New marketing podcast for novelists

My Rating: ★★★★★

Thomas Umstattd of Author Media teamed up with author James L Rubart, owner of Barefoot Marketing, to produce a great new podcast: Novel Marketing.

novel marketingWithin the first hour or so of walking into any writers conference, you’ll hear someone complain about marketing. People bemoan the loss of the “good old days,” when, legend has it, all an author had to do was write a book and everyone would buy it without the author doing any selling.

In Episode 1 of Novel Marketing, Umstattd shoots that down by pointing out that in those old days, very few books got finished, let alone published, so readers had fewer choices. Now, there are millions of choices. Continue reading

The best times to post to social media

Q: I belong to a bunch of social media networks, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. When is the best time of day to post my content if I want to get noticed?

A: I have no idea. So I’ll turn this answer over to the folks at, who know way more about the topic than I do: Continue reading

What to include in a book proposal

For the last several weeks, we’ve focused on getting ready for a conference. So you go to a conference, pitch your book, and the editor says, “That sounds like it has potential. Send me a proposal with your first 50 pages.”

And your stomach caves in, because you don’t have a proposal.

Agents and editors often say that many of the people they make this kind of offer to don’t respond. I believe that’s because writers are paralyzed by fear and therefore don’t move.

Hear me: It’s better to send a bad proposal than none. Continue reading

How attending conferences helps your career

Attending writers conferences is one of the best things you can do for your writing career. There are many benefits to attending conferences:

Laura Parker Castoro teaching at the Florida Writers Association conference

Laura Parker Castoro teaching at the Florida Writers Association conference. Photo by Karen Lieb.

  • Learning in workshops and seminars
  • Pitching to agents and editors
  • Opportunities to get critiques
  • Discovering new resources
  • Befriending other writers

This last item may be the most important. Continue reading

What the Rowling Experiment tells us about author platform

Every writer who’s ever attended a conference has cringed at being told to build platform. It seems especially difficult for novelists. A platform is simply the people who are willing to listen to you. It is, as Seth Godin says, permission.

Platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Cross Station in London. Photo by Jenny Rollo

Platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Cross Station in London. Photo by Jenny Rollo

J.K. Rowling had permission from millions, and gave it up to see how she’d fare if she were anyone else. Her newest novel, a mystery, was released under a pseudonym. Despite excellent reviews, it failed to gain traction.

Until the media reported that “Robert Galbraith” was really J.K. Rowling. Suddenly the book sells, because all those people whom Rowling had permission to market to were now paying attention.

The experiment is revealing in two ways. Continue reading

Q&A: What website platform is best?

Q: Great blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused…Any ideas? Many thanks!

Imprezy Plenerowe Warszawa
[Warsaw Outdoor Events]

A: Hi, Twister — Thanks for leaving this comment on my “How does one train to be a fiction editor?” post. Even though your comment triggered my spam filter, I’ll answer the questions, because they’re good ones. Continue reading