SPA Girls Podcast – EP71 – 10 Marketing Tips for Beginners
Mar02

SPA Girls Podcast – EP71 – 10 Marketing Tips for Beginners

This week we talk through the basic marketing principles that you need to make sure you’ve got in place for promoting your books. Think of it as a 101 class in marketing, just for you. 🙂

We talk through tips like ensuring consistency of brand, having the right kind of bio and blurb, and being professional.

 

 

We talk about Author Central, which is your Author page on Amazon, in this podcast. But don’t worry, we will cover this more in the next episode!

Consistency of Brand

Keeping things the same across all the books. Making it as easy as possible for people to recognize you, and not confusing them.

-make sure you use the same name and font unless you are writing a different genre.

-make your book covers look similar. The fonts, and over all look.

-Use the same name on your author website, amazon author page, Facebook etc.

-keep it simple and consistent.

Try and become established in one genre first up. Get your brand consistent with this one before starting another.

 FYI, you did good, in finishing!!!

Know your genre, what brands suit it. Don’t just load a book and stand back and expect the money to roll in. Put some effort into researching what others in your genre are doing. NO YOUR BRAND! Are you going to use specific colors and fonts? Will these suit your genre?

In self-publishing you can fix mistakes! Don’t freak out, but take the first step.

Pricing- check out the consist pricing in your genre. If you go to high, chances are it may not sell, if the other 1,000 books are priced lower. Why would they pick your book?

Get the basic, FREE, things right first. There are plenty of things you can do and do well to start with if you do not have a lot of money to chuck at your book. Beware of throwing money at something that is not edited well, or covered correctly. GET THE BASICS RIGHT!

If you want to produce a book that sells, then be mindful of what readers expect.

Packaging your product properly – once your book is edited and looking its best, then stand back and realize that it is now a product, and placement is important. Your book is special to you but at this stage not anyone else. Now it’s about exposure, and ensuring your product can get that in the best way you can.

Don’t be precious! We understand this is your baby, but you have to let it go.

Where is the best fit for your book?

 Get the basics right from the beginning. Metadata – is information about something else. In your case, about your book and you. Most of the info is pretty standard. ISBN, Title, blurb etc. But make sure its right. Check out what other authors have in their books, and copy it!!

Author Bio’s are important! – Get it edited. Again read others to see what they are putting in there’s.

Get your blurb edited.

Author photo – make sure your author picture is of you not a stock image, unless you are writing a genre that suggests otherwise, i.e, erotica, then you could use a pair of legs or… Some people use a logo, but again, make sure its across the board and consistent.

Social media platforms – again you are looking for consistency, for example, (look, color, pictures).

Author central page – this is on Amazon and is a page with your details on. The SPA girls will talk about this next week.

 Social Media – Claim your name on FB or Twitter (handle) at the very least, so no one else can use it. This will again ensure consistency. If someone already has your name, add author to the front or back. Or add wendyvellabooks, wendyvellawrites etc.

Research where you readers are. For example, if you are writing YA, then of course have a FB page, but often those readers are not on that platform, but will likely be on Instagram.

If possible also claim your domain name for your website. For example, spagirls.com

Get the basics right!

 Don’t be overwhelmed. There is a lot of information out there, so take it on board, but use what is relevant to you. Remember we always talk about your tribe. These are the people who support you, and you respect and trust.

 Remember small steps. Learn one thing, then move on, don’t learn five at once!

 Enjoy this wonderful, crazy journey. It’s a blast, and worth every minute. 

LINKS

Author Central – https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help?topicID=200620850

Udemy Courses – https://www.udemy.com/

The Creative Penn – http://www.thecreativepenn.com/mindset/

 

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP42 – Surviving Writers Conferences
Jul25

SPA Girls Podcast – EP42 – Surviving Writers Conferences

Self Publishing Authors PodcastThis week we talk about our experiences (all family-friendly) at writers conferences and give tips on how to get the most out of conferences  (aka overcome the sudden urge to hide behind a large pot plant and not talk to anybody).   In a cunning plot twist, we got confused at the intro and said this was episode 41 (instead of 42).  Our excuse? Too much heat in the SPA!

A conference is an exchange of views, and a grouping together of like minded people with similar goals.

There are many conferences you can attend as both an aspiring and experienced writer, where you can talk, and listen to workshops and guest speakers.

The SPA Girls love going to conferences!

Why go to a conference?

Writing can be a solitary existence, to get the chance to spend time with people in your profession is both inspiring and motivating.

It helps you acknowledge the fact that writing is important to you, and is your chosen profession.

Knowing and understanding the industry.

Learn from the experts, what works, and what doesn’t.

Learning in person, for some people, can resonate more so than online.

Networking can give you contacts, and friends, for life.

You get the chance to pitch your work to editors and agents.

 

Challenge yourself

Set yourself some challenges like, I will speak to three different people before lunch, or I will pitch to an agent.  Remember that everyone likes to talk about themselves, so it’s highly likely that if you talk to someone, they’ll talk back!

 

Go and meet your hero’s!!

You won’t remember everything, but we guarantee that you will learn something that will stay with you forever.

Most professionals want to pass on their knowledge, and the romance writing community is open and supportive, and most are happy to offer advice when asked.

Remember that there will be other writers there just like you. Nervous, and excited.

Write down why you want to attend, and what you want to get out of the conference before you arrive.

If you are pitching, then choose the right agent. Know what books they represent. Do your due diligence. Don’t pitch a sweet romance to a fantasy specialist.

Self-publishing advice is often best delivered from those who are successful.

Good conversation starters are- “What are you writing?” “What are you working on at the moment?”

 

Links

List of some Conferences –

http://www.romancerefined.com/list-of-romance-conventions-and-conferences.html

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP24 – All About Amazon
Feb28

SPA Girls Podcast – EP24 – All About Amazon

SPA GirlsIt’s the episode you’ve all been waiting for… This week, in lucky episode 24 (I love that number, it’s my date of birth), we talk all about the retail site Amazon. It’s the first of two episodes on Amazon, and this week we start by giving a bit of an overview of Amazon’s history, what they do, and how they came to be such a powerhouse retail site. Then we talk about Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) where indie authors load up their books, the pros and cons of KDP Select, talk about Kindle Unlimited (KU), and how to use Author Central. This is a long episode, and potentially involves me rambling on for too long about Amazon’s history (the others certainly think so… 🙂 ), but I think it’s another great episode. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about Amazon and how it works, listen in!

 

What Do These Terms Mean?

KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing

KDP Select (exclusive)

KU stands for Kindle unlimited

KOLL stands for Kindle Owners Lending Library

 

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription program for readers that allows them to read as many books as they want. The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is a collection of books that Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle can choose one book from each month with no due dates. When you enroll in KDP Select, your books are automatically included in both programs. Your books will still be available for anyone to buy in the Kindle Store, and you’ll continue to earn royalties from those sales like you do today.

What does it mean to publish exclusively on Kindle?

When you choose to enroll your book in KDP Select, (for a 90 day period) you’re committing to make the digital format of that book available exclusively through KDP. During the period of exclusivity, you cannot distribute your book digitally anywhere else, including on your website, blogs, etc. However, you can continue to distribute your book in physical format, or in any format other than digital.

Payment is paid per page read and depends on how much is in the KDP Select Global fund. For example, it was $12 mill in Feb so that means that money must be paid out to those authors enrolled in KDP

Kindle Unlimited is now available through Amazon U.S, U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and India and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) in the U.S, U.K., Germany, France, and Japan.

Kindle MatchBook – gives customers who buy a print book from Amazon.com the option to purchase the Kindle version of the same title for $2.99 or less.

 

Pros & Cons for exclusively loading to Amazon

Pros

Convenient

Limited term – 90 days experiment

Largest bookseller in the world

Exposure

All Star bonuses – for pen names, individual titles

Visibility

 

Cons

Exclusivity

Unknown per page rate until 15th of the month following

Philosophy – putting all your eggs into one basket

Lack of control – once you’re in you’re stuck for 90 days and the rules can change

Final decision – depends on author, what they’re writing and their own experiences. There’s no one right answer. Can do some books in and some books out and try.

 

Information

Amazon makes up a higher percentage of the total US ebook market than the oft-cited 65% figure: when indie books without ISBNs are included in the statistics, Amazon accounts for 74%of all US ebook purchases and 71%of all US consumer dollars spent on ebooks.

Outside of Amazon.com, 4 other major online retailers comprise nearly the entirety of the remaining26% of the US ebook market: the Apple iBookstore, the Barnes & Noble Nook store, the Kobo US bookstore, and GooglePlay Books.

At those 4 other stores, self-published indie ebooksmake up 22% of all ebooks purchases and take in 32% of all author income generated by ebook sales.

Between 14%and 25% of all ebooks sold at Apple, Nook, and Kobo store lack Bowker-issued International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs).

In total, more than 33%of all ebooks sold in the US each year have no ISBN.

Across the entire US ebook market, ebooks without ISBNsnow command a greater share of consumer ebook purchases, reading time, and author earnings than all of the AAP’s 1,200 publishers put together, including the Big Five.

The true US ebook market, which includes non-ISBN sales, isat least 50% larger than ISBN-limited market statistics from Nielsen and Bowker are estimating.

 

Still, Amazon is not the entirety of the US ebook market.

We know that 35% of traditionally published ebook sales occur outside Amazon: at competing retailers like the Apple iBooks store, the Barnes & Noble Nook store, the Kobo Book store, and Google Play.

But what about indie ebook sales?

Some traditional industry spokespersons have speculated that more than 85% of indie ebook sales are wholly dependent upon Amazon. They presume that indies sell very poorly outside the Kindle store and make up an insignificant percentage of ebook sales elsewhere.

Among indie authors themselves, there is little consensus. Anecdotes about sales at other retailers run the gamut. Some indies are now going all-in with Kindle Unlimited, choosing to make their books Amazon-exclusive because the sales they saw at other ebook stores were so anemic in comparison.

 

Author Central

This is like your book shelf, the place you go to personalize what your readers will see about you on your Amazon Author page, i.e, you author bio, bibliographies, biographies, author photos, and even feeds to blog posts.

Each Amazon site i.e., UK, Canada, USA etc., has author central, so you should take the time to set up a different page on each one.

Here’s how to start:

  1. Set up your Author Central account if you haven’t already done so.
  2. In Author Central, click the Profile tab. You’ll see sections for adding or changing your biography, photos, videos, speaking or other events, and blog feeds.
  3. Click the add or edit link next to a section. Instructions appear, along with space to add information.

If you don’t add information to a section, that section does not appear on the Author Page. Sections are always available in Author Central so you can add or change the information later.

You can also check book, sales, and author rankings here.

 

Links

KDP Select

https://kdp.amazon.com/select

 

Pros & Cons

Hugh Howey http://www.hughhowey.com/kindle-unlimited-knockout/

HM Ward http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,231153.75.html

 

… Author Earnings Report, October 2015 (http://authorearnings.com/report/october-2015-apple-bn-kobo-and-google-a-look-at-the-rest-of-the-ebook-market/)

 

Book recommendation

The Everything Store, Brad Stone

http://www.amazon.com/The-Everything-Store-Bezos-Amazon-ebook/dp/B00BWQW73E

 

Author central

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/

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