Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel

May 23, 2024

In this episode of Strange but True: Tales from Authors expert handwriting analyst and author Sheila Lowe dives into a topic she knows A LOT about, but one fewer and fewer people are using on a regular basis. 

Reviving a Timeless Skill in a Digital Age by Sheila Lowe

The last time you sent a birthday card to your grandchild, did they have to ask for a translation of those ‘hieroglyphics’ you wrote? If so, you’re not alone. As a handwriting analyst, I encounter this issue frequently. At virtually every presentation I give—often dozens a year—I’m asked the same question: whatever happened to cursive writing?

In a world dominated by keyboards and tablets, many children and young adults have been led to believe that handwriting is a thing of the... Continue Reading

May 9, 2024

In this month's episode of Strange but True: Tales from Authors we're pivoting slightly away from the weirdest or most ambitious things authors have done or learned for their writing to how a shift in a writer's life is allowing her to collect a whole host of new experiences that enrich her stories. Our featured author, Joy Ann Ribar, is tells us all about it here:

Shift Happens: How Traveling Changes My Writing by Joy Ann Ribar

In 2022, my husband and I took a leap of faith, sold our sticks and bricks Wisconsin house, and began full-time life and travel in an RV.  Before you ask if we need our heads examined, you should know we made this decision after being students of RV life for about five  years.

Logistically, living with your partner... Continue Reading

May 2, 2024

In this 8-part book launch basics series, I’ll demystify the process of proficiently releasing a new book into the world with flair. The information I’m providing is focused on those who will independently publish their book, but many of these components/strategies are equally usable for those publishing traditionally. (If you’re lucky to go that route, you may even have a publisher doing some or most of these things for you—but it is still important to understand the elements that go into successfully launching a new title.) Part 1 covered your online author image and overall branding.

In part 2, we are covering manuscript readiness and book presentation.

If your book is being... Continue Reading

April 26, 2024

Louisiana Bill Would Criminalize Joining the American Library Association

35 Questions Authors Need to Ask Publishers

Meta ‘discussed buying Simon & Schuster to train AI’

Amazon Kindle Lock Screens Are Showing Adds for AI-Generated Books

May Book Promo Calendar—unusual, unexpected, quirky holidays.

FEATURED ARTICLES

Louisiana HB 777 Would Criminalize Librarians and Libraries Who Join the American Library Association

Kelly Jensen writing for Book Riot covers recent attempts at book banning along with a bill recently introduced in Louisiana that would criminalize the expending of public funds for membership in the American Library Association or... Continue Reading

April 11, 2024

Strange but True: Tales from Authors . . . Here's where we'll learn the weirdest or possibly the most ambitious thing authors have done or learned for their writing. As an author I know that we often come across incredibly odd facts in our research, and sometimes, we endeavor to learn things firsthand, so we can describe it better in our stories. Has an author gained a new skill, traveled somewhere dangerous/exotic, tried a crazy sport? Inquiring minds want to know. 

Today, we welcome the fabulous Jacqueline Vick as she explains her deep dive into animal behavior to write one of her 'not quite cozy' humorous mystery series. 

Researching the Pet Psychic’s Feathered and Furry Friends 

One of the joys of writing the FRANKIE... Continue Reading

April 6, 2024

Welcome to the first part of a new (8-part) series on book launch basics where I’ll demystify the process of proficiently releasing a new book into the world with flair. The information I’m providing is focused on those who will independently publish their book, but many of these components/strategies are equally usable for those publishing traditionally. (If you’re lucky to go that route, you may even have a publisher doing some of these things for you—but it is still important to understand the elements that go into successfully launching a new title.)

... Continue Reading
April 3, 2024

Substack for Authors – yes/no/maybe?
The Truth on Selling Books Direct
Authors Equity –Shifting Traditional Publishing Dynamics
US Publishers File Brief Opposing Internet Archive’s Appeal

FEATURED ARTICLES

Substack for Authors?

Substack is a growing platform and that growth is earning a lot of attention from those in the author/publishing community. Is Substack a great place for authors?

Jane Friedman’s article “Substack is Both Great and Terrible for Authors” points out the relevant pros and cons of this platform. She focuses, and rightly so, on the fact that free email newsletters can be the backbone of an author’s sales... Continue Reading

March 7, 2024

Strange but True: Tales from Authors . . . Here's where we'll learn the weirdest or possibly the most ambitious thing authors have done or learned for their writing. As an author I know that we often come across incredibly odd facts in our research, and sometimes, we endeavor to learn things firsthand, so we can describe it better in our stories. Has an author gained a new skill, traveled somewhere dangerous/exotic, tried a crazy sport? Inquiring minds want to know. 

Today I am pleased to welcome the wonderfully talented Patricia Ricketts with her own strange but true author story . . .

Finding Mishigami - By Patricia Ricketts

Swimming in Lake Michigan’s chilly waters has thrilled me ever since I was a little girl growing up in... Continue Reading

February 28, 2024

Book Marketing Overwhelm: How to avoid being crushed

Outrage over Terms of Use at Findaway Voices Forces Change

March Book Promotion Opportunities

FEATURED ARTICLES

Book Marketing Overwhelm: How to avoid being crushed

The list of book marketing tasks you could be doing seems endless, right?? Sandra Beckwith has some freeing advice to share. She encourages us to pick just one task and master it, along with good advice on how to strategically choose that task. Read it here:

https://buildbookbuzz.com/book-marketing-overwhelm/

Findaway Voices and Their New Terms of Service Debacle

On February 15, the audiobook distributor Findaway... Continue Reading

February 22, 2024

Welcome to the WisMissus Podcast: Reading, Writing & Roaming around Wisconsin, the Midwest, & Beyond. 

This is a podcast for authors by authors! (And also readers who want the scoop on what authors are REALLY thinking.) Join Valerie Biel and TK (Tracey) Sheffield as we share topics to help our fellow writers as well as fun tidbits on what we’re reading and where we’re roaming. We're planning nine episodes in 2024 with topics like agent searching (episode 1), indie vs traditional publishing, book launch basics, helpful writing conferences (episode 2), elements of mystery writing, and more! 

ABOUT US—YOUR PODCAST HOSTS:

As you know—or maybe you don’t if you’re new to my website—I’m the author of the award-winning Circle of Nine series as well as a... Continue Reading

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