While Jim spent all day recording videos for a college course, Bryan and guest co-host Shelley Hitz from TrainingAuthors.com stepped in to deliver this week’s news. There was a big focus this episode on forging a personal connection with your readers whether it be through encouraging fans to email you, using social media or contacting librarians to get your books in the stacks. Other topics included using Microsoft Word to create book covers, Google Alerts, the news analysts are missing about the publishing industry, getting featured on BookBub and the myth that authors have missed the indie publishing boat. We also debuted a new feature: The Question of the Week. How do you connect personally with your readers? Let us know via email or through the comments on our website.
This episode was jam-packed with news, including the biggest story of the week: Amazon’s release of the Kindle Unlimited service. The latest Author Earnings report, Steve Scott’s massive second quarter, Facebook’s new “Buy It Now” button and Apple’s conditional $450 million settlement also made the news. Jim and Bryan chatted about sharable content, 15-minute marketing techniques and using Amazon’s customer forums to host Q&As. We also unveiled our new voicemail feature allowing listeners to call into the show. You can leave a voice message at 206-338-0092 and we might play your message on the show.
After a tiny chat about exercising while writing, we discussed awards, titles and prices during a jam-packed show. The tips of the week included focused emails to your subscribers, hunting down the best blogs in your genre and Twitter’s new pinning feature. Our news stories involved Konrath and Eisler vs. the Authors Guild, the importance of awards for indies, Amazon’s new KDP pricing feature, the recent U.K. author earnings study and what you need to do to become the CEO of your own author company. Jim also had some Yoda-like wisdom about how to motivate yourself to work hard on your business. In our Question of the Week we asked: Have you ever applied for an indie author award, and if so, why did you do it?
We discussed multiple angles of the indie movement on this week’s show, including going direct, crowdfunding and the path toward becoming mainstream. Some themes that came up multiple times were coming up with your own marketing ideas and giving your fans a choice over what you give them. We also discussed iBooks tips, trading for blurbs, turning your blog into a book, the new Reading Rainbow, making the first book in a series free and Digital Book Day. Jim also took you behind the scenes of the Sell More Books Show and presented a question of the week: If you had the option of asking your readers what your next book or series should be about, would you use it? Why or why not?
For Jim’s return, we discussed how the big five publishers are using libraries to sell books and analytics to to tell an incomplete story. Our tips included using author groups, Booktrack and Marketing Grader to strengthen your platform. We also talked about France’s “Anti-Amazon Law,” the traditional publishing version of Hugh Howey and the new indie authors involved in Amazon’s Kindle Worlds. Jim and Bryan finished off the program answering last week’s question and posing a new question on libraries selling books.