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

Episode 244 – Slow Publishing, Swallowing Your Pride, and Writing What You Know to Market

Question of the Week: What would you rather have: a spot on the Amazon Charts, a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, or 1,000 reviews on a single book and why?

If a genie could grant you one of the following, which would you want: Amazon Charts ranking, New York Times bestseller ranking, or 1,000 reviews on the book of your choice? Bryan encourages everyone to listen to the Self-Publishing Decisions Webinar Replay and set some goals for 2019. Long-time friend of the show Clark Chamberlain is currently running a sale for his outstanding outline service and Bryan is going to purchase one and raffle it off – listen to the podcast for details. Jim reminds everyone that an Author Marketing Club lifetime membership is still available for $97. The Happy Book Reviews Feature winner this week is Nicki Davis. Bryan thanks this week’s Featured Patrons: Planet Dead One Shot: The Briggs Boys, Strings of Subversion, and Mayhem & Murder. Hot Tips for indie authors include why mental endurance is important to a writer, how slow and steady can win the race, and how to prioritize writing even with a day job. Honorable Mention goes to Joanna Penn and her amazing decade. The news stories that matter most this week are why Mystery Writers of America un-awarded, how to make a go of publishing/aggregating, Dorene Stalter’s likes and interests author success story, how to hit the NYT bestseller list, and how JA Culican found success around the world. Question of the Week: What would you rather have: a spot on the Amazon Charts, a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, or 1,000 reviews on a single book and why? read more

Episode 243 – Amazon Giveaways, Streaming Music, and 100 Pages of Research

Question of the Week: When’s the last time you went into an independent bookstore? How do you think the indie bookstores around you have stuck around for the long haul?

What do you think the secret is to local indie bookstore survival? Bryan discusses the benefits of matching family snowsuits and Jim hopes all of you had a wonderful holiday. Thursday, November 29, Bryan, Jim, J. Thorn, and Zach Bohannon will be hosting a free webinar designed to help you achieve the sales and success you need. (Link in the show notes) Over on Author Marketing Club there is a fantastic sale in progress! The Happy Book Reviews Feature winner is Holly Ostara. Bryan thanks our featured Patrons: WordPress Security 101: How to Secure Your Website Against Hackers, Awakening Forever, and Flotsam. The Hot Tips this week include why commenting on a Netflix Facebook page could be a fun strategy, how beta reader diversity can help your writing, and what Amazon Giveaways can do for your marketing. The news stories that are important to indies right now are the benefits of giving your books to people in need, why Bryan thinks indie bookstores are on an upsurge, the Honey Phillips success story, how Jim thinks the indie author journey will differ from indie musicians, and how research paid off for author Sadie Moss. Question of the Week: When’s the last time you went into an independent bookstore? How do you think the indie bookstores around you have stuck around for the long haul? read more

Episode 242 – KDP Reports, Pay to Play, and Help From Your Friends

Question of the Week: What features do you think have been missing from book sales reporting software? Do you think you’ll use Amazon’s new KDP Reports often?

What would be your perfect sales reporting software? After sharing their Thanksgiving plans, Jim and Bryan award Nathan Goodman the latest Happy Book Reviews feature. They also thanked their patrons Sales Success Stories, Nolan Walker and the Superiors Squad, and How to Self-Publish a Children’s Book. The tips included creating a “to-don’t list,” writing with audio in mind, and why creativity may need a walk. This week’s stories include checking your Createspace password, the latest on Amazon buy buttons for books, Amazon’s newest sales reporting dashboard, why Mark Dawson thinks Amazon is headed for a pay-to-play platform, and how Jami Albright knocked her latest launch out of the park. Question of the Week: What features do you think have been missing from book sales reporting software? Do you think you’ll use Amazon’s new KDP Reports often? read more

Episode 241 – Love, Tech, and Making It Happen

Question of the Week: How do you plan for months where you’ll earn less from your writing than usual?

Do you have a financial plan to get you through lean months? Jim welcomes Bryan back from the 20Booksto50K conference in Las Vegas. This week’s Happy Book Reviews feature winner is Pete Bauer. Bryan thanks our featured Patrons: Doubt the Stars, A Turn for the Worse, and Born Under a Bad Sign. The Hot Tips for indies this week are how indie authors can be better indie publishers, why negative reviews can boost sales, and what a marketing education can do your for your titles. The News you don’t want to miss includes how AI book translation is changing the future, what happened at Bowker, what steps did Sara Celi take to eradicate her impostor syndrome, where did all the ebooks go and what is Amazon doing about it, and how to fit your passion into your profits. Question of the Week: How do you plan for months where you’ll earn less from your writing than usual? read more

Episode 239 – Data Guy Revealed, Mac Dictation Roadblocks, and Taking Your Own Advice

Question of the Week: Have you ever given advice to another author you haven’t taken yourself? How has it felt when that advice worked like gangbusters?

Do you give great advice? Do you wish you’d take it? Bryan reports on the benefits of his mental health day last week. Jim talks about preparing for a speaking road-tour in 2019. This week’s Happy Book Reviews feature winner is S.J. Pajonas. Bryan thanks our featured Patrons: Stone Cold, Dorothy and the Cane of Destiny: Book One in the Elderly Chronicles, and The Life Actionbook: Tools and Actions for Personal Development. The Hot Tips you need include how to set home office boundaries to increase productivity, why pre-planning can help you reap more benefits from writer’s conferences, and why writing stories of different lengths can broaden your audience. Our Honorable Mention news story is a great new subscription bundle which includes Scribd with the New York Times. The top News stories affecting indie authors this week include how Dragon Professional has abandoned the Mac platform, why James Patterson is adding Facebook Messenger to his next book launch, what happened to some authors buy buttons on Amazon, who unmasked Data Guy, and how John Logsdon leveraged his writing into a $20K per month business. Question of the Week: Have you ever given advice to another author you haven’t taken yourself? How has it felt when that advice worked like gangbusters? read more

Episode 238 – Revitalizing, Repurposing, and Realistic Consequences (with Alex Newton from K-Lytics)

Question of the Week: Have you, or would you ever, write a book into a genre you knew wasn’t selling that well? And if so, why?

Would you knowingly write a book in a poorly selling genre? Jim welcomes his cohost Alex Newton from K-Lytics. This week’s winner of the Happy Book Reviews feature is Katherine Bogle. Jim thanks the featured Patrons: Achieve Anything In Just One Year, Dead Still, and The Busy Busy Author: Writing Faster and More Efficiently to Fit Around your Busy Life. The Hot Tips this show are why you need a good quality author photo, what path do readers take to find your titles and become superfans, and how a good author bio can strengthen your brand. The big News stories for the indie author world this week include how audiobooks are taking off in Canada, how will a mega-store closure affect traditional publishing, why tiny niche markets can be great for sales, what is Kobo gaining by working with Walmart, and an author success story on rebranding and revitalizing. Question of the Week: Have you, or would you ever, write a book into a genre you knew wasn’t selling that well? And if so, why? read more

Episode 237 – Backlist Bonanza, Apple’s Next Big Thing, and Price Elasticity

Question of the Week: Which unexpected advertising keywords and targets have provided you with results for your books and why didn’t you think they’d work?

Have you stumbled across some unusual keywords that have given you surprisingly positive results? “Happy Birthday!” to Bryan, who celebrated this past weekend. This week’s Happy Book Reviews Feature winner is Dan Thompson. Bryan and Jim share a hilarious post from William Oday—the ultimate Sell More Books Show spinoff—Bigfoot Big Heart: A Steamy Cleaned Romance. Bryan thanks the Patrons – Cold War: Alien Incursion and Guardian of the Grail. The Hot Tips include why the best keywords may not be your first choice, new ways to win back old email subscribers, and why price pulsing on ebooks can be an effective strategy. The Top News stories that matter to indies this week include the pros and cons of Barnes and Noble’s new print book pre-order feature, how recent changes at Apple could affect authors and increase income, author Katherine Bogle’s success story on rapid release and writing to market, Jim’s thoughts on Apple’s opportunities in the audiobook market, and how author Elana Johnson made massive financial gains in a single year. Question of the Week: Which unexpected advertising keywords and targets have provided you with results for your books and why didn’t you think they’d work? read more

Episode 236 – Spinoff to Market, D2D POD, and Non-Sleazy Selling

Question of the Week: What would be your Spinoff to Market? Also, what would be a Spinoff to Market for Jim and Bryan with the Sell More Books Show? (i.e. Shawty and the Hustla in the Wild Wild West)

If you had the opportunity to pick a spinoff for a specific market from one of your series, which one would you choose? Jim is still scheduling 15-minute consultations over on AuthorAccelerate.com, hop on over and set up your one-on-one. Bryan had a great time on Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn and shares his awesome experience. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is RJ Beam. Bryan and Jim thank our featured Patrons: We Own the Sky, Faster Than Falling, and Leaving Eva. The Hot Tips include how to sell books without selling your soul, why Google docs could be the workflow solution you’ve been searching for, and why NaNoWriMo is worth a try. The News stories that matter most to Indies this week are how a change in VAT could line your pockets with extra cash, what issues will likely cause Wattpad’s token system to fail, how Kyla Steinkraus reached $5k in monthly earnings with a write-to-market spinoff, what’s up at Draft2Digital and why you should care, and how author Aidy Aaward exploded her income with a few key strategies. Question of the Week: What would be your Spinoff to Market? Also, what would be a Spinoff to Market for Jim and Bryan with the Sell More Books Show? (i.e. Shawty and the Hustla in the Wild Wild West) read more

Episode 235 – Category Strings, Wide Berths, and The Wonky Donkey

Question of the Week: Amazon may be getting rid of longer category strings on your sales pages. What do you think is the next big change Amazon will put into practice?

If Amazon is willing to ditch long-string categories, what else do you think they will jettison? Jim welcomes Bryan back from his West Coast mastermind retreat. The guys celebrate their 700,000th podcast download. This week’s Happy Book Review feature winner is David Mark Brown. Bryan thanks the featured patrons God and Gigs, Star Flame, and Peppermint Mocha Murder. The top Tips this week include how to successfully schedule the habit of writing, how stats can help you master paid advertising, and why author endorsements might not be out of your reach. Here are the News stories you won’t want to miss: How the subscription model of book sales is flourishing in Sweden, why the Wonky Donkey kicked Fear from the top spot, which tips Craig Zerf followed to double his income in August, Dave Chesson explains what is happening with Amazon categories, and how going wide helped J.D. Brown gain a big boost for a backlist series. Question of the Week: Amazon may be getting rid of longer category strings on your sales pages. What do you think is the next big change Amazon will put into practice? read more