Indie Authors

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 »

21 Days of Self-Publishing Q/A chats in October! (Oops, nevermind…)

Edit: Shit, October came quickly. It’s Oct. First and I’m heading up to the Resort and Mt. Hood for Pioneer Nation… after that we’ll go down to Lake Tahoe, up to Vancouver, and end up back in Portland again in November. So my scheduling for these events is pretty crazy – I’m going to postpone this series indefinitely. I go ... Read More »

What’s that writing community really worth? (Is there any value in paying for group membership?)

I often see writing communities or forums online, and wonder whether I should sign up. They might only cost $25 a year. But will I get any value out of it? Here are some things to judge: 1. Look at the other members, if you can. Track them down. Are they successful? Do they have a polished platform? Are their ... Read More »

How much does your author website even matter?

Today I’m stalking authors. I want to get my giveaway for YA authors shared more widely. So I’m chasing hashtags on Twitter and finding YA author lists and communities and direct messaging people. Normally, I wouldn’t do that: but I’m sharing a contest that will benefit YA writers, rather than promoting my own books, so I feel like it’s OK. ... Read More »

Positive affirmations for authors: Write faster and sell more books!

I started listening to positive affirmations/motivational mp3s and recordings years ago; my favorites are Kelly Howell and David McGraw. But I wanted something that was just for authors and writers, so I made my own. I made this first video to help authors struggling with finding time for their writing. Sometimes subconscious fears are the things that are really slowing ... Read More »

Content or Keywords? How to write a book subtitle or tagline that grabs readers by the throat

The title of this post is a little too violent, but it exemplifies the purpose of this post: your subtitles and taglines need to engage readers. Firstly: a subtitle is usually what goes on a non-fiction book, and non-fiction book readers are mostly looking for information and content, so you need to focus on keywords (sort of, more on that later). A ... Read More »

7 things about writing I learned from Jonathan Franzen

I spent the day at the Budapest Book Fair listening to Jonathan Franzen talk about birds and writing, and making jokes that nobody laughed at because they were waiting for the translation to come through their headphones. I jotted down a few pearls of wisdom that should be useful to writers everywhere. #1. Writing is an experience, not a performance This ... Read More »

7 foolproof design tips to crush your book cover design

I was chatting with friends at the London Book Fair when one of them reminded me of a presentation on book cover design; which I felt duty bound to attend. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting much, since I consider the cover design strategies I recommend for indie authors to be avant garde and not mainstream. But Damien Horner (@Damienhorner) delivered a 5 minute ... Read More »

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