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Latest posts on The Writers Information Reference Library (TWIRL)

  • Pen names are an effective way to separate out your different genres and your writings. It is also a good way to build up different fan bases for different genres of writing (but only if you need to separate them). You can publish under any name you wish, within reason, but for tax purposes, your […]
  • Kindle Unlimited, if you are a reader or writer is a scheme that has been designed to give another way to enjoy books as a reader, and as an author, another possible stream of income.If you’d like to sign up as a reader, it allows you access to the library on Amazon that has opted […]
  • The KENP is the pool available and the worth of each page read on any books registered AND read in the Kindle Unlimited pool of reads.Reads can make up a substantial amount of your income or it can be nothing. There are many ways to ensure that your book is read under the scheme, but […]
  • An ASIN is an Amazon Standard Identification Number and in many cases, it’s what most people use to publish their books, rather than an ISBN, as it’s free. The ASIN is the main way Ebooks are catalogued on Amazon. A book can have both an ASIN and an ISBN.
  • An ISBN is a unique identifier attached to your books, which you purchase from Bowker. This unique identifier is most often seen on print books and is how your barcode is formed, though it also allows listing, purchase in shops and more. Almost every country (bar, at the time of writing this, Canada) requires you […]

The 2018 Anti-retrospective

by | Jan 2, 2019 | Advice, Articles of note, News and views, op-eds, Opinion, Uncategorized, writing | 0 comments

Where the Benevolent Dictator consolidates all the 2018 ‘retrospectives’.

Okay, first, I know it’s fashionable to bash the ‘Zon, I love you guys, but really, get over it. Bashing doesn’t help. Amazon’s primary concern is its customers, NOT its suppliers. Readers not authors. At least they still pay better than traditional publishers.

On the other hand, some books do better on some sites than others. Amazon got burnt one too many times by authors who didn’t label their erotica books correctly – and a few parents got an eyeful when they searched books about Daddy and got daddy porn instead of children’s books. So they’ve been a lot more restrictive.
Write erotica or erotic romance – especially the type some sites won’t? Smashwords is the place to go. (However, as much as I love Mark Coker, as Smashwords is where I published my first indie book – and I made good money there for a while – but that site could still use some more work. Compare with D2D.)

Another caution – if you use Amazon be careful with the ‘like’ parties. In fact, to be honest, stop liking anyone you haven’t read. There’s a glut of books out there (Mr. Coker is right on that) – and some of them are absolute dreck. Great covers are no guarantee. I saw a book with a brilliant cover, a terrible and confusing blurb, and an absolute lack of editing.

Some good writers have given up because they can’t get their well-received and well-reviewed book seen.

So, why are you killing your own book sales by promoting authors who may not deserve it? Better yet, how do you know they’ll promote you in return? Quality counts more than quantity. Quantity looks good but doesn’t always help. I used to promote other authors – but only a few returned the favor. Now I have a rule – ask me to like your page after you’ve liked mine. Promote my book and I’ll promote yours.

Audio is your new best friend. Everyone is doing it – Amazon, Draft to Digital,

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Smashwords and iBooks. For busy people trying to squeeze in time to experience new authors or books they can listen to one on their commute, on long trips by car or plane, or while cooking or doing housework. One book, with a great narrator, can entertain for hours or days.

For promotion, expand beyond Facebook – but don’t abandon it entirely. Advertise elsewhere, too – like Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. There are inexpensive options to use those sites.
New Release – try Bookbub’s new release freebie.
Shop around to find other alternatives.

Good news/Bad News
Books have always been a refuge during times of economic uncertainty, and indie authors have always offered books at a better price than traditional publishers. Which makes us the more economical choice.

BTW – the new price point of choice may be $3.99 – $4.99 for most standard genre novels like romances, or shorter mysteries.

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