Building Readership

Why EVERY Writer Is a “Writer for Hire”

I’m in the midst of potty-training my toddler, so when I awoke this morning, in the dark dawn before my alarm, to the sound of her screaming “POO!”—well, needless to say I jumped out of bed a smidge faster than I usually do. “POO!” she screeched as my fingers scrambled across the nightstand for...

A Writer’s Guide to the Web

The May/June 2016 Writer’s Digest is your guide to making the most of the Web—and avoiding the worst of it. Most writers I know have a love/hate relationship with the Internet—and all that comes with it. Some days, we marvel at the capability to connect with writers and readers the world over, to publish without a middleman,...

How a Fiction Anthology Is Made

I’m an avid reader of Writer Unboxed, which has been one of our 101 Best Websites for Writers for several years running now—and when I had the pleasure of moderating the WU panel at last year’s Writer’s Digest Conference, one of my personal highlights was the chance to chat at length afterward with regular...

What You Can Do Now to Master the Business of Writing

Even without knowing you (yes, you! hello there), I can say that we put together the “Master the Business of Writing” package for the February 2016 Writer’s Digest with you in mind. Because whether you’re an aspiring author, a midlist novelist or a freelancer looking for bigger paychecks, this issue will meet you where...

Improve Your Writing Platform (or Author Platform) in 30 Days

A few times now, I’ve run 30-day platform challenges for writers to help with the difficult task of creating a writing platform (also known as an author platform). I prefer the term writing platform, because I feel the word author locks a writer into only writing books. However, today’s publishing environment offers so many...

How to Promote Your Work Like a Pro

Now more than ever before, there are so many things we can do to promote our books, articles, stories, essays, services, and other creative works and skills—regardless of whether we’re self-published, traditionally published, or even not-yet-published. Bookstore and library events remain staples, of course, as do reviews, mentions and bylines in prominent media. But...

Why I Published 4 Novels in 6 Months

Hi, WD community! Today we’re sharing a guest post from J.E. Fishman, a former editor and literary agent turned author. He has penned Dynamite: A Concise History of the NYPD Bomb Squad and the novels Primacy, Cadaver Blues, and The Dark Pool. His Bomb Squad NYC series of police thrillers launches this month with A Danger to Himself and Others, Death March, and The Long Black...

When Authors Become Publishers: Creating a DIY Literary Anthology

There are many reasons to publish a literary anthology. Maybe you’re in touch with a lot of talented writers who deserve more attention. Maybe there’s a very specific and overlooked sub-genre that you’re passionate about. Maybe you’re raising funds for a charity and selling an anthology related to your cause will help you raise...

Should I Self-Publish? – Part Three

If you’ve followed this series, you’ll notice that: a) I think most writers have a project that would make for a fun and possibly profitable self-published book, and b) Creating a successful self-published book will require a fair amount of design and technical skills, either your own or someone else’s. I encourage you to...

Should I Self-Publish? – Part One

The big dream since childhood—shared by so many fellow writers of all ages—was to walk into a bookstore (perhaps a bookstore that I owned—bonus dream!) and find a novel with my name on the cover gracing a column of shelves with eager hands reaching upward to pluck a copy and buy it before racing...

15 Things a Writer Should Never Do

Based on interviews with authors over the years, conferences, editing dozens of issues of Writer’s Digest, and my own occasional literary forays and flails, here are some points of consensus and observations: 15 of them, things anyone who lives by the pen (or seeks to) might consider. It is, like most things in the...

The Back Story on Marketing Fiction

By Rob Eagar A survey of 21,000 book shoppers by the Codex Group revealed that the #1 way to attract people to a fiction author’s website is to offer exclusive unpublished writings, such as short stories, novellas, lost chapters, alternate openers or endings, etc. This desire for content is especially popular with women. So,...

5 Digital Discoverability Tips

By Rob Eagar Recently, I spoke at the inaugural Discoverability and Marketing Conference hosted by Digital Book World (www.DigitalBookWorld.com) in New York City. The theme of my presentation was “Discoverability starts with psychology, rather than technology.” My point was that you can get your book discovered, but if you fail to answer the reader’s...

5 Marketing Lessons from Fly-Fishing

By Rob Eagar In the last year, I took up fly-fishing as a hobby. There’s something surreal and invigorating about standing in the middle of a river. However, catching rainbow trout is no easy task. They’re smart, skeptical, and elusive. In fact, there are a lot of similarities between the challenge of fly-fishing and the...

3 Steps to Successful Book Marketing

By Rob Eagar Marketing is a simple process when you boil it down to the fundamentals. Whether you’re a fiction or non-fiction author, you can achieve marketing success following these three simple steps. Ask yourself: What is your value? Who needs your value the most? Where do those who need your value congregate in...

Leak Exclusive Information to Maximize Social Media

By Rob Eagar If you want more people to follow you on social media, get into the habit of “leaking” exclusive offers or inside information that can’t be found anywhere else. By doing so, you tap into people’s natural curiosity and entice them to stay connected. For instance, if you’re an author, you could...

How to Control a Media Interview

By Rob Eagar A good way to gauge your interview prowess is by mastering the ability to steer a conversation to only the topics that you want to discuss. Just because a radio or TV host asks you a question does NOT mean that you must answer it. Sure, it’s polite to respond to...

Marketing is About Success Not Perfection

By  Rob Eagar Life is about success, not perfection…and so is marketing. Case in point: A few weeks ago, I sent out my weekly newsletter that wound up having a couple of typos in it. Obviously, I didn’t think twice about the issue. But, several people emailed me right away to point out my...

Money is All that Matters in Marketing

By Rob Eagar Call me crazy, but I like money. Cash, check, direct deposit, wire transfer…I’ll take it. No, I’m not hyper-materialistic. I just like how money allows me to pay my bills, enjoy vacations, and generously donate to others. Therefore, I like the ability to make enough income to do those activities. Without...

Logos, Brands, and Does It Really Matter?

By Rob Eagar Logos, brands, taglines, slogans…what’s the difference? Some authors think that having a logo means they have a brand. But, these are separate entities. Your brand is a phrase that communicates the value of your books. You could also call it a tagline or slogan. In contrast, a logo is artwork that...

Don’t D-Y-I “Do-Yourself-In” with a D-I-Y Mentality

by Rob Eagar I am one of the few original self-publishing success stories. And, I did it way before the advent of e-books, Amazon, and social media. Over 10 years ago, I left corporate America as a sales executive to pursue what seemed like a ridiculous dream to write a book. I had no...

All Marketing is a Felt Need

By Rob Eagar In my work as a marketing consultant, I’ve met numerous authors who work in academic circles, such as counselors, professors, pastors, and specialty book publishers. A common problem among these scholastic groups is the tendency to believe that their marketing should be exempt from the need to answer the consumers’ primary...

Interview With Expert Freelancer Kelly James-Enger

Today I’m talking with author and freelancing expert Kelly James-Enger, whose work has appeared in dozens of national magazines, including Redbook, Fitness and Self. James-Enger says that her success as a full-time freelancer isn’t the result of persistence or luck, but of learning the “secrets” of freelancing. You can find all 101 of these...

How to Build Online Community

By Rob Eagar If you want to build a following, especially online, the key is to position yourself as someone who is worth following. The best way to attract a large group is by becoming an object of interest, which means the ability to draw people to you by dent of your expertise or...