• Picture of a will document with a home, money, and books in the background
    This is an update and expansion of an article I wrote for the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) three years ago. No one wants to think about death, but the reality is it happens to all of us. Many writers have likely written a will–either by using a template on one of many legal sites or perhaps involved an attorney to make sure that their children, siblings, or perhaps some great friends inherit whatever they have. I drew up my first will when I was in my 20s and newly married. I’d been through a cancer scare and knew that
  • bookstore with genre tags labeling each section
    What genre am I? This is a question I hear all the time from new writers and even seasoned writers who aren’t seeing sales in the genre they selected. With what appears to be thousands of selection on Amazon, and admittedly close to 5,000 on BISAC it is quite confusing. So, I created a handout for the Foundations class, I teach and I share it with you here with a few explanatory words. Placing your book into its correct genre is a major component of successfully marketing your book and, if you are a single genre writer, can also help
  • mature woman with dark and holding pages of a a publishing agreement to discuss with author
    I know that a lot of my posts and emphasis is on helping independent authors who are primarily self-publishing or working with small publishers. However, there are many authors who are hybrid–they self publish and they work with traditional publishers. And there are authors who really don’t want to ever self-publish, either because their genre isn’t as conducive to self-publishing–academic books, children’s books, some literary novels–or they don’t want to learn the ins and outs of publishing a book or pay someone to do it for them. I was traditionally published in the beginning of my career. I did 5
  • This is an updated post from one I wrote on a guest blog six years ago when someone made a comment that anyone not currently raising children couldn’t write children’s books or YA books because they wouldn’t have the right “voice” for it. Of course, I completely disagreed. As I begin writing a Middle Grade book series, I sometimes have people ask me: “Don’t you think you’re too old for that? How do you know what they think or feel?” My answer is I know because I was a child once. The same goes for YA books. I was a
  • man holding book against his chest that says: The Great American Novel. Background words say Don't let FOMO kill your career or stop you from writing
    FOMO is the “fear of losing out”. In the era of social media, advertising, and ease of getting information in front of you, it is easy to FEEL that there is too much you have to do to make it in this world and that the publishing world is changing too fast to stay on top of it. With every new idea, advice, even a post like this one, many writers think they are doing something wrong. If they could only spend more time, more money, learn faster they would be more successful. Don’t let FOMO kill your creativity, and
  • Picture of woman outside on lawn with laptop, writing her book
    Recently, someone shared a Substack post titled No One Will Read Your Book (and other truths about publishing)  As you can imagine it got a lot of interaction on the discussion board where it was shared. Very successful writers, average writers, and those who barely make a living all chimed in about how hard it is to be a writer. Of course, I couldn’t pass up a chance to wax philosophically, too. I’ve been a published author since 1978 when I wrote a Middle Grade chapter book aimed specifically at children who had difficulty reading. I was part of a