What does it take to call yourself an author?

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You wrote a book. It got published. Does that make you an author? Oh sure, technically, you can say you’re an author. But when you file your taxes, under occupation, do you write “Author?” I do. And when I meet somebody new and they ask my occupation, I say “author” then, too. To do that, … Continued

New voting systems would benefit moderates, according to this voting simulation

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The average American politician is far more extreme than the average American voter. Our current voting methods encourage these extreme viewpoints. To investigate how new voting systems like ranked choice voting and “jungle primaries” could change this, I created a simulation of different voting systems and tested it on various types of voting districts. How … Continued

Choosing among agents

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If you’re lucky enough to get several agents interested in your proposal, how should you pick? Surprisingly enough, the answer is not “Pick the agent who swings the biggest deals.” You can pitch multiple literary agents On a recent project, I was helping an author who had some very good connections. He had recommendations on … Continued

All caps isn’t just ugly, but legally risky, too.

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In Michigan, a group gathered enough signatures to put an abortion rights amendment on the ballot this November. Now an opposing group says the all-caps typography is so ugly that it’s unreadable, so the signatures should be tossed out. Here’s a portion of the petition in dispute: That is, unquestionably, extremely difficult to read. The … Continued

3 essential reasons why all writers should blog

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Blogging has gone out of style. But for writers, it’s as current as ever. I don’t care if you post on WordPress, LinkedIn, Medium, Substack, Twitter threads, or even Facebook. The key is to regularly write moderately long (at least 400 words) chunks of prose about ideas and post them where you can get feedback. … Continued

Should you work with a client who returns after ghosting you?

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Last week, I said that nagging wasn’t part of my job as an editor. Jonathan Rick, a reader, asked what to do about a client who, “after ghosting us, suddenly resurfaces to ask if we’re free to chat today or tomorrow.” That’s a good question. What do you do about a client who comes back … Continued