The Pros and Cons of Using a Pen Name


Let’s face it: Putting a book into the world can be a vulnerable thing. You’re putting your words…your story…your ideas…dare I say your heart, right out there. And if you’re lucky and do your job right, people are going to read it! And judge it! And most frighteningly, write Amazon reviews about it! (Cue the … Read more

Quick Start Guide to Building Your Author Platform

author platform

As an aspiring author, there is (no joke) so much you could be doing at any given moment. But perhaps nothing is as freaky-scary-frustrating to new authors as the concept of building a platform. Your “platform” is the audience that’s ready and waiting to buy your book when it hits the shelf. Publishers want you … Read more

Why Done Is Not Good Enough for a Book

Done Is Not Good Enough for a Book

Not long ago a friend told me she had someone she wanted to introduce me to. Let’s call this person Cathy. Cathy, my friend told me, had just published a book! As an editor, I’m intimately aware of how much time, effort and energy it takes to cross the threshold from “writer” to “author.” Anybody … Read more

The Truth about “Bestsellers”

The Truth about “Bestsellers”

A big part of my job as an editor and a book publishing educator is to explain how book marketing works. There’s one point that really gets me fired up. That’s the question of what the term “bestseller” means. Stick with me—I’m about to get controversial. There is a widely recognized, standardized usage for the … Read more

Key Insider Tips about Traditional Publishing

Key Insider Tips about Traditional Publishing

Most of the aspiring authors I talk to want very much to be published by a traditional publisher right now. You may understand the feeling. (I certainly do!) And, there’s often a lot these hardworking, big-dreaming authors don’t yet know about how the biz works. Today I’m offering some key insider tips about the traditional … Read more

The #1 Key to Writing a Book That Sells

There are a thousand different reasons to write a book: You might be writing it for your heart—because you just have to. You might be writing it for your art—creative expression in action. You might be writing it for your clients—so you can hand them all your wisdom in one nifty package. And you might … Read more

How to Know if You’ve Got a “Big” Book Idea

How to Know if You’ve Got a “Big” Book Idea

When I used to sit at editorial meetings, presenting possible books to the team, I always wanted to be able to say one thing. “This author has a big idea.” A big idea, in this environment, was gold. It’s one of the things agents and editors are always looking for, because it so often translates … Read more

How to Find Out If Your Book Is “Good Enough”

When I was 9 years old, Madonna released the album Like a Virgin. I had just discovered WZPL, the pop music radio station in my hometown, and I was a Madonna superfan immediately. Overlooking content that was thematically questionable for the under-10 crowd, my mom bought me the Like a Virgin cassette tape. I played … Read more

[VIDEO] Why You Should Price Your eBook at $1.99

Why You Should Sell Your eBook for

A couple months after my book published, I learned Hay House was putting the eBook on sale for the “low, low price” of $1.99. I was psyched. Why? Because as someone in the book biz, I know that making an eBook super cheap also makes it super easy for readers to say YES. Marking down … Read more