Find the work you were meant to do (dream jobs with Pam Slim)

Recently I’ve been going through an identity crisis. I know what I want to do, and what I’m good at, and what I enjoy. But increasingly I’m becoming less relevant to my audience (“Great Derek, you want to write books and travel full-time. But how can you help ME?”) On the one hand, I’m finally able to focus on my …

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What’s your story? (Your story is not your product)

I’ve been thinking about story this year. Partly, because I’ve been struggling with selling digital products in a way that’s authentic to my brand. But also, because – as a fiction writer – I SHOULD be good at this stuff. According to Story Telling Made Easy, “every time someone pays you, they’re making an emotional decision.” I always resisted telling …

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Art has Value, Real Artists Don’t Starve, and other Shocking Truths

I heard someone say recently, “there are too many marketers and not enough artists.” As someone deep inside the publishing industry, however, I find the opposite to be true. Recently I went to a writing conference – there were over 500 writers. All of them wanted to be artists: they made the work and now were trying to sell it. …

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Best books on writing and creative entrepreneurship

I started this blog in 2011 and did nothing for a year except read all the books on creativity. It was research for a manifesto, but the more I read, the more fascinated I became with the subject. After another 5 years of freelancing, building digital products and working as a creative professional (my income comes from things I make …

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Perennial Seller: a media manipulator talks book marketing

This morning I did an interview on writing fiction and we discussed, among other things, whether writing faster books leads to inferior quality and whether writing to market creates inferior art. These are real conversations, and though I would answer “no” to both, I’m often challenged by thousands of passionate creators who very firmly believe “YES.” The conversation prompted me …

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How to get your book on Oprah – A LONG SHOT COME TRUE

This is a guest post by author Miantae Metcalf McConnell – I was so impressed she got her book featured in Oprah magazine, and I asked her to share what that process looked like.   Every month O, The Oprah Magazine publishes a list of books that they recommend to their readers, a “Top Ten List” situated in the magazine’s Reading …

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How to write a book introduction or preface (masterful persuasion techniques from Think and Grow Rich)

Recently I’ve been learning about story. Specifically, using story architecture like a Trojan Horse: getting people to pay attention and disarm resistance, so that you can give them enough information to start liking (sympathy) and trusting (credibility) you. Because if they don’t like and trust you, they won’t keep reading – but unless you start with story, they won’t pay attention enough …

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How To Organize a Barnes & Noble Book Signing for your Self-Published Book

Note from Derek: I usually tell authors not to bother with in-person stuff like book signings because it’s too much work, and to focus on online stuff instead… but book signings can be FUN – and doing a signing in Barnes & Noble (or any “real” bookstore) feels more significant, like a milestone or bucket list item. So when I saw …

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How to (quietly) launch a bestselling vampire book on Amazon

I haven’t published a *new* book for over a year. Possibly, Amazon took the wind out of my sails when I overextended myself and failed to meet preorder deadlines (thus losing my preorder privileges for 12 months). I have gone back and fixed up or completed some other titles – so I’ve probably written and published about 100,000 words in …

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How to make a living with your writing (writing jobs to make quick money online)

Two things: First, I’m involved in an anthology called “write and grow rich.” I accepted because: A) I wanted to practice a story-based approach to sharing knowledge, so I shared a story I’ve never told before and focused on making it gripping. B) Think and Grow Rich is hugely influential, but few people appreciate the depth and specific tactics to …

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How to publish and market a children’s book or coloring book on Amazon

I wrote a guide to publishing children’s books earlier, and wanted to make something about marketing children’s books as well – so I’m sharing this short guide and a video I made for a friend who writes children’s books – my tips on how to redistribute content to get more links and shares of her books are great for any …

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After 13 days in optin Hell, I boosted email subscribers by 300%.

For the past few months, this site (which gets around 1500 visitors a day) has been averaging 10 optins a day for my “Guerrilla Publishing” free book offer. That’s mostly from an optin form on the sidebar, and a few content upgrades on relevant blog posts. But since I’m getting ready to rewrite my autoresponder series and launch an evergreen …

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GDPR regulations for writers using listbuilding giveaways like KingSumo

Most of my author friends have spent the last 2 months freaking out about GDPR. I haven’t commented, because I’m not an expert and I’m not personally concerned. But since I encourage book giveaways to help authors build email lists of targeted readers, a lot of people have been asking specifically whether or not giveaways are still a good idea …

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