At its most basic, writing only requires a pen and paper. But these eight tools will help you take your writing further – from composition to grammar checking, from workshop groups to professional editing.
Google Docs just might replace Microsoft Word, especially if you’re collaborating with co-authors or an editor. Everyone can access and edit a document in real-time, and there are chat features and comments to hammer out any sticking points. The real-time nature of Google Docs spares you the confusing process of emailing different versions back and forth, keeping everything centralized. Your work is stored in the cloud, meaning you can work on your book from any device when you’re on the go. Best of all, it’s free. … Continue reading
Self-publishing is a learn-as-you-go process. Authors must constantly adapt and try new tactics in order to get their books in front of the right audience. We asked experienced authors if there was a single thing they did that helped boost sales. Here’s their helpful advice. … Continue reading
Some might say that writing is its own reward. But once you’ve put your book up for sale, sales can be an even better reward.
Many users turn to PickFu to test book titles and cover designs. But PickFu can help you hone a book’s description, too. Below are tips from self-published authors on what makes a book description sing — and how to get the cash register to ring. … Continue reading
Pamela Wilson and Jeff Goins host the Zero to Book podcast where Jeff, an established author, walks Pamela, a newer author, through the process of launching a book.
In this episode, the hosts discuss the importance of a book’s title. Jeff calls it a book’s most important marketing asset – more important than the content itself, at least in terms of marketing. A book’s title, after all, is the most succinct way to communicate what it’s about.
The title should be judged on its appeal to new readers. Your existing fan base might already be inclined to purchase your book, no matter what it’s called. But the title is the thing that could potentially entice or dissuade new customers to join the fold. … Continue reading
Naming your app is like naming your baby and can be equally gut-wrenching. You want your name to be unique, but not so unique that no one can pronounce it or spell it. Your name ideally says something about your product’s personality, but also conveys its usefulness. Some apps that balance the two goals well are TravelZoo, BookBub, and Parking Panda; the names allude to the app’s main function, but are memorable and “brand”-able.
If only it were as easy as combining your app’s category with a fun-sounding noun, though. There’s much more to it than that. Here’s a quick rundown of 10 tips to consider when naming your mobile app: … Continue reading
Recently, a new customer signed up for PickFu and told us he’d discovered our service in a book. That book was Launch Tomorrow: The Non-Designer’s Guide to Using a Landing Page to Launch a Lean Startup, by Luke Szyrmer.
In it, Szyrmer outlines a method for defining an audience, validating an idea, and quickly taking that idea to market. PickFu is featured as a means of rapid market testing “in order to figure out which concepts grab attention, tickle tastebuds, and leave people wanting more.”
“The implications of PickFu,” he writes, “are enormous… If you can find out how people react to a certain color or shape or logo or byline, you have a much better chance of choosing something attractive.” … Continue reading
Steve Chou runs an online store called Bumblebee Linens. As an e-commerce site owner, he knows that an appealing photo can make the difference between losing a customer and making a sale. In fact, a simple photo swap helped Steve improve sales on a listing by 209%.
In order to test photos, Steve ran split tests on his website, whereby he published a listing, waited several days, swapped out the images for new ones, waited again, and then compared the results. The problem with split testing, however, “is that it takes forever. Every test that I run usually takes at least 3 weeks or more,” he wrote in a blog post. “And I’d say that 9 times out of 10, my tests are inconclusive.”
Besides the time required, a conversion pixel or some kind of tracking mechanism was needed, adding complexity and hassle to the tests, especially when selling on sites like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. “Not only is this a major pain in the butt if you have multiple listings,” he said, “but if you’re lazy like me, you’re never going to do it.”
So when Steve heard about PickFu, “I thought I’d give it a try just for fun.” He took a listing from his store and tested his current featured photo against a new photo. … Continue reading
Michael Cowden faced a dilemma. He and his team had been working for months on a mobile game called Outrun the 80s. Then a friend in marketing suggested a different name — Super 80s World.
Not bad, Mike thought. But is it better than Outrun the 80s?
He asked his friends. He asked his family. But, as he later told us, “the problem with this method is that they aren’t necessarily the target audience or the most likely to be honest with you.” … Continue reading