Category : Marketing and Platforms

  • January 7, 2014

    A Workshop on Getting Published




    A new writing conference is fast approaching — and you’re invited.

    On Saturday, February 15, I will be speaking at the Dallas Writers’ University. It’s a one-day event, with a rather intensive agenda:

    • I’ll speak on “developing a book proposal that sells,” and the focus will be on giving practical, hands-on help to writers who want to create a proposal that will get noticed.
    • I’ll also be speaking on “creating your long-term publishing strategy,” with an emphasis on traditional publishing, niche publishing, self-publishing, and alternative strategies for writers to make a living.
    • Michelle Borquez, bestselling author and entrepreneur, will explore “building a platform around your concept.”
    • There will be a Q&A time, and everybody there will have a face to face meeting with me sometime during the day.
    • Finally, Michelle and I will be talking about the secret to success in contemporary publishing.

    I’m really looking forward to this opportunity. I’ve largely taken time away from conferences the past couple years, but I love talking to authors about proposals and strategy. And you’re invited. Again, every participant gets face time with me, where we’ll be reviewing proposals and talking about next steps in a one-on-one setting. That means our space is limited to just 30 people.

    Here’s the thing . . . there are a hundred conferences you can go to in order to get some basic information on writing. But if you really want to join a small group and find out how to create a book that will sell, make some money, and gain entry into the world of publishing by talking to some experienced people in the industry, I hope you’ll consider joining us. I don’t do many conferences anymore (and rarely do a writing conference), so I’m excited to be asked to be part of this one.

    The event is going to be in the Dallas area, at a church in White

    Continue Reading "A Workshop on Getting Published"
  • November 28, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: Happy Thanksgiving!



    In the midst of food and family, don’t forget that the holidays are a great time to promote your books! Keep an eye on how your favorite stores and products promote during the season, and consider how you may duplicate their ideas. Last year, one of my favorite clothing stores ran a gimmick in which you could be entered to win a huge shopping spree…all you had to do was create a Pinterest board of items from their holiday collection that you wanted.

    While I didn’t come close to winning the grand prize, you bet I got about three of those wishlist items as gifts that year. Meaning they made money on my participation in their promotion.

    I call that “gimmick” a ridiculous success.

    See what you can come up with, and have fun with it!

    And if you happen to be putting together a holiday wishlist, don’t forget to add to it The Extroverted Writer! It’s a great stocking stuffer, if I do say so myself.

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: Happy Thanksgiving!"
  • November 20, 2013

    Redesigning My Website – One Author's Experience (a guest blog)


    When I mentioned to Chip that I recently had my website redesigned and sent him the link to check it out, he asked me to write a blog post and share my experience with you.

    To give you an idea of where my site was when I began my redesign process with Aaron Robbins, I need to share a little about my website history. I began blogging in 2008, on a free Blogger blog at the URL The platform served my purposes well (writing parenting posts geared toward moms) and I was happy with the functionality and design.

    Over the next few years, as my blog began to grow and my passion for writing in the parenting genre became more serious, I changed the appearance of my site, added more selections to my navigation bar and more widgets to my sidebar. I admit, at the time, I didn’t really have a long-term vision for my site. (I was just tweaking it here and there.) I also bought the domain for my name and created my own website through WebSiteTonight for While I wrote about parenting regularly on, this second URL was where I had my writing bio and information about the children’s books I had written.

    Managing two sites turned out to be time consuming, so a little while later, I made a major change, switching from on Blogger to on WordPress, combining the two. So not only did I switch blogging platforms, I changed URLS and  years of blog posts at mycup2yours transitioned to

    It was a hard decision and one that came with complications in terms of SEO, redirects, and lost subscribers, but it was the right thing to do from a branding perspective. I wanted one place that readers could find me and all my work, rather than going to one site for my blog and another to find

    Continue Reading "Redesigning My Website – One Author's Experience (a guest blog)"
  • November 14, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: Tapping into Small Reader Demographics


    Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    The typical reader is a middle-aged, white female. We’ll call her Sally.

    A vast majority of fiction is created with Sally in mind. Take the entire romance genre, for example (barring, of course, African American, multi-cultural, and some LGBT romances). Not to mention the mystery genre. The women’s fiction genre. The erotica genre. A vast majority of the historical genre and even a chunk of the YA genre are both created and marketed with her in mind.

    It isn’t until we get to that historical genre, and then suspense, and then thrillers, and then horror and speculative fiction that we start to see books that are marketed to Sally, as well as … Sally’s husband. We’ll call him Gunther.

    I’m no mathmetician, but I know this…a whole freaking lot of the fiction books produced are produced with Sally in mind. And of the books not created with Sally in mind, a super crazy majority of those are intended for Gunther.

    So where does that leave the author who writes for a narrow demographic?

    My honest opinion? It’s almost easier to tap into a narrow demographic than it is to tap into a broad one. Think about it like this…

    A billion (hyperbole) books come out every year with Sally in mind. I mean granted, there are a ton of Sallys in the world, so it makes sense there are lots of books to choose from. BUT each Sally still needs to make a decision to read one book at a time. And when there are a billion books

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: Tapping into Small Reader Demographics"
  • November 7, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Overload


    Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    When I first started using Facebook, it was really a member’s only type of site. It was a site for you and your friends and others like you. You had to be a college student with a college email address in order to register. I mean THAT’s how closed-off it was. Eventually, it opened up to high school students. And then in what I imagine was an attempt to not exclude homeschoolers, and other less traditional students, it opened up even more, allowing people to register using any old email account.

    And now…

    I log in to my Facebook account, stare at my news feed and realize that I don’t know half of the people showing up in it. I check my number of friends: 726. …and I can’t help but feel that I haven’t even met that many people on earth, let alone that I feel close enough to them to consider them “friends.”

    I’ve noticed that numerous Facebook “Friends” have gone on Facebook sabbaticals lately. What used to be a thing that would happen maybe once a year to one of my “friends” now seems to be a monthly occurrence. There always seems to be someone who is announcing a FB break-up. Someone who has decided to take a day, a week, a month off. Someone who has had it with the weird sense of responsibility and addiction that social media can cause in a person’s life.

    I’m not gonna lie: I used to think this was a bit silly. I mean who lets Facebook–FACEBOOK–spiral so

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Overload"
  • October 31, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: Using Google to Find Your Readership



    Amanda Luedeke is a zombie literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform and eating brains. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her cravings for human flesh and wheelings and dealings as an agent. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    This weekend, we’re having our annual MacGregor Literary marketing seminar, where we invite our authors to come out to Chicago (this year, we opened it up to the general public, as well!), set up camp in a hotel conference room, and talk nothing but marketing for an entire day.  For an industry comprised primarily of introverts, I’d say the word “exhausting” barely begins to cover how this event makes authors feel. And yet we’ll see fifty-plus authors who have dusted off their luggage, said goodbye to the comfort of their pajama-friendly workspaces, and braced themselves for a barrage of smalltalk and awkwardness…all because they realize the single truth that can make, break, or change an author’s career:

    Careers are built on great sales numbers. They aren’t built on awards or fan mail or an extensive publishing history. They aren’t built on publishing with the biggest houses and befriending the most top-selling authors and contracting multiple books in a year.

    They’re built on the number of copies sold. And the only way an author can ensure that they have truly done all they can to get those numbers is to promote, promote, promote.

    It is as this point–when the book begins to earn money for the publisher–that it is no longer seen as a risk, but instead, an investment. A wonderful, magical investment for which the publisher will do anything to keep.

    And so, we’ll be spending a weekend, going over this essential part of the puzzle. My contribution this

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: Using Google to Find Your Readership"
  • October 26, 2013

    What did the publisher do to help make the novel succeed?


    Recently I had a couple writers ask me about two particular novels that did well in the market. In both cases I had been the agent for the books, and they wanted to know what the publisher had done to help make each book a success. I can think of a number of things that were done well, and I think they offer a model for others to follow…

    First, in both cases the authors spent a couple years building a readership for her writing through websites. That took a lot of patient work and investment by the authors, and it helped immensely (and I realize that’s not a publisher activity, but I bring it up because it wouldn’t be fair to talk about the success of the novels without that fact). Both authors worked tirelessly at marketing, which also helped. I’m one of those who realizes writers don’t get into this business to become “marketers” — they want to be writers, so investing a bunch of time into marketing is a sacrifice. Both of these authors made that sacrificed and did the hard work to make their books succeed.

    Second, each author wrote a very good novel. The publisher’s role in that was to push the writers to make their books better. The editors weren’t satisfied to let the novels be adequate — they pushed them toward greatness. So I think the publisher really believed in the books. That may sound trite, but I think it makes a difference. A publisher can’t believe in every book — no matter what they say, the lists are too long, and there’s only so much time to invest. They need to spend the bulk of their energies on their current bestsellers, since that’s close to being a guaranteed source of income. It’s tough to invest a lot of time, money, and manpower on a newer author who may or may not pan

    Continue Reading "What did the publisher do to help make the novel succeed?"
  • October 24, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: Will My Agent Help Me Market My Book?


    Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    I thought I’d spend some time today, sharing two minor annoyances that I run into while at conferences…

    Since I have branded myself as “the marketing agent” or “the agent who understands marketing,” I always get a few people who sit down across from me at a conference, expecting something beyond a simple “yes, I’m interested in this project,” or a “no, I’m not interested.”

    The first type of person is the guy who tells me that he needs an agent because he needs help with marketing and publicity. So, all of the reasons that make most people want an agent (the fact that we can get their work in front of top publishers, the fact that we will negotiate an airtight deal, the fact that we will help them strategize a long-term career), are outshined by his one major need for someone to help him peddle the goods.

    Let me be frank, though I do strive to help authors with marketing (it’s why I write here every Thursday!), an agent doesn’t help with the actual act of marketing and promoting a book. We don’t Tweet for you or set up speaking engagements or launch your Facebook page. We don’t create your media kit or provide you with a list of guest blogs or spend time extensively researching your target audience. We don’t do this, because we don’t have the time…and because for a majority of us, it’s not our strength. Now, while I may be different in that I theoretically COULD do these things for you, I chose

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: Will My Agent Help Me Market My Book?"
  • October 23, 2013

    What about a mega-giveaway? (a guest blog)


    BY GUEST BLOGGER RAJDEEP PAULUS, author of Swimming Through Clouds

    AMC_8382.JPGstc_giveaway_contest-fall is for falling in love.jpg

    Life is about give and take. My mom taught me this at a very early age. We learn this on the playground: “Give me a push on the swings. Now your turn.”

    But as we grow older, we get confused. We don’t always know what we want. And we’re wary of those who offer to give us something in return for anything. How much will they expect? Will the return be worth the effort? We can all think of a hundred better things to do with our time. Time is limited, after all.

    So as a newbie author navigating the torrential waves of marketing, I have decided that I’ve tried sailing, kayaking, and snorkeling with the likes of blogs tours, twitter parties, and spray-painting Swimming Through Clouds across NYC brick walls in the best view of passing subway riders. I suppose the latter is something I only dream about but some day…

     Anyway, the most success I’ve personally had at spreading book news has been with the A-MAZING dessert party put on by the fabulous Amanda Luedeke (of “Thursdays with Amanda” fame, although lately…) and her partners in crime, Chip and Sandra. You can read about all the fun here at Playlist Fiction or here on Chip’s Blog!

    Although I like to say life is one big par-tay, the truth is, most of us can’t afford to party Monday through Friday and on the weekends. That’s just not reality.

    So back in my little boat, swimming through ideas of how to get the word out about my book and all the fab titles over at Playlist Fiction, I ventured out and researched what other succeeding Indie YA authors were doing. Stumbled upon a new writer who is tearing up the charts with her New Adult book, and one major thing she’s doing differently that I hadn’t seen before

    Continue Reading "What about a mega-giveaway? (a guest blog)"
  • October 21, 2013

    The Extroverted Writer is in PRINT!


    We’re happy to announce that The Extroverted Writer is now available in print from!

    So for those of you who enjoy making notes in margins and dog-earing pages, check it out.




    Take control of your writing career and develop an online following that sells books and propels you forward!

    Whether you’re a published author or new to the industry, THE EXTROVERTED WRITER gives you the tools you need to gain a readership through:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Blogging
    • Websites
    • And MORE!

    Literary agent Amanda Luedeke uses her background in corporate marketing to show readers that even if you’re an introvert you can have a great online author following by tapping into the reader-packed world of social media. From ideas to tips to absolute musts, THE EXTROVERTED WRITER builds on Amanda’s successful “Thursdays with Amanda” blog posts on This easy-to-read guide breaks down the most popular social media sites and online options to give YOU the tools you need to be effective when engaging with your readers.

    Whether you’re new to social media or a longtime pro…whether you have dozens of books under your belt or are still waiting for your first deal, this book is for you.

    I started reading Amanda’s posts on about the time my novel was launching. Amanda’s understanding of branding and her insight as an agent were extremely helpful to me as I thought about an overall platform strategy. I had no idea what to do about Facebook, and her thoughts helped me refine what I was doing and better connect with my fiction readers.
    ~ Charity Hawkins, author of The Homeschool Experiment: a novel.

    My twitter following tripled with Amanda’s training and after putting her Google search rules into practice, my blog posts are drawing increased traffic and new shares. Reading The Extroverted Writer is like getting down-to-earth advice from your best friend.

    Continue Reading "The Extroverted Writer is in PRINT!"