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Jim’s Tip: Between vs. From

Alissa's Note: Our tip this week comes from my friend and fellow writer Jim Pfitzer, who posted this public service announcement on his Facebook page recently. When I asked about using it for this blog, he was generous enough to agree to let me share it with all of...

The Real Costs of Self-Publishing

I’m so sick of hearing this “I can’t afford it” bullshit from indie writers. Guess what? I couldn't afford to invest $20K in my business in 2016, but I did it anyway because it's the only way to see growth. If something is important enough, it can be prioritized and...

Writing Tip: Trust yourself. Trust your readers.

Probably the #1 issue I see popping up over and over and over again in manuscripts I work on is telling what has already been shown. Or telling what should be shown. But recently I’ve been seeing a lot of doubling up, where writers want to explain what they just...

Writing Tip: Let Punctuation Do Its Job

We have an awesome variety of punctuation options in the English language: commas, semi-colons, ellipses, en- and em-dashes, periods, parentheses, question marks, exclamation points, even the always delightful interrobang. Each of these performs specific, commonly...

Writing Tip: Your Craft is Showing—Dialogue

When two or more characters are having a conversation about something that everyone involved already knows, it becomes obvious that you, the author, are using dialogue as a tool to convey information to me, the reader. Now instead of being lost within the story, I’m...

The Golden Rule: Show, Don’t Tell

This is hands-down the most common advice I give to writers, and probably the most common feedback writers hear from editors in general. Showing means guiding readers to draw their own conclusions rather than reporting to us what transpired. It means allowing me to...

A Rallying Cry for Lovers of the Written Word

I'm going to be really blunt right now: A book is a professional literary product, and if a writer or publisher doesn't respect the industry enough to uphold basic quality standards, they have no business publishing. It's not only a matter of integrity, but also...

Author’s Guide to ISBNs

There's a lot of misinformation out there about ISBNs, so I've compiled this brief guide to answer some of the most common questions we get on this topic. An International Standard Book Number is "assigned to each book by its publisher under a system set up in the...

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