How Authors Should Strategize Their Blogs and Podcasts

authors, self-publishing, books, blogs, podcastsIf you’re a self-published author, in addition to writing and producing your books, you must take on the responsibility of marketing them. The most successful author-marketers foster strong relationships with their audiences. Blogging, whether through written weblogs or verbal audio blogs (podcasts) is one of the best ways to build and maintain a fan base of interested readers.

The problem, however, is that there are thousands of blogs and podcasts out there. In order to build a following, it’s important to create a resource that’s both valuable and interesting enough for your readers or listeners to come back to again and again.

Concerning the technical aspects of podcasting, there are many resources available online. But you are the only person who can create the strategy behind your blog.

So how do you determine what’s valuable and interesting? Here’s a four-step process to guide your thinking.

Much more.


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November Bookstore Sales Rose 1.5% (PW)
Bookstore sales inched up 1.5 percent in November over November 2015, according to preliminary estimates released Friday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau. November’s sales were $805 million, up from $793 million a year ago.

Adult Nonfiction Stayed Hot in 2016 (PW)
Even though no adult coloring book sold as well in 2016 as the bestsellers in 2015 did, the adult nonfiction category, which includes those titles, posted the biggest unit gains among the major print categories last year, according to data from Nielsen BookScan.

Is Amazon Exclusivity Right for You? (Jane Friedman)
As most self-publishing authors know, Amazon offers marketing incentives to authors who sell their ebooks exclusively through Kindle, through a program called KDP Select. KDP Select requires that authors sell their ebook (but not print book) exclusively through Amazon for at least 90 days. The agreement automatically renews unless you decline to enroll again; however, you can always go back and re-enroll at any time.

Publishers See More Good Times Ahead for Audiobooks (PW)
The audiobooks story of the year in 2016 was—again—the continued strong sales growth of the digital audio market, and many audio publishers expect to see more gains in 2017.

How to Choose a Book Idea: Using the Hedgehog Concept (Creative Penn)
When I first started writing, I had no idea what I should be writing. I loved Stephen King and C.S. Lewis. At night I spent time reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer and John Grisham. I wanted to write, but I couldn’t decide which of my passions to pursue. When I took my conundrum to other writers they told me to, “Look at what’s working in the market.”

What Shelfie’s Data Suggests About Ebook Subscriptions (Pub Perspectives)
Penguin Random House “holds an effective veto on the success of ebook subscription services,” says Peter Hudson. His Canadian startup Shelfie has the data behind the observation.

Is Academic Publishing the Next to Go Indie? (BookWorks)
Unlike most people, academics working in a “publish or perish” environment have a specific need to release their work. The core of academic publishing is in textbooks, monographs (detailed written studies, either long or short, of a specific subject) and books intended for an audience mainly outside academia. Textbooks and monographs, because of stringent review and approval considerations, especially have remained closely tied to traditional publishers.

Libraries in the Age of Trump (PW)
For all the programs at the upcoming ALA Midwinter Meeting, which opens this week in Atlanta, I expect the event that will generate the most interest is the one taking place in Washington, D.C., on the conference’s opening day: the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

On Being Translated Back to Myself (NY Times)
To have one’s novel translated — on one hand, an honor. On the other — you might as well be trying to have sex using another person’s body. Occasionally, this avatar exhibits somewhat stereotypical national traits. The German writes to point out inconsistencies in the original. The Brazilian never writes at all. For the Frenchman, the story dovetails with a personal saga. But at least France publishes — it’s unclear the Italians are ever going to bother.

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