Archive for the 'Business' Category

The Five Stages of New Writers’ Grief

© iStockphoto.com

Earlier this year, at an online forum for writers that I frequent, I watched a familiar scenario play itself out. A new member joined the forum, full of excitement (and not a small amount of hubris) about the novel he’d just completed. As he posted his early attempts at a query letter for others to review and critique, two things quickly became clear:

He was convinced the rest of the forum would be utterly dazzled by his unmatched literary […]

You’re Such a Character

Image by The Magic Tuba Pixie

As an author, especially one just starting out, you’re often told about the importance of your “brand.” You’re lectured that how you act on social media, what you talk about in interviews, and what you write should all be in keeping with whatever “brand” you choose.

But that can seem artificial or inauthentic. You’re a person, after all. You’re not a corporation. You’re not a product.

But you are, in a way, a character.

Think about it. The fictional […]

Update on Steel and Song — and Our WU Publishing Experiment

photo by Corey Holms

As many may recall, in July, after a few years watching independent publishing go from vanity press to a viable path to publication, and after kicking the idea around, we took the plunge and decided to experiment with a project we are calling Writer Unboxed Publishing. We had no idea how the project would evolve – we needed a guinea pig! I offered up my novel Steel and Song: The Aileron Chronicles Book 1, to gauge the […]

The Attention You Give; The Experience You Create

Photo by Toby Oxborrow

Many people bemoan the self-involved writer on social media, the one who is constantly vying for attention and over-promoting their own work. This puts other writers (you, perhaps?) into a conundrum: you WANT attention for your work, but only in an elegant manner. Self-promotion, with grace.

This week, I read The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. He tells stories about people managing complex situations, where thousands of small actions mean the difference between life and death […]

Between a Blog and a Hard News Cycle

How Do You Know If You Can Say No to NaNo?

The Internet has mutated reasonable people into wannabe writers…We are blind to the harsh truth-light-radiating facts such as ‘half of self-published authors earn less than $500’, facts written about in newspapers by professional writers.

That’s Tom Mitchell (@tommycm on Twitter) writing an essay at Medium, War on #amwriting. I must thank my colleague in London, Sheila Bounford, for reminding me of it. It could have been lost in the Bavarian Ether: […]

Interview: Ellen Edwards, Executive Editor at Penguin Random House

I have been with Ellen Edwards at New American Library, a division of Penguin Random House, since I became a traditionally published author. In an age where writers often lament that they do not get edited, I can firmly say that not only do I get edited, but Ellen’s sharp eye, brilliance, and insights have greatly enhanced my work. She is a master at finding the diamond in the rough, and like any great coach, she encourages me to grow and learn […]

What You Pay for When You Hire a PR Firm

Let’s say your book is coming out in several months, and you fall into the camp of those who want to put some time and resources into promoting it.  Knowing that that your publisher can’t commit to much more on the publicity side than mailing out galleys to a standard media list, you’ve decided to give it your all, to go ahead and hire an outside publicist.

But as you research firms and see the 5-figure price tags for most campaigns, […]

Gender Bias: Fact or Fiction?

By Flickr’s Michael Coghlan

Lest you think I’m a “man-hating feminist,” let me assure you I am not. In fact, I like to think that in my day-to-day life mine is a pretty equal world—all things considered. But when I hear things that make me think that women aren’t equal (for whatever reason), I pay attention. And we’ve all seen the tweets about gender inequality in the publishing industry: the rumors (and more) that men are more published than women; that more men’s books are […]

Take Charge of Your Author Business: 5 Aspects to Consider

photo by Éole Wind

We’re thrilled to have Joanna Penn back with us today. She’s an author, speaker, and entrepreneur, and was voted one of the Guardian UK Top 100 creative professionals 2013. Her latest book, Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur, is out now in ebook, print and audio. Joanna’s website, The CreativePenn.com, is regularly voted one of the top sites for authors and self-publishers. Writing as J.F.Penn, Joanna is also a New York Times and USA Today bestselling […]

9 Easy & Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your Audiobook

Photo by The Preiser Project.

Back in July, I wrote a post about my reluctant journey into the seemingly overwhelming world of audiobook production and the lessons I learned along the way. I shared my advice for choosing a narrator and selecting the right royalty structure, and warned of some production perils to avoid. Many of you responded to that post with questions about how to market an audiobook. As a former corporate marketeer, your interest in this side of […]

Creating Capacity

Photo by Horia Varlan

What is your capacity to create?

Many people I know tend to express some aspect of their lives as being OVERWHELMED, and that they wrestle with ANXIETY on a daily basis. In developing your craft as a writer, in publishing a body of work over time, in connecting with your audience in meaningful ways: how do you create greater capacity for these things to happen?

How can you create more expressions of accomplishment (“I am working on […]

Generate More Income by Diversifying Revenue Streams

Screw Diversity by Martin Kenny on Flickr

The savviest and most successful of today’s authors diversify their revenue streams. The days of authors generating a living wage solely from Big Five royalties are long gone (if they actually ever existed). Thanks to publishing and ecommerce tools provided by super-sized and scrappy service providers, authors are empowered to sell more stuff, and make more money, than in years past.

Diversifying your revenue stream means creative and nimble thinking, iterative content […]