Fiction University

Building a Mailing List through Reader Magnets

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

One of the almost universal pieces of advice we hear as indie authors is that we need to build a newsletter mailing list. A mailing list allows us to keep in touch with readers and let them know when our next book releases. Theoretically, they’ll be excited to buy our book, sending it up in the rankings.

The tricky part is how do we convince people to give us their email addresses?

One solution is the reader magnet.

I’m back at Fiction University today for my regular monthly guest post, and this time I’m talking about building a mailing list through reader magnets.

If you missed last month’s post, you can find out the benefits of ebook preorders here.

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Check out my Busy Writer’s Guides such as Description, Deep Point of View, or Showing and Telling in Fiction.

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Creating a Print Book Box Set

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

The last two months during my guest posts at Fiction University, we’ve looked at why we might want to create a box set of our books and how to create a single-author ebook box set. This month I wanted to look at one of the most challenging questions for indie authors when it comes to box sets: Is there a way to create a print book box set for our books?

The short answer is yes. Whether or not we’ll feel the options are workable for us, though, requires examining them carefully.

I hope you’ll join me today at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University for Creating a Print Book Box Set.

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Check out my Busy Writer’s Guides such as Description, Deep Point of View, or Internal Dialogue.

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Creating Single-Author Box Sets: Part One

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

Janice Hardy Fiction UniversityOne of the important elements of a successful indie author career is putting out as many products as possible (without sacrificing quality). The more items we have for sale, the better our chances that someone will stumble upon one of them or find one that interests them. Box sets are a great way to increase the number of products we have for sale without too much additional work.

I hope you’ll join me today for my regular guest post at Fiction University where I’ll be starting my mini-series on creating box sets.

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Check out my Busy Writer’s Guides such as Description, Deep Point of View, or Internal Dialogue.

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Creating Promotional Material That Works: Swag

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

Janice Hardy Fiction UniversityOver the last two months during my guest posts at Fiction University, we’ve looked at writing a tag line for our books and writing our book description that goes up on retailers and on the back of our book.

This month we’re going to talk swag. Swag is physical items related to our book/series. It could be bookmarks and postcards, mugs or magnets with our book cover on it, or even jewelry based on something worn by our characters.

I decided to poll a group of authors for this post (thank you to the WANA group on Facebook!) because I suspected that experiences with swag might vary.

Please join me for “Creating Promotional Material that Works: Swag” where I’ll share what I learned about how to use swag to your best advantage and where to buy some of the fun items authors are using.

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Deep Point of View is now available! (You might also want to check out Internal Dialogue or Showing and Telling in Fiction.)

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Creating Promotional Copy That Works: Tag Lines

Janice Hardy Fiction UniversityBy Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

As is the case with many elements of being an indie author, the complete control we have over writing our promotional material is a double-edged sword. We’re not saddled with promotional copy written by someone who might have read only our synopsis, if that. We’re also on our own, without experienced copy writers to make sure we’re creating the best possible selling descriptions for our books.

Today I’m kicking off a new series looking at those uncomfortable promotional materials we need to create ourselves—from the back cover copy to swag—starting with tag lines.

Please join me for my regular monthly guest post at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University.

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Deep Point of View is now available! (You might also want to check out Internal Dialogue or Showing and Telling in Fiction.)
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When To Hire Help And When To Do It Yourself

By Marcy Kennedy (@Marcy Kennedy)

Janice Hardy Fiction UniversityOne of the most frustrating parts of indie publishing is how conflicting the advice can seem. One of the areas where I’ve frequently noticed this advice dichotomy is in whether or not we should hire out the non-writing work involved in our business.

Some people will tell you to do as much as you can yourself to minimize costs (allowing you to “earn out” quicker and bring in profits). Others will tell you to hire out everything you can because you’ll end up with a more professional product and have more time to write.

So how’s an indie supposed to know what to do?

How we handle it will depend on our individual situation. Anyone who tells you that their way is the only right way is…well…wrong.

We can ask ourselves some questions to figure out what solution is the best one for us.

Today is my regular monthly guest post at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. I hope you’ll join me there to read the rest of this post.

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Deep Point of View is now available! (You might also want to check out Internal Dialogue or Showing and Telling in Fiction.)

I’d love to have you sign up to receive my posts by email. All you need to do is enter your email address below and hit the “Follow” botton.

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How to Find and Select a Cover Designer

FreeImages.com/Bill Davenport

FreeImages.com/Bill Davenport

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

Making sure my books had covers that would attract readers rather than turn them away has been one of the scariest parts of independent publishing for me. Readers do judge books by their covers. An ugly or unprofessional cover can make a reader pass on our book regardless of how great our content is.

Most of us are writers, not artists or graphic designers. We can’t design our own covers. (Or, at least, most of us shouldn’t.)So how do we find a cover designer who can create the perfect cover for our books—one that’s visually appealing and also accurately represents the content inside?

Well, that’s the topic of my most recent guest post over at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. I hope you’ll join me for How to Find and Select a Cover Designer.

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Point of View in Fiction is now available! (You might also want to check out Internal Dialogue or Showing and Telling in Fiction.)

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Creating an Author Business Plan: Professional Development

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

Janice Hardy Fiction UniversityThis week marks the final installment in the series I’ve been running at Fiction University about writing our author business plan. I think this final section is one of the most important for independent authors.

Self-published books still have a bad reputation among many because too many independent authors put out their books before those books are “ready.” The professional development section of our business plan helps make sure we’re less likely to be one of those authors. It’s where we set improvement goals both in the writing craft and in the business side.

I hope you’ll join me today for Creating an Author Business Plan: Professional Development

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Internal Dialogue is now available from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, or Apple iBooks.. (You also might want to check out Grammar for Fiction Writers or Showing and Telling in Fiction.)

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Creating Our Author Business Plan: Book by Book Marketing

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

The marketing section of our author business plan is unique in that we need to think about our overall marketing strategy as well as the specific marketing activities we’re going to use for each individual book we produce.

Last month I talked about developing our overall marketing plan, and this month I’m going to suggest ways we can create a successful plan for marketing each individual book.

Please join me at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University for my regular monthly guest post!

P.S. Every summer I try to travel around and guest post a bit, but now that the summer is drawing to a close, I only have one more guest post (for the fantastic Jami Gold), and then it’ll be back to business as usual here on the blog 🙂

Janice Hardy Fiction University

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Internal Dialogue is now available from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, or Apple iBooks.. (You might also want to check out Grammar for Fiction Writers or Showing and Telling in Fiction.)

I’d love to have you sign up to receive my posts by email. All you need to do is enter your email address below and hit the “Follow” botton.

Enter your email address to follow this blog:

Creating an Author Business Plan: Our Marketing Plan

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

The marketing section of our author business plan is unique in that we need to think about our overall marketing strategy as well as the specific marketing activities we’re going to use for each individual book we produce.

It’s important that we look at it from both levels. Doing so provides us with guidance and stability in an ever-changing environment.

If you’d like to read the rest of the post, please join me at Fiction University for my regular monthly guest post.

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Internal Dialogue is now available from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, or Apple iBooks.. (You might also want to check out Grammar for Fiction Writers, Showing and Telling in Fiction or Dialogue: A Busy Writer’s Guide.)

All three books are available in print and ebook forms.

I’d love to have you sign up to receive my posts by email. All you need to do is enter your email address below and hit the “Follow” botton.

Enter your email address to follow this blog: