Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel

November 21, 2022

Coffee, Candles, and Cards: Affordable Gifts for the Writer in Your Life

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Season’s Greetings, Writers!

The holidays are upon us. Can you believe how quickly the months flew by? A new year, 2023, approaches. Writers are finishing manuscripts, pondering what they’ll create next, and racing through events such as National Novel Writing Month.

For November, in honor of the most hectic time of year, I’m keeping things simple for writers and those who love them. The holidays are busy. Costs are up for everybody. I’m suggesting gifts that are meaningful and affordable: coffee, candles, and gift cards to... Continue Reading

November 8, 2022

This month Christine DeSmet is sharing the advice she wishes she could tell her pre-published self! Such good advice this month! Christine pens fabulous novels but she's also a wonderful writing coach, teacher, and editor. In fact, she was the first professional to critique the initial pages of my very first book-length work, offering excellent advice and encouragement. If you're a writer looking for guidance on your publishing journey, I highly recommend Christine. Her newest Fudge Shop Mystery, Holly Jolly Fudge Folly, comes out this month. (See the full description below!)


Christine DeSmet is an award-winning author, screenwriter, writing teacher, and writing coach/developmental editor. Her new novel is the November release, Holly Jolly... Continue Reading

October 31, 2022

♦ Amazon Bugs: Price Increases, Categories and Terminations

♦ KU vs. Wide: Should You Be Exclusive to Amazon (Kindle) or Not? 

♦ What Counts as a Bestseller

♦ Publishing Wants to Cash in on BookTok. Creators Say No.



Amazon Bugs: Price Increases, Categories and Terminations

Jason Hamilton writes for the Kindlepreneur website on the latest glitches on the Amazon platform which have included random price increases, books not showing up in categories they ought to be listed in, and an increase in author account terminations. Just reading this list makes me nervous, but this article has some solutions for each situation if you’re finding yourself a victim of one of Amazon’s glitches. The good... Continue Reading

October 18, 2022

This month Kim Taylor Blakemore is sharing the advice she wishes she could tell her pre-published self! These wonderful tips are essential reminders for those of us who have been writing for a while and invaluable advice for writers at the beginning of their publishing journeys. Like most of the featured authors in 2022, I connected with Kim through the Blackbird Writers. I'm so glad she was able to 'stop by' this month because her latest book just came out and I know she's super busy!  

Kim writes historical novels that feature fierce, audacious, and often dangerous women. She writes about the thieves and servants, murderesses and mediums, grifters and frauds - the women with darker stories, tangled lies and hidden motives. She is the author of the... Continue Reading

October 12, 2022

Happy October, writers!

For the past two months, I’ve written blogs about using Pinterest to build an author’s social media presence.

But October deserves an especially scary post: Who’s writing a novel during the spookiest month of the calendar? (Besides April—tax month—that is!)

I write cozy mysteries, mostly. The Backyard Model Mysteries are on submission to publishers. While waiting to hear good news, I dug out a half-finished manuscript to complete. The genre was new to me: magical realism. While I adore the category—who... Continue Reading

September 28, 2022

Penguin Random House/DOJ Case Update

Amazon Changes eBook Return Policy (finally)

IBPA Revises Hybrid Publishing Criteria

October Holidays for Book Promotion


DOJ Case Regarding Penguin Random House Merger with Simon & Schuster

If you haven’t been following this case here’s the quick take . . . the Department of Justice sued to block PRH’s proposed acquisition of S&S because it would allow PRH (already the largest publisher in the world) to “exert outsized influence over which books are published in the United States and how much authors are paid for their work.” The trial portion has concluded (and it was fascinating to hear from so many in the publishing industry, including authors and agents.)... Continue Reading

September 20, 2022

The September Author Series features Marilyn Levinson (aka Allison Brook) and the advice she'd tell her pre-published self. Most of the featured authors in 2022 I connected with through the Blackbird Writers, a fabulous and supportive group of mystery, suspense, and thriller authors, and Marilyn is no exception. It has been delightful to get to know her, and I was pleased she could take the time to join us in the same month as her most recent book release. She's a busy gal! 

About Marilyn:
A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Her books have received many accolades. As Allison Brook she writes the Haunted Library... Continue Reading

September 12, 2022

Hello, writers!

Welcome to September. This month is a favorite. It’s like summer but without the crowds. It’s a time when the sun still shines, but one’s desire for a routine is strong. September is a fabulous month to revisit goals and make new plans.

Last month, I wrote about how authors can use Pinterest to build an their social media presence. The site is different from other platforms because it functions as a search engine. It focuses less on “likes” and more on outcomes for users. In fact, while writing these blog posts, I found... Continue Reading

August 29, 2022

Barnes & Noble Hardcover Shelving Controversy,

The Priority Parallax: What’s Truly Important,

Draft2Digital and Smashwords Merger Update


Barnes & Noble Stocking Policy Sparks Controversy Online (and why it didn't surprise me.)

I get it. At first read, the Twitter storm and ensuing speculative articles about Barnes and Noble’s new policy about ONLY carrying hardcovers for authors for whom there’s a guaranteed track record of good sales was panic worthy—particularly for authors who might fall outside of B&N’s favored hardcover author group and are close to release date. For those authors, a strategy shift to printing less hardcovers and more paperbacks (and paperbacks sooner) could prove difficult given... Continue Reading

August 22, 2022

Welcome to the August 2022 Author Series where published author Jacqueline Vick shares the advice she'd go back and tell her pre-published self--which is a great help to other writers. I met Jackie through our membership in the Blackbird Writers, a fabulous and supportive group of mystery, suspense, and thriller authors. She has published many wonderful books, which are featured here along with her sage advice!

Jacqueline writes mysteries that feature farcical situations and satirical humor. She writes about characters who are reluctant to accept their greatest gifts. She is the author of THE FRANKIE CHANDLER PET PSYCHIC MYSTERIES and... Continue Reading