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Monthly Archives: September 2018

Guest Post: Which Marketing Channels are Most Effective for Books?

Image courtesy of Orbit Analytics

By Mariah T.

Many writers stay so focused on their work that they forget to promote their product. As a result, they often become discouraged by disappointing book sales. You can do better, especially if you know where to start.

Marketing is essential for books, just as with any other good. With the right plan, you can build awareness and excitement about your work, so people anticipate buying it. That way, people will buy your book as soon as it becomes available.

Although you want to sell books, you also want to deliver value to your readers. After all, marketing is more about creating mutually beneficial relationships than merely closing sales. If you routinely meet or exceed expectations, your base of loyal readers will expand.

At first, marketing may sound intimidating. However, if you spend time learning about how to market books, you can quickly become a pro. Begin by thoroughly researching your market and then applying what you know to the following effective marketing channels for books.

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Should Authors Use Instagram?


Should Authors Use Instagram?

Social media is a useful and free way to connect to the wider reading world. Thanks to the democratization of publishing though self-publishing and other platforms, there are many great new books out there. However, the abundance also means it’s hard to be found. Without a marketing department to back you up, how do you connect to readers?

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How to Market Your Book–When You Hate Marketing

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Writers these days don’t get to think about just writing. If you want to learn how to sell your books, you must also think about marketing. And yet, most writers hate marketing.

Popular marketing wisdom, particularly within the last decade, says newbie authors should start building marketing platforms before they’re ever published. Start a blog, start a podcast, start a YouTube channel. Get active on Twitter. Build an email list.

This is something I’m frequently asked about. I get emails from authors saying,

I’m just starting to write my first book. What can I do to market it?

The sense from most of these authors is a little confused, sometimes even a little desperate. “Do I really have to do this?”

Writers know marketing is inevitable if they want to sell any copies and make any money. And yet, I daresay for almost all of us, there is this intuition that marketing isn’t just hard, it’s sometimes downright… icky.

Instead of trying to fully overcome that disconnect, I think it’s important to really look at it, to understand the nuances of the competing demands upon you, and to use them to refine a vision for how to sell your books without selling out.

read more How to Market Your Book–When You Hate Marketing

Guest Post: Why Instagram Stories Is A Big Plus For Businesses

By Alex Slichnyi

Social media is one of the biggest trend-setters in the society today. Every day, millions of people all around the world log onto platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to keep themselves updated about various subjects.

Instagram is perhaps the hottest social media platform right now. A staggering 300 million users visit it every day. Its visual nature makes it indispensable to many users, and the effect was only enhanced with the advent of Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories was launched in 2016, and it became a hit over the past two years. Many considered it a petty response to Snapchat’s story. However, it has morphed into a feature with its own identity and importance.

Today, there are over 250 million active users of Instagram Stories. On average, users younger than 25 spend 32 minutes a day on Instagram with a large chunk of that timedevoted to Instagram Stories. It didn’t take long for businesses to realize that Instagram Stories could be hugely beneficial.

Humans respond quickly to visual stimuli. Many big brands, such as Nike, Mac, Gucci, Samsung and Apple, use Instagram Stories to promote their products. Overall, 33% of the most popular Instagram Stories each day come from businesses.

Interestingly, 20% of Instagram Stories posted by businesses often result in a direct message from prospective customers. With 1 in 3 Instagram users admitting to viewing stories every day, the audience is there for businesses to harness.

read more Guest Post: Why Instagram Stories Is A Big Plus For Businesses

Author Podcasting: 10 Tips You Need

author podcasting

Author podcasting is hot. But is podcasting one more thing that you need to do now to succeed at selling your books?

Absolutely not.

But I tell you this: when I had a podcast, I sold more books.

I’m not going to try to talk you into podcasting. What I want to do is share my perspective and tips.

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Learn How To Find Your First 10,000 Readers


I read this in today’s New York Times Magazine:

“I always think about people that write books. What a horrible feeling it must be to have poured your soul into a book over a number of years and somebody comes up to you and goes, ‘I loved your book,’ and they walk away, and you have no idea what worked and what didn’t. That to me is hell. That’s my definition of hell.”—Jerry Seinfeld, New York Times Magazine, August 19, 2018

I talk to authors every day, trying to help them get over the obstacles they run into when they start publishing.

By far the most common problem I discover is one the authors themselves don’t know they have.

No matter how much work they’ve put into their book, they haven’t realized that when they publish it, no one will know.

How can you become a successful indie author without readers?

When this dawns on them, many authors get discouraged, throw up their hands, and consider just scrapping the whole project. I hate to see that happen.

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What’s New to Pinterest for Writers?


 By  Pinterest for Writers

I’ve written a lot about Pinterest for writers in the past, but it’s been a while since I wrote anything new about this platform.

So let’s take a look at what’s new and significant about the changes that are taking place on this channel.

The profile is new and includes a cover image. You can select from some different options for your cover image, such as your latest pins, recent pins from your site, or a specific board.

The Best Free Media Contacts Tool You Probably Aren’t Using

By Joan Stewart

After working as a top publicity expert for almost two decades, I thought I knew all the tricks about how to generate news coverage on a shoestring budget until a few years ago.

That’s when Michelle Tennant Nicholson of Wasabi Publicity, a boutique PR agency in North Carolina, told me about, the best free resource for tracking down contact information for thousands of media outlets in the United States. It’s short for U.S. Newspapers List.

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How to Upload a PDF to the Kindle Store, and Sell It

In my morning coffee link post this morning I included a post on The Book Designer where a so-called “expert” made various claims about PDFs, including that PDFs aren’t ebooks and that PDFs “can’t be uploaded to any of the major ebook commercial retailer sites”. 

Sidenote: This guy has a long-running FUD campaign about PDFs. He has been bad mouthing PDFs for years, and he is just as wrong today as he was two years ago.

My first inclination is to retort that any well-informed publishing industry insider could tell you that neither statement is true, but then I realized that if The Book Designer could publish a post rife with factual errors, maybe it was time for an explainer post that set the record straight.

Yes, you can upload and sell PDF in the major ebookstores – some of them, anyway. Amazon accepts PDFs, and so does Google. Barnes & Noble used to accept PDFs, but according to their current help pages they no longer do so.

READ MORE How to Upload a PDF to the Kindle Store, and Sell It

Embracing the Discipline to Write Your Book

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In all creative projects, there is a time to dream, and then there is a time to do. When it comes to finishing your book, it’s no longer time to dream. It’s time to do.

I recently recorded an audio mini-series to accompany my most popular blog, 10 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book. I’ve been sharing those on my podcast, The Portfolio Life. The first episode covered getting started and was aptly titled How to Start Writing Your Book.

read more Embracing the Discipline to Write Your Book