Amazon Makes Life Easier For Authors of Historical & Literary Fiction Publishing

There are lots of reasons why self-publishing success stories tend to concentrate around writers of “genre” fiction, but it’s a mistake to assume that success is impossible if you write literary fiction or historical fiction (which tends to get lumped in with literary fiction, even though it’s just another genre… like literary fiction!). The first is demographics: romance and erotica readers were the first to switch to digital, followed by mystery and thriller fans, leading to the success stories of Amanda Hocking, Joe Konrath, and John Locke. I remember SF/F authors complaining (back in 2011) that their readers hadn’t switched to e-books yet, casting jealous eyes at the outsized romance audience. But as readers did move across, we saw people Read More…

Amazon Makes Life Easier For Authors of Historical & Literary Fiction Publishing

There are lots of reasons why self-publishing success stories tend to concentrate around writers of “genre” fiction, but it’s a mistake to assume that success is impossible if you write literary fiction or historical fiction (which tends to get lumped in with literary fiction, even though it’s just another genre… like literary fiction!). The first is demographics: romance and erotica readers were the first to switch to digital, followed by mystery and thriller fans, leading to the success stories of Amanda Hocking, Joe Konrath, and John Locke. I remember SF/F authors complaining (back in 2011) that their readers hadn’t switched to e-books yet, casting jealous eyes at the outsized romance audience. But as readers did move across, we saw people Read More…

Choosing The Right Distributor: Smashwords vs Draft2Digital Publishing Resources

Since I started self-publishing in 2011, Smashwords has been the overwhelming favorite for savvy self-publishers who wanted or needed a distributor to reach non-Amazon e-bookstores. However, a new competitor called Draft2Digital launched a beta version of their service earlier this year and has been gaining popularity. In July, they hit 1,000 users, 10,000 titles, and 1,000,000 books sold. I’ve been getting lots of questions about Draft2Digital, and experimenting with them myself, so I thought it was a good time for a side-by-side comparison as there are distinct pros and cons to each service. But before we get into that, let’s look at the question of whether you need to use a distributor at all. The virtues of going direct In my Read More…

Let’s Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books Resources

As you might have guessed by the new lick of paint, Let’s Get Visible is out! Grab your copy at: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | $4.99 Here’s the blurb: Take your sales to the next level! The author of the award-winning, bestselling Let’s Get Digital is back with an advanced guide for more experienced self-publishers. There are over 1.5 million books in the Kindle Store, with thousands more added every day. How do you get yours noticed? Visibility isn’t a challenge that can be bested once – it requires continual work. But there are tools and strategies to do much of the heavy lifting for you. In Let’s Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books, you’ll discover how Read More…

Let's Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books Resources

As you might have guessed by the new lick of paint, Let’s Get Visible is out! Grab your copy at: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | $4.99 Here’s the blurb: Take your sales to the next level! The author of the award-winning, bestselling Let’s Get Digital is back with an advanced guide for more experienced self-publishers. There are over 1.5 million books in the Kindle Store, with thousands more added every day. How do you get yours noticed? Visibility isn’t a challenge that can be bested once – it requires continual work. But there are tools and strategies to do much of the heavy lifting for you. In Let’s Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books, you’ll discover how Read More…

When Visibility Doesn’t Lead To Book Sales Publishing Writing

Writers are pretty creative about getting exposure for themselves and their books. Self-publishers especially are always experimenting with innovative ways to move the sales needle. Like many of you, I’ve tried a little of everything at this point, and the list of stuff that works is far, far shorter than the list of stuff that doesn’t. But what if I told you that you had a chance for some serious exposure? Imagine appearing on a reality TV show with millions of viewers, week after week. That level of visibility should have some kind of effect, right? YA fantasy writer and King of The Nerds contestant Genevieve Pearson is here to share her story: * * * “Writing is easy. It’s the marketing Read More…

When Visibility Doesn't Lead To Book Sales Publishing Writing

Writers are pretty creative about getting exposure for themselves and their books. Self-publishers especially are always experimenting with innovative ways to move the sales needle. Like many of you, I’ve tried a little of everything at this point, and the list of stuff that works is far, far shorter than the list of stuff that doesn’t. But what if I told you that you had a chance for some serious exposure? Imagine appearing on a reality TV show with millions of viewers, week after week. That level of visibility should have some kind of effect, right? YA fantasy writer and King of The Nerds contestant Genevieve Pearson is here to share her story: * * * “Writing is easy. It’s the marketing Read More…

Amazon’s Recommendation Engine Trumps The Competition Marketing

There’s an old adage that bestsellers are chosen rather than made, and there’s some truth to that. The amount a publisher splurges on the advance has to be recouped before the book turns a profit. The more money that has to be recouped, the greater the marketing budget. Sleeper hits are the exception for a reason. It’s a lot easier to hit the bestseller lists when you are on the front table of every single Barnes & Noble than if you are spine-out at the back of a handful of stores (or gathering dust in the warehouse). It often comes as a surprise to those outside publishing that these bookstore spots are bought and sold, that whether a book is Read More…

Amazon's Recommendation Engine Trumps The Competition Marketing

There’s an old adage that bestsellers are chosen rather than made, and there’s some truth to that. The amount a publisher splurges on the advance has to be recouped before the book turns a profit. The more money that has to be recouped, the greater the marketing budget. Sleeper hits are the exception for a reason. It’s a lot easier to hit the bestseller lists when you are on the front table of every single Barnes & Noble than if you are spine-out at the back of a handful of stores (or gathering dust in the warehouse). It often comes as a surprise to those outside publishing that these bookstore spots are bought and sold, that whether a book is Read More…

Popularity, Visibility & KDP Select Marketing

For most writers, anonymity is the biggest hurdle they face. The open nature of digital distribution can be a double-edged sword; there are 1.1 million titles in the Kindle Store after all. While the virtual shelves are endless, and while readers have demonstrated an increased appetite for reading (and hoarding) once they switch to e-books, the spotlight is limited. There can only ever be 100 books in the Top 100. The major sites (like Ereader News Today or Pixel of Ink) will only feature a limited amount of books per day. There is only one Kindle Daily Deal. Visibility is a continual challenge, and, when we look at that problem a little closer, it’s not radically different to the challenges Read More…

Popularity, Visibility & KDP Select Marketing

For most writers, anonymity is the biggest hurdle they face. The open nature of digital distribution can be a double-edged sword; there are 1.1 million titles in the Kindle Store after all. While the virtual shelves are endless, and while readers have demonstrated an increased appetite for reading (and hoarding) once they switch to e-books, the spotlight is limited. There can only ever be 100 books in the Top 100. The major sites (like Ereader News Today or Pixel of Ink) will only feature a limited amount of books per day. There is only one Kindle Daily Deal. Visibility is a continual challenge, and, when we look at that problem a little closer, it’s not radically different to the challenges Read More…

The Bonfire of the Straw Men Publishing Writing

In the third of a series of increasingly misguided essays for The Guardian – Why social media isn’t the magic bullet for self-epublished authors – Ewan Morrison builds a bonfire of self-publishing straw men. Morrison is convinced that “epublishing is another tech bubble, and that it will burst within the next 18 months.” The reason given: epublishing is inextricably tied to the structures of social media marketing and the myth that social media functions as a way of selling products. It doesn’t, and we’re just starting to get the true stats on that. When social media marketing collapses it will destroy the platform that the dream of a self-epublishing industry was based upon. Where do I start? Perhaps I should first point Read More…

Pricing, Visibilty & Experimentation Marketing Publishing

This blog focuses a lot on getting the basics right: a good story, cover, blurb, sample, and price. However, all of that means little if no-one is actually visiting your book page to begin with. Competitions, blog reviews, giveaways, guest blogs, interviews, presence on reader forums etc. can all bring extra traffic to your book pages, but they are very time consuming. If you want to move beyond what is essentially hand-selling your work, you need to gain visibility on Amazon, and let them do the hard work of selling your book for you (while you spend your time writing instead). Just make sure those basics are in place first, or you won’t get a good return from anything outlined Read More…

Pricing, Visibilty & Experimentation Marketing Publishing

This blog focuses a lot on getting the basics right: a good story, cover, blurb, sample, and price. However, all of that means little if no-one is actually visiting your book page to begin with. Competitions, blog reviews, giveaways, guest blogs, interviews, presence on reader forums etc. can all bring extra traffic to your book pages, but they are very time consuming. If you want to move beyond what is essentially hand-selling your work, you need to gain visibility on Amazon, and let them do the hard work of selling your book for you (while you spend your time writing instead). Just make sure those basics are in place first, or you won’t get a good return from anything outlined Read More…