What IS a Target Audience? What You Need to Know by @K8Tilton

By Rachel Thompson

Jerry Gentry asked, “How do you get a handle on your target audience? Not what you think it is, but what it is in reality? Is it people who leave reviews, follow you blog, send you million dollar checks?” Good question, Jerry. Let’s first take a look at what a target audience IS. Dictionary.com defines “target audience” as “the intended group for which something is performed or marketed; the specific group to which advertising is directed.” In other words, your target audience is the people… Continue Reading

What Should Writers Blog About? A Quick Guide

By Rachel Thompson

Several writers have asked me recently: What do I blog about? or Is blogging really necessary?  I always answer with a resounding YES it’s necessary — blogging is a way to connect with readers, book bloggers, and book reviewers (and potentially, agents and publishers who, make no mistake, will come to your site and look for your blog to get a feel for who you are and how you write). As to what to blog about — that’s where most writers get tripped up, so… Continue Reading

4 Common Misperceptions About Self-Publishing Authors Need To Change NOW

By Rachel Thompson

I was talking with a publisher friend the other day about some of the scariest (and saddest) delusions many self-published authors believe about having a successful book. Here are a few I hear all the time. Let’s deconstruct. IT’S SO EASY  Yea, sooooo easy. Please. I’m grateful that when I decided to self-publish my first book (A Walk In The Snark) in early 2011, I connected with several great folks (and some not so great, but we shall ignore that for now). I learned quickly that writing… Continue Reading

Do You Want to Know How Your Books Are Being Read?

By Lisa Hazen

When my first book was published, my publisher set me up with a book signing at a design conference. I happily sold and signed a huge stack of books, then sent them off with their new owners, not really knowing what would happen with them next. But as I left the conference, I spied two people huddled around my book. Then one pointed at something in the book, and the two of them laughed. This little glimpse of my book out in the wild haunts… Continue Reading

Branding 101 For Authors

By Rachel Thompson

  Branding as a concept seems to confuse many authors. It sounds like one of those scary, nebulous marketing terms that threatens to suck out your soul or turn you into The Borg. It’s not. Branding really comes down to managing expectations.  Let’s deconstruct. KEYWORDS The foundation of any author platform (think of a puzzle) is your keywords. The keywords are the base of the puzzle, where you place the pieces. The puzzle pieces represent all that you do that fits together to make the whole puzzle:… Continue Reading

Wattpad’s Dark Side!

By Katherine

In comments to my first Wattpad post, I was asked about the age demographic on Wattpad and whether it is appropriate for all content. It is true that the age group most heavily represented on Wattpad appears to be the younger readers, in specific young female readers. This is not by any means ALL of the users, but it is a large number. As a result, Wattpad has (wisely) taken steps to ensure the content is clearly labeled and managed such that under-age eyes are… Continue Reading

Examining Wattpad

By Katherine

I have decided to take a closer look at all of the “bookish” social media sites out there on the interwebs at present. I am often asked about them when I give marketing workshops to authors. In retrospect, the reason I am asked about them is that until asked, I tend to say very little. Perhaps that is indicative of which sites are most valuable for marketing purposes, or perhaps not. So, let’s take a peek under the hood, shall we? Let’s start by examining… Continue Reading

Amazon MatchBook – the New Program in Town!

By Katherine

On Tuesday, Amazon announced a new program they are calling Amazon MatchBook. I spent some time reading the news on this and was pretty surprised to find that people already have gotten it wrong. Here is the official description we received: The Kindle MatchBook program gives customers who purchase or have previously purchased your print book from Amazon the option to purchase your Kindle version for $2.99 or less. If you have a print version of this title, enroll your title and select a Promotional… Continue Reading

Are You a Bestseller?

By Katherine

How do you know if you are a bestseller? Or more properly, whether your book is a bestseller. Well, as with many things in today’s publishing world, the answer is “that depends”. I get asked this quite often, and while this used to be a very cut and dried answer, in today’s world of Top 100 lists on every retailer’s website, that question is a bit more complex. The lists may vary by hardcover, paperback and ebook. They may vary whether they are fiction or… Continue Reading

MIT Study Analyzes Deceptive Reviews

Reviewed By Katherine

Yes folks, it is time for more thoughts on deceptive reviews, and more data! You know I love data. This time, instead of examining review policies, we have data on people and why they leave negative reviews. I have to be honest, some of this never even occurred to me. People are truly fascinating creatures. About a year ago, the story in the NY Times appeared “outing” the famous indie author John Locke for having paid for reviews.  I will say that by all appearances,… Continue Reading