Author Topic: Keep your back list selling and relax!  (Read 50772 times)  

Offline Andie

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #275 on: December 16, 2017, 11:41:49 PM »
I've been thinking a lot about goals vs journeys.

If you're not enjoying the journey, you may need to revisit your goal and your path to reach it. You need to work with people who share your philosophy and jettison practices that you hate, especially if they don't bring you huge results. There is more than one path.

I need to print this and tape it to my forehead. Thank you.


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Online Mare

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #276 on: December 17, 2017, 05:44:21 AM »
I need to print this and tape it to my forehead. Thank you.


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My thoughts exactly! Thank you Patty for sharingI needed this information this morning!!!  :)

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Online Rosie A.

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #277 on: December 17, 2017, 09:26:11 AM »
Bookmarked. I'll be following through with this. Thank you, Patty!

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Offline DebDougall

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #278 on: December 17, 2017, 02:06:33 PM »
Oh my! Thanks so much for this, Patty. :D

Offline Squeakers

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #279 on: December 18, 2017, 02:19:10 PM »
Oh wow, thank you for this! It is incredibly helpful.

On a side-note, I just realized I have your 3 books (The three-year plan) on my wishlist on amazon that I sent my other(better?) half for "What I want for Christmas." Fingers crossed that he paid attention to that, because now I want them even more after reading this thread.



ETA: Grammar is hard y'all, when at work and not supposed to be on kboards.   :P
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 02:21:09 PM by Squeakers »

Book 1: 13%

Book 2 (was 1): 76%

Offline Secret Pen Pal

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #280 on: December 19, 2017, 10:13:01 PM »
I've been meaning to set up automation. Thanks for sharing your method.
BTW, MailerLite has automation. I moved there from Mailchimp to reduce the overhead.
I was beginning to consider FB ads. I loathe FB. Thanks for making my day.

Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #281 on: December 19, 2017, 10:26:19 PM »
I've been meaning to set up automation. Thanks for sharing your method.
BTW, MailerLite has automation. I moved there from Mailchimp to reduce the overhead.
I was beginning to consider FB ads. I loathe FB. Thanks for making my day.

I moved to Mailerlite a year ago.

I now also advertise on Facebook, but it is really not something I advise beginning writers to do. It gets vastly more interesting if you have a decent stable of books to sell.

Offline Guy Riessen

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #282 on: December 19, 2017, 11:12:02 PM »
I moved to Mailerlite a year ago.

I now also advertise on Facebook, but it is really not something I advise beginning writers to do. It gets vastly more interesting if you have a decent stable of books to sell.

I, on the other hand, advise spending $10-$20 every month or so, if you can afford that, and play around with Facebook. It is very enlightening learning how the marketing audiences work and there are a ton of metrics you get to study. Plus even if you're not selling books, you can use it to grow your email list by learning how to get people to your landing page. You can build pure website traffic if you have a blog, you can build Facebook likes for your author page. Then by the time you have a backlist, you'll be a pro and grow right into smoothly awesome FB advertising.

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Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #283 on: December 20, 2017, 02:36:50 AM »
Quote
You can build pure website traffic if you have a blog, you can build Facebook likes for your author page.

Paying for likes seems like a waste of money. With Facebook no longer showing your posts to a decent proportion of your likes, you have to pay again for people to actually see your stuff. You're much better off getting those people off Facebook and on your list.

The trouble with Facebook ads is that it may take a significant amount of time and money before you see any consistent statistically measurable results. The lower your monthly budget, the longer it takes to get those results. At least that's my experience while I've done this since 2014.

So really, you want to be able to set aside a decent amount of money, like $150-$500 per month that you can play around with, and the entire premise of this thread is that the beginning writer does not need to fund their writing career from their other job. When you're starting out, there are a lot more important areas to spend that amount of money than Facebook ads.

Advertising for any books or mailing list signups becomes vasty more profitable the more books you have out. Facebook is extremely good at eating your money for nothing in return.

If someone is really keen at learning this type of advertising, I tell them to go to AMS, because they won't burn through your money ate a crazy rate if you make a daft keyword choice.


Offline Joy Cote

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #284 on: December 31, 2017, 02:03:07 PM »
Thank you so much! I have just entered into editing on my first book. From the beginning I had planned on a three book series with the first one to be a free download.  I have just started looking into Mailchimp as a way to get a reader list together to promote the other two books and your post just help to solidify what I thought needed to be done in order to succeed. Moving from writing for the plain joy ;D of writing into writing for publication is intimidating your post help to connect the dots better. Made me feel as though I was doing something right!

Offline danpadavona

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #285 on: December 31, 2017, 07:26:34 PM »
Patty,

Thank you for bumping this post back into prominence. Though I lurk more than I post, I really enjoy your opinions and the clear sensibility you bring to these discussions.

I've shied away from the series idea due to genre. I write horror, much of it rather dark, and I don't feel fans of dark horror wish to see the story segmented into multiple novels. My Dark Vanishings series is a horror / fantasy mashup, but much of what I write doesn't fit the series mold.

But I'm never averse to trying new things, I just don't have any clever ideas for turning dark horror novels into a series (without succumbing to the Halloween / Friday the 13th cliche in which the killer is never dead, even though we all saw his head chopped off in Part 3, eh-hem).



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Offline kw3000

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #286 on: December 31, 2017, 08:36:59 PM »
Patty,

Thank you for bumping this post back into prominence. Though I lurk more than I post, I really enjoy your opinions and the clear sensibility you bring to these discussions.

I've shied away from the series idea due to genre. I write horror, much of it rather dark, and I don't feel fans of dark horror wish to see the story segmented into multiple novels. My Dark Vanishings series is a horror / fantasy mashup, but much of what I write doesn't fit the series mold.

But I'm never averse to trying new things, I just don't have any clever ideas for turning dark horror novels into a series (without succumbing to the Halloween / Friday the 13th cliche in which the killer is never dead, even though we all saw his head chopped off in Part 3, eh-hem).

I agree, Dan, I find Patty's insights quite helpful. As per your series question. I get the inclination to want to avoid going down the Halloween/Friday the 13th path, though those stories have proven popular, if only in film form. Maybe you could something like 'The Stand' or something akin to 'The Road', but told over multiple books?

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #287 on: December 31, 2017, 10:11:09 PM »
Patty,

Thank you for bumping this post back into prominence. Though I lurk more than I post, I really enjoy your opinions and the clear sensibility you bring to these discussions.

I've shied away from the series idea due to genre. I write horror, much of it rather dark, and I don't feel fans of dark horror wish to see the story segmented into multiple novels. My Dark Vanishings series is a horror / fantasy mashup, but much of what I write doesn't fit the series mold.

But I'm never averse to trying new things, I just don't have any clever ideas for turning dark horror novels into a series (without succumbing to the Halloween / Friday the 13th cliche in which the killer is never dead, even though we all saw his head chopped off in Part 3, eh-hem).



You could try setting books in the same location. Set it up in the first book that the town/house/whatever has had multiple gruesome events in the past so that the series potential is shown from the start rather than the later books being tacked on. That could work.

Offline danpadavona

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #288 on: January 02, 2018, 12:30:55 AM »
Very good suggestions. Thank you!


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Offline notjohn

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #289 on: January 02, 2018, 10:58:37 AM »
Quote
I sell at least a few hundred dollars worth on each of: B&N, Apple, Google Play and Kobo

That is truly amazing, and worthy of congratulation, so -- congratulations!

I've long been fascinated by people's radically different experiences on online bookstores. A professional formatter whom I like and admire (I have an alert against her name on the KDP community forum, so I will never miss one of her posts), swears that of hundreds of clients, not one has had any decent return from Apple. I was astonished by this, so I went back over the four or five years I've been distributing books through Draft2Digital, and sure enough, Apple has been my best earner. There are months when B&N earns more money, but in ever year Apple has been the winner.

My guess is that Apple does a better job of servicing the wide world. B&N is US-only, while Kobo is strongest in Canada. I have no sense of where Google is strong, if anywhere.

Last year, Overdrive was my fourth-biggest earner on D2D. (I price all my ebooks at $9.95 for Overdrive. Perhaps I should have made it $15.95! My local librarian told me that paying $70 was not that unusual for an ebook from a popular author.)

That said, never does D2D account for as much as 20 percent of my sales, with Amazon accounting for 80 percent. Google is separate but I don't pay much attention because I don't find its reports very friendly. I doubt it's more than 1 percent -- worth uploading the books, but not much more than that.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 11:07:10 AM by notjohn »
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Offline MattGodbey

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #290 on: January 02, 2018, 12:38:52 PM »
Patty,

Thank you for bumping this post back into prominence. Though I lurk more than I post, I really enjoy your opinions and the clear sensibility you bring to these discussions.

I've shied away from the series idea due to genre. I write horror, much of it rather dark, and I don't feel fans of dark horror wish to see the story segmented into multiple novels. My Dark Vanishings series is a horror / fantasy mashup, but much of what I write doesn't fit the series mold.

But I'm never averse to trying new things, I just don't have any clever ideas for turning dark horror novels into a series (without succumbing to the Halloween / Friday the 13th cliche in which the killer is never dead, even though we all saw his head chopped off in Part 3, eh-hem).

Or you could do the Michael McDowell route (his Blackwater series) and set 6 novels over the course of 3/4 of a century, all in the same town, dealing with different generations of the same family, manipulated by the same entity. It was very effective.

Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #291 on: January 02, 2018, 01:33:11 PM »
That is truly amazing, and worthy of congratulation, so -- congratulations!

I've long been fascinated by people's radically different experiences on online bookstores. A professional formatter whom I like and admire (I have an alert against her name on the KDP community forum, so I will never miss one of her posts), swears that of hundreds of clients, not one has had any decent return from Apple. I was astonished by this, so I went back over the four or five years I've been distributing books through Draft2Digital, and sure enough, Apple has been my best earner. There are months when B&N earns more money, but in ever year Apple has been the winner.

My guess is that Apple does a better job of servicing the wide world. B&N is US-only, while Kobo is strongest in Canada. I have no sense of where Google is strong, if anywhere.

Last year, Overdrive was my fourth-biggest earner on D2D. (I price all my ebooks at $9.95 for Overdrive. Perhaps I should have made it $15.95! My local librarian told me that paying $70 was not that unusual for an ebook from a popular author.)

That said, never does D2D account for as much as 20 percent of my sales, with Amazon accounting for 80 percent. Google is separate but I don't pay much attention because I don't find its reports very friendly. I doubt it's more than 1 percent -- worth uploading the books, but not much more than that.

Google Play has done really well for me recently.

Some illumination into the reason why:

I ventured into a shopping centre the week before Christmas (dumb idea, yeah, I know) and at every checkout at ever major store, they sold gift cards. Some of these were for store content, some for shopping centre physical content, but also digital content.

Some stores sold a lot of variety (the post office!), some less. But even the stores that sold only three types of cards, they usually sold: iTunes gift card, Google Play gift card, their own store gift card. This was pretty consistent. Nary an Amazon gift card to be seen.

Now this will be hugely different each year for each country, but in order to sell at a retailer it's a good idea to check what that retailer is doing marketing-wise in which countries. Kobo, for example, has started doing a lot of off-site direct marketing targeted to particular countries. You get into these promos by using the promo tab on your KWL dashboard. And seriously, there is ZERO reason not to go direct with Kobo. When I did, my sales there increased 2000% (not a typo), and Kobo was the sole retailer that helped me get over the $1000 per month barrier. At times, more than 80% of my sales were from Kobo.

Apple and Google seem to be in the same game of marketing digital content as a way to augment people's enjoyment of devices. So you have a deep device/OS-based divide.

So if, on your list, you know who has an iPhone and who has an Android phone, you can pretty much split off those sections of your audience.

Now places like Bookfunnel only tell you what percentage of people have these devices, not who they are, but it's a prime question for a reader survey.

Instead of asking them offensive questions like their gender and age, ask them if they're an iPerson or an Android person. I do this backwards by offering them free books that are on all retailers and tracking what site they go to download.

Offline Vale

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Re: Keep your back list selling and relax!
« Reply #292 on: January 02, 2018, 04:12:49 PM »
I've shied away from the series idea due to genre. I write horror, much of it rather dark, and I don't feel fans of dark horror wish to see the story segmented into multiple novels. My Dark Vanishings series is a horror / fantasy mashup, but much of what I write doesn't fit the series mold.

But I'm never averse to trying new things, I just don't have any clever ideas for turning dark horror novels into a series (without succumbing to the Halloween / Friday the 13th cliche in which the killer is never dead, even though we all saw his head chopped off in Part 3, eh-hem).

I'm a little curious about this. I have a horror novel written/revised by not edited just kinda sitting around from before I started my self-publishing journey. It's probably been so long that if I went back to it, I'd just rewrite it, but it was a fun premise and I know what I'd cover for sequel and I think there could be a third book. I don't know if I could make a series out of the idea, but I could get a trilogy from it. I'm happily mired in fantasy for the moment, but I've heard that it can be good (mentally) to take breaks every few books in a series. It might be fun to release one every October for three years (or just wait and put all of them out one October). I don't know if this is on topic for Patty's thread. Is this discussion happening somewhere else?