Advertising and Marketing

Is Kindle Unlimited worth it in 2023?

By: Ginger | Posted on September 22, 2023

While some authors publish wide across multiple online storefronts, there are a great many others that are exclusive to Amazon due to their KDP Select enrollment terms. As part of that enrollment, their books are available to readers with a Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscription, and the authors are paid per pages read from a common pool of money. But as KU Page Reads hit their lowest payout ever this past July, those same authors may be asking themselves “Is Kindle Unlimited worth it in 2023?”  That’s exactly the question that Ginger is looking to answer this week, as he examines the pros and cons of remaining in KU as the main benefit to authors continues to fall, month over month. There may not be a single answer that applies to everyone, but knowing the facts can help make an informed decision for anyone still on the fence, or simply deciding… Read More >

How to Create a Social Media Calendar

By: Ginger | Posted on August 25, 2023

Social media provides a HUGE opportunity for authors to connect with their readers – but where do you even begin using it to promote yourself? How often should you post, what should you write about, and how can you find the time to do it regularly? Those are questions we all struggle with, which is why Ginger has put together a quick guide to help. These tips are based on his own experience working with professionals and brands in developing their social media calendars and strategies. Our recent blog about how bestselling author Jack Carr connects with readers inspired several questions from authors wondering how to go about using their social media accounts more effectively. One of the most actionable strategies is to create a Social Media Calendar, which plans and prepares a whole bunch of posts which can go live automatically; removing the pressure of having to remember to… Read More >

How does Jack Carr connect so effectively with readers?

By: Ginger | Posted on August 11, 2023

Social media can be an incredibly useful way for authors to connect with their readers, but it’s an intimidating prospect for many self-published writers to even know where to get started. Many authors use social as an afterthought, simply as an (often unproductive) way to promote their latest project. Others, like Jack Carr, use social far more effectively, building an empire of loyal fans that are more than willing to happily buy whatever it is he promotes. How does Carr use social media to connect with hundreds of thousands of eager readers, and how has he quickly become one of the most impactful men’s fiction author of his generation? That’s exactly what Ginger is looking at in today’s blog, as he attempts to break it all down in a way that makes it easy for the rest of us to learn and improve on our own social game. Former Navy… Read More >

Designing books from the outside in

By: Ginger | Posted on July 28, 2023

One of the greatest pieces of writing advice authors rarely follow is: “Write the blurb before the book.” Why should we do that? Because blurbs condense the concept of a novel into a few short paragraphs – and focusing on the killer hook is what can deliver a book that leaves a lasting impression. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds which is why the advice is rarely followed, but this week Ginger is diving into the subject to help explain the concept and why it’s important that even if you don’t follow it to the letter, you can still benefit from the idea. Blurbs sell books. That little three-or-four paragraph “details” section on your Amazon Product Page is ultimately one of the most influential factors in whether or not a potential reader clicks Buy Now when they land on your book page. Your blurb can make all the… Read More >

What are the 5 most-funded Kickstarter books?

By: Ginger | Posted on July 7, 2023

Kickstarting books and publishing projects has been gaining popularity recently, as a means to offset the costs associated with self-publishing, especially for ambitious ventures and special editions. In fact, the popularity has grown so much that the publishing space has quickly become one of the top categories on Kickstarter.   Today, Ginger is looking at the five biggest Kickstarter publishing campaigns of all time, and trying to glean some insights and inspiration from what they’ve done.  However, it is important to keep in mind that these projects represent exceptional outliers, and their success seem more like lottery wins than the typical experience most authors will have.  Even so, Kickstarter offers a platform that many authors can use to reach their far more modest fundraising goals, allowing them to embark on innovative projects with minimal risk. The result can be financial rewards for the author, and unique experiences and non-traditional book formats for… Read More >

How can you refresh a Facebook ad campaign?

By: Ginger | Posted on June 30, 2023

As we’ve said many times in this space, advertising your book is an essential step in self-publishing success, but it is not something you can just set and forget. No matter how well your Facebook ad campaign performs initially, the sad and inevitable reality is that eventually, its performance will begin to decline. Since stubbornly letting a faltering ad continue to run is just a waste of money, you really need to monitor your campaigns for signs that your advertisements are getting stale and then take immediate action. The first step is determining the possible reasons for the decline of your ad’s performance, and then once you have an idea on that, you can figure out the best way to fix it. In today’s blog, Ginger has a number of suggestions on doing both of those things. The good news is that you don’t always have to pull a previously winning… Read More >

What can self-published authors learn from Barnes & Noble?

By: Ginger | Posted on June 16, 2023

Normally our learning series of articles is centered around other authors and what can be learned from them. Today, however, we’re looking at the recent moves made by brick and mortar bookstore Barnes & Noble. After unsuccessfully trying to compete head to head with Amazon, Barnes & Noble has taken a step back to focus on it’s core strengths and the factors that differentiate them from their largest competitor, as opposed to trying to compete on a playing field that is far from level. As Ginger explains below, authors can, and should, do the same thing. By focusing on your strengths, the customer experience and what makes you unique as a writer, you can stand out from the crowd and build up an audience that appreciates you for what it is you do best. This May, the third annual U.S. Book Show was hosted by the NYU School of Professional Studies… Read More >

Amazon Makes Huge Change to KDP Book Categories

By: Ginger | Posted on June 9, 2023

If you’re a self-published author relying on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform, you need to be aware of a recent change that can significantly impact your book’s visibility. The publishing giant has revised its category selection process, limiting authors to just three KDP book categories instead of the previous ten. While this simplifies the process and addresses abuse, it also raises concerns about your book getting lost among the vast sea of titles. As Ginger describes in his analysis below, there are a variety of implications to these changes and potential ways you may be impacted. Authors that don’t take action soon may find their existing books recategorized automatically, and leaving something that crucial to an algorithm or poorly trained rep is unlikely to do your career any favors. By proactively fixing them yourself, you’ll ensure you are placed in the best categories possible for your book, leading to maximum… Read More >

What 3 things can we learn from the Kindle Unlimited price hike?

By: Ginger | Posted on May 19, 2023

This May, Amazon announced the first Kindle Unlimited price increase since it’s inception, taking subscriptions from $9.99 a month to $11.99. What does this change mean, and will self-published authors benefit or be harmed? To answer these questions, Ginger delves into three key factors he believes led to this move. From the plateauing of KU subscriptions to Amazon’s strategic maneuvering against app transaction blockades, he explores what this means for your earnings and the competition within the program.  Having already disrupted the entire publishing industry in 2007 with the invention of the Kindle and the self-service Kindle Direct Publishing platform, Amazon took another swing at traditional publishing in 2014 with the launch of Kindle Unlimited. A monthly subscription service, Kindle Unlimited (KU) was essentially “Netflix for ebooks.” Subscribers are able to download unlimited books from the Kindle Unlimited library for one monthly fee, while authors who opt into the program… Read More >

Switch up your subject lines to improve your email open rates!

By: Ginger | Posted on April 28, 2023

Most self-published authors know the value of building a mailing list of fans that you can use for a variety of purposes, from finding reviewers to selling copies of your latest book. But in order to get those benefits, you first have to convince your subscribers to open the emails, which is not as easy as it sounds. Many consider just 20% to be a “good” open rate, and even that can be a struggle for some. There are a variety of factors that play into your open rate, but one of the most important is whether or not you’ve crafted a compelling subject line. Whether your subscribers click or not is often determined solely by that one line, which means it needs to be tough to ignore. As Ginger explains below, there are a variety of ways you can do this – from including one of the 15 most… Read More >