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What I Learned Failing NaNoWriMo

This was my fourth year taking part in NaNoWriMo. And it was the first year I failed to hit the 50k word target. I’m surprised. And I’m kind of not surprised. I mean, I did get a late start on NaNo this year. After getting a few thousand words into a new romance, I decided that wasn’t a genre I wanted to think about all month. So … read more

Falling Behind During NaNoWriMo? 3 Tips to Get You Back on Track

NaNoWriMo has barely started, and I’m already behind this year. I changed my novel idea at the last minute (I believe around 10:00 p.m. the night before). I still haven’t finished the scene-by-scene outline, though I hope to by tomorrow morning. And it’s now November 3rd and I haven’t even begun drafting my novel yet. That seems like a cause for concern, right? But I’m … read more

Story Setting Inspiration for Writers (When You Can’t Plan a Visit)

Maybe you want to set a story in an exotic location you’ve never visited. Or perhaps you’re creating an entirely fictional setting for your book. How are you supposed to describe real (or just realistic) locations if you can’t show up, meet some locals, and check out similar areas for yourself? Whether you realize it or not, story setting inspiration is right at your fingertips, 24/7. I’m … read more

Why (and How) to Launch Your Author Blog Before Your Book

Maybe you’re writing your first book. Perhaps it’s off with your editor. In either case, you still have a ways to go before your book is in the hands of readers. That means it’s much too early to worry about setting up an author blog, right? Wrong. You don’t need to wait until your book launch to set up an author blog. In fact, you … read more

Building Author Visibility Before a Book Launch: A 10-Point Plan

When it comes to book marketing, I frequently mention that promotion is something authors need to think about early — even before your books are published. A part of that is building your author platform and gaining visibility (and an audience of readers anxious to buy your book when it’s released). This year one of my biggest projects involves building visibility under my horror author … read more

What’s Your NaNoWriMo Plan?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) began yesterday. NaNoWriMo is the annual month-long challenge to write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel. I’ve only taken part during two years so far, and I’ve managed to reach my goal both times. I’m hoping to make this year my third. I’m approaching this NaNoWriMo a bit differently than previous years. My goal is to actually hit … read more

Quick Tip: Don’t Wait Until November to Prepare for NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is a little over two weeks away. But if you plan to take part in it this year, you shouldn’t wait until November 1st to think about your new manuscript. Instead, use the rest of October for planning and outlining. Then, when NaNoWriMo begins, you’ll be ready to jump into your story. How I’m Spending My October Getting Ready … read more

Quick Tip for Indie Authors: Create Your Own Media List

If you’ve ever distributed a press release to promote one of your books, chances are you did it wrong. It’s not your fault if you did. I’ve seen all the nonsense authors are exposed to online. This ranges from claims that press releases never work unless you’re already famous (utter BS) to “advice” that equates to spamming your press release to every free distribution website you … read more

Quick Tip: Keep Your Book Marketing as Creative as Your Writing

I’ve been ranting for the last week or two about atrocious examples of marketing from companies like Upwork, Freshbooks, and Canva. So it feels like a good time to change gears and get back to the things writers should focus on rather than avoid. This week’s quick tip for writers is a bit of a lead-in to Friday’s podcast episode. There, we’ll explore ways indie authors … read more

Quick Tip: Tie Your Book to a Worthy Cause

When you promote a new book release, chances are good you’ll send out at least one press release. And one of the biggest book launch press release mistakes I see authors make is sending a release with nothing newsworthy to say. That fact that you’re releasing a new book is very rarely newsworthy on its own, unless you’re a well-known author. Instead, you can increase … read more