Guest post - How to Jumpstart Your Writing Career Today!

Today's guest post is from Matt Banner over at Take a look at the cool infographic below and consider the implications to your own writing career. If you like what you see, why not head on over to Matt's informative website and check it out. Thanks for sharing Matt and if any of you have something worth saying (in regards to self-publishing and/or book marketing) and would like to guest post, please contact us via this email link.

How to Jumpstart Your Writing Career Today! 

By Matt Banner.

As writers, we want exposure, but we also want people to buy our books. Sometimes we need to try different approaches to give our career the jolt it needs to start moving. Today I’ll offer some tips for giving your writing career a boost, while also polishing your skills.

The infographic below will offer a ton of tips for building up your skills and starting your career, but sometimes you need to give a little to get a little. Let’s dive in and discuss. 

Turning Your Passion Into a Career as a Writer

If you can get someone to read one of your books, then you have an opportunity to entice them to read the rest. Now, while many would scoff at the idea of giving your book away for free, it’s a great way to drum up exposure for yourself and build new fans for your future works.

You also need reviews, and you can get these without people first reading your work. Another thing to think about is how many people will naturally gravitate to other work from an author they like.

Finally, it’s a great way to test your skills. When you begin working on your next book, try seeking out a resource for writers to help you hone your skills and improve on the next book that you’ll be charging for.

Even if you’re not charging money, you can still gain something from giving your book away. Think about asking for people to subscribe to your email newsletter in exchange for thebook as an example.

Check out the infographic below and let us know how it helped you in the comments!

Guest Post - 18 Steps To A Successful Book Marketing Campaign (Part 1) by Wesley Thomas

Authors starting out, and sometimes seasoned authors, struggle with this tricky concept of producing a marketing plan, or marketing campaign, whatever you want to call it.

So I am going to very briefly, but effectively, give you some examples of what you can do in a marketing plan.

1)     Give out advance review copies (ARCs) to bloggers who will run your review during the release of your book. Make note of these links so you can promote them intensively for your book launch and even afterward to keep the sales going!

2)     Reach out to radio shows, podcasts, anywhere that you can discuss your book to a new audience, and again, promote your appearance.

3)     Put together a book launch party on Facebook or Goodreads just to make people aware of when your book is released.

4)     Put your book up for pre-order and let people know.

5)     Word of mouth, on social media, let people know that your book will be released on a certain date. Ask contacts for retweets, mentions etc to increase awareness.

6)     Get reviews before book release. Now Amazon won't allow this, but Goodreads will! List the book on Goodreads a month before the release, send out to reviewers, and when they have read it, assuming they enjoyed it, ask if they wouldn't mind posting reviews/ratings on Goodreads.

7)     Do a short horror story collaboration before launch. Work with an author in your genre on a short story and promote it. You are tapping into the other writer's loyal readers, and they are tapping into yours, win win!

8)     Contact papers/magazines. Any publication that you think would be interested in mentioning, reviewing your release, email them. Don't hesitate, just do it. The worst they will say is an incredibly polite 'no'.

9)     Put together a press release. Look online and there are links of how to write a press release.

10)Promote press release. Generally, promote it, but there are websites online that will feature press releases for FREE. But some do charge so do your research!

11)Do a blog tour. Give away snippets from the release for bloggers to feature on their blogs, being seen by the blogger's audience.

12)Make a book trailer, or pay someone to do it. And yes, promote it.

13)Change all profile pictures on social media to the book cover for the upcoming release, building a hype.

14)As soon as you get the cover back from the designer, or you finish making it (clever you!) do a cover reveal to your readers.

15)Contact other authors and ask for mentions to your book. But be polite, and don't assume they will say yes.

16)Put together a newsletter, build a subscriber list, mention to them when the book is available to purchase. And remind them on the release date.

17)Have a news section on your website and be very clear that you have an upcoming book and when it is available for pre-order and to purchase.

18)Imagery is everything. Make or pay someone to produce some bold, professional looking banners for your book. Look online at what authors are putting on their banners. I will be blogging a list of what to feature on banners, where to get images, or where to find people who will do a fantastic job for a reasonable fee. So watch this space! Or you can always subscribe to my newsletter if you so wish, I email monthly, including blogs and links to help other authors, as well as my upcoming releases etc.:

1) Be super polite and understanding.
2) Do anything and everything that will build a hype.

Oh and use your common sense. If on Facebook you only have 50 likes on your author page, then promote every so often. Whereas if you have a Twitter account with several thousand followers, you can promote more frequently. Don't spam, that will give people a bad impression of the book before it's even released!

Stay tuned for Part 2 – make sure you subscribe (you also get a free book) so you don’t miss any future articles/posts. 


If you’d like to read more articles like this or require author promotional services and/or editing, check out Wesley’s blog here.

 Wesley Thomas, Marketing for authors, Marketing, Promoting books, Book Marketing, #Bookmarketing, #books, #authorship, #authorpreneur, #selfpublishing, #authormarketing, #bookpromotion

Should you self-publish in 2016? Guest Post from author, Iain Rob Wright

Iain Rob Wright, best-selling Indie author has kindly granted me permission to repost this interesting and inspirational article about the pros and cons of self-publishing (in 2016). Please read and make sure to check out Iain's great website for lots more articles and resources for indie authors.

Should you self-publish in 2016?

Yes, so long as you set realistic expectations. Wanting too much too fast will deflate your passion quicker than a monkey in your underwear drawer (I have no idea what that means).

So, what is my story of self-publishing? In early 2011 I was in my 5th or 6th year of being a mobile phone salesman in a shop. For the last few years, I had flitted between companies and into and out of management positions (I was never any good at cracking the whip). I was constantly stressed and miserable–mostly because I loathed what I did. Everyday, I grew more and more irritable with the public, and a little bit lazier with my efforts to sell to them. Every morning, I wanted to cry rather than go in and face another day. And don’t even get me started on the immoral area managers who expected results at any cost (Simon Little I am calling you out, bitch!) and felt it was right to treat staff like dirt. Phones4U went bust a couple of years ago and I can’t say I wasn’t a little pleased to see such a dishonest company fall. By that time I was already earning a shit load of cash doing what I love. Charlie, I was winning!

Bosses be like 

I walked out of my job in May 2011 after being spoken to like dirt for the 100th time that week by a manager. I just sauntered off the shop floor and never came back. It felt good. My wife (although girlfriend then) was not pleased. But she’s also my best friend so she didn’t force me to go back (that would have been embarrassing). In my desperation, I said I would try and get that book I’d been working on published (it was my dream). The plan was to send it to an agent, but I was already well aware of the lottery of trying to get published. Fat dudes with goatees don’t generally get deals with big London book magnates. What other choice did I have though? I was Sean Bean in the cells of the Red Keep. I needed a way out, man.

My frantic googling threw me upon KDP and the means to self-publish (I always thought it meant flogging books out of a car boot). The more I read about the scheme, the more I did a sex-wee in my pants. It seemed too good to be true–but it was a chance! Joffrey might just let me live! My wife (then girlfriend) gave me 6 months to earn £1000 a month from self-publishing, or I would have to get a full-time job again (something that terrified me as at that point I only had experience as a salesman and retail manager). So I cleaned up The Final Winter and published it on KDP. I did all the usual first-time author stuff and begged people on Facebook to check it out. And fortunately some of them did–people who still support me to this day. I made a few quid. It was nice. Even more wonderful was that I got some great reviews. I was a horror fan and I was pleasing other horror fans.

The next month I sold a few more copies. The month after that, even more. My earnings in that dreaded month 6 deadline? £1600. Booya! I had met my goal and beat it by 60%. What the fuck just happened? I just published a book and made the same as I did in my former day job, right? Fuck yeah, I did!

So I wrote another book as quickly as I could. With my sudden success, I thought I would be an exciting prospect to a publisher. Animal Kingdom ended up with a small American Press. Woohoo! They did professional artwork and everything! While that was being handled, I wrote my third book, ASBO (inspired by Intensity by James Newman). I self-published that book and damned if it didn’t fly. My first month earnings for ASBO? £3800. Say what? With the earnings I made in May 2012 (exactly a year after I published my first book) I brought a new flatscreen tv and a sofa. Damn straight!

At the rate I was going, I would be a millionaire in a few years, right? Well, no, because the bottom fell out of KDP. Of course it did. Nothing lasts forever. What I didn’t know at the time was that I had lucked out by being one of the first guys to turn up at a goldrush. In 2011 Amazon had less than a million self-published books. Now it has several million. That’s a whole lot more competition. Also, customers were used to high prices, which made my books seem like a bargain. Now customers are a little more jaded and ignore ‘bargain books’. Things changed. They always do. Self-publishing is tougher now than it was then, and if I had tried to get my start in 2016 I would have had a completely different experience (maybe even failed).

Despite the decline, I remained a full-time writer by learning how to survive in the current climate. I kept new releases coming which allowed me to benefit from my existing customer-base, and I branched out into paperbacks and audiobooks. I looked at foreign editions too. I built a darn-tootin website and started signing people up to my email list with a great free book offer (see here). I started advertising and running competitions. Then I started–Yikes, this sounds a lot like a business, doesn’t it?

The best advice I can give to a self-publisher today is to think of themselves as business people, not writers. Writing books is the easy part to get right. Read a few books about craft, practice, and keep producing content. The tricky stuff is getting people to pick your book over someone else’s, or even getting someone to see it in the first place.
You need to face the same problems that all businesses do, is what I am saying.
So is it worth it?

Here are the reasons not:
  • Success takes a LOT of time and effort
  • You will need to learn a shitload of new skills from web design and blogging to marketing and branding
  • No one will hold your hand
  • It will consume your life. Check with your other half!
  • You might have to lose a little money first
  • Traditional authors will be mean to you
  • You need to do it all yourself
  • Except for editing and artwork which you need to purchase with your own coin
  • You might fail anyway
So, in a nutshell, I am trying to say that the downside to self-publishing is that it is hard work with possibly little reward. You should understand that your chances of quitting your day job in year 1 are slim today, but that isn’t what success should be measured by. You should set realistic goals and concentrate only on meeting them one at a time. Your first goal should be to sell 1 book to a stranger. Goal 2 should be to sell enough books to pay your cell phone bill. Then your car loan. Then, maybe, contribute towards a holiday. If you earn a $100 dollars a month and still have to work fulltime, then that’s a pay rise at least, right? Your life is better. You can afford to buy more tacos. Mmmm, tacos.
Geez-louise Iain, that’s sounds like some gash darned hard work. Is it really so bad? No, of course not. 

Here are some of the reason you SHOULD self-publish:
  • You are your own asshole of a boss
  • Writing is what you love
  • You will make lots of cool friends
  • You get to do everything just how you want
  • Hard work will pay off and you decide your fate
  • You get to tell the God of Death, NOT TODAY.
  • It’s easier to make money than any other publishing route (70% royalties, yo)
  • It’s hella fun
  • The fans you make are your own and can become your buddies for life
  • No one can pick you up and drop you (*cough* big publishers)
  • You get to write exactly what you want to write (leprechaun porn is life)
  • Make your own hours and put in whatever time you decide
  • See the money you are earning right away and get it in your bank account quickly
  • If you nail it, publishers might come running to you!
  • No resume or achievements required
  • Earning potential is millions! Good luck!
While my above points might be vague, the summary is that self-publishing has the potential to change your life. Work hard and grow your business a little bit at a time and there is no reason you can’t make writing your living. Things change and you need to be ready to change with them. Competition will grow, so you need to stand out. Readers are hard to gain, so don’t lose them with sloppy editing or dodgy formatting. Just remember to EARN – EDITING ARTWORK FORMATTING NEXT (as in get the next book finished). Although you should start at the beginning and work towards your goals, getting your first book as professional as can be is a must. Work quick, but don’t work sloppy. And never drive angry, but that’s just good advice in general. Should you self-publish in 2016? Hell yes.

Anyway, if you are looking for more detailed help on what to do and how, then keep checking back as I will be posting many articles in 2016 designed to help the wily author. In the meantime, here are some books I recommend you read to get started: The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing (Everything A Writer Needs To Know), On Writing, Write Publish Repeat, How to Make a Living Writing.
Toodles, Iain.
At the moment, readers can take advantage of a great offer on Iain's website. If you sign up to his no-spam newsletter you will get free copies of his great horror ebooks: The Picture Frame, Animal Kingdom, 2389, Sea Sick, and D is for Degenerate. Five books for free plus all the other regular resources and articles related to self-publishing.
His website address is: or you can go immediately to the sign up form here:

You can find Iain's fantastic selection of books via Amazon here.

Also, make sure you check out the recent interview we did with Iain where he generously shares his best tips on how you can improve your sales, marketing and author platform.

Self-Publishing, Iain Rob Wright, Amazon, KDP Select, Kindle Unlimited, Indie Author, Authorship, Self Publishing in 2016