Nothing sells books like a great Substack. Read top tips from writers at all stages of the publishing process
By the time I finally published my collection of fantasy and science fiction short stories, called The Stars Will Fall (https://www.amazon.com/Stars-Will-Fall-Collection-Fantasy/dp/B0BRZ7GVW4), I was already 8 months into the Substack journey with my readers. One thing they've mentioned they appreciated is my refreshing honesty about the rejections I had received up until that point. I'm still unpublished through a traditional outlet, but many of them liked my stories enough to buy the book. I'm hopeful it has encouraged them to keep writing because every editor and audience is different. I never sugar coated the process. Better to write and be rejected than to never write at all. I've met some wonderful fellow writers and readers as a result.
My debut, The Good Enough Job, comes out in May from Penguin Portfolio. As a first-timer, my editor mentioned the fact that I had a Substack was one reason they felt comfortable taking a bet on someone who was relatively unproven :). https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/704142/the-good-enough-job-by-simone-stolzoff/
Love this, especially the timeline idea! My first book, Stop Waiting for Perfect, comes out this summer and I’m excited to share more about the process with my subscribers
I’ve been toying with releasing a book of selected works and this is really inspiring. Thanks for highlighting this collection of writers and sharing their sage advice. When my time is here, there are so many tools to use. Bookmarking this post for later. Thanks again, Substack!
All the applause for everyone here, but especially for Valorie Clark who I gather absolutely worked her tail off on Unruly Figures (while running another newsletter as well AND working fulltime) to create the conditions to get scouted by that editor. It wasn't a bolt of lightning out the blue - it was Valorie working hard to put her lap where opportunities tend to drop, and there's a huge difference there.
Such brilliant advice, and so perfectly timed for me, having just the afternoon signed the contract for my second book. My Substack (Small Stories) is about ‘searching for magic & meaning: my writing life’ and I try to weave tiny elements of my book-writing experience through the stories that I share.
So honored to have been asked to contribute to this, thanks Hannah!
Perfect timing as I have two cookbooks out this year (a second edition and a new one) and always find it hard to self-promote! Thanks for this advice.
Great advice -- I started my Substack just after my book came out last year, but saving this for future (hopefully!) books. Thank you for the generosity!
I appreciate this post. I'm new to Substack and plan to self-publish my second non-fiction book, Nurture: How to Raise Kids Who Love Food, Their Bodies, and Themselves. My first book is doing well, but the audience for this upcoming book is more specific (parents), so I thought Substack might be a way to find more engaged readers interested in my topic: decreasing body oppression and disordered eating in our culture by changing how we feed and talk about bodies with our kids. I'm passionate about this topic and have written a blog/newsletter over the years. I'm enjoying the move to publishing it on Substack. I'm looking forward to posting articles related to the upcoming book and excerpts of it. I'd like to make sure that I'm addressing the areas that my readers want to hear and maintaining the tone of a compassionate fellow parent who happens to have done decades of field research with families and clients. I'd like to have feedback on the articles and excerpts posted on Substack to assist me in birthing a quality book.
Helpful to see these examples of Substacks that are turning into books because I’ve heard a lot about the TikTok to book pipeline but had not heard of Substack examples, although it makes sense they could lead to books.
I had a book come out in 2021 and didn’t switch my newsletter to Substack until after it was out. But now I’ve tried to do some posts relating to after the book coming out that may be helpful for other writers since that sort of content was /is helpful for me.
Thanks for inviting me to contribute – lots of great advice here!
Once again I'm so impressed at the rich content Substack offers writers. Thank you SO very much!
These tips are gold! I am planning to post an excerpt on my substack of my book of essays that is coming out next week on Valentine’s Day. And I have been putting a photo of my book in the header. It really drove the pre-orders up 🙌
I would definitely say to reach out to Bookstackers too! There's a community of us who love reviewing books and engaging with this community. Elizabeth Marro, who writes Spark, has a great list of us here: https://elizabethmarro.substack.com/p/meet-the-bookstackers.
So many great ideas here! Our sixth cookbook, Cucina Povera, The Italian Way of Transforming Humble Ingredients into Unforgettable Meals, comes out on April the 4th, published by Artisan Books.
We're sharing behind-the scenes on Substack at the moment.
Here is how it originated and the announcement for pre-order: https://julskitchen.substack.com/p/cucina-povera-preorder
After this, we will share an article about the photography and food styling, and one about recipe testing. We're planning also a cook along with recipes from the cookbook for all our subscribers to join.