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Pinterest: The Ultimate Writing Resource

Be honest…

How much time do you spend on Pinterest every day?

pinterest infographicDon’t tell me minutes — I said be honest.

We’re talking hours here, right?

I confess to spending an obnoxious amount of time on my phone, computer, Kindle — any internet-connected device really — cruising my favorite categories and boards.

So much so, in fact, that sometimes…I feel guilty.

Pinterest is like the ultimate tool for turning a little bit of boredom into a very prolonged period of procrastination.

I waste SO much time I could spend on productive things like working on my next novel, finding new fans, or meeting some other indie authors.

You’ve felt the same way, right?


What if I said you could get in your fun time on Pinterest every day *while* also improving your current work-in-progress *and* growing your fanbase?

It can happen.

Let’s start with your writing process.

How do you brainstorm your characters?

I’m not talking about the basics (name, age, birthplace, job, etc.) — I’m talking about all the little details that turn a character sketch into a living, breathing person.

You *could* fill out a detailed character profile with a long list of likes/dislikes, goals, hopes, fears, and so on…

…OR you could create a board with pins for everything about your character on Pinterest.

Which one of those sounds like more fun?

Let me tell you a quick story.

Last month, just days before my final deadline to finish my second novel, my grandfather passed away.

It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it was heartbreaking nonetheless. After a week-long trip to Alabama to join my family in saying our goodbyes, I returned home and found I was completely disconnected from my work-in-progress.

My concentration was shot, my characters’ voices disappeared from my head — in short, I was lost.Continue Reading

Want better blog tour results? Go DIY!

Imagine you’re renovating your kitchen.

You have two options — you can hire someone to come in and do it, or you can pick up a sledge hammer and do it yourself.

plan your own blog tour workshopThere are pros and cons to both options, right?

Leave it to the Pros —

  • Pro: If you hire someone, you save yourself time and frustration by letting a professional handle the job.
  • Con: Professionals can be costly — and money is no guarantee you’ll get the end result you desire.

D-I-Y —

  • Con: If you go the DIY route instead, you’ll sacrifice some of your time, sweat, and elbow grease.
  • Pro: But you’ll save money and get exactly the product you want.

The same principles apply to constructing a successful blog tour.

Lots of folks offer blog tour services where they’ll do all the legwork for you in exchange for a fee (which can range from pretty nominal to holy-cow-that’s-a-mortgage-payment territory).

But most of those blog tour services aren’t really customized to your genre and fanbase.

If you’ve thought about creating your own blog tour, but weren’t sure where to begin, let our workshop guide you down the trail from start to finish.


Toni and I combined forces in the Build Your Own Blog Tour Workshop to give you a step-by-step guide that takes you from the initial planning phases to finding the right blogs to making your requests to writing the posts themselves.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the course:

Lesson 1 | Introduction to Blog Tours

  • What is a blog tour?
  • Why does our approach to blog tours give you better results?

Lesson 2 | Finding the Right Blogs & Joining the Community

  • How do you find blogs for your tour stops?
  • What makes some blogs better for tour stops than others?Continue Reading

A + B = You (The Secret Equation Every Author Needs to Know)

Who are you?

I don’t mean in the sense of your name, age, or personality.

I mean, as an author, who are you?

If you had to describe your writing – not a specific book, but just your personal writing style —to a stranger, what would you say?

It’s okay if you don’t know the answer right now.

photo by dbrekkeBecause by the end of this post, you will, thanks to our two secret equations (Yeah, that’s right, you’re getting a two-for-one!).

Defining who you are as an author is about more than just your genre, your book, or your blog.

It’s about what makes you unique.

And once you know what makes you unique, you can find the right readers who will appreciate your unique appeal.

So how do you find out who you are as an author?

Easy – you just have to do the math.

Don’t worry, I’ve got two simple formulas to help you along and all tests will be open book and open notes!

Both of these equations will give you two key elements:

  • Something fans can relate to (in this case, a well-known author)
  • Something that makes you unique

It’s up to you which one fits your writing personality best (Or, if you want to get really crazy, you can use both!).Continue Reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Indie Literary Fiction [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by James Campbell.

Over the past few months, certain members of the literati have been occupying themselves with the question of genre vs. literary fiction – what do these terms mean, which is better, and so on.

First there was Arthur Krystal’s piece in the New Yorker, followed by Lev Grossman’s reply in Time, completed by Michael Kardos’s rebuttal to both on the Huffington Post’s book blog.

A quick summation: yes, there is a difference between genre fiction and literary fiction; no, genre fiction is not necessarily ‘lower’ than literary fiction or mere escapism; yes, literary fiction has just as many cliches and tropes as genre fiction; and yes, there are many examples of top quality work and utter crap in both categories, and people shouldn’t pigeon-hole their reading habits to solely one or the other.

Left Out of the Discussion

One thing that wasn’t discussed, however, was how books of each type tend to be marketed specifically within an indie pub context.Continue Reading

Have a Beautiful Author Website for Under $20/mo (Even if You’re Not A Geek)

Ever done a 180° on a subject so fast you got whiplash?

That’s kind of what happened to me this past week.

In case you’re new to the site, or haven’t visited in awhile, last week, we went through a bit of a redesign.

Ready for the true confession?

This fancy new design is a template! *gasp*

Wait…aren’t I the one touting custom web design, shouting from the rooftops about its amazingness and ability to set you apart from other authors?

This isn’t Invasion of the Body Snatchers — I promise, I’m still the same geek.

But, the discussion we’ve been having on the costs of self-publishing got me thinking: with all the costs authors endure to get their work out there, is a custom web design, costing at least $350, really one of the neccesary ones?Continue Reading