Our very own Cait London has graciously agreed to share some of her writing wisdom on our blog. Read, learn and enjoy.
|November 2016 The Bride’s Basket (book 3)|
The Business of Writing
When you’re a career writer, craft, time management and consistency count. But the business of writing may play a higher percentage of effort and time in your career.
While traditional publishers sell many of my books, I’ve written my newest series as an “Indie”. This means, I am responsible for not only the bookkeeping, but the marketing and promotion to make those books successful. I calculate loosely that three-quarters of author’s time is dedicated to the business end of writing. UNLESS that writer has a dedicated team working for him, including a web designer, a virtual assistant, an editor, a marketer, etc.
I’ve just attended a writers conference dedicated to marketing and promotion. Five days and nights of multiple workshops running every hour. With a new book coming out in November, the third in a series, The Bride’s Basket, I am now deep into testing what I’ve learned at Novelist Inc. a group for professionals.
In networking with other professionals, I learned that it is best to focus on:
· Subscribers for an e-newsletter. (I’m using Madmimi.com because of ease.) It is best to use a mail system such as MailChimp or Madmimi. This so the spam machines won’t kill newsletters. These require the sender’s email address from a website.
· Using contests by professionals to add to that subscriber list. Currently, RyanZee.com multi-author ads and whatever giveaways, contests. Landing Pages are essential.
· From that subscriber list, I asked for beta readers and am so far thrilled with the results. Beta readers can be used to help with reviews, etc. They can help with ideas, circulating your information, etc. (If you wish to beta read for me, please email cait at caitlondon.com?)
· To send to beta readers and contest winners, I’m using Bookfunnel.com, one of the best writer-helpful inventions ever.
· To prepare files for Bookfunnel, I’m using Vellum.pub (only for Mac). Vellum is miracle formatting software which takes a Word file and spins it into different files suitable for Kindle, Kobo, Nook, etc. and epub. It produces beautiful graphics with your choice of book styles. You upload that file to the specific retailers. In Spring 2017, Vellum plans to add the paperbook create element. I’ve used a lot of software, including formatting CSS and hand formatting for CreateSpace, so Vellum is a miracle to me.
· Vellum also produces an epub format, suitable for SmashWords and when exported can be used as a PDF that is also used by Bookfunnel. Yes, some people don’t use e-readers and prefer PDFs.
· With these files available at Bookfunnel, files such as ARCs, contest winners, etc. can be sent directly to the recipients.
· Facebook Ads. I’m gearing up to learn these, but every heavy self-promoter I queried recommended these ads.
· A proper website. For ease, I’ve used my blog during a family stressful time, but am preparing a proper website at BlueHost.com (I recommend this webhost.) This will be my second proper website with BlueHost.com, but this time, I am building it in WordPress. Mooberry for grids is an excellent plug-in.
· I regularly use Adobe Elements for graphics, banners, etc. but plan to use more Canva.com Did you know that visuals are 94% more likely to get a reaction than text? And 40 times more likely to be shared?
The above represents only a small portion of the work some writers do—if they do not have teams providing for them. There are more that can be added to the list, including JoAnna Penn’s podcasts at TheCreativePenn.com. Mel Jolly at AuthorRx.com also provides great informational enewsletters for organization tips. (She’s a Virtual Assistant helping others.)
I hope that shares a glimpse of what an author is expected to do business-wise. There are different approaches: Many travel and speak at conferences and booksignings. Many stay online, etc. But writing for publication and sales is a business.
USA Today Best Seller/NY Times Author Cait London's book list includes romantic suspense, paranormal, contemporary, humor, *western historical, and women's fiction. Always busy, she travels and loves any distraction. Her small town NorthWest upbringing is relived in her stories, also her life experiences as the mother of 3 daughters and as an artist. She's learned her family's German; she's forgotten it and French, but may attempt Norwegian. Her awards include: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, RT W.I.S.H.(s), RT Career Achievement, Laurel Wreath Award, RIO, Overall Sales Performance, Best Paranormal, Booksellers Best, WRWA Reader's Award, Dorothy Parker Award for Excellence and various nominations.
>>NOTE: *This author thoroughly researches her books, driving the Oregon Trail, the NW gold trails and the sites of her stories.
**Visit her website: www.caitlondon.com
**Follow her on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cait-London/e/B000APJLZA
**Sign up for her newsletter: http://mad.ly/signups/199386/join