4 Lessons for Authors About the Current State of Publishing

by Jane Friedman

1. An author’s online presence is more critical than ever to long-term marketing strategy.

Industry analyst Mike Shatzkin opened the conference by discussing what he thinks is the greatest challenge right now in the publishing industry. He said that authors have long been recognized as the consumer-facing brand that most matters (to publishers and readers), and that today every author can build some kind of digital presence. However, he said, while a few authors do that very well, most do it badly.

Shatzkin said the biggest failure of traditional publishers to date is the lack of programmatic help for authors in building their digital footprint.

At the very least, he said every house should do a digital audit for every author they contract, which includes concrete suggestions for improving online engagement. To his knowledge, no publisher does, but he thinks it should be every house’s top marketing priority.

Later on, Rand Fishkin of Moz offered some of the most actionable content of the entire event, focused on how authors (or publishers) could improve that digital footprint. (Review his full presentation here.) Two of the big highlights of his talk and Q&A session:

  • Make sure your website is accessible, mobile-friendly and optimized for search. Fishkin said that using WordPress is a great shortcut to ensure your site is following best practices related to SEO. He encouraged authors and publishers to consistently link to a book landing page (on the author website) rather than to Amazon, to help ensure the author website and book landing page owned by the author will turn up as the first search result. Fishkin believes it’s better to control the message and capture that visitor/reader before sending them onto Amazon.
  • Do not split up your content website and promotional websites. For authors, this means don’t split up your author website and your author blog (don’t house them separately) or create separate websites that serve only to promote or sell your books. Authors should integrate all content, whether promotional or not, under a single online umbrella, usually a website built on author name. If you want, buy a domain that closely matches your book title, and have it redirect to your main author site (or possibly create a microsite). Fishkin says it increases the probability of your site ranking number one for important search terms, such as your name, book titles, and keywords related to your work.

2. Be reluctant to trust mainstream media headlines when it comes to publishing sales and trends.

Michael Cader of Publishers Lunch, arguably the foremost expert in reading the tea leaves of publishing industry data, offered an overview of what we know and how we know it when it comes to print and ebook sales.

He listed the biggest misleading conclusions appearing in news headlines—conclusions that consistently misinterpret the sales data.

  1. Print is back!
  2. E-books are dead!
  3. Bookstores are back!
  4. Amazon’s publishing division failed!
  5. If only we could count self-publishing, ebooks are booming!

What every author should know about the current industry data:

  • The flattening of ebook sales started happening back in 2013. Plus, some of the ebook decline we’re seeing may be attributable to rapidly falling Nook sales.
  • Adult ebook sales have been relatively stable; the big decline is in children’s/YA ebook sales due to the lack of a big franchise hit in 2015.
  • A big question is whether customers may be transitioning from ebook purchases to audiobook purchases—some of the most dramatic industry growth is happening in digital audio.
  • Recent print sales gains can be accounted for by coloring books.

To understand the full picture of industry sales requires triangulation of multiple data sources and an understanding of what sales those sources account for (and how the accounting has changed over the years). No single source offers a complete picture, and historical comparisons are difficult. One thing is for sure, however: most mainstream outlets, such as the New York Times, misunderstand the data and apply misleading headlines.

3. Learn to find your readers, go where they go, and speak their language.

Industry marketing expert Peter McCarthy and Rand Fishkin both discussed how to find your readers online and reach them directly. McCarthy described it as picking up “the lingua franca of the customer” with a variety of tools and techniques. He demonstrated how he rapidly tests out phrases to learn and access “adjacencies”—the key concepts, active people, and communities whose interests are aligned with themes, topics, or points from your work. (View or download McCarthy’s 109 slides, featuring step-by-step information.)

For more: https://janefriedman.com/4-lessons-publishing/

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Writing: Top 7 Tips to Help You to Write More

By Angela Booth

 

Writing is an essential skill in the online world. The more you write, the more you earn. Let’s look at seven tips which will help you to write more.

1. Use Free Writing to Create Text

Inexperienced writers stare at the computer screen. Experienced writers just start writing. They know that writing begets writing, and as long as they keep their fingers moving they will produce something worthwhile.

2. Set Goals for Your Writing

The goals you set depend on you. I like to set process goals, as well as financial goals. Process goals help you to boost your productivity. For example, you might set a process goal of two articles written each day, or 500 words written each day.

When you’re starting out, it’s difficult to set financial goals, but set a goal anyway. You can’t hit a goal you don’t set.

3. Create Plans to Achieve Your Goals (Even if You Don’t Know How)

Even if you don’t know how, create a simple plan which will help you to reach each of your goals. Since you can’t “do” goals, you can only do tasks, you need to create plans.

4. Think Visually: Use Keywords and Mind Maps

I use mind maps every day, with everything that I write. Mind maps help you to use both sides your brain, and you’ll find that when you use them, not only does your writing flow more easily, but it’s more fun as well.

5. Write First Each Day (Yes, You Make a Cup of Coffee First)

If you’re a new writer, make writing the first thing you do every day. Get up an hour earlier if you have to — keep it up until writing is just a habit, it’s what you do automatically.

6. Silence! Don’t Share Your Words With Civilians

Don’t share your writing with friends or relatives or anyone else if you’re just looking for approval. This is pointless. Post your “free” writing online, on a blog, where it will help you to brand yourself.

If you’re looking for buyers for your writing, share it with the people who can buy it; that is, with editors, agents, and webmasters.

7. Get Away from Your Computer: Write at Coffee Shops, Parks, the Beach…

You can feel pressured to produce when you’re sitting in front of your computer. Take your writing to another location. You’ll find that this inspires you, and gives you a fresh perspective.

Write more – become a pro writer

Yes, you can write more and become an expert writer – even if you’re a world-class procrastinator.

Did you know that when you write more, your writing improves? Many of my writing students experience this. They find that when they write more, writing is easier for them – they’re not dominated by their inner editor.

My new writing class, “Write More And Make More Money From Your Writing: Develop A Fast, Fun Productive Writing Process” is based on lessons I developed for my private coaching students to help them to write more, improve their writing, and make more money writing.

If you’re struggling with your writing, the class will help. The techniques you’ll learn in class with help you write fiction, nonfiction, and copy for business.

Discover how you can write more, improve your writing, and sell more of your writing to higher-paying markets.

 

Click here for original article: http://www.fabfreelancewriting.com/blog/2009/08/03/writing-top-7-tips-to-help-you-to-write-more/

 

4 Lessons for Authors About the Current State of Publishing

by Jane Friedman

1. An author’s online presence is more critical than ever to long-term marketing strategy.

Industry analyst Mike Shatzkin opened the conference by discussing what he thinks is the greatest challenge right now in the publishing industry. He said that authors have long been recognized as the consumer-facing brand that most matters (to publishers and readers), and that today every author can build some kind of digital presence. However, he said, while a few authors do that very well, most do it badly.

Shatzkin said the biggest failure of traditional publishers to date is the lack of programmatic help for authors in building their digital footprint.

At the very least, he said every house should do a digital audit for every author they contract, which includes concrete suggestions for improving online engagement. To his knowledge, no publisher does, but he thinks it should be every house’s top marketing priority.

Later on, Rand Fishkin of Moz offered some of the most actionable content of the entire event, focused on how authors (or publishers) could improve that digital footprint. (Review his full presentation here.) Two of the big highlights of his talk and Q&A session:

  • Make sure your website is accessible, mobile-friendly and optimized for search. Fishkin said that using WordPress is a great shortcut to ensure your site is following best practices related to SEO. He encouraged authors and publishers to consistently link to a book landing page (on the author website) rather than to Amazon, to help ensure the author website and book landing page owned by the author will turn up as the first search result. Fishkin believes it’s better to control the message and capture that visitor/reader before sending them onto Amazon.
  • Do not split up your content website and promotional websites. For authors, this means don’t split up your author website and your author blog (don’t house them separately) or create separate websites that serve only to promote or sell your books. Authors should integrate all content, whether promotional or not, under a single online umbrella, usually a website built on author name. If you want, buy a domain that closely matches your book title, and have it redirect to your main author site (or possibly create a microsite). Fishkin says it increases the probability of your site ranking number one for important search terms, such as your name, book titles, and keywords related to your work.

2. Be reluctant to trust mainstream media headlines when it comes to publishing sales and trends.

Michael Cader of Publishers Lunch, arguably the foremost expert in reading the tea leaves of publishing industry data, offered an overview of what we know and how we know it when it comes to print and ebook sales.

He listed the biggest misleading conclusions appearing in news headlines—conclusions that consistently misinterpret the sales data.

  1. Print is back!
  2. E-books are dead!
  3. Bookstores are back!
  4. Amazon’s publishing division failed!
  5. If only we could count self-publishing, ebooks are booming!

What every author should know about the current industry data:

  • The flattening of ebook sales started happening back in 2013. Plus, some of the ebook decline we’re seeing may be attributable to rapidly falling Nook sales.
  • Adult ebook sales have been relatively stable; the big decline is in children’s/YA ebook sales due to the lack of a big franchise hit in 2015.
  • A big question is whether customers may be transitioning from ebook purchases to audiobook purchases—some of the most dramatic industry growth is happening in digital audio.
  • Recent print sales gains can be accounted for by coloring books.

To understand the full picture of industry sales requires triangulation of multiple data sources and an understanding of what sales those sources account for (and how the accounting has changed over the years). No single source offers a complete picture, and historical comparisons are difficult. One thing is for sure, however: most mainstream outlets, such as the New York Times, misunderstand the data and apply misleading headlines.

3. Learn to find your readers, go where they go, and speak their language.

Industry marketing expert Peter McCarthy and Rand Fishkin both discussed how to find your readers online and reach them directly. McCarthy described it as picking up “the lingua franca of the customer” with a variety of tools and techniques. He demonstrated how he rapidly tests out phrases to learn and access “adjacencies”—the key concepts, active people, and communities whose interests are aligned with themes, topics, or points from your work. (View or download McCarthy’s 109 slides, featuring step-by-step information.)

For more: https://janefriedman.com/4-lessons-publishing/

How to write 3,000 words every day when you don’t feel like it

– See more at: http://www.businessesgrow.com/2015/09/08/how-to-write/?utm_content=bufferc6de0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.n3rSUrH2.dpuf

How Successful Authors Use Twitter To Promote Their Brand

by

To busy authors, Twitter can be a chaotic jungle. Given that Twitter is an important part of your author platform, how much should you be tweeting? Should you be actively promoting your books, or focusing more on conversations with fans?

We asked successful authors on Twitter to share the secrets of their success. Instead of replying with the usual vague ‘best practices’ that people typically blog about, they had tons of actionable tips to share on how authors can use Twitter more effectively to reach their audiences. We’re excited to share their advice with our readers!

Here are the top tips they have for using Twitter:

Promote new or discounted books without being spammy

“I know the current wisdom is that you’re not supposed to sell your books on Twitter, but I think there’s a big difference between yelling “Buy my book!” and letting your followers know you have a new release or a sale on a book. I truly think that if one of my books is, for instance, having a BookBub promo, my readers want to know that they can add it to their ebook collection for $0.99. And people who’ve connected with me on Twitter — maybe they’ve seen the Must Love Dogs movie but have never read one of my books — might also want to find out if my books are their thing at that pretty risk-free price.”

Claire CookClaire Cook, Author of Must Love Dogs

“When I have a new book release coming up, I’ll tweet about it. When I do, I’m straightforward: ‘My new book is up for preorder today’ with a picture and link. When a prominent review site gives me a good review, I’ll post it or retweet. I generally don’t retweet reader reviews or automated Kindle tweets like “I just bought Exigency by Michael Siemsen” because ew. Why do people retweet that stuff? It reads as ‘Someone ACTUALLY bought my book!’”

Michael SiemsenMichael Siemsen, Author of The Dig

Use images to drive more clicks

“Occasionally, I will directly promote my books, especially during a sale or new release. There are generally two strategies I find most effective:

  1. A short, bold quote from the book I know people will respond to.
  2. A photo of the book’s cover or a teaser inserted directly in the tweet (not a link to Facebook or Instagram) that’ll hopefully encourage followers to click on it and then retweet and/or favorite.

I measure this using Twitter Analytics, which allows me to see which pictures or quotes get the most attention, and I always track clicks via Bitly to see where they’re coming from.”

Jessica HawkinsJessica Hawkins, Author of Night Fever

Keep up with the newest promotional tools

“The second Twitter introduced Cards in promoted tweets, I jumped on it and blasted my latest Sci-Fi release to everyone in that interest segment (via Twitter Ads), with an eye-catching image of the book cover, because I know it grabs the eye of SF fans. Whenever a new promo tool like that comes out, I jump on it, because:

  1. It’s still novel to the users so they’re more likely to look at it, click, etc.
  2. The ad prices are usually super cheap because they’re new, so it’s a safer investment.

That campaign received somewhere around 200,000 impressions, 30,000 ‘engagements,’ and 2,200 link clicks. I sold around 1,500 books over those two days — a huge spike.”

Michael SiemsenMichael Siemsen, Author of The Dig

If you link to your books, track your results

“Most URL shortening services will give you the option to see clicks. Some affiliate accounts (specifically Amazon & Apple) allow you to create specific IDs so you can see how people purchase. When I have a new book out, I do tweet links, and I use specific affiliate accounts to track where people buy my books.”

Courtney MilanCourtney Milan, Author of The Duchess War

“I track my own tweets using Amazon affiliate links, which is only moderately useful because I only know of the number of clicks and purchases made at the time fans initially click. If someone comes back later to purchase, there’s no way for me to know unless they use my post and affiliate link again. I have not seen significant sales numbers, but enough to make it worth the small effort.”

Stormy SmithStormy Smith, Author of Bound by Duty

But, really… don’t be spammy

“Too many authors hit fellow users with requests as soon as they follow each other; ‘buy my book’ being the biggest turn-off. Twitter is primarily a business machine, I know, but a little decorum doesn’t go amiss.”

Rik StoneRik Stone, Author of Birth of an Assassin

“Having a marketing plan is great… but it shouldn’t look that way unless you’re a non-fiction author with the Key Steps to [some kind of] Success! Be cool, non-desperate, and show your personality. The direct self-promotion (‘Star Stabbers 2 is on sale today for $0.99!’) should be the exception. If you’re having to think about your Fun:Promotional ratio, you’re promoting too much. If you know you have a sale coming up next week, chill out on promo posts for a week.”

Michael SiemsenMichael Siemsen, Author of The Dig

“The biggest mistake I see other authors making is constantly tweeting links to their books, or books put out by their friends. We get it. You’re an author. Some repetition is okay, but if all you do is send out links, you’re teaching the people who follow you to ignore your tweets.”

Courtney MilanCourtney Milan, Author of The Duchess War

“Just as quickly as you were followed, you will be unfollowed if your content doesn’t provide some value. That value can be humor, interesting articles, teasers and tidbits about your books or simply a vehicle to get to you know, but the person following you has to find some value to pay attention and engage. For every one promotional post there should be two to three that aren’t (if not more).”

Stormy SmithStormy Smith, Author of Bound by Duty

Provide a behind-the-scenes look at your work in progress

“Right now, I’m on a mini roadtrip conducting research for a pivotal scene in my WIP. Posting pictures to Instagram and Twitter has been great for engagement, especially when I use the words ‘mystery’ or ‘secret’ for the locations I don’t want to disclose because of spoilers.”

Jessica HawkinsJessica Hawkins, Author of Night Fever

“My tweets are formulated snapshots of my current book and as each new book arrives, I will weave in a new set of snapshots.”

Rik StoneRik Stone, Author of Birth of an Assassin

Seek out and connect with a relevant audience

“My goal on Twitter is more to expand my connections and discover new resources than to sell books. For instance, when writing my historical fiction (Civil War) novels, I networked with re-enactors, historians, and historic sites. In writing my new romantic military suspense (Meant to Be, June 2015), I connected with Navy SEALS and other military resources that otherwise I never would have had the opportunity to engage with. The widow of a Navy SEAL that I met through Twitter became one of my early reviewers and gave me a wonderful endorsement that is more meaningful to me than any literary review could ever be.”

Jessica JamesJessica James, Author of Shades of Gray

Reciprocate retweets and make it easy for others to reciprocate for you

“When one of my Twitter followers throws some RT love my way and I have some extra time, I try to reciprocate by retweeting something for them. So I go to their page and scroll through their tweet thread. But if I can’t find something to retweet quickly, I don’t. So my suggestion is to pin a tweet to the top of your page, a tweet that you’d love to have other people RT for you. And even if they don’t retweet it, they’ll see it first if they check out your profile.”

Claire CookClaire Cook, Author of Must Love Dogs

Respond to fans who reach out

“I reply to every beautiful one of them, and I avoid being generic in my replies. Instead of “Thanks @patsyonrye2391!”, I’ll say something more thoughtful and specific to their tweet.”

Michael SiemsenMichael Siemsen, Author of The Dig

“I don’t necessarily reply to everyone who mentions me, but I at least favorite their tweet.”

Stormy SmithStormy Smith, Author of Bound by Duty

“I never forget for a moment that my readers give me the gift of my career, so I always answer @ mentions, unless it’s something spammy. What I don’t do is answer DMs on Twitter (or on Facebook). There are just too many of them, many of which are auto replies, and trying to keep up with them was starting to get in the way of my writing.”

Claire CookClaire Cook, Author of Must Love Dogs

Build relationships with book bloggers and journalists

“As I was starting out and building my base of blogger connections, Twitter was my lifeline. I followed authors I respect in my genre and saw whose reviews they were sharing, researched those blogs, and pitched my own book to them. Bloggers are critical to your success as an author and the relationships that I’ve built from initial Twitter exchanges have been invaluable.”

Stormy SmithStormy Smith, Author of Bound by Duty

“Lots of requests for interviews, speaking engagements, and even collaborations have come to me via Twitter, so I think of Twitter as an open doorway to opportunities like that.”

Claire CookClaire Cook, Author of Must Love Dogs

Earn trust by showcasing your unique personality

“There are people on Twitter who will make you pause as you’re scrolling through your timeline because you want to see what they say. They’ve said insightful things in the past, for instance. Or they’re funny. Or they have good book recommendations. Whatever it is, that person has earned your trust with time. You know from experience that if you give them attention, you’re going to get something good out of it. Be the person who makes people want to stop scrolling.”

Courtney MilanCourtney Milan, Author of The Duchess War

“I use Twitter to give fans a flavor of who I am. I have a naturally sarcastic demeanor and I find Twitter to be the perfect avenue to share my random thoughts. Fans get a kick out of it and I have fun crafting the tweets. I also use it to engage with the bloggers and fans that post reviews and photos. My younger teen fans get really excited when I personally engage, and reaching them is a challenge. My engagement shows them I am taking the time to read their reviews and pay attention to how they feel about my work.”

Stormy SmithStormy Smith, Author of Bound by Duty

Have you found Twitter to be an effective element of your author platform? If so, join the conversation and share your tips for fellow authors in the comments below.

 

Click here for the original article: http://insights.bookbub.com/how-successful-authors-use-twitter-to-promote-their-brand/

Novella by David Alexian

Lessons From A Troubled Heart.

A Novella.

Book 2 in the series: The Skies Are Lighted With Lamps. (A family, community, suspense and mystery novella.) Kindle Edition

Click here: http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Troubled-Heart-Novella-Book-ebook/dp/B011PK9BGM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

With the stress of unemployment, household issues and memories of a troubled life, Toney comes face to face with violence in his home. Things could have taken a turn for the worst, that one stormy night; Toney question the direction his life was heading. That same rainy night, after escaping an adverse situation, he is confronted with a strange occurrence in the woods. He is not sure what it is or means. The next morning, he is found by his friend and neighbor Deo, who takes him to a location where the two explore life’s qualities and concepts. The meeting seemed to be both and eye opener and therapeutic for the two men. A glimpse is further seen in the life of both Toney and Deo.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. A CHILLING NIGHT.
2. VISIONS OF THE NIGHT.
3. HELP HAS ARRIVED.
4. A TALK WITH A FRIEND.
5. SADNESS.

Eclipsed Words

Aspire to inspire others & the universe will take note

SKYLARITY

Mindfulness, Spontaneity and Authenticity

My Novelty Blog

My Trip to Novel Writing Royalty.

The Musing Quill

A Blog on Writing, Poetry, Stories and Books.

Life and Other Disasters

A great site about books, TV shows, movies, life and other disasters just like it

Richard M. Ankers - Author

Author: The Eternals Series

Millionaire's Digest

Millionaire's Digest - Share your passions, discover what others are sharing, and connect with new friends who are passionate about the same things as you are!

Myths of the Mirror

Life is make believe, fantasy given form

Behind the White Coat

Beats a real human heart...

HarsH ReaLiTy

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

Gathering Stones Strung on Threads

POEMS by Peter Notehelfer

coolpeppermint

memories and musings

Suddenly they all died. The end.

Write or write not - there is no aspiring.

the Confessions of a Wanderer

constantly searching for my next adventure

G.L. Cromarty

Confessions of a writing addict

Poet's Corner

Poems, poets, poetry, writing, poetry challenges

Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

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