25 September, 2014

Can a book change your life for the worse?

By |2023-06-09T11:17:13-07:00September 25, 2014|Marketing, Publishing, Resources, Social Media|Comments Off on Can a book change your life for the worse?

Last week we discussed life-changing books.

For most people, that means “life-changing for the better.”

But is it possible for a book to change your life for the worse?

This article from the Sunday Book Review in The New York Times considers the question.

For my part, I love the idea that a book can be a bad influence—just like it can be a good influence.

I also happen to believe that it’s true!

But that’s not what this article got me thinking about, which is the subject of influence itself.

Books are perhaps the most influential media out there.

They can convince people to dress up like characters on Halloween (and on other days, too.)

They can convince people to make major lifestyle changes, like changing their diets or beginning an exercise program.

They can convince people to drop everything and go on a spiritual quest.

They can even start wars.

There’s just one problem: most of the time, you […]

12 August, 2014

Don’t Sweat Those One-Star Reviews

By |2023-06-09T11:17:54-07:00August 12, 2014|Marketing, Resources|Comments Off on Don’t Sweat Those One-Star Reviews

I 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 […]

31 July, 2014

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

By |2023-06-09T11:18:21-07:00July 31, 2014|Publishing, Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Perfectionism, Writer’s Block, and Marketer’s Block

Nearly 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. (My apologies for the missing citation, but I don’t remember the names of the researchers, and couldn’t find […]

25 July, 2014

6 simple steps for authors to find Twitter followers

By |2023-06-09T11:18:29-07:00July 25, 2014|Marketing, Resources, Social Media|Comments Off on 6 simple steps for authors to find Twitter followers

One 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:

1. Start by simply letting Twitter search your email address book and show you people on Twitter you already know. You may have […]

14 July, 2014

Canva: A powerful social media tool for authors

By |2023-06-09T11:18:36-07:00July 14, 2014|Design, Resources, Social Media|Comments Off on Canva: A powerful social media tool for authors

Canva 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.

Melanie Perkins, cofounder of Canva, announced recently that “100,000 new designs were created every week by more than 330,000 users.” So far avid users have created more than 1.5 million designs using Canva.

With over a million free images, tons of professional templates and 100+ poster-ready fonts, there’s absolutely nothing to stop you from producing memes, photo collages, Facebook photos with call outs and social media banners and buttons. If […]

30 June, 2014

It’s time to sell your book!

By |2023-06-09T11:18:55-07:00June 30, 2014|Marketing, Resources|Comments Off on It’s time to sell your book!

Once 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.

This article is about creating the right mindset for selling your book. If you love meeting people, talking to crowds and have no problem with meeting strangers, you may think that selling your book will be easier than someone who would rather stay in the background. Surprisingly, though, with all the many […]

19 June, 2014

Help! Today I Have Nothing to Write About

By |2023-06-09T11:19:04-07:00June 19, 2014|Resources, Social Media, Writing|Comments Off on Help! Today I Have Nothing to Write About

I 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.

In the Authors Academy, we drill into members the importance of regularly publishing quality content on your blog, so that your target audience (with ample help from search engines and social media shares) could find your message more easily.

As you build your digital author platform this way, by writing on your blog about your passion and […]

17 June, 2014

An Amazing Resource: FriendsPlus.Me

By |2023-06-09T11:19:14-07:00June 17, 2014|Marketing, Resources|Comments Off on An Amazing Resource: FriendsPlus.Me

Recently, 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 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.

The main goal in using FriendsPlus.Me is to start interacting regularly on Google+, instead of spending all of your […]

16 June, 2014

How to create a strong social media profile as an author

By |2023-06-09T11:19:22-07:00June 16, 2014|Marketing, Resources, Social Media|Comments Off on How to create a strong social media profile as an author

Part 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.

For your author website, choose a domain name that has your name in it., and not one that is your book title. Then make sure […]

10 June, 2014

7 pitfalls to avoid in writing your first novel

By |2023-06-09T11:20:08-07:00June 10, 2014|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on 7 pitfalls to avoid in writing your first novel

Wouldn’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.

When it comes to cooking, you’ve done it a hundred times and this time will be no different. You can already see the dish coming out of the oven and you know the pleased responses you will get when you set it on the table for dinner.

Just imagine what it would be to write a novel like that?

Have a good plot? Check.

Have time to write every day? Check.

Know exactly what you are going […]


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