Category Archives: publishing

Fiction Writing Classes For Authors: Attract Loyal Readers

Fiction Writing Classes For Authors: Attract Loyal Readers

Over the past year, I’ve had more questions like “How do I sell more?” and “Why isn’t my book selling?” from authors than ever. We don’t write our books in a vacuum, and publishing is changing.

A recent survey from The Authors Guild, based on responses from 5,067 authors, suggests that authors’ incomes have dropped substantially since 2009. The Guild rails against Amazon as the cause of this disaster.

While falling incomes may be true for those 5,067 authors, and many others, I agree with PG guy, who says:

PG suggests that “Amazon is causing the sky to fall on the book business” is erroneous. If the traditional book business is to be saved… Amazon will do the saving. A book business that sells an electronic version of its principal product for $3.00-7.00 has a better future than one which appears to prefer selling a physical copy of its principal product for $28.00.

Here’s why I agree with PG guy.

A thousand authors earned over $100,000 on Amazon in 2017

From Jeff Bezos’s letter to Amazon’s shareholders:

More than 140,000 SMBs surpassed $100,000 in sales on Amazon in 2017, and over a thousand independent authors surpassed $100,000 in royalties in 2017 through Kindle Direct Publishing.

That was in 2017. No doubt we’ll learn about Amazon’s 2018 figures when they’re released.

Call me Pollyanna if you like, but I believe that those 2018 figures will show that more savvy authors are earning more on Amazon and elsewhere than ever.

Why? One reason. The marketplace for books is expanding, not shrinking.

More readers, all over the globe

I’m not much interested in Hollywood movies, but I am interested entertainment. Hollywood goes where the market is, and for movies, that market is China. Small businesses are targeting the (huge) Chinese market too.

China and India are huge marketplaces, with readers, and as long as readers read, authors can sell their books.

That said, authors need to be savvy, and focus both on developing wonderful titles, and on attracting a readership.

I’ve made it one of my 2019 goals to help authors to do both. To that end we’re running classes for authors, and the first two classes are available now.

Two classes for authors are available now

Want to write better novels? Fix Your Fiction — Or Save It: Edit Your Novel, Or Rescue Novels Gone Wrong will help you to develop your novels’ potential.

It’s no secret that series sell, and our second class, Win Readers: Plan And Write A Bestselling Series Of Novels helps authors to plan and write wonderful series.

It’s my fondest hope that our classes for authors will help more authors, both new and established, to build their readership in 2019.

Join us — we’ll have a lot of fun.

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 →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple Books
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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?

More info →
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Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.

Ebook Covers: Create Low Cost Covers To Attract Readers

Ebook Covers: Create Low Cost Covers To Attract Readers

Our first short story class is well underway, and is huge fun. One of the most popular questions I receive is about ebook covers. When you’re publishing a short story, paying $100 for a premade cover can be a tad challenging, particularly if you need a lot of them in a short period.

A mini digression. Yes, I’m aware you can get a cover for $5 or $10. Caveat emptor. If you get an inexpensive cover, make sure you know the image’s source. Horror stories abound.

One student decided that she wanted to write two short stories a week for the next two months; this means quite the investment in covers. She set out to do her covers herself, and kudos to her.

I wrote about Canva and Picmonkey in this article last year, and said:

If you’re publishing a couple of short stories a month, payments to designers add up fast. In addition to money, time is a concern too. Good designers are booked up months in advance…

The solution? It’s time to take courage, and learn how to create your own covers.

Ebook covers: the DIY solution

Canva ebook cover templates
Easy Canva templates for non-designers

Without any doubt, the easiest way to create an ebook cover quickly, without any design experience, is by using Canva.com. The app works in any web browser, you don’t need to download anything.

You’ll find many templates for ebook categories, and genres. For example, here are some examples of the “Love” templates for romance fiction.

“Love” templates for romance fiction
“Love” templates: ebook covers for romance fiction

Tips to help you to design great ebook covers

Let’s look at some tips for what you might consider when creating your own ebook covers.

  1. Remember emotion: what emotion does the cover arouse in you? Chances are your readers will feel what you want them to feel.
  2. Arouse interest — vital. Over the past year, I’ve noticed that many covers, particular in some genres of fiction (and nonfiction too) seem to have a cookie-cutter, “me too” quality. Remember that it’s your name on the book. You don’t have to create a cover which is similar to every other cover in your genre, sub-genre, or category.
    You know what feelings you want to evoke in readers. Your designer and editor, with all the good will imaginable, can’t read your mind — have the courage to trust your creative self.
  3. I seem to be gushing over Canva, sorry, but one of the benefits of using Canva is that you don’t need to worry about typefaces or font choices — Canva chooses fonts for you. Of course you can change them if you wish.
  4. Pay for royalty free-images, and keep a record of the license information. With so many stock image libraries online, you can get a great image for your cover for a dollar, sometimes less.
    Sourcing dubious “free” images online, when you have no real idea of the images’ provenance, is a foolish economy.
  5. Accept that you’ll become better at creating covers the more you practice. When you’re 100% better in a year or two, you can redo your covers, or hire a designer.

Good luck with your ebook covers. 🙂

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 →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Amazon Kindle

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.

Ebook Publishing Horror: Downward Trend In Amazon KDP Select

Ebook Publishing Horror: Downward Trend In Amazon KDP Select

Once upon a time, ebook publishing on Amazon KDP Select was pretty much a goldmine for competent authors. Over the past year, the easy option is no longer so easy.

I talked about the tyranny of “free”, and suggested that you:

enroll your first book in Select, making it free on Kindle Unlimited, but offer your other titles widely. Once your other titles are selling, you can remove your first book from Select, because you’re gaining visibility, and readers.

KDP Select has this benefit for authors: you can go days without a sale, yet see your income rise, because people are reading your books.

Ebook publishing: the scammers, and Kindle Unlimited (KU) Pages Read

The challenge for many authors is that in real terms, over the past couple of years, KU authors (enrollment in Select means that your books are free to read for KU subscribers) are making 30 per cent less.

The Select “pot” — the money Amazon puts in to pay KDP Select authors — has been dropping. For June 2017, Amazon offers a KENPC of 0.0042229.

Many authors attribute the declining KENPC to scammers. I talked about scammers in this article on writing romance. That may be part of the problem, but the greater issue is the huge amount of content pouring onto the Kindle Store every month.

As I write this, over the past 30 days, 117,569 ebooks have been published to the Kindle Store. By the time you read this, it will be upwards of 120,000 ebooks.

How many of those ebooks landed in KU? I just checked.

Here you go: 58,242 ebooks are Kindle Unlimited Eligible, meaning that they’re enrolled in Select — that’s around half of the ebooks published within the past 30 days.

More ebooks are sharing Amazon’s pot, so it’s inevitable that authors’ earnings will go down.

Over the past few years, I’ve taken my ebooks (and my clients’ ebooks) into and out of KDP Select. Currently, I’m out, except for first books in series.

Adjust your self-publishing plans for success

I’ve no plans to go all-in with KDP Select for the foreseeable future. With so many new ebooks enrolling into the program each and every month unless Amazon increases the pot substantially, it doesn’t make sense.

Your self-publishing plans may be completely different. KDP Select still works for many authors; they’re making money.

What holds authors back from publishing widely is that when you publish elsewhere, as well as on Amazon, chances are good that your income will go down. It’s normal for authors to take an income hit for three to six months.

This a real challenge for authors who depend on the money, and I feel the pain of authors who are tied to KDP Select. Authors’ groups are filled with threads about the drop in KENPC, and whether KENPC will drop even lower.

No one knows.

Here’s what I suggest — look at your options. I gave you some ideas in the article on the tyranny of “free”, check them out.

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.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Amazon Kindle

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.