Posted on Nov 21st, 2013 | 86 comments
In publishing, we’re constantly asking writers—typically a rather introverted bunch—to get involved, to engage, to network, to join groups and go to conferences. I often find myself wondering how many of you cringe every time you hear that kind of advice.
Maybe you’re not into the whole publishing “scene.” Maybe you don’t enjoy being in a critique group where people discuss your work.
Maybe you don’t want to be part of a crowd, you don’t want to go to workshops, you don’t think of writing as a group activity.
Maybe social media is not your thing. The thought of promoting your book gives you hives. You don’t want to be a speaker or a blogger or a Facebook expert.
Can such a person find success in...
Posted on Nov 12th, 2013 | 1 comment
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a snippet:
Every time I blog about platform or social media, the vocal response in the comments reminds me that it’s a difficult subject for many authors. Everyone wonders how and when to build a platform, and many writers aren’t enthusiastic about it.
There are two things I’m constantly stressing to authors:
(1) Building a platform is important.
(2) Mastering the craft of writing is crucial.
For unpublished fiction writers, these two things are not equal.
Click HERE to read the post at Books & Such, and share your thoughts.
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Posted on Nov 11th, 2013 | 21 comments
The whole idea of “building a platform” and “marketing your book” is to get people to read what you’ve written. Whether you’re traditionally or self-published, connecting with potential readers is crucial. There are many good ways to do this (although it’s not necessarily easy), and plenty of resources to help you. Today I want to point out the most common mistakes I see authors making in the effort to connect with readers.
1. Not creating a plan or strategy for connecting with readers, but remaining completely haphazard.
2. Not understanding who their reading audience is.
3. Trying too hard to “sell” rather than gather a reading community.
4. Spending too much time on their blog, when that might not be the most effective way to gather a...
Posted on Aug 26th, 2013 | 14 comments
When you’re trying to interest an agent or publisher in your book, you’re often asked to provide “comps” — other books that could be compared to yours, or books that might compete with yours. A good book proposal always has a “Competition” or “Comparable Books” section, and even if you’re self-publishing, it helps if you give readers a frame of reference in the form of similar books.
One of the most common questions I’m regularly asked is, “How do I figure out what books to include in my comps?” People get all hung up on it, especially with fiction. Do I look for books with the same premise or plot? Same time period? Same writing style? How do I know what to include?
I’m going to make it easy...
Posted on Aug 19th, 2013 | 46 comments
I don’t know a single writer whose publishing dreams included being a full-time marketer for their books.
The writing and publishing dream usually includes visions of spending several hours a day at the laptop, sending manuscripts off to a publisher, receiving big checks, getting fabulous starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, hearing from awe-struck fans who loved your book, being interviewed on the Today Show… and reaching the top of the bestseller lists.
And even for those whose dreams are more modest, the vision usually includes writing books and getting them sold to publishers, going through the editing process, and being available for whatever book promotion the publisher wants to do.
Blogging? Sending out newsletters? Maintaining a huge following on...