8 cover design secrets publishers use to manipulate readers into buying books

Indie publishers are slowly coming to realize the importance of an amazing book cover. Since many self-publishing authors are starting out on a very small budget however, homemade, DIY book covers are still a popular choice. But be forewarned: although book cover designs come in a wide variety, publishers consistently use reliable, time-tested techniques and guidelines to catch your attention …

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What authors need to know about conversion, split testing and lead generation

Most authors don’t know enough about business. While some savvy non-fiction authors succeed through grit, willpower and constant bullhorning, the majority of authors are making a mess of their book marketing and promotion, using decade-old techniques and advice, which will move few books off shelves and even worse, can be detrimental to an author’s professional reputation. So I’d like to …

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Highlight and Share WordPress Plugin, for Indie Authors (and anyone else who wants more traffic)

It’s tough to get savvy readers to share your content. Give your visitors some extra motivation with this stylish and simple plugin. Highlighting any text prompts a customizable pop-up to quickly share that text on Twitter or Facebook. Share buttons at the top or bottom of your WordPress post are common. There are a variety of plugins to make sharing …

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How to beat cripping insecurity, doubt and failure: lessons from Steven Pressfield

If you’re an artist, author or entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard of Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art and more recently, Do The Work. His books have become manifestos for creatives because they rephrase the artistic life in terms of battle and violence, and help people overcome their fears, doubts and worries. According to Steven, resistance is an “intelligent, …

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The Cult of Failure: How screwing everything up became the new ideal, and why that may not be a good thing

I’ve been noticing a trend for awhile. I’ve commented on it before. At first it was subtle. It began with the explosion of “Lifestyle Businesses” – a few guys quit their jobs and told everybody else, “Hey, you guys should quit your jobs too, it’s awesome!” They set themselves up as “Lifestyle Coaches” or wrote books or offered services or …

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Why I don’t ship my pants or anything else until I’m ready

In most regards, I think authors and artists have a lot to learn from the young entrepreneur crowd chilling in San Francisco and Silicon valley. They are reckless overachievers and productivity chasers with their eyes on the end goal. They are developing “minimal viable products” to test out the market and then “hustling” and “being scrappy” until they “get shit …

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Mark Coker’s tips for ebook publishing success: anti-marketing tricks that work!

I stayed up late to watch the Alliance of Independent Authors’s Self-Publishing Advice Event with Mark Coker (founder of Smashwords). His advice for ebook publishing success resonated with me, because so little of it was about marketing your book. Indie authors perversely focus on marketing, social media, and “getting the word out” about their book because they are loathe to …

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Why Buddhists are poor: are your beliefs about money keeping it from you?

When I was younger I was obsessed with personal enlightenment. I studied philosophy. I wanted to understand Everything. Mostly, being a highly emotional and overly sensitive person, I needed to process my emotional ups and downs, my broken hearts, and my metaphysical experiences (I’ll save those for another post). I studied theology and philosophy. I wrote poetry and painted. More …

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