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Posts Tagged ‘book marketing’

It’s Up to You to Get Noticed (Before You Self Publish #5)

If you want to self publish, you will have to work to get noticed. Here we are at last, on the final point of this blog series “Before You Self Publish.” So far we’ve talking about the importance of thinking like a CEO, the danger of releasing a book too soon, the value of print, and the importance of the cover. Now let’s think about how to get that book in readers’ hands. Yep, if we’re going to talk about self publishing, we need to talk about the M word: Marketing. It’s not a bad word. Really. Marketing is the collection of things that you do in order to build positive name recognition for you and your work. It’s not a bad word, but it is one with a bad reputation. Many writers who self publish act as if the hard work will be done once the book is written and […]

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Readers Judge Books By Their Covers (Before You Self Publish, Part 4)

We’re continuing the Before You Self Publish series. Don’t miss Part 1, Think Like a CEO; Part 2, Don’t Publish Too Soon; and Part 3, Publish in Print. Long before I worked in book publishing, a friend introduced me to a twist on the classic cliché: If you can’t judge a book by its cover, then someone’s not doing their job. First impressions matter, especially in books, where readers have so many options. A person browsing in a bookstore (either physical or online) looks at the book cover and decides in less than 8 seconds if it’s appealing to them. If so, and ONLY if so, they’ll pick up the book, turn it over and read the back cover copy (or, if they’re online, read the product description). If THAT’S not interesting to them, the reader moves on without ever opening the book to see the writing itself. Says one popular […]

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Unless You Write Romance, Publish in Print (Before You Self Publish 3)

We’re continuing our series of 5 Things Self Publishers Need to Know with a super-simplified look at production and distribution (and a reminder that you have choices). Once you learn to think like a CEO and recommit to writing a GREAT book, it’s time to get practical about how to get your work out there. Which leads me to this: The benefits of having both print and electronic versions of a book almost always outweigh the additional costs. When I teach classes about the publishing process, I’ve noticed that many attendees start out assuming that if they self publish their work, they can only make it available as an ebook. They think this even if they, personally, are not ebook readers, have never bought an ebook, and don’t have a strategy for how to sell ebooks. Why? Partly, it’s because the new Self-Publishing Era (SPE?) really took off because of ebooks. Electronic files cost […]

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The Top 20 Articles of 2016 for Aspiring Authors

This has become a bit of a tradition: every December since, well, 2015, I’ve looked back at the year and compiled a “best of” summary of the Top 20 articles, news, and resources for writers who are working toward publication. Making the jump from writer to published author means entering a whole new world of business, and it’s important to do your homework and understand the landscape. The Trends This year, as I went back through my tweets and notes, two things became clear: It was a hard year to pay attention to publishing. National and international news took precedence. Maybe because of all the crazy stuff happening in the rest of the world, it was not a big year of publishing changes. (Anyone want to dispute that? Am I forgetting some major change of policy, player, or approach here?) Self publishing is still growing, filling all of the corners […]

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Tweet On! (Or Don’t)

A couple of weeks ago, I taught a class for Book Publishers Northwest called Tweet On: How to Use (And Not Abuse) Twitter to Build Your Platform and Sell Your Books. It was a fun evening, despite (or perhaps because) I don’t currently have a projector that works with my laptop, and so was reduced to drawing the Twitter homepage on a white board: There was one attendee, though, who was not impressed. He announced that he was skeptical of this “social media thing.” He’d tried Twitter already, but didn’t get anything out of it. He used words like shallow, and inane, and silly. Over the next couple of hours, I made my best case for why Twitter is a valuable tool in an author’s marketing tool belt. I talked about how it’s full of book clubs, journalists, editors, and millions (millions!) of readers, plus subject matter experts and influencers who are […]

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The 20 Must-Read Articles of 2015 for Aspiring Writers

Every month or so, I have the chance to stand in front or a group of people and talk about how to get published. How does a writer go from a manuscript to a published work that readers can buy? One of the points I regularly make—one of the facts I think is critically important and often overlooked—is that a writer has to take the responsibility to understand the publishing industry. You need at least a general idea of how the sausages are made. After all, you wouldn’t decide to open a restaurant or a widget factory without doing your homework about the regulations, the competition, and the best practices affecting your industry. So why would you think that you can just mail off a manuscript and not understand what happens next? So, in the spirit of educating, and giving in to the inevitable lure of a year-end “best of” list, here […]

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Why Everyone Isn’t Going to Read Your Book

Who will read your book? When I start working with a new client, either on the marketing or the editing side, I always ask some version of this question. All too often, the answer I get is some variation of “Everyone will like my book! It will appeal to women and men, from their teens all the way to senior citizens! People who don’t even read books will want to read this one!” Sorry, wrong answer. Nothing appeals to Everyone. Even Harry Potter and the Bible have their serious fans and their detractors. In my experience, if an author hasn’t thought deeply about their readers, and they don’t have a basic understanding of who those readers are and what they like, it’s a sign that they haven’t yet really thought deeply about what happens when their book comes out, either. They haven’t shifted gears from “writer” to “ready-to-publish author.” Part of your Author job is to promote yourself […]

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What to Do With Your First Negative Book Review

It finally happened. I knew it would. Somebody panned The Author’s Guide to Marketing on Goodreads. As an agent, an editor, and a consultant, I’ve walked with a lot of authors through painful reviews and negative feedback. But that’s not the same as seeing someone criticize my own work. Even though I knew better, I still felt the temptation to respond, the natural desire to defend. My fingers itched to hit the Reply button and tell the reader exactly what he was missing, and why he was wrong. But that would be a mistake (one that plenty of writers make these days, by the way). Instead I’m going to take my own advice and celebrate that two-star review. Why? Because a few online negative reviews build a book’s credibility. Wait, what? Think about it. We know that humans are motivated, in part, by social proof. We are more likely to […]

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Look Out, Seattle, Simon Wood Is Coming to Town: An Interview

Publishing is changing fast, as any author who’s been in the business for a few years will tell you. And if you’re in the western Washington area on August 9, prolific mystery and thriller author Simon Wood will tell you. The Mystery Writers of America, Northwest Chapter, is bringing Simon to Bellevue College on August 9 for an all-day event called: The 21st Century Author: How to Connect With the Publishing Industry and Build an Audience Simon knows his stuff: he’s sold more than 500,000 e-books since 2011, both through self publishing and traditional publishing. And more than that, he knows how to make it interesting. When I went poking around on his Facebook profile, I found a comment from an attendee at a workshop he did in California last year: “Simon’s Marketing workshop was filled with useful information on how to get your name and work out where people can […]

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  • It’s Up to You to Get Noticed (Before You Self Publish #5)
    If you want to self publish, you will have to work to get noticed. Here we are at last, on the final point of this blog series “Before You Self Publish.” So far we’ve talking about the importance of thinking like a CEO, the danger of releasing a book too soon, the value of print, and the importance of the...
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