Behold the Glindex—an index of just about every “Glow” post ever published, organized by topic rather than chronologically. Here’s hoping this makes it easier to find useful you-specific advice in the back catalogue.
I update this list…not exactly continuously, but whenever I remember to.
Happy browsing! Links in bold are posts I consider particularly important for authors to read, because they’re straight-up important or because the gap between “authors care about this” and “authors should care about this” strikes me as particularly wide.
What does a good agent/author relationship look like?
Your literary agent is your business partner, not your boss or employee
The “one to two months after the book comes out” freakout
The “we’re getting to the end of the editorial development” freakout
The “we have to stop making changes to the manuscript” freakout
The “post-publication depression and anxiety” freakout
The “what am I going to do for a book party” freakout
The “immediately after you accept a book deal offer” freakout
The “oh my God, people on the internet are viciously criticizing me” freakout
Other common author freakouts and pain points
A scattergram of career developments (and whether to freak out about them or not)
What to do when you’re stalling or panicked
Nightmare scenarios in a publishing career, and what will happen if they happen to you
The impossibility of certainty in book publishing
Other people have had (and will have) “your” ideas
“Am I struggling because books are hard to write, or am I struggling because I’m writing the wrong book?”
“What’s going to happen if I write honestly about my experience with gender-based violence, given the antifeminist backlash playing out in courtrooms?”
The biggest surprises you'll encounter on your book publishing journey
What is a P&L and why does it matter
Where do book covers come from?
What’s up with the publisher’s marketing and PR questionnaire?
The publishing terms you might not know you're getting wrong
A primer on book deal finances and what to expect from them
What is and what can we do about the editorial burnout problem?
Notes on the 2022-2023 HarperCollins strike (by us and by a HarperCollins editor)
Episode 1: Simon and Schuster
Episode 2: W. W. Norton
Episode 3.1: The Random House Publishing Group (PRH)
Episode 3.2: The Knopf/Doubleday Publishing Group (PRH)
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödron
Business for Bohemians by Tom Hodgkinson
A World Without Email by Cal Newport
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
The component parts of a book proposal (and why they’re so hard to execute well)
How to write an overview
How to write a chapter outline
How to write (and select) your sample chapters
How to write your author bio
Identifying your target audience
Editors don’t want to know what your book is about: they want to know what it does.
The most common editorial issue book proposals have and how to fix it in yours
The "comps" section is single most misunderstood part of a book proposal
What should your title be?
On acknowledgements sections
The art, science, and spiritual meaning of a good author photo
How to streamline your creative gig work
What has to happen before you become a “good author”
How to build your author platform
If you feel like you’re not executing or producing up to your potential, the problem might be the other people.
The magic words all pro authors know: "I hear the note behind the note"
How to send effective publishing-related emails
The networking habits of successful writers
Why pleading, complaining, and debating with agents and editors is likely a waste of your time
You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your choices or feelings
The best communication primer for my industry is unfortunately also a great book on communicating with small children
How to be a Good Art Friend (and Communicate Like One)
The blessings of having at least one publishing nemesis
“But when will the proposal be ready to submit?”
“Aren’t I supposed to be writing a proposal here–not the whole book?”
What authors and agents don’t understand about each other
“Why isn’t my publisher doing more to publicize my book?”
“Why is my editor ghosting me?”
“What does my editor actually want me to do with their edits, if this isn’t it?”
“Did you listen to that podcast by the Instagram influencer whose big book deal got canceled?”
Why perfectionism might be hobbling your writing career
Your weirdness = your power and purpose as a writer
What does an arrogant author look like? What does a humble one look like?
How self-parenting benefits you and your creative career
Why that problem you feel so stuck on is likely not the real problem
Hypervigilance won't keep you safe in your writing career or anywhere
How to unparalyze yourself when you’re reeling from self-doubt, stuckness, or shame
You can’t plan or “manifest” your way to a successful career
My five least favorite painful truths about book publishing
What it’s going to feel like when you finally achieve your book publishing dreams
The only professional goals I recommend setting are anti-goals
The most important thing to keep in mind as you navigate the publishing industry is your own inevitable death
What authors wish they'd known about publishing a book during a pandemic
On whether or not you need to worry about “timeliness” with that book submission
On "good" vs. "bad" advances, sales, editorial responses, and career developments
Career success will not deliver you from emotional pain, so get good now at setting those boundaries
Readers around the world want just one kind of book right now
How to use social media as an author
"Can I write about this?": navigating cancellation anxiety, rejection sensitivity, and Twitterphobia
On running your books like a business
Readers' tastes are changing. Are you changing with them?
What Mike Knew
The Ghosts on That Ridge
Life’s a mess; you’re a mess; everyone’s a mess. Rise anyway.
Q&A on what do do with conflicting and confusing advice on editorial development, social media, and other matters
The mark of a philistine and weak writer: if they can’t personally understand the value, they decide there’s no value in there at all
The best question to ask if you really want to know another person or character: “What *didn't* happen to them?"
A diamond is not just a piece of coal that did well under pressure, and neither are you
An A to Z of rapid-fire publishing tips
DO NOT INFLATE YOUR LIFE JACKET WHEN YOU’RE STILL INSIDE THE PLANE. (This is a metaphor.)
Vitally important things for authors to remember, in aesthetically Instagrammable form
A tarot reading: what is it you need to find your way forward with that book stuff you’re stuck on
How surface your best ideas from your subconscious
How I evaluate submissions
How literary agents and editors scan for red flags in author pitches
The most common red flags I see in book proposals by otherwise qualified authors
Things to avoid in a query
Our #MSSL (manuscript shit list)
Memoirs, essays, parodies, parenting, poetry, clever-conceit chapter structures, and other concepts you’ll probably want to reframe before querying
Typography: or, the part of your submission you’re probably not thinking about enough
“Why aren’t agents responding to my query?”
“What happens when my proposal is ready to go?”
Some easy ways to tell when your book (probably) isn't ready for submission
Common editorial rejections on book submissions (and how to avoid them)
How audio rights work
How foreign rights work
How film/TV adaptations work
The kind of author you don’t want to be (on the page)
Serious about finishing that novel or proposal? DON’T make it a daily practice.
Please follow the Puff Pastry Rule as you revise that manuscript or proposal.
How to find your focus again
If you really want a book deal, make it your #3 priority
How to make time and space for your publishing career when you have neither
The problem with a can-do attitude
Being productive vs being compulsive
“Killing it:” why this should not be your career goal
Uncertainty and stuckness are not the same thing as backsliding
How to juggle a creative career and family, especially if you have little kids
How to sharpen your executive function
Rituals for dissipating writer's block, easing anxiety, and re-centering your focus
Make sure you’re nourishing all five of your senses as you work
Why you should take things even more slowly
Fight, flight, fawn, freeze: how your signature stress response(s) are making your writing worse (and how to fix the problem)
Do something every day that annoys you.
Don’t be embarrassed about that crush! Limerence is the beginning of creative transformation.
Everything you need to know about being a good writer is somehow encapsulated in “The Waking” by Theodore Roethke
Good writing is merciful to its readers, its characters, and its author
How to build an emotional connection with your readers
Why we’re anti-“write what is true”
How to write a book that endures through the ages
Your readers need your presence on the page — not your ego, projections, aphorisms, or quips.