The world of writing and publishing has opened up recently, due in large part to the widespread use of social media and the rapid spread of e-readers like Kindle and Nook. It’s a veritable Wonderland, which can be both delightfully magical and intensely confusing. My first two books were published in 2013, one by a small-to-medium publisher and one that I published myself. In the course of learning how to market them, I’ve been doing a lot of research, figuring out how to find my audience without coming off like a car salesman or someone hawking a pyramid scheme to all their friends.
At the request of a couple of author friends, I’m sharing what I’ve learned thus far. I’ll continue to update frequently as I pursue this path of learning about ethical marketing. When you’re a writer, support is crucial to keeping you motivated and making progress, so I’ll share my favorite groups with you, too. In addition, my first two books were non-fiction, but now I’m stepping into the world of fiction writing. I’ll share the best of the resources I’ve discovered that help with plotting and revising novels.
Please proceed gently down the rabbit-hole of links and books, being sure to let your imagination propel you off on tangents that will help you on your own writing journey. If you find any resources that are worth sharing, please leave a comment or drop me a line. Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. I’ve linked to books as well as websites, just for your convenience. None of these are affiliate links or earn me anything other than your eternal gratitude. 🙂
Ethical Marketing and Promotion Everyone Can Use
One of the first resources I came across on my search to promote my books was Kristen Lamb’s blog. She’s one of the best voices that I’ve found. Her book, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World, is excellent, and has helped me immensely. She also runs WANA International, offering online classes for writers. I haven’t availed myself of any classes yet – but I’ve heard nothing but good things.
I love love LOVE this book: Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success) by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. It had so many good ideas that I’ve already begun putting in place. And the basic message, which I can totally get with, is to keep writing.
Here are a couple of other great reads targeted to authors. Let’s Get Digital: How to Self-Publish, and Why You Should by David Gaughran offers very useful, practical advice on how to self-publish, as well as a terrific overview of the state of the publishing business. How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn provides an on-target plan for making your writing career into a business that sustains you. She knows because she’s doing it. Her website is also well worth checking out.
Christine Kane is a folk musician turned entrepreneur. She now teaches other entrepreneurs how to market their businesses. Her events and courses are costly, though in my opinion they’re probably very worth it (and when I can afford one, you bet I’ll be there!). However, she also has lots of great free resources on her website. Read and learn!
Top-Notch Support for Writers
Truly, most of these resources have come to my attention through my involvement in ROW 80. What is it? ROW 80 is short for A Round of Words in 80 Days, and it’s a wonderful online support group for authors trying to get things done in the midst of their other life commitments. The year gets divided up into four rounds, and writers can post their goals for each round, then receive support as they work towards them. There’s also a ROW 80 Facebook page. I highly recommend this awesome community!
You probably already know about NaNoWriMo, or National Novel-Writing Month (which is in November). I’ve known about it for several years, but up until 2013 I wrote primarily non-fiction. Then BlackLion and I decided to co-create our first novel, and had a blast doing NaNo 2013. I “won” NaNo 2014 as well, working on my own this time. NaNoWriMo has spread beyond November now, and there are lots of cool writing challenges throughout the year.
Cool Tools For Fiction Writers
Fiction Unboxed is the latest how-to for writers by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant (see above for my rave review of Write.Publish.Repeat.). They set out to plot, write, and publish a full-length novel in a month. Yes, you read that right. And not only did they succeed, but in this guide they share their process. I found so many useful tips and ideas in these pages. I highly recommend it (and really, anything these guys do).
At a fellow author’s recommendation, I purchased the e-books Rock Your Plot and Rock Your Revisions by Cathy Yardley. I’ve now used them both, and find them very helpful. BlackLion and I are using the revisions book to revise our draft of our co-written novel. I used the plot one with great success on my solo novel. They are rockin’ our world!