By Kylee Wooten

Coming up with a name is challenging. Whether you’re deciding on the name of the new family pet, battling over whom to name your child after, or trying to come up with the perfect title for your new novel, it’s almost impossible to know if you’re making the right decision.

Ask the Author John Desjarlais Plot a Murder MysteryWe asked John Desjarlais to discuss his process writing (and plotting) a murder mystery. In these books, everything is important. Characters, settings, interactions, motive—especially motive—all play into whether or not your reader will believe your story.

Packed with advice on character creation, where ideas come from, and what it takes to put all the moving pieces together to create the mystery that will stick with you, this is a fantastic resource for writers of both mystery and suspense.

Have more questions for our authors? Let us know with a message on Facebook.

By Kylee Wooten

The biggest “do” of all: You should need to be on social media. These days, having a Twitter account and a Facebook page are almost as essential to your success as an author actually having a book.

find your target audience

No matter what kind of writing you do, the first step in the process of sharing your work with the world is identifying your target audience.

Your target audience will help you determine your tone, your word choice, your style, what rhythm or flow you follow, your topic, and presentation.


One of the things that we continue to stress to our authors is the importance of a strong presence on Amazon. Amazon has a dedicated "Author Central" page, where authors can "claim" his/her books, post a bio, updates and trade reviews, and more. As one of the largest book retailers in the world, we believe in the importance of utlizing Amazon to its full capacity. Brooke Warner breaks down the most important misconceptions, little known facts and valuable tips for authors to consider when they are navigating the world of Amazon. This article was originally featured in Huffington Post.

ask the author finding successWhat defines success for an author? Is is the number of books sold? The number of awards they recieve? Authors Brad A. LaMar and Susan Örnbratt join us for this week's Ask the Authors blog post on defining and finding success as an author. If you have any questions you'd like to ask our authors, make sure to leave a comment on our Facebook or Twitter!

publicity opportunities to help your book launch

In the age of digital marketing, the world is your oyster as you launch your book. There are millions of readers out there, waiting for a book like yours to cross their screen. But how do you reach them?

There are a few options you can use as you create publicity and marketing campaigns to spread the word about your book.


Seal StandardsChecklist

To give both authors and book industry professionals an at-a-glance method by which to gauge the professional presentation of a book, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) – ibpa-online.org – has released a 2-page Industry Standards Checklist for a Professionally Published Book. The checklist is broken into two sections, content and production, and provides an unbiased measure by which to critique published books.

As part of the IBPA Advocacy Committee, Senior editor Elizabeth Turnbull helped write the checklist alongside committee chair Brooke Warner of She Writes Press, committee member Karla Olson of Patagonia Books, and Angela Bole, CEO of IBPA. 

questions to ask when book sales are slow

It’s easy to get discouraged when your book isn’t selling as well as you hoped or expected. After all, as an author, you signed up to write books. You likely don’t have a business or marketing degree, and when it comes to the world of book sales, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and disappointed when there’s so much to learn and so little seems to make a difference.

Don’t despair. Selling books is a totally different animal from writing books. This part of the business is tricky and takes a bit of finesse.

If your book sales aren’t where you’d like them to be, there are a few things you can do.



ask the author finding your pathDo ideas just come to authors, or do they have to work for them? How do they decide what kind of book they’ll write? Betsy Streeter and Dave Edlund talk about how they found their path. Do you have any questions for our authors? Let us know by leaving a comment on Facebook or on Twitter!


ask the author becoming an authorThe journey towards becoming an author can greatly differ from person to person, so Nancy Boyarsky and Rebecca Stevenson offer their own unique perspectives and experiences.  Have more questions for our authors? Leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter!

Think Again!

By Nancy Panko, Author of Guiding Missal

After ten years of researching, writing, resting, and repeating the process over and over, my book Guiding Missal was published. One of my crowning achievements as a human being and a writer was also one of the most difficult things I’d ever done. I had yet to find out that there was more hard work to come. 

Throughout the process, I diligently followed the “Author Pre-Publication Checklist” laying a lot of groundwork on which to build. You have probably all done the same basic work now that you are a published author but if you haven’t, perhaps you may want to download that list.

People often assume it takesTorchflame Books blog post repurpose your skills an incredible stroke of luck or skill to become an author. But how many authors started out from the beginning desiring to write books? How many of them, instead, started out in a completely different field? We asked Rebecca A. Miles to share about her experience becoming an author, and we hope this can inspire you, too, if you've ever considered writing a book. 

Have more questions for our authors? Let us know with a message on Facebook.

One of the biggest misconceptions that authors face is that their work is done once the book is published. Whether you’re self-publishing or you have a world-renowned publicist, you should expect to spend as much time marketing your book as you did writing it.

Torchflame Books blog post repurpose your skillsThere are many ways to go about writing a book. Whether you outline or sit down with a blank page, write it yourself or hire someone else to write it for you, you have options. Eva Shaw got her start by sitting with others and learning how to tell their story. This process is called ghostwriting, and as Eva says, "As a ghost writer, if I'm invisible to the reader...I've done a good job."

More than just a career, her ghostwriting gave her friends and insight, and helped prepare her to write the novels you love.

Have more questions for our authors? Let us know with a message on Facebook.

How are audiobooks changing the publishing industry? What is involved in the production of an audiobook? What is it like for an author to have her book narrated by someone other than herself? This month we interview author Kate Rademacher and audiobook narrator Becket Royce about their experience collaborating on the production of Following the Red Bird: First Steps into a Life of Faith. If you have any questions you'd like to ask our authors, make sure to leave a comment on our Facebook or Twitter!

Thank you for joining us for this month’s blog about the production of audiobooks. Can you both introduce yourselves?

Kate: My name is Kate Rademacher. I published my debut memoir, Following the Red Bird: First Steps into a Life of Faith, in mid-2017. The audiobook version, which was narrated by Becket Royce, was released in March 2018. Following the Red Bird is the story of my very unexpected conversion to Christianity, and how I began to understand what it means to be a Christian in the first year after my baptism. I like to say that the book explores not only the why of Christianity but the how.

Becket: I'm Becket Royce, and I was very pleased to have been chosen as the narrator Following the Red Bird. Most of the audiobooks that I've narrated are fiction, so I really enjoyed the challenge of narrating the words and thoughts of an actual human being! I'm honored to be a part of this project.