Whether you are an aspiring author, a published author, a publisher or one who provides services to those who publish, the purpose of this SLPA Blog is to provide information and resources on a full range of author/publishers issues and ideas.
  • Tuesday, May 28, 2019 1:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    First-time authors often use a lot of words in their manuscripts, which can bog down the writing and distract readers. A good editor can help reduce wordiness and hone into the action. Depending on genre and writing style, some wordiness can add to the delight of the story, but for fast-paced mystery, thriller, or sci-fi, cutting down on words will create more tension and grip the reader. Always though, there is no need to repeat or to explain the obvious. An article by C.S. Lakin shows an example of how to cut words:

    How Novelists Can Say More with Less

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019 12:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you have a blog and don't know what to say? Do you have a new book you want to publicize? Hosting another writer (of a related genre) on your blog or being a guest on another blog (of related genre) is a great way for both of you to publicize yourselves and gain more audience. Sandra Beckwith guest-posts about this on Joel Friedlander's blog:

    Sell More Books with Guest Blogging

  • Saturday, January 19, 2019 4:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    School teachers may have told you to use creative dialogue tags, but they can be distracting - to the point of annoying if used too much. Here is a detailed explanation by Giacomo Giammatteo, multi-published fiction and non-fiction author, to help you learn more about this topic:

    If You Need Fancy Dialogue Tags, There's Something Wrong with Your Writing

  • Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At our November meeting, Andrew Doty of Editwright and Karen Tucker, the Comma Queen, gave a comprehensive discussion all about editing, and included tips on self-editing to make the manuscript the best it can be before submitting to a professional editor. That way, the editor can concentrate on making the manuscript better rather than fixing all the errors. This can lower your costs, too, since the editor's time is your money. 

    Joanna Penn just posted a helpful article of self-editing tips. (Note, she says you should still hire a professional editor!)

    Writing Tips:  10 Ways to Fake a Professional Edit


  • Monday, October 08, 2018 10:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Even the big publishers have started their versions of vanity presses, where you pay them to publish your book, and maybe even buy one of their expensive marketing programs. They, too, have discovered they can make money from your dreams without even selling one copy of your book.

    Maybe a vanity press is right for you, especially if you just want a book to hold in your hand and to give to your family members, and you don't want to deal with any hassles or learning curve. Just be smart and understand what you are getting for the money, besides a high-priced book.

    From the Alliance of Independent Authors:

    5 Reasons Authors Fall for Vanity Presses

  • Monday, August 13, 2018 12:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Learn from others'  mistakes:

    Book Production:  12 Avoidable Rookie Errors

  • Saturday, August 04, 2018 7:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Your library may have more resources than you think to help you in your writing and publishing endeavors. The St. Louis County Library has online classes on writing, editing, publishing, marketing, and more - free with library card from any Greater St. Louis area library. The St. Louis Public Library Central location has free Adobe software you can learn on - make an appointment with a trainer if you need help. With the new SELF-e program, you can submit an e-PUB format of your book for approval into this Missouri-wide library system.
  • Thursday, April 05, 2018 11:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Spring is here! ... hmm, not yet ... yes ... no ... Well, it has to come sometime soon. Whether you spring clean your house or not, it's time to spring clean your social media. We notice quite a few authors do not even have their website urls on their social media profiles!  Here's an article by Frances Caballo to help you:

    Spring Cleaning:  7 strategies to clean up your social media

  • Thursday, March 15, 2018 9:01 PM | Deleted user

    by Bob Baker

    Not long ago I interviewed Joe Vitale. He’s the author of more than 50 books on hypnotic marketing, the law of attraction, and more. You may have seen him in the movie The Secret or on Larry King Live.

    The interview was inspiring and wide-ranging, but here's one specific piece of marketing advice Joe offered during our conversation: Putting a question in the subject line of your email can be a great way to create a “hypnotic” message that compels people to open and read it.

    But not any question will do!

    The key, Joe says, is to ask a question that can’t be answered unless you dig deeper to find out more. For instance, here are two examples of weak email subject lines:

    Would you like to buy my new book?

    Who’s your favorite romance author?

    The problem with these questions is that the recipient can answer them and resolve the issue without any further action on their part. It offers no compelling reason to open the email.

    However, here is a more powerful, “hypnotic” question:

    Which One of These Tyrants Inspired My Latest Podcast?

    A question like that creates a mental state of dissonance. It’s an incomplete thought. And for many people, unresolved ideas compel them to take action to uncover the answer and complete the thought before they move on.

    Here’s another example:

    The Biggest First Date Mistake: This One’s a Whopper

    See the beauty in a question like this?

    It’s similar to when you can’t recall a person’s name. It often drives you crazy and you can’t concentrate on anything else until you resolve the tension by remembering the name.

    Curiosity-inducing questions offer a great way to create a hypnotic message that demands attention. Another related method is to make a provocative statement that doesn’t include all the details, such as:

    Don’t Let Your Kids Read This Book

    You could also use the word parents, boss, or lover in place of kids and get the same effect, depending on your audience and subject matter.

    Here’s another example:

    This Almost Got Me Banned in Nashville

    An email subject line like this creates curiosity and an incomplete idea that begs for a resolution. So start thinking about how you can use hypnotic questions to increase your email open rates.

    Important: If you’re going to use tactics like this to inspire action, you should deliver an interesting message inside the email. If you mislead people or don’t offer a story that’s funny or compelling in some way, they may not trust you the next time you use a strategy like this.

    Also, you don’t want to use questions and statements like these with every email you send. Just sprinkle them in here and there when you have important info to get out.

  • Thursday, March 08, 2018 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    How do you attract the interest of reporters, radio or TV show producers, groups you'd like to present to, or even bookstore owners? Joan Stewart, "The Publicity Hound," gives tips to help you and your book have a better shot at scoring some time in the spotlight.

    9 Types of Pitches to Use When Promoting Your Book

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