The Secret to a Powerful Author Brand

A Must Read!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anurag Agnihotri Original Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anurag Agnihotri

Last time we talked a little about our author brand and why, these days, our brand is almost as important as the books we write. It is an awesome time to be a writer, but also a scary one. Why can’t it be like the good old days when all we had to do was write the book?

Because that world no longer exists and, frankly, it wasn’t all that great to begin with.

Granted, in the pre-digital publishing world we authors didn’t need to tweet or blog or be on-line, but it was also a world with a 93% failure rate. According to the Book Expo of America, as late as 2006, 93% of all books (traditionally and non-traditionally published) sold less than a 1000 copies. Only one out of ten traditionally published authors would ever see a second…

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Last Weeks Links 9/21-9/26

Here are last weeks links that I tweeted out.

Continue reading “Last Weeks Links 9/21-9/26”

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

~Robert H. Schuller

Poll: Series or Standalone Books

Do you prefer reading books that are written as a series, with the same characters or standalone books with new characters or both?

I like both. I enjoy reading books that have the same characters, I like seeing them develop. I also enjoy standalone books that has a good plot and characters. Tell me what you prefer in the comments section.

Writing By Hand

Live to Write - Write to Live

writing by handWhen I don’t know what I want to say, when I’m stuck in an essay or a scene or a business letter, or even when I’ve just been away on vacation and need to settle back at my desk, I always rediscover my voice by writing by hand.

Handwriting is like a fingerprint, unique to each individual; my handwriting’s lousy.

My handwriting has deteriorated in direct proportion to my keyboarding skills, which are fierce – and fast. Writing by hand slows me down, which is a good way to find my way to the page.

Writing by hand grounds me. It keeps my eyes focused on my words and my mind trained on my ideas, holding them long enough to scrawl them in ink on narrow-lined paper. The problem is that the scrawl is sometimes quite hard to decipher – even for me, even within minutes of scribbling them down.

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Last Weeks Links 9/14-9/19

Here are last weeks links that I tweeted out.

Continue reading “Last Weeks Links 9/14-9/19”

What’s Your First Draft Like? – Tania Chandler

Rebecca Bradley

Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Tania Chandler to the First Draft hot seat.

Tania Chandler

TANIA CHANDLER is a Melbourne-based writer and editor. Her work was awarded a special commendation in the 2013 Writers Victoria Crime Writing competition. Please Don’t Leave Me Here is her first novel, and she is currently working on a sequel.

When you decide to write something new, what is the first thing you do?

20150817_121349I start by scribbling copious notes in exercise books (or on napkins in cafes, or scraps of paper while waiting at traffic lights — ideas have an annoying habit of transpiring at the most inopportune times). I try to capture things about character, setting, backstory, images and other sensory elements.

Before I start writing, I try to have a plot outline, which I map loosely to a narrative framework (I find Nigel Watts’s ‘Eight-point story arc’ and Syd Field’s ‘Paradigm’ helpful), knowing that most of it…

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Writing is a kind of double living

Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.

~Catherine Drinker Bowen

Last Weeks Links For 9/7-9/12

Here are last weeks links that I tweeted out.

Continue reading “Last Weeks Links For 9/7-9/12”

‘The Loneliest Place for a Writer’: Gary Lutz on Writing (and Rewriting) Great Sentences


Early this summer I attended a disappointing writing workshop where a clearly unprepared instructor stressed the importance of creating air-tight sentences without bothering to suggest how. “Interrogate each one of your sentences,” she kept saying, then referring, over and over, to the first five lines of Lolita.

While the overall experience was unsatisfying, it reminded me that for a long time I have been wanting to go further with my development as a writer, at the sentence level. Since then, everywhere I’ve turned there have been signs pointing me in that direction.

Almost daily in the New York Times, ads for the Building Great Sentences audio and video offering from The Great Courses catch my eye. (Recently I ordered the corresponding book.)

More notably, not long ago, two different colleagues independently mentioned “The Sentence is a Lonely Place,” this instructive essay by Gary Lutz that appeared…

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