We’re already almost a quarter of the way through 2018.
This year has seen a wealth of amazing content aimed at helping self-publishers and book marketers succeed and experience the best return on their time and effort.
It can be difficult to keep track of all the valuable content published amidst the never-ending stream of blog posts and social media content. As a result, it’s often easy to overlook some of the most useful blog posts.
To help you out, we at NerdyBookGirl have gathered together some of the best content from 2018 so far. We’ve extracted a key quote and a few takeaways from each article, but would urge you to read the full piece of content. Each site is also a quality resource in and of itself, so if you like any particular article, please check out the rest of the site.
Without further ado, here are the highlights from 2018 so far.
To start off, we have an inspirational piece from Writing.ie on the importance of remaining inspired no matter what your personal situation happens to be as a writer.
The article reflects on how even the most successful writers started out with a humble beginning. No one makes it overnight and the early struggles that writers experience are just part and parcel of the road to success.
“Why am I telling you this? Because every writer who is published, whoever hit a list or won an award or went to a fancypants publishing party was, once upon a time, struggling and aspiring, staring at a blank page and – quite possibly – weeping into their eighth cup of coffee that morning. I was so that soldier.”
*No writer makes it overnight
*Struggling is part of the process
*Inspiration can be found by mixing with other writers
Launching a book is one of the hardest things to get right. It also happens to be one of the key success factors which can make or break your book’s success in the long run.
Draft 2 Digital present their take on the best practices to keep in mind when launching your next title. They emphasize taking the time to learn and focus on the launch practices which produce the best results for your book, in order to only expend effort on activities which produce a tangible return.
“When it comes down to it, you’ll need to test and experiment and learn and grow, and ultimately do the things that get you the best results, consistently and with as little investment on your part as possible.”
*Defining a target market, and writing to market, are keys to launch success
*Sunday is the best day of the week to launch a book
*Your marketing activities need to be consistent
Jane Friedman is one of the most reputable names in the self-publishing and indie author community and her blog is a treasure trove of useful information.
In this post, a focus is given to long-term approaches to author marketing, with a particular focus on book launches after the first. This is an essential read for any book marketer who sees their publishing career as being a long-term endeavor.
“Before you publish their first book, your marketing plans are mostly speculative. But once you’re a year or two in, you’ve seen which efforts were successful in terms of generating publicity, boosting your social media engagement, and converting into sales—in other words, what worked for you and what didn’t.”
*Know what worked and didn’t work from your first book launch
*Understand what makes your new book unique and interesting
*Focus on targeted forms of social media that produce results for your niche or genre
Pitching your book to the various key players in the publishing world is a key skill you need to develop as an author. However, for many writers, it does not come naturally, and this guide from The Book Designer will be much appreciated. This article looks at nine types of pitches you can use. It caters to the specific nuances of pitching to different types of people and the things to keep in mind and focus on when doing so.
“Before you pitch anyone, you must identify your ideal readers, journalists and other people and organizations who you will be pitching. They must be a perfect fit. Your pitch must explain what’s in it for them or their audiences.”
*Know who you are pitching to and what their interests are
*Think outside the box and consider pitching to less obvious people such as radio
*Ensure your follow up pitch is well thought out
In this article for BookWorks, the recent Facebook algorithm changes are explored, and it’s emphasized that authors should diversify their marketing channels and not rely on any one platform for results.
This is a useful reminder guide to the fundamentals of building an author platform and the different marketing channels that can be used in doing so.
“Consumers (readers!) use keywords to find a new book or to locate information on a topic they want to learn more about. Learning about keywords and how they work is a great way to build your audience and sell more books.”
*Don’t rely on any single marketing channel
*Your mailing list is a worthwhile long term investment
*Optimize your blog posts to gain organic search traffic
This article from Write To Done explores how authors gain confidence, self-belief, and discipline to help them along their author journey.
This is a heartfelt guide to finding time for writing and saying no to the things and people that hold you back from getting where you want to go. If you struggle with confidence or feel that you could use a boost of inspiration then this is a great place to start.
“Your biggest challenge in writing is the belief that you can do this. Lack of belief causes you daily problems in discipline – the discipline needed to be a successful writer. It stops you sitting each day and writing the words you need to hit your target and finish that post, or book or screenplay.”
*Give yourself permission to take time to write
*Say no to negative people that don’t believe in you or your work
*Believe in yourself over the opinions of others
It’s an old but true saying that it’s not what you know, but who you know, that helps you to succeed.
This is very true in the case of authors. Having a strong network of fellow writers and book marketers is a key factor to help you learn and get to where you need to go. This guide from Adazing teaches you everything you need to know to build the author network you need and to do so in the right way.
“A successful network is a web of mutually-beneficial relationships. They say that a rising tide raises all ships. You want to be able to contribute to others just as much as you want to find ways that your connections can help you. If you approach building your network with a “what’s in it for me” mentality, you’ll struggle.”
*You have to contribute as well as take
*You can build your network both online and offline
*Author networks can provide mutual marketing opportunities
If there’s one storytelling device that audiences have proven to love time and time again, it’s the twist ending.
A well-executed twist ending is a kind of thing which gets readers talking, both online and offline and generates an incredible word of mouth buzz. If you want to learn to write an effective twist ending, check out this guide from The Write Practice, along with a practical writing exercise at the end.
“But it’s totally worth it. For many of us, great storytelling twists motivate us to tell our own stories. We long to recreate the catharsis of an unpredictable twist.
So do it right. Focus on choices and the seemingly contradictory reasons why characters make them. Don’t simply hide backstory, but use it to complicate the difficult decisions every character has to make.”
*A twist ending can generate word of mouth buzz
*A twist ending works well when revealing a hidden motive
*Don’t rush your twist ending as it takes time to find the right end
As book marketers, there are endless demands on our time, and it can be difficult to find enough hours in the day to get everything done that we need to.
This guide from Location Rebel offers three practical ways to get up earlier. This allows for more time in the day to work and the opportunity to take the entire afternoon as a period of leisure and socializing.
“Once you get past those first few excruciating minutes, and throw the covers off, turn the lights on, and get the coffee pot going – you’ll be treated to the very best hours of the day. The hours that many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world swear by.”
*Waking up even an hour earlier can create room in a packed schedule
*Waking up earlier will require an adjustment period
*Planning out activities the night before can assist motivation upon waking
Although it’s come in for some criticism lately, there’s no denying the fact that Snapchat is one of the most popular apps and social networks among millennials.
Many authors are outside of the target demographic and don’t know how to use Snapchat. As a result, they are missing out on a unique form of marketing and an effective way of staying in touch with younger readers in particular. This guide from The Independent Publishing Magazine will turn even the least familiar author into a savvy Shapchatter.
“Even if your products are amazing, they’ll be a wasted value if nobody gets to read them. Sometimes you have to stop thinking as an author and start thinking and behaving like a marketer. Snapchat’s the key to generating buzz among millennials. Use it wisely and skyrocket your book’s sales performance in no time!”
* Millenials prefer Snapchat over Facebook as a social network
*Cross-promote your Snapchat profile on other social media platforms
*Use the ‘stories’ feature to market your book creatively and artistically