Posted by: Kerry Gans | July 18, 2019

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 07-18-2019

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! We are in the middle of a heat wave here (think 100 degrees!), so we will chill out with some literary links.

Mary Kole is seeking MG & YA novel opening pages to use in a critique series.

Ceridwen Dovey examines whether reading can make you happier.

Before you read, understand how ebooks work. Dan Holloway looks at who owns your books, while John Warner flat out asks: you do know you don’t own your ebooks, right?

But you can always get books from the library. Daniela Petrova’s love letter to the public library details the most important thing she got from libraries—and it wasn’t books.

Nathan Bransford gets philosophical pondering caring about quality in a flash-in-the-pan world.

Want to know your future? Jeanna Kadlec has Summer 2019 Horoscopes for Writers.


Our readers write in many different formats, categories, and genres. Nathan Bransford has 5 tips for writing for children, Nancy L. Erikson tells us how to write your memoir in 15 minutes a day, Marie Wells Coutu has the (not-so) definitive guide on how to write a novel, and Kathryn Craft talks about writing book club fiction: what 5 reading guide questions can teach us.

When we write, we need to decide on structure, genre, and point of view. Alex Limberg questions whether you need the three-act structure, Naomi Bates explores how to choose your story’s genre, and Janice Hardy explains omniscient point of view.

Characters populate all our stories. Stavros Halvatzis discusses deep character motivation in stories, Antonio del Drago has a guide to sacrificial heroes, and David Corbitt examines characters in search of a moral compass.

We all need some editing to get our work as good as it can be. Julie Glover shares 6 tips for finding a great critique partner, and Juliet Marillier explains why editing matters.

Boosting our productivity is often a goal for writers. Brian Rowe shows how to create a schedule for writing your Medium stories, Jeff Gordinier explores the liberation and consternation of writing a whole book with pen and paper, and Lara Zielin tells us why writing yourself into your own hero’s journey can help you get unstuck.

Sometimes the whole writing journey can get us down. Katie Heaney asks: why does writing suck?, while Janet W. Ferguson reveals what to do when grumpiness strikes.

Sarah Stover advises why writers should embrace their weird side, Peter Leavell looks at teamwork and the writer, and Jim Dempsey guides us to achieve our writing goals.


Writers want to just write, but business gets in the way. Annalisa Parent investigates why so many writers feel frustration about publication.

Don’t let frustration blind you to a scam. Victoria Strauss gives a heads up to the most prolific vanity publishers out there.

Carefully consider your options. Jane Friedman lays out the key book publishing paths for 2019-2020.

In this era where anyone can publish anything, Kristen Lamb makes a case for why we need gatekeepers, and why publishing is desperate for the next breakout novel.

If you are self-publishing, Nate Hoffelder advises avoiding these self-publishing money wasters.

No matter how you publish, you should understand permissions and fair use. Jane Friedman brings us a writer’s guide to fair use and permissions, including a sample permission letter.

Melissa Miles McCarter explains why simultaneous pitches are a bad idea.

Writing a non-fiction book? Sue Coletta details how to write a non-fiction book proposal.

Marketing, promoting, and branding go hand-in-hand. Scott McCormick dissects book marketing and social media promotion, Amy Collins explains how to promote your book before you have the book out, and Julie Cantrell goes rebel by asking: should authors break free from the brand?

How to reach your audience? Reviews, news interviews, public readings, and audiobooks can help. Penny Sansevieri serves up a beginner’s guide to securing Amazon reviews, Sandra Beckwith shows us how to find the hidden news hooks in your fiction, M.K. Rainey has tips on reading your work in public, and Ray Flint walks us through developing an audiobook for indie authors.

If those approaches above don’t work, the internet is always waiting. Shelley Sturgeon shares 5 tips for popular posts on your author blog, and Bradley Metrock reveals podcasts as the indie author’s secret weapon.


The Heavens have always captured man’s imagination. David Seed examines two millenia of lunar literature.

No author is immune to bad reviews. Emily Temple brings us the 50 best one-star Amazon reviews of To Kill A Mockingbird.

Jack London is best known as an adventure writer, but Matthew Raese revisits the Jack London novel that influenced a century of dystopian fiction.

Irene Goldman-Price tells us the story behind Edith Wharton’s little-known book of poems on love, loss, and regret.

Sci-fi can seem eerily predictive—but can also be wildly wrong in foreseeing the future. So why are companies employing sci-fi writers to imagine their uncertain futures for them?

Mateo Askaripour says move over Willy Loman—literature needs a new salesman.

There is a robust connection between language and nature. Chi Luu investigates how language and climate connect: while we’re losing biological diversity, we’re also losing linguistic and cultural diversity.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Stay cool and join us next week for more writerly links.



  1. Thanks for the pingback, ladies! Excellent links this week. I had no idea Microsoft was deleting ebooks.


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