Category Archives: Publishing

Some Final Thoughts

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cefeida/In my adult life I have started several businesses. Each began with curiosity about an industry I wanted to learn more about. As I gained new skills and answered my initial questions, I created a business model based on helping other people answer those same questions.

Several years ago I started Creative Content Coaching to explore how to scale influence while maintaining integrity and authenticity. It was a timely dilemma, as publishing options multiplied and the social media landscape was taking off. After immersing myself in the alt publishing and author platform space, I found my answers and systematized them into a program that I could teach to others.

The program has been very successful, and I could have kept building it. But instead I am headed in another direction, with another set of challenges and exciting new landscapes to conquer. So for now I am moving on from Creative Content Coaching.

I still work with a select few clients on media and messaging strategy. I may still blog here occasionally. But the landscape for authors who want to scale their presence is more settled than it was five years ago, and there are multiple, excellent resources for those who want to find out more—several of which I have linked to in earlier blog posts.

The good news is that quality writing still trumps social media ubiquity. If you have something important to say, can say it well, and have a way to reach people, your platform will grow. Publishing, to a large extent, is about who you know—and half the fun is meeting people along the way. So get out of your shell and share ideas, develop friendships, and enjoy yourself. As Tim O’Reilly would say, bring more value to the ecosystem than you harvest from it.

If you are on my email list, you will continue to hear from me occasionally when I have interesting things to share. And I will continue interviewing people on my Dream Talk Radio podcast and YouTube channel. But for now, bring me that horizon.

Scratch Magazine: Explaining the Business of Writing

Scratch MagazineAre you looking for a book contract for your nonfiction, genre or literary fiction work? Here is what three very different, successful literary agents have to say about author platforms:

Platform is really about fame, and there are two different kinds of fame. One is fame among strangers, and the other is fame in your community. And either of those can be a great base for a book project. We all get people coming to us who say, “Hey, get me a book deal, and then I’ll be famous.” And our reply is generally, “No, get famous first, and then we’ll get you the book deal.” There are lots of ways to be famous in the important communities of interest for the project that you’re working on. (Ted Weinstein)

Continue reading Scratch Magazine: Explaining the Business of Writing

Being an Author for the Long Haul

Jon Rawlinson, cc license

As inspiring as it is to read about indie authors who make it big selling ebooks on Amazon, such reports can obscure the fact that most authors work for years before they become an “overnight” success. There are two imperatives for writers who want to take this long road to publishing success: keep writing, and keep building your platform.

Platform-building means marketing not just  your books but  you—as an author, and (yes) as a brand. Marketing oneself requires a completely different mindset than writing a long work of fiction or non-fiction. Yet the two activities go hand in hand, and both must be sustained over a period of years, not months, to get the kind of sustainable income most writers dream about. Continue reading Being an Author for the Long Haul

The Challenge of Author Education

With so much great information available on how to publish and build a platform, the challenge for authors is finding the right advice at the right time. Most authors I speak to struggle not with finding reliable information but knowing which advice is right for their particular situation. Adding to the confusion, even sound advice can become quickly outdated with the rapid changes in publishing, social media, and web technology.

One solution is to find a few names you trust in the industry, follow them, and filter out much of the rest. But curation requires that these trusted voices to be clear about who their audience is for each piece. This is key, because right now there is a wide range of both needs and expertise among authors.

Just how wide this range extends was brought home to me recently when I interviewed Kristen McLean, CEO of Bookigee, about author education and book marketing. Always articulate and insightful about publishing, Kristen identified five different groups of authors with very different needs: Continue reading The Challenge of Author Education

How to Blog and When Not to Blog

Blogging is a great way to find out what you love to write about. This may seem like good news, but it is not always welcome if you’ve started blogging for reasons other than love (i.e. to make money).

Here’s how the process works: you start a blog thinking that it will be all about Subject X. But somewhere along the way, Subject Y starts to seem like a much better fit for your interests and imagination, maybe even for your career goals. You find yourself flush with ideas on how to write about Subject Y, and how to market it to people who want to hear what you have to say.

What do you do then? Do you write about both things? Start a second blog for Subject Y? Repurpose your blog to focus on Y, while still hoping to keep readers who started reading you because of X? Continue reading How to Blog and When Not to Blog