Book Marketing Tips For Fiction And Non-Fiction With Ricci Wolman

I love learning from smart marketers who are using data to analyze what actually works in selling books.

In today’s show, Ricci Wolman shares some brilliant tips based on extensive sales data through Freebooksy, Bargainbooksy and more.

rabbitIn the intro I mention the first Createspace print on demand book to hit the bestseller lists, perhaps indicating a move of digital print into the space traditionally owned by booksellers, as discussed by Hugh Howey. The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep became an overall bestseller on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and has now been picked up for a 7 figure deal.

I also talked about a brilliant interview with Robert Rodriguez on the Tim Ferriss podcast about creativity. A must listen. Plus, the latest developments on the Creative Freedom course. You can sign up for the free video series starting with, 11 ways to make money as an indie author, here.

99designs-logo-750x200pxThis podcast episode is sponsored by 99 Designs, where you can get all kinds of designs for your author business including book covers, merchandising, branding and business cards, illustrations and artwork and much more. You can get a Powerpack upgrade which gives your project more chance of getting noticed by going to:

ricciwolmanRicci Wolman is the founder and CEO of Written Word Media, whose mission is to empower authors and publishers and help readers find their next great read. Ricci holds an MBA from Harvard and specializes in how to effectively and efficiently build an audience online.

You can listen above or on iTunes or Stitcher, watch the video or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.

  • What works in selling fiction, including the importance of having a good volume of reviews and working with the Amazon algorithms.
  • Genre and targeting your specific audience, especially if your book doesn’t fall into a large or popular genre.
  • Thinking outside the box with marketing techniques and the value and importance of running an author business and paying for marketing.
  • The non-fiction sub-genres that sell well.
  • Book cover trends and the essential things authors must do to build their email lists.
  • Branding for authors and the ‘halo effect’ of marketing when you have more than one book under your brand umbrella.
  • The influence that independent authors have had on the publishing world, particularly around marketing strategy.
  • Engaging with fiction readers and those on your email list, including ideas about frequency of contact and examples of types of things fiction authors can share with their audience.
  • Social media for authors; where audiences are growing and where they’re receding, the different types of relationships on different platforms.
  • The future players in the book market, and big data and its impact on marketing and the prediction that because of big data marketing is going to become more efficient and less expensive.

You can find Ricci at WrittenWordMedia and definitely check out the options they have for book marketing including Freebooksy, Bargainbooksy and NewInBooks. You can follow on twitter @writtenwordm

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Soundtracks For Books: How One Author Is Using Booktrack For Her Novels

I live in central London and every time I travel on the Tube, I see people reading … with headphones plugged in. They are listening to music at the same time as reading. 

booktrackMy husband does it at home as well, usually to block out the sound of my interviews for the podcast. Ambient noise while reading blocks out the sounds that might distract you from the book.

But what about using sound to actually enhance a book?

We’re not talking about audiobooks where you are being read to, but a sound track that goes alongside your reading, one that adjusts to your reading pace.

Booktrack provides this kind of soundtrack for books.

Last year, I interviewed Paul Cameron, the CEO of Booktrack, and we talked about how Booktrack worked and what it offered readers. Click here to watch the interview.

booktrack vikingsI have a couple of sample chapters up at Booktrack and one fully-booktracked book, Day of the Vikings, so I am testing the waters because I find it fascinating.

But some authors are going all in and today, AD Starrling writes about her experience with Booktrack.

Why Booktrack is a such great platform by AD Starrling

I first came across Booktrack after reading a post on indie author Hugh Howey’s blog back in 2014.

As an author who writes with music and puts together individual playlists for my books which I make available to my fans on my website, the concept of reading an ebook while listening to a movie-style soundtrack was mind-blowing.

With the rise in ebook and audiobook sales over the last few years and more readers than ever before using their phones and tablets to buy and read fiction, the potential for Booktrack to be the next big thing in the reading world did not escape me. And it didn’t escape Hugh either.

Booktrack is not going to be for everyone.

Many readers enjoy their fiction in silence and will find the soundtrack distracting. But for the very large and growing generation of readers who love their mobile devices and are heavily into their music and films, Booktrack is something they are going to love. It will be an immersive experience unlike anything they’ve ever come across outside a movie theatre.

Soul-Meaning-I was very excited when Booktrack approached me to work with them in November 2014. They thought my supernatural action-thriller series Seventeen would make great booktracks and the initial chapters I posted on the platform got such great reviews, I decided to turn all my novels and short stories into booktracks.

Soul Meaning (A Seventeen Series Novel: Book One) is the first novel in the series and is now available as a booktrack here.

As part of the launch, we gave readers the chance to produce a short booktrack for an extract from the book, which was a lot of fun!

Here’s an interesting anecdote and food for thought for the skeptics out there.

I shared this trailer for the Soul Meaning booktrack with my newsletter subscribers and fans a few weeks ago and got some interesting feedback.

A lot of people who thought this would be an intrusive way of reading changed their minds after seeing what the platform can do and have been eagerly awaiting this release. So, don’t rule it out before you’ve had a read and a listen.

Production tips for using Booktrack

Making a booktrack is fun! The first time I went online and started working on the Soul Meaning booktrack, the experience was so thrilling it gave me chills.

Here are some extra production tips that have helped make my booktracks great examples of what you can achieve on the platform.

booktrack author user guideI would also advise that you watch the video tutorials available under the “Help” section and check out D.C. Grant’s book, The Booktrack Author User Guide.

And play with it. It’s the best way to learn.

1. General tips

Use headphones or earphones when “booktracking”. It makes the experience much better for the creator. Readers are also advised to read a booktrack with headphones or earphones.

When you first start using the platform, you can get carried away and find yourself being unproductive. To make it work for you, you need to develop a systematic approach to making a soundtrack. What follows is my system. Feel free to adopt it or modify it.

2. Finding a “track”

From here on, I am going to presume that you are at least familiar with the platform and know its basic elements.

After selecting a section of text, you can find a “track” of music, ambience, or effect in three ways. You can free type words in the search box, you can explore the different categories individually, or you can use a combination of both to fine-tune your search.

Figure 1

In the example above, I’ve chosen the adventure and mystery-thriller “genres”, the cinematic “style”, and the “determined-focused” emotion to find my music track. Note I can choose however many different elements of “genre”, “style”, or “emotion” I want to define a search, i.e. I am not limited to one “genre” per track search.

Note how I also added the word “desert” by typing it in the search box. There is only one “track” that fits this refined search; it’s called “Turbulent and Foreboding Music Track” and it’s 3 minutes and 10 seconds long.

The red arrow indicates what you will find under each music/ambience/effect track: these are “keywords” or “tags”. Over time, these will become familiar to you and will allow you to search for tracks faster. Had I typed “explorer” or “suspense” rather than “desert” in the search box, the very same music track would have come up.

The “+” button to the right of “Search” is where you can upload your own tracks to the Booktrack library. I have yet to do this and will likely never do but you may want to record a particular effect you can’t find and add it to the library to use exclusively in your booktrack.

3. Fine-tuning your track and the review panel

Figure 2

Above is a screenshot of the booktrack for King’s Crusade (A Seventeen Series Novel: Book Two).

When adding a new track or editing an existing one, a new window will appear at the top of the page. Note that you select sections of music, ambience, or effect to edit by clicking on the text. Depending on what tracks you have already added, your clicks will bring up “music”, “ambience”, and “effect” to edit in that order.

In the above example, I’ve selected my music track, which is called “C) Kaisik”. If I want to change this piece of music, all I have to do is click “Change Track”. I can also “Delete” it, select the text again, and add another music track. Whenever I make a change, I click “Save”.

Note the circle at the end of the music track. There will be a similar circle at the beginning of the track and these denote the start and end points of that particular track. You can lengthen or shorten this track by dragging the circle over the text. So if you want to extend this music over more text, just lengthen it instead of deleting it and adding it again. Similarly for ambience and effect.

When you first select a track from music, ambience, or effect, you will get a standard setting for “Volume”, “Fade in”, “Fade Out” and “Loop”.

This is where this stuff gets even more exciting.

Adjusting these functions can make a world of difference to your booktrack. And the only way to learn how to fine-tune this skill is to play with the platform. The first three are pretty self-explanatory. Note that the numbers in “Fade In” and “Fade Out” indicate seconds and I cannot emphasize how important it is to get the volume and fade in/out right. “Loop” is where you can repeat a short track over a long section of text over and over again. Say you’re doing a desert scene that takes up an entire chapter.

The ambience track you choose may be 1 or 5 minutes long. By looping it across the whole chapter, which could be 20 minutes long, it negates the need to select the section of text the ambience track will not cover and add it again. Looping works well for music and ambience but can be comical with some effects, so always listen to what you’ve done to make sure you’re happy with it.

At the bottom of the page are three important buttons. “View in Reader” allows you to read and listen to the booktrack in the actual reading app. “Reading Speed” is pretty self-explanatory; note that modifying the speed modifies the rate at which the sountrack is delivered, so the text and soundtrack will stay in sync no matter how slow or how fast you read. Next is the “Play” button.

This is the button I use to listen to and review the work I’ve done. It’s much faster than finding your text in “View in Reader”, especially when you’ve uploaded 100 000 words of your book. I suggest you use “View in Reader” for final pre-release checks or to check how your “Fade Out” is working.

4. Overlap, fade to zero, using music free sections

One thing that struck me when I first used the Booktrack platform was how jarring a chapter change could be in the actual reader app. Most creators end their music and ambience tracks, the longest and most powerful elements of the soundtrack, at the end of a chapter and begin anew with fresh music and ambience in the next chapter. As a reader, this ripped me out of the immersive experience and made me “stumble” in the story. I knew this was something I didn’t want in my own books and I was determined to find a way around it.

The answer is to overlap and use “Fade Out” to zero. In the example above, you will see that my music track starts in the prologue and extends into the next chapter. Similarly for ambience below in the same section of text.

Figure 3

You can totally avoid the jarring experience of a chapter change by overlapping music and ambience tracks across chapter transitions. The trick here is to choose how far into the next chapter you want the previous tracks to carry over (I suggest a sentence of two) and what length of “Fade Out” to use. Note that I used 10 seconds for the music and 4 seconds for the ambience. There are no hard and fast rules here, just experiment and see what it sounds like.

Also note that I use music and ambience even on the Chapter titles.

You can have text that is overlaid with two different music tracks or ambience tracks anywhere in the soundtrack, not just at chapter transitions. You can sometimes have more than two ambience tracks overlapping a section of text but be wary of creating too much “noise”. Using the correct length of “Fade Out” for the first music/ambience and the correct length of “Fade In” for the second piece of music/ambience is where the fine-tuning happens.

This used to take me a few minutes to do. It now takes me seconds.

If you don’t want to use overlap, then the other method to avoid too much of a jarring experience at chapter transitions is to select 0 seconds for the “Fade Out” of the final music and/or ambience tracks for that chapter. The best place to hear how this sounds is in “View in Reader”. If the person reading and listening to your booktrack stops at the end of that chapter, he won’t hear silence but ongoing music and/or ambience. If you use this method, be careful with how you “Fade In” music and/or ambience in the next chapter. Use a gradual, longer “Fade In” to gently get your reader into the next scene.

Figure 4

When Booktrack gave me the Soul Meaning booktrack to review, I noted that there were sections of text where there was no music. Although I found this initially a bit jarring, I have to admit that this can work well for specific scenes, especially if you’re building up to something big.

In the above scene in the red box, the text only has ambience and effects as the heroine finds herself running from the path of a bomb. We used a “heartbeat” effect to make this scene tense. And it worked rather well for this portion of the booktrack. Similarly, you can have sections of text that only feature music and effects, or music alone.

5. Booktrack in sections

It can be tempting to want to do all the music for a chapter, followed by the ambience and effects. My advice is to work in sections or scenes.

I normally do music, followed by ambience and effects. I once tried effects and ambience first, followed by music. I had to adjust the volume for my ambience and effects as music is normally such a predominant element of the soundtrack.

Thoughts on Marketing and the future of Booktrack

I have had many discussions with the Booktrack team about how to promote these unique products and I have to admit that advertising for booktracks is still in its infancy.

The market for booktracks is out there. The challenge right now is reaching it.

One idea would be to approach existing platforms that review and promote audiobooks and ebooks to see if they would be interested in looking at booktracks. I suspect many would.

The other idea is to link and advertise booktracks on powerful retail platforms such as Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. I’m particularly thinking of how you have the option to buy the ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audio book versions of the same book on Amazon. Although it would be amazing if you were also able to buy the booktrack version, I don’t know whether Booktrack is considering working with these companies right now.

The third idea might be some kind of bundling service where you could buy the ebook without the soundtrack and the booktrack together.

Things I have spoken to Booktrack about for future improvements of the platform:

1. Making a user-specific library folder.

Currently, I save tracks that I use a lot or that I’ve discovered and intend to use at some stage in specific Evernote files. I then refer to these notes when I’m making a soundtrack. I have suggested to Booktrack that they add a folder section to the creator’s dashboard, where you can list your most used music, ambience, and effects.

2. Improving text formatting.

Currently, the way the platform works means your text is very basic. You can “bold” and “italicize” but that’s pretty much it. All your lovely ebook formatting, font, and paragraph indents go right out of the window on Booktrack. You can indent all your paragraphs manually by using the space bar if you wish but I suspect you will soon decide you’d rather not do that. The way I understand it, for music, ambience, and effects to work properly on the platform and within the reader app, the text has to be in this simple format. I hope the company is working on changing this in the future.

3. Reviewing.

When reviewing a completed novel the length of one of my books (100k+ words), the platform really slows down. This has to do with the size of the file and I believe Booktrack are making changes to improve the platform’s speed for creators.

4. Sales and royalties.

Booktrack have set a minimum threshold of $50 in sales before they start paying out royalties on a quarterly basis. Each payment will also include a detailed sales report. I hope that Booktrack will be able to provide monthly and even daily sales and earnings reports in future.

5. Pre-order and preview functions.

Booktrack made embedded widgets available earlier this year and I was the first author in the world to feature one on her website. They are currently reviewing this to limit the embedded view to one chapter or 10% of the book (currently the embedded widget gives access to the entire book) and they are also working on a pre-order function.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on Booktrack.

If you have any questions or comments, please do leave them below and join the conversation!

AD StarrlingA.D.Starrling is the award-winning author of action thriller series, Seventeen. Born in Mauritius, AD is a now a pediatrician as well as an author and lives in the UK.

Connect with AD on twitter @adstarrling

Abundance For Authors And Taking Action With Honoree Corder

The ‘poor, starving artist’ myth has kept a lot of creatives down, but we’re living in a time of abundance – of creativity, of global readership and of the opportunity to publish and reach them.

In this interview, Honoree Corder shares her abundance ideas for authors, plus some interesting ideas for expanding income streams.

Creative Freedom Banner 250 x 250In the introduction, I mention that I’m still working on the Creative Freedom course, which is only for those serious about making a living with their income. I put out a video on the Roadmap this week, and you can still get the free video series at

This podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets kobo writing lifethrough the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors.

ereadlocallogoKobo has just launched an initiative to support local independent bookstores in the US. Check out all the details at:

Kobo’s financial support pays for the hosting and transcription, and if you enjoy the show, you can now support my time on Patreon. Thank you for your support!

honoreeHonoree Corder is an author, speaker, executive coach and entrepreneur. Her latest book is Prosperity for Writers: A Writer’s Guide to Creating Abundance.

You can listen above or on iTunes or Stitcher, watch the video or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.

  • Business funnels for authors and using a book as a calling card.
  • Several different ways to make money from books, including specialty printing for corporations.
  • abundanceConfidence, claiming our own value and shifting to a prosperous and abundance mindset.
  • BOLO and how to use this strategy to shift our mindset to one of abundance and prosperity.
  • The need to recommit to our plans when roadblocks get in our way and the hard work it takes to keep going.
  • On the necessity of writing more than one book and repurposing the assets you already have in place.
  • The acronym FAME and the importance of each element, including having a production plan.
  • Why scheduling matters in each day and also for a production plan.

You can find Honoree at or on twitter @honoree and the book is available on Amazon here.

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Broken, Not Bitter. An Author’s Life with Repetitive Strain Injuries

A writer’s life is not an inherently healthy one.

hands typing

We sit for long periods of time, and studies show that sedentary behavior is bad for us. We hunch over keys, creating back problems. We stare at screens, giving us headaches and we type and mouse a lot. All of this can lead to Repetitive Strain Injury.

I had back problems in the last few years that were solved by using a Swiss ball instead of a chair, and moving a lot more. We don’t have a car so naturally walk a lot anyway.

But in the last few months, after a heavy writing stint in a cafe with tables at the wrong height, I developed RSI in my right wrist, elbow and upper arm.

After some initial denial, I visited the doctor, went to a physio and had an ergonomic assessment at my home desk. Since then, I’ve been using an Evoluent sideways mouse, as well as using my left hand a lot more. I’m practically ambi-mouse-strous these days :) I’ve also been doing exercises to strengthen the arm.

I tried Dragon Dictate but just found it frustrating to use. I considered moving to paid transcription as Kevin J Anderson does with his walking/talking approach, but with everything else I was doing, the pain lessened. It’s a lot better now but we all need to be aware of the possible strain injuries we can develop.

Lots of people have emailed me with tips on various ways of dealing with RSI, because, unsurprisingly, so many of us suffer

Marianne Sciucco, Author

Marianne Sciucco, Author

with it. Marianne Sciucco emailed me with her own story that, while extreme, is important because it emphasizes how bad things can get.

Prevention will always be better than pain and (hopefully) cure later on, so this is your wake-up call, writers! Sort out your physical writing position and exercise and stretching routine BEFORE anything happens.

Here’s Marianne’s story and also her tips at the end. Please do leave a comment with your thoughts and experiences of having or treating RSI as this is something critically important to the health of the writing community.

“What about your writing?”

This was a question I had not considered after my visit with the thoracic surgeon in March 2007. He’d advised me I needed two surgeries – the removal of both first ribs – to relieve symptoms caused by thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). This would necessitate a leave of absence from my job as a hospital nurse case manager for a minimum of six months.

Devastating news.

I’d suffered from TOS and a collection of other repetitive strain injuries for the last year, undergoing months of physical therapy which had not corrected the problem.

My biggest concern at the time was missing work. My department was undergoing great change as we moved into a fully computerized system to perform our duties. I was 100 percent in favor of these changes and looked forward to being a leader in the transition. A six-month leave of absence would effectively remove me from the process. Little did I know that once I took that leave of absence I would never return to that job.

But it was the question asked by a coworker who had a great interest in my writing that rattled me.

“What about your writing?”

This question stopped me in my tracks. What about my writing? These injuries had impacted my writing routine for months. I rarely spent time on my projects because typing and using a computer caused tremendous pain. Prior to my injuries, I had completed my first novel and was looking for an agent. I’d started a second book. One of my short stories had won a contest. I had another I was shopping around.

I am, by nature, stubborn, and refused to give in to the pain, revising my stories and querying agents whenever I could. I was also in denial. How absurd that something like this would keep me from pursuing my goals!

But these repetitive strain injuries threatened to take more from me than my 15-year career at this hospital. They would take away my ability to write for years, and leave me unable to use a computer for days on end.

My purpose in relating this story is not to gain sympathy but to let others know that repetitive strain injuries caused by computer use are real, scary, and difficult to treat.

Many things can cause repetitive strain injuries but in my case the problem was hours of keyboarding and data entry at a workstation that did not properly or ergonomically support my body mechanics. I traveled throughout the hospital pushing a utility cart with a laptop and a printer as I visited each unit to do chart review 35 hours each week. At first I laughed about waking up at night with numb hands, thinking I had somehow slept wrong.

Then the pain began in my right bicep, a tearing, almost ripping pain when I reached for or pulled something. I wondered if I had broken my arm – perhaps a hairline fracture? My doctor sent me for x-rays which were unremarkable, no fractures. By this time I was already using night splints to help reverse the mild carpal tunnel syndrome I had in both wrists.

The arm pain grew worse and began to affect my shoulder. The doctor ordered physical therapy, and while doing the exercises I realized that when I raised my arms up over my head they’d become completely numb and very heavy. I could not do this simple movement for more than 15 seconds.

Then came changes in my hands, fingers that turned blue, sometimes a blackish blue, or red and puffy, or white and ice cold. The numbness and tingling in my hands continued. The diagnosis: thoracic outlet syndrome, something I had never heard of although I analyzed medical records for a living. I also developed tendinitis in my right thumb and both elbows. My right shoulder became frozen. It was a collection of musculo-skeletal injuries which had to be addressed one at a time.

At this point, I was unable to continue working without more aggressive intervention and opted for surgery. Over the next four years, the two ribs were removed and the right shoulder explored. PT, OT, massage therapy, and chiropractic continued, along with all kinds of lotions, potions, and pills. Many of my symptoms gradually improved, however, the chronic pain continues to affect my right arm, both hands, and my neck and I suffer frequent severe headaches. I am permanently partially disabled.

Throughout all this, I had given up on my plans to become an author, putting my work aside.

Life passed me by as I watched every episode of Law and Order ever produced. I read hundreds of books, novels, in particular, but many dedicated to writing and publishing as I continued to hope that one day I would resume my writing career.

This would not happen until 2012. A friend had published a book on Kindle and suggested I do the same. I figured I had blue hydrangeasnothing to lose and went about preparing my Alzheimer’s novel Blue Hydrangeas for publication.

This took a year. Yes, one year, as I struggled with the pain caused by keyboarding to complete my project followed by days and weeks of computer avoidance to recover.

If you experience numbness or tingling in your hands or fingers, or any kind of pain in your arms, shoulders, neck, or upper back after a writing session that is not relieved by simple stretching, please take it seriously.

Once these injuries set in, your muscle memory will adapt and this will become your new normal, close to impossible to reverse. In spite of three surgeries, countless therapy sessions, and umpteen medications this pain continues to control my life.

In April 2010, I was fortunate to return to work at a new job, part-time, but still chained to a computer most of the day. My two work days require a minimum one day’s rest from the computer. This leaves me with four days during the week with a maximum writing time of about two hours per day to write as much as I possibly can. This includes finishing the novel I’ve been working on for four years and tending to my website, social media, email, and all the other business that makes up an author’s life.

This is a writer’s life with RSI.

The frustrating part is that the mind continues to imagine and explore, to come up with new ideas, and the desire to write remains strong. It is a constant battle of mind over matter, a roller coaster of emotions intertwined with varying levels of pain and discomfort. There is constant acquiescence to disability. Imagine how difficult it is to complete a project under these conditions.

If you encounter RSI or TOS symptoms see your doctor immediately.

Here are some ways to help alleviate the discomfort and treat the pain:

  • This means the avoidance of all keyboarding, even on a tablet or smartphone. [Note from Joanna: I have definitely found that I need to only use my left arm for texting/twitter etc in order to rest the right from the cellphone.]
  • Ice the affected area to relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Heat to the affected area is also helpful. You can alternate heat and ice.
  • Advil and other OTC remedies can relieve pain and inflammation. This includes topical remedies such as Topricin, Thermacare Wraps, etc.
  • Hand splints may ease the discomfort of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Have realistic expectations. If you’re having a bad bout, alter your plans and goals to allow adequate time for rest and repair of injured tissues, muscles, tendons, etc. [Note from Joanna: I’ve found this has gone on for a lot longer than expected, and even though it’s a lot better, I’ll forget and pick something up the wrong way and the pain will kick off again. So be careful.]
  • Mix it up. Switch from a PC, to a laptop, to a smartphone, to a tablet, offsetting the pressure on your damaged hands, neck, arms, etc. Go back to pencils and paper. Type up your work when you’ve recovered or ask someone else do it for you.
  • Practice proper ergonomics: ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips. Be careful not to “turtle head,” thrusting your head forward to see the screen. This can become a permanent posture and strains your neck muscles. [Note from Joanna: I am totally guilty of turtle head. Have someone take a picture of you while you’re working in your normal posture. It may be shocking.]
  • Use a timer to remind you when it’s time to take a break.
  • Dictation is a wonderful tool to write hands-free.
  • Consider a new keyboard. I use a Logitech gaming keyboard which substitutes a glide pad for the mouse, eliminating mouse work, a primary cause of RSIs.
  • Delegate, if possible. An author’s assistant can handle tasks that exacerbate your injuries. I offer an internship in self-publishing to students at my community college. It’s a win-win for both of us. A Virtual Assistant can also make life easier.
  • If you experience pain STOP! Take a break. Stretch those muscles! Do something else: a load of laundry, the dishes, shopping, or a long walk.
  • Physical and occupational therapy, chiropractic, and massage can correct problems, relieve pain, and eliminate the need for surgery, which is always a last resort.

For more information, here is an excellent explanation of computer-related RSI’s by Paul Marxhausen from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

What’s your experience with RSI? Do you suffer from pain associated with writing? What have you done about it? Please do leave a comment below with your thoughts and experiences of having or treating RSI as this is something critically important to the health of the writing community.

About the Author

Marianne Sciucco, Author

Marianne Sciucco, Author

Marianne Sciucco is not a nurse who writes but a writer who happens to be a nurse. A lover of words and books, she dreamed of becoming an author when she grew up, but became a nurse to avoid poverty. She later brought her two passions together and writes about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and family issues.

Her debut novel, Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story, is a Kindle bestseller, IndieReader Approved, a BookWorks featured book, winner of IndieReCon’s Best Indie Novel Award, 2014, and a Library Journal Self-e Selection. A native Bostonian, she lives in New York’s Hudson Valley, and when not writing works as a campus nurse at a community college.

You can find Marianne at her website or @mariannesciucco on twitter. Her books are available on all online stores and you can find Blue Hydrangeas here on Amazon.


Q&A Show On Self-Publishing And Book Marketing With Joanna Penn

In today’s show, I tackle more of your questions from The Creative Penn survey about self-publishing and marketing. The last Q&A show was one of the most popular of the podcast, so I hope you enjoy this one too.

joanna penn grinIn the intro, I mention that I visited Highgate Cemetery yesterday and if you’re a fellow taphophile, you can see my pics on Pinterest here. I also mention the ups and downs of Amazon this week, with Joe Konrath and Hugh Howey both singing the praises of KDP Select, while a report on working conditions in the New York Times has been getting a lot of negative press.

I also talk about my progress on the course website for the new Creative Freedom course and how I’ll be unveiling the roadmap video this week. It’s my attempt to demonstrate what most authors are missing in their author business and why most authors don’t make a living with their writing. You can get all the free videos at

99designs-logo-750x200pxThis podcast episode is sponsored by 99 Designs, where you can get all kinds of designs for your author business including book covers, merchandising, branding and business cards, illustrations and artwork and much more. You can get a Powerpack upgrade which gives your project more chance of getting noticed by going to:

Special Keyboard - HelpIn the Q&A section, I go through:

  • Draft2Digital and Smashwords and the different sites they distribute your book to.
  • Paid advertising, hiring help for all that indie publishing entails, and the motivation behind being an indie author.
  • The different lengths of novels and novellas and the distinction between book series and serials and Wattpad’s model for serialized book releases.
  • The different audiences for print and eBooks.
  • Blogging and ISBNs and whether they’re necessary for a writing career.
  • On the advisability of crowdfunding for authors and the motivations for marketing your books.
  • Getting traffic to a website without a platform and the reasons for that traffic.
  • The hard work of being an indie author and the choices we make about what we want to do with our time.

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