Maria Murnane
Marketing tip: Brand yourself, not your book
On August 8, 2022 | 0 Comments

When I consult for authors looking for marketing advice, I often find that they have put a lot of effort into branding a single book. This approach can lead to headaches down the road, which is what happened to me when I wrote my first novel, Perfect on Paper. Here’s what unfolded: As part of […]

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Use contractions for realistic dialogue
On July 11, 2022 | 0 Comments

Well-crafted dialogue sounds the way people speak in real life, and in real life people almost always use contractions. Quick refresher: A contraction is when an apostrophe is used to shorten two words into one. For example: Did not becomes didn’t Is not becomes isn’t Do not becomes don’t Read the following out loud: A) […]

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Beautiful newsletters don’t have to cost anything
On June 13, 2022 | 0 Comments

A friend of mine named Red who runs a yummy dark chocolate company once asked for my help with a few newsletters. English isn’t her first language, so she wanted to make sure everything sounded okay. She sent me some copy she’d prepared and asked for my thoughts, and after a few sessions of back-and-forth […]

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Do you have a good hook for your book?
On April 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you’re working on a book, the first question most people will ask you when they find out is, “What’s it about?” Do you have a good answer to that question? If not, you might have a problem. Coming up with a good hook (or angle, or one-line description) isn’t easy, but it’s important. Movies […]

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Marketing tip: Send thank-you notes!
On March 28, 2022 | 0 Comments

When’s the last time you received a hand-written thank-you note in the mail? Or sent one? If you’ve done either in recent years, you’re probably in the minority. So think what a positive impression you can make by sending one when appropriate. Everyone likes to feel appreciated! Here are some examples of where a physical […]

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How to procrastinate productively
On January 24, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you’re anything like I am, getting yourself to sit down and write for an extended period of time can be challenging. Email! Facebook! Twitter! Instagram! YouTube! So many distractions calling your name, each one begging you to stop what you’re doing and watch cat videos instead. Here’s how I’ve learned to turn my proclivity […]

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When is the best time to launch your book?
On January 11, 2022 | 0 Comments

Unless you have a publisher calling the shots, when your book “launches” is up to you. In my opinion, the ideal launch time is as soon as the book is finished. No one can buy it if it’s not available, and you can’t make any money if no one can buy it, right? The marketing […]

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Writing tip: Don’t overdo attribution in dialogue
On December 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

Attribution in dialogue—such as “Gloria said” or “David said”—is necessary to keep your readers from getting confused about who is saying what, but too much attribution can become a distraction. When it’s obvious who is talking, there’s no need for it. I recently read two novels in which both authors regularly attributed every line of […]

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How to find book bloggers
On September 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

Reaching out to book bloggers is a great way to get objective, credible reviews. In addition to posting their reviews on their own websites, many bloggers are also active on social media, which can draw additional eyeballs to your work. (For example, here’s a nice tweet by a blogger promoting her blog, plus thoughts on […]

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SHOW, don’t TELL, in your dialogue
On August 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

I frequently see authors break the show vs. tell rule in dialogue by using words other than “said” or “asked.” This weakens the writing when done too often. For example, here are some examples from a novel I recently read. In this scene, Ben and Lisa are the ONLY characters in the room: “What’s she doing […]

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