Building Readership

Amazon Lets Authors Spy on Readers

By Rob Eagar, author of Sell Your Book Like Wildfire Did you know that Amazon lets authors see who is highlighting notes in their books and tweeting content to friends? When someone reads a book using a Kindle device or app, Amazon stores the information they highlight. Plus, Amazon displays who...

Amazon Reviews and the War of the Words

By Rob Eagar The power of the collective voice on Amazon works as a major influence over many people’s buying decisions, especially when it comes to books. For example, if someone recommends a book to me, my habit is to go find it on Amazon and read through some of the...

Tips to Make Selling Your Fiction a Reality

Guest Post by Rob Eagar Earlier this year, I heard a publishing executive say, “The best way to market your fiction is to write more fiction.” I disagree with this idea, because it insinuates that you can ignore marketing your original book. Writing more stories does not a marketing plan make....

The Skinny on Social Networking

Guest post by Rob Eagar Marketing books via blogs, Twitter, and Facebook has become an extremely confusing topic for many authors. Some people herald social media as the saviour of marketing. Others complain that their online efforts rarely produce tangible results. As an expert who has coached over 400 authors on...

What Makes Word-of-Mouth Work? Part 2

Guest Post by Rob Eagar In my previous blog post, I explained how word-of-mouth spreads faster when authors help people start a conversation around their book. However, creating a conversation is only half of the battle. If the conversation doesn’t take place within a community, then the word-of-mouth will soon die...

The Persistence of the Author Brand

There was a time, in the pulp-era of publishing, when authors put out a new book on a monthly basis. Many of these books were written under “house names” that belonged to the publisher and very often multiple writers contributed to the brand. Perhaps the best example of this is The Shadow, by...

“Are We There Yet?” Set Proper Expectations for Platform Growth

Guest Post by Rob Eagar Too many authors short-circuit their marketing success by mistakenly expecting perfection from every promotional activity they attempt. For example, let’s say you’re an author who decides to send out your first monthly newsletter. You put a lot of time and effort into creating the content and wait expectantly...

Break the Rules to Build a Bestseller

Guest post by Rob Eagar. The publishing industry is going through an incredible amount of chaos and transformation. Some of this change is good, such as new technology, lower prices, and easier ways for people to get access to information. In contrast, some changes are bad, such as Borders bookstores filing...

Monday Marketing Tip from Rob Eagar

By Rob Eagar, author of Sell Your Book Like Wildfire (Spring 2012, Writer’s Digest Books) Recently, college football fans were treated to an amazing game as Michigan State upset highly-ranked Wisconsin on the last play of regulation. As time expired, Michigan State’s quarterback threw a last-ditch, 44-yard, “Hail Mary” pass that was bobbled...

Platform, Platform, Platform

We’ve just announced initial details for the Writer’s Digest Conference 2012 and couldn’t be more excited about how the speaker line up is taking shape. One of our presenters is none other than Christina Katz, a well known contributor to the WD writing community and author of Get Known Before the...

What does it really take to succeed?

For most of my writing life, I assumed that if I was a strong writer, with a good story to tell, or good information to convey, and I was tenacious about getting published, I would be successful. (“Successful” meaning able to write for a living – at least in this case.)...

How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Online Marketing Efforts

Today I’m a guest over at Writer Unboxed. I discuss 5 reasons why your online marketing might not work. Here’s a snippet: 1. It’s not personal. None of us like impersonal message blasts. I’m going to assume you’re already smart enough not to do that. But you can still be impersonal with...

The Value of Experimentation

I’ve recently come to know and appreciate Brad King‘s work, both as an innovative media professional, as well as a university professor. So I’ve been keeping an eye on a project that he and his talented students have launched: The Invictus Writers. There’s a lot to say about it, but—in brief—for the first...

The Hidden, Secret Ingredient of Platform: Relationships

      Today I’m a guest over at Marketing Tips, a blog by Tony Eldridge. I try to tackle one of the more difficult aspects of platform, relationships. Here’s a small snippet: We all have different strengths, and banding together can be an excellent way to extend your platform in...

5 Excellent Tips for Platform Building

This past weekend, I had the honor of keynoting the Writers' League of Texas Agents Conference in Austin. During that weekend, I also had the opportunity to hear some wonderful advice from other publishing experts. Here's some excellent online marketing advice I heard. All are direct quotes unless in brackets.

Free E-Book on Building Readership by Cory Doctorow

Portrait by Jonathan Worth My most popular post (so far) this year, 5 Free E-Books Every Writer Needs, could’ve benefited from one more addition: The Problem Isn’t Piracy, The Problem Is Obscurity by Cory Doctorow This e-book gathers some of Doctorow’s best essays and rants on why authors should give their...

Do You Have a Marketing Support Network?

This month at Writer Unboxed, I discuss one of the invisible aspects of your platform that directly impacts your success: Your relationships. Click here to read “A Critical Marketing Secret: Don’t Go It Alone.” I can confirm, after launching my e-book last month (The Future of Publishing), that I couldn’t have...

6 Key Components of an Online Author Platform

Next week, on June 2, I’ll be teaching a live, online class on building your author platform. To help make “platform” more understandable and approachable as a topic, I’ve boiled it down into 6 key components. Here they are, briefly. VISIBLE Your website (your hub, or Grand Central Station) Your social...

8 Things Readers Want From Self-Published Authors

My post last week, The “Self-Pub Is Crap” Debate, has probably generated more comments than any other post in 2011. Reviewing the comments provides an excellent to-do list of how self-published authors can be taken seriously by readers. Hire professionals for editing, proofreading, and design. Put most of your cost toward...

Should You Self-Publish After a Near-Miss?

Writers often ask if it’s wise or helpful to self-publish their work if they have “near-misses” with agents or publishers. There’s no one answer that works for everyone. But I’ll try to help you come to the right conclusion. YES: Go ahead and try self-publishing a book You know how to...

Is Email the New Blogging?

The meme these days seems to be that e-mail newsletters (or content marketing through e-mail) is the new blogging. Actually, I lie. It’s a fairly old meme—I can at least trace it back to this blog post by Jason Calacanis, a longtime respected blogger, who decided to start a paid e-mail...

Midlist Nonfiction Books: Too Much Effort for Too Little Return?

Pictured above: A slide from Margaret Atwood’s marvelous presentation at TOC on the future for authors When it comes to non-narrative nonfiction books, I don’t think of the authors of these books as authors. I think of them as experts, entrepreneurs or business professionals who are interested in authoring a book...

How to Start a Successful Newsletter

Next week, I’m teaching an online class on how to start a successful e-mail newsletter. This is a topic I’ve covered here at No Rules before, but this class will allow me to show you in-depth how to get started, discuss strategies, and go behind the scenes with free services so...