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Holly Robinson
Holly Robinson writes about pop culture, parenting, health, science and psychology for national magazines. She is the author of the novels Sleeping Tigers and The Wishing Hill, as well as The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter: A Memoir. Read excerpts of her books as well as some of her recent articles and essays at

Entries by Holly Robinson

5 Surefire Strategies for Marketing Your eBook

(4) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 1:34 PM

Recently, a friend asked if I had any foolproof strategies for marketing ebooks. My first response was less than quotable: "Um, no. I just try everything."

But, as I looked back at the past year and dug a little deeper into the various marketing strategies I used, I realized that...

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How to Survive Your Child's College Tours

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 2:44 PM

Like most parents with juniors and seniors in high school, I've spent some of my summer touring colleges. This was my fifth time around, so I thought it was time to pass on what I've learned.

Does It Really Matter Where Your Child Goes?

In our...

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A Hybrid Author Busts the Myths: Should You Self Publish?

(7) Comments | Posted August 17, 2014 | 3:21 PM

Yesterday, I gathered with a group of diverse writers for the Haverhill Public Library Authors Fair. My table was situated between Kristin Bair O'Keeffe, an author who publishes traditionally, and Connie Johnson Hambley, a self-published mystery...

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Why Do We Love Multitasking? Because We're Wired to Make Order Out of Chaos

(5) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 12:19 PM

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

Like most working moms, I'm constantly being sucked into a Bermuda Triangle of Domestic Chaos. I am the Queen of Multitasking, concocting new survival plans with my husband by the day, or sometimes even by the...

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How to Write a Synopsis? Pretend You're Carving Soap

(2) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 12:42 PM

I recently finished the synopsis for my new novel, and truthfully? By the end I felt like I did at Girl Scout camp, when they used to have us carve flowers and animals out of bars of soap....

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Summer Reads: The Good, the Bad, and the Just So-So

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 12:25 PM

How far are you into your summer reading? After a month, I've plowed through a few books on my nightstand (as well as under it). To qualify as a "great summer read," I want a book that offers sympathetic characters, depth of emotion, and a forward narrative momentum that keeps...

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Every Woman's Nightmare: The Photo Shoot

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 11:15 AM

The singer Lorde recently made headlines for posting "actual" pictures of herself, acne scars and all, after the media ran digitally-altered pictures showing her with a perfect creamy perfection. Her photos were accompanied by this refreshing message: "Remember, flaws are OK."

I kept repeating that mantra as I...

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How Do You Write a Novel? By Listening

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 11:22 AM

How do novelists get their ideas? Often from listening to other people's stories: in the car, around the dinner table, or even in a crowded grocery store. We're always plucking ideas from the air.

My mother tells better stories than anyone. As a child, my favorite was about the time...

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Is a Book Publicist Worth the Money?

(6) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 4:03 PM

"So, what will your publisher do to promote your book?" a friend asked when I sold my second novel.

Truthfully, I had no idea what the plan was. Something, I hoped. It has taken me two...

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How Do You Choose a Book Cover That Tells Your Story?

(1) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 8:20 AM

Haven Lake_FC

How are book covers made? How do art departments capture an entire story in a single image? It can't be easy. Book cover designers -- especially at big publishing houses -- get descriptions of books by the dozen and...

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How Long Does a Novel Take to Write?

(2) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 3:34 PM

I binged this past weekend. Not on reality TV or chocolate or martinis, but on writing. I booked a cheap off-season condo in Maine and wrote 17,822 words.

Were all of those good words? Not necessarily....

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8 Tips for a DIY Book Tour

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 8:21 PM

Every writer hates the idea of being a carnival barker. Nobody goes out anymore, you tell yourself. Who wants to give a reading where the only people in the audience are your mom and that drunk guy?

However, writers who don't meet readers in person are missing out, not...

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Whether You're Building a Robot or a Book, Science + Creativity = Magic

(1) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 7:59 PM

No question about it. My husband and I are opposites. He's a software engineer and I'm a writer. When people glance at my computer screen, they're confronted by a maze of thorny paragraphs, while his is a jungle of coded symbols.

Then there's the grand divide in...

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Lessons From Ladies' Home Journal

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 2:36 PM

When I heard that Ladies' Home Journal magazine was biting the dust after 131 years, I cried. Not just for the editors, who were booted unceremoniously to the curb, but because Ladies' Home Journal was the first national magazine to give my writing a home.

I never,...

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Eight Dog Tricks I Value Most

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 2:08 PM


I haven't managed to teach my dog many tricks, other than to twirl on his hind legs whenever he thinks I might reward him with a slice of banana. (And that one he pretty much learned on his own.) But...

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What Kind of Fiction Do You Love to Read or Write? Maybe It's Time to Push the Genre Envelope

(3) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 8:19 PM

Whether you're writing a mystery series or fantasy, so-called "literary fiction" or romances, the common view is that writers must brand themselves as one thing or another to market their books. While there's a certain amount of truth to...

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What Keeps a Woman Writing? Other Women Who Write.

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 10:28 AM

Maddie Dawson & I want our characters to be friends, too!
Any woman who works knows there isn't enough time in the day to get everything done. Even before we start our paid jobs, we've put in hours of labor:...
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The 10 Worst Things You Can Say to a Writer During a Book Launch

(6) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 11:04 AM


Remember Romper Room, that classic children's TV show? There was this giant bee that would come on, cautioning kids to mind their manners and be a "Good Do Bee."

This week I feel like that giant...

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How Do You Write a Novel? Six Things That Stay the Same Every Time

(2) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 2:19 PM

My friend Susan Straight and I have been swapping manuscripts-in-progress since graduating from the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst over two decades ago. Since then, she has published nine books and earned buckets of prestigious literary awards. I've been dogging her since grad school and...

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Should You Send Your Child to a Prep School?

(2) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 10:41 AM

Right about now, parents across the country are agonizing over whether or not to send their child to a private high school as spring admissions letters roll in. Even if the child is admitted, they're agonizing: private school tuition costs are a hefty burden, and if you spend your education...

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