Our roundup of key news affecting authors. In this week’s edition: Five tips from a literary agent, famous rejection letters, and more...

‘Perhaps We’re Being Dense.’ Rejection Letters Sent to Famous Writers   
Literary Hub   
“Everybody gets rejected at some point, including young, aspiring short story writers who go on to win Nobel Prizes in literature. The letters below range from the polite and apologetic to the cruel and mocking—rejection being an art, it seems, in its own right. Read on, and take heart.”           

DIY: How to Avoid Self-Publishing Scams       
Publishers Weekly
“The booming growth of self-publishing has been great news for authors as well as providers of all variety of self-publishing services, including editing, designing, and consulting. Being able to identify when a particular service is overcharging—or just overpromising what they are actually able to deliver—is an important skill for any author to master.”

Barnes & Noble Is Going Private After Bruising Battle with Amazon
CNN
“The company said Friday it is being bought by a fund run by private equity firm Elliott Management for $683 million.So it may be the end of an era for Barnes & Noble. But the company at least is avoiding the fate of its rival Borders, which closed its stores for good in 2011.”

5 Tips for Newly Signed Authors from a Senior Literary Agent
Netgalley Insights
“Literary agents bridge the space between editors and authors, working with both to shepherd great books into the world. They know what editors expect, and how authors can best set themselves up for a successful working relationship. Here’s what the Nancy Yost Literary Agency’s Senior Agent Sarah Younger wishes every newly signed author knew.”

Writing Tips: 5 Ways to Avoid Plot Holes in Your Novel
The Creative Penn
“When crafting a narrative, we know the common ingredients: heart and soul, compelling characters, difficult choices, and life-altering conflicts, but there are a few pitfalls that can be avoided along the way.”

Writer’s Block Is a Gift. Here’s Why
Jane Friedman
“Despite its infamy for robbing people of their careers, writer’s block can give you a powerful gift—insight into your own relationship to the creative process.”

Why the CASE Act Will Empower Creatives to Fight the Horrors of Piracy
Variety
“Horror comes from a terrifying feeling of helplessness and that’s how we felt watching our passion project being stolen again and again. The CASE Act will give independent creatives a voice when their copyrights have been violated.”