skip to Main Content

Self Publishing – The road to success isn’t paved

A guest post by Jess D. Harpley. Seeing that I have yet to achieve success, I'm not sure I should write this post... but I will anyway. Self publishing is easy. You write the thing, you log in to Amazon, you upload the thing, you press the publish button. Successful self publishing is a nightmare of frustration and heartache. Here's why: 1. If you didn't already have a massive Twitter following, you need to grow one. Much easier said than…

Read More

Amazon’s Data Mining of Novels

I find data-mining as interesting as the next person. On any given day, you’ll find me clicking into the results of surveys about consumer habits, in any number of categories. I do this for reasons that are as unnecessary as they are ambiguous. Being from Washington, DC, and having cut my political teeth at an early age, I know how much wiggle room – and wishful thinking – is spun into the cloth of marketing data and rankings. So much…

Read More

Independent Bookstore Day is Here!

Writers need readers. Writers are readers. Readers need books. This Saturday, April 29th, keep your book buying local and participate in Independent Bookstore Day. The event is nationwide and many small shops are participating. New books, old books, traditionally published, indie published – it’s all out there and yours for the buying. If you’ve been saving up to splurge on a stack of new reading material, now is the time, book lovers. As writers, we never know what experience will…

Read More

Writers, Start Building Your Brand Early!

One of the great challenges for an indie author is dividing time between actual writing and marketing. And I would argue that the same goes for writers who are as yet unpublished. Sometimes, I like to think about giants like Joyce, Fitzgerald and Nabokov. How did those guys do it? Most likely, not at all—or very little. The work spoke for itself. But, hey, we’re talking about us. What are we supposed to do? If I had to pick one…

Read More

Storytelling and the Campfire

I notice as I comb through the self-published e-books on Amazon that a good number of the offerings are autobiographies. Non-fiction. People writing about their own lives and experiences. About their own adventures, misfortunes, and triumphs. It occurs to me that perhaps the meteoric rise in self-published works has turned the Kindle into the modern campfire. Only, instead of sitting together, elbows and knees touching, with firelight twinkling upon eager faces as those gathered wait for the storyteller to begin,…

Read More

Good-bye, Facebook. I’m Hitting The Road!

I’ve pinned down what it is that bothers me most about Facebook, and it's this: the lack of context. As a novelist, I work to build a reader’s interest one layer at a time, using a combination of actions (story) and context (backstory). Indeed, context frames every event and every character that finds its way onto an author’s page. It can be slow going, building that framework, but I think of the process as being along the same lines as…

Read More

I am my characters

People often comment on how “real” my characters are and they ask me how I create such believable heroines. I suppose it is because most of my work is grounded in reality. My characters are not me but some of their struggles, particularly with men, come from my own struggles—even if I don’t realize it until after the book is released. Take for instance, Stephanie Cohen in Just Friends with Benefits. Stephanie is an attractive, intelligent, funny and interesting woman…

Read More

TLC, Twitter, and (Very) Smart Marketing

Back in October, on the season premiere night of Long Island Medium, TLC decided to try a new marketing strategy, one involving Twitter.  A few days before the big event, I happened to catch the promos, and they advertised two things: -          a live commentary from Theresa Caputo during the premiere’s commercial breaks (it’s her show) -          a chance to win free readings from Theresa through a live Twitter contest being held during the show’s premiere. Thanks to the magic…

Read More

Spanx Me, NaNoWriMo!

Forget “March Madness.” Instead, make it “March Marketing Madness.” As part of all this basketball craziness, I recently filled out my bracket for the family pool. I’m not doing well; I think even my sister-in-law’s grandmother is ahead of me. Still, there is value in participating in creative activities outside of one’s normal comfort zone, and staring at all those match-ups got me thinking about business. In “March Marketing Madness,” the sports teams are replaced by companies. The purpose of…

Read More

Thwarting my Laptop

My tiny hand-me-down laptop gave me the good ole Blue Screen of Death a few weeks ago. I loved working on the thing because, honestly, the screen was so small, it was unpleasant doing just about everything but typing on it. Web surfing was clumsy, and every window I opened was scrunched up and cramped for space. But Word was a wide, open expanse, free of excuses.Then, the BSOD. I made a few attempts to fix it, then passed it…

Read More
Back To Top