Marketing and Sales

Partner with Your Publicist: Why You Need Literary Publicity

Every author wants his or her book to be a success. Dreams of best-seller lists, grand book tours with sold out speaking engagements, and that coveted interview with Oprah, luxuriate in the backs (and often fronts) of many the writerly mind. But the process of connecting the dots between first draft...

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...

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,...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

How Far Should Writers Go to Sell Themselves?

Recently, I put on an event called The Literary Gong Show at an infamous watering hole in Portland, Oregon called Dante’s Inferno. I was the host of the event, and had dressed myself in a tuxedo and a floppy-collared, bright yellow, pleated tuxedo shirt that I unbuttoned to the navel. This...

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...

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,...

5 Ways to Publicize & Promote Your Book

1. Start tweeting now! Or Tumblring, or whatever, and discover what feels genuine to you. My publisher is very active across multiple social media platforms and encouraged me to get involved well in advance of my book release, to explore what I was comfortable with and start making connections. I happen...

6 Tips To Resuscitate a Dying Author Blog

Maintaining an author blog is no cakewalk. So if your author blog is slumping, pat yourself on the back. At least you have a spine to slump! If you started your blog because you wanted to impress literary agents and editors with your ability to mobilize audiences, then you want your...

10 Tips on Guest Blogging and Blog Tours

Hosting guests and author tours on your own blog is a way to attract more readers to your site as well as introduce your guests to a new audience. As a blogger and author, you also have an opportunity to make special appearances from time to time, or to schedule a...