Selling Your Story

Queries, synopses, blurbs, and packaging tips and advice. Sample topics: writing pitches and back cover copy, book covers, writing a successful synopsis, creating reader expectations, book tours, etc.

Story Beginnings: Creating the Right First Impression — Guest: Shaila Patel

February 16, 2017 Writing Stuff
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No matter how much we try different approaches, we often struggle with our story’s first pages. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for new ways of thinking about that critical opening page. Today Shaila Patel shares her insights on the right mix of elements for creating a great first impression.

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The Ultimate Guide to Pitch Writing

January 19, 2017 Writing Stuff
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No matter how we publish, we need to introduce our story to potential readers and interest them enough to want to look closer. Whether we’re pitching and querying agents or enticing readers with back-cover blurbs, we need to grab their attention.

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Book Marketing: How to Get Feedback — Guest: Jefferson Smith

December 20, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Marketing a book—including its cover, title, tagline, and blurb—to appeal to readers is a different skill set from writing a book, and getting feedback on those elements can be tricky. Today Jefferson Smith shares a resource for improving those critical aspects of our writing.

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Self Publishing? What’s Your Newsletter Plan? — Part One

August 4, 2016 Writing Stuff
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One way we can keep our readers from one book to the next is to start a “new release” newsletter. But first, we have to know the best practices for newsletters.

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Self Publishing? What’s Your Plan to Keep Readers? — Part Five

July 7, 2016 Writing Stuff
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One way we can keep our readers from one book to the next is to encourage them to connect with us or our stories. Bonus content on our website is one way to create engaged readers.

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Self Publishing? What’s Your Plan to Keep Readers? — Part Four

June 2, 2016 Writing Stuff
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One way to keep readers interested in our writing is to hook them with an excerpt to our next story at the end of our book. But there are times an excerpt could hurt our sales. When is it a good idea to include an excerpt—and when is it not?

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Self Publishing? What’s Your Plan to Keep Readers? — Part Three

May 5, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Links in the back of our book can lead to our other books or to a mailing list signup. But the internet is fluid and websites and pages change. How can we make sure our links won’t go bad?

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Self Publishing? What’s Your Plan to Keep Readers? — Part Two

April 7, 2016 Writing Stuff
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If readers like our books, they might want to check out our other stories. Let’s take a look at our options for using buy links to increase the chances that they’ll purchase our work…

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Self Publishing? What’s Your Plan to Keep Readers?

March 3, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Once we get a reader to check out one of our books, we want to hold onto them and keep them as a reader. Let’s take a look at our options for retaining readers…

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Formatting for eBooks: Tips and Pitfalls — Guest: Angela Quarles

October 15, 2015 Writing Stuff
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We’ve probably all heard stories about ebook formatting problems, but we can be at a loss for how to tell a good formatter from a bad one. What issues should we watch out for? What questions should we ask? Even if we traditionally publish, we might want to judge whether our publisher knows what they’re doing for ebook publishing.

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