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Playing the Long Game

If you are a new indie author or one still seeking the level of success you set for yourself you have to have a plan to get you where you want to be, right? But, what does that plan look like? We all have a different idea about what success looks like.

If your goal is to make a big salary from your books what do you do when you hit 7 figures? Are you going to stop writing? Probably not. You enjoy the craft, but the point is for people to enjoy it as well, so they have to be able to find you. So what is your plan for sustained exposure? I asked myself similar questions when I started thinking about publishing. I wasn’t sure if my goals were obtainable, but I knew that if I wanted any chance of success I had to let the world know I had something to say.

As part of my research, I have listened to many successful authors and publishers speak on the just of publishing wide or staying in one ecosystem such as Amazon. If you are a writer in the United States you know that the Zon is king. Every report, article, or study you see regarding publishing, selling and marketing is all about Amazon. If you look at market share there is no question Amazon is a force unto itself. Its next closest competitor in the U.S. is Apple with 9% of the market. Yes, 9% is second place. That is a huge gap, so it is easy to say, I can publish my books just on Amazon and reach my goal. I can make money there. People in the U.S. clearly go to Amazon for their book purchases, especially ebooks so why bother with all the other outlets? Is it worth the effort of uploading and tracking your sales in places where you might not sell even ten copies of your book? The short answer is no, why bother with all the others?

That is a very convincing argument to be made. However, I have this all my eggs in one basket fear. What if something happens and Amazone decides they don’t want to be in the book business anymore. They can make more money streaming content than pushing out ebooks? What happens to your income source? What are you going to do to make up that seven-figure salary you were earning off your books on Amazon?

You have to start from scratch on other platforms and in other markets. And maybe you’ve been publishing for years and you have 50 books on the market are you going back to book one to try and capture that new audience? Sure, the Amazon customers are going to flock to new retailers, but will they be able to find you there? Will you be able to upload all your books in time for readers to find them before they move on? That is why I have used a service like Draft2Digital to get my books into other retailers and in other countries. Now truth be told I haven’t sold much in those market yet, but I only have two books out so I am betting that with time and more content, I will establish a fan base and some sales on other platforms and other countries. I upload directly to Amazon myself and then use D2D for the other retailers, just because it is easier. And D2D has a very friendly user interface and are also kind enough to send me an email notifying me of sales/royalties. And while I use D2D and recommend them, there are other service providers out there you have to find the one that is right for you. Additionally, when book 3 in the Maggie Gray trilogy is ready this time I am going to add IngramSpark to my list of distributors.

So think about it. If you are just starting out and not sure what to do, plan for the long game, that way you will have a built-in plan B.

You can find my books at http://www.amazon.com/author/milissalstory or at these retailers.

Best of luck!

Blog

Deceived? Betrayed?

Have you ever felt deceived by your employer? Did you accept a position that was presented as one thing during the interview but then turned out to be something else once you started the job? Here are some examples of how employers deceive potential employees according to Forbes.

  1. They highlight one or two positive things about the position. Maybe they have a casual dress code or flexible hours. But, once you show up for work while you might dress casually sans the suit and tie, you find that your works hours are constantly changing or that the work environment is otherwise so miserable that the last several people in your position quit.
  2. Maybe they leave out the part about the lack of benefits or that its 37.5 hours a week, not 40 hours. Or the opposite what if it advertised at 37.5 but they really need you there 60 hours a week?
  3. Or maybe the job title is worded to sound more technical than it is and you find out your just the office gopher.

It’s probably pretty safe to say that something like this has happened to most of us at one time or another and to some degree. If it hasn’t yet, it probably will. It has certainly happened to me and that is some of the inspiration for my Maggie Gray Trilogy.  Of course, Maggie Gray’s experience is a little bit more extreme than my own personal, check out The Deceived on Amazon

In case you missed the link to sign up for my exciting, awesome newsletter there it is again just in case. Exciting bi-monthly newsletter. 

 

 

Photo by Rendiansyah Nugroho on Unsplash

Resource: Forbes

Blog

I Need a What?

Dear Reader,

Are you a new author? Or thinking about self-publishing a book? Have you been listening to a variety of podcasts and reading articles and blog posts on “how to” be an indie author and self-publish your book?

Yeah, me too. I have listened to every podcast, webinar, read every blog and article I could get my hands, and attending author talks taking copious notes. You know what happened? Information overload! My head was spinning with all the knowledge out there. I’m not suggesting you not continue to listen, read and learn. You should. Because there is no one silver bullet that will get you on the best sellers list overnight. And for every successful author out there-there is a different way to reach that success. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. How frustrating is that? And while there is a necessary component of trial and error, there are some things that I believe will work and allow for your own original spin. I have two books published, so I’m still new at this and am learning, but hopefully knowing you and I are in similar places you can appreciate my advice is relevant and helpful.

One thing I’m sure you have heard in your research is that you need a newsletter list. Take heed, that is excellent advice. You need a newsletter list. You may not yet appreciate how critical this really is, but trust me. You need this.

So how do you get one?

  1. Ask, friends and family for starters. They are typically willing to support you and that will get you started. But, you will need some additional names on that list to really get where you want to be.
  2. I’ve tried a lot of different ways to get people to sign up, I have a newsletter sign up on my facebook page. I’ve tried collecting names at book signings. But the one best way I’ve found to get a bump in adding names to my newsletter is by joining a group give-a-way on Instafreebie. Look for groups in your genre and contribute either a short story, a preview of your book or your book itself. *Now if you’re just starting out you may not have a lot of money to spend on things like month memberships etc. But, you can use the Instafreebie 30 day free trial for their Plus plan which is $20 a month. You need to at least have the Plus plan in order to collect email addresses. I joined a group give away for the first time and gave away my first book in a trilogy and gave away over 200 copies of my book. That is potentially over 200 new email addresses for a newsletter and over 200 potential readers for book two and three. It is also over 200 potential reviews.

Doesn’t that sound phenomenal? imagine over 200 names, sales, and reviews before you even publish your book or your next book?

I didn’t learn this until after I had my second book published and I was still struggling with a newsletter list with less than 20 people and only 4 reviews on my books.

I

Blog

Hurricane Florence

It seems that September is “our” time for Hurricanes. The bad ones always seem to arrive in September. And while I am not in the landfall zone, we will get some of the effects here in Virginia. I hope and pray for the safety of everyone in the storm’s path. Please take the necessary precautions and stay safe.

We may lose power here for a day or two, we usually do, so there may be “radio silence” from here for a short while.

Please stay safe everyone and remember to look after one another.

 

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Are We Alone?

How many times have you heard that question posed? It is an age-old question with regard to intelligent life in the universe. People have been studying the question in a scientific manner using the Drake Equation N=(R*)(fP)(ne)(fL)(fi)(fc)(L). Being a weaver of words, equations such as the Drake gives me hives just looking at it. I never really enjoyed those classes in school, chemical formulas in college caused me to change my major.

I recently read an article at Futurism.com about the Drake Equation and the possibility that we are alone in the universe. As a writer and lover of science fiction, I found the interview with Anders Sandberg of Oxford University.

Now I must confess I am a ‘what if’ kinda person. Basically, that is the basis of how I start my stories. I read something and think ‘what if’ that happened this way or that way instead. Or, that is an awesome idea now ‘what if ‘ we add an alien?

So the question still remains, “Are we alone?” My question to you is “Are we alone, here on earth?” That is my the question I pose in The Deceived, book 1 of the Maggie Gray trilogy. Are humans the only sentient species on earth? I don’t know, you tell me.

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