Episode 276 – Work-Life Balance, Mad Librarians, and the Riches in the Niches

If you could donate some of your book sales to charity, which charity would you donate to and why?

Does your author business have a favorite charity? Bryan’s new book about writing awesome Amazon ads and hooks is coming soon! Jim has hit more than 60 reviews for Unskippable and recommends authors spend the time to build a good ARC team. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Philip. Thank you to our featured Patrons: How to Pick Up Women with a Drunk Space Ninja, Leah’s Choice, and The Rookie Writer Playbook: A Planner/Organizer for Writers. The Top Tips of the week include how to juggle writing time and relaxing time on vacation, why mailbox overload can spoil a great vacation, and what visibility tips you might be missing if you’re a KDP author. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why libraries are boycotting Blackstone, how Victoria Smith doubled her sales for June 2019, how the Association of American Publishers plans to sue Amazon into submission, how to avoid the dangers of comparisonitis, and why niche marketing turned into profits for Alexa Kang and company. Question of the Week: If you could donate some of your book sales to charity, which charity would you donate to and why? read more

Episode 275 – The Authorpreneur, Indies on Prime, and Writing What You Love

In Orna Ross’s post, she said authors fell into three types: Self-Publisher, The Indie Author, or The Authorpreneur. Which one are you and why?

What’s your author type – are you a Self-Publisher, The Indie Author, or The Authorpreneur? Bryan is hosting a a new webinar, How to Optimize Your Amazon Sales Page to Sell More Fantasy Books Forever. Sign up today! Jim is beginning a joint venture into fiction with a writing partner—more to come. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Holly. Thank you to our featured Patrons – Jaded: Luke by Hildie McQueen, Chicago Blue: The Red Riley Adventures #1, and What Am I?: A Collection of Traditional Word Riddles – Deluxe Edition. The Top Tips of the week include how to get the biggest bang for your buck on your next book launch, why it is important to write interesting characters that aren’t just different for the sake of being different, and why Facebook groups may be more important than ever. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why the WGA’s new Code of Conduct is stirring up trouble, how the lack of diversity in the Carnegie medal for literature award is being re-examined, how the Kindle Storyteller Awards may be opening doors for more original content via Amazon Studios, how Jean Lowe Carlson hit her first true $5k month, and why knowing what kind of author you are can help you focus on improving the right skills. Question of the Week: In Orna Ross’s post, she said authors fell into three types: Self-Publisher, The Indie Author, or The Authorpreneur. Which one are you and why? read more

Episode 274 – Slow and Steady, Reporting Issues, and Surviving Conferences

How do you reward yourself for completing a milestone?

What do you do to celebrate your achievements? Jim is off this week on his Unskippable book signing tour. Bryan welcomes his guest host, Elise Kova. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Eustacia Tan. Thank you to our featured Patrons: Outage Boxed Set Books 1-3, Win For Love, and Not Write Now: A How-Not-To Guide for Writing Fiction. The Top Tips of the week include why in-person connections at writing conferences are so powerful, what the five must-haves are for every new author, and how to keep your readthrough rates high. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why counterfeit books are still for sale on Amazon, how Microsoft is stealing books back form readers, why finding books at your local library may get more difficult, what’s the latest Amazon reporting hiccup, and how slow and steady can still win the race. Question of the Week: How do you reward yourself for completing a milestone? read more

Episode 273 – Coaching, Piracy, and Tweets Gone Wrong

Have you ever used a coach or a mentor to help you get to the next level of your career? If so, did it help? If not, is it something you’d ever consider in the future?

Would you consider working with a coach to improve an aspect of your author career? Jim is excited for his Unskippable booksigning event in Las Vegas. Bryan reminds everyone to check out the new Best Page Forward podcast and fill out the submission form if you want your blurb rewritten during the live show. There are only 41 slots left in the Amazon Ads Made Easy 5-module course—grab yours today and take control of you ads. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Mike Stop Continues. Thank you to our featured Patrons: Sanyare: The Last Descendant, Blogging for Authors, and Awakened: Paragons Book One. The Top Tips of the week include how creating work seasons can increase productivity, why both existing fans and new readers are both important to your marketing plan, and how changing up your routine can reignite creativity. We have an Honorable Mention: How one bad Tweet poisoned the whole nest. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include one more BIG reason to resist the urge to reply to bad reviews, Audible is doubling down on their subscription service for Romance, how Victoria Smith found the boost she needed to more than triple her monthly income with the assistance of a coach, why Ellie Masters considers marketing as the key to reaching 5-figure sales, and how books are being stolen from WattPad and appearing for sale on Amazon. Question of the Week: Have you ever used a coach or a mentor to help you get to the next level of your career? If so, did it help? If not, is it something you’d ever consider in the future? read more

Episode 272 – After, Amish Sci-Fi, and Viva La France

Question of the Week: How many international self-publishing success stories do you think go unreported in the U.S.? Does this make you more excited about the idea of doing translations of your books in the future?

How do you feel about translation of your books and potential international success? Bryan announces his Waitlist for June openings in the Amazon Ads Made Easy course. Jim soft-launched Unskippable and he is looking forward to digging into serious advertising to promote the title. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Lars Hedbor. Thank you to our Patrons – Star Flame: A Story From the Meclauks Kingdom, Planet Dead One Shot: The Briggs Boys, and The Secret Blush. The Top Tips of the week include why crowdsourcing cover design could be the wrong move, how robots can help you edit, and why it is so important to meet reader expectations with subgenres. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how to phone it in for success, why you can finally embrace the zero, how Patrick McLaughlin squeezed the most out of everyday to write his way to success, what the Amish are doing in space, and how Caroline Vermalle von Ruben hit $50k in one year without selling a single book in the U.S. Question of the Week: How many international self-publishing success stories do you think go unreported in the U.S.? Does this make you more excited about the idea of doing translations of your books in the future? read more

Episode 271 – Barnes & Noble, Research, and People Over Algorithms

Question of the Week: If you bought Barnes & Noble, what would you do with it?

If you had control over B&N, what next step do you think would be best for readers? With Bryan taking the week off, author and launch consultant Courtney Kenney dropped in to talk news and tips with Jim. Tips included writing to multiple genres, a handy tool to manage reviewers, and why you should always value people over algorithms. News stories focused on writing in the angry age of social media, the rise and potential drop of ebooks, how writing helped one veteran provide for his family, how essential research is before hitting publish, and the bidding war over Barnes & Noble. This week’s Question of the Week: If you bought Barnes & Noble, what would you do with it? read more

Episode 270 – Writing Crap, Disney World, and Amazon Publishing Turns 10

Question of the Week: How many bad books do you think it takes for a dedicated reader to give up on an author?

How many times will a reader go back to a “poisoned” well? Bryan and Jim are grateful for new listeners, and listeners who have been with them since Episode 1. Bryan is reaching the end of releasing his Amazon Ads Made Easy modules and has learned to enjoy math and use data to improve his ad spend. Jim is suffering through the final editing phase but is looking forward to purchasing Vellum and formatting his new book. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Hildie McQueen. Thank you to our Patrons: The Thing Speaks for Itself, Dark as the Grave, and Pirates vs. Dragons. The Top Tips of the week how to squeeze more juice out of Instagram, learn more about what readers want through podcast research, and how to stoke the fires of creativity. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include which publishing scam is making a sequel, how Karl Drinkwater used his Bookbub Featured Deal to grab a #1 spot, why readers keep reading bad books, what Kyla Stone did to reach 50K in sales, and how Amazon celebrated its 10th publishing birthday. Question of the Week: How many bad books do you think it takes for a dedicated reader to give up on an author? read more

Episode 269 – The Royalties Estimator, Creative Rapid Releasing, and Multitasking

Question of the Week: How often do you check your royalty stats? Will that number increase with the new KDP Royalties Estimator?

What’s your current schedule for checking royalty income? Bryan and Jim hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend. Bryan is having a great experience teaching his Amazon Ads Made Easy course and is generating some wonderful tactics for students. Jim is looking for serious ARC members for his launch team. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Dan Thompson. Thank you to our Patrons: Guardian of the Grail, Doubt The Stars, and Leaving Eva. The Top Tips of the week why new story structure options can boost your writing, how scheduled and regular breaks can improve mental health, and when three tips aren’t enough you can count on a few more. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how Google is shooting themselves in the proverbial foot on Google Play, why Kobo is happy to be wrong about potential readers, what Taylor White did to hit $500 in royalties on her debut release, what KDP is doing with new royalty reports and how Bink Cummings used Facebook ads and a rapid release strategy to move her much closer to her 6-figure-per-month goal. Question of the Week: How often do you check your royalty stats? Will that number increase with the new KDP Royalties Estimator? read more

Episode 268 – MailChimp Changes, Crowdfunding Success, & Business Cards for Authors

Question of the Week: Which is the best email service provider for authors and why?

What makes an email service useful to authors? Bryan is excited to be teaching Amazon advertising and learning a ton about ad strategy. Jim is handing off Unskippable to his editor and will soon be looking for beta readers. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Connie B. Dowell. Thank you to our Patrons: The Dragon Rustler, Shadow Raiders, and The Final Arrangement. The Top Tips of the week are how to test your email service provider, what to do with bad reviews, and why you need a well-designed business card. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why Ariana Grande is being sued for posting a picture of herself, what happened to Amazon’s operations in China, what expanded distribution choices are left, how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign, and how changes at Mailchimp could leave you hanging or paying more for bananas. Question of the Week: Which is the best email service provider for authors and why? read more

Episode 267 – MFAs, Struggles, and Happiness

Question of the Week: When is a time you faced a major struggle in your life (as an author or otherwise) and needed to work at a higher level to overcome your challenge?

What is your strategy to overcome major struggles as an author, or in life? Bryan and Jim are back from the Summit and excited about all the wonderful presenters and attendees that participated. Thank you to our Patrons: Leading Effectively: Proven Leadership by Mildred Stallworth, A Band Director’s Guide to Everything Tuba, and Twins of Prey. The Top Tips of the week are how Lindsay Buroker has developed a workaround to be in KDP Select and wide, how Creative Commons can quickly get you to the royalty free images you need, and why printed proofs can help authors get a clear perspective on WIP manuscripts. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why Will Self feels that creative writing graduates will never make a living as novelists, what Apple books is doing to actively squash all mention of competition in the back matter, why Shawn Inmon shifted gears to self-publishing and a happier life, how Amazon is harpooning KU whales, and how Liz Copen was able to use her writing income to help her family in a difficult time. Question of the Week: When is a time you faced a major struggle in your life (as an author or otherwise) and needed to work at a higher level to overcome your challenge? read more