About Writers, book promotion, book sales, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

$67,000 In Three Months

Adam Nicholls, Author
Posted on Facebook 13 Jun 18 at 5:16am / 20BooksTo50K
$67,300.88 earned between March 2018 and June 2018

I’ve been in two minds about doing this because it feels too much like bragging, but I was finally persuaded to suck it up and write this on the off chance that it might help someone. Please note, this is from an 8-book rapid release. With that out the way, here are some tips that you may or may not know already (and bear in mind this isn’t gospel – it’s just what I did):

– Use K-lytics to find a hot genre and then dig in deeper to find that niche. When you find something that interests you, hit the top 20 chart and read like it’ll get you out of jail. You need to learn those tropes and give readers what they expect when they buy your book.

– Write. Don’t make excuses, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it 24/7. This is hard work for some people (myself included), but remember that in order to sell a product you must first create that product.

– Get a cover that fits the genre. A great cover can be a useless cover if it doesn’t fit the tropes. Again, check out the top 20 to look for common themes. At the end of the day you’re looking to recreate what’s currently selling, so why stray from the path?

– A decent editor is absolutely vital, and a good proofreader is, too. There are plenty here in the threads, and most come as recommendations rather than just self-promotion.

– Mailing lists are another commonly discussed topic. I use Mailerlite and I love it. You can use Instafreebie and Bookfunnel to build that list, as well as running Facebook ads (more on this below). What changed things for me? I started sending out an email every Monday, and I don’t keep trying to push sales. I talk about my dog, what I’m reading, and where I’ve been this week. Readers enjoy this. They email back, and you should, too. Be more than an author – be a friend. This part hurts to say because it feels like I’m betraying them, but those readers/friends are now guaranteed sales on release day.

– Rapid release. If you can, save up four or more books and then release one weekly. I don’t know too much on the science of this one, but Martha Carr has a great video on it, so search the files.

– KDP Rocket. Is it a must? It was for me. I personally only used it for my seven Amazon keywords, but it’s worth every penny spent. Others use it for Amazon ads, which I’m yet to explore.

– Network. Make friends. The more people you know, the more you can learn from each other. It could be that everything you needed to know was obvious to someone else, so communicate and be helpful. Which brings me to…

– Pay it forward. To put it bluntly, I was an introvert writer making no money. Since I started helping people out and doing favours (yes, even to those who were clearly using me) I’ve become an introvert writer who’s making lots of money. It pays to not be a total dick most of the time (it turns out my mother was right). I’ve learned so much from the people here, and giving some back is good karma, if nothing else.

– It never hurts to collaborate. I recently completed a book with another 20books author and it was a HUGE success. You split the work, you share the profits, and you find new readers in each other’s lists. Use this to your advantage and help each other out (by the by, I’m always looking for thriller authors to work with, so drop me a message if you’re interested).

– Advertising can be a chore, but I stick to the basics: Bargain Booksy, ENT Reader, Robin Reads, and Facebook ads. A quick Google search will give you the first three, and Mark Dawson’s Facebook course is a fountain of knowledge that can’t be ignored. Set yourself a budget and work at it. It took me 2 years to learn this stuff, but here I am.

– Most of all – and this is by far the most important thing – ENJOY IT. A love of writing doesn’t have to become a daily slog. Get up in the morning and put some words on the page. Open your email and talk to other writers. Communicate with your readers. Host competitions and look for places to get interviewed. You have one of the most interesting jobs in the world (especially if you moonlight as a Playboy photographer), so get out there and have fun with it!

Any questions? Ask away. I’ll do what I can to answer them, although I’m having a bit of a busy day so please forgive me if I don’t respond immediately.

Adam Nicholls, an urban fantasy author from the south-west of England, has been creating stories since before he could legally drink. Inspired by the works of Stephen King, Karin Slaughter and Gillian Flynn, Adam starts writing each new book by asking himself how best to shock his readers.

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About Writers, book promotion, book sales, Research, self-publishing, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Kindle Unlimited

That is, is it worth it to the Author?
Kindle Unlimited (KU) is a subscription service. With Kindle Unlimited, customers can read as many books as they like and keep them as long as they want for a monthly subscription fee.

Author Jon Cronshaw recently asked the question, “Is there anything (beyond the usual wide versus KU debate) that makes wide or KU better?

Author Brian Meeks responded, “That’s a really good question. I’m not sure I can speak to your genre, but I do have some thoughts.

Over the last six months, I’ve noticed something. The conversions I track across all 5 genres in which I write, have changed. It used to be about 50% sales and 50% KU downloads. That’s not the case anymore. The shift has been toward KU.

My data shows 40% sales and 60% KU downloads. This tells me that more people are joining KU and enjoying it like we all do with Netflix. It also makes me think the shift will continue.

There’s one other point that often doesn’t get mentioned. It’s that the MOST voracious readers, naturally, gravitate toward KU.

I hope these thoughts will help you a bit. Good luck.”

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About Writers, inspiration, publishing, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op, writing technique

Insights

Secrets of Bestselling Authors

INSPIRATION & IDEAS
“Good writing is remembering detail. Most people want to forget. Don’t forget things that were painful or embarrassing or silly. Turn them into a story that tells the truth.”
– Paula Danziger

GETTING STARTED
“Two questions form the foundation of all novels: ‘What if?’ and ‘What next?’ (A third question, ‘What now?’, is one the author asks himself every 10 minutes or so; but it’s more a cry than a question.) Every novel begins with the speculative question, What if ‘X’ happened? That’s how you start.”
– Tom Clancy

STYLE & CRAFT
“What a writer has to do is write what hasn’t been written before or beat dead men at what they have done.”
– Ernest Hemingway

PURPOSE
“The only obligation any artist can have is to himself. His work means nothing, otherwise. It has no meaning.”
– Truman Capote

CHARACTERS
“The writer must always leave room for the characters to grow and change. If you move your characters from plot point to plot point, like painting by the numbers, they often remain stick figures. They will never take on a life of their own. The most exciting thing is when you find a character doing something surprising or unplanned. Like a character saying to me: ‘Hey, Richard, you may think I work for you, but I don’t. I’m my own person.’”
– Richard North Patterson

PLOT & STRUCTURE
“The problem for me is finding my own plots. They take a long time. … I like to have it happen, just like in our own lives. We don’t always know where they’re going, and if we make formal decisions on a given night, if we sit down and put a list of things we’re going to do on a piece of paper, they almost never work out right.”
– Norman Mailer

RITUALS & METHODS
“The conclusion to be drawn is that I am happiest writing in small rooms. They make me feel comfortable and secure. And it took me years to figure out that I need to write in a corner. Like a small animal burrowing into its hole, I shift furniture around, and back myself into a cozy corner, with my back to the wall … and then I can write.”
– Danielle Steel

REVISION & EDITING
“I do not rewrite unless I am absolutely sure that I can express the material better if I do rewrite it.”
– William Faulkner

PUBLISHING
“Publishers want to take chances on books that will draw a clamor and some legitimate publicity. They want to publish controversial books. That their reasons are mercenary and yours may be lofty should not deter you.”
– Harlan Ellison

READERS
“In truth, I never consider the audience for whom I’m writing. I just write what I want to write.”
– J.K. Rowling

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About Writers, blogging, inspiration, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op, writing technique

Advice from the Front Lines

Current Writers on Writing Today

But first, an editorial comment:
“I’ve been an editor for a very long time—let’s say several lifetimes in dog years—and I’ll let you in on a secret. Although your workshop colleagues will (ideally) read your entire manuscript carefully, generously, and kindly, an editor will begin making a decision in about a minute.
What the editor is really looking for is presence on the page—a feeling that you, the author, are in control; that you have a deep respect for language and a well-made sentence, no matter how plain or ornate; that something is at stake; and that in addition to whatever plot you are hatching, you can create friction in the simple act of rubbing two sentences up against each other.
– Dawn Raffel

“Great writers play to their strengths. If you’re hilarious, let yourself be funny. If you have an ear for dialogue, keep your characters talking. If you have a sixth sense for plotting and suspense, write a mystery.”
– Arlaina Tibensky

“By writing about your experiences, you transform your memories into tangible monuments. You validate what happened to you from your own perspective, with your own creativity.”
– Alissa Torres

How to Write a Sex Scene: “‘But what if I’m not filthy enough?’ you think. What if Bruce Springsteen is busy? Most sex scenes are read and forgotten. Readers go on with their lives. You’re competing with the entire internet. You’re competing with sex itself.”
– Rebecca Schiff

“Very often, the most effective humor in writing doesn’t come from a clever concept, or a turn of phrase, or a one-liner, or a bit of killer dialogue. Instead, it comes from the manipulation of carefully built structures, from the ways in which you introduce well known patterns, then undermine those patterns with revealing character action.”
– Mike Scalise

“The best bit of that advice, and one I would take to heart as a novelist, is the idea of keeping your readers off kilter whenever possible. If they know what’s coming, there’s a good chance they’ll put down your book and move on to something else.”
– Duane Swierczynski

To me, the most memorable insight into the motivation for writing may be Vladimir Nabakov’s,
“I shall not exist, if you do not imagine me.”

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About Writers, blogging, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

The Writers Report

Catch up on the latest news in the writing world with these timely links.

“Suddenly It’s Over”: How ‘Roseanne’s’ Stunning Demise Felt in the Writers Room
Hollywood Reporter

The Best Books on Writing, According to Novelists, Poets, and Writing …
New York Magazine-May 25, 2018

Death of a Fake News Writer
Paul Horner died of a suspected drug overdose

Golden Man Booker Prize Finalists, and More
2019 Nobel Prize in Literature Canceled

Jesse Eisenberg on the Relentless Work Ethic of Philip Roth
Time Magazine

After decades of dwarfs and elves, writers of color redefine fantasy
Christian Science Monitor

Vote for the 100 Greatest American Novels
PBS Voting is open! Explore the list below and vote for your favorites or find the voting hashtags here to vote on social media. The full voting details are available here.

… you didn’t think our world was boring, did you? 🙂

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book sales, publishing, scams, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

An Independent Voice

leechman

I find it illuminating and pathetic that a market exists wherein writers pay 3rd parties to “try” to find them a publisher or pay publishers to “consider” their work. Pathetic because it reeks of desperation. Illuminating because it works so well.

Make no mistake. These leeches know what they are doing, that it is legal (no refunds), and that they will have customers. I say leeches because, well, isn’t it obvious they make money off the blood & sweat of gullible writers? I include in this category of leech “marketers” who refuse to work on commission because they know their efforts on your behalf is not worth a percentage of sales.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t care what you do. I’m just hoping new writers will consider ROI before paying money to sell their book.

If you know of any of these questionable enterprises, please do new writers a favor and note them in the comments.

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Literary Agents, publishing, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Submit Today!

Looking GlassHaving a short fiction to submit, I took a fresh look at what’s out there in the way of getting it in front of readers. Googling “current fiction publishers” returned the usual half-million results. But a site that noted “a full list of publishers accepting manuscripts directly from writers” had already done much of the work for me.
Here are two current (May, 2018) sources.

Free:
Erica Verrillo’s
https://PublishedToDeath.blogspot.com/p/calls-for-submissions.html
lists hundreds of markets. 217 Paying Markets for Short Stories, Poetry, Nonfiction; 36 Paying Markets for Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction; Speculative Fiction Magazines Accepting Submissions; 163 Literary Magazines Accepting Reprints; even a spreadsheet with 300 places to submit.
Erica also provides a list of Upcoming (June, 2018) Calls.

$5 per month
https://Duotrope.com/  currently lists 6,863 active fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and visual art publishers and agents. I chose Duotrope because they successfully helped the Writers Co-op advertise for story submissions for our upcoming anthology, The Rabbit Hole. That, and, paying for updated information implies a contractual obligation on their part to keep their information updated.

Researching publishers that are actively calling for submissions and submitting Happyaccording to my preferences and their guidelines is, well, a fun and hope-full part of this business.

 

If you will, please tell us in the Comments section how you find outlets for your work.

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