Episode 202 – Book2Pod, Bradbury, and Going International

Question of the Week: What’s going to be bigger in five years: audiobooks or ebooks? And why?

Get out your crystal balls: will people be listening to or reading books more in 5 years? Jim and Bryan are back with another dose of the latest news and tips in the publishing world. First up, they take a moment to thank their generous patrons: A Turn for the Worse, How to Become a Productivity Guru, and COLD WAR: Alien Incursion. This week’s tips include how writers can breathe new life into their outreach efforts, creating audiobooks, and expanding their international reach. In news: StreetLib expands its global reach, some traditionally published authors are joining together to self-publish short stories, the Washington Post is updates its bestseller list, Audible wins the rights to Shaun White’s memoir, and why authors should ignore naysayers and publish on their own terms. Question of the Week: What’s going to be bigger in five years: audiobooks or ebooks? And why?

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Episode 201 – Stirring Up Controversy, Patreon Income, and Ghost Stories on Twitter

Question of the Week: Should you avoid feeding the trolls and keep your career’s status quo or is it better to feed the trolls for a chance at growing your business (with a chance of taking a hit as well)? And why?

To feed the trolls or not feed the trolls, that is the question. Bryan and Jim are back with the latest in publishing. First, they took a moment to thank their patrons: We Own the Sky, Faster Than Falling, and Leaving Eva. This week’s tips include how to reach more readers by building and organizing your email list, building brand recognition with an author logo, and expanding your social media reach with Grabbr. In news: Amazon partners with Susan G. Komen to fight breast cancer, new Amazon updates could give authors a sneak peak into the future of AMS, how to bring your storytelling to social media, why you should diversify your income, Draft2Digital’s big plans to boost discoverability, and why authors may not want to be afraid to stand for what they believe in. Question of the Week: Should you avoid feeding the trolls and keep your career’s status quo or is it better to feed the trolls for a chance at growing your business (with a chance of taking a hit as well)? And why?

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Episode 200 – Kobo & Walmart, Apple Books, and BookStat Backlash

Question of the Week: What’s your first reaction to Kobo and Walmart teaming up? Do you think you’ll sell more books on Kobo as a result of the partnership? Why or why not?

Will the teaming up of Kobo and Walmart be a dream team for authors? On the momentous occasion of their 200th show, Jim and Bryan kick off the fun with a special thanks to their patrons The Darby Shaw Chronicles box set, God and Gigs: Succeed as a Musician Without Sacrificing Your Faith, and Star Flame: A Story from the Meclauks Kingdom. Helpful tips this week include how authors can maximize sales with an eye-catching title, jumpstarting your promotions, and improving Kobo sales. In news, recently launched Bookstat could be headed for some legal trouble, Barnes & Noble has changed the name of Nook Press and made a few other tweaks to their set-pub platform, why writers should be on the lookout for Author Solutions clones, speculation on Apple’s latest move and what it will mean, and Walmart and Kobo announces a new partnership. Question of the Week: What’s your first reaction to Kobo and Walmart teaming up? Do you think you’ll sell more books on Kobo as a result of the partnership? Why or why not?

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Episode 199 – BookStat, Author Earnings, and the Top 50 Indies

Question of the Week: Did Data Guy sell out by starting BookStat? Why or why not?

Has Data Guy sold out? Bryan and Jim are back for another week of the latest news and tips for authors. After taking a moment to thank their patrons How to Kick Author Overwhelm to the Curb, The Thing Speaks for Itself, and Dark as the Grave, they jump into this weeks tips. Authors can get to know their readers better with some simple tips, boost reader interest by thinking outside the box, and how indie authors can avoid getting booted out of Facebook Groups . News items include how authors should never give up trying to get their rights back, Amazon raising the monthly Prime subscription rate, CreateSpace shutting down some of its divisions, Data Guy launching Bookstat, and the latest Author Earnings report. Question of the Week: Did Data Guy sell out by starting Bookstat?

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Episode 198 – Fifty Percent KDP Royalties, Sales Page Heat Maps, and Facebook Algorithm Changes

Question of the Week: Do you think Amazon’s inclusion of a 50% KDP royalty rate was a mistake or an indication of some future plan? If Amazon does have plans for the royalty rate, what do you think they are and why? And what do you think we should do special for Episode 200?

Is the 50% KDP royalty rate a goof or hint at something coming? Bryan and Jim take a moment to thank their wonderful patrons: The Author’s Guide to Ebook Bundling, More than Monsters, and A Band Director’s Guide to Everything Tuba. They’ve got some great tips this week including how authors can make their “Look Inside” shine, hooking more readers with tips from BookFunnel, improving chances with Kindle Scout, and a new publishing platform which combines crowdfunding and author services reports. The latest news items include how retailers are expanding reach into Arabic language ebook markets, how Sarah A. Denzil’s thriller Silent Child received the most 5-star reviews of any released in 2017, optimizing Amazon book pages with insights from an eye-tracking study from LookTracker Research Laboratory, an error in KDP’s royalty rate options is causing many authors to wonder what Amazon has coming up next, and some big changes in Facebook’s News Feed that will affect authors and other publishers on the platform. Question of the Week: Do you think Amazon’s inclusion of a 50% KDP royalty rate was a mistake or an indication of some future plan? If Amazon does have plans for the royalty rate, what do you think they are and why? And what do you think we should do special for Episode 200? read more

Episode 197 – Ethics, Page Stuffing, and the Constitution

Question of the Week: By linking to a free preview far at the end of an unlabeled multi-book collection, did the romance author we discussed do something opportunistic or simply unethical? If you saw a similar tweak that could get you more pages read from KU, would you do it if you knew Amazon was unlikely to take action? Why or why not?

Reminder: Jan. 12th is the final day to get your SMBS Summit ticket at the early bird price! Jim and Bryan kick things off with a big thanks to their featured patrons. Tips include why midlevel authors should slow down or pick up the pace, how authors get into the right business mindset, and how one author went from KU to wide. In news, one author’s Amazon rank was stripped for a third time, new and continuing trends for 2018, why Indian girls are falling behind when it comes to internet access, how scammers are stuffing books, and how one cease and desist letter helped project a book to the top of the charts. Question of the Week: By linking to a free preview far at the end of an unlabeled multi-book collection, did the romance author we discussed do something opportunistic or simply unethical? If you saw a similar tweak that could get you more pages read from KU, would you do it if you knew Amazon was unlikely to take action? Why or why not?Question of the Week: By linking to a free preview far at the end of an unlabeled multi-book collection, did the romance author we discussed do something opportunistic or simply unethical? If you saw a similar tweak that could get you more pages read from KU, would you do it if you knew Amazon was unlikely to take action? Why or why not?

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Episode 196 – Scams, Engagement, and Actual Bigfoot Romance

Question of the Week: If you got an email like the one NY Literary Magazine sent out, would you respond with anger or would you try to make the sender understand the error of their ways?

If a business sends an email about an ill-conceived program, would you have a chat with them or respond in anger? Getting 2018 started off with a bang, Bryan and Jim thank their wonderful patrons Gone, The Cordova Vector, and Taking Charge: Making Your Healthcare Appointments Work for You. The first tips of the year include how authors can gather more audiobook reviews, how authors can combat common health problems, and how to set writing goals. In news, find out what changed Playster has made to their audiobook service, changes coming to Amazon author portals, how one man transformed from cancer survivor to a bestseller, information on the new tax code, Facebook’s revised News Feed algorithm, and what one literary magazine did to upset the indie author community. Question of the Week: If you got an email like the one NY Literary Magazine sent out, would you respond with anger or would you try to make the sender understand the error of their ways?

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Episode 195 – 2017: The Year in Review

Question of the Week: What do you think was the biggest story of 2017 and why?

It’s been quite a year, what story is at the top of your list? As 2017 draws to a close, Jim and Bryan take some time to recap some of the ups and downs of 2017 including the top ad platform for authors, the closing of an e-book aggregator and who is stepping in to fill that void, what was the biggest growth sector in publishing, scammers taking over, and why authors complained so much this past year – and what they can do differently in 2018. Question of the Week: What do you think was the biggest story of 2017 and why?

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Episode 194 – Reporting Delays, Patreon Backtracks, and KU on the Rise

Question of the Week: How do you cope with negativity and other things that don’t go well in your business? How might you change the way you react going forward in 2018?

Could changing how you react to negativity have a positive impact on your business in 2018? In the home stretch to the end of 2017, Jim and Bryan take a moment to thank their patrons: Covermint Design, Plain Talk Book Marketing, and The Efficient Writer. Tips include great advice on how to quit your 9-to-5 to write full-time, selling more books by keeping promises to readers, and how a key in making a living writing is to keep writing the next book. In publishing news, Patreon reverses it’s decision about fee structures, Amazon has released a year-end bestseller compilation list, audiobooks continue as the fastest growing segment in digital publishing, Amazon’s payouts for KU increased again, and authors are experiencing major delays in sales reporting from Amazon. Question of the week: How do you cope with negativity and other things that don’t go well in your business? How might you change the way you react going forward in 2018?

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Episode 193 – LitRPG Trademark, Patreon Fees, and Estate Planning

Question of the Week: If you created or popularized a term that later became a successful product or genre for multiple people, would you consider trademarking it? Why or why not

If you came up with a term that became popular, would you lawyer up and trademark it? Jim and Bryan start out by thanking their wonderful patrons: The Newbie’s Guide To Sell More Books With Less Marketing, The Secret Blush, and What Sells Books. They had some valuable tips to share this week including how best to communicate with Amazon in order to resolve author issues, thinking like artisans rather than manufacturers, how one urban fantasy author Shayne Silvers went from earning a few hundred a month to five-figures after taking some time to do research, and The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is looking for more SFWA members to participate in a new indie bundle. News items include how authors can revamp their book covers with trend predictions from 99Designs, Hoopla is expanding their catalogs for young kids and comic lovers, the importance of proper estate planning regarding author’s intellectual property, indies aren’t happy about Patreon’s new fee structure, and Aleron Kong has trademarked the term “LitRPG”, irking others in the genre. Question of the Week: If you created or popularized a term that later became a successful product or genre for multiple people, would you consider trademarking it? Why or why not?

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