Sunday Best – Publishing and Writing

Sunday Best is a curated list of articles I’ve read over the past week or so that I find enlightening, educational or just plain interesting. This week’s focus is on writing and publishing, which is always of huge interest to me. Enjoy!

What’s next with your NaNoWriMo project?

The whole point of NaNoWriMo is to bang out 50,000 words across November. Quality doesn’t matter so much as quantity. So now you’ve got this… thing… that may or may not be a novel, or the start of a novel. What on earth do you do with it? Luckily, Joanna Penn has an excellent post that will help you turn your NaNoWriMo… thing… into, well, something.

Running author promotions on Instagram

I’m what is known as an Instagram dabbler. I post pics of my travels, my cat, my garden, stuff from my garden, that sort of thing. It’s not what you would say is a cohesive approach to brand building. This week I attended a webinar by Nathan Chan of Foundr fame, who has become a bit of an IG guru. One of his tips was to check out what others in your field of expertise are doing. As luck would have it, this post about authors running fantastic promotions via Instagram popped up in my feed (and I will be pinching some of these ideas).

Ebook gift cards

Selling ebooks is hard. Not as hard as being a coal miner, but it’s hard. I’m always looking for innovative ways to get my books on the radar, which is often difficult if you don’t have real, physical books to sign at events. Enter Enthrill and ebook gift cards (which is what Guy Kawasaki used when he was on the publicity trail for APE), and this post from Build Book Buzz tells you exactly how to use them in your promotions.

Unsleazy selling

Speaking of selling, hands up everyone who HATES the whole Buy My Book thing on Twitter… and Facebook… and anywhere else you can get on your soapbox, and shout how awesome your book is, and so everyone in the world should buy it. Urgh. Unfollow. Unlike. Unfriend. This post from Book Promotion is a timely reminder that social media is social. It’s not a free advertising platform. It’s about conversation and dialogue and adding value. It’s actually not that hard to get right, but many authors get it so, so wrong.

Choosing a narrator for your audiobook

It stands to reason that if you are a female author, you’d want a female narrator for your audiobook, right? Well, maybe not. Whitney Johnson via Harvard Business Review confronted the gender bias inherent around authority, and voices of authority, if she wanted to sell her books. And the gender bias was this: if her book about disruption and innovation was to be viewed as credible (and hence saleable), she had to have her book narrated by a male. This is a fascinating read.


Of the books I enjoy reading, many have “surprise” endings. Yann Martel’s Life of Pi comes to mind here, as does Monica Kubica’s The Good Girl. I love it when a writer takes me on a journey, gets me to buy into the story, then WHAM! hits me with a surprise. I also love writers who subvert stereotypes. George R R Martin comes to mind here: his characters in A Song of Fire and Ice always surprise because they are not typical. I loved this article from Writers Write who show how easy it is to add the element of surprise to your writing. Now, all you have to do is do it!

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