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?

“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

How to Optimize Your Amazon Search Keywords

How to Optimize Your Amazon Search Keywords

You probably know that when you add your book to the Amazon Kindle store, you’re allowed to choose up to seven search keywords to help people find your book. It sounds like a great tool, but how do you make sure the keywords you’ve chosen are going to bring traffic and sales to your book?

I’m here to help! I’ve been through the process of Amazon search keyword optimization with my own books and I’d like to pass along what I’ve learned in this comprehensive article.

We’ll look at what search keywords are so you can understand how they work. I’ll show you a process for checking out your existing keywords to decide if they are performing well for your book. Finally, we’ll look at how you can choose great keywords. Let’s jump in! Continue reading How to Optimize Your Amazon Search Keywords

Does an Author Really Need Social Media?

Does an Author Really Need Social Media

It’s inevitable: The instant you release a book or decide you’re going to be an author, you start finding articles and advice everywhere about social media. And then the questions start:

“What’s your Facebook strategy?”

“How many times do you tweet per day?”

“Do you have a Pinterest board for each book?”

If you’ve made any attempt to think about social media as an author, you’ve probably just made your head hurt. The cloud of advice is thick and vast, and it’s generally confusing and contradictory to boot. And that leaves you wondering what you’re really supposed to do with social media.

Well, fear not. Today, we’re going to take a look at social media and find out if an author really needs it. Continue reading Does an Author Really Need Social Media?

Show ‘Em Around: The Author’s Guide to Welcome E-mails

Welcome Series Image

Last time, we looked at how to onboard new subscribers to your mailing list by sending out a welcome e-mail. This technique helps new people understand what you’ll be sending and reduces the amount of unsubscribes. Today, let’s take this one step further with the idea of sending a series of welcome e-mails. Continue reading Show ‘Em Around: The Author’s Guide to Welcome E-mails

Invite ‘Em In: Onboarding for Authors

Welcome Mat

Do you know what onboarding is? It’s a term marketing folks throw around a lot, but not many authors I meet seem to be familiar with it. That’s a shame, since onboarding is usually the difference between losing e-mail sign-ups and keeping them.

While the term onboarding may be new to you, it’s not a difficult concept to master. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re already familiar with it. So let’s start by defining it, then jump into how you can make onboarding work for you. Continue reading Invite ‘Em In: Onboarding for Authors

Killing Your (Other) Darlings

Killing Your Other Darlings

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” —William Faulkner.

Have you heard that quote? It’s more than likely that you’ve not only heard it, you were already nodding your head at it as you saw me starting off this blog post with it. Faulkner’s famous advice has been put into practice by writers and creatives everywhere, often to great success.

In case you’re not sure what to think of Faulkner’s advice, here’s another version from writer/director Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Firefly, etc.):

Here’s one trick that I learned early on. If something isn’t working, if you have a story that you’ve built and it’s blocked and you can’t figure it out, take your favorite scene, or your very best idea or set-piece, and cut it. It’s brutal, but sometimes inevitable. That thing may find its way back in, but cutting it is usually an enormously freeing exercise.

And you’re probably nodding your head at this quote as well. “Ouch!” you say. “That advice hurts, but it’s sooooooooo true!”

Okay. What about your other darlings?

“What other darlings?” you ask. “I’ve already cut my favorite scene out of my novel and it’s better because I did that.”

Great! Now let’s look at the darlings on your website. Continue reading Killing Your (Other) Darlings