Insights and Advice About Writing, Publishing and PromotionWriting

* Now is the best time to be a writer, but you have to know more and do more than ever.

* Books are usually either prose-driven or promotion-driven, story-driven or idea-driven.

Because the fate of story-driven books depends on whether readers tell other readers to read them, content is king for prose-driven books. But for idea-driven books, promotion is the power behind the throne.

* The more compelling novelists are as storytellers, the less readers care about craft.

* Content, communication, and commerce are the holy trinity of success.

* Reading, writing, revising, and sharing your work are the keys to salable prose.

* James Joyce: “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”

* Books are written more out of writers’ need to write than readers’ need to read.

* If you care about selling books, you can’t just think about what you’re selling but about what people are buying. Balance what you want to write with what readers want to read.

* You can only write as well as you read. Want to write mysteries (or anything else)? Take Sue Grafton’s advice: read a hundred of them.

* Build a community of readers who can tell you what’s good about your work, and then combine truth with charity, and tell you how to improve it.

* Produce content for as many media as you can that can help you.

* Find inspiring, harmonious personal, literary and publishing goals you know how to achieve.

* Make every day as productive as you can.

* To keep earning, keep learning about writing, your field, publishing, promotion, and the future.

* Balance your time online and off, creating and communicating, and your personal and professional lives.

* Agent Donald Maass says it takes five books to build an audience for your work. Take the long view about developing your craft and your career.

* Keep producing books that sell each other and that you’re passionate about writing and promoting, and an agent and publisher will welcome the chance to help you create a career.


* Writing is an art; publishing is a business.

* Trade publishing 2015 sales: $15 billion.

* Like writing, publishing is hybrid business, functioning online and off.

* Make your book available as an abook, and ebook and a pbook.

* Publishing with a big house involves 200 people and may take as long as two years.

* You have more options for getting published than ever. Choose the right one for you, based on the idea for your books and how well you can write and promote them.

* Your books will be published, maybe by you, which may be the best option. If you  succeed, agents and publishers will find you.

* Author Joe Girard: “Every no gets you closer to yes.” Rejection is selection.

* Mickey Rooney: “You always pass failure on your way to success.”


* Promotion is sharing your passion for the value of your book.

* Whether you or Random House publishes your books, you’ll be promoter in chief.

* Jack Canfield: “A book is an iceberg. Writing is 10%, marketing is 90%.”

* Marketing guru Seth Godin: “The best time to start promoting your book is three years before it comes out.”

* Promotion has overwhelmed idea-driven content, and social media has overwhelmed promotion.

* The more publishers pay, the more they push.

* Your book is your baby; you give birth to it twice: when you write it and publish it.

* You know more and care more about your book than anyone else.

* Writing and publishing a book are easy compared to making it sell.

* Readers are replacing big publishers, media, and book chains as gatekeepers.

* Social media can make a book sell, regardless of who publishes it or how.

* Begin promotion by starting a list of ideas and people the moment you start writing.

* Books are ready for the world before the world is ready for them. Make the world ready for your books by building visibility and communities to help you, and test-marketing them.

* To get the best editor, publisher, and deal for your books, be as patient about maximizing their value before you sell them as you are about writing them.

* You can reach more readers in more places in more ways more easily than ever for free.

* Service comes before sales. Build a literary ecosystem of communities that know, like, and trust you by serving them as often and in as many ways as you can.

* Serve your online communities with helpful, enjoyable content, 80% shared, 20% original; 80% serving, 20% selling.

* Every field has communities of events, organizations, media, and influencers. Publishers want writers who are wired to their field.

* Writers are more concerned about getting their books published than about making every word count and preparing themselves to promote them.

* To build sales momentum during your books’ short launch window on publication, be as visible as possible in as many ways and places as possible.

* To convey what you stand for as a writer, unify color, design, the style and impact of your work, and how you communicate to build your brand–your name or your title.

* Be a creative, nimble, resourceful, and innovative lean, start-up entrepreneur who finds opportunities in change and technology.

* You can profit more from your books than ever before by repurposing your work in as many forms, media, and countries as possible.

* One-size-fits-all prescriptions like these may not work for you. Every book and writer is unique. Trust your instincts and your common sense to decide what’s best for you.

* You will not give yourself more to do than you are capable of.

* Simplify.

* Technology helps empower writers to be citizens of the world, to make a difference as well as a living.

* In 2020, 5 billion smartphones—the loudspeakers in the town square of the global village–will ensure more readers.

* Persistence rewards talent.

* If anything can stop you from becoming a writer, let it. If nothing can stop you, do it and you’ll make it.

Michael Larsen Author Coaching

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