Why Self-Publishing Has a Bad Rap: Three Pitfalls and Their Antidotes


Let’s face it, my friends. Self-publishing has a bad rap. Publishing your own book is snootily labeled second-class, amateur, slipshod, self-centered, unprofessional and much worse. In the “bad old days” (before the digital print-on-demand revolution rendered self-publishing a reasonable pursuit for just about any author) DIY publishers were actually called “vanity presses”! The stigma, as … Read more

Why You Should Find an Editor BEFORE You Start Writing

Find an Editor

If you’re an independent spirit like me, you might feel like: You should “already know how to write a book.” Asking for help before you’ve completed a first draft means you’re “not a real writer.” You might think that “real authors don’t need help.” I totally understand. But with all due respect, you’re totally wrong. … Read more

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

How to Tell Your Story (Even If Mom Won’t Like It)

What if Mom gets mad about your book

This weekend, we in North America are celebrating Mother’s Day. I think it’s a fairly normal thing to have complicated feels toward our mamas. We love them with all we have, but they are human, too. It’s a part of life. But the mother-child relationship can be especially flummoxing for those of us who write memoir. Because many of … Read more

21 Micro-Commitments Every Aspiring Writer Should Make

21 Micro-Commitments Any Aspiring Writer Should Make

Perhaps by now, you’ve discovered this truth: Writing a book is, basically, a commitment between two covers. And writers? We’re human beings like anybody else. Entirely prone to running the opposite direction when a commitment looms on the horizon. Just like garden-variety commitment-phobia, the antidote to the writerly version is simple. In the words of … Read more

3 Clues that You’re a Gifted Writer

3 Clues that You’re a Gifted Writer

“Am I a good enough writer to become a published author?” This is a query we get from aspiring authors every single day. I’ll admit it: For years I’ve shied away from the straightforward yes/no response clients are looking for when they ask a question like this. I simply haven’t seen it as my job … Read more

[VIDEO] Four Writing Goals You Will Actually Keep

Four Writing Goals You Will Actually Keep

The New Year is underway, and I have just one question for you: Did you make writing resolutions that you’ll actually be able to keep? Every year I watch dozens of aspiring authors set themselves ambitious writing goals. And just a few days later they’ve already let them go! Success is the fuel of any … Read more