The Visibility Gambit Amazon

Kindle Unlimited has received a fair bit of bad press over the last couple of years – some of it from me – but I want to balance that by looking at the positives. Most pertinent is KU’s popularity with readers, meaning there can be huge opportunity for authors. Especially so if you make full use of the tools Amazon gives you, and understand that it’s all about visibility. Enrolling in KU comes at a well-documented cost: exclusivity. But it’s the potential benefits I want to focus on today because some of that might be getting lost in the (well justified) complaints about scammers, transparency, and falling pay rates. Even though those rates have dropped by around 20% this year alone, Read More…

The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About Bewares

On Monday, I found out that some bug hit a German e-book site causing the reactivation of long-dead listings, including one of mine, putting myself and some other authors in breach of KDP Select"s exclusivity rule. Amazon pounced into action and cancelled my Countdown deal which was scheduled for this week, screwing up a carefully planned promotion. And despite pledging to resolve the matter and restore the promo, Amazon has not done so. I"m going to go through what happened in detail so you can be sure that I acted correctly at all points – because there is a lot of shadiness going on at the moment – but feel free to skim some of the details if you wish. Read More…

If You Don't Enjoy Marketing, You're Doing It Wrong

I can already feel the heat from approaching pitchforks! But if you hear me out, I think I can convert at least some of you to the idea that if you don’t enjoy marketing, you’re doing it wrong. Let me explain. Sometimes marketing can seem like a Sisyphean task. There’s always something you could do to promote your work, and there’s never enough hours in the day. Many writers are already hard-pressed with demands from the rest of their lives and have to battle hard to carve out writing time. The pressure to promote squeezes that precious writing time even further. On top of that, many marketing tasks just seem unpleasant. Writers can often be introverts who don’t like pressing Read More…

If You Don’t Enjoy Marketing, You’re Doing It Wrong

I can already feel the heat from approaching pitchforks! But if you hear me out, I think I can convert at least some of you to the idea that if you don’t enjoy marketing, you’re doing it wrong. Let me explain. Sometimes marketing can seem like a Sisyphean task. There’s always something you could do to promote your work, and there’s never enough hours in the day. Many writers are already hard-pressed with demands from the rest of their lives and have to battle hard to carve out writing time. The pressure to promote squeezes that precious writing time even further. On top of that, many marketing tasks just seem unpleasant. Writers can often be introverts who don’t like pressing Read More…

8 Award-Winning Books for $8 + win a $50 Amazon Gift Card Publishing

Note: the sale is over and the comp is now closed. As the headline might suggest, this is a promo/competition post. If you are looking for alternative content to feed your cerebrum, I humbly suggest this phenomenal Wired interview with Ursula K. Le Guin – Still Battling The Powers That Be. For the rest of you, I have two treats today: eight award-winning books for less than $8 (details below) and a competition to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Entering the competition couldn’t be easier. Simply mention this post on Twitter, Facebook, or your own blog, and you will be entered in the draw.

St. Patrick's Day Blowout: Results

If you were on Twitter over the weekend, you probably heard something about the St. Patrick’s Day Blowout Sale that I ran here on the blog. A few of you asked how it was all put together, and plenty are keen to hear the results, so I thought I’d run through it all for you today. As you will see below, it was very successful. So successful in fact, that it might spawn a few imitators. For those thinking along those lines, a caution: I would imagine there would be diminishing returns on any promo like this, and I might suggest adding your own twist to get anything like the same results. On top of that, it’s a hell of Read More…

St. Patrick’s Day Blowout: Results

If you were on Twitter over the weekend, you probably heard something about the St. Patrick’s Day Blowout Sale that I ran here on the blog. A few of you asked how it was all put together, and plenty are keen to hear the results, so I thought I’d run through it all for you today. As you will see below, it was very successful. So successful in fact, that it might spawn a few imitators. For those thinking along those lines, a caution: I would imagine there would be diminishing returns on any promo like this, and I might suggest adding your own twist to get anything like the same results. On top of that, it’s a hell of Read More…

Print Editions, Mailing Lists, Special Offers, Donations & Ad Spots

A number of questions have been popping up by email and in the comments – topics I’ve alluded to here but haven’t gone into much detail. I’m going to run through them quickly today: print editions, mailing lists/newsletters, running a sale, PayPal donations, and ad spots on reader sites and book blogs. Let’s Get Physical As you might have guessed by the above pic, my first print edition has been foisted onto the world. If any of you are interested in purchasing A Storm Hits Valparaiso in paperback, North American readers can get it from Amazon (those in the US can also purchase from Barnes & Noble), and international readers are advised to buy from The Book Depository (who are excellent), Read More…

Print Editions, Mailing Lists, Special Offers, Donations & Ad Spots

A number of questions have been popping up by email and in the comments – topics I’ve alluded to here but haven’t gone into much detail. I’m going to run through them quickly today: print editions, mailing lists/newsletters, running a sale, PayPal donations, and ad spots on reader sites and book blogs. Let’s Get Physical As you might have guessed by the above pic, my first print edition has been foisted onto the world. If any of you are interested in purchasing A Storm Hits Valparaiso in paperback, North American readers can get it from Amazon (those in the US can also purchase from Barnes & Noble), and international readers are advised to buy from The Book Depository (who are excellent), Read More…

Word-of-Mouth In Action

Word-of-mouth is the only thing that ever really sells books. While a glowing review in the New York Times will undoubtedly shift some copies, if the limited amount of people that actually read the reviews (and then purchase the book), don’t then spread the word, the sales bump will be temporary. The 21st century world-weary reader is a hard person to reach. Our environment has become so saturated with advertisements that we tend to tune them out. Broadcasters need to resort to tricks like raising the volume levels of the ads to force us to pay attention. We ignore ads because we don’t trust them. Exaggerated claims of the merits of one brand over another have been with us for Read More…

Promo Tip: LibraryThing Giveaways

Readers can be a skittish bunch, bolting for cover at the first distant rumble of the author promo wagon. I don’t blame them. Nothing spoils a good conversation like a salesman with a megaphone. What usually happens is this. Readers find a nice site where they can congregate and have good conversations about books. A writer discovers the site and thinks he has struck gold. Word of this rich seam of “customers” spreads like wildfire, and writers descend en masse hauling wagonloads of blurbs, excerpts, taglines, hyperlinks, ALL CAPS, and, yes, megaphones.

Smart Promo Idea (And For A Good Cause Too): The Summer Book Club

Just a short post today. A group of top-selling indie writers have come up with a rather clever idea that I wanted to highlight (which also happens to help a worthy cause). The Summer Book Club contains titles from top indie authors J Carson Black, Saffina Desforges, Mark Edwards & Louise Voss, Sibel Hodge, Victorine Lieske, HP Mallory, Scott Nicholson, and Cheryl Shireman. You can read Mark Edwards’ blog post about the background the idea here. They have set up a Facebook Page to promote the book club, and tonight they will be holding a chat with Mark Edwards himself.