Author Platform

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3 Common Author Platform Mistakes — Plus How to Fix Them

When you hear the word “platform,” do you feel dread or excitement? Do you see social media and blogs as forced self-promotion or as an opportunity for conversation with readers? It’s an important question these days. More and more, the theory of an author platform—the idea that an author should communicate directly with readers...

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The DIY Book Tour: How to Organize a Tour Yourself

You’ve landed an agent and a publishing contract, and you’ve pumped your fist in the air like a champion. Your dream has come true. Now what? Rest on your laurels and let the publisher handle all of the promoting? Hardly. You are now the leader of a grassroots movement, and the cause...

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7 Ways to Add Sizzle to Your Next Book Event

Have you ever seen a lonely author at a bookstore table—rearranging his book stacks, checking his signing pen, and making hopeful eye contact with the customers before they duck down the nearest aisle? I’ve been that author, and I’ve also stood for three days hawking my books at a country fair, where I ate...

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10 Keys to Becoming a Successful Writer: An Agent Spills Secrets

Now is the best time to be a writer, but technology is forcing writers to reinvent themselves. They need a new model for becoming successful. The goal of these ten keys is to provide the model. 1. Passion—your love for creating and communicating about your work 2. Purpose—personal, literary, publishing, and community goals that inspire you...

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New Literary Agent Alert: Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary

He is seeking: He is interested in a wide range of fiction, and is looking for literary fiction, speculative fiction (scifi/fantasy), and psychological thrillers. Under the umbrella of speculative fiction he is especially interested in urban fantasy, urban science fiction, and magical realism. He is particularly looking for fiction from LGBT and racial minority...

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How to Maximize a Book Festival Appearance: 9 Tips

This past weekend, I had the honor of signing books at my local (awesome) book festival: Cincinnati's Books by the Banks Book Fair. It happens every year in the fall, and this was my third appearance. Every time I sign books at a regional fair in Ohio or Kentucky, I seem to get better...

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Agent Gordon Warnock Explains Author Platforms: Why You Need One & How to Use It to Secure Representation — Oct. 10 Webinar With Critique

Platform -- your ability to market yourself and your books -- has become increasingly important in the modern publishing world. What was once of concern only to authors of prescriptive nonfiction is now an integral part of successfully publishing fiction and nonfiction, both traditionally and independently. This is especially true for debut authors looking...

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Make the Most of your Indie Bookstore Event

It’s important to realize that the speaking/reading/signing engagement is the tip of an iceberg, promotionally. Whether you have dozens of people lined up for you, or you fight off the despair that creeps in when the seats are empty, your event should yield more publicity and generate more sales than what hits the register...

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5 Networking Tips for Writers

1. Don’t go to Networking Events. Any time I attended a networking event – you know, pay $15 and get one crappy drink – I never made a useful connection. And that’s probably because these events were open to anyone. The lack of focus meant I probably wasn’t going to meet anyone who needed...

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How to Plan a Great Book Reading: 5 Tips

1. Be professional. I’ve gone to readings where the writer is late. I’ve gone to readings where the writer insults the audience’s intelligence. I’ve gone to readings where the writer pulls papers out of his jacket, smoothes them on the stand, and then starts reading aloud with his head down for thirty five minutes...

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Literary Agent Interview: Jan Miller of Dupree/Miller & Associates

“Agent Advice” (this installment featuring agent Jan Miller of Dupree/Miller & Associates) is a series of quick interviews with literary agents and script agents who talk with Guide to Literary Agents about their thoughts on writing, publishing, and just about anything else. Based in Dallas, Jan Miller strives to bring innovative and impactful books...

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The Elements of a Successful Book Trailer

Before I decided to purse a career in writing, most of my ideas of the profession came from television and movies. Once I’d penned my masterpiece, I expected entire PR departments at big publishing houses to handle all facets of advertising. In my world, the writer wrote, then awkwardly cute girls in glasses took...

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5 Easy Ways to Publicize and Promote Your Book

1. Email: Long Live the 20th Century! Nothing did more for my book than an email sent on the day of my book launch, which was October 2nd. On my publication day, I emailed every contact I had in my personal account, names and email addresses I’ve held onto over the last decade. In...

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Are Blogs The New Journals?

My novel came out in June 2012 — it’s a portrait of two women, including one revealed through her journals after her death. Shortly after it was released, I got an interesting email from a reader. The reader said she hadn’t been sure she would like a book half written in the form of...

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8 Things Every Blogging Writer Should Know

1. Headlines Matter Most. If your goal is to get people to click on something, you need a killer headline. It has to be interesting, short, and hopefully provocative without being linkbait. The headline (and blog post) I’m most proud of is "He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died." That...

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How to Make a Book Trailer: 6 Tips

1. Erase from your mind the ambition to make a movie trailer. The result will inevitably look amateurish (even if you enlist the help of your nephew who majored in film). You have to aim for an attainable aesthetic. The nature of this aesthetic will depend on your book, your audience, and the skill...

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“Platform” Doesn’t Have to Be a Four-Letter Word

When I set out to write my first book, a humor memoir, I thought that writing the book would be the biggest hurdle on my inevitable ascent to the bestseller list. Then I started querying. I spent all of 2010 engaged in this most humbling of pursuits. Several agents requested a partial or the...