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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Choosing Your Categories

Tweet We spent the week discussing the role categories play in your books’ success–from the initial story design through cover design and promotion. I’d like to wrap that up with a brief discussion of where the categories fit in your publishing plans. As Joshua pointed out on Thursday, the official category list provided by BISAC […]

Three Common Grammatical Mistakes: Commas

Tweet Commas are a tricky beast for everyone. There are so many uses for the comma, and many times it feels like you’re just supposed to use your best judgment. But too often those pauses become unnatural and cumbersome, or, if you decide to be sparse, your readers feel like they’re galloping through a sentence. […]

Categorical Ground Zero

Tweet Part of marketing your book in this brave new world of self, indie, and e-publishing is targeting your category. Categories are what most people call genres, but I’m not going to get into the minutiae of which term is correct. I’m going to call it category for the duration of this post for clarity […]

The Character in the Middle

Tweet Fatherhood [fah-ther-hood] (n): The delicate balance between making a child into the person he is going to be and letting the child decide who he is going to be. You won’t find that at But as my first child continues to grow and my second child has just announced his/her plans for imminent […]

How to Design a Cover by the Genre

Tweet At this point, you’ve thought about what type of cover you want based on what your competition is doing. But looking at your competition is a small step in the larger part of making sure your book stays relevant to its genre. Without a solid idea of how your book genre relates to your finished cover, you […]

Don’t Shoot Arrows at People

Who are you writing for? What does your audience expect? Today we’ll talk about choosing your target audience.

Using a Style Guide

Tweet For many writers, the worst part of self-publishing is the technical aspect of (re)formatting their manuscripts. We all have slightly different habits (and slightly different inherited settings on our word processors), so it can be a challenge to “clean up” a document enough that an e-book retailer will even accept it (let alone make […]

How to Use a Style Guide

Tweet Hi! I’m back! I hope you learned a lot from Laurie’s posts of the past couple of weeks. Now it’s time to get back to something that I love very much: the rules. Last time I wrote here, I covered the different types of editing that an editor might be required to perform on […]

Guts & Bolts: Have Dice Bag, Will Travel

Tweet I spent last month’s Guts & Bolts being pretty hard on Epic Fantasy’s promotional copy. That’s not surprising: I have a complicated relationship with the genre, even going so far as to quit it entirely while I was in college. But I’m going to try and be nicer this time around by dealing with […]

Internal Monologue

Tweet Last week we discussed point of view. Today we’re going to cover a corollary question: Depending on which point of view you’ve chosen, what is the best way to explore the inner thoughts of your main character(s)? Many of you are probably familiar with internal monologue. It goes kind of like this. Rebekah ducked […]