Top Ten Posts about Writing for 2016

Read the ten most popular writing posts on Byline for the past year

Top Ten Posts about Writing for 2016As we turn the calendar from 2016 to 2017, we mark the passing of another year and with it another fifty-two weeks of blog posts here at “Byline,” where we discuss growing as a writer.

Here are the top ten posts on Byline for 2016.

  1. What is the One Immutable Rule of Writing?
  2. 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be an Aspiring Writer
  3. How to Always Know What to Write
  4. 10 Tips to Improve as a Writer
  5. What to Do When You Hit the Wall
  6. What Are Your Writing Goals This Year?
  7. Why Writers Need to Develop Their Writing Style
  8. Do You Dream of Writing? 5 Aspiring Writer Personas to Avoid
  9. 6 Writing Tips to Quickly Pick-up Where You Left Off and Not Waste Time
  10. May is Short Story Month

Thank you for stopping by this past year. You helped show that these posts are your favorites.

May you have an amazing 2017.Check out these top 10 posts about writing. Click To Tweet

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Good News: Reading Is Here To Stay

As long as there are readers, writers will have work to do

Good News: Reading Is Here To Stay“Reading is here to stay,” wrote Robert M. Sacks in the November/December 2012 issue of Publishing Executive magazine. His astute observation caught my attention, captivating my thoughts, both then and even more so today.

Discussions and speculation about the rapid evolution in the book publishing industry threaten to overwhelm us; considerations abound:

  • Options such as traditional publishing, self-publishing, and assisted publishing
  • More options in the form of indie presses, outsourcing, and support services
  • Help from consultants, coaches, and editors
  • Requirements for platform, promotion, and marketing
  • Social media to blog, tweet, and message
  • Communication through e-newsletters, RSS feeds, and subscriptions
  • Technologies of e-books, e-readers, and e-publishing
  • Changes via consolidation, closures, and layoffs
  • Audio books, foreign rights, translations, screenplays, and movie deals

My brain’s about to explode with all these developments, options, and choices. Readers will always need authors to write things for them to read. Click To Tweet

Yet one thing remains: reading is here to stay. And with the future of reading secure, the future of authors and publishers is promising – for all of us willing to change, adapt, and dream.

Tomorrow will be interesting, exciting, and exhilarating, because reading is here to stay, and those readers will need authors to write content for them to read.

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Generation Y Leads in Book Buying

Young people are more apt to read books than older folks

Generation Y Leads in Book BuyingTo listen to mainstream media about the state of book publishing leaves most people with an incorrect understanding of the industry. The press gives the impression that fewer people are reading and those who do are mostly older. The industry is dying, so why bother to write and publish books?

Yes, things are changing, but not how most people think – and that’s exciting. The truth is young people are buying more books, not less.

A 2012 news item from Bowker, based on extensive research by Bowker Market Research and Publisher’s Weekly, proclaimed that Gen-Y is now leading all demographics in book consumption. More recent reports confirm this reality. That’s great news! There is demand for books and a future for books.

The report also confirmed a shift to online purchases and an increase in e-book sales. Other reports suggest it is older readers who embrace digital reading, with younger readers preferring print. Go figure.

Times are changing, so writers and publishers must adapt, but the most important thing is people still want to read and young people are leading the way.Young people consume more books than older people Click To Tweet

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Half of Avid Book Readers Prefer Print

Readers who purchase many books each year evenly divide on print versus digital

Half of Avid Book Readers Prefer PrintIn 2012, Book Business magazine, reporting on a Verso Advertising study, noted that 49.7 percent of avid readers refuse to go paperless. They define avid book readers as those who purchase more than ten books per year. Notice they use the word purchase and don’t say those who read ten or more books. I certainly read more than ten books annually, but I’m not sure if I buy ten.

Perhaps even more significant, this is an increase from 40 percent in 2009. Does this signal a digital backlash among power readers?

Interestingly, only 2.1 percent of regular readers oppose using e-readers.

So while many readers embrace going paperless, the avid readers — those who account for most of the books bought — are evenly divided on this issue. Deciding to publish only in e-book format effectively eliminates half of the most dedicated book buyers from purchasing your book.

But that was then. What about now?

I searched for studies that are more current and couldn’t find any that parallel this one. Okay, I spent a couple minutes looking. There must be some out there – somewhere.

What I do know is that I hear less hype and less enthusiasm for e-books now than I did four years ago. From a personal reader perspective, I currently read more printed books than e-books, whereas four years ago I did the opposite. As a book buyer, however, my preference has always been towards purchasing print books; I have never bought many e-books.My purchasing preference has always been towards print books; I have never bought many e-books. Click To Tweet

Of course my personal perceptions mean little when it comes to formulating a publishing strategy, but I think it is safe to say, don’t ignore print.

Do you know of any recent studies on this topic? What is your personal experience on reading and buying books? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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A Salute to Print Books

On The Media discusses books in their March 11 podcast

A Salute to Print BooksThe March 11 episode of On The Media, titled “Print is Back, Back Again” shares an array of interesting segments on books. It’s too good not to share.

Here are the topics covered:

These segments give those who read books and write books and publish books things to celebrate, things to make us smile, and things to shake our heads over. Yet put together they salute books, book writing, and book publishing. Long live printed books.

You can listen to the entire show or select specific topics using the above links. (It is also available through iTunes.)Listen to the March 11 podcast from On The Media as they focus on books. Click To Tweet

If you love books, you’ll love this episode of On The Media.

How do you view the future of printed books? Which of these segments most intrigues you? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Let’s Make the New Year Your Best Year Yet

Let’s Make the New Year Your Best Year YetIn this blog we talk about writing books, producing books, and marketing books. Successful writers must do all three. Neglect one element and your book will fail to meet your expectations and reach its full potential.

Even if you find a traditional publisher they will only handle the second requirement: publishing your book. Unless you are an A-list author they will do little marketing for you and expect you to put forth most of the effort.

And if you self-publish you must master all three: write a great book, produce an excellent product, and sell it effectively. Few authors naturally excel at all three. These are learned skills.

What do you shine at? What do you struggle with? Look at your weak area and commit to improving it this year.

The first step is writing a great book. Without compelling words, the rest doesn’t matter. Not really.

However writing a great book is just the first step. Next is producing it. This includes careful editing by skilled editors and a professional cover by an experienced designer. I’ve seen otherwise good books fail because of sloppy editing or an amateur cover.

Last, and perhaps most critical, is telling others about your book. We call this marketing. And though some artists think of marketing as the dark side of their craft, it is essential if you want to make money from your book and put food on the table.

Marketing starts with a great website, an email list, and an engaged social media following. Then there are ads, promotions, and pricing strategies.

Whether it’s writing, producing, or marketing, look to round out your skill set for this year and make it your best year ever.

Where are you at in the book publishing process? What will you do this year to shore up your weak area? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.Learn the 3 steps to successfully publish a book. Click To Tweet

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A Year in Review: The Top 10 Posts from Byline for 2015

As we migrate from 2015 to 2016 we pause to reflect on where we’ve been and then to look forward to where we’re going.

First, here is our top 10 posts for 2015, revealing the best of this blog as voted on by you (that is, the pages you read the most times):

A Year in Review: The Top 10 Posts from Byline for 2015

  1. Avoid Big Word Syndrome
  2. Don’t Be Possessive About Writing Rules
  3. What Spurs You On In Your Writing?
  4. Can You Write a Book in a Month?
  5. Are You Seeking to Improve as a Writer?
  6. Writers Need Discipline and Focus
  7. Does the Thought of Marketing Your Book Make You Squirm?
  8. Have You Ever Used Dictation to Write?
  9. Do You Know What You’re Capable of Accomplishing as a Writer?
  10. Should You Monetize Your Website or Blog?

Read the top 10 writing posts from Peter DeHaan in 2015. Click To TweetThese represent the highlights of this blog for the year. Beyond this list I have many other highlights as well. I won’t share my personal top 10 list – many of which relate to writing – but I do delight in what has transpired this year. Twelve months ago I would have never guessed what this year would have in store for me. It was a good year. I look forward to next year with much anticipation and a bit of nervous excitement as well.

For you, dear reader, your readership, comments, and encouragement motivate me to keep writing this blog to share my journey and what I’ve learned. Thank you for being part of that.

May 2016 be your best year ever!

What is one of your key accomplishments in 2015? What are you looking forward to in 2016? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Peter DeHaan Opens His Writing Newsletter to the Public

Veteran Magazine Publisher, Editor, Author, and Blogger Shares about Writing in Weekly Newsletter

June 9, 2015GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.Since last year Peter DeHaan has shared about writing in his free monthly newsletter, “Write On!” He now opens up the subscription to anyone interested in writing, from the beginner to experienced professional.

“I started my newsletter, ‘Write On!’ to keep in contact with people who attended the sessions I led at writing conferences over the past several years,” said Peter, who is a magazine publisher and editor, in addition to being a writer with over three decades of experience. “I sold my first article in 1982, and the world of publishing has changed a lot since then. I want to share my experiences and encourage others in becoming better writers.”

Each issue of “Write On!” includes an article about writing, a resource of the month, links to writing and book publishing blog posts, an inspiring quote, and a popular Q&A section where Peter answers writers’ questions.

Plus, each new subscriber will receive Peter’s valuable resource, “How to Format Your Submission,” at no cost. This is an essential guide for writers who want to present their work to editors and publishers in a standard, professional format. “Once we have produced our best work,” says Peter, “we need to present it properly so that it stands the best chance of being read and accepted. Editors and publishers are pushed for time and a well-presented submission will get their attention and increase our chances for success.”

Sign up for Peter DeHaan’s writing newsletter “Write On!” today; the next issue comes out on Thursday. You may unsubscribe at any time, but we don’t think you’ll want to!

For more information, go to Peter DeHaan’s website: www.authorpeterdehaan.com/newsletter.

Top 10 Posts About Writing for 2014

Here are the ten most popular posts on Byline for 2014. The comments are still open, so feel free to add to the discussion.

  1. How to Blog Your Fiction Book
  2. Seven Simple Tips For Stronger Writing
  3. Four Elements of a Successful Blog Post: Use Each Component to Maximize Results
  4. Why We Need to Write Every Day With Intention
  5. 14 Posts on Better Blogging (Plus 9 More)
  6. The Risk of Comparing Ourselves to Others
  7. Seven Tips to Find a Mentor
  8. Stay Within Your Genre: The Importance of Consistency
  9. How to Find Your Writing Voice
  10. How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?

Thank you for reading these posts and following this blog. May your writing improve and your career advance in the coming year.

Which post is your favorite? What one would you recommend?

News Release: Blogging Video Available

Blogging Video Available: 12 Tips For Better WordPress Content Creation

Veteran Blogger Peter DeHaan’s WordCamp Grand Rapids Presentation Is Now Accessible Online

Peter DeHaan spoke at the recent WordCamp in Grand Rapids Michigan. Peter’s topic, “12 Tips For Better WordPress Content Creation,” is now available for online viewing at WordPress.tv. Other recordings from WordCamp Grand Rapids are also being added.

WordCamps are informal, community-organized events, put on by WordPress users for WordPress users, including everyone from the casual hobbyists to core developers. “This is my second year attending WordCamp Grand Rapids; it’s such a great event,” said Peter DeHaan. “This year, I had the privilege to be able to give back to the local WordPress community. WordCamp Grand Rapids is a well-run event with a great core team of organizers. Everyone there – both speakers and attendees – were so willing to share what they know and to help one another.”

Peter DeHaan has been a magazine publisher and editor for the past fifteen years, a blogger for the past seven, and a published writer for much longer. Peter’s editing, blogging, and writing skills made him an ideal person to talk about blogging on WordPress. “I have multiple blogs and have written over 1,500 posts,” added Peter. “I think I’ve made about every mistake a blogger can make, and I hope I helped other bloggers avoid repeating my missteps.”

Grand Rapids WordCamp is an annual event put on by area WordPress enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, with each year being bigger and better than the year before. For 2014, the event expanded to three days.

The direct link to download Peter DeHaan’s presentation is http://wordpress.tv/2014/11/05/peter-dehaan-12-tips-for-better-wordpress-content-creation/.