Tag Archives: Books

How #1 Hit Podcast ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ Co-Creator Jeffrey Cranor Writes: Part Two

wf-jeffrey-cranor-file-two

The co-creator and co-writer of the #1 international hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale and New York Times bestselling co-author of the novel of same name, Jeffrey Cranor, dropped by the show to talk about the importance of collaboration, deadlines, and bad writing.

In addition to producing and touring with the theater ensemble The New York Neo-Futurists, the playwright and author tours with live shows for the Night Vale Presents production banner, co-created with Joseph Fink.

Night Vale Presents now produces four podcasts that regularly sit at the top of the charts — including Within the Wires, also created by the author — and recently published two volumes of episode transcripts that include extras for fans of their original show.

Welcome to Night Vale has been described as “NPR meets The Twilight Zone,” a sci-fi broadcast about a small desert community where strange mythologies abound, and all conspiracy theory is potentially real.

If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.

If you missed the first half, you can find it right here.

In Part Two of this file Jeffrey Cranor and I discuss:

  • The power of productive procrastination
  • How “making the familiar strange” produces great writing
  • Why it’s really hard to be good all the time
  • How the battle against expectation can surprise readers
  • The art of great audiobooks as performance

Listen to this Episode Now

The post How #1 Hit Podcast ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ Co-Creator Jeffrey Cranor Writes: Part Two appeared first on Copyblogger.

How #1 Hit Podcast ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ Co-Creator Jeffrey Cranor Writes: Part One

wf-jeffrey-cranor-file-one

The co-creator and co-writer of the #1 international hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale and New York Times bestselling co-author of the novel of same name, Jeffrey Cranor, dropped by the show to talk about the importance of collaboration, deadlines, and bad writing.

In addition to producing and touring with the theater ensemble The New York Neo-Futurists, the playwright and author tours with live shows for the Night Vale Presents production banner, co-created with Joseph Fink.

Night Vale Presents now produces four podcasts that regularly sit at the top of the charts — including Within the Wires, also created by the author — and recently published two volumes of episode transcripts that include extras for fans of their original show.

Welcome to Night Vale has been described as “NPR meets The Twilight Zone,” a sci-fi broadcast about a small desert community where strange mythologies abound, and all conspiracy theory is potentially real.

If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.

In Part One of this file Jeffrey Cranor and I discuss:

  • Why writing collaboratively can help you become less “precious” about your work
  • How a hit podcast producer and novelist divides his time
  • An author’s comforts in coffee and sports talk radio
  • Why the law of averages says you won’t always find the words
  • The importance of building a platform and setting a deadline for publishing

Listen to this Episode Now

The post How #1 Hit Podcast ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ Co-Creator Jeffrey Cranor Writes: Part One appeared first on Copyblogger.

How the Author of ‘The Bestseller Code’ Jodie Archer Writes: Part Two

wf-jodie-archer-file-two

Literary scholar, publishing consultant, and co-author of the critically acclaimed book The Bestseller Code, Jodie Archer dropped by to chat with me about her journey, the coming revolution in publishing, and the insecurities that all writers face.

Before earning her PhD from Stanford, Ms. Archer studied English at Cambridge, worked in both journalism and TV, and became an acquisitions editor for Penguin UK publishing.

While at Stanford, Jodie taught nonfiction and memoir writing, and researched both contemporary fiction and bestsellers. Upon completion of her doctoral work, she was recruited by Apple, where she was the lead in research on books.

Her book, The Bestseller Code, is based on her doctoral research with professor Matt Jockers on an algorithm that they tested over four years and refined by text mining more than 20,000 contemporary novels.

The Guardian proclaimed that their book “… may revolutionize the publishing industry,” in part because their algorithm was able to predict bestselling books 80 percent of the time, based on a theme, plot, character, and many other big data points.

If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.

If you missed the first half you can find it right here.

In Part Two of this file Jodie Archer and I discuss:

  • How to use Google Docs to co-write a book
  • Why every writer is organized in their own disorganized way
  • How to get into your creativity zone
  • The worst question you can ask a book lover
  • Why authenticity is critical for your productivity

Listen to this Episode Now

The post How the Author of ‘The Bestseller Code’ Jodie Archer Writes: Part Two appeared first on Copyblogger.

The Book is Launched! Now What?

zb-post-launch

Despite some challenges surrounding her launch, Pamela’s book has been released into the wild and has garnered positive reviews. What’s next?

Pamela and Jeff convene one last time to look back on where Zero to Book started and discuss the launch and long-term plans for Pamela’s new book on content marketing.

They share insights about how to give your book a long and profitable life. And they discuss why the best marketing tool has been Pamela’s book itself (and how you can use your book’s content during a book launch).

In this final episode Jeff Goins and Pamela Wilson discuss:

  • Why “Done is better than perfect” is a good mantra for self-publishers
  • How working ahead impacted Pamela’s book launch
  • Jeff’s theory of what resistance means to any work
  • Exciting news about Pamela’s plans going forward — A new book! Courses! And more …

Listen to this Episode Now

The post The Book is Launched! Now What? appeared first on Copyblogger.

How the Author of ‘The Bestseller Code’ Jodie Archer Writes: Part One

wf-jodie-archer-file-one

Literary scholar, publishing consultant, and co-author of the critically acclaimed book The Bestseller Code, Jodie Archer dropped by to chat with me about her journey, the coming revolution in publishing, and the insecurities that all writers face.

Before earning her PhD from Stanford, Ms. Archer studied English at Cambridge, worked in both journalism and TV, and became an acquisitions editor for Penguin UK publishing.

While at Stanford, Jodie taught nonfiction and memoir writing, and researched both contemporary fiction and bestsellers. Upon completion of her doctoral work, she was recruited by Apple, where she was the lead in research on books.

Her book, The Bestseller Code, is based on her doctoral research with professor Matt Jockers on an algorithm that they tested over four years and refined by text mining more than 20,000 contemporary novels.

The Guardian proclaimed that their book “… may revolutionize the publishing industry,” in part because their algorithm was able to predict bestselling books 80 percent of the time, based on a theme, plot, character, and many other big data points.

If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.

In Part One of this file Jodie Archer and I discuss:

  • How a word nerd helped program a computer to predict bestsellers with a high degree of accuracy
  • Why all writers of fiction should read The Bestseller Code
  • How to turn years of research into an entertaining and educational nonfiction book
  • The power of deadlines for beating procrastination

Listen to this Episode Now

The post How the Author of ‘The Bestseller Code’ Jodie Archer Writes: Part One appeared first on Copyblogger.

How Bestselling Sci-fi Thriller Author Blake Crouch Writes: Part Two

wf-blake-crouch-file-2

International bestselling sci-fi and thriller novelist and screenwriter, Blake Crouch, took time out from his busy schedule to talk to me about his mind-bending new book Dark Matter and adapting his work for both film and TV.

The hybrid author has penned more than a dozen novels that have been translated into more than 30 languages, and his short fiction has appeared in numerous publications.

In addition to having his Wayward Pines trilogy adapted into a #1 hit TV show by FOX, Blake wrote the screenplay for his latest novel, Dark Matter, for Sony Pictures. He also recently co-created Good Behavior, a TNT show based on his novellas, starring Michelle Dockery (set to premiere November 15, 2016).

His novel Dark Matter was described by the NY Times as an, “… alternate-universe science fiction …. countdown thriller in which the hero must accomplish an impossible task,” and bestselling sci-fi author Andy Weir called it, “An exciting, ingeniously plotted adventure about love, regret, and quantum superposition.”

If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.

If you missed the first half, you can find it right here.

In Part Two of this file Blake Crouch and I discuss:

  • The author’s tips for conquering writer’s block
  • Why versioning and backing up drafts is crucial
  • How to lean into procrastination and find your most productive writing time
  • Why understanding that “everything’s been written,” can set your creativity free
  • Why you need to write the kind of book you want to read

Listen to this Episode Now

The post How Bestselling Sci-fi Thriller Author Blake Crouch Writes: Part Two appeared first on Copyblogger.

The Brilliant Strategy and Backstory Behind Zero to Book

sr-zero-to-book

Pamela Wilson just launched a book — Master Content Marketing — and a podcast played a key role in the project from idea inception to launch. She dishes on the details in this episode of The Showrunner.

In this lesson, Pamela describes how she:

  • “Showed her work” every step of the way with ZeroToBook.fm
  • Developed a community around the show, which informed the production of her book
  • Is considering using the audio asset once it’s complete

You’ll learn a lot from this episode, even if you’re not planning to write a book.

Listen, learn, enjoy …

Listen to this Episode Now

The post The Brilliant Strategy and Backstory Behind Zero to Book appeared first on Copyblogger.

Cool-Headed Advice for Keeping It Together Just Before Your Book Launch

zb-book-pre-launch

Having a powerful launch is important, but it isn’t everything. “The biggest danger to an author,” says Jeff Goins, “is spending all their energy on a launch.”

Publishing your book is the first step in a long game. A published book isn’t urgent, so authors need to get out there, start banging the drum, and keep on banging it for a long time post-launch.

The trait that separates authors who succeed at getting their books in front of their intended audiences, and those who do not, comes down to perseverance.

In this episode Jeff Goins and Pamela Wilson discuss:

  • Jeff’s last-minute, pre-launch mindset tips
  • Compelling arguments for why the long game matters more than the launch
  • Why you should never underestimate the power of people’s awareness of your book
  • The reason it’s imperative to keep talking about your book long after the launch is done

Listen to this Episode Now

The post Cool-Headed Advice for Keeping It Together Just Before Your Book Launch appeared first on Copyblogger.

How Bestselling Author Jennifer Weiner Writes: Part Two

wf-jennifer-weiner-file-2

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of 12 books, Jennifer Weiner, took a few minutes to talk with me about the writer’s life, her new memoir, and Revenge of the Nerds.

Before her prolific career as a novelist, Ms. Weiner started out as a small town newspaper reporter and freelancer, before signing her first big book deal for her novel Good in Bed (2001).

Since then, her books have spent more than five years on the New York Times bestseller list, she has had a novel made into a major motion picture — In Her Shoes, starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette (2005) — contributed op-eds to the New York Times,, executive produced a TV series, and published a children’s book (The Littlest Bigfoot).

Her latest offering is the memoir Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing, and it “… is about yearning and fulfillment, loss and love, and a woman who searched for her place in the world, and found it as a storyteller.”

If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.

If you missed the first half, you can find it right here.

In Part Two of this file Jennifer Weiner and I discuss:

  • How creative people see the world through their own lenses
  • Why hard work alone forges enduring writers
  • Why ebooks are indispensable to writers on the go
  • Why you just need to sit down and start writing

Listen to this Episode Now

The post How Bestselling Author Jennifer Weiner Writes: Part Two appeared first on Copyblogger.

Is the Novel Dead? Part Two

wf-novel-dead-part-two

In this special edition of the show, two writers joined me to opine the death of one of the most influential forms in the history of the written word. I posed the question that many great writers have pondered stretching across the last two centuries …

Is the novel dead? And maybe a more up-to-date version of that question is, did the internet kill books?

Of course these are famous — almost cliché — theoretical discussions that writers often chew on over stiff drinks, and they raise hackles for those of us who adore them.

What you won’t find here is a highbrow literary dissertation, or even a very strict definition as to what the novel is or isn’t. But you will find a lively discussion between friends who care about the writing life and its future.

Robert Bruce is a writer, voice actor, and copywriter, as well as the Vice President of Rainmaker Digital and the guy who runs the Rainmaker FM podcast network.

Adam Skolnick is an award-winning journalist, author, and a returning guest on the show. His first book, One Breath, was published by Crown last January, and his work has appeared in publications including Playboy, The New York Times, and many others.

If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews as soon as they’re published.

If you missed the first half of this show, you can find it right here.

In Part Two of the file Robert, Adam, and I discuss:

  • How digital culture has exploded traditional forms of writing
  • The millennial generation’s preference for paper books
  • Why it’s so hard to define the novel in the internet age
  • How click-bait is killing journalism
  • Why the novel will never die

Listen to this Episode Now

The post Is the Novel Dead? Part Two appeared first on Copyblogger.