Questioning Conventional Wisdom Re: Platforms

Hello, dear readers, and welcome back to Nerdy Words. I’ve been seeing a lot – that is, A LOT – of advice to new and aspiring writers urging them to create a “platform” by posting regularly to not just one, but at least three, different forms of social media. The reasoning is by posting content […]

News Flash: Outlook Dismal for New Authors

Sorry to be Capt. Bringdown today, but I found a few articles that shed light on some ugly truths about the publishing industry. First, and not exactly breaking news: it is extremely hard for new writers to find agents and publishers. However, when celebrities like Rush Limbaugh can get their children’s books published, it’s a […]

Foot-in-Mouth Syndrome Spreading Among Famous Authors

Even people who get paid – a lot – for their words can say the wrong thing. Lately a couple of high-profile cases of this “foot-in-mouth syndrome” have appeared, both of which involved writers I greatly admire. First, the infamous “bitchery” tweet from Stephen King: in response to the recent Dylan Farrow/Woody Allen controversy (which, […]

Is Iceland Heaven for Writers?

When I traveled to Ireland in 2007, I thought I had arrived in the most literary country on Earth. Irish novelists, poets and playwrights were widely celebrated and honored; there were numerous tours to the homes and haunts of these famous writers. As it turns out, I may have been off by a letter… and […]

Books That Should Be on Every Writer’s Shelf

I write and teach others how to write, so I have the pleasure/pain of reading and working with lots of books about writing. Recently, my mom asked me a seemingly simple question: “What books do you recommend to learn about writing?” Alas, my brain circuits fried: there are so many! Where to begin? However, now […]

Support Your Local Authors!

I am very fortunate in that I live in a very creative community. Fayetteville, Ark., believe it or not, is filled with artists of all kinds, including writers. I’m also fortunate in that I’ve known many incredibly talented writers and been in critique groups with them, which, thanks to their feedback, has made me a […]

Another News Flash: Writers (Still) Don’t Make Much Money

Salon has a great article by Patrick Wensink bemoaning the vast difference between what being an “Amazon bestseller” ought to be vs. what it actually is. His book is published by a small press, and he made it to Amazon’s bestseller list with “somewhere around 4,000 copies sold.” For that, he earned $12,000. It’s important […]

How to Buy Your Way Onto the NYT Bestsellers List

Have you ever been perusing your local bookstore’s bargain bin/shelf and seen a title, or two or three, languishing there, despite having “New York Times Bestseller!” splashed across the cover? I know I have, and I’ve noticed that they tend to be in the self-help or business management areas. I figured that lots of people […]

News Flash: Writers Don’t Make Much Money

This post on GalleyCat paints a sobering reality: most genre novelists don’t earn enough money to live on. Horror writer David Keene writes that most advances for first-time novels are between $2,500 and $10,000. And you won’t see any royalties until a year after your book is published. Mark Lawrence and Jim C. Hines, the […]

Self-Publishing: Boon or Boondoggle?

GalleyCat just posted more news from the publishing world: Simon & Schuster is opening a new self-publishing service, Archway Publications. This is hot on the heels of its acquisition of self-publishing company Author Solutions in July. I think it’s a good omen that traditional publishing houses are seeing the value of self-publishing. However, self-publishing is […]