You may remember a little while ago I did a series on the online things an author needs to succeed. We examined websites, blogs, mailing lists, and social media in a quest to create a list of which things you really need to promote your book and which ones are optional. Today, I’d like to zoom in on one social network in particular: Goodreads. Continue reading Does an Author Really Need Goodreads?→
Last month, I let you know that my new book would be launching on June 8. Well, that day has rolled around and Loglines in the Wild is now available!
Several years ago, after the I released my first book about loglines (a logline is single-sentence story pitch), Finding the Core of Your Story, I worked with many authors to create story pitches for their novels. While helping people write great loglines, I kept getting questions about how the process really looks in practice. The examples in Finding the Core of Your Story were largely drawn from finished films and books, which means that it’s easier to see how a logline comes together, but more difficult to see the process.
That’s where Loglines in the Wild comes in. In this new book, I’ve written eight case studies using real in-progress stories that you aren’t familiar with, which lets you see the whole process of loglining from start to finish. Looking at these case studies can help you a get clear look at how you might logline your own story. Plus, I’ve also included six new chapters of logline tips that weren’t in Finding the Core of Your Story.
You’ve gotten your author platform started. You have a great website, you’ve started a mailing list, and you’ve even come up with something to offer in exchange for signing up for that mailing list that your target audience can’t resist. That’s all you need, right?
But still you’re discovering that maybe it’s not quite true that if you build it, they will come. You’re at the point where it seems like your platform’s growth has come to a standstill.
I’m thrilled to announce my new book: Loglines in the Wild: Case Studies in Crafting an Incredible Story Pitch! And I’m also very excited to tell you how you can get a free copy during my launch extravaganza. But first, here’s a little bit about the book:
Writers everywhere have learned to pitch their stories more effectively with Finding the Core of Your Story. Now author Jordan Smith is back with Loglines in the Wild, a first-hand look at the process of creating a great story pitch. Featuring eight case studies drawn from consulting sessions with independent authors and filmmakers, plus six new chapters of logline tips and tricks, Loglines in the Wild is the perfect next step for anyone who wants to learn more about crafting an effective story pitch.
The official release date is June 8, and you can pre-order Loglines in the Wildfrom me or from Amazon.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on hiatus for the past month or so. That’s because my wife and I welcomed our beautiful baby daughter into the world in March, and I needed a little bit of time to adjust to a new schedule. Today, though, I’m jumping back in and answering a bunch of reader questions you guys sent in during my time off.
We all know that a big stack of positive reviews makes for great proof that your book is good. But it seems like most of us self-published authors tend to have a hard time actually finding people to review our books. We all wish we had more reviews, but maybe you don’t know where to look for them. Maybe you don’t know that there are more places than just Amazon where reviews matter. Or maybe you’re not sure how you can show off the reviews once you have them. So let’s look at how you can get a bevy of reviews and use them to prove your book is good. Continue reading Prove Your Book Is Good: Getting and Using Reviews→
Let’s say you and I get onto an elevator together and I ask what your book is about. You could do one of two things.
You could start from the beginning and try to pitch me your entire 300-page novel in the brief elevator ride. If you take this approach, you’ll probably be eyeing the emergency stop button as the elevator gets closer and closer to my floor while you haven’t even gotten to the story’s hook yet. But, alas, you’re too late. We arrive at my floor and I get off rolling my eyes and wondering why I asked.
Or, instead of trying to pitch your entire book in such a short time, you could give me one sentence that summarizes your story’s hook and key elements. In the time that it takes to ride an elevator, you’ve hopefully tickled my fancy enough for me to give you my e-mail address and say, “I’ve gotta run now, but tell me more about this!”
That one-sentence pitch you gave me is called a logline. It’s a tool that originated in Hollywood and is used by screenwriters to pitch their screenplays to movie producers. Basically, it’s a one-sentence summary of a story.
Recently, I showed you how to set up an author platform strategy that has the potential to really take off and grow. But, of course, there’s always a period of time once it’s set up while you wait for things to kick into high gear. And waiting isn’t fun. While you wait, you start to second guess if this strategy is actually working, and you kind of start to squirm in your chair as weeks pass without any real indicator that your strategy is a good one.
It’s surprising to me how many authors have been convinced that one of the best ways they can build a platform is simply starting a blog. Nobody tells them what to blog about; just blog about something on a regular (usually weekly) basisand if you build it, they will come.
What doesn’t surprise me at all is how many authors I know who have started the whole weekly blogging thing, then petered off as they realize that they will quickly run out of things to talk about if they write solely about themselves, and that most of their normal readers don’t care about another blog full of writing tips.
And so, my question to you authors is this: Are you happy blogging?
It’s always a good thing when you can pitch your story well. But so many indie or self-published authors settle for lame Amazon descriptions, making their books a hard sell. You may have even looked at your description and thought it could be better, but you haven’t known where to start.
The good news is that you don’t have to have a bad Amazon description. Just a little bit of work will give you a great description that piques a reader’s interest. Today, let’s look at what goes into an incredible Amazon description and how you can make it yours. Continue reading How to Write an Incredible Amazon Description→