Writers' Forum 2022 - May

Writers, Stop Using Social Media (Like That)

Disaster Proofing Your Author Business

Predatory Publishing Practices

Tricky Contract Clauses


Writers, Stop Using Social Media (Like That) – Allison Williams

Williams writes (for Jane Friedman’s blog) an astute article about how social media is not platform . . . so when publishing industry pro advice is telling you to ‘build a platform,’ don’t automatically assume that obtaining tons of followers on social media is the answer to driving book sales. It is not . . . this has been proven again and again. But it can be a tool to ‘amplify your message.’ But first you must figure out what your message really is. Read this article. Bookmark this article. Follow this article’s advice. PLEASE!! https://www.janefriedman.com/writers-stop-using-social-media-like-that/

Disaster Proofing Your Author Business – Dan Parsons for Mark Dawson’s blog

In this article the disasters in question aren’t things like tornadoes or floods or fires, but particular business-type disasters like sales dropping off or criminal attacks or tech breakdowns. It pays to be prepared and at least give this article a quick read to make sure you’ve taken precautions. https://selfpublishingformula.com/disaster-proofing-your-author-business/

We All Need to Be Defended Against Predatory Publishing Practices – Brooke Warner

Warner, the founder of hybrid publisher She Writers Press, offers this guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog. This is an excellent article to read to help you understand the how hybrid publishing works and the space it inhabits somewhere between traditional publishing and indie publishing. The best quote from Warner: “A prerequisite to becoming an author these days is self-education about the industry.” Yes, yes, yes! Read this article:


A Contract Clause to Beware of Claiming Copyright on “Publisher’s Content” – Michael Capobianco for Writer Beware Online.

And for those seeking to traditionally publish, this Writer Beware article highlights a clause that’s popping up in contracts of late that is particularly troubling. It references copyright claims to content the publisher adds to your book--but what can this really mean down the road? 



How a Little Psychology Can Improve Your Memoir’s Setup – Lisa Cooper Ellison

Ellison writes this post for Jane Friedman’s blog and teaches courses on memoir writing. If you’re planning to begin your memoir or maybe you’re currently working on it, this is excellent advice to have you identify your “narrator flaws and problems you’ll resolve by the end of the book.” This is fascinating information and I feel could also apply to fiction character creation. See what you think: https://www.janefriedman.com/how-a-little-psychology-can-improve-your-memoirs-setup/

The Deepest Wounds: Lies, Deception and Betrayal by Kristen Lamb

This is a fascinating post about human nature and how we react (and how our characters should/could and probably will react) to betrayal and deception. So much good info here: https://authorkristenlamb.com/2022/04/the-deepest-wounds-lies-deception-betrayal/

How to Fail as a Writer from the BookBaby Blog

I hadn’t visited this blog in a while, but there’s a trio of articles that includes some fun and truthful gems.

In "How to Fail as a Writer in 23 Easy Steps," Dawn Field takes a humorous approach on what you shouldn’t do as a writer. You’ll chuckle at this list for sure.

Hannah Yang’s “Seven Writing Mistakes That Make You Look Like an Amateur” is a worthwhile list to use as you edit your manuscript. Are your sentences to long, are you using passive voice, are you using cliché’s --- and more!

And Paul Goat Allen gives us five easy steps on “How to Sabotage Your Self-Published Book.” Again, you may know NOT to do these things, but I still see authors doing these five with regularity.

Self-Publishing Fundamentals with Mark Dawson & James Blatch

This podcast episode gets “back to the basics” with these two industry pros “discussing the fundamentals every new author needs to focus on at the beginning of a writing career.

Independent Publishing Blueprint - Course

If you’re looking for a more in-depth class on self or indie publishing, please consider my Independent Publishing Blueprint.

The pros and cons of indie (self) publishing, hybrid publishing, and traditional publishing, plus a detailed blueprint for successful indie publishing--business concerns, options for print, ebook, audiobook and much, much more. LEARN MORE HERE

Fix Your Writing Habits: Let’s Talk About Comp Titles

This is a comprehensive article about why and how to research comparable titles from the Tumblr blog: Fix Your Writing Habits. This is a task that you can’t skip, and with advice like this the chore shouldn’t feel too daunting.



The Indie View Reviewers List . . . bookmark this right now before you forget!

Well, I don’t know where I’ve been, but I finally stumbled across the Indie View reviewer list (which has a mighty search function that allows you to find reviewers for your genre.) Yup – no kidding. You’ll still need to do some double checking on the reviewers’ submission rules/guidelines, but this is a treasure trove of reviewer info. https://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/

How Working with Libraries Can Help Sell Your Books by Kerri Sullivan

Sullivan’s article on the Catapult Publishing website gives a librarian’s “step-by-step guide on how writers can grow their audience and promote their book by pitching a talk to their local library.” You need to give the library something of value beyond just a book talk on a topic related your expertise or knowledge you acquired during your book writing process. There so many fun programming options—just think outside the box a little and write up a program description. It’s a win-win – the library gets great programming, and the author gets great exposure and usually a fee for speaking/presenting.

Kindlepreneur Series on Identify on a Published Book’s Sales Problems

If you subscribe to Dave Chesson’s blog already, you’ve seen this series of really helpful posts come through over the course of the last few weeks. If you don’t subscribe to his blog, you should – go here to subscribe.

In “How to Identify a Book’s Sales Problem: Follow These Steps,” Chesson gives an easy-to-follow checklist with possible solutions to fix each problem. Some of this is tough love because fixing issues like this takes a bit of time and effort but will likely be worth it in the end with an uptick in sales.

In “Republish vs Update a Book: Which One is Better?” Chesson takes this discussion one step further with how to decide if you’re better off starting over with republishing the book rather than trying to fix what’s wrong. Warning: This can be tricky if you’re trying to keep your existing reviews—in that case you’ll likely need to just update your title.

And in “How to Revive Dead Book Sales: Managing Your Back List,” Chesson gives excellent tips on what to do to rekindle interest in a title that’s been out for a while. I’m currently doing this for a client and we’re having some good results.

How We Boosted Our Anthology’s Ranking to #1 by Shelley Kassian for BookBub Insights

So, this is pretty cool advice. I love it when authors are transparent with their promotional efforts that landed them in the #1 slot. Basically, they harnessed the power of their collective networks, utilized PR and marketing pros, along with making the most of book promotion sites like BookBub and others. (I think this recipe could be a winning one for any author.) Read it here:  https://insights.bookbub.com/boosted-anthology-retailer-ranking/

9 Ways Authors Use Crowdfunding Platforms to Reward Readers

Also, for the BookBub Insights blog, Sahilee Shah writes this piece which made me stop and wonder, “what the heck?” I’d never heard of using crowdfunding platforms for reader rewards, but here’s the quick scoop: This type of platform allows you to interact with your fans/readers more than you might think. Use it to offer exclusive content and perhaps get a buzz going by offering something unique. Ask for input from this group as well. Read the full article for my interesting ideas.  https://insights.bookbub.com/ways-authors-use-crowdfunding-reward-readers/

Best Promo Sites for New Releases from Indies Unlimited

This lisst (with links) to the best promotion sites/services for new releases has a few I’ve used before, but it also includes some new ones I’m not familiar with. Check out the list to see if it might help your upcoming release: https://indiesunlimited.com/book-promo-sites/book-promo-sites-for-new-releases/

Instagram Stories for Authors: How to Create and Use Them by Sandra Beckwith

Beckwith shares the best info she found when she wanted to learn how to create Instagram Stories more quickly. Great set of tutorials in one location.


LinkedIn for Writers: Boosting Your Profile from T.K. Sheffield 

Great post on how to best utilize the features of LinkedIn for your writing/author career. See the tips here: 


Happy Writing (editing, marketing, and more!) - Valerie  

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