How the three laws of robotics apply to writing and planning

Today is National Sci-Fi day, and while we’re not on Sci-fi this month (that’s later in the year) as our featured support genre, for advice Mondays, I thought I’d share a bit of a thought experiment. First though… We're a nation – or half of one – proud of our ignorance https://t.co/3I5AMHu7Ia — Valerie Douglas […]

The 2018 Anti-retrospective

Where the Benevolent Dictator consolidates all the 2018 ‘retrospectives’. Okay, first, I know it’s fashionable to bash the ‘Zon, I love you guys, but really, get over it. Bashing doesn’t help. Amazon’s primary concern is its customers, NOT its suppliers. Readers not authors. At least they still pay better than traditional publishers. On the other […]

The Myth of Reviews and Sales

A lot of people will tell you that book reviews determine whether a book sells or not, that reviews with four or five stars sell books. While reviews help, that’s not what sells a book. What sells a book is good writing. A storyline that captures their imagination, characters readers care about – heroes they want […]

A Tale of Self-Publishing – How authors slayed the dragon

Once upon a time, there was only traditional publishing and in traditional publishing there were gatekeepers. A gatekeeper’s job was to filter out the unedited, poorly written dreck that opened not with action, but backstory or prologues. Then their function changed from being mere gatekeepers to arbiters/purchasing agents and so the reading public was forced […]

To a writer, words should be sacred

“If you don’t have the time to read you don’t have the time (or tools) to write, it’s as simple as that” – Stephen King “You can’t write well what you don’t read for pleasure. If it doesn’t entertain you, it’s not going to entertain anyone else” – Nora Roberts I was reading a blog […]

Don’t make me pull out my teeny tiny violin…

Lately, there have been a lot of writers crying the blues about their books – “I’m promoting like mad, but no one is downloading my book,” or  “I can’t get any reviews,” or “Someone gave me a bad one-star review.” Oh, gee, I say as I search for it on the interwebz, I’m so sorry. My […]

Author Marketing Live! – Part Two

Yes, it really did need two posts! There was a LOT of information! I was getting overwhelmed, so if I misrepresent things, forgive me! Hunter Boyle spoke about using e-mail to keep in contact with your fans and to build your fan base. He also advocated setting higher expectations, creating e-mail connections with the offer […]

Author Marketing Live Seminar – Part One

I’ll be honest, I was half afraid that the seminar would be nothing more than a sales pitch, but it wasn’t. Even the sponsors didn’t promote, which was refreshing. (And made it more likely for someone like me to recommend their services.) The speakers were by and large very informative and sometimes funny. Some of […]

The Focus of a Writer

Many of my life successes I attribute to my ability to focus.  I’ve written before (http://theotherstephenkingonwriting.blogspot.com/2012/08/two-lessons-about-goal-setting.html) about the focus on a physical fitness goal that earned me admission to West Point, for example.  Focus earned me graduation from there with dual majors, and focus later helped me finish all the way to a PhD.  Focus […]