Essentials—Business
Essentials—Business

Why All the Genres?

I have run into a form of this question several times now since we have opened the site. People understand, of course, why we do all the genres, but they don’t understand why that is a good thing for them, in particular. “I write cozy mystery. Why do I care about a dark fantasy guide?” It’s actually a good question, with two answers. First of all, there is something to be learned from every genre. No matter what genre you write, you can write it better by borrowing aspects of other genres. I write primarily fantasy, but I studied thrillers...

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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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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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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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Simple Guide To Social Media Promotion

This isn’t as tough as you might think, we promise. Listed below are the basics to any social media campaign and the specifics to the major ones. Study them, find the ones that suit you, and become a social media maven. Two Steps to Social Media Success If you want to successfully use social media to promote your books, you must begin to use it as a tool — not for fun, not to troll, not to find someone who is wrong on the internet and scold them, but as a tool for finding readers and turning them into fans....

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Making an Amazon Ad 2: Reading the Data

In the first Making an Amazon Ad Essential, I showed you how to start an Amazon ad campaign by walking you through starting one myself. It’s been two months, so now we have data to look at. Here’s how it went. Week 1 When you view your ads, you can adjust what shows on the chart and what boxes are visible by exing out or clicking on the top boxes. I have it set to: I would normally not adjust an ad after only a week, but this ad was clearly not getting it done. 99 impressions is brutal. Also,...

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Formatting Your Book

Before you sell your book, you have to get it into a format that people can buy and read. This will be one of the few times I recommend you spend some money. Yes, there are free tools you can use. If you want to go the free route, I’d go to Kindlepreneur and get the free Word templates for the setup. Then, I’d go to Calibre and get their free software to convert those into eBooks. But this takes a lot of time and effort, and the results may still not be what you’re looking for. You could also...

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Publishing Your Book

In this Essential, I am going to walk you through the steps of publishing a book. We’re going to do it on Amazon, as it is the biggest platform, but the steps will be essentially the same wherever you choose to put your book out. Before You Begin Before you can publish your book, you’re going to need several things, all of which have an article or essential dedicated to them The Golden Rule The last thing you absolutely have to know before we publish your book is that you do not have to pay to publish your book. Amazon...

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Promotion Basics

I want to start out by saying I don’t believe promotion is more important than writing a good book. Nothing is more important than writing a good book. But if you want to sell that good book, there is nothing more important than promoting it well. The Promotion Box Promotion opportunities exist in a four variable box, as pictured below. There are successful authors who occupy all sections of this box. However, most authors begin in the bottom left corner and move through several stages until they are spending money as well as doing both online and in person activities....

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Launching a Book with Kickstarter

Is Kickstarter right for you and your book? For many independent authors, the answer is a resounding yes. Before we start talking about how to run your Kickstarter campaign, let’s figure out if it’s the right platform for you.  Kickstarter is most useful if you already have some social media reach or an email list. It doesn’t have to be huge, but having a little head start can make a big difference. You can run a successful Kickstarter without a big audience, but it’s a ton of work and for probably  a small reward. You don’t need a huge following...

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