Best Practices for Book Trailers

By Lisa Hazen

Book publishing continues to find its way in a world increasingly addicted to screens. In a case of if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, video trailers have become a crucial part of a book’s marketing strategy. Following are some exceptional book trailers found in different genres, and a look at what makes them stand out. Some of the following trailers were made on a budget, others slickly produced. All provide a look into the book in a changing world of promoting books. Teasing Fiction… Continue Reading


Authors, Build Your Lists!

By Lori Culwell

Without fail, the one thing I ask every author (or publishing company) when I start working with them on selling more books is this:  How many people do you have on your mailing list? I always cross my fingers that they say an actual number, but a surprising amount of people (and companies) have NO WAY of capturing people’s email addresses, or (equally as surprising), that they do have a list, but they have never sent a single email to the people on it. Here’s… Continue Reading


Hate Twitter? That’s Fine. Pick Something Else..

By Lori Culwell

It occurred to me recently that, instead of giving authors some arbitrary list of social media profiles they must have and social media outlets in which they must participate, maybe we should be asking a different question—what, exactly, do you like to do?   How can we leverage that like/ hobby into something that will help you sell books? Here’s an example:  if you love chit-chatting on Twitter, you are much more likely to be able to engage people there, to make connections, to form bonds,… Continue Reading


How Users Read Online

By Lisa Hazen

It’s a tough pill for many writers to swallow—people don’t read the same way online that they do in print. Book authors usually favor long-form writing to short blocks of content. But if you write for the Web the same way you write for print, you may not be connecting with your audience. Studies find that readers scan pages for content rather than digesting large blocks of content. (There’s a reason it’s called “web browsing.”) As painful as it may be to rewrite copy for—let’s… Continue Reading


The FTC Guidelines You Need to Read

By Katherine
Legal documents

This is not a sponsored promotion. If it were, according to the FTC Dotcom Disclosure Guidelines, I would have to tell you that right now. This is going to be a short, but important blog post. Short, because I am not an expert in the field I want you to know about. Important, because you really need to take a look at this before you get to promoting, well, just about anything, online. Thankfully for me (and therefore you), while I am not an expert in… Continue Reading


How to Get Great Work from Your Designer

By Lisa Hazen

Pretty much anyone involved in publishing—authors, marketing, publicity, sales— is going to be working with a designer at some point. Whether you’re talking book covers, promotional materials or Web sites, eventually words must assume a visual form. When creatives from two different disciplines converge, there can often be a communication breakdown. I’m a designer who works frequently with authors. Allow me to help demystify this Venus vs. Mars relationship and help you get the best work from your designers—saving you time and money along the… Continue Reading


Pretty Cheap Ways to Promote Yourself and Your Books Online

By Lisa Hazen

Book marketing budgets aren’t what they used to be. But there are a lot of effective ways to promote yourself and your books that don’t require a lot of money. And most of these things can be done yourself—you don’t need to rely on your publicist or marketing manager to take care of it for you. Connect Virtually Facebook and Twitter are a great way to invite readers into a curated version of your world. Of course, you should always share information about your books… Continue Reading


Email Newsletter Tips for Authors

By Lisa Hazen
Sara Paretsky

I’m often asked by my author clients if they should include email newsletters as part of their self-promotion strategy. The answer is always an emphatic yes—if done the right way. Below, I identify tips to help you choose the right platform, build your list, and send out emails that will engage your readers—and never annoy them. Choosing the Right Platform As with pretty much any Web service, there are no shortage of options for email newsletters. Campaign Monitor is, in my opinion, the best email… Continue Reading


Free Hosting vs. Self-Hosting in WordPress

By Lisa Hazen

The first step to creating a site is deciding how you will build it. The decision to use a content management system (CMS) is a no-brainer. A robust CMS will make it easy for you to modify everything from the site structure and navigation to styling, images, and content. The following is a look at the pros and cons WordPress.com—the free version of the popular CMS and WordPress.org—the self-hosted version of the same platform. Although are many of other free and paid content management options… Continue Reading


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: I Wrote a Book

By Katherine

Author writes press release and needlessly distributes it globally The glorious press release! Bastion of a legacy system of promotion that was (nearly) entirely dependent on the print media. Yet, we still use this antiquated system, complete with the strictly adhered to format. I am not going to go into that format here, there is a good description here on PRLog (which coincidentally has a free and paid release distribution service). How do you know when to use this medium, and when to ignore it?… Continue Reading