Sharpen your hook: Write a killer first page!

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Books that sell need a bunch of things.  Before a reader even looks at your content they are going to look for any reason to say “no.” It’s how our minds work—we are constantly asked to run a gauntlet of commercial interests trying to sell us every product under the sun… including your book. If you have a good cover and back blurb and haven’t priced your book into oblivion, only then will a potential reader look at your actual words on paper.

Following is an article on how to sharpen your first page: the single most critical piece of writing in your actual story. If your book is going to make it, the first chapter—especially your first page, has to be amazing. Continue reading Sharpen your hook: Write a killer first page!

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The Power of the Amazon Author Central

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One of the tools that authors easily overlook is the Amazon Author Central page. We often hear about the importance of establishing our brand, blogging, social media, and personal web presence and when we get to Author Central it’s easy to look at it and go, “meh, I’ve already got pages that do all that stuff.”

However, there are lots of critical reasons to engage with Author Central, and if you haven’t done anything at all with it, or have just used it to go through the motions (by adding your books and bio so readers can see the bare minimum about you) then you are missing out on some powerful features and leaving a lot on the table. Continue reading The Power of the Amazon Author Central

Mailing lists: what is this newsletter swap thing i keep seeing?

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I’ve been pretty keenly interested in getting better at promotions lately. To that end, I’ve enrolled in promo author-guru Mark Dawson’s SPF course and been working on his ads for authors package, especially the Facebook side of things. I’m working though it slow, and dealing with newsletter signups, etc.

I have a mailing list and I set up my triggers to auto-send mail every so often so that my system is in place… before I start spending money on ads, though, I have begun seeing lots of authors talk about newsletter swaps and looked into it. Continue reading Mailing lists: what is this newsletter swap thing i keep seeing?

Boxsets, book bundles, and collections, Oh, My

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Have you considered creating boxsets, bundles, or collections in order to move more digital books? These are different than anthologies (which I’ve participated in for a while, now. Anthologies are generally themed collections, whereas bundles might or might not be themed and come from a single author, or multiple authors and are usually created for one or more of  a variety of purposes. Here’s some of the reasoning that made me decide to create my own. Continue reading Boxsets, book bundles, and collections, Oh, My

The Secret Trick to Contacting Amazon or KDP Via Telephone

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It’s Christmas time, so I’m going to give away something that, in certain moments, will feel infinitely valuable: the way to contact Amazon via telephone. I had to fight a minotaur and purchase this info with a chest full of cursed Aztec gold. If a simple, 4-step method (to have you on the phone with Zon in 60 seconds) is the kind of thing you’ve been searching for, then read on!

Continue reading The Secret Trick to Contacting Amazon or KDP Via Telephone

The Importance of Digital File Size at KDP

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I recently ran across an author who was frustrated that she could not price her ebook at .99 and had reached out to ask why. After some looking around, it seems like there may have been a built-in safety tool to prevent Amazon from losing money based on their terms of service. If there’s anything that the almighty Zon hates, it’s losing money. Ultimately, it comes down to digital file size, and regardless of what anyone else says, size matters.

Continue reading The Importance of Digital File Size at KDP

Interview with Taran Matharu (The Summoner series)

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You may or may not have heard of Taran Matharu, but if you read YA Fantasy or use Wattpad at all, you’ve probably heard his story or about his stories. He found an audience via the social networking/writing website and used it as a platform to become a NY Times and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller! I thought he would be a great voice to hear from on this blog since he started with such independent, obscure roots and rose up to write a bestseller.

Continue reading Interview with Taran Matharu (The Summoner series)

Is KDP Rocket Worth the Investment? Guestblog by J.M. Butler

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You may have seen adverts for, or heard about, KDP Rocket. You might be wondering either what it’s used for, or if it’s worth the investment? I came across a discussion in one of my online writing groups and asked J.M. Butler to give me her thoughts as a skeptical user of the marketing software… Continue reading Is KDP Rocket Worth the Investment? Guestblog by J.M. Butler

Finding Time to Write

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I’ve entertained a lot of questions while hosting my writing workshop and participating in author’s panels. A lot of folks ask this one, “How do you find time to write?”

Bookbub recently posted an interview with an author whose advice echoes my own, and it’s certainly worth revisiting if you’ve ever had times when it finding moments to write seems impossible. Continue reading Finding Time to Write