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Search engine optimization was the next topic of discussion. One author suggested googling your site and looking at the search engine results. Read the title and description of the pages that come up. The information you most want to convey should be at the beginning of the site.

SEO is completely divorced from how your site looks, so you may need to hire one person to construct a good-looking site and another to optimize the site for web searches.


Some of the authors did not have newsletters before the Bootcamp. Newsletters are a way of connecting with readers and keeping your name in front of them, even when you don’t have a book out.

The participants use Mail Chimp or Mad Mimi for newsletter distribution.

A contest is a good way to collect email addresses from readers.

Always include an unsubscribe button with your newsletter mailings.

The newsletter should be pretty, short, and include a call to action.

Include something of benefit to readers—news about a special deal, a chance to win something, recipes, etc.

Instead of talking about your own books all the time, highlight other authors’ news.

The Wrap-up

The Bootcamp participants all felt the experience was worthwhile. They suggested if other groups of authors want to do this, they can form a group of four to six people and focus on one area a week. They urged other authors to do what works for you within your comfort zone, but don’t be afraid to try new things and stretch a little.

Cindi Myers is the author of more than 50 romance and women’s fiction novels, including The View From Here. Find out more at

Business Briefs

Piracy Harms Sales

Twenty-five published studies show that piracy harms sales, while three show that it doesn’t, said Carnegie Mellon University professor Michael D. Smith in a presentation at the Digital Book World Conference in January. Fight back by making content available to buy digitally, and participate in anti-piracy policies, he said.

Media Bistro

Job Changes

Rachel Burkot is now assistant editor for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.

Carly Silver is editorial assistant for Harlequin Special Edition.

Esi Sogah moves from associate editor at Avon/HarperCollins to senior editor at Kensington.

Sara Sargent has moved up to associate editor at HarperCollins.

Publishers Weekly

MacMillan Not Settling with DOJ

MacMillan CEO John Sargent sent a letter to authors and agents in mid-December stating the publisher’s position on the Department of Justice settlement. While others have settled and agreed to the two-year discount, Sargeant stated MacMillan isn’t interested in settling with the likelihood of Amazon taking advantage with the result in ebook revenue being nil for competitors. Macmillan has no merger plans and declares ebooks represents 26% of their revenue.

Publishers Weekly

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