Defining a winning strategy – update

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about defining a winning strategy. I laid out my ideas, and explained my thinking about pricing. I decided that today it was time for an update. (You can find the original post HERE if you haven’t read it.) Some of you eagle eyed readers may have noticed that – contrary to my last post – from 1st May the price of Only the Innocent and The Back Road both dropped to £0.99. You can check them both out by clicking the title links, but I thought I should explain what has happened. This is an intrinsic part of my strategy, and not a change of heart! I have to admit that after my last post, the temptation to drop the price of The Back Road to 99p did prove quite hard to resist, once I’d realised that only books that were

Do video book trailers work, and how do you make one?

I have been questioning the impact of video trailers on book sales for some time. I’ve seen some very good trailers – usually with specially shot video – and some very poor ones where scrolling text describes the whole story for seemingly endless minutes. I played around a bit with some utility apps that I had on my Mac (and I do love messing around with software), but I really didn’t know where to start. I checked out Animoto – a free app – but although it was quick and easy I didn’t really like the fact that I had no control at all, and with little more than the cover of my book to work with, it just didn’t seem to deliver – so I temporarily gave up. However, I was impressed with the impact that a good trailer could have when I went to one of S J

Killer tips for self-publishing by Mel Sherratt

I am sure many of you will have heard of Mel Sherratt, whose book Taunting the Dead was a bestseller in 2012. She’s a great supporter of other indie authors, so I have asked her to share some of her knowledge and experience with us all.  Since my novel, TAUNTING THE DEAD, became one of the top ten self-published Kindle bestsellers of 2012, I’m often asked how did I do it. The answer could be one of a few things: did I get lucky? Did I get noticed in some way? Did I have a marketing strategy? Did word of mouth take over once people started to read it? The answer is obviously the latter one – joking! In truth, it’s probably a bit of all of them. So I thought I’d share a few tips with you: 1. IMAGE IS EVERYTHING: Cover, cover, cover. Personally, I think covers are everything

3 Ways to “Automate” Your Social Media Efforts—And Why You Should

I’m delighted to welcome back a guest blogger, Nick Thacker, whose post earlier this year resulted in some interesting feedback. He has some great ideas here, many of which are new to me and I am already planning to try out.  “Automation” is a word that tends to invoke thoughts of iRobot-style post-apocalyptic societies, machine-versus-human world wars, and other disturbing concepts. It’s easy to see why: we’ve gone from an unplugged, eating-dinner-at-the-table family lifestyle to a smartphone-wielding, status-updating and Pinterest-crazed world. There are automated banks, door-to-door grocery delivery services, and machines that will eat your money and turn it into a hot and “fresh” hamburger. But that’s just one side of the argument. We can’t forget that all of this automation and the fast-paced society we now live in have given us some remarkable innovations as well—including marketing innovations for authors.

Guest Post : More Indie Author Marketing Tips from Sean Campbell

I came across a great blog recently at 90 Days Novel and immediately asked if one or both of the bloggers, Sean and Daniel Campbell would be interested in writing a guest post for other indie authors. They have some great perspectives on marketing, and they have been kind enough to share them here. I’ll hand you over to Sean … Hello all! I’m Sean, half of the duo behind 90daysnovel.com Rachel invited us to guest on her blog to share our thoughts on marketing for indie authors, and we thought that the best way to do this would be to put together an outline marketing plan showing step by step exactly what we would do when bringing a book to market.

The Only Thing You Need to Know about Marketing Online

GUEST POST BY NICK THACKER I am delighted to be able to welcome author Nick Thacker to add his thoughts on marketing. The more information and suggestions we glean from a wide variety of people, the more we are able to decide which approach to marketing works for us. The Only Thing You Need to Know about Marketing Online In the 1950s and before, “marketing” was a term that more accurately described bringing a product to a market, rather than bringing people to a product. The distinction is subtle, but it’s everything. As Seth Godin wrote in Permission Marketing and Purple Cow, it’s now “pull,” not “push.”  

Hitting the Amazon #1 Spot : The Marketing Plan

Killer Plan or Lady Luck Part III – The Marketing Plan The next post in this series was supposed to be on formatting. However, I have been persuaded to skip that bit for now, because there are lots of books and bits of advice out there that are probably much more detailed. What people want to know, I guess, is how I got to number one – not how I formatted the book! However, I will say this. The formatting of your book is seriously important. You need to look like a professional. A badly formatted book automatically shouts INDIE, and not in a good way. If you don’t know how to do this, I have already written a couple of posts here and here that will get you to the point where you are almost ready for Amazon, and you will at least have tidied your book in preparation

Guest post : Scott Hunter on Marketing your eBook

As promised when I started the series of “Killer Plan or Lady Luck?” I have asked other authors for their input and to let us know what they did to become a best seller. Today’s guest is Scott Hunter who writes thrillers – historical and contemporary. His eBook, ‘The Trespass’ is an Amazon bestseller. His website is at http://www.scott-hunter.net It’s very interesting to me to check out the commonality between his comments and mine. And, of course, where we differ. Both are important, and I hope you pick up some good tips reading his thoughts. Bear in mind that some of Scott’s comments refer to a printed version of the book, not an ebook, and he is clearly British – so some of the store references relate to the UK only. But the vast majority of his thoughts are appropriate to any format and any country. So, you want to

New series : Hitting the Amazon #1 Spot – A Killer Plan, or Lady Luck?

Part I : WHY AM I BLOGGING ABOUT THIS? Since reaching the coveted number 1 spot in the Amazon charts, I have been asked on an almost hourly basis for tips by other indie authors. I have tried to respond to these, but it occurred to me that the best thing that I could do would be to create a whole series of blog posts on the subject, and try to get feedback from other authors too. Can I start by saying that I am not an expert in any of the fields that will be discussed. I am an amateur in every sense of the word. So I will be talking about the process that I went through – without any guarantees and in the sure knowledge that there are people out there who know more than I do about each and every step in this journey. I will

Marketing your ebook : what about a press release?

Yesterday I published my first ever press release. I thought I had something to shout about – but I had no idea how to go about it, and I wasn’t prepared. This seems to have been the story of my life with e-publishing! This week, I am going to write a blog post on everything that I learned in 24 hours about how to write and distribute a press release without it costing a fortune (it cost me £15). And I will include what I should have already prepared – so that you can all get ready for good news, whether that be the launch of your first book, reaching the top in your category, or any other newsworthy item. You may not get picked up by the Times – but even a mention in a local paper is worth it whilst you build your brand. So for now –