Recently Answered Questions:



Q – 

I’m a short story writer and sometimes a person will say a word or phrase that “inspires me.” I did this when a friend inspired me with her story. I wrote a short with a phrase but I used the word “I,” implying to readers I was referring to myself. 

Then I sent it to her, stupidly saying, “I wrote a story about you.” I used the wrong stupid words. I don’t think she even read it and said, “get rid of it or else.” I didn’t get rid of it because it’s one of my best stories. I just changed the title.

When I got my short story book published, I sent it to her. She said, “thank you,” and didn’t even notice the story, which shows it didn’t reflect on her in any way, except for her few inspiring words.

But, I confessed three years later that I felt sorry for using the wrong words “about you” when telling her about it, and upsetting her. She responded with, “If you write about me, I’ll sue you.” I explained that the “offensive story” was in the book I gave her three years ago and that she didn’t even notice. 

I’d never write about someone without their permission, not because I am being threatened with a lawsuit, but because I don’t want to hurt them.

Am I in danger from this deranged ex-friend from hell?


A – 

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney for any legal questions you have. This is simply my opinion.

My first question is…why are you still friends with that person after she first threatened you with, “Get rid of it or else?”

Second, after she threatened you, why did you then tell her you went ahead and used her inspirational words as the catalyst for a short story years later?? I understand the need to be brutally honest with people (I am the exact same way) but…why did you put yourself in legal jeopardy by doing so, especially since it would not bring any harm to her at all?? Uggg….

Third, she said something that inspired you to write the story. The story is not about her. You simply used some words she said as inspiration. And, you wrote the story in first person and referred to yourself (“I”).

I can’t imagine any lawyer who would take a case like this – not even one of those slimy ones who file frivolous lawsuits.

I’d love to see the story in question.

In the meantime, don’t contact that person again. Nobody needs friends like that…especially writers! If she writes to you, ignore her. If she texts you, ignore her. If she calls you, ignore her. She’s probably just a drama queen who likes making other people miserable in order to get attention.

Only if you get a letter from an attorney should you respond and I seriously doubt you ever will.

Remember that engaging bullies feeds them. Every response gives them added incentive to keep bullying. I have found, over my two decades of exposing scammers, and receiving false threats from those bullies, that not responding to them is the best tactic. They eventually give up and seek out another victim.

If she wants to hire a lawyer, fine. Some lawyers take on ridiculous clients knowing they have a losing case. Only after billing them for dozens of hours will their sleazy client learn what a poor case they have (no case at all!). Let her rack up thousands in legal bills on a frivolous lawsuit. That’ll teach her a lesson.

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90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience









It's A Dirty Job...Writing Porn For Fun And Profit! Includes Paying Markets!

Fact is, writing porn is fun! It's also one of the easier markets to crack and make money at while you're still honing your skills. "It's A Dirty Job..." is one of the only resources that can teach you everything you need to know to create your stories and target your markets.



Read more here:


It's a Dirty Job



Q –

Hi Angela,

Well, my book is on the market for a few months but it’s not selling. I really don’t know  how to promote a book, or anything for that matter. I just want to write but it would sure be nice to have some money coming in.

Should I cut the price of my book in half? Maybe that will spur some sales. What do you think?

– V.R. 


If a book isn’t being consistently promoted, it’s not likely to sell regardless of the price because people won’t know about the book. There are millions of books for sale on Amazon. There is simply too much competition and it’s doubtful people will stumble upon a book unless they’re searching for that specific book title. That’s why promotion is so important.

I know some authors think they can’t promote their own book but, the fact is, they CAN and the process can actually be FUN, and involves WRITING! Please see:

90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book’s Daily Marketing Plan

BookLocker.com authors receive a copy of that book for free.

If you need help with marketing activities, you can get a free quote RIGHT HERE.

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Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed


A systematic approach to writing that generates better quality quickly!


Chock full of ideas, tips, techniques and inspiration, this down-to-earth book is easy to read, and even easier to apply. Let author Jeff Bollow take you through a process that brings your ideas to the page faster, more powerfully and easier than ever before.




Read more here:
http://writersweekly.com/books/3695.html







90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

 

Q –

Angela—

I have a question. I’m getting a lot emails from book promotion sites like (name removed), (name removed), and (name removed). Are these legitimate sites? Do they really help sell books? Are they worth the money?

Thanks for your help.

Karen


A –

Those companies get on Amazon to find new books, and then use a search engine until they find the author’s contact info. They then start spamming the author repeatedly. Worse, if they find your phone number online, they’ll start calling you over and over again as well. And, even worse than that, if they can find your family members’ contact information online but not yours, they’ll spam or call them instead, asking for YOUR contact info. Many of them will pretend to be a traditional publisher to try to sound legitimate in their quest to get your info. so they can try to sell you their (crappy) services.

Avoid, avoid, avoid! If a so-called marketing company must resort to spamming and telemarketing to market their own services…that means their marketing tactics SUCK.

Your money would be far better spent elsewhere. Check out legitimate book marketing services RIGHT HERE.

RELATED

ARE YOU, TOO, GETTING SPAMMED TO KINGDOM COME BY THOSE “GET PUBLISHED” EMAILS?

“My book hit the market and I’m now being bombarded with sales calls and spam…from another publisher!!”

Should I hire this spammer to promote my book? NO!

Should I Pay A Marketing Spammer To Review My Book?

Is Sending a Press Release to Regular Folks Spam? YES!

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90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

How Many Copies Of Your Book Would You Have To Sell In Order To Break Even?




Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience





TRAVEL WRITING 2.0: Earning Money from your Travels in the New Media Landscape - SECOND EDITION


Completely revised edition of the ground-breaking travel writing book that provides a road map to success in the digital age. It dives headlong into the entrepreneurial world of blogging and digital books, while still acknowledging the real money to be made in declining print forms.

Drawing on interviews and survey responses from more than 100 successful travel writers and bloggers, this is the definitive guide to creating success instead of waiting for permission. Written by a veteran, award-winning writer with two decades of experience as a book author, online publisher, freelancer, and blogger.

Read more here:
http://writersweekly.com/books/4814.html





Q – 

Hello Angela,

It appears that there are lots of book review sites online. One that caught my interest is (name removed). However, they’re going to charge me $1.50 for every person who downloads my ebook. The reviews get posted to Amazon later. Is it worth it? 

L.R.


A –

I do NOT recommend listing your ebook on that site. Why in the world should an author PAY people to read his or her book rather than the other way around? I checked out that site and anybody can sign up to review books there. So, they get free books and they may or may not write reviews for them. They could not read the entire book, and write a very short, fake review (that could even be negative). People can sign up with that site just to get free books and I bet many of them are doing just that! The site gets $1.50 each time one of their so-called reviewers downloads a copy. And, YOU have to pay for it.

What if hundreds of people download your file? You’ll have to pay $1.50 for each of them. And, how would you even know the site is being honest? It would be very easy for them to commit fraud with this type of scenario.

I’m having a hard time trying to think of a worse book review deal for authors. NEVER pay to have your book reviewed and certainly NEVER, EVER pay a website $1.50, or anything at all, for every copy of your ebook that they give away for free.

Please see:
How To EASILY Get Awesome and Honest Book Reviews That REALLY Carry Weight With Readers!

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90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition


At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.

And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!

Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!



Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/5635.html







Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed


A systematic approach to writing that generates better quality quickly!


Chock full of ideas, tips, techniques and inspiration, this down-to-earth book is easy to read, and even easier to apply. Let author Jeff Bollow take you through a process that brings your ideas to the page faster, more powerfully and easier than ever before.




Read more here:
http://writersweekly.com/books/3695.html





Q –

Hi Angela

If I decide to publish my memoir, what’s the bottom line on 1400 pages? Can it fit into one paperback volume?

D.S.


A –

At BookLocker, our limit is 1,050 pages but I wouldn’t recommend a book that large. It would be very cumbersome for readers to hold while reading, and expensive to purchase.

I recommend publishing it in two or three volumes. That not only makes it more palatable for readers in terms of size and price, but will also give you the opportunity to use the first book to promote the second and third. This is called a loss leader…though you don’t have to sell it at a “loss.”

One method that works very well for promoting subsequent books in a “series” is to offer the ebook for the first in the series for free on Amazon, or at a very low price, like 99 cents. Then, you can include ads for the second and third books in the first book.

We offer this service to authors who have published a series with BookLocker.

RELATED

Writer Spins 24-Hour Short Story Contest Entry Into A Series!

How to Create Multiple Series of Books to Attract More Readers! – by K.M. Robinson

Selling Your Series By Joyce and Jim Lavene

I Am Creating A Series Of 100 Books. Should I Self-Publish…Or Not?

How My 10-Year-Old’s “Later Bedtime” Request Led to a Published Mystery Series! – by Maria Pease

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Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed


A systematic approach to writing that generates better quality quickly!


Chock full of ideas, tips, techniques and inspiration, this down-to-earth book is easy to read, and even easier to apply. Let author Jeff Bollow take you through a process that brings your ideas to the page faster, more powerfully and easier than ever before.




Read more here:
http://writersweekly.com/books/3695.html







HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY


Angela Hoy's popular online class is now available in book format!


Remember Your Past
Write It and Publish It
in as little as 12 weeks!



Angela Hoy's book will get you started!



  • Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years
  • Record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook
  • Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography!
  • Also works for biographies and memoirs!

Read more here:
http://booklocker.com/books/4764.html



90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!



Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience



Q – 

Angela,

I hope you can help me!

My publisher charges $700 to design a professional cover. That’s in addition to the $1500 they charged to publish my book. I wanted to avoid that expense to I found a cover designer on that cheap website, (name removed). The designer did a fantastic job. It looks GREAT! I uploaded it to my publisher and they rejected it for several reasons I don’t understand. I don’t know what RGB and CMYK are. They said my cover was designed in MSWord (what’s wrong with that?). They said something about bleed and the front and back covers being different sizes. They said there must be a spine. Why can’t they add that for free? All of the hard work is finished already.

I’m very frustrated! I wanted my book finished by Christmas but now it seems like I’m right back and step one. Worse, my designer has disappeared. She stopped responding to my emails after telling me the job was “finished.” She charged me $150.

I’m attaching the covers she designed here. Is my publisher just trying to rip me off by forcing me to buy their design services?

M.P.


A –

You are one of many authors who have been sucked into the “cheap” freelance cover design industry. Anybody with a computer can start a virtual business, and pretend they know what they’re doing.

I looked at your files and your publisher is right. They can’t be used. What your designer did was a complete waste of time on her part, and a complete waste of money on your end. Everything your publisher said about the covers is correct.

RGB and CMYK are color modes used in graphic design. RGB looks better on a computer screen but CMYK is used for print. When you convert an RGB file to CMYK, the colors will change. Sometimes they’re barely noticeable while, at other times, they are glaringly apparent. For example, a rich blue cover on your computer screen might print in purple. Print covers must be designed in CMYK from the get-go so the author knows that what they’re seeing is how the cover will print.

MSWord is a horrible program to use for cover design. The files you sent to me are only 72 dpi. Files must be 300 dpi for printing. A professional graphics program is needed to create book covers for print publication. A hallmark sign that a cover has been designed in a word processing program is there is usually white space surrounding the actual cover (it’s on a “page” in the word processing program).

Bleed is also required. That’s the extra space around a file that allows the colors to extend past the trim lines. The printer will then cut off the extra at the trim-lines. Your files don’t have that.

Yes, your back and front covers are different sizes, which is bizarre. Also, there is no spine. When authors don’t buy cover design from their publishers, the cover must be submitted as one file only – back, spine, and front all together as one file, ready to print.

Sadly, there are also typos and missing spaces between words in your back cover description.

THE DANGERS OR ORDERING COVER DESIGN FROM YOUR PUBLISHER

Almost every print on demand publisher takes all rights to covers they design for their authors. (BookLocker does NOT take rights from authors under any circumstances.) Do NOT get stuck in this type of “forced marriage” with your publisher. To avoid this, find a real cover designer who has been vetted, and who knows the specs for the largest print on demand printer, which virtually all of these firms use. You can find that person RIGHT HERE. And, YOU will own ALL RIGHTS to the cover design YOU paid for.

Incidentally, you paid $1500 to your publisher + $150 to your cover designer. BookLocker would have only charged you $875 for the same job, and it would have included original cover design. And, of course, you would own all rights to your cover and interior print-ready files.

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The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing


Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.



The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.





Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/6712.html



 

Q –

I’ve been writing for on online publication for the past year, primarily for a column they run that features different people in our city.

I’m interested in taking my interviews and turning them into a book that features each person, especially the advice they’ve given as part of their interview.

Can I use those stories and turn them into my own book, or do those pieces belong to the magazine? I wouldn’t print those, but take my notes to create new pieces.

– J


A –

I’m not an attorney and this isn’t legal advice. Please contact an attorney with your specific questions. 

That said:

You’ll need to ask the magazine for a copy of your contract with them if you don’t still have it. If they didn’t give you a contract, tell them you’re planning to compile your interviews into a book. If you mention the magazine in the book, they probably won’t mind. Absent a work-for-hire contract, it’s highly doubtful they would be able to claim all rights to the work since you’re a contractor.

RELATED

Did You Include “Work-For-Hire” In Your Contract? No? You May NOT Own All Rights!

Plagiarism…or Work-for-Hire?

Avoid Publishers With Greedy Rights Clauses

Confusion About Damages in Copyright Statute

Do I Need A Model Release From Relatives?

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Get 10% off "Query Letters That Worked" when you use the code below at checkout!


QUERY10








Q – 

Hi Angela,

I self published with Balboa Press.

Recently, as I live in the UK, I needed an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to prevent taxes from being removed from my royalties in the U.S.  During a move, I lost all my papers, and could not find my ITIN.

I, therefore, asked Balboa Press if they would inform me of my number. Now, bearing in mind, it’s my number and, of course, I gave it to them, after receiving it from the IRS. But, they have steadfastly refused to tell me what the number is, saying it’s due to their security procedures.

I feel this is unreasonable as I’ve sent them information that verifies it’s me and not another person. What can I do? I’m going to try and get it from the IRS by faxing them a W7 form but I really think this is terribly unreasonable of Balboa Press. 


A – 

For once (first time ever!), I agree with Balboa Press. There is a huge security risk in sending tax numbers online. Think about it. What if someone someone stole your laptop out of your car, and was trying to steal your identity by contacting a firm you’d recently emailed? There are numerous scenarios I can think of. One that comes immediately to mind is the guy who contacted us at Booklocker saying his dad had died, and that we needed to start sending the royalties to him instead. The problem was, his dad was still very much alive. The son was trying to steal from our author.

He quickly learned that I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck! Nerp dee shnerp!! And, he wasn’t even the beneficiary of his dad’s royalties on his dad’s contract!

The best and safest course of action is for you to contact the IRS. You can use THIS FORM to obtain the number. In box “h,” tell them you lost your number.

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Q –

“I want to include scans of newspaper articles in my book. Since my book is non-fiction, will the educational exception to copyright law apply?”


A –

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Consult with your attorney for your individual legal needs.

That said, the educational exception to copyright law was primarily created to allow teachers to use copyrighted material in the classroom. Teachers are not profiting from sharing that information. When an author publishes a book, that book will sell and the author can then profit from using the content included in that book.

In a nutshell, you will be seeking to make a profit on your book, and using the newspaper’s content will help you earn that profit. It’s only fair (and lawful) to give the newspaper the opportunity to benefit from the use of THEIR material as well. If the newspaper articles appear online, it would be more advantageous to the newspaper to provide links in your book to the newspaper’s website, where readers will see advertisements that support that newspaper.

If the articles are not online, you would need to request permission from the newspaper to include those scans in your book, provided those articles aren’t so old that they’re now in the public domain. The newspaper will likely say yes, provided correct attribution is provided. The big problem when doing this is that newspapers can take several weeks to respond.

I have always lived by this motto: When in doubt, DON’T.

Where the law is concerned, never assume you can use someone else’s copyrighted material without asking permission or contacting an attorney for advice. And, never, ever, ever use material thinking you’ll just remove it later if you get a cease and desist letter. By that time, the damage has been done and you’ll be setting yourself up for a copyright infringement lawsuit, which can bankrupt you.

RELATED

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90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed


A systematic approach to writing that generates better quality quickly!


Chock full of ideas, tips, techniques and inspiration, this down-to-earth book is easy to read, and even easier to apply. Let author Jeff Bollow take you through a process that brings your ideas to the page faster, more powerfully and easier than ever before.




Read more here:
http://writersweekly.com/books/3695.html





Q –

Hi Angela, 

I wanted to forward this to you and get your perspective on it. I have received a number of emails from people wanting to “market” my book, but the insights I have received from your book have been better than what they were going to offer. Anyway, I just wanted to get your thoughts on this email.

Thanks for your time.

Vance


A –

They’re scams. Victoria Strauss (God bless her) published an article with a huge list of them RIGHT HERE.

If you want to hire a reputable book marketing professional, you can get free quotes RIGHT HERE.

And, remember: Whenever a so-called “marketing company” uses SPAM to try to sell their own services to you, they’re instantly proving they have NO idea what they’re doing. Avoid spammers and telemarketers at all costs!

HAVE YOU, TOO, BEEN CONTACTED BY A SCAMMER AFTER PUBLISHING YOUR BOOK? PLEASE SHARE YOUR STORY USING THE COMMENT BOX BELOW. 🙂

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles



90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Blind Characters



I admire any writer who wants to tackle a blind character. But so many writers take up this challenge and FAIL. They research blindness by reading other fiction books, by observing their blind colleagues and acquaintances, and by tying on a blindfold and pretending to be blind themselves.



I understand the challenges your characters face, their triumphs, their hopes and their fears, because I've lived them. I work with people who have varying degrees of blindness every day, so I've seen every challenge, every situation you could imagine.



Let me share my knowledge to improve your writing. You can create blind characters that readers will fall in love with.

~Stephanie Green





Ask The Expert Archives