How to Start Blogging for Authors

How to Start Blogging: A Definitive Guide for Authors

How authors can blog successfully for long-term platform and book marketing efforts, with tips for online writing, strong headlines, and good SEO.
build traffic to your author website

10 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Author Website or Blog

This post was first published in 2012 and is regularly updated. First things first: an author's website, whether it gets
book launch for first time author

A Book Launch Plan for First-Time Authors Without an Online Presence

While it's not easy to launch a book without any kind of online presence, many first-time authors are in exactly that position. Here's a 4-step game plan.
author without social media presence

So You’re an Author Without a Social Media Presence: Now What?

Social media is just one component of your author platform, and not necessarily the most important component. It works best as part of a holistic book marketing and promotion strategy.
The Difference Between a Press Release and a Pitch (You Need Both)

The Difference Between a Press Release and a Pitch (You Need Both)

The two biggest mistakes in book publicity pitches: they are too long in length, and not pointed or provocative enough.
Aleatha Romig

Fan-Friendly Marketing and Kindle Worlds Licensing: Q&A with Aleatha Romig

Primarily an indie published author, Aleatha Romig participates in Kindle Worlds, which allows other authors to write about the characters in her work.
fomo marketing

5 Steps to Kick Your Marketing FOMO to the Curb

Marketing FOMO is more debilitating than distracting—and if you suffer from marketing FOMO, your marketing tasks will never be done.

How Do Books Become Bestsellers? (Can Authors Increase Those Chances?)

Is a book's success all luck, even if 'luck' includes hitting the right subject matter at the right time, or is it marketing—and can an indie author in any way compete with a publisher?
Indie Author Fringe

Improve Book Sales Through Better Descriptions and Keyword Targeting

Is it better to have a long or short book description on Amazon? What should go in the first line? How do you research appropriate categories and keywords? Learn principles and tools to master the power of descriptions and reach your target market.

How Crowdfunding Allows You to Experiment Outside Your Genre

Established writers can't often—and probably shouldn’t—publish far outside of their area of expertise. It’s a fast way to alienate your existing fan base. But crowdfunding allows you to experiment outside of your genre for a project you want to see out in the world.
Using NetGalley and Goodreads

Case Study: Using NetGalley and Goodreads for Book Marketing and Publicity

Sarah Miniaci at Smith Publicity and Kristina Radke at NetGalley review the marketing and publicity strategies that can help increase your book's discoverability, word-of-mouth, and reviews, using NetGalley and Goodreads in particular.

Authors: Think Twice Before Paying to Exhibit at Book Expo (BEA)

BEA is a quality industry event, and it is a legitimate marketing and promotion opportunity. But for the majority of indie authors, it does not make sense to invest what are likely your limited resources in BEA.
Digital Book World 2017 - photo by Porter Anderson

What the Industry Is Talking About: Best Takeaways for Authors From Digital Book World

My industry newsletter for authors, The Hot Sheet, released a special (and free) issue last week with original reporting from Digital Book World.
Kindle Press

How Kindle Press Made My Novel a Bestseller

In 2015, Kindle Press published about 90 novels. By the end of 2016, it had published a total of 218 books—all chosen through the Kindle Scout program.
amazon kdp select

Is Amazon Exclusivity Right for You?

There are advantages to selling ebooks only through Amazon, and makes most sense for authors who are just starting out or who are relatively unknown.
marketing roundup

Book Marketing Resources for Authors: The Best of 2016

Every year, I share hundreds (even thousands) of articles and reports on book marketing. Here, I look back on the best of what I found in 2016.
author platform building

Building a Platform to Land a Book Deal: Why It Often Fails

If you're preparing to pitch your nonfiction work to agents or publishers, you may have heard about the necessity of platform. What if you don't have one?
choose type campaign

Using Amazon KDP Ads to Sell Your Ebook on Amazon

Amazon offers two ways for authors to advertise ebooks at their site. Learn how to smartly set up and manage product display and sponsored product ads.
princess saves herself

A Self-Published Poet’s Path to Her First Book Deal

How a self-publishing poet achieved visibility for her book—and landed a book deal with traditional publisher Andrews McMeel.
checklists for publishing

Marketing and Publishing Checklists for Writers

When embarking on a process that is new or unfamiliar, often you don't know what you don't know. A checklist helps you recognize what you don't know, so that many months later, you're not beating yourself up for complete ignorance. Without further ado, here are some of my most favored checklists, from sources I trust.
author-publisher disappointment

3 Things Your Traditional Publisher Is Unlikely to Do

The No. 1 disappointment of published authors is the lack of marketing support from their publisher. Here's how to prepare for what will—and won't—happen.
market locally

How to Network Effectively (Even If You Hate Networking): Start Close to Home

If you want to sell books and have people read them, you have to meet other people and tell them about it. Learn the best networking strategies for people who hate networking.
Reddit book marketing

How to Use Reddit to Market Your Books (Carefully)

Reddit is an online community where you can get your book in front of hundreds of thousands of readers for free. That is, if you have the right strategy.
short term campaigns

How to Run Short-Term Social Media Campaigns

A short-term marketing campaign is a series of strategies designed to reach a goal in a defined period of time, and include projects such as book launches. A short-term campaign has four definite phases: planning, pre-launch, launch, and follow-through.
Audio soundboard

Thinking of Running a Facebook Ad? Proceed with Caution

Author Martha Conway discusses optimizing Facebook ad settings to ensure a realistic click-through rate, and her overall results with Facebook ads.
writing for free

When Should You Write for Exposure? 5 Questions to Ask

When deciding whether to write for free—or for exposure—here are 5 questions writers should ask.
literary publishing

A Round-Up of My Columns for Publishers Weekly

Last year, I began regularly contributing to Publishers Weekly on the topic of independent authorship and publishing. Here's a list of all my columns so far:

What Writers Too Often Overlook: Having a Call to Action

Just about every writer would love to have more readers—more readers of their books, their blog, their articles, or whatever creative work they’re producing. But few writers have given much thought to having a call to action that's associated with their work.
push-or-pull marketing

Are You a Push Marketer or a Pull Marketer?

If you want to be successful at selling today, you need to quit pushing your needs (please buy my book) and messages at potential readers and concentrate on figuring out how to pull them in by putting their needs above yours. Give them something valuable.
Hot air balloons being filled and prepped for launch

Getting Ready to Launch a Book? Start with These 5 Questions

Social media and marketing expert Andrea Dunlop lists five questions you should ask yourself when starting to plan your book launch.
A laptop computer featuring an image of a handshake on the screen

How to Leverage the Power of Someone Else’s Platform (Without Being Smarmy)

Kirsten Oliphant explains how to reach out to others who can help you build your author platform and how to generate a great pitch for collaboration.

The Power of Pods: Ask Your Friends to Lead a Mini-Brigade on Your Behalf

Author Robert Wilder explains the concept of pods (spheres of influence) and how to use them to help promote your book.
Hands forming a heart symbol over a keyboard

Not Sure How to Approach Social Media? CARE about Your Readers

Author and social media expert Frances Caballo discusses the CARE acronym and how to use it to guide your interactions with readers on social media.
a sunflower with two bumblebees in its center

Using Twitter to Make Powerful Connections as a Creative Professional

Author Daniel Parsons offers five tips for improving your Twitter interactions as a creative professional.
literary publishing

My New Series of Columns on Self-Publishing

I'm writing monthly for the IngramSpark blog, which is focused on the concerns of self-publishing authors and small presses.
email autoresponders

My Pop-Up Strategy, Part 2: The Autoresponder Series

How do you treat subscribers after they sign up for your email newsletter? An autoresponder can usefully and effectively welcome people to the community.
book publicity

How to Get More Speaking Gigs (Even If You Don’t Have a Lot of Speaking Experience)

Author and speaker Dorit Sasson offers tips on how to build author platform through local speaking engagements.
Red and purple tulips in a field, with a single yellow tulip standing out

How to Find and Reach Influencers to Help Promote Your Book

Writing coach Angela Ackerman discusses how influencers can help you market your book, how to identify potential influencers, and how to reach them.
author platform

A Definition of Author Platform

Author platform is one of the most difficult concepts to explain, partly because everyone defines it a little differently. Here's what agents and editors mean by platform, plus a clear definition of what platform is NOT.
A grid of small flowerpots with one pot boasting a bright red flower

How to Grow Your Email List

Kirsten Oliphant discusses various ways to grow your email subscriber list.
book event

5 Steps to a Killer Book Talk

Every author dreams of having a successful book reading in a roomful of admiring fans. Yet too few actually spend enough time planning what they will say.
blogging mistakes

5 Common Mistakes That Even Longtime Bloggers Make

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.

Before You Start a Podcast: 4 Tips for Authors

Podcast producer Devon Fredericksen offers four tips for authors creating podcasts.
A person outlining ideas among various flashcards listing goals

What Should You Put in Your Email Newsletter?

Learn about the various types of email newsletter that are sent by authors—with pros and cons of each—plus how to choose which type YOU should send.
Book covers designed by Alexander von Ness

Book Cover Redesign as Marketing Tool

Cover designer Alexander von Ness explains the value of a book cover redesign and walks through several cover redesigns and their goals.
Two cherries on a rock shelf

When Less Is More on Social Media

Social media expert Chris Syme explains why less is more in social media, and how to make the most use of primary and secondary social media channels.
RJ Kelly

5 On: R.J. Keller

Author R.J. Keller on the notion of the "second-book slump," how she dealt with a book idea similar to her own beating hers to the market, why to write the things that scare you, and more in this 5 On interview.
A photograph of several bookstore shelves loaded with books.

What’s Your Genre? A High-Level Overview for Writers

Learn how to determine what genre you're writing in and why it matters—plus the difference between commercial and literary.
Three people holding hands

How to Customize Your Email Newsletter Sign-Up Forms to Increase Reader Engagement

The connection with your email newsletter subscribers starts much sooner than you think, in a place that many gloss over or ignore: your signup forms.
crowdfunding for writers

Crowdfunding Usually Doesn’t Work for Writers—But It Can

Over 70% of author crowdfunding campaigns fail, but you can beat the odds if you embrace your role as chief marketing officer of your book.