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.

Is self-publishing “real” publishing? (aka I want a real book, not an ebook)

I was at a conference this weekend talking to a lot of smart people; many of whom wanted to write a book. They’d inevitably ask, “are you self-publishing?” and then scowl, because they “want a real, physical book, not just an ebook.” I explained that print on demand has been around for a decade and makes physical paperbacks and hard …

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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 …

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How to woo your readers (why your passionate belief about the art of writing is wrong)

I’ve been working with authors for a long time; as both book editor, book designer and sometimes even publisher. I’ve helped thousands of them try to improve their book enough to sell – either to an agent, or to self-publish and actually be successful. During all that time I’ve met a lot of authors whose books will fail. They’ll fail …

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An open letter to my literary friends

Yesterday I went for sushi with a friend of mine who’s clever and tongue-in-cheek witty. She loves Haruki Murakami and has dark humor. Today I read a blog post from another friend – a simple scene about relationship conflict (who’s going to pay the bill) but written in a fun, engaging style. I don’t doubt that both are better writers than …

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A Crash Course in Book Marketing

I made this for an event recently, it was a handout – decided to post it here in case it’s helpful… #1 Write a book people want to read. #2 Connect with influencers or other authors in your genre/topic. Review their books. Share their stuff. Comment on their posts. Get noticed. #3 Set up a website that catches emails. Run …

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Can Hugh Howey teach us anything about book cover design?

Today I saw that Hugh Howey had posted an article on book cover design. “That’s cool,” I think. Hugh Howey is one of the most successful self-publishing authors in the world. He started out with pretty unprofessional book covers that embody the design tastes of most indie authors (they focus on scenes and symbolism and details, instead of being simple …

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