Marketing & Self-Promotion

“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...

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,...

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...

Success Stories – An Author’s Best Friend

Guest Post by Rob Eagar I enjoy watching the television show, The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan on the National Geographic channel. I don’t own a pet, but the show is appealing because of what takes place during each episode – real life change. The program is about people who beg...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

5 Free E-Books Every Writer Needs

The following resources have been mentioned on this blog, in various forms, since 2008. Now I’m rounding them up in 1 place. [Some links corrected/added on 5/31/11.] 1. 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer. A fabulous resource from an experienced novelist. It comes in two parts because the...

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...

How to Build Your Website Without Knowing Code

Today I sent out the latest issue of my e-mail newsletter, which I call “3 Happy Things.” Each issue has a different theme, and this one focused on how to build a website for free, without knowing code, in less than an hour. Click here to view the newsletter on codeless...

Friday Mish-Mash of Cool Things

A lot of things have crossed my desk lately, so let me share them all at once. Above: Edgar Award winners Ruth Rendell, Lawrence Block, Peter Blauner, and others discuss their writing and what they consider the ultimate reward for penning a great mystery novel. StoryADay May Writing Challenge. This is...

5 Innovative Poets to Watch & Learn From

As everyone knows, you can’t make a living from writing and selling poetry. Or can you? Well, it IS next to impossible to make a living by only writing poems. Sometimes I wonder if that’s why poets seem to be the ones I see most often experimenting and innovating. They know...

Helpful Insights for Self-Publishing Novelists

I moderated a panel at SXSW called The Self-Publishing Novelist, which included insights from 3 experienced experts: John Sundman. Read an interview with John here, Building an Enthusiastic Fan Base as a Self-Published Author. Carolyn McCray. Read her helpful articles over at Digital Book World, including Best Practices for Amazon E-Book...