Category: self-publishing

19
Jun

Instagram for Authors: Top 7 Tips for Growth

Instagram for Authors - top 7 tips for growth

Instagram is a great platform for indie authors to increase readership and engage with the reading community. Just take a look at the #bookstagram hashtag and you’ll find over 30 million photos posted of books, reading spots, cover reveals, book teaser trailers, and more.

With the following Instagram tips for authors, you can boost your presence on Instagram, gain followers who will look forward to your posts, and refine your author brand.

Top 7 Instagram Tips for Authors

1. Think of Your Feed as a Whole

People are endlessly scrolling through Instagram. If they see a photo of yours under a hashtag like #bookstagram or #authorsofinstagram and they pop over to your feed, they’ll want to know what they can expect when following you. If your feed is full of posts that don’t make sense as a cohesive whole, a user might not understand the purpose of your page or what they’ll see when they follow you. Pick three or four things you might want to focus on – or even just two – and post within those themes. This consistency will help solidify your brand.

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13
Jun

How I Sell Self-Published Books Using Social Media

How I Sell Self-Published Books Using Social Media

author Laura Burton - How I sell self-published books using social media“How I Sell Self-Published Books Using Social Media” was written by author Laura Burton. Laura writes clean romance and poetry for bereaved families. Check out her “Love Me” series here, which is a collection of standalone romance novels packed with twists and surprises to keep you turning the page. Laura’s new sci-fi romance Love Me, Dreamy will be released July 19 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

If you want to sell self-published books using social media, the first question you should ask yourself is:

Why Do People Use Social Media?

  • To be entertained
  • To be educated
  • To be heard

NOT to be sold to.

Then it seems counterintuitive to use social media to boost book sales, right? Not if you understand how to do it correctly.

Using the tactics below, I was able to sell 60 paperback books within 48 hours.

Want to learn how I did it? Let’s dive in!

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10
Jun

Debunking The Top 5 Self-Publishing Myths

Debunking The Top 5 Self-Publishing Myths

After working hard to finish writing your book, it can be discouraging to read about self-publishing myths like these:

“Ebooks aren’t real books.”

“You’re not really published.”

“You’ll never make a dime.”

Despite many authors making a full-time living from their self-published ebooks, misunderstandings like these are still prevalent. Below we’re separating fact from fiction as we explore the most common self-publishing myths.

The Top 5 Self-Publishing Myths

Self-Publishing Myth #1: Ebooks are Inferior to Print

As most book lovers can agree, there’s nothing like turning over that first crisp page of a new book. We totally get it. But despite the charm that print books may always hold, the reality is that the publishing landscape has changed. Pretty much everything in our modern lives has become digital, including books. 

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05
Jun

Alternatives to MailChimp: Which Email Service Provider is Best for Authors?

Alternatives to MailChimp which email service provider is best for authors

Marina Maddix author photoThis article was written by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Marina Maddix. Marina is a romantic at heart, but hates closing the bedroom door on her readers. Her stories are sweet, with just enough spice to make your mother blush. She lives with her husband and cat near the Pacific Ocean, and loves to hear from her fans. Check out her “Real Men Shift” series here.

As many authors recently found out, MailChimp shifted their business strategy. Instead of primarily being an email service provider, the company announced that they’ve expanded to a full marketing platform.

Along with this shift, there have been significant changes to MailChimp’s pricing structure. Notably, users are no longer charged based on the subscriber count; instead, monthly charges are based on “audiences,” which includes unsubscribed emails.

These changes have left many wondering: “Which email service offers the best value for indie authors?”

I’ve tested various email newsletter services, and I’m sharing my data below to help authors make the best decision when considering alternatives to MailChimp.

Note: feel free to skip ahead here to the TL;DR version of the data!

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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.

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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):

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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