Kindle Publishing Panic: Keep Your Readers Reading

Kindle Publishing Panic: Keep Your Readers Reading

I LOVE Kindle publishing. And not only because I can write what I want, when I want, and get paid. It’s also because it’s hugely entertaining. There’s always some panic or other going on.

It’s amazing. The tearing-of-the-hair, the shrieks of outrage and predictions of disaster for authors that Amazon’s new KDP Select “payment for pages read” terms have caused…

The drama’s pointless.

Here’s why:

  • Amazon is a huge global business. A business’s primary goal is to stay in business. Its secondary goal is to turn a profit, some day, some way — otherwise it just won’t stay in business;
  • No one forces you to enroll your ebooks in KDP Select/ Kindle Unlimited. It’s up to you. Enroll, don’t enroll… No punishment either way. Just like Amazon, YOU are in business. Choose pricing that works for you. We talked about the 4Ps of marketing your ebooks here;
  • Subscription services work, but companies need to tinker with them to make money. Viz Scribd’s booting of romance novels from its service. So expect more tinkering from Amazon.

Wait and see what happens. If you don’t like it, leave KDP Select

A voice of sanity, Katherine Hayton’s worked out what the new terms are likely to mean for her business.:

“Therefore ‘Found, near water’ would net me $2.11 in royalties, and ‘Skeletal’ would net me $2.59.

“That’s a vast improvement on the $1.33-$1.35-ish I’ve been receiving lately.”

No one knows how the new terms will affect them, yet.

Wait and see. You can always opt out of KDP Select. I put many of my own ebooks into KDP Select; I still think it’s a good decision.

Payment for pages read? It’s a good thing. You want readers to read. The only authors who’ll suffer in KDP Select are people who were trying to game the system. That’s never wise.

Love your readers. Write for them, always

If you do that, you don’t need to worry about Amazon, or anything else. Today, you have huge power. You can literally publish your ebooks at a click of your mouse.

Write the best way you know how. Strive to constantly improve. Most importantly — HAVE FUN. If you’re not having fun, your readers won’t either.

A final tip: be aware that as an author, you’re no judge of your writing, while you’re writing. I’ve been doing final edits on a novel. I worried while I was writing it. Reading it, as a reader might (even though that’s impossible), I found myself caught up in the story. I wondered why I’d worried…

Stop worrying. Keep writing. :-)

Ebook Dominance: sell more copies of your ebooks, every day

Ebook Dominance: Market and SELL Your Ebooks In Just 15 Minutes A Day

Discover the marketing secrets of bestselling authors — you can market in minutes, from the comfort of your sofa…

How would you feel if your sales doubled, then tripled — and then YOU hit the Kindle hot sellers’ lists?

Ebook Dominance helps you to turbocharge your marketing, and sell more ebooks today.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

3 Vital Tips: Prepare For Ebook Marketing

prepareebookmarketing

You’re considering marketing an ebook, or you’re already ebook marketing. Today, you must market your ebooks to make sales. Stop wincing. It’s not painful, I promise — you’ll grow to enjoy it, because of what you learn. You’ll realize that you’re writing better ebooks, and are selling more of them.

Authors ask me whether they need a blog, a Facebook page, and how often they should tweet. All good questions. However, if you’re just starting out, those questions may not be the right ones.

You need to prepare, before you do anything at all. Not only will the right preparations help you to sell more copies of your ebooks, they’ll also help you when you’re writing future ebooks.

Vital: your preparations, and the feedback you get from readers help you to write ebooks which sell.

Prepare for ebook marketing, before you do anything at all

As with all marketing the “4Ps” of the marketing mix — product, price, promotion and place (distribution) — matter when you’re promoting your ebooks. If your marketing isn’t working, go back to these basics, and you’ll find a way to fix it.

Here’s an example. A student found that her novel wasn’t selling. She was crushed. She’d had so much positive feedback. Beta readers loved the story.

We thought about product, price, promotion and place. Then we rewrote the description, and put the novel into the New Adult category. The heroine was 30, but had little life experience, for various reasons. We deleted the ebook’s current keywords, and added new ones. Result? Sales and a happy author. :-)

1. Discover your readers: how do they think?

Where do your readers hang out? Nonfiction authors occasionally get lucky. For example, if they’re writing in a huge category like weight loss diets, they’ve got endless groups on Facebook, and Web forums they can join, to subtly promote their ebooks.

Fiction authors can find groups catering to their genre on the Web, on sites like Goodreads (be careful there), as well as on public and private groups devoted to their genre.

Here’s why these groups are so wonderful, and it’s not for the reason you’re thinking. Yes, you can promote your ebooks in your signature in groups, but more importantly, you can learn how your readers think. You’ll discover what they like, and what they don’t.

Not only does knowing your readers help you in your promotions, it also helps you when writing new ebooks.

2. Learn more about your readers: check magazines and bestselling books

Go to magazines.com and read the headlines of magazines you think your readers might read. This is useful for both nonfiction and fiction authors. If you’re writing fiction, you’ll get ideas for plotting.

I love reading reviews on Amazon too; both reviews for bestsellers, and other ebooks. That’s another wonderful way to learn more about what your readers do, and don’t, like. Make notes.

3. Create a readers’ mailing list, NOW

Do it. Now. Right away, not tomorrow. Today, hundreds of thousands of ebooks pour into Amazon. It’s very hard to stand out from the crowd. I use aweber for my lists; I’ve been using them for over a decade. There are other mailing list providers; MailChimp seems to be popular with authors.

Without a readers’ list, you’re wasting your marketing efforts. Not only are you losing opportunities for feedback, so that you understand readers better, you’re also losing sales.

So there you have it. Three painless ways to prepare to market your ebooks. Knowledge is power.

Finally, consider this. You may know that E.L. James wrote the initial material, which she later turned into 50 Shades, as fan fiction.

Do you think that her ebooks would have found such huge success if she hadn’t learn so much about her readers from writing fan fiction? She understands her readers. You can too.

Great feedback on Ebook Dominance: thank you :-)

I’m so pleased the new program is helping you— ebook marketing can be HUGE fun. You can do a lot in 15 minutes a day:-)

Ebook Dominance: sell more copies of your ebooks, every day

Ebook Dominance: Market and SELL Your Ebooks In Just 15 Minutes A Day

Discover the marketing secrets of bestselling authors — you can market in minutes, from the comfort of your sofa…

How would you feel if your sales doubled, then tripled — and then YOU hit the Kindle hot sellers’ lists?

Ebook Dominance helps you to turbocharge your marketing, and sell more ebooks today.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

How To Sell More Copies Of Every Ebook You Publish

How To Sell More Copies Of Every Ebook You Publish

Marketing ebooks can be challenging. Where and how do you market? How much marketing? What about pricing?

So many questions.

Some authors give up — they feel marketing’s too hard.

Others do market their ebooks, but they market like it’s 2011. That won’t work today. We talked about the myth of traffic. These authors spend a lot of time marketing, but they don’t get results.

Successful ebook marketing in minutes

When I’m talking to students, they say that “marketing takes too much time…”

Today no one has time, and you need much less time than you think. You can get your marketing done in just 15 minutes a day. Think about it: that’s 75 minutes over five days. If you’re an over-achiever, it’s 105 minutes over seven days.

Today, you MUST market if you want to sell

All ebook publishers are well aware of the huge wave of ebooks published each and every month. If you want to sell more copies of your ebooks, you need to develop an ebook marketing strategy.

Market BEFORE, and while you write your ebooks

As soon as possible, start thinking at least two or three ebooks ahead. Start marketing those ebooks. Bestselling ebook authors plan their ebooks — they know what they’re writing over the next 12 months.

Not only do they know, they start promoting while they’re writing those ebooks. By the time they upload an ebook, they’ve got readers who are waiting for the new release.

Ebook Dominance: develop ebook marketing mastery

You’ve asked for it, and it’s ready. I created Ebook Dominance: Market and SELL Your Ebooks In Just 15 Minutes A Day for both new and established ebook authors.

If you’re not marketing at all, it’s for you.

If you want to streamline your marketing because it’s taking you too much time, it’s for you.

And if you’re flat out of marketing ideas, it’s really for you. :-)

Whether you write fiction, or nonfiction, you’ll start making more sales, and getting more subscribers to your readers’ list. Most of all, you’ll stop struggling, and will have fun with it.

Ebook Dominance: sell more copies of your ebooks, every day

Ebook Dominance: Market and SELL Your Ebooks In Just 15 Minutes A Day

Discover the marketing secrets of bestselling authors — you can market in minutes, from the comfort of your sofa…

How would you feel if your sales doubled, then tripled — and then YOU hit the Kindle hot sellers’ lists?

Ebook Dominance helps you to turbocharge your marketing, and sell more ebooks today.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Market Your Writing With One-Page Websites

Market Your Writing With One-Page Websites

Writing takes so much time that marketing is a huge struggle for many writers. Cheer up. Today, you don’t need a huge website and/ or blog to market your writing. You can do it with one-page websites.

It’s easy to market your writing with a one-page website — or several of them. Just say what you want to say on the page, and you’re done. One-page websites are innovative, minimalist, and fast to create.

If you’re unfamiliar with them, you’re wondering what a one-page website might be.

What’s a “one-page” website?

Just what it says. A single page. A website which consists of one page minimizes distractions. You have just the one page, with one (and only one) message. Clutter, such as navigation controls, has gone.

A decade ago, these kinds of pages were called “buy or leave” sales pages, and that sums it up. You give the visitors to your page just enough information for them to take action on what you offer.

Why use a one-page website?

Primarily, it’s the simplicity. I’ve started encouraging my personal coaching students and copywriting clients to use one-pagers, because they’re more likely to get results. l’m all about results. Asking a student or client to “create a website” is a big commitment of time and energy. It’s much easier to suggest a single page.

The big benefit is this. Not only do you force your one-pager’s visitors to focus, you focus on the results you want, while you’re creating the page. With larger websites, you distract yourself from the results you want, and you diffuse the effect on your site’s visitors.

Today, so much information flows onto the Web daily, that you can’t take it for granted that your visitors will read your page. When you keep your site to a single page, it’s less intimidating to visitors.

When to use a one-page website

You can use these very quick, and supremely simple websites for anything you’d like.

Here are some ideas. You can use them to:

  • Introduce yourself to a new audience
  • Attract clients in a specific vertical
  • Promote an ebook, before and/ or after you write it
  • Launch a crowd-funding campaign
  • Prototype a website for a client (see below)
  • Market a product or service for a client
  • Kick along a publicity push for a client

My favorite use for one-pagers: creating prototypes

You can make life much easier for yourself and your Web writing clients when you create a one-page prototype for them to use. You don’t need to explain anything, it’s all show and tell.

I love Squarespace for this reason. Squarespace makes it supremely easy to create one-pagers; it calls them Cover Pages. Transfer the “website” to your client when you’re done. (Disclosure — I have no connection to Squarespace, other than appreciating their product.)

The Web’s changed: one-pagers make sense

Way back in 2011, everyone was all about “authority” websites. Writers too. These were huge sites, covering anything and everything about a topic. Authority websites can be wonderful, IF you have a reason to create one.

Marketing with an authority website is impossible for a solo operator today. Leave it to corporations. So much information flows onto the Web every day that it makes zero sense to create an authority website just to market your writing services and/ or ebooks. A big website diffuses your message. Your visitors become consumers of information, rather than buyers — and that’s hardly the marketing result at which you’re aiming.

Try marketing your writing with one-page websites — you’ll love it, and you’ll get results. :-)

Copywriting Mastery: Build Your Own Lucrative Copywriting Business

Copywriting Mastery: Build Your Own Lucrative Copywriting Business

Could you run your own copywriting services business? I’ve often said that if you can write an email message which gets a response, you can write copy. Yes, YOU. There’s a lot of mystique around copywriters, but here’s the thing: you don’t need to be Hemingway or Tolstoy.

And you don’t need to be arty and “creative”. As advertising master David Ogilvy said: “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”

Learn more.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Your Website: It’s Not About The Traffic

Your Website: It’s Not About The Traffic

Are you getting traffic to your website? Are you NOT getting traffic? Once they’ve created a website, writers get into a panic about traffic. “Your website isn’t getting any traffic,” busybodies tell them. Or: “Your website should be getting traffic!”

Whether you’re getting traffic, or you aren’t, isn’t important.

Everyone wants traffic, but…

Here’s something that will amaze you.

From The Internet in Real Time:

“By the time you finish reading this sentence, there will have been 219,000 new Facebook posts, 22,800 new tweets, 7,000 apps downloaded, and about $9,000 worth of items sold on Amazon… depending on your reading speed, of course. Now that the Internet is widely available, just one second of global online activity is jam-packed full of events, from communication with others to data storage to entertainment options galore.”

Scroll down the Real Time page, and see how many Facebook posts, tweets, Amazon sales, WordPress.com posts etc. are happening — while you watch. Keep the page loaded, and come back to it a few minutes from now. The numbers keep rolling, ever upward.

There’s an (expletive deleted) load of content flowing onto the Web every second. The people and companies behind every piece of that content want traffic — attention, that is — to that content.

It’s not about the traffic, it’s about RESULTS

Over the years, I’ve learned my lesson about traffic. It’s been a hard, and expensive lesson. Traffic, in and of itself, is useless. Worse, it can be expensive, because you’re paying for that traffic, in one way or another.

So, rather than traffic, think about the results you want from your writer’s website.

What do you want from your website?

And, most importantly, why do you want whatever it is? Do you want to get clients, sell ebooks — what results are you after?

In my copywriting business, the first thing I ask clients is: “What results do you want?” Sometimes a client isn’t sure. That’s dangerous for me. I’m completely in the dark, so, before we do anything else, we work out what the client wants.

It’s essential: decide what you want, and why you want it — and WRITE IT DOWN.

Writing’s seductive. You can be as productive as you like, but a website packed with content, which gets loads of traffic, is completely useless, if you’re not getting results.

Maybe you don’t need a website

In 4 Fun, Creative Ways to Make Money Writing (Without a Website), we said:

“Creating a website” came up as one of the biggest challenges for writers in a recent survey I created. When I’m coaching writers, especially new writers, my initial aim is to give the writer some confidence. The easiest way to do this is to help the writer make some money. Sales give you confidence.

You don’t need a website to make sales.

I’m not talking you out of creating a website, let’s be clear. Your website can be your most valuable writing tool. However, there are so many misconceptions around websites and content, that you can hours and days of valuable writing time on a website that’s useless.

I’ll be posting more about your writer’s website, and how to make it work.

Your first, and most important step is to decide what results you want. Please be aware also that traffic, in and of itself, is useless.

Kindle Short Fiction Domination: Today’s Blueprint For Writing Success And Income (4-week class)

Short Fiction Domination

Want to write short fiction and build a successful career? For the first time in decades, it’s possible to write short stories and make a great income. Each week, for four weeks, you receive a new lesson, in PDF format, via a download link sent to your email inbox.

As we move through the class, you’re not only writing your own short stories, you’re also discovering the Kindle short fiction BLUEPRINT… What to publish, and when, so that your Amazon income steadily increases. Join us. :-)

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Ebook Marketing: 5 Simple Tricks

Ebook Marketing: 5 Simple Tricks

It’s the copywriter in me — I see ebook marketing, and all marketing for that matter — in terms of AIDA. AIDA is a useful copywriting formula; Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. To market and sell ebooks, you need to get attention first; and keep getting attention.

Easier said than done, of course. Hundreds of thousands of Kindle ebooks are published each month. How on earth do you get readers’ attention when there are so many ebooks released each and every month?

While there are any number of ways you can do that, you need to remember one thing… To get attention, take a lesson from the political word. Politicians cut through distraction and noise and get attention by staying on-message.

You need to do that too. And no, I don’t mean that you should send out hundreds of “buy my ebook!” messages on Twitter each month. :-)

Vital tip: write first, and always

Before we get to the ebook marketing tips, here’s a VITAL tip. Focus on your writing, and keep publishing. If you don’t publish, you have nothing to sell.

Writers ask: “how much time should I spend marketing each day?”

My response: “use whatever minutes are left, after your writing is done for the day.”

Write. Keep writing. And keep publishing. And use these tips.

1. Realize that an ebook cover isn’t just a cover: it’s your marketing in a nutshell

There’s a lot of nonsense talked about ebook covers in the indie publishing world. Forget what you’ve heard. Lipstick on a pig won’t sell the pig, and covers don’t sell ebooks.

A good cover’s nice to have, of course, but on its own, it does nothing. What it can do, is help you to market your book.

You can create your own covers easily enough. It takes time, but it may be time that you can and should invest. Most designers are all about the pretty pictures, and while that’s fine, what YOU, as an author and marketer want to know is: can I use this cover to market my ebook?

Consider major publishers. When a big publishing house commissions an illustrator or designer to create a book cover, they don’t care about the pretty pictures. They’re in business to sell books. (As are you.) Both the marketing department and the sales department want to know: can we SELL with this cover?

That’s the only question you need to ask about a cover: will it help me to sell ebooks?

Notice that the cover can’t market the book… YOU need to do that. And when you start thinking about promotions you can build around your ebook covers, you’ve come a long way as a marketer. :-)

2. Create a goal (hint, your goal isn’t to SELL… not yet, anyway)

Your goal is to get attention.

How will you do that? Today, you have 1001 ways to get attention. Social media can be a boon to authors.

Make a list of ways you can get attention… ways you’d enjoy. You can blog, tweet, pin on Pinterest, get together with other authors and run promotions together…

We’ve mentioned your readers’ list many times. If you’re starting out marketing your ebooks, create your list NOW.

3. Create and post snippets to grab attention

Amazon uses “Look Inside”, so potential buyers can get a sample of your ebooks. But you you need to get people to your Amazon product page first.

Snippets get attention.

What’s a “snippet”? A tweet-able. In PR terms, a tagline, slogan, quote or sound bite. A snippet may be a quote from your ebook, or not. You can create small bits of material which you can repost and repurpose in various ways.

4. Create images, because a picture is worth a thousand words…

… and images get attention. We said that your ebook’s cover is your marketing in a nutshell. Use your cover, or elements from your cover, in your marketing. Aim to create several images, in various sizes, which you can use in your marketing.

Your ebook’s cover helps you to stay on-message.

5. Stay on message: intrigue, and arouse curiosity

An aside… Here’s my best advice for marketing an ebook: start creating marketing materials while you’re writing your ebook.

I don’t know about you, but by the time I’ve written a book, I’m weary. Creating marketing collateral like images, snippets, plot synopses and character descriptions (for fiction) takes as much energy as writing the book. Start early.

End of aside… :-)

What does “on message” mean? Your message is a short summary of your book. Very short. Try not to give away any spoilers if you’re promoting a novel.

It’s not the plot. And it’s not a real summary. Go to the IMDB and read some movie summaries. Here’s the IMDB’s summary for House of Cards, for example:

“A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.”

Your message is a pitch. It doesn’t need to be 100% accurate. It just needs to get attention, so that people visit your Amazon product page.

So there you have it; five simple tricks to help you to market your ebooks. Use them — you’ll sell more ebooks. :-)

Hot Plots: Craft Hot-Selling Fiction in 5 Minutes (or less)

How To Write Commercial Fiction With Hot Plots

The big secret of making money from your fiction is writing a lot. And publishing strategically and consistently. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program ensures that authors can make money from short stories, and all kinds of fiction. Moreover, whatever you’re publishing, you have a global audience.

You’re about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you’re writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. Discover Hot Plots.

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

How to profit from your writing: online store.