The world of publishing – Lessons Learned in 2013

We have reached the end of another year and again, it has proven to be year of change. Many call it the effects of “disruptive technology” or what happens when new technologies unexpectedly displace an established technology. And while the revolution in publishing certainly continues to be disruptive, it also seems to advance in short, rapid […]

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Cracking the Bad Review Code

Reading is very personal. Like music, it’s subjective. One person might love a novel so much they re-read it every year. Another person might hate the same novel so much they can’t finish it. And readers are nothing if not vocal, especially those who leave negative reviews.  I’ve been asked by a couple of my […]

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Authors and Privacy – How much to divulge?

I’ve mentioned the phenomenon of the superstar author before, when I asked whether, as a writer, it’s better to market your ‘self’ or your books. It called for a discussion of brand and platform, but I’m sick of those words… so let’s just talk in plain English, okay? This week the crime writer Lee Child […]

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Crime fiction 101 – How I develop my characters

“Character is plot and plot is character” F. Scott Fitzgerald. Now and again a character steps onto the page and explodes into life. In fact they seem to write themselves. Ellie Foreman’s (the protagonist in my first series) father, Jake, is like that. I never have to worry when he’s around. He always does or […]

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NEW RULE: No More Binge Publishing!

You know how Bill Maher has his New Rule shtick? Well, I’m taking a page from his playbook. Many of you aren’t going to like this, but I think it has to be said: STOP publishing all these ebooks. I don’t want to sound negative, but it’s getting nuts out there. Ever since the self-publishing […]

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Want to read the best crime fiction? First, choose your type…

If you thought crime fiction was just Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot, it’s time to think again. The crime fiction genre splits into a variety of overlapping sub-genres, each different and each appealing to different kinds of readers. Which are you? Cozies – The softer end of mysteries You love a good plot. But you […]

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Reviewing From The Other Side

This is a reprint from CrimeSpree magazine but it appeared back in 2007. So I think it’s safe to say  most of  you never read it. I’ve updated it. As I wait for the reviews of Havana Lost to come in, I can’t help but remember the first (and only) first professional review I wrote. It was […]

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Writing Lite Video Series

Writing Lite #5 — Character Backstories

I’m baaack.. with another Writing Lite segment. This time I’m starting a series on character development and how to do it. Today I talk about my favorite technique — writing character backstories. They only have to be a couple of single spaced pages, but they accomplish so much. What do you think?

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Traditional vs Self-Publishing: An Update (Part One)

This is an update of a presentation and blog I put together three years ago and have revised once since then. But, as Bob Mayor says, we have cycled through the first three years in digital publishing, and lots of things have changed, so I think it’s time for a new update. This is going […]

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  • About Libby

    Compulsively Readable ThrillersLibby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Fifteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first.

    She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few.