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Writing Craft

Make Newsletters A Part of Your Marketing Plan

By: Jane Ryder | Posted on December 7, 2018

Newsletters are one of the best ways for authors to reach their audience, and should be part of any overall marketing or promotional strategy.  Yet many authors are hesitant to get started with one, for a variety of reasons – all of which Jane Ryder has heard before. Jane’s been helping authors succeed for many years, and today she’s giving us all some tips on not only how to get started with your newsletter, but how to make it as painless as possible! A lot of authors I work with fight the idea of sending out a regular newsletter even more than they fight the idea of regularly engaging on social media (which is saying something). I understand you would rather be devoting your writing time to, you know, writing, but if you want to sell the books you write, you have to spend some of your coveted writing time… Read More >

Ginger’s Guide to Marketing & Advertising Your Books: Part Four – PROMOTIONS

By: Ginger | Posted on November 30, 2018

Hitting ‘publish’ on your book is the biggest step in the road towards self-publishing success, but only the first one. In this final part of his four-part series, self-published author Ginger gives a  top-level introduction to how to promote your book, using paid and free methods, to get as many potential customers to see it as possible. Last week, we nearly broke the website with a massive post about advertising your self-published books – and we barely scratched the surface! In fact, as reader Erin Wright pointed out, there were other advertising opportunities we hadn’t even explored in that post; like Bookbub. We’ll be revisiting options like that in both the original post and future ones – so stay tuned, and don’t be shy about letting us know what you think we missed! Today, though, we’re going to be looking at the adjacent avenue to advertising: Promotions.  There’s some crossover with promotions… Read More >

Ginger’s Guide to Marketing & Advertising Your Books: Part Three – ADVERTISING

By: Ginger | Posted on November 23, 2018

Writing your book is only the (biggest) first step in the road towards self-publishing success. In a four-part series, self-published author Ginger is giving a top-level introduction to what happens next. Here in part three, he gives an overview of advertising and where you need to focus in order to get all your hard work in front of potential readers. Last week, in part two of this series, we discussed Marketing – an umbrella for all the materials and strategies you need to come up with to put your book in front of potential readers. Today, we’re drilling down into one of the two most important aspects of that; and the one that most new authors have questions about: Advertising. Advertising isn’t something that needs much explanation – each and every day you’re bombarded with countless advertisements for services and products. Advertising is and always has been a ubiquitous presence… Read More >

Ginger’s Guide to Marketing & Advertising Your Books: Part Two – MARKETING

By: Ginger | Posted on November 16, 2018

As we discussed in part one, actually writing your book is only the first step of your journey as a self-published author.  The path to success has many hurdles, but our four-part series aims to clear them all away.  In this week’s installment, veteran self-published author Ginger dives in deep, giving you everything you need to know about how to market your book effectively.  Last week, I spoke about the importance of marketing and advertising when it comes to your self-publishing career, and recently that’s become more important than ever.  In the past, every book page you visited on Amazon was stuffed with thumbnails of ‘also boughts’ – books that were purchased by the same customers who bought the book you’re looking at. Being included in that list was a fantastic – and totally free – way to drive potential customers to your own book.  In the last few weeks, Amazon… Read More >

Ginger’s Guide to Marketing & Advertising Your Books: Part One

By: Ginger | Posted on November 9, 2018

Actually writing your book is only the first part of your journey as a self-published author.  You’ll have to think about a lot more on your road to success, but resident author Ginger is here to lay it all out for you.  This is part one of a four part series, and below Ginger shares some of the basic techniques you need to understand in order to get your book in front of the eyes of potential customers. Links to the next installments are posted at the bottom of this article. Okay, so you’ve written and published a book – that’s the hard part, right? Well – yes and no. Once your book is in print, it’s important to get as many pairs of eyes on it as possible. For a lot of new authors, though, they have no idea where to start – and not much money to waste… Read More >

Create the Perfect Writing Environment

By: Ginger | Posted on October 26, 2018

Creating and fostering the perfect writing environment can really help supercharge your productivity. Back in May, author and podcaster Andrew Mackay shared his 5 tips for fighting procrastination – and one really spoke to me. It was #4 – “Why aren’t you writing?” It led to me talking to a lot of fellow authors about how they get into the ‘flow’ of writing, and what helps and hinders putting pen to paper (or, more accurately, finger to keyboard.) One theme that seemed to come up time and time again was the ‘environment’ for writing – and it’s something that resonated with me. As the parent of three rambunctious kids – and the husband of an equally rambunctious wife – it’s not always easy to get into the ‘headspace’ of writing; and sometimes you have to ‘set the mood’ just like you might for a romantic date. What that mood is… Read More >

Let Experiences and Emotions Fuel Your Writing

By: Stephen Bentley | Posted on October 5, 2018

As I mentioned in a previous article, the idea of writing what you know isn’t meant to be taken strictly literally and as today’s guest author Stephen Bentley puts it, the saying might be better expressed as “write what you feel”. Your experiences and emotions can be a great source of fuel for your imagination, and are the root of many great fiction novels. Learning to harness these experiences and draw from them is essential to authentic writing that draws the reader in to make them feel like they’re part of your story or world. ‘Write what you know’ is an old adage. Possibly older than me. I am now seventy-one years old. I started writing books three years ago. I guess another appropriate adage is ‘you are never too old to learn or to start.’ I have written an Amazon UK bestseller about my undercover cop days. I started… Read More >

Location, Location, Location: The Power of Writing and Real Estate

By: Ginger | Posted on September 28, 2018

The setting of a story is one of the most important elements that a writer should focus on, as it sets the tone and feel for the entire book.  The tips below include some fantastic examples of how and why successful authors pay so much attention to where their book is located. It’s no coincidence that some of the best and most beloved novels are often remembered most for the rich worlds they create in the minds of the readers.  One way to truly make your writing stand out is to make the setting for your story as much a character as your hero. In 2006, I returned to the northeastern United States after a long hiatus, and I brought with me a copy of Stephen King’s Bag of Bones. That book, and that return visit, have been inextricably linked in my mind ever since; and it demonstrated to me… Read More >

How Short Story Writing Can Improve Your Novels

By: Kate Larkindale | Posted on September 21, 2018

When you’re new to something, a common bit of advice is to start small and work your way up to bigger and better things. This applies to writers just as well as anyone else, and is the reason short story writing often comes before novels for many authors. Kate Larkindale understands first hand why this is good advice, and she’s here giving us all the reasons why writing short stories can make you a better novelist – whether you’re just beginning your career or already well established. I wrote my first novel when I was still a teenager.  Barely a teenager.  I’d never written anything except stories for school before, and had no idea what I was doing.  And the finished novel was a complete mess.  So were the next two I attempted, and the fourth. It wasn’t until I took a step away from pouring myself into novel after… Read More >

5 Quick Writing Tips – An Editor’s Perspective

By: Ginger | Posted on September 14, 2018

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” Neil Gaiman One of the greatest gifts to my own writing was becoming an editor of other peoples’ books. It revealed the depths of talent out there in the world of self-publishing, and it inspired me to improve my own writing by seeing how good other writers could be. At the same time, I’ve noticed a few common issues that writers fall afoul of, some of which have very quick and easy solutions. These are just simple writing tips that I’ve learned along the way that massively improve the readability of a book.  Editing reminded me that writing isn’t an art – it’s a craft. You’re constructing a story from the raw materials – in this case, words – and there are infinite ways… Read More >