Business
Business

Narrowcasting and Newsletters

Originally, I intended to write about Newsletters as a thing, but realized as I sat down that I needed to back up a step and talk about what I think is the future of indie publishing. That turned into a whole series of thoughts on vocabulary—and you need a good solid grasp on words to understand how to work in this field—and I realized that I needed to start here. Broadcasting In the old days, everybody knew the term broadcasting. You transmitted a powerful radio signal that could be picked up at a significant distance by anybody with the right...

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Do I Really Need an ISBN Number?

Do you need an ISBN number to sell your book? This question comes up constantly. The answer is, unfortunately, it depends.  An ISBN number is a unique number, attached to a barcode, assigned to a book that identifies it for SKU systems for inventory tracking. If you want your book to be sold “wide” meaning that it’s available everywhere, you might need one. Maybe.  If you just want to sell your book on Amazon, they will provide a unique ISBN that only works on Amazon, and they won’t charge you anything for it.  If you want to sell your book...

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Market Report 4/3/24

I have updated all the business reports in the genre guides. Let’s look at the headlines. Top Tier Genres Mostly Steady Most of the top tier genres stayed steady with a few exceptions: YA Still Promising Though the young adult genre itself stayed steady, growth in many of the SF and fantasy subgenres continued or held. If you’re looking at writing any genre, check for a YA subgenre and consider whether your book could be marketed there. Indies Dominating Norse Legends Top 100 List Big sales for indies in a niche category with a usual floor of 1k. Look at...

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Using Vellum to Format Your Book

Though there are other tools out there, Vellum is simply the best we have found for formatting your book. Let’s walk through formatting your book using this excellent program. Start Up Start Vellum and pick either New Book or Import Word File I picked new book just to look at a clean interface before importing a Word document. You can write your whole book directly into Vellum, but it lacks robust editing tools, especially change tracking if you are having critiqued or working with a coauthor. Better to write your book in something else and then import it. There are...

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Email Lists

There is no other marketing tool as effective as a list of emails people have voluntarily given you. Besides the fact that it is proven out by every metric tested, it just makes sense: people gave you their email, so they are receptive to your pitch. They may even be anticipating it. Email lists have the greatest success rate of any other "advertising" and their cost-per-click? Absolutely free until you have at least 500 subscribers, at which point it is profitable to pay for the mailings you are doing.

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Anthologies: How to Create, Edit, and Publish an Anthology

What is an Anthology? Classically, there are two specific definitions you need to know about short fiction. A Collection is a group of stories, all by the same author. An Anthology, conversely, is a group of stories by a variety of different authors. We’re here to talk about the latter. Generally, an anthology has a central theme, around which all the authors involved have written. It might be sword and sorcery fantasy. Or hard-boiled private detectives. Or military science fiction. (I’ve owned and read all of those at one time or another.) Alternatively, it might be part of a “Year’s...

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The Indie Mindset

Let’s talk mindset. Many of you have come out of the Traditional Publishing (TradPub for short) world, either directly, or having been raised and trained to think that way. You see a specific career arc that you need to follow, in order to achieve success. Does this sound familiar? Start in short fiction, honing your craft at 5000-word stories until you think you have the ability to write a pretty good story for one of the periodicals in your genre. Then you start submitting them and to various open anthology calls until you start to achieve some level of success....

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Fantasy Trends and Opportunities, February ’24

Across all fantasy genres, and most of the other genres I've looked into, YA is growing, sometimes very rapidly. I think YA has finally taken hold in the indie ebook market, and I see great opportunity for growth. I think it might have taken a long time because despite YA having the biggest percentage of ebook readers in it compared to other genres...

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Breaking Down a Book Cover

If you've read any of the genre guides, you've seen my cover breakdowns. I take six covers off the bestseller list and break down their commonalities in elements, fonts, and overall structure. But I don't do it randomly. There's a system, and I'm going to outline it below so you can do it yourself in whatever subgenre you're writing in...

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