Marketing tip: Make the most of writing samples
On March 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

Recently a friend asked if I would speak to his brother, Scott, who had written a novel and wasn’t sure what path to publication he should pursue. I agreed and had a brief email chat with Scott to set up a time to meet for coffee. Scott had a link to his website in the […]

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How to build a character arc
On February 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

A character arc is the way a character changes or grows throughout the course of a story. The change can be physical or emotional, and it doesn’t have to be major, but you want your main characters, especially your protagonist, to experience some sort of transformation along their journey. At the beginning of your story, […]

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Shake things up to break writer’s block
On February 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

Writer’s block is the worst. The worst! When it strikes and I find myself sitting at my desk, staring at nothing, I often feel like my white laptop screen is snickering at me and sending me horrible thoughts. You suck, Maria! Who are you to think you can be a writer? Why don’t you just […]

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How to host a virtual book party
On January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

Before my novel Bridges came out, a fan of mine who lives in Texas asked if I’d be doing a virtual launch party.  I told her I had zero idea what that was, so she (Veronica) offered to plan one for me on Facebook. With all kinds of events happening online these days, I thought it […]

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Refresher on IT’S vs. ITS
On December 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Are you confused by when to use IT’S and when to use ITS? If so, you have every right to be, because the correct way to use ITS goes against the general rule we’re taught about apostrophes. Here’s a refresher on the difference between the two:     We normally use an apostrophe when something […]

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Make it clear who is talking, but not too clear
On December 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

I recently read a novel that was heavy on dialogue without a ton of attribution (e.g. adding “she said”), which I like, because I don’t think a conversation needs that after every single sentence. However, the author of this book had a habit of going two or even three pages into a conversation without any attribution of […]

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Start months in advance to secure speaking engagements
On November 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

I live in Brooklyn, so when I stumbled across a book club that specializes in novels set in New York, I reached out and offered to come speak to the group. The club moderator agreed that Katwalk would be a perfect fit, so we set it up. Guess how much time passed between when I […]

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Resources for three book marketing essentials
On October 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

Here are three building blocks of a good marketing campaign, with resources for each: Website If you want to be perceived as a professional writer, I strongly recommend hiring a professional to design your website. Here is an excellent one I recommend: Andiamo Creative: (Andiamo Creative did my current website.) If you’re good with […]

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Keep a record of your marketing efforts
On October 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

Previously in this space I’ve stressed how important it is to track your marketing efforts to help you stay organized and conduct critical follow-up when necessary. Today I’d like to discuss another reason to document your hard work: It will be helpful when you write your next book! Daunting as it may sound right now, it […]

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Are you mixing up these words?
On September 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Do the following word pairs confuse you? You’re note alone.   Complement vs. Compliment Complement means to go well with, supplement. That dress really complements the green in Jennifer’s eyes Compliment means to flatter. Gloria wants to compliment Jen on her how well her dress complements the green in her eyes. Complementary vs. Complimentary Complementary means goes […]

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