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

Episode 266 – Live from Chicago at SMBS Summit 2019

Question of the Week: What is the life you want to lead with your books, and what changes are you going to have to make to achieve it?

What does success look like for you and how will you move toward that vision? Bryan and Jim are recording this week’s episode LIVE at the Sell More Books Show Summit. Thank you to our Patrons. Bryan and Jim thank the 2019 Summit Sponsors: Vellum, PublishDrive, Draft2Digital, Kobo Writing Life, BookFunnel and Reedsy. The Top Tips of the week are why a good team makes your story stronger, how tagging can improve the efficiency of your mailing list management, and why clean data is important when determining how well your book converts. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how attending conferences helped Cecelia Mecca go from part-time to full-tie writer, why Jami Albright encourages writers to publish at their own pace and move toward goals, why the current Writers Guild of America standoff could open up opportunities for indie authors, Jim how changing the way you think can move you toward success, and Chris Fox explains the importance of ad spend, releases and targeted promotions. Question of the Week: What is the life you want to lead with your books, and what changes are you going to have to make to achieve it? read more

Episode 265 – Books2Read, Lawsuits, and Indie Book Stores

Question of the Week: How might you use Books2Read Reading Lists as part of your book promotion?

Could a reading list promo be added to your book marketing plan? Bryan and Jim are looking forward to the Sell More Books Summit which begins in less than 36 hours! This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Chris Duryea. Jim thanks our Patrons: Removed, Inharmonic, and More than Monsters. The Top Tips of the week are how organic traffic on Amazon is changing, why movement and creativity go hand-in-hand, and how to combine speed and quality to boost productivity. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how Christian bookstores can resurrect sales, why local bookstores need your support, why Nora Roberts takes plagiarism so seriously, how sharing a booklist with you readers can put money in your pocket, and what Shashane Wallce did to jump sales from $50 to $5,000 a month in less than one year. Question of the Week: How might you use Books2Read Reading Lists as part of your book promotion? read more

Episode 264 – Serious Sci-fi, Writing 10k a Day, and Building Your World

Question of the Week: Have you ever checked in with your readers to see what genres they enjoy and what they like about your work? Why or why not?

Would you consider running a reader poll on genre preference? Bryan and Jim are looking forward to the Sell More Books Summit! This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Matthew Staggs. Bryan thanks our Patrons: Achieve Anything In Just One Year, How to Sex Your Snake, and Excelsior. The Top Tips of the week are how to tackle your first novel, why large print is a market you need to explore, and what tool can help you get a handle on worldbuilding. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how indie authors could benefit from Amazon’s antitrust-proofing, how Barnes and Noble’s new eInk could breathe life into their bottom line, why the new EU copyright hooplah might be a victory for authors, how you can make 70,000 words per week a reality, and who gets to decide if it’s sci-fi or not so much. Question of the Week: Have you ever checked in with your readers to see what genres they enjoy and what they like about your work? Why or why not? read more

Episode 263 – Agents, Mindset, and Finding the Right Messenger

Question of the Week: What purpose do you see agents filling in the 2019 publishing landscape? At what point in your publishing journey do you think you’d need an agent, if any?

Is there a point in your writing career where you would consider having an agent? Bryan and Jim celebrate FIVE years of the Sell More Books Show podcast! This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Trish Heinrich. Bryan thanks our Patrons: Stone Cold, Kiss Kill, and Cowgirl, Unexpectedly. The Top Tips of the week are why split testing for Bookbub is critical, how repurposing content can catch more readers, and the simplified royalty share option. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how indie authors could suffer the same fate as their videographer counterparts, why literary agents may not be your best bet, how Maria Mahaffey’s launch plan took her to #1—five times, how Amazon may be under-reporting paperback sales, and what steps took Yesenia Vargas from zero to hero with a write to market strategy and a mindset shift. Question of the Week: What purpose do you see agents filling in the 2019 publishing landscape? At what point in your publishing journey do you think you’d need an agent, if any? read more

Episode 262 – Meditation, Story Vending, and Dubious Data

Question of the Week: How do you think Amazon should handle the problem of books populating categories they don’t belong in?

How do you feel about category policing? This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Elise M Stone. Bryan thanks our Patrons: Awakening Forever, A Dragon among the Eagles, and The Hunted. The Top Tips of the week are how you can use meditation to improve creativity, why you should show some personality on Insta, and how emotions will help you defeat AI. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why you should take note of the vending trend in the UK, how audiobooks are on the rise, what happened to the disappearing books on Amazon, why mis-categorized books hurt everyone, and what Ines Johnson did to skyrocket her income. Question of the Week: How do you think Amazon should handle the problem of books populating categories they don’t belong in? read more

Episode 261 – The RITAs, John Candy, and The New Pre-order Policy

Question of the Week: If you challenged yourself to double your book income without using Amazon Ads, what would be your strategy and why?

What options do authors have to increase income, besides advertising on Amazon? This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Dave. Bryan thanks our Patrons: Level Up, Dorothy and the Cane of Destiny, and Flotsam. The Top Tips of the week are how to simplify your Amazon pre-orders, how does Nora Roberts crank out so many books, and why Bookfunnel exclusive content is such a boon. We have an Honorable Mention story about what happens to bad little book pirates. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how Barnes and Noble coupons can give you an edge, what happened with the white-washed RITAs, why a Facebook Group might be the free marketing your book launch needs, where is Data Guy’s data, and how Alana Terry doubled her income with an ad-supported wide release. Question of the Week: If you challenged yourself to double your book income without using Amazon Ads, what would be your strategy and why? read more

Episode 260 – #Bookfans, Blasted Blasty, and Rising Indies

Question of the Week: What do you think is the purpose of Amazon’s new “quality dashboard”? And do you think it’ll be helpful or potentially abusive for authors?

Should the general public provide Amazon with quality control? Bryan is attending a mastermind retreat and Jim welcomes his guest host, Cecelia Mecca. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is John Box. Jim thanks our Patrons are Prometheus Rising, Triumviratus, and Dead Still. The Top Tips include why relevant hashtags are so important on Instagram, how Amazon ads improvements will help indies get more bang for their bucks, and what Bookfunnel’s “buy” button will do for you. The five Hot News stories for indie authors this week include what happened to Blasty, how Audible’s new Spanish-language platform will impact authors, what are the pros and cons of Amazon’s new quality dashboard, why Patreon has rolled out a new tier system, and how indie authors can compete with trad-pubbed authors for the top spots on the charts. Question of the Week: What do you think is the purpose of Amazon’s new “quality dashboard”? And do you think it’ll be helpful or potentially abusive for authors? read more

Episode 259 – Excuse Me, Is This Newsletter Organic?

Question of the Week: What do you think of this new every-other-week format? Should we keep it? Trash it? Expand it?

What do you think of the “in-depth” episode? Avoiding contests and list-building ads may help you to preserve a more organic email list, according to author LJ Shen in a post on the Self Publishing Formula blog. Shen says she spends a “good amount of time,” on social media, feeling that her time is not any more valuable than her readers’. She gathers newsletter followers organically and does not run contests or advertisements to gain new subscribers. She asks for followers on Amazon, BookBub and Facebook, through links available on her website and her Amazon and BookBub author pages. Shen recently used her list to pick up 1,400 Amazon reviews on one of her books in the first 30 days of release. Question of the Week: What do you think of this new every-other-week format? Should we keep it? Trash it? Expand it? read more

Episode 258 – ReedsyDiscovery, Box Set Success, and Supreme Court Decisions

Question of the Week: Will the landmark Supreme Court decision on copyright change whether or not you decide to copyright your book? Why or why not?

How has the new copyright law impacted your decision to copyright (or not) your work? Jim and Bryan celebrate the thaw. Bryan is holding a “deep dive” into simplifying Amazon ads, click the link below to sign up. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Darren Sapp. Bryan thanks our Featured Patrons: The Unknown Devil, A Turn for the Worse, and Leading Effectively: Proven Leadership. The Top Tips include what new channels Draft2Digital added, why it’s important to examine the reasons behind your priority list, and what benefits you may experience from organic email lists. Honorable Mention goes to why Amazon is pulling down its popups. The Big Five news stories for indies this week are why there seems to be an outrage in support of piracy, what you may be losing when you fail to file for copyright, how Kimbra Swain took her love of the story straight to the bank, how Reedsy’s new Discovery service will help indies, and how repackaging delivered Kevin McLaughlin the #1 he needed and a fresh audience for his backlist. Question of the Week: Will the landmark Supreme Court decision on copyright change whether or not you decide to copyright your book? Why or why not? read more