One of my favorite bloggers wrote that Adventure = Risk plus Purpose, and suggests as many have, that if something scares the beejesus out of us, then “it” is something we should probably be doing. That leads me to wonder, is the way we live our lives mirrored in our style(s) of writing, or never the twain shall meet, or sometimes yes, sometimes, no? Do we crawl snake-belly up under the barbed-wire fences hemming in the confines, and thus the safety of our minds, or do we do the Star Trek thing and go beyond to worlds we have never explored, visited or perhaps even imagined? Is the sky the limit, or are there no limits to the Universe? Do we feel more secure beginning our writing journey with an outline of our story, however sketchily drawn – an end in sight, or do we rely on our characters, fictional or real, to guide us where they want to take the reader. Or is that all literary hogwash and do writers write what and how they want to write, and do they alone deserve the credit for astonishing some readers, disappointing some others and wrestling with the unrest that visits like Scrooge’s ghosts in the thick of night, creaking the boards and causing the author to wonder what if, should I or maybe even, I don’t give a damn if they like it – my writing is my therapy and if it is published, that’s just frosting on the cake? Please weigh in with your comments and visit again soon. R.R. Harris author of Double Take, soon to be published on Amazon
CSI, Law & Order, Criminal Minds and NCIS are all shows that have thrilled, enraptured and captivated audiences and garnered ratings and the all-important advertising dollars, but as a budding writer of thrillers, I don’t watch them. Am I making a mistake? Could they provide me with who-dunits and how-dunits and the all-important why-doits?
I just served as a criminal trial juror on a case in U.S. District Court that was 2 ½ years in the making. Not a capital murder case, there were no bullet-riddled bodies growing fish at the bottom of the bay, no double-crossed drug deals, no vengeful ex-lovers with long memories and arsenic on their breaths and definitely, no smoking guns – only an empty magazine for an elusive automatic weapon that was never recovered.
Instead, even in a short, four-day trial, there were reams of transcribed phone conversations, dozens of photos of suspicious individuals at crime scenes, a hard-working, flat-footed waitress with a floor safe bulging with $171K in tip money, exhibits of boxes, briefcases and bags in the hundreds, some damning, some almost peevish in nature. The only knife in the case was an all-pink one (I am not making this up) brought in by a well-meaning juror to cut the red velvet cake that she baked to share with the jury members and court staff.
In short, it was not a front page case, especially since during this trial, a nationally notorious, fugitive ex-policeman was holed up cross-country in a mountain lodge, perhaps with hostages and seemingly bent on suicide by cop. So, no bleached-blonde reporters in dangerously high heels lurked outside our hulking courthouse, no helicopters buzzed insistently overhead or satellite trucks dotted the manicured lawn like mushrooms after a rainy spell. Inside Courtroom #6, a usually smirking defendant twirled his caterpillar of a moustache and pulled up his mismatched socks, the harried public defender’s neckties were more convincing than his arguments, the spit-n-polished prosecutor suffered not even the tiniest detail out of place, and a note-jotting jury hoped their kids made it home from school and that their forgetful spouses remembered Valentine’s Day.
Food for fodder? Write and tell me what sparks your mystery-writing juices? What are your ideas for getting ideas?
Thanks for stopping by.
R. R. Harris
Author of Double Take
While writing your novel, you are a creator. A wordsmith. An artist. But, as soon as that novel’s finished, you’re about to take the next step in publishing business. Yes, you’re becoming not just an author, but an entrepreneur. You are creating a product that has to contend with literally thousands of other products.
Our guest blogger today is Jeanine Henning, whose extensive professional background includes 15 years experience in cover design, children’s book illustration and publication, comic book publishing and editing, as well as console game design and writing. Her work with editors, authors and artists on many continents has added to her diversity and flexibility as artist and designer. In addition to her Indie Author clients, Henning continues to work closely with traditional publishers on cover and book art.
Recently Jeanine published her 1st Kindle book on Amazon – Nhakira “Chosen” – 4 more books are soon to follow!
Can you, as author, afford for your product – your work of art – to be any less than visible or desirable? No.
What is one of the key selling points of any product? The packaging.
What is a book’s packaging? The cover.
So, what’s the purpose of a cover? Many writers will say: “To get customers to pick up the book, or click on the download button.” This is true. BUT, if the customer is to pick up or click and read the book’s summary, and realize that the cover and story have nothing to do with one another, then back goes book to shelf, or, the next eBook is clicked on. You lose a sale.
Yes, the cover must entice the customer. But the full purpose of a book’s cover is to:
- Get the customer to notice the book;
- Pick up or click on the book;
- Buy the book;
- Read the book;
- Talk about the book;
- Repeat for next customer.
If your name is “Stephen King”, then that book can have a blank cover with his name, and it will sell. But until you reach such status, your name is not yet known, so your book’s title and cover art alone carries the day.
So where do you start? You start by pretending you’re telling someone why they should buy your book. Point out the book’s strengths, its genre, its core, what it’s about and what makes it tick. These elements are your unique selling points, and should be conveyed through your title and cover art. And the ultimate purpose is to precipitate an emotional response from your customer. And the outcome? A sale. This is exactly why a professional designer is needed.
Starting to re-realize the importance of your book’s cover? You should. Because it’s not just about a pretty cover anymore, is it?
A good cover will reinforce the customer’s initial attraction. We also do this by adding blurbs – which will tell the customer; “Yes, you have made a good choice, and this blurb rewards your decision, as the book is THAT good.” Every detail on a cover must be thought out and planned. Even the placement of the title and writer’s name is extremely important. Again, this is exactly why a professional designer is needed.
Look at your current book’s cover. And if you don’t yet have one, then think about book packages that work for you. Are all the elements of the cover presenting accurately, attractively and powerfully the appeal of the book?
So, in designing your product’s package, or, framing your work of art, realize the importance of your book’s cover. You must not just want a pretty cover – your book deserves a professionally designed package that will represent you, your story and product congruently.
And YES, you can get an exclusively designed cover by an industry professional for your book:
JH ILLUSTRATION & COVER DESIGN offers:
- Cover design for any genre including mystery & suspense, thrillers, horror, fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, young adult, non-fiction and poetry.
- Illustration and digital painting for exclusive and one-of-a-kind special covers.
- Young Adult Fantasy & Fiction cover design and interior art.
- Children’s book illustration and cover design.
- Graphic novel cover design.
- Different file formats and sizes of covers to assist authors with their marketing strategies.
And perhaps most important of all, Henning, still believes in “the personal touch” when working with clients, and creating covers that represent the true story of the book
Visit http://jhillustration.wordpress.com/ to view book cover samples and illustrations.
And for more information on Jeanine’s background, testimonials and main art gallery, visit her site at: http://www.jeaninehenning.com
Connect with Jeanine on Twitter: @JenVinci
Thanks for stopping by. Please consider Indie Author Counsel for your Copy Editing, Manuscript Critiquing and Proofreading needs. We offer professional service with a quick turnaround at reasonable prices!
R. R. Harris, Editor and Author of Mystery Thriller, Double Take
Every idea is my last. I feel sure of it. But I don’t just wait for ideas. I look for them constantly. ~Peg Bracken
I’m still learning what it is about the past I want to write. I don’t worry about it. It will emerge. It will insist on being told. ~ Frank McCourt
Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write. ~ Natalie Goldberg
Suppose instead of the Three Wise Men, Peg, Frank and Natalie came bearing nuggets of wisdom to inspire you to craft a work that someone other than your Grandmother will care about. Do you have what it takes? Nora Roberts says the essentials are drive, discipline and desire and that talent alone will not get anything done.
So that holiday gift buyers (including fellow authors) may know what wonderful reading choices they have this year, I am participating in a blog hop started by visionary author, Gary Markwick. To keep it going, I am going to answer the questions below, tag a new set of 5 Authors, who will then answer, tag 5 more authors …
What is the working title of your book? Double Take
Where did the idea come from for the book? From Hardy Boy mysteries to Edgar Allan Poe to Hitchcock, James Bond and Maya Angelou, to people I have known or heard, or wished I had known or heard.
What genre does your book fall under? Mystery Thriller.
Which actor would you choose to play your protagonist in a movie rendition? Matt Damon would be great as my Sleuth.
Elevator Pitch: Double Take, a suspenseful action thriller with more twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, is set on the Big Island of Hawaii and loosely defined by a Cain-Abel fueled love triangle; a budding romance goes horribly sour and devolves wickedly into a red-hot flow of despair, frustration and betrayal.
P.S. I am looking for Beta Readers for this work, after the Proofreading phase has been completed, so if you are interested in participating in my creative journey, please write to me at: info@IndieAuthorCounsel.com
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays!
Must-Read Authors (Hint: Think Holiday Presents)
Marcie Brock, Book Marketing Maven, blogging at: http://marciebrockbookmarketingmaven.wordpress.com/
Gary Sanders, author of Work in Progress, Love Ya Baby, Five Modern Noir Short Stories, blogging at: http://thegarysandersshow.com/
Jeff Mazza, writing a story of love, loss and life at http://www.cognitivecompost.com/
Alisa Singa, author of Unparallel Worlds.
Let’s (including me) spend less time dreaming about writing our books and more time constructing and writing them. We all know that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Why not craft a well-thought out stew of emotions, chocked full of juicy motivation and lip-smacking conflict and topped with a generous dollop of intrigue with just a twist of red herring, the maelstrom of flavors melded in such a way that readers pant for more?
I am nearing completion of my first draft on Double Take, an action adventure set on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is loosely defined by a love triangle that devolves wickedly into a red-hot flow of despair, frustration and anger.
Point of View: What captivating character in each scene has the most to gain or lose? For several scenes, I chose a third-person narrator, a travel writer cum-detective, who happens to be on-island researching a magazine article and is sucked into the sides of the triangle unwittingly.
Sparks: What would intrigue a reader about this story? For Double Take, a tragedy that occurs early in the novel lights a fire and ratchets up the suspense while a romance between the narrator and a single, (both literally and one not in a relationship) family member of two sides of the triangle kindles, yet muddies and sustains it as the story unfolds. And still later, as loose ends are stitched up, and all is right with the world, oh $#$@ …I hope that you read to find out.
Setting: Be it the musty library where mustachioed Colonel Mustard did the deed with a well-polished candlestick or maybe, a spider-webbed graveyard backlit by a full moon of terror, settings must be cohesive with, drive and enforce the characters, conflict and suspense, as well as provide fertile ground for them to flourish. Yes, a tall order indeed, but instead of being just mere descriptions, settings are used to up the ante on the story, to bring it to center stage, to showcase what matters most to the character who is describing the scene. Double Take takes place on several actual, mostly, well-visited places on the Big Island and the character’s verbal descriptions are buttressed by photos and fast facts in a quick and entertaining style.
By the way, I will be looking for Beta Readers once Double Take has completed the Final Draft stage, so if you are interested in being part of my creative writing journey, please write me at Info@IndieAuthorCounsel.com and visit http://www.IndieAuthorCounsel.com
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Writing!
R. R. Harris
Kris Wampler, author of Love Train, interviewed Becca Chopra on why she chose to self-publish. Kris is an author and provides an e-conversion service, E-Literate. Here’s what appeared on her blog: http://kriswampler.wordpress.com:
Becca Chopra chose self-publishing rather than bother with sending out query letters to traditional publishers. Find out which vendor she recommends for her marketing materials and learn about a website with free advice for indies.
1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.
Chakra Secrets is a memoir and more. Follow me on my path from aspiring actress to yoga teacher and chakra healer. Navigating betrayals and loss, tormented by guilt, I explore kundalini, tantric sex, past-life regression and mind-body tools as I earn my credentials as an energy healer and finally find love and light. You’ll not only learn my personal secrets, but the “instant” healing tool I learned in Hawaii that you can use anytime, anywhere to eliminate pain, stress and clear the path for healing on all levels.
2. Why did you become an indie writer?
I didn’t have the patience to send out query letters to agents. Rather, I decided to self-publish and save myself a lot of time.
3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?
No. I haven’t tried – but I won’t turn down a traditional publisher if they approach me.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
There was a learning curve, of course, to make sure my books looked professional, but I’m happy with the results I’ve gotten from my editors, book cover designers and CreateSpace publishing.
5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
While my books are dramatic stories, they weave in chakra and yoga wisdom. And I find most of my audience is interested in just that – being entertained while learning how to balance their lives. So, I’ve offered free chakra meditations for download on my website and offer lots of useful information on both my website and blogs – resulting in a list of people interested in my next offering. Also, using KDP Select to offer free books has helped my Amazon rankings and word of mouth about my books, increased customer reviews, and resulted in more sales.
6. Which services or vendors do you recommend for the marketing methods you used?
For giveaways, such as yoga tote bags, note cards, T-shirts and calendars with the cover of my book on them, you can’t beat the prices at Vistaprint.com.
7. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
That you have to find your niche and continually interact with it. You need to set aside time for social networking and marketing efforts as they are just as important as writing a great book.
8. Indie authors face the challenge of marketing their books without the resources of traditional publishers. What advice do you have for an indie just starting out?
Read all the free advice online from other indie authors. For instance, download the free book marketing checklist from IndieAuthorCounsel.com. Even most traditionally published authors have to do their own marketing these days. So we all need to be experts at writing press releases as well as books.
9. What are you currently working on?
Now that I’ve published Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life on Kindle to expand on the self-healing technique I describe in Part II of my memoir, Chakra Secrets, I’m producing a DVD which will take viewers step-by-step through the process.
10. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
Balance your chakras, balance your life!
THANKS FOR THE GREAT ADVICE,
Dear IAC, I’ve finished my first draft and would like to have my novel edited. And I don’t want to miss your summer sale. Should I send you my manuscript now or wait till I’ve revised it as well as I can myself?
Confused at the Computer
Dear Confused, It’s always better to refine your script as much as possible before forwarding it to an editor. Then, they can offer a fresh eye on your plot and characters if you’re writing fiction, or the organization of your information if you’re writing non-fiction.
Here’s an excerpt from Joanna Penn’s blog, The Creative Penn, in which she interviews editor Matt Garland, that explains this further.
“If you want to be a successful independent author, I believe that editing is one of the top things you can do to set yourself apart from the pack.
There’s only so far you can go with self-editing, and critique groups sometimes don’t quite hit the mark. In today’s interview, I talk with Matt Gartland from WinningEdits about his tips for editing.
What should you do before engaging an editor?
- A certain amount of editing should be done by the author before it is handed over to an editor. A good editor still can’t save a bad book, or bad writing. But a book after editing should have more ‘weight’ to it in terms of the characters for fiction, or the content for non-fiction. A professional approach to maturing the concepts as well as the language of the text is part of the editing process. But we sometimes lose perspective when we try to continue editing on our own. We fall into patterns that sometimes it takes someone else to see.
- First drafts vs. what you give to an editor. Matt quotes Neil Gaiman – first drafts don’t matter but it is a continuous struggle to think this. We naturally want to self-edit as we write that first draft material. But take what’s in your head and as a non-sequential, creative process, just get it on the page. Worry about refining later. The first draft is just about getting something down so you can work it in the subsequent drafts. I talk about struggling with my own first drafts in terms of getting the stuff from my head onto the page. But no one is going to see this draft so we should stop worrying so much.
- It is important to only engage an editor when the book can’t go any further in your own hands. You need to mature your ideas on your own. Then pay someone to take it further. This will mean you get the best service and the editor can do the best job.
- Try using beta readers, lovers of your genre who will read and critique the book which will help improve it before using an editor. Matt recommends friends and family but I think it must be people who enjoy your genre first. They read for free and often, finding authors in your genre to swap books with will help. They give feedback from a reader perspective e.g. plot points, characters, what they liked, what they skipped. Then you can revise from there.”
Check out The Creative Penn – Joanna inspires us all to reach for success as Indie Authors. And be sure to create a market for your work as you pen your masterpiece. Download our Free BOOK MARKETING CHECKLIST and other useful info, available when you join our Indie Author Council FaceBook community.
Roger Harris, editor and consultant
Quotations About Writing and Editing
We all need inspiration to keep our butts in our seats, writing, especially when it’s a sunny day out, like we experience most days in Hawaii, where we live. And we all need inspiration to write even better. Thanks to blogger Terribly Write for compiling this great collection of quotes about writing, editing and wordsmithing. Here we share her favorites…
Everyone needs an editor. ~ Tim Foote
The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. ~ Mark Twain
The simpler you say it, the more eloquent it is. ~ August Wilson
Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space. ~ Orson Scott Card
A metaphor is like a simile. ~ Author Unknown
Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~ Mark Twain
There are no dull subjects. There are only dull writers. ~ H. L. Mencken
Many writers profess great exactness in punctuation who never yet made a point. ~ George Dennison Prentice
I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper. ~ Steve Martin
A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. ~ Richard Back
One gains universal applause who mingles the useful with the agreeable, at once delighting and instructing the reader. ~ Horace
If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing. ~ Kingsley Amis
There’s a great power in words, if you don’t hitch too many of them together. ~ Josh Billings
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. ~ Thomas Jefferson.
Good things, when short, are twice as good. ~ Baltasar Gracian
The first draft of anything is shit. ~ Ernest Hemingway
Rereading reveals rubbish and redundance. ~ Duane Alan Hahn
Always avoid alliteration. ~ Author Unknown
The time to begin an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say. ~ Mark Twain
Editing might be a bloody trade. But knives aren’t the exclusive property of butchers. Surgeons use them too. ~ Blake Morrison
Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them. ~ John Ruskin
Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~ Gene Fowler
Every writer I know has trouble writing. ~ Joseph Heller
You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. ~ Arthur Plotnik
An editor is someone who separates the wheat from the chaff and then prints the chaff. ~ Adlai Stevenson
Grammar is the logic of speech, even as logic is the grammar of reason. ~ Richard C. Trench
If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know? ~ Steve Wright
You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences. ~ Anatole France
Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~ Author Unknown
I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. ~ James Michener
Rewriting ripens what you’ve written. ~ Duane Alan Hahn
The wastebasket is a writer’s best friend. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~ Elmore Leonard
Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. ~ Samuel Johnson
Our admiration of fine writing will always be in proportion to its real difficulty and its apparent ease. ~ Charles Caleb Colton
Asking a writer what he thinks about criticism is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs. ~ John Osborne
Those who write clearly have readers; those who write obscurely have commentators. ~ Albert Camus
Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers. ~ T. S. Eliot
A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. ~ Thomas Mann
It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous. ~ Robert Benchley
I write to teach myself what I already know. ~ Duane Alan Hahn
If you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many, it’s research. ~ Wilson Mizner
For I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me. ~ Winnie the Pooh
Pithy sentences are like sharp nails driving truth into our memory. ~ Diderot
It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Never be so brief as to become obscure. ~ Tryon Edwards
There is no artifice as good and desirable as simplicity. ~ St. Francis de Sales
As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out. ~ Mark Twain
I do not like to write — I like to have written. ~ Gloria Steinem
It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. ~ Robert Southey
Here’s to writing!
Roger Harris, editor and consultant
|When editing a manuscript, the use of commas is so different among different writers, and even different style books, that I’m always either inserting them or deleting them.
Let’s all agree on proper comma usage, to help our readers, and to lessen the stress on our editors! Here’s a great explanation of the best use of commas from EzineArticles.com:
|Commas Help Separate You from the Cannibals
What’s so great about the comma? It clears away ambiguity, confusion, and on occasion steers us away from cannibalism. For example:
Martha finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog.
There are many, many rules for comma usage …
So many that we’re going to break it down to the most common grammatical errors involving the comma.
Prevent confusion and uphold your credibility by using these comma tips:
To Use or Not to Use the Oxford Comma
Commas are used to separate elements in a series. Some authors choose to use the Oxford Comma (a.k.a. the serial comma) and some don’t. The argument for not using the Oxford Comma generally revolves around printed publications, like newspapers, to save on space.
While considered perfectly acceptable in either case, the Oxford Comma is used before a concluding conjunction in a simple series and offers that extra edge of clarity for complex sentences with internal conjunctions. In addition to the example involving Martha above, without the Oxford Comma:
Today’s menu includes eggs and toast, peanut butter and jelly and fish.
In this example, is it [peanut butter and jelly] and [fish] or is it [peanut butter] and [jelly and fish]? The Oxford Comma clears that right up:
Today’s menu includes eggs and toast, peanut butter and jelly, and fish.
Commas in a Series of Equal Adjectives
Equal adjectives (a.k.a. coordinate adjectives) occur when two or more adjectives of a similar nature modify or describe a noun. Commas are used to separate a series of equal adjectives. If the adjectives could be separated by ‘and’ without changing the meaning, the adjectives are considered equal.
Avoid walking down a dark, dangerous street alone.
If the last adjective alters the meaning of the noun (a.k.a. cumulative adjective) and creates a noun phrase (e.g. denim pants, red eye, etc.), then no comma is necessary.
The cheap wooden chair exploded when my Great Aunt Sue sat in it.
Commas in Nonrestrictive Clauses
Both restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses give additional information about a word or phrase in a sentence. What’s the difference? A restrictive clause is essential to the meaning of a sentence and its intention is straightforward. A nonrestrictive clause can be eliminated from a sentence without changing the sentence’s basic meaning. It all depends on the intention.
Restrictive: The bus driver who was in the accident usually drives my bus.
Don’t Force the Comma Where it Does Not Belong
We’ve heard this farce time and time again: “A good rule of thumb is to use a comma when you feel the sentence needs a pause.” This is far from the truth. One common error is joining two (related) complete sentences, otherwise known as a splice. Here’s an example of this scenario: “I went to the store with Frank, I bought milk.” Ugly, isn’t it? Here are a few fixes for this situation:
5 Last Chance Quick Comma Tips
Use these comma tips to strengthen your writing skills, as well as maintain your credibility.
P.S. Grammar got you down? Don’t sweat it. Indie Author Counsel is having a half-off summer sale on editing services. Check it out at IndieAuthorCounsel.com.
A: Building your author platform is the first step to find your readers. Here is a checklist of activities from our Free Book Marketing Checklist.
The goal is to create and launch a platform that quickly communicates your genre and entertainment value if you’re writing fiction, and your expertise and credibility if you’re writing non-fiction, such as your self-help guide.
- Build your bio – Succinctly tell people about you and your work, including credentials, credits and awards. Turn it into a one-pager to use in your book, whenever you pitch your book, in your publicity package, on Amazon Author Central and on your website.
- Author website – You need a hub, a place to connect with your audience, offer free information and excerpts of your book, and sell your book and other services. If you use a blog-based site, such as WordPress.org, which is easy to set up and use, you don’t need an expensive setup or a webmaster to update your site – you can get going immediately.
- Author blog – Your blog could be separate or a page of your website. It’s an important place to connect, enlighten, entertain, and capture a following of readers interested in learning more about you, your topic and your books.
- A signup list – Create a list of future readers by offering a free excerpt of your work, a newsletter, eBook, or video/audio product on your website/blog. This allows you to start building a list of people who are interested in your book or product. Check out Aweber or Mail Chimp to handle your lists, emails, autoresponders, and newsletters.
- Follow other blogs – Stay up-to-date with the latest information in the industry and to leave comments that establish your platform.
- Join professional associations – Seek out and join ones related to your topic, target audience or professional goals.
- Establish your expert status – Teach through workshops, online webinars, podcasts and/or videos, in-person speaking engagements, articles using tips from your book to industry publications and other print and online media sources. This provides you the ability to establish yourself as an expert, and market your book in the author’s information box.
If you’ve started writing, it’s never too early to start building your Author Platform. Download your Free Book Marketing Checklist from Indie Author Counsel.