Thank you very much, TSRA, for the giggles with your Maxine Monday Funnies – they’re the best – and so are you! ❤
On the Jane Friedman blog I found a great article on how to grow an email newsletter starting from zero – written by Christina McDonald. Thank you very much for the detailed descriptions and great ideas, Christina!
An email list is your secret weapon for selling books—it is a direct connection to your reader. But when I got my first book deal, I had no audience, no author Facebook page, and no email list. I knew I needed to build awareness to give my book the best chance to succeed. Here is my step-by-step guide to how I built my email list to 6,000 subscribers in one year.
1. Draft a plan
The first thing I did when I got my book deal was sit down and come up with a plan to build an email list. Coming from a digital copywriting background, I knew that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter were good for brand building, but not for getting people to buy. Buying happens through an email list. I also knew I would need to provide people with a benefit to get them to sign up. Here’s what I decided to provide:
- Quarterly newsletters
- Interviews with authors
- Free book giveaways
To read the entire blog post go to:
Floridaborne published an interesting ‘must-read’ on her blog. As an Indie author I have to say I was and still am shocked to read it. Thank you very much for sharing this information to us, Floridaborne!
Now, on a serious note.
I happened upon a writer on Twitter and Facebook:
Her Twitter introduction: “Amazon Int’l Bestselling Romance Author | Survived my 1st publishing with coffee & wine | Music Lover | Star Wars Geek Since Birth.”
She explains how non-writers are scamming the system at Amazon
graciously allowed me to reprint (aka copy/paste) her post.
I need to tell a story – it’s going to be a long one, so settle in if you’re interested in hearing it.
I began writing my first book in 2013. I self-published it on December 27, 2015. I was new to the business and I literally knew nothing. I made my own cover, which I’m embarrassed of now. But hey – I was brand spanking new and was learning as I went. And yes, there were typos galore in this first book. My January 2016 sales raked in a whopping $1500. I was shocked! After all, I was a nobody – a brand new author who nobody had heard of and I made $1500 in my first month!
I charged $5.99 per ebook for my debut title (Heart of Stone) and it was enrolled in KU. Looking at the sales, I thought I really had something going. My husband convinced me to quit my day job and do the author gig full time. Please note…I didn’t say “writing” full-time. Being an author comes with a ton of administrative tasks – setting up and maintaining a website, managing social media, searching for advertising opportunities, sending out newsletters, and every other possible thing to help keep you relevant in this business. Only a fraction of time is spent actually writing.
To read the entire post go to:
Joanne Van Leerdam of “WordyNerdBird” provides us with an interesting and educating blog post about the wrong and right way to write a book review. Thank you very much Joanne!
This week I read a blog post that asserted there is no right or wrong way to write a book review. The writer made some good points, particularly about reviews needing to be individual and personal responses to a book, but I disagree with the basic premise of the article.
I am writing this post from the perspective of a reader, not an author, and I realise that some people won’t agree with me, so let me explain my reasons.
A book review should never recount the story of the book. It shouldn’t give spoilers. Yet time after time, I see reviews that do exactly that. My issue is that if I already know what is going to happen, I feel as though I no longer need to read the book. The joy of the journey has been neutralised. That review has effectively cost the author a sale.
To continue reading the entire blog post go to:
Thank you, Bluebird, for the hysterical mathematical cat-edition! ROFL. Thanks for the giggles!
Yechelyah Ysrayl touches a subject that keeps all of us new authors on our toes: our newsletters and the people who unsubscribe from our email list. Thank you very much for your valuable post, Yechelyah!
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Email unsubscribes. Yup. I’ll be that one. I don’t care what anyone says, if done right and if it’s your cup of tea, author email lists work. At the end of the day, everyone’s journey is different so none of us are in the position to say for absolute certainty what works and what doesn’t work for someone else.
That said, IF you are a fan of the email list (I don’t refer to them as newsletters….I prefer email list), check it.
Not everything about being an author is peachy. Email unsubscribes feel like silent rejections and sometimes confusing because you don’t always know why the person left. Unsubscribes can leave authors feeling abandoned, especially if the person was a long-time member of the list. All kinds of thoughts go through your head.
“What did I do wrong?”
“Am I providing value?”
“Does my writing suck?”
“Do I suck?”
Did I email too much? Too little? What happened?”
The good news is that whether someone leaves your email list or your blog, it is not a bad thing. In 2019, we are not taking losses, we are taking lessons and there are tons of lessons we can learn from email unsubscribes. I hope this list encourages you and motivates you to push past that feeling of confusion and rejection.
To read the entire blog post go to:
Don Massenzio provides us with a second post on challenges faced by Indie authors. Of course I am re-blogging this one too as it’s informative, helpful and shows Don Massenzio’s experience and knowledge. Thank you, Don!
This is the second in a series of posts centered on the challenges faced by indie authors as we try to compete in the vast ocean of competitors/cohorts that is filled with sharks and other predators. Here are more that I’ve come up with to get you thinking and to foster a discussion:
The Stigma of Self-Publishing
I refrain from calling what we do self-publishing. I am an independent author. My publisher is Amazon. Instead of having services provided to me by a traditional publisher, I outsource them to providers that fit within my budget and style.
I recall trying to join a local author group and being refused because I was “one of those self-publishers”. Truth be told, I had essentially published more books than the total of all of the authors in the group. Many of them were waiting for some big publisher to say yes. Of those that had been “fortunate” enough to land a publishing deal, my sales were much higher then any of them. The reviews I’ve received for my books were also very positive.
To read the entire blog post go to:
Last week I found an interesting blog post on Rachel Poli’s blog, where she explains why writing short stories helps writers. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and insight.
I didn’t start to appreciate writing short stories until fairly recently. I always viewed short stories as something “quick and easy” to write. Of course, they’re not easy to write at all. Just because they can be 5,000 words as opposed to 50,000 words doesn’t mean it’s faster or easier. Another thing I thought was that writing novels was “better” for your writing. I figured the more I write, the more I would improve. Writing one long story isn’t the only way to “write more” though.
Short Stories Help You Tighten Your Words
One great thing about short stories is that it helps you learn how to tighten your words. It’s easy to ramble and to describe something that doesn’t matter. Especially if you’re just trying to get the words down, it’s super easy to get excited about quantity over quality.