Tag Archives: marketing

Trad vs Indie – A Debate on The Future of Book Publishing

future-of-booksSo I did it. I tweaked my final comma, dotted my final I and after writing an email that gave me hives, I pressed send and off went my bookbaby to five terrifying awesome beta readers.

I sat for a while. Motionless. Except for the rapid blink of my eyelids at the completely blank screen. There were no more words needed. What in the fucksticks was I meant to do now? Then the realisation slowly crept in… I HAD NO BOOK. IT WAS GONE. LIKE REALLY GONE. The book that had consumed me for nearly two years, was no more. Holy mother of almighty fuck.

Wana know what happened next…?

I freaked the fudgebuggins out, thats what. It took exactly 4.3 milliseconds before I combusted in a violent meltdown. I really regretted sending it. HOW COULD I SEND IT OUT TO REAL PEOPLE…Obviously its a pile of shite. A fact of which, even the halo holding hand of god couldn’t dissuade me of.

And to my utter fucking horror, I realised there is no ‘unsend’ button. What self serving artificially intelligent email company DOESN’T HAVE A RECALL BUTTON???

FUCK. Like fucking fuck. With six side orders of FUCK MY ACTUAL FUCKING LIFE.

I spent the next 12 hours listing eleventy hundred things that were wrong with my novel. The list included everything. EVERYTHING. Not just main characters, arcs and endings. Oh no. I attacked the detail too, no comma, speech mark or paragraph spacing was left unscathed.

I made the mistake of voicing these concerns to some bastards wonderful friends who told me to pull my shit together before they sent a BitchSlapOGram to my front door. I listened. Just. And only after several more hours of wallowing in a seriously impressive vat of self loathing and book related hatred.

SonOfABitchWhatHaveIDone?

Okay. I’m done. Moving on.

With continued interruption to the schedule, today, I want to debate. I want to know what you think about the future of publishing. Of course, I have brought together some interesting facts and articles and some points of note. So I hope you bought your most opinionated self cause I’m interested in what you got to say. Without further ado…

Let’s talk the future of publishing.


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5 Things to Remember When Designing Your Book Cover With @AuthorhelenJ

5-book-coversToday is the last instalment from my lovely friends, who have been keeping my blog stocked with juicy tidbits in order to give me time to finish my book. A huge thank you to everyone who helped out, without you, I wouldn’t have had time to finish it

You can check out the other posts here:

3 Things You Need to Create The Perfect Gothic Story

11 Must Do’s When Creating A Podcast

4 Top Tips For Self-Publishing Your First Novel

But today, I welcome the lovely Helen Jones, to talk about book covers. I recently talked about mastering your genre’s book cover. But Helen goes into a tone of useful things you need to consider, that I hadn’t even thought of. So her post was super useful for me this week, because I just sent off my cover design brief! *squeal*. Without further ado…. Helen…
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13 Things I Learnt From Completing Draft Two of My Novel

draft twoWhen I wrote THE END on my second draft of Keepers, I cried. Just two tears mind, I am dead inside after all.

I cried because it was the end of more than just a marathon of RSI, obscenely late nights and incessant tapping that drove my wife to distraction. It felt like I had achieved my first real step towards freedom and the life I really want because a) I’d completed something real and tangible, all 72108 words were staring back at me like tiny dancing stick men.

And b) because I knew, this time, unlike my first draft, it wasn’t a total pile of turd.

After my two lonely tears rapidly dried up, I glanced at the clock on my laptop. The time blinked back at me, it read 1:04am. I’d sat and written 4025 words in the last 3.5 hours without moving. I was gobsmacked, that was four days worth of writing. In. One. Go.

Something told me to check the date. So I did. August 20th. I frowned. That rang a bell. I checked the post I wrote after completing my first draft. To my utter bewilderment, I completed my first draft the previous year on August 20th at 1:04am. If you don’t believe me, check the post.

It’s a beautiful thing, synchronicity. Perhaps I should publish it at 1:04am on the 20th August next year!

Here’s 13 things I learnt writing this draft. Continue reading

9 Ways to Help You Find Your Readers Part II

find your audienceLast week I talked through the first five of nine ways you as authors can use to find your readers.

These were all lessons I’d learnt from a pile of marketing books I’d read over the last month. The post was too long to have it all in one blog, so here are the second half of the ‘ways’.

The first five ways included:

  • Defining your audience
  • Connecting in a meaningful way
  • Strategising your social media usage
  • Being your own fan
  • Advertising

You can see the details of those ways here.

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9 Ways to Help You Find Your Readers Part I

find your audienceAs writers we play the infinitely difficult Where’s Wally of reader spotting. But locating those pesky readers is more tortuous than tweezing your granddads nasal hair, and yet, it is THE most important thing we do.

As I draw nearer to handing my book to beta readers, the prospect of completing it, having to press publish and my labour of love subsequently disappearing into the utterly saturated Amazon rainforest of books, never to be seen again, is becoming frighteningly real.

In an attempt to prevent the only people buying my book being mumsy and wifeypoos, I read 3 marketing books last month:

Joanna Penn’s How to Market a Book

Nick Stephenson’s Supercharge Your Kindle Sales

And Tim Grahl’s Your First 1000 Copies 

The whole point of my blog is to share what I learn on this sanity testing journey to authordom and what did I learn? Well, I’m resolute on the fact finding your readers will always be the holy grail of authorlyness and because it’s the holy grail, not all of us will find it. BUT, I also learnt a whole heap of other neat tricks to help us along the way, as well as finding an answer to the 64 bergillion dollar question, should an author blog…?

I learnt a shit ton of stuff, so I’ve split this post into two.

So here are 9 ways to help you find your audience, this week I bring you way one to five. Continue reading

7 Things You Need To Know to Master Your Genre's Book Cover

Book coverI’m not shallow…But I definitely judge a book by its cover.

Shit. That makes me shallow doesn’t it?

Ah well, fuck it. At least I can admit it.

I’ve been thinking about marketing a LOT recently. Minus a total meltdown last week and a decision to bin (and subsequently re-write the last 30K of my book), I am still on track to send my book-baby to beta readers on 30th September.

Being the incessant 5 steps-a-head planner that I am, it means my mind is on marketing, book covers and that big ol’ scare-the-shitsicles-out-of-you decision: Do I run the poison, trap-infested gauntlet to a publishers door? Or drown in the overly saturated ‘Amazon’ rainforest of books as an indie? As it happens, I’ve finally made my mind up, but I’ll leave that for another post.

Book covers are without doubt, THE most important marketing decision you’ll make. Fuck it up, and you can watch your readers Foxtrot Oscar into the sunset, never to return to your bookshelf! So, I’m sharing my research and the lessons I’ve learnt in preparing to have my book cover designed. Continue reading

2 Super Easy Methods to Drastically Increase Your Subscriber List

subscriber listIf I had balls I’d be telling you I’m balls deep in marketing research. But I don’t, and frankly I’m a feminist anyway. So instead, I’ll tell you I’m vagina deep in marketing research.

And god it feels good! It’s like I’m on some kind of frenzied writing drug that’s given me wild zombie hair and a crazed look in my eye. I’m rampaging my way through non-fiction books faster than I can sift through Bloggers Bash nominations. I’m devouring articles, publications, magazines and anything else I can lay my chubby mitts on. (book recommendations welcome  – leave them in the comments)

Before the year is out I will have to make the choice as to which path I’m to follow. At the moment I’m 60/40 indie/attempting trad. *shrugs* maybe I’ll try the hybrid thing. Either way, I still need to know everything I can about marketing. Without those skills I can kiss goodbye to anyone other than Mumsy and the Wife buying my book.

I’ve been trying different methods to boost my subscriber list and these two methods, over a two week test period, have produced a 114% increase in NEW subscribers. Yeah really. 114% increase in NEW subscribers compared to the previous two weeks. Continue reading

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Using Mailchimp

Mailchimp mistakesIf you try something new for the first time and you don’t fuck it up, you’re probably not doing it right. Mistakes are natural, normal and help us learn to get better. I’m doing a monthly newsletter full of even more writing tips, competitions, handy writer hacks and news on my progress towards publishing. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can tick that off your list by clicking here. HINT!

I made mistakes. But I’m a writer. So standing up, dusting myself down and picking up the proverbial pen again is in my blood.

When I wrote the post on creating your perfect Author Newsletter I’d already found Mailchimp hard to set up and master. But SO many people said the same thing I knew I had to regroup and share some of the lessons I’d learnt doing my own newsletter. Continue reading

7 Laws of Writing Reader Grabbing Headlines

I hate this post. I do. My eyes were achy from rolling so hard by the time I even sat down to write it. But I HAD to because, as much as I feel like I just Peter Panned my shadow,  (ok my soul), and handed it to Captain Devil-Hook, there is no question that these tactics work.

Here’s the thing: My mum, loves me to the ends of the Earth, which means she reads these posts. All of them.

*waves, shouts ‘love you mum’* 

As much as I adore the fact mumsy reads them and tells me they’re wonderful. I’d rather like some unbiased feedback. I mean, mum thinks most things I do are good… amazing even.

Although now I think about it, she doesn’t know about the time I… 100% not finishing that sentence.

We all write for a variety of reasons: some blogs are therapeutic, some are started to meet the amazing community and others to build platforms. Whatever the reason, even if you start not caring whether anyone reads your stuff, something happens the moment you get, likes, comments that aren’t your mum, or your first spike in stats.

Realisation.

That’s what happens. The realisation that someone you don’t know, just read the words you wrote. For writers, that ignites the flame of desire. AND WE WANT MORE. More readers, more followers, more stats. Continue reading

7 Tips to Create Your Perfect Author Newsletter

Author NewsletterI hear parrots squawking the same mantra constantly: “Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The best way to drive book sales is through a subscriber list.”

Its that thing where you: create a newsletter, do book updates, bonus content and give your hard work away for free.

If you got books to sell, you need that list.

This made me do one of those gut busting groans. Seriously? I spend enough time writing posts instead of my novel, do I actually have to add something else to my seven hundred and forty-eight page to do list?

Apparently I do, and that means you do too.

I heard that message loud and clear, especially as I’ll be releasing books this year. So I made a subscriber list one of my goals and I’ve been busy rolling up my ‘bonus content’ sleeves. Finally I’ve created one and it’s ready and chock full of just that: bonus content, round ups, writers tools, recommendations, writing inspiration and book updates. If you want to sign up for it, you can here. And actually, once I did create it, I got kind of excited. The customising tools and fancy schmancy things you can do are quite exciting.

Here’s what I learnt in the process: Continue reading