The Digital Age Author: Best Practices in Marketing, Promotion, and Reader Engagement

In this six-session series, publishing consultant Jane Friedman will teach you the principles and techniques for building your author platform—particularly online—and publishing and promoting your own work, whether traditionally or self-published, using the many new tools and platforms now available to writers. The first sessions will cover the foundational strategies that govern author platforms, with nuts-and-bolts discussions of author websites, blogs, email newsletters, and social media. The last two sessions will look at the self-publishing landscape and what it takes to market and promote work in a predominantly online environment, regardless of how you publish.

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Webinar Recordings

members onlyEstablishing and Growing Your Author Platform

Writers are often baffled by platform because it’s seen as a marketing and promotion mindset that’s antithetical to the artistic personality. However, there is a way to approach platform that isn’t about selling, but rather understanding human behavior (including your own!). You'll learn what it means to make a focused, consistent, and meaningful effort over a long period of time, in a way that doesn't exhaust you, but leads to finding high-quality readers who love what you do. We'll discuss metrics that help you make informed and meaningful decisions about how to best spend your time, and what advanced platform-building looks like for an established author.

members onlyBest Practices for Author Websites and Blogs

Whether your website (or blog) is one day or ten years old, you want to make sure the resources that you’ve put into your site will pay off with more readers, more sales, and more opportunities for your career. Learn about best practices for design and content, the most important areas to focus on (what do visitors see first or most often—and how can you take advantage of that?), plus valuable online strategies to help grow your career. We'll also discuss the principles of effective blogging and online writing, and the basics of search engine optimization.

members onlyEmail Marketing 101 for Writers

Email marketing is the most overlooked means of reader engagement. Being able to directly reach your readers, or most avid fans, is a powerful capability that every author should have. Thankfully, it’s easy to get started with email newsletters, and it doesn’t require technical know-how. This session will cover best practices for email design and content, strategies and tools for securing sign-ups (to pop up or not to pop up?), as well as what email service providers to use.

members onlySocial Media for Authors: How to Make It Worth Your Time

Time is one of the most precious things anyone has, so it’s a smart writer who asks, “Is this social media stuff really the best use of my time?” While it can be a highly subjective matter (every career has different needs and phases), we’ll talk about how to quantify your activity on social media, analyze its impact, and make the best choices for the short term and long term. Rather than being driven by trends (or what your friends are doing), we’ll look at how you can make the best decision for you.

members onlySelf-Publishing 101: Understanding the Landscape and Opportunities

What are the best services for self-publishing? How much money does it cost to produce a good-quality e-book? What are some of the most effective marketing strategies? Get answers to these questions, plus an unbiased look at the self-publishing scene, including when you should do it, and—if you do—how to be effective in your efforts, without damaging your credibility or investing more money than you should. While self-publishing doesn’t equal instant success, you’ll learn the principles behind the successful creation and distribution of an e-book or print edition.

members onlyThe Basics of Marketing and Promoting Your Work Online

Learn how to successfully market your own book without the support of a publisher, whether it’s a new or old title. This session will look at key strategies and principles for selling books through online retail (as either a self-published or traditionally published author), and how you can build a plan that’s customized for your work and target audience. Topics covered: the basics of leveraging your platform and driving awareness; online advertising options; how to optimize anything you have available on Amazon; the selection of proper categories and keywords; and more. Self-published authors will receive guidance on whether or not to enroll in KDP Select and how to use pricing/discounting as a strategic tool.

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She's the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer's Digest. In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers at She's delivered keynotes on the digital era of authorship at the San Francisco Writers Conference, The Muse & The Marketplace, and Willamette Writers Conference, among many others. She speaks regularly at industry events such as BookExpo and Digital Book World, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. She has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

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