At least once a week I get a message from a writer who MUST make money from his writing and develop a consistent income stream. Over the years, the advice I’ve given has varied, but lately, I’ve recommended that these writers write fiction ebooks.
Here’s why. Fiction sells. If you put your head down and write, and assuming that you’ve written fiction before, you can make money.
Of course, there are caveats:
- You need to choose fiction genres (categories) which have a large audience (romance, thrillers and the like);
- You need to create titles and covers which meet readers’ expectations for the genre you’ve chosen (readers WILL NOT stare at your cover in wonderment, wondering what your ebook is about — the genre and content must be obvious, immediately);
- Your ebook must be edited for smooth, enjoyable reading;
- You must devote attention to keywords and your ebooks’ descriptions;
- You must write in series, or serials — in other words, you must give readers more of what they like.
Get more readers for your fiction ebooks
When you’re writing fiction ebooks, focus on your readers. Write in popular genres (categories), and write what those readers like.
1. Publish more by writing serials: more ebooks mean more readers
Once upon a time, not so long ago, you could take the scenic route if you wrote fiction. You took a year or three to get an agent, and with the agent’s support, convinced a publisher to give you a multi-book contract.
Those days have gone. They’re not coming back.
Today, the markets for all writing change constantly. While the fundamentals of writing remain the same (write what readers want to read, and develop name-recognition), you can’t rely on markets remaining the same.
You need to write fast, and publish fast, before a market changes again.
When I’m working with my writing students, I’m all about the fundamentals. Whatever you’re writing, the fundamentals of copywriting, blogging, web writing, whatever… remain the same. In copywriting, and fiction, the fundamentals remain unchanged for centuries.
Serial fiction has been popular for a couple of centuries. The big benefit is simple: if readers know and love your story, they want more. (Yes, the pun on Oliver Twist is intended.)
Give them more by writing serials. Then although the market will change, you’ll nevertheless sell.
2. Publish faster: faster publishing wins more readers and sales
As I said in the article, Write More, Sell More:
Want to make more money from your writing? Here’s the answer: write more. Over the years, I’ve discovered that the trick is to write more than you think you can write, but back off just before you exhaust yourself.
Today, if you want to sell more copies of your fiction ebooks, you need to publish faster. That doesn’t mean you write junk. It means that you recognize that there are millions of ebooks on the Kindle Store, and that you need to build your name recognition by increasing the numbers of ebooks you publish.
Which means you need to…
3. Set and meet your deadlines: readers are waiting
Grab a wall calendar for 2017.
Decide what you’ll publish this year.
Enter the ebooks onto your wall calendar.
Remember, readers are waiting. Remember also to tee up cover images, and book time with your editor. Enter that information onto your wall calendar too.
4. To get more readers, choose to write in hot-selling categories
You may know that I do a lot of ghostwriting. I love it, because I love to write, and I like challenges. My ghostwriting means that I’ve written in many different genres. Over the years, I’ve found that my books don’t sell in a couple of genres, and I don’t know why.
It happens. Sometimes you can write a good story which your beta readers love, and — crickets. This will happen to you, too. Accept your disappointment, and choose another genre. Sooner or later you’ll luck into a couple of genres in which you can write, and in which readers LOVE your fiction.
Hint: explore sub-genres of your favorite genres (those genres in which you know your books sell.) As I said in this article on Short Fiction:
Want to become a “bestseller?” You may have noticed that some ebooks have a tiny “bestseller” tag that Amazon puts onto them. At times, these are obscure ebooks, and you get a “huh?” reaction.
The reason these obscure ebooks are bestsellers is because the authors have lucked into an obscure category (or sub-sub category) with few titles, and the ebooks are bestsellers in their category.
You’ve got more chance of Amazon labelling your ebook a bestseller in an obscure genre because the competition is much less, and with that lovely label, you’ll sell more.
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.More info →
When you write in series, you're giving yourself more chances to sell with every novel you write.More info →
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