As someone who regularly teaches storytelling and writing, I’ve gathered a lot of resources and enjoy sharing them with likeminded writers and teachers needing some inspiration or guidance. Here you will find advice and recommendations on how to write well.
Feel free to browse through each section and use whatever you find valuable. If you use any of the material or teaching techniques outlined here in your own teaching, remember to give me credit somewhere. They’re intended for college undergraduates but can be adapted for any age group. Enjoy!
Jump to a Topic!
Sometimes the hardest part of writing is just getting started. You might have an idea but are having trouble putting it into words, or you might just be drawing a blank completely. Wherever you are, I’ve collected some writing prompts that I use with my classes to really get the creative juices going. I use these myself when I want a challenge.
Whether you’re teaching a class on writing or needing help with your own writing, these Writing Prompts are sure to help!
Write a story with a beginning, middle and end and some sort of character development that meets ALL of the following criteria. You cannot skip any of these rules.
- The first letter of each sentence will start with letters of the alphabet in order, i.e. the first sentence must start with A, second sentence with B, third with C, etc. ALL letters must be used, in order.
- You can start a sentence with a proper noun (name, place, etc) no more than TWO times.
- You can use no more than ONE question mark.
- You can use NO exclamation marks.
- You can use no more than FOUR lines of dialogue.
- One sentence must be exactly 26 words long.
- One sentence must be exactly 6 words long.
This prompt works in three parts. Complete the first two parts without looking at the third!
First, choose a type of person closely related to you (mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, best friend, etc.). In addition, choose a common saying (a cat always lands on its feet, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, etc.).
Second, write the following sentence at the top of your page as your first sentence:
As my (type of person) always says, (saying).
FILL THAT IN BEFORE CONTINUING!
Third, write the following sentence which will become the last sentence in your story:
And that, officer, is why I had to kill my (type of person).
It’s now your task to get from your pre-written first line to your pre-written last line in a logical and interesting way!
Describe a room from the point of view of a single, predefined character (see examples below). Then, put your description aside and choose a second, completely different character. Write a new paragraph describing the room from the point of view of your new character. Compare your two paragraphs and notice how emotion, personality, and state of mind affect setting.
- You are an elderly man who can’t stop looking back at all the things he never did.
- You are a pregnant woman and haven’t found the right moment to tell your boyfriend.
- You are a mother of two young children and just learned your husband is having an affair.
- You are a single father of two girls and you’re in love with a new person.
- You are a parent who has just lost their only child.
- You are a high school gym teacher and truly love your job.
- You are a middle-aged professional without a job for the first time since college.
- You are a teenage boy being pressured to do drugs.
- You are a teenage girl who is upset that you didn’t get a car for your 16th birthday.
- You are a Seeing Eye dog working hard to keep your teenage owner safe.
I regularly contribute to the Stellima Worldbuilding blog by Vivian Sayan with articles about writing for speculative fiction (and other genres, too!). I have a contributor page where you can see all of my posts in one place. I contribute fairly regularly, usually around once a month or so, and I have plenty of posts lined up in the future. For more detailed descriptions of the published posts, see below! I’ll update as more come out.
The website is set up as a series of lessons on worldbuilding, and these lessons are assigned course numbers based on how advanced or difficult they are. Most of my posts are about writing or focusing on the writing aspects of worldbuilding, but I take on some fantasy topics as well, as Vivian prefers science fiction (specifically space opera). In addition, there are a few practicums that put what has been written about into practice with an extended example from a world that either exists in my or Vivian’s writing already or is made up for this purpose. I hope you’re able to explore not only these posts but the Stellima blog in general!
Solo Posts and Information
The following are topics that I’ve written about independently on the Stellima website. Read through for my personal opinions and arguments on how to write various topics and incorporate them into your stories. Start at the 101 level lessons for basic, foundational information, then advance your skills with specialized topics that can take your stories and writing to the next level!
The most recent post will always be first. After that, these are organized by the lesson number, with the Writing series of posts going first, starting with 101 and getting more advanced, and then the Worldbuilding series after that, again starting at the lowest level. If I write a practicum expanding on a particular lesson, I’ve included it with that lesson. Otherwise, all practicums are at the end.
When telling stories, there’s always the story as it appears from the outside as told explicitly through the text, but what about under the surface? Stories rely on unspoken knowledge and truths, and this blogpost defines and demonstrates subtext in fiction so that you can see how exactly to use it to your best advantage. Unless you’re writing for a young audience where it’s expected you spell everything out, you want to leave things unspoken while leaving enough there so the reader can infer your meaning. This is subtext, and it can make or break your story. Explain too much, and it feels like you’re spoon-feeding the story to your audience, but explain too little, and your audience will be completely lost. I hope you learn to balance and embrace subtext with this blogpost!
One of my absolute favorite aspects of writing is Point of View (POV), and I love teaching it in a variety of ways. On the Stellima blog, I have a detailed and comprehensive explanation of the various options, and I walk through a brief scene involving my cat Lily to demonstrate how the different POVs can change the meaning and give you different options. From first, second, or third person, close to distant to omniscient, all of the options are covered along with demonstrations and an analysis of why you would want to use them… and why you wouldn’t. If this is something you struggle with or if people have commented that you have POV slips (a very common error), I try to help figure out what’s wrong and get you back on the right track!
It can also be quite fun to examine POV through the lens of video games. Several years ago, I compiled lessons that I taught in my classes showing POV through video games. I walk through first and third person in particular, comparing it to various classic games in order to show the benefits of each but also the times when that point of view won’t work well to enhance player engagement. This analysis isn’t part of the Stellima blog, this is far earlier than I became a guest contributor, and this is based on teaching others and analyzing existing media, not necessarily using it for yourself. Please enjoy, and feel free to use anything as long as you credit me somewhere for the original analysis. Who knows, I may end up writing a paper about it!
Okay, I know I say below that I love point of view more than anything, but really, dramatic structure tops the list. In this illustrated walkthrough of the main dramatic structures available to people, I explain how almost everything in Western literature is some variation of the 3 Act Structure, talk about how the dramatic question drives conflict forward, and I look at kishōtenketsu as well, the non-Western story without conflict. In terms of illustrations, over the years I’ve made some charts mapping out the dramatic structures that I provide here. I use them in my classes and you’re welcome to use any of them in your own classes, just keep the copyright on them! You can also see how I’m recovering from the lightpox I picked up in the post on Fantasy Mana Diseases!
Exposition is a powerful tool in writing, but done poorly, it leads to infodumps and extremely boring writing. In this fun, engaging demonstration of how infodumps can be salvaged, I walk through different steps you can take to avoid and fix infodumps, and what you should do to strengthen your exposition even if you start out well. Although I start with a sample scene that is absolutely horrendous, the end result is quite good after taking all of the recommended steps! Unnecessary exposition is a weakness of mine, to be honest, which is one reason I wanted to write this. I follow these steps frequently to adjust what I have. If this is something you struggle with, or if your writing is dull or lagging in any way, following these steps and adding these elements will make a huge improvement!
When you write, conflict forms the core of the overall story and each scene. This walkthrough of strategies of techniques discusses what conflict actually is and how to talk about it in stories. What does a character want, and what prevents that? Conflict! Pacing is a huge part of conflict, since you want to balance your stakes and language and intensity to keep readers engaged but not overwhelmed, and I give some tips for that. I walk through the various types of conflict that you can have in at story, first with the key differences between external and internal as well as physical and nonphysical conflict, then into the ones you probably learned in school like character v. character and character v. nature. I close with four key strategies to strengthen the conflict so that your reader hangs on your every word!
Let’s face it, there’s a lot that goes into telling a good story. But one thing that can really make or break it is the dialogue. Throughout this explanation of dialogue and how to write it, I provide a space opera scene written in different iterations to show the strategies for strengthening your dialogue. It starts as a jumbled mess but slowly becomes something worth reading. And at the end, Vivian Sayan offers zhir own scene using the same characters and premise, followed by my critique. I walk through four broad categories, starting with the most basic, dialogue tags (and I throw formatting in there, too). This is a problem so many writers have! Next I move into language patterns, then how to use it to add personality, then how to show and increase conflict. Finally, I explain the four purposes that dialogue can have before handing it over to Vivian!
Advertisements are so much fun to analyze, and it’s such an important skill to have. If you’re looking for ways to understand advertisements so that you’re a savvy consumer and not blindly falling prey to things, this post walks you through everything from car insurance ads to propaganda. However, ads can also help with your stories! I also walk through how you can incorporate advertisements to develop characters and flesh out your world, and the things to consider as you create your own ads. From futuristic scifi to modern day settings and even back to medieval fantasy, advertisements are an essential part of life in the real world, and should be reflected in yours. Who knows? You might stumble upon an ad campaign that redefines your understanding of the world, especially when it comes to propaganda!
To show how ads can work in the real world, or at least in the real fictional world of Stellima, I took the Tshutshi Cogni-Chip Manufacturing Company, the go-to place to get cognichips, and created an advertising campaign for them. It started out as practice for creating ads, but as I developed more ads alongside Vivian, we created an ad campaign that reshaped the galaxy of Stellima and introduced several new characters into the world. I had so much fun creating these ads and this character. If you want to see how thinking about the advertisements your world might have can lead to huge, sweeping change to your entire world and story, definitely check this out, and if you want to see some advertisements that are genuinely close to my heart, this is the post to read.
Designing magic systems is an essential part of fantasy stories, and I wrote a detailed description of how to go about this, starting with genre and thematic questions, moving to hard versus soft magic, and then into the magic itself: where does it come from and how do you control it? Since this is published the same week as the third book in my Imperial Saga, Heart of the Guardian, Vivian asked me to talk about my magic system, which I was happy to do. So if you’re looking for some behind-the-scenes looks at Tamarud’s magic or some sneak previews of what magic is like on the other continents, you’ll find it scattered among this post! I offer some advice on things you can try, why you might use that system, and also some things to avoid. If you’re writing fantasy, be deliberate about your magic systems!
Earlier on the Stellima blog, Vivian wrote a fascinating analysis of illnesses, what they are, how they feed and spread, and all sorts of fun stuff. After that post, they wanted a fantasy-focused illness that wasn’t a run of the mill disease or random magical disease number 3289, but something inspired by the magic system itself, hence my fantasy-based practicum on illnesses was born! I created the world of Aermundi (with Vivian’s input), developed an intricate system of mana poles and magic use, then explored the different ways mana can interact with people to create entirely fantasy-based illnesses. If you can make ailments fit your world, you add to the complexity and realism a hundredfold and your readers will love it. So explore Aermundi and be glad you don’t get lightpox… because I end up with it!
Joint Posts and Information
The following are topics that I’ve written about in conjunction with Vivian Sayan, an expert worldbuilder. Together, we tackle difficult topics that would be challenging to address alone. Zhi focuses on the worldbuilding aspects while I focus on how these topics relate to writing. As with the above section, these are organized by series (Writing, Worldbuilding, or Character) with the basic lessons coming first. Any associated practicums are with that post, otherwise they’re at the end.
Don’t worry, there’s nothing here that will offend animal lovers! The unethical animal practice Vivian and I take on in our post is bullfighting, and we come up with a scifi version that neatly avoids all of the downsides of bullfighting while keeping the unique elements of a battle of strength and wits between person and beast! For this post, we created a creature called the Sakirakani, a large beetle that lives among the Tshutsi people. We talk about its biology and the historical relationship between them and the people, which leads to Belusakirakani, also known as beetle-fighting. From there, we focus on the differences between Belusakirakani and bullfighting, emphasizing the ways that our sport is humane and honors the Sakirakani as living creatures deserving of equal dignity as a person, even as their needs are very different. Hopefully this inspires you to take something that you might like aspects of but consider overall unethical and turn it into something you’re proud to include in your stories.
In this introductory post in the new Character series, Vivian and I explain the basics of character, starting with what kinds of characters there are and how that’s determined by their relationship to the central conflict of the story. We touch on idealistic characters and how to handle them as well as the differences between an unsavory protagonist and an antagonist. We then talk about two writing and worldbuilding styles: top-down (Vivian’s style) and bottom-up (my style). Finally, we look at ways to easy pinpoint your character’s basic identity (which can also be used as a pitch when you enter the marketing part of writing a book). Throughout this series, we’ll be developing the character of Bob, an average Space Mana Engine (SME) engineer living in the fictional universe that Vivian and I develop throughout the blog. Start on our adventure as we take our character from his fledgling beginnings to a fully fleshed out character, and learn to do the same with yours!
Wich the basics of character established in the first part of the character series, it’s time to dive into childhood! In this second installment of the character series, we examine the different ways that childhood shapes individuals and how it can be used to create characters from scratch and also to take an existing character and work backwards to figure out their childhood. A core feature of this blogpost is a list of as many different childhood types as we could fit, along with descriptions of what the childhoods are like, how that can be used in the story, and an extremely useful table of positive and negative traits associated with each childhood. Different childhoods create different types of characters, and we outline the basics of how these early experiences create long-lasting effects, some positive, some negative, and some just interesting quirks. The same childhoods can have dramatically different results depending on other factors, so get to know your characters and build up their childhood history!
When writing, one of the choices you make involves the level of offense when your characters speak or think. It can be difficult figuring out how to incorporate offensive language into your writing, but this exciting and scandalous post has everything you want to know! From name calling to slurs and gosh darn to ——, we dive into fun things like origins and meanings of words and phrases. We give real examples, then we really get into the fun stuff with how to create your own offensive language! Vivian, a linguist, gives some pointers on choosing the right sounds, and I talk about finding the right meaning and history for your people and your world. Now, slurs are a big question in literature, so I tackle the question historically and in current stories, including yours! Whether you’re setting something in a time when slurs were common or you want characters with outdated beliefs, it’s possible to use slurs without making it look like you the writer believe those things. Just be careful!
It’s late at night, everyone is gathered around a campfire in the deep, dark woods, or maybe you and your friends are up too late at a sleepover in your pillow fort (because you never get too old for pillow forts!). Someone starts telling a story designed to invoke fear, and everyone becomes entranced. But what makes a good scary story? Well, leave it to this blogpost to enlighten you! Just in time for Halloween, this blogpost on scary stories explains the mechanics of scary stories and also gives you a spooky example! Vivian takes the lead in discussing the purpose as well as common themes and tropes. Then it’s my turn! For this post, I wrote a short scary story set in the galaxy of Stellima, told by a Tsxobjez, a type of alien that I admire. Although the world and creatures are alien, the core of the story is very familiar as four people go into the woods in search of treasure… but will all of them return? After the story, Vivian provides an analysis to highlight how to write the best scary stories possible.
Weapons of Choice
In the great war against novels of mediocracy, I’ve found several programs to be beneficial weapons against the tyranny of poor writing and grammar! I’m not an affiliate for anything and don’t earn anything from this, but I’d love to tell you about these in case you want to take up arms in a similar manner! Warning: if your purse strings are tight, consider the free alternatives provided.
I was slow to take up arms in the war of words, but after winning NaNoWriMo one year and receiving a discount on Scrivener, I drew this sword from the stone of stability and wielded it to slash through my preconceptions of what a word processor can do. It took time to accustom myself to this weapon, but once I learned its features, I found I could slice the story into scenes that could then be dragged and dropped in different orders easily. Dividing files into folders and scenes occurs with the flick of the wrist, and all of the books in my series stand alongside my map, character profiles, and world information, neatly organized and easy to access. A finely polished precision blade like this does cost money and take time to learn, but for me, it was a great investment that I continue to use every day.
Every sword needs its shield, and Microsoft Word’s burnished interface provides safety and security to all who kneel behind it. Tried and true, this program offers stability in a world with constantly changing apps. Despite the price for its sturdy protection, it’s considered standard issue. Indeed, many employers set their knightly employees and students up for success by girding them with this protective measure. Due to its rigid construction, it’s difficult to work with longer works and especially to move large chunks of text around, and it doesn’t always play nicely with images. Its ironclad guard only extends so far before it’s exposed to the skirmishes of formatting. This classic armor will suit almost every writer, but the cost may be too great a burden to bear, and so some will drop this guard and wander out to find the free alternative.
Armed with my sword and shield above, I thought I was prepared to vanquish the foes of good writing, but then I faced a new, unexpected challenge: how to meet my fellow writers on the field of battle? Stealth is needed to communicate across space and time, and with the backing of the powerful Google Drive, Google Docs gave me the cloak I needed to get to my peers. Armed with this cloak, I can write in the same documents as others, letting me comment and edit as we go, allowing us to bounce off each other in recording our ideas and words. My ally Vivian and I will spend hours hidden away in the shadows of our document, reading each other’s words as we go, helping and correcting, giving inspiration that would take hours if now for our secrecy. The woven shadows of collaboration are free for any who seek them out, and worth the trip into darkness.
Sometimes a little precision is needed in identifying and taking out foes, and a crack of the whip is the only way to combat specific problems. Holding tight to the handle of ProWriting Aid, I can use the advanced AI capabilities to identify any and all grammar mistakes from missing words to passive voice to sticky sentences that slow down reading, then snap them out of existence with a well-timed crack of revision. Be wary, though, because trying to use this whip too often and for too much will cause backlash and destroy your own writing voice. AI like this needs to be under the careful control of a wise writer and shouldn’t be used in place of your own creativity. Those who view this as a weapon will succeed; those who bow before its power will fall. The price can be high metaphorically and literately, but if you’re looking for ways to identify and eliminate bad writing, this noble whip will serve you well.
When it’s time to turn your finely sculpted writing into an interior document, you’ll need the skills of a talented blacksmith to create a polished suit of armor out of your manuscript. From the program’s lovely purple logo alone, Vellum’s focus on beauty and simplicity is clear. From ebooks to paperbacks, this shapes your rough manuscript into automatically detected chapters woven together with chainmail and front/back material, the burnished steel segments engraved in a variety of headings, chapter breaks, and page numbers in preset groups or highly customizable settings of font type, size, and style. While you might think armor of this grandeur would take years of labor, it’s actually no more than a few easy, intuitive clicks before your manuscript lays before you ready for publication. However, this blacksmith has two requirements: an investment of gold, and a Mac. Alas, those of the PC persuasion will have to look elsewhere for their perfect armor.
If more standard issue armor is your speed due to a shortage of gold or a PC leaning, Kindle Create is a free blacksmith ready and willing to turn your manuscript into a suit of armor with nearly the same attention to detail. Although it produces both ebook and paperback documents, this amor is wearable by Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing only. If you choose the path of a KDP exclusive knight, this armor will serve your purposes admirably. The customization is reduced from Vellum, but you’re still able to choose between styles of armor based on preference and genre. Some elements of the engraving like font type and size are difficult to adjust, but the plates of autodetected chapters are neatly woven with the chainmail of front/back material that’s in some ways easier to craft than Vellum. Creating your own armor and documents is difficult, and if you choose the life of KDP only and aren’t able to purchase the services of Vellum, I can’t recommend a better smith.
All of these offensive and defensive techniques are great, but you need raw materials. Luckily, these are readily available in the worldbuilding blog associated with Stellima, a space opera series by Vivian Sayan whose mettle has yet to be proven in the publishing world. The materials shine with ideas and topics about worlds, people and cultures, glittering with insights and possibilities to consider. I serve three roles at this overflowing mine of opportunities: first, I work within the mine itself, bouncing my light against the glimmers of potential and helping develop ideas and suggest new topics. Second, I polish and edit each bar of metal until it shines, removing imperfections and stray commas with a deft hand. And third, I contribute gems from my own stash, offering them to the pile to be incorporated into the tools of writing each writer needs through my own posts on the writing aspects of worldbuilding. All of these materials are free, and I hope everyone finds them as useful in sharpening your blades and curiosity as I do.
Once you’ve finished writing your book, there are all sorts of steps to take before it’s ready to publish, and a lot of questions to ask yourself about how you want to go about making your book a reality. In many ways, writing the book is the easy part! If you’ve finished writing, congratulations! Depending on where you are in the process after writing, some of these topics may be of interest, and some may be long behind you. Still, I hope to share some of my experience.
One thing to keep in mind is that my only publications are self-published. However, I’ve queried, pitched, and been down the traditional publishing road in addition to taking numerous classes on the various topics, so while I haven’t been traditionally published, I do have a good feel for what it takes to get there. And of course, some insight into what benefits it brings and why you might, like me, prefer self-publishing.
This choice is an extremely significant one and will shape your book in a permanent way unless something drastic happens. Both have benefits, and both have drawbacks. The general tide at the moment is going against traditional publishing as it loses some of its assumed advantages, but self publishing also has increasing problems. Whatever choice you make, it needs to be informed.
Traditional publishing is an acknowledgment that your book is genuinely good and a team of professionals agree, and it’s often seen as the pinnacle of publishing, or indeed the only “real” way to get published. For me as a college professor, only traditionally published books “count” (and so there’s no acknowledgment that I’ve published anything). However, each of those benefits is changing.
Traditional Publishing Pros
- Prestige: this is still considered the “best” way to publish a book
- Satisfaction: you get to see your hard work acknowledged and respected
- Professional editing: after your agent sells your book to an editor, they’ll help get your book ready for publication
- Professional cover design: you don’t have to spend anything extra on a beautiful cover
- Professional binding: you can rest assured your book will be a high quality product
- Publisher reputation: you gain prestige through the reputation of your publisher and their other books
- Placement in bookstores and libraries: this is extremely difficult to do without a publisher backing you
- Help with promotion: your book receives marketing and other support
There are a lot of really powerful benefits to traditional publishing, but unfortunately, the landscape is shifting rapidly and radically. What used to be a relatively safe thing once you got through the gatekeeping has become, in many cases, little better than self publishing in terms of the support that you receive from the publisher. Never underestimate the power of having that publisher behind you, but acknowledge the ways that traditional publishing might not be right for you.
Traditional Publishing Cons:
- Books must meet certain requirements in terms of word count and content to even be considered
- Extremely difficult to get agent representation
- Extremely difficult to get an editor interested
- Difficult for the editor to get the publisher on board
- Professional editing is not guaranteed
- Limited or no input into cover design
- No control over pricing of books
- Little or no control over the intellectual property (IP)
- The amount of marketing money put into a book is usually determined by enthusiasm of presales… which requires marketing money
- In young adults, books are published as expensive hardbacks and only given paperbacks if they sell well
- Bookstores are no longer carrying most books from new or minority authors
- Book bans are impacting what gets into bookstores and libraries
- Promotion is almost entirely on the author
- If the first book in a series doesn’t exceed expectations, the rest of the series won’t get published
- Agents and editors might quit or change agencies/publishers and your book can get orphaned
- Lately, publishing labels have been unexpectedly shut down, leaving books orphaned
- Entire publishing houses shut down as well and left books orphaned
- It’s difficult to buy back the rights to orphaned books
- If you’re a minority, everything above is much, much worse
If you’re the person who wants control over their book, self publishing is definitely a better option because that’s by far the biggest benefit: your book is your book, and you’re in control. However, the landscape of self publishing is constantly changing, especially with the recent addition of AI generated books and art, so keep a close eye on trends. I’ll try to update here as well.
Self Publishing Pros
- No gate-keeping: anyone can self publish
- No content restrictions: you can write what you want and how much you want
- Editorial control: you have final say about what is in your book
- Artistic control: you have final say in your interior formatting and cover
- Price control: you choose what to charge and when to do sales and for how much
- Book control: you choose which of your books come out when without fear of losing a contract
- Marketing control: you choose how and when to market
- Increased acknowledgment: tides are turning, and self publishing is now a valid option and not a mark against you
- Changing market: more and more traditionally published authors are self publishing, indicating that it’s accepted as a good alternative
Self publishing is often mischaracterized as easy, but believe me, it’s not. And if you want to do a good job and actually sell books, it can expensive, too. Things are changing in self publishing’s favor, but there are still some significant downsides.
Self Publishing Cons
- Self published books are generally thought of as low quality books that couldn’t get a publisher
- Unfortunately, a lot of self published books actually are low quality
- You’re responsible for figuring out how to get your finished manuscript into the hands of readers with limited guidance and assistance
- Deciding how and when to publish your book is important and hard to navigate on your own
- You need to decide what success means to you to know where to dedicate your time and money
- To do well, you need to pay for an editor (either developmental editing, line editing, proofreading, or a combination), which costs money
- To do well, you need people besides yourself to read your book, ideally multiple beta readers
- To do well, you need a professional looking cover (can be premade or custom made), which costs money
- To do well, you need a professional interior, which takes time and effort or money
- To do well, you need to market constantly, both organic, free marketing and paid marketing
- It’s extremely difficult and expensive to be placed in bookstores and libraries
- It’s extremely difficult to stand out and make any profit for a long time
- It’s extremely difficult to receive acknowledgement of any kind for your work
- Building an audience requires a backlist of books, usually meaning years
- After publishing, your writing time is limited because you have to market
- Despite this, authors are often expected to publish up to 4 books a year to keep up sales
- If you don’t have a good network of friends and family, you’ll be doing this completely alone
- Social media is a key way to market books, and a key social media network is collapsing (Twitter)
- You can fall prey to vanity presses who offer to do the work for a high price but don’t do anything worth the price
- The market is currently flooded with AI-generated books, and it’s unclear how booksellers will respond