For Authors

How To Create a Facebook Lookalike Audience

By: Ginger | Posted on November 25, 2022

As Ginger pointed out in a recent blog post, creating a Facebook lookalike audience is a powerful way to use your own mailing list to build an audience of likeminded readers more likely to buy your books than a more generic group. After reading that article, one author left a comment asking for more details on how exactly they would do that. Well, ask and ye shall receive.  Today, Ginger is providing step-by-step instructions on not only how to create such an audience, but how to make sure you’re pulling the best people from your own list as the source. A few weeks ago, I posted a blog entitled Is Your Freebie Lead Magnet Costing You Money? That was a post about how the source of your mailing list subscribers could be impacting how effective they are at marketing your book – and how it’s more valuable to gain subscribers… Read More >

How to Mine Your Email Mailing List

By: Ginger | Posted on November 18, 2022

There’s a good reason why most authors start working on an email mailing list as soon as they can. Having a list of readers that love your work is not only a great ego boost, but can be an invaluable marketing tool. There are a variety of different ways to build your list, but the different techniques lead to different sorts of readers, each of whom provides a different value, assuming you know how to tell the difference and how to use each type. That’s exactly what Ginger will be going over in this week’s blog. Not only how to identify and separate your subscribers into the types of benefits they can provide, but how best to attain those benefits without alienating anyone on your list. Last month we posted a blog called Is Your Freebie Lead Magnet Costing You Money? The post addressed my belief that the source of your… Read More >

Ian Fleming Publications Quietly Revolutionizes the Publishing Industry

By: Ginger | Posted on November 11, 2022

In yet another blow to traditional publishing’s quickly loosening grip of an industry they once entirely dominated, the estate of Ian Fleming recently announced they would be taking back control of the James Bond books and publishing them on their own.  Self-publishing may have taken off by giving a voice to smaller authors that couldn’t (or chose not to) go the traditional route, but moves like this are a signal that the tide has changed, and it is quickly becoming the self-publishing path that is the more desirable one to follow – for both small time authors and big names alike. I expect that it won’t be long before we start seeing more examples of popular traditionally published authors and franchises making similar moves. On October 5, 2022, the world recognized the 60th anniversary of the celluloid James Bond – marking six decades since the first movie in the franchise,… Read More >

What Can George R. R. Martin Teach Us About Writing?

By: Ginger | Posted on November 4, 2022

Once again, Ginger is looking at another great writer for inspiration and lessons, boiling down what makes them so popular into little tidbits we can use and apply to our own writing.  This time the author is George R. R. Martin, best known for his ongoing series of books and the hit HBO show based on them, Game of Thrones. Even though his world is made up of countless characters and each novel is hundreds of pages long, there are key elements that Martin sticks to in his books. His enormous and ever-growing fanbase is proof that his formula is popular among readers, which is why it’s worth digging into what it is he does so that we can determine if his techniques could work for us, as well. But be warned, for anyone that hasn’t yet read the books or watched the show, there are some minor spoilers ahead…. Read More >

Use Tropes to Your Advantage

By: Ginger | Posted on October 28, 2022

What’s a James Bond movie without 007 using his high-tech gadgets? What’s the point of a western unless there’s a quick-draw showdown beneath the noonday sun? One highly overlooked attribute of successful books, shows, and movies is a reliance on tried-and-tested tropes that audiences like to eat up time after time. As Ginger points out below, learning and using the tropes of your genre can work in your favor by scoring an instant connection to your ideal readers. The word ‘trope’ is used a lot when people dissect popular culture, and its generally not in a flattering way. The dictionary defines a trope as “a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression” but fans of science fiction movies, horror films, or any other popular genre will more generally think of them as repeated scenarios that have become part of the furniture for their favorite books and TV shows…. Read More >

Lee Child on the Flexibility of Point-of-View

By: Ginger | Posted on October 21, 2022

One of the first decisions you have to make before starting to write a novel is which perspective, or point-of-view (POV), will be most effective in telling your story. The most common ones are first person and third person, and while I think most authors prefer one perspective over another, there are occasions where you at least want to consider the alternative. Most readers have a preference as well, and traditionally authors tend to respect this when writing series by keeping the whole series in the same perspective. But that doesn’t mean switching it up can’t be done.  Lee Child is one example of an author that not only switches POV between books in his Jack Reacher series, but has even gone as far as to switch from first to third person within the same book!  This week, Ginger delves into POVs to try and explain not only which one… Read More >

Is Your Freebie Lead Magnet Costing You Money?

By: Ginger | Posted on October 14, 2022

Generally when you advertise your book, you’re paying to show your ad to people in the hopes that they’ll be interested enough to click and buy it. That’s why you have to be very careful to show it to the right people, otherwise you’re simply throwing your ad dollars away. Ad platforms like Facebook let you build your audience from an existing list you provide, and many authors instinctively turn to their own mailing list of fans as the source for that. In some cases, that may very well be the best list to use, but depending on how you drew people to sign up in the first place, it may actually be just the opposite… Advertising your books on Amazon is a complex process. It might not seem like it, but there’s a veritable Rube Goldberg Machine going on behind the scenes that you can only hope will convert… Read More >

What can Stephen King teach us about writing?

By: Ginger | Posted on October 7, 2022

Many authors have probably already read Stephen King’s own words about writing from his book on the subject, but that doesn’t mean you’re done learning from him. King is a very prolific writer, and although he’s known for his horror, he’s actually written in a number of genres over the years. You can never know too much about any of the writing greats, and as Ginger points out, there are still things we can learn from King outside of what he put into his book on writing. There are common elements in his stories that draw readers in and make his novels so engaging, and those are the things that really deserve our attention. Recently, somebody mentioned to me that they enjoyed our blog series on what famous writers can teach us about the craft of storytelling. We’ve covered Agatha Christie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lee Child, Taika Waititi, and Ian… Read More >

Amazon Updates Return Policy Amid Pressure

By: Craig | Posted on September 30, 2022

Everyone loves a good David and Goliath story, which is why it was welcome news this week when Amazon confirmed their plans to alter their eBook return policy to make it less likely to be abused. Sure, it took them close to six months to finally relent and the change isn’t implemented yet, but at least it’s coming. Here is what we know about the upcoming changes, and what we think about them. As some of you will remember, we first reported on this story back in April amid growing reports of larger than normal return rates seen by some Amazon authors. Despite the fact that Amazon’s eBook return policy hadn’t changed in years, the increase in returns was traced back to a growing number of social media posts (mainly on Tiktok) highlighting the lack of restrictions and ease of which readers could return eBooks on Amazon, and then even… Read More >

What happens when an author gets divorced?

By: Ginger | Posted on September 23, 2022

If you’re married, divorce is hopefully not something you’ll ever have to worry about, but it doesn’t hurt to know what might happen just in case. Most people are aware of how assets generally get split up, but for authors it can be more than just a matter of who gets the house and who gets the savings bonds. At stake are not just the past and future royalties of your books, but even the intellectual rights to elements of any ongoing series. Ginger goes over some of the things you might end up facing if you’re ever in this situation, as well as what some of your options might be, but obviously it is not to be taken as any sort of official legal advise. Hope you’ll never need to worry about any of this, though! Ernest Hemingway was married four times. JK Rowling and Jackie Collins were married twice…. Read More >