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The Publishing Market is Changing: Are You Ready?

Courtesy of Pixabay

Let’s face it, every market is saturated. Every market requires entrepreneurs to be able to adapt to an ever changing market. Refusal to do so could result in a massive loss of sales.

We will be brutally honest. The market is becoming harder for Indie authors to get a foothold in the publishing industry. Doors once open are now closing due to a lack of care in editing, cookie cutter plots and just downright bad writing. By no means are we saying it’s impossible but you must be willing to accept some hard truths.

In a recent article we came across published by Author Publisher magazine titled The 10 Major Publishing Trends of 2018ten of the major shifts in the publishing market were outlined.

To begin, if you’ve been in the self-publishing or writing industry in general, you have become aware of the recent acquiring of Amazon’s KDP rigorous changes in rules for getting and keeping reviews.

Amazon’s new policies have made it to where if they find one hint a person leaving a review knows you in any way, your review will be deleted.

What does this mean to the market? It means that authors will have to get smart and reach further into methods they may not traditionally have used in order to reach more readers and build a readership.

The truth may be harsh, but here it is.

Authors have to realize that writing with the goal of reaching any sort of publishing deal, must treat their writing as a business. You are a brand if you produce a product. Apple is not only known for its products but also its logo and as a brand trusted by a vast amount of consumers willing to pay hundreds of dollars to make sure they have the newest model.

You may have also noticed, traditional publishers are becoming much more selective to unsolicited manuscripts. They are tightening their reins and requiring authors to reach out to agents in order to pursue contracts with them. Agents are harder to come by (at least those who are accepting queries) and often make authors wait long periods of time before inevitably rejected them.

The types of books — audio, ebook, paperback, hardback, etc — are becoming more widely distributed in a constantly fast-paced world. A few years ago, one might have been able to produce only ebooks but once again, there’s a shift.

Readers are shifting back to desiring to hold a paperback version of the books in their hands. Book bloggers are no longer accepting “self-published” books.

Paranormal romance (or the romance genre in general) books are a saturated, yet highly demanded genre, but one must see the underlying cry for thrillers, horror and mystery. The market is once again showing a subtle shift. One merely must go to Amazon and search through the best sellers to see what the highest ranking titles are.

Best seller rank on Amazon is no longer entirely dependent on reviews. We have seen many authors who have been able to play the AMS system so well, they break the traditional trends of publishing and are reaching the top seller list with as little as three reviews. For example, Bella Forrest’s A Shade of Vampire 68: A Purge of Nature.

Reviews are a great indicator for customers to understand what they’re buying, by no means am I saying they aren’t important. I’m saying obtaining best-seller’s status is no longer solely dependent on them.

Although these shifts might be terrifying in nature, especially to young authors or authors just now getting feet wet in the industry, it is a necessary part of economics and commerce. Those who fail to shift will be weeded out, thus leaving the market to grow with those who followed the marketing shifts.

However, adapting is a part the economy, the economy is built of those who fail, learn, adapt and start anew.

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Querying: What You Need to Know Right Now

Querying. The word of shaking bones, chattering teeth and chewing on nails as you wait for the agent or publisher to respond. Hours upon hours, days upon days…well, you get the idea.

As we said in a previous article (featured in NaNoProMo) about pitching, the publishing world is an absolute struggle. Agents and publishers are getting over-run with queries from authors wanting to publish their latest literary masterpieces. It is so easy to get lost in the nightmare known as the “slush-pile.”

Recently, FyreSyde had the privilege of opening our doors to the authors looking for a publisher who doesn’t require an agent. We received a total of almost fifteen queries in a short span of time (and that’s just the emailed ones).

Why is this number important? Because, it shows just how busy a publishing company can be and how many queries we receive (in just a month!).

Something we noticed in this submission period is how important it is for authors to be well-aware of what their publisher expects and to follow their rules for querying to avoid automatic rejection. Your publisher (or agent) should never have to instruct you on how to query them.

Let’s begin.

What Is a Query?

Look at a query the same way you look at a job application. You’re selling yourself to your potential employer by telling them a little about you, your work history, achievements, etc. What they don’t want is to be blasted with how much of a god-send you are to their company (more on how this applies to books later).

The query is pretty much the same thing. It includes:

  • If you know the agent or publisher from somewhere (a connection) then tell them. If not, don’t.
  • The title and genre of your book (maybe include the word count as well)
  • A bit about your story (main characters, etc)
  • Who you are as an author
  • Any achievements, experiences, etc that you have gotten

1. Connection to the Agent or Publisher:

What do we mean by connection? Did you meet the agent at a conference? Were they recommended to you? Maybe you heard they liked a certain genre or sub-genre somewhere? Anywhere you might have heard of them, let them know. It creates a rapport and can help with the querying process.

FyreSyde loves to know where people found or heard of us. We often ask to get a feeling about the person and what they’re looking for in a publisher. An agent (or publisher) might want to know the same thing.

2. The Title, Genre and Word-count of Your Book

Yes, we want to know these things. They can often be a good selling point or help us in deciding if we want to pursue a contract.

Almost every publisher includes a list of genres they’re looking for, what they aren’t looking for and what they’re very picky with. Taking the time to learn these things can help you (the querying author) avoid serious heartache. It also gives you an understanding of the current literary market.

FyreSyde also has a word-count limit, as do many others. This helps us not only in printing costs but also to check and see if the book is marketable to our readers. Longer books tend to be cumbersome so we put a limit of 95K on our submissions (look for a later blog post on “over” and “under” writing, coming soon). Being aware of these can help an author do some final revisions before submitting.

Novels: 55,000 up to 95,000 words
Novellas: up to 50,000 words; must have at least 10,000 words

FyreSyde Word-Count specifications, FyreSydePublishing.com/queries

3. About Your Story (avoid giving away the plot)

Of course we want to know about your story. It’s the main reason you’re contacting us after all, yes?

FyreSyde has specific things we look for when it comes to deciding on whether or not we want to ask for a partial manuscript:

What we look for when reading pitches: Strong world development, deep character arcs, flawed characters, showing not telling, well-edited writing, original ideas, and consistent characters. Having these things will be more likely to land our interest as we are avid readers as well.

Found via FyreSydePublishing.com/queries

The same can be said of our fellow publishers. The more unique and strong your story is, the more apt we are to ask for a partial manuscript. If we like it enough, we’ll ask for a full.

A general rule of thumb: This is not the time to tell the publisher or agent (at least not FyreSyde) how badly we need your book. Please don’t do this. FyreSyde automatically rejects queries who say things like this.

You can include your main characters, the trials they face and the conflict we can expect in your story. You don’t have to give away the entire plot. Keep us guessing and wanting more.

4. Who You Are As An Author

Tell us a little about yourself but keep it about writing and publishing. What achievements have you accomplished? Have you attended any writing conferences, hosted any panels or received an award for your story? Now is the time to tell us. Keep it brief.

5. Tips from a Publisher

  1. Read the querying page in its entirety. By no means should the publisher or agent have to instruct you on how to query. FyreSyde experienced this many times during our first submission window. We will no longer be looking at queries that don’t follow our submission terms. It got ridiculous. So, please, read the submissions page. They are there for a reason.
  2. Keep it short. Don’t send two or three pages to the publisher or agent. One page is the comfortable maximum. Remember, we see many (and we mean many) queries we have to answer. This can be a source of auto-rejection for some agents and publishers.
  3. Make it exciting. An article via Nybookeditors.com that we found helpful when formulating a query letter had a great idea: Query in the tone of your book. It can be an amazing way to get us interested in what to expect.
  4. Build a rapport. Don’t just come to us and demand to query with us. Most of us have social media and like to engage as normal human beings (but a bit more professional). Getting to know us, following our social media and interating with our content can help when it comes to the querying phase. We might just help because we want to.
  5. Be Unique. Here at FyreSyde we treasure uniqueness in stories and in authors. We don’t like to see plots we’ve seen a million times. Be willing to be bold and show us who you are as a writer, not what the market expects you to be.
  6. Hire an editor (or have someone look over your letter). Many publishing houses require at least a rough round of editing and revision before even looking at a manuscript. The same can be said for a query letter. There is nothing more damaging than a query letter with missing words, bad spelling, incorrect grammar and poor wording. You’ve heard you never get a chance at a first impression?
  7. Be aware of submission windows. FyreSyde doesn’t even look at letters sent outside of these windows. They’re deleted immediately.
  8. Don’t be scared of us. Yes, FyreSyde may reject manuscripts and query letters but that doesn’t mean we’re something to be afraid of. We’re human beings just like you and often know what it feels like to be where you are. FyreSyde goes as far as to help critique query letters prior to submission.
  9. You are going to be rejected. Rejections happen all the time for a variety of reasons. Just because we reject one query, it doesn’t mean we’re going to automatically reject the next. If we have time, FyreSyde tries to say why we’ve rejected to help the author understand.
  10. Follow the template. Nybookeditors.com has a beautiful breakdown of how to format a query letter. It’s exactly what FyreSyde wants to see in the letters we receive.

If you liked this post, here are a couple of others that might help:

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NaNoProMo Day 31: Here Is the Secret to Being a Successful Writer by @BadRedHeadMedia

Rachel Thompson from BadRedHeadMedia ends NaNoProMo (also created by Rachel) with a bang in her article on how to be a successful writer.

It has been an amazing month of incredibly helpful tips. If you haven’t already, be sure to go back through this library of evergreen content guaranteed to help in any stage of your writing.

Excerpt:

Regardless of how you publish your books, articles, or blog posts, the secret to being a successful writer is not anything pie in the sky or full of inspirational goo-gah. (Besides, I’m not the kind of person to spray glittery sunshine up your you know what, so here’s the real deal.)

Here’s the big secret. Ready? Grab your pens.
Don’t Be Lazy.
That’s it. Let me deconstruct this a bit. Pull up a chair.

Make It Happen


You. Yes, you. Stop looking around.
I’ve worked with writers in all kinds of ways since hmmm, gosh, 2009-ish. Ten years of observing that unique species of human we refer to as, writer. I’m a writer myself (six books released so far , been in a few anthologies, two new books on deck for this year), so I fully comprehend the challenges of balancing writing, marketing, the day job, real life, chronic pain, mental health, and single parenting.
Completely and totally get it.
There isn’t room in any of those roles to be lazy if we’re being #TruthBomb honest here. Yet, in my ten years of working directly with writers, I can count on one hand the writers who are get-out-of-my-way go-getters.
Not the kind who will eat you for lunch with some fava beans and a nice chianti. I mean those who actively set aside time for writing AND marketing AND promoting strategically — not creepy, spammy, ‘must take a shower after seeing this’ ways. Nope, I mean those who treat their publishing career as a business, not a hobby where they lollygag around on social media arguing politics or talking about writing their book, then hope and pray someone eventually buys it.

Rachel Thompson, author of the 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge

Find more about Rachel at any of the links below:

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NaNoProMo day 25: How to Work With Book Bloggers (By a Book Blogger) by @Girl_Who_Reads

Book bloggers are crucial to the writing community. They offer their reviews free of charge (in most cases) and are willing to often take more than they can handle.

However, there is a right and a wrong way to work with book bloggers. Unfortunately many receive backlash for their honest reviews.

Thankfully, NaNoProMo day 25 (founded by Rachel Thompson) brings a book blogger to the table. In her article, Donna Huber offers details how to communicate properly with book bloggers.

Excerpt:

Make Friends With Book Bloggers
One of the top questions I hear from authors when discussing book discoverability and marketing is “What can I do that doesn’t cost a lot of money?”


My Response Is Always: Make Friends With Bloggers


Unfortunately, I see way too many authors only using bloggers as review generators and failing to make any kind of personal connection with them beyond the review pitch. Bloggers are an awesome resource to have in your toolbox, but one too many authors do not properly know how to incorporate this tactic into their marketing plans.
As more and more bloggers close to review requests, it is important for authors to find new ways to leverage the impact a blogger can have on a book’s success.
I have a number of publishers and publicists that contact me about traditionally published books. I can almost always tell when an email is from the traditional side of publishing from the first few lines. It is subtle, but it sets them apart from the indie and self-published pitches. Pitches from traditional publishing rarely begin with a request for review. Bloggers are pretty smart and already know that if an author/publisher/publicist is contacting them, they are hoping for a review.

Donna Huber, How to Work With Book Bloggers (By a Book Blogger)

More about Donna Huber:

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NaNoProMo Day 30: How to Create a Book Marketing Roadmap by @Beth_Barany

Marketing. We talk about it so much and find so much on the internet but still new authors struggle with how to go about it. It’s intimidating, horrifying and can, at times, be confusing.

NaNoProMo day 30 (founded by Rachel Thompson) offers a great roadmap on how authors can go about their marketing. Beth Barany shares some steps you can take to make marketing your book a bit less daunting.

Excerpt:

Why Market Our Books?


We writers want to be read. Otherwise, why would we publish our work? Well, it is so gratifying to hold the book and see it on the shelf. But it’s the readers’ joy in reading is what it’s all about. Otherwise, why publish?

To be read, we must market our books. How to do that can be overwhelming and feel like a big black box you can’t open because:
There are so many choices out there on how to market
There is so much advice on the “right” way to market that clashes — confusing! and
You may be afraid to actually to do the work because of well, many reasons. (I’ll address this aspect more below.)
To bring some clarity and offer an overview roadmap, let’s start by defining our terms.

Beth Barany, How to Create a Book Marketing Roadmap

Where else to find Beth Barany:

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NaNoProMo Day 23: Tips: How to Leave Digital Breadcrumbs by @LolaAkinmade

Day 23 of NaNoProMo offers insight on how to get your name spread across the internet for other than just marketing your book. Marketing yourself is the most crucial part of the author platform.

For example, FyreSyde does more than preach books. We add evergreen content that can be used by virtually everyone. We also submit guest posts to various blogs and submit stories to literary magazines on our off-time (when we have it).

Lolá Akinmade Åkerström does an amazing job at showing you how you can get your name recognized for something other than your book. It gives you an air of professionalism and authority on subjects you are passionate about.

Excerpt:

“We are like Hansel and Gretel, leaving bread crumbs of our personal information everywhere we travel through the digital woods.”…Gary Kovacs


The last few months have been rather surreal workwise and I will share a Latest News & Updates post soon but there’s something that has been on my mind the last few weeks surrounding my LAGOM Book.
We’re now up to 17 language editions (!) and I thought I just spotted a Ukrainian version recently on Instagram? I still haven’t found the right words to express the gratitude I feel for catching this wave at the right moment when it crested.
But I digress…
The number one question I get surrounding the book is how I got a major publisher.
People are curious about my proposal and pitching process. How did I land that specific publisher? Do I have an agent? (No, by the way). How did I get on their radar? Especially people who are coming across my work for the first time, or have lived in Sweden much longer than my eight years here.

Lolá Akinmade Åkerström, Tips: How to Leave Digital Breadcrumbs

Find Lolá Akinmade Åker:

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NaNoProMo Day 22: How To Grow Your Author Platform by @KatBiggie

Day 22 of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson) offers more insight on how to develop your author platform. Again, we here at FyreSyde believe in building a platform much earlier than when you hold your book in your hand.

Check out this post by Alexa Bigwarfe, a leading name in the publishing industry about how to begin building your platform.

Excerpt:

There is nothing worse than doing all the things to have a well-written, edited, fantastic book that completely flops when you launch it. That’s all of our biggest fears as writers, right? Okay, creatives have a lot of fears, but this one: “What if nobody buys my book?” is at the top of the list.

Many writers think the hardest part about publishing a book is the writing, the editing, and all of the steps to produce and publish a high-quality book.


Once you’re done with that – you market!


Uh oh. The realization quickly sets in that either you don’t really know your target audience and where to find them, or you haven’t spent the time growing an audience of true fans.

Alexa Bigwarfe, How To Grow Your Author Platform

Find more about Alexa Bigwarfe:

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NaNoProMo Day 24: Tips to Grow Your Author Platform by @IolaGoulton

You’ve heard it preached so many times. Having an author platform is critical before your book even releases. Some will say you have to wait to have the book in hand, but we here at FyreSyde tell our authors to market themselves first.

On average, platform building should begin six months before your book is even released. Some (like us) begin the process (if the author has not already done so) of building a platform fifteen months in advance.

NaNoProMo day 24 (created by Rachel Thomson) has a wonderful post by Iola Goulton on how to grow your author platform.

Excerpt below:

This might seem self-evident, especially if you’ve followed most or all of the#NaNoProMo posts this month. But I do come across published authors who don’t even have the basics in place: website, email list, and basic social media links.
It annoys reviewer-me when I want to promote an author but can’t, because the author doesn’t have anything for me to share or promote beyond an outdated Facebook page.

Iola Goulton, Tips: How to Create Your Author Platform Basics

Find more about Iola Goulton:

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NaNoProMo Day 20: How to Improve Your Email Newsletters Right Now by @SugarbeatBC

What would happen if social media suddenly went black? We’re talking no more tweets, Instagram death, Facebook crashing apocalypse. What would you do?

Enter your email list – one of the most powerful marketing tools in any business’ arsenal. These are the people who receive newsletters every month with exclusive goodies (or we hope you include them).

For NaNoProMo Day 20 (created by Rachel Thomson), Barb Drozdowich offers some insight as to how you can improve your newsletters. Don’t miss out on this valuable information.

Excerpt:

Many of the experts in the field focus on aspects of this communication which in the big picture don’t really matter. Or in some instances are detrimental to your ability to communicate with readers. In fact, it is my assertion that many of the experts in the field haven’t actually read any of the research in the field of communication with readers. They often repeat advice from others – assuming if someone is talking a good game, they must know what they are talking about.


In today’s post, we are going to mention two points of proven research and then talk about some ways to harness the power of that research to up your game.

Barb Drozdowich, How to Improve Your Email Newsletters Right Now

Find out more about Ms. Drozdowich:

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NaNoProMo Day 18: How to Make Author Network Connections with Five Easy Elements by Dr. J Author

You might get sick of hearing it but around here, we like to say “Authors are our largest support network.” This is very true but here is something to bolster your author network to expand your reach further than you can imagine.

It might come as a shock but you are more than an author. (dramatic gasp) You have hobbies, interests, areas of expertise, travel experience, parenting, your day job. The list goes on and on.

The major problem FyreSyde sees nowadays is authors have this uncanny thought that all they are or have to talk about is being an author.

Dr. J has a great way you can get away from this way of thinking in her article for NaNoProMo Day 18 (created by Rachel Thomson).

As always, we give you an insider scoop at an excerpt:

Some people are unaware I grew up on a farm. I took part in crop planting and harvesting when I wasn’t feeding and watering animals. I translate lessons from farming to authoring because there is a lot in common, like seasons. You plan and prepare, plant the seeds, grow the product, harvest and when it’s ready, you share with the world.
So, which was I talking about, farming or writing? By understanding the similarities, it helps me show how to make author network connections with five easy elements.

What Is Networking?
Networking is when you interact with individuals to exchange information and grow professional or social contacts.


As I worked on the farm, I learned that you succeeded when you were connected to the people with whom you worked. These included other farmers and their families, farm agencies, institutions that supported our work, and the consumers who used our product. I needed to understand how they all fit together as I do with author networking.

Dr. J Author, How to Make Author Networking Connections with Five Easy Elements

Find more about Dr. J here:

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NaNoProMo Day 17: This Is Why Credibility Forges a Strong Brand by Charli Mills

You hear this all the time. As an author you are a brand. Do not fall into the trip trap of thinking you are nothing but a book title. Too often, we hear stories about authors who give off the feelings that they don’t care about their readers because all they do is talk about them and their book.

As an author you are a brand

FyreSyde Team

This is not the way to do this. It’s why today’s NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson) is so powerful it gave us chills.

Charli Mills gets real in a post showing why credibility is so crucial in maintaining a strong brand. She gets real about her struggles she’s encountered during her journey of being a military spouse. As a former Army wife and husband team, we can relate to these struggles.

Excerpt from Charli’s Article:

In October of 1983, my husband jumped into a war zone known as Urgent Fury. As far as battles go, the one for Grenada barely registers. In fact, the US government declares 1983 as part of a “non-combat” era. However, the reputation of my husband’s elite unit of US Army Rangers earns him respect regardless of where he served.


He volunteered for the Army in 1981, volunteered for Airborne school, and volunteered for the Rangers. He had to pass three phases and accept an assignment to a Ranger unit. He also qualified as a combat diver and managed his unit’s Zodiacs. He emphasizes that he volunteered for service and dangerous duty, something he’s fiercely proud of achieving.
But it’s made for a rocky after-service life.


Not only did my husband bash his knee on that Grenada jump, but he also struck his head twice. Just a week before, he took a hit to the head that knocked him out. None of these incidents warranted a Ranger seeking medical attention and wouldn’t be worth mentioning decades later had it not been for puzzling changes in his cognition.
He’s needed a total knee replacement for 35 years. As he aged, chronic pain aggravated combat PTSD, the kind rooted in survivor’s guilt and anger – the fuel a soldier is taught to use but not neutralize. While seeking VA treatment, we discovered an alarming loss of processing ability linked to long-term effects of subconcussive hits.

Charli Mills, Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Find more about Ms. Mill’s here:

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NaNoProMo Day 16: How Working With an Author Assistant Helps Writers by Guest @TheRuralVA

Here we are again (still a bit behind) but hey we promised to deliver NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson) and come heck or high water, we are.

Today is something special. Here at FyreSyde, we know nothing is more important than learning to delegate. As human beings who carry jobs, have kids, go to school and somehow still find time to write, finding someone to help can mean a world of difference.

Emilie Rabitoy brings to you how important it can be to have an author assistant. Read the full article about it here.

Have a juicy excerpt:

When it comes to hiring an author assistant, it can be difficult to know where to start. The possibilities are sometimes limitless, so it’s hard for an author to know which tasks they should hand off to their assistant or which they should continue to do on their own.


One of the first things I ask my clients is if there is any task just they cannot stand, or feel is necessary but don’t have the time or skills to do. These are absolutely the most important tasks to give to your assistant, because either they currently aren’t getting done at all, or aren’t getting done very well.


The most important part of the relationship between an author and their assistant is communication, so finding a style that works for both parties is crucial. Though many writers don’t feel they can afford an assistant, they’d be surprised by how reasonable the cost is.

Emilie Rabitoy, The Rural Virtual Assistant

Find more about Emilie here:

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NaNoProMo Day 19: How to Set Your Author Website by BookWorksNYC

Think about a spiderweb. The intricacies of the design where threads reach out and appear to grab and lead the eye towards the middle of the web.

This is the way you should think when you’re building your author website. Your social media (Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube, Business cards, bookmarks, you get the idea) serve as those tiny threads. At the center should be your website. You want to lead your potential viewers to your little hobbit hole on the internet.

Day 19 of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson) offers ways you can do just that. BookWorks wrote a magnificent article on what it takes to draw attention to your website.

Excerpt:

The Insider’s Guide to Author Websites: Set Your Foundation


An author website is the foundation upon which you build your platform. We asked BookWork’s Web Lead, Tyler Doornbos, to share his insider’s perspective on what that should entail…

(Adapted from The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide created by BookWorks founder Betty Kelly Sargent and Joel Friedlander, “The Book Designer,” and winner of  the 2017 Silver IPPY in Reference Book category)
At this point, you’ve heard the endless refrain: you need a website. Probably for years now. I won’t reiterate it. It feels a little 2008 to even be mentioning it.
What’s worth mentioning, however, is what your website needs. The independent author sphere is saturated with bad design and marketing—from unintentionally hilarious book covers to websites that look like refugees from the wreckage of Geocities—and you don’t want to add to it. But it goes much deeper than that. Design isn’t just how your website looks, but what it does (to very loosely paraphrase Steve Jobs), and you have to do more than just have something out there. It needs to be as remarkable as your book.

Tyler Doornbos, Bookworks

Find more about Tyler Doornbos and Bookworks:

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NaNoProMo Day 12: How to Make Your Book Marketing Plan a Success by Maureen Joyce Connolly

Marketing can be daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing. Trust us, we’ve been there. We know how you feel. Breaking it down into a marketing plan can help ease some of strain, especially for Indie and self-published authors. Here’s the kicker, bashing people over the brain with “buy my book” tweets is NOT the way to go.

Often times, as authors, we forget that our readers are people too. As part of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson), Maureen Joyce Connolly offers ways to make your marketing plan successful. Check out the full article here:

And to get you interested:

The very core of my approach was to learn as much about launching a book as quickly as possible, to compile a strategy and to execute it with support if I needed, but for me to be the driver of my plan. I also understood instinctively, that I would need to identify my personal strengths and use them to my advantage since I had no social media presence – nada, zip – as my business had flourished via referrals.
In the social media arena, I wasn’t starting from the ground floor; I was starting in the basement. But I have a bulldozer work ethic and creativity. Two killer strengths.

Maureen Joyce Connolly, author of Little Lovely Things

Find more about Ms. Connolly:

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NaNoProMo Day 11: Why Writing Your Truth Is an Effective Marketing Strategy by Jackie Cioffa

So many times, we receive questions about what it means when we say that the author is a brand, not a book. We have written on this in the past but are pleased to see it brought back up as a part of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson).

Authors, whether you want to admit it or not, you are a brand. Do not fall into the trap of riding the coat-tails of a single title. Like the iPhone (and many other pieces of technology) a book title has a lifespan. Let it live it and move on but make your face (or name if you’re a recluse) the reason people know you.

Jackie Cioffa does an amazing job at keeping things real when it comes to book marketing in this article.

As always, here’s an excerpt:

When Bad Redhead Media’s Rachel Thompson reached out to me to write a post about promoting and marketing my books, my immediate thought was is she kidding? I have been an avid follower and fan of Rachel for nearly a decade, trying to emulate her badass self-publishing skills and as much of her marketing expertise as I could.


Luckily for me, Rachel is both a friend and respected colleague who willingly shares her pixie dust book magic and marketing strategies through BadRedhead Media, where many of her tips and tricks are free.
That’s right, free. I keep her article, How to Create Pre-launch Buzz For Your Bookbookmarked on my computer and her book, BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge right next to me.


When I finished the manuscript for my third novel, The Red Bench, and began hyperventilating, I knew I needed guidance. I turn into a toddler when it comes to all things promotion and marketing related. I reached out inquiring about a possible formatting contact, and Rachel kindly suggested Barb Drozdowich, from Bakerview Consulting, a wizard who turned my pulp fiction into an exquisitely formatted memoir.

 
I never quite understood what Rachel said over and over about the author is a brand, not the book until the release of The Red Bench, and the importance of building social media relationships, engaging, interacting, and not solely about your book. I had tried countless promos in the past with The Vast Landscape and Georgia Pine. I used Freebooksy, BookBub, Amazon Giveways, MailChimp, BookMarketing Tools—all with moderate success, yet becoming more and more frustrated.

Jacqueline Cioffa, author of The Red Bench

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