Six Reasons to Revise and Re-Release Your Book

Six Reasons to Revise and Re-Release Your Book

Several years ago I met a guy at a writer’s conference who had a 400-page science fiction book that he had published five years ago. He said “When it comes to book promotion, I wish I knew then what I know now. I think this book could have done considerably better than it did initially.” I suggested to him at the time that he maybe consider re-releasing it. Update the cover, maybe modify some of the content. And, I also suggested that he take this 400-page book and divide it into four segments. Because genre fiction readers love a series, I suggested that if his book fits this model, that he should consider dividing the book into four 100-page segments. He could in turn release them as a series on Amazon and then bundle the entire four-book saga. A book series is a great book promotional tool, and also a great visibility booster on Amazon.

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Why Are Writers Getting Poorer?


A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.

Why Are Writers Getting Poorer?

Many authors write books because they love to write.  It comes naturally to them.  Others feel they have something important or wonderful to share with the masses.  And some hope to earn a decent living from practicing their craft. Unfortunately, the latest studies in the U.K and U.S. show that writers are struggling as they earn below minimum wage levels.

According to a new study of professional, writers in the UK, conducted by Authors Licensing and Collecting Society, the median earnings of professional writers – those who spend at least half of their working hours to writing – fell by 42% in real terms since 2005, and by 15% since 2013.

Fewer writers can earn a living writing.

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Increase Your Readers and Your Book Sales with this One Thing

Increase Your Readers and Your Book Sales with this One Thing

Wouldn’t we all love to sell more books? I mean that’s the goal, right? The chasm between writing a book, publishing a book, and actually having a successful book marketing campaign is often wide and treacherous. A lot of the reason why so many authors have a hard time bridging the gap to book sales is this one simple thing: as writers you must know your reader, and many haven’t put in the time to build a reader profile.

Writing a book is such an awesome experience isn’t it? And we’re often told to “write the book we want to read.” Have you heard that before? If you have you’re not alone. The problem is, that advice is largely wrong. In fact, it’s the exact right thing to do in only two cases:

You are your reader. Meaning you are writing in the exact kind of genre you love and that’s all you read and you know your genre inside and out. You know your reader, period.


You don’t care if anyone buys your book. Because I will tell you, if you don’t write for your reader, you’ll sell few, if any books.

Writing and publishing is a big endeavor, and you wouldn’t want it to go sideways just because you didn’t take the time to know your reader. And keep in mind that not every book will be spot on exactly what your reader wants to read. They might dislike one of your characters, or find a chapter or two irrelevant. But the majority of the book, 80% or more, should be spot on specific to the genre and the readers’ needs. Otherwise you’re wasting good book marketing dollars on a campaign for a book with minimal readership.

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#MotownWriters Movies vs plays from the production standpoint [video] via @janayablack #blacksmithEnterprises


Movies vs plays from the production standpoint


Janaya Black is a woman who thrives in the capacity of wearing many hats. A passionate writer at heart, from the silver screen to the stage she seamlessly blends her creative drive and aspirations into the many other facets that make up her impressive resume.

Janaya serves as president/CEO of Black-Smith Enterprises, an entertainment infrastructure created to house all of her creative projects.

In 2004, Janaya wrote and published her first fiction novel The Breaking Point, followed by her second release in November of 2006, As Told by the Other Woman, and the third and final instalment of the “Prison Chronicles” series Beautiful Rage: The Break of Dawn in 2008.

With the release of her first book followed the spark that ignited her love for the art of independent filmmaking. After teaming with her husband Rockey Black to create a trailer for The Breaking Point, she then went on to write, direct and produce several short film projects and released her first feature-length film, Till Death…Do Us Part, to DVD in 2009. In subsequent years, she went on to complete a plethora of other stage and film productions that include The Breaking Point, Idol, I Am My Sister’s Keeper, Why Do Men Cheat and Loud Pack, and most recently Warrior Pride, which is scheduled to be released in 2018.

Janaya is the proud mother of two beautiful children, a community advocate and in her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing sports and reading.

For more information about Janaya Black, please visit or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @janayablack.

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#MotownWriters: Promoting Summer Reading in the Library #literacy #michigan

Promoting Summer Reading in the Library

Summer as a catalyst to building a culture of reading  

It’s the time of year when school librarians are planning summer reading activities for their students. I work in an IB library but it is just like working in any school library. You really need to take your community into consideration and decide what you are flexible on.

  • Can all your students easily get to their public library?
  • Do your students travel during the summer?
  • Are there any school expectations for reading over the summer?
  • How do you celebrate summer reading?

Here are some ideas to promote summer reading. 

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3 Types of Book Reviews You Can Write and How to Write Them — Author Toolbox

A book review — your opinion about a book based on evidence from it. We’ve seen them on Amazon and Goodreads. We may have even read a few… but are we writing them, too?

Wait? Writing a book review? I can’t do that. I don’t know how to do that… Please don’t ask me! Please!


But you can! I promise. (If you want to, that is…) All you need is a little bit of time and a book… I’ll take you through the “Why,” the “What,” and the “How” of writing a review.

Why should I?

Before we get into the how, let’s discuss the why. Why should I write a book review? Why does it matter if I write a review? Why do authors care about reviews? Why do readers care about reviews?


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By Neal Thompson

I didn’t intend for it to be a memoir. I swear. It just kept tilting in that direction.

The only scenes that felt real and true were those with my wife and two sons. Still, it took a few years of writing my way in and out of corners and dead ends before I stopped referring to my book as a “history of skateboarding with bits of personal narrative,” before I understood and started calling it what it was: a family memoir, a story about fatherhood and raising boys.

I’m not sure how far along I was before I came clean and told my family that dad’s misshapen skateboarding book had become a book about, well . . . us. The secret grew inside me until I finally admitted to my sons, Sean and Leo, to my wife, Mary, and to myself that the story had evolved, grown more personal, more cathartic for me but more fraught for us all.

When we had “the talk,” my kids and my wife were understanding and generous in ways that I’ll never be able to repay. But coming clean was just the beginning.

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By Kristen Arnett

For eight years I worked Storytime at a public library. When I mention this to people I get very mixed reactions. Sometimes, they’re impressed. They’ll ask about the crafts and the kids; they tell me it sounds like a rewarding experience. Others get a look on their face like they bit into a raw onion. Oh, they’ll reply, grimacing. How was that?

I mean, I get it. It’s a tough gig. I have to say, it’s easier looking back at Storytime with a sweet sense of nostalgia than when I was doing the actual work, peeling dried Elmer’s glue off my only good work pants and singing Raffi at nine in the morning to a bevy of screaming toddlers. Working children’s services sometimes means dealing with a bunch of sugared-up kids who got into a box of Lucky Charms cereal (I recognize that look—I also eat Lucky Charms to get amped). But it also means thinking on your feet and getting way outside your comfort zone. By that I mean you’ll probably have to kneel on the floor, and if you’re wearing a skirt, everyone is gonna see your underwear and four different kids will point it out loud enough for everyone in the library to hear.

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How to Write 12 Books in 6 Months to Grow Sales & Populate a Backlist #motownwriters

How to Write 12 Books in 6 Months to Grow Sales & Populate a BacklistThanks to the rise of binge-reading and binge-watching behavior, today’s readers often plow through an entire book series quickly. I’m a binge-and-repeat reader myself — I will glom onto a series from start to finish, only to repeat the process months later with the same books. Ditto for television.

According to Dominique Sandis, Children’s and YA Acquisitions Editor at Psichogios Publications, “Market research has shown that young adults and adults go out and buy all the books of a series all at once rather than gradually. In this way, if a publisher has published a series all together, like Divergent/Insurgent/Allegiant, then you may well have better sales than if you publish the first title now and then follow on with the second book in the series a year or more later.”

That, I thought, was what I wanted to do to make money and gain traction in the indie market. I wanted to write a series of sexy contemporary romances — standalone, but connected — and release them fast enough for readers to binge on them. Every two weeks seemed perfect.

In this post, I’ll walk you through how I’m publishing twelve books in six months — from creating the concept of the series to marketing each release. This strategy has helped me increase sales and populate a backlist-driven product, and I hope this helps you when planning your own binge-readable series!



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Aside from making millions and possibly billions at the international box office, Marvel Studios’ movies have also had a secondary purpose. In theory, Marvel’s superhero films are meant to lead new readers back to the comics that inspired their big screen adventures. Now, Marvel is using the success of Avengers: Infinity War as a springboard for a new initiative to reach young readers.

Via, Marvel, Little Free Library, and First Book are teaming up for Avengers: Infinity War-themed library stands, which will be placed in nine communities across the country. Disney Publishing Worldwide and First Book will also keep the Little Marvel Library stands stocked for two years, with titles including Road to Avengers: Infinity War and The Cosmic Quest Vol. 1.

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How to Easily Test a Book Cover Design to Sell More Copies via #bookbub

How to Easily Test a Book Cover Design to Sell More Copies

How to Easily Test a Book Cover Design to Sell More CopiesThink people don’t judge books by their covers? Think again. A book’s cover is the first thing potential readers see — whether they’re browsing online retailers’ search results, skimming their social media feeds, or perusing their BookBub emails.

A great cover design can have a major impact on book sales. For example, romance writer R.L. Mathewson went from selling five or six copies per day of her novel Playing for Keeps to over 1,000 per dayby updating her cover design.

With so much at stake, why hedge your bets on one design without testing it first? Instead, use data to choose your cover design — either for a new book or a relaunch — by testing two or more variations against each other. This strategy can help both indie authors and publishing houses increase sales!

Cover elements like the image, font face, featured characters, and colors all impact the emotional reaction potential readers might have to a book. Best practices differ by genre, and like everything else in publishing, opinions of cover designs are subjective. This is why it’s so important to run your own cover design tests to find out which one will resonate most with your own unique audience!

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Saying Goodbye to That WIP: When it’s Okay to Give Up on a Writing Project. via @annerallen

Saying goodbye to that WIP can be bittersweet…

by Anne R. Allen

I’ve recently had discussions with several writers who have been pondering saying goodbye to that WIP they’ve been laboring at for years.

All of them wanted to move on for different reasons. All of their reasons were valid.

Unfortunately, the writers felt it was wrong to let go. They had to battle all the messages writers see daily. You know, the ones that say, “never give up”, “you can’t fail unless you quit”, “quitting is for losers”, etc.

Here’s the thing: there are times when we need to accept that a particular book is not going to work, and our energy will be better spent on something new.

Writers need to look beyond one book to the big picture of a career

If we can’t let go, we can get stuck on a dead-end project and end up wasting money and time on edits and rewrites of a book that will never work.

That happened to me. I spent nearly a decade working on a big, literary novel and endlessly querying, workshopping and rewriting it before I realized the book just didn’t work.

It was wrenching to give it up. I put it in a fancy box and buried it in the back of my closet. The act felt like a funeral. But I knew I needed to do it to move on.

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#MotownWriters 5 Smart Tips for Marketing Poetry Books

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. – Robert Frost

Such a beautiful statement by Robert Frost, but unfortunately it ignores the reality that marketing poetry books is not easy.

And since April is National Poetry Month, I figured it was my duty to give poetry authors a little love and marketing support!

National Poetry Month – find out how to market your poetry book! via @bookgal #bookmarketing…
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If you’ve written and published poetry, you already know how difficult marketing poetry books can be. If you’re considering publishing a poetry book, you’ve been warned. But I can give you some useful advice for making your book marketing much more purposeful, and much more lucrative.

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Winning ways with whacky May holidays #motownwriters

Whacky May holidays

It’s time to inject a little fun into your book promotion.

I always get so many happy comments and emails when I run these whacky holiday lists that I’m going to try to do it more often. These unusual special occasions give you a chance to get creative – and smile.

The goal is to find one or more whacky May holidays from the short list below or the expanded list on HolidayInsights that relates to your book. Use that occasion as a starting point for any number of book promotion tactics.

Winning ways with whacky May holidays

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Michigan author has been queen of the romance/historical genre for 25 years #motownwriters @authormsbev

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Beverly Jenkins strutted on to the literary scene almost 25 years ago, becoming the first African-American woman with a best-selling historical romance novel.

She thought “Night Song,” published in 1994, would open the door for other black women authors.

“The readers were coming through but there no authors behind me,” said Jenkins, who will be in Bowling Green for Researching the Romance, a two-day academic conference on April 13-14 at Bowling Green State University.

“I had the niche to myself for 20 years,” she said. “But now, it’s amazing.”

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