Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel

April 11, 2024

Strange but True: Tales from Authors . . . Here's where we'll learn the weirdest or possibly the most ambitious thing authors have done or learned for their writing. As an author I know that we often come across incredibly odd facts in our research, and sometimes, we endeavor to learn things firsthand, so we can describe it better in our stories. Has an author gained a new skill, traveled somewhere dangerous/exotic, tried a crazy sport? Inquiring minds want to know. 

Today, we welcome the fabulous Jacqueline Vick as she explains her deep dive into animal behavior to write one of her 'not quite cozy' humorous mystery series. 

Researching the Pet Psychic’s Feathered and Furry Friends 

One of the joys of writing the FRANKIE... Continue Reading

April 6, 2024

Welcome to the first part of a new (8-part) series on book launch basics where I’ll demystify the process of proficiently releasing a new book into the world with flair. The information I’m providing is focused on those who will independently publish their book, but many of these components/strategies are equally usable for those publishing traditionally. (If you’re lucky to go that route, you may even have a publisher doing some of these things for you—but it is still important to understand the elements that go into successfully launching a new title.)

... Continue Reading
April 3, 2024

Substack for Authors – yes/no/maybe?
The Truth on Selling Books Direct
Authors Equity –Shifting Traditional Publishing Dynamics
US Publishers File Brief Opposing Internet Archive’s Appeal

FEATURED ARTICLES

Substack for Authors?

Substack is a growing platform and that growth is earning a lot of attention from those in the author/publishing community. Is Substack a great place for authors?

Jane Friedman’s article “Substack is Both Great and Terrible for Authors” points out the relevant pros and cons of this platform. She focuses, and rightly so, on the fact that free email newsletters can be the backbone of an author’s sales... Continue Reading

March 7, 2024

Strange but True: Tales from Authors . . . Here's where we'll learn the weirdest or possibly the most ambitious thing authors have done or learned for their writing. As an author I know that we often come across incredibly odd facts in our research, and sometimes, we endeavor to learn things firsthand, so we can describe it better in our stories. Has an author gained a new skill, traveled somewhere dangerous/exotic, tried a crazy sport? Inquiring minds want to know. 

Today I am pleased to welcome the wonderfully talented Patricia Ricketts with her own strange but true author story . . .

Finding Mishigami - By Patricia Ricketts

Swimming in Lake Michigan’s chilly waters has thrilled me ever since I was a little girl growing up in... Continue Reading

February 28, 2024

Book Marketing Overwhelm: How to avoid being crushed

Outrage over Terms of Use at Findaway Voices Forces Change

March Book Promotion Opportunities

FEATURED ARTICLES

Book Marketing Overwhelm: How to avoid being crushed

The list of book marketing tasks you could be doing seems endless, right?? Sandra Beckwith has some freeing advice to share. She encourages us to pick just one task and master it, along with good advice on how to strategically choose that task. Read it here:

https://buildbookbuzz.com/book-marketing-overwhelm/

Findaway Voices and Their New Terms of Service Debacle

On February 15, the audiobook distributor Findaway... Continue Reading

February 22, 2024

Welcome to the WisMissus Podcast: Reading, Writing & Roaming around Wisconsin, the Midwest, & Beyond. 

This is a podcast for authors by authors! (And also readers who want the scoop on what authors are REALLY thinking.) Join Valerie Biel and TK (Tracey) Sheffield as we share topics to help our fellow writers as well as fun tidbits on what we’re reading and where we’re roaming. We're planning nine episodes in 2024 with topics like agent searching (episode 1), indie vs traditional publishing, book launch basics, helpful writing conferences (episode 2), elements of mystery writing, and more! 

ABOUT US—YOUR PODCAST HOSTS:

As you know—or maybe you don’t if you’re new to my website—I’m the author of the award-winning Circle of Nine series as well as a... Continue Reading

February 15, 2024

Here's the second edition of the new author series . . . Strange but True: Tales from Authors . . . where we'll learn the weirdest or possibly the most ambitious thing authors have done or learned for their writing. As an author I know that we often come across incredibly odd facts in our research, and sometimes, we endeavor to learn things firsthand, so we can describe it better in our stories. Has an author gained a new skill, traveled somewhere dangerous/exotic, tried a crazy sport? Inquiring minds want to know. 

Today I am pleased to welcome the lovely and talented Anne Louise Bannon with her own strange but true author story . . .

Drinking in My Research  - By Anne Louise Bannon

A few months ago, I... Continue Reading

February 8, 2024

We're joined today by another fellow Blackbird Writer, Carl Vonderau, who is sharing his wisdom on what he wishes he could tell his prepublished self as well as what he always does to make book launches successful. 

ABOUT CARL:

Carl Vonderau is an award-winning author of crime fiction. As a child growing up in Cleveland, he loved to write. His ghost stories scared the bejesus out of other kids. But it took a long time to become a full-time author. He left Cleveland to study at Stanford, then spent more than thirty years as a banker in the U.S., Latin America, and North Africa. Those international settings were sources of inspiration for his books. His first novel, ... Continue Reading

February 1, 2024

I realized I rather dislike the concept of picking a word of the year to guide myself through the coming 12 months. Why? My off-the-cuff reaction is that it is often trite, meaningless, and just overly fluffy . . . like I’m envisioning standing in front of a mirror with the chosen word scrawled in thick black Sharpie on a fuchsia post-it as a way to magically manifest goodness in my life on a daily basis.

Do you all remember Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live with his Daily Affirmations??

But when I think about the WHY of my reaction more, I realized I’m reacting to the magical thinking that often accompanies this—that if we simply pick this word, we’ll see results, when in reality an action plan is needed.

I’m not writing this to offend anyone who... Continue Reading

January 31, 2024

How Do You Even Sell a Book Anymore?

The Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2024

The Most Anticipated Books of 2024

A Scholar Discovers Stories and Poems Possibly Written by Louisa May Alcott

2024 All Star Publishing Predictions

Penguin Random House Acquires Hay House

FEATURED ARTICLES

How Do You Even Sell a Book Anymore?

Very carefully! LOL Okay, I’ve included this article for comedy relief because yet again it shows how a traditional-publishing focus causes a lot of hand wringing while ignoring the fact that thousands of indie published authors (and some enterprising traditionally published authors too) have figured out how to market their books successfully directly to readers.

... Continue Reading

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