Tag Archives: author

This is why book publishers want details about potential authors’ blog and social media footprint

2016-12-17

If you already have had an opportunity to talk to a book publisher or an agent about your terrific book concept, you may have been asked about your blog and social media presence. For you, they don’t necessarily have anything to do with your aspirations as a writer. Maybe you don’t even have a blog and your social media is mostly about watching cat videos on Facebook. Here is the thing: when a publisher is estimating the size of the market for your book concept, the audience you are able to reach yourself can be a significant factor.
man thinking what to write on aptop
Let’s take an example. You have been living and working in Berlin, the capital of Germany, for a year. You have learned so much about the culture, country and people that you are planning to write a cultural guide to other foreigners who intend to move to Germany. If you have a travel blog where you discuss about the country, the city, the language and the way Germans behave, you probably have an audience. Your blog or other social media contribution is also a quick way for publishers and agents to browse how and what topics you write about. If, on the other hand, you have only updated your Facebook page that your family and friends read during the year, it really doesn’t count as an audience.

Without going into details of blogging, tweeting, instagramming or whatever will be the next big thing in social media, the key thing is: how many people you can reach on your own?

Many experts in the publishing business call this the Author Platform. For an extensive explanation on the Author Platform (also known as the Writer’s or Marketing Platform) and how to build one for yourself, read this article at Writer’s Digest.

The Platform concept is particularly useful for nonfiction writers. Publishers and naturally readers expect that the writer knows what he or she is talking about. The writer must be an authority of the topic of the book. This doesn’t mean that he or she should be a world-renowned expert, but should have the credibility so that the audience can trust the information in the book. Experienced, professional writers can write just about anything, but they have plenty of techniques and contacts for verifying the information they write.

If we use the cultural guide to Germany as an example, living and working for a year in Berlin gives enough experiences to write a book, but probably means that the guidebook won’t dive very deep into the local culture. If the aspiring author writes the manuscript in Berlin, it may take another year, and the authority only grows.

So, these two key things are the reasons why publishers and agents are interested in writers’ footprint (both in the real world and on the Internet):

1. Audience
2. Authority

When we discuss about writing and book publishing, we easily neglect an important factor that impacts both the publishing decision and the whole book project. Especially nonfiction books are not only about text, but also about photos, schemas, tables, drawings, and today also (thanks to ebooks) about animations and videos. If you can shoot decent photos or videos, draw pictures or put together smart data tables, it is a big advantage for you.
photographer taking a photo in flower field
If you have a plan for a nonfiction book, and are looking for an ebook publisher, read this as well.

When Authors Insult Each Other, It Is Pretty Witty Literature

2015-03-24

When authors dislike a colleague, they really know how to deliver the message to the world. Who can describe beauty and kindness, or ugliness and stupidity better than authors? Because they are writers, they tend to deliver their message in writing, which makes our job easier to correctly quote them.

Woman leaning on pile of books
BBC collected the best sound bites from famous authors when they had something nasty to say about their fellow authors. Here are highlights from authors who have critically evaluated their colleagues.

Truman Capote on Jack Kerouac: “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”

Norman Mailer on Jack Kerouac: “His rhythms are erratic, his sense of character is nil, and he is as pretentious as a rich whore, sentimental as a lollypop.”

George Bernard Shaw disliked Shakespeare: “With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare. The intensity of my impatience with him occasionally reaches such a pitch, that it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him.”

Voltaire called Shakespeare a “drunken savage” … “vast dunghill”.

Mark Twain wasn’t impressed by Jane Austen. “Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone”.

Oscar Wilde wasn’t a fan of poetry: “There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope”.

Evelyn Waugh on Marcel Proust: “Very poor stuff. I think he was mentally defective”.

TS Eliot: “Aldous Huxley, who is perhaps one of those people who have to perpetrate thirty bad novels before producing a good one, has a certain natural – but little developed – aptitude for seriousness. Unfortunately, this aptitude is hampered by a talent for the rapid assimilation of all that isn’t essential”.

Edith Sitwell: “Virginia Woolf’s writing is no more than glamorous knitting. I believe she must have a pattern somewhere”.

Maybe Virginia Woolf responded to Sitwell, but Woolf certainly had an opinion on James Joyce’s Ulysses: “An illiterate, underbred book it seems to me: the book of a self-taught working man, and we all know how distressing they are, how egotistic, insistent, raw, striking, and ultimately nauseating”.

James Joyce was insulted by DH Lawrence as well: “Nothing but old fags and cabbage stumps of quotations from the Bible and the rest stewed in the juice of deliberate, journalistic dirty-mindedness.”

Wyndham Lewis: “Gertrude Stein’s prose-song is a cold black suet-pudding. We can represent it as a cold suet-roll of fabulously reptilian length. Cut it at any point, it is the same thing; the same heavy, sticky, opaque mass all through and all along.”

Gustave Flaubert on George Sand: “A great cow full of ink”.

Robert Louis Stevenson on Walt Whitman: “Like a large shaggy dog just unchained scouring the beaches of the world and baying at the moon”.

The Most Desired Jobs in Britain Are Author, Librarian and Academic

2015-03-01

In many countries books, authors, and avid readers are appreciated and respected. Even though writers are usually respected, everyone who has tried writing as a profession knows how hard work it is, and how few writers can make a living by writing alone. In Britain, however, author, librarian and academic are the most desired jobs above any other work.
author is the most desired job
Ten most desired jobs in Britain in January 2015 were:
1. Author
2. Librarian
3. Academic
4. Lawyer
5. Interior Designer
6. Journalist
7. Doctor
8. TV presenter
9. Train driver
10. Teacher

YouGov.com, most desired jobs

Gender differences were significant. Two most preferred jobs for British women were librarian and interior designer, whereas men wanted to be train drivers or Formula 1 racecar drivers.

YouGov conducted the survey.

Authors Don’t Have to Sit down to Write Fabulously

2015-02-27

Sitting still at a keyboard and typing away for hours and hours a day is necessary from time to time, but if a writer works this way for long periods back ache, sore shoulders and stiff neck may become problems. This is exactly why some authors occasionally try and write standing up. I have tried it myself, and it is not as crazy as you might imagine.

Ernest Hemingway used to write standing up every now and then. He is not only writer who has discovered alternative ways to write – other than sitting down in a study at a keyboard. How about writing naked as J.D. Salinger did? Here is an infographic Unusual Work Habits of Great Writers by Ninja Essays.
writing habits of famous writers, infographic. Essay Ninjas
Infographic from Ninja Essays.

Top Ten Writing Tips for Nonfiction Authors from a Fiction Author

2015-02-18

Writing is craft that some writers learn in their daily work and others learn by taking courses. You might think that nonfiction and fiction writing require very different skills, but it is surprising how many bestselling authors write both types of books. Some have started writing because they were journalists, others because they had to draft educational material for their classes.

mikael niemi, author, book signing at a book show
Swedish author Mikael Niemi signing books at a book fair.

The author of Hobbits and The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien knows what he is talking about when he offers his advice for writers. Even though he wrote fiction on his spare time at home, he wrote nonfiction for his daily work.

Here is Tolkien’s top 10 writing tips infographics from Essaymama.

tolkien, tips for writers

Tolkien’s top 10 tips:
1. Vanity is useless. Your book is important for you, but be realistic how important it is to the rest of the world.
2. Keep a stiff upper lip. (Find time to write no matter what).
3. Listen to critics. Critics – Yes, Trolls – No.
4. Let your interests drive your writing. [this is very true for nonfiction as well – a book written with both passion and facts communicates with readers]
5. Poetry as a road to prose.
6. Happy accidents. Tolkien carefully planned the books but gave a chance to new ideas as well.
7. Dreams give us inspiration.
8. Real people make great characters.
9. You may be the next best selling author.
10. Books you write may seem trite.

Age Doesn’t Count: Author Breakthrough Can Happen at Any Age

2015-02-08

Maybe it is because literature Nobel prize and other major award winners already tend to have a long career behind them, since I have always thought that an author has to be old to become famous. That isn’t the case as an infographic created by Blinkbox Books illustrates. Age really doesn’t count for authors: the breakthrough book can be an author’s debut at 26, or twentieth book at 65.

JRR Tolkien published his first book at 46, and continued to write for many years. John Steinbeck discovered his success at an age of 36 with his fifth book. JK Rowling was 33 and Stephen King 32 when they discovered their success formulas.


Explore the careers of some of the world’s most successful authors. Click image to open interactive version (via Blinkbox Books).

Author Erkki Leppänen: Marketers Are Storytellers

2014-02-08

Erkki Leppänen is a seasoned sales and marketing professional, who has trained hundreds of new talent during his career. He has also authored guidebooks for marketers. We asked Erkki Leppänen his tips on writing non-fiction books and on good reads about sales and marketing topics.

Erkki Leppänen: Placebo is for Real - ebookYou have authored a number of popular sales and marketing books, like ‘Placebo Is for Real‘. How did you get interested in marketing?
I was studying at California State University, Fresno, and decided to attend a Marketing 101 course. Professor Robert Hampton happened to be the lecturer of this course. It is because of him I got interested in marketing at the very beginning. Robert Hampton really made a difference in my life at that point of time.

How did you find your own style of writing, and what is your personal working process when you write?
From the very beginning, I wanted to write about complicated marketing issues in a simple manner. I use short sentences and easily digestible language. I also use figures and sometimes even pictures with speech bubbles to make my point.

I spend plenty of time on finding an interesting topic. In addition, I take reader feedback seriously and revise the manuscript accordingly.

I also look forward to the development of ebooks that may be moving towards multimedia. If that happens, it would certainly change my personal writing process.

What else have you written?
I have written a master’s thesis in the field of marketing. While I was studying at California State University, I also wrote to the college newspaper, The Collegian. I also participate in discussions on marketing blogs and exchange ideas with other marketing people.

Name your 5 favorite non-fiction books?
1. Seth Godin: All Marketers Are Liars.
This is s a book about stories people tell themselves – stories they really want to believe. It’s not really about lying, but rather about how authenticity is the best marketing method of all. Godin argues that people have always communicated important ideas via stories, and they have always believed in those stories. I find this book quite fascinating. Seth Godin is my favorite non -fiction author.

2. Carl Richards: The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money.
Carl Richards points out the mistakes human beings make again and again with money. Then he shows how they can shape their behavior in order to invest, save, and spend money to produce happiness.

3. Dan Ariely: Predictably Irrational.
Dan Ariely describes the hidden forces that shape people’s decisions. This book is a fascinating journey to the many ways people act against their best interest. Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that people behave in fundamentally rational ways. These misguided behaviors, however, are not random or senseless. They can be predicted, and Dan Ariely shows just how to do that.

4. Daniel H. Pink: To Sell Is Human.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of every nine Americans is working in sales. Every day more than 15 million people earn their living by persuading someone else to purchase something. We’re all in sales now, says the author. The book offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling products and ideas by persuading other people.

5. B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore: The Experience Economy.
The experience economy is the new phase in economical development following agrarian, industrial, and service economies according to the authors of this great book. Businesses have to orchestrate memorable, pleasant experiences for their customers in the experience economy, because these experiences produce instant gratification to the customers. The book gets to the very core of marketing.

What can we expect from you in the future?
The readers can expect more pleasurable reading experiences in the field of marketing. Also, I have opened an email box that lets me be in contact with readers, and answer questions and comments they may have. The email address is: theplacebobusiness@gmail.com .