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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Episode 192 – Premium Goodreads Giveaways, Loose Id, and Chat Bots

Question of the Week: Would you pay $599 for a Premium Goodreads Giveaway? Why or why not?

Do you think it’s worth $599 for a Premium GoodReads giveaway? Jim and Bryan take a few moments to thank their wonderful patrons Write! Shonen Manga by R. A. Paterson, The Reluctant Detective by Tom Fowler, and Hypercage by Craig Lea Gordon. The latest tips include how authors can hook new readers with snappy taglines, how writers giving in to Imposter Syndrome are only hurting their careers, and tips for improving productivity. News from the publishing world includes how messenger bots could kill off what little organic reach is left on Facebook, small press Loose Id is shutting down, PublishDrive continues to make headway in indie publishing, why indies should use caution before enrolling in Audible Romance, and GoodReads is revamping their giveaway program. Question of the Week: Would you pay $599 for a Premium Goodreads Giveaway? Why or why not?

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Episode 191 – Kindle’s 10th Anniversary, Going Wide, and From Indie to Trad and Back

Question of the Week: What do you think has been the biggest innovation in publishing since the Kindle device went live in 2007 and why?

What’s been the biggest game changer in publishing since the Kindle was released 10 years ago? Jim and Bryan start out with a thank you to their patrons A Dragon Among Eagles: A Novel of the Roman Empire, Blogging for Authors, and The Ten-Year Turnaround: Transform Your Personal Finances and Achieve Financial Freedom. This week’s tips include how authors can save tons of money by avoiding these unnecessary publishing expenses, making the transition from KU to wide a bit easier, and increasing engagement on Facebook with hints from Andrea Vahl. News includes how Anna Todd is returning to her indie roots with her next series, the latest PEW survey suggests keeping tabs on the reading habits of millennials when publishing, an inspiring interview with Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux about their Bestseller Experiment, speculation on what is triggering recent Amazon rank strips, and the 10th anniversary of the Kindle. Question of the Week: What do you think has been the biggest innovation in publishing since the Kindle device went live in 2007 and why?

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Episode 190 – Mark From Kobo, Buk, and Automatic Email Sequences

Question of the Week: Which marketing strategies that work in 2017 do you think will fade away in 2018 and why?

What marketing trends will be old news in 2018? After taking a moment to thank their patrons Rebel Song, Cowgirl, Unexpectedly, and Kiss Kill: Book 1 in The Girl in the Book Series, Jim and Bryan share helpful hints for authors like why authors need to block out other people’s voices while writing, how to use large-scale industry trends to improve sales, what auto-sequence one author uses to hook readers, and how LeadPages can help take the hassle out of Facebook ads. In publishing news, authors can share select passages of their books with sharable links, which market trends will become obsolete in 2018, what one writer predicts for Amazon’s entertainment ambitions, what KDP Print is offering to select authors, and why Kobo Writing Life is saying goodbye to a familiar face. Question of the Week: Which marketing strategies that work in 2017 do you think will fade away in 2018 and why?

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