Kindle Fiction: Free Marketing Tips

Kindle Fiction: Free Marketing Tips

You’re writing Kindle fiction. You’re not selling as many ebooks as you’d like. The solution? Marketing — and it can not only be free, it can be simple and easy as well.

Sophie, one of my Team Up students, had written two complete novels, and several short stories before we started working together. She was very disappointed with her sales. She hadn’t done any marketing.

I knew that Sophie had enrolled her novels in KDP Select, so I asked her how she was using her “free” days. That is, the five days which Amazon gives you in each three-month Select period, in which you can offer your ebook free for promotional purposes.

Why offer ebooks you want to sell for free? Because you’ll make more sales — the free ebooks lift your rank in Amazon, so more people see all your ebooks, and will buy them.

Sophie was startled. “How do you mean? Do I have to choose days?”

Yes, you need to tell Amazon which days you want. :-) In your KDP Dashboard, click on More Actions, then choose Promote and Advertise, and select the free promotion option. You’ll be able to choose the days you want.

Here are some tips on making the most of your KDP Select “free” days. They’re a brilliant sales opportunity, and used well, you’ll boost your ebooks’ ranks, and will make many more sales.

How to make the most of your KDP Select free days

You can offer an ebook free for five days in each three-month KDP Select period. To boost the effectiveness of an ebook’s free days, you need to advertise the free download as widely as you can.

1. Choose where you’ll promote your freebie

Before you choose which days you want in KDP Select, visit this link, and choose your advertising venues. Some sites have a waiting period.

Make a list of four or five venues, and take note of what lead-up time they require. Next, go back to your KDP Dashboard, and select your free day(s).

Then sign up for your free/ paid promotions on the promotional websites.

2. Don’t use your free days in a five-day block

I used to do this. It works, but… you can’t promote that novel for free, until your enrollment in your current Select period is over. I’ve found (and my students have found too) that they get just as many downloads if they space out their promotions.

I prefer to start with a two-day period, then leave it for a couple of months before using the final three-day period.

3. Promote your promotion on social media while it’s running

Create some advertising images to use on social media while your free download period is running. Then post the images during your promotion.

Obviously, the more followers you have the better. Increasing your follower count takes time, but it’s well worth the effort.

If you have a mailing (kudos to you!) obviously you’ll let your subscribers know about your freebie too.

Free sells, but use your promotions (and pricing), strategically

You’ll get a slight boost from your free days, even if that’s all you do. However, to get the best results, you need:

  • Several ebooks which readers can BUY;
  • To keep careful records of when you ran promotions, and how many downloads you received, as well as sales;
  • To write in SERIES, and serials… We have an entire program on writing serials. If you want to increase your Kindle income in the fastest way possible, write serials.

Have fun. :-)

Writing Serial Fiction is Easier, and in Many Ways More Profitable Than Writing Novels


Did you know that if you’re writing novel-length fiction, you’ll make more income if you turn your novel into a serial? And no, you can’t just chop up your novel into parts. :-) A serial is written as a serial. It hooks readers, so that they buy future episodes after they’ve bought the first one.

Serial Fiction Bonanza is your complete guide to writing serial fiction. It’s a four-week program, and you’ll love it. Coaching is included. It’s your chance to take a huge step forward in writing and selling fiction. Enjoy. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Write Bestselling Fiction: Your Blurb Needs People (Blurb 2)

Write Bestselling Fiction: Your Blurb Needs People (Blurb 2)

If you’re writing fiction, you hope it will be bestselling fiction. Since that’s the case, your blurb (book description) has just one function: to get its readers to take action.

What action? You want readers to read the book’s sample. Ideally, you want them to go on to buy the book, or at the very least to remember the book and the author’s name.

(By “book”, I mean ebooks too, of course.)

I coach writers, so I read a lot of blurbs. I advise students to focus on people in their blurbs. Readers want to read about people, above all.

If you doubt this, consider your favorite novels:

  • In the Harry Potter books, who’s more important, Harry and his friends, or Hogwarts? (I know that both are important, but go along with me here… :-))
  • In Game of Thrones, do you remember the setting, or the characters?

PEOPLE: who are your characters, and why should we care?

Try this exercise.

Choose your three main characters, and write a one-sentence summary of each one. Yes, just one sentence. Include each character’s major flaw, as well as his biggest virtue.

Here’s an example. “At just 26, Demetria Jones had already had 26 jobs, and she was proud of that.”

Demetria’s flaw: she can’t hold a job. You sense that she’s slightly out of step with the rest of society — and she doesn’t care. Her virtue is that she’s willing to keep trying job after job.

Are you interested in Demetria? Many readers will be interested enough to keep reading, and that’s what you want your blurb to do — keep readers reading. Then you want them to read the ebook’s sample too.

Craft your one-sentence summary while you’re writing your novel

Here’s why you need to craft your character summaries while you write: so that you remember what you’re writing. It’s all too easy, when you’re writing a novel, to wonder off onto weird tangents.

Sometimes this works. You start a scene, and you don’t know quite where you’re headed with the scene, but it seems interesting, so you keep going. If you’ve crafted a one-sentence character summary for each character, that acts as a compass, and you won’t wander too far off track.

With parts 1 and 2 of this series, you now know enough to write excellent blurbs. Have fun. :-)

Read the first part of our “write a blurb which sells” series

This article is the second in a series.

In Writing Fiction To Sell: Your Blurb’s An Advertisement, Part 1, the first article in this series, we talked about the importance of clarity in writing your blurb. We also gave you a template, and some exercises.

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial fiction has been around since the days of Charles Dickens. Self-publishing authors love it. Discover how to write serials in our new four week class. Coaching is included — you’re not writing alone.

By the end of the program, you’ll have published several episodes of your serial fiction. You’ll also be steadily marketing, while you’re writing and publishing.

Join us: you’ll have a lot of fun, and you’ll boost your fiction writing career.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Writing Fiction: Show It, Don’t Blow It

Writing Fiction: Show It, Don’t Blow It

You’re writing fiction: a novel. You’ve exhausted your first burst of enthusiasm. You can’t figure out where the story goes next. You’ve got 10,000 words of nothing.

Sadly, outlining doesn’t help. You’ve written an outline, and it has all the appeal of a jar of baby food. It’s bland. There’s no spark. You don’t care about your characters. You don’t even care about them enough to dislike them.

Relax. This kind of thing happens often. Look on the bright side — you’ve got 10K words, and that’s something. Here’s why you’ve lost your way: you’ve stopped feeling the emotions you’re aiming to portray. It’s easy enough to get them back.

Start by planning.

Plan and plot, to boost your enthusiasm

As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m not a great fan of outlines. I prefer organic outlining, as we discuss in Hot Plots. When you use ordinary outlines, you’ll try to force your characters where they don’t want to go. You’re fighting your creative self, which knows what’s best for your story.

Go back to basics.

Think about:

  • The setup (approximately a quarter of your novel, in which you set up your story. After you’ve set things up, you’re moving to…
  • The midpoint — what it says. This is the first big turning point of your story, where everything changes. Your story goes in a new direction. Next you head for…
  • Story twist number 2. Another turning point. Your main character has tried to change. It’s not working. Things look black, and you’re heading for…
  • The showdown. The make or break. The big fight your character needs to win. The story winds down, with…
  • The resolution. The killer’s identified in a mystery. The world’s saved in a thriller, and it’s hearts and flowers in a romance.

When you consider the above way markers for your story, you’re not writing an outline. You’re giving yourself points to hit. Over time, as you write more short stories and novels, and read them as well, you’ll recognize these way markers instinctively.

SHOW it, don’t blow it: put yourself, and your readers IN your story

Get a big sheet of paper, at least A3 size. Or grab a whiteboard. Make circles on the board. List your main characters down the side.

Fiction is about people. People who CHANGE, over the course of the story. In your first circle, write your main character’s name, and his situation and major attribute at the start of the story.

It’s your challenge to show your main character’s growth, and change, throughout the story. A “plot” means nothing if your character doesn’t change. You’ve heard of the character arc, and character development. That means change.

Let’s say that at the start of your story, a thriller, your main character, Lola, is a trader in a bank. She loves numbers. People make her shy, so she rarely stands up to anyone. She’s divorced with a small son.

Over the course of your story, you’ve got to show Lola change. She changes into someone who stands up for herself, and what’s right. She becomes a whistleblower: she saves the financial lives of hundreds of the banks’ small investors.

Using your sheet of paper, or whiteboard, start brainstorming scenes. Lola starts out as timid and becomes a heroine. What happens to her, and what does she do, along her journey?

When you’re done, slot your scenes into the basic “plot” we discussed above.

SHOW in every scene: see it, touch it, hear it, say it…

Now start writing a scene you want to write. Any scene. There’s no reason to write your story chronologically. Write any scene you like, from Lola’s point of view (POV) and BE Lola. Be there, in the moment.

If you can do that, your readers will be there with you. They’ll feel it.

Once you’re done with the scene, choose another scene, and write that one too. Keep BEING LOLA. When you feel it, you build your enthusiasm, and the words will flow.

Have fun… :-)

Hot Plots: Craft Hot-Selling Fiction in 5 Minutes (or less)

How To Write Commercial Fiction With Hot Plots

The big secret of making money from your fiction is writing a lot. And publishing strategically and consistently. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program ensures that authors can make money from short stories, and all kinds of fiction. Moreover, whatever you’re publishing, you have a global audience.

You’re about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you’re writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. Discover Hot Plots.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Writing Fiction To Sell: Your Blurb’s An Advertisement, Part 1

Writing Fiction To Sell: Your Blurb’s An Advertisement, Part 1

This week I’ve been helping several ebook authors write their fiction’s blurbs. That is, their ebooks’ descriptions. I reminded them: “When you’re writing fiction, you’re writing about people. So your blurbs need to be about those people.”

As Henry James said:

“What is character but the determination of incident?”

“What is incident but the illustration of character?”

Your ebook’s description on the ebook retailers isn’t a bland retelling of your story. Nor is is an excuse to cram in as many keywords as you can. It’s a headline, in copywriting terms. A tease.

Here are the problems I found in these authors’ blurbs:

  • Confusion, too many names. Not only character names, but restaurant names, company names… (We’ll look at why including too many names in a blurb is a problem in a moment);
  • Telling what happened. We don’t care about events, unless they relate in some way to people we know. Use your blurb to make us care about your characters;
  • As mentioned — keywords. Please don’t do that. Your blurb is your one chance to advertise your book. Amazon’s algorithm works fine, without keywords in your blurb and/ or (heaven forbid) in your headline;
  • TL;DR (too long, didn’t read.) I used to be a fan of blurbs which were a few hundred words long, back when Amazon offered the blurb further down on the product page. Now the blurbs are right under the title. You only get a couple of paragraphs, then readers must click the Read More link. They won’t click unless you make those initial paragraphs count.

Let’s look at the problems, and how to fix them

1. Clarity is all: eliminate reader confusion

I advise my students to limit names in their blurb: at the very most — THREE names. Less is more.

You’ve got three tools to snag readers’ attention on your product page: your ebook’s title, your cover, and your blurb. But, and this is a BIG but… please don’t try to be too clever.

Clarity is everything. If you confuse a reader, he’ll click away, instantly. So keep your words simple, and easy to understand.

Here’s a simple blurb template.

Adjective CHARACTER NAME 1 wants/ has decided/ discovers STORY QUESTION.

Unfortunately, adjective CHARACTER NAME 2, wants ANTAGONIST’S GOAL.

This means (whatever the CONFLICT is.)

Another tip: complete the bare-bones blurb — using the template above — as soon as you’ve completed your first draft. If you haven’t thought about your story question, and what your characters want, this forces you to do so.

Writing blurbs is a vital skill for fiction authors, so this post is the first article in a blurb-writing workshop. Each post will have exercises so that you can practice your new skills.

Here are the  exercises for this post.

Two fun exercises to help you to write blurbs which sell your fiction

  1. Write a sentence about each of your main characters — two or three sentences for each one. Start by summing up each character in an adjective, and a verb.
  2. Sum up your novel’s (or short story’s) story question in a sentence.

Ebook Dominance: sell more copies of your ebooks, every day

Ebook Dominance: Market and SELL Your Ebooks In Just 15 Minutes A Day

Discover the marketing secrets of bestselling authors — you can market in minutes, from the comfort of your sofa…

How would you feel if your sales doubled, then tripled — and then YOU hit the Kindle hot sellers’ lists?

Ebook Dominance helps you to turbocharge your marketing, and sell more ebooks today.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Writing Process: Words, Words, And More Words

Writing Process: Words, Words, And More Words

I know that consistent production is hard for many writers. So let’s look at a writing process which ensures that you produce more words. This process works for both fiction and nonfiction.

Key: KNOW that you can do it. If you can talk, you can write. I write around 1000 to 1500 words an hour.

If I’m writing fiction, most of that is fairly good, for first draft material. But it’s nevertheless first draft material. It needs editing. If you can only manage 200 words an hour, that’s more than fine. You’ll get faster as you go.

Here’s your basic writing process:

  • Idea generation (know what you’re writing)
  • First draft writing
  • Editing

1. Know what you’re writing when you sit down to write

Never, ever sit down at your computer to write, without knowing what you’re writing, and exactly how much you expect yourself to produce.

Consider your creative self to be the genie in the bottle, if it helps. You need to give your genie orders.

For example, yesterday I needed to do the final edits on a novella. I wanted to publish it yesterday, and I did. I had notes on what I had to cover in the final edit, and I just followed the notes.

This morning I did just 1000 words on a new fiction trilogy. I’d done zero planning, so a lot of my fiction writing time was fiddling around, creating characters. I knew before I started that my goal for that project today was a thousand words, so I wrote them.

To repeat: give yourself instructions. Know what you’re writing before you sit down to write.

2. Get uncomfortable: try Write or Die (your word count per hour will go up)

Every month or two, I use timed writing sessions to force myself to write more words per hour. This is challenging. But it works. You can get too comfortable.

Get uncomfortable. I’ve started using Write or Die 2, because I heard good reports on it, and it keeps stats. Write or Die has two sliders, one for the minutes in your writing session, and the other slider is a word count goal for those minutes.

You don’t need an app. Use a kitchen timer, and set it for a time — half an hour, if you like. Then decide how many words you’ll write.

Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone works. Your productivity will increase.

2. Focus on scenes: write the dialogue first

When you’re writing fiction, focus on scenes.

Here’s how to write scenes:

  • Decide on the goal you want for a scene. What changes? What emotion do you want?
  • Write the scene’s first line;
  • Write the scene’s last line;
  • Write the dialogue between the first and last line;
  • Go back and fill in the extras: emotions, characters’ thoughts, movements, and so on.

The above process works for me, because once you’ve got the dialogue, everything follows from that. I tend to worry too much about characters’ emotions and thoughts. I put in too much, and slow myself — and the scene — down.

Focus on your scenes, and write the dialogue first: try it. You’ll write more, and more easily.

Have fun. :-)

Ebook Dominance: sell more copies of your ebooks, every day

Ebook Dominance: Market and SELL Your Ebooks In Just 15 Minutes A Day

Discover the marketing secrets of bestselling authors — you can market in minutes, from the comfort of your sofa…

How would you feel if your sales doubled, then tripled — and then YOU hit the Kindle hot sellers’ lists?

Ebook Dominance helps you to turbocharge your marketing, and sell more ebooks today.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..