Welcome to our channel surf, where we highlight our favorite writing, publishing, and/or book-related posts of the week by middle grade authors! Hit the pause button for a sec and check this out…

Channel SurfPremise Vs Plot: Which Do You Have?

by Janice Hardy, author of The Healing Wars Trilogy

As part of March Book Madness, author Rebecca Belliston invited Janice to guest post about figuring out if you’re really got an idea for a book. In sum: premise isn’t plot. So how do you know if that idea that struck you in the place all great ideas strike us – I speak, of course, of the shower – is actually a plot? According to Janice, it’s just a premise if one to three Very Important Things are missing.

Self-Publishing and Middle Grade Novels: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

by Chris Eboch, author of Haunted

Chris lays it out over on Project Mayhem with probably the most thorough post I’ve ever read on self-publishing versus traditional publishing, particularly in regards to writing for the middle grade age group. If you’re an aspiring author and are trying to decide which avenue would be best for you, I highly recommend giving this one a read.

Words Have the Power We Give Them

by Nathan Bransford, author of Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp

Ever have one of those weird, déjà vu moments where you’ve been mulling over something you can’t quite put into words, and then someone else does (and does it much better than you ever could)? That’s how I felt while reading Nathan’s post. “When you say certain words in the wrong context or with ill intent, you are summoning an invisible army behind you.” This. (Just go read the post. I can’t explain it any better than he wrote it.)

So You Wanna Be an Author

by Lehua Parker, author of One Boy, No Water

Lehua put together a great list of questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about writing – and trying to publish – a book. Do you write for the sake of writing, or do you put the business of publishing first? It’s tough to find a balance, and every authors’ answers will be different.

Indie Spotlight: The Red Balloon, St. Paul MN

by Sue Cowing, author of You Can Call Me Drog

Next up in From the Mixed-Up Files’ great series highlighting indie bookstores is The Red Balloon. If you aren’t following this series, it’s a great way to add awesome bookstores to your “must visit” list for future vacations and book tours.

What This Heart Means To Me

by Brian Farrey, author of The Vengekeep Prophecies

You probably noticed that lots of folks changed their social media avatars to an equal sign this week during the Supreme Court’s hearing on California’s Proposition 8. Did you think to yourself, “that’s nice and all, but what good does a little avatar do?” Lots of good, according to Brian. (And I agree.)

Beware Revision Limbo

by Anna Staniszewski, author of the My Epic Fairy Tale Fail

Oh yeah, this was me trying to write the first book. Chapter one. Start over. Chapter one. Start over. Chapter one. Rip out hair. Etc. Anna offers some great advice here – namely, just write the darn draft already!

What’d I miss? Let me know if you caught any great middle grade posts this week!