Tag Archives: sales

Write Bestselling Fiction: Your Blurb Needs People (Blurb 2)

Write Bestselling Fiction: Your Blurb Needs People (Blurb 2)

If you’re writing fiction, you hope it will be bestselling fiction. Since that’s the case, your blurb (book description) has just one function: to get its readers to take action.

What action? You want readers to read the book’s sample. Ideally, you want them to go on to buy the book, or at the very least to remember the book and the author’s name.

(By “book”, I mean ebooks too, of course.)

I coach writers, so I read a lot of blurbs. I advise students to focus on people in their blurbs. Readers want to read about people, above all.

If you doubt this, consider your favorite novels:

  • In the Harry Potter books, who’s more important, Harry and his friends, or Hogwarts? (I know that both are important, but go along with me here… :-))
  • In Game of Thrones, do you remember the setting, or the characters?

PEOPLE: who are your characters, and why should we care?

Try this exercise.

Choose your three main characters, and write a one-sentence summary of each one. Yes, just one sentence. Include each character’s major flaw, as well as his biggest virtue.

Here’s an example. “At just 26, Demetria Jones had already had 26 jobs, and she was proud of that.”

Demetria’s flaw: she can’t hold a job. You sense that she’s slightly out of step with the rest of society — and she doesn’t care. Her virtue is that she’s willing to keep trying job after job.

Are you interested in Demetria? Many readers will be interested enough to keep reading, and that’s what you want your blurb to do — keep readers reading. Then you want them to read the ebook’s sample too.

Craft your one-sentence summary while you’re writing your novel

Here’s why you need to craft your character summaries while you write: so that you remember what you’re writing. It’s all too easy, when you’re writing a novel, to wonder off onto weird tangents.

Sometimes this works. You start a scene, and you don’t know quite where you’re headed with the scene, but it seems interesting, so you keep going. If you’ve crafted a one-sentence character summary for each character, that acts as a compass, and you won’t wander too far off track.

With parts 1 and 2 of this series, you now know enough to write excellent blurbs. Have fun. 🙂

Read the first part of our “write a blurb which sells” series

This article is the second in a series.

In Writing Fiction To Sell: Your Blurb’s An Advertisement, Part 1, the first article in this series, we talked about the importance of clarity in writing your blurb. We also gave you a template, and some exercises.

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

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

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

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How To Entice Readers, And Sell More Ebooks

How To Entice Readers, And Sell More Ebooks

Authors want to sell more ebooks. They search for a magic secret. While there are secrets, you don’t need them to sell many more copies than you’re selling at the moment.

Little things can make a big difference.

Little things: big sales

As you may know, I coach writers, and I’ve discovered that it’s NOT the super-secret marketing strategies that 80% of authors need. They just need to get back to the basics. You know: cover image, title, book description….

Today, with 80,000 ebooks flowing onto the Kindle store every month, you need to give your ebooks everything they need to be indexed correctly, and catch attention.

Tip: you can always improve. For example, check the genres into which Amazon’s placed your ebooks (scroll down the product page). Do they seem appropriate?

Let’s look at the basics.

1. Genres (categories): choose the most appropriate

How much time do you spend on the Kindle store each week? I hope you’re spending at least a little time there. Aim to familiarize yourself with the genres in which you’re writing. (Or the categories, if you’re writing nonfiction.)

Who’s in the Top 100 in a genre? Read the Look Inside excerpts for the top sellers. Ask yourself WHY they’re selling. Make lists of the top sellers. In some genres, the best selling titles change frequently.

One of my students wasn’t familiar with genres at all. She’d put her two ebooks into genres which just weren’t right. We shoved the ebooks into the genres for which they were most suited, and fixed the descriptions. Then I asked the student to spend an hour a week studying her genres on Amazon.

Her next ebook sold 145 copies on the day she published it. Her genre study wasn’t the only reason it sold — she’d started a mailing list. But she told me that more than anything else, browsing around Amazon gave her confidence. Why? Because she knew more that she did before, and she knew without a shadow of a doubt that she could sell.

2. Titles — try adding the genre

We talked about title tips here; read that if you need a little help.

Many authors add keywords to their titles on Amazon. I hate this with a passion. I hate hashtags in blog posts too, and for similar reasons. I hate it because: it looks stupid, devalues the title, and it’s a crutch.

That said, I’m all for adding your book’s genre to the title. Sometimes titles are ambiguous. Adding your book’s genre: a tale of romantic suspense, or a romantic comedy as a subtitle HELPS readers. (Hashtags in titles don’t help readers. Readers aren’t search engine robots.)

3. Use your descriptions: make them count

Pun intended on “count”. Amazon gives you 4000 characters for the description. That’s around 800 words. Use them. Make your descriptions enticing.

FWIW, be aware that your ebook’s description is advertising copy. Hire a copywriter, if you can afford it. (And NO, I’m not touting for work, perish the thought — I’m overbooked as it is. ;-)) Seriously, to repeat, your description is an advertisement.

Few authors create good descriptions. I include authors published by major companies in that group as well. If anything, traditionally published authors’ ebook descriptions are less inspiring than indies’. I’m not surprised at that.

Take this to heart, and to repeat once more: pay attention to your ebook’s description; it’s an advertisement.

4. Increase readers’  familiarity with a mailing list

Marketers are fond of saying that a buyer needs to see your name seven times before he buys. I think it’s many more times than that. The only way to appear on buyers’ radars regularly is to develop a readers’ mailing list. So — create a list, if you don’t have one.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Selling Your Ebooks Via The Subscription Model

Selling Your Ebooks Via The Subscription Model

If you’re an author, writing ebooks is easy. Easier than selling your ebooks anyway, for most of us. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) has made selling easier for many authors, me included.

KU, which gives authors an easy way to get readers, and to get paid for readers who read their ebooks for free, is switching to payment for pages read on July 1.

There’s lots of discussion around about  this. Some of it is informed discussion. Some of it is not. Some authors are outraged, others love the change to KU:

“I am a romance author with two series in KU, and currently make enough off KU alone to pay my living expenses. Since my books are 200+ pages, I for one look forward to the imminent change. Apart from the money, it will be highly motivating to know how many pages of my books were read every day.”

I’m in the “love” camp. KU works for me, and for my students.

A subscription model makes sense for authors

Subscription models for anything and everything have worked for decades, long before the digital age: books, wine, cosmetics… Today there are subscription services for ebooks, music, and movies.

People subscribe to these subscription services, and creators get paid, in money, as well as in exposure to a wider audience. In general, I’m against writing for “exposure”. It can be a real con. However, that’s not the case with KU. In KU, you get paid once a reader reads 10% of an ebook — until July 1, 2015. After July 1, you’ll get paid per number of pages read.

There’s just one reason to use KU: it gives you a chance to win readers who might otherwise never see your ebooks, let alone read them. Consider that hundreds of thousands of ebooks flow into the Amazon Kindle Store each and every month. That’s a lot of ebooks.

KU is a service: use it in a way that makes sense for you

With KU, Amazon’s providing a service which you, as an author, can use in any way you wish.

Don’t use it if you don’t want to — no one’s compelling you. Indeed, considering that Amazon wants an exclusive for ebooks enrolled in KDP Select, so that those ebooks are available in KU, you’re cutting yourself off from any sales which you might make if you used several ebook retailers.

On the other hand, KU is a wonderful way to get paid for the number of pages which KU subscribers read. What’s not to like about that?

Selling your ebooks is a challenge. Amazon’s KU subscription service makes selling your ebooks easier. That’s my experience. Your mileage may vary, of course. However, don’t be put off from experimenting with KU: when it works, it will lift your overall sales, and that’s a very good thing.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.