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Ask the Publisher: More on Branding

Happy Monday, everyone! And, we’re rolling with another Ask the Publisher. A few weeks ago, I wrote about building your author brand. This is the image you put forth and it needs to be in alignment with the perception of your work. It needs to express who you truly are and not a surface image or persona you are trying to portray. This is important because it shows the integrity of your brand and, honestly, people can sniff out a phoney at 100 paces. If you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, don’t do it. Your brand is closely related to your values and how you believe your writing connects with your readers. In order to have this brand be effective, you and your books need to “live the

Around the Web: Cocktails, The Hero's Journey, and Libraries

Happy Friday readers! This week’s Around the Web features writing advice, librarians, and more. Read on and then share what you’ve been reading in the comments! Literary Cocktails It is Friday, which is about as good a time to indulge as any other. Check out these literature inspired cocktails from the mixologist from Washington D.C.’s Petworth Citizen. Drinks in this Electric Literature article are inspired by the likes of Richard Adams, Neil Gaiman, and more. Perfect for book nerds! The Hero’s Journey You may have heard of the hero’s journey before. And you’ve almost definitely read or heard of stories that follow this story structure. But if you’re interested in writing a story that follo

Kat Hawthorne Reading and Signing at Chapters St. Catharines

The Boatman author Kat Hawthorne will be kicking off Halloween events at Chapters St. Catherines with a reading and signing. Stop by the IndigoKids section to get in on the action! Reading and Signing Date: October 27, 2018 Time: 11 a.m. Location: Chapters St. Catherines, IndigoKids section New Fairview Mall, 285 Geneva St. Catharines, Ontario L2N 2G1

Ask the Publisher: To Blog or Not To Blog

To Blog or Not to Blog? For most authors, the answer is “Yes.” As we discussed in my previous post, it’s a place on the internet where people can easily find you and regularly engage with you and your writing. It can be a part of the Content component of your author platform and lead people to your books. Here are a few benefits of blogging we didn’t consider in my previous post. The Blog as Writing Exercise A blog can also help you to develop a voice and practice writing. Blog posts need to follow a logical train of thought to express your ideas clearly. They are a helpful tool for learning about structure and finding ideas that resonate with you audience. They are a place to articulate you

Around the Web: Women in Rare Books, Literary Fiction, and More

Hello again everyone and happy Friday! Once more it’s time for Around the Web, so settle in for some reading or get ready to bookmark some pages for later because I’ve got lots to share with you this week. Women in the Rare Book Trade The rare book trade is largely made up of old white men, says a recent piece in the Paris Review by Diane Mehta. But women have been making progress in this space, especially when it comes to acquiring and preserving texts by women. If you like old bookstores or are interested in feminism and literature, I think you’ll enjoy Mehta’s examination of women in the rare book trade. The Disenchantment of Literary Fiction What is “literary” fiction? And why does it ge

Ask the Publisher: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Blogging

In my last post, I included a blog as something that is nice to have on your author website. If you do plan to blog, there are some things you should know. So let's dig into the topic a bit more. Blogging, as part of your entire body of content, is good for some things and bad for others, so it is best to have the right expectations before putting fingers to keyboard. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. Blogging alone is pretty lousy for: Outreach: Back in the good ol’ days of the early Noughties, all you had to do was start a blog on one of the original blogging sites like LiveJournal.com or Blogger.com, post regularly and followers would flock to you. Now the competition is so st

Around the Web: Archaeology, Writing Tips, Audiobooks, and a Defence of Dullness

Hello all! Things have been going well in the CDP offices as we work away on our fall releases. I hope your week has been going just as well. Here’s what caught my eye this week. Archaeological Finds I studied Classics in university, so please excuse me as I continue to share ancient literature topics. Last week I shared a Homer themed BBQ, and it turns out that said meal plan is even more appropriate (if you like celebrating archaeological discoveries that is), because excavations in Olympia have uncovered an engraving of part of Homer’s Odyssey that could be the earliest record of the epic poem. This is exciting news, and a good deal less menacing sounding than other archeological discover

Ask the Publisher: The Essential Author Website

Now that you know you need an author website, let's talk content. There are four pages that are necessary for an essential author website: Home, About, Books, and Contact Before we get into the key components of each page, a few general comments: Design As we discussed in my last post, a clean organized design, visually appealing without being distracting, is your best friend. Keep your navigation simple and avoid fancy page tabs. Have your page tabs or menus clear and concise e.g. “Home, About, Books, and Contact”. Avoid clutter and make your books and your social media easy to find. (Note: Web design trends change all time time. There's more than one way to set up your website, but simplic

Ask the Publisher: Your Author Website

Over the last two posts we have looked at your author platform and your author brand. A key component of both is your author website. This post will give an overview of an author website and over the next few posts we will drill down on individual elements. Why do I need a website? You need a home on the Internet where you own the site and the content. It is somewhere permanent to serve as a hub for all the links to your books, reviews, events, and products. It is the key location for readers, reviewers, publishers, and agents to find you. This is where you build arguably the most important marketing tool an author has—the email list. Social media has many advantages in terms of building you

Around the Web: New Awards, a Writing Resource, Book Buying Influences, and Literary Recipes

Hello and happy Friday everyone! It’s time for another Around the Web post. The following are things that caught my attention while I sought ways to distract myself from the overwhelming heat. I hope you all have a comfortably cool place to check them out. A Handy Resource I have what might be described as an odd level of interest in reading about writing. If you’re similarly inclined (and I’m assuming some of you are, you’re here after all), or if you’re looking to improve your own writing, I suggest checking out Penguin Random House’s Writers’ Academy. You can pay to take courses with them, but they also have free resources, webinars, and articles – some of which are very quick reads. So g

Ask the Publisher: Building Your Author Brand

On Monday I wrote about an author platform and whether or not one was required. Every step you take to build a platform goes toward building your author brand. What is an author brand? A brand is “The intangible sum of a product's attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it's advertised,” says David Ogilvy, author of Ogilvy On Advertising. For an author it’s the impression that people get about you. It’s the way they feel and the words they would use to describe you—what they associate you with. These perceptions are formed based on: the genres you write in your book covers your social media presence your website look and feel your blog content the

Ask the Publisher: Do You Really Need an Author Platform?

What, exactly, is an author platform? This has mystified many because it seems the answer differs depending on who you ask. The best explanation that I have found comes from a post on Jane Friedman, “…an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.” It encompasses how you can reach an audience of customers right now, or how you plan to do so in the future. It includes the number or people you can currently reach and the potential for future growth in that base. A platform is not about hard-selling, annoying people or being a social media extrovert. It is creating a base of loyal fans who are interested in both you and your books and, therefore, it not something that can

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