Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Lessons Learned in 'The Business' in 2022


Now that 2022 is well and truly “in the books” (!) did you learn any business tips you can pass on?


This author’s public life has been a work in progress. I created a short listicle from practice areas where I am constantly learning. As I strive to improve my writing, I strive to continuously improve my digital footprint and the perception of my work and myself as an author. Any one of the bullets below are worthy of a full-length post, but I think you’ll get the idea without me having to belabor the obvious.



The Do and Don’ts of Blurbs

My view on the matter: Asking for them is like dating, you won’t know until you ask. Blurbs are a marketing tool to lure readers to your work.


·      Don’t wait to the last minute

·      Don’t make the blurb about prestige

·      Be professional with your request, in person or by email

o   Conferences are an excellent time to request a blurb

o   Don’t underestimate the face-to-face encounter

o   Target authors like or similar to what you write

·      Provide a clean and edited manuscript

·      Provide Word count (so they can estimate time-commitment)

·      Set expectation and propose a Target date

·      Provide a short description of your work (a mini-pitch of 100 words)

·      Never take it personal if a fellow author says No

o   Authors are busy people

o   Authors have their own deadlines

·      Store your blurbs in one place (The Credibility File)

·      Writing a blurb is hard work

o   If you write one, look at the latest fad in wording and avoid them (example: ‘propulsive’)

o   Make comparisons for the reader. It is X meets Y

·      Say “Thank you”

·      Promote the writers who promote you



Social Media

·      Work the platform where you are most comfortable (FB, IG, Twitter)

·      Check to make sure you tag the right person on Social Media

o   I keep two tabs open when I tweet

·      Use images or make graphics because they are more memorable

o   I use Canva, and search Unsplash for royalty-free graphics

·      Create content as opposed to always Retweeting someone else

·      Don’t scream BUY MY BOOK All. The. Time. (obnoxious)

·      Leverage your tweet

o   Give #shoutouts to:

§  Publishers

§  Authors who blurb the books

§  Fellow authors in an anthology

§  Local writing organizations

§  Local MWA chapter

§  Local Sisters in Crime

§  Other authors mentioned, if in an article (example: Crime Reads)

·      Communicate INFORMATION about Events

o   The 5 W:

§  Who

§  What

§  When (Don’t forget Time Zones)

§  Where

§  Why

·      Use an URL short-link

·      Make your tweet readable and not a string of hashtags

·      Use trending tags strategically

o   Example: I pimp my cat Munchkin on #Caturday

·      Be consistent and CREATE AN EXPERIENCE for the visitor (that is your brand)

o   I use humor on FB because I want visitors to have their first smile of the day seeing my page



·      Avoid political screeds, troll wars, and pile-ons [waste of energy]

·      Be cautious with humor and sensitive to tone in your wording, especially in emails

·      Act as if someone is always watching (readers, reviewers, and agents)

·      Everything on the web lives FOREVER


Angela Crook said...

Thank you do much for this. Very helpful.

Fleur Bradley said...

Such a great summary and tips. Thanks for sharing!

Catriona McPherson said...

So brilliant. It's too late for me but beginning authors can still save themselves!

Gabriel Valjan said...

I tried to respond individually, but ran into tech issues.

Thank you for reading, and I hope the 'advice' was useful.

James W. Ziskin said...

Really, really good post, Gabriel. Thanks!