10 Published Authors Share Their Best Writing Advice

From Woman Writers, Women’s Books

‘You got this’

The writer’s life can be creatively fulfilling and packed with possibility — and it can also be arduous, frustrating, and downright lonely. Sometimes you just need another writer friend (or ten!) who gets it, has been there, and can give you that little bit of encouragement or great piece of advice that inspires you to keep going.

We’ve got you covered! We asked ten of our published authors to share the best writing advice they ever received, and to tell us what inspired them to persevere and keep creating. Think of it as your own personal support circle when you need a creative pick-me-up! Here’s what they had to say:

‘You got this’

“From those who published books before me: ‘Put butt in chair.’ (Plus a variation on that theme: ‘Sit. Stay.’) From my storytelling instructor: ‘Don’t worry about your memoir: it’s YOUR story. Write it down.’ From my writing coach and all-round cheerleader: ‘You got this.’ So, to every fellow writer out there: Keep on keepin’ on. We NEED your art.”

— Margaret Davis Ghielmetti, author of Brave(ish): A Memoir of a Recovering Perfectionist

. . . .

Consider a mindful approach

“‘A writer writes.’ I don’t remember when or where I first received this advice, but it fuels my daily writing practice. Whether I lock in for a stellar word count or labor to squeeze out a few measly sentences, I’m comforted by progress and validated by discipline. No matter how slow or frustrating the process may feel, I’m living my dream—in the moment, every day.

This mindful approach to writing helps me enjoy all the stages of publication, from inception to promotion. What a special joy it is to be celebrating award nominations for The Ninja Daughter, preparing for the virtual launch of The Ninja’s Blade, and writing the next Lily Wong adventure!

— Tori Eldridge, author of The Ninja Daughter and The Ninja’s Blade

Link to the rest at Woman Writers, Women’s Books

PG noted the headline of the OP mentioning “Published Authors” and, sure enough, he didn’t find an indie author in the bunch. He didn’t check every book featured in the OP, but ones he looked up on Amazon had unimpressive Bestsellers Rank numbers.

Indie authors are “published authors.”

The only difference between indie authors and “traditionally-published authors” is that indie authors hire the people that they think will do the best job of editing and formatting their books and designing their covers.

Indie authors are the boss, not the minimum-wage help.

Traditionally-published authors are either a low-cost/low-risk contractor or a sucker, depending upon what sort of traditional publisher they’re dealing with.

Some very successful indie authors have paid PG to help them get out of the traditional publishing contracts that are keeping them poor so they can make better money as indies. (No, PG does not disclose the identities of any of his clients as a hard-and-fast policy. He doesn’t ask any of his clients for permission to disclose their names, either.)

To be fair to the author the OP, she did disclose that she is a book publicist at the end of the article, but didn’t say how many of the books she mentioned in the OP were books she’d been hired to publicize.

Several of the books mentioned in the OP were published by She Writes Press, a “hybrid” publisher that offers the “She Writes Press Publishing Package” for $7,900.

The author of the OP didn’t mention whether her services were part of the She Writes Press Publishing Package” or not.

But there PG goes again, being all cynical and not believing in fairy godmothers in the book business.

3 thoughts on “10 Published Authors Share Their Best Writing Advice”

  1. PG, you may be cynical but as Writers Beware was talking about “expensive vanity She Writes Press” way back in 2014, I suspect your cynicism may be justified … though on the other hand, they do seem to have had some success in placing books with bricks and mortar stores, and some authors will think this is worth paying for.

    Given that vanity publishers have jumped onto the hybrid bandwagon it’d going to be hard to tell which companies are legitimate (i.e. whose profit depends more on book sales than up front fees) and I suspect that the business model will always push them towards becoming a true vanity press if times get hard. And $7,900 does seem an awful lot to pay for the services on offer.

  2. I do see (via my famous romancer crystal ball) some role for hybrid type book “publishers” in the future. Where’s the harm in my self-pubbing my next few stories, but paying a modest (in my case it would be in the low $100s range) for placement in a select few bookstores? Of course I would grant the third party no rights except those of placement and some modicum of promotion.

    Or am I drinking Kool-Aid not of my own making?


    • It’s absolutely your decision, Deb.

      For most people, it’s all about the money you pay and how much you make as a result of your payment.

      You do need to be very careful about not granting any rights to your book in the process, however. Click-to-Accept contracts can be just as dangerous as the paper contracts you sign.

      Your comment raised a question in my mind – Have you or anyone you know just walked into a bookstore, asked for the manager and offered to pay something like $200 plus 20 free POD trade paperbacks if the bookstore will put them on their shelf in the appropriate section for 30 days or 60 days to see if the store can sell any?

      In addition to the $200, you might agree to split the proceeds from any sales on a 50/50 basis (you’d need to adjust based on your per-book POD price so you at least cover your POD costs).

      If the store is getting close to selling out, you’ll provide additional copies at no cost with the same 50/50 split on copies sold.

      If the store has any unsold books at the end of the contract, you agree to come in and pick them up or, at the store’s option, leave them in the store for an additional period of time if the manager thinks she/he can sell them with additional time.

      If the experiment works for the manager, you might be able to come to a more permanent understanding over a longer period of time for that single book or a variety of books you’ve written.

      If the store is located near where you live, you can encourage all your friends to go buy a copy of your book to help the manager understand that your book will attract more traffic.

      If this works out at one store, you will have a reference customer if you want to go to other stores (perhaps excluding direct local competitors with the original store for a period of time) and pitch the same deal.

      This will take some of your time, but you’re the one who decides whether the extra time and effort are generating the sort of returns (direct sales or follow-on sales of other books through Amazon, etc.) that you’re looking for.

      You may decide it’s easier and more profitable to use the time you spent dealing with the physical bookstore to just write more books for KDP.

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