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10 email subject line ideas for your next newsletter (and other web tips for authors)

10 email subject line ideas for your next newsletter (and other web tips for authors)

Website tips for authorsOnline marketing tips for writers

Summer is almost over and I’ve let the whole season slip by without posting one of my usual monthly HostBaby Blog recaps! To make up for it, here are a number of articles from June, July, and August, all about boosting your web traffic, building your readership, and selling more books — starting with some tips that will help you increase the open rates of your email newsletters.

[Keep in mind that some of these articles are written with a general artist focus, rather than being author-specific. Other articles are written with musicians in mind; but the advice still applies to writers, so whenever it mentions giving away a free MP3 or featuring a music player, just imagine a sample chapter of your book.]

Here are the most recent HostBaby Blog articles:

10 email subject line ideas for your next newsletter

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A writer’s residency where you can stay forever

A writer’s residency where you can stay forever

writehouselogoHow would you like to own a newly renovated home and writer’s space — for free?

Write a House, a non-profit based in Detroit, has found a novel way to support literary arts, vocational education, and neighborhood stabilization in their city.

With the help of donors, volunteers, and trainees in a local construction program, Write a House is rehabing vacant buildings and then giving them away to low and middle-income writers around the country. You pay the taxes and the insurance, but so long as you maintain the property and live in at least 75% of the year, Write a House will grant you the deed after two years.

That’s right, FREE houses for writers of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, plays, and screenplays. All you have to do is apply (and be chosen by their selection committee).

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What trait does every successful writer possess?

What trait does every successful writer possess?

10-things-every-serious-author

The blog Writing in a Dead World posted this funny list last week, and it got me wondering, what DOES every serious writer need? Is there one trait that is shared by all successful writers?

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How to sell more eBooks with BookShop

How to sell more eBooks with BookShop

BookShop: How to sell more eBooksBookShop — the free direct-to-reader sales-tool created by BookBaby to help independent authors sell more eBooks

In a nutshell, BookShop is your eBook’s online home; it provides you with a webpage for your book AND a robust ecommerce solution all in one place. All your book’s vital info is showcased within BookShop’s elegant design; BookShop takes just minutes to set up; and you can make updates whenever you want.

That being said, it’s not like you’re going to just turn the switch and start selling millions of eBooks through BookShop overnight (unless you already have millions of readers eagerly awaiting your next release).

Yes, BookShop makes your job as an author easier (allowing you to streamline some of your promotional and retail efforts), but it can’t do all the work for you. That’s why we put together this list of ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of BookShop — because when you’re promoting your book effectively, we want you to be set up to capture every sale possible.

12 ways to boost your book sales with BookShop

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Flavorwire’s 10 Stunning Writing Studios

Flavorwire’s 10 Stunning Writing Studios

10 stunning writing studiosOnce again, Flavorwire has compiled a list for writers that will probably stir up some inspiration AND envy.

We’ve already gotten a glimpse of the world’s best bookstores and the world’s most beautiful libraries.

Now we get to see 10 stunning writing spaces — woodland cabins, backyard sheds, renovated barns, suspended studios, wetland retreats, and more. 

Check out these little sanctuaries of words at Flavorwire.

Where do YOU go to get your best writing done? 

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The most popular writing app right now is from the 19th Century

The most popular writing app right now is from the 19th Century

Well, the app itself obviously isn’t from the 19th century, but it’s meant to mimic a technology that first came to use in the late 1800′s: the typewriter, and it even has the look and sound (if not the feel) of those charming old devices.

It was created by Tom Hanks (yes, THAT Tom Hanks) and it’s called Hanx Writer. This typewriter-on-your-iPad is now #1 in the iTunes App Store thanks to a bunch of nostalgic writers, curious youngsters, and ironic techies.

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BookBaby partners with Writer’s Digest to launch Blue Ash Publishing

BookBaby partners with Writer’s Digest to launch Blue Ash Publishing

Blue Ash Publishing: self-publishing solutions for authorsNew self-publishing imprint launching this month

BookBaby is excited to announce that we’ve entered a partnership with Writer’s Digest to launch a new self-publishing division named Blue Ash Publishing.

“Blue Ash Publishing authors are truly getting the best of both worlds in self-publishing,” said BookBaby President Steven Spatz. “In addition to the education resources of Writer’s Digest, authors will get the advantages of worldwide eBook distribution through BookBaby’s sales network, plus inclusive access to a powerful suite of promotional tools through our BookPromo™  program, as well as have the opportunity to print physical copies of their books. It’s a perfect marriage between two leading companies in the self-publishing space, and authors will reap the benefits.”

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You’re not ready to promote your book until you’ve filled out your author questionnaire

You’re not ready to promote your book until you’ve filled out your author questionnaire

Author questionnaireThe terrific memoirist and poet Sandra Beasley, in addition to all her teaching, readings, and conference appearances, also somehow finds time to maintain a blog, offering incredibly useful advice for other writers.

In one recent post called 360 Degrees she talks about how important an author questionnaire can be for any writer who’s about to launch a book:

This week, I was working on my Author’s Questionnaire for W. W. Norton, in preparation for next summer’s publication of Count the Waves, my third poetry collection. These are onerous documents; what starts out as a 2-3 page list of questions can swell to a dozen pages, single-spaced. But they are incredibly helpful as a way of organizing one’s thoughts in preparing for publication. I know so many folks who–after jumping the hoops to editorial acceptance–are ambushed by the additional hoops it takes to sell the book. The Author’s Questionnaire is meant to help itemize your contacts, expand your market awareness, and rehearse answers to likely questions.

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Hang up the gloves and help!

Hang up the gloves and help!

Bookarma[This article was written by guest contributor Nancy L. Baumann of Bookarma.]

It’s a competitive world out there. Whether you’re seeking a job opportunity or trying to find a parking spot, life can be a battle zone!

I’m so glad authors don’t have to be that way. Our profession is unique. We’re not in competition with each other because people are always going to buy books! It’s not like readers will only buy one or two books a year, and they have to decide between yours and mine. Books are relatively inexpensive, and when readers find something that interests them, they’re going to snatch it up. When I share your books, it doesn’t threaten mine at all.

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Blogging tips for authors: how to generate new blog ideas

Blogging tips for authors: how to generate new blog ideas

10 Blog Ideas for Professional AuthorsI’ve heard from quite a few authors lately who just can’t think of anything interesting to write about on their blogs.

Sure, they know frequent blog updates are crucial for keeping their existing readers engaged, updating social media feeds, and  attracting new visitors to their websites. In short, they know that blogging is one of the best free tools for promoting their books.

But they also feel like most of their creative energy goes into those books, and there’s not much left over for weekly or, God forbid, daily posts. And forget about sticking strictly to a content-publishing schedule (which would, if they could muster it, create a sense of expectation and excitement in their readers).

If this sounds familiar, if you’re an author struggling to generate the kinds of blog posts that consistently interest your fans, I hope the three articles linked below will help you find the missing inspiration to blog, blog often, and build a bigger readership for your books:

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