Episode 140 – Backlists, India, and Freedom

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Question of the Week: How do you promote your backlist? What kind of results have you had?

Jonny from Author Platform Rocket joined the guys to discuss Bryan’s results with his service. Jim offered to help folks find more reviewers as well (listen to the ep for more info). After discussing tips on productivity, BookBub, and bursts of promotion, they took on the latest in publishing news including Nook reporting errors, Amazon’s plans for India, ebook tax laws, artistic freedom, and using your backlist. This week’s Question of the Week: How do you promote your backlist? What kind of results have you had?

What You’ll Learn:
  • How authors can improve productivity and create assets
  • What authors can learn about featured deals from a BookBub editor
  • How authors can break promotional work into ten-minute tasks
  • Why authors should take a second look at their Nook sales
  • What Amazon has in the works for the Indian Kindle store
  • How proposed tax laws in United States and the EU will affect ebook sales
  • What indie authors have in common with country singer Tim McGraw
  • How authors can use their backlist to create long-term success
Links:
Question of the Week: How do you promote your backlist? What kind of results have you had?

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  • Mark Goodwin

    Since I can’t get a Book Snub becuase I’m not wide, I go with the old saying, “Three promos in the hand is worth a Bub in the bush.” While the results are much smaller, Book Gorilla, Fussy Librarian, and Bargain Booksy all grant me some exposure and usually break even when I run a $0.99 promo.

    • Bryan

      Ooh, BookSnub. Burn! I’ve found the same from doing my promos too.

    • It’s not mandatory that your book be wide to get an ad on BookBub. Lots of books in KDP Select have had ads. OTOH, being wide doesn’t guarantee you a slot either. Ask me how I know. LOL

      • Bryan

        Haha, we’ve all been there, Elise :). I wish we all knew the power of a BB ad for Select though ;).

  • Lisa Medley

    Hi Bryan & Jim, I’ve been listening off and on for a while and find your show very helpful and motivating. On your recommendation, I tried Freebooksy this week to raise my permafree book from the bottom of the Amazonian Sea. That $100 ad netted me 1,362 new downloads of book one in my dark urban fantasy romance series about reapers and things that go bump in the night. Reap & Repent broke the Top 100 Free on Amazon and hit #1Literature & Fiction/Horror/ Dark Fantasy and #2 Romance/Paranormal/Angels. I look forward to a nice bump for the other books in the series in the coming weeks. Thanks for the recommendation. That’s one way I’m working to promote my backlist. My 2017 goal is to run at least one promo or small ad a week to keep my series afloat. Thanks again. Reap on.

    • Bryan

      That’s fantastic, Lisa! Glad you had some good results with Freebooksy. Great idea to use consistent promo to keep things afloat. Thanks for listening :).

  • Hi Jim and Bryan

    I loved this weeks episode.

    I just wanted to clarify some points on the VAT on ebooks in Europe.
    It’s true there’s a proposal to drop from 21% to 6%. Now, this is the result of a bunch of authors lobbying and protesting. You have to know, not even 2 years ago, we nearly didn’t have any taxes on ebooks. But then the EU implemented a tax system for ebooks. (http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/6/8160679/eu-ebooks-vat-tax-electronic-service)

    The result was that suddenly, the taxes that were withheld went up to 21%. Now you know that customers are very price-aware. So suddenly, my book priced at $2.99 and €2.99 (which was about the same value in revenu), started earning about €0.30 euro less when sold in Europe.

    At this point we have the option to increase the price or keep the price the same and settle for less earning. I did the latter.

    But most authors weren’t pleased and started complaining to customer representing organisation, which then took things up with the government, resulting in the situation where we are today… (http://www.thebookseller.com/news/ec-committs-addressing-e-book-vat-inequality-action-plan-326076)

    Oh and by the way, over here it’s ODS (Oak Desk Syndrome)…

    As always, thanks for a great show. Every single week you confirm why you’re the only podcast I’m a patron of…

    PS: Bryan, best of luck with the upcoming birth of your firstborn. My daughter is 13 months old now and it’s the best thing in the world.

    Brecht

    • Bryan

      Thanks so much, Brecht. Good to know the authors of the EU fought back against ODS (Oak, of course!). Yay! Can’t wait for our little lady :).

      • Kendall Hanson

        Of course oak. Isn’t mahogany more a wood from the Americas? And that wonderful khaya and sapele stuff from Africa that’s mahogany but harder.

        • Bryan

          Of course!

  • Amazingly, I agree with Jim on one point this week, his comment about DWS’s post on artistic freedom. In fact, I left a comment there saying basically the same thing.

    It’s relatively easy to write what you want to write when you have over 100 novels and who knows how many short stories published and earning you a steady income. It’s a very different thing when you’re starting out and are still in the red.

    I made a conscious effort this year to pay more attention to the market because my “books of the heart” weren’t selling all that well. While I’m not making a fortune with the new books, at least I stand a chance of finding my target audience because there are other books by other authors like them that are selling well.

    (No offense, Jim, but I’m not sure your experience in Internet marketing always translates well to ebooks.)

    • Bryan

      Hahaha, Elise. I’m sure Jim appreciates your temporary agreement ;).

  • Patrick O’Donnell

    Jim and Bryan,

    I really liked this show. The “artistic freedom” part got me thinking. I agree with you guys 100%. It’s so easy for somebody who is rich and famous in whatever field they are in to look down at what they consider “sell outs”. The view is much better in an ivory tower, but perhaps they forgot how dirty and difficult the path up to that tower was.
    Keep up the good work guys and good luck on Bryan’s new arrival!!!!!!

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Patrick! Definitely a dirty path up that tower :).

  • Matt Ryan

    If you forget about your backlist, amazon will do the same. I promote my series ones with a promo-stack on a four month rotation. If you can get enough giveaways or sales for the promo week, you can get Amazon to remember your book exists and they will put it back into the sales machine for a month or two.

    • Bryan

      Agreed. Smart thinking :).