Listen to The Editor on the How Writers Write Podcast


Dear Readers…

Some fun today as I share a link to my interview on the HOW WRITERS WRITE podcast. We talked YA fiction, establishing productive writing routines, and getting yourself unstuck when writers block strikes. Click through for the podcast link.

If I’m not listening to audiobooks, I’m listening to podcasts. The How Writers Write podcast is a fabulous one, and I was honored to be interviewed on it. What fun to dig into the at-your-desk (or not!) details of writing life. And Brian’s traditional end-of-interview Six Questions are wonderfully creative. Question #3 is a hoot: “If you could pick a spirit book—this is the book you would choose to be reincarnated as—what book would it be?” How would YOU answer that? Here’s the link to the podcast if you want to see what book this editor would be: Or type How Writers Write episode 111 in your favorite podcast app.

Happy writing—and listening!
The Editor



Dear Readers…

National Novel Writing Month is underway. (“NaNoWriMo” to the cool among us.) To celebrate the bump in creativity flowing through our atmosphere this month, I’m giving away a signed copy of my WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES. Entry deadline: Nov 13, 2022, 12am PST. Read on to learn how to enter this random drawing….


To enter the free drawing for a signed copy of WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES, my how-to book for crafting amazing YA and MG fiction, use the Rafflecopter form link below. US domestic entries only, as I will be mailing the signed printed edition to the winner. I’ll announce that winner on Monday, November 14, 2022, here and on’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. (Follow my social media for writing craft tips, inspirations, news, and alerts when I post new answers to questions from writers here.) If you’re not familiar with the month of writing joy that is National Novel Writing Month, jump over to the NaNoWriMo team’s site. They make it easy and fun–and it’s free. I’m not affiliated with NaNoWriMo, though I am participating. Happy writing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Summer, Happy Writing

Dear Readers…

It’s been a while. But the questions keep coming, and this editor is ready to get back in the answering game. I appreciate your kind notes as I worked to get the Editing / Writing / DearEditor / Life balance back into whack. I’m eager to Q-and-A again, to host guest editors, to hold edit giveaways, the whole shebang. Here we go!

The Editor

“If you’re not sure what to write, write the wrong thing a few timesand let that be the process by which you find the right thing.” 

— Dan Brown, author

Happy New Year, Dear Writer

Dear Readers…

As your 2020 chapter ends and your 2021 chapter begins, I wish you fresh perspectives, renewed spirit, and fulfilling adventures in writing.

Happy writing!
The Editor

“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.” – Margaret Atwood

Giveaway Winners and Big Thanks!


Dear Readers…

Thank you for celebrating’s new look with me! I’m pleased to announce the winners of the two giveaways, randomly selected via Rafflecopter: Wendy BooydeGraaff for the picture book manuscript edit, and Janice Yuwiler for the partial edit of her novel. Deep thanks to you all for your support and enthusiasm. I’m glad you’re finding the new look inviting and navigation-friendly, and promise to do my best to continue sharing useful, clear answers to your questions about the craft and business of writing.

Happy writing!
The Editor

A New Look, with Edit Giveaways to Celebrate!


Dear Readers…

Welcome to’s new look! Fresh face, easier navigation, same great features:

>> answers to your questions about the craft and business of writing
>> Revision Week Archive with 25+ revision-focused interviews of award-winning, bestselling authors
>> Guest Editor posts by experts and authors
>> 2 ways to quickly find more about the topic that interests you most — Search icon and Categories bar
>> comments section for adding your insights or asking for more
>> featured flashback posts at the bottom of the page *NEW*

Mobile users will find all these features with a simple tap of the Menu icon or a flick of your scrolling thumb.

Please celebrate this redesign with me by entering one or both of the two drawings below for a free picture book edit or a free partial edit of your novel manuscript. It’s my of saying thank you for visiting, and enjoy your stay. And of course, tap Write the Editor to send me your burning questions because I’m here to help!

Happy writing!
The Editor

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ALERT: “Free Partial Edit” Giveaway!


Dear Readers…

It’s been too long since held a giveaway, so it’s ON! This week, The Editor is giving away a FREE EDIT OF THE FIRST 40 PAGES OF YOUR FICTION MANUSCRIPT. Entry deadline:  April 20, 2018, midnight.

This giveaway is open to any novelist of MG, YA, NA, or fiction for adults in any genre. The winner will be announced on April 22, here and on’s Facebook, Google+, and Twitter pages.

Read on to enter via Rafflecopter…



a Rafflecopter giveaway Returns!

Dear Readers…

I’m happy to be back from an unscheduled hiatus, answering your questions about writing craft and the publishing business. I’m eager to chat with you once again about those Q-and-A’s, and to host guest editors, hold edit giveaways, even launch a fresh design for Indeed, virtual remodeling is afoot! For now, look for my first new post on Tuesday.

Happy writing!

The Editor

“I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t remember what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose.” 

— P. G. Wodehouse




News: KidLit Cares Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort Auction

Dear Readers…

The children’s lit community has an amazing online auction going on to benefit the Red Cross relief effort to help communities recover from Hurricane Harvey and related flooding. Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services to be auctioned off (edits, critiques, edits, free skype visits, signed books and booksets, and more). You can read more about KidLit Cares and take part in the auction here.

I’ve also provided more info in the rest of this post…

KidLit Cares began as an effort for Superstorm Sandy Relief in 2012, raising over $35,000 for victims of that disaster. Today, thanks to the organizing efforts of author Kate Messner, the children’s lit community is stepping up again for Hurricane Harvey Relief. Check out what’s being auctioned here.  It’s an online auction, with the services going the highest bidder, who then makes an online donation directly to the Red Cross Red Cross disaster relief fund and then forwards the donation receipt to Kate, who will put you in contact with the professional providing the service you bid on.



Newsflash: 4th Annual Revision Week May 30-June 3


Dear Readers…

Next week is the 4th Annual Revision Week! Five best-selling and award-winning authors with 598 books among them will share their revision tips, insights, and tales from the trenches. There’s a new author interview each day, plus daily Free Partial Edit by The Editor giveaways and one grand finale Free Full Manuscript Edit by The Editor giveaway. Please read the rest of today’s post to see who these amazing authors will be.

The Editor

Every spring, hosts celebrated, prolific authors for a week of inspirational interviews focused on their revision processes. Sharing their hard-earned wisdom about developing early drafts into polished finals this year:

  • Chanel Cleetonpopular author of New Adult thriller and contemporary romance series
  • Marie Force, New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romances
  • Pam Munoz Ryan, Newbery Honor-winning, bestselling author of books for young readers
  • Jane Yolen, heralded award-winning author of picture books, novels, and poetry collections for young people
  • Salina Yoonaward-winning and bestselling author/illustrator of books for children

Check out previous Revision Weeks at the Revision Week Archive.

Winner! Thank You for Celebrating 20 Years With Me


Dear Readers…

It’s a privilege to be able to celebrate my 20th anniversary by giving back to the community that embraced me on Day One. I’m happy to announce the winner of last week’s “Free Full Manuscript Edit” giveaway: Julie Falatko.

Happy writing!
The Editor

On my first day as an editorial assistant with Harcourt Children’s Books, the managing editor walked me down the hall to view an art show of newly arrived paintings for a picture book then in production. I stood among a bustling crowd of editors, designers, production people, marketing gurus, and inventory, financial, legal, and support staff—all of whom had dedicated their careers and personal passions to creating entertaining and enlightening books for children—and it hit me: I’d found my people. I discovered that day what I’ve come to love about the writers and producers of children’s books: They are a true community that cheers, collaborates, and works its knuckles to the bones in support of literature for young readers.”

That’s how I described my first day in children’s publishing for my acknowledgments in Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies. That pivotal day was twenty yours ago this month. Thank you for celebrating this milestone with me.

Alert! Winner of “Free Picture Book Manuscript Edit” Giveaway


Dear Readers…

Thank you for helping me celebrate my 20th year in publishing. Later this week I’ll post another giveaway, but today is all about the winner of last week’s “Free Picture Book Manuscript” Edit giveaway: Manju Howard.

Happy writing!
The Editor

To be a part of creating stories for children is an amazing privilege…

Each thing she learned became part of herself, to be used over and over in new adventures.” — Gypsy, Kate Seredy, 1951, from What the Doormouse Said: Lessons for Grown-ups from Children’s Books

I hope you’ll join me later this week for a second giveaway. The party continues!

ALERT: Free Full Manuscript Edit giveaway!


Dear Readers…

You know I love to celebrate milestones and good news by paying it forward. This week I’m celebrating WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION winning a San Diego Book Award by giving away a FREE FULL MANUSCRIPT EDIT. Read today’s announcement post for details and the Rafflecopter entry form.

Good luck!
The Editor

This Free Full Manuscript Edit giveaway is for picture book writers or any novelist—of MG, YA, NA, or Adult fiction—who has a completed manuscript of 110,000 words or less. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. The contest is open to entries August 10, 2015 – August 14, 2015. I’ll announce the winner August 15, 2015, here on this blog and on’s Facebook, Google+, and Twitter pages. [NOTE: If you’re viewing this on your desktop or laptop, use the scroll bar at the right to see the full Rafflecopter entry instructions for the Facebook and Twitter extra entry options, which have two steps. Mobile devices DO show the full entry form for those options. For the next giveaway, I’ll have a redesigned page to avoid such issues. Thanks!]

Happy writing!
The Editor

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Holidays — See You in 2015!

Dear Readers…

As 2014 winds down, easing us into a new year of adventure, I wish you a holiday season full of love and laughter. I will take a couple of weeks off for some of that myself, with a little writing time thrown in. I look forward to seeing you again here, in 2015, with our pencils sharp, our imaginations churning, and our resolve renewed.

Peace to you — and happy writing!
The Editor

A little something to usher us into the new year…

We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
–William Shakespeare

I dwell in possibility.
–Emily Dickinson




Newsflash: Free Full Manuscript Edit Giveaway


Dear Readers…

You know I’ve got a blog tour going on, but you don’t know I’m giving away a FREE FULL MANUSCRIPT EDIT as part of the tour because I forgot to tell you. (Editor smacks forehead.) You can visit any of the great blogs on the tour to enter that tour-wide giveaway as well as to enter their individual giveaways or read my guest posts, or you can go to Rafflecopter to enter the free edit giveaway directly. I want you to have a shot at that.

Good luck!
The Editor

Writing New Adult Fiction Blog Tour Stops

NA Alley “Guest Post: 4 Steps for Writing a Tantalizing Hook (and Free Manuscript Edit Giveaway + Free Signed Book Giveaway)”
Quirk And Quill review & free book giveaway
Coffee and characters spotlight & free manuscript edit giveaway
KIDLIT411 author interview & book giveaway
My Book Fairy “Guest Post: NA Writers Have Storytelling Needs, Too (And Free Manuscript Edit Giveaway)”
–  Writing Belle “Guest Post: What Is the Future of New Adult Fiction? (And Book Giveaway)
Fiction Notes “Guest Post: 3 Ways to Know If Your YA Is Really New Adult fiction (And Free Manuscript Edit Giveaway)”
It’s a Matter of Moments review, free manuscript giveaway
Hot Guys in Books review, free manuscript giveaway, free book giveaway
Blogcritics review
Christy Herself! book spotlight & giveaway
Book Bumblings interview & giveaway
Agent Jill Corcoran’s blog “Guest Post: What’s the difference between ‘new’ adult and ‘young’ adult? PLUS a contest!”
Agent Erzsi Deak’s Hen and Ink Blots New Adult: “Sexed” up YA or Bona Fide Literary Movement? An interview with Deborah Halverson, author of Writing NA Fiction”
KC Maguire blog interview & giveaway
WriteforKids video interview
Country Gals Sexy Reads spotlight
Prone to Crushes on Boys in Books spotlight
A Book Addict’s Delight book spotlight & giveaway
eBook Addict review & free manuscript edit giveaway
A One-click Addict’s Book Blog spotlight & free manuscript edit giveaway
Deal sharing aunt spotlight & free manuscript edit giveaway
Short and Sassy Book Blurbs spotlight & free manuscript edit giveaway

NA Fiction Guest Posts and Contest Links


Dear Readers…

If you’d like to learn more about NA fiction, get chances to win copies of my new book, and find some great new writing blogs, here’s a post with four links to fabulous blogs that are posting articles, interviews, and videos this week that give me the chance to explore many aspects of New Adult fiction.

Happy Friday!
The Editor

Literary Agent Jill Corcoran’s blog: “What’s the difference between ‘new’ adult and ‘young’ adult? PLUS a contest!” Excerpt: “What’s the difference between ‘new’ adult and ‘young’ adult? My answer usually starts with a single word: sensibility.

Literary Agent Erzsi Deak’s Hen and Ink Blots blog: New Adult: “Sexed” up YA or Bona Fide Literary Movement? An interview with Deborah Halverson, author of Writing NA Fiction.” Excerpt: “If you know you have a great story, and you just haven’t made that connection with a big audience yet, for whatever reason, you can keep submitting and not hurt yourself by self-publishing. The only way you can hurt yourself is if you do it poorly and you get bad reviews, because that cannot be erased.”

KC Maguire blog: “Deborah Halverson: Author Interview and Giveaway.Excerpt: “Craft stories that build up sexual anticipation through love denied, teased, and toyed with. A much-anticipated kiss can be more dramatically powerful than a perfunctory graphic groping.”

WriteforKids website video interview: Excerpt: “New Adult Fiction, with characters age 18-25, is exploding. But what, exactly, is New Adult, and how is it different from writing for young adults? Deborah Halverson, explains the ins and outs of NA in this interview.


NEWSFLASH! Free Edit Giveaways During Launch Week Aug 25-29


Dear Readers…

I encourage writers to celebrate their writing milestones. Today my new book Writing New Adult Fiction releases and I’m celebrating with a week of daily “Partial Edit” giveaways and a grand finale “Full Manuscript Edit” giveaway starting Monday. I’ll also share tips for crafting riveting New Adult Fiction, some of the sidebar wisdoms contributed to the book by bestselling NA authors, editors, agents, and cover designers, and other fun stuff like that. Join me for this 5-day virtual book launch August 25-29. And if you’re free, stop by #NAlitchat tonight on Twitter 9pmEST to talk all things NA.

Party time!
The Editor

Writing New Adult Fiction

Foreword by Sylvia Day

“For the writer who wants to become a new adult author, or the new adult author who seeks to enrich her craftsmanship and stand out from the herd.”Tammara Webber, New York Times best-selling author of Easy and Breakable

WritingNewAdultFictionA guide for writers of New Adult fiction, featuring essential information and techniques for creating engaging stories featuring 18- to 25-year-old protagonists against the backdrop of the new adult experience. Includes advice on self-publishing in the NA marketplace and self-marketing. Find insights from best-selling NA authors as well as editors and agents.

Free Edit Giveaways, Conferences, and Other News

Dear Readers…

I’ll be back to the usual fun of answering writers’ questions next week, and will soon announce the dates for my week of free edit giveaways and other hijinks celebrating the release of my new book, Writing New Adult Fiction. For now, you can read my Publishers Weekly coverage of last weekend’s SCBWI summer conference here, or make plans to join me at the Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Intensive in Los Angeles next weekend, August 15-17, to talk techniques for writing seamless fiction and writing riveting New Adult fiction. For more about my sessions at the Writer’s Digest conference, read on.

Happy writing!
The Editor


The Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Intensive at L.A’s Hyatt Regency Century Plaza is designed to help writers at any stage of their novel to create a well-crafted, saleable novel.  The sessions and boot camps are taught by authors, agents, and editors, and hosted by the editors of the Writer’s Digest. For the faculty and schedule, click here. Use my code WDSPEAKER when register to save $50. My sessions are:

3-hr Boot Camp: Writing Riveting New Adult Fiction – Friday, Aug 15
This boot camp covers essential information, steps, and techniques necessary to turn a clever concept into a top-notch New Adult novel for 18- to 26-year-olds as well as the teen and adult crossover audience. You’ll learn techniques for writing the New Adult experience and sensibility, from youthful yet mature dialogue and point of view to plot, setting, and character construction that reflect the emerging adult experience.

1-hr How to Hide the Seams for Smooth, Flowing Fiction – Sat, Aug 16
One of the best compliments you can get as a novelist is when a reader says of your novel, “I forgot I was even reading!” She sank into your fictional world and lived it alongside your character. Why? Because you stitched together a story that flows naturally from event to event and seamlessly employs a variety of storytelling elements. You made that reader lose all awareness that an author existed. This session arms you with techniques and strategies you can mix-and-match to write fiction that renders its craft unseeable. on Holiday Hiatus

Dear Readers…

In the spirit of focusing on family during the holidays (and knocking out final pages for a mid-December manuscript deadline!), I’m going to put on holiday hiatus for the first time ever. Join me again in January to ring in the new year with free edit giveaways (two already planned!) as well as fun and informational Q-and-A posts about the art, craft, and business of writing. I’ll keep posting on the Facebook, Google+, and Twitter pages, so tune in there for news and inspirational posts until 2014.

Happy writing!
The Editor

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU! will return from holiday hiatus mid-January. In the meantime,

News: 1 Call for Submissions & 2 Publisher-Sponsored Contests


Dear Readers…

Summer seems to be bringing out the editors! In today’s post I share news about two publisher-sponsored contests and a call for submissions for a new imprint. Check out the rest of the post for details on these opportunities.

Heads up: I post news like this and other publishing happenings on the Facebook page and Google+ page. If you haven’t already “Liked” the page, consider checking it out. I do my best to keep the news and inspirational items flowing there.

Happy submitting!
The Editor

Picture book contest: LEE & LOW BOOKS announces its 14th annual “New Voices Award” for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color. The winner receives a cash prize of $1000 and a standard publication contract. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500. Click here to check out the Lee & Low Books announcement page.

Young Adult & New Adult fiction call for submissions: BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING is announcing their new digital-only imprint Bloomsbury Spark with a call for YA and NA submissions. Bloomsbury Spark will publish fiction eBooks for teen, YA, and new adult readers. Its list will feature multiple genres: romance, contemporary, dystopian, paranormal, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, and more. The inaugural list launches in Autumn 2013. Click here for Bloomsbury Spark’s submission guidelines and email addresses.

New Adult fiction Pitch Contest: NA ALLEY, a blog for writers of New Adult fiction by writers of New Adult fiction, is hosting a Pitch Contest with Senior Editorial Director Karen Grove and Assistant Editor Nicole Steinhaus from Embrace, the New Adult line from Entangled Publishing. Entangled is interested in “submissions of any genre with main characters aged 18 to 24. ‘We’re looking for strong voices, characters who jump off the page, and unusual twists to stories. Fresh. Exciting. Bold.’” The contest starts June 5 at 1pm PST and closes June 12 at 11:59pm PST. To enter, you will be required to submit via comment at the NA Alley blog. Your manuscript must be complete and polished, and it must fall into the New Adult category. Check out the NA Alley Pitch Contest announcement post for details about what to include in the comment.

Good luck!

Newsflash! The Editor’s New Book for Writers of ‘New Adult’ Fiction


The Editor is happy to announce her new book Writing the New Adult Novel: How to Write and Sell ‘New Adult’ Fiction, to be published by Writer’s Digest Books in 2014. This book for writers will be a hands-on guide featuring essential information, steps, and techniques to guide writers in creating engaging stories featuring eighteen- to twenty-six-year-old protagonists against the backdrop of the emerging adult experience.

Dear Readers…

You know by now that I love helping writers realize their potential as storytellers and career authors. My favorite part is guiding them in developing a personal style that both embodies their creative vision and appeals to their audience. Above all, I try to do it in a fun and supportive way. That’s the heart of this website, and it’s the heart of my book Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies. I’m honored and excited for this chance to do the same for writers of New Adult fiction.

Happy writing!
The Editor

Newsflash: The Editor to Deliver State of Industry Keynote


The Editor is honored to deliver the state of the children’s book industry keynote at the SCBWI 42nd Summer Conference August 2-5. She will also teach an intensive and two breakouts, as well as do one-on-one critiques. Registration for the conference just opened up. For details, read today’s full post or go straight to the SCBWI conference home page.

Dear Readers…

I’ve been speaking, teaching, and critiquing at the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators annual conference for over a decade, and I always walk away from it inspired and enlightened. If you’re writing for young people and it’s within your ability to attend this year’s conference, I wholeheartedly recommend you do so. SCBWI has lined up a knowledgeable faculty covering great topics. I’m honored to be among them. I’ll deliver the “Market Report: An Up-to-the-Minute State of the Industry” keynote, teach the intensive “How to Build Your Own Teenager: Techniques for Writing Believable MG/YA Characters,” and run two breakouts: “The Read-Aloud Factor: Achieving Rhythm without Relying on Rhyme in Picture Books” and “Setting, Wherefore Art Thou?: The Surprising Benefits and How-To’s of Setting in MG/YA Fiction.” Plus, I’m critiquing! Registration for the conference has just opened. If you attend, I hope you’ll introduce yourself to me.

Happy writing!
The Editor

NEWS: The FREE EDIT Giveaway Winner…


Dear Readers…

The giveaway for one FREE EDIT of a full manuscript is over. Early this morning I used to select the winner: IAN T. HEALY, with his spoofy space opera Starf*cker. I look forward to working with Ian, who is already making his mark in the superhero fiction category.

Happy writing!
The Editor

Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway celebrating the end of the summer writing season!

There will be more giveaways to come—after all, there’s still a slew of holidays ahead of us this year, and what better way to celebrate holidays than free edit giveaways.


News from

Dear Readers…

The Editor has been quiet for a couple of weeks, but with good reason: she was preparing the keynote “An Up to the Minute Survey of Market Needs and Trends” for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators International Conference this weekend. She has just delivered her talk to a full crowd of 1,200, and you can glimpse some highlights at the SCBWI Conference Blog: Starting next week, The Editor will be back online, feverishly answering reader questions about the craft, market, and business of writing.

Happy writing!


“Deborah Halverson is the source of one of the most valuable gems in the conference packets, ‘The 2012 SCBWI Market Survey: Publishers of Books for Young Readers.'” Read more at SCBWI’s Conference Blog

Newsflash: SCBWI Summer Conference with The Editor


Dear Readers…

SCBWI’s 2012 Summer Conference registration opens tomorrow, April 18, at 10am! readers are getting this alert because a lot of you write for young people and this important annual 3-day event sells out—and the intensives on the extra day fill up almost immediately. If you were planning on registering, don’t delay. As you peruse the amazing schedule, note that The Editor will be there presenting the Current Market Report keynote, a breakout session on writing dialogue, an intensive on revising your MG/YA novel, and an intensive on creating youthful narrative sensibility. Read the rest of today’s newsflash for details on her presentations; check out the full info on the SCBWI conference page.

Join The Editor for her 1.5-hour breakout session or her two 3.5-hour intensives at the 2012 SCBWI Summer Conference

Breakout Session – How to Talk Like a Teen When You’re So Not One: Writing Dialogue in YA/MG Fiction
Teen readers want to hear directly from the teen characters in their books. The dialogue you write must be able to entertain your young readers, intrigue them, inform them, comfort them, and, depending on which characters are moving their lips, sound like them. By applying the techniques in this session, you can craft successful dialogue for young adult fiction.

Intensive –  Going from Good to Great: Revising Your MG/YA Novel
This workshop teaches you how to analyze your YA/MG manuscript and arms you with techniques for revising the elements you find lacking. Participants must have completed a draft of a YA or MG novel.

Intensive – Writing for Teens? Then Think Like One
This workshop teaches strategies for creating a narrative sensibility that reflects the way teens and tweens think, and outlines techniques for writing that sensibility into a narrative voice that “clicks” with young readers. Participants must have completed at least three chapters of a YA or MG novel and should bring 3 copies of a brief (2 to 4 pages) excerpt from the manuscript to use in hands-on exercises.

News: Goes Mobile

Dear Readers…

Now you can access on your iPhone or other mobile device. Go ahead, try it out. And if you’re a social media hipster, you’ll be glad to find now on Google+ sharing industry news, creative inspirations, and writing tips to keep you in the publishing know.

Thanks to Theresa Stanton at, is now mobile-friendly. With the new mobile design, you can easily read new posts and comments on your mobile device of choice, and you can post your own comments on-the-go. With a simple click on the arrow at the top of your mobile display, you can access archives, categories, and any page on the website. is also pleased to announce the Google+ page, which complements the Facebook page and the @Dear_Editor Twitter feed.

Happy writing!

Announcing’s Revision Week, March 5-10!


Dear Readers…

The Editor is thrilled to host eight prolific, bestselling, award-winning authors for a week of revision tips, insights, and stories from the trenches. Learn from writers who turn first drafts into lauded books every day—and enter the daily drawings for Free Partial Edits and the grand prize Full Manuscript Edit giveaway.

Read on for more…

Mark your calendar for a week of free edit giveaways and revision talk with these talented and generous authors:

Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver, and Theo Baker, popular chapter book collaborators. Henry and Lin collaborated on 17 books in the Hank Zipzer Series and now pen the Ghost Buddy series together. Lin and Theo are the creative duo behind the new Sound Bender series. And Lin has flown solo with her Who Shrunk Daniel Funk? series.

R.L. LaFevers, author of the 13 novels for young people, including the popular middle grade series Theodosia Throckmorton and Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist, and now the forthcoming His Fair Assassin YA trilogy.

Mark A. Clements, horror/suspense author, screenwriter, and prolific ghostwriter. All of his novels have been optioned for feature films.


Kathleen Krull, author of more than 60 books, especially picture books and biographies for young readers.


Cynthia Leitich Smith, bestselling YA gothic novelist, picture book writer, short story writer, and popular children’s lit blogger.


Nathan Bransford, top blogger and former literary agent-turned-author of the Jacob Wonderbar middle grade books.


Please join us!

News: eBook Winner; Free Online Workshop with the Editor


Dear Readers… is happy to announce the winner of the How to Promote Your Children’s Book eBook Giveaway, along with details about a free online YA Fiction workshop with The Editor.

Free online YA Fiction workshop with The Editor: Feb 21, 22, & 23 on the Institute of Children’s Literature website. The drop-in Q&A-format workshop takes place on the ICL’s message board, which anyone can read (no registration required). If you want to post a question, you do need to register (for FREE) by sending email to with the username you want. Check out the ICL’s Guest Speaker archives while you’re there.

How to Promote Your Children’s Books eBook Giveaway winner: Julie K.

For more chances to win How to Promote Your Children’s Books, visit other stops on Katie Davis’s blog tour:

Also, check out Katie’s podcast “Promoting Your Book” (with a guest appearance by The Editor). Episode description here: Or click here to hear it directly.


Blog Tour: Katie Davis on Promoting Books (Book Giveaway!)


Dear Readers…

Author/illustrator Katie Davis is a tireless promoter whose 9 children’s books have sold over 250,000 copies. Today at she’s sharing what she’s learned about promoting—and she’s giving away a free download of her new eBook How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Create a Bestseller.

What I love about Katie Davis is how she can make even hard work fun. This attitude is on full display in her new eBook How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Create a Bestseller, 30 chapters of practical advice about things like plotting your strategy, using social media, growing your mailing list, and using videos in ways beyond book trailers. I edited the book (disclaimer!), so I know there’s great info in it, from Katie as well as the 60 authors she interviewed for the book. Katie visited as a Guest Editor last year to sort out the benefits of podcasting versus adding video to your website. Today she answers readers’ questions (and my own) about promoting books. At the end of the Q&A are instructions for entering a drawing for A FREE PDF DOWNLOAD OF HER BOOK.

Katie, you’ve got a lot of on-going promo tools such as your weekly podcasts. When you have a new book coming out, how far ahead of your pub date do you start book-specific promoting?

My mind can wander, imagine, plan and think of specifics while I’m finishing up the art (not the writing—I can only think of the story when I’m writing). With Little Chicken’s Big Day, every time I had a new idea, I added it to The List. Then once I turn in the art I can pay attention to that list, anywhere between 18 months to a year before the book comes out.

How do you balance your writing and promoting time?

Last year I did not do well on the balance thing! So far this year I am getting up early, doing a little social media action over coffee, and then I turn everything off and write in the mornings until lunch. After lunch I do other kinds of things, like my podcast or email answering, blog writing, etc.

Will the promotional strategies in your book work for novels, too?

Actually, it would work for any kind of book—including adult books. And in fact, the basic principles would work for any kind of promotion, though the examples are specific to children’s books.

And now a few questions from readers…

I love your trailer for Little Chicken’s Big Day! What’s one effective way to use a trailer? —Anonymous picture book writer

One? Just one? Sorry. Can’t do that! Here are many things to do with your great book trailer:

  • Upload it to YouTube (you can use up to four different titles in order to upload four times, broadening your reach)
  • embed on your site
  • upload to other video sites like,, and
  • include the YouTube URL in your signature
  • create a QR code and include it on your business card
  • enter it in trailer competitions like the Moby or SLJ Trailee Award contests

Does it make sense to send free promo copies directly to teachers, as a contribution to their classroom libraries?BrickToyNut, MG fantasy writer

It would certainly be nice of you! It makes sense if you want to thank a particularly supportive or helpful teacher. However, if your goal is to generate word of mouth in the teaching community, I’d recommend holding a giveaway. Then tweet, blog, and Facebooking it to teachers would be far more effective. If your goal is to generate sales, it might be better to send support materials to tempt them to use the book in the classroom. You could do other things to be helpful, like offer “value added” services to make it worthwhile to purchase your book. Offering a free Skype Q&A to the class after they do an author study would be a great example of that. To connect with teachers for this kind of promotion, check out or

How important is it to create a teacher’s resource guide to go along with the book?BrickToyNut

It depends on the target age of your reader. Picture books should have activities or puzzles, or anything that extends the impact and value of your book. Middle grade and young adult novels should absolutely have a resource guide. You can offer it as a digital download on your site and other sites that sell your book, and if you have it printed you can make it available at book fairs, festivals, and school visits. I have one for a middle grade novel I wrote that did not do well, but I’m glad I have it because the teachers I’ve given it to love it!

Out of the many suggestions you have on how to promote a book, which one would you say has the highest success rate?Kurt Chambers, YA fantasy writer (whose first novel, Truth Teller, pubbed last week!) 

Congrats on your debut!

Genuine reciprocity is the best way to live online. It’s the thing I emphasize most in How to Promote Your Children’s Book. That means:

  • give before you get
  • support others
  • follow blogs not because you hope they’ll review your book but because you like what they have to say
  • engage in your community and connect

What does that look like?

  •  Tweet someone’s blog post because you like it
  •  Tell others about a great site
  •  Blog about something that will help other people

I wanted to make this tour worth it for anyone who would help me so I bribed enticed my hosts to join in the fun work by gifting them their own copy of the book. There is also promotion for them because they’re each linked on every blog I’m visiting, as well as on my own site. As hokey as it sounds, the thing that works best for me is to always try to give more than I get. It feels good to help others and if it feels good, you’ll be more likely to keep up with your promotional efforts, too.

How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Create a Bestseller: PDF / For kindle / For Nook /For iPad, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Follow Katie’s blog tour for more promo insights & giveaways:

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post by midnight Wednesday, Feb 8, to be included in the random drawing for a free pdf edition of How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Create a Bestseller. Winner to be announced Thursday, Feb 9.

Katie Davis has published nine books and appears monthly on the ABC affiliate show, Good Morning Connecticut, recommending great books for kids. She produces Brain Burps About Books, a podcast about kidlit, a blog and monthly newsletter. Katie has volunteered in a maximum-security prison teaching Writing for Children and over the last dozen years has presented at schools and writing conferences. She’s a 2010 Cybils judge and has also judged the Golden Kite,, and Frontiers in Writing awards. Recently Katie was selected to be on the Honorary Advisory Board for the Brooke Jackman Foundation, a literacy-based charity. For more about Katie and her book, go to

Happy Holidays from

Dear Readers…

Here’s hoping this post finds you happy, well, and enjoying time with loved ones. For those of you who will manage to fit in some writing time, too—go get ’em! And the rest of you, well, don’t sweat it—everyone deserves one day off. In fact, the Editor is going to take a few extra days off.  Look for your next post the first week of the new year. Until then,

Happy holidays!

Welcome, and Seasons Greetings!

The Editor will return with answers to your burning questions about writing craft and the publishing world on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.


“My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still.”
~ Charlton Heston (1923-2008), American film actor