Obviously I’m not alone. Be that as it may, it’s also quite clear not every Wordpreneur user is a WordPress dude or dudette… so I haven’t been including any WordPress-specific content among the feature selections that appear on the Wordpreneur Reader.
Which is a shame — I do come across quite a bit of it on the regular that I think many of you WordPress users will find helpful.
Well, some good news: Since the regular Wordpreneur Reader appears MWF, I figure, what the hey, let’s do a WordPress Reader edition on T’s and Th’s!
This is the very first issue. Same format as the regular Reader — a dozen feature selections per issue. Maybe that’ll increase a bit, since I’m thinking of moving all Webdev & Traffic content over to this pub, to go along with the WordPress content.
I guess we’ll find out soon enough whether I decide to go ahead with the Webdev move. In the meantime, here you go. Have fun!
One lesson I learned was you needed more than a general goal of being a successful writer. Giving your work away for nothing had to have a purpose for me. I know some authors refuse to give their books away. Being a relatively new author, I needed to get my work out in the reader’s hands.
As I always do in this type of situation, I went to my HBS Author’s Spotlight Crew to find out what their goals were in giving their books away. Maybe that would set a fire under me to try it again.
Below is a summary of the experiences the Crew had by category and subtitle. Their opinions are separated into five major categories: Exposure, Sales, Reviews, Rankings and Referrals. (Over 90 successful and outstanding authors were questioned about their giveaway goals and experiences.)
According to our Crew, exposure was the leading goal for their giveaways. You know, get the word out and generate interest with readers so they will read a sample of their work.
Try a sample of my writing style
Award-winning and best-selling mystery Author Patricia McLinn @PatriciaMcLinn. She is the author of 28 novels offered this.
‘I love being able to give readers a book for free. By giving a reader a book for free, I allow the reader a chance to judge for him/herself if my voice, characters and world suit them. My goal in offering a free book or other giveaway is to provide a stress-free (especially for me) introduction to my writing … and/or to give a gift to loyal readers.’
International Best-Selling Author Luke Romyn @LukeRomyn. He writes Mystery & Thrillers, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy novels thought this.
‘My book giveaways are usually extremely successful, generating huge buzz for my books and large sales afterward. But even the ones that didn’t end up selling me heaps of books were beneficial in that they help get my name out there, with new people reading my words, and hopefully making fans of them for my other works.’
Bestselling Author Tara Sivec @tarasivec is the author of the Chocolate Lovers series. She said:
‘If I have to give away free books to get my name out there more, that’s okay with me. One free book could bring in five new fans when the person tells them they loved the book, and that is totally worth the price.’
San Francisco Author Chad Schimke @chadschimke writes Mystery & Thrillers. He had this opinion.
‘I have one free book that’s available on my blog and as well as a Goodread’s contest to receive a physical book sent through the mail. I think readers appreciate the free book. It often prompts them to pick up another title because they enjoyed it. My main goal in promotion is to gain visibility…’
Find new readers
Author Catherine Bybee @catherinebybee is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Romance Author, said this.
‘Most of my fans come from my contemporary or time travel world. Giving readers something for free gives them the opportunity to see if they’d like my writing style in the paranormal.
I think giving away free books is a great way to find new readers. The only real drawback is for a new writer that doesn’t have more books to sell. In this case I suggest they hold off.’
Award-Winning Author Jade Kerrion @JadeKerrion writes the DOUBLE HELIX series. She offered this.
‘I’ve had one Kindle Select promotion to date, and it was for my award-winning debut novel, PERFECTION UNLEASHED. The promotion was a success… My intention was to gain traction as a debut author and to get my book into the hands of readers. If they liked it, I figured they would buy the rest of the books in the DOUBLE HELIX series.’
Mystery Author R.P. Dahlke @rpdahlke is the author The Lalla Bains mystery series. She Applauded.
‘I believe that Amazon’s KDP giveaways are the best thing that ever happened to Indie authors.’
IQlibrary.com • Wordpreneur Series
Freelance Money 1: What to Charge
A Guide for Setting Your Rates
How much do you charge for your work and services?
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Though many of the examples you’ll find here will be related to the kind of work one sees and does as a Wordpreneur — writing, Web development, design, etc. — what this guide teaches and reveals will be applicable to a wide range of freelance services, whatever the industry.
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Jane: One of the complaints I hear from freelancers is that online writing doesn’t pay. That isn’t true in my experience, although I can understand why that belief is widespread, especially when good online publications fold (e.g., The Toast) for lack of funds. Can you comment on the types of online writing that can and do pay, versus those that don’t?
Mridu: In my experience, whether a publication will pay well (or at all) will come down to how it’s funded. While I love the startup and issue-based feel of many online publications, they are typically run by people passionate about a topic and who have access to limited funds. So they grow organically and often take time to become high-paying markets, if at all. That’s important to remember.
In terms of the kind of writing, I think it often comes down to supply and demand. Right now, personal essays are everywhere and writers love writing them. The appetite for them seems almost endless, but perhaps for that reason personal essays, unless they’re going in the back pages of national magazines, aren’t incredibly high paying.
I do find that original reporting is almost always going to be something that’s valued and we’ve seen that shift recently in the minds of consumers. Online publications such as Ensia, which I’ve written for, will often pay for well-reported, well-researched stories, for instance. (We forgot to add them to our list, but they too pay approx. $1 a word.)
Specializing in a subject or region can also be helpful. I routinely negotiated double the initial pay I was offered simply because I was a journalist in India working for US and UK publications and translating East to West was something I did well for my clients and I was often one of the handful of people doing it.”
“It’s the scenario every writer dreams of: #1 New York Times Bestsellers. Movie deals. Book deals for 10 novels, one after the next.
Who could ask for more? Yet in the crazy world of publishing, even this stellar trajectory does not necessarily translate into the professional or financial stability most people need.
That’s why Nicola Kraus, whose novels, co-authored with Emma McLaughlin, include blockbusters such as The Nanny Diaries, So Close, The Real Real and Nanny Returns, turned a page in her own career a few years back to add professional ghostwriting and editing into the mix. Ever fascinated by how writers leverage their unique creative skills into satisfying, sustainable careers, I caught up with Nicola recently to hear about her path. …
Q: There are all sorts of misconceptions about what “ghostwriting” really means, and there seems to be a stereotypical notion that it involves sitting down and writing somebody else’s book from scratch. But I’ve seen all sorts of permutations, from helping authors get their first drafts into final shape to polishing already-solid manuscripts. Tell us how you work.
NK: Lol! No, I don’t put words in anyone’s mouths! I have manifold ways of working with clients. And they all stem from one fact: as publishers merged and were bought out in the oughts, houses started employing fewer and fewer editors, but published more and more titles. Meaning authors now need people like me to help them do what they could once have found within an in-house author/editor relationship. In an ideal world editors make significant changes, improvements and overhauls to manuscripts. Now I do so instead. For fiction clients seeking an, agent I line-edit and make plot suggestions. What separates me from most freelance editors, who are former editors, not authors, is that I don’t just identify what’s not working, I give viable options for how to solve the problem. Nothing makes me happier than editing a manuscript, then watching it get picked up by a major house.
But I’m also used by a lot of established authors whose editors have gone MIA when they need someone to come in and give them notes before they go to print.
For nonfiction clients, I help identify what part of their expertise should be the focus of the book, and teach them how to package it so it can sell. I help them write every part of the proposal, which is the 60 page marketing document editors use to decide to make an offer, and edit them as needed. Primarily I’m inside it with them. They can call me at night, on the weekends, as ideas come to them, and I’ll hash it out with them. And hold them accountable to their deadlines.
I know there are a lot of ghostwriters who turn people’s ideas into books. I’ve been lucky enough to be very choosy about my clients and I prefer to work with people who have the content and could write their non-fiction book if they had time, but they don’t. So they give me their curriculum, their lectures, the essays they’ve published, their blog and I help assemble it. I strongly believe that if an editor or ghostwriter is helping someone beyond that, actually stepping in and doing the bulk of the writing, they should be credited on the cover as a ‘with.'”