The 15 biggest regrets that authors have — and how to avoid them

Continued">

I work with dozens of authors. A lot of them end up surprised, regretful, or sad about what happened in the process of creating and promoting their books. “If I’d only known,” they say. Unfortunately, everyone in the publishing process has an incentive to hide, or at least ignore, some fundamental challenges. Publishers want you … Continued

A 2021 New Year’s resolution for authors

Continued">

Is writing a book in your list of 2021 New Year’s resolutions? Your friends may be encouraging you. “This is your year! You can do it!” If you’ve subscribed to emails from any of the “we help you publish” services out there, they’re telling you the same thing. Maybe you need a push. Or perhaps … Continued

What the Penguin Random House-Simon & Schuster merger means to authors

Continued">

The biggest publishing house, Penguin Random House, is merging with the number three publisher, Simon & Schuster. Here’s what that means for you as an author: lower advances, less service, more publisher nickel-and-diming, and still more of the responsibility for success landing on you. Publishing houses struggle to maintain profits and market power in a … Continued

Manipulating authors, or helping them?

Continued">

If you are or hope to be an author, there are people who make their living by manipulating people like you. They are hoping to sell you something, based on your dream. It annoys the crap out of me to see people preying on authors by telling them things that are not true. For example: … Continued

Therapy questions for prospective nonfiction authors

Continued">

I help authors. They’re all over the map. Some are experiencing the earliest glimmerings of author ambitions, while others have written hundreds of pages (possibly in a productive way, possibly not). By the time they get to me, I become their therapist. It’s my job to figure out their problems and recommend the best course … Continued

A profile of business authors

Continued">

I want to know who nonfiction and business authors are and how they work. I’d like to know why they got started, what their goals were, did they accomplish those goals, how long did it take, how did they publish (or plan to publish), how many copies did they sell, and how they made money. … Continued

“Competing authors” is an oxymoron

Continued">

Benjamin Dreyer is a copy editor who just wrote a book on English. So is Mary Norris, the “Comma Queen.” So they’re in competition, right? Not even close. Here’s some Twitter repartee between the two: Traditionally, two people in the same space are competitors. But that dynamic doesn’t apply with authors, for several reasons: A … Continued

What all business authors do

Continued">

I’ve been working with and interviewing a lot of authors lately. I am trying to get at what makes them tick. While it is true that they aren’t altruists — they’re in it boost their own standing and businesses, of course — I am beginning to think I’m getting to the nub of what’s important … Continued