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 BookTrope made me realize the publishing industry are all pirates

Can someone explain Booktrope to me? I don’t get it. It looks like people can volunteer to be part of a creative time to produce the book, then earn a percentage of the sales revenue (and, apparently they only publish quality books that the community has supported, which means a better chance of revenue.) If I design the book cover ... Read More »

How to use Kindle pre-orders to pre-sell your self-published book

I was excited that Kindle finally set up a pre-order option on KDP, which means self-publishing authors can finally compete with mainstream books by selling pre-orders. Pre-orders are great because you can build buzz and start talking about/selling your book before it’s really all polished up and ready to go. In addition (I believe) all the sales count on the ... Read More »

Is your book cover designer lazy and unethical? (Stock photography and cover clones/cliches AGAIN)

I wrote recently about how and why book cover designs should be clichés, most of the time, because you always want to fit into a genre and appeal to the style conventions that are being used: you want people to recognize what your book is about. No, they won’t say, “Gee that looks interesting, but I have no idea what ... Read More »

Why you should give up your publishing dream (and self-publish instead)

I attended several writer’s conferences this summer, and was surprised by my findings. I’d been picturing writers as teenage girls writing Twilight fan fiction; turns out they are (mostly) 40 to 80 and usually tech-averse. I’d thought self-publishing had become the obvious choice for a plethora of reasons, but here were these authors who didn’t know anything about preparing their ... Read More »

Actionable Inspiration Without Intimidation: A Review of Write it Forward 2014

This is a guest post by Jeff McKinney; I was curious about the Write it Forward event and Jeff agreed to do a write-up I could share. On July 25-26, authors, speakers and creatives gathered in Atlanta for Write it Forward featuring bestselling author and writing teacher Jeff Goins. The event was well organized, intimate and delivered great value for ... Read More »

How to set up an email list and autoresponder (that actually gets people to open and click!)

Everybody will tell you that starting an email list as soon as possible is the #1 way to grow your platform and sell more of anything. But how does it really work? I’m not an expert on blogging or email marketing, but this week I’m sitting in my sister’s apartment in Vancouver BC and finally setting up my list the ... Read More »

Is caring about people a waste of time? (AKA, is social media marketing worth it?)

I’m at a writing conference, and during just about every session, authors keep asking the same questions. And they aren’t looking for answers. They are looking for permission not to give a damn about their readers. They ask stuff like “I know I’m supposed to use Facebook/Twitter… but do I have to?” They say stuff like “I just want to ... Read More »

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