Resources and tips for the self-published author.

Publishing News Roundup Series: How Improving Your Craft Improves Your Writing Success

by Maureen Crisp •  August 29, 2016  •   Follow

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Everyone has their eyes on the prize for book publishing success. However, many forget to look down at the path before them which will lead them there.

Without looking, you can get lost. The best way to reach that desired success that you want is by sitting down and planning your career first. Ask yourself: What exactly do you want from your career? What expectations do you have? What obstacles do you think you will have to overcome? And most importantly- What do you think you will need in order to reach this goal?

No matter what you want from your publishing experience, one of the biggest things that all authors will need is an open mind and a positive attitude toward always learning and improving their writing craft. Keeping an open mind keeps authors constantly improving, which can help them change with the times as writing and world views change. This is how they will better see opportunities as they come around. Know what you want. Learning = Success.


Learning on the Job


I’ve been thinking lately about the way publishing works these days.  Ten years ago it was find an agent or editor and pitch your work. Keep trying and learning and maybe they will like it and you will get published.  Five years ago it was ditch that traditional route and self publish… just put it out there and find your audience. 
Now it feels like a convergence.
To succeed in this business you have to go in with an attitude of learning and improving your craft. This applies for both sides of the publishing coin. This excellent post by Jamie Raintree explores the ‘act as if’ mindset and planning your career first.


While you are digesting that, Jane Friedman has written about standing out to agents and editors…. This is good advice people.


As you are learning about the publishing business stop and look at Kris Ruschs deal breaker posts. This week she looks at agent contracts.You should be keeping one eye on the gold and both eyes on the scams and navigating your way around.


Publishing Perspectives has an interesting interview with Sarah McIntyre, the illustrator behind the campaign #PicturesMeansBusiness. This is a great campaign and a must read for every children’s book author and publisher out there!


Lindsay Buroker is a great writer and one of the hosts of SFF marketing podcast. She writes an informative blog as well. Recently she wrote about genre hopping and how to do it successfully as a writer.


This week Wattpad introduced inside the story advertising. This was predicted about three years ago as one of those ‘and then the world will have gone to hell’ scenarios. But Wattpad being digital and wanting to help the authors has said use the space between chapters. Is it a win/win?


In the ‘what will they think of next, Section,  Augmented Reality. (A.R.) Now think of bookstores. Now put the two together. It’s like playing Pokemon Go on the bookshelves. Especially
designed for kids…
In The Craft Section,
Two great articles on writing dialogue- Bookmark Both
Fantastic dialogue tips – Now Novel and Editing dialogue– Jane Friedman
Writing complex characters– K M Weiland – Bookmark
Character Arc development – Jami Gold Bookmark
In The Marketing Section,
Keyword use on Amazon– Penny Sansevieri – Bookmark
Print is still important– Elizabeth S Craig- Bookmark (and read comments)
Creating the author business plan– Janice Hardy – Bookmark


To Finish,
These days you can write from anywhere and many writers do. Give me wifi and a coffee is the writers cry. However to be a productive digital nomad takes a little more savvy. Here is a list of productivity tips for your next foray of writing in the wild… or your nearest coffee shop.

About Maureen Crisp

Maureen Crisp has been writing her weekly publishing roundups for over seven years. She is a traditionally published children's author as well as indie-published. She lives in New Zealand and is heading the team organising the 4th National Conference of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is currently trying her hand at writing a children’s book series if she can drag herself away from forever tweaking her Mars novel or obsessing over space.