5 Year Blog-versary Round Up!

9e4073d6863e21b9a5b923c3e62390afWow, 5 years since this blog began!

Thank you to the loyal readers and commenters for your engagement with my posts.

I decided to do a round up of some of my top posts over the years.


30 Questions to Ask Your Main Character

When You Start Comparing Yourself To Other Writers

7 Things Writers Should Stop Wasting Their Time On

6 Tips To Hook A Reader on Page One

4 Ways To Edit Your Book Back on Track


Do You Know The Difference Between Literary, Upmarket and Commercial Fiction?

5 Secrets To Publishing Your Debut Novel

7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With


How To Write A Synopsis

8 Query Tips No One Tells Writers

How I Read Slush: 3 Lessons for Writers

Agent perspective: What’s wrong with your manuscript

Social Media:

7 Ways To Build a Platform Through Your Online Community

6 Ways Social Media Doesn’t Help You Get Published

Q: Do you have a favorite post? One that changed your opinion of the industry or changed your manuscript for the better?

6 Reasons You Need A Literary Agent Now More Than Ever

contract signingYes, even you self pubbed authors need an agent now more than ever.

There’s no disputing that you can publish your own book, get a deal by yourself meeting an editor at a conference or submitting to certain publishers that are open to the slush. I see more and more in our query inbox that an author has an offer from a small print publisher or digital first start up but want an agent to help with the process because they realize they are in over their head. They ask questions like: Is the publisher good? Should I have submitted to them on my own in the first place? I’ve written on why you shouldn’t submit to agents and small presses at the same time already, but this is about why you need an agent first.

6 Reasons You Need An Agent Now More Than Ever:

1. Access to ‘Big 5’

Yes, you can submit to small publishers by yourself, but you will never have access to all the big 5 publishers without an agent. Every writer I’ve ever met has wanted to be published in print. There are writers that are ‘okay’ with digital first publishing, but they all want to build to a career in print.

2. Complex Contracts Continue reading 6 Reasons You Need A Literary Agent Now More Than Ever

Ebook: Getting Published in the 21st Century: Advice from a Literary Agent

72WattersCoverLargeCompressedI’m excited to announce my new ebook! It’s full of my top blog posts–all updated–and new content.

Getting Published in the 21st Century: Advice from a Literary Agent

From Literary Agent Carly Watters comes Getting Published in the 21st Century, an ebook of Writer’s Digest award-winning blog content and new material primed to help writers get published.

It has never been more difficult to get traditionally published than it is right now. But with the right tools, and industry insider tips, Carly will show you how it’s possible for you.

Getting Published in the 21st Century will share with you:

• How to begin your book and why you’ve probably been starting in the wrong spot
• 10 self-editing tips that will transform your manuscript
• Carly’s 9 ways to write smarter, not harder
• 5 tips to make your query letter stand out (from someone who reads over 800 a month!)
• The top 7 reasons why agents stop reading your manuscript
• What agents are looking for in a client
• 12 ways to create an author community

Whatever question you have about crafting your novel and how to get it published, Getting Published in the 21st Century has the answers.

Buy on Amazon.

Buy on Smashwords.

Platform Building Links

characterOne of the questions that plagues writers is the dreaded PLATFORM. It’s something that I’ve covered before, but is constantly a topic to be discussed.

I’ve put together a list of the newest and best links on writers building platforms.


Fiction writers, this should be last on your ‘to do’ list. Write an amazing book first.

Non fiction writers, this should be the first thing on your list. Build your platform, then write your proposal.

Best Platform Building Links For Authors:

50 Simple Ways to Build Your Platform in 5 Minutes A Day

100 Things For Authors to Tweet About

Personal Branding Is A Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign

3 Apps to Help You Write a Marketing Plan

The Five Essential Ingredients of a Great Online Portfolio

Why Authors Should Embrace Twitter

A CEO’s Guide To Pinterest

64 Amazing Twitter Tips

Why Writers Should Be On Pinterest

How To Conduct An Author Blog Tour

Does Social Media Sell Books? Gillian Flynn’s Agent Gives Her Perspective

And my top platform posts:

Platform Is A Two-Way Street

Author Blog and Website Must-Haves

How Writers Build Successful Online Communities