Tag Archives: tips

Self-Publishing If You’re A New Fiction Author: 5 Tricks

Self-Publishing If You’re A New Fiction Author: 5 Tricks

Although the halcyon days of the Kindle gold rush are over, self-publishing still provides great rewards, even for a brand new author.

Just a few days ago a jubilant author who’s been writing for less than a year sent me an email message with a screen clip. In the first 18 days of November, her two books (I promised not to mention the genre) earned over a thousand dollars. At the rate her sales and KENPC are going, I can see her doubling that thousand within a few weeks.

Until November, her books were selling just a few copies a month. Then they took off.

Self-publishing is STILL a goldmine, if…

Why did her books suddenly take off? She’s been doing all the usual things like building a list, and spending a little money on Facebook ads. Mostly, the gods alone know, but two things she did are clever.

Here they are:

  • She’s writing in a very popular genre, and is following genre tropes which readers love;
  • She’s writing a series.

So let’s look at some self-publishing tricks especially for new authors. Established authors can learn from them too.

One thing I should mention… if you’re a new author: be patient. Overnight successes can take quite a few nights until they happen.

1. Write in a popular genre: the more readers, the more potential sales

Pay attention to your genre. Popular genres like romance, with all its sub-genres, have masses of readers who love to read, and are hungry for new books and authors.

What if your favored genre has few readers?

That’s OK. As long as you believe in yourself (see the fifth tip), and write characters YOU love, keep going. Who knows, you might be an author who drags your genre out of obscurity. 🙂

2. Write in a series: each book sells the others

Yep. Write in a series, as soon as you can.

If you can’t — you’re not sure how to turn a book into a series, or your mind doesn’t click and go hey, this world could support a series… Write short stories.

I love writing short stories for the marketing benefits, and also because I can play with many different worlds and characters. Most of my novels had their seed in a previous short story.

3. A little marketing really does help: it can be minimal

Whenever I mention “marketing” new authors have lots of objections. They don’t know how, they don’t want to blog, etc.

As I’ve always said, a little marketing can go a long way. You needn’t spend hours on it. A few minutes a day is fine.

4. Use your back matter to promote your books: add an excerpt

Use the back matter of your books to promote other books.

I’m always amazed when I mention this to authors (established authors, as well as newbies) and discover that they aren’t doing it, because it’s so simple.

When you’ve written the second book in a series, edit Book 1 to include the first scene or two of Book 2 in the back matter. Also at the end of Book 2, mention “Book 3 coming soon” and add a link to your website or Facebook page.

When Book 3 comes out, edit Book 2, to provide an except of Book 3 in the back matter. And so on and so forth.

It takes just 20 minutes to edit a book, and republish it.

5. Believe in yourself: write in a genre which is fun for you

Which genres of fiction do you read for fun? If you’re not reading a genre with pleasure, you’re unlikely to be able to write successfully in that genre. Your reading tells you what readers of the genre want.

When your writing is FUN for you, it’s likely to be fun for readers, as well. Please don’t torture yourself, trying to write in a genre which bores you, or which you actively dislike. It won’t work.

(Bonus tip) Avoid freebies and 99 cent ebooks

“Free” isn’t a guarantee of anything, least of all readers. Today, readers have so many freebies offered to them that they no longer trust “free.” They tend to look on 99 cent ebooks as trash too.

If you’re uncertain about pricing, price at the upper levels of the indie authors in your genre.

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

5 Super-Easy Fiction Writing Tips You Can Use Today

5 Super-Easy Fiction Writing Tips You Can Use Today

Want to write more fiction? You can. Let’s look at some easy fiction writing tips which will help… some of the tips may feel counter-intuitive, but they work.

Write More: 5 Easy Fiction-Writing Tips

To speed through a novel, or short story, you need to have a process.

Here’s a simple process:

  • Create a concept/ basic idea: I use the fast-start process. Try it, it works;
  • Create two characters and their goals. One’s the protagonist; the other’s the antagonist — I think of them as the goodie and the baddie;
  • Plot the major scenes which are the turning points of the story;
  • Write a fast draft;
  • 2nd draft — this is where the real writing happens;
  • Editing.

Plotting happens while you’re writing — we talked about layers. Never miss an opportunity to make your story more exciting.

1. Stop writing when there’s nothing there

You’ve been writing your story, and it’s magic. You wake up excited and eager to get that day’s writing done.

One morning (or whatever time of day you write fiction)… nothing. You’re uninspired, or just tired. You don’t want to write.

When your book’s been going well, this is resistance. It’s your subconscious mind waving its hands and yelling — “stop! You’re going the wrong way…”

Pay attention. Stop. Sleep on it.

Next day, you’ll either have the solution to the problem you didn’t know was there (but your subconscious mind did), or you’ll find the problem when you read through the draft.

Vital: to write more, pay attention to your intuition. Listen. The answer will come.

Your challenge here is to identify those times you’re being lazy. If you suspect you’re just goofing off, push through it. Write anyway.

2. Write in scenes: diagram them first

One of the challenges with fiction is logistics; moving people around in your scenes. Two people in a scene are manageable; more than two are a challenge.

Before I start a scene, I like to draw little diagrams on index cards. I identify each person in the scene, what his or her goal is, what secret they’re keeping from the other characters, and anything else that’s important.

When you think through a scene before you start writing, your writing will flow, and you’ll write more.

3. Write in scenes: goal, first line, last line

I also write the first and last sentences of a scene before I start, as I explained in this article.

When you know where you’re going, you’ll get there faster. 🙂

4. Stop writing when you’ve answered the “story question”

The story question is the point of your novel or short story. It’s when your main character has achieved his goal. In a mystery, it’s when the sleuth confronts the killer; in a romance, it’s when the guy gets the girl.

Your characters may or may not live happily ever after — end the story when it’s done. We talked about outlining and big scenes here. Your biggest scene is the story’s climax. Once it’s over, so is your story.

5. Don’t “write”: see it, feel it, and then write it

If you’re a new fiction writer, that is, you’ve been writing fiction for fewer than five years, your focus tends to be on the words. When readers read however, they don’t care about the words — you don’t stare at the painter’s brush strokes when you’re looking at a painting, do you?

Just as you experience a painting, your readers experience your fiction. That means that YOU need to EXPERIENCE it.

See your scenes in your imagination. Experience what your characters experience. For your readers to feel it, you need to feel it first.

Robert Frost said:

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

See it and feel it first. Then write it. You’ll write more, and your readers will get their money’s worth.

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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Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

eBook: $5.99
Your readers want to enter your novel's world. They want to experience your book -- they want to live your book with your main characters. 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.

Write A Novel: Quick Tips To Get Started (and keep going)

Write A Novel: Quick Tips To Get Started (and keep going)

You want to write a novel, but you’re not sure how to get started. We’ve got lots of tips to help. But first — are you sure you want to write a novel? Why not practice with some short fiction?

Novellas and short stories sell well on Amazon, because of Kindle Unlimited. Subscribers to the Kindle service can read anything they like, for free. You get paid whenever a reader reads more than ten per cent of one of your ebooks. As you can imagine, it’s very easy for readers to get to 10% of a short story, and… ka ching.

Have fun writing your novel: if you’re having fun, so are readers. For the first time in decades, writing fiction can be profitable. Will YOU make lots of money? Probably not. But if you love to tell stories, you can share them with the world at the click of the Publish button… what’s not to like about that?

Story Power: short stories made easy

Story Power

Story Power — insider secrets of writing short stories and making them work for you: writing serials, and series.

Write with me: over four weeks, you’ll discover HOW to not only write short fiction, but also make money at it. I make a very nice income ghostwriting fiction for clients, and also selling my own short fiction under various genre pen names.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.