book publishing

2016 presidential election memorial coloring book (contest!)

About a month ago I became obsessed with making some adult coloring books. The first few are nearly done (will be one Amazon in a few days), so I can start talking about them. This one is a memorial coloring book for the 2016 presidential election.     I’m still thinking of putting it on Kickstarter, except I don’t really …

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The Plot Dot (a visual guide to plotting fiction and writing unforgettable scenes)

visual guide to writing scenes

Now available on Amazon! (Free in the US store, or you can download a PDF below). Since I started writing fiction, I learned my design skills and art background make me really good at visualizing scenes. I even developed some mental tricks for creating powerful, resonant scenes that stick in people’s minds. I started thinking of each scene as one …

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Why negative reviews are better than no reviews

I got a negative review today. It’s not bad; actually it’s pretty good for a negative review… because it’s complaining about how I’m choosing to publish, while admitting the writing is good and she’ll probably buy the next book. Negative reviews like that are probably better than positive reviews. People don’t really trust 5 star reviews and most people will …

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How to use Amazon’s giveaway feature to spike sales rank and sell more books

2018 Update: I often share book marketing tactics or “hacks” without fully explaining my entire creative ideology, which can lead people unfamiliar with my brand to confuse me with other authors who are doing unscrupulous things. So first, let me explain that I don’t believe in gifting thousands of copies to “hack” the USA Today or NYT Bestseller lists (those letters …

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How to earn a lot of money giving your books away for free (Kindle Unlimited Pricing Strategies)

EDIT: This article is based on the assumption that you get paid (via KU pagereads) for the free downloads you get on free promotion days with KDP select. In the comments, someone mentioned that you don’t get paid for free days. I checked KDP’s contract and they say “You will not receive any Royalties on your Digital Book during a free …

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Bestselling book launch tactics for fiction authors (Q/A chat)

Today I chatted with Michelle Madow and Leia Stone about their recent book launches – since we all launched a book on 1/26th, it’s been fun to see how our different marketing choices, platform and audience has impact the success of our books.   Here’s a list of topics we cover: Pricing – free, 99cents, 2.99? Summary description (keywords, categories) …

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Why using Kickstarter to crowdsource your book (fundraising for authors) is a bad idea

I used Kickstarter on my first non-fiction book. I very barely succeeded raising less than $1000. Here is how it works: you basically promise a copy of the book and any extras. You give bigger/more fun prizes depending on donation amount (these aren’t really “donations” – people expect to get something in return). You can include personal stuff like “10 …

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