna Castle offers tips for author businesses on managing research trip costs, and Steve Laube has advice for new authors for working with their publishers, while Jane Friedman maintains that author income surveys are misleading and flawed and focus on the wrong message for writers.

For those publishing on Amazon, David Kudler goes over how to get started with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and Alinka Rutkowska spells out how to use the Amazon algorithm to sell more books.

Ready to sell your book? Scott McCormick gives the scoop on promoting your book (and yourself) at a school assembly, and Sandra Beckwith focuses on book marketing: where should you start?

If you’re looking for some tips on promotion and marketing using social media, R. J. Crayton asserts that surveying your newsletter readers provides information and a sense of community, Frances Caballo advises poets to use Instagram to build their brands and find success, and Cristian Mihai sets out 5 easy steps to writing a great blog post.


The Author Chronicles, Top Picks Thursday, books in various positions filling shelves around door, used books

Photo by Eugenio Mazzone on Unsplash



If you’re a reader who also enjoys cooking, Maria Adcock presents 7 dishes from famous books and how to make them.

Emily Temple of Literary Hub exposes the surprising stories behind the pen names of 10 famous authors.

Electric Literature‘s Chibundu Onuzo recommends a reading list of African authors.

Ed Pavlic writes about why James Baldwin went to the South and what it meant to him.

On the anniversary of his death, Literary Hub‘s Book Marks looks at the first reviews of every Ernest Hemingway novel, and Dave Seminara writes about trespassing at Ernest Hemingway’s house in Idaho.

That’s all for the first Top Picks Thursday of July. Take a break from your summer activities and join us again next week. See you then!


The Author Chronicles, Top Picks Thursday, silhouette of boy reading book at sunset

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


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