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.

Should You Hire Someone to Design Your Website?

In publishing, we often say how critical it is to hire a professional editor if you plan to self-publish. Or we say how valuable a professional publicist or PR person can be. As someone who isn’t trained as a designer (but who has worked with many designers over the years, and...

Before You Write a Single Word: Develop a Reader Profile

Today’s guest post is from Shennandoah Diaz, the Business Development Assistant at Greenleaf Book Group, a publisher and distributor supporting independent authors and small presses. — You can easily find yourself living in a bubble while writing a book, chaining yourself to the keyboard and avoiding all human contact (and some...

Back to Basics: A Writer's 101 Guide to Blogging

On Thursday at 1p EDT, I’m presenting a live, online class, “Build Your Author Platform Through Blogging.” In preparation for that, I’m gathering my favorite resources and 101 articles that are helpful for anyone in getting started—and posting them here for everyone to enjoy. First, a few blogging principles: Provide consistently...

A Time of Immense Change—For You, For Me, For Everyone

Today was my first full day of orientation as a professor teaching e-media at the University of Cincinnati-CCM. (The CCM Village is pictured above—at a very early hour!) Overwhelming doesn’t quite begin to describe the experience. But I know with each day, it will get easier. And as I gain experience...

How to Score a Traditional Deal After Self-Publishing

Today’s Q&A is with authors Anne Milford and Jennifer Gauvain, who originally self-published their book, How Not to Marry the Wrong Guy, in May 2009. They marketed and promoted like madwomen and then sold the book—at auction!—to Random House in October 2009. The new revised edition came out in May 2010...

Newest Opportunities to Hear Me Speak

Lots of cool things happening to update you about (pictured above: a candid shot of me speaking at Midwest Writers in July 2010!). Last week I was a guest speaker on a live teleseminar on memoir, with the NAMW. If you missed it, you can still sign up to get an...

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...