THE BLOG

30
May

Using Crossovers to Promote your Self-Published Series

Using Crossovers to Promote your Self-Published Series

Jeffery H. Haskell

“Using Crossovers to Promote Your Self-Published Series” was written by award-winning journalist and USA Today bestselling author Jeffery H. Haskell. He’s a lifelong lover of comic books and science fiction, and he owns his geek status by quoting Aliens and Star Trek at every given opportunity. Jeffery lives the dream of bringing his imagination to the page with his bestselling selling series, The Full Metal Superhero!

As a kid, I was raised on a steady diet of comic books, TV shows, and the occasional movie. When I started reading, I learned on Amazing Spider-Man. I remember the first issue I read like it was yesterday. Issue #194. The first appearance of the Black Cat.

I loved it when other heroes would show up in Spidey’s mag. When I watched Magnum PI, I was thrilled when Simon and Simon showed up for two episodes. Crossovers; they’re just so much fun.

One doesn’t have to look much further than the current MCU (Marvel Comics Universe) to know that people in general like the idea of crossovers.

I write Superhero fiction, with two (about to be three) series running concurrently, so crossovers are an important element of my overall marketing strategy. In this post, I’ll explore how crossovers can help promote your self-published series and I’ll give some insight into my own crossover strategy.

Continue Reading…

Spread the word:
28
May

Self Care for Authors: How to Prevent Writer Burnout

self care for authors - how to prevent writer burnout

We live in a culture where we’re considered productive if we work fourteen hours a day. Nobody bats an eye if we go to the office early and leave late or work through the weekends. We’re always on our phones. We never disconnect.

We’ve all read articles about successful people who get up at 4 AM, go to the gym, drink green smoothies, work ten hours, barely get any sleep, and then do it all over again. We set those kinds of goals for ourselves, and might even post about it on social media. If we don’t meet that completely unrealistic standard, we feel that we’re falling behind in our lives.

But where does that actually leave us?

Exhausted, depleted, unhappy, unfulfilled, and resentful – aka writer burnout.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so we’ve been exploring ways that writers can stay mentally healthy, happy, and productive. Did you know that sleep and rest are just as important as work and productivity? If you take regular breaks, give yourself permission to rest, and ensure that you get enough sleep, you will actually accomplish more work in less time.

These tips will help you prevent writer burnout (or stop it in its tracks if you feel it about to hit you like a train):

Continue Reading…

Spread the word:
26
May

The 2019 Nebula Conference is a Wrap!

The PublishDrive team spent an amazing 4 days (May 16-19) at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 54th Annual Conference and Nebula Awards ceremony in Woodland Hills, California.

If you’re new to SFWA, it’s a non-profit membership organization that has been around since 1965. The organization is devoted to empowering authors and supporting and spreading news about the genre.

Annual conference attendance is open to authors and fans alike, and author membership in the organization is based on eligibility requirements.

If you missed the 2019 Nebula Conference, check out our recap below to see what the PublishDrive team was up to.

2019 Nebula Conference Recap

We met so many smart, friendly, and fun people. The consistent spirit of inclusiveness and openness made it easy for us to meet with indie/trad authors at all levels of their journey, from unpublished, to debut, to multi-published.

This is one of the main reasons that PublishDrive attends writer conferences — to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the industry. Each author we talked to shared their writing journeys with us and their pain points on running their author business. The biggest pain point? Marketing.

This comes as no surprise, and that’s why PublishDrive is constantly expanding our service with tools and resources to help authors write more and worry less.

Continue Reading…

Spread the word:
23
May

Pinterest for Authors: Your Essential Guide

You might be using Pinterest for recipes or wedding dress ideas, but did you know that it’s just as valuable a platform as Instagram to grow your brand as an author?

Pinterest has over 70 million active users. Imagine how many readers you could reach by creating and using an account the same way you use Instagram for books. When used effectively, Pinterest can help improve your brand, boost discoverability, and allow you to interact with the reading community within your genre.

This quick guide explores the essentials of Pinterest for authors, so you can get up and running with your own account and start reaching more readers.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest can be described as a “social bookmarking site.” It’s a platform where users can share photos, or share images that link to articles that interest them. They can collect these photos and images by “pinning” them to separate boards based on themes, such as recipes, home decor inspiration, wedding ideas, books to read, etc.

It is different from other social media accounts in that the focus is more on engagement with a like-minded community and curating their boards, rather than on “likes.” (if you’re interested in how to use social media as an author, be sure to also check out tips for authors here).

Pinterest is great for authors because people use the platform like a search engine. They might search for phrases like: how do I start a blog, how to write a fantasy novel, sci-fi romance books to read, book quotes, etc.

Think about what people Google in regards to indie writing, your genre, or book inspiration, and answer those questions visually on Pinterest.

Continue Reading…

Spread the word:
17
May

Distribution to Google Play: Aggregator or Direct?

As many indie authors and publishers recently found out, Google updated their policies for self-publishing aggregators. The primary change is that Google must have a direct legal relationship with copyright holders, requiring authors to have a direct account with Google Play. We made some logistical adjustments in order to be compliant with these updates, and we’re happy to report that distribution to Google Play Books through PD is fully up and running.

Our updated process also means that authors can now obtain direct accounts with Google Play. Since it was previously difficult for authors to do this (because Google Play is usually closed for registration) many authors are wondering: “Should I go direct with Google Play or use an aggregator?”

While it’s understandable that some authors choose to go direct, using an aggregator like PublishDrive offers many benefits:

  • You can still earn direct-like royalties.
  • Take advantage of PublishDrive’s automatic price adjustments to offset Google’s price discounting.
  • Save time by managing distribution, analytics, and marketing in a single platform. PublishDrive offers some of the most robust analytics in the industry, eliminating the need for third-party services. Our charts also display when you start a marketing campaign, so you can see the direct relationship on sales.
  • Enjoy access to extra marketing features.

Below we’re exploring these benefits in detail so you can make the best choice for your ebook distribution strategy. We’ll also explain how distribution to Google Play through PD works with the updated requirements.

Continue Reading…

Spread the word:
16
May

Goodreads for Authors: Top Tips for Success

Goodreads for Authors - Top Tips for Success

As a reader, you may have participated in a Goodreads challenge, using it to motivate you to read at least two or three books a week. Or, you might use it every once in while when you’re looking for an inspirational quote to share on Instagram or Twitter. But as a self-published author, you have to think of Goodreads from a different perspective: boosting discoverability and improving your brand.

Why is Goodreads Important for Self-Published Authors?

When used effectively, Goodreads can be your secret weapon for boosting discoverability. Readers read reviews on Goodreads to find out if a book is worth reading. Then they go back to discuss the book with other people who have read it. It’s similar to Amazon in that it can help people make buying decisions, but different in that it allows for group discussion about a book.

This can affect the opinion and buying decisions of more potential readers, especially people who read in your genre but haven’t discovered you yet. The word-of-mouth effect that Goodreads has can help get more eyes on your book, without you having to spend a penny on advertising.

That’s why it’s essential to be active on Goodreads, or at the very least, use the platform to enhance your online brand as an author. Below we’re exploring the fundamental tips to succeed as a self-published author on Goodreads.

Continue Reading…

Spread the word:
14
May

Top 5 Tips to Leverage LinkedIn as an Indie Author

Top 5 Tips to Leverage LinkedIn as an Indie Author

author Gary Collins

This article was written with the help of Gary Collins, bestselling author of the “Living Off The Grid” and “The Simple Life” book series. In addition to being a bestselling author, he has taught at the university college level, consulted and trained college level athletes, and been interviewed for his expertise on various subjects by CBS Sports, Coast to Coast AM, The RT Network, and FOX News.

You’ve probably heard some of your friends mentioning: “A headhunter tracked me down on LinkedIn, and I got a new job,” or, “I made a new business partnership via LinkedIn.” LinkedIn is a great tool for professional advancement in most industries, but did you know it can even boost your author business?

In this article I’ll introduce you to the world of LinkedIn and how to make the best use of LinkedIn for authors. To better showcase the main benefits, I interviewed Gary Collins, the bestselling non-fiction author who uses LinkedIn extensively to build his author business.

What Is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is like a constant online conference or networking event where you can meet representatives of all industries and all businesses. Essentially, it’s like a “Facebook for Professionals,” offering all the tools you need for business. You can use LinkedIn for:

  • Job searches: get hired at your dream company.
  • Recruiting: hire someone else.
  • Sales: build your small business with new leads.
  • Reputation: build your professional brand.

Why is LinkedIn Important for Authors?

I started to use LinkedIn in 2012 and now I have over 8,000 followers. Over the years, I’ve learned how to successfully build a following and fully leverage this social media platform. My follower base is pretty broad; most of them are based all over the US and in Europe.

If you are an author or an indie publisher, LinkedIn is an essential way to build your professional presence besides the regular social media channels, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Why? It’s not the most obvious answer, as most of you will not find readers there, unless you are publishing non-fiction (especially self-help, STM, academic, or business books).

Continue Reading…

Spread the word:
10
May

SFWA Nebula Conference 2019: What You Need to Know

SFWA Nebula Conference 2019: What You Need to Know

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 54th annual conference and Nebula Awards ceremony is just around the corner — and it’s SOLD OUT!

If you’ve got your ticket, great! If not, it might not be too late. According to the conference site, you can reach out to the SFWA Events Team at events@sfwa.org to be notified when additional tickets are released. Visit here for more info.

For authors who are new to speculative fiction writing and have not yet joined a writing group or a formal writing organization, now is a good time to consider SFWA. SFWA is a non-profit membership organization that has been around since 1965, “empowering authors” and supporting and spreading the news about the genre “in the United States and elsewhere”.

If you’re headed to the SFWA Nebula Conference in 2019, check out our quick overview of the highlights and what we’re looking forward to this year.

Continue Reading…

Spread the word:
06
May

Top 3 Tips to Improve Your Author Brand with Social Media

Top 3 Tips to Improve Your Author Brand with Social Media

As an author, you might be thinking, “Why should I waste my time on Instagram?” or “I’m on deadline. I don’t have time to tweet.” When used effectively, social media can dramatically boost discoverability and strengthen your author brand. You should make it a priority to schedule your Instagram posts, regularly update your blog, share interesting tips and stories on Twitter, and engage with fans on Facebook.

Why is Social Media Important for Author Branding?

This might seem like a waste of time or an optional part of being a successful author, but staying consistent in the social media game makes a big difference, especially when you’ve been asked to speak on panels, attend conferences, go on book tours, and give talks. People will look you up beforehand. They will tweet you while they’re reading your book on the bus. You’ll get Instagram comments from readers who are queueing at your book signing.

Kate Bowler, Matt Haig, Adam Kay, Jessie Burton, Dolly Alderton, and Elizabeth Day play this game very well. They consistently use social media as part of their public profiles as authors. It helps sell concert tickets, get podcast subscribers, and secure radio spots.

Continue Reading…

Spread the word:
04
May

Exploring the Power of Stories at the 2019 San Diego Writers Festival

SD Writers Festival 2019 Recap

I recently attended the first annual San Diego Writers Festival at the beautiful Central Library in downtown San Diego. Throughout the festival’s presentations and performances, I encountered a recurring theme: “the power of stories.”

The power of stories is what drove many of us to write in the first place, and of course, it’s why we read. But this power goes far beyond allowing us to temporarily escape in a book. The speakers and presenters at the San Diego Writers Festival showed us that stories can also drive social change and allow those who’ve been silenced to claim their own narrative.

If you didn’t have a chance to make it to this year’s festival, this recap will give you an overview of the great things happening in San Diego’s literary scene, and I’ll take a closer look at how the presentations explored the power of stories.Continue Reading…

Spread the word: