There’s no end to the conflicting advice about social media and book marketing. In this post, I present a framework for what’s effective and what’s not.
Learn how self-published novelist Ransom Stephens landed a two-book deal with Amazon—without even querying.
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.
Is social media a waste of time for writers? Is it possible, in the end, to just focus on writing?
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.
Regardless of when or why you use Facebook, never consider it a replacement for an author website you own and control. Here’s why.
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.
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 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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
I answer a few questions about the publishing industry today, and what I think has changed about the writing community since I got into the game.
CJ Lyons (@cjlyonswriter) is an award-winning, critically acclaimed New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She practiced pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine for 17 years before scoring her first big book deal, after which she quit her job and decided to become a full-time author. However, a few weeks before her first book was to be published, it was pulled for reasons […]
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 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, […]
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in an online Google Hangout with the Bay Area Bloggers, hosted by Anne Hill and Suzanna Stinnet. The conversation focused primarily on author platform. We discussed its evolution, its purpose in your career, and how you can decide what efforts are worth your time—plus the value of collaborating […]
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 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 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 […]
Today’s guest post is by Dee DeTarsio. While it is more of a brief advertising anecdote than a serious ad campaign with strong conclusions, many authors ask me about online advertising (where, why, how). But I find it difficult to offer concrete advice on the matter since so much depends on the place where you […]
Today’s guest post is by Ed Cyzewski. You may recall him from his previous post here, When Self-Publishing Is More Useful as a Marketing Tool. My friend Shawn recently released a book that shares his journey into full-time writing. It involves a failed small business, $50,000 in debt, a difficult return to his parents’ basement, […]
Today’s guest post is from Jason Kong. When your goal is to sell ideas, books, or yourself, it’s easy to think that the key is to target strangers. People unfamiliar with your writing seems like the best opportunity to reach new readers. The problem is that even if you’re just looking to create awareness, talking […]
The following Q&A is with author Bob Tarte. Bob lives in Michigan with parrots, ducks, geese, parakeets, rabbits, doves, cats, hens, and one turkey. I met Bob at a Florida writers conference, where he was speaking about the success of his pet podcast. He has published three books with Algonquin; the latest, Kitty Cornered: How Frannie and Five […]
The following advice is excerpted from The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau. For longtime readers of my blog, you probably know how often I recommend Chris’s invaluable and free manifesto, 279 Days to Overnight Success. His latest book, The […]
The following advice is from Michael Hyatt’s newest release, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. The book is one of the most comprehensive guides on building an effective platform I’ve seen. Both beginning writers and established authors will find excellent and insightful instruction. Assuming you want to increase your blog traffic, there are certain mistakes […]
Today I’m a guest over at Writer Unboxed, where I discuss how finding your unique writing voice is not so different from finding your marketing voice. What Authors Seem to Forget About Marketing—Especially Those Who Dislike It Here’s a brief snippet: I think we can all agree that every author has a distinct writing voice […]
Articles about the ineffectiveness of online advertising are a dime a dozen. (See this one and this other one, from just this past WEEK!) I rarely advocate authors spend money on advertising, in part because it takes a specialized skill set to do it well. Plus you have to know how to reach your target […]
Today’s guest post is from one of my UC students, Jarrod Welling-Cann. He is facing the issue—as we all do at some point—of how to making a living from his art. His thought process here is particularly relevant for any creative professional wondering about the role of marketing, sales, and promotion in the artistic life. […]
After last Friday’s post, 4 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Book Marketing Efforts, I received a few responses questioning the effectiveness of e-mail. Or, in other words, isn’t e-mail dead? Who reads e-mail any more? Regardless of what the biased Mark Zuckerberg says, e-mail is alive and well. (Here’s a bit of research that compares […]
When I see bad book marketing out in the wild, I wish I could do something productive to help that author (or sometimes publisher!) see how they’re wasting their time. What is bad book marketing? It’s whenever I receive: A tweet from a total stranger asking me to look at their book An e-mail from […]
The turning point of my long-term publishing plans came when I realized I have very little in common with author Joanna Penn. Have you heard of her? I started following Joanna on Twitter because she always shared great writing links, but I also began to follow her self-publishing story. She wrote a novel, released it […]
A couple weeks ago I wrote a column for Writer Unboxed, “Should You Focus on Your Writing or Platform?” In short, I said it’s a balancing act, but there are times when you should probably emphasize one over the other. It generated more than 100 responses, many insightful and valuable, from working writers, established authors, […]
Right now I’m teaching a senior capstone course that prepares e-media seniors to graduate and enter the workforce. There are two required texts: The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg and Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields. Why these two books? The Ellsberg book focuses on all the practical stuff you don’t get taught in school (at […]
Today’s guest post is by Ann Okerson. Ann shared the following story on a listserv I belong to, and I asked her permission to share it with you, because I find it fascinating and instructive for authors everywhere. The other day I was sitting at Dulles airport, awaiting my flight to Hartford, Connecticut, reading a book […]
It’s difficult to give advice about Facebook because it keeps changing—in structure, functionality, and effectiveness. For instance, I used to think accepting all friend requests for my personal profile was a workable policy, as long as I kept everyone organized in lists. But now that Facebook has a subscribe-to-profile feature, it doesn’t make sense to friend […]
You have to target a market. You can’t shoot for everyone. That’s the topic of my latest post over at Writer Unboxed: The Marketing Paradox: Start Small to Get Big Also check out the comments for a few points on how to research your target market and what communication strategies might be most effective in […]
Today’s guest post is by Ken Brosky. I asked him to share his experience because many authors have made the same mistake he has. Plus, his advice on how to do things right is spot on. In addition to his post, I recommend you read one of my rants, I Hate Press Releases—and hopefully you’ll […]
I encourage authors to use e-mail as one of the most powerful tools in their marketing arsenal. But with great power comes great responsibility, right? One of the quickest ways to turn a potential reader (or influencer!) into an enemy is to send an unsolicited message via e-mail or a social network. Here are 4 […]
I often advise new bloggers to identify the top blogs or communities for their target audience, and build relationships with those bloggers. (Don’t see blogging as a competition. It’s a community.) But then the question arises, how do you identify the top websites and blogs in your category or for your audience? Here are free methods […]
I really admire the folks at Goodreads, not just for their site, but also for the data they share with the industry, including tips for authors. (If you’re not familiar with Goodreads, imagine a Facebook for people who love to read books.) The recent Goodreads author newsletter offered a number of gems helpful for any […]
Last week I shared 12 Must-Read Articles From 2011. Now I’m going to share a list of the best advice I gave in 2011 as a handy reference. My Absolute Favorites You Hate Your Writing? That’s a Good Sign! This was one of the most tweeted articles I wrote in 2011. The Persistent and Damaging Myth […]
Yesterday, my feature article for Publishing Perspectives went live: Experimenting With Serials for Fun and Profit Here’s a little excerpt: Debate continues about whether the reader really prefers [serials] for long-form narratives. Shya Scanlon, a literary author who experimented with serialization in 2009 with The Forecast 42 Project says, “It would have been much better had I had […]
Today’s guest post is by author and business person Joanne Tombrakos. What ultimately spurred my decision to self-publish was a quality that had served me well during the 25 years I spent selling commercials on radio and television stations. Impatience. Simply put, I got tired of waiting for someone else to publish me. Good salespeople […]