Categories
Not just books Publisher attitudes publishing evolution

Format Considerations

If you haven’t been to a publishing industry conference or trade show recently (and I would ask why not, because it’s more important now than ever to keep yourself informed of all the latest technology and trends affecting our world), you may not have heard that the book is dead. Oh, you have? Okay. Just checking.

SteppingUpBookStairs

Seriously, we all know books will never die. Like other forms of energy, they simply morph into another format. But saying the book is dead is certainly a way to get attention, and it’s been done rather well in some venues.

At 2012’s Upublish U panel during that year’s Book Expo America,  Bob Young, CEO and founder of Lulu.com, got a rise from the audience by saying, “There’s no such thing as a book.” Of course, that was just the first part of his theorem. He continued, “There’s only content carriers. A physical printed book is a reader the same as an e-reader.”

Fellow panelist Mark Coker, Smashwords founder, concurred. “A book is just a holder for your content. We’re a distributor,” describing the service Smashwords has now provided to 40,000+ authors. That Coker would say, “For most self-published authors, print is dead,” is likely no surprise, considering his company is the world’s largest distributor of indie e-books, in addition to providing authors the tools to market their eBooks and receive sales reports.

The whole point is that, as publishers, we collectively need to stop thinking ONLY of the “dead tree” version of the book we grew up with. We even have to stop thinking only of print and eBooks. We pretty much need to stop concentrating on the whole concept of the “book” altogether, and instead start considering it just ONE format or shell for the content we develop, curate and distribute to end users.

Yes, I know — it’s a hard habit to break. We love our books, our memories and experiences of them. It’s why we got into this business in the first place. But break it we must, for as long as we continue to think first or only of the book, we inadvertently trap ourselves into outmoded ways of delivering the substance of our product. And in so doing, we very likely trap ourselves into limited mindsets about what that content could or should be, thereby eliminating so much promise and opportunity and freedom in our creative concept stages. By removing the limits of our perception of what makes the “right” content container, we remove the limits we impose on ourselves about the potential of that content.

Let’s vow to stop thinking about the vehicle and start thinking first about the passengers: all those wonderful, vital, important, breathtaking ideas and words and concepts and photos and illustrations — and now, video and animations and audio and who knows what will come next — that create the magic of what used to be just “books.”

Let’s commit ourselves to breaking the constraint of “container-first” thinking by starting, right now, to view ourselves primarily as content curators and developers of ideas, and only secondarily as producers of containers for that content. I firmly believe this subtle but significant thought shift will help us keep our minds more fully open to the great potential that is Publishing 2.0. I, for one, am excited about the possibilities, and hope you are, too.

Categories
Author marketing Book marketing

It’s That Season…

Writer

Yep, it’s here: Spring, the beginning of the active author promotional season. In most places in the U.S. (not all, I’m sorry to report, seeing as it’s almost MAY!), the snow’s gone and local/regional travel is again becoming plannable with a reasonable expectation of accurate weather forecasts. Some of us will be doing the age-old author tour dance.

Sure, the Internet has allowed many of us the ability to do a large part of our promotion from home, but some of us still enjoy getting out there to meet our readers in person. I’m one of those. I like feeling that personal connection. Nothing fulfills this writer’s heart more than seeing someone’s eyes light up when they describe a certain passage they enjoyed in one of my books, or a story of when they just couldn’t put it down.

But others of us just really don’t dig that whole author appearance scene. As a marketer, this always bothers me, because it really is the very best way to develop a rapport with your readers, and to create lifetime loyalists. But the fact remains that for any number of reasons, some of us just can’t or really don’t want to do the personal appearances. For those, and for the rest of us who want to leverage every possible channel we can, there are blog tours.

Many folks believe these aren’t really effective. And if you’re measuring in terms of direct sales, I’d agree. Unless you’re making some sort of irresistible special offer, you’re not likely to see a large bump in sales from a blog appearance. But I do strongly believe it’s a single element of a well-rounded marketing plan. So if you agree, I’d like to share a resource with you.

If you’d like to find bloggers who interview authors, here’s a list that includes many different types and topics. Here’s some good rules of etiquette when you contact them:

  • Actually READ the blog for a while before requesting to be interviewed. It’s the smallest courtesy you can show. Even better, follow it and actually participate with thoughtful comments — you’ll become a known quantity and if the blogger is impressed with your knowledge, may even invite you before you ask!
  • Offer a free copy of your book to the blogger as a courtesy, and send a signed copy.
  • Consider offering another free copy for the blogger to give away to followers. This will really be appreciated.
  • Don’t be a know-it-all. Remember it’s someone else’s blog. Try to find ways to reflect positively on your host, and be gracious.
  • Follow up with a thank-you email or card after the interview or guest blog.

Consider this my contribution to your successful spring promotions! Good luck, and happy blogging!

 

Categories
Author marketing Book marketing Book publishing Indie Publisher marketing publishing evolution Tech for authors Tech for Indie Publishers Tools for Success

Three Important Trends in Book Publishing

I’m happy to share this recent post by Joe Hyrkin at GigaOm about how publishing will continue to evolve this year. The CEO of Issuu, a Danish digital publishing platform, confirms what I’ve been telling my clients for a few years now: Digital is here to stay, and we need to learn how to use its most powerful and relevant new tools if we’re not just to survive, but prosper as self-published authors and indie publishers.

books-computer

More specifically, he also validates my assertion that Twitter is not so much of significance in and of itself, but instead functions best when used as an ultra-short-form alert to draw Tweeps’ attention to breaking news, rapidly evolving situations, or places where they can go to learn more about something already important in their lives.

Check it out — the few moments it’ll take to read it are sure to be edifying, and to help you better prioritize how you’ll spend your time promoting your titles and authors.

Categories
Creativity Problem solving Tools for Success

Creativity and Problem-Solving

solving puzzles

Let’s face it: If indie publishers and self-pubbed authors didn’t run into problems, there would be no need for the Indie Navigator. So I’m well aware that — at least in the beginning — most folks contact me to help them solve problems. And I usually consider my relationship with them successful when I’ve worked myself out of a job. 🙂

So this begs the question: Why do I want to take on solving these problems?

And the answer is both very simple and a little complex: Because I can.

I am someone who inherently wants to help. It’s in my genes. It’s not convenient or always even a great idea, but I can’t prevent myself from plunging in headlong where I think I can help. And given the many other possibilities for how I could have been born, I’ll take being an innate helper type.

But it’s also because — at least in this industry — I know I CAN help. I’ve been there, from the very beginning of modern indie publishing (and even long before it), and I have made most of the mistakes that a person could possibly make. I want to keep others from having to go through that. It’s not fun, and it’s just not necessary.

But I think another huge motivator for me is that I am often able to see past the problem or challenge to a solution, when the folks who call me just…can’t. I don’t know why — perhaps they’re frightened, maybe they’ve exhausted all their own ideas, or maybe they just don’t understand enough the way things work, and so they’re stymied, seemingly without a path forward.

Whatever the reason, I can usually bring a fresh perspective and very often, there is an easy and obvious way around what seems to them an insurmountable obstacle. Not always, but often. And when the answer’s not quite so obvious, I am lucky that I can almost always find a different way to approach it that reveals a solution we can use.

I’ve always been thankful for this ability, though I never really thought much about it when I was young. I just thought it was something everyone could do. My default mode is, “Yep, sure I can!” until I prove to myself beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can’t (which, by the way, has rarely happened, and I don’t think it’s because I’m extraordinarily skilled. I think it’s just because I believe I can).

Then, as I grew older and gained more experience, I realized that for some people, the default is, “Oh, no way. I can’t do that.” Again, not because they ACTUALLY can’t, but because they believe they can’t. Though this makes me sad, because I feel bad when people don’t believe in themselves, I know now that it simply is the way it is. It’s a fact of life and doesn’t need my judgment. It does, however, need my interest, compassion and desire to help. I believe that’s why we’re here…but that’s a topic in itself, for another place and time.

thirdmetriclogo

This is all a rambling introduction to the fact that today I discovered an extraordinarily well-done blog post at the Huffington Post’s Third Metric project. It’s about the nature of creative people, whom it turns out tend to be pretty good at problem-solving. I have always believed I am creative, not least because I’ve always been told so by many people around me. But I’ve also often wondered what that really means, and at times have challenged the notion about myself — usually when I’m struggling with a creative project.

So I just wanted to share this post with you, because it’s really incisive and deeply probing into the nature and science of creativity — a topic I have been interested in all my life, and become more so each day. I think it’s really worth the read, if not to understand creative people better, then to maybe discover that you, yourself, likely have some creative leanings you just don’t give yourself credit for!

My personal belief is that we’re all born creative — it’s hard to watch a group of kids playing and not think so — but that while some of us retain that characteristic through a mixture of nurture and honoring our own natures, many of us — I daresay maybe most — somehow come to accept that creativity is a special gift reserved only for some, and allow the difficulties of life to just beat it out of us. Again, I find this sad, but mostly I find it disturbing, because this world desperately needs creative thinkers and problem solvers and imaginative wonderers who don’t accept no for an answer.

Just my two cents — I’d love to know what you think.

Categories
better marketing Craft as it affects promotion

Beware The Trend!

Blackboard graphThe first rule of good marketing is to make sure you have a great product. For many authors, this immediately plunges them into the morass of trying to decide what to write about next. For many, that leads to a dangerous option: writing to the trends. And there are really few worse decisions you can make than choosing your next book topic based on what’s selling well right now.

Why? Well, if you’re going after a traditional publishing deal, in which you’ll first have to write the manuscript, then find an agent or try to pitch through the slush pile, then if you do get picked up, you’ll have a two-to-six-month wait to hear back on whether they’re interested or not, then another 1-2 years while the book’s in production, it’s pretty plain to see that you’ll be well behind the curve by the time your book finally comes out. And with today’s compressed attention spans, it’s highly likely that the “hot market” you began writing to several years ago has long since cooled off as readers move on to the Next Big Thing.

Is it possible that your particular topic may sustain a longer stage of fan infatuation? Sure, absolutely. But unless you’re a medium with accurate feelers into the future, it’s not something you want to stake your literary future on. The only time that might be a good idea is if you’re an expert in that topic and your book will be a useful addition or scathing rebuttal to a bestseller that’s already out there. And frankly, it’s rare that either of those scenarios will be handled properly by a beginner. It’s possible, but the odds aren’t in your favor.

The best tack to take when considering your next book is simply to write about what moves you. Ask yourself: What do I really feel passionate about? What really blows my hair back? And what do I know enough about to be able to add something of value to the conversation on that topic?

You need to be honest with yourself here, because you’re going to have to sustain that interest and dedication over the extended time it takes to research and write your book, whether it’s a nonfiction how-to or a novel. Yes, the time from manuscript-to-market is condensing, but it’s still a sustained effort, and you can’t afford to run out of steam halfway through unless you have lots of time and energy to waste. To say nothing of the pretty much forever-after of sustaining the enthusiasm needed to market your book once it’s published.

So, does this mean you should just ignore what’s going on in the marketplace? Of course not. Anyone who’s manufacturing a product needs to monitor what people are interested in. To do otherwise would be suicide. But you need to know not just what’s happening, but also why, and then you have to stay ahead of that curve. The first parti’s pretty easy.

For example, I saw a tweet today from the awesome Jane Friedman, who shared a USA Today Books piece showing that self-help is beginning to wane in popularity, while fiction — especially erotica — is enjoying a popularity surge. The article does a good job of explaining that what’s hot in reading depends largely on what’s going on in the world at large.

Five years ago, the expansive real estate bubble burst and the stock market crashed in the wake of several high profile scandals at major Wall Street banks. Reality sucked, and it sent people scurrying for the escape mechanism of fiction. Harry Potter books, already popular, zoomed to the top of the bestseller charts, and not just for kids. People sought relief from the reality of our world by escaping into the wondrous worlds created inside the heads of some really good writers.

jackdawsAs things got worse and so many folks lost their jobs, they sought help in finding new work by teaching themselves new skills through the always-popular self help genre.  Now that the market is on its way back up, and people are starting to find work again, the self improvement binge is subsiding somewhat. But with the uncertainty of a very slow economic recovery, the government shutdown debacle, and the ever-present threat of terrorism, fictional worlds continue to beckon with their promise of a vacation from the everyday woes of our all-too-real world, however brief. I know my own reading tends to swerve off into thrillers when I’m going through a lot of stress. I remember one job where I couldn’t wait for lunch hour, so I could escape into the adrenaline-fueled adventure of a Ken Follett political intrigue novel.

It all makes perfect sense, and it’s not without precedent. What people read generally does mirror the larger societal zeitgeist of any given time. Charles Dickens became the social conscience of Victorian England’s industrial age in response to his own brutal boyhood after losing his father to debtor’s prison. His stories, and the fantastic tales contained in serialized “penny dreadfuls” sold on the streets provided affordable, serialized escape for those who otherwise felt beaten down by the dehumanizing aspects of factory and piecework. Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” was written in response to the underlying fear of the unknown resulting from mankind’s early ideas about outer space. It found its perfect expression as a radio broadcast that mesmerized and horrified Americans already nervous about the rise of Fascism in Europe and anxious about the possibility of invasion from abroad.

So, if you want to take advantage of trends in a way that might actually help make your next book a success, don’t look to what’s happening right now. Instead, read widely about topics such as politics, economics and foreign policy to try to divine what’s coming down the pike in national and world events. If you can capture the spirit of a time and write either nonficiton that helps people feel like they’re gaining some control over their lives, or fiction that helps them escape the unavoidable, you’ll probably do pretty well.

For the res of us, however, who lack such ability to foretell the future, the best approach remains what it has always been: Find your passion, immerse yourself in the subject, learn something new and valuable, then share it with an audience just waiting for such wisdom. It works in both fiction and nonfiction. Always has, and I daresay always will.

Categories
Author marketing Book marketing

Breaking Through The Big Taboo

In the previous post, I discussed the importance of simply telling your story in a compelling way as the best and most effective promotion method. There are many channels you can use to tell your story—traditional print media, press releases, blog posts, social media—the options are really limited to your imagination and your available resources.

Technically, it’s not difficult, but there may well be something standing in your way on a comfort level—a societal taboo you just can’t seem to get past. In fact, in my decades of marketing work, I’ve found this taboo to be one of the most ubiquitous and frustrating obstacles I’ve had to help nearly all my clients overcome. And what it is may surprise you.

Taboo

In our society and many others, the first thing anyone who wants to tell his/her story must become comfortable with is the idea that it is OKAY to “toot your own horn.” Despite what your mother may have told you, the marketplace understands that if you don’t do it, nobody else will (well, except maybe her). Yes, I know, she probably told you not to brag…and she’s right about that. No one likes an arrogant blowhard. But marketing and self-promotion on a professional level are not “bragging,” which is defined as “talking with excessive pride and self-satisfaction.”

Marketing and promotion, when done properly, is not bragging. It’s simply letting people, who might be interested in what you have to offer, know what they’re getting themselves into before they take a risk. As long as you’re truthful and not overly self-serving, marketing is not only acceptable, it’s the only professionally responsible thing to do. And besides that, it’s critical to your success and that of your books.

So, get over the false modesty. You know your books have value, or you wouldn’t have spent the time and energy and money to create them. If you believe more people should have the ability to enjoy or learn from your books, then commit yourself to making that happen by promoting the heck out of yourself and your work. And if it still makes you really uncomfortable, you don’t have to tell Mom what you’re doing if you think she’d disapprove.

What Mom was probably trying to tell you was more along the lines that you shouldn’t get a big head and let your ego get in the way. On that point, she was absolutely correct. If you do end up creating a very effective media campaign that gets you lots of attention, don’t let it turn your head. There’s a reason the phrase “someone who believes their own PR” has negative connotations. But there are lots of ways to do this book marketing thing very tastefully and very well. You just need to choose what you know will appeal most to your target audience.

Promoting yourself as an author or publisher and your books is not ego-driven. It’s sales-driven, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, without sales, unless you’re independently wealthy and can afford to give your work away, you’re out of business. If you’re out of business, then no one gets to read your books. And if that happens, there’s really no reason for you to be writing or selling them. So instead of being cowed by the feeling that you’re bragging, think about it this way:

Your books are like your kids: You gave birth to their concept, and nurtured the idea over significant time until you molded it into something you’d be proud to send out into the world. Now it’s time to be a good parent and do everything you can to prepare it to go out into the world and do some good. The only way you can do that is to tell people about it! Sure, be wary of becoming that obnoxious parent who whips out the kid’s photo at every opportunity or the “hovermom” who just can’t let go and trust that she’s done a good job.

But by all means, be that parent who prepares the way by introducing your book-child to all the right people who will best care for and most appreciate it. Talk up your book, find ways to insert it into a conversation in ways that aren’t obnoxious among people who are already talking about a similar topic, and celebrate it when it does well. What better way to honor all that hard work you did bringing it into being?

Categories
Author marketing Book marketing Indie Publisher marketing

Just Tell Your Story

I’m consistently amazed at how many authors and indie publishers are daunted by the challenge of marketing their books and themselves. Oh, I get it: Marketing professionals like to imply that there’s some kind of magic to it, and that makes it intimidating.

Well, of course, they do — this is their stock in trade! Why not take advantage of the widespread impression that there’s some kind of mystical alchemy that makes it all work, and that only the Grand Poobah Wizards can actually pull it off? And just so no one gets offended: I’m allowed to say this — I AM a marketing professional. It’s what I do for a living when I’m not writing or publishing books. And it’s exactly why I became the Indie Navigator. I just got so tired of seeing so many people who cold be enjoying real success with their books if they weren’t so darned afraid of marketing and promotion.

Fact is, ANYONE can do marketing. Can everyone do it equally well? Of course not. There will always be those who show special gifts in this area, as with any other pursuit. And there are some who just seem to knock it out of the park every time. Those are the superstars everyone wants to work with but whom few can afford. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t do what it takes to market yourself and your books effectively. It’s a great deal of relentless work, but it’s not difficult. And the more you do it, the better you’ll get, just like any other skill.

The best news is that authors are inherently well-equipped to be effective marketers. Regardless which modes you use to reach your prospective customers, in marketing or promoting your author career, books or publishing house brand (or anything else), you have one simple objective: Tell a really good story.

Yes, that’s really all marketing is: figuring out what your story is and the best way to tell it, because people identify with compelling stories and have a tendency to imagine themselves as a part of that story. If you can evoke that imagining on the part of your prospective client, you’ve done a great marketing job. If the stuff I see on social media is any indication, the bigwig ad agencies are finally starting to realize this. HA! I’ve been saying this to my clients forever!

Storytelling around a campfire

Story holds a venerable place in every civilization. It’s the oldest form of communication and of entertainment. It’s also how we know ourselves and each other. From the time we are very young, our views and perceptions of the world around us are shaped by the stories we are told.

As we grow, we learn to exert influence over the perceptions of others by telling our own stories. We also learn that how we tell those stories really matters.

Think about it: As a child, didn’t you learn that adding select details to your story of how the mean bully pushed you down on the playground evoked the sympathy you were looking for from everyone you told about it? And how leaving out other select details got you off the hook for having maybe said a few unnecessary things yourself that may have provoked the pushing? Believe it or not, you were marketing. You were selling an idea, and you were deeply invested in influencing the way the story was perceived.

Now, most marketing isn’t as blatantly manipulative (though some truly is), but that is the basis on which it works. Marketing simply codifies the way we approach such storytelling, based on what has worked in the past in a given set of circumstances.

But one thing never changes: The person who tells the best story in the most engaging way will always be the most successful at motivating people to do what they want them to do. In this case, it’s getting them to trust your brand, be interested in your authors, and purchase your books.

TAKEAWAY: So if you don’t remember anything else about successful marketing, remember this: Whoever tells the best story wins.

ACTION ITEM: So right now, figure out what your story is, and the best way to tell it to elicit the type of response you’d like from your audience. Then start building your marketing campaign around that messaging. Here’s a great short article on how to get started.

NEXT TIME: Getting Over The Big Taboo

 

Categories
Author marketing Tools for Success

Book Promo Tips From An Industry Treasure – Sandra Beckwith

This post is an update of one I posted on my author site blog, First Draft, last year. I’m revisiting it here because some of the information has changed since then, but also because I want to introduce my new followers to someone I greatly admire and respect for her savvy and experience in public relations and how she shares so much of it so generously with us in the book publishing industry.

PR Expert Sandra BeckwithI’ve been following her so long, I don’t even remember how I first learned about Sandra Beckwith of Build Book Buzz, a fantastic website where this former national award-winning publicist now teaches authors how to be their own book publicists. It was probably in someone else’s newsletter or blog, or maybe I even met her through ASJA, a professional writers’ organization we both belong to. It really doesn’t matter, because there hasn’t been a point along the way that I haven’t just really thought the world of this public relations expert and genuinely nice human being. Since I view part of my responsibility as The Indie Navigator to share valuable resources with my friends, followers and clients, I would be completely remiss if one of the first of those weren’t Sandy. She is kind, generous and genuinely an expert in her topic. It doesn’t hurt that she’s also got a great sense of humor!

But what really makes Sandy special is that she understands that authors are people who fall all along the continuum from longtime-published with a good grasp of the power and value of public relations and how to use it, to still-struggling-to-get-published writers who nevertheless understand that they need to get up to speed on this important promotional tool. And she caters to us all with patience and understanding, talking us all up, and talking down to none. If you’ve been in this business a while, you know that particular blend of attributes is kind of hard to come by.

What’s fantastic is that you can avail yourself of Sandy’s expertise through a free subscription to her Build Book Buzz newsletter, which will be emailed directly to your inbox, and she even gives you some freebies just for signing up. I’ve been getting her newsletter for years now, and one thing I can tell you is she never sends junk. Even when she sends the occasional post promoting an upcoming event or new product, I’m always glad to get it, because I know it’s an opportunity for me to learn something really valuable to my career as an author, at a reasonable price. You can sign up by simply typing your email address into the field in the middle of her home page.

Just FYI, I don’t have any affiliate relationship with Sandy and I won’t get any kickbacks from this post. In fact, she doesn’t even know I’m writing it. I just really believe in the value of her knowledge and know how much it’s helped me through the years, and I want to share it with you. Below, I’ve listed five tips from Sandy in helping to promote yourself and your books, including links I added. I’ve updated them a bit to allow for changes since she first shared them, but the substance is the same. Enjoy!

  1. Use Google and Twitter alerts to monitor conversations about your area of expertise. (Remember, you don’t have to write nonfiction to have topic expertise.) When you learn about a development that you can comment on, contact the media outlets in that community by telephone or e-mail. UPDATE: It appears Google has dropped support for its Alerts tool and those in the know expect that this longtime favorite resource will soon disappear. I suggest you check out alternatives
  2. Use those same alerts to learn which reporters are covering your topic. Send an e-mail introducing yourself and offering to become a resource as needed. Follow them on social mediare-tweet some of their content so that they see it and begin to recognize and remember your name.
  3. Use your website to showcase your topic expertiseUpdate your bioadd relevant content so that you get found in online searches.
  4. Once you’ve done even one interview on the topic, add a link to the interview to your website, preferably in a dedicated newsroom area. As you do more, add those links whenever possible. Reporters are more likely to contact you for an interview when they see that you’re familiar with the process and that you’re quotable. 
  5. Be pro-active. Look for those opportunities to contribute to the media conversations on your topic.

I’m going to add a bonus tip: Make sure to avail yourself of the plethora of great information on Sandy’s Resources page! Just another example of her true generosity in helping us all be better promoters of our books and our author careers, so don’t miss them!

Categories
Author marketing Uncategorized

A truly perfect author website

Everyone knows that the cheapest, easiest way to promote anything these days is the Internet. The Web

  • has generally the lowest up-front costs
  • is fairly easy to use if you’re using the right platform
  • is the only publicly accessible channel with nearly worldwide reach
  • and provides almost immeasurable return on investment (ROI)

What’s not to like? And it’s no different for authors. Even if you’re an avid user of social media in getting your marketing message out about yourself and your books, you’re seriously missing the boat if you don’t have a website to anchor all those other efforts. After all, social media is primarily good for two things: building visibility and generating traffic. But there’s no use generating traffic to a non-existent blog, or—worse yet—to one that’s poorly created and will create a less-than-professional image of you when visitors do show up.

In my work helping authors and indie publishers do a better job of promoting themselves and their books, I see a LOT of author websites, covering the spectrum of quality from the cringeworthy to the sublime. When I give presentations on the subject, there’s one author website I come back to again and again as an excellent example of an author site that does what it’s supposed to in a beautiful, elegant way.

Jenna Blum's author website

Author Jenna Blum has created a compact little site that’s not minimalist, but in no way is it cluttered; full of personality, yet confidently understated. And that seems to be the perfect showcase for her two novels, which are about deep emotional and psychological subjects that get to the very heart of what it means to be human, to be family.

But from a marketing standpoint she’s got everything she needs, and it’s all there—easy to find—on the home page: You’ll find links to

  • her books
  • bio
  • press kit
  • everything a reporter, editor, agent or publisher would want to know
  • and a great photo of Jenna to add that human connection

As a marketing consultant who gets paid to help authors and other small businesspeople build effective websites, I have referred lots of future clients to this site as an example of what they want to shoot for. It’s just really well done.

Authors, if you’re considering building an author site and don’t have the time or inclination to reinvent the wheel, this would be a good one to pattern on.

Categories
Tech for authors Tech for Indie Publishers Tools for Success

Tools For Success: I Like Skype.

Download Skype for Authors & Indie Publishers PDF

At Indie Navigator, we really like Skype (liked it better before Microsoft got ahold of it, but that’s a done deal). It’s is a great tool for communicating around the world, on major computer platforms and mobile, and mostly for free. It’s my preferred mode for consultation, which is explained on our How We Work page. That gives a pretty good overview, but perhaps you’re not sold on the idea.

In that case, below is a PDF for you that explains in a bit more detail. It even tells you how to get started, so download and give it a whirl! I guarantee you’ll see why we like it so much. And no, we don’t get any kickbacks or anything – it’s just a cool tool you should know about as someone seeking success as an author or indie publisher.

Download Skype for Indie Publishers & Authors