Digitization & New Technology

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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,...

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A Book in 30 Days: What Writers Can Learn From Rapid Publishing

BY AMANDA L. BARBARA The Internet has brought about a new age of experimentation in publishing, and stepping into the literary laboratory is the prolific storytelling duo, Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. The authors’ recent project, “Fiction Unboxed,” was a crowdfunded experiment in writing and publishing a book live in 30 days. Platt’s...

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by the Codex Group revealed that the #1 way to attract people to a fiction author’s website is to offer exclusive unpublished writings, such as short stories, novellas, lost chapters, alternate openers or endings, etc.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...

Advice for Writers: 7 Reasons to Self-Publish Your Book

Self-publishing used to be a last resort for aspiring authors unable to break through the traditional publishing fortress. With the help of vanity presses, those writers took matters into their own hands and brought their books to market, for a fee. These days, self-publishing has a newfound respect. The “guilt by association” connection to...

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...

Promote Your Book with Power-Bites

By Rob Eagar The more you rely on technology to spread your message, the more you must be brief. We live in a world of smaller screens, smaller attention spans, and smaller conversations where media platforms continuously shrink discussions. For instance, radio and TV interviews these days are typically no longer 3 – 6...

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 used Twitter to...

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 reviews. Many times,...

When It Comes to Getting Published, There’s No Shortage of New Ideas

Today I’m talking with Jesse Potash, the founder of PUBSLUSH (www.pubslush.com), which presents a unique new model for getting published. Because it’s so unusual – and because they’re a non-profit – I thought you might find it of interest. Jesse was a panelist at last month’s Writer’s Digest Conference. Here’s the scoop: PUBSLUSH Press...

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 the subject, below...

Cool Tools to Track Author Platform Growth

Guest blog by Rob Eagar Most authors want to build a larger platform and sell more books. But, how do you track the success of your marketing and platform-growth efforts? There are several obvious factors you can use, such as increased book sales, speaking engagements, Twitter followers, or newsletter subscribers. However, I want to...

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 for bankruptcy, publishers...

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 volume, each contributor...

Looking Into the Future of Bookstores: 4 Angles

There’s lots of emotional activity over on my Facebook page—and everywhere else online!—about the future of bookstores. Some of the activity feels like examining the veins of the leaves on trees (e.g., I must have the ability to read my paper book in the bath tub, dammit!). Let’s take a wider view. When you read...

Borders Failure Is a Small Part of Bigger Phenomenon

Today I was on NPR’s Morning Edition, offering my take on the Borders’ liquidation. Click here to listen. Many of my colleagues insist Borders’ failure had nothing to do with e-books. Yes, bad management played a big role here. Borders has been a weak player for years, and it’s survival of the fittest out...

5 Factors to Help You Evaluate Blogs & Online Authorities

    Today, over at Courage 2 Create, I’m the featured interviewee. I discuss online authority, and how to decide which people and organizations you should trust. Here’s a small snippet: Authority comes in a variety of forms, and we each have different values that can lead us to disagree on who an “authority”...

How to Create Free Video Tutorials

This past week, I’ve been in a tech workshop for faculty at the University of Cincinnati. (Yes, even I need to broaden and sharpen my skills!) So I’ll be sharing some of the more interesting tools and tricks I learned here at NO RULES. The first tool that I love is Jing. Jing takes...

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 work away, stop...

The Persistent and Damaging Myth About Introverts and Marketing

Cartoon from Toothpaste for Dinner I’m getting frustrated with people who say they’re bad at marketing & promotion because they’re introverts. Maybe this argument was more valid before new technologies came along—when marketing and promotion involved more “getting out there,” networking at events and stores, or making phone calls. (God knows I hate phone...

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 media activity or...

2 Tricks to Keep Your Online Reading Manageable

As you can imagine, I do a LOT of online reading, across hundreds of sites and blogs. To manage it all, I do 2 things: I use Google Reader, which is an RSS reader. See here to learn how and why to use it, for free. I use the PostRank extension for Google Reader....

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 editing. That means,...