Donation Made to NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep)

3aWelcomeHey! I just wanted to take a second and say thank you to everyone who signed up for the 4 MILLION REASONS TO SELF-PUBLISH workshop that is taking place next weekend. All the monies paid for tuition were donated to NILMDTS, which totaled just over $2,400! This means to much to families that use this non-profit’s services.

I’m sending out the email tonight that has the info for those who are registered for next weekend. This is the 2nd time I’ve done this workshop. It sold out both times in a matter of minutes. There will be 2 more workshops later this year for those of you who are interested and didn’t get in.

Thank you so much! You guys rock! Talk to you next weekend!

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Author Tips: Book Bombs, Release Days, & Other Good Free Marketing Tips

NYTdamagedarrange6I thought I’d share what a typical release day looks like. Some things have changed since I started in 2011, but most are still the same.

Each novel has a release date that is announced on the website, blog, and social media pages a few weeks prior to release. I tell ppl when I start a new book/ series and do a cover reveal, so by the time I announce the release, they have been looking for it.

For serials, I give the readers a rough idea of when the next one will come out so I give myself enough time to write it. The cover is posted a few days prior to the release of the serial so everyone can see it and get excited. Then as soon as I get it back from editing I publish it.

What the heck is a book bomb? Define: Book Bomb=bombarded in this case with the hope that using multiple marketing channels, simultaneously, the book will be more visible for a short window. During that window you will get a higher influx of readers. More visibility=more sales. Generally speaking, that’s true. People can’t buy the book if they don’t know its there. A book bomb makes it very clear its there and how to get it.

RELEASE DAY MARKETING:

1. Blog Post – include links to all retailers, description, trailer (if I have one), release date, and cover.
2. Update Blog Widgets – add cover image to blog sidebar with link to book in Kindle Store.
3. Update Goodreads – make sure release date is in bold and change it to TODAY and sale price.
4. Add book to author central.
5. Add bold text, reviews, and the about the author section via Author Central.
6. Create mass email to get sent out on release day with links to ppl on the newsletter list.
7. Create social media ad images to be used as teasers on release day & week (hot link to book).
8. Post reminders on Twitter and Facebook that the book comes out tomorrow. Link to 1st chapter on blog if I posted a teaser.
9. Add cover to Pintrest.
10. Add other images that pertain to story idea or creation to Pintrest.
11. Update link to book on website.
12. Dispense ARCs
13. Check in with Beta Readers (if used).
14. Post links to books on Twitter and FB.
15. Contact Book Reviewers that requested personal reminders on release days.
16. Go out and take the day off so I don’t watch the computer all day.

Most of this stuff is free. The only thing that I pay for is the email service so I can track stuff. It is time consuming, but its worked well for me. A good release day will bump one of my new books up into the top 3,000. A ho-hum day will be around 10,000. Holidays, school, weekends, etc all affect release days. I try to launch the book when people will be around. There is usually an uptick in sale the two weeks following launch day as reviews start to come in.

Recent changes:

In addition to the things above, I might take out a paid ad if it’s the first book in a series. I plan promotions to kick in when the anticipated sales slump starts. I was hospitalized during one of my novel releases (DAMAGED last April), and by the time I woke up, that novel was already in the top 100. A ho-hum release now will hit a rank of about 200 on release day. A highly anticipated book will hit the top 10. I have over 40 books, about 1/2 novels, 1/2 serials. Some are YA and some are NA.

THIS IS STILL THE SAME: The best piece of advice I can give someone trying to boost their sales is this: MAKE IT REALLY EASY TO BUY YOUR BOOK! Don’t make people go looking for it.

And if you are selling to women/ girls: MAKE IT PRETTY! I use picture links a lot too.

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This is a hype piece for a book that came out recently. I use it on facebook & twitter. Sometimes it’ll will appear on the blog as well.

The most sales I had in a single week was just over 100K copies, and the title came in #2 on NYT, WSJ, and USA Today. Dan Brown beat me. I beat Jame Patterson. That title hit #1 on Amazon and held for about 1/2 a week at $3.99. Not too shabby. One week in 2013 I had 4 titles on USA Today’s bestseller list. I think that’s a record for me. There might have been 5 a while back, but I was too busy writing to notice. I gotta dig back through and check.

I still do all this stuff. It works. Anything that makes your books easier for ppl to find and buy is a plus. That’s what all this marketing stuff is about at it’s core – making it easier for readers to find & buy your books.

If this seems overwhelming, just remember that marketing=making your book more visible and easy to purchase. Start there and it’s less head spinning. I started with 1 facebook fan, too. It’s one fan at a time, 1 foot in front of the other kind of brand building that grabs readers and helps them stick around. It didn’t happen over night. This way takes time, but it works.

Rock on, Indie Peeps!

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Major Indie Milestones: 2 Million Books Sold, 7 New York Times Bestsellers, Plus More Cool Stuff

This year has been an amazing experience. Some of you know that I’m an indie author, which means that I’m completely self-published. Lots of people think that a writer can’t get anywhere going it alone, and I’d like to say otherwise.

Being an Indie Author rocks! Here are some of the amazing things that have happened so far this year, and the year isn’t over yet!

Currently, I’m the #1 bestselling new adult author in the world. Thank you to Bella Andre for pointing that out. I don’t stop and look at the numbers often, and since they exploded this year I’ve climbed more lists than I can count. The majority of my titles are new adult, and they took off like a rocket early this year after sleeping for months.

I’ve sold 2 million books. On my own. Without a publisher. How many? Can you even fathom that number, most of which were sold since this January? I can’t. What does that even look like? 2 freakin million books. Sold. As in people paid for them. (No, that doesn’t include free. I suck at free. While others have gotten free to work, I didn’t). It’s amazing!

My books have been in the New York Times 7 times since January, as well as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal. One of my titles also hit #1 on Digital Book World and I was the 1st strictly Indie author to do so.

I hit the #1 bestselling author on Amazon several times and have been in the top 100 since January this year. The authors surrounding me are mega blockbuster bestselling authors like Nora Roberts, Lee Child, and Dan Brown.

I’ve had multiple books hit the lists on the same week! I had 2 New York Times bestsellers at once, multiple times! Having 7 so far this year is overwhelming, but when you add that some of those books were in there twice in one week and wow. Just wow.

One of my titles was in the Amazon top 100 books for over 100 days. That was amazing!

I was in FORBES, The Washington Post, and a bunch of other cool places.

We’re well into record breaking territory for an indie author. Self publishing is a roller coaster ride and it’s been frantic since the start of this year.

Hell, publishing is a wild ride in general. It’s hard enough to write a book, but when you add in the factors it takes to get it in front of people, and all this stuff that happened is mind-blowing.

I’ve turned down multiple six-figure offers from traditional publishers this year and I am a so glad that I did. For those thinking about self publishing, take a good hard look. I’m having a fun time and currently at the top of the charts, and while my experience may not be the norm, there are many Indies earning an excellent living–some, for the first time in their lives–and they’re doing what they love.

I just wanted to share this since the connotation that self-publishing isn’t a good plan. People told me I was crazy when I turned down those offers. Trust your gut.

It turns out that self publishing is awesome.

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