The tsunami of self-published authors in the last several years has created a huge marketplace for book cover designers. Many websites offer ready-made templates that are easily less expensive than it would be to hire an independent designer to create a unique cover. (And some cover templates, like those offered by Lulu and CreateSpace in […]

“No ideas?” “Oh,” he thumbed his mug handle, “I have ideas.” “Well, then. There you go. Write them.” “Can’t.” “Why not?” “Because. What’s the point?” “What do you mean?” “I mean,” he said, “what’s the point? I start writing a paragraph, or I imagine a scene, and I just stop. I think, ‘Why bother?’” “Doug, […]

An email arrived in my inbox yesterday from one of my editors at the paper.

“This is what writing has come to,” the email said. Pasted in the body was Continue reading

In 1987, Joyce Carol Oates was revealed to be Rosamond Smith, the author of Lives of the Twins, a mystery novel slated for publication the same year as You Must Remember This, a “real” Oates novel.

Oates was disappointed to have been discovered–“I wanted to Continue reading

A few weeks ago, in “Kill the First Novel? Are You Insane?” I responded to Edan Lepucki’s decision to semi-permanently put away her first novel after it received a series of rejections. In her piece, Lepucki touches on self-publishing as a possibility and then quickly dismisses it as an option (for her).

This week, in “Do it Yourself: Self-Published Authors Take Matters Into Their Own Hands,” Lepucki examines the benefits and pitfalls of self-publishing and presents a few ideas that beg to be addressed.

1. Continue reading

There’s an entire thread on Amazon’s discussion forum dedicated to the “high” cost of Kindle e-books. One commenter, J. Bryan, writes

Continue reading

“Magic 8 Ball,” I asked, “will my first novel be published?”

Yes. Definitely.


“Magic 8 Ball, am I a man?”

Yes. Definitely.



Edan Lepucki, in her recent article in The Millions, briefly plays with the idea of a) showing her cleavage in her author photo Continue reading

You often hear from people who write that writing is an isolated (isolating, even) experience, and this is probably true. But the writing is the only part that is. The rest, the part that involves getting people to read whatever it is you wrote, is a group effort. These are the people involved: The first […]

R. J. Keller, author of Waiting for Spring and the forthcoming The Wendy House, my partner in the PaperRats writers’ relief YouTube series Inside the Writers’ Studio, Backword Books member,  and obsessive Star Wars fan, has recently had her independently released novel, Waiting for Spring, picked up by Amazon’s Encore imprint. Here, she answers some […]

I’m very excited to announce that a small publisher (with great distribution) will be publishing How to (Not) Have Children and Homefront. (Yay!) The details are still out, but when they’re available, I’ll share them. I’ve removed Homefront from print distribution, so whatever copies are currently at Amazon or other online stores are the only […]