The Platform Building Step You're Probably Missing

The Platform Building Step You’re Probably Missing

The Platform Building Step You're Probably Missing

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.

What’s missing? In this article, let’s explore the one last step you need to take to make your platform grow. Continue reading The Platform Building Step You’re Probably Missing

Two Ways to Get a Free Copy of My New Book

Loglines in the Wild coverI’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 Wild from me or from Amazon.

But I said you could get a free copy, didn’t I? Read on for two ways to do just that. Continue reading Two Ways to Get a Free Copy of My New Book

You asked. I answered.

I Answer Your Questions!

You asked. I answered.

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’re covering quite the smorgasbord of questions in this post: everything from how to start your mailing list to ways to beat writer’s block. Let’s jump in! Continue reading I Answer Your Questions!

Getting and Using Reviews

Prove Your Book Is Good: Getting and Using Reviews

Getting and Using Reviews

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

A Killer Tool to Help You Sell Your Book

The Killer Tool That Can Help You Sell Your Book

A Killer Tool to Help You Sell Your Book

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.

Loglines aren’t exclusively for screenwriters, though. Every storyteller should be able to say in one sentence what his or her story is about. And so, let’s take a crash course in the art of crafting a great logline for your book. Continue reading The Killer Tool That Can Help You Sell Your Book

Five Ways to Grow Your Author Platform

Five Ways to Grow Your Author Platform

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.

The good news is that you don’t have to just sit there squirming. There are things you can do while you wait, and some of them can even help your strategy get off and running. Here are five things you can do right now. Continue reading Five Ways to Grow Your Author Platform

How to Write a Fantastic Author Newsletter

How to Write a Fantastic Author Newsletter

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) basis and 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?

Ralphie
“Are you happy wearing that?”

If you feel like Ralphie, read on. Today, I’ll show you how to get out of the bunny suit blogging trap. Continue reading How to Write a Fantastic Author Newsletter

How to Write an Incredible Amazon Description

How to Write an Incredible Amazon Description

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

Why Did You Read That Book?

Why Did You Read That Book?

Have you ever thought about what caused you to pick up a book? It may be something you’ve never considered. However, as a self-published author, you can learn a lot from asking yourself why you read a certain book. Knowing the reasons that you and others choose to read a book will help you as you determine how to market your own book.

To start off this new year, let’s do an exercise looking at the last several books you read to help you pick a focus or goal for marketing your own books. Continue reading Why Did You Read That Book?

The Number One Way to Build Your Author Mailing List

If you’re like me, you’ve read dozens of blog posts promising to tell you the best strategy for how to “grow your author platform.” You’ve probably seen several online courses that promise to show you how to generate more sales for your book if you’ll only shell out enough cash for the course.

And if you’re like me, you’re tired of it. You want to improve your sales. You want to build your author platform. But you haven’t found anything that really works and you’re starting to feel like you’ll never figure it out until you buy someone’s expensive course.

The reason I’m starting this post with this dim picture is because I’m about to tell you about a strategy that has the potential to grow your author platform by leaps and bounds, which in turn has the potential to increase your sales. But I don’t want you to get the wrong idea: This article isn’t going to turn into a sales pitch. This strategy is something every indie or self-published author should know about, and I’m going to tell you about it with no strings attached. Continue reading The Number One Way to Build Your Author Mailing List