Writing Tips, Book Marketing, Self-Publishing Advice

Tips, Tricks and How-To's on Everything Author

Tap into rich resources including articles and videos on writing, self-publishing, and marketing your book.  Please send us your feedback if there's a topic that you'd like to learn more about as an indie author.

For even more tips and tricks, read the WestBow Press Blog.

 

Writing Tips

Don't Put Writing on the Back Burner Any Longer

There always seems to be a task or a reason that takes priority over writing. This article gives you four tips on how you can make writing a priority again. With a little discipline, your manuscript will be done in no time!

Five Fixable Writing Mistakes

Writing isn’t an easy job. While you’re typing away at your manuscript, your mind is balancing storyline, character development, dialogue and more.  For many authors, the technical aspects of writing are on the backburner. There’s nothing wrong with having less than precise writing in your first-draft manuscript. In fact, many authors purposefully disregard proper spelling and grammar to focus on content. But before your book hits the shelves, here are five fixable writing mistakes that you should eradicate from your manuscript.

Finding the Confidence to Write and Publish

Whether it’s because of rejection by several traditional publishers or lacking the courage to finish a manuscript, many authors suffer from a lack the confidence to actually publish their work. Though this sometimes lasts only a short while, a lack in confidence can keep you from sharing your words and God's messages. 

Conquer Writers Block and Keep On Writing 

There comes a time in every writer’s career when inspiration falls short, frustration sets in, and the words just don’t appear. The blank, white page and the taunting, blinking cursor seem intimidating — as if someone has just flipped the hourglass and you are watching the sand fall. Here are nine simple tips to help you conquer writers block.

Finding Your Niche in the Christian Genre 

In both Christian and secular publishing there are different genres. Whether you are an experienced or novice Christian writer, your story will integrate within a particular genre. Therefore, every writer must ask, what is my writing niche and where does it fall in the realms of the various genres?

Finding Inspiration for Writing a Christian Children's Book 

When you sit down to write, where does your inspiration come from? Depending on the kind of book you are writing your inspiration may flow from different places. When writing a children's book there are specific things you can do to find inspiration for your writing. This article will give you a few tips for writing a children's book.

 

Self-Publishing Tips

Interview with Laurie Norlander, the 2012 Women of Faith Writing Contest Winner

Laurie Norlander shares what it was like to find out that she had been named the grand-prize winner of the 2012 Women of Faith Writing Contest. Norlander also talks about what it was like self-publishing her prize-winning book, Mirror Images, with WestBow Press.

Laurie Norlander, 2012 Women of Faith Writing Contest Winner

Michael Hyatt: WestBow Press and the Rise of Self-Publishing 

Michael Hyatt's new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, offers clear and helpful advice to anyone with something to say or sell. It’s perfect for every writer and author who wants to widen their reach and share their message with everyone who needs to hear it.

Michael Hyatt: WestBow Press and the Rise of Self-Publishing 

The Rise of Self-Publishing: An Intervew with Pete Nikolai from Thomas Nelson 

Self-publishing is no longer looked at as "vanity publishing," says Pete Nikolai, publisher of WestBow Press and director of publishing services for Thomas Nelson. Nikolai discusses self-publishing's growing popularity and the new technology that provides better opportunities for writers.

 Watch: The Rise of Self Publishing

What Does It Take to Get Noticed by a Traditional Publisher: An Interview with Pete Nikolai from Thomas Nelson 

WestBow Press talks with Pete Nikolai, publisher of WestBow Press and director of publishing services for Thomas Nelson, about what stories impress traditional publishers. Nikolai emphasizes the importance in having a strong selling platform and marketing angle.

Watch: What Does it Take to Get Noticed by a Traditional Publisher?

Tips for a First-Time Author: An Interview with Pete Nikolai from Thomas Nelson 

Pete Nikolai, publisher of WestBow Press and director of publishing services for Thomas Nelson, shares tips every first-time authors should know. Authors need to consider the full gamut of opportunities that are available to them, Nikolai says.

Watch: Tips for First Time Authors

How to Find the Courage to Publish: An Interview with Author Beth Ryan 

Is fear of rejection holding you back from publishing the book you’ve had on your heart for years? According to Thomas Nelson employee and author Beth Ryan, setting aside fear and trusting God with your manuscript can open doors for your book that you never imagined.

Why Choose a Christian Publisher Over a Secular Publisher?

Selecting the right publisher for your book is not easy. Considering such factors as cost, services and marketability can be overwhelming enough without having to determine if a publisher upholds the same values as you do. Selecting a Christian publisher like WestBow Press will help you rest assured that your values are in line with your publisher's values.

Author's Quick Guide to Identifying Libel 

Self-publishing your book will most likely be one of the highlights of your life. To ensure that your author journey is an exhilarating, positive experience, review our quick guide to identifying libel in your work.

Understand the Basics of U.S. Copyright Law 

The nuances of publishing law can be overwhelming for both new and experienced authors. But by educating yourself with the basic, simple facts, you'll know your rights and minimize your legal risk.

 

Book Marketing Tips

 

WestBow Press Book Marketing Guide

To spread the message that God called you to share, getting your ideas on paper and publishing your book were just the beginning. With the right kind of marketing and publicity, you’ll have a better chance of inspiring readers with your words.

WestBow Press Marketing Guide

The Importance of a Platform 

WestBow Press interviewed Annie Downs, a past WestBow Press whose book was recently acquired by Zondervan, about author platforms. Find out why it's important for you.

Annie Downs: The Importance of Platform

Establishing Your Marketing Platform: Part 1

Chris Bass, the director of marketing services at WestBow Press, explains the importance of building a book marketing platform and outlines some ideas on how you can get started planning your strategy now.

Three Steps to a Successful Press Kit

Publicity can be a wonderful marketing tool. Imagine talking about your book on a local morning show, getting a mention in the city paper or having your book reviewed by a popular website. Many authors strive for these publicity opportunities but find them difficult to attain without first sending a press kit.

Your Book is a Business so Market it Like One 

Your book is much like a business and marketing is no exception.  Daydreaming about the best-sellers list won’t get you any closer to breaking the top 10.  So how do you market a book like a business?  Let’s start with a few simple questions that will help you identify the best way to market your new book.  Like any business, these questions are key to identifying and creating a successful marketing plan for your book.

How to Build Your Author Platform 

Today’s writing and publishing world is highly competitive. If you want your book to sell, you will need to represent your "business" — you and your work — with a solid foundation that exhibits your writing resume known as the Author Platform. Learn how to build your Author Platform to build awareness for your work, enhance your professional reputation and amplify your visibility.

How to Host a Successful Book Signing Event 

Organizing book signings, readings, and public appearances is a vital element of an author’s marketing campaign as well as an influencer on the author’s level of success. Your position when planning an event is to sell to the public that you are the author, this is the book, and here is where you can find it. 

An Author's Introduction to Social Media and Networking: Part One 

Social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, are here to stay. The popularity of sites may come and go, but the concept of social media and using it to network and share information is definitely here to stay. How can you as an author take advantage of what those programs have to offer? Where do you even begin?

How to Use Facebook and Twitter to Promote Your Book: Part Two 

Knowing the "why" behind social media is one thing — actually taking the plunge and doing it is another. It may take you awhile to figure out how everything works, but you have to start somewhere, and once you get going, you'll understand the huge benefits of marketing through Facebook and Twitter.