Most authors will have heard the gurus proclaiming that building an email list is essential for modern-day writing success, but very few start with the basics to explain why that is. Faced with the prospect of building a mailing list, most authors would run a mile. Screams of "I’m not very good with computers" and "I just want to write my books" will be heard, as they disappear into the distance. However, the simple truth is, if you’re not attempting to build a list of reader emails, you’re making life far more difficult than it needs to be, and you’re really missing a key book marketing tool.
Most book publicists agree: compared to working with non-fiction, securing traditional media coverage for novels can be challenging. Unless it’s a household name author, how can a novelist who wrote a made-up story, get meaningful broadcast and print media coverage? That is the nature of fiction, after all – it’s not real and therefore inherently not newsworthy. But fiction can indeed be turned into “real” media coverage, you just need to get a little creative.
Social media writer’s block. It’s a thing! You have no problem hammering away at an 80,000 word novel, but when it comes to a 140 character tweet? Forget about it! You end up posting about what you had for dinner or what you did during the day, and nobody seems to be listening . . . or following. If that sounds like you, then these seven social media tips are just what you need.
When it comes to selling your book the bottom line is – well, the bottom line. Let's face it—the more book sales the better. So how do you get your self-published book into the hands of as many readers as possible? There are some elements of your book sales strategy that can make a big difference when it comes to how well your book sells, and the biggest of those is your book metadata.
Did you know for five dollars you can get someone to write your book title on their face or stomach? How about give the synopsis of your book via video...dressed as a nun? The Internet is a bizarre place where you can find someone to do just about anything in the name of marketing. Why would you want to? Because weird and crazy, when done right, actually can help sell your book.
Authors unfamiliar with the book publishing industry can sometimes stumble on the path to publication by not understanding the definitions and roles of people in editing, production, distribution, and sales. By having clarity on the function and purpose of service companies and freelancers, authors can be smarter about hiring the right help.
There are several things to consider in order to help your book achieve it's greatest potential discoverability. Readers, librarians, and retailers can't purchase a book they can't find, and your title metadata is responsible for whether or not your book pops up when they type in search terms relevant to your book. Because of this, writing a good book description isn't just about telling readers what your book's about once they find it; it's about telling search engines what search queries your book could answer so that they actually can find it.
This is one part love letter to independent booksellers and the other part encouragement to independent authors on how to approach them.
Dear independent booksellers, I can’t remember our first kiss. Even so, my love for you is real. It’s almost as if you know me better than I know myself. Like the time you pointed me to Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. Murakami is a favorite, but you, my paramour, saw me wander book-lined aisles, restless in want of something I couldn’t quite articulate. Then voila! You nudge me to “staff picks,” and there before me is my next big read.
I’ve been speaking at writing conferences since 2002, and over the last 15 years, the one topic of conversation that has changed the most dramatically is self-publishing. Not only has the substance of the conversation changed, but everyone’s attitudes have completely transformed. The trouble is that while this change has been largely welcome (at least from my point of view!), it hasn’t always been for the best.