blog

10 FAQs About Author Blogs

blogBlogging is something that I recommend nearly all authors do. But many of the people I speak with are unsure about how to start blogging, what to blog about, or why blogs may be helpful to them. With that in mind, here are 10 questions I frequently get about author blogs (and my responses, of course).

  1. What’s the benefit of blogging?
    I’ve written more posts about this than I care to remember. A few examples of them include: Why and How Authors Should be Blogging and Why You Need an Author Website and a Blog. But the short answer is that a successful blog is the primary way to drive traffic to your website. Sure, there are people who you will hand a business card out to. There will also be people who wind up on your website because they heard your name or your book title and started browsing. But how will you attract new people? That’s where blogging properly can come it. It can attract people who never knew you existed before, and wouldn’t unless you had started blogging. Your blog entry on a topic of interest to them will show up on their search results. And voila! You’ve found a future reader.
  1. What tools do I need to set up a blog?
    If you don’t have an author website already, you can sign up for a free blog service like WordPress or BlogSpot. But if you do have a site like the ones we build, blogging functionality is built in. It’s free and easy.
  1. How often should I blog?
    That can differ from person to person. I personally like to blog once a week. If you only want to commit to every other week, that’s okay too. Even once a month is okay, although not ideal. What you don’t want is a blog on your site that hasn’t been updated in a few months — or even worse — years. That sends a message to users that you’re not paying attention to your blog … so why should they?
  1. How long should a blog entry be?
    This can also vary from person to person. It can be as short as a few paragraphs (just your musings or sharing an anecdote), or as long as a featured article (1500 words or more). In general, though, I have found 500 words to be about the sweet spot for blog entries.
  1. How do I know what to blog about?
    You need to decide on a theme for your blog. And that can depend on your personality, your goals for the blog, etc… For example, if you are a comedic writer, then you should blog humorously. That will help you build a following of people who really appreciate your sense of humor. If you, on the other hand, write a book about religion, you should blog about religion. In that instance, you can get ideas for individual blog posts from questions that readers pose to you, news on religion, or Google Alerts (one of my favorite ways to be inspired).If you’re a fiction author, figuring out a blog theme is a little more complicated. But basic ideas can inlclude blogging about being a writer, blogging about your characters, or using the blog to offer bonus material that users wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere (book outtakes, for example).
  1. What are blog categories?
    WordPress offers a dandy little feature called blog categories. It allows you to categorize all of your blog entries, so that people who are interested in one specific topic an easily see everything you’ve written on that topic. On the right hand side of this site, for example, you see our blog categories: author marketing tips, a successful author website, author trends, tech advice, etc… Every blog entry that we post goes into one or more of these categories. So someone visiting the site who is only interested in marketing advice, for example, but not information on how to set up a good email client, can view everything categorized as author marketing tips.
  1. How long do blogs live on?
    Blogs live forever (unless you specifically decide to take them down). There is no limit to the number of blog entries you can post, so there’s no good reason to ever delete old ones. You may be surprised to find out that a blog entry you posted two years ago may still be getting a lot of traffic today. If it works, why change it or remove it?
  1. Can I include images in blogs?
    Yes, it’s very easy to scan in a photo and post it as part of a blog entry. If you build your author website through us, we will have a tutorial with you to show you how to do just that.
  1. How do I know if people are reading my blog?
    Every author (and blogger) should sign up for a free account with Google Analytics. By simply installing a plug-in on your blog and entering your Google Analytics ID there, you can then log in any time and see which of your blog entries are being viewed the most. Looking at Google Analytics can be very encouraging for authors like you, because it’s very easy to get discouraged when you notice that hardly anyone is commenting on your blog entries. You may then be very surprised to find out that hundreds of people actually visited and read that blog entry. That’s what you can learn from Google Analytics.
  1. How can I integrate my blog with Facebook and Twitter?
    Blogging and social networking can go hand in hand. Here are a few ways to integrate the two:

    • Make sure that every blog entry you post has a way for people to share it and/or like it via Facebook and Twitter.
    • Promote each of your blog entries via social networking; this can be done by synching up your blog with Facebook and Twitter (so that every blog post automatically turns into a Facebook post and Tweet), or by customizing and posting your message manually for each particular audience.
    • Include Facebook and/or Twitter widgets on your blog, so that people can have multiple ways to follow you.

Do you have additional questions about blogging? Post them below and I’ll be happy to respond!

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mailclients

Authors: Setting Up Your E-Mail Client

In my article last week about choosing the correct mail client I discussed several different options you can consider, including MacMail, Outlook and Thunderbird.

This week I’d like to go over how to actually configure your e-mail client.

This guide is written specifically for use in our system, which uses a webmail-based interface. However, the guide should also be helpful to those who do not use webmail, or who’s sites are hosted elsewhere.

Configuring a mail client is a fairly straightforward process, but some of the more common issues that crop up are the following:

  • Outgoing mail isn’t sending, but incoming works just fine
  • Login settings are not correct
  • Email looks like it is sending but the recipient never received the email
  • Settings on the mail client show that it is configured correctly but no mail is received

If one or some of the above has happened to you while trying to configure a third-party mail client, don’t despair! The step-by-step guide below should help you configure the client correctly so you can send and receive mail.

Step 1. Log into your account

The first thing you will need to do is to log-in to your webmail account straight from your website. Every site that is configured to work with webmail (which includes all of our sites that we host) has a login portal from which you can check email. To access this portal, navigate to your website. We will use http://smartauthorsites.com as an example. When you enter your site URL in the navigation bar above, you just need to type the following: /webmail at the end of the URL to access this portal.

So if your website URL is http://annetteqwriter.com you would go to http://annetteqwriter.com/webmail. Then, on the screen show at the right, enter your full email address as the username, as well as your password. The system will sometimes not allow you to log-in if you don’t enter the full address with the domain. So, annette@annetteqwriter.com would need to be entered rather than just “annette” for the username.

Step 2. Navigate to configuration settings screen

On the next screen you have the option to use one of the built-in pieces of webmail software to check your email right on the web. While is a very useful feature, this guide is all about showing you how to bypass the need to log-in every time you check mail. This is what using a mail client is all about!

So instead we will select the “configure mail client” button, as this will help us figure out exactly which settings we need to enter into our mail client to get everything working correctly.

Step 3. Copy settings to your new mail client

This is the most important step in the process. When you arrive at the next screen you will see a lot of different settings and options. It might look confusing to you at first, but these are the settings you will need to either automatically configure or manually enter into your new mail client.

First, check to see if you are using Outlook or Mac Mail with your OS from the top box. Then select either POP over SSL/TLS or IMAP over SSL/TLS. Either option is perfectly fine in terms of receiving and sending mail – the key difference is that POP will download a copy of all email to your mail client whereas IMAP will sync with your mail client. So if you use POP then a copy of the email will not be retained on the server. We recommend IMAP.
Here is some more useful information about the difference between the two and why IMAP is preferable.

Once you make your selection, webmail will attempt to automatically sync your email account to your mail client. Almost all of the time this is successful. If, for some reason it is not, or the mail client of your choice does not have an option on this page for auto-synching then you will need to do it manually by entering the settings shown in “Manual Settings” below. These will vary depending on your server settings. You will almost always want to use secure settings, which are in the grey box on the left. Enter the username (full, with domain), password and IMAP/POP settings shown in the grey box into your mail client. This will allow the configuration script to complete and you will be able to start sending and receiving mail right away.

If you are synching with a mobile device, you will also likely need to use these manual settings.

Step 4. Watch the mail come in!

Email can definitely be a headache to set-up, and dealing with spam, bounced mail and other mail-related issues is not fun. But our hope is that the guide above will make this process a breeze.

Using a mail client is so much easier than logging in to your system every single time you want to check email. You may have gotten into the habit of using webmail, but a properly-configured mail-client is a must for running an effective business or marketing yourself as an author. It will make everything go so much faster. Personally, I would never go back to just using webmail!

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authorpreneur

5 Ways to Go From an Author to an Authorpreneur

authorpreneurHave you heard the term authorpreneur? If not, it’s time that you did. Because in today’s world of publishing, just being an author isn’t enough.

In the old days, writers were just that: writers. They would write their books, and publishers would pay them a hefty advance. Then the publishers would be the businesspeople — printing the book, marketing the book, and selling the book — and the authors could work on their next manuscripts.

That is no longer the case. Today’s world of publishing is a lot fuzzier. Whether you are self-publishing or going through a publishing house, the only person running your business is you. So you’re no longer just a writer. You’re a writer and a business owner. Hence the term authorpreneur.

Here’s the official definition of the term “authorpreneur” from Urban Dictionary:

An author who creates a written product, participates in creating their own brand, and actively promotes that brand through a variety of outlets.

Here are seven steps you can take to turn yourself from a writer into a successful author in today’s complicated world of publishing. And unfortunately, yes: this does mean that you will need to invest a few of your own dollars.

1. Get an accountant. Remember: this is a business. You need to treat it as such. A professional accountant will help you determine which expenses are deductable (before you start spending the money), as well as how to keep all of your receipts and records in order. Many accounting firms offer a free consultation, so start with that. Feel free to also ask friends and relatives if there’s someone they recommend.

2.  Hire an editor, cover designer, printing company and/or distribution company. This is especially important if you are self-publishing. Here are some questions to ask yourself?

  • Who is going to edit your book? How about copyediting?
  • Do you have a cover designer in place?
  • How many books are you going to print? If someone buys 1000 copies, will those be pre-printed? Will it be print on demand? Who will ship them?
  • What about turning your book into an ebook? Do you have a plan in place for that?

Make sure you have all of these things lined up before your book is officially released. And don’t think that you can do all these things yourself. A writer is generally not an editor or a designer. These are very specific skills, and not areas you should skimp on. Hire the right people to make sure this process goes smoothly.

3. Create your online presence. An online presence is practically a requirement for today’s authors. Here are the steps required to get this done right.

  • Start with your author website. Make sure it looks clean, professional, and suits your brand. Also make sure that it has a clear goal — be it selling books, getting people to sign up for your mailing list, or increasing your exposure.
  • Create social networking presences on some combination of the following: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, GoodReads and Amazon. Make sure that all of them are kept up to date and include links to/promotions of your book and your website.
  • Enter the world of video! Create at least one unique video and upload it to YouTube. Read this previous post about why video is so important in today’s world.
  • Build an email list. Make sure you collect the email addresses of people visiting your site. This will come in handy down the line when you have new books or events to promote.

4. Print marketing materials. So you plan to do a lot of talking about your book. That’s great. But what are you going to give out to the people you’re talking to? It’s extremely important that you have printed materials on hand at all times so that you can physically hand people something they can take with them. Examples of good printed marketing materials for authors include:

  • Business cards (this is a must)
  • Bookmarks
  • Flyers
  • A discount promo code for purchasing online materials

5. Attend events and conferences. As much as today’s world of publishing is digital — and a large percentage of it is — nothing will ever replace the value of face time. Start in your local area, and drop by libraries, bookstores, schools, etc… Talk with them about arranging for book readings, signings or seminars. Then look on a national level, and find conferences for authors/publishers/agents in your genre. If you’re a nonfiction writer, you can also look to attend conferences on your specific subject matter. For example, if you’ve written a parenting book, you would do well to attend one of the many mom blogger conferences that take place nationwide. Just showing up, introducing yourself and handing out business cards can go a long way.

Being a small business owner isn’t easy. But start with these five steps and you’ll be on your way to authorpreneurship.

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junkmail

Authors: How to Select a Good Mail Client

One of the most exciting facets of managing your new author website is getting to send email from your very own domain. Instead of relying on gmail, hotmail, or AOL, you can have your own custom email address with a subdomain.

Not only is this far more professional, but it is recommended if you want to connect your new website with your email marketing efforts. For example, wonderfulauthor@gmail.com certainly doesn’t have the same personal touch as jason@wonderfulauthor.com.

However, one of the trickier things about email is finding a good mail client. True, you can log-in to administer your email through the webmail system, but it is usually preferable to use a 3rd party mail system to manage your email.

So how do you know which to choose? There are tons of options out there! Not all mail clients are created equal, but some are far more popular than others. Here is a short list of possibilities to help make the process easier for you:

Mail Client Possibilities

Mac Mail

This is the most widely-used mail clients for Apple or iPhone users. Mac Mail ships with both the iPhone and most Apple products, so no downloading is necessary. In my experience if you have a Mac and you want to use a 3rd party mail client don’t even read the rest of the section. This is what to use. It is a free application that comes built-in and installed on most Apple products. Doesn’t get much simpler.

Outlook

The Windows counterpart to Mac Mail, Outlook has gone through many iterations over the years, and different versions will work with different operating systems at different levels. Nowadays you can sync your mobile device with Outlook.com, which is a cloud-based app that stores and manages your email and is quite good. You can still use the newest version of Outlook if you would like, which is the 2013 version (as of 2015). One disadvantage of Outlook is that it is not free.

Thunderbird

This is open-source email software for both Mac and Windows that is simple to set-up and has some very nice features. You can also install the Lightning add-on to go along with this application that has some nice add-ons including task management and scheduling of appointments. Thunderbird is created by the same company that is behind the Firefox browser. This will become apparent when you install the software as it uses the same tabbed browsing system in email as the aforementioned browser. Overall Thunderbird is a nice email client and tends to be pretty easy to learn.

PostBox

If you love gmail this is the best way to integrate the gmail system into a workable mail client. PostBox also integrates well with the file-storage system DropBox and has a lot of fun features. The system for organizing email is also very nice, and though it isn’t free software, it is a really good alternative to Outlook if you use Windows, though it is really built for Macs.

But What if I Like Webmail?

There is nothing inherently wrong with the Webmail system. In fact, many of our clients log-into webmail every day and use RoundCube or one of the other built-in Mail-readers that come with Webmail. However, we recommend configuring your email with a 3rd part mail client as it will allow you to more easily manage your contacts, emails, and store this information locally.

Now check out Part II of this series: setting up your new e-mail client.

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Author Marketing Ideas: 5 Ways Writers Can Team Up

author-marketing-ideas-partnershipsEvery up-and-coming author is looking for the same thing: a chance to reach a new audience, sell books, and ultimately become a bestselling author.

But here’s something that might surprise you. Two or more authors in the same genre can actually help one another achieve those goals. If you, for example, are a mystery writer, and you are introduced to another mystery writer, you don’t have to look at that author as competition. After all, it’s not like Coke and Pepsi; readers aren’t going to read one author’s books and decide not to read the other’s. Instead, by teaming up with other, similar writers in your genre, you can actually work together to get your books in the hands of the right people.

Here are five author marketing ideas that can help you do just that.

1. Review each other’s books. Everyone is trying to get their book reviewed. In fact, some authors are actually paying to get their book reviwed. So why not review one another’s books? If you do this, though, you have to vow to be honest. Don’t hesitate to be slightly critical. That’s what makes it a real review. Then post that review on your own site, and allow the author to post it on their site, on Amazon, etc… It’s a free review (and hopefully a good one) for both of you. Warning: Read the book and make sure you don’t hate it before volunteering to do this!

2. Share email lists. Have you built an email list of your own? Why not combine it with your colleagues’ email list and send out joint messages together. This allows your message to reach twice the audience.

3. Consider group or guest blogging. Are both of you blogging? Why not try blogging together? This can be done by creating one group blog, where two or three (or more) of you all post in the same place. Or you can, on occasion, each write one blog post for the other person’s blog. Again, this is a way to reach a new audience and combine forces.

4. Cross-promote content. Does your colleague have something interesting on his or her site? Maybe it’s a compelling blog entry, a book excerpt, a quiz, or some fast facts on his or her writing. Dedicate a blog or Facebook post to promoting his or her interesting content.

5. Plan events together. Have you thought about hosting an online chat? A book launch party? A webinar for other authors? Double your pleasure (and your attendance) by doing it together. And if you live in the same geographic area, you can think about doing book signings or library visits together as well.

All of these ideas allow authors like you to combine forces. Your fans + his or her fans = more potential readers. It’s as simple as that.

And if you are looking for an author in your genre to team up with, post a comment below. Maybe we can even play matchmaker!

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calendar

January Author Round-Up

calendarJanuary has come to a close! Here’s a list of our hand-picked top three reads for authors from around the web.

1. The Dos and Don’ts of Digital Marketing for Authors

Huffington Post
January 16, 2015

2. Social Media Marketing: Simple Tips That Some Self-Published Authors Tend to Forget

Tech Cocktail
January 6, 2015

3. 12 Publishing And Marketing Predictions For 2015

The Future of Ink
January 1, 2015

 

And, just for kicks, here are the top-three most read Smart Author Sites blog posts for the month…

How to Write the Perfect Book Teaser

The Importance of an Author Tagline (and How to Write One)!

Looking to Get Published? Consider Harper Collins’ Authonomy

 

Please share any other good reads with us and we will consider including them in future posts!

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elizabeth_gilbert_screenshot

6 Things Elizabeth Gilbert Does Right on Her Author Website (and You Can, Too)

elizabeth_gilbert_screenshotBestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (known best for Eat, Pray, Love) has an amazing author website. And no, we didn’t build it.

But when I stumbled upon it today, I was immediately impressed by it. Why? Here are six reasons…

1. The font and logos at the top give it some personality. From the moment you arrive, you notice her name at the top and those cute little icons next to each tab in the navigation. Without having to use words to explain who Elizabeth is, the site gives you a sense of the books’ genre and Elizabeth’s writing style just from these simple images.

2. The slider on the homepage lets you see all her books immediately. Sliders are all the rage in today’s world of web design. Sometimes they’re overused, but this is definitely not one of those cases. When you land on the site’s homepage, you get little thumbnail images of each of her book covers, and clicking on one allows you to see a larger version of it, along with a description and a “learn more” links. This is a great way to feature multiple books without taking up a lot of real estate.

3. It’s easy to buy the book … in different formats and from different vendors. See the right hand column of the homepage? It highlights her most recent book (the one people are most likely to buy) and ways to purchase it in hardcover, paperbook or e-book format, from Amazon, B&N, iTunes and a wealth of other publishing companies. It even offers a bonus: a signed copy if you buy it directly from Two Buttons.

4. The “upcoming events” section is current. Admit it. You have trouble keeping your “upcoming events” section current. If I browsed most of the author websites I built over the last few years, I would be likely to find an upcoming events section with dates that have gone by. But Elizabeth (and her team, I assume) are keeping this up to date with events that are truly upcoming. This sends the message to readers that Elizabeth is paying attention to her site … and they should, too.

5. It highlights video. I wrote a post recently about how video is the future of the web. Author websites are no exception. On Elizabeth’s site, video is featured the site’s navigation. That’s where all her videos — promo trailers, interviews, etc… — are all housed.

6. It includes unique content. Elizabeth keeps a blog, which is great. In it, she covers current events, personal stories, and just general commentary that she’d like to share with readers. She also has a page on the site that she calls “Thoughts on Writing,” in which she shares some insight into what inspired her to write, the challenges she faced along the way, and what advice she would give to up-and-coming writers. All of thise content is unique to the site, and gives people who are fans of her books reason to visit the site and come back regularly.

Now, it’s true that Elizabeth is a bestselling author and probably has more time and money to dedicate to her site than many of you. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take a lesson or two from what she’s doing right and replicate some of the same ideas on your own site.

And finally, hats off to Dave Cahill, by the way, of Rivernet Computers, who built this site for Elizabeth. Good work!

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book-landing-page

What Is a Book Landing Page and Do You Need One?

book-landing-pageYou may or may not have heard the term “landing page” in the context of an author website. But you very well may not know exactly what a landing page is. It’s time to learn!

What Is a Landing Page?
The term “landing page” refers to where someone will enter, or “land,” on your website. And despite a common misconception, that’s not the same thing as a homepage.

While a homepage is essentially a table of contents for the entire website, a landing page is a much more focused beast. In other words, it takes one section of your website and becomes the place that people land when they want to learn more about it. And you want them to do one very clear thing while they’re there. The industry term for that is a “call to action.”

The definition of a landing page on Wikipedia is as follows:

The purpose of the … landing page is to persuade a visitor to take action by completing a transaction. This is accomplished by providing a form that needs to be filled out. The visitor information is obtained in order to add the visitor’s email address to a mailing list as a future prospect. A transactional email campaign can be established in the future. The goal is to capture as much information about the visitor as possible. The ultimate goal is to convert the visitor into a customer.

We even have a landing page on our own site. Check out this page and you will see that we have one very clear call to action here: give us your contact info! Make sense?

What Is a Book Landing Page?
So how does this concept of a landing page translate to a book?

Think about it this way: On your author website, you may offer a blog, links to connect with you via social networking, an email sign-up, a link to buy the book, downloadable PDFs and more. On a landing page, you reduce the confusion for visitors and give them one very clear direction. In this instance, it would be a large “Buy the Book” button — and no other options.

Statistics show that the fewer options you offer, the greater the chances that people will follow the one option that does exist. In this case, book sales.

What Would Be on a Book Landing Page?
If the primary purpose of your book landing page is to sell copies (which we are assuming it is), then everything on the page should be with the goal of convincing someone to buy the book. Examples of what to include are:

  • A large photo of the book cover, along with the title and publishing details
  • An eye-catching list of reasons why someone would benefit from the book (i.e. Double your salary in one year after reading this book!)
  • Testimonials/review quotes about the book
  • A large “Buy the Book” link, with options to purchase through Amazon, B&N, etc…

Who Should You Send to a Book Landing Page? Who Should You Not?
Since we’re assuming that the main purpose of your landing page is to sell books, then anyone who you would like to buy a copy of the book can — and should — be sent to your landing page. So if, for example, you’re talking about your book at a book club meeting or at the public library, you can hand out business cards sending people to the landing page of your book.

But there are plenty of people whom you might want to visit your website and NOT buy a copy of the book. For example, if you’re talking to an agent about the next book that you’re working on, or if you are encouraging someone who has already read your book to sign up for your email newsletter, you do not want to send them to a landing page. Instead, you want them to peruse the rest of the site and take a different action.

This is why a book landing page is simply one page of an entire website. It will be perfect for some visitors, but it’s not where you’d want to send others.

So Do You Need a Book Landing Page?
That depends. Here are some questions to ask yourself when making that decision:

  • What percentage of your audience fits into the category of people who you would want to simply purchase your book?
  • Would you rather visitors to do more than one thing when they arrive (say, buy the book AND sign up for your email newsletter)
  • What is the biggest strength of your site? Is it the book? Your blog? Would someone “miss out” if all they did was buy the book?
  • Is your main website an author website? If so — and is named after you (JaneSmith.com, for example) — then you may want to consider having a book landing page with the book title as a URL for clear differentiation.

Not every author needs a book landing page. But it’s definitely a tool that any author should have in his or her back pocket to boost book sales.

Happy Landing!

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linkedin-groups

Writers Speak Up: “My Biggest Author Mistake Was…”

linkedin-groupsThere’s a new conversation going on in an author group I belong to on LinkedIn. And boy is it a doozy!

The group is called “Authors, Writers, Publishers, Editors, & Writing Professionals.” The question? “What is the worst mistake you made in the history of your career as an author, which you will not want a fellow author to make?” Here are some of the responses you won’t want to miss…

——-

On Writing a Manuscript

“I think my biggest mistake was starting and stopping. Several times now. If I had just perservered and pushed through the mental and creative blocks and the ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ stuff, I’d be a lot further ahead.”
Patricia A. Guthrie

“I sent a children’s book manuscript to a publisher. Six months later, Hasbro was advertising toys named like characters in my book. Coincidence? Maybe, but that’s the reason for my decision to copyright everything–first and foremost.”
M.H. Johnson

“One of the worst things I ever did was to accept terms on contracts which I could have challenged and made infinitely better. I did learn more about all of this with time, but, looking back, I let too much get away from me and whenever I teach a class on how to negotiate contracts, I urge writers and illustrators to dig into contract negotiations in every way they can, do research, ask questions BEFORE you sign.”

Deborah Nourse Lattimore

——-

On Getting Published/Self-Publishing

“I self published those first two books that should have been left in the drawer.”
Adrian Collins

“My biggest mistake? Self-publishing my first novel. I had what seemed good reasons at the time, and I’m not really ashamed of the book now; although it could certainly have used an editor, it’s not full of typos, grammar and punctuation errors, etc. But I had NO idea how to market anything, and consequently almost no one has bought or read the book.”
Mary Patterson Thornburg

“My biggest mistake in my career as an author came shortly after selling my first book to Macmillan for a big advance. I thought I could do it all myself, so I turned down an offer from a top-tier NYC literary agent who offered to represent me. Why should I give someone else a percentage for what I could do myself?

“Sure wish I had signed, because once I started writing fiction, I learned what an agent does to earn that percentage.”
Larry Constantine

“For me, it has been choosing publishers. I seem to have a run of back luck with them. I’m not bragging here, but with my third novel I had five publisher’s offer me a contract, and in the end, I ended up choosing the wrong one. Wish I could have that one back. The publisher has an awful editing and formatting team, and they don’t like to pay their authors. I’m finding more and more that you need an agent to make it anywhere in this business. Even though all three of my publisher’s have been traditional, they are small presses, and like the rest of the world they want more money…”
david brown

——-

On Post-Publication Marketing/Outreach

“Being an ass in public to fellow authors, publishing professionals, or even fans can be a career killer. There are still stories circulating about things authors have said during panel discussions at conventions. Rule #1: don’t be a dick.”
Chris Jackson

“My biggest mistake was not educating myself on the norms of traditional publishing. I was fortunate to publish with one of the big six (and some really great things have come from that) but I relied on them to do the marketing, not realising I would have that support for only the month of publication and then it was up to me. I was totally unprepared. I should have had a website, social media presence, my own press releases, marketing plan etc etc. Big learning curve!”
Elly Taylor

 

So what has been your biggest author mistake so far? What would you want to warn other authors not to do? Share your stories in the comments box below!

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calendar

December Author Round-up: Must Reads for the New Year

calendarThere have been a lot of good pieces of content published over the past month — many of which I highly recommend for authors. Here’s a quick round-up of our five favorites (in addition to our own, of course).

Amazon Offers All-You-Can-Eat Books. Authors Turn Up Noses.
New York Times, December 28

Set book marketing goals for 2015
Build Book Buzz, December 16

Publishing Service Index: December 2014
Independent Publishing Magazine, December 5

The Author Platform Effect: Techniques to Grow Your Mobile Audience
Nessgraphica, December 3

Why you shouldn’t give your book away
Build Book Buzz, December 2

Enjoy! And stay tuned for more!

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