Best Advice from Authors: 1/31/18

When you’ve met your writing goals, why not take a break and catch up on the best advice from authors?

The goal here is not to flood you with tons of information, but compile a curated list of information that I’ve found helpful. Stuff that can clarify this seemingly chaotic industry, or provide techniques and tactics you can adopt to reach more readers and sell more books.


In the DIY department, Faleena Hopkins gets behind the camera lens to shoot the covers for her Cocker Brothers hot romance series. I must confess, though, I was disappointed to see the same-old cover designs. I guess there’s only so many ways you can shoot hot hunks slathered in oil. Perhaps whipped cream next time, Faleena?

best advice from authors faleena hopkins

Looking at half-naked men can get so boring, right ladies?

Let’s peek into someone else’s bankbook. Kameron Hurley tells us how much she made in 2017. The takeaway? Diversify your income streams so you’re not reliant on one source for most of your income.

The Digital Reader reports that Barnes & Noble is Beta-Testing a new ebook app. Let’s hope this indicates that someone is taking seriously the importance of selling books online.

This Business Musings column by Kristine Kathryn Rusch went up a few weeks ago, but it’s a good reminder to separate your emotions from your business. Yes, it hurts to get screwed over in a business deal, but in the long run, it’s sometimes better to walk away from it and focus on your future.

I don’t have enough time to spare to listen to a lot of podcasts, so I want to make sure I get something out of the ones I do. I always listen to The Author Biz, for example. I’m even going back to the older ones to see what I’ve missed.

I dropped Joanna Penn’s podcast when I wasn’t getting enough out of it to make it worth the time, and the Smarty Pants podcast is on an episode-by-episode watch. Am I the only one annoyed when they promise advice “to build raving fans”? Sounds too much like the Frankenstein Podcast (“Today’s Episode: Is Using Lightning Too Old School?”).

There was some other podcast, now blessedly forgotten, which attempted to teach how to write novels, except the podcasters would only refer to movies as examples. This was particularly obnoxious because they referred to the same movies you encounter if you read a book on screenwriting: “Die Hard” and “Silence of the Lambs.” Great movies, sure (“Die Hard” is our Christmas movie), but I’d like to hear something that I didn’t already read in “Save the Cat” a decade ago.

With that in mind, here’s a podcast episode worth listening: Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula #99 with David Gaughran. I’ve listened to this twice and I’m going to return to it again with my notebook open.

Gaughran talks about the difference between marketing books available through Kindle Unlimited and books available wide. I’ve not heard his observations elsewhere, and it explains why ad campaigns have to be tailored with that in mind. He also describes why book publishers, editors, and agents are not your friends (which I knew, but it can’t be said often enough), and why you shouldn’t worry too much be worried that there are millions of books out there, as he explains here: