Back in the 1990s Jill and I operated our own small press publishing company and, at that time, there weren’t millions of authors self-publishing their books, there weren’t services where you could buy editing, book design, production, or any of the essential services that are readily available to us today.
That’s because books were almost exclusively produced and published by large publishing companies, university presses, smaller independent publishers, and that’s about it.
During that era, the weekly issues of Publisher’s Weekly were required reading for just about everyone in the book publishing business.
Sitting in our spare bedroom, running what was basically a one-man publishing company, PW seemed like a beacon on a very distant hill in a faraway country. We were so small and insignificant, there was no reason for the powers that reigned in the industry to even notice we were there.
So you’ll understand just how excited I was when I was contacted by Adam Boretz, editor of PW’s BookLife section devoted to self-publishing, who invited me to become a columnist in the PW Select section (where self-published books are reviewed) of the print version of the magazine.
Over the months since then I’ve been pleased and honored to contribute to the outstanding editorial content put out by PW every week.
Here are the articles I’ve contributed so far. Click the headlines or the —Read-more–> links to read the entire article. (Note that the titles PW uses for the print magazine are different than the titles used when they post the same articles online.)
Top Five Book Design Mistakes
How indie authors can avoid book design pitfalls
Jun 26, 2015
“With more and more authors taking the production of their books into their own hands, more and more of those books look… strange. That’s not a good thing for either authors or their readers.
Book design used to be a pretty arcane branch of graphic design, pursued by a handful of practitioners, many of whom were employed by typesetters and publishing houses. Like many other specialties, only the insiders knew or cared about the intricacies of long-form typography and all the small nuances that go into creating beautiful books.” —Read-more–>
How to Build an Author Platform Through Email Lists
Targeting email inboxes gives authors direct access to readers
Oct 23, 2015
“Author platforms: we’re still talking about them because they’re such a crucial part of introducing new books and new authors to a wider readership. And, for indie authors, having a robust author platform can mean the difference between giving up your day job or staying put for a while.
Unfortunately, many authors seem to think that their author platform is located somewhere on social media sites, although those certainly play a part. But savvy authors realize that having direct access to their readers—and a larger universe of people interested in the types of things they write about—is the most valuable asset of all for anyone hoping to write and publish books for a living.” —Read-more–>
The Self-Publishers Guide to Marketing Author Blogs
Seven strategies to help authors stand out from the pack
Feb 19, 2016
“It’s great to see authors start blogs to help them build robust author platforms. Authors can write articles, create attractive sites, and post all their book and publicity information in one place. But too often this strategy just doesn’t work, because if you want people to visit your blog, you’re going to have to market your blog.
That’s not as daunting as it might sound. It just means sharing your stories and ideas with people who have the same passions. Below are seven ways to market your author blog.” —Read-more–>
How to Pitch Book Bloggers
What you need to do—and not do—to get a blogger’s attention
Jun 24, 2016
“Blogging, which started out as a simple way to post online personal journals, is now all grown up. Bloggers move opinions, appear in other media with regularity, build huge communities of like-minded people, and go on to become authors, too.
In fact, according to Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, blogs are now the third-most-influential digital resource for consumers making purchases, behind retail sites and brand sites. Of course, that’s one of the reasons we include bloggers in our book launch and ongoing marketing plans, and why the “blog tour” has become a regular part of the marketing authors do for their new releases.” —Read-more–>
Do you have a subject you’d like me to cover in an upcoming column? Or here on my blog? Let me know in the comments. My next article for PW will be on “Book Design Options for Self-Published Authors”—watch for it.