Author Topic: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy  (Read 6654 times)  

Offline sela

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2018, 09:28:45 PM »
Thanks for this, Sela, and congratulations on all your success!

Question: If you had one piece of advice for AMS users, what would it be? I'm still fidgeting, I've taken Dawson's course, and I have some decent results but am still wondering if the simple fix would be to tweak more, more often. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks! I'm still learning AMS. I honestly haven't focused on it as much as I should have, due to everything going on in my life, but I intend to really focus in the next month or two. I'm re-watching Mark Dawson's AMS for Authors video series coming up soon because I will need that refresher when I start marketing my new thriller series. :)


Offline sela

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2018, 09:31:57 PM »
Congrats, Sela! Just out of curiosity, will you be starting new pen names for your various new genres?

Thanks and yes, most definitely! I will really need a pen name for my SF and High Fantasy series since I don't want my also-bought to get influenced by romance readers. I love my romance readers -- don't get me wrong! But I've read Chris Fox's books and watched his video series and know that it's important to get the Amazon algorithms trained to show my books to the right kind of readers and get those all-important also-boughts so the system works to sell my books.

Offline sela

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2018, 09:41:35 PM »
Woah, I can't even imagine writing 8 novels featuring the same couple. It is hard to do 3 novels for one couple for me. Very interesting post. Thanks for taking the time to write it out! Writing to market is both the easiest and hardest thing. For those of us who consider ourselves "above" the market (in terms of liking 'classier' books), it can be frustrating. But if I gotta churn out the millionth badboy romance novel for a fraction of the pie... well, I'll build a bridge and jog over it!

First off, writing to market is not the same as writing to trend, as usedtoposthere points out. One is style and the other is fashion, if you think in terms of the world of clothing. Style is more general and long-lasting. Fashion is seasonal and changes a lot. You can make a lot of money writing to trend -- designing fashion -- but you have to publish faster, and you have to nail the tropes because the trends move quickly. If you want to capitalize on a trend you have to write fast and publish in volume or else the readers will have moved on by the time you get your next book out.

When you write to market, you are able to publish less often because the readership is evergreen. Your books have a chance to be as well. They will keep selling when trendy books disappear from the ranks. Last year, the first 3 books in my main series still earned me high five figures and they were 4 years old.

Offline sela

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2018, 09:48:00 PM »
And I just want to say a big thanks to everyone who posted who didn't ask questions. When I was starting out in this biz, I really appreciated when successful authors posted their stats and advice and experiences. It's tough to be an author-preneur -- there's a lot to learn, but thankfully, the indie crowd is very generous. We truly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats and that our products are different enough that we truly don't compete with each other. Besides, readers can read a lot faster than we can write! And luckily, self-publishing isn't rocket science! Most of it is being a good reader (so you understand story), a good marketer and of course, writing commercial books.

Offline Vale

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2018, 10:18:01 PM »
Thank you so much for the update! I found it really interesting. Weaving books in and out of KU isn't something I've heard other authors talk about.

Offline sela

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2018, 11:27:51 PM »
Thank you so much for the update! I found it really interesting. Weaving books in and out of KU isn't something I've heard other authors talk about.

I do it because I never figured out how to really promote books on Apple or the other retailers. Maybe it's because I never really tried but it seems that it's becoming easier to target readers on those other platforms now. I find KU is good for my sales for a month or month and a half but then they fall off and I've found that KCDs and free days aren't quite as good as a Bookbub, and Bookbubs are harder to get for books in KU vs. Wide.

So I rely on Bookbub promos to keep my sales up on the wide platforms. As long as Bookbub keeps taking my books, I'll keep putting them wide when they're eligible. I imagine I'll run out of fresh eyes on Bookbub soon, though, and so it's necessary to keep writing new books.

Offline Michele Brouder

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2018, 03:03:03 AM »
Thanks for sharing your insight and congratulations on your success! I love reading about other people's success because it inspires me and gives me hope.
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Offline KhaosFoxe

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2018, 03:29:09 AM »
Thanks for sharing! Congratulations on your milestone and best of luck with your new ventures.

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Offline MKK

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2018, 04:50:28 AM »
Congratulations and thanks for posting. Always enjoy these 'how I got here' postsand almost always find something to learn from them. Good luck reaching the next milestone.

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2018, 06:10:05 AM »
Fantastic post, Sela. I hope you find the same great success with your new thriller.

Cycling between wide and KU seems pretty smart to me. Do you know if there is an Amazon list for new KU content? I wondered if there was a specific list or a way for readers to find "new to KU" books even if they have been released wide and been out for a while.

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2018, 06:37:26 AM »
Writing to market and writing to trend are two different things. You don't have to write to trend in order to write to market.

This is what I always confused! It's taken me a long time to realise that these two things are not the same--and only now am I getting the hang of what 'market' means. 

ETA to include:

First off, writing to market is not the same as writing to trend, as usedtoposthere points out. One is style and the other is fashion, if you think in terms of the world of clothing. Style is more general and long-lasting. Fashion is seasonal and changes a lot. You can make a lot of money writing to trend -- designing fashion -- but you have to publish faster, and you have to nail the tropes because the trends move quickly. If you want to capitalize on a trend you have to write fast and publish in volume or else the readers will have moved on by the time you get your next book out.

When you write to market, you are able to publish less often because the readership is evergreen. Your books have a chance to be as well. They will keep selling when trendy books disappear from the ranks. Last year, the first 3 books in my main series still earned me high five figures and they were 4 years old.

This is the kind of description I wish that I had seen when I started looking at writing to market.  Thank you for explaining it very well and clearly.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 06:40:20 AM by evdarcy »

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2018, 06:42:28 AM »
Congrats, Sela. I always enjoy reading your replies on k-boards. They're usually well thought out and level-headed and I appreciate quietly learning via such things.

I'm glad that you're moving into what you really want to write and I hope that even if it doesn't pan out for you the way that your romance does (although I don't see why it wouldn't!) that you keep at it. Everyone deserves to write what they love and have a passion for :)

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Offline My Dog's Servant

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2018, 06:58:46 AM »
Congratulations, Sela, and thank you for your amazing generosity in sharing your journey. Here's to the same or more success with your "passion" books!

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2018, 08:45:24 AM »
Congratulations, Sela! Thank you for your always generous, encouraging, and insightful posts.

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Offline RScott

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2018, 11:50:51 AM »
Thanks for this Sela. It was a real inspiration and encouragement to me. I am trying to written to market route after a lackluster series debut and the results are exactly as you have experienced. It's great to know that if I keep going the potential is there to earn more and more.
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Offline Luke Everhart

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #40 on: April 15, 2018, 11:56:46 AM »
Congrats! And great post Sela. Thanks for sharing; it's tremendously helpful to we noobs, both from an info pov and an inspirational one.  :D

... after a lackluster series debut and the results are exactly as you have experienced. It's great to know that if I keep going the potential is there to earn more and more.

Rick Scott, re the "lackluster series debut", I assume you mean a series under a penname? Or one unpublished now? Because your Crystal Shards Online series is doing great! 👍 :) and seems to be very to market as far as I can tell (not being a litrpg guy but dabbling in it because I read everything except erotica)
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Offline RScott

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2018, 01:38:13 PM »
Congrats! And great post Sela. Thanks for sharing; it's tremendously helpful to we noobs, both from an info pov and an inspirational one.  :D

Rick Scott, re the "lackluster series debut", I assume you mean a series under a penname? Or one unpublished now? Because your Crystal Shards Online series is doing great! 👍 :) and seems to be very to market as far as I can tell (not being a litrpg guy but dabbling in it because I read everything except erotica)

Hi Luke. Yes, that was under a different penname. It wasn't successful commercially, but going through the process taught me all the skills I needed to write to market. Financial success it seems is far more dependent on genre and market than the product itself.
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Offline pwtucker

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2018, 04:52:47 PM »
Congratulations, Sela, and kudos on all the hard/smart work. It's great to see that you're still thriving and making it work, and very inspirational, too. Cheers!

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2018, 05:47:52 PM »
Congrats Sela. Look forward to "seeing you" in fantasy and sci-fi.


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Offline sela

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2018, 06:08:22 PM »
Hi Luke. Yes, that was under a different penname. It wasn't successful commercially, but going through the process taught me all the skills I needed to write to market. Financial success it seems is far more dependent on genre and market than the product itself.

It's great to hear you're having more success with the write to market method!

Publishing under a test pen name is one way to learn about the business. One an author has some sense of how their writing and stories are received, they can alter course if necessary as I did with the contemporary steamy romance novel and then series. Some people -- very few and very rare -- have success with their first book. Most of us either flounder around trying to find something that sticks, or at least have a few near misses before we have a hit. Patience and persistence is key.

Offline Acheknia

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2018, 06:20:15 PM »
Very interesting to read, thanks & well done :)

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2018, 04:46:47 AM »
This is my favourite kind of post ... the concrete information about how you succeeded is great, but I think just knowing its possible, with enough hard work, has an even bigger effect. On me, anyway. Thank you, Sela, for sharing! And I hope your journey into other genres is wildly successful.

Offline geraldmkilby

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2018, 05:19:43 AM »
Love these posts. Practical and straight up. Thank you.

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2018, 09:03:52 AM »
This was the pep talk I needed. Thank you!

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Re: Six-Figure Backlist Write to Market Strategy
« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2018, 12:02:18 PM »
Always love these posts, thank you for sharing.