Around the Web: News, tips, and more for writers and readers

by G. Robert Frazier

I scour my newsfeeds and the interwebs routinely in search of helpful writing tips and news about the publishing industry. I’m a writer, so it’s what I do. If you’re visiting this blog, that means you are probably a writer or reader as well and you might be interested in an article or two. Give a look:

News & Views

Barnes & Noble now plans to offer self-published authors the opportunity to sell their print books in stores as well as participate in in-store discussions and book signings, provided they meet certain criteria. First, the author must show ebook sales have surpassed 500 units in the past year. And second, the book must receive a positive review from B&N’s reading team.

If you’re going to take advantage of a book appearance, Kate Raphael, author of the award-winning Murder Under The Bridge: A Palestine Mystery, offers 5 Steps to a Killer Book Talk. As with anything, preparation is the key.

Beverly Cleary, who published her first book in 1950 and has gone on to write more than 30 books for children, celebrated her 100th birthday in April. The Oregonian posted a short video to commemorate the occasion.

There’s great news for writers if you haven’t found a place with traditional publishers or prefer to go the indie publishing route. Your work can still get noticed, and in a big way, as The Guardian points out in this article.

Not surprisingly, James Patterson and JK Rowling are among the world’s highest paid authors for 2016.

Everyone knows that reading is healthy for the mind, but now there’s research that suggests that reading can lead to longer lives. Author Neil Gaiman recently shared his take on why we read and what books do for the human experience.

On the other hand, you might want to avoid reading while on the road, because your brain might think you’re being poisoned.

Talking About Trends

Serialized fiction seems to be making a return. NPR looks at the trend in TV writing and how that may translate into the publishing world.

Lawyer and writer Manning Wolfe offers this fascinating look at the history of the legal thriller, tracing the genre’s origins to Wilkie Collins and such early luminaries as Harper Lee and Earle Stanley Gardner to modern day masters such as Scott Turow and John Grisham.

The Guardian examines the latest writing trend among women crime writers with the rise in domestic suspense thrillers, such as Girl on A Train, Gone Girl, and more. But if you think women crime writers are a fad, then give this article in LitHub a read.

Kirkus Reviews posted a great article on how small press publishers are shaping the field of science fiction and fantasy in today’s marketplace.

Mexico’s undiscovered literary talent is riding a wave of interest, thanks to some small presses who are busy translating the authors’ works into English for American readers.

Researchers say nearly all books follow one of these six emotional arcs.

Go Into the Story by Scott Myers presented this cool info-graphic on Nine reasons why writers make incredible friends.

If you’re a writer and don’t believe that social media sites matter, you’ll change your tune after reading this column by horror novelist Brian Keene.

Writing Advice

Angela Ackerman, a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of the bestselling book, The Emotion Thesaurus: a Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, shares these Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Regarding Setting.

Writer Terry Odell shares six reasons I won’t love your book.

Playboy recently asked some accomplished writers and filmmakers to share their one piece of writing advice for newbies. If you are serious about the craft and take time to read and learn from others, you’ve probably already heard much of the advice before. But, it doesn’t hurt to hear it again. A little reminder and reinforcement goes a long way, especially if you are struggling to finish.

For freelance writers, this might be worth checking out. The Writer magazine lists five sites to host your portfolio.

For Your Reading Pleasure

How cool is this? Bouchercon has posted links so that you can read the 2016 Best Short Story Anthony Nominees.

S. Stribling was a pioneer figure in Southern literature during the early twentieth century. Kenneth W. Vickers, who wrote T.S. Stribling: A Life of the Tennessee Novelist, explains in this article, as part of a series celebrating Pulitzer Prize winners.

Best-selling author Carla Neggers shared top ten tips to surviving a writers conference in The Strand Magazine.


Character Arcs with K.M. Weiland – Episode 58 of the Very Serious Writing Show

Writer Jeff Goins recently sat down with Andy Traub for a podcast to discuss coming up with compelling ideas, the best places to find inspiration and the importance of just getting started.

Read any good articles on reading and writing? Add them to the comments section!


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