Thank you so much for our Monday Funnies, Story Reading Ape! You’re the best!
KDP doesn’t seem to be slowing down in their rollout of new features here and there. Lately we had the huge update about Kindle Vella, and more recently we’ve had another cool update.
Amazon now allows authors to create A+ content for display on their Amazon sales page for books.
If you’re like me when I first heard this news, you probably asked, “A+ content? What is that?”
Well don’t worry, dear reader. We’ve got you covered.
In this article, you will learn:
- What Amazon A+ content is
- How it’s incorporated into your pages
- The implications for authors
- How to create your own A+ content
- How not to get your A+ content rejected
For years, authors have speculated as to whether or not Amazon gives preferential treatment to new books.
Some authors, after seeing their sales plummet weeks or months after launch, point to this as a sign that they hit an unseen Amazon cliff.
While others claim that this is merely a post book launch strategy effect where after you’re done employing your strongest book strategies, it’s only natural for sales to drop.
So, this leaves us with the question: Do new books get preferential treatment from Amazon, and if so, what does this look like and what can we do to counter it.
Luckily, I devised an experiment using data-collecting software to finally answer this question definitively and have a method to benefit from the results.
In this article, you will learn:
- How Amazon treats new books over older books
- Steps to counter this drop
- Ways to use this information for even stronger book launches
on Writers Helping Writers:
Characters are the heart of a story, but what really draws readers in is their emotions. Only…showing them isn’t always easy, is it?
Like us in the real world, characters will struggle. Life is never all cherries and diamonds; in fact, it’s our writerly job to make sure reality fish-slaps our characters with painful life lessons! Big or small, these psychologically difficult moments will cause them to retreat and protect themselves emotionally, believing if they do so, it will prevent them from feeling exposed and hurt in the future.
And while we know “shielding” behavior is psychologically sound (we do it, too) and it means our characters will try to hide it when they feel vulnerable, this causes a real problem at the keyboard end of things. Why? Because no matter how hard a character is trying to hide or hold back their emotions, we writers must still show them. For readers to connect, they have to be part of that emotional experience.
on Fiction University:
The creatures that inhabit our novels should make sense and feel as real as our worlds.
In speculative fiction, we’re not just writing stories—we’re creating worlds. And no matter if those worlds are alternate realms, possible futures, distant planets, or secret portals hidden at the back of the closet, at some point, your characters are likely to run into some of the creatures who inhabit it.
Because yes, your world has creatures! (If it doesn’t, that’s a statement—even in outer space, four different kinds of microbes have been discovered so far.)
The creatures who inhabit the worlds you write make them feel all the more real and multidimensional. Done well, they can also offer a lot to inform your world and fill out its details.
Let’s break down approaches and considerations to imagine these beings into life.
Writer’s block is a very controversial subject in the publishing world. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is right. Okay, maybe not everyone. I am right…and also NUMBER ONE AT HUMBLE!
*gets cramp patting self on back*
I believe that, when it comes to discussing writer’s block, there is a real danger of oversimplifying a truly complex phenomenon. Many claim there is no such thing as writer’s block. Just sit down and write and stop making excuses for being lazy. While laziness might be an answer (as we’ll explore) this One-Size-Fits-All solution is low-hanging fruit. Sort of like going to the doctor where the standard answer for everything is to “lose weight.”
Me: I’m tired all the time.
Doctor: Lose weight.
Me: My knee really hurts. I think I might have arthritis.
Doctor: Lose weight.
Me: *blood spurting from missing arm* I uh, think I need emergency surgery.
Doctor: Nah. Lose weight.
Now, is it true that many health issues could be remedied if we weren’t carrying around extra poundage? Sure. But, the human body is vastly complex, meaning it’s wise to ditch the myopia and take into consideration other factors.
Same with writer’s block.
Writer’s Block & Laziness
We’ll just deal with probably the most common explanation for writer’s block right now. Why? Because just like sometimes losing weight really IS the answer to a health issue, laziness could be at the root of our inability to put words on the page.
Because writing is hard work. Let me add a caveat, “Superlative writing is hard work.”
I know this because when I knew NOTHING about my craft, I never ran out of stuff to slap on the page. My first ‘novel’—the 187,000 word monstrosity I keep in the garage because it pees on the carpets—was a JOY to write. My book had IT ALL! There was romance, action, comedy! My novel had everything…except a plot.