IWSG Newsletter offers articles from industry experts, links to helpful articles as well as advice, wisdom and inspiration.
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Insecure Writer's Support Group

A database resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering, two Facebook groups, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers! And this is our newsletter! 

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Fast Five: An IWSG Gift Past Issues

Marketing Woes: Don’t Be Discouraged, Instead, Get Ahead by Angela Ackerman
The longer I’m part of the book industry, the more I see there's a topic that sets teeth on edge: marketing. It's not that writers don't realize that marketing is important, or that they need to learn how to do it--they do. It's more that many feel that marketing is the battle they've lost before it begins. That it’s the giant greased pig that slips away before one can grasp it, much less catch and tame.
Marketing is hard in an industry that grows by 1000 books a day. Many look for a short cut, a way around this time-consuming task. But the truth is, what works best does require time…and dedication.  
So, the biggest piece of marketing advice I have is this: don’t be discouraged. You’ve got this! Start by understanding who your audience really is.
To determine this, know what makes your book special--the element or theme that causes your book to stand out any others like it. Think beyond genre. Your novel might be an adventure, but what type--one that sends your protagonist across the seas as a stowaway? Or, undercover among a community of ninja assassins? This special element should be at the heart of your marketing efforts, because it will attract your exact potential audience...adventure readers that love seafaring adventures, ninjas and martial arts, or whatever else you've dreamed onto the page.
Seek out your audience wherever they hang out. Start conversations. Share links, articles, and ask questions. Talk about movies, books, TV shows, and other media that shares this theme or special element. Having something to enjoy mutually, a connection that ties you, your book, and a potential audience together, means you’re building relationships with those most likely to want to read your stories.


Angela Ackerman is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of the bestselling book, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, as well as four others, including the newly minted Urban Setting and Rural Setting Thesaurus duo. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world.

The next Insecure Writer's Support Group day will be September 7th.
Sign up here.

SEPTEMBER 7TH QUESTION: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

*Include this question and your answer in your post. If you struggle to find time, use this chance to see what others do.


 C. Lee McKenzie
Rachel Pattison
 Elizabeth Seckman
 Stephanie Faris
 Lori L MacLaughlin
Elsie Amata!

Please post on Wednesday! It is all right to miss and post a day late, but come the first Wednesday, your IWSG should be front and center.
This is not a platform just to advertise. Or just give advice. Share your struggles, encourage others.

Connect. Visit members. Return comments. And have FUN!

Defining Your Target Reader by L. Diane Wolfe

Marketing is all about placing you and your book in front of your target audience. Knowing who these people are is important during the writing phase, but it's absolutely critical for promotions.

Continue expanding your reader profile by answering the following questions:

  • What shops and stores do they frequent besides bookstores?
  • Where do they go for entertainment? Do they attend festivals? Sporting events? Museums?
  • Are they involved in organizations or civic groups?
  • What news broadcasts or magazines do they follow?
  • What websites or blogs do they visit?
  • Are they involved in community and social sites? Which ones?
  • Are they involved in website forums or groups?
  • Where do they shop online?
  • Do they listen to podcasts?

This exercise may seem difficult at first. Some of your answers may be pure speculation. Place yourself in your readers’ shoes. If your target audience enjoys your type of book, what else would they enjoy? What else attracts their attention? What hobbies or interests might they share?

The key to your success is how well you can reach this audience, especially online. Even if your publisher is promoting the book, your grassroots efforts will be what really makes the difference in book sales.

The Insecure Writers Support Group Anthology Contest will officially begin on September 7th! Check out the IWSG website on that day for more details on the theme, word count limit, and how to enter.


Book Sales:
Book Sales Tracker

- The Art of the Hard Sell
- Are You Using Universal Links?
- Best Categories For Your Book Sales On Amazon
Using Pre-Orders to Boost New Release Book Sales

Should You Self-Publish or Traditionally Publish?
- ISBNs for Self-Published Books
- 7 Ways Self-Publishing Can Save Your Career

- Making Money: Anthologies
- The Anatomy of a Print-Only Deal
- How to Choose Best Keywords When Publishing Fiction on Amazon
- International Identifiers: A Few Words About ISNI

How to Find & Reach Influencers to Help Promote Your Book
- 5 Steps to A Killer Book Talk
- A New Platform for Serialized Work
How to Attract Media Coverage for Your Book Launch

Mary Aalgaard has been an active member of our group for years and is currently in the #12 spot on our sign-up list! She writes theater reviews and supports the arts through her blog. She has written an original full-length play called Coffee Shop Confession. She teaches youth theater workshops and writes articles for regional magazines.

Website: Play off the Page.
Face to Face Sales by Toi Thomas

I’ve found that face to face sales are the best for making profit, connections, and building a following. The problem is finding the right outlet for these up-close and personal sales. Book fairs and conventions are ideal, while book signings and small venues can also work, but make sure they fit your niche.

Yes, there may be an upfront investment in booking the event and then supplying your stock, but trust me, it’s worth it. No one can talk about or sell your book the way you can. Look someone in the eyes and fill them with the passion you have for the story within the pages of your book and it’ll be hard for them to say no.

So, now all you have to do is get over your fear of speaking in front of people and tell everyone why your characters are lovable and why your story will stay with them long after they read “The End.” If nothing else, you’ll leave those readers with an experience. They’ll read the story and then think of the wonderful, creative person who wrote the book and then shook their hand when selling it to them. You just can’t beat that.


Articles Needed!
Would you like to be featured in our newsletter? Follow the instructions below to submit an article for consideration.

Topic Ideas: your number one writing, publishing or marketing tip; a motivational pep talk or inspirational story; or an Aha moment you had about writing/publishing.

Length: 200 words
How to Submit: Send a DOC attachment to Chrys Fey at ChrysFey(at)yahoo(dot)com
Subject Line: Member Article




FREE! The Insecure Writer’s Support Group:
Guide to Publishing and Beyond

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