Category Archives: self-publishing

Fiction Writing: The Most Popular Posts In 2017

Fiction Writing: The Most Popular Posts In 2017

I started this blog in 2007 — how time flies, to coin a cliche. Back in 2007, although fiction writing was popular, it took the birth of the Kindle to truly expand authors’ interest.

Authors realized that the gatekeepers were gone. For the first time in history, authors could sell their novels directly to readers.

Why is fiction writing so popular?

By 2012, self-publishing had truly arrived. On the Kindle store, fiction outsells nonfiction by a wide margin, so I expected that the blog’s most popular posts in 2017 would be about writing fiction.

A comforting thought: you don’t have to be a brilliant writer to sell fiction. If you tell a good story, readers will read.

Let’s look at the four most popular posts — check them out, if you haven’t read them.

1. Basic Short Story Template: Keep It Simple!

I wrote the most popular post, Basic Short Story Template: Keep It Simple! in 2014. It’s been updated frequently.

If you haven’t discovered writing short stories as a promotional tool, check out the post, and write some short stories. They’re a super-simple way to guide readers to your novels.

2. Fiction Writing Tips for Beginners: Super-Easy Outlines

Outlines tend to stymie fiction authors, so Fiction Writing Tips for Beginners: Super-Easy Outlines, published at the start of 2017, has been popular.

Words to live by when writing fiction:

Fiction is all about emotion. No emotion? You’ve got nothing. Your idea, no matter how wonderful, will fizzle out.

3. Writing Short Stories: How Many Scenes Do You Need?

Another post from 2014: Writing Short Stories: How Many Scenes Do You Need? has been hugely popular.

One of the first things you think about when you’re writing fiction is — how long is this? Then you (if you’re like me) track your word count obsessively, because you know that your milestones determine the success or otherwise of a piece of fiction.

4. New Novelist: Write A Selling Novel With One Simple Strategy

I’m thrilled that this post, New Novelist: Write A Selling Novel With One Simple Strategy, is so popular.

To write novels which sell, every novel:

… must have a point. All the screaming excitement of your novel can’t and won’t make up for it if there’s no point.

Please use the strategy I outline in that post. The strategy won’t guarantee a bestseller, but you have no hope of selling if your novel doesn’t have a point.

Enjoy the posts. 🙂

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: Romance Writing, Book 1
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction

Love makes the world go round, and of all the genres in fiction, romance, with its many sub-genres, is the most popular.

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More Heart To Heart: Write Hot-Selling Romance Fiction

More Heart To Heart: Write Hot-Selling Romance Fiction

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: Romance Writing, Book 2
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction

I adore writing romance fiction, and now you can write romance too.

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Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.

Self-Publishing Profits: Sell Your Books From Your Own Website

Self-Publishing Profits: Sell Your Books From Your Own Website

Love self-publishing? Many authors do, because they have complete freedom… or so they imagine. However, over the past year or two, authors have been discovering that they have less freedom than they thought.

Although self-publishing frees you from the middle-men — literary agents and publishing houses — the major book retailers nevertheless control your fortunes.

Changes in Amazon’s algorithm, scammers targeting Amazon, Facebook’s recent changes… more authors are looking to sell their books from their own websites so that they can retain more of the profits.

Do the benefits of “do it yourself” self-publishing outweigh the hassles? Of course, that depends on where you are in your self-publishing journey.

If you’re a new author, uploading your new novel to Amazon is a major feat. On the other hand, if you’ve been publishing for a while, you know that the self-publishing process cedes control. You have zero idea who’s buying your books, for example. The retailers keep the data.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of selling your books from your own website.

Self-publishing: the benefits of selling from your own website

The benefits of self-publishing from your own website as well as the big online book retailers include:

  • You keep more of the profits (you’ll keep 90% of the profits, compared to at best, 70% if you sell through a retailer);
  • Data: you know who your readers are. You have their email addresses, so you can contact them directly and build a loyal following;
  • It’s a chance to make friends with readers, ask them questions, reward them, and build sales overall;
  • Diversification can help to insulate your sales from algorithm changes.

A quick check: is your ebook in KDP Select?

Before we talk about the tools you can use to sell from your own website, we need to mention KDP Select. Be aware that once an ebook is enrolled in Select, you’re giving Amazon a three-month exclusive. So before you sell an ebook from your own website, do make certain that its term in Select has expired.

Tools: selling your books from your own website is easier than you think

Perhaps you’ve been putting off selling your books from your own website because it’s a hassle. You need a payment processor, and a delivery system. You also need a way to add your buyers’ email addresses to your email lists.

While there are dozens of tools you can use to sell your books (in various formats, whether ebooks, print, or audio) two tools have become hugely popular with the self-publishing crowd: BookFunnel and Gumroad.

(Disclosure: I don’t currently use either of these tools. However, I have heard good things about them, and aim to use them going forward. PLEASE make sure that you read ALL the Help files, before you use any tool.)

BookFunnel: an ebook delivery system for freebies, review copies etc.

BookFunnel provides an easy way for you to deliver freebies to readers, and add their email addresses to your mailing lists. You can use BookFunnel to deliver exclusive promotions, ARCs, review copies — you’re limited only by your imagination.

The tool collects reader emails for you, which you can download as a CSV file. Alternatively, BookFunnel can be integrated directly with your mailing list provider.

Gumroad payment processor and delivery system: sell ebooks, audios, and print books

Gumroad has been around for years, and is packed with features.

You can integrate Gumroad with your website easily. Either link directly to a product’s page on Gumroad, or use widgets, to integrate Gumroad with WordPress, Squarespace, or Tumblr.

If you use the MyBookTable plugin for WordPress, just add the Gumroad Buy Button in the same way you’d add Amazon’s or Kobo’s button.

Should you sell your books from your own website?

Selling your books from your own website won’t make you instantly wealthy. Your sales are unlikely to outshine your sales on Amazon and elsewhere, at least in your first year or two.

Your biggest challenge, just as it is on the retailers, is visibility and discovery. You’ll need to promote your products, just as you already do.

However, the benefits are many, and if you’ve been grinding your teeth because of Facebook’s changes, selling from your own website at least puts you in control of some of your self-publishing fortunes.

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

eBook: $5.99

I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly.

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Nonfiction Ebooks Goldmine: Write and Sell Nonfiction Ebooks In 24 Hours Or Less

Nonfiction Ebooks Goldmine: Write and Sell Nonfiction Ebooks In 24 Hours Or Less

$5.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 5
Genre: Writing

You're a writer. You need to make money from your words. What if you could create AND sell a nonfiction book in just a day?

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Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.

Fast Short Stories: New Online Writing Class

Fast Short Stories: New Online Writing Class

Over the past year or two, authors have discovered the value of short stories. Not only can you charge as much for a short story as you’d charge for a novel, readers in several genres love them.

On Amazon, the term “short stories” has a respectable monthly search volume of half a million searches, which shows that readers are searching for snack-sized fiction and are buying it. If you’re not using short stories in your self-publishing program, you’re missing out on an opportunity.

In Easy Fiction Writing: 4 Profitable Ways To Use Short Stories, we said that short stories are fun part-time projects. You can write a short story and publish it as an ebook within a few hours.

A tip: authors ask me “how long” a short story “must” be, if you want to publish it as an ebook. There are no rules — it’s up to you. Traditionally, a short story was fiction up to 15,000 words — beyond that, it’s a novella, and after around 30,000 words, it’s a novel.

Publish Fiction In 8 Hours Or Less: Conquer Short Stories

Enrollments are open for our new online writing class, Publish Fiction In 8 Hours Or Less: Conquer Short Stories. I created the class because writers were stumbling with their stories, and not getting as much out of them as they could.

When you’re writing short stories, it’s essential to know which genres sell. For example, the Mystery/ Thriller genre sells less well than several other genres, and we cover that in the class.

We also look at:

  • Clever ways you can use short stories;
  • Short story pricing;
  • Essential tactics to make your short stories satisfying to readers; and
  • How to make the most of Amazon’s Short Reads categories.

I’ll guide you through writing and publishing a short story step by step. By the end of the four week class, you’ll have written a complete short story, and will have received feedback on every stage of writing it.

The writing class’s structure and what you’ll get out of it

I’ll be offering this class at intervals of a month or two, depending on how busy I am with other commitments.

The class is strictly practical — you’ll be writing, rather than stuffing your head with knowledge. 🙂 By the time the class ends, you’ll know exactly how to use short stories in your publishing plans for 2018 and beyond, and how to write them quickly.

You’ll receive everything you need for the class each week, via a download link sent to your email address — PDFs, audio, and video — so no other purchases are required.

Estimate that you’ll spend an hour or two a week on the class.

Class begins on October 16, and enrollments are limited.

NEW CLASS: Publish Fiction In 8 Hours Or Less: Conquer Short Stories

New fiction writing class: write and sell short stories

Discover a brand new, step-by-step, class to writing and publishing short stories FAST. You can publish within hours.

This class is easy, fun, and practical. If you’ve got an hour a week, you’ll master short fiction writing and selling in just four weeks.

Join us, and take control of your fiction writing career.

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

eBook: $5.99

You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell.

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Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out our ebooks for writers.