Author Archives: Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors build profitable publishing platforms. Find me

How to buy your way onto the bestseller lists (it’s not that hard).

UPDATE: This post was hypothetical, but I’m not actually going to do any of these things. The reason is, it’s important to keep your “also-boughts” clean; which means, you want people buying your books who are buying other books in your genre. There are lots of ways to make that happen. But getting a whole bunch of fast sales or ... Read More »

The definitive indie author guide to author websites that attract and convert

Today we did an awesome live class on building a bestselling author website, including topics to writing about, content marketing, getting more traffic and email subscribers, and design and branding. One of the things I recommended was to write articles, then turn those into Powerpoints for SlideShare, then record yourself talking about it for YouTube, then breaking them into individual ... Read More »

20 Badass opt-in bribe ideas writers can use to get people to sign up to their email list

bribeideas for email subscriptions for authors

This is a slide from the live masterclass we ran today on building an author platform, but we went quickly so I’m posting it here. These are opt-in ideas you can use: make something that appeals just to your ideal reader. For the the #1 best idea is “Signup for a summary of my favorite (genre) books each month” or similar ... Read More »

How to remove negative book reviews from Amazon (with Kindle’s “most helpful” feature)

Amazon is at war with authors. And that’s OK: their revenue comes from readers, and they want to make sure readers keep buying books, which means giving them books they won’t be disappointed with. That’s why Amazon has been removing any reviews from people who have any possible connection with the author. Which kind of sucks, because it means that ... Read More »

How to us “taster texts” & “nibble novels” to build your list and grow your author platform

If you’re any kind of writer, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “show don’t tell.” It basically means, don’t tell readers what happened, or why it matters, or how the characters feel about it. You need to demonstrate those things with good writing, and by letting the scene and action and characters show readers what’s happening directly, without you getting in the ... Read More »

How to convert accidental blog traffic into raving fans (with Jeff Walker and Leadpages)

I’ve been running this blog, and several other websites, without ever focusing on earning money. That’s a mistake for two reasons. 1. It means I’m more focused on myself than on finding out what readers want and giving it to them. 2. It means I didn’t pay attention to conversion rates. Conversion rates = getting accidental blog traffic to stick ... Read More »

11 reasons you need a life and business coach NOW

I can always tell when I’m speaking to a life coach. They ask a lot of questions. They are very focused on what I’m actually saying, and what’s behind what I’m saying. They are looking for negative thought patterns, unrealistic expectations, too much energy or worry being focused on the wrong projects… so that they can offer suggestions. Life coaches ... Read More »

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