Giving Reviews

Reviews are important. Amazon bases its rankings on the number of reviews a book (or item) receives, and many readers determine if they’ll purchase a book or not by the reviews. Publishers urge their writers to get reviews, and writers will ask everyone (and anyone) who purchases their books to … Continue reading

Were You Surprised?

I love it when a reader tells me she or he was surprised by the ending of a book. At least I’m pleased as long as they also say the ending worked. I know when I’m reading a mystery, I like to be surprised. I want all of the clues … Continue reading

Don’t Lose Your Voice

“I love the voice.” I’ve heard that said about books, and I’ve heard agents and editors say, “I’m looking for a fresh voice” or “It’s the voice that counts.” So what is voice? According to www.literarydevices.com: Voice in literature is the individual style in which a certain author writes his … Continue reading

Formatting

If you read my January 8, 2020 blog you saw I said there were no rules in writing. I also said there were traditions and reasons for certain ways of formatting. Again, these aren’t rules. For one thing, many of the formatting guidelines have changed over the years. Changes in … Continue reading

Rules in Writing

Rule #1: There are no rules. There are guidelines. Traditional ways of writing. Requirements for certain forms of publishing or publishing houses. As a writer, you need to be aware of what’s expected, especially if you want to be published by a specific publisher (or publishers) or in a particular … Continue reading

Ways to Promote Your Books

With so many books being published nowadays, how do you promote your books (or yourself)? That is the question Hometown Authors asked me.   For my answer, check out today’s blog on their site: https://hometownauthors.com/book-marketing-tips/get-noticed/   No laughing at what my husband did, OK?  

Fabulous Florida Writers

My summer is ending with a couple unexpected but neat events. #1. In 2017 the publicist I’d hired sent out press releases for Echoes of Terror, and I received a response from Jackie Minniti, who writes “Fabulous Florida Writers,” a monthly column for The Island Reporter, a paper that covers … Continue reading

Copyright

Do you need to copyright your work? The Copyright ACT of 1976 was enacted October 19, 1976. It basically stated that all work was copyrighted (protected) the moment it was “fixed in any tangible medium.” (That is, on paper, computer, audible, video, etc.). It seems that’s fine as long as … Continue reading

Do You Know What I Know?

Does the writer always have to explain terms or references that might be specific to a profession or area of the country? Is it necessary to translate every foreign word you use in a story? And, what about uncommon words? Should a writer use unfamiliar words or stick to the … Continue reading

The Teaser

For weeks, months, maybe years you’ve been working on your novel. It’s anywhere from 50 thousand words to a 150 thousand. And now? In just a few words you need to convince an agent, editor, or reader to buy (or at least read) your book, and you’re not going to … Continue reading

Writing a Non-Fiction Book Proposal

A few months ago I received an email from a relative who wanted information about a non-fiction book she wanted to write. She was asking me for help, but as I quizzed her about what she was writing and why, I discovered she already had the basic idea of what … Continue reading

Should I Say More or Less?

When I wrote The Crows, I thought it was a single title mystery. It wasn’t until after the The Crows was released and I was doing book talks that I was asked when the next P.J. Benson Mystery would be out. A second book? Hmm. As I wrote the second … Continue reading

Knowing the Why

I just spent 2 days working out (in my mind and on paper) why my secondary characters are doing (or have done) certain things. My P.J. Benson Mysteries are all told in first person, so I can’t have scenes where the reader sees or hears what secondary characters are doing … Continue reading

Publishing in 2019

The Authors Guild recently came out with the results of their 2018 author’s earnings survey The results were not encouraging In only five years, authors’ incomes from just their books fell 21%, down from a median of $3,900 in 2013 to $3,100 in 2017 The low incomes suggest a growing … Continue reading