When I read a book, I seek out the “about the author” page. Many one-paragraph author bios are not especially enlightening or entertaining, and I don’t expect a full scale memoir, but even the briefest can tell me something about the author’s relationship to the book, and sometimes give me a reason to search out their other titles.
Consider offering the reader more than just the usual name, city of residence, occupation and when you started writing.
In one blog post, writer TA Sullivan recounted waffling about whether to write a bio for her own book, then reflected how she scanned the bios of other writers as she chose books at a store or library. “Nowadays, I still check out the author’s bio when looking for a book to read. Clever bios, witty bios, or even sincere bios can help me connect with the author, which then makes taking a chance on their book seem not quite so chancy. An author’s bio can help remind the readers that you (the author) are a person, too,” she said.
Her point has statistical backup at Smashwords. The giant ebook distributor said on its website, “In 2011 when we surveyed ebook buyers and asked them their most common decision factor that guided how they discover and purchase books, the #2 answer, accounting for 18% of respondents, was that they first look for books from their favorite authors. This speaks to the importance of author as brand. Your “brand” is what you represent to your readers, and how your readers perceive you and your ability to write great stories.” READ MORE HERE.
If you’re wanting to start sending out a newsletter to your followers and you’re not sure where to start Author’s Atlas has some great steps and how to images to get you started.
At the conferences I’ve attended, in blog posts I’ve read, and on podcasts I listen to (like the Self-Publishing Round Table), I’ve heard over and over that having a mailing list is absolutely vital for selling books. Chances are, you’ve heard this same advice, so you might be wondering, HOW do I set up a mailing list?
The provider that I use for the Author’s Atlas newsletter and that I recommend to all of my Author Rx clients is Mail Chimp. The number one reason I recommend Mail Chimp is because it’s free until you get over 2,000 email addresses on your mailing list. If you’re an author just starting out, it may take you several books to build up this many subscribers. Depending on quickly you write, you may be below the 2,000 subscriber mark for a couple of years and you’ll save money by avoiding a subscription plan in the beginning. READ MORE HERE.
Most of us know of someone in our circles that is writing or wanting to write. Joining writing groups can be expensive and a little crowded. If you are just wanting to hang out and talk about writing, why not gather up those friends and get away with your laptops. It’s a great idea! Author Julie Musil did just that. Follow her posts to see how things turned out.
It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’m currently on a mini writing retreat with two of my closest writing buddies. How is it going? I’ll report back later! But I did want to chat abut a couple of things. Writing retreats can be expensive and inconvenient–especially if you’re on a tight budget and have little kids at home. I’m not one to dump a lot of money into the writing process. It’s just not my style. But when my friends approached me with the mini retreat idea, I jumped on board. Why?
Lower cost. We’re not paying for expensive workshops or roundtable critiques. We’re simply getting away with our laptops to write. Most of the stuff covered in workshops or retreats can be found online for free. READ MORE HERE.
I can technically classify myself as a ghostwriter. I’ve come to this conclusion because I have written several manuals and was never able to put my name on them or truly discuss what was inside of them. They belonged to the companies who paid me to write them or edit them. Unfortunately, I never got any kind of notation from these employers, except for one, that stated I had actually done any kind of writing for them at all. Shame on me. I’ve since learned to get a letter of recommendation as proof.
I read a blog recently titled Dollars and Deadlines by Kelly James-Enger and she offers tips for becoming a well paid ghostwriter. I hope you enjoy the links and information.
Do you ghostwrite? You should. Sure, you write without a byline or recognition. But I’ve found that I can make more money ghostwriting books for clients (including Pros with Platforms) than I can writing my own books.
The reason is simple. When I ghostwrite, that’s all I do. I don’t have to market and promote the book (the most time-consuming part of authorship). That’s my client’s job. I get paid to write the book and then I move on to the next project. And remember, too, I don’t run the risk of wasting my time writing a book proposal that may not sell the way I would with my own books. My client pays me upfront to write the proposal.
But writers don’t just ghostwrite books. They ghostwrite articles,blog posts, and content marketing pieces. Rates for this kind of work vary, but in general, you’re looking at rates of $0.50/word to $1-2/word.
Want to know more about ghostwriting? Check out these posts:
Let’s face it — most blogs don’t pay for guest posts. It’s considered a marketing activity by the writer, who gets a link back to their site.
That can be worth it, too. I’ve gotten some amazing connections and clients from blogging on popular sites.
But I believe writers should be paid for their work. And sites that take guest posts still get a piece of writing out of the deal.
So I did a crazy thing…
Back in late 2010, I did something sort of nuts — I decided to start paying for guest posts.
At the time, my audience was pretty small and I was still earning most of my living from freelance writing.
It didn’t make economic sense on the face of it. I just thought it was the right thing to do.
I needed to put my money where my mouth was. I hoped I might inspire (or is that shame?) some other bloggers into paying for posts as well. I also hoped being different from the norm by being a paying writing market might get this little blog some attention.