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Guest Posts

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 https://play.google.com, 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 >

One Method to Beat Writer’s Block

By: Edita A. Petrick | Posted on August 7, 2020

Last week, Ginger wrote about some of the things that prevent an author from writing, and how to fix them.  But sometimes, even the most disciplined of us find that we just can’t put words to paper, even with those tips. Often it can be due to some sort of stress or change in your life, but no matter how hard you stare at that blank sheet and want to write, you just can’t force it to happen.  In severe cases of writer’s block like that, when you seem to have temporarily lost your voice – your ability to come up with your own words and lay them out coherently – you may need to start right back at square one.  It’s almost as if you’ve forgotten how, and need to be re-trained.  Well, today’s guest blogger, Edita Anne Petrick, may have just the way to do that.  To be… Read More >

Does genre matter? Writing something different may teach you something new.

By: J.E. Rowney | Posted on July 24, 2020

If you’re like most authors, you’ve likely picked a genre that you know or like the best and embraced it, rarely (if ever) writing outside of it for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps it’s because nothing else interests you, or because you’re afraid that your fans are only interested in reading that type of story from you.  But as guest post author J.E. Rowney points out, there is a lot to be learned from stepping outside your comfort zone. Even if it’s just as a small writing experiment instead of a full blown novel, spending time in an unfamiliar genre can make you a stronger writer even when you return back to the familiar. As my readers will know, I write in the chick-lit or women’s fiction genre. My books focus on friendships and relationships. These are the things that interest me. They are what I want to read about,… Read More >

Helping You Decide – Go Wide or Go KU?

By: Tracy Cooper-Posey | Posted on July 10, 2020

The debate about whether or not to self-publish exclusively to Amazon or go wide to other online distributors is a lively one, but the fact that the question is so controversial in the first place tells us one thing for sure: That there is no right answer that works for everyone. Unfortunately, this leaves many independent authors wondering how to make that very important decision.  That’s why we turned to author Tracy Cooper-Posey for advice.  Not only is she a successful author and blogger, but she has experience on both sides of the debate.  She’s not here to tell you which way is better, but rather to provide you with the criteria you need to consider in order to make the best decision for you and your career.  Wide V Kindle Unlimited:  Is there a more contentious issue out there these days? We’ve resolved, more or less, that advertising is… Read More >

Top 10 Tips to Going Wide

By: Erin Wright | Posted on June 26, 2020

We’ve been hearing from more and more authors lately that are cutting the cord, so to speak – stepping away from KU exclusivity for one reason or another in order to test the waters by “going wide”, which simply means selling their book across all (or most) of the digital storefronts instead of just Amazon. Erin Wright went wide back in 2016 and has never looked back, which is why she’s perfectly suited to provide you with the tips for how to change your way of Amazon-centric thinking and prepare to bring your work to a much wider audience. Howdy, y’all! *waving* I’m Erin Wright, a USA Today bestselling author. I write contemporary western romance, and am a dedicated wide author. Although I didn’t start out as a wide author, I quickly became one as Amazon went through one upheaval after another, stripping page reads from authors, shutting down accounts… Read More >

Writing Tips Worth Carrying Around

By: Stuart Thaman | Posted on February 28, 2020

If there’s one thing that the internet excels at, it’s spreading misleading or even false information. There is so much misinformation floating around that independent authors are often led down the wrong path even after they’ve done their best searching for the right one. Best-selling author Stuart Thaman spends a lot of his time advising authors via his own blog or the writing forums he helps moderate, and he was kind enough to put together a list of tips that correct many of the most popular misconceptions he’s heard.  While our blog has covered some of these in the past, it’s very useful to have them summed up so succinctly in a single post—and the addition of many points we haven’t yet covered makes this list worth reading not only for new authors, but more established ones as well.   I see a lot of the same mistakes being made everywhere…. Read More >