Author Topic: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!  (Read 72800 times)  

Offline anniejocoby

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #375 on: April 01, 2016, 09:30:25 PM »
I'll pipe in, as an old acquaintance of Annie's... (((Waves to Annie!!!)))

Annie, this is a great idea to ask for feedback. You didn't ask, but I'll throw my 2 cents in. I frequently recommend your books to my readers/friends since I write quite slow and cannot keep them fed. I got some interesting feedback that I think you might want to know about and once brought to my attention, I sorta agree. I told a friend about your books. Later, I asked if she'd read any yet, and she responded that your series was waaaaay too long for her to be committed to. After a little questioning, I realized she thought all your series were one very long saga/series. It was because of the covers. While they're all lovely, they do look too much alike. It's not obvious where one ends and another begins. Wonder if your cover designer could change the blue on two of them to some other background color to differentiate?

Wow, Lisa, thanks so much!!!! Thanks for the feedback and for recommending me! :) I admit, I have struggled a bit with the cover branding stuff. They're all related, but they're series within a series. There's four series now that is under one overarching one. That's an interesting suggestion, though, to differentiate them all slightly.  I've gone back and forth with that. At one time, they were all very different. Then they were the blue covers, which they are now. Then I made them all look the same but slightly different. Now I'm back with blue. But if the length of the series is turning people off, then maybe I need to look into all that. It's certainly some fat to chew on! :)

Thanks again! I'm not looking forward to paying my cover designer again. *Sigh* I've spent so much money designing and redesigning those things. It's hard to figure out what to do. 

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Offline Evenstar

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #376 on: April 04, 2016, 06:59:21 AM »

Thanks again! I'm not looking forward to paying my cover designer again. *Sigh* I've spent so much money designing and redesigning those things. It's hard to figure out what to do.

Don't hate me, but I adored your original covers! I find the blue too cold. The first set had characters that were very relatable (and rather attractive lol)

Offline Silly Writer

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #377 on: April 05, 2016, 09:43:52 PM »
Don't hate me, but I adored your original covers! I find the blue too cold. The first set had characters that were very relatable (and rather attractive lol)

Me too. Loved old covers. New covers are beautiful too, though. Just too close in coloring to each other, even if all the series are related. Maybe the designer can give you a break. It wouldn't take long at all to go in and change the background colors, would it?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 03:19:39 PM by L.L. AKers »

Offline Mafalda Writes

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #378 on: April 09, 2016, 05:38:40 PM »
Giving JMHO
Yes all the series in the same blue makes it look like one looooong saga. I thought they were until I re-read your original post.
An option might be to leave the first series in blue but the other two in a different colour tone. That would make them visually distinct and separate enough to garner more readers.



Wow, Lisa, thanks so much!!!! Thanks for the feedback and for recommending me! :) I admit, I have struggled a bit with the cover branding stuff. They're all related, but they're series within a series. There's four series now that is under one overarching one. That's an interesting suggestion, though, to differentiate them all slightly.  I've gone back and forth with that. At one time, they were all very different. Then they were the blue covers, which they are now. Then I made them all look the same but slightly different. Now I'm back with blue. But if the length of the series is turning people off, then maybe I need to look into all that. It's certainly some fat to chew on! :)

Thanks again! I'm not looking forward to paying my cover designer again. *Sigh* I've spent so much money designing and redesigning those things. It's hard to figure out what to do.

Offline annmajor

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Thank you so much for writing this! :) It was extremely helpful. I put several of your ideas onto my todo list! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
ANN MAJOR, author of NIGHT CHILD and DESTINY'S CHILD (book 2 and 3 of TEXAS: CHILDREN OF DESTINY series)
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Offline K.D.McVey

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #380 on: August 28, 2016, 02:29:42 AM »
if BookBub turns you down, try them out! I have always had an AMAZING ROI with them, and they've been a great help to me, especially since BookBub keeps turning down any book of mine not named Beautiful Illusions.

Thank you very much for this advice (the entire post, I mean); I really appreciate it.

I just wanted to suggest something to you: write another book that incorporates 'Beautiful Illusions' into the title 'XXX Beautiful Illusions'  or 'Beautiful Illusions YYY' then have another bash at them.

Thanks again and good luck,

Kathy x
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 02:31:50 AM by K.D.McVey »
 
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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #381 on: August 28, 2016, 02:43:06 AM »
Wow, Lisa, thanks so much!!!! Thanks for the feedback and for recommending me! :) I admit, I have struggled a bit with the cover branding stuff. They're all related, but they're series within a series. There's four series now that is under one overarching one. That's an interesting suggestion, though, to differentiate them all slightly.  I've gone back and forth with that. At one time, they were all very different. Then they were the blue covers, which they are now. Then I made them all look the same but slightly different. Now I'm back with blue. But if the length of the series is turning people off, then maybe I need to look into all that. It's certainly some fat to chew on! :)

Thanks again! I'm not looking forward to paying my cover designer again. *Sigh* I've spent so much money designing and redesigning those things. It's hard to figure out what to do. 

I loved your covers but am I right that you just changed all of them from couples to males with a much lighter style?  Just curious to know why you did this and if it has improved sales?

Offline Carol M

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #382 on: August 28, 2016, 04:55:34 AM »
Thanks so much for sharing your success. It's truly inspiring.

Offline velvetinna

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #383 on: August 28, 2016, 07:58:31 AM »
So inspiring and so what I needed to hear today! Thank you.

Offline TamaraWilding

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #384 on: September 10, 2016, 12:37:22 PM »
Fascinating.
Wrote Darkly Comic Fantasy, Dragon, King In Graeffenland, Princess of Bones, Metacosmoclypse, Once A Knight, Hand & Eye.

Offline bberntson

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #385 on: September 10, 2016, 01:37:11 PM »
Well done, Annie!  It's good to see you having this kind of success.

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Offline dakila

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #386 on: November 19, 2016, 10:50:22 PM »
Very inspiring! ;D


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Offline Pam771771

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #387 on: November 20, 2016, 12:19:10 AM »
Thanks for sharing your success story.

I've only got one book released at the moment (at 0.99) and it's not doing too well (but then again I've done no promo on it - was wanting to wait until I had book 2 out), but once I get book 2 out, I can't wait to start playing around with promotion ideas. Will probably take your advice and make book 1 permafree.

Just need to get the thing finished!!!
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Offline alex dire

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #388 on: November 20, 2016, 06:47:55 AM »
Regarding permafree. What do watchers of this thread think about the idea that permafree  could pollute your also boughts and therefore negatively affect your visibility with the target audience?


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Offline alex dire

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #389 on: November 20, 2016, 06:48:50 AM »
I have no personal experience with this and was hoping some folks out there could comment.


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Offline Steven Kelliher

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #390 on: November 20, 2016, 08:57:22 AM »
Noob question. I'm in Select right now, but considering going wide.

Do you Wide folks do sales separately on the different channels? Sort of curious how promos work when you're wide. Do you just include the links to all channels in the promo or spread your marketing efforts out and focus on each individual channel?

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Offline Rachel E. Rice

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #391 on: November 20, 2016, 09:26:11 AM »
Noob question. I'm in Select right now, but considering going wide.

Do you Wide folks do sales separately on the different channels? Sort of curious how promos work when you're wide. Do you just include the links to all channels in the promo or spread your marketing efforts out and focus on each individual channel?
I have always been wide because I didn't take the time to do my research on how to sell on Amazon. Moreover, I have too many books now to try and pull them off some sites and put them into Amazon's library.

To answer your question about doing "sales separately on different channels," yes you sell and receive payments from different channels. However, if you go through D2D or Smashwords, they will handle that for you and you will have to pay more to them which makes your end less. I hope I understood your question correctly and answered it.

On the question of promotion, most places favor Amazon but there are some that will ask you to include your link for Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. I don't know how well these promos work outside of Amazon. Try going through some recent threads on here to get a complete overview of what works and what doesn't when it comes to promotions on other vendors beside Amazon.
I hope that answers some of your questions.
 
Chris Fox in his new book addresses the notion of going wide and promoting on Apple.


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Offline KyleArmstrong

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #392 on: November 20, 2016, 09:55:10 AM »
Cheers for the info, as a relative novice its always good to get advice from the vets!

Kyle Armstrong

Offline itsrosecastro

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #393 on: December 06, 2016, 12:16:03 AM »
This is great information. Thanks for sharing! The platforms you mention, such as Nook, Kobo, and Apple; do you continue publishing through these channels?
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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #394 on: December 11, 2016, 05:38:43 PM »

Chris Fox in his new book addresses the notion of going wide and promoting on Apple.

Can you tell me which book this is?

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Offline gcs

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Re: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!
« Reply #395 on: March 20, 2017, 06:42:51 PM »
Very kind of you to share all that! thank you!

Offline Daniel Roy Greenfeld

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This is a wonderful summary of how to succeed. I'm trying to focus on writing as much as I can, and I've gotten to the point where I can reliably get 3000 words down a day. My plan is once I have another book or two out I'll really focus on the marketing (except during release days).

Thank you very much for sharing!


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Offline anniejocoby

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I loved your covers but am I right that you just changed all of them from couples to males with a much lighter style?  Just curious to know why you did this and if it has improved sales?

Oh, my, i just realized that I haven't replied to this thread in quite awhile. I missed a bunch of posts. Sorry!!!!

On the question of the covers...I changed them around a lot. I'm back to my original covers on my Broken series, and I have different covers for my other series, too. I change them around a bunch. I'll probably change them again. I don't think that my covers make that much of a difference, TBH. I regret changing them so much, just because they were always a lot of money because I changed all of them at once, and I did it like three times. I wouldn't recommend that.

I also see some questions about permafree. Unfortunately, I wrote this thread back in 2014, and soooo much has changed since then - both for me personally and for self-publishing in general. I think that KU kinda killed the value of permafree. I really don't know. What I do know is that my backlist is currently doing very little for me, across the board, these days. On Apple, my backlist still does okay - I don't think that I've ever made less than $600 there in a month. But everywhere else, including Amazon...things haven't done so well.

I have switched genres, though, and that seems to have revived things for me. I have three legal thrillers out, one on preorder, and no permafrees. I haven't run a single ad, either. But they are all <10,000 in the store. I think that my latest strategy of cranking out the books, one a month, is my new strategy. I hope I don't burn out, but, so far, that seems to be working.

I guess the point of my update here on this thread is that things change. The market changes, and you have to always make changes to your strategy. If I would have done it all over again, I probably would have switched genres a few years ago, when I had my first underperforming romance series. 2014 was really the last time I've had a successful romance series, but I just kept on spinning my wheels, with the same strategy, hoping for something to change. It never did - it just got worse.

The moral of the story is - always reassess. If something you did works, and then it stops working, figure out why and what you can change. And don't delay in that - that was my mistake. I kept on going, even though it was pretty clear that my earlier strategy of writing romance trilogies with a permafree loss leader was no longer working for me.

In my case, I needed to get out of a super-saturated genre and get into a genre that is popular but not saturated. Legal thrillers fit that bill. I'm not back to making five-figure months, yet, but I hope to be by the end of this year.

Also, I plan on getting into KU with my legal thrillers in a few months. Once I get five books in that series, I'm putting them into KU and I'm going to do a rolling promo on each book - make one free for five days, with promo, and then the next month, make Book Two free for five days, etc. We'll see if that works.

I'll read some of the other posts to see if there's any other inquiry I missed. Good luck guys!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 09:06:53 PM by anniejocoby »

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Offline anniejocoby

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Regarding permafree. What do watchers of this thread think about the idea that permafree  could pollute your also boughts and therefore negatively affect your visibility with the target audience?


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I don't really find that permafrees pollute my also-bots. My also-bots are pretty on-point, and they always have been. I wouldn't worry about that too much!

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Offline anniejocoby

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Noob question. I'm in Select right now, but considering going wide.

Do you Wide folks do sales separately on the different channels? Sort of curious how promos work when you're wide. Do you just include the links to all channels in the promo or spread your marketing efforts out and focus on each individual channel?

This is actually the main reason why I'm going to try KU with my new series, and probably with every book I write from now on - promos don't generally work that well on other platforms. iTunes is the one possible exception - when I run a Freebooksy ad, I get a bump there. But on Nook - nope, no bump. Kobo - no bump (although their internal promos are pretty okay). Google - no bump whatsoever. The ONLY thing that works wide is BookBub - but good luck getting one of those. And even BookBub has no effect on Google and little effect on Kobo. It has a pretty good effect on Nook, and I generally do AWESOME on iTunes with BookBubs. But, since other platforms are difficult to boost with regular ads, I find that it's very difficult to keep things evergreen on the different platforms. I can't help but think that KU might be better, in the long run, because promos work so much better on Amazon then anyplace else.

If you can get regular BookBubs, then wide is fantastic. If that's not the case, it's hard. Patty is the exception. There might be others.

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