Authors: Beware the Fake-Quotation Trap!

For authors, the Internet offers broad vistas of knowledge and opportunity, but scattered in between are a few beds of quicksand. One of these is the fake-quotation quagmire: the growing trend of popular "quotation websites" to feature made-up quotes. The quagmire deepens each time a self-publishing author casually decides to decorate her writing with "something inspirational." She goes to one ... Read More

Self-Published Book Contests & The Eric Hoffer Award—Horse of a Different Color

Most legitimate book-award contests don't allow submissions by self-publishing authors. There are, of course, the book contests for self-publishers that hand out awards like candy. Nearly every contestant wins something—including a shiny sticker they can display on their book cover to make buyers think they have written something of quality. Fortunately, there’s at least one book contest out there for ... Read More

Why Only Old Folks Should Publish Memoirs

That sounds like a trick title, right? You’re expecting me to follow it up with a punch line. But guess what: publishing your memoirs or autobiography is no joking matter. In many cases, it makes you vulnerable to libel lawsuits and financial devastation. You think I’m overstating the risk? Think again. If you’re writing or planning to write a memoir, ... Read More

Beta Readers: The Step Before Professional Book Editing

Before you pay for professional book editing, there’s a step you may be tempted to skip. I’m talking about beta reading: having friends or members of a writing group read and give you feedback on your manuscript. Why is this important, if an editor’s going to look at the manuscript anyway? Because the more you can do to perfect the ... Read More

Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy

So you’ve written your book, you’ve chosen your title and cover design, and you’re breathing a sigh of relief. Now you have to decide what goes on the back cover. New authors sometimes rush this decision, writing the first thing that comes to mind. After all, it’s the back of the book. How important can it be? A lot more important than a person might think. The first hundred …

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