Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book editor turned 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 write and publish bestselling books. FREE GUIDE: Sell your work without selling out.

How I got 8500+ new readers on my email list BEFORE I published my first book with giveaways

This post is about how I used book giveaways to build a big list of targeted readers before published my first novel – it really helped with hitting #1 and getting a bunch of book reviews quickly. However, after getting over 50K readers on my lists, I realized I wasn’t engaging them enough – I didn’t have an autoresponder series to …

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What’s the difference between book serials and a series of books, and what’s best for marketing and sales?

serials vs series: which is better for sales?

For about a year (or more) I’ve been blogging about all the cool things I’m going to do to market my books, but haven’t had the chance to try any of them yet because I’m still working on the writing. The main thing everybody says to do is write a series. Other people are writing serials. Some authors get confused …

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You’re not Special (And You Totally Missed the Point of The Lego Movie)

There’s a lot of things I could say about the Lego Movie (2014). It’s a perfect representation of the hero’s journey, pulled so closely from contemporary remixes (Tron, the Matrix) to seem like every movie at once. The hero, like all good heroes, is young and untested. Foolish, an outcast, alone. His motivation is merely to make friends and be …

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A Defense of #amwriting (and NaNoWriMo)

I published this last year on Medium but since it’s almost November again… I recently found out about the “War on #amwriting” while researching for a tattoo befitting someone involved in publishing, that announces to the world what I do.A Defense of #amwriting (and NaNoWriMo)  I chose this one…it’s pretentious enough to make me self-conscious until I work my ass …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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