Whether you are an aspiring author, a published author, a publisher or one who provides services to those who publish, the purpose of this SLPA Blog is to provide information and resources on a full range of author/publishers issues and ideas.
  • Monday, August 13, 2018 12:43 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    Learn from others'  mistakes:

    Book Production:  12 Avoidable Rookie Errors

  • Saturday, August 04, 2018 7:57 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)
    Your library may have more resources than you think to help you in your writing and publishing endeavors. The St. Louis County Library has online classes on writing, editing, publishing, marketing, and more - free with library card from any Greater St. Louis area library. The St. Louis Public Library Central location has free Adobe software you can learn on - make an appointment with a trainer if you need help. With the new SELF-e program, you can submit an e-PUB format of your book for approval into this Missouri-wide library system.
  • Thursday, April 05, 2018 11:08 AM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    Spring is here! ... hmm, not yet ... yes ... no ... Well, it has to come sometime soon. Whether you spring clean your house or not, it's time to spring clean your social media. We notice quite a few authors do not even have their website urls on their social media profiles!  Here's an article by Frances Caballo to help you:

    Spring Cleaning:  7 strategies to clean up your social media

  • Thursday, March 15, 2018 9:01 PM | Andrew Doty (Administrator)

    by Bob Baker

    Not long ago I interviewed Joe Vitale. He’s the author of more than 50 books on hypnotic marketing, the law of attraction, and more. You may have seen him in the movie The Secret or on Larry King Live.

    The interview was inspiring and wide-ranging, but here's one specific piece of marketing advice Joe offered during our conversation: Putting a question in the subject line of your email can be a great way to create a “hypnotic” message that compels people to open and read it.

    But not any question will do!

    The key, Joe says, is to ask a question that can’t be answered unless you dig deeper to find out more. For instance, here are two examples of weak email subject lines:

    Would you like to buy my new book?

    Who’s your favorite romance author?

    The problem with these questions is that the recipient can answer them and resolve the issue without any further action on their part. It offers no compelling reason to open the email.

    However, here is a more powerful, “hypnotic” question:

    Which One of These Tyrants Inspired My Latest Podcast?

    A question like that creates a mental state of dissonance. It’s an incomplete thought. And for many people, unresolved ideas compel them to take action to uncover the answer and complete the thought before they move on.

    Here’s another example:

    The Biggest First Date Mistake: This One’s a Whopper

    See the beauty in a question like this?

    It’s similar to when you can’t recall a person’s name. It often drives you crazy and you can’t concentrate on anything else until you resolve the tension by remembering the name.

    Curiosity-inducing questions offer a great way to create a hypnotic message that demands attention. Another related method is to make a provocative statement that doesn’t include all the details, such as:

    Don’t Let Your Kids Read This Book

    You could also use the word parents, boss, or lover in place of kids and get the same effect, depending on your audience and subject matter.

    Here’s another example:

    This Almost Got Me Banned in Nashville

    An email subject line like this creates curiosity and an incomplete idea that begs for a resolution. So start thinking about how you can use hypnotic questions to increase your email open rates.

    Important: If you’re going to use tactics like this to inspire action, you should deliver an interesting message inside the email. If you mislead people or don’t offer a story that’s funny or compelling in some way, they may not trust you the next time you use a strategy like this.

    Also, you don’t want to use questions and statements like these with every email you send. Just sprinkle them in here and there when you have important info to get out.

  • Thursday, March 08, 2018 11:39 AM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    How do you attract the interest of reporters, radio or TV show producers, groups you'd like to present to, or even bookstore owners? Joan Stewart, "The Publicity Hound," gives tips to help you and your book have a better shot at scoring some time in the spotlight.

    9 Types of Pitches to Use When Promoting Your Book

  • Wednesday, January 24, 2018 12:21 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    SLPA President Warren Martin created our annual video documenting all the fun, learning, and networking going on with SLPA and friends during 2017. A year goes by fast! See you all during 2018!

    A Year in the Life of SLPA - 2017

  • Sunday, November 26, 2017 10:30 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    When you are selling your own book within your state, you must collect sales tax and remit to the state at the end of the year. If you are buying copies of your own book to sell or even give away, did you avoid paying sales tax on your purchase since you will have to collect and pay it anyway whenever you sell a book? Is this confusing? Writer-lawyer Helen Sedwick tries to clear this up - the best she can.

    Sales Tax Basics for Indie Authors

  • Monday, October 30, 2017 4:19 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    Stephen King's book "On Writing" is said to be one of the best books on how to write. In it he says his greatest lesson was examining the redlines an editor made.  Read his upfront article 22 Lessons on How to be a Great Writer

  • Monday, September 18, 2017 10:55 AM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    Do you really need a website? Should you be blogging, too? What about social media? Can you just use Facebook? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Jane Friedman's recent article may ease your pain. 

    What's more important, author websites or social media?

  • Thursday, August 24, 2017 4:53 PM | Anonymous

    As technology grows at an astounding pace, authors need to keep up with the latest innovations. Yes, I know, it’s already tough enough to tackle the whole idea of book marketing. Many of us just want to write the book, step back, and let someone else do the labor of getting it out to our audience. If your bank account is flush with money, then you could hire it all out. But, let’s face it, many of us either struggle financially or we are getting by with just enough. Here is where helpful tools come into play. I hope that over time you will begin to find more and more of these resources on this blog and across our SLPA social media sites to help you navigate this technology and sell more books.

    Personal computers and laptops may always be around, not just because they are the first computers, but because every office has one. However - computers and laptops are not what your reader audience is using to engage on your author platform. It is on their Smartphone. Nearly everyone is busy these days and so getting information on-the-go is essential. We are using voice-activated Google searching and videos are fast becoming the medium for information acquisition. Your author platform needs to keep pace with these trends.

    One of the things you can do is to make sure your author website and social media channels look appealing in mobile form. Generally it is in this format that your content will be viewed.

    To give you a personal example, I recently overhauled my website with what I thought was a cool template. I like to use the free ones because I have an incredibly low budget for writing. After I set it all up, I decided to take a look at the site in the mobile version. It looked terrible. The wording ran off both sides of the screen and the pictures were either too large or too small. I needed a different template.

    I use for my site and so I went back into the template section, clicked the “FREE” box, and put the word “mobile” in the search bar. When I simply clicked the “FREE” box earlier for templates, it gave a list of 122. With the refined search of “mobile,” Wordpress narrowed it down to 16. So, if you use the free templates for your author website, make sure you pick from one of the 16 listed. Otherwise… your website will look like mine did – a mobile disaster. Nothing will drive away your audience faster than an author website that cannot be read from a Smartphone. 

    - Timothy Yohe

    Social Media Director for the St. Louis Publishers Association

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