by .

#Kindle Singles – What’s YOUR Take On Them?

Image of a kindle being held in someone's right hand


I’m curious what your experiences have been with short-form Kindle Books, the “Kindle Single.”

I’m wondering, if you’re a reader, how you’ve found them. Are you finding books you like? Do you prefer this short format? What is an “optimal read” for you when you decide to pick a quickie read?

I’d like to hear from you here or at my email at

If you’re an author, then how has this worked for you? I’m looking to give this a shot and put out a few shorter works a year rather than one long one. So anyone who has braved this path and his information to share would be a welcome guest post on this blog. Or… you can just email me.

I’d like to know about what you’ve seen that works as far as promotions, pricing or reader satisfaction.

Thanks. I’ll collect up what I hear and share the advice back on this blog.


Rock Your #Writing

Image of book cover for Rock Your Writining









Here’s a quick shout-out to a website that’s full of practical, doable advice for fiction writers.

Much of what’s said applies to nonfiction, too.

Cathy Yardley brings over a decade of commercial writing experience to the table. She’s got more than a dozen books in print with major publishers, and during this time she was holding down a 40-hour-a-week job and raising her child. Sort of makes it hard to gripe about not writing because you don’t have the time. 🙂

She accomplished this by making a thorough study of books on time management, productivity, writing and motivations. She then distilled this knowledge into several concise volumes.


Her series is on Kindle books, and covers how to write more each day. This is not the usual rah-rah stuff, it’s got specific processes and techniques and freebie worksheets. Cathy also covers plotting, editing, writing for specific genres, and crafting effective book proposals. She has a volume dedicate do taking stock of where you are in your writing career and then adjusting your promotional efforts to match. She tailors this advice to whether you’re working towards getting placed with a major publishing house or going the indie route. She speaks from experience.

Best of all, her work is also on, and she is a lively and very funny reader.

This series is very reasonably priced and definitely worth a look-see.


#SFWC2015 – Robbz Notes at a Glance of the San Francisco Writer’s Conference 2015

Photo of talent list for SF Writer's Conference 2015



Here’s a quick pick of the sessions I covered:

My roundup story

Suggestions on choosing and maintaining and effective POV (important in both fiction And nonfiction)

Blog Your Way To A Book Deal

Sunday morning keynote – Judith Curr

From Manuscript to Bestseller – Panel with Betty Sargent, Judith Curr and John Lescroart

Super Fans for Life – How to build a core-tribe to establish a marketing base

Saturday keynote – John Lescroart

The Art of Writing is Rewriting

Writing Mind-Bending, Serious Nonfiction

Cool Tools for Blogging Your Book and Establishing Your Platform

50 Shades of Pay – How to Monetize Your Books

Meet the Nonfiction Editors (kickoff session – SFWC15)


Blog Your Way To A Book Deal: Writing & Promoting Your Book One Post At A Time



Photo of Nina Amir speaking an the SFWC15

Nina Amir – Blog Your Way To A Book Deal

Nina Amir tells her story. Her story and success began here at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference.

Her book on Blog Your Book gave suggestions, but she still had to answer the question on how you still have the time to sell your book.  You want to get your book out there being read. Most writers dislike building platforms.

A platform is your built-in readership for your book. You develop reach across all your social media and the authority to be credible. To do this, you need to blog your book. Simply, you write-publish-promote at the same thing. You do this one post at a time.

Why does blogging a book work?

In the past, websites there were static. They were like brochures in cyberspace. Google didn’t do anything with them because they were not adding terms in webspace. But when Google comes along with it’s spiders and crawlers. So, when Nina wrote intensively for five months, she rose up in the search rankings. This was because she was diffigent and because no one else, then, was doing this. This discoverability doesn’t happen on a static website.

So, as you blog you are putting content that will ultimately be in your book.

You create a foundation of avid readers. You have a platform. So, if you get 1k unique visitors a day, this is something you can tell a potential publisher. This makes you work smarter and not harder. If your blog is well designed, there is a place to sign up and get the yuckky stuff done. You can attract agents and publishers. The fact is that tons of bloggers have gotten book deals.

Christian Landers – Stuff White People Like  -got a 6-figure book deal. He and his friends were hanging out and decided like other cultures, white people are different. He thought this was funny, and started sharing it with friends. The rest is history.

Julie and Julia

Escape from Cubicle Nation

The Puppy Diaries – Blogging about a puppy while recooperating from a serious accident. Helped that she was with the NYTimes.

101 Uses for my Ex-Wife’s Wedding Dress – He was dumped and the only thing she left was with her wedding dress.

Hack – a cabbie who writes and draws about what he sees and hears in his cab

Fed Up With Lunch

Design Sponge at Home

All these titles were bloggers and self-publish your book.

More and more blog-to-book deals.

At the height of this in 2009, experts claimed 50-60 blog-to-book deals were made that year.

Blog a book – you intentionally write a book on the net with a content plan

Book a blog – you repurpose content.


10 reasons to consider bloggig your book ino existence:


1. A blog allows you to publish as you go

2. gives you exposure and builds platform. The average print book sells 250 copies, ebook 560, but active blogs get much more exposure.

3. Blog helps you establish status. 56% of bloggers can attest to this.

4. A blogged book gets your writing read. Keep blogging an they will come.

5. A blogged book allows you to test-market your book. Effective and cheap way to test a book idea.

6. Blogged book provides a daily writing commitment. Must write regularly. Create a schedule and stick to it. Basis of practice.

7. A blogged book allows you to get  feedback on your writing. Comments from actual readers. Surveys, Forms.

8. Blogged book insures you create your project. Readers become accountability partners. Readers are waiting. If you stop before you finish, you’ve failed publicly.

9. Blogged book lets you show what you’ve got. You want to give away great content. BUT DON’T GIVE IT ALL AWAY. Let people get to know, like and trust you. You leave a slice of cake out.

10. Blog book lets you and your blog get discovered. You can be found by readers and publishers.

More and more people are blogging books. Check Nina’s site.

7 Things You Need to do Before You Blog a Book.

1. Choose a subject. Keep in mind when you pick a topic you’ll have to keep blogging even after you finish the book. You’re not done. If you quit, your traffic will drop off as your readers go away. She had to figure this out. So you need a planned future. She had to figure out how to blog for a LONG TIME.

You need to be passionate about this topic.

2. Create a business plan for your book. This is why she wrote Author Training Model

3. Hone your subject

4. Plan your book

5. Map out your book’s content

6. Break your content into post-sized content

She showed the tree of a mind-map to dial it down to a posting size

photo of Nina Amir speaking

Nina shows how to plan your posts

You need to hold back 20-30% of your book.

You need to be discovered. Be ready for this moment.

Necessities for discovery

1.Write great content. Know what people are searching for

2. Drive Traffic to your website. Use social networks, go offline to conference, write titles that include keywords, write valuable content, use the tools

3. Write often and consistently. Blog 7-12 times a weeks for the first 6 months. Otherwise, you won’t get traffic. You may have to keep this up for a year.

Nina sent out a mailing list for people to opt-in.

Q and A

If you do fiction to blog, what about editing?

A-You must still revise. But this is your second draft. You can try You can drop and paste this back into the blog.

Novelists – don’t do this unless you are willing to give away your first book being blogged and self-published.

Q – But I am doing a novel. What do I write about?

A- Do the blogging about your character. This then becomes about branding. You blog about your passions, topics, themes. You still want the key words, but it’s an umbrella approach.

Discussion – She wrote the Author Training Manual and then blogged it. This wasn’t as much fun.

Q-What about the comments if you want to publish.

A-You can write about the ideas and improve your book with the comments. But to quote them you need permission.