Update that Novel in Your Drawer

Success and Failure by Celestine Chua

Success and Failure by Celestine Chua

Hidden reason your novel gets rejected #253: outdated references.

You have finally built up the courage to submit–at long, long last–that novel you’ve been massaging for ten years. You send queries to hundreds of agents and–oh joy!–several agents ask to see your work! So you send it…and the rejections trickle in.

Why? [Read more…]

Don’t Write for Free. Do Write for Free.

Man, it’s a confusing time to be a writer.

Book marketing experts say: “Give away content for free! Blog, tweet, pin, comment, contribute, give away your whole ebook, draft white papers. Do this to get attention, create relationships, join communities, build platforms, gain credibility…”

Gatekeepers say free content is destroying the world. Free content is unedited and unscreened. Writers can’t earn a living if they’re competing against others offering similar work for free. Untrustworthy [Read more…]

What a Sentence Can Do: James Altucher

Sidetracked by a perfect paragraph. Doesn’t happen often.

I run into lots of people dying to know how to get famous and sell books. Lots of other people, including me, earn a living by advising said people. The truth: you can’t get famous through a formula. Social media fame comes from writing really engaging stuff in an authentic voice. Words that surprise, ideas that contradict and twist and grab.

Today, killing time before the Broncos game (known to some as the Superbowl), I jumped on Quora to find an answer to a software question. They made me click on categories & read an article to join the club (a hook I found both admirable and annoying). I read this article by James Altucher because it had a cartoon at the top that reminded me of one my son drew for me.

Skimmed it just to fulfill my “I read it” obligation. Woah…put on the brakes at “have sex more [Read more…]

2014 San Francisco Writers Conference

SFWC logoI’m gearing up for this year’s San Francisco Writers Conference Feb. 13th-17th at the Mark Hopkins Hotel—and getting psyched! It’s the only writers conference I attend each year (besides BEA). It’s classy and conscientious. SFWC  includes esoteric stuff like poetry jams and panels on using writing to make the world a better place—along with great practical panels and big name presenters. I love that about it!

Here’s a PDF of the official conference flier: 2014 SFWC Flyer

The conference provides insight and guidance for traditional, self-published, and aspiring writers.

You can attend the conference as a whole (learn more here), or purchase one or more of the pre- and post-conference workshops separately, or both.

I’m teaching: [Read more…]