Tag Archives: ideas

Ebook Publishing Strategy: A Very Kindle Christmas

Ebook Publishing Strategy: A Very Kindle Christmas

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat… On our freelance writing blog, I start reminding writers about the importance of Christmas sales from July onwards. If you’re a Kindle author, you need to create an ebook publishing strategy for the holidays NOW too.

The holidays are the big spending days of the year

Companies small and large make the bulk of their income over the holiday season, and here’s why — people are spending money. Think of all the new Kindles, iPads, phones and other devices which will be given as gifts over the holiday season. Shouldn’t some of your ebooks grace these electronic toys?

I’ll answer that question for you — YES, they should. So start writing. 🙂

Ebook publishing: Christmas can be both fun, and profitable

I reminded a student about Christmas ebooks last week, and he complained that he didn’t have any ideas. No ideas? Of course you have ideas. Writers get ideas more easily than pets get fleas.

Here’s what I suggested to start him thinking:

  • Nonfiction: Christmas recipes; how to create hand-made paper for gift wraps and cards; recipes for easy Christmas treats you can cook and bake to give as gifts; how to create gorgeous decorations…
  • Fiction: a series of ten short stories with a Christmas theme, in a mix of genres, or in a single genre; a mystery novel with Santa Claus as either the sleuth, or the corpse; a romance novel with a hero and heroine who are both alone during the holidays, and…

I’m sure that you can come up with any number of ideas for Christmas-themed ebooks. Make a list now. Use Trello to collect ideas, or my new fave app, Quip. I use Quip as my ideas notebook, accessible to me anywhere, on any device.

Springboard off what you’re writing now

Initially my student wasn’t keen about developing an ebook publishing strategy for Christmas. From his tone of voice I could tell that he was looking at it as just another chore to tack onto his over-stuffed To Do list.

I reminded him that he’d published three thrillers over the past two years, not to mention several mystery novellas. “Can you use characters from your published ebooks for Christmas stories?” I asked. “You’ve done the groundwork. You’ve got characters. Give your characters a little Christmas cheer. You’ve got built-in readers too. Wouldn’t your novels’ fans love a few short stories about the characters?”

Grudgingly, he supposed that that sounded reasonable.

Yesterday my student called me back. He read out a list of five ebooks he’s got planned. His attitude had completely changed. He was excited, and I was pleased for him. He’s going to have a very merry Kindle Christmas.

Why not create your own strategy? Do it today.

Make more ebook sales of all your fiction, when you write a serial

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Fiction serials are platform-builders… consider writing at least one. Not only does a serial build your confidence, it also builds readers’ confidence in you. They’ll join your mailing list, and this has huge benefits for ebooks you’ve already published, and ebooks you’ll publish in future.

Write a serial with our new four-week class, Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

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.

Book Marketing Secrets For Budget-Conscious Authors

Book Marketing: Advertising Ideas For Budget-Conscious Authors

You’re writing your book. Writing, writing, writing… have you considered that NOW would be a good time to market? Few writers want to think about book marketing at all, ever, let alone when they’re in the middle of writing.

But now’s the perfect time.

Here’s why: when you focus on marketing now, it will help you with your writing. Because:

  • You’ll consider your readers;
  • (If you’re writing fiction) you’ll give thought to entertaining readers (start by entertaining yourself);
  • (If you’re writing nonfiction) you’ll think about how readers can get real value from your book;
  • You’ll be motivated to finish your book.

All good reasons to market. Here’s a bonus reason: you need to book in advance for some of the best promotional venues.

Start marketing your book now

What’s your budget for book marketing? Yes, you’re all about free, and so am I. To give your book its best chance however, you’ll need to open your wallet a little. You don’t need to go wild, and run up a huge bill on AdWords, or even a mini-bill on Facebook.

However, you do need to spend some money.

Matt Manochio’s article will give you some ideas:

BookSends ($15). Reach: 100,000 overall subscribers, 17,000 in the Horror category, although the web operator said those numbers are a little outdated and should be 15% to 20% higher. Results: 125 clicks, 47 sales. Put BookSends on your advertising list right now. I mean it. It cost me $15 and I more than made that back in sales.

Find your own venues — reader blogs, book blogs, and websites

Matt lists some wonderful venues in his article, but scout out your own too. Where do your readers — or prospective readers — hang out online? Ask them on social media. Then book an ad on any venue you choose, in advance, following Matt’s method.

Blog tours are popular with some writers, but they take lots of time. You can save time by advertising on websites. This means that rather than spending a month writing blog posts, you can spend that time writing another book.

Lowering the price while you’re advertising, as Matt does, is a good idea, because it will increase sales. The increased sales will help you to get onto more of Amazon’s lists.

Vital: set up a website with a mailing list

You’re spending money on advertising, and the best way to get a long-lasting return on that advertising is to ensure that you have a way of contacting readers again. When I coach authors, the first thing I do is encourage them to set up a mailing list, if they haven’t already done so. I’ve been using aweber for lists for a decade, but there are many mailing list providers.

Ask others where they’re advertising

Authors will often share the results of their advertising adventures on Writers’ Cafe, and on private forums. Make a list of advertising options to check out, and as we’ve said, book your advertising now, while you’re still writing.

When you know you’re running advertising in three or four months, you won’t dither on completing your book. Similarly, if you have a favorite editor, contact her about your book now, and reserve her time.

Book marketing can be exciting, and fun — so get ready now.

Writing programs to increase your profits, from today — closeouts mean you SAVE

Writing programs to increase your profits, from today -- closeouts mean you SAVE

To meet my goals for 2015, I’m closing out some of our bestselling programs, so that I can focus on coaching and publishing.

This means that you get special offerings on some of our current programs. When they close, they’ll close for good. And yes, you receive coaching with them too. 🙂

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.