Welcome to SellingBooks.com!
Recent Articles

Blurbs that Bore, Blurbs that Blare

There seem to be a lot of misunderstandings about the back cover copy—the “blurbs” that so many writers have to put on the back of their books. In Ye Olden Tymes, some person who was paid to do stuff like that—meaning, a fellow who probably looked like a dumpier version of a Mad Men character—would…

Writers Need a Platform

Note from Cathy: For more on how to build your platform, get my audio program, Build an Effective Author Platform. It’s free when you sign up to get my free Selling Books newsletter. One of the most significant changes in publishing in the past decade has been the shifting by publishers of the responsibility for…

How to Make Money with a Blog

Many bloggers think that the best way to make money off their blogs is to install Google Adsense. This is a very popular way of monetizing blogs because it is so easy. You only need to sign up to Google Adsense, get your code, and install it on your site. Given that there are many…

Choosing Point of View

Determining point of view (POV) for your story may seem like an easy thing to do. You pick a view and start writing. However, understanding that choosing point of view is one of the most important decisions you will make when writing your story. Choosing your point of view affects how much the readers will…

Coping with Rejection

Rejection slips. Is there anything worse than those humbling, preprinted letters, too light to trick you into thinking your SASE might contain an acceptance, too impersonal to tell you why? Rejection slips are the writer’s gremlin, the nagging suggestion that we don’t measure up. What can we do about them? How can we live with…

Blogging Ideas for Authors

There are two main reasons why authors blog: to promote their books or to flex their creative muscles. In fact, many authors blog due to both these reasons. If you are an author looking for blogging ideas, you have to always keep these two main reasons in mind. If your blog promotes your books If…

Writing to Win

Excerpted from Writing contests offer more than just the joy of being published. They offer not only the sense of being accepted, but the sense of having won. They are the ultimate affirmation of one’s ability as a writer. But what does it take to be a winner? Every year, thousands of writers enter competitions…

How Often Do You Need to Blog?

Figuring out how often you should blog is a big deal. If you don’t update your blog enough, you might lose your hard-earned viewers. If you update your blog too much, you might overwhelm your loyal blog readers and many of them might never come back to your site. To avoid these problems, you have…

Setting Effective Writing Goals

One of the greatest challenges we face as writers is the lack of “structure” in our job. There’s no one to tell us what to do, when to do it, how to do it — or even whether we’ve done it well. (While acceptances are certainly a sign of success, rejections are not necessarily a…

How to Write Concisely

‘Write concisely.’ That phrase should be familiar. Chances are, your high school teacher or college English professor said that to you, and it is good advice. There are some serious benefits and advantages to concise writing. The three most common reasons why people should write more concisely are: writing concisely magnifies the power of your…

Cathy Stucker's Publishing Blog

Librarian Love: Helping You Get Published

librarian-friendMost people won’t believe you when you tell them that librarians can play a role that could prove vital to getting you published. The image of a cranky woman at a desk persists—but most don’t realize that behind that woman is a world of resources that could pave the way to success. It’s never too early to start working in the library, especially if you’re serious about becoming published. Beyond helping you research for your novel or help provide the tools to physically write your novel, librarians also know the process and steps that need to be taken to ensure that you get an agent, and a contact with a publishing house. Below are several ways you can utilize the library for your benefit:

  • Talk to your librarian about resources to agents. There’s several things on your to-do list if you’re nearing the end of your writing stage, and the best thing about the library is that there’s someone there ready to alleviate some of that burden. For example, most libraries have a subscription to reference material such as books that collect agents and their contact information. Having one collection of all big time agents and the kind of submissions they accept, plus their terms as an agent is incredibly helpful for any pending-author.

Likewise, there is a great deal of online resources available to those who are looking to self-publish. Librarians have experience when it comes to self-publishing, or at the very minimum, have experience researching different methods of self-publishing. Before asking for help narrowing down the focus on self-publishing, you should create a list of things you want and things you are willing to compromise on. This way, your local librarian has a sample of what she’s looking for and can really use her time wisely during the search.

  • Attend book signings. More times than not, there is a library near you that hosts book signings, or book events where there will either be a local author or a big-time author talking about their latest book. These events are huge for potential authors. Whether it’s someone who is a no-name, or someone with personal body guards, these book events prove the perfect place to network. Agents sometimes go to libraries to look for new authors, and developing a relationship with an agent is vital to progressing forward. Even if an agent doesn’t come to the book event, you have access to someone who is already published, and thus can give you some pointers in the right direction. Don’t be shy—take these opportunities to talk to authors and get the background knowledge of how you can best get your work published.
  •  Give back. The best thing to do when it comes to becoming published is to give back. This is especially important when it comes to self-publishing. The main concern for those looking to make money from self-publishing is the amount of time it takes to promote and talk-up your new novel. Here’s where the library will do you a great favor. Offer to donate a copy of your book to the library, offer to do a free or discounted author visit and book signing. These may look counterintuitive to making money, but in exchange for a free service, your local librarian will promote your book to patrons, who in turn will tell their friends about your book, or go out and buy it themselves. It also puts you in the same room as people you may want to network with, and further promote your work.

Regardless of what you think is best for your future as an author, it’s undeniable that your librarian should be on your radar. Utilize their knowledge and their connections within the publishing world, and never forget to give back to the library at all turns. Once you show your true colors, librarians will be more likely to help out in the future, and work on your side all along the process of getting published. There’s an entire world of resources and networking right at your fingertips—all you need to do is befriend your local librarian.

Researching For Your Novel: Librarians as Friends

Writing a novel can be very intimidating, and very difficult. One of the hardest tasks any author needs to undertake is research. Whether it’s looking at the historical context of a war being used as the background of a romance novel, or understanding how an engine works for your new steampunk series, research is essential….

How Writing a Novel Actually Works

This infographic shows some of the myths believed by new novelists. Many new writers believe that writing the first draft is the hard part. In fact, when you finish the first draft you work has hardly begun. You may get a chuckle from this graphic, or you may find that it is too true to…

How to Write Faster

If you want to write a book or if you want to write for a living, one of the biggest factors that will determine if you make a good living with writing is your writing speed. Writing faster is not just a matter of how fast you type. You have to actually compose your thoughts…

5 Ways to Sell More Kindle Books

Just listing your book in the Kindle marketplace doesn’t guarantee sales. You need to give your sales a jump start, and the five tips here will help you do exactly that! 1) Choose good keywords. Using the right keywords in your listing as well as the book title itself (if possible) can help searchers find…

Starting a Writing Group at Work

Many people have dreams of becoming writers—whether it’s fiction prose or research articles. Unfortunately, real life can get in the way and a large portion of dreamers take jobs unrelated to the kind of writing they had in mind, and soon stop writing. Poetry writing takes a backseat to planning lessons for kindergarten classes and…

Unexpected Marketing Results

Over the years I have done a lot of marketing. Some things got better results than I expected, others…not so much. But many things delivered different results than I expected. This is one of the magical things about marketing. Let’s talk about how this might apply to selling your books. Say that you have set…

Reading to Children

As a teenage babysitter, I loved reading to the kids I watched. They would bring out a huge stack of books, and when I finished reading one they would beg me to read, “just one more.” We often spent the evening with the television off, reading story after story. My mother read to me a…

How to Overcome Writer’s Block [INFOGRAPHIC]

I believe that writer’s block doesn’t really exist. If you are a writer, you write. However, there is no question that the words come more easily at some times than at others. What can you do when you are finding it hard to get the words from your brain, through your fingers and onto the…

Kindle Countdown Deals – Put Your Kindle Book on Sale to Sell More

Amazon has announced the Kindle Countdown Deals program for Kindle in the US and UK that allows authors and publishers to offer limited-time promotional discounts on Kindle-exclusive books, including those in the KDP Select program. Customers can see the regular price and the promotional price on the book’s detail page. A countdown clock, telling them…