Tag Archives: marketing

Book Marketing: Should You Blog Your Novel?

Book Marketing: Should You Blog Your Novel?

A reader contacted me to ask whether you should “blog your novel.”

That’s an interesting question. Before 2007, I’d have said yes.

Today, I lean on the side of no, if you intend posting complete scenes and chapters of your rough draft.

Times have changed. Years ago, author Kate Moss blogged her bestseller Labyrinth, and I wrote in 2007:

I love big historical novels, and was engrossed by Labyrinth, Kate Mosse’s bestseller. It also intrigued me that this bestseller was blogged, because I adore blogging, and recommend it to writers.

Today, I don’t recommend posting your complete novel. Amazon kickstarted the self-publishing revolution when it released the Kindle in 2007, and that changed things.

Use a site like Wattpad. Or you could upload the manuscript to Amazon’s Kindle Scout. Either of these options would provide a better book marketing option for a new author than creating a blog.

Of course, an established blog is valuable. If you’re an author with an established blog and following, jump right in, and publish snippets of your novel while you’re writing. You’d need to build an audience on Wattpad and Kindle Scout — why bother when you already have an audience on your blog?

My own preference, for book marketing today, is to publish to KDP Select.

Book marketing with Amazon’s KDP Select

Here’s why I prefer using KDP Select for book marketing, rather than blogging a new novel:

  • You’re marketing directly to your potential readers. Book buyers are on Amazon — or on Facebook, then on Amazon. Unfortunately Facebook has pretty much crippled the value of author pages (this was always going to happen… which is why I recommend blogging to authors);
  • You can market your other books in your novel’s back matter by providing an excerpt — or excerpts (but don’t overdo it.) Even if you’re a brand new author, you can market your mailing list in the back matter.

A couple of my pen names have well-established blogs, and followings, but I wouldn’t consider publishing a novel-in-progress to either of them. I’d rather publish straight to KDP Select for the above reasons.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

Your author blog will stand you in good stead for years to come, so by all means create one. Over time, it will become highly valuable to you — it’s an ideal book marketing venue. Book marketing options come and go. You control what happens on your blog.

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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Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

$4.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction

You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels.

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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.

More info →
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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.

Self-Publishing Success With Social Media: 4 Content Curation Tips

Self-Publishing Success With Social Media: 4 Content Curation Tips

Hate blogging? Some authors do. I love it because it’s so easy — I’m writing anyway, so why not blog?

Of course, blogging is just one form of social media. You can use social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to get the word out about your books too.

Eliminate social media panic with content curation

Sometimes when I mention blogging to a self-publishing author (because blogging is easy, cheap, and effective) they panic. But I don’t know what to blog about…

Consider this. Social media is social. You can post others’ content as well as your own. When you find and share others’ great content, this strategy is known as content curation.

1. Find great content and share it: content curation builds authority

One of the biggest benefits of content curation is that it can help you to build your authority as an author.

Here’s how it works. Imagine for a few moments that you’re an author who publishes cozy mysteries. You’ve written three mysteries about your heroine, a retired military dog handler who lives in a small English village. You want to use content curation to promote your cozies.

Start by thinking about who might buy your books. Make a list. Your list could include:

  • Readers who love cozies;
  • Readers who love dog books;
  • Fans of various authors who write books similar to yours…

Next, think about the type of content those readers might enjoy. In other words, get into the mindset of your ideal reader, and make a list of that reader’s interests.

Your ideal reader’s interests will guide you when you’re curating content. Your curated content could include material on topics as disparate as English cricket, recipes for dog food, and Agatha Christie.

Of course, while you’re happily curating others’ content, don’t forget to share promotions for your own books too.

2. Use tools to help you to curate content (some tools are free)

There are many, many social media tools you can use for content creation.

While content curation is possible without tools, tools like Buffer make it easier. Buffer is a social media sharing app which can automate sharing; it has a free plan, so it costs you nothing to get started.

3. While curating, remember your goals — it’s easy to lose sight of them

Unfortunately, social media can become a HUGE time sink, as I know to my cost, so remember your goals.

Your primary goal is to promote your books. Since a goal without a deadline is merely a dream, set goals with deadlines.

For example:

4. Use strategy when choosing your content curation sources: you never know who’s reading

Sharing your content discoveries takes minimal time — finding and reading content takes a lot of time. That said, you’re probably reading for entertainment anyway.

You may already have a list of websites and blogs you follow, so make your content choices strategic.

Let’s say that you’d love to have your cozy mysteries featured on Blog A. Why not share content from Blog A for a few weeks? Of course, there’s no guarantee that Blog A will review your upcoming mystery… on the other hand Blog A may do that.

If Bog A doesn’t, another blog or website might take note of what you’re posting, and get in touch.

In short, content curation is a way of winning friends and influencing people. Who knows, you may share content from a literary agent, and that agent, or another may contact you.

Onward… Try content curation. It’s fun, and it can be a powerful tool in your book marketing arsenal.

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.

More info →
Buy from Apple iBooks
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Inktera
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Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

$5.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 3
Genre: Writing

How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love: 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.

More info →
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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.