Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Bookbaby newsletters

Here are the latest Bookbaby newsletters for my followers to peruse:



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Red pen praising: The best thing you can do for a writer


This twist on editing can turn those red marks on the page into something a writer craves. Red pen praising only highlights the best of a writer’s work. Read more.


How authors can become part of the news cycle


If you want to become part of the news cycle, you need to have something newsworthy happening. You also need to be proactive in positioning yourself and be able to tell your story. Read more.


Things I wish I had known before self-publishing my book


The first time I self-published, I was new to the process and endured many failures before I finally held my book in my hand. Here are nine things I wish I had known about self-publishing before starting the process. Read more.







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The Weekend Edition

I remember my very first speaking gig at a local writers conference. With my fancy Fortune 500 corporate background, I decided to dazzle them with a lecture about transforming their writing pursuits into a hard and cold business. “You must remove all the emotion from your writing,” I said, “and treat your backlist of books dispassionately—mere products to be packaged and promoted.” I recall displaying a PowerPoint slide comprised of pallets of dog food, diapers, and toilet paper, comparing their lifetime product of words, phrases, and sentences to Alpo, Huggies, and Charmin.

That slide brought out frowns, angry glares, and stony silence. The presentation went downhill from there, with a mercifully short Q&A session. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t invited to come back for another speech.

That was 2010—the dawn of indie publishing—this is now, and authors understand they need to approach self-publishing as a business if they want to succeed. (Though, my books-to-disposable diapers analogy might still be a bridge too far.)

One of the essential elements of a writer’s business plan is to identify and develop an author brand. In “Your Author Brand: What It Is And Why You Need One,” BookBaby Blog contributor Dana Kaye shares some straightforward steps for writers to home in on their unique brand. It’s a good read that’s already getting lots of interesting feedback in the comments section.

(By the way, Dana is one of the 25+ publishing experts coming to Philadelphia for the Independent Author Conference, now just a few weeks away! Some discount tickets are still available.)

Speaking of branding, this blog post on Atlas Obscura tells the story of how 15th-century monasteries and convents would sear distinctive marks onto the pages of their religious texts to track their missionary’s influence and movements in the New World. Now we’ve got apps for that.

All the best,

Steven Spatz

Steven Spatz
President, BookBaby









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To finish writing a book, you need to start writing it


Life is short. Life is busy. How can you possibly add writing that book you have inside you to your stacked schedule? It starts with a commitment. To finish writing a book, you need to get started. Read more.


Your author website must have…


For everything you’re told you have to do as an independent author, I’d argue there are only two absolute, universal musts: you must get a professional edit and you must have your own author website. Read more.


Holiday book sales, this year and beyond


If you don’t have the time or aren’t prepared to promote your book this holiday season, don’t worry. There are plenty of great (maybe better!) opportunities for book sales throughout the year. Read more.







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The Weekend Edition

I’m writing this email from Nashville, home of hot fried chicken, country music, and now the leading conference on publishing tech. Digital Book World wrapped up this week, and I enjoyed panels and presentations exploring the future of publishing. For me, the most exciting trend is that self-publishing is front-and-center at industry gatherings formerly dominated by traditional publishing.

Getting out and mingling with publishing people never fails to recharge my batteries. This week, I met dozens of fascinating authors, exchanged greetings with BookBaby’s friends and competitors in the marketplace, and learned about the latest developments in publishing. It brings to mind a post I penned for the BookBaby Blog this summer, “Every Writer Should Attend At Least One Writers’ Conference,” which urges aspiring and published authors to make the time to attend these kinds of events.

If you’re serious about self-publishing your next book, let me recommend a conference that’s taking place in just a few weeks: The Independent Authors Conference. The IAC returns to Philadelphia next month, November 2-4. It’s the world’s largest gathering of indie authors and self-publishing experts, and I guarantee you’ll come away inspired and motivated to publish your book! There are only a few tickets remaining for this fantastic event, so I urge you to register today.

All the best,

Steven Spatz

Steven Spatz
President, BookBaby









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12 Ideas to get Holiday Book Sales
Now’s the time to figure out your holiday book sales.
Every day counts when it comes to preparing your game plan to earn more holiday book sales, and this free guide has 12 proven tactics to help you prepare for the $3 billion holiday season.

Learn how to:
  • Plan a timeline from right now into the New Year
  • Create and commit to your book’s budget
  • Get the word out to bookshops, libraries, and your readers
  • Position yourself as a professional independent author
  • And plenty more
Download this guide and start planning your holiday season today.
Take 15% off editing. Use code BBEDIT15


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Your author brand: What it is and why you need one




“I’m not a brand, I’m an author!” True, but the purpose of branding is the same whether you’re selling books or bran flakes: To let customers know what they’re going to get before they buy. Read more.



Seven keys to crowdfunding on GoFundMe




Crowdfunding has become a useful resource for independent authors. These keys to crowdfunding will help you on your way to success. Read more.



My 20-step plan to writing a book: Part 1




Writing a book is hard work—it’s easier to quit than finish. When you become overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the task, you might be tempted to give up. The key is to follow a proven, straightforward plan. Read more.








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Words that carry maximum weight: Tropes in storytelling


Tropes—cultural references or recurrent themes imbued with shared meaning—can be a staple of storytelling (and a potential path to cliché). Read more.


Self-publishing is not a back-up publishing plan


Before I self-published, I didn’t know of all the advantages self-publishing offers or that it was the savvy author’s way to get books in the hands of readers. My only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. Read more.


How to get holiday book sales: Steps 1-3


It may not feel like the holidays are just around the corner, but if you’re planning to drum up holiday book sales this year, it’s time to put these 12 effective plans and strategies to work. Read more.







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The Weekend Edition

Good morning,

Want to become a better writer? I’d wager that if you read the BookBaby Blog and enjoy these emails, you’re on a quest to refine your writing. I know I am. And while there are a lot of things we can do to improve our craft, I’ll boil it down to three:

1. Write. Just write. Anything. Everything. Anytime.

2. Read. Limit the Netflix and video games. Spend your time with words on pages, ink or digital.

The third is a combination of the first two:

3. Read…about writing. This art form is a never-ending journey of improvement, even for the best authors. Take, for example, New York Times best-selling author Jerry Jenkins. Here’s what he says about his eternal quest:

“Regardless how many books I’ve written (nearly 200) and sold (over 70 million), I fear if I’m not learning, I’m stagnating. My late mother was a convincing example of one who never believed she had arrived. Mom was not only a piano teacher well into her eighties, she was also a piano student. So it’s the memory of my mother that spurs me to keep reading everything there is to read—especially about writing.”

Over the 40+ years (!) I’ve been writing, I’ve read a lot of books on the subject. Every writer should have some favorite go-to books for reference or inspiration; I shared my five favorite books on writing in a recent BookBaby Blog post. (And yes, Stephen King’s On Writing should have made my list.)

And while I can’t say I’ve ever matched my wardrobe to the books I like, our friends at Bookish have compiled a fun list that will help you coordinate your cozy attire with your reading material.

All the best,

Steven Spatz

Steven Spatz
President, BookBaby












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