Best Business Advice for Writers: August 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.

If this round-up is helpful, then you might be interested in the digital magazine I’m launching this fall, Scratch. It’s all about the intersection of writing and money. Click here to sign up for an alert when we launch.

23 Literary Agent Queries That Worked by Jason Boog (@jasonboog)

Says MediaBistro’s Jason Boog, “We’ve collected 23 different agent pitch letters that actually worked in a variety of genres. We’ve gathered these samples from agency websites, agent blogs and the AgentQuery forums. Click here for the resource list at MediaBistro.

Five Legal Issues All Writers Need To Be Aware Of by Jessica Meddows (@JessicaMeddows)

An excellent post on recurring and confusing issues for most writers: copyright, permissions, defamation, and getting paid. Go read at LitReactor.

Strategic Ways to Give Away Books by Jody Hedlund (@JodyHedlund)

Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, giving away your books before and after publication is a tried-and-true marketing tactic to get reviews and publicity. This post from author Jody Hedlund discusses a variety of best practices for giving away books.

eBook Preorders Help Indie Authors Hit Bestseller Lists by Mark Coker (@MarkCoker)

Traditional publishers have long used pre-orders as a marketing tool to get on bestseller lists and build word of mouth. Now, pre-orders are becoming available to independent e-book authors. Smashwords’ Mark Coker discusses the benefits at The Huffington Post.

Tips From a Bestselling Author: Joanna Penn On Marketing by Kristen Jett (@KristenJett)

An excellent and long Q&A on book marketing and author platform—with one of the foremost authorities on the matter, novelist and nonfiction writer Joanna Penn. Especially recommended for unpublished authors and anyone on the brink of a book launch. Read the interview at Pen & Muse Press.

How to Sell Books From Your Website: Top 3 E-commerce Solutions for Authors by Anne Hill (@annehill)

If you’re selling your own books through Amazon and other online retailers, then you should also consider selling directly through your own website. Anne Hill reviews three different possibilities for making that happen, over at The Book Designer’s blog.

A scientific guide to posting tweets, Facebook posts, emails and blog posts at the best time by Belle Beth Cooper (@BelleBethCooper)

An interesting overview of the “best” posting times for click-throughs and engagement across social networks—as well as for sending promotional e-mails. I wouldn’t necessarily use this as a rulebook, but it does provide insights that might help explain—if you’re struggling—whether that struggle is related to bad timing. Click here to read the post at The Next Web.

Union and Guild Resources for Writers by Jason Boog (@JasonBoog)

Not many writers think about joining a guild or union, but they can be very helpful when you need legal advice, contract reviews, discounts on health insurance, and more. Click here for the resource list at MediaBistro.

Enjoy this round-up? Don’t miss earlier installments full of goodness.

Posted in Business for Writers and tagged , , , , , , , .

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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Lexa Cain

Thanks very much for all the tips and links. So helpful! 🙂

Anne Hill

Thanks for the shout-out, Jane! I really appreciate it. And now I have to read the other selections!


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