Author Archives: Guest Column

Partner with Your Publicist: Why You Need Literary Publicity

Every author wants his or her book to be a success. Dreams of best-seller lists, grand book tours with sold out speaking engagements, and that coveted interview with Oprah, luxuriate in the backs (and often fronts) of many the writerly mind. But the process of connecting the dots between first draft...

The Five Little Secrets of Memoir Writing: A Contrarian POV

A memoir can be a massive undertaking. As writers, we sometimes take pride in this complexity. It makes us seem, well, more professional. It can also alienate us from real people. And real people have stories to tell. Very real stories. So it becomes important that we set aside our biases...

6 Reasons to Read Translated Literature

How often do you expand your literary horizons to books published in other cultures and countries? Here, translator Nicky Harman addresses several compelling reasons why you should read more translated literature.

Three Keys to Selling a Children’s Picture Book Biography

I love picture book biographies. I love reading them and being inspired and thinking, “Wow, that’s an amazing story. How come I didn’t know that?” And I love writing them. Why? Because picture book biographies are all about inspiring kids to their own greatness. This is important to me. In addition...

Three Keys to Building Your Life Story or Memoir Platform

You’ve written your life story. You’ve edited and assembled it into a compelling narrative. Now a family member or friend is encouraging you to take the next step. Get your story published so the world can read it. Is that possible? Does an outside market exist for an ordinary person’s life...

How to Transform Funny Stories into Comedy Writing Gold

Funny stories that comedians perform in clubs are called anecdotal stand-up. These stories can be based on real-life experiences or they can be made up. In either case, there are three keys to transforming a funny story that your friends enjoy into anecdotal stand-up that can entertain an audience. Build frequent...

Better Off Dead: Prepare Your Writing Legacy

For those who want a hand in how their writing is handled posthumously, preparation is essential. Building on Jennifer Roland’s steps for securing your digital assets in the January 2018 issue of Writer’s Digest, Richard D. Bank advises how to manage your writing estate in your will. 

Transforming a Short Story Into a Novel

When I first wrote my short story, “Escaping Time,” I intended for it to be a standalone piece about a teenage girl attempting to escape from a military brothel during World War II. I was satisfied with the final draft and even submitted it for publication in my creative writing program’s...

An Interview with Award-Winning Author Bernice L. McFadden

Bernice L. McFadden takes a break from penning award-winning novels to tells us about her literary journey. Bernice is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels including Sugar, The Warmest December, Gathering of Waters (one of The New York Times Editors’ Choice Books of 2012), and Glorious, which was featured in...

Research Tips for Writing Nonfiction

I recently moved into a new house and office, and was faced with carting along decades of writing research in the process. Books, albums, boxes of photos, cassettes—that was the easy part. Assembling the stacks of files, the collapsed cartons of photocopies, insect-infested pamphlets and newspaper clippings, the 10,000 pages of...

The Great Debate: To Prologue or Not to Prologue?

As many of you know, book publishing industry professionals and readers alike have openly expressed their dislike of prologues. Act first, explain later. Great advice from James Scott Bell. Be careful with backstory and prologues. #writetip — Nat Russo (@NatRusso) September 30, 2017 Yes! Prologues don't work all the time, do...

Marketing & Sales Perspectives for Indie Authors

I’ve considered myself a professional writer for a little over three years now, and I’ve learned a great deal about the publishing industry in that time. Much of how I think and what I do as an independently published author parallels the experiences of my traditionally published friends, but there are...