June Writers' Forum 2019
Barnes & Noble is Purchased . . . what does this mean for authors?
Barnes & Noble is SOLD: Goliath has Fallen & What This Means for Writers
Kristen Lamb is an author, blogger, international speaker and (self-described) unrepentant troublemaker. Her analysis of the publishing world that led up to the recent purchase of Barnes & Noble is an insightful take on what’s good, bad, and ugly in publishing. She clearly knows the industry and points the failings (and victories). This article is a MUST READ for all authors. The good news really is that the new owners of Barnes & Noble also bought Waterstones (basically the UK version of B&N) and made that bookstore chain profitable again.
The Benefits of Embracing Multiple Forms of Writing
Author Chantelle Atkins writes an insightful article for the Authors Publish blog, explaining the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone and writing entirely different types of material. She’s not simply talking about writing in a different genre. She extolls the benefits of really switching things up and trying blog writing or short stories or freelance articles. The nice thing about some of these forms of writing is that depending on where you submit your finished product you can also expand your revenue sources. Read the article HERE.
Character Development Questions to Ask and Answer
This is not your typical fill-in-the-blank character graph. Mary Kole gets to the heart of character development with this brilliant set of questions. Even if you don’t use all of the answers in your story, as an author knowing certain things about your character will inform your writing in ways you might not be able to anticipate. Take a look at the full list of questions!
The #1 Mistake New Self-Publishers Make That Leaves Them Vulnerable to Publishing Scams
Anne R. Allen continues to give the indie pub community great advice and this month is no different. If you’ve independently published your books, you’ll want to head on over Anne’s blog and possibly subscribe so you don’t miss anything. For now, take moment at this smart advice about the #1 mistake we might be making that leaves us vulnerable to publishing scams. Hint: it has to do with eBooks being our most profitable path of book selling.
Collaborating with Other Writers
The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast had a fun episode recently on How to Collaborate with Other Authors with nonfiction author and coach Honoree Corder. This is great advice if you’re planning to cowrite or be part of anthology or multi-book collection with other authors (fiction or nonfiction.)
Funds for Writers Website
Have you heard of the Funds for Writers website? It’s a marvelous site dedicated to helping writers find ways to make a living at writing. Here’s how they describe their mission: “We emphasize finding money to make writing a realistic career. Of course, you’d write anyway. That’s the way of a writer. Other websites provide guidance on how to write, how to query, how to format manuscripts, and so on. We give you direction on the funding streams. We focus on markets, competitions, awards, grants, publishers, agents, and jobs for your writing abilities, with motivation chucked in.”
Another resource that I’ve featured a few times is Reedsy.
So what is Reedsy? "Crafting beautiful books is at the heart of everything that Reedsy does. We're changing the way books are published by giving authors and publishers access to talented professionals, powerful tools, and free educational content. Reedsy was founded in the summer of 2014 by Emmanuel Nataf, Ricardo Fayet, Vincent Durand and Matt Cobb. Since then, we’re proud to have built a network of world-class publishing professionals and helped produce over 10,000 books." I’ve used Reedsy too many times to count to find info about writing and publishing. It is an excellent clearing house of information.
Recently, I was made aware that they have a new ePub to Mobi converter tool. (Mobi is Kindle’s book format.) Check it out HERE.
In last month's Writers' Forum, I featured the Kindlepreneur article that listed a number of ways to make this conversion. This one on Reedsy was not yet on that list, but it is worth checking out.
Scan the Market Before Marketing Your Book
Boni Wagner-Stafford the Communications Manager for The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) explains the details of a market scan (looking at how books are selling in your genre, who the best-selling authors are, what are the best/worst formats and more) and how to do one for you book. She explains how you can use the info gained during a market scan to pick the best marketing opportunities for your title. Learn more from the article HERE.
How to Plan a Book Reading That Delights Your Audience
Jane Friedman’s blog features an excerpt from the writer’s guide book “How to Read for an Audience: The Stuff Nobody Teaches You,” coauthored by James Nave' and Allegra Huston. Check out the brilliant advice that will take the pressure off as you plan your book reading.
Reedsy's List of Book Promo Sites
Now that you’ve done your market scan (as noted in the previous article), you can head back to Reedsy to check out their curated list of book promotion sites. This list can be sorted in a number of ways to meet your budgetary and targeting goals. Super helpful!
The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast featured an interview with Reedsy founder, Ricardo Fayet, entirely about this list and some of the specific websites/companies listed. Listen to the podcast HERE.
5 Book Marketing Strategies All Authors Need to Try
Author Barbara Freethy writes a BookBub Partners guest post with a neat list of five things you can do to market your books. I like her tips on posting excerpts of your books and exclusive free content to those who already joined an email list. There’s more, read the entire list HERE.
7 Book Promotion Trends & Tips from BookExpo 2019
Diana Urban gives us a summary on book marketing info from the biggest publishing conference in the US. This is a fun, quick read that has some unexpected predictions for the future of publishing, including that publishers will begin to flee expensive cities. Do pay particular attention to some of the marketing techniques for debut authors and sending out ARCs . . . while these are focused on what publishers are doing, indie authors would be smart to mimic some of these methods. Read all the promotion trends and tips at: https://insights.bookbub.com/book-promotion-trends-bookexpo-2019/
Advertising Your Books – Part One – BookBub
In case you missed it . . . I’m writing a three-part series on advertising your books online. Part one was all about BookBub advertising. You can catch up with it HERE. Next week, I’ll be writing all about Facebook advertising.
New Self-Published Book Award Announced
From the Publisher’s Weekly announcement: “In recognition of one of the fastest-growing parts of the book market, IngramSpark, Ingram’s self-publishing platform, Publishers Weekly, and BookBrunch, the daily online news service for the U.K. book industry, are launching the Selfies Awards for U.S. self-published authors. The first Selfie Awards will be presented at BookExpo in 2020. In its first year, the awards will be for adult fiction titles only, but in future years it will cover other categories. All titles submitted must be published in the U.S. and entries will only be accepted from authors who are predominantly or only self-published (i.e. where the author themselves acts as the publisher/creative director). Submissions will open in late 2019.”
3 Dos for Getting Reviews (and 4 Don’ts)
The 4 Don’ts on this list are what really caught my eye. Let’s face it, there are about five articles a week on getting book reviews, but this list is a little different. David Kudler for the Book Designer gives a simple breakdown of Do’s (Submit, Seek, Ask) and Don’ts (don’t beg, don’t argue, don’t pay, don’t review yourself.) While all of these may seem intuitive, Kudler really gives you some simple advice on keeping the process simple, linear, and far less daunting than we’ve made it out to be. https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2019/06/3-dos-for-getting-reviews-and-4-donts/
Happy Writing, Valerie
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