Monthly Archives: September 2013

Optimize Your Book for Mobile

The Pew Center reports that 57% of American adults use their mobile phones to browse the internet. Among smartphone owners, the number is much higher: 93 percent.

If you haven’t already, make sure your website is optimized for mobile viewing.

As you work with a designer or publisher on your book cover, ensure that it displays well in a thumbnail size.

Keep all your digital pages clean; the faster it downloads, the more likely browsers are to stay a while.


Book Marketing with Adjunct Stories

Often I talk to authors about selling themselves to readers as much as their books. It’s natural for readers to want to know more about authors, their motivation for writing a particular book, even about the writing process.

Nowadays, with short books and short stories being produced in ebook and even print formats, there’s an added ability to market your books. No matter what you’re writing, you can create adjunct books.

Consider a self-help author with a workbook…the workbook isn’t the primary self-help book but it adds to the original publication in a helpful manner. Novelists, too, can use this idea by writing short stories about appealing secondary characters in their stories.

These can be sold, of course, or given away to generate interest in the book. Since most adjunct books are short, the time and effort to produce them is often much less than what the original project required.

2013 Frankfurt Book Fair Welcomes Self-publishers

During the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair, an entire hall will be given over to self-publishers.

The administrators don’t want to be left behind in the digital revolution. Since such a large part of that revolution is about what authors can do on their own, they invited authors, printers, and other service providers to speak and set up booths.

The Fair runs October 9 through 13.

Writer’s Resource Website Update

I’ve updated the website to reflect a much more detailed idea of the different levels of assistance available. The endorsements page still needs to be updated; I’ve been so busy with helping folks that it’s been difficult to post all the different successes there!

There is now a headcount: 18 clients under contract, 3 clients under consideration for a contract, and 4 authors who won national awards after working with Writer’s Resource.

Please share as you see fit.


Self-publishing is Changing Traditional Publishers

Recently, news from Europe indicated that self-publishing is beginning to grow at rates similar to those seen in America’s early years of self-publishing. The reasons authors choose to go their own way is the same as here: more control, a faster path to publication, and more direct contact with their readers.

FOCUS magazine said that traditional publishers will have to get on board with this trend worldwide. Providing access to bookstores, it said, is the last area where the gatekeepers still function. If publishers want to survive, they are going to have to help all authors publish and distribute their books.

Do you think survival for traditional publishing houses will hinge on this in part or in whole? Why or why not?

Taking a Hiatus to Serve Your Writing

Just like many of you, I am constantly working on book projects…novels, nonfiction, and marketing of the books that have already been published. While I usually manage my days so that I am able to address every portion of these different aspects at some point throughout each week, I took a break from the blog to finish the first draft of my novel-in-progress.

This represented a new path for me. It’s a YA novel, whereas before I’ve written only for adults. It is also the first in a series while all my other works are stand-alone projects. Finally, it is a historic novel compared to all my other projects which have been contemporary.

It was a wild ride! The first draft poured out in less than four months. There is a lot of revision ahead (because, as I’ve always said, writing is rewriting) but it was worth taking the time off from the blog to move ahead on this.

I continued with the other necessary components of life: operating Writer’s Resource, the publishing consulting business this blog mines information from; helping individual clients move forward with their own projects; and marketing the existing books. When you are pressed for time and something has to give, know that it doesn’t have to be a permanent shutdown. Not only will you gain the confidence of having completed a project, you’ll likely find that you return to the task with a renewed sense of vigor…as I have with this blog!

What Authors Need to Succeed

As the owner of a small business, I read a number of magazines targeting people like me. One is Entrepreneur. Recently they had an article about what entrepreneurs need to succeed, and I found nearly every point appropriate for the successful author.

–You like feeling like a kid. This might be my favorite one. Authors have to have a sense of curiosity about their worlds…the ones they live in and the ones they create. Immersing yourself in that world can be enough to spark the joy of youth.

–You are overwhelmingly optimistic. Well, I don’t have to mention rejections, low advances, rejections, rude agents, rejections and poor reviews (did I mention rejections?) for you to understand this one.

–You’re probably a gear head. These days, with publishing’s foundation shifting so completely to new technologies, writers need to keep informed of the latest advances in technology. From creation to publication, knowing what’s available can ease your path.

Amazon’s Print and Ebook Bundling

Recently I posted on the discussions about bundling a free copy of ebooks into every print edition sold. Now Amazon has announced that they will be launching a program like that in October.

Called Kindle Matchbook, the offer is not going to be available on every title. Instead, they need to negotiate with individual publishers. They have predicted that 10,000 titles will be available on that program by its launch date.

Now, Amazon has already taken flack for merely predicting that 10K number. But by now, everyone should know that Amazon’s spin often turns out to be self-fulfilling. The real question is why now, and why Amazon?

Of course the idea is timely and readers love it, so it works. If it helps authors expand their reach, that is useful too. For now, though, the impact seems to be limited to well-known authors or well-known titles (even ones that are decades old). For Amazon, though, it’s a way to enhance their date collection. Depending on whether you abhor big data as an invasion of privacy or think big data on reading trends can be helpful, that might sound greatly overreaching or just plain great.

Job Opportunity: Harper’s Magazine

Harper’s is seeking college students and graduates for editorial and arts internship programs. The positions are fulltime and part-time, and will expose the interns to the internal workings of magazine publishing.

For information and an application, call 212-420-5720.

Can Unknown Authors Capture the Attention of Literary Agents?

The answer is yes. Yes! YES!

Just last week a client of mine asked me to rewrite the query letter he had created for a juvenile manuscript. I had ghostwritten the story so was intimately familiar with the project and its potential impact on young readers today.

He sent out the new version of the query letter and received a request for sample chapters in less than 24 hours.

This author has never won any awards. He does not have other publications to his credit either for this age group or for any other, including adults. He doesn’t even work fulltime in anything remotely related to books, publishing or the media.

And yet he has what agents want: a strong story with current topical appeal that fills a void in the market.

If that describes your project, send out your query today! If you’re having trouble seeing how your project is unique in today’s market, please let me help.