Category Archives: News

Gifts for authors and writers: 25 perfect, hand-picked ideas

Our third annual “best gifts for authors and writers” list is certain to help you find just the right writer gift this holiday season.

From jewelry designed especially for authors to gift cards and courses, you’ll find something here that your author or writer will love.

You’ll also find 32 more ideas from last year, and another 29 from the year before.

Start shopping now!

Click on each product name to get more information. Full disclosure: Many of the selections include affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission on sales. To keep it simple, presume they all have affiliate links. Also, prices are subject to change (I’ve seen changes in 48 hours!). 

Start locally with book marketing

start locally

I often recommend that authors start locally with their book marketing.

Here’s why:

  • Local media outlets — daily and weekly newspapers plus TV and radio talk shows — are often receptive to talking with local authors about their books.
  • Starting locally lets you discover which of your publicity angles and interview messages resonate with local media outlets and which fall flat. With some local experience to your credit, you can use what worked when expanding outward to larger, less “hometown-writer-makes-good” markets and toss out those that didn’t work.
  • You can can leverage local connections and relationships to uncover and secure marketing opportunities.
  • It gives you practice before you hit the big stage — the national scene.

Don’t stop with the book launch

book launch

An author recently posted in an online group about her frustration with the timing related to her book launch activities.

She had pitched an essay about her book’s topic to a major (MAJOR!) daily newspaper hoping that the essay would be published when her book was released. The publication held on to the essay, finally publishing it — gulp — 15 months after the book’s publication date.

Woe is she, the author lamented. “It won’t help the book,” she wrote.

I beg to differ.

In my response, I told her, “It will help it now just as much as it would have if the article appeared the week your book was published. As long as the book is available for purchase, you should be promoting it and publicity like this should be a big piece of that effort.

When to write a press release

press release

Last week, B.D., an author, asked me for help writing a press release. Her book had been nominated for a statewide book award.

Not long before that, when author N.T.’s book was nominated for a citywide award, she asked if she should send out a press release.

In both cases, I discouraged them from sending a press release announcing they were nominated. “Save it for when you win,” I advised.

My advice might have confused them. After all, I often recommend writing and sending a press release when you have news to announce. Many others with experience in this area provide the same advice.

Perseverance, success, and authors


Louis Pasteur wasn’t referring to a book he wrote when he said, “Let me tell you the secret that has led to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity,” but he might as well have been.

Sometimes, it’s nothing more than perseverance that separates successful authors from those who fail — no matter how you define fail.

Many authors are familiar with the story of how best-seller Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected by 123 publishers before it was acquired. It’s a contemporary example of why authors must persist.

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