Tag Archives: Kindle

Enjoy Writing Short Stories? Write Serial Fiction

Enjoy Writing Short Stories? Write Serial Fiction

Should you write serial fiction? I get lots of questions about serials, so let’s cover the basics.

You may be wondering just what “serials” are. In a nutshell, they’re entertainment: ongoing stories, which are released serially.

Serials: storytelling in many forms

Serials were hugely popular with readers and viewers up to the 1950s, when television arrived.

They were published as books by authors like Charles Dickens. Many other authors published their serials in magazines. Once a serial was complete, it was published again in book form, in one, or several volumes.

Movies were released as serials in theaters, again up to the 1950s. From the 1950s onward, serials flourished as episodic TV series.

Today, serials are as popular as they ever were, with companies like Netflix releasing their shows as serials.

You may be thinking that that’s wonderful… but can YOU write a serial and publish it?

Serial fiction: fun for plotters and pantsers

My writing students are sometimes reluctant to attempt a serial. Pantsers are concerned that they “can’t plot”, and plotters worry about the success or failure of their serial.

Pantsers who “can’t plot”…

You might be surprised at your own abilities, because if you can write a short story, you can write a series of ongoing short stories. Then, hey presto: you just wrote a serial.

We discussed a “natural outlining” process which will help.

Serial fiction: how long should your serial be?

In Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks I give you a process for writing serial fiction.

Your serial can be any length you choose. Your serial might consist of: ten chapters/ episodes at 10,000 words each, making a total of 100,000 words. That said, there’s no need to write at this length. You can write five episodes of 6,000 words or whatever suits your story.

Another common question I receive about serials is: what if your serial doesn’t sell enough copies to make it viable?

Oh no: what to do if your serial fiction slumps

Some books sell. Others should sell, and don’t. Sometimes these books can suddenly take off months later. Some are just useless. It happens.

Here’s what to do if your serial slumps:

  • Decide whether or not to complete it. You can end your serial at any time. Wrap it up, in any way you can;
  • If you enjoy writing the serial, keep going, and finish it;
  • Bundle the serial into a single volume. It may sell as a standalone;
  • Expand your serial into one or more novels.

You always have options.

One of my writing students was planning a serial. She had a LOT of plot. I suggested that she write a short serial of just five episodes, then carry the plot forward into a trilogy of short novels.

This process worked well. She released the serial when she had the first novel in the trilogy ready for preorder. Then she published the next two novels quickly. This trilogy is still her top seller.

Should you write serial fiction?

If you like writing short stories and publishing quickly, give serial fiction a try. Serials are a lot of fun, and readers enjoy them.

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

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

eBook: $5.99

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.

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Resources to build your writing career

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Self-Publishing Success: 3 Vital Tips For 2019

Self-Publishing Success: 3 Vital Tips For 2019

A week into the new year, I chatted with a self-publishing author who’d decided to go back to freelance writing.

“My book sales tanked over the holidays,” she said. “I’ve tried everything, and I quit.”

I asked her what self-publishing success might look like to her. She responded with a grin: “That’s easy. Success would be if I sell ten thousand copies of every book I write… every year.”

She waited for a moment, then went on, “and without spending a fortune on advertising too!”

Self-publishing has changed over the past few years. Although it’s very easy to publish, it’s hard to get traction.

Self-Publishing success: set YOUR goals

Our conversation gave me food for thought, primarily about the publishing environment, and about setting writing goals.

Bottom line with the self-publishing business in 2019: you’ve got a worldwide audience. If other authors can launch books which make five figures in their first month, you can do it too. It might not happen fast, and it might take a lot of work, but you’ll never know what you can do until you TRY.

Task: set some goals which will help you to self-publishing success — and develop routines: see below.

Let’s look at some tips which may help.

1. DDT: Do, Don’t Think — routines have power

Many years ago, when I was raising three sons, running a business, and writing too, I created a little acronym: DDT. It meant: Do, Don’t Think.

Of course you need to think in the planning phase of a project, but when it’s time to execute, that time has passed. Now, you need to get it DONE.

You get things done via routines. Consider everyday tasks. You do them routinely. You don’t have to think about doing them, and you don’t procrastinate: you do.

After you’ve set your self-publishing goals for 2019, create daily tasks which will help you to achieve them.

2. Self-publishing is cumulative: use what you have (you always have more than you think)

I looked at the “I QUIT!” author’s publishing catalogue, and found areas where she could make more money with what she already had, and with minimal effort.

If you’ve been publishing for a year or more, look at your own catalogue.

Could you:

  • Expand on books you’ve published? That is, could you create an “advanced” version of a beginner’s book, if you’re publishing nonfiction? If you’re writing fiction, consider writing sequels and prequels of what you already have.
  • Add additional formats? Such as, print versions, audio versions, PDF/ MOBI/ EPUB  versions which you can sell on your website? If you’re selling well in a specific country, consider commissioning a translation.
  • Bundle books? Authors resist bundling, fearing that they’re cannibalizing sales, and this can happen in some cases. Experiment. If a bundle harms sales, remove it.

Every book you write is an asset. Use what you have — do more with every book.

3. Diversify: you might need to dig many holes before you strike gold

I come from a long line of farm folk. Farmers know that when sales are great, they’ll tumble sooner, rather than later. So they diversify. They plant different crops. They improve their herds. They never, ever expect things to stay great, because they don’t.

Diversification is essential for authors.

You can diversify in any way you like. I suggested copywriting, to my author friend, and not merely because we’ve released a new version of our copywriting class.

How you diversify is up to you. Plant something different — it may become your best crop. Just remember, what goes up, doesn’t stay up.

Self-publishing and quitting… don’t

If you’ve invested time, effort and money in your self-publishing venture, persist. Take a break, sure. But remember that you have assets, and that you can always do more with them.

Create goals, and a routine. And most importantly, diversify.

Happy writing. 🙂

Social Media For Writers: Increase Your Sales In 15 Minutes A Day

Social Media For Writers: Increase Your Sales In 15 Minutes A Day

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Genre: Marketing

You want to sell more of your writing. Chances are that you've tried social media, with minimal results. You believe that "social media doesn't work."

That's not so. It works, but you need to know how the huge social media networks, and the various advertising networks, operate to use them to your advantage.

Discover how.

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124 Powerful Fiction Writing Tips: Win Readers And Fans, And Increase Your Sales Today

124 Powerful Fiction Writing Tips: Win Readers And Fans, And Increase Your Sales Today

eBook: $5.99

You want to write fiction. Perhaps you're a self-publishing author — or perhaps you're a ghostwriter, and want to offer fiction writing services to clients.

Whatever your needs and dreams, this book, 124 Powerful Fiction Writing Tips: Win Readers And Fans, And Increase Your Sales Today, will help.

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Resources to build your writing career

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

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.

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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 →
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

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