Why Adverbs Are (Almost Always) a Bad Idea

Image 2008 © Nic McPhee

This sentence has a problem:
She ran quickly down the street.
This sentence has an even bigger problem:
Panting forcefully, with arms wildly flailing, she ran quickly down the street.

Can you guess? They are […]

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New York Times #1 Bestseller, Five Nights at Freddy’s

Guess Who’s #1?
Not only was our client Scott Cawthon’s debut novel, Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes, published by Scholastic in 2016, it has quickly risen to the #1 spot on the New York […]

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Four Books That Helped Build Brands

Writing a book is a great way to build a brand, whether that means your personal brand or your organization’s brand. These four examples—all bestsellers—show how writing and publishing a book can help you build […]

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Social Media Tips for Writers

The Internet is a huge boon to today’s writers: it provides places to sell your books, venues for marketing your books, and forums for engaging with your readers and fans. But with so many online […]

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Five Inspirational Memoirs by Entrepreneurs

Many business leaders find themselves at a crossroads when they’ve attained success with a venture. “What’s next?” they might ask. Some leaders consider what they’ve learned and what they’ve developed and turn their story into […]

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How to Find the Time to Write

So you want to write a book, but you’re a busy person: maybe you’ve got a full-time job or a business to run. Maybe you’ve got a family to take care of. How do you […]

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4 Tips for Using Goodreads to Raise Your Profile and Market Your Book

What is Goodreads?

Goodreads is a social network for book lovers. It helps readers find and explore new books. Goodreads users share book reviews and recommendations, and because the site is owned by and connected to […]

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Query Letter Basics

If you’re hoping to publish a book, having a strong query letter is essential.

When you’re seeking agent representation, a query letter the way to introduce not only yourself, but your book. A good query letter—written […]

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More than a Memoir: How Your Book Can Make a Difference in Someone’s Life

There are many reasons that compel people to write their memoirs or an autobiography. They may have had a unique experience that’s provided them with an exciting true story to tell. Or they may want […]

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Ghostwriting Scandals—and How to Avoid Them

 

Many authors work with ghostwriters. It’s a perfectly accepted practice in the publishing world, and a great way to write a book and get it published when you have a compelling story to tell but […]

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Tips for Fiction Writers: How to Hook a Reader

 

What’s the hardest part of mastering effective writing? Learning how to hook your reader.

If you want readers to pay attention to what you have to say, you have to snag them at the getgo. You […]

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Why You Should Go To Writers’ Conferences

Writers’ conferences are gatherings of authors, editors, agents, and other literary professionals. They’re a chance to network with people in the publishing industry, and an opportunity to learn more about writing and publishing. For new […]

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Five Notable Ghostwritten Books

Do you think it’s unusual for an author to work with a ghostwriter? Well, think again. Some of the most successful books have been written by or in collaboration with a ghostwriter.

There are many reasons […]

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Should You Self-Publish Your Book?

E-books have changed the publication game, making it easier than ever for authors to write and publish books themselves. Many writers find it empowering—and lucrative—to go the self-publishing route and get their work out there […]

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The Ethics of Hiring a Ghostwriter

Perhaps you’ve lived an exceptional life. Maybe you’ve got a great story to tell. Or it could be that you have an idea that you think will make people’s lives better. Your colleagues and friends […]

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Write a Book to Build Your Personal Brand

You’re a successful leader, a CEO, an entrepreneur—so why not write a book about your story?

Writing and publishing a book is another accomplishment to add to your list of achievements, but it’s also much more […]

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How Working with an Editor Can Help You Find Your Voice

If you’ve never worked with an editor before, it can be a daunting experience. What if they don’t understand what it is you want to say? What if they change your words in a way […]

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Making Your Writing Sound Like You: Three Tips for Finding Your Voice

Many aspiring writers struggle with finding their writerly voice. That is to say, they find it challenging to write in a way that reflects who they are.

As Cris Freese at Writer’s Digest points out, many […]

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Memoirs and Autobiographies: The Next Step for Successful Leaders and Public Figures

Successful leaders and well-established public figures often seem like they’ve reached the top of their fields. But when you’ve attained wide recognition, influence, and maybe even a fan base, what’s next? For many public figures, […]

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Some Notes on Writing Narrative

Everybody, even great writers, benefit from a refresher course now and then. Luckily, the market has no short supply of books offering to help writers get started (and finished) with a novel or memoir. Writers […]

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The Biggest Key to Attracting a Literary Agent

Anyone serious about getting a book published knows that one of the biggest hurdles to a book deal is attaining a literary agent. While almost all agents share their information on their websites, the sheer […]

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How Do You Know If Self-Publishing Is Right For You?

When the self-publishing phenomenon began, it was common to hear many writers express skepticism about it. In MFA workshops across the country, professors and writers alike warned against the practice. After all, they said, if […]

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Five Simple Tips to Improve Your Writing

English grammar is notoriously difficult, but writing is a crucial skill in the workplace. While an in depth study of grammar and writing conventions would certainly help anyone become a better writer, few have the […]

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Show, Don’t Tell

“Show and tell” probably conjures up fond memories of kindergarten fun (even if the exercise was a sneaky way to teach you public speaking skills). The two words have been paired since Shakespeare, and the […]

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Can Robots Write?

Robots Writing Novels

Recently, The New York Times published a quiz entitled “Did a Human or Computer Write This?” The quiz features eight, short writing samples—some news, some fiction, some poetry—and asks the user to identify […]

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Author Spotlight: Flannery O’Connor

Life of a Storyteller

Born in 1925 in Savannah, Georgia, Flannery O’Connor is considered one of the greatest American short story writers of the 20th century. She attended the Georgia State College for Women, now Georgia […]

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What Jason Reitman’s Film “Young Adult” Says about Ghostwriting

There aren’t many films about ghostwriters. There is a strangely large amount of films about architects, but ghostwriters pretty much have two movies: Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer and Jason Reitman’s Young Adult. While doctors […]

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Ghostwriting, Artists, and the Myth of Genius

When most of us think of the term “artist,” we think of a very specific type of person. The cultural image of an artist (anything from a painter, to a musician, to a writer) is […]

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Five Extraordinary Bookstores Across the World

Bookstores are bookstores, you might say. Even better, just use Amazon. While chain and online bookstores are helpful for getting something we all love—books—independent booksellers can offer experiences that are hard to get elsewhere. The […]

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Films about Writing: Adaptation

Writing and Cinema

Over the years, innumerable films have been made about writers—some

great, some less so. While many of these films succumb to a romanticized view of writing, others provide valuable insights into creativity, the craft […]

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Book Madness

It’s that time of year, again, when everyone is talking about brackets, predictions, and the excitement of the contest. For book fans, though, this may not mean college basketball’s NCAA tournament. For the past five […]

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Author Spotlight: Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins was born in England in 1889. Hopkins’ family was large and fervently religious. During his time studying at Balliol College, Oxford, Hopkins converted to Roman Catholicism via the Oxford Movement. The conversion […]

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Ghostwriters in Popular Culture

If you do an Internet search for “ghostwriters in popular culture” or “movies about ghostwriters” (or “TV shows,” or “books” about ghostwriters) you’ll find plenty of information on what has been ghostwritten and what hasn’t—but […]

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Author Spotlight: David Foster Wallace

The Life of an Innovator
American writer David Foster Wallace was born in 1962 and died at the young age of 46 in 2008. He graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College with a double major in philosophy […]

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What Jeff Koons’ Artistic Process Says about Ghostwriting

Jeff Koons is arguably the most famous American artist currently alive. He is at least the wealthiest living American artist (which makes him the second wealthiest living artist in the world). You may have seen […]

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Autobiographies and Memoirs—What’s the Difference?

Firsthand accounts of true stories have always been popular, but are currently on the rise. The recent increase in popularity is affecting both memoirs and autobiographies. These two subgenres of literature may sound identical, but […]

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Semicolons and How to Use Them

Semicolons are the horn-rimmed glasses of grammar: they’re just obscure enough to seem elite, but popular enough that they’re often misused. And, as with horn-rimmed glasses, the correct or incorrect use of a semicolon can […]

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Louise Bourgeois and the Need for Ghostwriters

Aside from founding an art movement, creating countless masterpieces in pretty much every medium available, and providing academics of all sorts with a near endless array of things to talk about, Louise Bourgeois also did […]

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POD, Vanity Press, or Traditional Publishing: What’s the Difference? 

With the explosion of digital publishing technology, there are more ways than ever to get your manuscript off your computer and into the public. However, the printed codex is still the most popular way to […]

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Ten Famous Books Rejected By Publishers

Getting a book published isn’t easy. Even many famous and bestselling novels have faced rejection—some over and over—before finally getting the recognition that, with hindsight, we can say they deserved. The following are a list […]

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What Roman Polanski’s Film “The Ghost Writer” Says about Ghostwriting

In 2010, Roman Polanski (director of classics like Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown) directed a film called The Ghost Writer. If you haven’t seen it, it’s actually a hidden, little gem of a film. Ewan […]

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A Draft Is Not a Book

 

Unless you’re Allen Ginsberg, “first thought best thought.” While the famous beat poet had a knack for improvisational writing, he is the exception. Whether you consider writing “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings…recollected […]

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How Writers Write – David Sedaris

I’ve had the good fortune to hear David Sedaris read his works on a number of occasions, and as much as I love reading his hilariously honest, irreverent, and insightful short stories and memoirs, I […]

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Top 10 Opening Lines in Twentieth Century Literature

The twentieth century was a time of massive change, upheaval, and innovation in a multiplicity of fields—and writing was no exception. The following are ten of the greatest opening lines to surface in writing and […]

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Ghostwriters and Coauthors: What’s the Difference?

Ghostwriter vs. Coauthor—What’s the Difference?

Both a ghostwriter and a coauthor can help you write your book, but the two roles have less in common than you may think. If you’re thinking about hiring a ghostwriter […]

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David Lynch Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and We All Go Fishing

If you haven’t heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, we would first like to congratulate you on behalf of Henry David Thoreau for your lifestyle of solitude and isolation, probably in a cabin without […]

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Book Writing, Hydrocephalus, and What David Foster Wallace Says They Have in Common

If you know anything about the late, American, literary wizard, David Foster Wallace, you know that he used esoteric, medical nomenclature (e.g. “hydrocephalic”) like most writers use conjunctions. Or, you may know him as […]

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When Do I Need to Hire a Ghostwriter?

Do you find yourself unable to write due to distracting poltergeist activity? Is your keyboard so covered in ectoplasm that you can’t even type out a sentence without going through a week’s worth of hand […]

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When Is a Memoir Worth Writing?

Whether the storyteller was your Uncle Norm, your next-door neighbor, or just some insufferable hotshot kid who went to Mexico for spring break and came back thinking he’s the next Carlos Castaneda, we’ve all been […]

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Had We but World Enough and Time: The Eternal Bane of Writers

Recently, some folks (with a lot of time on their hands, apparently) got together and created nifty, color-coded schedules for some of history’s most famous writers, artists, musicians, and philosophers. The article is titled “Here’s […]

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Lost (and Found) in Translation: The Role of a Ghostwriter

What exactly does a ghostwriter do? Is it ethical to use a ghostwriter? How can I take credit for a piece of writing if someone else wrote the actual words? If I feed my ghostwriter […]

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The Appeal of the Printed Book

Most people can agree that digital books are changing the landscape of the publishing industry and perhaps everything about how we interact with the written word. If you can store thousands of books on your […]

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Writers Are Editors Are Writers

You’ve finished writing your piece; you’re filled with elation and a sense of achievement. Congratulations! You’ve now entered the realm of editing!

While it sometimes seems like this—that writing neatly occurs before editing—in truth, writing and […]

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“Write drunk; edit sober.”

While we probably shouldn’t be taking drinking advice from Hemingway, we can sure as anything take his writing advice. You might be the type of person who falls asleep soundly after one glass of Chardonnay, […]

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Not All Editing Is Created Equal

Few things are more frustrating to a writer than receiving content back from an editor with almost no discernable changes or suggestions—few things, that is, except for seeing a wall of red curlicues and slashes […]

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