Posted by: Kerry Gans | February 7, 2019

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 02-07-2018

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! We have emerged from our deep freeze into spring-like weather. But we have fought off spring fever long enough to gather the following links for you.

What we create is intellectual property. Kristine Kathryn Rusch explores the growing importance of intellectual property, and warns authors to watch of copyright grabs.

Speaking of copyright, DCL and the New York Public Library partner to expand access to copyright records.

In a reversal from recent trends, independent bookstores are thriving.

We all know reading is good for you. Melissa Donovan extols the benefits of keeping a reading journal.


One of the first things we must determine as writers is what kind of story we are writing, exactly. Zoe M. McCarthy explores the rather elastic definition of speculative fiction, while Jami Gold looks at aspirational stories and if they reflect our hopes and goals.

A story needs to hook the reader at every level, from the idea itself to each scene. Kathy Yardley shows how to determine if you have a story concept or just a cool idea, and Janice Hardy tells us what writers need to know about hooks.

A good character will hook your reader and never let them go. Antonio del Drago explores why we have heroes, while Stavros Halvatzis examines the hero on a journey of discovery. Stephan Evans has 5 tips for making readers laugh out loud with funny dialogue, Jo Eberhardt tells us what to do when your characters have minds of their own, Jami Gold lays out how pantsers develop character arcs, and Kristen Kieffer walks us through how to craft a negative character arc for your novel.

Voice and Point of View (POV) are often inextricably linked. Mary Kole teases out the differences between authorial voice and 3rd person voice, K.M. Weiland lists 10 advantages of writing a single POV story, and Laurie Schnebly Campbell reminds us that no matter which one we choose, POV should engage the reader.

Editing your novel is a project unto itself. Sofia Ashdown has 10 editing tips, Michael LaRocca gives us 7 proven strategies for editing and proofreading your own writing, Benjamin Dreyer lists 3 writing rules to disregard, and Kyle A. Massa advises us of 3 signs it’s time to stop editing your manuscript.

As writers, we hate to feel like we are wasting time we could be spending writing. Nina Amir urges us to write first to consistently increase our productivity, and E.M. Welsh has 11 productive things to do when you don’t feel like writing.

Sometimes the road to success is counter-intuitive. Kristen Lamb examines when quitting can lead to success, and Lucy V. Hay reveals why the most successful writers fail the most.

Reaching writing goals is a psychological and emotional journey. Nat Russo asks if you are still an aspiring writer, while Jennifer Blanchard shares the daily mindset practice that will help you achieve your writing goals.

It is often said that writers see things other people can’t. Kiley Bense explores how learning to draw can help a writer to see, Kristan Hoffman urges making the ordinary come alive, and Julie Duffy gives us a writer’s manifesto.


When self-publishing, you have to know the ins and outs of everything, even if you hire someone else to do the actual work. Karen Amanda Hooper talks about what to do if you have a terrible book cover, and Melinda Clayton compares using Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital.

Traditional or self-published, you should understand how to both protect and sell your rights. ALLi Admin lays out 3 principles of selling rights, while Janet Reid addresses three topics: how to sell yourself to an agent when you have a backlist with a struggling small press; what to do when you and your publisher don’t agree on your second book; and how to copyright illustrations.

Marketing is stressful for many writers. Jane Friedman explains how to reduce marketing anxiety and confusion and James Scott Bell says no more platform anxiety, please.

Book marketing takes many forms. Amy Collins discusses how to advertise with Barnes & Noble, Kristen Lamb advises how to make all ads, marketing and newsletters work better, and Ella Barnard has social media marketing tips for introvert authors.

We do most of our marketing work online these days, so it is essential we get it right. Anne R. Allen lists 10 mistakes on your online presence to avoid, Cristian Mihai explores networking for the novice blogger, Jordan Peters tells us how to beat blogger’s block, and Frances Caballo has 14 Facebook pages for authors to review.


Sam Jordison wonders: is Good Omens one of the best collaborative novels ever written?, and Joanna Robinson has an interview with Neil Gaiman as Good Omens comes to the TV screen.

Looking for book bling? Check out these 17 irresistibly bookish earrings from Etsy.

What’s your favorite book? Here’s an infographic showing how long favorite books took to write.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Please join us next week for more literary links!

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