Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel

March 30, 2022

Waterstones to Acquire Blackwell’s

Why Did Draft2Digital Acquire Smashwords

If You Can’t Stand the Sight of Your Own Blood, Don’t Step into the Ring

Tired of Murder and Mayhem? Snuggle up with a cozy mystery.

Is Goodreads a Good Thing?


Waterstone’s to Acquire Blackwell’s

This might not matter much if you’re not concerned with the UK book market, but Waterstones has acquired Blackwell’s (not so very long after they acquired Foyles.)

Why Did Draft2Digital Acquire Smashwords

Great podcast discussion on... Continue Reading

March 21, 2022


Welcome to spring, writers!

This past weekend we had both snow and sixty-degree weather in Wisconsin. But that’s life in the Dairy State; post-winter weather is a Shakespearean tragedy. My home state’s spring is a melodrama, like combining Hamlet’s equivocation with Lear’s temper. Its nutty weather is one of the reasons why I place my cozy mysteries here. Nothing like storms, wind, and subzero cold—all within forty-eight hours—to boost conflict.

I have an exciting announcement: After two years of writing and revising a manuscript and pitching my cozy mystery series, I am represented by Julie Gwinn and The... Continue Reading

March 14, 2022

When Valerie asked me to write a blog post and the topic of “balancing writing time and promotion” was on the list, I jumped on this topic. I was living the blog post with the launch of my eighth book. I could speak to the realities of the book launch whirlwind while refreshing my computer to check reviews and recommendations. You laugh, but it’s true.

Launching a book successfully is important. I’ve learned over the years that if you put the time and energy into your book launch, it will save you time later. No author wants to hear from their agent or publisher to round up more reviews months after their book has launched. This conversation does happen. I will say honestly that during the two-week span before my launch and the one-week span after my launch, I wasn’t gaining... Continue Reading

March 7, 2022

Welcome to the March 2022 Author Series where a published author shares what they wish they’d known before they published their first book and what they’d go back and tell their pre-published self.  

Saralyn Richard’s award-winning humor- and romance-tinged mysteries and children's book pull back the curtain on people in settings as diverse as elite country manor houses and disadvantaged urban high schools. Saralyn’s most recent release is Bad Blood Sisters. A member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Saralyn teaches creative writing and literature at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and continues to write mysteries. Her favorite thing about being an author is interacting with readers like you. Visit Saralyn on... Continue Reading

February 28, 2022

Today I welcome nonfiction author Larry Scheckel. Larry is an award-winning science teacher who turned his love for science into six books that teach us how things work. He also has a love for history as we know from his other books, Seneca Seasons: A Farm Boy Remembers, Murder in Wisconsin: The Clara Olson Case, and Country School Days: True Tales of a Wisconsin One-Room School. I previously interviewed Larry in this space back in 2018. You can access that interview here—it covers a bit about Larry being part of the Teacher in Space program in the 1980s among other career highlights.

Q. Larry, thank you so much for visiting today. I’ve enjoyed your books so much, both your science books... Continue Reading

February 21, 2022

Draft2Digital Buys Smashwords

When a Writer Dies . . .

Wattpad Contest Controversy


Draft2Digital Buys Smashwords

This is really interesting news—mostly for those of us already with either D2D or Smashwords. Nothing will change immediately, however as a D2D author, I’m really excited about the Smashwords Tools that I will gain access to for coupons and presales.

When a Writer Dies: Making Difficult Decisions About the Work Left Behind -- Eric Newton for Jane Friedman’s Blog

Estate planning is always a good idea,... Continue Reading

February 16, 2022

Last week I traveled to Guatemala as part of The World Orphan Fund team. It had been exactly two years since my last international trip, which was to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda in February of 2020. As we returned home then on the eve of the pandemic, the many masks being worn in the airports were a harbinger of what was to come, but we could never have imagined how the pandemic was about to disrupt our world.

The 2020 Africa trip was for the World Orphan Fund, so it is fitting that the first trip outside the USA since then was also as part of a team visiting children’s homes in Guatemala—some where we have ongoing projects and others where we were assessing potential areas of need. If you don’t know the... Continue Reading

January 30, 2022

Welcome to the 2022 Author Series. Here we will continue to share the knowledge (often hard-won) from published authors as they tell us what they wish they’d known before they published or what they wish they could tell their prepublished selves. Our February author is Sherrill Joseph, creator of the delightful Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries for middle-grade readers!

As a mother, grandmother, retired teacher, and now children's author, Sherrill Joseph has made kids her life. She wishes they ran the world. She believes it is incumbent upon every children’s fiction author to promote antiracism. The author created The Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series for tweenagers, for posterity, to stay connected to kids, and to offer to them characters... Continue Reading

January 25, 2022

World Reading Habits 2021

The Year of More Author Reach

2022 Publishing Trends and Predictions

Why Now is the Best Time to Be an Author


As one would expect January brings a flurry (pun intended) of year-in-review and year-to-come articles for every industry. Here are some that help make sense of the crazy world of publishing.

World Reading Habits in 2021 – from Sandra Beckwith

Check out the infographic in this article for “interesting facts and stats” for reading habits in 2021 that tell us graphic novels were the fastest-growing book genre in 2021, the favorite type of book overall is still romance, and shows reading... Continue Reading

January 4, 2022

Welcome to the 2022 Author Series! Here we will continue to share the knowledge (often hard-won) from published authors as they tell us what they wish they’d known before they published or what they wish they could tell their prepublished selves.

Our first author of 2022 is Jessica Marie Baumgartner. I was fortunate to meet Jess when we were both on a fantasy writing panel at the Untitled Town Book and Author Fest in 2018. Her positive energy was contagious. I love her writing and appreciate her blog (which you can catch up on here.) If you follow my book reviews closely, you may remember my review of her 2021 release... Continue Reading