If you’re a writer who is working towards publication, you’ve probably heard about the importance of building your platform. Essentially, a platform is your base of readers, those who read your work regularly via your blog, newsletter, or social media posts. Building a platform can be one of the most challenging parts of the writing life, but it’s a necessary one. Publishers expect us to build an audience for our work.
If you’re struggling to build your readership, author and acquisitions editor Jennifer Dukes Lee offers practical advice for how to take steps towards publication — even with a small platform.
Jennifer’s advice can be summed up with a single memorable phrase, “Grow slow.” Read on for her practical tips on growing slow.
First, we need to decide which platforms work for us and then show up regularly to serve our readers. Remember: Our goal is to share a message. Our goal is not to strive...
If you’re a writer, you’re most likely also a reader and collector of great quotes. Have you ever come across the perfect quote from another author that you would like to include in a piece of your writing? Maybe you’d like to share a quote on social media or include it in a newsletter for your readers.
Before posting or hitting send, it's important to understand the legal implications when quoting other people’s words. It’s not as simple and clear-cut as it may seem.
To avoid unintentional plagiarism, small business attorney Andrea Sager offers the following advice to writers.
“If it’s a short quote, give credit . . . . As long as you cite the source, then you’re okay,” says Andrea.
We’ve all seen short quotes from books or articles make their way across the internet. If there’s a quote you’d like to share without asking for permission, the rule of thumb is that it must be short,...
Are you a writer struggling to make progress? Do you spend hours researching how to get published instead of actually writing? Hope*writers is here to help!
We put together The hope*writers Summit with you in mind. We’ve brought together 15 of the best authors and publishing professionals to teach you how to balance the art of writing and the business of publishing — and it’s free (for a limited time).
You’re probably wondering: What exactly will I get out of attending this online event?
Here’s what you’ll discover by joining The hope*writers Summit:
We hand-picked respected writing and publishing experts who have successfully navigated the world of writing and publishing. This diverse group of...
Are you a writer thinking about writing your first book? Without previous publishing experience, first-time authors can feel overwhelmed by the unknowns that accompany the publishing process. It’s easy to focus solely on what we know: our message and how to weave it into a compelling story. But, there’s more to the process of publishing a book than simply writing it.
We asked our hope*writers members what they wish they knew before writing their first book, and here’s what they told us.
Hope*writer Kevin King shared that he could have saved himself years of work if he had an established critique group while drafting his book. When he did find a good critique group, the feedback from other writers helped lead to significant edits that strengthened his work.
Other members spoke about trusting the writing process. Sarah Sambles found greater freedom when she realized she doesn’t have to follow anyone else's writing rhythms. She found her...
What does it take to become a New York Times bestselling author? Annie F. Downs, author of multiple books and one New York Times bestseller, believes it takes perseverance and a belief in your calling as a writer. Annie’s path to publication got off to a rocky start filled with numerous rejection letters. In fact, her first book received 47 rejections from publishers.
“The book I had written wouldn’t sell. I got 47 nos. There aren’t even that many publishers! We got multiple nos from the same houses.” — Annie F. Downs
Annie self-published her first book and went on to write four more books, which are now stocked on the shelves of stores all over the country. She’s expanded her reach beyond books and continues to share her message by speaking and hosting the popular podcast That Sounds Fun.
We sat down with Annie to discuss her path to publication, and she offered the following advice for writers who face...
As writers working in the internet age, we have the unique opportunity to publish our work on any number of platforms. From social media to blogs to webinars, e-books, and self-publishing sites, we have the power of choice at our fingertips. These publishing opportunities offer great flexibility, but they also come with the challenge of discerning the best platform for our words.
Hope*writers sat down with prolific author and speaker Beth Moore, and she shared the steps she takes to determine how and when to publish her work.
Hint: It never begins with a book!
Choose the social media platform you like best and test your ideas there first. If you feel satisfied after sharing an idea on social media and it no longer occupies your thoughts, there’s no need to pursue it any further.
After posting on social media, you may find that the conversation it creates with readers may spark even further thought. If you continue to feel yourself...
As a ghostwriter, nonfiction author, and novelist, Shawn Smucker has a lot of experience collaborating with others. In his own work, he makes it a regular practice to invite others into the editing process by asking beta readers to read his manuscript before the final draft is written.
In an interview with hope*writers, Shawn shares some of his pro tips for finding readers who can help spot a manuscript’s weaknesses before it goes to press. Beta readers can be an integral part of the writing process for any author.
The first step in choosing beta readers is deciding how many readers to ask. Recommendations vary among writers, but Shawn suggests asking between three and five readers who belong to your target audience for their feedback. The more readers involved, the more widely the opinions will vary. With too many beta readers, it can be difficult to find a consensus on what needs revising in your manuscript.
There are three important...
When an author goes the route of traditional book publishing, it can be a relief to have publishing team members lend their expertise to the process. However, those who haven’t been through this process may not be aware how much of the design process is guided by publishing professionals rather than the author’s direct input.
To help us understand what to expect as a book moves through the publishing process, hope*writers sat down with book cover designer Mark Lane, a professional designer with Tyndale House Publishers.
He gives authors a few pointers on how to work with their book designer for results everyone will love.
As authors, much of our time is spent writing alone. We don’t often invite others into the writing process until we’ve completed our work and sent it to our editor for review. However, when you work with a traditional publisher, the design process is in progress behind the scenes by the time...
Author and publisher Maria Dismondy released a new book in 2020 called Sunny Side Upbringing: A Month-by-Month Guide to Raising Kind and Caring Kids. Cardinal Rule Press will open for picture book submissions on November 1, 2020. More details can be found at CardinalRulePress.com.
When elementary school teacher Maria Dismondy couldn’t find the right book to help her teach students about character, she decided to write the book herself. Nine books later, Maria is not only a seasoned author, she is the owner and founder of her own publishing company, Cardinal Rule Press.
As a parent, former teacher, children’s author, and publisher, she understands children’s literature as both a consumer and a maker, and she recognizes that it is both an art and a business.
Maria sat down with hope*writers to share her publishing advice for aspiring children’s authors.
Before reaching out to publishers, it’s important to know WHY you...
A published book is often seen by writers as the pinnacle of the craft. For many of us, our dream of becoming a writer began with reading good books. Perhaps you’ve imagined your name on a cover or looked for where your book would sit on a library shelf.
Seasoned editor and publisher Roy M. Carlisle tells hope*writers that publishing a book is the final step in the process of developing and sharing an idea.
He says, “People think of the book as if it’s the first thing [to be published], and it’s the last thing . . . You must remember that the book is a result of the process.”
What is this process? Roy calls it “the information funnel.”
Book ideas are rarely fleshed out for the first time in the book itself. Writers begin to ask what resonates with readers and play with ideas in more accessible and immediate areas of publication. These include the internet, radio, TV, and daily newspapers, offering the most...