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Monthly Archives: August 2019

Is Your Email List Your Greatest Asset As An Author?

By BookBaby author Steven Spatz

As an author, you might wonder why you’d need to build an email list. Short answer: email lists make things happen. But you need to engineer that by engaging, creating a platform for interaction, and building your tribe.

An email list of interested readers is a database that can kick off book launches, tease new content, promote appearances, and keep your readers engaged. They’re an incredible asset — especially as you prepare to publish new works — but authors frequently get frustrated over trying to build the “perfect list.”

Maybe that’s because the command to “build your author platform” isn’t clear. Sure, you can create an author website and blog — and find an email management program — but that’s just the technology. Your platform needs to have more than just characters and bytes on a screen, it needs to reflect your personality. It needs to attract and keep followers.

That’s where Seth Godin’s tribal concept makes sense. Godin’s Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us talks about the different groups we all belong to and how you can tap into them in your work (author) life. For example, I like reading spy novels, so I’m a member of that tribe. I can connect to thousands of other people who enjoy spy novels through online forums and book groups.

And that’s just a start. Where you eat breakfast, the kind of coffee you prefer, the television shows you watch, all of this shapes and influences your connection — membership, if you will — to specific tribes.

Which leads me to my point: your best tactics and techniques for creating an email list are about attracting and gathering your own tribe by giving them information. And don’t fret, regular communication to a list of people who have told you they want to hear from you is not SPAM. These people have freely given you their email address — a very closely guarded destination point — and they expect to get something in return. Namely, your ideas, opinions, thoughts, impressions, and, most importantly, your writing.

This is part of what makes an email list an author’s greatest asset. You have a willing and engaged audience that wants to know what you think and wants to hear more about your writing, and that can easily be leveraged to sell books.

So, in an effort to best utilize this valuable asset, here are six things you can do to make the folks on your email list produce results that can make a difference in your career.

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Digital Publishers see strong gains in audiobooks and ebooks

Major publishers have all reported that the second quarter of 2019 that audiobook sales are increasing and ebooks are doing quite well. Audiobooks are not really a surprise, everyone is busy digitizing their front-list and also paying more attention to their backlist. The fact that ebook sales are doing well, is partly attributed to movie tie-ins and customers have got used to paying almost double.

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Things  To Consider When Promoting A Book

Can You Really Market Your Book?
Not everyone is a good writer.  Not everyone is a good marketer.  Often, someone who is a good writer can become a good marketer.  It will take a number of factors for you to successfully navigate getting published and sold and to turn your writing career into positioning you to become a speaker, consultant, and expert in your field.  You’ve taken the first step by buying this book and seeking out professional guidance. Now, the next steps will become more challenging, but if followed, very rewarding.

Book Trailers: Should You Do One?

Are book trailers the best marketing tool for authors?  Or are they a complete waste of time and money?  The truth lies somewhere in between.

First, let me caution, a book trailer video is only useful if it’s well done and most are not.

Second, you can’t just create one and then think it’ll take care of itself.  You’ll need to push it and post it all over the place.

Third, don’t spend much money on this, if any at all.

There are good, reputable companies that create these trailers and if you feel technologically baffled or simply want a pro to film and edit the piece, use them.  But video trailers are just a small piece of the marketing puzzle.

A movie lives and dies on its trailer – a book does not.  The trailer can get people excited or curious about a book and it can give off a feeling or vibe that helps influence people to want to learn more.  But how many people do you know bought a book based on a trailer?
The key is not the making of the trailer, but its distribution.  The trailer needs to go viral for people to view it and share it with others.  So ask yourself, what will allow that to happen?

Amazon Self-Publishing Royalties and Costs: Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably already familiar with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Amazon’s self-publishing service for indie authors. But you may be somewhat less familiar with the mechanics of Amazon self-publishing royalties: how much authors get paid, when they receive payments, and of course, how much Amazon takes out of those payments for things like printing/delivery costs.

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A To-Do List for the Overwhelmed Writer

by Elizabeth S.. Craig, @elizabethscraig

If you’re like me, sometimes you have so much going on that it’s hard to know where to start. Your to-do lists look like bucket lists. And you work all day long and don’t feel you’ve really gotten anything accomplished.

When this happens to me, I radically change what my to-do lists look like.  The most important thing is to triage the most important tasks. Plus, feel as if I’m making some progress.

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Should Your Book Be A Textbook?

Your book may be perfect for the college market.  To get your book sold into the classroom you’ll need to convince professors to use it for the course, or you might be able to sell it to the college bookstore as an optional, supplementary book.

The Ultimate Guide to KDP: How to Succeed on Kindle Direct Publishing

What do Andy Weir and Luke Jennings have in common? Not much — at least until self-publishing through Amazon changed their lives. Jennings, with his Booker Prize nomination, already belonged in the writerly mainstream. Weir, on the other hand, wrote code before he ever wrote novels, learning C as a teenager to work with combustion researchers.

Since then, both have released books through Amazon’s self-publishing platform, Kindle Direct Publishing. Jennings’ novella, Codename Villanelle, became the basis for the acclaimed BBC thriller Killing Eve. Weir, meanwhile, saw his first novel, The Martian, turned into a Matt Damon blockbuster by the same name.

Amazon turned a journalist and a programmer into international publishing sensations. Want to succeed on KDP like they did? Let’s take a look at everything you’d need to do to make this powerful sales platform work for you. Before we’re done, we’ll turn the killer book you wrote into a self-published bestseller.

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How To Sell Your Book To People

Customers Have Needs
People want to buy from you. All that you have to do is convince them of a few things, namely that you offer something of value and enough supportive evidence that you will deliver on your promise or offer.

5 Best Book Promotion Strategies for Romance Authors

Reading Time: 8 minutesI’m so excited to be teaching a class around book promotion at Romance Writers of America this week in New York, which has inspired me to write this post for the many, many awesome romance authors out there!

Romance writing is such a unique market. We know it’s busy and popular, but your readers are also voracious. They read a lot, and they love discovering new authors. Romance authors have been given a wonderful opportunity to really speak to readers on a very personal level, and every element of their book promotion must reflect this. Every time they purchase one of your titles, they’re inviting you into their lives and admitting their (sometimes very secret) fantasies and desires!

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