Best Business Advice for Writers: April 2013


Best Business Advice for Writers is a monthly link round-up where I share the best online articles focused on the business of writing and publishing. Share any best reads you’ve found lately in the comments.

Discover Your Author’s Brand by Philip Martin

If you’re turned off by conversations of author branding, this post is for you. Martin discusses branding as creating a culture of belief, which has these key elements:

  • Creation story
  • Creed
  • Rituals
  • Icons
  • Sacred words
  • Non-believers
  • Leader

Martin goes on to discuss and deconstruct each element, and what it means for authors. Click here to read the entire post at Blue Zoo Writers.

The Book Marketing Strategy Every Author Must Implement by Robert Smith

What’s the strategy? Giveaways. Smith offers a strong checklist of things you can do to maximize any type of giveaway campaign. Click here to read the entire post at Author Media.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Money With the Amazon Affiliate Program by Darren Rowse (@problogger)

This is a long, long post that I now consider the go-to post for anyone looking to make a little (or a lot) of money through Amazon Affiliate sales. Even if you’re not an affiliate with Amazon, this is worth bookmarking just in case that day should come. Click here to read the entire post at ProBlogger.

How to Sell Your Self-Published Book Into Bookstores by Jason Boog (@jasonboog)

You’ll find a variety of perspectives and resources here, on a topic where it’s especially difficult to find good guidance and instruction. Click here to read the entire post at MediaBistro.

Book As Event by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (@KristineRusch)

An insightful post that distinguishes between books that are significant “events” for the publisher, and those that are not. New authors tend to believe EVERY book is an event, but Rusch will quickly disabuse you of that notion:

Realize this is one gigantic corporation with lots of imprints. Realize that a lot of the people who work on one book in September for one imprint will work on books for other imprints. And also realize that for some of the authors and books listed, these catalogs are the only promotion they will see from their traditional publisher.

Click here to for the full post.

How I Doubled My Traffic by Finding My Audience by Robert Farrington (@BeatThe9to5)

A helpful and specific post for bloggers on how to build traffic to your posts. Click here to read the full post at ThinkTraffic.

The Complete Guide to Setting & Negotiating Freelance Rates by Tom Ewer (@tomewer)

Another one of those mammoth guides that is worth bookmarking and referencing for a long time to come. From the intro:

Setting and negotiating rates can seem like one of the most complicated and intimidating parts of freelancing but it really doesn’t have to be. Today I’m going to give you an in-depth overview of how to set and negotiate rates with prospective and existing clients. Although I’m a freelance writer, I believe that most of the following advice applies to any service-based business.

Click here to read the entire post at LifeHacker.

12 Ideas for E-Mail Updates You’ll Actually Enjoy Writing by Toni the Geek (@duolit)

I’m always advising authors to start e-mail newsletters, but as soon as I do, I’m often asked “What should I put in the newsletter?” Here are some ideas to get you started. Click here to read the full post at DuoLit.

3 SEO Myths That Scare Writers and How You Can Use Them to Your Advantage by Alexis Grant (@alexisgrant)

SEO doesn’t have be confusing. It’s actually quite simple. This is a good place to begin the demystification process. Click here to read the full post at Robert Lee Brewer’s site.

Book Marketing Using Paid Promotion: Targeted E-Mail Lists by Joanna Penn (@thecreativepenn)

Excellent insight into a special form of promotion: e-mail advertising. Joanna first discusses when you might want consider paying for advertising (in general):

It’s worth using paid promotion if:

• You have a book with a great cover and great reviews. The social proof of reviews is critical for people to trust the buy process.

• You can reduce the price easily and quickly for a short period – which means you need access to the ‘back end’ of the publishing process, which generally means it’s open to indie authors only

• You have more than one book, and it’s definitely worth putting the first of the series on special

• You have a budget for promotion, as you may not make back what you spend – results vary.

Joanna then offers up a case study on e-mail advertising from an experiment she ran. Click here to read the entire post at The Creative Penn.

Neal Pollack on Rebounding From Massive Hype and Six-Figure Deals to Online Publishing by Nathan Rabin (@nathanrabin)

One of the best author interviews I’ve ever read on the business of being a writer. It’s quite long, but worth it. Click here to read the entire post at the A.V. Club.

5 Smart Ways to Use Google Analytics by Jamaica Sanchez (@jamaica_sanchez)

If you’re new to Google Analytics, here are some straightforward ways to start mining useful data from it. Click here to read the entire post at SitePoint.

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