Is MailChimp the best choice for your email newsletter? Here’s a breakdown of the pros & cons of the three biggest email service providers that authors use.
For a platform that powers a quarter of the websites in the world, Wordpress is surprisingly insecure. The default settings leave a site open to being hacked a half-dozen different ways.
Whether you’re an emerging author or one that is well-established, it can be challenging to figure out what belongs on your website’s homepage and what to say about yourself on the front door to your online presence.
Plugins are one of the most wonderful and useful things about Wordpress. Here are some of my favorites for writers.
My favorite digital media tools that have enhanced my productivity and creativity as a teacher, author, and entrepreneur.
One of the first choices you have to make for your author website is determining its theme or template. It sets the tone and even defines the site.
Getting traction for your online presence—especially a new blog—can feel like an impossible task when you’re an unknown writer. But it can be done.
How do you treat subscribers after they sign up for your email newsletter? An autoresponder can usefully and effectively welcome people to the community.
Pop-ups have long been despited by the Internet world, but the difficulty is: They work. Here’s how to implement them in a way that won’t annoy visitors.
Wondering why you don’t have more blog traffic—or if it’s worthwhile to continue your blogging effort? Here are the mistakes that commonly afflict authors.
If you’re looking for an alternative to ACX and more control over your audiobook production and distribution, then ListenUp Audiobooks is worth a look.
In my latest post over at Writer Unboxed, I discuss what writers need to know if they’re considering video as part of their marketing and promotion strategy. In brief, here’s what writers should avoid: Don’t do book trailers. Don’t talk at length in a static shot. Don’t post unedited video longer than a minute or […]
If you’re considering WordPress as your platform of choice, here’s what you should know as you prepare to build on it.
Kirsten Oliphant details how to find, create, and edit branded graphics for blogs and social media.
How authors can blog successfully for long-term platform and book marketing efforts, with tips for online writing, strong headlines, and good SEO.
Author Gigi Rosenberg describes how she redesigned and relaunched her author website primarily on her own, only hiring assistance at the end.
Jay Swanson, the creative mind behind real-time fantasy blog Into the Nanten, explains how to develop a compelling audiobook.
Join me to discuss digital media tools and publishing this coming Thursday (December 10) at 3 p.m. Eastern, at the Product Hunt site.
A closer look at a few of the “new” social media networks I’ve tried lately, which offer potential for writers who want to enjoy being an early adopter and creating a space for themselves in a community or environment that hasn’t become completely filled with marketing and promotion messages.
3 ways to avoid long-term pain and suffering if you’re preparing to launch your first author website.
How to Sell Digital Products & Services Directly from Your Website: Advice for Authors and Freelancers
To sell products and services directly through your website, here are a few services and tools to get up and running fast (no coding or tech help required).
How to improve the effectiveness of your email newsletter through very specific changes to your sign-up forms and content.
Here are 10 questions to ask before you choose a Wordpress theme for your site.
Everything you need to know to start sending an effective email newsletter.
Blogger and author Nina Amir explains how to turn your blog content into books and other information products.
What exactly goes on your author website—especially if you’re unpublished?
Today’s interview is by contributing writer Chris Jane (@chrismjane), who does every-other-Wednesday interviews for the 5 On series. Anyone who pays any attention to my Facebook feed knows that I’m more than a little happy with my newly revised website. I didn’t understand why, at first. After all, the previous (and free) template I’d been using did what it […]
Amazon’s Kids’ Book Creator allows the average Joe to create illustrated children’s books for the Kindle and upload them directly to Amazon.
If you have a WordPress-based site, then you know that one of the first choices you have to make (and then live with) is your choice of theme. A theme drives the aesthetics of your site—how it looks and feels—and thus its personality. But a theme also affects the functionality of your site. Some themes have more page or […]
Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is by Simone Collins (@SimoneHCollins) at ArtCorgi. See her earlier post on The Advantages of Author Portraits. Through my website ArtforAuthors.com and my company ArtCorgi, I help authors style websites and social media pages in a manner that best presents their personalities and writing style. All too often, I visit […]
When it comes to establishing your author website, one of the more confusing topics is self-hosting: what it means, why it’s advantageous, and when you should do it. What Is Self-Hosting? Sometimes it’s easiest to describe what self-hosting is not. If your website has “wordpress.com” or “blogspot.com” (or the name of another service you use) in […]
Today’s guest post is by Los Angeles–based writer Kathryn Stanley (@kathrynstanley_). About six months ago, Pocket Gems, a mobile game developer, launched a new platform called Episode. It allows writers to script a story and then turn it into an animated interactive mobile story. It combines parts of TV shows, comics, and novels, and provides the […]
Today’s guest post is by literary agent Maria Ribas (@maria_ribas); check out her website, cooks & books. When I was starting out as an editor, I was surprised to see just how very subjective the acquisitions process was. I think I was a little bit (well, a lot) disappointed that there wasn’t a secret equation behind […]
For 10 years, I’ve been analyzing website traffic—for my own site, for Writer’s Digest (when I worked for them from 2001–2010), and now for the Virginia Quarterly Review. Every site has different traffic patterns, but what I’ve learned is that the homepage is rarely the first page that visitors see. They often end up on a story page from […]
Earlier this week, I was interviewed by Jason Allen Ashlock about my new digital magazine Scratch, and how things have changed in the magazine publishing world since my days at Writer’s Digest. Here’s a bit of what I had to say: It’s more difficult to turn a profit on a magazine, whether print or digital. People expect […]
It’s not unusual for authors to be told by their publishers that author websites aren’t necessary or effective. Should their insight be trusted?
In this talk from the 2013 Midwest Writers Workshop, I explain the process of growing my readership since 2008, then share a few key principles I follow to make it an enjoyable and sustainable process.
Regardless of when or why you use Facebook, never consider it a replacement for an author website you own and control. Here’s why.
Today’s guest post is adapted from Red Hot Internet Publicity by Penny Sansevieri. Between Los Angeles and Las Vegas there’s a stretch of I-15 that’s just barren desert with you, sand, a cactus or two, a few vultures hoping to get lucky, and endless billboards. Most people speed down this stretch of highway as fast […]
To maximize the effectiveness of your author website, it’s necessary to study the data behind how people find your website, navigate it, and use it. Here are three of the most important areas to watch carefully.
If you’re a Tumblr user, just a quick announcement you can now find me active there. While I’ve had a Tumblr account for a couple years now (and have used it in various capacities—at VQR and University of Cincinnati), I’m now using it as a way to talk about everything not pertaining to writing advice. […]
First things first: Your website, whether it gets a lot of traffic or not, is an essential part of a strong author platform. It serves as your hub—or command central—for all online activity, and should give your readers, as well as the media, a way to engage with you. It should be there if people […]
Today’s guest post is by Laura Pepper Wu, the co-founder of 30 Day Books, a book studio that provides marketing tools and resources for authors wanting to find more readers. Recently, I did some informal research about how authors view and use their websites, and the results were a little disheartening. Many authors have a website […]
Today’s guest post is by lit addict, movie junkie, writer Emily Wenstrom. A new generation of literary journals is taking advantage of technology to offer something fresh and creative to the literary journal scene. Here are five of my favorites, ranging from those with niche audiences to those with experimental approaches. Brittle Star For the […]
In the past year, I’ve run two posts specifically related to serial fiction—a guest post by Roz Morris and a Q&A with Sean Platt. I also wrote a more in-depth piece for Publishing Perspectives on the topic last year. Last month, Amazon announced Kindle Serials: a new, formal publishing program, exclusive to Kindle, that focuses […]
Today’s guest post is by Matthew Turner (@turndog_million). You may remember him from a previous post, 100 Tips to Alleviate Self-Doubt. If there’s one word that fits perfectly with an author, it’s FREE. Here are five free services that can help build your author platform. 1. Twitter Let’s get this one out of the way. It […]
When writers ask me what the most important thing they should be doing to further their career—aside from write—it’s almost always start your own website. Even if you don’t consider yourself a tech person, services have advanced to the point where an average person can establish a site without knowing code, and without hiring professional […]
Today’s guest post is by Jason Braun. You may remember him from an earlier guest post here at JaneFriedman.com: If the Book Is Dead, Then Why Buy a Zombie? I like this story because it illustrates new ways of thinking about your stories or content, plus not letting lack of technical skills stop you from playing […]
Today’s guest post is by author Bruce Holland Rogers, whom I recently met while teaching at the Whidbey MFA program. Since 2002, I’ve been selling my flash fiction by e-mail to paying subscribers. The venture has been the core activity of my writing career for more than a decade, but it began with what may […]
Update: March 21, 2013 For two months, I used Feedblitz to deliver my posts via e-mail to blog subscribers, but then moved to MailChimp in mid-October 2012. Feedblitz performed exactly as advertised and is a good service. However, I already use MailChimp for other e-mail newsletters, and I find its UI (user interface) to […]