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Monthly Archives: April 2019

Where Writers Get Stuck: Marketing: @allisonmaruska


by Allison Maruska


Now it’s time for the super secret post you’ve all been waiting for. Remember this Twitter poll?

It launched this whole mini-series on where writers get stuck. Be sure to check out planning, drafting, editing and revising, and querying or publishing if those are your personal struggles. While the poll was live, this comment happened:

So, to wrap up this series, let’s talk marketing! Is everyone excited??

I know. I can’t fake it very well. But stick with me. It’ll be worth it.

Marketing is a sticky point because, well, it kinda sucks. And by kinda I mean totally. Especially for us usually-introverted author types, having to talk about something we created and be excited about it isn’t natural at all. My alter-ego on Twitter gets it.

Add to that the reality that book marketing often yields weak results, and it’s easy to get frustrated and bail.


There are ways to make marketing more palatable and effective. We’ll identify the problems and address each one.

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Building an Author Platform Without a Smartphone: by Mallory McDuff @CleaverMagazine

A Craft Essay
by Mallory McDuff

“I hope you’re working on your platform,” wrote my agent last year after I sent a substantive revision of my manuscript. I had previously published three nonfiction books with small presses, but I typically spent more time following other writers on social media than promoting myself. That might not be unusual, but I did have one unique challenge: I needed to build online visibility, but I didn’t have a smartphone—a conscious decision. I wasn’t sure how to boost my social media presence without carrying a screen in my back pocket. But I was determined to try.

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Steps for Putting Together a Great Anthology

Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” L. Diane Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association. She conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, and she offers book formatting and author consultation. Wolfe is the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. For more of Wolfe’s tips, check out her blog

Anthologies are great opportunities for writers, organizations, and publishers. Authors gain exposure and experience, organizations gain awareness and extra funds, and publishers make money and sample new writers. It’s a lot of work but a win for everybody.

What’s the basic process for putting one together? What do publishers and organizations, and even writers, need to know?

Here are the basic steps for an anthology:

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Why You Should Revisit Your Old Content – Regularly

The post Why You Should Revisit Your Old Content – Regularly appeared first on ProBlogger.

This post is based on episode 145 of the ProBlogger podcast.

Is your obsession with new content hurting your blog?

As bloggers, we tend to focus on what we’re creating now rather than what we created months or even years ago.

Of course, it’s important to put time and effort into creating new content for our blogs. And that’s what we do here with both ProBlogger and Digital Photography School. We want to make those posts useful and practical, and to ensure they’re well edited, attractive to the reader, and optimized for search engines.

It’s good that we do all that. And it’s also good that we promote our new content. We share it on social networks, put it in our newsletter, and encourage engagement through comments on the blog and on social media.

But here’s the thing: The week your post goes live is only the beginning of its life online.

Sure, it will get a spike in traffic for a few days after it’s published. But what happens in the months, years, and potentially decades after you hit ‘publish’ can completely dwarf those first few days.

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The Writer’s Guide to Instagram: Tips from Top Bookstagrammers and Authors

The Writer's Guide to Instagram

Instagram is a massive and growing social media platform, and it is full of book lovers. There are many book-focused Instagrams with tens of thousands of followers, whose moderators feature books in appealing images that are widely liked and often reposted. As of this publication, users have posted over 29 million pictures with the hashtag #bookstagram. For many authors, Instagram has become a strong platform to attract new readers and engage with existing fans. However, the image-based social media service remains confusing to others, and many authors don’t even have a profile.

To help demystify Instagram, we asked popular bookstagrammers and authors with large followings to share their tips for creating stronger profiles, taking better pictures, attracting new followers, and getting popular bookstagrammers to feature their books. These strategies can be used by anyone, from beginners to experienced Instagrammers, to help grow, develop, and improve their presence on the platform. We hope this guide will help authors and others in the literary world attract new readers and engage more with their fans on Instagram.

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Book Marketing Tips: How To Grow Your Readership Through Podcasting

Our lives are becoming increasingly impacted by voice and audio technology, something I discuss frequently on The Creative Penn Podcast. Today, author and podcaster, Paul Sating shares why it’s a good idea for authors to podcast, and how it can help with book sales.

It’s difficult to get published but finding a reader base for your books can be even more challenging.

Maybe you’ve leveraged every tactic known to ‘writerhood’; newsletters, blogs, paid ads, and various writer-centric websites aimed at readership.

Even writing nonfiction books isn’t a guaranteed path to market awareness of your brand. The challenge of finding readers, standing out from the crowd, becomes more difficult as the crowd swells.

But what can a writer do? After all, there are only so many avenues available to us. The good news is, publishing is a long road, but it is a road with numerous branches that can help us reach our goal of finding new readers.

One way to create a unique presence is by sharing your voice with the world by starting your own podcast. Now, before you say you couldn’t possibly podcast, allow me to tell you how it’s not as difficult as it may first appear and why you might want to consider getting into this medium.

Reasons to Podcast

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The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors via ‏@annerallen ‏

Get your copy / see more author’s books / check out author’s website

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors by [Allen, Anne R.]An easy-does-it guide to simple, low-tech blogging for authors who want to build a platform, but not let it take over their lives.

An author blog doesn’t have to follow the rules that monetized business blogs do. This book teaches the secrets that made Anne R. Allen a multi-award-winning blogger and one of the top author-bloggers in the industry.

And you’ll learn why having a successful author blog is easier than you think.

Here are some things you’ll learn in this book:

•How an author blog is different—and easier to maintain—than a business blog
•What authors should blog about at different stages of their careers
•Choosing the right blog topics for your genre and audience
•How one type of blog post can build your platform quickly
•Basic SEO tips that don’t make your eyes glaze over with tech jargon
•How to write headers that will grab the attention of Web surfers
•How to keep your audience by learning the tricks of content writing
•Essential blog and social media etiquette rules
•What happens to your blog when you die?


Get your copy / see more author’s books / check out author’s website

“Anne writes the essential blog for today’s writers.” Mystery author Carmen Amato.

“I love following the blog of Anne R. Allen…for up-to-date tips and helpful articles for writers on what’s current in the publishing world.” Author D. G. Kaye.

“BRILLIANT! One of the Top 10 Resources for Self-Publishing Authors.” author Mark Tilbury.

“Anne is one of the most successful author-bloggers out there.” Reedsy

“One of the Top 15 Blogs for Indie Authors to Follow…I adore Anne’s blog. Aside from being one smart lady, her mix of sass and education is priceless.” Social media strategist and manager Frances Caballo

“You know what a huge fan I am of Anne R. Allen’s blog…absolutely marvelous.” Romance author Collette Cameron

“I recommend following the publishing blogs of both Jane Friedman and Anne R. Allen…I’ve implemented many of their tips, which have helped boost my SEO.” New York Times bestseller Eileen Goudge in Publisher’s Weekly

Get your copy / see more author’s books / check out author’s website

5 Tips To Spice Up Your Amazon Author Profile

Every element of your web presence is part of marketing your books. When readers are becoming fans of your books, they’ll begin to want to know more about you.

One of the first places they’ll learn about you is on your Amazon author profile. Chris Fey offers several tips on how to make that page as inviting and informative as possible.

In June, The Creative Penn hosted me for a post: 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Amazon Book Pages, and now I have the opportunity, thanks to Joanna Penn, to offer another post inspired by that one and share 5 tips to spice up your Amazon author profile.

Every author gets a profile when they sign up for an account through Amazon’s Author Central to claim their book pages.

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Guest Post: Why Snail Mail is Still Effective in the Age of the Internet

Guest Post: Why Snail Mail is Still Effective in the Age of the Internet Marketing

Now that brands can reach consumers through emails, texts, and social media, the idea of sending a physical postcard or promotional letter is obsolete, right?

Actually, the above statement couldn’t be more wrong. It’s precisely because of the prevalence of emails and social posts that physical mail has become a more effective marketing tool than ever before. With the average worker receiving 121 emails a day and nearly half of their inbox considered spam, it’s no wonder that many use instant deletion to clear out messages without ever opening a single communication.

Phishing scams pretending to be from secure sites like Apple or Paypal have also led consumers to assume emails are yet another attempt to steal their information. A pause inside the distracting world of electronic messages, mail is a more personal—and trustworthy—way to communicate.

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What’s Your Promise to Readers? Your Weekly Book Bubble Inspiration


Because I speak frequently on the topic of author branding, writers often ask me what the term means. “Kathy, what is an author brand?” At its essence, your author brand is simply the promise you make to your readers.

Sounds simple, right? It is. But simple isn’t always easy. It takes deep thinking and time to discover your unique author brand and learn how to articulate it clearly to your readers.

This week, use the Author Insight in your Book Bubble to share your promise to readers. It will help you discover your author brand. Let your readers know that you’re working hard to create a unique and powerful reading experience for them, and you’d love their feedback. Tell them about the type of characters, story lines, emotional experiences and wordsmithery you promise to create for them. Let them know that you are committed to continually honing your craft and mastering the art of storytelling.

I look forward to reading your book bubbles in this week’s Weekend Reader Marathon. To participate, simply create a book bubble by tomorrow (4/11) at noon ET. If you’ve already created a book bubble this week, you’re all set. Your bubble will automatically be included in our event, which is free to all Bublish authors.

If you haven’t created a book bubble this week, there’s still time. Just head on over to and create a book bubble today.




You guys are amazing! Now go forth and Bublish!

xo, Kathy

PS If you don’t have a Bublish account, start your free trial here.


Kathy Meis
Founder & CEO