What Are the Trends in Publishing? Here Are 10 Mark Coker Identified

Mark Coker on 10 Publishing Trends

Mark Coker’s Publishing Observations and Predictions

While attending the San Francisco Writers Conference, I decided to drop in on Mark Coker’s session on the ten trends driving publishing now and in the future. Here’s what he had to say:

Trend 1
Look for larger, broader macro trends. Ten years ago, ebooks comprised one-quarter of one percent of the book industry. Today? Half of all books are ebooks, even though over the past three years ebook sales have been stagnant.

Mark noted that ebooks offer a more portable discovery and reading experience, the deliver is instant, and readers can adjust the font size to their personal preferences.
Trend one quarter of one percent of book industry were ebooks ten years ago

[clickToTweet tweet=”Over the past three years ebook sales have been stagnant via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Over the past three years ebook sales have been stagnant “]

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Happy New Year!

Grab Your Cheat Sheet

Got your Social Media Cheat Sheet yet? You’ll get the best times to schedule your social media posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more! And you’ll find three types of calendars:

  • Platform-Building for Authors Getting Ready to Launch a Book
  • Advanced for Authors Wanting to Boost Sales
  • Ninja for Authors Wanting to Ramp Up Their Presence

Grab your copy now!

2016I would like to wish everyone who visits my blog, retweets my posts and subscribes to my updates a very Happy New Year.

Thank you for being a part of my life this past year. I hope our somewhat virtual relationship will continue for years to come.

Instead of writing about social media, I simply want to thank you for having been a part of my year.

Thank you for reading my posts and my books, for receiving my blog updates, and for leaving comments whenever you can.

To everyone who has contributed a guest post over the past year, thank you for contributing to the discussion here in a profound manner.

I’ve met many of you and have come to think of you as colleagues and in some cases, friends. Thank you for that gift.

I’d love to hear from you over the next week. Please leave a comment, telling me about your publishing goals and dreams for 2016 and what you’d like to see on this blog in the coming year.

I am eager to say goodbye to 2015. I had my share of challenges, which is why I had to temporarily pause  my podcast and invite so many guest bloggers to this space.

In 2016, I hope to keep as much going as possible all the while meeting my clients’ needs, writing blog posts, and publishing two new books. It’s an ambitious schedule, I know.

I think my podcast will return — I’m still undecided but those are my plans. If it returns, I’ll resume publishing every other week.

Wish me luck with my goals!

Please know that I wish you health, peace and publishing success in the new year!

With gratitude,


P.S. Don’t forget to leave a comment sharing your publishing goals for 2016. Thanks!

Help me make this blog better. Join the community of authors who receive updates as soon as they’re published! (And receive a FREE social media cheat sheet as my gift to you.) Get yours now!


Sell More Books with These Tips by Frances CaballoAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is an author, podcaster and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. She’s written several books including Social Media Just for Writers, Avoid Social Media Time Suck, and Twitter Just for Writers, which is available for free here on her website. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writer conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Ask Frances to prepare a social media audit for you.


Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web


Fab Friday Find – Release Shame as an Author Entrepreneur

Fab Friday Finds By Frances Caballo

This is my second installment of Fab Friday Finds. This week’s fab find is a post I read by Dan Blank on the role of shame in our lives. I decided to share a link to his post and add my personal experience on this topic.

Like you, I read a lot of blogs. How else can I keep up with changes in social media and the publishing world?

xUfsd9_2_400x400Last Friday, I read a wonderfully sincere post by Dan Blank titled Shame and Your Writing Career. The post focused on the fear and shame that can play a role in decisions writers like you make in how you practice your craft and pursue your writing career.

To illustrate his point, Dan Blank shared a moment of shame he had while working out with a new trainer.

His post got me thinking.

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How Hurry Kills Good Books

1Today’s guest post is by Blake Atwood.

The Tyranny of Hurry in Writing and Publishing: A Plea for Patient Writing

In Story, Robert McKee’s modern classic on storytelling, he says what I believe many writers—and especially self-publishers—need to hear: “Too many struggling writers never suspect that the creation of a fine screenplay is as difficult as the creation of a symphony, and in some ways more so.”

Though composing a screenplay differs from writing a novel in significant ways, what McKee prescribes holds true for creators of all kinds. To do good work—even great work—we ought to be more patient with ourselves and our creations.

[Read more…]

Lisa Tener on Publishing, Platform and Book Marketing

Lisa Tener bring-your-book-to-lifeI met Lisa Tener at the San Francisco Writers Conference in February and was immediately impressed by her presence. She’s a sought-after book coach who has helped authors such as Deb Scott, Carrie Barron, MD, Anne Burnett and others secure big publishing contracts. Despite Lisa’s accomplishments, she’s one of the most humble – and talented – book coaching and publishing experts I’ve met. Here’s Lisa in her own words on coaching, nonfiction publishing, platform building, and the benefits of devoting time to book marketing.

I’ve read your bio but I want to hear from you how you rose in your career to become such a talented and coveted book coach?

Wow, thank you for saying that. It was a circuitous path. I knew I’d grow up to be a writer since first grade—just didn’t know what kind. And coming from a family of educators, teaching is in my blood. I majored in management and minored in writing at MIT—and I got to study with some amazing writing teachers, including Frank Conroy who went on to become the Director of the famed Iowa Writers Workshop.

I started out in technical jobs (programming related), but even in that first job, we developed courses and manuals for internal clients, so I’ve always been teaching and writing. I did lots of writing as a nonprofit executive.

Who do you work with and what do you help them accomplish?

I work mostly with people who have expertise in a certain field—coaching, medicine, therapy, business, consulting, healing arts, educators, and others—but who are not usually professional writers. The majority of my clients are writing how-to or self-help books or other types of nonfiction.

Some want to traditionally publish and I am guide them through that entire process—from fine tuning their book idea, to generating the platform to developing a first class book proposal, which includes polished, compelling sample chapters.

Others self-publish and then it’s more about writing the book—again, I help them with their book concept, I edit and I guide them to resources to help them with other aspects of their plan.

How can you tell when a book is right for a major publisher?

Major publishers are looking for 3 main things:

1. A large potential audience: they want to be able to sell a lot of books!

2. A new angle or fresh voice or new perspective on a topic that is already selling: So new, but not so new that it’s an unproven market

3. An author with a platform: It’s crucial to publishers nowadays to know that the author already has a pent up demand for the book—that there are people the author currently reaches who will buy this book when it comes out. And that the author can build on that reach to sell books to even more people. Publishers are risk averse in this current environment. The author can’t look like a risk.

Yes, they’re looking for compelling writing, but if the concept and platform are attractive and there’s a big audience, they might recommend a ghostwriter or co-writer.

Lisa TenerWhat role does marketing – especially social media marketing – play in helping a self-published author rise from obscurity?

Marketing is crucial for both traditionally- and self-published authors. You need a plan to sell books. And social media is taking a bigger and bigger role in helping authors get known. Through social media, people get to know authors, so there’s this attractive piece about connecting with your audience. In addition, people use social media to recommend books to others—so social media helps books take off.

How important is it today for authors to have large followings on social media? Do publishers really make it a numbers game?

No question that social media is playing a bigger and bigger role in publishing and book sales. So publishers are much more compelled to want to see a significant audience. But they also want to see engagement. So what if you somehow got 30,000 followers who are not engaged with you?

While numbers are an important factor, I would not say it’s a numbers game per se—so many factors go into a book deal. To give you an example, I have a client who blogs for Psychology Today and also gets picked up by the Huffington Post. He’s excellent with Twitter. He’d good about retweeting other relevant information, supporting his colleagues—he’s a team player.  He has a bit over 14,000 followers. So a nice number but nothing blockbuster on Twitter. However, his posts for PT and HP often get a lot of play. Two different major publishers approached him about writing books and he got a six-figure book deal. So, certainly his engaged presence on digital media played a major role in getting his book deal. But it’s not like there is a magic number that made it happen. Just that the engagement and reach were high.

What are the traits of a bestseller, whether it is a work of fiction or nonfiction?

Well, I specialize in nonfiction, so I’ll focus there. And I specialize in self-help and how-to. There’s some part strategy and some part magic, so I can’t give you a formula but here are some of the usual ingredients: Something fresh about it, even if it’s a popular topic; relevant to a large audience; a compelling and fresh-sounding title definitely helps—it should give a sense of benefits or potential results of reading the book; well written; entertaining—often it’s fun to read—there’s a strong voice and maybe the voice is even playful or sassy or smart or very humorous; well-organized—easy to read. But a book can have all these things and not be a bestseller. Much has to do with what the author does to get the word out. I think one of the biggest keys to success is persistence and believing in your book—being willing to do whatever it takes to get the word out. You will hit challenges and the bestselling authors see those challenges as opportunities.

What advice on marketing do you give the authors who work with you?

Take marketing seriously! And have a marketing plan that generates money from things other than book sales. If it’s all about book sales, you can invest a great deal of time and money to generate a small amount of money, but if you have something else to sell—online courses, consulting, coaching, seminars, speaking gigs, etc.—then one book sale can generate a great deal of income and you can, in turn, continue to invest some of that money back into marketing and promoting the book.

I also advise authors to blog. A blog gives you a home base where people can find you and connect and, hopefully, sign up to hear more from you so they stay in touch. A blog also helps with Google and other search engines. And it helps you engage in your communities with something to offer. Then, other social media is important for connecting with new people and expanding the reach of that blog.

Lisa Tener quickstartWhat is your favorite part of coaching?

I love the variety, so it’s a bit hard to pick one. I do love starting with an author who is at the beginning stages and still shaping the book, because we can be very creative and at the same time responsive to the marketing aspects from the get-go. I personally enjoy finding the synergy between marketing/business/publishing and the creative inner voice and inner knowing of what I refer to as the muse. I like to work with the left brain aspects of a book and then see what the muse has to say. I have an exercise I take people through, I call it “Meet Your Muse” that facilitates access to that inner muse for clarity in making creative decisions—and any decisions—about the book. Readers can access it here: Meet Your Muse Visualization.

What is the most difficult element to being a book coach?

When someone is uncoachable it can be incredibly frustrating. They want to get an agent but they’re not willing to grow their platform. Or maybe they don’t even want to build a website—that’s a nonstarter! I’ve been in the business long enough to know when it’s not a good fit for me. I’m pretty lucky. I get to work with amazing people.

I’d say once in a while I hear from someone who has a full first draft complete or a large section complete and I know it needs reorganization, yet for some reason it’s a complex book or it’s just not clear to me how to structure the material, and I feel overwhelmed, I know it’s time to bring in a colleague who specializes in that. So, it’s helpful to know your limits and when something is not playing to your strengths or it’s just not a good match (maybe not for the whole project but certainly for that aspect). Again, I’m lucky to have amazing colleagues I can call on if I get stumped on a particular book, which happens maybe once a year, if that.

Can you highlight the benefits and differences in your different coaching programs?

I tend to customize work with clients but the main things I do are:

 1. Book proposal coaching: this is for someone who wants a traditional publisher. It includes guidance on developing the book concept and structure, making the proposal highly marketable, and often on platform building as well. I will contact agents I know who seem a good match for the book. If we don’t get an agent (or if the author is not interested in much platform building, or the topic doesn’t lend itself to a publisher big enough to interest an agent), then I either help guide the author to query individual publishers or in some cases I contact smaller publishers whom I know and think are a good fit.

2. Book writing coaching: we can do this on an individual, customized basis or authors can join my annual Award-winning Bring Your Book to Life® Program to write a first draft in 8-12 weeks. We can then work on editing to complete the book for self-publishing or switch to working on the proposal.

3. Individual Consultations: These can focus on the publishing decision, platform building, next steps, or a book concept consultation. For the latter, I might recommend someone work through my “Quick Start to Kick Start Your Book” program which is $97 or $116, depending on whether digital or hard copy. It guides writers through developing the book concept and structure before diving into the writing.

4. Editing: Generally, I only have time to edit for someone who has gone through one of my programs above, but for the right project I have been known to take on someone new. I also have some skilled colleagues I recommend for editing, as part of the services I offer.

There are a lot of book coaches. What distinguishes your coaching from other professionals?

Probably the most important feature to someone looking for a coach is the results my clients get. Many have been published by—or recently signed deals with—major publishing houses including Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Beyond Words, Hay House, Yale University Press, New World Library, New Harbinger and more. And others choose to self-publish, many of who have won multiple book awards.

I have both a marketing background (and won a Gold Stevie Award for Marketer of the Year-media) and strong writing training. I am a traditionally published author myself. I have two business degrees from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. I serve on the faculty of Harvard Medical School’s publishing course. So I bring to the table all the pieces that help make an author successful—the writing, the business and marketing aspects and an understanding of the industry coupled with strong contacts in the industry, including the agents and publishers who serve with me as faculty for the Harvard Medical School Course.

I’ve won multiple awards for my work, and the fact that I teach at various writers conferences, plus on the faculty of Harvard Medical School’s publishing course all speak to a certain quality.

Clients tell me they value my ability to help them access their creative and intuitive abilities which are critical to writing a great—and successful—book that helps them actualize their potential.

Probably more than half of the people who contact me already know I’m the book coach for them and they want to hire me. I think some of that is word of mouth, but the majority is from the testimonials they read on my website. I think those testimonials give people a sense of what I bring to the table so it automatically attracts the people who need what I have to offer. I’m not going to be the perfect book coach for everyone—but I seem to be ideal for those people whom I work with and who value the items I just mentioned.

Lisa Tener inspiration-to-authorYour 8-week signature Bring Your Book to Life® Teleclass has helped a number of authors write their books, navigate the publishing world, and enjoy tremendous success in terms of publishing deals and awards. What are the keys to their eventual success and how does your program help them?

Wow, I could say a lot about that. I guess one key is that the program focuses on having them have a very strong start so they likely have clarity on the book concept and structure before our teleseminars begin (there’s pre-work they complete beforehand, including one-on-one work with me). In that pre-work we work together to capture what that author has to offer that makes the book special and marketable and resonate deeply for their audience. It’s fun work. It’s creative, and I so enjoy that one-on-one which is often crucial for writing the best book you can.

Then, the program has quite a bit of built-in accountability so its structured to keep you on track—and most people complete a remarkable amount of work in the 8 weeks of teleseminars—often completing a first draft or first draft with a few holes (of a book or book proposal), in that relatively short time. And yet, because of the pre-work and the material we cover, as well as the feedback from me, the books are also high quality.

Avoid Social Media Time SuckAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Literary Agent Jody Rein on Publishing, Marketing and Finding Your Readers

Jody Rein - Frances Caballo - Social Media Just for WritersJody Rein describes herself as a reluctant entrepreneur. She was in corporate publishing—where she was an executive editor in New York (with Morrow/Avon at the time)—then moved to Colorado. She stayed on as editor-at-large for about a year, but missed interacting directly with book people as well as acquiring books.

She realized eventually that the only way she could continue to do the work she most enjoyed was to pick it up from the other side of the negotiating table. It wasn’t a quick decision—she ghostwrote a book and did consulting (and had a baby or two) in the interim. But writers kept finding her, and book ideas kept popping into her head. So she established her own literary agency. Jody says that the urge was less entrepreneurial than driven by the work itself.

These days, Jody is busy developing interactive software for writers. Her goals are to apply marketing, promotion, editorial and sales knowledge to the world of ideas more directly.

To learn more about Jody and her thoughts on publishing, marketing and finding your readers, keep reading her entertaining account of how she arrived to where she is today.


Why do you focus on nonfiction books?

My focus in college was literary criticism—all fiction. I wrote a thesis on Oscar Wilde and John Irving, go figure! But my first publishing job was at the only major publisher in Chicago (at the time), and they only published nonfiction. So I learned a ton about acquiring, editing and selling nonfiction, and I loved it, probably because there’s so much room for creativity. Creativity?! Yes—since I didn’t know any better, I often came up with ideas myself for books, or acquired books that began as magazine articles or self-published books.

When I moved to New York, I was hired to acquire nonfiction at Dell (now part of Random House). When you’re young in publishing, it helps to become known for certain types of books. But I continued to read fiction, and participate in fiction acquisition (I was an early reader of THE FIRM, for example. Not that my reading helped—I said it was a “page-turner but not great.” Oh well.) I moved to Avon as executive editor because the Avon list I ran included both fiction and nonfiction.

Nonfiction remains my publishing lifeblood if not my personal reading preference. I know what works and I know how to sell it. When it came time to start up my agency, I found it much easier to find great nonfiction than the next great literary or commercial novel.

What happens when an author sends you a fabulous novel? Is there someone in particular who you hand it off to?

I’ve represented a few novelists, and much of the nonfiction I represent is pretty literary (memoir and narrative), so it’s not a given that I’ll hand it off. But lately I’ve been working closely with an old friend whose career path mirrors mine (editor to agent), and who spent much of her publishing life in the fiction world. We’re looking for projects to co-agent, so I would probably go to her. I still miss working hand-in-hand with New York publishing pals, even after all these years, so I’m very excited about this possibility.

How can you tell when a self-published book is right for a major publisher?

I could say—and it’s true—that each book is different. But at the same time, the answer can be pretty simple! Sales trump everything else. If the book is selling well, and the numbers are growing impressively each week, a traditional house can capitalize on that success and help it explode (look at 50 Shades).

If the book isn’t selling well, or if the sales aren’t growing, publishers will be much harder to land. Publishers don’t look at a book with modest sales on Amazon and say: “Hey, we could do so much better with that book!” They assume the book has found its market, and that its market is small.

Another way to look at it: In our culture, what is “new” has a value just for being new. That’s especially true in publishing—publishers want to “launch” books, media wants to break news. If a book has been self-published, that “new” factor is gone—and the only way to replace it is with the “coup” factor (Just made that up!). The publisher needs the “coup” of grabbing a hot self-pub book.

To what do you credit your success with self-published books and how do you define success?

I understand how publishers think about acquiring books, because I was in that role for so many years. I know what questions to ask of self-published writers. Your readers can ask themselves the same questions: How many books have I sold? In what period of time?  Are my sales increasing? How widely are my books distributed? How many books have I self-published and what do my sales tell me?

How I define success: Did I sell the book?

I’ve sold every self-published book I’ve represented but one, but it’s harder now—when I started acquiring self-published books, things were more black and white.

Years ago, self-published fiction, by and large, was never of interest to publishers, because most “publishable” novelists did find homes (many more publishers and many more mass market opportunities to build skills and audience).

Self-published nonfiction books, though, often represented niches that traditional publishers had yet to discover. Self-publishing was a great way to document a new market.

Also, it was possible to launch a self-published book locally, drive up sales in a small market, and sell the book to a traditional publisher without any chance of cannibalizing sales. It’s tougher now with fewer bookstores and pushbutton national distribution for eBooks.

The Role of Book Marketing

What role does marketing – especially social media marketing – play in helping a self-published author rise from obscurity?

Without marketing, all books disappear. One of the big ironies today is how little things have changed (Bear with me on this one!). Yes, everything is different—millions of books are published today, with ease we never would have imagined a short time ago. So it’s harder than ever to get attention. YET even way back when, all book marketing was niche and social. Even before “social media,” the smart writers were the ones who found their communities—the people most likely to read their work—and marketed to those people. We used to call it grass roots marketing—now MBAs call it finding verticals, but it’s the same thing. We advised writers to find special interest groups through magazines and local meetings.

Now, smart writers can—and must–find and connect with their communities online. Through social media. But they have to do it authentically. 

Social Media’s Role in Marketing & Selling Your Book

How important is it today for authors to have large followings on social media? Do publishers really make it a numbers game?

Writers often look for formulas, but publishers don’t. Publishers need the information that will give them assurance that the book in question will sell enough copies to make money. They look at all the factors involved (platform, content, competition, quality, skills, concept, etc) to try to get a sense of how the social media evidence might translate into book sales. Followers and web page views are important, but numbers don’t tell the whole story—publishers know you can build up a twitter following that looks huge until you notice how many followers live in Tasmania.

The importance of followings also varies with the type of book. Romance readers live online, so publishers expect writers to be engaged with that community. And it’s hard to believe a proposal whose author claims to be an “expert” in any field if the author is unknown online.

Suggestions for Your Next Query Letter

What does an author of a self-published book need to accomplish before sending you a query?

When you send your query, in addition to the typical query letter content (who are you? what is your book? How will your help your book reach its market?), answer the questions I mentioned above (I’ll repeat here in more detail):

  • When did you publish your book?
  • In what formats?
  • Where is your book distributed?
  • How many copies have each format sold, total?
  • How many copies in the last 6 months? The last month?
  • What is the price of your book? Do your sales numbers include free books?
  • What other books have you self-published? What other books do you plan to self-publish?
  • Why are you seeking a traditional publisher?

What advice on marketing do you give newly published authors?

That’s a trick question, right? The marketing should start, for both traditional and self-published authors, months before the publication date. And it doesn’t stop. Some bits of specific advice:

 1.) If you’re traditionally published, run any marketing/promotion plans by your publisher to make sure you’re not duplicating efforts or stepping on toes. Use your agent to run interference & advise you re timing. 

2.) If you’re traditionally published, don’t forget that you have a publisher! Include the publisher in your tweets & posts, RT the publisher, share good news. Be a team player (not a nag) and the humans out there in New York will be grateful.

3.) Think communities; think readers! Use your own personal experience as a guide—you don’t buy every book you hear about; you buy books from writers you trust on subjects in which you have a keen interest. If you get an email from some stranger about something that has no appeal to you, you feel offended and annoyed. It’s a time-waster. If a friend tells you about a wonderful novel, you feel appreciative. As a book marketer, don’t think that the world out there is somehow different than your own experiences. Target your efforts so you’re always that welcome friend.

7-14-14 Frances Caballo Social Media Just for WritersIs it true that even if an author finds a publisher, the author is still responsible for the marketing? Explain your answer, please.

Yes and no. Publishers work hard to sell the books they publish; it’s in their interest to do so. They have marketing, sales and publicity staff; they run inter-departmental meetings prior to a book’s publication to strategize the launch; they send out press releases and create promotional copy and sometimes create author websites; they coordinate with other media if it makes sense, they follow up with phone calls and send out tweets and set up tours and sometimes do much more. So the author isn’t “responsible” for all the marketing—the publisher is the responsible party.

But nobody loves a book like its author, and nobody is able to engage with a book’s audience like the author. The publisher publishes many books at once; the author is invested in just one at a time. The publisher focuses on any given book only for a very very short period of time, maybe a couple of weeks. Thus it has always been. The best publishing experiences are partnerships, where, usually with the help of the agent, the author coordinates his own marketing efforts with those of the publisher, and continues those efforts long after the publisher has moved on to the next list. The author focuses on what the author does best; those marketing efforts that require a personal touch such as expanding his own platform through engaging social media. The publisher (we hope) does what a publisher can do best—get the attention of movers and shakers in national media online and off (who listen to publishers but not so much to authors) engage with readers on a larger scale, promote to bookstores & other large outlets, etc.

Jody’s New Tool: Writers’ Blog Finder

Tell me about your new book.

I think you mean my software, although I am writing a book! I’ve created a free book marketing tool—I hope everyone reading this will check it out! I would LOVE your readers’ feedback (write me at [email protected]).

Jody Rein book coverThe product is:  www.writersblogfinder.com

In this interview I’ve talked about the importance of finding and marketing to your target audience—this product helps writers do that by recommending reputable blogs in a variety of general content areas.

So, for example, if you have written a business book, you would search for “nonfiction: commercial,” and the subcategory “business.” If the site is working (fingers crossed) ten or fifteen trustworthy business book sites will pop up. Some of the sites review self-published books; most are great first stops for building your own community through interacting with the bloggers, finding more blogs, or just learning about the subject.

I do a lot of consulting these days—I have a consulting company called www.authorplanet.org. I advised one of my consulting clients to get more engaged in his community, and I used my own blog finder to make recommendations. It worked! I was so psyched.

I’m planning to add one more category to the blog finder—book promo sites (like Bookbub or Kindle Nation Daily). It’s in the works.

And the book?

It’s titled TO SELF (PUBLISH) OR NOT TO SELF? How to Decide!

(I’m still messing around with the subtitle.) Most writers today face that question, and I feel their pain! Writers usually want to write, not be publishers, at least not right off the bat. But in today’s world, you can’t be a writer without also becoming somewhat expert in publishing options–it’s crazy stressful.

So I’ve created a system I call “The Ten Tells,” (“Tells” as in Poker.) Authors are guided to examine, at a personal level, how they feel about money, time, credibility, goals, desires—and more. I provide clear checklists, tons of case studies and, of course, the voice of experience. By the end of the process, I hope readers will feel great about their decision and free to focus on the writing and not the stress!  

Anyone interested in being notified with the book comes out (please, please) can sign up for my newsletter here: http://authorplanet.org/contact-us/

Note: Jody will be on vacation for two weeks starting today and promises to reply to your comments when she returns!

Frances Caballo - Social Media Just for Writers About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web



Self-Publishing Scandal, Brand Yourself & Writing Tips

Fall Leaves

It’s fall and in Northern California that means we have cool mornings and evenings, and warm afternoons with the temperature settling well into the 70s. There’s just a hint of winter in the cool breeze. With this type of weather it’s difficult to stay ind

Bloomsbury Seeks Deal With Author Solutions from Let’s Get Visible by David Gaughran: The publishing world has been turned upside down by ebooks and self-publishing. All the old middlemen – agents, publishers, distributors, retailers – are scrambling to reinvent themselves, trying to remain relevant in a digital world. Self-publishing is big business. By my estimates, self-publishers have captured 30% of the US e-book market. And everyone wants a slice. Unfortunately, many organizations are prepared to do pretty much anything to make sure they get theirs.

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling from BookBaby Blog by Chris Robley: The animation studio Pixar has produced so many successful films, not because those films are full of fancy visual pyrotechnics (though they often are), but because Pixar’s writers, directors, and animators privilege plot, empathy, and character development above all else. Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats provides a glimpse into her own creative process and lists 22 rules for sturdy yet surprising narrative construction.

Brand The Author, Not The Book! from Book Promotion.com by Rachel Thompson: At least three people asked me this week the same question: do I brand myself the author or my book(s)? What happens when I release my next book(s)? To piggyback a bit off Lori’s last article ‘Why You DON’T Need A Website For Each Book‘ earlier this week (great article, please read it), I feel strongly the same concepts she spoke about in her article apply to your overall author platform. If you market your book and not you, the author, you risk not only creating all types of extra work for yourself, but diluting your branding as well.

What One of the World’s Great Novelists Learned About Writing from David Ogilvy from CopyBlogger: His novel, Midnight’s Children, won the Man Booker Prize in 1981, and in 2008 the novel was named the Best of the Bookers, the best Booker winning novel since the prizes’ inception. However, before Sir Salman Rushdie was a famous, knighted novelist, he was a copywriter under the suspender-wearing, direct marketing pioneer, David Ogilvy. Yes, that’s right. The great novelist learned from the great copywriter.

In the Digital Publishing Era, Content Trumps Platform from PublishingPerspectives by Edward Nowotka: This past Friday people working in all aspects of digital and online publishing came together to talk about the future of publishing at Rewrite the Web in Berlin.  The day-long think tank covered topics from the publishing house of the future (Dr. Siv Bublitz, Ullstein Verlag) to how we read (Henrik Berggren, Readmill), writing so we can be found (Jens Redmer, Google) and Hybrid Authorship (Joanna Penn), along with collaborative writing with readers (Ashleigh Gardner, Wattpad) and redefining journalism (Bobbie Johnson, Matter).


socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer, and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.