Tag Archives: Write a book

You’re An Author: 4 Ways To Get More Out Of Your Book

You’re An Author: 4 Ways To Get More Out Of Your Book

You’ve finished your book. It’s published, and you’re an author. You should be very proud of your achievement. You’re marketing your book, and are making sales, but don’t stop — consider that you can get much more out of your book.

Before we go on, I need to mention that this is where self-publishers are hugely better off than any traditionally published author. Here’s why: when you self-publish, your book whether fiction or nonfiction, is an asset.

You can make much more out of your asset than sales of the book in its current form.

You’re an author: you now have an asset

Everything you write, to which you retain all rights (articles, books, videos, audios, presentations, speeches, blog posts) is an asset. Few authors (me included) make as much of their assets as they could.

Why not? Primarily because they’re busy. They get tunnel vision. They publish their book, and market it diligently. Then they write another book — or maybe not, if the sales of the first book are disappointing.

Here’s where a small knowledge of copyright comes into play. Book publication is just one form of the rights you own in a work that you created. There are many more rights, including:

  • Audio rights;
  • Video rights
  • Movie rights;
  • Serial publication rights;
  • Translation rights…

Basically when you own an asset, you own all the rights, so you can transform the work into anything you choose. You can license these rights to others, or you can use them yourself.

Your rights aren’t limited — you can choose to transform your book into anything you like, and can sell any rights you please, even rights you create specifically for that book. You may license the rights to a character in your novel to a graphic artist so he can create a graphic novel, for example. You own the character, so you get a share of the royalties from the graphic novel.

One of my friends is demon with rights; she’s making money from licensing oddball rights to books she wrote years ago. You can be as creative as you choose when you own an asset.

Let’s look at four ways you can get more out of your book.

1. Blog your book to build your brand and sell more copies

Many authors blog their books as they write them. They post chapters online. Some authors blog their entire book, leaving all the chapters online, before and after they publish, as a form of marketing. Other authors take down the chapters once a book’s published.

Whatever you choose to do, when you blog your book you’ll not only build your brand, you’ll sell more copies.

2. Offer your book in multiple formats for more sales

Many authors are diligent with this. They not only offer an ebook, but they also offer print books — hardcover and paperbacks, as well as audio books.

Offering your book in more formats makes huge sense. When you offer your book as an audio book for example, you’re tapping into a new audience. We’re all busy, and it’s handy to be able to listen to a book in your car. If that book were only available in ebook or paperback format, people who prefer audio books would ignore it.

3. Create a course, or create a series: your book is just an introduction

Let’s say you’ve written a nonfiction book about improving your memory. You can turn that book into an online or offline course.

Perhaps you’ve written a mystery novel. Why not create a series, using the same characters, or the same location?

Look on your asset, your first book, as an introduction. There’s usually a lot more you can do with a book than offer it in multiple formats.

4. (Nonfiction) Become a coach on your book’s topic

You may have noticed something about bestselling nonfiction authors. They hit the bestseller lists, and become speakers. Or they become coaches. People pay fantastic sums to hear an author talk about his topic for a couple of hours. These bestselling authors are paid five and even six figure sums for an appearance.

Other authors coach students in their topic, and they’re fully booked — coaching is another way of using your asset.

As an author, how much money are you leaving on the table?

You’re an author now. So take a few minutes, today, to consider ways in which you can use your asset. You’re sure to come up with several ways to do it. Aim to get as much out of your book as you can.

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

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

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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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Indie Author: 3 Tips To Manage Anxiety And Doubt

Indie Author: 3 Tips To Manage Anxiety And Doubt

You’re an indie author, and you’re sinking in a swirling stream of doubts and anxieties. Are you wasting your time? What if your new book won’t sell?

Every author has doubts. Some authors are continually anxious, and there’s a good reason. Research shows that creative people are more susceptible to anxiety than others; the upsetting emotions are just the way your brain works.

Several months ago a friend told me that she was giving up writing. She hated her current novel; she said it was a mess. She was in the middle of an acrimonious divorce. Her writing was another source of stress, so she was cutting it out of her life.

I made commiserating comments and silently made a small bet with myself — I was convinced that she would be writing again within six months.

You’re an indie author: kudos to you!

It took three months. She rang me last week. “I’m working on a new novel. I’m not giving up on the one I was stuck on, I’m revising — I’ve got some good ideas of where I want to go with the revision.”

When there are other things happening in your life, the stress of writing seems too much, so you give it up. That doesn’t mean that you’ve failed, or that you’ll give up writing forever. It just means that you’ve put your creativity on hold for a time. It will return.

Now let’s look at the tips, but do remember that as an indie author, you deserve kudos. You’re doing something that takes courage, faith, and trust in yourself, and at times, finding those things is hard.

1. Anxiety and doubt are normal: expect and accept

As we’ve said, anxiety is normal for creative people. I’ve often told the story of what happened when I got my first book contract from MacDonald Futura. Every morning when I sat down at my IBM Selectric typewriter to work on my novel tears streamed down my face. I was beyond anxious, but I wrote anyway.

I thought that there was something horribly wrong with me; obviously I wasn’t meant to be a writer. Years later, I learned that my emotions were completely normal.

The solution to dealing with them was simple: I learned that I needed to expect to be uncomfortable for ten minutes or so when I started writing.

You can accept the discomfort and write anyway. Within a short time, the discomfort will fade. Until the next time you sit down to write.

Over the years, my discomfort when I sit down to write has almost completely vanished. I need to look hard for it, but a tiny fluttering of anxiety is still there. I ignore it; I’ve learned to expect it, and to realize that that’s just the way our creativity works.

2. Write down what you’re feeling: you’ll feel better

Occasionally, you can’t write. The anxiety is too much. You’ll do anything rather than sit down at your computer. One writer I know painted his house, inside and outside, to avoid writing. Another took up sky-diving.

There’s a simpler way.

When you can’t write, take a pen and paper (this process seems to work better if you write by hand), and write down what you’re feeling. Write for ten minutes.

You may need to repeat this exercise every time you sit down to write for a week or two. Eventually, you will have made all your unconscious doubts and fears visible. You’ve unmasked the terrors and tamed them, so they’ll lose their power over you.

3. Meditate: ten minutes a day puts you in control

If meditation sounds a little too trendy for you, give it a chance. Meditation has been used for thousands of years because it’s powerful. I first started meditating in the 1970s. Although I may not meditate for months, when I start to feel anxious, I start meditating again.

Ten minutes a day will make all the difference. Here’s a simple meditation from Tara Brach that’s both a wonderful introduction to meditation, and an easy meditation you can do every day once you learn the body-scan process.

An indie author strategy: when you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? You’ll know if you are.

Slow down. Review your deadlines, and give yourself a little breathing space. I give myself one day a week when I take a break from writing fiction. On that day, I blog, and I work on nonfiction, so I’m still writing — over the years, writing has become my default setting. It’s just what I do.

Writing fiction can be more anxiety-making than writing nonfiction; you’re working with your imagination. This creativity leads to anxiety, so take a break occasionally. You may find as I do, that your little breaks are helpful. After a break, you’ll write more easily, rather than struggling to find words.

Doubts and anxiety are the price you pay for being an indie author. They do fade over time. You can handle it. 🙂

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Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories

Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories

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Want to write short stories? If you answered yes, that's excellent… Here's why. Today, you can make money writing short fiction. More info →
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Self-Publishing 2016: Amazon Cracks Down On Scammers

Self-Publishing 2016: Amazon Cracks Down On Scammers

One of the big events in 2016 was that Amazon started cracking down on scammers. Of course, this was long overdue. Writers’ message boards were full of writers horrified by the shenanigans of some of the scam-artists.

Examples…

Self-publishing’s challenges: Amazon targeted by scams

Revealed: How one Amazon Kindle scam made millions of dollars reported:

MILLIONS IN MONTHS

There are a lot of four-letter words to describe Shershnyov. One springs to mind: “rich”.

On a small scale, each ebook can generate anything from a few cents to hundreds of dollars over the course of its life span — until Amazon figures out that the book is a fraud. Fraudulent books get pulled offline quickly but often reappear under a different title, cover, and author’s name.

How Amazon Kindle Unlimited Scammers Wring Big Money From Phony Books reported on the infamous Kindle Unlimited scam:

In other words: if a scam author publishes a book filled with nonsense (maybe a mishmash of a few thousand randomly picked pages from public domain websites), but then includes a link at the front that takes a Kindle Unlimited reader to the last page, Amazon will register that as if the user has “read” the entire book and pay the author for thousands of pages of reading that never took place.

In October, I gave authors ideas on how to get sales if their numbers were down, because some innocent authors seemed to be getting caught in algorithms targeting scammers:

Over the past couple of months, reports from some indie authors indicate slashed earnings at Amazon. Their Kindle Unlimited (KU) “pages read” counts are down, and ebook sales seem to be affected too.

What’s happening? The problem could be as simple as a software glitch in sales reporting. For more on this, there’s a very long thread on KBoards.

Challenges for authors: Amazon cracked down on reviews, too

Reviews are of course essential for authors. Since reviews are an easy way to game Amazon, Amazon cracked down on them too, as Looking Back at 2016: Important Publishing Developments Authors Should Know reports:

Most notably and most discussed among authors: It is not okay to post a reader review if you are, according to Amazon, “a relative, close friend, business associate, or employee” of the author. Interpretation of this policy, as you can imagine, drives considerable debate.

Finally, to post a review, customers need to have spent at least $50 on Amazon. Yes, this is official Amazon policy. This helps prevent fake reviews from people who never shop at Amazon and may receive payment to leave reviews.

What if you’re affected by an algorithm which targets scammers?

Innocent authors do occasionally get caught when Amazon whirls the dials on its algorithms. According to several unfortunate authors on message boards, their Amazon accounts were cancelled. Although this was worrying for the authors, when contacted Amazon investigated, and reinstated their accounts.

So if you wake up one day and find that you’re in a mess because your Amazon account is closed, or you get nasty notes from Amazon about one of your books, don’t panic. Contact Amazon and explain your situation. Chances are you were caught by an algorithm, and Amazon will rectify the situation.

What if you’re gaming Amazon “harmlessly”?

In Ebook Self-publishing: Your Share of a $1 Billion Industry, I suggested:

What do I mean by “trickery”? Basically, anything which is against Amazon’s Terms of Service, even if it feels as if it’s harmless. There are a mile of ebook author groups set up solely to promote each other’s work. Chances are that you won’t get caught if you’re playing these kinds of games.

However, remember Amazon’s algorithm… you can get caught even if you’re completely innocent. If that happens, you have recourse. You can ask Amazon to reconsider, and they’ll get a human to examine your self-publishing account, which will be reinstated. On the other hand, if you’re guilty, your self-publishing business is dead.

Amazon cracking down is a GOOD thing

Scammers have targeted self-publishing since Amazon opened the Kindle Store. Most scams are low-level. Authors are aware of them, as is Amazon. Once these scams start getting out of hand (as with the erotica situation a few years ago), and the more recent, bigger scams, Amazon acts.

This is a good thing. Readers are happier, and authors receive the income they should, rather than seeing that income siphoned off by scammers.

Happy self-publishing in 2017. 🙂

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Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

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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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