Low, launching a mystery series set in Singapore; Pinkaboos: Bitterly and the Giant Problem by Jake and Laura Gosselin, in which students at Fright School learn how to enter the dreams of human girls and teach them to overcome their nightmares; Scribble Squad in the Weird Weird West by Donald Ross, following four friends who fall into the world of their own painting; and Adventures of Kung Fu Robot by Jason Bays, featuring the arch-nemesis of Kung Pow Chicken.
Arbordale forms a fall bond with Magnetic Magic by Terry Catasus, illus. Maas, the penultimate book of the fantasy series starring assassin queen Aelin; Stealing Snow by Danielle Page, a twist on The Snow Queen ; The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles, kicking off a star-crossed romance series in which soul mates struggle to be together; and Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos, a tragicomedy about a family whose dying father has auctioned off his life on eBay.
Gregory Christie, showcasing the stories of 13 African-Americans who played significant roles on both sides of the American Revolution. Candlewick Entertainment ushers in fall with the following media tie-in titles: Switch Press flies high with Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith, a fantasy in which two closely bonded girls are torn apart to different fates when they enter the labyrinth; and Nice Girls Endure by Chris Struyk-Bonn, in which an overweight teen struggles with anxiety, depression, and bullies as she discovers the courage to declare her own beauty and self-worth. Charlesbridge tunes up with Esquivel!
Christmas Tree by Holly Berry-Byrd, a peek at the many types of Christmas trees Santa sees on his travels around the world. Feliz Navidad , A Twisted Tale: Hyperion Books is on watch with Hunter Book 2: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer. DK builds a list with Lego , a title that allows readers to use a random-number generator embedded in the cover to choose a project; Children Just Like Me , in which more than 40 children from around the globe introduce aspects of their lives, including their families, favorite foods, and activities; Find Out!
Volcanoes , one of six page volumes launching of a visual reference series; Super Cool Tech , a guide to new technologies like 3-D printed cars and smart appliances; and My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things , which includes chapters on the human body, transportation and space. Eerdmans ponders the season with Why Am I Here? Free Spirit unplugs with Ollie Outside: Screen-Free Fun by Michael Oberschneider, illus. Graphic Arts Books stays afloat for Chasing at the Surface by Sharon Mentyka, a debut middle-grade novel featuring a girl who saves a pod of whales; Sojo by Pam Flowers, illus.
High Stakes Cattle Drive by Bryn Fleming, the third adventure about savvy ranch kids who save animals. Nelson, in which a girl buys a peacock to be the king of her bird collection; The Moon Inside by Sandra Feder, illus. HarperTeen is seeing double with Replica by Lauren Oliver, a novel containing two closely related stories that explore issues of individuality, identity, and humanity; Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, featuring triplets, each with her own magic, who were separated at birth and meet again on their 16th birthday to fight for the throne; Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley, sequel to the fantasy novel Magonia ; Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally, a YA debut about the daughter of ex-rock stars finding her own voice during a summer in New York; and A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray, which closes out the Firebird trilogy.
Arnold, which kicks off a chapter book series featuring Bixby Alexander Tam, otherwise known as Bat. The Story of E. Kane Miller shows its work with This Is Not a Math Book by Anna Weltman, a drawing book featuring patterns with a mathematical design; the Impossible Quest series by Kate Forsyth simultaneously releases five fantasy novels about four children trying to save their families and their kingdom; Kooky Crumbs by J.
Behern, one of six simultaneously released volumes in the Atlas of Cursed Places series about trapped students; At the Center by Patrick Jones, launching the four-volume Bounce series about high-school basketball players and their challenges on and off the court; and Fire and Ice: Millbrook calculates its fall list with Mind-Boggling Numbers: Math for the Curious by Michael J. Poppy welcomes fall with Cloudwish by Fiona Wood, in which the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants juggles her two identities: Martin with Annie Parnell, illus.
Imprint packs its bags for Tomo Explores the World by Trevor Lai, starring a clever boy who sets out from his fishing village on a quest with the help of his friend, his dog, and his own unique inventions; The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia, a romance between perfect girl Frankie and street racer Marco; The Ones by Daniel Sweren-Becker, a debut thriller set in the near future where genetically engineered teens must fight for their rights; Disaster Diaries: When you're one with Source Energy, your "vibe" lines up with the vibration of "The Universe," a proper noun equivalent to All existing matter and space?
It certainly didn't seem like the last one, but I could be wrong. In any case, I have a hard time believing that The Universe is just waiting for me to meditate a little while longer before I can finally get everything I deserve in life. So maybe I'm just too science-minded to buy into this kind of stuff. But I still think any self-help book, even one marketed toward people of faith should provide I would like to agree with the reviewer who pointed out that one section of the book if not more could be EXTREMELY triggering to someone with depression or mental illness in general, so please avoid this book if that might include you.
The author's mentality seems to be the classic, "Well, why don't you just stop being depressed? That mentality persists throughout: Don't have any friends? Don't have a job? Now for a positive bit. One extra star is for the author's humor and honesty. I found myself enjoying interjections of the author's life story along with the stories of her friends and acquaintances. She's certainly found her own voice and it does shine through. In fact, because of the tone of the book, I was able to ignore the parts I could not connect with And here's that last star.
I needed a bit of a pep talk. At times depending on the chapter and the day of the week this helped me. It was like meeting up with an old friend who's doing way better than you in life. She's a bit annoying, but sometimes it's just enough to give you a little kick in the rear that sets you in motion. You'll probably never go get lunch with Jen Sincero again because, er, "I'm just so busy this month! For me, it was this: And, long story short, I'm applying for another Master's.
Let's totally meet for coffee in a couple months! I'll check my schedule! Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I have to commend Jen Sincero for putting her on spin on the whole LOA thing and making some money off it, or at least making some money off me. Because no one forced me to buy this book. Following one of the main points of this book, I take full responsibility for wasting time and money on reading this pile of hoo-hah. This book was barely tolerable. Any good advice she had seemed to come from other sources which went uncredited. She writes about a black and white world in which people either suck or are awesome and attributes it to mystical energy in the universe.
Her argument is entirely dualistic, and therefore easy to poke holes in. Her content is scattered with very little follow through. She correlates depression with laziness. See all 3, reviews. See all customer images. Most recent customer reviews. Published 10 hours ago.
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Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. The goal of a good group promotion is to combine many smaller audiences into one massive audience so that everybody wins, thus introducing you to other audiences who might like your work and introducing the other participants to yours. This allows all the audience to co-pollinate and grow. You might be protective of your audience and not want to share them with other people, but I promise you that fans appreciate when you introduce them to new, interesting products.
In fact, they tend to like you more when you share cool things with them and strengthen their bond with you. Group promotions made my career. Viral giveaways built my audience, but group promotions have allowed me to make writing my fulltime career. Another way to massively increase your audience quickly is through tabling at conventions. Now, conventions can be a big-time investment since you need to pay for products and table space, but there is nothing like meeting your fans face to face to convince them that your products are worth buying.
Personal interaction is the quickest way to bridge the gap between prospect and fan. The more personal connection you have with a potential customer, the more likely they are to like you, and thus buy from you. To cut down costs, look for local shops who might be interested in having you come in to do product demonstrations, talks, or signings.
People love to meet local craftspeople, and many shops specialize in local products and will offer you a free table if you ask, in return for a percentage of your sales. If you sell services, look for local meet-ups that might benefit from hearing from you. Other cheap options for conventions are flea markets, swap meets, and art walks. These might have a small cost, or even offer you a table for free. However, you can also split your cost with multiple craftspeople to drop the investment even lower.
The key to a convention is that you must talk to the customers who pass by your table.
- What is an audience??
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That is the key to success at conventions, and to building your audience. This type of engagement will not only build your audience rapidly but most of the people you add to your email list will be buyers, which are the most valuable type of people to have on your list. If you want a more personal touch than a group giveaway, you can look for creators to do newsletter swaps with who have similar audiences to yours. However, even doing a swap with somebody that has a couple hundred people on their list will help build your brand.
If you implement the other strategies mentioned above along with seeking out newsletter swaps, you can start arranging bigger and more powerful swaps with more influential lists as your audience grows. Additionally, there are things you can do to make newsletter swaps more appealing to bigger and more influential lists.
You can reach out to creators who have similar or bigger audiences than you on any platform and it will operate in a similar way. Just know, that most creators you reach out to will ignore you, but a few will say yes. If you ask enough, you can create a lot of buzz with a small group of influencers who can help you build your audience. Take our free day course and learn how to build a better creative business…starting today. One of the coolest things you can do to grow your audience quickly is a group takeover.
Most creators have a Facebook group or membership community where their most engaged fans hang out. You can offer sneak peaks of your work, giveaways, or just answer questions about a topic. This is a really cool way to get new fans and start building your own community. Every group takeover is different, but if you do it right both you and the creator win because they are introducing you as a new cool thing their audience should get behind, and you are able to provide value to their group in return.
There you have it, 5 ways to rapidly build your audience without spending a lot of money. Just remember, the more money you can spend on audience building, the more you can get out of these strategies, but if you have more time than money you can build a little more slowly but still get amazing returns. The biggest thing you can do is start now. You are going to suck at doing it at first, but the more you do it, the better you will get.
Please, do not let being crappy prevent you from moving forward. People are much more forgiving than you give them credit for, and appreciate seeing the growing pains because it humanizes you. Learn how to sell more of your work without feeling gross about it…in less than 20 minutes. One of the biggest mistakes young writers make is getting into a terrible contract they can never leave.
More than one person has sent me a contract in which they signed away the rights to their book for less than it cost them to make the book in the first place. You have poured your blood, sweat, and tears into a book. You were so excited to finally be able to get the book out there…and in doing so signed away the rights to the publishing company. This actually happened to somebody I know. I would much rather have you self-publish your book and reap all the profits. However, since many of you want a publisher the least I can do is give you some tips on what to look for in a contract.
Before I get started I want to emphasize this:. This is advice from somebody who has dealt with a lot of contracts, but I always consult with a lawyer before signing a contract, or before sending out a contract for signature. If you decide not to hire a lawyer, that is on you, not me.
Now we can get on with the good stuff. There is a big difference between gross receipts and net profits. Net profits mean the remainder left after the publisher has taken out all expenses. The publisher gets to recoup their printing costs, marketing costs, distribution costs, editing costs, and just about any cost imaginable before you see any money.
Net profits is a bad deal for creators. If you must take a net profit deal, make sure it is accompanied by an upfront payment equal to or greater than the cost it took to make the book because otherwise, you will never see a dime. Publishers are very good at manipulating the accounting so that every book looks like it loses money on paper. Gross receipts, which is what Wannabe Press and most traditional book publishers give, is what you want. Gross receipts come off the top of the amount made. Even better than gross receipts is a percentage of cover price. That means no matter what the publisher sells the book for, you get the same amount.
It is uncommon to get this deal nowadays, but if you can get it then the accounting becomes very easy. You check the units sold and simply multiply by whatever percentage you agreed upon in the contract. Many publishers will put something like this in a contract. In this scenario, the publisher owns the book. That means they can sell the book to other companies and make changes to the book without your permission.
Most publishing deals should last years maximum, and then you will get the right back, at which time you can look for another publisher. However, if you sign over IP rights, which is the rights to the underlying intellectual property, then your publisher will own a piece of that project FOREVER, even if you take it to another publisher.
A publisher should only be interested in publishing rights to a project, not intellectual property rights. This is becoming rarer as publishers start to see the value of IP, but a publisher should be able to make a profit and stay in business from book sales alone. If they insist on some ownership, tell them that if they bring a deal to the table, then they can be compensated as a producer would on a movie project.
However, the underlying IP rests solely with you. A good barometer is 25 books per month over a three-month window. If your publisher does not sell that many copies over EACH quarter, then the book is considered out of print and the rights immediately revert back to you. Getting a book onto a publishing slate is hard work. However, if a publisher sits on a book for more than 18 months they never intend to publish it and you should be able to get the rights back. Finally, you want to make sure that no matter what all rights revert back to you after a specific time, hopefully within years.
After that time, a publisher can sell any remaining copies in their warehouse, but you are allowed to again shop around the book. This means that when the book reverts back to you, the existing publisher would have to bid to keep the rights as well, allowing you to make more money on the book than if the original publisher held onto it forever.
Publishers are sneaky fuckers, and they love to slip shit in that will fuck you as an author. The non-compete clause is the perfect example. A non-compete clause is meant to cover a publisher and make sure that you are not directly competing with their book by putting out your own book, or putting out a book with a competing publisher.
Now, this is pretty widely understood to be illegal and unenforceable, but do you really want to go to court and roll the dice? No, of course not. So look carefully at your non-compete clause. While you are at it, comb over the limit of liability clause and look for any non-standard language, especially if in the clause it promises that this will be the next book you release. If you see something like that, run, because it means you could be prevented from releasing another book for years. In our contracts, I very clearly define that a creator can create exclusive prints and other materials as long as they are in limited quantities and they do not engage a distributor.
The only thing the contract forbids is making and reproduction of the work. This gives the creator the ability to at least make money doing exclusives at their table. You will be making money tabling at shows and in person. You want to make sure that falls within the purview of the contract. Carving out the contract in this manner makes it very clear what can and cannot be done by all the parties involved. This is the essence of a good contract. You should be able to take the contract to a lawyer and have them easily be able to interpret what is meant by each clause.
Ambiguity is your enemy. At the end of the day, your name is on your work, so you want to make sure you can approve the licensing deals your publisher negotiates, and that you get a piece of the licensing commensurate with your part in the process. You created the work, so you should get a large portion of the licensing monies. Do not allow publishers to make licensing deals without your knowledge. Yearly audits are a general rule in business when you make a deal. When you sign away your book, this is a business deal.
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You cannot expect the publisher to be honest with you about sales, and even if they are you have the right to make sure they are paying you fairly. However, you should also include a penalty to the publisher should they not pay on time. Publishers know you will most likely not take them to court. However, if they see the money piling up from late fees then they will be more likely to pay you.
When a company owns the publishing rights to your books, they usually include a provision that allows them to sell the publishing rights to another company without your approval. This is called assignment and is included as a provision so that a publisher can negotiate with foreign publishers, paperback publishers, and other publishers so that they can get more exposure for your book. I have seen instances where publishers are sold, resold, and resold again and again until its impossible to track who owns the rights to a book anymore, and that means either the writer has to fight tooth and nail to recover their book or they have to abandon it into the ether.
To prevent this, make sure you have a no assignment clause in your contract, which means a publisher cannot assign the rights to anybody else without your permission. Additionally, make sure if the publishing company is sold, disbands, or goes bankrupt that you recover the rights to your book immediately. I so often see artists that sign contracts without reading them, and then complain that the contract is unfair. Of course, the contract is unfair. The publisher is out for their best interests.
You have to be out for your best interests. For me, there is no better way to tell the true character of a company than to negotiate with them. It tells you everything you need to know about their professionalism, ability to collaborate, and how much they value your work. There is no harm in asking. A contract is a negotiation. If they are not willing to negotiate, then move on. Take our free day course and find out how to build a better business and have more leverage with publishers…today.
So, how am I able to have such success on a platform that people have been telling me for years is dead? Some of them are things you can implement today. Others are mindset shifts in the way you think about the platform and social media in general. However, I am very sure that these same tactics will work, though slightly tweaked, on any social media platform. You might have to change the names of some of the terms, but most platforms take their cues from Facebook, so you should be able to work these lessons into any system.
I hope you get something out of this, and it gets you thinking about social media in a new way—namely, a more productive way. The first thing you need to know is that there are no true social media platforms anymore. If you are not showing posts the algorithm deems relevant and interesting aka things that get liked and clicked a lot then you are not going to be shown very often in other social media feeds.
And right there is the trick. You must please the algorithm too. Posting now takes a lot of thought. The good news is that algorithms are all based on machine learning, and machine learning can be tricked, because machines, as smart as they are, do not have any higher brain functions. They are programmed by humans and thus have flaws.
Given the right tricks and tools, you can fool the machine. After all, the algorithm is there to protect the interactions people have with each other—and that should be your goal too. The better an experience you can give users, the more positively they will think of your brand—and your content—and the better opinion they will have on you.
Take our free day course and find out how to make a better business today! Social media platforms have rules baked into their system. The percentage changes across platforms, but the basic premise is that a platform will show your post to a small percentage of your audience. If enough of those people like and comment on it, the algorithm will show the post to a lot more people, and if those people like and comment then they will, show it to even more people until eventually it is disseminated to the biggest audience possible.
A big caveat here is Facebook Pages. Facebook intentionally suppresses the reach of Pages because it wants businesses to pay for that reach. However, on most other platforms, and with both your personal Facebook Pages and Groups this ratio is still true. For instance, Reddit uses the engagement in the first hour of a post to let them know whether to put a post on the front page or post it to the top of a subreddit, where the posts will take off and get thousands of upvotes.
This is specifically for Facebook, but it is applicable to every platform. It would do a disservice to their brand if I liked their page. These are nothing but vanity likes. The same goes for groups. You should focus on building a group filled with people that have similar interests, not one that has thousands of people in it.
If you do that, then you will get great engagement and the algorithm will show you to more people, naturally boosting your engagement. Social media platforms choose who to initially show your post to by analyzing the people that engage with your brand most often. This means that if you share a ton of cat videos, the people who are clicking on your cat videos are the same ones Facebook is going to show links to your Youtube videos, blog posts, or product pages.
This is not a good thing because while there may be people who ARE interested in those links, they are probably not the same people who click on all those cute videos. Maybe, but not likely, and certainly not in large numbers. To combat that, you want to ask a lot of questions to people before you drop links to your page and make sure those questions are relevant to people who DO like yoga. Questions are a great way to get to know your audience and boost the engagement on your page while priming the right audience to get fed your links.
This shows Facebook that my group is full of highly engaged members. Additionally, it brings people back into the group and makes sure they are ready when I drop a link. Thus, when I send them links they get a good reaction. Most creators post the same image and link up to a dozen times a day. Doing that quickly burns out their audience and makes them tune out to the message, even if they would normally be interested in the product offered.
They are ALWAYS changing up their promotions and their ads, even though they are a multinational company with massive brand recognition because they know that people become numb when they see the same imagery over and over again. Without new imagery and messaging, your promotions will become white noise as well. However, if you constantly change up the imagery and types of promotions you run, then people will never get bored hearing from you. You see, people WANT to hear from you, but you must give them a new reason to tune in.
People generally need to hear your messaging different ways before they buy. If you keep changing up your imagery and your promotions throughout the year, you will start to see your message sink in and your engagement increase. This should lead to more sales as you fine tune this message to better activate your audience over time. Therefore, if you make the same post three times and each one gets three reactions, that is significantly worse that one post with nine reactions.
One post with better engagement will be seen by more people than three different posts with meager engagement. Read the first chapter of my new book and start growing your creative business today. After you create a post, dedicate an hour to answering questions and responding to everybody who comments. That first hour is critical to the success of your post. If you want to improve your engagement, ask follow-up questions to people who have commented on your post to get them to reply to those comments with more information. When you are done answering all the initial messages for your post, let the post sit for several hours to gather more comments.
However, it is important that you come back every hours to answer all lingering comments again. This will re-engage the algorithm and tell it to show your post to new people, or reshow it to old people who did not comment. People who already commented will also get a notification in their newsfeed to tell them that the conversation is continuing on your post and give them a reason to re-engage, thus pushing your post to even more users.
Keep asking questions in the comments to stir the conversation. People cannot help but answer questions. The worst advice you can receive about social media is that you must be on every platform. That is ridiculous and myopic.
Creators only have so much time in their day, and they should be spending a lot of time creating things. Trying to build out and maintain a hundred different platforms is exhausting and time-consuming. It splits your brain power and prevents you from taking the time necessary to dominate any one platform—and that is the key. If you are going to be on a platform, you need to go all in and dominate on that platform. You need to make sure you know every trick and can utilize everything that platform can offer, otherwise you are wasting your time.
Because there are always people who will dominate a platform and take the time to learn every trick. I am not saying that. Different platforms have different strengths and thus attract users for different reasons. You need to know who uses your platform and for what reason before you can effectively add your voice to the mix.
You should be hyper-focused on getting people OFF social media platforms and onto your newsletter. Then, you can use social media as a means to:. Any other use of social media is a waste of time. Your newsletter is the biggest ROI positive piece of your business. It is where people will buy even if they follow you on multiple social media outlets. It is also the only way where you own the means of communication with your audience. On every other social media platform, the platform owns the means of communication. However, once you get an email address, you now have a means of communicating with people directly.
One thing that is very popular with creators these days is to form social media pods. Pods are a way for groups of creators to band together to like, share, and comment on posts within the first hour of it going live. A pod is usually a Facebook group chat—though it can be anything with group chat functionality—where people will share their new post. Then the pod is expected to all go to the post and engage with it ASAP. However, social media platforms have gotten wise to this over the years and are now suspicious when a new post gets tons of engagement immediately.
Developers have written code into their algorithm that prevents pods from being as effective as they once were, so proceed with caution. So, there you have it. If you follow these tips, tricks, and hacks, you will be on your way to making Facebook—and the rest of social media—work for you. Is anything I said revolutionary in any way? Take our free day course and learn what you need to hypercharge your creative journey and move to the next level!
A couple of months ago, I wrote an in-depth article about how to land a book publishing deal , and I got a flood of questions from people asking about how to achieve success as a self-published author. I think you should read that article and this one together, and much of the social media building in that article is relevant to this one. Since I have been a self-published author for years and a full-time self-published author since , I think I am qualified to answer this question. Now, the question becomes can you make it as a self-published author without following this strategy?
There is no one path to success. However, my job in this article is to show you the commonalities between lots of self-published authors and what they have in common, so you can use them for your own success. However, when taken as a whole, this is the most common way that most self-published authors have built their career.
This article is not meant to bum you out. That is not my intention. My goal for this article is to give you a blueprint, just like an architect hands a foreman the blueprint for a house. I believe you have the tools and the knowledge. Anybody, and I mean anybody, that works hard enough can make it as a self-published author. I truly believe that. However, the keys to the castle have been guarded for a long time. That is my goal with this article. To give you the keys to the castle so you can unlock every piece of potential you already have.
This will be harder than you ever thought possible, and you will have to go through hell to get there. However, you will come out the other side a warrior, forged in fire, and made of steel. The most important thing that self-published authors have is a backlist of books. This is because most self-published authors make the bulk of their money on their backlist. The backlist are the books which are not being released right now those are frontlist books , but that they have released in the past. This is not hard math, but it is math.
Want to sell more of your work?
They are relying on something called sell-through to make money. Watch this minute video and learn how to sell better without feeling gross about it. Sell through is the percentage of people who will finish one book and then continue to buy other books in the series. Numbers vary, but a standard sell-through percentage looks like this:. The number of total buyers drops off after each book, which means that you need to have a lot of people buying book one so that enough people read through the rest of your collection to make a decent profit.
Using the metrics above, your sell-through readership would look like this. That means that if you have people buy your first book, you should see people buy your fifth book. How much money would that net you? What do those revenue numbers look like? Now I know what you are thinking. Well, this is where marketing comes in, and why people often offer discount or free books to people through Facebook ads and other mailing list services like Bookbub.
However, once you have books in a series, then you can start running ads to the first book in your series and stop losing money on your ads. Sell through is the most important metric you have when determining your marketing budget. Without it, you are shooting in the dark. To test your sell-through, you would first need a series of at least 3 books. Then, you can log onto your KDP dashboard or Bookreport if you have it and see how many buyers bought book 1, and then how many bought book 2 about a month later, and how many of those bought book 3. Back matter content is the information in the back of the book, found in the pages after the book is over.
Most people end their book, give a short acknowledgement, and then leave it there, but back matter content is one of the most important parts for marketing your book. Effective book marketers utilize back matter to drive people to their mailing list, give extra details about the book and themselves, and, most importantly, give a preview to the next book in the series to help convince readers to buy the next thing.
If you are having poor sell-through now. It might not be the book at all.
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It might simply be poor utilization of your back matter content. If you use it correctly, it should drive people to your next book. The first thing I will caution is not to have 20 books written in the same series—writing in the same world is fine, but not the same specific series. Because fans burn out on one series. More importantly, advertising one series will cause fatigue with the people seeing your ads.
If you keep promoting the same series for a year, eventually you are going to exhaust all the potential buyers and your ad costs will skyrocket. This allows you to get all the sell-through of a series without having to worry about burning out the same readers. However, each of your series should interlock together with weak bonds and strong bonds, and you can drive people to other series through utilizing your back matter content.
Download the first chapter of my new book and learn how to create the best work of your life, today. A bond is something that connects one book to another book and one series to another. A weak bond might be that your new series takes place on the same planet as your previous series, or in the same town. A strong bond might be that your new protagonist is the brother of the main character in the previous series. Using these weak bonds and strong bonds help bridge series together, and give readers a reason to keep digging deeper into your universe.
Because once somebody finishes one series, then some of them will migrate over to your other series to find more information about the world. The nice thing is that once somebody reads three of your books and loves them, you can almost guarantee they will be a fan for life, or until you piss them off. Therefore, if you get them into one three-book series, they will likely check out another series, and another series, and another series, until they have exhausted your catalog. Readers will keep reading you until there is nothing else to read. Once they have exhausted all your books, they will move on, and it will be incredibly hard to win them back.
This is why having many books is so important, because it will keep a reader busy for a long time, and by the time they are done with your backlist, you will have more frontlist books to keep them entertained. Additionally, if you allow them to read twenty books, they will become more devout fans, and the chance of losing them will be greatly diminished. Now, back to why you should have multiple series set in the same universe.
The reason why I like the idea of having four interlocking series is this—you can rotate your promotional calendar every three months, and keep books fresh for people. If you notice, writing four interlocking series of 5 books each will equal 20 books in your arsenal. I personally like to write 3 book series, and make 2 series connect strongly while crafting weak bonds between them as well, so that some series acts as 6-book sets, while still maximizing my entry points into the series while also maximizing my read through. I will note that romance works completely differently than this.
That means each romance novel is technically a stand-alone book, but they use the same tactics we discussed above. Romance authors often take a secondary character from one book and make them the lead in the next book. Christopher Moore and Stephen King both utilize this strategy outside of the romance genre. I want to give you a statistic first. I recommend writing a series 40, to 60, word novels until you build out your backlist. Martin style novel at 40, words, but you can write a killer single POV story in that length of time. And at the beginning speed is your friend.
Again, because speed to market is your friend. Having shorter novels means less editorial investment. If your books are only 40, words, you can create an entire three book series for the cost it takes somebody else to write a ,word novel, and with the same quality level. Your books will be different than that ,word epic, of course, because you are cutting out secondary characters, storylines, and overarching plots that diverge and connect.
You need to get in, tell a great singular story, and get out, but if you are okay with that, you can craft an excellent, quick, fun experience within 40, words. There one more reason I like writing short. What becomes hard is focusing on twenty characters, their motivations and goals, and making it all coherent, all in a short amount of time.
Writing short was a tactic I used at the beginning of my career, moved away from, then came back to doing recently because of all the reasons above. You need a formula that you know works every time. I write one book a month. Outlining never worked for me before, but after reading this article about writing a GOOD book in three days, I was a convert. Then, I modified and tweaked the outline to fit my needs, and even put up a sample on my own Facebook group.
This outline gave me the tools I needed to write fast, cogently, and well, while still having a great book at the end which I knew had a market. People like Lloyd Alexander wrote great, prolific books, over a long period of time, and all because they were short.
His books tended to be less than 60, words, but people loved them. You need to train your brain to write faster than you ever thought possible. Most people release books…well frankly without a plan. I see hundreds of books a day where I wonder…where are the rest of the books?
Why is this book free? What are they driving me to do? Why did they waste their money? That last point is important to remember. This is one very good reason why writing short, interconnected series works so well, because you can capture the completionists very quickly. The next thing I will say is that you should attempt to release a book at least once every three months. This is because of a phenomenon called the Amazon Cliff.
The Amazon Cliff is when your book drops off significantly in the Amazon algorithm and Amazon stops pushing it to new customers. These cliffs happen at 30, 60, and 90 days after the release of your book. So, my recommendation is to hold off releasing until you have enough books to release at least every 90 days, and keep up with producing content regularly. Consistency is incredibly important when trying to build a following. The more often you release, though, the better your chances of hitting the algorithm and making a splash.
My goal is to release one book a month for two years to make Amazon work for me, and get readers accustomed to buying my books, and then pull back to a more modest schedule afterwards. The quicker and more often you release the better life will be for you. However, you want to make sure you are releasing quality books, not shit, because people can buy shit for free. They will keep coming back to you because you give them something better. Writing to market means you need to write fast.
However, it will be tougher because you lose out on the benefit of all of those voracious readers. Before I go, I want to talk for a minute about covers. Covers are the 1 most important thing when it comes to selling a book. This is not to discount writing a killer book as a self-published author, because people will only stick around and become fans if you write an excellent book, but getting a great cover is the easiest thing you can do right now to increase your sales.
There are some excellent cover designers who make good, exclusive, reasonably priced premade covers. One thing to remember about premades is that if you are constructing interlocking series you want to find a cover designer to do ALL your series covers so they can make sure the font and logo are consistent. This consistency is key to making your covers look like they are part of a set.
Find one designer who has the right aesthetic for all your covers in the set. You can change premade designers between series, but keep each series consistent as best you can. She is amazing, and nobody has ever heard of her. Book Cover Designer — This is a repository for lots of different designers.
- Michael Dolan McCarthy;
- The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament (1808), Volume I.
- An Old Mans Dilemma and a Young Mans Plight;
- Multiversity Comics.
- Frequently bought together?
There are thousands of designers on this site. Some do exclusive and some do not. I have personally bought a series from betibup33 that was fab. Covers by Combs — Another person I have not used, but hear very good things about this designer.
Related An Awesome Kick: Chase Greatness (Series #10)
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