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Don’t Sweat Those One-Star Reviews

August 12, 2014 by Sam Henrie, President

one star reviewsI read Light in August by William Faulkner when I was in high school and remember not being able to put it down. It was unlike anything I had read before. The story was so dark. All of the characters led such bleak alienated lives in the unforgiving society of the rural deep South in the 1930s. Faulkner opened a window for me onto a place, time, and people that I was unfamiliar with, and I couldn’t look away. The disorganized narrative style was also new and interesting to me—like some new kind of atonal music.

Out of curiosity I went to Goodreads to see what current readers thought of the book. I was surprised to find 662 one-star reviews, with 7% of readers giving the book one or two stars. This for a book that is always included in any list of the best novels of the twentieth century, and whose author was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature!

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Perfectionism, Writer’s Block, and Marketer’s Block

July 31, 2014 by Sam Henrie, President

writer's blockNearly every month I’m late turning in this article for our Marketing Letter and this Publishing Success Blog, to the great frustration of my staff. Why am I late? The old saw comes to mind: “Perfectionism, Procrastination, Paralysis.” My article needs to be perfect because it will be sent to the most important audience I have: you. Because I want it to be perfect, I procrastinate, sometimes to the point of paralysis. And so the article gets turned in late. Many of you have had writer’s block, and will attribute it to the same root cause: perfectionism.

Not so fast! A few months ago I heard a radio program whose topic was whether perfectionists do, in fact, procrastinate more than other people. Two researchers from major universities who studied this subject were interviewed.

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6 simple steps for authors to find Twitter followers

July 25, 2014 by Atilla Vekony, Vice President

author twitter tipsOne of the easiest ways for you to build your digital author platform is with Twitter. Using simple search techniques you can find people who are actively engaged in your niche. Since they are already using Twitter, once you make a connection, you can be assured that some of them will help you spread your reach even further across the Internet.

As you set out to establish your online identity as an author or future author, it’s important to start building your Twitter followers as soon as possible. Maybe all you have come up with is the title for a book. As long as you have a basic idea of your niche, you can start making important connections on Twitter.

To get started, here are six ways to add followers:

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Canva: A powerful social media tool for authors

July 14, 2014 by Atilla Vekony, Vice President

Wheatmark uses CanvaCanva is an amazing online program that allows you to create professional social media images for free with just a few clicks.

You can create invitations, advertising and promotional projects that include printed materials (up to 2,000 prints), product packaging, presentations, film and video presentations, commercials, catalogs, brochures, and probably anything else you can think of. There are some restrictions (do check out its “One-Time Use License Agreement”) but for the most part almost anything is free to use and free to share.

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Yes, you can become an author

July 07, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

you can become an authorWriting is simply a number of sentences strung together. Remember the paper chains that you made as a child for Christmas? One slip of red paper rolled and wrapped around a green one until a chain was formed that stretched from one end of the room to the other. That’s how you write your book.

Create small writing goals that are manageable. Start by just writing a single paragraph. That’s all. Just one simple paragraph. You can do that, right? If so, your first goal has just been accomplished!

As a writer it is easy to get swamped by the mountain of things to do before your book gets finished. Add to that the burden authors today must carry of promoting and marketing their books and it is easy, so easy to get discouraged.

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It’s time to sell your book!

June 30, 2014 by Sam Henrie, President

finding the best way to sell your bookOnce a book is published, the first time author may think the job is done. Unfortunately, there is still a lot more to do!

It’s time to switch from your author hat to your marketing one!

You may have heard that the best time to begin marketing your book is day one. Building a following does take time. But it doesn’t mean that it is too late to start marketing at any point in the publishing process. In fact, you can market a book that is years old and still find success if you apply yourself with enthusiasm and hard work.

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Help! Today I Have Nothing to Write About

June 19, 2014 by Atilla Vekony, Vice President

writer's blockI don’t think for a second that you’re struggling to come up with ideas for your next book or what to write about on your author blog and website. If you weren’t a writer, that would be one thing, but since you are, coming up with content for your audience comes more easily to you than to others. Quite the contrary: many writers suffer from writing too much.

There are, however, days when you feel like you have nothing of value to say, nothing to contribute to the Great Conversation that’s taking place in cyberspace.

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An Amazing Resource: FriendsPlus.Me

June 17, 2014 by Jessica Kohley, Marketing Specialist

FriendsPlus.meRecently, we’ve been emphasizing Google+ and its versatility. Here’s another reason to start using Google+ immediately.

FriendsPlus.Me allows you to post an update or picture on Google+ and automatically have that post appear on your other social media accounts. Go to http://friendsplus.me and connect your Google+ account. Then, choose which social media sites—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Tumblr—you’d like to repost to. You can also select whether you’d like your Google+ posts to be immediately reposted on other sites or schedule a specific date and time. You could even pick a time of day when there will be more traffic on a social media site and increase your engagement with followers. Posting a picture? No problem. FriendsPlus.Me will include the picture at an optimal size when it gets reposted on Facebook or Twitter.

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How to create a strong social media profile as an author

June 16, 2014 by Atilla Vekony, Vice President

power tips for creating author profilePart of a successful digital author platform is a consistent brand image and active participation in several relevant social media networks such as Facebook or Goodreads.

Your personal brand should be consistent across every platform. This means you use the same name, colors, images, and biography for each account. For example, you don’t want to use your name on Facebook and the title of your book as your Instagram account.

If you plan to write more than one book, it is especially a good idea to go with your personal brand and get your name out there instead of just your book’s title. This personal brand will carry you through different book titles, speaking engagements, book tours, and other projects that will happen during your entire writing career.

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7 pitfalls to avoid in writing your first novel

June 10, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

mistakes to avoid in writing your first novelWouldn’t it be nice if you could simply sit down with your laptop or notebook and write your novel from beginning to end without any problems? Imagine waking up every morning with excitement to get a few more pages down and every week seeing the pages add up and the book coming together as easy as creating a favorite dish in your kitchen.

Have all the right ingredients? Check.

Have the oven on? Check.

Have the time to prepare it? Check.

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