State of Writing

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I had a killer weekend and more than tripled my previous sales event record! I sold 173 books at #galaxycon minneapolis. It was a very good show–I did a little pre-release special and had paperbacks of 50 Shades of Worf available… a big box of them. Like the normal amount of books I sell total at a con. They sold out on day 1. I could have sold 100 copies or more and underestimated the response to my new humor book (now with more paperdoll action!)

I’m taking today off to focus on the writing that I didn’t do over the weekend and to relax a little. Now if I can just keep all the distractions away.

How one Indie Author sells 400-500 books at ComicCon

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If you’ve read some of my back articles, you know I’m a big fan of tabling at events to meet new readers and sell books. I’m also a fan of math… but I also really hate math—at least I hate algebra. I like the kind of math that helps me decide where my boundaries and expectations can be set. For example, I know that I generally make about $9-11 per book sold at a convention so I need to move about 15 books to break even on a table or booth that costs me $150. For small/mid-sized cons I typically sell about one book per 2-0.5% (I usually sell about 25 books per every 2,000-3,000 people in attendance. I could get a tighter average, but I don’t generally trust the accuracy of attendance numbers for cons that size—they tend to rely on table sales to stay afloat and want their headcounts to look good and feel they are “technically truthful” by counting folks twice if they enter, leave, and re-enter. They might also count vendors and con staff, etc.)

Knowing what you normally do is obviously beneficial. But so is knowing what could be possible. While I tend to sell about 30 at these sized events, I’ve doubled that figure almost 50% of the time (1 part increasing product, 1 part being good/getting better at cold sales, 1 part good product, 1 part great marketing materials.) I had a chance to chat with Lydia Sherrer on a Facebook Group we are both a part of. We do much of the same things, but she scaled up her efforts and hit where I’d like to get to with her sales booth. I’ll be giving it a run soon, but she lays out exactly how she sells hundreds of books at the conventions she does.

Check out her methods … Continue reading How one Indie Author sells 400-500 books at ComicCon

So you want to collaborate on book?

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Have you considered co-writing or jointly writing anything? It can be a great way to increase your reach by tapping the platforms and efforts of all writers involved.

Some of the biggest roadblocks to that are knowing how to split commissions and report sales, and the trust involved in such an effort. To top that off, it also creates increased tax and reporting obligations for whomever that is. There is an easy solution: a service called BundleRabbit.

Continue reading So you want to collaborate on book?

State of Writing

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Nanowrimo is coming up! And I’m deciding not to do it this year… I started early, instead. I’m trying to use my November focus to set a goal of finishing my second book in the Hidden Rings of Myrddin the Cambion series and I’m already half done as of last night. I’d also like to complete a detailed outline of Wolves of the Tesseract 3 before December so I can be plugging away at that book. I’ve got lots of time off between Nov/Dec so I expect things to go pretty well for my goals.

In other news, I’m working on a few other authory things as well. I have my biggest comiccon (in my homestate) of the year and expect to hit a new high-sales record for the third time this year, and I’m about to pay for my booth at the third largest convention in the US… I really don’t like traveling… but I do love selling books!

Cover Design Expectations and Buyer Triggers

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I know this used to post a weekly article for all you ravenous Indies… I’m still stockpiling data to write posts about, but I’m trying to complete so many WIPs at the moment that my blogging is taking a back seat… I did, however, participate in an online conversation about cover design in my writer’s circle and someone brought up this topic and shared a video I wanted to pass along.

Hopefully I will break some of  this down in the future with a detailed article. In the meanwhile, this video might give you much to think about as you design covers. Heck, you might consider redesigning your own titles. I know I relaunched with new covers at the beginning of the year while subconsciously doing some of what this video talks about (finding the common thread in like promo materials) and my sales doubled.

If you aren’t happy with your sales, even if you feel like your pitching at events/artist tables is solid, check the copywriting and the cover. Start with the cover, and then the writing. I bet sales improve with a pro-cover (even something picked up at Fiverr… it’s where I got all my new covers.)

 

State of Writing

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Very busy in my non-writing life, which is pretty normal for me, but I’ve been working on some things that have kept me from writing as much as I’d like. I’m throwing a little more attention at it now, leading up to November’s nanowrimo. I’m planning to complete The Gunslinger of Distaslias (book 2 of my Hidden Rings series) as my Nano entry. It’s pretty well outlined, along with the rest of the series which I hope to complete next year, but I need to get this one out of the way to stay on track for my writing timeline. I’m due to complete Wolves of the Tesseract 3 by the end of Feb.

Sidenote, I have two books scheduled to drop in November: my comedy and a thoughtful/nerdy devo book for my faith-based audience. I’ll post info about both over these next couple weeks, and promise to get a new info-blog up about some writing and marketing advice!

Increase Reviews with This Simple Trick

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The data is in: most humans are lazy. But you probably knew that already. Obviously, I mean other humans and not you… if you’re on my blog, you’ve already slain the procrastinary beast and written a whole book… a book that you need reviews for, but asking a reader to leave a review by navigating to amazon and typing in an overwhelming few letters, followed by the relentless scrolling to the review section followed by the seemingly endless finger movements required to type and submit “I liked it,” is just a bridge too far. Seriously, folks are lazy.

Only half a percent to a little more than one percent of readers typically leave reviews. Usually, you will need 500-1,000 sales to break out of that 5 review hole (before algorithms start to help out and many ad services have a 5 review minimum.) Here’s one trick I recently learned about to help increase reviews: create a direct link to your book’s review tool…

Continue reading Increase Reviews with This Simple Trick

State of Writing

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It’s been too long since I wrote a blog (almost a month now.) I promise it’s for a few good reasons. Firstly, my day job has been very busy. Secondly, my weekends have been packed with conventions. And thirdly, I’ve been pretty deep in edits and other book work.

Dekker’s Dozen 3 is in the bag and ready for ARC readers, Ashes of Ailushurai is still in progress, and Wolf of the Tesseract 3 is in prewriting (once the outline is done I hope to be in nanowrimo season, and plan to write my next Hidden Rings of Myrddin the Cambion). I’m also on the final edit of The Shadowless. I’ll probably share cover art soon.

The business side of the industry is also bogging me down. I’ve been reading books by different experts and looking for ways to take my writing to the next level. Hopefully that happens and soon!

State of Writing

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I’m half a dozen chapters deep on revisions for Dekker’s Dozen. I like to give it an initial revision right after completing a rough draft. It’s always interesting to see where i was initially going a different direction with things until the story presented something different/better. I find that an early revision while things fresh helps snip off frayed edges and loose ends like subplots that never developed or foreshadowing that isn’t quite right for how things actually turn out.

On the other side of the writing world (the less fun business/production side,) I have most of my cover art ready for Shadowless and I’m only waiting on art now for my comedy. I want to get banners for both and redo all of my graphics, etc.

This week, I’ll keep plodding along on these edits. I’m not pushing anything major at the moment–I’ll be at MN Renfest slingin paperbacks all weekend, so that will take a mental toll on me. Feel free to drop by for a visit!

State of Writing

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My blog has been a little more light than normal on content, I’ll admit. There are good reasons for that. I have been both finishing books as well as selling like a madman. I spent all of last weekend at the region’s largest renaissance festival selling books… and every weekend before that, too, for the last month or so. I did finish Dekker’s Dozen 3 and I am in the process of wrapping up final touches on several other books (cover art, editing, etc.)

This week, I’d like to work on an outline of my next story that I want to write this fall. I have lots of ideas, but I need to start whittling them down and focus on what story lines I must begin to tie up as I conclude a trilogy and close out one of my book series (while also injecting enough emphasis on another series that I’ll write that also takes place in this same universe).