A blog about writing and self publishing

Writers Talking Writing, Dan Mallory, and Cover Inspiration on Instagram

By Joni Di Placido

What’s new in the literary world this week?

We were out at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference last week, but we’re back and bringing you some of the most interesting industry updates from around the web!

Let’s kick off with some Kobo news from Michelle Kaatz, newly-appointed director of Kobo’s Original Content department. The Originals department has some incredibly exciting new projects coming down the pipeline and Michelle gave us a teaser of what’s coming up: “We’re in Amsterdam now recording the first season of something brand new . . . think Sherlock + CSI + audiobook + podcast. Stay tuned for more details!”


If you’re looking for a great book to snuggle up with this Valentine’s Day, check out the great offers on romance reads on the store this week:

Romantic Reads for Less | Rakuten Kobo

Find an eBook to read. See today’s Daily Deal, read book reviews and get recommendations. Read anytime, anywhere and on any device with Kobo.


An update from Time that will shock nobody reading this blog: books are absolutely, resolutely not going anywhere. Print sales have been increasing steadily since 2013 and the number of indie bookstores is on the rise.

Stop Saying Books Are Dead. They’re More Alive Than Ever

Here’s why the executive director of the National Book Foundation believes we are a country of readers.

Marlon James’ medieval fantasy novel Black Leopard Red Wolf comes out this week (look at that cover!) and has been described as “an African Game of Thrones“. He talks to PW about his writing process and the myriad stories that influenced his writing.

Marlon James Spins a Tale of Tales

When asked, Marlon James is hard-pressed to name his favorite story. It’s admittedly a nearly impossible request to make of anyone, and surely more so of a novelist, whose trade relies so deeply on both intake and telling, however tangled, of tales. Unable to name just one, James improvised.


Author Jane Harper discusses her incredible journey to becoming Australia’s most widely read crime writer. She explains why she thinks planning is an essential part of her writing process and why character development is so important to her.

Jane Harper Started as a Business Reporter. Now She Writes Novels About Murder.

Profile Her mysteries set in Australia have international appeal. Her latest, “The Lost Man,” hits American bookstores in February. Jane Harper leans on the Australian environment in all her novels. “The Lost Man,” like “The Dry,” is a study in isolation, she says (seen here riding a ferry in Sydney Harbor).


If you’ve successfully written a thesis, you can turn that thesis into a book! Tracy Stanley explains how over on The Creative Penn blog.

The Creative Penn Blog: Helping you write, publish and market your book | The Creative Penn

Editing a novel can be a daunting task, but there are some tips that will help you, as Sofia Ashdown shares with us today. Other than correcting spelling and grammar mistakes, it can be difficult to decide how to focus your energy in the right places to improve your manuscript.

Not news, but new to me: this instagram account features gorgeous covers designed by women. Worth checking out if you’re seeking cover inspiration!

She Designs Books (@shedesignsbooks) * Instagram photos and videos

4,933 Followers, 599 Following, 715 Posts – See Instagram photos and videos from She Designs Books (@shedesignsbooks)


If you missed the biggest publishing scandal this week, settle in for a LONG read! Proof that life really can be stranger than fiction.

A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions

Dan Mallory, a book editor turned novelist, is tall, good-looking, and clever. His novel, ” The Woman in the Window,” which was published under a lightly worn pseudonym, A. J. Finn, was the hit psychological thriller of the past year.

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