Posted by: Kerry Gans | July 26, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 07-26-2018

Welcome to the last Top Picks Thursday of July! Summer is flying by!

The Children’s Book Council announces their CBC Diversity Outstanding Achievement Awards program.

An industry analysis reveals how local indie bookstores can compete with Amazon, and Elizabeth Freeman goes behind the desk of a used-book buyer.

Kristen Arnett takes a look at how librarians survive on the front lines of fake news.

Job opportunity: Mary Kole is seeking an editorial assistant.


Crime fiction has a storied past. Gray Basnight explores the history of cryptography in crime fiction, and Margot Kinberg shows how adding an exotic locale can add layers to the plot of a crime novel.

The beginning stages of crafting a novel can be the make or break point. K.M. Weiland has 4 steps for turning an idea into a story that rocks, Janice Hardy lays out 4 signs you might be confusing (rather than intriguing) in your opening scene, and Jeff VenderMeer explores the art and science of structuring a novel.

Getting our plots right is essential to developing a compelling story. Ava Jae discusses strategies to brainstorm great plot twists, Diana Kimpton explains how to use subplots, and Stavros Helvatzis shows how genre and story are linked.

World-building is essential to making the reader feel like they are experiencing the story. A.E. Lowan continues to explore how women fit into history with the biography of Ching Shih, a female pirate, while Andrew Wood lists 5 steps to creating a perfect fantasy world.

Readers get caught up in the choices our characters need to make in our story. The Writer’s Society has 5 moral dilemmas that make our characters and stories more compelling, Linda Lane looks at the differences between POV and writer intrusion, Lisa Hall Wilson explains how to use deep POV without slowing your novel’s pace, Janice Hardy examines when characters betray each other, Lisa Cron advises going deep into a character’s wound, and Anne Greenwood Brown tells how to write emotional scenes even when you don’t want to.

All writers crave more productivity. Lisa Tener gives us 7 writing productivity tips, Dawn Field discusses the unknown unknowns in writing, and Zoe M. McCarthy talks about successfully writing on vacation.

Being a writer requires emotional fortitude. Gayle Abrams describes her reaction when an agent told her that her submission should be her novel in the drawer, Carrie Peters examines the hurdle of procrastination when writing, Scott Allan shares 8 fears that hold writers back from publishing their books, and Jody Hedlund lays out what it really takes to be a die-hard writer.

Amy Sue Nathan reveals confessions of a writing workshop addict, Nancy L. Erickson urges people to be a voice of hope and help by writing their nonfiction story, and Lincoln Michel examines plagiarism and publishing.


John Doppler walks us through what to do when your publishing relationship sours.

Like to book blog? Danike Ellis tells how to make money blogging about books.

Janet Reid covers a wide range of topics this week: how blurbs work, can you requery once you realize your query is a mess, and what to ask agents at conferences if you aren’t pitching.

Marketing gets word of your book out there. Daphne Gray-Grant explains how to create a book launch team, Kristen Lamb demystifies newsletters, Stephanie Chandler lays out how to research bloggers for book reviews, and Betsy Graziani Fasbinder has 5 public speaking behaviors that make you look dishonest.

Alee King has 12 simple tricks to increase your email open rates, Sandra Beckwith shares 3 fiction lead magnet ideas, and John Hartness list 5 easy ways to look like a pro at conventions.

We connect with our readers mostly online. Frances Caballo explores how to build social media relationships and whether authors should be on Instagram, Tony Riches discusses connecting with readers on Goodreads, and Monica Corwin walks us through Instagram for writers in part 1 and part 2.


Can you guess the book titles using only emojis?

Kids are uber-creative. Take a look at these 16 kids who did their very best.

On the 130th anniversary of Raymond Chandler’s birth, check out the first reviews of every Raymond Chandler novel.

Like scary books? 13 authors reveal the books that terrified them the most.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! See you back here in August!


  1. Thank you very much for the kind link.


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