Tag Archives: how to write a book

Become a Bestselling Author: This Is Clever

Become a Bestselling Author: This Is Clever

You’re writing books, and you want to become a bestselling author. How do you do it? Most writers believe it’s just a matter of luck, but it can be a matter of a strategy too. I’ve heard of writers using what Hugh Howey calls the Liliana Nirvana Technique, but I don’t know whether I’d have the patience to apply it as-is.

Here’s what the strategy/ technique boils down to: you write several ebooks, and you publish them together – all on the same day. This gets you Amazon’s help to make more sales. Here’s how Hugh explains it:

Why does this work? I think it has to do with “impressions,” or the number of times people see a product before they decide to take a chance on it. (In this case, the product is your name.) It also has to do with recommendation algorithms and how new works are treated on various online bestseller lists.

Become a Bestselling Author With an Explosion of Titles

As Hugh says, this strategy – which Liliana calls her “5 down and 1 in the hole” technique apes what happens when traditionally published authors get control of their backlist, and shovel their titles onto Amazon:

They didn’t gain a massive following until after they regained rights to their backlists and self-published. When they did get those rights, they secured works that were already written and edited. They could do some minor tweaks, update cover art, and release those works in rapid order.

Fast releases seem to lead to fast sales and – providing that the books are good, of course – that can lead to bestsellerdom.

I love the idea of the strategy, because it uses Amazon’s database to gain traction. The more books you have for sale, the more Amazon can promote you, automatically.

Wonderful as the strategy is however, it depends on an author having an enormous amount of patience. Not to mention, the ability to write six books quickly. If it takes you six months to write a book, you’ll need to be patient for the next three years, and a lot can change in that time.

A Modification of the Strategy: Three Months to Release

If you’re anything like me, and your reaction to this strategy is, “not in this lifetime”, you can modify the strategy. No one suggests that you need six full-length novels. Why not five short stories (to act as teasers), and a novel, or novella, to act as your “1 in the hole”?

I’m considering creating a pen name to write a series of mysteries later this year, and I’m planning to use “5 down and 1 in the hole” using short stories and a novel. Short stories are quick. The novel will take longer. I should be able to get all six books ready to roll within three months. It’s a way of kicking off the pen name with a bang, so to speak.

Another Modification to Become a Bestselling Author

You can modify Liliana’s strategy in any way you choose. Release two novellas, and have a novel ready to release a month later. You can tinker with the strategy in any way which makes sense to you.

If you have the patience to write six full-length novels, to use the strategy as-is, more power to you. With great books, you’ll get the exposure, and you may indeed become a bestselling author.

Write Commercial Fiction

Writing fiction? Is it commercial? Get more info: write commercial fiction. Once written, your books will sell for years, and if they’re commercial, they’ll sell well.

Write Commercial Fiction

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

photo credit: via photopin cc

Publishers Want To Experiment With Their Ebooks: You Should Too

Darker Night

I’ve been encouraging you to experiment with your ebook-publication program.

Publishers are experimenting too, as BEA 2013 – Less books, more readers? reports:

“I also heard from editors that they are going to want to see authors submit different stories because they want to explore niches and experiment with different content. I asked how they were going to get the word out about that and proposed that more publishers take direct submissions.  I was told the problem with non agented submissions is the need for more editorial staff to sift through these.”

Currently the ebook market is wide open. Amazon is experimenting with fan fiction, with Kindle Worlds.

How will you experiment?

Here are some ideas.

* Write some fan fiction. It makes me cringe, but if it floats your boat, you’ve got Amazon’s encouragement to try your hand at it.

* Try a different genre. I’ve heard from editors that Western romances and Westerns in general are trending upwards. They’re looking for more Western books and authors. (Yippee! I love cowboys. :-) )

* Experiment with different price points. The 99 cent price book is as good as dead. I’ve heard authors say that $2.99 is the new price point for first novels and short nonfiction works — see what works for you.

* Try a new cover design. One of my writing students was selling just a few copies a month. She updated the cover and is now selling 50 copies a day. A cover can make all the difference.

* Create a “set” if you’re selling several books in a genre, or several books on the same topic.

* Choose a different category for a book. A friend switched categories for several of her novels, and she’s now selling more books. A category may make sense to you, but your readers may be looking elsewhere.

* Write a longer description. Your cover, and your description SELLS your book. You’ve got around 800 words to play with, so use them. And please — this is a pet peeve — put your book’s description FIRST rather than the nifty blurbs you’ve won. I know people tell you to put your glowing recommendations at the top of the description.

DON’T.

Shove the “well written and exciting” and “couldn’t put the book down” snippets to the end of your description. Here’s why:

1. Readers honestly don’t care. If your testimonials are so wonderful, put them at the end of your description, or put them onto your author page and blog. They want to know WHY they should buy your ebook.

2. Amazon’s search engine. The script takes the first few sentences of your description as being the most important part of your description. If you have a lot of self-serving stuff up there, you’re missing out on readers because your book won’t be returned in the search results.

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photo credit: Rakka via photopin cc

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her Writing Genii website. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.

The following two tabs change content below.

Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her Writing Genii website. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.

How to Write Your Book: 3 Simple Tricks

How to Write Your Book: 3 Simple Tricks

Want to write your book? Whether you’ve previously been successful in this project or not, these simple tricks will help you.

The big challenge in writing is finishing. Many new authors started their novel in November, which was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If you’ve ever experienced it, you know that the first week tends to go well. After that you have lots of excuses — 1001 reasons you can’t write your book.

Here’s the only difference between you, and a professional writer who writes for a living: the professional has no choice but to write. It’s what he does. He writes even when he doesn’t feel like it, when he has family emergencies, and when he’s ill.

“Choice” is always the operative word for writers. We have a choice in what we do, and we choose to write.

These tricks will help you to write your book.

1. Let Your Writing Go Where It Wants to Go

Don’t be fussy. Realize that every piece of published writing: a movie, a book, or an advertisement, started out with a blank page. A writer filled that page with words.

Chances are the initial words on the blank page were junk. The writer expected this. He was also grateful for those junky words. He knew that something is always better than nothing, and once it was on the page he could fix it.

Get into the habit of writing, without expectation. It will stand you in good stead.

Confession: it’s VERY hard to do this. I’ve been writing for many years, and I STILL “expect”, even though I know better. Great expectations will wreck you. Seriously. When you have expectations, you’re firmly lodged in your uncreative left brain. You can’t write well until you let go of your expectations — if you’re not writing, this is why. Let go. Write — have fun with it.

When I coach authors, encouraging them to let go is just about the most useful thing I can do for them, because it unlocks and unblocks their writing.

2. Complete Your Word Count Goal Every Day

Create a daily word count goal. To do this, decide how long your book will be. These days, with digital publication, a book’s length no longer matters. It can be 10,000 words or less, or $300,000 words or more. As a rule of thumb, most novels come in somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 words.

Let’s say you’re writing a thriller, and your total word count will be around 100,000 words. If you write a thousand words a day, it will take you over three months to write your book. Work out how many days off you want each week, and get out your calendar. Mark off your working days.

Next, create a word count spreadsheet, so you can keep track of the words you write each day, how many words you’ve written, how many you still have to write.

And please, keep a writing journal. It will keep you on track.

3. Write Wherever You Are

Writers write wherever they are. In a train or bus, a cafe, the park, the lunch hour at work… Write a few words when you can. Even if you write just 20 words, those words will keep you within the world of your book, and will eliminate procrastination.

If you take these simple tricks to heart, you will complete your book, and your next book. Enjoy the process.

Article update September 18, 2014

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

photo credit: Rakka via photopin cc