Building a Killer Email List

There is a lot of upheaval in publishing today and I think that’s likely to increase rather than decrease. The best insurance policy any writer can have against the future is a targeted mailing list. I’ve written before about how the author with the biggest mailing list wins, and I’ve invited Nick Stephenson along today because he’s got some great ideas on how to boost your list. The cool thing about his approach is that it’s something anyone can do. And, as you will see, it really, really works. Here’s Nick with more: Building a Killer Email List As an author, I try to read as much as possible. I tend to get excited over 8 or 9 different authors across a few Read More…

How I Failed My Way Into A Book Deal – Guest Post by Matt Ellis

I first met author and editor Matt Ellis last summer through Twitter. We exchanged a few emails, after which Matt posted a thoughtful review of one of my short stories, If You Go Into The Woods. In that some post, Matt aired some of his concerns about self-publishing, not least how the promotional burden can chew up precious writing time, and we corresponded about that for a while. Several months later, after an underwhelming experience with self-publishing, Matt made a radical decision about one of his books. Here’s Matt to explain what he did, and why he did it: The Joys of Unpublishing, or, How I Failed My Way Into A Book Deal This winter, my life’s dream was realized: Read More…

The Joys of KDP Select: Patrice Fitzgerald's Story

Last week, I had a guest post from Marilyn Peake, who explained how KDP Select is helping her achieve new levels of success after ten years in publishing. I wanted to have a couple of opposing voices here to balance out my opposition to the program because (a) my antipathy towards KDP Select is based – at least partly – on the exclusivity requirement, which matters less to other writers, and (b) I could be wrong anyway. Today, I have a guest post from Patrice Fitzgerald who has used KDP Select to hugely increase her sales – at prices far higher than the average self-publisher too. Here’s Patrice:

The Joys of KDP Select: Patrice Fitzgerald’s Story

Last week, I had a guest post from Marilyn Peake, who explained how KDP Select is helping her achieve new levels of success after ten years in publishing. I wanted to have a couple of opposing voices here to balance out my opposition to the program because (a) my antipathy towards KDP Select is based – at least partly – on the exclusivity requirement, which matters less to other writers, and (b) I could be wrong anyway. Today, I have a guest post from Patrice Fitzgerald who has used KDP Select to hugely increase her sales – at prices far higher than the average self-publisher too. Here’s Patrice:

Time Traveling Through the Past Decade of Publishing

I promised to have a guest post from a writer who is doing well out of KDP Select, to balance out my post explaining why I wouldn’t be participating, and why I was against the program in general. This is the first of two guest posts on KDP Select from writers that are participating, and doing very well out of it. And don’t worry, I’m not slacking off while the guest posters are in the house – I have a new column up at Indie Reader called The Sharks Are Circling. Here’s Marilyn Peake: The past ten years have seen such sweeping changes in the publishing industry, specific technologies have gone from cutting-edge to old-fashioned in what seems nearly the blink Read More…

Transparent Publishing & Community-Driven Narratives – Guest Post by Brett Henley

I have a guest post today from a writer who is trying something very different indeed. Most authors are loathe to share their work while it is in progress for the simple reason that the first draft is often quite different from the polished, finished work. We often go through multiple drafts, get trusted readers to give their opinions, revise again, get them to read it again, revise further, work on it some more, and then submit it to an editor. Only after the editor’s suggestions have been navigated, and the manuscript has been proofed thoroughly, do we then allow the public to see it. Even with all that intensive vetting and honing, we always feel nervous about how readers Read More…

Transparent Publishing & Community-Driven Narratives – Guest Post by Brett Henley

I have a guest post today from a writer who is trying something very different indeed. Most authors are loathe to share their work while it is in progress for the simple reason that the first draft is often quite different from the polished, finished work. We often go through multiple drafts, get trusted readers to give their opinions, revise again, get them to read it again, revise further, work on it some more, and then submit it to an editor. Only after the editor’s suggestions have been navigated, and the manuscript has been proofed thoroughly, do we then allow the public to see it. Even with all that intensive vetting and honing, we always feel nervous about how readers Read More…

Using "Free" On Standalone Books – Guest Post by Indie Author Hollister Ann Grant

I think we all know at this stage that “free” can be a powerful promotional tool. Usually, when writers go through the somewhat convoluted process of making a book free on Amazon, the aim is to introduce a new pool of readers to their work who might otherwise never hear of it. Often, it’s the first in a series, and the hope is that out of the thousands that download it for nothing, a reasonable percentage will (a) actually read the book and, (b) enjoy it enough to pay for the rest of the author’s work. Some of the most successful self-publishers out there have employed this strategy – with fantastic results – so its effectiveness is not under question. Read More…

Using “Free” On Standalone Books – Guest Post by Indie Author Hollister Ann Grant

I think we all know at this stage that “free” can be a powerful promotional tool. Usually, when writers go through the somewhat convoluted process of making a book free on Amazon, the aim is to introduce a new pool of readers to their work who might otherwise never hear of it. Often, it’s the first in a series, and the hope is that out of the thousands that download it for nothing, a reasonable percentage will (a) actually read the book and, (b) enjoy it enough to pay for the rest of the author’s work. Some of the most successful self-publishers out there have employed this strategy – with fantastic results – so its effectiveness is not under question. Read More…

I'm Leaving You

There is no other way to tell you this, and I wish it could be otherwise, but, I’m leaving you. It’s not you, it’s me. I need a break. Fear not! I’m only going on holidays, and in two short weeks, I will be back – tanned, rejuvenated, and with only minor, repairable damage done to my liver. While I am in Portugal, I will be handing my blog over to a series of superb guest posters. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I will say that you are in for a treat. Until then, you can read my regular column over at IndieReader.com which has just been posted. It’s called The Only Gatekeepers Readers Need. As the Read More…

I’m Leaving You

There is no other way to tell you this, and I wish it could be otherwise, but, I’m leaving you. It’s not you, it’s me. I need a break. Fear not! I’m only going on holidays, and in two short weeks, I will be back – tanned, rejuvenated, and with only minor, repairable damage done to my liver. While I am in Portugal, I will be handing my blog over to a series of superb guest posters. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I will say that you are in for a treat. Until then, you can read my regular column over at IndieReader.com which has just been posted. It’s called The Only Gatekeepers Readers Need. As the Read More…

Sunday Roundup: Blog Anniversary, New Releases, and a Link Party

My blog is four months old today! I just passed 50,000 views the other day (the only metric I get), so that’s quite a milestone. 25,000 of those views were in July, so it’s going really well. I often get emails asking me how I drove so much traffic to the blog in such a short space of time, so I have placed an excerpt from the blogging chapter of Let’s Get Digital along the top navigation bar, where you can also find further excerpts, as well as additional information, on pricing, formatting, covers, and all sorts of other stuff. All those sections will continue to grow. In the four months since I started, I have posted around 200,000 words to Read More…

Podcasting for the Indie Author: Guest Post By W Brondt Kammfer

There’s a lot of interest in podcasting at the moment. Authors such as Scott Sigler and Nathan Lowell attribute at least part of their success to the large, passionate audiences they built through their regular podcasts. However, most writers don’t have a clue about what podcasting entails, or how they could explore it further. I’m certainly in that camp, so I thought it would be a good idea to invite someone along who knows a lot more about it to give us the basics. W. Brondt Kammfer is a fantasy author who has his own regular podcast. Here’s what he has to say about podcasting.

Guest Post by Moses Siregar III: Using “Free” to Generate Pre-Release Buzz

One of the criticisms that self-publishers face is that they rush their work out. Sometimes it’s bad covers, or poor editing, but sometimes the book just wasn’t ready to be published. Today’s guest poster, Moses Siregar III, understands the importance of making sure your book is the best you can possibly make it before you sent it out into the world. Rather than be frustrated by seeing other indie writers dive in and rack up sales, Moses never rushed his work, instead taking the time to assiduously build his platform in a number of interesting ways, all building up towards the release of his novel at the start of August. He has agreed to do a before-and-after guest post, so Read More…