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Prequels build buzz!

Have you heard what some savvy authors are doing to build excitement and attract readers to their upcoming books? They’re writing prequels: tantalizing teasers in short story form that preview the key characters and settings of an upcoming novel. Some prequels predate or provide backstories for the longer books to come. Others are like outtakes [...]


The career-boosting power of your name on a book

Many authors I’ve worked with have written books that promoted and enhanced their professional lives. Some have written a book precisely with this hope in mind: to advertise their special skills and passions. Other writers have enjoyed the surprise of being propelled in their careers with major elevations of their workaday status and financial potential. [...]


Why should anyone give a shiitake about your book?

That’s the first question to ask yourself, writes Guy Kawasaki in the opening chapter of a definitive new book on self-publishing, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book, written with co-author Shawn Welch. Kawasaki is passionate about writers creating worthwhile books for principled reasons. To make a difference in people’s lives, to [...]


Timing your book’s launch date for maximum impact

Strategic timing of your book’s publication date can give it a jet-propelled boost and have a major impact on its long-term success. Commercial publishers and booksellers have known this forever. Christmas and beyond Retailers rack up between 25-35 percent of their annual revenues during the holiday shopping season in November and December. Smart publishers start [...]


Launching a successful blog tour

“When I was first starting out, I dreamed of being sent on a book tour. I’d travel around the world—at my publisher’ expense, of course—and hit the major bookstores, where I’d do readings and signings for standing-room-only audiences,” says Jackie Morse Kessler, the author of a four-book YA series with Houghton/Graphia: Hunger, Rage, Loss and [...]


Book marketing & publicity: Advice from three experts

A smart marketing consultant can be the secret weapon in an author’s campaign to market and promote a book. That’s according to Adrienne Biggs, one of three experts interviewed for this post. Since not all authors are experienced or even comfortable selling themselves, professional consultants can help with customized marketing strategies to reach your targeted [...]


The Viagra Diaries: A self-publishing mega success story

“Barbara Rose Brooker is fearless. The Viagra Diaries does for single seniors what Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl and Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying did for the women’s sexual revolution in the sixties and seventies.”  – Entertainment Tonight It’s a blurb to die for, and well deserved. I’ve known Barbara for more than [...]


The new author pitch: Show, don’t sell

Authors today need a whole new attitude toward the all-important pitch. Until now, the author pitch was defined as a hard-sell verbal punch to persuade agents and editors to take on their book. It was typically brief, high-concept, often hyperbolic and was designed to convince the agent standing there that the book was fabulous and [...]


Great book jackets: Tips from 4 design pros

Every good book needs a great cover. It’s a powerful billboard for conveying the spirit and content of your book. An eye-catching cover can persuade readers to pick up and buy a book. But a jacket that’s confusing or boring or worse, can stop a potential buyer from giving that same book a second glance. [...]


What authors can learn from the bestseller lists

The gold standard for success as an author is to make the New York Times Best Seller list. That’s the big brand banner that publishers, authors and readers want to see on the front cover. It shouts “Read Me! I’m certified!” How does an author accomplish this feat? What does it take for a book [...]