We’re back… :)

Well, the team have spoken, we’re updating the site, and there’s a lot of fun changes coming up.
I thought today though, I’d share some of our best bits on the site.

Resources for miles

At the core of things at the Indie Author Group is our mission statement. Both Valerie Douglas and I felt, early on, supported by the rest of the team, that a safe space to get advice as an indie author. We don’t believe in judging others for their choices and are firmly all about making the most of everything. So, in 2011, when she set up the group, I was one of her first moderators, and we’ve gone on to build a really great resource. And we have an amazing team of moderators too!
We founded the site late 2011, but the group will be 10 May 2021!

What you can find in the group

Honestly? A little of everything. We have resources that range from advice and support, to sharing information and tips and tricks. And a listing for the group’s Twitter list, Facebook pages, service providers (cover designers, editors, formatters, audiobooks, and more).
If you’re not there already – why not? (tip, if you’re not, answer ALL the questions, and be aware we don’t allow advertising, at all, bar in communal documents for those reasons).

So…there’s more? YES!

So, we have other resources! Our pages are the main one – Indie Author Group, and we keep a page just for the blog, Indie Author Group Info.
Then we’ve got the main blog (here).
Then, there’s The Writer’s Information Reference Library – short answers for simple questions 🙂
We’ll also be adding a tech page, a news page and more…
Finally, we keep a newsletter, and Twitter 🙂

Please check out our resources and let us know what you think!

How the three laws of robotics apply to writing and planning

Today is National Sci-Fi day, and while we’re not on Sci-fi this month (that’s later in the year) as our featured support genre, for advice Mondays, I thought I’d share a bit of a thought experiment.

First though…

Today would be Issac’s 100th birthday, and there’s little denying the impact he had on the world of sci-fi and writing. But the thing that always stuck with me the most was his three laws of robotics.

The three laws

(from Gismodo, who cites his story Runaround)

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Issac Asimov

Later, Asimov added a fourth, or zeroth law, that preceded the others in terms of priority:

0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

Issac Assimov

I have many theories on AI, given I’m eventually doing a Ph.D. on it (hence the combined STEM degree now), but I’m not going to address the fallacies and intricacies of why the three laws (and the additional zero law, which is almost the same, but not quite, as law 1) fail and cause problems. If you want to know why there’s a plethora of books out there exploring that and similar issues.

No, instead, I wanted to talk about how the three laws apply to writing.

But I’m not a robot…

As you’re quite right to observe, it’s highly unlikely that you are a robot. You might be, but then, that opens up questions, again, not for a writers’ blog. But when you look at the three laws of robotics and change the context to writing, something interesting happens.

  1. An author may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    I would argue this is common decency, but when there’s little of each online, it’s a good thing to bear in mind. It goes into a slightly broader concept though.
    While there’s no admonition to not harm our characters (cause we might), there is a duty in every community for the weakest to be cared for by the stronger. Writing is not a zero-sum game, so, if anything, I’d argue the first of the Writer’s three laws is that we need to work to prevent bullying. As we watch the mess with the RWA unfold and look back on Cockygate, I wonder why it isn’t a credo adopted by more.
    Beyond that, it also tells you not to hurt yourself. Planning and self-care are critical.
  2. An author must obey the rules of its community, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    I think the easiest way to explain this one is 1) Don’t pick on someone for upholding rules on a group, even if you personally think they’re not fair. It’s their group, you agreed and continue to agree when you joined, and to be frank, bullying a moderator is something that we’re going zero tolerance on – and that includes if we *hear* of it from a friend that’s a mod. Beyond that, mob mentality is dangerous online – there’s a difference between defending the downtrodden and forming a lynching mob, and I think this law aptly states that. If an author is unhappy with a review and asks their tribe to retaliate, maybe question the worth of that tribe, and the person leading it?
  3. An author must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
    Ah, you may say, doesn’t that mean if I don’t agree with people, I get to retaliate?
    Nope.
    You need to protect *your own existence*. What Jilly, Bob or Timmy does, as long as it’s not hurting you, isn’t important to you. I’m actually interpreting this one to be ‘don’t compare yourself to others, someone will get hurt’.

Law 1, Kindness. Law 2, fair play and Law 3, personal obligation. All three make for the best writers and the best communities. Personal obligation does mean sticking up for the rights of others if you’re sure you should, but it also means accepting that you ‘do you’. One of the hardest lessons I learned last year was that if I’m not careful, I will stay away for too long because I have nothing to give. My personal obligation became to me and only me for a while, and that was ok. But I have an obligation to you guys too. So, Law 3…it could also be read as ‘help yourself, help others’.

I don’t really agree that the zero law exists in the case of writers, but there is one final one I think all writers need to follow.

Law 4 – An author must ensure that everything they put out reflects the best of their work and the best of them.
Each and every one of the team knows
it’s hard to get things done in a budget, and we all sacrifice, but we are calling each and every one of our members to consider their reputations this year. Build good things, save and make things to the best of your ability, and only release books when they are professionally edited, covered and formatted. That way, you’re already ahead of a lot of people out there, who might see your example and follow suit (thereby helping you with the second and third laws ;)).

Yes, I belabored that one a bit, but I’m sure Asimov would forgive me.

Do you agree with my three laws of writing? What would you add?

January is National Braille month.
Check out January’s Posts to see what we’ve covered.

Coming soon….

  1. Why making a five-year plan *after* New Year might work better for you
  2. The ins and outs of organisation
  3. Calendars and the two radical ways to use them
  4. Bullet journal layouts for writers…
    And more….

The 2018 Anti-retrospective

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,

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is acxLogo.png

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.

The Myth of Reviews and Sales

A lot of people will tell you that book reviews determine whether a book sells or not, that reviews with four or five stars sell books. While reviews help, that’s not what sells a book.

What sells a book is good writing. A storyline that captures their imagination, characters readers care about – heroes they want to root for and villains they understand. (Even the villain wants to be the hero of his own story.)

It’s really that simple.

https://insights.bookbub.com/how-readers-discover-new-books-to-buy/

Reviews can help, star ratings can help, but as you can see from the Bookbub graphic here, plot, price, and quality come before ratings and reviews. More importantly, though, not just any reviews, but honest, organic ones – in other words, not family/friends but from other readers. Readers are more likely to buy because a family or friend recommended it, but not a review from yours. (With thanks to Bookbub, see the link attached to the graphic for more information.)

Word of mouth is the best marketing.

Also, see this – https://killzoneblog.com/2018/07/it-helps-if-you-can-write.html

James Scott Bell knows whereof he speaks.

Reviews and stars help, but nothing beats a well-written book.

Update and addendum – Another voice about reviews from our friends at ALLi

Opinion: Why I Don’t Worry About Amazon Reviews

 

 

 

 

A Tale of Self-Publishing – How authors slayed the dragon

Once upon a time, there was only traditional publishing and in traditional publishing there were gatekeepers. A gatekeeper’s job was to filter out the unedited, poorly written dreck that opened not with action, but backstory or prologues. Then their function changed from being mere gatekeepers to arbiters/purchasing agents and so the reading public was forced to read endless variations of Twilight with its moody, angst driven hero and wistful, victim heroine to 50 Shades of Grey, to use a few comparisons we hear from readers of the current cookie-cutter genre (which is a whole other readership in itself). But some were dissatisfied. Writers were becoming discouraged. This made a lot of people very angry and was widely viewed as a bad move. Justifiably so, since it kept a lot of good authors out of publishing.

And then, lo and behold, there was born a new industry (resurrected really – though in a new format) called Self-Publishing.

In the beginning, there was Smashwords, run by Mark Coker. He wanted to democratize publishing, and so there was and is no cost, no frills, it was (and still is) a quick way to get your e-book into production and distribution, and you could do it in a day. It deliberately allowed writers to appeal directly to readers without having to deal with gatekeepers such as agents and editors. In keeping with this mission, Smashwords applies no editorial screening. (This has turned out to be not necessarily a good move, either. More on that, later.)

Now authors who want to publish had a home.

The first to truly achieve success – by getting noticed – was Amanda Hocking. She virtually created YA – Young Adult, aka, what had once been known as ‘Coming of Age’, with a dystopian or paranormal twist. From that came NA – New Adult. Her sales took off and then a traditional publisher signed her.

(This doesn’t discount Chuck Wendig or JA Konrath or a handful of others, who were hybrid traditional/self-publishers and are now primarily self-publishers.)

Thus was created new venues – Amazon & Kindle, Barnes & Noble with the Nook (not managed very well), Apple & iBooks, Draft to Digital and Kobo.

Now, anyone who wanted to write a book could…and many did.

At first, a decent author with a decent cover could actually make money from their work.

And then, the hordes descended.

Like any other Indie/Self-publisher I hate the idea of gatekeepers, yet now there are none and, increasingly, it shows. And, weirdly, self-publishers have turned into their own worse enemies. Writers actually insist that they don’t need editors or cover artists. (Every author does.)

As the creator/admin/mod of the Indie Author Group, I constantly hear ‘woe is me, my sales are non-existent’, and variations therein.  And while I have sympathy, I can see why – sometimes when I look at their book, the cover is awful, the editing is worse, or the books they’re writing are in the most popular, most glutted genres. I can’t, however, say that to them or face the wrath of the angry author. Suggest they try a new or different take and all the mods have come to expect fireworks. Suggest that they don’t write to the tropes – the ‘romantic’ motorcycle alpha male, the hero’s journey/quest, the hard-boiled detective – and you’ll get, as I did, the one-book wonder or instant expert who will object. Strenuously.  Then, that one book insta-expert tries to hijack the group entirely and things get difficult for all of the team when all we want is to do what we love – write and support.

Yet, that’s how the most successful writers did it.

When Stephen King started writing horror, they said there was no market, but he practically reinvented it. J. K. Rowling created fantasy novels for middle-grade to YA. Hocking gave YA street cred. Wendig does mysteries and science fiction. As much as Twilight gets bashed – the author reinvented the vampire story with her angst-ridden characters. And E. L. James ponied onto the back of that, to write a Twilight fan-fic without the supernatural and with a twist, and brought erotic romance from a niche into the mainstream. Hugh Howey recreated dystopian fiction, sold the print rights but kept the e-books (at first), creating a new hybrid market while he was at it. And Andy Weir recreated accessible science fiction.

Hocking, James, Howey, and Weir all started as Indie writers. All signed contracts with Big Five publishers.

Okay, so that’s the good news, here’s the reality. The self-publishing industry has to change. You can change with it or be left behind.

Some venues are closing or have closed, others are teetering. Despite the Amazon bashing, with its international reach it’s still the publisher of choice for most Indie writers, and with all due apologies to Smashwords, Amazon does require some editorial screening (although it can’t do much about those grammatical errors and really bad covers). Bad spelling, editing, and cover art harm all of us. Few of the other vendors offer any marketing/support assistance, which makes publicizing books there difficult. But Amazon DOES take onboard specific reports – we’re seeing more and more of these books that people say ‘I’m not selling’ pop up with a yellow triangle under its name that says ‘issues found’, then details reports they’ve received, and lets folks know that the publisher has been informed. In other words, Amazon is pushing for a bit of crowdsourced control and DO check before they flag things. It’s a gatekeeper in the hands of readers, in other words.

You, the writer, have to decide whether you want to stay a midlist writer and disappear like so many others, or innovate, try new things and find your niche.

To a writer, words should be sacred

Respect words“If you don’t have the time to read you don’t have the time (or tools) to write, it’s as simple as that” – Stephen King

“You can’t write well what you don’t read for pleasure. If it doesn’t entertain you, it’s not going to entertain anyone else” – Nora Roberts

I was reading a blog the other day and I was appalled at the errors. The writer didn’t seem to know the difference between ‘steal’ (theft) and ‘steel’ (the metal, or a stiffening of the nerves).

In another case, there was an aspiring writer who posted a daily request for how to write the most basic sentences. He didn’t know the word ‘peer’, as in ‘look over or around’, and that an adult would have to be seated for the child he was writing about to be able to look over the adult’s shoulder.

There have been several times where an aspiring writer is clearly trying to write fan-fiction based on a favorite TV show.

Another writer, using said favorite TV show, didn’t know the difference between a tunic, a toga, or a cloak. He didn’t know how people dressed in ancient Greece, Rome or Egypt, and didn’t know how to describe it.

If I could give one piece of advice to writers it would be the same as those of Mr. King or Ms. Roberts. Read. Read a lot. Read everything and anything. Someone once said of me that if I didn’t have a book to read I’d read cereal boxes or skywriting. I read voraciously. I read biographies, history, and most kinds of fiction. My husband likes to read philosophy, I listen to him discuss the books he loves, and I learn from it.

If you don’t read, you don’t have the basic skills to write. Google what you don’t understand, you’ll learn even more.

Do you want to be a good writer…or a great writer? Then read. Nudge the world a little. Or rock it!

 

 

Don’t make me pull out my teeny tiny violin…

teeny tiny violinLately, there have been a lot of writers crying the blues about their books – “I’m promoting like mad, but no one is downloading my book,” or  “I can’t get any reviews,” or “Someone gave me a bad one-star review.” Oh, gee, I say as I search for it on the interwebz, I’m so sorry. My books are selling, but 1. I promote judiciously and 2. I follow the standard maxim – Nothing sells Book One like Book Two.

And while I’ve garnered my share of good reviews, I’ve gotten my share of bad ones, too.

Then I find the book in question. One look at the cover and >wince< Really? Who created that image? A five-year-old? Or it’s stock images fiddled together. And you thought that shade of green was good for the font? And the font? Papyrus? Well, maybe if the book was about ancient Egypt…

Well, that explains a lot.

Okay, now I remember, you were the one who said, I don’t need no stinking cover artist, I can make my own. Um. Oh, darlin’, bless your heart, yes you did and yes you do. Or you said, I don’t have a lot of money, and listened to those folks who suggested that you create your own. Unless you’re an artist or a graphic artist, you really should get a professional. Now I say this as someone who did make their own cover – and even won an award for it – but I was a portrait artist once. Even so, I found I wasn’t getting the readers I wanted. So, I saved until I could afford a professional – and it made an astonishing difference in sales and reviews. If money is tight, try using a pre-made cover by a good cover artist. You might find the perfect one, or you might find one that will do for now.

There’s nothing that screams amateur more than a bad cover. And I’ve seen some truly bad ones. Most writers are truly awful cover artists.

That might be one reason folks aren’t downloading your book.

You do have reviews – most of which are astonishingly complimentary. “Great book” “Best I’ve read in a long time.” So, why isn’t your book doing better?

It’s that one bad review, though, that raises eyebrows. “The editing is terrible.” Well. we all get those now and then, sometimes in phone-text speech (badly spelled, which makes the review even more questionable), or debating the placement of commas.

Then I look at the book sample provided. You also said that you didn’t think you needed an editor, and it shows. Even editors will admit that they need editors.

There are books that can help – The Elements of Style will help you correct the most common errors. Go to your local high school or university, see if one of the instructors would be willing to do a line edit (corrections for grammar) for you. Then find an editor who specializes in your type of writing. Find several. Ask if they’re available, send them a sample chapter, and save your money.

Whether self-published, hybrid or traditionally published, you first owe your readers the best quality writing you can do. You owe the same to every other indie, self-published writer struggling to be taken seriously as well. Don’t tarnish yourself or others with less than your best. Don’t make me pull out my teeny, tiny violin if you didn’t.

 

 

 

Introducing everything you need to be a better writer

Author Marketing Live! – Part Two

Yes, it really did need two posts! There was a LOT of information! I was getting overwhelmed, so if I misrepresent things, forgive me!

AMLHunter Boyle spoke about using e-mail to keep in contact with your fans and to build your fan base. He also advocated setting higher expectations, creating e-mail connections with the offer of a freebie. Create a compelling call to action – i.e. Sign up now to receive a free excerpt or copy of “Title” – so people will sign up to your newsletter or e-mail.

There was also discussion of using paper.li (I have a paper.li newspaper) by directing it to fans of your genre(s), and to help promote other writers. Connect with authors in your genre(s) and interact with them and their fans. DON’T promote. If those fans like you, and like your input, they’re more likely to check out your writing.

Deb Carney of Bookgoodies and Vinnie O’Hare from Awesomegang were a great tag team. (Another appears later.) If you’re not using their pages, you should be. Both are very AwesomeGang125generous in helping indie/self-published writers. They discussed Fast and Easy Ways to find your True Fans and Rabid Readers with Social media. They talked about using Hootsuite effectively and other twitter software like Shareist, Buzzsumo and Click2Tweet. They broke down each very effectively. I suggest experimenting with things like Hootsuite.

Andrea Vahl is a Facebook marketing Expert, and she advised not using boosts, but rather targeted ads – putting money in your pocket, not Mr. Zuckerberg’s, he’s rich enough. Track your progress. Do split testing – running the same ad with differences in focus or description. Run conversion tracking. How many clicks became sales?

As many of you may know, I’m a huge proponent of having professional covers made by professional cover artists. Derek Murphy echoed what I, and many of my cover artist friends, often advise – don’t expect a cover artist to recreate that great scene from the book. For one thing, that scene is probably too busy. Since all cover artists use stock art (even the Big Five) it’s very difficult to find an image that will match, and to create it will be that much more expensive. Earlier in the day, J. Thorn had shown the difference between a self-made cover, a professional cover, and the difference they made in sales.
As a cover artist, Derek was able to show that even more clearly by showing and discussing the difference between a good cover and a great one. He advocates using faces to help convey the basic emotion of the book. What was refreshing about him was his willingness to help self-publishers. For a full cover he’s probably outside the range of most new writers, but he does offer advice on how to improve the cover you have. He has a webpage called http://diybookcovers.com/to help those who want to create their own covers. He also created a neat little program where you can post your cover and folks – including him – will vote whether it’s effective or not. If he thinks he can help make your cover better, he’ll contact you. (Don’t expect him to do that for free!)

The closing/keynote address was delivered by the other tag-team – Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt from the Self-Publishing podcast. One of their key points was the difference between strategy and tactics. Tactics is running a freebie, strategy is using freebies effectively as part of an overall plan while also remaining flexible. That was another point – being willing to pivot – to make changes. My other favorite phrase – The only constant is change. You have to be willing to change, too.
For all of you who thing that the gatekeepers have gone away, you’re wrong. There are more than ever. They used to be the editors for the Big Five. Now there are new gatekeepers – they’re called readers. You need to engage and connect with them, and you do that by being personal and personable. Act professional. Put out a professional product.

If this seems to be a little overwhelming, take it in bites. Get edited. Check to see if your cover art is effective. Keep writing. The number of one-book-wonders can be measured on one hand, maybe two if you stretch it.
When you’re not writing take a look at other authors in your genre, or that interest you. Like their page and interact with them and their fans. Set up your first audiobook with ACX. Learn a new promotional program – like Hootsuite, Paper.li – the following week.
Congratulations, you’re an authorpreneur.

Author Marketing Live Seminar – Part One

AMLI’ll be honest, I was half afraid that the seminar would be nothing more than a sales pitch, but it wasn’t. Even the sponsors didn’t promote, which was refreshing. (And made it more likely for someone like me to recommend their services.) The speakers were by and large very informative and sometimes funny. Some of it was more geared toward non-fiction than fiction, but even that had some value to indie/self-published writers. For me, the most informative speakers were content marketer and author Joe Pulizzi, horror/dystopia writer J. Thorn, social media providers Deb Carney (Book Goodies) and Vinny O’Hare (Awesomegang) , Facebook marketing guru Andrea Vahl (Don’t use Boost), cover artist Derek Murphy, and authors/podcasters Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt (although they went on a little too long). Okay to break it down: Joe Pulizzi talked about finding the niche between your book and your readership, and how to reach the last. (There was a strong drive toward e-mail subscripting throughout the day).  Find your influencers, successful writers in your genre. He also talked about finding 4 – 1 – 1 – the spot between influencers, content, and translating those to a sale of your book. 4-1-1 is also the divisions of marketing – 4 posts/twitters about yourself, one about your content, and one about ‘buy my book’. He talked about the three-legged stool – offering e-books, print and digital versions of your books. He spoke about using popovers rather than popups – especially using software like Pipity – in conjunction with e-mail subscriptions, and using keywords to make it easier for programs like Google to find you and your book.

J. Thorn

He looks younger in person

Horror/Dystopia writer J. Thorn was a riot. Like so many early self-publishers he made the same mistakes most most of us did – not getting properly edited and creating his own covers. I give him major kudos for humorously posting on-screen those early reviews – if you thought yours were bad, his were worse. (This is literature?) It was really funny. Fortunately, and wisely, he also realized that many of those early reviewers were right, and took the necessary steps to improve. He hired an editor and a professional cover artist. He definitely recommends outsourcing those skills. (He’s a techie so he does format his own books. I recommend hiring a formatter, too, if you don’t have the same tech skills.) He also advocates not reading your reviews once you’ve dealt with those issues. Reviews are for readers, not for writers, and not everyone is going to like your writing. (Where have you heard that before? *grins*) He also emphasized the importance of having multiple books. He used gardening references, like watering your garden – finding better ways to promote your books. Books, plural. Nothing sells book one like book two. Find marketing sites. Make changes to the book. Do revisions. Try different descriptions. Use Amazon’s Select, or find another way to run your book free. Price pulsing (run one price during the week, another on the weekend, or some variation thereof). Use #mondayblogs.  Do series! Do boxed sets of your series, or in conjunction with other writers. He talked about weeding the garden. In his early days he wanted to write fantasy, and did. Those were the books that garnered some of those horrible reviews. He had them properly edited and hired a great cover artist. As time went by, though, he realized he enjoyed writing horror and dystopia, and wanted to read more, but there wasn’t more out there. So he wrote the kind of novels he wanted to read. And that’s what every self-published writer should do – write what you want to read. Back to weeding the garden. Those early novels? He took them down. One of the truisms of writing is that you really have to write a lot, and keep writing, until you find your voice, your niche.  Most of that early work will be crap. I wrote several full books, and scrapped them, before I wrote something I felt so compelled to write – and write well – that I couldn’t deny it. (Personal advice – never delete those early works. You may be able to rework them, or the idea. Some of mine I still have, and may revisit.) There’s also no Kindle Gold Rush. Those days are gone. He did suggest using Kindle Select, but also branching out to other vendors, and also using promotional tools like #mondayblogs, price pulsing (running one price during the week, another on the weekend) or experimenting with pricing, and the importance of writing series and creating boxed sets of those series. He also spoke about the need to work with others with no expectation of return – creating boxed sets of similar books – to build your name and associate it with other successful writers. Using his methods, he went from selling two books per day to selling 200 per day. David Lawrence from ACX spoke about using audiobooks as another leg to your stool – another method of providing content for your readers. He’s done TV and lots of audacxLogoio. (I have to be honest here, I just started with the audio experience. It started out good, but didn’t finish that way. I was hoping to learn how to find a new, moreopen-minded narrator. The response I didn’t want was the one I got – “I can’t help you.”) However, there was a lot of useful information in his talk, including the biggest mistake that most writers make about those who provide services to authors – expectations. Expecting the narrator to sound like the voice in your head. Expecting them to understand the names and terms you use. They can’t read your mind, or duplicate what’s in it. Work with them. What seems obvious to you isn’t to them.

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