When to use THAT and when to use WHICH
On April 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

Do you know the difference between THAT and WHICH? My friend Debbie likes to say this: If it sounds like you could use either, use “that.” For example: *Cooking is an activity that relaxes many people (CORRECT) *Cooking is an activity which relaxes many people (INCORRECT) In the above sentence, to the untrained ear it may […]

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Mix things up to beat writer’s block
On April 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

I hate writer’s block. It’s the worst! As far as I know, there’s no magic formula for curing this unfortunate affliction when it strikes, only various approaches to try until you find something that works for you.  I recently had a conversation with a creative director at an advertising agency about the brainstorming process, which we […]

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When to use a hyphen
On April 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

Are you using hyphens when you shouldn’t be? Hyphens are used to avoid ambiguity when two descriptive words are placed next to each other before a noun. (They are also used for compound words such as dead-end.) For example, take the following sentence: The small business owner got a great loan from the bank.  Is the […]

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Nail that elevator pitch
On March 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

If you’re an aspiring author, get ready to hear the following question approximately 10 billion times: “What’s your book about?” As you already know if you’ve already written a book, pretty much everyone and anyone in your life will ask you that question, from people you know well to people you just met in the […]

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Ask your fans to help spread the word
On March 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

If you’re like most authors, promoting your work doesn’t come naturally to you. The same goes for the vast majority of your readers. They may love your book, but it would never occur to them to actively spread the word about it. And even if they want to help, they probably don’t know how. That’s why marketing […]

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Don’t make this marketing mistake
On February 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

I once received an email newsletter from an indie author in which he essentially begged for people to review his book on Amazon. I empathized with him because I know how difficult it can be to get reviews, especially for self-published books. But then the author did something that made my jaw drop, and not […]

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Be proactive about giving away books to your target audience
On February 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

I recently attended a good friend’s wedding in Oregon. There were several events over the few days I was there, which gave me a chance to get to know some of the other guests. The bride is a big fan of my novels and has been vocal about them to her network, so many of the […]

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“To lay” vs. “to lie”
On January 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

I love yoga. I love my yoga teachers too. They are kind, positive, nurturing people who strive to make their students feel good inside and out. They aren’t always so great at grammar. In nearly every class, at some point the teacher will gently say “Now lay on your backs.” While I love this part […]

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New Year’s book marketing resolution
On January 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

It’s that time of year again, the beginning! Why not start yours by making the following resolution? In 2019 I will do (at least) one thing every day to promote my writing. I realize that marketing is a foreign language to many authors, and even those who are familiar with it don’t usually enjoy it. But […]

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Are you making this marketing mistake?
On December 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

A couple years after my first novel was released, I noticed a title on Amazon with the same name. I read that book’s description and realized it was also in the same vein as mine, which had been featured on the front page of the Life section of USA Today and also (briefly!) reached No. 2 overall on Amazon. […]

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