I give consultations on book marketing, and one of the first things I tell my clients to do is put up a website, preferably in the form of yourname.com. If you have a common name, I suggest seeing if yournameauthor.com or yournamebooks.com is available. I prefer this to thenameofyourbook.com, because what if you end up writing another book?…Continue
Added by Maria Murnane on June 18, 2013 at 9:28am — No Comments
I recently received this e-mail from Sara, a loyal subscriber to my newsletter:
I'm nearing the end of my book, and it has possibilities for three different endings. I'm considering asking people I know to read all three versions and give me feedback on which one they like best, and why they prefer one over another. I'm also considering publishing this as a novella in three different versions, with each version having one of the three endings. Would you consider this to be a good…Continue
A few posts back, I pointed out some common words and phrases I've seen writers get mixed up. Today I'd like to point out a few more:Continue
Added by Maria Murnane on June 4, 2013 at 8:07am — No Comments
In my previous two posts, I asked some of my author friends where and when they most like to write. This week I asked them about preferred background noise. Personally, I alternate between complete silence and the kind of soft music they play at fancy spas. I can't have…Continue
In my last post (sorry for missing a week- I was on vacation!), I asked some author friends where they like to write. This week I asked them when they prefer to write. While I tend to be the most productive in the middle of the day and late afternoon/early evening, their answers were quite different:…Continue
I used to write in coffee shops, but now I write almost exclusively at my desk, which is located in a tidy corner of my living room. It's not a separate office, but it works just great for me. I thought it would be fun to ask some author friends where they feel most productive. Here's what they had to say:
A platform is the publishing industry's term for how you will market your work. No matter what type of book you write or who publishes it, it's important to develop a platform. If you have a traditional publishing contract, you may get some marketing support, but if you go the indie route, it's all up to you. (However, most traditionally published authors still must spend a great deal of time working to build up their own platforms. I'm a good example of this.)…Continue
If you want your fans to talk about your books and/or read your future works, it's important to engage with them on a regular basis. In addition to having your own website, here are three suggestions:
1. Author Page on Amazon.com
Setting up an author page on Amazon is super easy and provides a great way for readers to learn about you. You can upload your bio and photo, include…Continue
I go to the store. She goes to the store.
She and I go to the store.
Simple, right? Apparently not, because everywhere I go, and every time I turn on the TV, I hear people say things such as "Her and I go to the store" or "Her and I have been friends since college" or "Him and I get along great."
Why is this grammar mistake so common? You would never say "Her went to the store," right? So…Continue
No matter where you are in the process of becoming an author, attending a writers conference can be a valuable experience.
If you've completed your manuscript or book proposal, you can:
A few weeks ago, I asked my buddy Raymond Bean, author of both the School Is a Nightmare and Sweet Farts series, to share his thoughts on what it takes to write a children's book. This week, I asked him for some tips on marketing a children's book. Here's what he had to say:…Continue
In last week’s post I offered tips for getting that manuscript done. Here are a few more:
1. Be flexible
If you thought your novel was going to go one way…Continue
When people find out I've written four novels, they often ask, "How in the world can you write an entire book?" For many aspiring novelists, the idea of writing hundreds of pages is so daunting that it keeps them from writing even one, which is a shame.
Here are some tips for how to get it done:…Continue
I recently finished reading a novel that wasn't terrible, but I never really got into it because I just didn't care about any of the characters. Not one.
If you want readers to become invested in your writing, they must become invested in your characters. I'm not suggesting that all your characters need to be charming, or even particularly nice, and I'm certainly not suggesting that you can't have villains. But there has to be something in at least one of your characters that…Continue
I often see self-published authors use the word "peak" when they should be using "pique." This mistake is just one example of why I strongly recommend hiring a copyeditor if you go the indie route. (I also recommend hiring a creative/developmental editor. See my post about the difference between the two if you're uncertain.)…Continue
I don't write children's books, but my friend Raymond Bean does. He's the author of the popular Sweet Farts series, so I asked him to share his thoughts on the genre. Here's what he had to say:
I teach 4th grade by day and write children's books by night. I spend my days helping young readers sift through the book baskets and find the gems they'll want to read. Reading, writing, and sharing with my target audience has taught me a ton about the likes and dislikes of…Continue
I'm on an email listserv for one of my alma maters, on which people initiate discussion threads on anything from politics and business ethics to job openings and apartments for rent. I pick and choose what I want to read, respond to, or delete.
There's one member of the listserv who has caught my attention, and unfortunately not in a good way. He's an aspiring novelist, and every two weeks or so he sends around an email with a negative headline and a link to his most recent blog post.…Continue
I just finished reading a political thriller that could have been pretty interesting...if I hadn't been so confused much of the time I was reading it.
Avoid ambiguity in your dialogue!
Here's what rattled me: Over and over, the author had…Continue
I recently had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Guy Kawasaki, a popular speaker and author of 10 books, including Reality Check, The Art of the Start, and Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. I told him about this blog and asked if he had any words of wisdom for my readers. With a sly chuckle, yet also speaking seriously, he said the following:
"Don't be paranoid."…Continue
I began my career as an indie author. Today, I'd like to share two mistakes I made when working with a professional designer that cost me a LOT of money. If you pursue the self-publishing route, I hope you can learn from my experiences and avoid making these mistakes with your book.…Continue