Your task is to express your goal as a writer in one sentence. Get it right, because it’s the single most important sentence you will ever write. It will sustain you and provide a compass for your entire writing journey.
Micro-published books are short, tight, and swift. A meaningful discussion of micro-publishing has been pushed aside during the ongoing tug-of-war between traditional publishing and independent publishing (self-publishing). But we are well beyond “everyone is a writer” at this point. We have progressed into “everyone is a publisher,” if they wish to be—and we have been living in this realm for some time already. Fortunately, micro-publishing benefits the industry as a whole by bringing some much-needed simplicity and directness into a publishing equation that is often weighted down by its own complexity and contracts. And it also benefits you, the writer.
Since 2009, after the release of my second novel, I’ve been a so-called hybrid author, working with New York publishers as well as self-publishing. I’m often asked why I chose to combine these two seemingly disparate publishing careers, juggling twice the work.
Is a low-residency MFA degree in creative writing right for you? Here’s what you need to know.
So you want to find those raving fans, right? Awesome. We’re about to give you the most boring advice possible. You’re probably going to be disappointed that we’re not going to offer you a magic way to get a ton more readers, but unfortunately that’s not how it works. Ideal fans and readers are gained a few at a time, and it takes time to build that bond, even if you experience a sudden and serendipitous burst of exposure.
Your productivity and growth are a direct result of forming a business plan (and sticking to it); here are 7 steps—plus a template—for creating your own.
Note from Jane: The following post is the first in a series that will offer tips and advice from successful authors about self-publishing, specifically those who use Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press as part of their overall sales, marketing, and distribution strategy. This series is sponsored by Nook Press, which means they have paid for […]
No one can buy a book they’ve never heard of. So, how do readers hear about books? Everyone likes to say it’s word of mouth, but it’s not possible to tell a friend about a book until you’ve heard of it yourself. That’s where publicity and marketing come in.
The internet and other technology keeps us on insanely high alert, ultimately producing an effect where we attend to everything and we attend to nothing (deeply). This high-alert state is producing a fatigue that’s detrimental not only to our psyches and relationships, but also to the quality of our professional output.
A Facebook Profile is often a better option than a fan Page for building author platform. It’s simpler and easier to get your content in front of people, takes less time to manage, and will build a tribe or platform faster, especially if you don’t plan to run ads.
Bestselling author Michael J. Sullivan proposes that publishers give authors permission to send free ebooks to readers who have purchased print editions.
Five things to consider as you begin planning book events to spread the word about your book.
Business is personal. In the long-run game, anyone who treats business as though it is not personal is going to end up stepping on toes and leaving a trail of poor impressions.
One of the most useful and powerful devices for the fiction writer is understatement. You tell the reader less so that the reader knows more. Instead of having everything spelt out, the reader is given, in a very careful way, just enough information for the imagination to go to work. From understatement the reader can derive great pleasure and satisfaction.
Today’s guest post is by Justine Schofield, the communications coordinator for Pubslush, a crowdfunding publishing platform. You’ve probably heard of crowdfunding by now. Crowdfunding is a means for artists, entrepreneurs, and businesses to raise funds and mitigate the financial risk of their creative projects or business ventures. You generate financial backing from people who believe […]
Learn about four of the biggest pitfalls in story beginnings: false suspense, prologues, dream sequences, and too much backstory.
The widow of Elia Kazan writes about the disruption of her writing routine, and how it was eventually restored.
Learn how self-published novelist Ransom Stephens landed a two-book deal with Amazon—without even querying.
Some writers think a small press is something you have to make the best of. Yet small presses can often serve as a first—even best—option. Three case studies show why.
One of the biggest challenges in publishing today is discoverability, particularly at Amazon and other major online retailers. You can ensure your book is found more easily by optimizing your metadata—here’s how.
I had 7 an overflowing shelf of rejection notices when John Grisham—a friend and neighbor—took me under his wing and taught me his writing secrets.
If you’re having trouble finding your audience, your message may not be connecting with readers on a personal level. Here’s how to fix the problem.
If you’re ready to hire and work with a freelance editor, learn how to find qualified candidates, plus how to properly evaluate them.
Author and freelancer Marcy Kennedy offers 6 reasons why Google+ is just as valuable—if not more valuable—for writers than Facebook.
Today’s guest post is by writer and editor Jennifer Niesslein (@jniesslein), who is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m experiencing karma. For more than a decade, I co-edited a literary magazine—I was the person who wouldn’t respond regarding your writing for three months, sometimes longer. And now, for the past nine months, I’ve been writing. It […]
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 […]
The following guest post from Elizabeth Sims is adapted from her newest book, You’ve Got a Book in You, from Writer’s Digest. As you plunge into writing your book, here’s the main thing to do: Strive for the ordinary. Because that’s what the greats do. If I were a person who used vulgarities, I would […]
Note from Jane: Today’s guest post is from Dan Blank (@DanBlank) and covers a topic that was recently addressed on this site by L.L. Barkat: the value of blogging. If you remember, Barkat advised writers to stop blogging. For the other side of the story, I’ve asked Dan to offer reasons to keep blogging. In […]
How authors, especially novelists, can start using Pinterest in a way that’s a natural outgrowth of their work.
Should authors take advantage of the Amazon KDP Select program? A comprehensive discussion of who the program is well-suited for, plus best strategies.
There are no “rules” for agent-assisted self-publishing, but the biggest drawbacks are usually loss of control and loss of royalties. All authors should negotiate a contract beforehand that protects their rights and lifetime earnings.
Author L.L. Barkat argues that writers who already have experience—as well as authors trying to promote themselves—should stop blogging.
Today’s guest post is from Brad Phillips (@MrMediaTraining), author of The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know Before Your Next Interview. Radio stations hate bad guests, since listeners will immediately switch the dial. Here are five habits of bad radio guests. 1. They give long answers. Short answers allow the […]
Today’s guest post is by Judy L. Mandel, author of the Replacement Child, forthcoming from Seal Press in March 2013. I asked her to tell the story of self-publishing her memoir, which ultimately led to a traditional book deal from Seal. Most authors don’t give any credence to luck, but they lie. Luck has so […]
Today’s guest post is by Ed Cyzewski (@EdCyzewski). You may remember him from a previous guest post at this site, Why Self-Publishing Is a Tragic Term. Ed’s latest e-book is available as a free download on Tuesday & Wednesday of this week—visit Amazon to download Creating Space: The Case for Everyday Creativity. After years of doubting that […]
Today’s guest post is by Rob Eagar, author of Sell Your Book Like Wildfire. Book clubs and discussion groups—where millions of readers congregate both in-person and online to discuss their favorite books—offer a powerful marketing opportunity for novelists. Some of the most popular social networks devoted to book readers include GoodReads (12 million members strong), LibraryThing, Red Room, […]
In January of 2007—as a New Year’s resolution—I decided I was a writer. I resolved that I would stop saying that I’d start writing “someday” and instead would sit my backside in the chair and start writing now. No more excuses. I was a writer and I would start acting like one. That was when […]
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 […]
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 […]
Today’s guest post is by Jason Kong. You may remember him from an earlier guest post here at JaneFriedman.com: Are You Making This Marketing Mistake? How does a writer become successful? Here’s one simple formula: Write something someone values. Get that something in front of that someone. Put another way, you need both good writing […]
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 Shirley Hershey Showalter, who has been blogging about memoir for four years and is writing a memoir about growing up on a Mennonite farm in the 1950s–60s. Depending on whom you ask—or what lens you apply—memoir is either a boomlet that burst or a timeless form just now coming into its own. The […]
Today’s guest post is by Darrelyn Saloom, who I first met in December 2008 at a Writer’s Digest event. Her career reached a major milestone over the summer: a book deal with Glasnevin Publishing in Ireland, which has now released My Call to the Ring, the life story of boxing champion Deirdre Gogarty. While collaborating […]
Today’s post is excerpted from The Plot Whisperer Workbook (Adams Media, 2012) by Martha Alderson. Two lucky commenters were chosen to receive a free copy of the book: Tanette Smith and Mindy Halleck. Congratulations! In a scene, a character acts and reacts to people, places, and events. In this respect, scenes are the basic building […]
Today’s post is by freelance journalist and independent author Dana Sitar (@DanaSitar). You’ve just released a book. You’re participating in a live reading. You’re planning a book tour. Whatever it is, you want press. While social media and blogs are a great way to share news with your audience, the value of a good article in print […]
Today’s post is excerpted from You Should Really Write a Book by Regina Brooks and Brenda Lane Richardson. Copyright © 2012 by the authors and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin. In considering memoir writing through the prism of relationships, it’s important to alert you to two deadly sins. From the standpoint of trying […]
Today’s guest post is by copyright lawyer Brad Frazer. He has written two other posts for this site: Trademark Is Not a Verb and Is It Fair Use? 7 Questions to Ask Before Using Copyrighted Material. “I copyrighted my book by putting © on the bottom of the first page.” “This picture is on the Internet, so […]
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 […]
Today’s post features an item excerpted from A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration & Encouragement (New World Library, 2012) by Barbara Abercrombie. Barbara has published 14 books and numerous essays and articles, and has taught creative writing courses for almost three decades. She lives in Santa Monica, California. Find out more at her […]