Author Survival Guides

Introducing a new series of tip sheets for writers. Check back as more are added each month!

5 Simple Ways to Push Past Writer's Block
Where does Writer’s block come from? Well, there are as many theories about the topic as there are theorists. What is true, most writers at some point dive head long into a cold deep pool of writer’s block where the vast well of creativity feels more like a puddle, and new ideas dry up overnight. When this happens to you, try these five simple steps to unclog your block and reclaim your creative flow.


Book Release Cheat Sheet
Congratulations, your first (or latest) book will be released soon! One way to make the promotional process more efficient and less stressful is to create a book release cheat sheet, i.e., a one- to two-page document with relevant information about you and your book that you can refer to as you promote your book. You’ll save tons of time if you collect this information before release day, and trust us, you’ll return to it often.


How to Create a Business Plan for Your Writing Career
Are you new to writing? Or maybe you’re knee-deep in your career but suffering from lack of focus? Or are you hoping to reinvent yourself? Creating a business plan for your writing career will force you to brainstorm and schedule projects in more strategic terms. Keep in mind every career is unique and constantly evolving. Your business plan is not a static document—for best results, revisit regularly and often! (This is a great exercise to work through with a partner or critique group.)


How to Prepare for Your Book Release
It might seem like forever until your book comes out, but you can use the months between final galleys and release to your advantage by prepping for your book release. By doing a little bit each month, you’ll be ready for release without a huge workload one week out.


How to Set Up Your Newsletter Cheat Sheet
There are countless avenues for a reader to learn about you and your books: websites, blogs, social media, bookstores, grocery stores, libraries, garage sales, flea markets, book clubs, public transit, neighbors, discovery newsletters like BookBub—but the one channel you can truly own is your newsletter list. You cannot export your followers’ contact information from Goodreads or Facebook, but your mailing list is an asset you can take with you even if you change newsletter providers.


How to Track Your Author Income and Expenses
While writing romance books brings authors joy and fulfillment, maintaining financial books can bring headaches. Unfortunately, keeping accurate records is a must, not only for tax purposes but also to enable authors to manage their writing businesses. Numbers show trends and where funds are being spent, and provide an author some idea of return-on-investment for advertising and promotional activities.


How to Write Compelling Back-Cover Copy
Writing cover copy can be fun... or a nightmare, depending on who you are! For some, it’s easy to summarize a romantic plot and string catchy phrases together. For others, it might take days to find the right angle and structure to really hook a reader! There is no special formula or right way to write copy; the most important thing is to grab the reader's attention and entice them to buy.


Using Planners to Boost Productivity
Each of us has a finite amount of time each day. How we manage that time will determine how much we accomplish. Writing down annual and quarterly goals and planning, prioritizing, and tracking the related tasks helps us to manage our time and get more done. Here are a few tips for using planners and bullet journals (BUJO) to better manage your time and achieve your goals.


What to Ask an Agent
If you asked an author to describe “The Call” they had with an agent, some may admit the whole conversation was a blur. They’re excited and nervous, and it’s not uncommon for their mind to suddenly go blank! Even agents get a bit tongue tied in their enthusiasm. Hopefully, this guide will help.


What to Consider Before Submitting to an Agent
You typed those two magical words and hit enter. THE. END. Months, hours, days, and a lot of plotting and coffee/tea/tears have gotten you to this point. The point where you’ve finished the dang book. What next? Obviously you want to see this book find its own Happily Ever After in the hands of adoring readers, and maybe an agent is the right person to help it get there. Or maybe not. Here’s a quick and dirty checklist to help answer the age-old question: what do I need to consider before submitting to an agent?


What to Consider as You Embark on Self-Publishing
Self-publishing has become a viable option for today’s authors, but it requires knowledge and planning. Here’s a basic to-do list for authors launching into self-publishing.


What to Include in a Query
So you’ve completed your manuscript and worked on it so much that all you’re doing is inserting a comma here, inserting as comma there, and you can barely stand to look at the darn thing anymore. Well, congratulations! You are now ready to query an agent. This is the part where you get to distill all that is special about your story into a single page, yay! Or okay, maybe not yay. But it’s doable, I promise! All you need is some guidance.


What to Include on Your Website — Prepublished Authors
A solid author platform is more necessary than ever for both established authors and those just starting out. While social media and online retailers are important, the hub of your online activity is the one entity you can control completely — your website. A strong web presence will anchor your online platform, support your brand, and increase your visibility. Whether you hire a professional or build the site yourself, including the right information will help your website work for you!


What to Include on Your Website — Published Authors
A solid author platform is more necessary than ever for both established authors and those just starting out. While social media and online retailers are important, the hub of your online activity is the one entity you can control completely — your website. A strong web presence will anchor your online platform, support your brand, and increase your visibility. Whether you hire a professional or build the site yourself, including the right information will help your website work for you!


What to Look for in a Publishing Contract
Congratulations! You’ve received your first publishing contract! Amid all those pages of confusing legalese, there are some clauses that deserve your closest attention.