Writing Craft Tips & Techniques

Exploding head image Career Planning in the Digital Age for Authors 

Writers have to plan their careers just like any other professional if they want to succeed, but with all the non-writing activity that we now have to take on as part of our “Author Platform”, it’s a wonder any of us have time to write a book at all. We can’t do it all – so we have to make informed business decisions about what we are going to do and when.  

Drop by my workshop Friday at 5:00 p.m. at the 2015 When Words Collide conference [Calgary AB Canada August 14-16, 2015], where we’ll be talking about planning a writing career within the demands of the new digital publishing world. and why it is critical that authors focus on personal goals and realities as part of their career planning now more than ever.  If you can’t make it, feel free to download my slides and the supporting worksheets for free.


2015AUG14 PRES Career Planning for Wtr HandoutA

2015AUG14 PRES Career Planning for Wtr HandoutB

  Anatomy of a Mystery

Crimescene shutterstock_134774759I prepared this paper, The Anatomy of a Mystery, for my presentation with mystery author, Sharon Wildwind, at the 2015 When Words Collide conference [Calgary AB Canada August 14-16, 2015]. If you’re interested in hearing about what makes up the bare bones – pun intended – of a successful mystery, drop by on Sunday at 3 pm or, if you can’t make the presentation please feel free to download a copy. 

 The Anatomy of a Mystery SLIDES1.5

2015AUG Anatomy of MYSTERY FNL Notes


  Top 10 Presentation Tips for the Terminally Timid

When Jerry Seinfeld heard most people feared public speaking more than death, he replied,

This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.


  1. Know your audience before you start so you can shape your presentation to their perspective.
  2. Prepare a summary of your points as a handout for them – that’s what they take away with them no matter how your talk went.
  3. Practice! Practice! Practice! In particular, memorize your first few slides no matter how nervous you are at first.
  4. Bring a bottle of water with you. Don’t drink coffee before or during; it’ll make you sweat!
  5. Take three slow deep breaths before you start to relax.
  6. Start your talk by telling the audience what you are about to tell them.
  7. Connect with the audience either during or at the end of your talk with questions and answers.
  8. When it comes to mistakes of any kind, laugh and the audience with laugh with you.
  9. If your talk is after lunch when everyone feels sluggish, turn down the thermostat a degree or two. You don’t want to see their breath, just enough to keep the audience feeling refreshed.
  10. Finish your talk by reminding the audience what you just told them – with a big smile!

Check out my article, HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS, on page 143 of:

2015 Writer’s Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published
by Robert Lee Brewer
Link: http://amzn.com/1599638401


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