Tips for Hosting a Webinar

By Hirotaka Nakajima from Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Hirotaka Nakajima from Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Webinars are great for connecting with people who are interested in your brand, or what you have to sell. Many authors use webinars to promote their content, such as books and online courses.  Continue reading

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Guest Post: 5 Money-Saving DIY Design Tricks for Self-Publishers

You decided to put your thoughts to paper and have a manuscript that you deem worthy of publication. However, you do not want to pay a company to use expensive and proprietary software to make your book stand out among the rest of the books on a book store shelf or on Amazon. Here are 5 do-it-yourself design tricks that will save you money. Continue reading

The Ins and Outs of Instagramming

Instagram is a great tool you can use to connect to your audience. You can post videos and images, find new people with hashtags, and more.

The Creative Penn shares 10 helpful tips on how to use Instagram as an author and grow your following. It also walks you through how to set up your own account, if you don’t already have one. Some ideas of what authors can post include poems, displayed as a image, cover reveals, images of what inspire you, Grammar memes, quotes, and events. To grow your following, the post recommends choosing a regular posting schedule, cross promoting, creating themes, sharing other people’s posts, and including faces in some of your images. Continue reading

Guest Post: Unleash the Power of Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a powerful, flexible tool that allows you to create great art and graphics. Read on for how to learn more about taking advantage of all of Adobe Photoshop’s features.

By Brenda Barron

Photoshop gives you the tools to accomplish some amazing image editing techniques without having specialist knowledge, so think what you could achieve with a few handy tutorials to help increase your abilities.

101 Photoshop Tutorials is a handy resource that aims to fill any of those gaps in your knowledge and give you the confidence and know-how to create some awesome images once you know how to use the tool gallery, get to grips with grids and guidelines, create actions in Photoshop, plus many other features and tools aimed at helping you create a professional and creative image.

Read more at whoishostingthis.com/blog/2017/02/06/101-photoshop-tutorials.

Marketing Books with Content

By BronHiggs (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By BronHiggs (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Content marketing is a powerful way to get readers interested in your brand. Here are some resources to help you figure out how best to create content that can help you sell your books: Continue reading

What Indie Authors Can Learn From Other Industries

By Adonts (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Adonts (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

As an indie author, it can be fun (and helpful) to learn about what’s going on in other industries. Joe Wikert outlined on DBW what publishers can learn from the podcast model, by offering easy subscriptions (which could arguably be similar to subscribing to blogs or newsletters), delivering content on a regular schedule, and delivering related content to your audience. To me, this could mean working with a network of people to promote each other, the way podcast networks work to help promote multiple podcasts. Recently, I joined a joint author promo mailing list, where about 50 of us each offer a free book for a giveaway, and then we all work to promote the giveaway. The last giveaway we did resulted in a couple thousand entries, and I got a few new people to subscribe to my mailing list.

Authors can also learn from airlines, according to The Bookseller. Airline prices rise and fall depending on the day:

But what if the same seat-pricing model were to be applied to books? A model where the titles would have lower prices on Tuesdays and be more expensive on Fridays. Where the R.R.P. on the back cover becomes as dynamic as a company’s share price. Where we compete to buy books like we do in an EBay auction.

One way to apply this is to heavily discount pre-orders, and slowly raise the price the closer to publication date it gets. Then, the price could continue to fluctuate based on “interest in the author, the genre, the topic, and personalized to the reader’s own interests.”

Indie authors also have a lot in common with independent app developers. One person on Reddit shared how they made over $700k from a premium game and hit #1 in the App Store (and the New Yorker even wrote about it). According to the post, it’s very hard to do as an indie, but what’s important is to release regular updates, cross promote to other games, and ask for reviews.

Another thing authors can learn from is content marketing, which is very similar to writing books. Drift wrote about what they learned growing their website from 200 to 27,000 visitors, and they found that blogging is an investment (so content published a while back can continue to drive traffic, much like the first book in a series can continue to generate interest), quality content is important, as is the amount of effort it takes to promote that content (community sites are great that way, as well as working with influencers), and data can only tell you so much, so it’s better to focus on big picture things in the beginning and not small tweaks.

DBW also advocates content communities, and recommends that authors share research, back stories, databases, and more to allow readers to see what’s behind the scenes and feel part of a community.

Related to content marketing is omnichannel selling. BookMachine shared ten things they learned selling at a conference, including the fact that most people make purchases online and many through their smartphone, knowing their path to purchase is important (so when possible, selling direct may be a good idea), when it comes to making a sale, email is much more effective than social media, social media is helpful for customer service, and things are always changing.

Gumroad’s post, “Nathan Barry’s Lessons Learned Selling $355,759 on Gumroad,” sums up everything nicely. Basically, Nathan recommends being able to contact customers (like in newsletters), pricing based on value, using email to build relationships and launch products, and selling in packages at different values.

What other industries do you follow? Share in the comments!

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared December 2016.

140 Tools and Resources for Building Your Author Website and/or Blog

By Matthew Bowden www.digitallyrefreshing.com (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/145972) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

By Matthew Bowden http://www.digitallyrefreshing.com (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/145972) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

Author websites and blogs are important components to building an author platform. With that in mind, here is a list of resources that can help you set up and optimize your site. Continue reading

Tips for Recording and Publishing Your Own Audiobooks

By Heinrich Böll Stiftung from Berlin, Deutschland (Konferenzeindrücke) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Heinrich Böll Stiftung from Berlin, Deutschland (Konferenzeindrücke) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s no secret that audiobooks are growing in popularity, and are becoming part of the self-publishing process. An op-ed in the New York Times wrote about the benefits of listening to stories:

I listen the way I read books as a child, as if I were there watching. The author becomes more transparent, the characters more real.

According to Copyblogger, having an audiobook gives you more credibility as an author.

Publisher’s Weekly recently reported on the rise of audiobook sales, and how that’s changing the industry. More publishers are producing audiobooks, and there’s been some innovation, such as “multivoiced recordings, short-form content, bonus audio-only material added to audiobooks, adaptations of such print formats as graphic novels, and more original content created for audio.” BookMachine talks about mixing short stories with full cast and narrated audio fiction, “where the magic of its stories were brought to life through links to audio dramas that could be change and be added to.”

It’s exciting to think of the possibilities, but if you’re just starting out, how do you make and sell your own audiobooks? Here are some things to consider. Continue reading

An Interview with David B. Seaburn, Author of Parrot Talk

David B. Seaburn is the author of six novels. His latest book is Parrot Talk:

Lucas and Grinder are more than a little surprised and confused to hear that their mother, Millie, who they haven’t heard from in over thirty years, has died. Now her best friend wants them to come to Pittsburgh to take care of their mother’s effects, chief among them being Paul.

A road trip ensues with memorable stops at a Racino, a Pittsburgh landmark greasy spoon, and finally a ride on an incline trolley to meet their mother’s friend, Janice. They are taken aback when she introduces them to Paul, an African grey parrot in the depths of grief, who has things to say that will change their lives. And so a transformative adventure begins.

Read on for an exclusive interview with David. Continue reading

Guest Post: Digital Ways To Increase Your Ebook Sales

By Maximilian Schönherr (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Maximilian Schönherr (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

By Al Gomez

As an ebook author, most of you may think that your job is done after you have created your book. But the truth is—there is more work to do after you have created your piece.

If you have any plans of increasing your ebook sales, it is time to think as more than just an author but as a marketer as well. In a digital marketer’s perspective, here are some tips you can try to boost your ebook sales. Continue reading