Build a Platform & Start Blogging

Every writer can benefit from having a platform from which to promote their work. And for writers of non-fiction, it’s critical. Here you’ll learn the basics, including setting up a blog, strategies for effective blogging, and how to make your platform a revenue generator as well.

Building an Enthusiastic Fan Base as a Self-Published Author

Today’s Q&A is with novelist and 20-year Silicon Valley wage slave John Sundman. I first met John when his novel, Acts of the Apostles, won 1st place in the genre fiction category of the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. We’ve stayed in touch ever since, and he recently interviewed me over...

The Digital Age Has Only Helped Storytellers

Today’s Q&A is with author Eric Rickstad, a novelist and screenwriter living in Vermont. His unnerving novels, stories, and scripts strip back the bucolic veneer of rural America and root around in its tragic and blackly comic underbelly. Big thanks to Darrelyn Saloom for bringing my attention to Eric and his...

Self-Published Authors Should Band Together

Today’s Q&A is with longtime author and publisher Eric Hammel, who started his own publishing company in the 1980s alongside his traditional author career. Given his 30+ years of experience as an author, marketer, and self-publisher, I find his in-depth perspective on the industry invaluable for anyone considering DIY options, or...

Don't Annoy People on Facebook

I have a wide range of friends of Facebook—including many writers who are using the site to market their work. While this isn’t wrong in and of itself, some approach the site as their personal direct marketing tool, and do more damage than good. That’s why I wrote this lengthy post...

Q&A: My Thoughts on Book Publishing Today

Many writers ask me about changes in the publishing industry, how to make sense of the transformation, and what it really means for them. I try to tackle that, in part, in this Q&A with WetMachine, where the insightful John Sundman poses a variety of questions about trends, e-books and e-publishing,...

The Power of an E-mail Network (10 Years in the Making)

My Q&A with Hyla Molander—on her success finding readers with Scribd—sparked many people to contact me about their success too in using the site. However, even before Hyla, I had met Ransom Stephens, who is further along in his journey. His novel, The God Patent, was recently released in print from...

New Tools: Create a Book From Your Site or Blog Content

This post is part of a series, New Tools for Entrepreneurial Writers, which overviews specific tools ripe with opportunity for creative & entrepreneurial writers. The only limit is your imagination! (If you’re the creator of a new software or online tool & would like it featured, contact me.) Anthologize is a...

How Book Club Readers (and Bookstores) Can Drive Success

Today I have the pleasure of sharing a Q&A with author Meg Waite Clayton. Meg is the author of the national bestseller The Wednesday Sisters, which has been popular with book clubs across the country. I was curious about this aspect of her book’s success, as well as how she came...

How One Author Is Using Scribd to Find Readers

I recently met Hyla Molander at the Capitol City Writers Conference, where she told me about her memoir, Drop Dead Life, which she is promoting on her own using Scribd. Molander began work on her memoir after the sudden death of her husband at the age of 29. Hyla has generously...

Super-Powered Book Proposals Secret #1: There Is No Try. Do!

This post kicks off a series I’m writing on how to super-power your nonfiction book proposal. For the majority of nonfiction book ideas (except possibly memoir), you should prepare a book proposal first, rather than write the manuscript. To find out if you should write a book proposal, click here.Secret #1:...

New Tools: Read Twitter Like a Newspaper

This post is part of a series, New Tools for Entrepreneurial Writers, which overviews specific tools ripe with opportunity for creative & entrepreneurial writers. The only limit is your imagination! (If you’re the creator of a new software or online tool & would like it featured, contact me.) If you’re using...

Publishing Is the New Literacy: 3 Things Writers Must Know

Since the release of Clay Shirky’s newest book, Cognitive Surplus, a flurry of interviews with him have appeared. It’s become cliche to say that we’re now experiencing the biggest change for reading & writing since Gutenberg, but it’s the truth. And it’s why you see such visceral debate on the topics...

A Novel's Setting Can Be Your Marketing & Promotion Linchpin

Christine Lemmon is an example of self-publishing at its best, with nearly 50,000 copies of her books sold. After selling books in her own community of Sanibel Island (off Florida’s coast) and expanding regionally (through her own vigorous promoting and selling to local bookstores, hotels, gift shops and more), she is...

Writers' Lives Change When Abundance Is the Problem in Publishing

Kevin Smokler recently commented, “The day Clay Shirky does not say something fascinating is the day we all pack it in.” I discovered Shirky last year when his article on newspaper declines spread like wildfire. Go read his blog post, “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable.” Since then, I’ve read his book,...

Authors: Build Your E-mail List—NOW

Since April, I hear the drums getting louder and louder: E-mail lists are the strongest tool in your marketing and promotion arsenal. I’ve heard it from large publishers, from small publishers, from authors. Here are three examples: Small publisherSophia Institute Press has a small and focused e-mail list of people who...

Should You Create a Facebook Fan Page? (And If So, When?)

At conferences, not long after I propose that writers use Facebook for platform building (here’s why), I’m asked whether writers should use their personal page or create a fan page. First, there is no one right way to do this. But most people have privacy concerns (try to ease your mind...

What Should Fiction Writers Blog About?

I often receive the following question at conferences and via e-mail and blog comments: It seems easier for nonfiction writers to offer free content through their blogs (e.g. how-to tips). Could you share tips on how fiction writers can make that work? There are many ways to approach this, which ought...

Managing Multiple Identities Online (Avoid)

Inevitably, at some point during author platform discussions, two questions get asked: What if I want to write under a pen name, or two (or more) different names? Do I need to maintain multiple identities? What if I have different areas of interest that have no connection to each other? Should...

What, Me Market? (Adventures of a First-Time Author)

Today’s guest post comes from celebrated short-story writer Robin Black. I asked her to share how she managed to get an agent and secure a deal for her collection of short stories, which as many of us know, “do not sell” — and then how she approached marketing. This is the...

Why Start a Website or Blog If You Have Nothing to Promote?

I feel like there’s a debate heating up between the group who believes it’s never too early to develop an online presence (that’s me) and the group who believes it’s necessary to focus on the WORK first, and not be distracted by online media—especially when you don’t have a specific message...