Hi there! Duolit is on hiatus, but please feel free to explore our extensive archive of posts and our free Weekend Book Marketing Makeover. Thanks for visiting!

For authors who want success: the secrets I promised are HERE!

NOTE: The first draft of The Weekend Book Marketing Makeover is HERE! Check it out.

So, the other day we asked if you would take a minute to fill out our quick survey, hoping we would get a few responses to help guide the direction of a free product we’re creating just for our indie friends. Almost 70 responses later (and I promise, we read every single one!) we’re completely blown away and totally humbled. Thank you!

The time has come.

I’ve made you wait (patiently) for my secrets long enough.

Here are the two keys you need to unlock your potential as an indie author:

  1. Motivation
  2. Focus

Now, those two secrets might seem obvious (and even a bit unsatisfying) on the surface, but trust me when I tell you that these two keys have turned around my entire writing career.

Just like you, I was terrified that this whole self-publishing experience would turn out to be a waste of time that would yield zero sales and heaps of embarrassment.

Worse, I feared my only chance at success was to march through every website and social media outlet tooting my own horn like a one-man-band (a task that introverts such as myself would consider less desirable than death by firing squad).

But then I learned that it doesn’t have to be that way.

With a focus for my marketing plan, the pieces began to fall into place. With each guest blog published, new mailing list sign-up and book sold, my reservoir of motivation grew.

Once I was motivated to keep making incremental improvements in my book marketing, I found it much easier to make time in my schedule to work on it.

Not a lot of time — just 20 or 30 minute segments here and there, much like the small chunks of time I find to go to the gym two or three times a week or watch my favorite TV show (New Girl, for the record).

Yeah, I still had to make sacrifices to come up with that time, but that was okay because I knew it wouldn’t be a pointless exercise. As long as it yielded a positive result (even if that result was just a valuable lesson for fine tuning my overall plan) it was worth the time spent.

Of course, that’s just one slice of the whole pie.

To make back your financial investment in self-publishing (and make a profit), experience steady growth with each new book released, and eventually crack Amazon’s Top 100 in your genre, you need a plan.

Success doesn’t happen by accident.

When we asked you to tell us what book marketing tool we could create to help you, we got a variety of responses (two of my favorites: an author scrapbook for cataloging your inspirations and a dating guide for authors), including:

  • “Something along the lines of a checklist/to-do list.”
  • “The equivalent of ‘Marketing for Dummies’.”
  • “How to find a marketing strategy that’s a good fit for me.”
  • “A plan — a template plan — that I can research to fill in blanks relevant to my book and market.”
  • “I’m a big fan of step by step books and timeline books. So anything that would walk me, step-by-step through 90 days of publishing success would rock! Can you do it in 30?”

How about we do it in a single weekend?

We’re going to satisfy all those wishes with a (totally free, but very valuable) makeover guide that will get you excited about marketing your book, eliminate that sleazy feeling, and debunk the marketing myths that are holding you back.

We will reform your book marketing attitude and direction, helping you gain those all-important traits of motivation and focus…in just one weekend!

The Weekend Book Marketing Makeover will include:

  • A step-by-step guide for creating your own marketing plan from scratch.
  • Sample schedules with suggestions for how best to spend your marketing time.
  • Tips to simplify (and demystify) social media.
  • Promotional advice for introverts and other quiet types.
  • Other secret goodies (we have to keep some stuff under wraps!)

But, there’s a small catch (isn’t there always?)

We’re putting the guide together, but it’s soaking up a lot of time.

I don’t mind doing this for our author friends — you absolutely deserve it! — but I want to be sure this will really help you; that The Weekend Book Marketing Makeover is something you definitely want.

So, will you do something for me?

If you want a free copy of the Weekend Book Marketing Makeover, let me know by leaving a comment below.

If I can get 100 comments* by Monday, Toni and I will kick into high gear and release the guide next week.

Holy Cannoli, you guys are amazing! Less than 24 hours later, we’ve already surpassed our goal. We still want to hear from you, though: why do you want this book? How can Toni and I make the makeover truly beneficial and valuable?

If not, no worries — there’s still tons of gifts to wrap and blog posts to write. We won’t bring it up again!

Tell me, even if it’s a simple “YES!”…are you all in?

* This would be the most comments we’ve ever gotten on a post, meaning…if you know someone else who could be helped by this guide, please spread the word!

NOTE: The first draft of The Weekend Book Marketing Makeover is HERE! Check it out.

  • Alicia

    Oh wow, if you could do a marketing book that could be put to practice over the span of a weekend, well sign me up! Time is my most precious commodity in regards to my book – time to write, time to edit, and of course time to market. Anything marketing wise that is clear, efficient, and pragmatic rewards me with more time in my schedule to do what authors need to do…write. Thanks, guys, for even thinking about doing something like this!

  • Susan

    Weekend Book Marketing Makeover. Sounds like the fairy godmother I was hoping would show up.

  • LJ Cohen

    I ‘d love to see this.

  • I would definitely buy this book.

  • This sounds great – sign me up. I’m really looking forward to your Weekend Book Marketing Makeover.

  • “Promotional advice for introverts?” I am ALL IN!!!

  • Yes, please. That would be great.

  • Yayyy!! You heard me on the introvert thing!!! 😀

  • Pretty please – with sugar on top? :) I NEED THIS!!!

  • you know I want it!

  • Laura Dennis

    I’m in, a weekend makeover?! Just up my alley … Good luck!

  • Bea

    Yes, I’m most definitely interested. But please present a written guide, not a video (you imply it will be written — I just want to be sure!). Wd much rather read than watch and have to make notes.

  • I seem to have less and less time to do things, so anything that can be implemented over a weekend sounds like a winner to me. Thanks so much guys — I’m definitely interested!

  • I’m in!!! I need this like yesterday! What else can I do to help?

  • Tera

    Yes please!

  • Would love a copy, thanks.

  • Elizabeth

    Yes, sounds great!

  • Rob

    Yes, I’d love it.

  • Jasmine

    I would love a copy! Thanks so much!

  • Barry A. Whittingham

    I’m just about to set off along the marketing road and would appreciate a guiding light.

  • Shelbey

    Yes please!

  • Cricket

    Yes, please!

  • Dana Ross Martin

    That would be SO cool! Yes, please, I’d love a free copy of the “Weekend Book Marketing Makeover”

  • CD Smith

    Count me in! I cant wait to get my grubby little hands on a copy! Thanks so much for sharing Shannon; you’re a God send! Please continue to do what you are doing. It is most definitely appreciated.
    God bless

  • Yes please!!

  • C.A. Kendrick

    Thank you kindly, it sounds like a great book!

  • Absolutely! I would love this! xo

  • I hope you’re both motivated to keep going. I think this is a worthwhile thing to do.

  • I would totally dig something like this. Yes, yes, please!

  • Linda K

    This is definitely what I need! Bring it on.

  • slvail

    Please and thank you!

  • Rachel

    Sounds great – yes please!

  • looking forward!

  • That sounds like a super interesting read! 😀

  • Jordan

    Sounds fantastic!

  • Michelle Davis

    This weekend guide sounds like exactly what I need. I can’t wait to start reading it.

  • bonnir


  • I am a quiver with anticipation

  • You bet! Sounds like gold. :)

  • Kelly

    I think this will address THE biggest issue for my writing career! Thank you.

  • Oh,. my goodness – a free copy of Weekend Book Marketing Makeover? Oh, yes, yes please!

  • Lorna_Faith

    Yes that would be helpful :-) Thanks!

  • David Burton

    Yes, wrote the introvert with trembling fingers.

  • Laura Roberts

    Sounds good! I am always looking for something that will help give focus, as there are tons of things I COULD be doing, but it’s not always clear which ones are MOST important/helpful, or which result most directly relate to sales.

  • Excellent, yes, would love a copy

  • Yes!

  • Pauline Wiles

    Amazed you don’t have 100 comments already!

  • Definitely yes! 😀

  • Yes please…sounds great!

  • Thank you, it seems like this will help tremendously.

  • Philippa Rees

    Yes please

  • Thank you for the offer–I’d really appreciate the advice!

  • Sounds like a customizable checklist/to do list – sign me up!

  • Laura Pauling

    Sounds great!

  • Definitely! I’d love a copy please. :)

  • JP Kurzitza

    Yes. Sure. Okay. Oui. Si. Sounds good. Right on. Okie-dokie. I’m in. Bring it.

  • Valerie

    Sounds great! I’m in!

  • Kimberly Farris

    Yes. Thanks!

  • Jeffrey Davis

    Absolutely! I’m in!

  • You quoted me, *giggle*, so you know I’m in. 😉

  • Let’s see — with a niche novella out, a non-fiction coming out later this month, a niche novel for 2013, and a more mainstream genre series under consideration for traditional publishing, I’d be STUPID not to pick up all the organized marketing help I can get! Count me in, please and thank you!

  • Cheryl

    Yes please!

  • Bette A. Stevens

    Hi, Toni and Shannon. YES, definitely count me in for the Weekend Book Marketing Makeover! I’m in for the count and need all of the help I can get. THANKS!

  • Oh, yes, please. Very much want :). Thank you ladies.

  • This is a brilliant idea, and a great opportunity for self-published writers of any genre. After the sale of my first novel (The Haunt) to Warner Books, I slipped through the cracks and landed SMACK on my ass — worse off than if I’d never published before, since now I had a tainted record of low sales (for a first-time paperback with absolutely NO advertising, marketing or promo of any kind….hmmm, gee, wonder why it didn’t hit the bestseller list?!) Anyway, thanks, ladies for your offer. I’m in.

  • Michaela

    Yes. THat would be cool!

  • lemonbits

    Definitely yes! :)

  • chris

    Yes please!

  • Yes, count me in!

  • Liv

    That sounds brilliant! Would love a copy :)

  • What a great idea. Count me in! Thanks.

  • Ke-Yana Drake

    Of course!

  • “Motivation & Focus…” Great! Thought of another one closely related to motivation: ‘Belief’. Doubt kills more dreams than any failures.

  • Mary J. McCoy-Dressel

    Sure! I say, with a new book coming within weeks. Yea!

  • Desperately trying to figure this out on my own, so YES!

  • pixie06

    Yes, please and thank you.

  • Cleo

    Sounds very useful…thank you!

  • orchid

    Definitely in!

  • Gotta know the secrets…

  • Cynthia

    Definitely something I would use. Big yes from me.

  • Christina

    Yes please! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • I would love a Weekend Book Marketing Makeover! Does it come with a facial too? :)

  • Heather Boyd

    Yes. Sounds like the kick in the pants I need right now.

  • Michael Mardel

    Yes, thank you

  • That would be such a Godsend!! I have one book that has great reviews from those who’ve read it–but am totally clueless when it comes to marketing (as well as being one of those introvert-types you mentioned!). I’d like to see the two books I have coming out have a chance of succeeding! I’ll even give you a review once I’ve gone through it–because if it works for me, it’ll definitely work for anyone!!! Thank you in advance!

  • Mary Whitney

    I’ll take all the help I can get

  • M. K. Theodoratus

    Sounds helpful like most of your information. Yes, include me.


    I would like a copy. YES PLEASE

  • Stafford Battle

    Indie publishing is changing the way people buy books. With the big retailers dropping like flies in a snowstorm, we all need to develop new strategies to promote our products. I would love to hear your ideas.

  • Another one that wants in. Thanks a million for sharing this.

  • LSN

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • Trung Mai

    Ah, focus and motivation. The key to all things.

  • Yes! Count me in!

  • “YES!”

  • Sign me up!

  • Katharina Gerlach

    I’ve still got to work through the last few lessons of your course for finding my readers (time problems and a broken PC held me up), but I’d be delighted to get my hands on this.

  • Jennette Marie Powell

    I would love something like this – especially if it can be fit into a short time of my evening after getting home from the day job!

  • orchid

    Seriously, guys? only 97? We can do better than that.

  • Annie Adams

    Simple answer, yes.

    I’m really impressed by what I’ve read so far and anything you guys do will be a great help in furthering my writing career.

  • Michelle Grey

    I’m your 100th comment! And how fitting because this is perfect timing for me. I’ve followed several pieces of your advice already and am looking forward to learning more! Thanks very much!!

  • Steena Holmes

    I’m in! I think this is an awesome resource :) Thank you!

  • Yes, please.

  • I would absolutely love this!

  • sounds good to me :)

  • Faith

    Looking forward to it! :)

  • Autumn

    Yes, I’m in! :)

  • Please add my name to your list – this sounds brilliant and just what I need for the life story books I write on behalf of clients.

  • Jane Davies

    Yes I would find this very helpful.

  • ceej

    YEs definitely.

  • Hannah Baker

    Yes! I am completely new to book marketing, I need all the help and information I can get! Right now I work as a marketing writer for other companies, infact, where I write their copy for them – I’m a freelance writer – but I really don’t know how to run the entire marketing process for my own works.

  • Peter Maughan

    Yes, and yes!

  • Jack Morgan

    Step-by-step guides rock! Lovin’ the idea and enthusiasm!!!

  • Hazel Mary Martell

    Please count me in! I’m hoping to bring three new historical novels out next summer and so I’m looking for as much marketing advice as I can find.

  • Blaithin

    Yes, yes!! totally love it!!

  • songdove

    Yes, I’m in. I’m looking for anything free that I can put effort into, as I don’t have cash to give to someone else who has the time.

  • Bob

    Perfect for me. Thank You !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John R

    Yes! If I could focus my marketing plan in a weekend, man, that’d be great! With a zombie series in high gear and a novel revision coming up in 2013 – count me in!

  • Would I like a copy. Yes please. I already have 2 of your books (reviews to follow after the holidays)
    Once again, Duolit quality.
    The marketing done by Indie authors is very different to the standard model, but it works.
    Anything that helps streamline that is fantastic

  • Vic

    Am I too late? If not YEESSS (please)

  • Yes, yes, YES! I am so in! Let me know if I can do anything to help!

  • I’d love to check it out :)

  • Carol

    I definately need a leg up on this marketing thing. I’d love to find out how to make it work! Thanks for your help and support ladies!

  • I’m in because I’m always looking for ways to improve. Hearing your input would be valuable.

  • Nigel Blackwell

    Yes, of course!

  • I like free and I like books, but FREE BOOKS…well, they have to be one of the best things in life! Send me one as soon as it’s done. :) It really will make my day!


    I need your guide because I want to be a successful indie author and so far I’ve barely done any promotion and have very few sales.

  • Yes , please.

  • Sarah White

    Totally up for this!!!

  • A plan! Oh please. I need a plan. :-)

  • Count me in! Would love to have a plan.

  • Champions Mommy

    Yes!! This sounds like a resource I need!

  • Laura Diamond

    Sounds great!

  • Yes! I’m in!

  • You guys ROCK – love all your posts! And Yes! YesYesYesYes, I’m in :)

  • K8

    Yes yes! I’d love to read it! :)

  • Reetta Raitanen

    Hell yeah. All the things you’re planning to include sound really useful. Thank you so much for providing extra value to us time and time again.

  • My first self help book on depression is due for publication in January. I really believe in it. That it can truly help people beat depression. I just need to learn how to let people know about it!

  • Kristina Elyse Butke

    I would love a copy, too, please! Honestly, I just started writing fiction and am in the midst of trying to complete my first book. It may be too soon to think of marketing, but honestly, when you mention focus and motivations being the key to marketing, I’d also say it’s the key to writing as well. I’m sure I’ll find what you have to say helpful as I finish my novel/graduate thesis.

  • This guide is going to be awesome! Y’all are so generous with your resources and guidance :)

    I’d love the guide because I like anything that offers a good checklist or guideposts, especially for marketing. There are so many ways out there to market your book, and it’s nice to have a little bit of help sorting through and forging a working plan (that doesn’t eat away all of our writing time!)

  • Mitch

    Yes, yes, yes, oh and yes please

  • I definitely would appreciate a guide like ‘the weekend book marketing makeover’

  • Yes! Count me in.

  • Count me in!

  • KAMiller

    Absolutely, count me in too!

  • This is such a helpful site, I can’t keep up with all the info! (I’m still working on the workshop from a couple of months ago!) I’m behind, but I am interested in your book. Love you guys!

  • I’m in too!

  • Corina Mueller

    I’m in, too. Thank you!


    When is it coming out????? I neeeeeed it!!!!!!! PLeeeease!

  • Linda


  • Looking forward to your guide!!!

  • Jan

    I’d like a step by step process for marketing a non-fiction book if there is such a thing – steps that actually make a difference rather than just taking time away from writing.

  • Yes please! A decision tree or a spreadsheet or a step by step how to or anything would be great!
    Thank you.

  • Simon Townley

    Thanks for doing this, great resource. One negative comment though – your social media plugin which puts those lovely “like” and “share” buttons on the left, scrolling down with the text, hide a good proportion of the text for me, making the article virtually unreadable. I’m on a Safari browser on a Mac. I’m sure it’s not the same for everyone, but thought I’d let you know.

  • Tim McGregor

    Saw this post on Passive Voice and followed it back via Publetariat to here. Late to the party as usual but I’m intrigued. Yes, you’ve got me hooked and want to read more. Happy new year.

  • I could use all the help I can get, so YES! Yes! Yes!

  • Ann M.

    Definitely! I’d love a copy please. :)