Using ‘Free’ to Sell Books: Hard to Grasp for Some Authors

Wine tasting: Everybody loves free samples.

I was walking through Costco the other day. The ladies who usually hand out samples sat behind tables piled with closed boxes. "This is a delicious, creamy broccoli casserole with Brie cheese," one said, "but you'll have to take my word for it. If I give this food away, it will lower its value." Ha. Just kidding about Costco. But that's pretty much what Roxana Robinson, president of the Authors Guild, told Sara Shaffi in an article in The Bookseller. Something Robinson probably doesn't … [Read more...]

Two Questions to Book Marketing Success or Failure

The foundational questions in writing your book are "Why am I here?" and "Who are you?"

When I get into conversations about book marketing with authors, I often get one of two reactions: My book is out, so it’s time to start marketing. I’m a little embarrassed to be talking about book marketing, because I don’t have a book out. Occasionally, it’s “My book has been out a couple of years and I’m not happy with the sales, so I guess it’s time to start marketing.” Guess who has the best chance of succeeding at marketing her book. The second one. But wait. How can you … [Read more...]

Get a Scrivener Template for Your Murder Mystery

Free mystery template for Scrivener

Do you write murder mysteries? I've never been able to figure out how to make the puzzle. Mystery writer Cara Black, last weekend at the Oregon Writers Colony Annual Conference, mentioned that she plants suspects in her stories. Once, an unexpected person stood up and told her he was the murderer. For me, it was a new insight into the process. If you write mysteries or would like to, here's a mystery template for Scrivener, available as a free download from All Indie Writers. I'm … [Read more...]

Build Your Author Platform as You Write Your Book

Platform: A Place to be Heard

One thing has stayed the same in the tumultuous changes of the publishing industry: An author needs a platform. If you plan to get a traditional publisher, being able to say, "I have this many social media followers, this many on my mailing list, this many hits on my website every day," will count heavily on your behalf. On the other hand, if you're planning to self-publish, "getting published" doesn't require a platform, but selling books still does. What Is an Author Platform? The … [Read more...]

Amazon’s April Fool Screen

Amazon April Fool

For a minute I wasn't sure I was at the right place. But then, oh, yeah. April Fool's. I wouldn't comment on it except for the glance back at 1999, five years after Amazon's first iteration (as Cadabra) in 1994. Amazon.com went live in 1995, right around the time Stanford University Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin were working on their project that would become Google (originally dubbed "BackRub"). It's hard to remember a world where Amazon.com was a spunky little startup. … [Read more...]