How To Market A Book: Third Edition by Joanna Penn
This well-known Indie Author and owner of wildly popular podcast, The Creative Penn, has updated her marketing book. So far, it’s a common sense and jammed packed with ideas on marketing your book. I’ll post a book review for you in a few weeks.
In the meantime, hope you’re having a great summer!
Four Years from Now
Are you advancing towards your writing goals this year? We are fast approaching a new year. Have you thought about what you hope to achieve in 2017?
OLYMPIC SIZED GOALS
Joanna Penn, with TheCreativePenn.com podcast, challenged her listeners to think about their goals in four year increments. How can you define your writing career this year, while the 2016 Olympics occurred in Rio? In 2020, the Olympics will be held in Tokyo. Where will your writing career be by then?
This makes perfect sense to me because the wheels of publishing moves so very slow. It’s difficult to realize tangible measurement year by year, but when you look at your accomplishments over a longer period you can see some results. Consider financial goals, completion of a series, or rough drafts of several stand alone novels that have been inside your head. Can you accomplish those goals in four years time? Of course you can!
FOUR YEARS AGO
Four years ago, in the Fall of 2012, I cut my hours to a part-time day job and signed with a literary agent who shopped my middle grade westerns. I’ll never forget that same week I worked the Scholastic book fair at my son’s intermediate school. I noticed that historical titles were missing from the bookfair shelves. It was concerning because the year before there had been an entire section. I asked the librarian about it, and she explained, “They just didn’t send me many this year.” That was the year dystopian, vampires, and with the release of the movie, Hunger Games ruled. My cause for concern turned out to be reality four years later. The stories I loved writing had gone nowhere through traditional publishing route. During that time I hadn’t stopped writing though. In fact I completed three more novels, but it felt like everything had come to a screeching halt.
2016 Rio: What a Party!
In 2016 I made the difficult decision to mix it up yet again and researched Indie Publishing. Seriously, I feel so relieved to be back in control again. There have been so many changes since I first self-published a book in 2010. Moving onward.
Let us know what goals you hope to achieve in the next four years. We will see you right back here by Tokyo 2020!
#amwriting Despite Myself
By Natalie Bright
Self-doubt. I hate when that snarky voice in my head creeps into my work about the time I’m gung-ho in the middle of a new project. The fear of judgment. Is this good enough? Will this book appeal to readers? I can’t write this.
Sometimes it’s impossible to type THE END because of my self-doubt and the battle raging within my own mind. Its so senseless and aggravating, causing your daily word count to come to a screaching halt. Does that ever happen to you?
“Now that I have given myself permission to let the raw side of me loose on the page, I’m finally finding my true voice.” So admits Joanna Penn in her book
THE SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR MINDSET:
A HANDBOOK FOR SURVIVING THE WRITER’S JOURNEY.
I want to share these words with WordsmithSix peeps and how this book has re-energized my goals in regards to my writing. I keep reading the highlighted portions over and over. Ms. Penn covers all of the horrible things that crowd our mind when we should be using that brain power and creative energy to write. She gives readers a glimpse of her own struggles by sharing portions of her personal journals.
Ms. Penn states the problems most writers face and the antidote in clear, concise common sense language. It’s an eye opening read for any writer and a must for every writer’s reference library.
Find out more at the thecreativepenn.com
Podcasts for Writers
By Natalie Bright
Every morning during that first cup of coffee and then while I’m getting dressed, I’m listening to news about story craft, social media, or the publishing bizz. I’m late to this party, but feeling happy and amazed about discovering the world of podcasts.
Here’s a few of my favorites:
The Creative Penn Podcast
- This podcast has taught me so much about social media and really inspired me to keep writing. Indie published authors are very saavy about the bizz and passionate about writing.
The Self Publishing Formula Podcast
- This is a new show on the block with a bestselling indie author and a newbie author working on his first book. Their live broadcast from the London Book Fair was excellent.
- Useful information in a 15-minute format. Perfect for your daily commute.
The Writing Renegade: The Podcast for Indie Writers
- Discussions on writing, editing, publishing, marketing, interviews with successful authors, and more.
- Marketing, writing and Kindle publishing tips for authors
The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke
- This because I write historical novels and I’m also working on my family genealogy. Practical tips for historical research. The resources and links are invaluable.
Happy listening WordsmithSix friends!
PODCASTS: LEARNING WHILE YOU WORK AT WRITING
Perhaps I’m way behind the times, but I’ve never been into podcasts. My youngest son has always been a fan, but it never made sense to me that he spent time watching someone else play a video game. I realized he’s watching a lot about science though, when he began spouting off facts about the universe.
This past weekend I discovered podcasts are for writers too!
Thecreativepenn.com is a treasure trove of information for writers including 250 podcast interviews by self-published author Joanna Penn. She is officially my first podcast subscription.
Here’s what I did last week while listening to Joanna Penn talk about writing:
- Folded two loads of clothes.
- Re-arranged my make-up drawer.
- Ironed shirts for my husband and son.
- Unloaded and loaded the dishwasher several times.
- Cooked tacos for dinner.
- Logged five miles on the treadmill.
Which brings me to the point of this blog post:
Here’s what I learned from thecreativepenn.com podcasts and how I applied that information to my own self-published eBook:
- Discovered my eBook on Smashwords had 225 sample downloads, but only eight sales.
- My price of $4.99 is double the cost for about half the page length as compared to books on the same topic which are priced at $1.99 and $2.99.
- GONE NEVER FORGOTTEN is a heartfelt memoir about loss and the grief of losing our oldest baby boy. The book title is also the same as a porno video that used to be available on Amazon, which is why I stopped promoting it. I should have researched and put more thought into title ideas before I self-published.
- The title page, dedication, table of contents makes up most of the downloadable sample. No one is seeing any significant example of my writing or what the book is about. When formatting your eBooks, begin with the text of the story. Put everything else at the end.
- Social media is amazing, and it’s mind-blowing as to what self-published authors are able to accomplish these days.
- Guest blogging, Twitter, Facebook promos and whatever else, are all things I can do to let readers know about this book. The measurable results of what works best for me is completely different for what might have worked for others. Every author must decide upon their own journey.
- The most profitable combination is to have at least four books written, polished and published before you begin a concentrated social media blitz.
- Start building my fan base now by actively participating on twitter, facebook, pinterest, and other social media sites.
- A newsletter is the best way to build an email data base of possible buyers for your books.
- The number of people reading on their iPhone devices has exploded (estimated at three times other devices), which makes the iBook app worth considering both as a reader and as a writer.
- I’ve decided to retire my eBook on Smashwords and rebrand the project.
- Do I want to spend time and money on a cover redesign, new formatting, and find an illustrator?
- Should I write a book proposal and research possible submissions to a small press?
- I must develop a social media marketing plan.
- I must learn to balance the creative side with the business side, if I want to be a successful author and sell books.
- Be open minded and consider all of the possibilities for my books in today’s publishing environment.
I’ll keep you posted as this project develops. Thanks for following WordsmithSix!