Some Stupid Questions We Writers Get Sometimes – From Rachel Poli’s Blog

When I first started writing, I often wondered how many drafts it would take me to “complete” my manuscript. Before I could submit it places for publication, how many drafts would I have to write, edit, rewrite, and the like? Of course, the more I wrote, the more I realized there’s no true answer to how many drafts does it take to write a novel?

How Many Drafts Does It Take | Creative Writing | Writing | Novel Writing | Writing Tips | Writing Community | Blogging |

My First Manuscript

I completed the first draft of my very first novel back in 2010. It’s been nine years and I don’t even know how long since I last touched it. I still have the manuscript and I’m on the eighth draft. It’s still not done. At this point, it will never be done.

Being the first novel I had ever written, I know it’s not going to see the light of day. I’m not even sure if I like the idea enough to ever go back to it and try to rewrite the story. Maybe someday I’ll share some bits of it, but today is not that day.

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Book Awards: Why Entering a Book Contest Can be a Great Way to Sell More Books – From the Author Marketing Experts Blog

Book Awards: Why Entering A Book Contest Can Be A Great Way to Sell More Books |

For years book awards and book contests have drawn in authors from a variety of book topics. I’ve judged several of them, including the Benjamin Franklin Awards from IBPA, Writer’s Digest, and several others. Book awards, in their most basic form, are designed to shed light and praise on the best books in a particular genre, and most book awards offer categories for just about any major genre – even poetry (which always tends to be tougher to market). But what does a book award really do for you? Well, as it turns out, a lot. From helping to build your platform, to pulling in more readers (book awards are eye-candy!), entering these competitions can really offer indie authors a boost. So let’s dig in and discover some ins and outs of finding the right book contests to submit to, as well as a few things to avoid!

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Firearms: What Can’t Be Silenced? – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

In both movies and books, we are inundated with magic sniper rifles that fire with a whisper, bodies that silently crumble to the ground, assassins who shoot successive shots from silenced pistols without a hiccup, and all other manner of . . . fictions.

In our last post, Firearms: Know Your Weapon! we looked at the various types of firearms espionage and crime characters might use and took a bit of the fiction out of fiction. Now let’s turn our attention to silencers and what cannot be silenced. For simplicity’s sake, we will use the terms “suppressor” and “silencer” interchangeably.

The purpose of silencers in the field is to keep anyone from recognizing the sound of a gunshot and screaming, calling 911, or returning fire.

In most cases, the shooter doesn’t care if someone hears the shot as long as they don’t recognize it as a shot. People will normally ignore noises that they hear but don’t associate with gunshots or other dangers. Because of this human tendency, the level of “silencing” our characters need with their firearms depends on their situations.

For example, if a character intends to walk into a functioning steel mill and shoot someone, they don’t need much in the way of silencing. On the other hand, if they want to shoot someone in a library without being noticed, they will want the best silencing available.

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Top Book Fairs & Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2019 – From The Book Publicist Blog

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Book Marketing

“Authors, put down your pen and go explore the many book fairs and festivals around the country. You won’t be sorry!”  Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

After writing diligently for weeks and months on end it’s time to get invigorated! Nothing does the job like meeting people who love books and write books. Check out this list of book festivals and fairs that I compiled that authors can attend for 2019. These events are an excellent way for authors to meet book buyers and reviewers, interact with fellow authors and publishers, meet your readers and find new ones too. As an author you can network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace.

Book fairs usually want speakers. By volunteering to speak, authors not only gain great exposure but can also add that appearance to their resume and press releases. One of my author clients was a member of a panel of authors at a Southern Book Festival. I issued a press release about it and added it to her accomplishments on her bio. Not only is she a respected author but she’s now an author admired by her peers. It’s these little things that all add up in the minds of reviewers and the media when they decide who they will write about. If you want to land a panel slot or speaking gig you must plan ahead; dates for panel participants, speakers and autograph sessions are usually arranged months in advance.

For more upcoming book events check out C-SPAN2 at: and click on the Book Fairs tab.   For more information about book events and book marketing visit

Here’s my list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2019 as of the date of this publishing:

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As the Author World Turns on Amazon Book Review Policies – From the Book Designer Blog


By Judith Briles

Amazon: Love it … or hate it … but, you gotta deal with it.

“Why are my reviews being removed?” is an ongoing question that authors ask. There isn’t a live program that I do that it doesn’t surface.

Scratching our heads, few of us can figure out what makes the Amazon robots push the yank button, while others stay.

Book reviews, and lots of them, can make or break the success of a book. When it comes to Amazon and its policies—what we do know, at least in March, is that:

  1. Authors need reviews on their books. Lots of them.
    Once, there are 25, the robots warm up. More than 50, expect to see cross promotion: book covers pop up on “like” books … “Customers who bought this item also bought …” meaning that your book cover gets displayed on other author pages.
    As your reviews build up (think more than 75), Amazon does email blast, suggesting your book cover with the live link to viewers of the site that have shown an “interest” in your category with their searches. How cool is that?

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Write Drunk Edit Sober Is Sound But Only Idiomatic Advice – From the Just Publishing Advice Blog

Write Drunk Edit Sober

Did Ernest Hemingway ever advise, write drunk edit sober?

Probably not. But it has become one of the most popular fixed expressions for new writers.

If you have just started writing or you are attending writing classes, you must have heard the expression. On social media, writers have used the phrase thousands of times.

Yet the term does not necessarily convey the literal meaning that you should always drink and write. Nor does it mean that you can only edit when you are not taking a proverbial sip.

The confusing origin of to write drunk and edit sober

According to Hemingway’s granddaughter, Mariel, it is not a quote from her grandfather.

“That’s not how he wrote,” the 51-year-old Manhattan actress says of The Old Man and the Sea author. “He never wrote drunk, he never wrote beyond early, early morning.”

She says he is often used to glamourise addiction. “So many writers glorify my grandfather’s way of living as much as they glorify his work. And so they try and mirror that. I think it’s the misperception of addiction and living life on the edge as if it’s cool.” Source

If it wasn’t Hemmingway who wrote drunk, the quote might have originated from a 1964 novel, Reuben, Reuben by the humorist Peter De Vries.

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Writer space – Cheaper than a Divorce – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

By Susan Haught

Have you ever watched a child blow bubbles with a little wand and a bottle of soapy water? Perhaps you’ve taken a turn yourself. If you have, you’ll know there’s something magical about bubbles.

When my son was little, we’d spend Easter with friends, and every year the Easter bunny would leave a bottle of soap bubbles in the kids’ baskets. A dozen or more children would dance around in the warm spring sun and blow wand after wand of bubbles. The air would be filled with giggling kids, barking dogs, and the occasional bout of tears. Bubbles are mesmerizing, and I’d soon find my imagination drifting away and the world around me would disappear. Until someone popped my imaginary bubble.

As writers, I think we all create some sort of “bubble” where our fictional characters live, talk, play, and generally wreak havoc on our sanity, but it’s also a place where we turn off the world around us. Tune out the other humans who share our space. Escape life’s distractions. Retreat into our fictional world. Inside our bubble—however you choose to define it—is the place where the magic happens. And it’s proven once our train of thought is interrupted, it takes several minutes to reconnect, to recreate our imaginary world.

I was lucky. We have a den in our home, hubby was still teaching, and our son was away at college. Hours of quiet. Hours of happy writing. No one to pop my bubble when I sat down to write.

And then hubby decided to retire.

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