An Early Mistake Comes Back to Haunt Me


Don’t be like me. Be smarter at the start of your author journey.

Actually, the fact that you’re here reading blogs like mine demonstrates that you are.

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How to hit the bestseller List


You may have heard about authors hitting a bestseller list helped launch the career or helped them make the millions of dollars. You might have also heard about all sorts of corruption, games, and loopholes or manipulation that people put upon the lists such as the New York Times bestseller list or the USA Today bestseller list.

Because of so many people taking advantage of certain rules and loopholes or exploiting the system (Lani Sarem’s attempt to cheat her way into the list with Handbook for Mortals is a famous one,) a lot of authors barely even bother with tracking the best seller’s list… however, it is something of a Write of Passage (see what I did there? Please don’t unfollow me.)

Nicholas Erik (an author I follow) writes much about the why and how over at his blog post here. But to sum it up, having a best selling book under your belt allows you to brag a little. And I really like bragging. But more importantly, it lends a certain amount of credibility to all your future titles and can open other doors for you as well.

It’s also not an impossible task for any author who knows how to leverage marketing results and knows how to plan ahead (do work.) Here is what you need to do to hit the bestsellers list…

Continue reading How to hit the bestseller List

Author Access, Value, and Thick Skin



I do a lot of conventions where I find other authors. At almost every show, if there are at least a half-dozen authors, at least one of them is charging too little for his or her books.

I know a lot of folks undercut themselves on pricing models. I had a friend who owned a coffee shop and ran it for years and years. He always felt he couldn’t increase prices because people would complain. But he had the best coffee around. When the local gas station raised prices on their coffee, people didn’t complain, they just paid an extra .30 for crappy coffee and went about their day. I think there’s an issue of access at play. My friend would would have to hear someone grumble.

As an author, we don’t like raising prices because we are going to hear about it. People have access to us—either from newsletter subscribers, social media, direct sales, or Goodreads/reviews on Amazon or elsewhere. The only answer for negative people is thick skin. Your book will not be a good fit for everyone and you could give it away and still get 1 star reviews—your books’ quality and salability have much less to do with price than authors realize.

But here’s the thing: Everyone is grumbling and all the time. It’s usually not something you can do anything about. You or I can’t change the fact that the cost of paper is rising, or that inflation is killing buying power.

But you can be out ahead of the trends with your pricing models…

Continue reading Author Access, Value, and Thick Skin

Indie Authors, want to sell books inside established retail chains? There are lots of opportunities! (part 1)

The internet really is a clickhole!

With having a new release coming out soon (a project that aims to help indie authors learn how to maximize their sales efforts and sell more books at live events) I stumbled onto a resource that authors might find interesting. There are a number of programs out there which will allow authors to set up a table and connect with readers, usually in order to sell books. Search my blog archives for programs within Barnes and Nobles and on how to do book signings. Plus, there are ways to set this up with Costco and other big box stores as well, although the process is very involved, enough that most authors simply don’t attempt to do it.

The program I just learned about takes care of all that for you, and provides tons of opportunity—click through to get details and see where it’s offered.

Continue reading Indie Authors, want to sell books inside established retail chains? There are lots of opportunities! (part 1)

Targeting Relevant Audiences For Book Events


I use Bookfunnel and StoryOrigin to arrange group promotions. Because I get lots of applicants to my promos (and I always verify share/click stats from applicants) I get to look at a lot of data and metrics. Minutes ago I looked at one author who had a good swap history with good clicks on her promos, except every other month she had certain promos returning 0 clicks. 30-50 clicks on everything else, and then goose-eggs.

Her subscribers didn’t want to click on certain kinds of promos. Which ones? Each of those promos were advertised as “All Genre” or “multi-genre” bundles. I know I never join these kinds of promotions. The targeting is all wrong. Authors think they are going to tap into some major lists of whale readers by putting their Urban Fantasy or Science Fiction in bundles alongside Reverse Harem and Christian Bible Study books.

But zero clicks. 0. Nada. Nothing. And that result is common. Readers know what they like and what they are looking for. Not all “cross-pollination” is worth spending your time on.

There’s a deep marketing principle to be learned here: don’t expect to harvest turnips in a bean field. It sounds super Zen, right? (I just made that up… but it’s totally true.) Readers aren’t known for making great leaps across genre lines. They cross when it’s convenient, interesting, or by fractional degrees. They also dislike endless scrolling to see if there is something that they do like in a giant mix of things. Ask yourself this, if you want to eat M&Ms do you buy a bag of trail mix and then spend the next fifteen minutes sorting out all the M&Ms or would you rather just buy a damn bag of M&Ms? I know… very Zen of me. Readers feel the same way, and so do paperback buyers.

Today, we’re talking about relevance and targeting your audience properly and why it’s important to know your audience. If you can nail this, two things will happen. 1) You’ll meet the needs of your readers and better connect with them. 2) You’ll make that glorious cheddar.

Continue reading Targeting Relevant Audiences For Book Events