Help Selling More Books – How to get a bunch of reviews

So, we all know that reviews are critical to a book’s success. The more reviews a book gets, the more action there is on the book’s Amazon Page, and the higher it appears in Amazon’s mysterious “search algorithms.” The rumor is that 20 reviews is a benchmark, and that after 20 reviews, the book gets a bump in discoverability in the Amazon search engine. The rumor continues that you get another bump at 50, and another bump at 100. I have no idea if this is true, because I don’t program search engines for Amazon’s site, and the people that […]

Help Selling More Books – Hootsuite 101 & Scheduled Posts

  This is a screen shot of my Hootsuite for a week. So I’ve mentioned before that I hold an unpopular opinion about social media; that it’s okay to use certain forms of social media as a billboard, just blasting “Buy my shit” tweets out there. For me, that medium is Twitter. I don’t really look at Twitter. I don’t really have time to dig through the hundreds of people I follow to see if there’s anything interesting, and usually they’ve got their Twitter set up to cross-post to Facebook anyway, and I can be snarky in long form there. […]

Help Selling More Books – Don’t Forget, it’s the long game.

You’ve heard me say it – write more shit. You’ve heard a lot of people say it – write more shit. You’ve heard people more famous and touchy than me say it – write more shit. But sometimes you might need to hear somebody say this, too – Slow the FUCK down! Last week I saw a guy post something to a FB group that I’m a member of about his new book being basically dead after 30 days, because it’s no longer “new” in Amazon’s algorithms, and should he make it permafree to bring in readers, or just ignore it […]

Help Selling More Books – More Con Survival Tips

Hey there! If you’re one of the new people who found me through Chris Fox linking to me, welcome. If you’re looking for more contentious debate, I think this week may disappoint. But if you’re looking to sell more books, particularly by hand at conventions, then hopefully this will help out. If you’ve been around here any length of time, you’ve probably seen me say that you usually won’t make your money back in the short term doing conventions. They’re part of the long game, rather than a quick ROI project. Conventions are about marketing, brand-building, and networking. Selling books […]

Help Selling More Books – The Write to Market Concept is Crap

So yeah, that’s a total clickbait headline. It’s also not true. But it kinda is. Like so many things, the concept of Write to Market has diverged from its original core values into a set of weird “truths” and market and career advice ideas that it has turned into a whole messianic movement. Let’s start with a basic question – What is “Write to Market?” Chris Fox, a successful midlist genre fiction author, wrote a series of books about how to be a successful author, focusing on many of the things that I tell new and aspiring writers to focus […]

Help Selling More Books – Multiple Buckets (or – why you’re not very bright if you aren’t doing audiobooks)

Sorry for the clickbaity headline, but I’d like to get some more traffic. 🙂 So yeah, really not a bit sorry. When I talk to writers nowadays, sometimes I’ll have the conversation with people about audiobooks that goes something like this – Writer – “Do you really make any money off audiobooks?” John – “It’s almost 20% of my annual income, so yeah, I make some money off audio.” Writer – “I don’t know anything about how to do it.” John – “I have the technical skills of a tree frog and the patience of a hummingbird on meth. You […]

How to Sell More Books – JK Publishing, Small Presses, and how not to get ripped off

I’m going to do something a little different on this week’s blog about selling books, and give y’all a cautionary tale (and maybe some links to more) and some tips on how to avoid getting ripped off by a crooked publisher, or some signs on how to tell that your publisher is in over their head and you might be in for some problems. This is spawned by the current arrest and charges filed against the owner of JK Publishing  in Colorado. According to this article and others I’ve seen, she is accused of defrauding authors of over $125,000 over […]

Help Selling More Books – Part 5 – What’s a Good Tweet?

Hey there! If you follow me on social media, you might have seen a few pre-written tweet and Facebook messages that come out from my account. You might actually have seen enough to make you dread the thought of ever hearing from me again. But obviously not, because now you’re here to read even more of my crap, so either something I’m doing is working, or there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. Or both. Be that as it may, I do post a LOT of tweets and pre-scheduled social media messages. There are a few reasons for this – If […]

Help Selling More Books – Part 4 – An Unpopular Opinion on Social Media

Let’s talk about social media, shall we? I know, you’re probably tired as fuck of hearing about social media. You’re either baffled by the idea of social media, because you don’t really do the technology thing, or you’re paralyzed by anxiety about social media, because you hate dealing with people and are terrified that someone might talk to you, or you’re annoyed with social media, because people like me keep telling you to use social media and you have no idea what is the right way to do it, and you wish someone would just tell you exactly what to […]

Help Selling More Books – Part 3 – Building an Email List – Incentivized Subscribers

Last time around, we talked about the two types of email list subscribers – incentivized subscribers and organic subscribers. Organic subscribers are the ones that come to you naturally, they are interested in you or your work, and they seek you out and sign up of their own free will. These are the unicorns of email list subscribers – they’re lovely, they’re beautiful, and may very well be mythical. Nah, not really. But while they are the best type of subscriber, they are also the toughest to acquire, and the ones that require the most effort to cultivate. They are […]