Tag Archives: self-publishing

Book Marketing: 3 Tips To Boost Sales Of Your Backlist

Book Marketing: 3 Tips To Boost Sales Of Your Backlist

Authors’ book marketing discussions on blogs and forums tend to focus on launching and promoting new titles. What about your older titles?

“Old” books published a year or more ago get short shrift from authors. However, those older titles — your backlist — can be a virtual goldmine. They’re assets.

Book marketing: all your titles are assets you own

Every book you write and publish is an asset, just like your house and car. Recently I asked a group of my students about promoting their backlist.

Only one student out of the entire group had a strategy for backlist promotion. Most students focused entirely on promoting new and upcoming titles with strategies like extensive advertising and pre-orders.

The authors ignored their backlist for many reasons, including:

  • Uncertainty. An author might shove books into KDP Select to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited’s Pages Read’s royalties. He’d promote the titles via Facebook and Amazon advertising, but wouldn’t explore options beyond that;
  • Doubts about a book’s value. An author’s writing improves with each book. If a book doesn’t sell brilliantly authors tend to ignore them, thinking that: “my writing’s much better now…” This is a shame.
  • Lack of time. It takes time to revamp older titles and create and manage promotions for them.

Let’s look at some tips for boosting sales of your backlist.

1. Make a list of your backlist’s titles: can you bundle any of them?

I’m a huge fan of bundling older titles — that is, combining two or more titles into a collection. You’ll sell your bundles for slightly less — not too much less — than the titles’ current price.

Used strategically bundles can not only generate an income for self-publishing authors but they’re also a great way to introduce new readers to your writing.

Start by listing your current titles. The more titles you have, the greater your opportunities to create bundles. Promote your newer titles by adding a preview or two to the back matter.

Don’t go overboard with the bonus content. Amazon’s bonus content rules state that a preview should amount to 10% or less of a book’s total content.

2. Write short stories to boost your older titles, and newer titles too

Amazon’s algorithms tend to favor newer titles. So, new books quickly overwhelm and crowd out older titles. Short stories, and short nonfiction ebooks, are a way of climbing back onto Amazon’s NEW! train.

Your focus isn’t so much on book sales as it is on introducing new readers to your writing. Again, add bonus content to the back matter of your short titles, but no more than 10% of the whole.

3. Share promotional opportunities with other authors in your genre

Clubbing together with other authors in your genre or category means that you can take advantage of more book marketing opportunities.

Not only can your group create genre/ category bundles, but you can also share advertising expenses with other authors. An advertising venue which is too expensive for you as a solitary author becomes more viable when you get together with several other authors.

Book marketing opportunities: review your backlist titles at least every three to six months

Things change fast in publishing. When you review your backlist every few months you’ll find fresh opportunities to market your older titles.

NEW, Short Reads: write short stories and nonfiction ebooks and build your profits today

Have you checked out this program? It shows you how to make money from short ebooks.

Amazon has two categories for short ebooks. They are: Kindle Short Reads and Kindle Short Stories. You’ll learn how to make money with these two categories in this eye-opening report.

After you read the report, you may well decide that your income will benefit when you write SHORT ebooks, both fiction and nonfiction. Get started NOW.

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7

eBook: $4.99

When you write in series, you're giving yourself more chances to sell with every novel you write.

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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.

More info →
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Resources to build your writing career

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

Get Motivated: 3 Powerful Tips To Finish Your Book

Get Motivated: 3 Powerful Tips To Finish Your Book

You’re writing a book, and you’ll finish it one day. You hope. Unfortunately, you can’t get motivated. Although you schedule your writing, you can’t get started.

On bad days, you think about giving up.

Will you ever become sufficiently motivated to finish your book?

Here’s something to keep in mind. Inspiration and motivation build while you’re writing — not when you’re thinking about writing.

Convinced that you’ve tried everything and will never finish?

You’ll get motivated when you build-in consequences

Try creating consequences for yourself. When carrots don’t work, a stick can make all the difference.

Let’s look at how you can build your motivation when you build in some consequences for non-performance.

1. Use pre-orders: sell your book before it’s done

Authors swear that KDP pre-orders get them motivated to finish their book if nothing else will.

Here’s why: Amazon has consequences — it punishes you if you don’t upload your file before the deadline:

You can postpone the release date for your eBook one time for as many as 30 days past the initial release date… If you postpone the release date, you won’t be able to postpone release dates for other existing pre-order eBooks. Also, you won’t be able to set up a pre-order for any eBook for one year.

That’s powerful motivation, right? 🙂

You can create a pre-order up to 90 days before the release date.

2. Never mind the carrot, grab the stick

What’s the most painful thing you can imagine?

When you’re creating a stick to beat yourself if you don’t finish your book, the stick has more power if it affects others as well as yourself.

For example, let’s say that you’re taking your family on vacation this summer. Tell the family that unless you complete your book, you’ll be staying home.

Commitment is all-important when you’re using a stick. Tell others about your commitment to finish, and they’ll help you to get it done.

3. Write rubbish (spoiler alert: you can’t)

My favorite tip: write.

Write anything. Write the biggest rubbish you’ve ever written. Get it done. (You can edit later, of course.)

Here’s why this works. It’s hard to write rubbish consistently and deliberately, because you write the way you write.

A decision to write rubbish will free you to write, and you’ll get motivated to finish your book.

(Bonus strategy) You can get motivated to do anything… in five minutes

During my long writing career I’ve accepted commissions which I hated. Completing these commissions was always a struggle, but I learned that you can write anything — as long as you tell yourself: “it’s only for five minutes.”

When all else fails, and you’re in danger of missing a pre-order deadline, grab a timer. Set it for five minutes. During those five minutes, you MUST write. Write rubbish. Write anything, but WRITE.

Oddly enough, those five minute sessions will help you to get motivated, and you’ll finish your book.

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.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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

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

Fiction Writing Tips For Beginners: Discover Your Plot

Fiction Writing Tips For Beginners: Discover Your Plot

Are you new to fiction writing? If so, you may be confused about plotting.

You have questions:

  • What’s a plot?
  • Do you need a plot?
  • What if you’re convinced that you “can’t plot?”

Let’s answer those questions.

Fiction writing: plotting for beginners

Basically a plot in fiction is a series of events which are linked by cause and effect.

And yes, your fiction needs a plot. Plotless fiction isn’t satisfying to readers and it’s not much fun to write either.

If you’re convinced that the plotting fairy failed to bestow her gifts on you, that’s fine. Some authors love plots and outlines. Other authors would rather stick a fork in their eyeball than develop a rigid outline — I belong to this group.

In Fiction Writing Tips For Beginners: Create A Character, I shared my cavalier approach to plotting:

Once I have a main character, a BIG problem for the character, and an antagonist, I start writing. I’m a pantser, pretty much. That said, I rely on my intuition. Should some good ideas magically arrive, I might outline the major plot points (beats) of the novel.

I’ve become competent at plotting over the years. However, I know that I’m a natural pantser. When I force myself to plot I risk losing my inspiration for a novel.

Let’s look at a couple of tips which will help you to discover your plot while you’re writing.

Discovering your plot while you’re writing is easy, and it’s fun too.

1. Focus on your characters: give them lots of problems, and make choices

Plotting starts when you have a character with problems and a goal. This isn’t just any goal — it’s a goal he MUST achieve, or die. He may not die physically, but his life is over.

Many of your characters’ problems stem from who they are — as many of our problems do, too.

In Plotting Fiction Made Easy With Strong Characters: 3 Tips we recommended that you give your story people positive and negative character traits, and:

A suggestion: any positive character trait can become a negative trait (flaw.) Traits, both positive and negative, tend to be on a continuum.

Your plot is what your characters DO — and what they do in response to any event depends on their traits (attributes).

For example, let’s say that your novel’s main character, Bill, is arrested for murdering his ex-wife. Bill has a problem. Bill also has a goal: to prove that he didn’t murder his ex-wife.

You’re the author: you have ultimate power. So you choose Bill’s attributes, and decide that he’s: introverted, self-critical, and witty. Bearing these traits in mind, how will he react to his arrest? Who does he call? What does he do next?

Vital tip: once you’ve decided what kind of personality Bill has, that immediately affects what he does.

Bill is your character — you can give him any personality traits you choose. Perhaps you decide that Bill is honest, intelligent, and attractive to women. Now he’s a different kind of person from introverted, self-critical Bill.

This alternate version of Bill will react in a different way to his arrest for murder.

After you’ve created a main character and have given him certain attributes, your plot begins when you give him a BIG problem. Your character’s step by step actions, and reactions, create your plot.

Major tip — the bigger the problem, the better.

Go to Amazon and read the blurbs of bestselling novels for examples of big problems.

(BTW — speaking of blurbs; here’s how to write blurbs.)

2. Plotting fiction: keep your characters acting and reacting

You’ll give your main character a BIG problem — one that seems overwhelming, given the personality he has. Readers like to see main characters fight for what they want.

Fiction is about change, so your main characters need to change in response to the events of your novel. Remember the cause and effect of your plot: something happens, then your character acts, and as a result of his actions, something else happens… And your PLOT grows.

We talked about your novel’s milestones in this blog post. By the end of the setup phase of your novel (the setup is around 25% of a novel) you need to have everything in place for ongoing fireworks as your main character struggles and grows.

Now your story takes a major twist — you need a major change at the end of the setup point; something readers don’t expect.

For example, if you were writing Bill’s story, by the end of the setup Bill is released from jail. He’s out on bail. Not only has poor Bill lost his job so he needs to find money for a lawyer, his teenage children believe that he’s guilty. They’ve gone to live with their grandparents who hate him…

The twist? Bill discovers that his wife was leading a double life.

As long as you keep cause and effect in mind, you’ll discover your plot when you keep writing. Remember cause and effect, write on, and have 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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Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

eBook: $5.99

Your readers want to enter your novel's world. They want to experience your book -- they want to live your book with your main characters.

More info →
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Resources to build your writing career

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