Category Archives: Inspiration

Kindle Author: Improve Your Ideas And Sell More Ebooks

Kindle Author: Improve Your Ideas And Sell More Ebooks

You’ve published an ebook, or perhaps more than one. Congratulations: you’re a Kindle author. I work with many authors and they all want one thing: more sales. We all want guaranteed bestsellers. But it’s impossible to guarantee a bestselling book, sadly.

That said, you can make it more likely that your ebooks will sell more copies, and with very little extra effort. Here’s how I know this. I work with authors every day. They make avoidable errors. Once they correct those errors, their ebooks start selling well.

Often not as well as they’d hoped, and for a simple reason: they haven’t baked-in sales potential. An author writes the book he wants to write, and gives little thought to his readers.

Make the decision: correct your authors’ tunnel vision

All authors have tunnel vision. I do, you do. It means that we’re focused on the writing. Readers don’t care about that. They want what they want — entertainment if you’ve written fiction, and useful, practical information if you’re writing nonfiction.

Long before you start writing, think about readers. What appeals to them? In this article, we’re discussing fiction, but you can use the same process for nonfiction too.

Start at the level of ideas.

Ideas sell, so before you start writing, focus on your ideas

I’m fond of saying that authors can write what they want. That’s true. You can write whatever you like. However, you also need to know what’s selling. Not so that you can slavishly go and clone the latest bestseller… although that does work for many writers.

The best reason to see what’s selling is so that you can work out why it’s selling. Here are the current bestsellers on Amazon.

I like to look at the top bestselling books at least once a month.

Check out the titles. Read the book descriptions, and the reviews. Make notes if you like, or don’t make any. The point of the exercise is that you’re starting to pay attention to what sells.

It’s surprising how many authors (both new, and veteran) focus solely on themselves. However, even if you want to get published the traditional way, the first thing an editor or agent will ask you is: “what’s this book like?”

You’d better be able to answer:

  • “It’s Harry Potter for adults”; or
  • “It’s a modern version of Pride and Prejudice”; or
  • “It’s for women interested in online dating”.

When someone asks you “what’s this book like?”, they’ll usually be able to work out who the book’s targeted at. If they can’t, that’s the next question: “who’s this book for?”

An editor or agent asks these kinds of questions, because they know that no one’s going to read your ebook, and then decide what it’s like, and who it’s for. You need to know that. Moreover, you can train yourself to think in these terms. If you can do that, you’ll write salable books.

You can train yourself to improve your ideas

When you start paying attention to what’s selling, you’ll start thinking in terms of salability, and you’ll have taken a huge step forward in your self-publishing career.

As we’ve said: you’re not trying to copy bestsellers, or clone them, or anything else. You’re trying to gauge the pulse of readers all over the world. Way back in the 1980s, I read a lot of gothic romances. Publishers are putting those books into the Kindle store these days. I’ve downloaded a few, and now dislike the way they were written.

That’s natural. Times change. What appealed to readers 40 years ago doesn’t appeal now.

When you train yourself to improve your ideas, your subconscious mind gets in on the act. It will start feeding you ideas, based on your own experiences, which will be in the spirit of what readers love today.

Start paying attention to what’s selling.

Make lists of ideas of ebooks you could write.

If an idea appeals, ask yourself: “what’s this book like?” and “who’s this book for?”.

If you can do that, you may not write an ebook which hits the top 100 bestsellers, but you will be a Kindle author who sells more ebooks.

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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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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Fiction Writing Basics: Get In Touch With Your Dark Side

Fiction Writing Basics: Get In Touch With Your Dark Side

You’re writing fiction, and you realize that there’s something missing. Your characters are all nice, pleasant people. In other words, they’re boring.

They need flaws. We talked about your main character’s flaws in this article, and suggested that if you have two main characters, you give them complementary flaws:

“Try to make your main characters and their flaws complementary. Consider the characters of David Huxley and Susan Vance in the old movie, Bringing up Baby. David’s a calm scientist, Susan is energetic and confident. They’re pretty much opposites – he’s struggling for money, she’s wealthy, and so on.”

When your characters are too nice…

Nice characters are annoying to readers, who promptly stop reading. So you know that you need to make your perfect characters less perfect, because no one’s perfect.

You love your characters, however, and you don’t want them to look like nasty people. You give them silly little faults, which end up being humblebrags: “Samantha’s new Christian Louboutins hurt her feet, but she wore them anyway.”

You justify this to yourself. Vanity’s a flaw, isn’t it? Yes it is. As long as the character’s vanity has a purpose in your story. If you’re writing Samantha as a ditzy bitch who uses her looks to advance her career, you’re doing well. Kudos. 🙂

Here’s the thing about writing characters. If you can’t see any character faults you hate in yourself, you’ll have problems writing characters who excite and intrigue readers. You’ve got to pay attention to what you dislike about yourself, and use what you find.

Recall that fiction is all about emotion. We said:

“Fiction writing is all about emotion. If you don’t feel anything, your characters won’t and your readers won’t. They’ll toss your book into the trash, or delete it from their Kindle, because they feel nothing — they’re not entertained.”

What do you hate in yourself?

From Collaborating With Our Shadow Side:

’Psychotherapist David Richo notes, “Our scared and arrogant ego has an enormous capacity not to know itself.”

’He goes on to quote Jung: “The shadow is the negative side of the personality, the sum of all those unpleasant qualities we like to hide, together with the insufficiently developed functions and the contents of the personal unconscious…”

Admitting that you’re not perfect is HARD. If you hate something in yourself, and are aware of it, that’s wonderful… it means you’re human, and you can use that in your fiction. However, we can only see those parts of ourselves that we haven’t suppressed.

We all have the potential for evil. We’re human.

To create wonderful characters, embrace what you hate in yourself, and in others. Use it

In one of my current pieces of fiction, my main character is lovely — she’s everything that’s proper, and kind, in a female of her era. She’s a sheltered young woman, newly married, living in Georgian London. However, she’s thoroughly rebellious in her thoughts. She has to be. Readers, remember. If my character were inwardly as sweet as she acts, readers would stop reading.

Outwardly she’s sweet. And of course, her sweetness doesn’t last (it can’t, if I want readers to keep reading.) She runs up a huge gambling debt, and tries to hide it from her husband. That’s what she would do, because she’s written that way.

How to embrace your dark side

If you’ve got a character who’s too perfect, you’ll need to find ways to make your character more interesting.

I like to think about my current fictional characters when I’m dropping off to sleep. Usually, I’ll wake up with an idea for a flaw or two I can inflict on a character.

When all else fails, I think about the seven deadly sins. 🙂 What with sloth, envy, pride, and the rest, there’s lots of ways you can shake up your characters when you embrace your dark side.

Have fun. Work with your unconscious, and you’ll create some wonderfully flawed (and interesting) characters.

Write and Sell Commercial Fiction FAST: Bestselling Kindle Genre Fiction Cheat Sheets

Write and Sell Commercial Fiction FAST: Bestselling Kindle Genre Fiction Cheat Sheets
Write and Sell Commercial Fiction FAST: Bestselling Kindle Genre Fiction Cheat Sheets

Whether you’re a new fiction writer, or are an experienced pro, you need hungry markets for your books. Genres come in and out of fashion. Discover the hot genres on the Kindle Store — and write what’s selling NOW.

Our comprehensive new program not only reveals the hottest selling genres, it also helps you to write and SELL them. Enjoy. 🙂

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Fast Fiction: How to Write a QUICK Short Story

Fast Fiction: How to Write a QUICK Short Story

You want to write a short story. I covered how to write your first one here, but I receive questions about it every week. There’s nothing much to it, I swear.

The above graphic may help too.

You:

  1. Start With a Character
  2. … With a Motive, And…
  3. Intrigue.

And the tip: entertain yourself, and you’ll entertain readers. The tip’s vital. If you’re intrigued by your story, your readers will be too.

Start with an appealing character for your genre

If you know your genre, you’re golden. As I said here:

Readers have favorite genres. I love Westerns and will read just about anything with cowboys and horses. I also love Victorian fiction, so stories set in the past appeal to me.

If you have a favorite genre, think about the tropes in that genre. Or about your favorite novel. What stirs your imagination about it?

Currently there’s a huge writing industry that’s sprung up around Jane Austen’s novels. Austen’s novels are in the public domain, because they were published a couple of centuries ago.

So, choose a genre first. Then mix it up, if you like. Let’s say you’re writing a JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) story. Your heroine is Lizzie Bennet. She’s at Pemberley, and she thinks she spots Mr. Darcy in the shrubbery. It’s not Darcy. It’s a ghost of one of Darcy’s ancestors, who gives Lizzie a warning, and… I won’t go on, I’m starting to become intrigued. 🙂

With this story, you’ve combined JAFF with a touch of the paranormal.

Aim to finish your short story in an afternoon

Fast fiction stories are short. You’re making a single point. Stick with a couple of scenes, and your story will be around 3,000 words. That’s a good length if you’re using the story for promotion, or you can combine several of them for a quick ebook.

Need more? Here you go — our Short Reads’ Secrets report includes a complete short story report.

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

eBook: $4.99

When you write in series, you're giving yourself more chances to sell with every novel you write.

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Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

eBook: $5.99

Why write serial fiction?

Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.

It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.

If you’re a new author, a serial serves to introduce you to readers. A reader may not be willing to commit to a novel by a new author, but be willing to read an episode of a serial.

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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.

Updated: April 4, 2019