Episode 280 – Gaming Netflix, Kobo Marketing, and Gardening

With James Daunt from Waterstones taking over the B&N CEO job, what are some ways he could make the U.S. bookstore as British as possible?

Are you ready for a “British” bookstore invasion? Bryan is on vacation this week. Bryan is back and the team is at full strength this week! This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is David Avoura King. Thank you to our featured Patrons – Cubicle Jail to Laptop Lifestyle, The Dragon Rustler (Cowboys and Dragons Book 1), and Star Flame: A Story From the Meclauks Kingdom. The Top Tips of the week include how to get the mist from your ACX coupons, the true value of an accountability partner and where to find one, why the great outdoors is your creative partner. This week’s Honorable Mention covers the addition of more big names to the Amazon author stable. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how the Norsemen pillaged Netflix, how author Mike Chen used ad stacking to soar up in the rankings, why Rachel Morgan Goetsch set he sights on Kobo sales, how the new CEO will steer the Barnes and Noble ship, and how the Vines managed to double the sales and KU reads of Chris’s debut after only two weeks. Question of the Week: With James Daunt from Waterstones taking over the B&N CEO job, what are some ways he could make the U.S. bookstore as British as possible? read more

Episode 279 – Keywords, Pirates, and Getting Over Yourself

What would you need from a traditional publisher to sign a contract with a morality clause in it?

To sign or not to sign? What would it take to convince you to subject yourself to a morality clause in a publishing contract? Bryan is on vacation this week. Jim welcomes his special guest host, Chrishaun Keller-Hanna! This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Randy Green. Thank you to our featured Patrons – Guild of Tokens: Initiate, Mayhem & Murder, and How to Self-Publish A Children’s Book: Everything You Need To Know To Write, Illustrate, Publish, And Market Your Paperback And Ebook. The Top Tips of the week include why the right keywords are so important, what you can learn from the top authors in your field, and what the pros and cons are of Bookbub’s various advertising opportunities. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include what you should know about pirates, how traditional publishers an AB-using morality clauses, how author Jeffrey Munn used niche marketing to nearly triple his sales, what happened to the Washington Post bestseller list, and how author RE Vance hit his first 5-figure month. Question of the Week: What would you need from a traditional publisher to sign a contract with a morality clause in it? read more

Episode 278 – Dean Koontz, Affordable Launch Plans, and Wattpad Paid Stories

What do you think Amazon promised in its marketing plan to author Dean Koontz to get him to sign a big deal with an Amazon imprint?

Do you think Amazon imprints are in a position to attract more big name authors? Bryan will be off next week and Jim has a special surprise guest host booked! Bryan has over 300 people signed up to his ARC team and is setting the goal of 100 reviews in the first 48 hours. Jim’s book Unskippable will be at 99 cents for a few more days – grab a copy if you haven’t had the chance. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Lars Hedbor. Thank you to our featured Patrons – The Reluctant Detective, Get it Done, and Sanyare: The Last Descendant. The Top Tips of the week include what you can do to streamline your BookBub “follow” call to action, how a simple card can give people the information they need to remember you—and your book, and what you can do to declutter your work-in-progress. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why the French Army is turning to sci-fi writers for advanced warning, how Kym Thurlow used a pen name to test the waters and learn from her mistakes, how Wattpad’s monetization features are benefitting authors, why Jami Albright turned to free options to support her latest book launch, and why Dean Koontz has taken the plunge with an Amazon imprint. Question of the Week: What do you think Amazon promised in its marketing plan to author Dean Koontz to get him to sign a big deal with an Amazon imprint? read more

Episode 277 – Audible Rights, Google Play Changes, and After the Launch

Would having the text available during your audiobook listening improve your reader experience? Do you think that Audible has violated existing rights agreements by testing its new audio to text feature?

What is your opinion of Audible’s new audio to text feature? Bryan and Jim are looking for a great idea for the 300th show. Bryan shares some great author feedback and testimonials from Best Page Forward! Jim’s book Unskippable is currently available for 99 cents for a limited time. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Jon Evans. Thank you to our featured Patrons – Corruption of Identity, Hook’s Daughter: The Untold Tale of a Pirate Princess, and Sales Success Stories: 60 Stories from 20 Top 1% Sales Professionals. The Top Tips of the week include how to recover from a failed book launch, why it’s so easy to waste money marketing your book, and what are the three essential questions every author must answer. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why teen writers are actually using ghostwriters, how Danielle Burton hit her first $1k month, what the royalty changes on Google Play mean for indie authors, how Aidy Aaward is making her 20BooksTo50k dreams come true, and why it sounds a lot like copyright infringement over at Audible.com. Question of the Week: Would having the text available during your audiobook listening improve your reader experience? Do you think that Audible has violated existing rights agreements by testing its new audio to text feature? read more

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