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Love it! This is my bible for the balance of the year, and for next year. I'll add that Twitter ads and Youtube ads have been useful as well. Whatever ad platform you pick, be prepared to experiment and don't expect it to work immediately. I recommend the Art of Paid Traffic podcast to help you understand all the platforms.
 

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Excellent. :)
 

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My old advice: Write whatever you like, publish in a long series, have a mailing list, make lots of stuff free.
My new advice: Study the market, pick your favorite marketable genre, publish in short series, have a mailing list, use ads (like FB and Google AdWords, not BookBub), flog 99c and 2.99.


very interesting to read this. i remember that earlier advice. i released a genre-iffy series in early 2014 that I planned to go on…and on…and on… i wrote 150k and released. problem? no market target=no readers

so i was locked into this big sprawly thing and had to ease my way out. it was an expensive lesson and killed a pen name.

now i release trilogies of 60-80k books. enough to make a price funnel worthwhile but not so big they become unwieldy, or are an expensive and time consuming flop.

but i still look at authors with long-running series like bella andre and others with 20+ books in the series and hope to hit an idea that will carry that far. we'll see.
 

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I always love your advice threads ゴジラ (AKA lord and master of all, sexy sexpot everyone adores, king of the world, esquire) I shall diligently unbookmark your previous ones and add this one in instead.
 

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Meh. I'm never a fan of writing to market because it doesn't project longevity to me. It projects fads and what happens to that catalog when the fad is over? Of course, I never study the market either. I write what I want to read and let everyone else worry about the market as I write and get more and more books out. I also have two names and while there are some differences they also overlap in genre. I also think paperbacks and audio books are import because they make money and offer an added layer of legitimacy.
Frankly, though, I think everyone should do whatever they want because it's more fun that way.
 

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Okay questions.

"flog 99c and 2.99"  < What does this mean? Flog?

So for a BRAND NEW AUTHOR who has never published before and is trying to start off their brand right... you still recommend 2.99 for first in series?
Because everyone else here has said .99c and I'm curious what you base that strategy on?

Thanks for giving advice. ^^ I always appreciate your posts.
 

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There's absolutely no reason why writing to market would make a book have less longevity than any other book.  A book is a book, so the only thing writing to market helps you do is capitalize on the natural momentum of what's current. 

But I have books that I wrote to market years ago which still are some of my bestselling work.  I don't see why it would matter at all, other than the initial discoverability part...
 

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Gojira drops the mic. W00t!


Amanda- writing what you want to write that has a market is different from writing hot trends (though it can coincide). Pretty sure she meant the former.
 

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ゴジラ said:
Nowadays, I actually feel kinda guilty about the old "write whatever you like, publish a lot of it" advice. Whatever *I* like turned out to be marketable, but that's not true for everyone. I feel bad encouraging people to put a lot of time into something that may never earn money. I totally 100% believed that advice at the time, and it was given with good intentions, but I no longer feel that works.

Also, I have yet to hit upon a series idea that will last 20+ books like Bella Andre. I'm sure it can still be done. It hasn't happened to me, though, so I have no advice on how to find that.
Yup, the write what's in your heart advice is just usually given by those whose hearts happened to align naturally with market forces.

Of course, they don't seem to ever notice this...but those of us who've had to adjust because our hearts didn't fit the market, do realize there's a big difference.
 

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gorvnice said:
There's absolutely no reason why writing to market would make a book have less longevity than any other book. A book is a book, so the only thing writing to market helps you do is capitalize on the natural momentum of what's current.

But I have books that I wrote to market years ago which still are some of my bestselling work. I don't see why it would matter at all, other than the initial discoverability part...
I'd tend to agree. If you're writing to a niche trend then you might be in trouble, but writing good space opera similar to other space operas that are hot right now doesn't preclude long term readers. As long as you're writing what you enjoy, and not trying to crank out stuff just to pad the market. I think readers sense the lack of authenticity in that kind of work.
 

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ゴジラ said:
I don't necessarily disagree. But what you like turned out to be very marketable and faddish at the moment, and good for you that it did! Some of us love things that are NOT marketable and unlikely to ever be a fad. And it can still be very much worth your time to write the stuff that sprouts from the mushiest corners of your heart, but maybe not if money is priority. I am only trying to suggest to folks how they can make money at this stuff. It's not the only way to make money. Making money is also not the only valid goal.
The difference is what is repeatable.

There are always unique folks with amazing talent and vision who trailblaze. But you simply cannot plan to be one of them, and you can't repeat that process because it always looks different.

Writing to market or to trend is a way of tangibly doing something that is in fact repeatable. You satisfy a demand that's out in the marketplace. It works.

It's not the only way to do it, it's just the most repeatable and tangible way to do it. The old vague "write what you love" line leaves most writers spinning their wheels and making very little progress financially, unless what they love just so happens to align with a hot trend.
 

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Chris Fox said:
I'd tend to agree. If you're writing to a niche trend then you might be in trouble, but writing good space opera similar to other space operas that are hot right now doesn't preclude long term readers. As long as you're writing what you enjoy, and not trying to crank out stuff just to pad the market. I think readers sense the lack of authenticity in that kind of work.
I am talking about writing things about billionaire spanking sex sessions, stepbrother romance, etc. and cranking it out to make a quick buck. I would rather write a book that's still (hopefully) going to be selling in five years. Do we think the stepbrother stuff is still going to be on people's "to read" list in five years or is it going to fall into obscurity like monster porn and Harry Potter clones? I think writing a catalog that can hang around vs. riding a fad wave is going to be way more profitable over the long haul. If people want to write that stuff though, I say go for it. I'm espousing the "do whatever you want" method because that's what people are going to do anyway.
 

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And sure, there are things, like the aforementioned "navy seal's werebear's stepbrother's twin baby's twin" or whatever....and that's certainly a niche kind of trend that might not have the kind of longevity of other more mainstream trends.

That's all part of the equation.  Some books might not have as much staying power, but honestly, few books do have that kind of staying power.  Again, I don't think you can plan for that sort of thing.

Write what's hot, write fun, enjoy what you do!

The greats will be great, the good will be good, and the sucky will still suck.

Nothing changes except whether you make any money or not.
 

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I guess it depends. If the people making bank riding trends stay on top of the trends... they'll probably do just fine long-term too. :)

I hope what I write will be read in five years, but I also know that if I don't keep widening my audience base, reaching new readership, and promoting the heck out of the first books in series etc... it's unlikely no matter how good my books are. Visibility decays, no matter what you are writing.
 

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Amanda M. Lee said:
I am talking about writing things about billionaire spanking sex sessions, stepbrother romance, etc. and cranking it out to make a quick buck. I would rather write a book that's still (hopefully) going to be selling in five years. Do we think the stepbrother stuff is still going to be on people's "to read" list in five years or is it going to fall into obscurity like monster porn and Harry Potter clones? I think writing a catalog that can hang around vs. riding a fad wave is going to be way more profitable over the long haul. If people want to write that stuff though, I say go for it. I'm espousing the "do whatever you want" method because that's what people are going to do anyway.
I sort of agree that your stuff will probably have a longer shelf life than the super niche trendy books.

But you cannot typically plan for that kind of staying power. From the get-go you have been somewhat on your own bandwagon. Most writers cannot and will not ever do what you've done.

But some writers can spot a new stepbrother trend and make some money NOW on that trend. Thats repeatable. it works.

What you've done ONLY works for you. And that's a big difference.
 
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