Episode 255 – Superfans, AI, and Choose Your Own Audio

Question of the Week: Would you ever want to write a chose your own ending style book? And in what format would you want to do it?

If you wrote a choose your own adventure style book, what format would you choose? Jim welcomes guest host Mark Lefebvre from Draft2Digital. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is RJ Beam. Jim thanks our Featured Patrons: The Thing Speaks for Itself, The Cordova Vector, and Somebody’s Darling. The top tips include how to get the most out of your Author Central profile, what steps you can take to grow an email list from zero, and why the superfan is a myth. The news stories that matter most to indie authors this week are why AI is getting dangerously good, who is profiting from the new choose your own audio books, what steps Brianna Boes took to increase reader engagement and boost her launch, why Patreon is flip-flopping, and how testing several methods led Bridget Baker to success with Facebook ads. Question of the Week: Would you ever want to write a chose your own ending style book? And in what format would you want to do it? read more

Episode 254 – Echo Reminders, Creative Joy, and Shifting Your Mindset

Question of the Week: What’s a question you could ask yourself that you think might change your author business mindset?

What question would change your author business forever? Listen in as Jim and Bryan share the latest in publishing and marketing news. If you have yet to leave a review, then now is the perfect time to review us on iTunes. Thanks so much for listening! Bryan is a little under the weather and gives a “hats off” to supportive partners everywhere. Jim announces the 20Books Edinburgh Writing Retreat. The Happy Books Review Winner is Troy Hill. Jim thanks the Featured Patrons: Planet Dead: (A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Horror), A Turn for the Worse: Grant Wolves Book 1, and Achieve Anything In Just One Year: Be Inspired Daily to Live Your Dreams and Accomplish Your Goals. This week’s Top Tips include how to boost creativity by pursuing a hobby, what are the benefits of a pen name, and why due diligence is so important in getting an agent. The five hot news stories that matter most to indies are what’s the truth about Amazon’s sales in the academic world, how artificial intelligence can help you market your book, what steps did Jen Pretty take to hit her $500 sales month, why challenging your author mindset can get you out of a rut, and what Amazon Echo can do for your author career. Question of the Week: What’s a question you could ask yourself that you think might change your author business mindset? read more

Episode 253 – International Success, Thumbnail Covers, and a Million on Scribd

Question of the Week: What kind of success have your books had outside of the U.S. and off of Amazon?

How are your books selling internationally? Jim and Bryan experience a little technical difficulty with the audio at the beginning of the podcast, and Bryan’s Relentless Authors Advertise update is missing. Pop over to Bryan’s Friday podcast to get all the details on the RAA project. This week’s Happy Books Review winner is Milissa Story. Jim thanks our featured Patrons: Write! Shonen Manga, Star Flame: A Story From the Meclauks, and More than Monsters. The Hot Tips this week include how to expand your online ebook sales by targeting more retailers, how to improve your ability to edit your own work, and why a test drive of PublishDrive may be the easiest way to experiment with Amazon ads. The Top News stories that matter most to the indie publishing community are what reader benefits that will come from Scribd hitting the one million mark, how online book buyings affects cover design needs, what steps did Eliza Boyd take to move her author career to an intentional path, how one indie author is knee deep in movie deals, and why Sarah Williams inspiring success story is an indie win. Question of the Week: What kind of success have your books had outside of the U.S. and off of Amazon? read more

Episode 252 – Return on Investment, B&N Ads, and WattPad Publishing

Question of the Week: Do you know how to calculate Return on Investment (ROI)? Even though even 1% ROI is a profit, is there a certain number of ROI you deem to be Good? How did you come upon that number?

If you have a Return on Investment number that you consider “good” – how did you arrive at that figure? Bryan and Jim report on the effects of the Polar Vortex in the Midwest. Bryan gives an encouraging update on the Relentless Authors Advertise podcast and thanks all the listeners who are joining the experiment. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Rebecca Markus. Bryan thanks our Featured Patrons: Awakening Forever, Guardian of the Grail, and The Reluctant Detective. The Hot Tips include the good of reader give-and-take, how to bridge the gap between writing on the side and writing full time, and why focusing on fewer tasks is actually more efficient. Our Honorable Mention story explains why pre-order reviews have disappeared as quickly as they arrived. The Top News stories affecting the indie community this week are the short-lived Barnes and Noble ad experiment, what ill tidings are reported in the 2018 Authors Guild Survey, how Christina DeMara used hashtags to increase book sales, why Wattpad is diving into publishing, and what steps Jen Thorn took to see success with her new pen name in just 30 days. Question of the Week: Do you know how to calculate Return on Investment (ROI)? Even though even 1% ROI is a profit, is there a certain number of ROI you deem to be Good? How did you come upon that number? read more

Episode 251 – Matchmaking, ARC or Bribe, and Epic Success

Question of the Week: Do you feel as though giving out Advance Reader Copies is unethical because it’s more likely to lead to positive reviews? Or do you feel as though the practice is completely legitimate and why?

Is there an unspoken agreement for only positive feedback when a reader accepts an advance copy for review? Bryan shares progress on the launch of his new podcast – Relentless Authors Advertise, which soft-launched two weeks ago and is gaining momentum. Jim reports that in his consults with authors through the SmarterAuthors platform he is seeing the positive effects of paid ads for his clients. This week’s Happy Books Review winner is Jonathan Small. Bryan thanks our Featured Patrons: Cowgirl, Unexpectedly, The 30-Day Writing Challenge, and A Dragon Among the Eagles: A Novel of the Roman Empire. This week’s Top Tips include why faster is better for the Wordslinger, which audiobooks could lead to perfect matches with readers, and how to get more mileage from your Facebook pixel. The news stories that matter most to the indie community this week are the down and dirty business of ARCs, how truth is stranger than fiction in a crazy real-life poisoning plot, John Weston demonstrates what you can actually accomplish with focused writing and publishing, how Amazon is giving the trad pubs a wake-up call, and how Miranda Honfleur used scheduled releases and paid promos to hit her six-figure income goals. Question of the Week: Do you feel as though giving out Advance Reader Copies is unethical because it’s more likely to lead to positive reviews? Or do you feel as though the practice is completely legitimate and why? read more

Episode 250 – Facebook Pixels, Story Secrets, and Going Woo-Woo

Question of the Week: How woo-woo are you (-you)? Would you (or have you ever) used concepts like Vision Boards, Affirmations, or Visualization to help achieve your goals?

What’s your take on “new age” concepts that may or may not help you progress toward your goals? Have you? Would you? The guys celebrate their 250th episode by presenting their 250th episode! Big thanks to all the listeners and subscribers who have, and do, support the show. Click on over to iTunes and leave a rating or review to congratulate Jim and Bryan on this milestone. This Thursday, Jan 17, Bryan will be hosting a genre-specific class for Mystery/Thriller/Suspense writers to reveal tips to help sell more books in those markets and there will be prizes, too! If you haven’t had a chance to talk to Jim about your specific book head over to SmarterAuthors and schedule your one-on-one call with Jim. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Thomas Herold. This week’s Featured Patrons: Prometheus Rising, Flotsam, and Kiss Kill. The Hot Tips include how Facebook pixels can help you squeeze more out of Bookfunnel, why Publish Drive could be the free formatting tool you’ve been searching for, and what keeping secrets can do to ramp up the tension in your writing. The Top Five news stories that matter to indie authors this week include how a new Netflix show on reducing clutter is driving authors nuts, how Amazon is now allowing readers to leave reviews on preorders, why a launch and tell strategy could be the method for you, what an iBooks app for Android devices could mean for authors, and how vision boards helped Brandon Ellis to stay on track and reach his 5-figure sales goal. Question of the Week: How woo-woo are you (-you)? Would you (or have you ever) used concepts like Vision Boards, Affirmations, or Visualization to help achieve your goals? read more

Episode 248 – The 2019 Predictions Show

Question of the Week: What do you disagree with for our 2019 predictions? Also, what should Bryan call his new show?

Take a look at Bryan’s and Jim’s predictions for the coming year and give them a “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down.” The guys have mixed things up for the first show of 2019 and are looking forward to your feedback. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Isabel Peterson. Bryan thanks our Featured Patrons: How to Sex Your Snake, Guild of Tokens: Initiate, and The Strange. And a huge “thank you” to everyone who supported the show in 2018! Play along as Bryan and Jim debate the likelihood of the Top 25 Predictions for 2019. Will you pick TRUE or FALSE? Bryan reveals his BIG THING for 2019 and invites all of you to follow along. Happy New Year to all of our Sell More Books Show listeners! Question of the Week: What do you disagree with for our 2019 predictions? Also, what should Bryan call his new show? read more

Episode 247 – 2018: The Year in Review

Question of the Week: What was your own biggest personal publishing story in 2018 and why?

What was the highlight of your indie publishing journey this year? Bryan and Jim review the highs and lows of indie publishing in 2018 through the 5 biggest stories of the past year. Bryan and Jim thank all the Patrons who supported the Sell More Books Show this year. There are a few more sponsorship opportunities available for the Sell More Books Show Summit in 2019. The Top news stories that affected indie authors in 2018: How did the GDPR implementation change our industry, what are the side-effects of the Createspace to KDP migration, which scandals hit our community this past year, why the pay-to-play world deserves your attention, and which success stories made the “wrap-up” list. Question of the Week: What was your own biggest personal publishing story in 2018 and why? read more

Episode 246 – Blurb Rewrites, Tidying Your Mind, and Succeeding in 2019

Question of the Week: How many rewrites do you usually do of your book descriptions before you post them to the e-retailers? Are you usually pretty happy with them when they’re finished?

What’s the “sweet spot” number of rewrites before a blurb is ready to post on a retailer sales page? Jim welcomes Bryan back to the studio. Bryan reports on the benefits of being completely disconnected from the internet for three days. The Sell More Books Show Summit is officially SOLD OUT! The winner of Clark Chamberlain’s outline service is Chad Boyer. The Happy Book Reviews winner this week is Mary Hamilton. Bryan thanks this week’s featured Patrons: How to Become a Productivity Guru, The Darby Shaw Chronicles Box Set, and Mayhem and Murder. Jim mentions Honoree Corder’s new course – You Must Write a Book. The Hot Tips this week include why word-of-mouth marketing is essential in 2019, how to find the focus you need to increase productivity, and which unprofitable niches you’ll want to avoid. The News stories that matter most to indie authors are what new tricks is Barnes & Noble up to, how to increase royalty earnings on Apple audiobooks, Erin St. Charles’ repacking success story, how great blurbs helped Svetlana Melyan relaunch her YA paranormal series, and why ads are now a do or die for authors. Question of the Week: How many rewrites do you usually do of your book descriptions before you post them to the e-retailers? Are you usually pretty happy with them when they’re finished? read more

SMBS #245 News: Meditation, Author Milestones, and Million-Dollar Dawson

Question of the Week: What’s your definition of success as an author? Is it a dollar amount per month? Is it 500 reviews? The only answer you can’t give is “when a reader enjoys my book.”

When you examine your author career, how do you define success? Bryan is taking a mental health break this week and Jim welcomes his co-hosts J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon. Jim thanks our Featured Patrons: Rebel Song, Triumviratus, and Level Up. This week’s Happy Book Reviews Winner is Tory Element. The Top Tips include why Amazon Web Services could be your next email newsletter service, how meditation can help you access creative energy, and how to view your marketing strategy as a marathon—not a sprint. The News stories that matter most to indie authors this week are how an Australian author kept the royalties she deserved, what are YouTube Stories and how can you use them, what Matt Staggs did to hit his first $500 dollar month, why author self-education is such a critical piece of the success puzzle, and congratulations to indie author and podcaster Mark Dawson on realizing the million dollar dream. Question of the Week: What’s your definition of success as an author? Is it a dollar amount per month? Is it 500 reviews? The only answer you can’t give is “when a reader enjoys my book.” read more