How to Trick Yourself into Writing, Editing and Marketing

How to Trick Yourself into Writing, Editing and Marketing Guest Blogger: Bryan Cohen (@bryancohenbooks)   Self-motivation is crucial for authors, regardless of which publishing path you choose. Writing a book is difficult enough, but when you add on editing and marketing, it can feel impossible. And I’m crazy enough to have self-published 32 times. How did I do it? I learned a few ways to trick myself into doing work when my brain wants nothing but mindless entertainment.   Tricks for Writing   My inner critic hates it when I write. This voice in my head enjoys pointing out all the faults in my work and howls with laughter when I close up shop early for the day. My most prolific writing periods came after I silenced the inner critic.   I accomplished this in two distinct ways. The first method was writing so early in...
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What Doesn’t Happen When You Sign a Book Deal

What Doesn’t Happen When You Sign a Book Deal Guest Blogger: Addie Zierman (@addiezierman)   The contract will come in the mail with the publisher’s name on it, and for a few minutes or hours or days, you’ll feel on top of the world.   Here you are, at the beginning of a dream come true, at the precipice of all you’ve been waiting for.   You’ll sit down at the kitchen table. You’ll lift your pen to sign the papers.   You’ll be trying to have a moment, but your kids will be screaming at you from the living room. “Mom! I don’t want this show!” or “Dad! Get me a granola bar!” Because to them, you’re not an author, you’re their parent, and nothing here has really changed. * Although you’ve always been a writer, the book deal will make you feel legitimized in some ways – like someone else...
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4 Ways to Connect with Readers

http://www.rachellegardner.com//HLIC/d26744f33679d66aca95ce03a0c5ecaf.jpg Guest Blogger: Dana Sitar (@danasitar) Let’s start with what “connect with readers” does not mean: It does not mean “Get in front of your readers and convince them to buy your book.” It does not mean, “Aim for big numbers on social media or a high subscriber rate to your blog.” It also does not mean you have to answer every single email, reply to every tweet, return every share in kind, buy someone’s book if they bought yours, or re-tweet them as many times as they do you. These are all means to an end, the metrics online marketers have found to define your influence, clout, and worthiness as a thought leader. But these measurable stats aren’t the goal. A real connection is intangible and hard to measure. What “connect with readers” really means is forging a...
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One Simple Secret for Success as a Writer

http://www.rachellegardner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Chad-Allen-150x150.jpg Guest Blogger: Chad R. Allen (@ChadRAllen) “Sometimes it feels like nobody’s listening,” my writer friend groaned. Can you relate? Have you ever poured your heart and soul into an article or proposal only to hear the cruel sound of silence? It’s frustrating. So we just keep slogging away, right? Well, yes, but there is a way of thinking about your writing that just might make all the difference in the world. To illustrate, let me tell you about my inventor friends Al and Andy. Al and Andy invented a device they call the “Nothin’ But Net Free Throw Trainer.” The purpose of this invention is to help basketball players become better free throw shooters, and it works. Nationally known coaches now use the device. The product is simple. It’s a four-inch piece of...
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How to Make the Most of a Conference

How to Make the Most of a Conference Guest Blogger: Dabney Hedegard (@dabneyland) I’m not a writer, per se. I’m a speaker who learned the craft of writing and secured a contract by her second writers’ conference. But intense work was involved; especially since I didn’t know how much longer I had to live. Let me explain. At age 36, my cardiologist predicated a heart transplant was in my future. Nothing ignited my inspiration like a failing organ. I put a hot pink sticky beside my bed that read: “If you had six months to live, what would you do with your life?” Documenting my four near-death experiences was always the answer. And since writing made my throat constrict, I thought if I pitched my story at a conference to a publisher during a one-on-one meeting, surely they would purchase my memoir and pair me with...
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The One Thing Every Writer Needs

The One Thing Every Writer Needs Guest blogger: Billy Coffey (@BillyCoffey) I’d heard how it sometimes happens—quick and violent, like a spasm that spares the body and strikes the soul. I never really believed it was true. Couldn’t happen, not to me. It was just another myth, on par with writer’s block and the notion that persistence without talent will eventually lead to success. But then it did happen. Last Tuesday afternoon to be exact, though not in the way I’d heard. It wasn’t quick but it was violent, a wave that built with a sense of silent ease before crashing over me. I felt it in my body just as much as my soul: Writing no longer brought me joy. To admit that feels like a confession. Even a week later, I find I cannot not write those six words straight through. My pen stopped between “longer”...
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Blurb Etiquette

Blurb Etiquette Guest Blogger: Mike Duran (@CerebralGrump ) One of the most uncomfortable realities of being a writer is asking for blurbs (a.k.a. endorsements). On the enjoyability meter, it ranks somewhere between Irritable Bowel Syndrome and having bamboo spikes driven under your toenails. Before my last novel The Telling released, I determined to aim high for endorsers. Nothing but “big names.” I contacted a dozen high-profile authors, most of whom I’d had personal contact with, about blurbing the book. When the publication deadline was reached, I had approximately… ZERO ENDORSEMENTS. Needless to say, the process was quite a let-down. For whatever reason, I am now in the weird position of having authors ask me for blurbs. Which kind of sucks. Don’t get me wrong, it is...
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5 Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest as a Marketing Tool

5 Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest as a Marketing Tool Guest blogger: Erin MacPherson We’ve been talking about Pinterest as a marketing tool for authors (here and here) and today I want to get your creative juices flowing by telling you about some innovative approaches to Pinterest marketing. There are many more, so please share your ideas in the comments and we can turn this post into a great Pinterest resource for writers. Here are my favorite ideas: 1. Recruit a Guest Pinner I’ve used this strategy to great success for about six months now and it’s not only helped me to build my Pinterest boards up, but it’s also allowed me to have new, fresh content to share on my Facebook page each week. I love it. And it’s so easy! Invite another author/blogger/writer to pin on one of your existing boards (or a secret...
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MyBookTable – A Better Way To Sell Your Books

http://www.rachellegardner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Thomas-Umstattd-200x300.jpg This is a guest post from Thomas Umstattd (@ThomasUmstattd). Today he’s introducing a terrific new idea for authors that I thought you all should know about. * * * Most publishers require authors to have a website before they will publish them. The reasoning behind this is simple. The purpose of the website, for the publisher, is to sell books. The problem is that books can be really hard to sell on your website.     5  Problems With a “Books” Webpage Most authors add a “books” page to their website, listing all their books along with links to buy them on Amazon. It sounds like a simple solution but it often creates problems, such as: Bookstores get mad. Barnes & Noble gets ticked when excluded from the list. They have threatened to pull...
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Don’t Think of Pinterest as Social Media

Don’t Think of Pinterest as Social Media Guest Blogger: Erin MacPherson Grab a notepad and a pen and write this down: Now circle it, add a few stars or a few exclamation points or some bright purple glitter.  Anything it takes for you to convince yourself that it’s a very important note.  Now go hang it on your fridge right where you can see it. Of course, Pinterest is social media.  (Your little note is a total lie.) It’s quickly becoming one of the most popular and most-used social media tools.  In fact, it has been called a social commerce game changer and the best social modality to heat up your brand.  Pinterest is an important social media enterprise. But I’m asking you to push that thought aside.  Because when you start to think of Pinterest as social media, you fail to see Pinterest for what...
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5 Surprises About Self Publishing

5 Surprises About Self Publishing Guest Blogger: Jennie Nash (@jennienash) My first six books were all published by major New York houses, including Scribner, Simon & Schuster, Crown, and Berkley/Penguin. I adored my editors and their teams, but I was a midlist writer getting midlist attention, and the midlist was starting to feel like purgatory. For my seventh book, Perfect Red, a historical novel set in 1950’s New York, I decided to self publish. Why I made that decision is a story for another day, and how it turns out, economically-speaking, has yet to be determined. But a few revelations about the process have surprised the socks off me. Herewith, the top five: 1. I underestimated the weight of having the legitimacy of a traditional publisher. When I could say, “My third novel is being published by Penguin,”...
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My Editor Wants Me to Change What??

My Editor Wants Me to Change What?? Guest blogger: Richard Mabry, M.D. (@RichardMabry) I had delivered my latest manuscript to my publisher, and a few weeks later received my revision notes from the editor. I was, to put it mildly, caught off guard. The notes suggested some pretty big changes. As I read through them, I kept saying, “But that’s not what I had in mind.” I wondered why the editor wanted to rewrite my manuscript. Aren’t I the writer here? Isn’t my name on the book? I wasn’t happy. But after sitting with it a few more days… I noticed that my in-house editor, my substantive editor, and my beta reader (yes, my wife) had all made the same suggestion for the opening. Hmm. I started rewriting, and amazingly enough, it was all coming together.  By the time I’d reached...
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Are You Ready for the Pain of Publishing?

Are You Ready for the Pain of Publishing? Guest Blogger: Ed Cyzewski (@edcyzewski) “Publishing a book would be neat.” I hear that all of the time from people when I mention I’m an author. I rarely tell them what my experience of book publishing has actually been like—except for this one time. A friend was just starting to explore writing full time with the goal of publishing a book. “You’re serious?” I asked. “Definitely,” he replied. “Are you ready for two or three years of rejection?” I began. “It could happen. That’s how long it took me to get my first book deal. I’ve heard of successful authors being rejected thirty, fifty, or more times.” His eyes widened as I continued. “And then there’s the chance of a contract being cancelled—that’s happened to me and several friends. And...
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Does Your Project Need Funding?

Does Your Project Need Funding? Guest Blogger: Caleb Jennings Breakey (@CalebBreakey) Imagine finding hundreds of people eager to read your book. Now—are you ready for this?—imagine those same people financially backing you to write it. Enter the crowdsourcing awesomeness of kickstarter.com, faithfunder.com, and indiegogo.com. These sites are funding platforms for creative projects. But their concept isn’t centered on folks just shanding you money—it’s centered on connecting you with people who want exactly what you’re creating. Like your work in progress. SIX WEEKS, $10,000 I started my Kickstarter campaign after learning that enthusiastic backers pledged $100,000,000 to projects in 2011, a 300-percent increase from the previous year. How amazing, I thought. People believing in what their artists believe...
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