Author Archives: Danielle de Valera

About Danielle de Valera

Award-winning Australian author. Editor, mentor. manuscript assessor since 1992.

The proper use of italics

The proper use of italics can be a vexed question for writers, especially when they’re starting out. We’re all familiar with the usage for a word needing emphasis, e.g. “That film was awful.” But there are many other instances where … Continue reading

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The Thumbs Down Publishers List

What indie writer trying to juggle the demands (and costs) of cover design, ebook design, print book design, and possibly a full time job as well, hasn’t been tempted to toss the lot to one of those publishers who promise … Continue reading

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How to Handle Rejections

Anyone who’s ever submitted a short story to a magazine or a novel to a traditional publisher knows that sinking feeling: Rejection. “I’ve been rejected!” you cry — sometimes just to yourself; other times out loud. The old days were … Continue reading

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Who Killed Oyster?

Below please find reprinted this recent Smashwords blog by their CEO Mark Coker. I think it’s important. Please read on. Word came out yesterday afternoon that Oyster is “sunsetting” their business, a polite euphemism for “closing.” With the loss of … Continue reading

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Smashwords Develop Metadata-only Preorders

Below is reprinted with Mark Coker’s permission his 17 June post on the where, when, why and how of metadata-only preorders. For anyone intending to publish with Smashwords, it’s well worth reading. Smashwords Introduces Assetless Preorders (aka “Metadata Only” preorders) … Continue reading

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The Pros and Cons of Preorders

Although Amazon accounts for around 70% of e-book sales on the web, the stores Smashwords distribute to account roughly for the remaining per cent. This post by Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords, presents a convincing case for using his preorder … Continue reading

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Naming your novel

When choosing a name for your novel, always check to see how many of the same names already exist on the web. The more unique your title is, the better your chance it will come up in the first page … Continue reading

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What’s in a name?

When it’s the title of your novel, a great deal, if you plan to publish on the web. A writer has only four chances to attract readers. These are: ~ the cover ~ the title ~ the story as revealed … Continue reading

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Spontaneity in fiction

How important IS spontaneity in fiction? The answer is: It depends. Some works benefit from having a style that appears spontaneous. However, in my experience, when emerging writers talk about spontaneity and the fear of losing it by redrafting, they … Continue reading

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“Real” Dialogue

Good dialogue in novels is not real dialogue, which is often very boring, containing as it does a lot of batting about of unimportant information between the two parties. Too often, writers get led astray by their desire for realism … Continue reading

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