Guest Posts

What I’ve learned after spending over $100k with Facebook Ads

By: Matt Holmes | Posted on January 13, 2023

We write a lot of articles about advertising your book on the various platforms, along with what we believe are best practices and the tips we’ve learned along the way. But when it comes right down to it, nothing beats hard data from the field. Matt Holmes has made a career out of helping authors with their advertising, starting with the Fantasy novels written by his wife. His ad spend tops six figures, which has provided him with a lot of data to draw conclusions about what works and what doesn’t.  After so much time and money spent advertising different books of different genres from a variety of authors, Matt has come up with a list of the five biggest lessons he’s learned about advertising self-published books on Facebook, and he’s sharing them with us today. Spending over $100,000 on anything is going to provide you with some HUGE lessons… Read More >

The Book Marketing Trio You Need to Succeed

By: Amy L. Bernstein | Posted on April 8, 2022

When it comes to sending out queries or even publishing, there are three challenging forms of book marketing copy that authors need to master. All three are essential, though they each serve a different purpose, but what they have in common is that they need to be compelling and to the point, without any wasted words, in order to capture the interest of their intended audiences as quickly as possible. Author Amy Bernstein has plenty of experience writing all three forms, and is here today to help explain when and where to use each one, as well as tips and best practices on writing them in the first place.  A Logline, Synopsis, and Flap Copy meet up at a writers’ conference (or a bar, if you’re in that mood). The Logline utters two sentences, then shuts up. The Synopsis blabs on and on indiscreetly, and the Flap Copy gets everyone’s… Read More >

How to rejoice over rejections

By: Deryn Pittar | Posted on September 10, 2021

This week, guest author Deryn Pittar is offering some advice on dealing with rejection and turning a potential negative into a positive. She’s referring specifically to when authors are rejected by traditional publishers after they have submitted their book, and what do when that happens. But at the core, much of this advice is centered around dealing with feedback and criticism of your work. After all, just because you self-publish doesn’t make you a stranger to these things. Whether it comes from beta readers, negative reviews, writing partners or uninterested publishers, writers need to have a thick skin when it comes to their work and be able to act on negative feedback when doing so may lead to an overall improvement of their story or characters.     Hands up if you have NOT BEEN bitterly disappointed when a rejection letter arrived in your inbox. Ah, I see there are… Read More >

How to Meet Other Writers

By: Gwyn GB | Posted on June 11, 2021

Last week we wrote about finding your audience tribe, and speaking directly to them when you write your book.  Equally important, but for different reasons, is the idea of finding your author tribe. That is, finding some small group of like-minded writers that you can rely on for support. Even at the best of times, writing is a lonely business, and the pandemic that looks to finally be coming to an end (knock on wood) has only served to amplify that problem. But now that things are finally starting to get back to normal, there is no better time to start looking for a group of people that share your passion for writing, understand what you’re going through, and provide the support and encouragement we all sometimes need.   So if you’re ready to start looking for your own tribe but unsure where to even begin, have no fear!  Bestselling crime… Read More >

Fiction Apps Can Increase Your Income

By: Krista Lakes | Posted on February 19, 2021

Most self-published authors sell their book on one or more of the traditional online eBook stores like Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc. Lately, however, a new option has emerged that is worth looking into, at least for those not tied to a long term exclusivity agreement. You may not have heard of Fiction Apps, or if you have, you may have brushed them off believing that they only exist to give books away for free and can’t be used to earn real money from your novels.  Times have changed, though, with new apps emerging and gaining popularity among both readers and silicon valley. NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Krista Lakes uses them, and she’s here to let us know why it’s time for authors to start taking these apps seriously, and what some of the options are. I think I’ll be experimenting with one of them in… Read More >

The Importance of a Strong Book Cover: A Case Study

By: D.F. Hart | Posted on January 8, 2021

We’ve published numerous blogs touting the importance of your cover when it comes to selling your book, but it’s often hard to give a concrete apples-to-apples example because the cover is rarely the only difference between two books. That is, if we looked at the great sales of Book A (with a strong cover) compared to the lower sales of Book B (with a weak cover), it would be impossible to argue that the cover was the sole defining factor. Maybe Book A also had a better blurb, or was written by an author with a stronger following, or was in a more popular genre or sub-genre. Any number of factors could be the cause.  So when D.F. Hart told me of her recent surge in sales after simply changing the covers on an existing series, I knew it was something that our author community would want to hear about…. Read More >

Amazon Exclusive vs Wide: A Case Study

By: Isabel Jolie | Posted on October 23, 2020

The case for going wide or remaining in KDP Select as an Amazon exclusive is fiercely debated, but at the end of the day there is likely no right answer that fits everyone. Like most things, it comes down to experimentation and doing your research. That’s the approach romance author Isabel Jolie took, and luckily for us she was willing to put together this blog breaking down her numbers and what she learned from her experimentation.   To KU or not to KU? It’s a question every author has at least considered and weighed. “Any romance author should do KU.” “KU is a no-brainer for a new author.” These are things I was told – repeatedly. I ultimately chose to go wide, but I did briefly test KU, and the following is what I experienced. Background I released my first book in January 2020. In September, I released my fourth… Read More >

Author Websites: The Whens, Whys and Hows

By: Virginie Carmichael | Posted on October 9, 2020

If you don’t already have an author website, you’ve probably heard or read someone, somewhere, saying you need one. What may not be as clear is why you need one. Or when you need one. Or where to go next if you do decide you actually should have one. That’s why we’ve turned to Virginie Carmichael for help. As someone who has made a business out of helping authors with their websites, Virginie has the answers to all these questions, and more.   Being a successful author is not for the faint of heart. It requires dedication, planning and making some mistakes along the way. You might have already set up a website, and just given up on it because it’s too much of a time suck to manage. Or maybe you haven’t slayed that beast yet, because it just seems too daunting. Or you might not even be sure if… Read More >

Choose an Email Marketing Service That Works for You

By: Annabeth Saryu | Posted on September 25, 2020

Most independent authors are well aware of the importance of a newsletter and the benefits of using a mailing list to handle it, but a quick google search will result in plenty of different email marketing services to choose from. Unfortunately, it’s not a one-size-fits-all sort of problem, since every author has different needs. Luckily, author Annabeth Saryu has already done a lot of research into what factors need to be considered, and she’s put it all together here to make it easier to determine how to pick the service that will work best for you.   Regardless of where an author is in their career, they eventually encounter a piece of universally accepted advice: build your mailing list. Your mailing list not only consists of your most avid readers, but if cultivated properly, also includes your most dedicated customers. While many experts on author marketing stress the value of… Read More >

Increase Book Sales with In-house Promotions

By: Erin Wright | Posted on August 14, 2020

One of the things that sets wide storefronts apart from Amazon is the hand-curated element to their sales. Unlike Amazon, where your placement in the store depends on how much you’re willing to spend on AMS ads, the promotion of books on all the other online storefronts is handled in a completely different way. Author and going-wide expert Erin Wright explains how to increase your book sales by getting featured in these in-house promotions. Here’s a run down of what you need to know for each of the major wide storefronts. GooglePlay GooglePlay is the easiest storefront to cover: They don’t do in-house promos, period. The books that are shown to a customer are 100% driven by algorithms. If I pull up, I’ll see a very different storefront than when you pull up the same URL. This means that more than any other wide storefront, it’s very important that… Read More >