UPDATED! UH OH! Your books Aren’t Selling. NOW WHAT?

Written By: Jackie Weger - Oct• 17•15

Perhaps the following will help…

Nothing but THE FACTS

eNovAaW ~ Nothing but THE FACTS

Since Amazon introduced Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service  for downloading  books onto  eReaders in mid-July 2014, those of us in Amazon Select saw some serious fluctuation in our royalties. My colleagues, who have in the past had successful Kindle Countdown Deals in which they saw 500+ downloads, often saw less than one hundred. Some, less than fifty.  Book sales for those of us  not bestselling authors were down the later part of 2014. Mine were down because I did very little promotion in November and December. I did not have a holiday book. That is not Amazon’s fault.  Still, the sales I did have did not earn 70% because Kindle Unlimited only paid about $1.39 per borrow (December 2014) as opposed to $2.09 for a straight sale on a 2.99 book. Update below about KENP–Amazon’s Pay by Pages Read.

One author insists the lack of sales is because the market is saturated with an explosion of indie books. Another insists promotion sites are pumping sub-par books.

Coming Soon ACX audio edition of Finding Home.

ACX audio edition of Finding Home.

I don’t know what saturation means in our literary world. Book buyers who step into a Barnes and Noble where often more than 200,000 books are shelved, don’t think the market is saturated. They just see miles of bookshelves from which to choose a book. Readers who use libraries don’t think the market is saturated. I have to tell you, I have heard this same lament about saturation from authors for thirty-five years. Walden Books died. Books-a-Million died. Publishing houses went under. There is less physical shelving, but virtual shelving is infinite. We hear the innovation of the eReader killed bookstores. You think? IMO the honchos of those companies were not hot-wired into progress. My local used book dealers tell me eReaders have hurt their business because digital books cannot be traded. I get it. But! I never earned a dime on a used book sale. The savvy used book dealer is now a NEW and Used sales venue. They are moving to better traffic areas. My local used book dealer did not have a clue indie authors  produce trade-sized paperbacks or audible books. If a book doesn’t show up on Ingram, it doesn’t exist for her. I’m educating her.

Badly written books have always been with us.

Books are a human endeavor. We will find good ones and bad ones. I have  read books by trad publishers that were horribly edited, filled with printer errors and sagging story arcs. It happens across the board. Publishers who continually produce faulty books or failed to pay royalties, folded.  So have digital publishers.  Those of us who promote often notice that some of our fav promo sites have shut down.  We are always updating our list of promoters because successful promotions are scheduled and planned up to 30 days in advance.

Wise up!

"All three of these books have original and unique plots, great dialogue, sweet romance, and wildly funny characters. Highly recommended!" - Amazon Reviewer

“All three of these books have original and unique plots, great dialogue, sweet romance, and wildly funny characters.”

Even now, at almost the close of 2015, I do NOT  believe the indie book market is saturated. Authors whose books are selling are smart-marketing their books.  I’m learning. I do not write series. I write stand alone romance novels. I noticed three of my titles had themes of  searching for a place to be, a home. I put those three novels in a bundle, had a professional cover built and a professional formatter create the set. Now, instead of three units to promote, I have a fourth. In a 2015 KCD promo, it sold 3115 units,  a vast improvement over mid to late 2014. Happy dance.

Almost Perfect: Three Volume Collection

Almost Perfect: Three Volume Collection

Holiday books and holiday-themed sets sweep the indie market November and December. Those authors think ahead and produce work for the holiday season. They network to find like-minded authors and books for multi-author units. The authors pool their resources to cover, format, launch and promote.  I noticed another three of of my titles had the words, fate, destiny and secret. To tie those together, I retitled and recovered. No Perfect Secret, No Perfect Fate and No Perfect Destiny. Now I have a 2nd bundle: Almost Perfect.

International urls.

Savvy indie authors do not overlook promoting their English language books in India, France, the United Kingdom or Germany or other foreign markets. How do they do it? They access Amazon in those countries. Find their books, grab the links and Tweet, FaceBook and Google+ . They use international urls. Or they just use a multi-region url for Kindle books: Here is an ehow for one:  http://authl.it.   It is FREE.

What  must you do to jack up your sales?

 Promotional Posters

Useless Promotional Posters

Book signings. I jumped the gun and ordered posters made for a set of six book signings. Next, I decided to freshen my book covers. Now those posters are D.E.A.D.  Life got in the way of a few of the signings.  I did have one successful book signing–until my extended family showed up and took over the book store. Lesson learned. Zip my lips.  I promote my two ACX audible books.  In eNovel we schedule group tours and rafflecopters. A group of three or ten authors generates more excitement in a Rafflecopter/Tour.  Join with a colleague or two and hire Book Partners in Crime Promotions to set a tour/rafflecopter. Shared expenses make it budget friendly.

The basic rule of thumb for success is Write. Publish. Promote.

Finally, keep this in mind: You won’t master every facet of promoting your books all at once. Take baby steps. Create a file for each of your titles with links to include the international urls, a selection of book descriptions and composed tweets. Do one book at a time. Take a day off. Refresh yourself. Focus on what is best for your BOOK.  Network with other authors and do not spread yourself too thin. When time permits read the articles on eNovel Authors at Work. We tell it true. No rumors, no gossip. Just F.A.C.T.S. Some eNovel authors sell books all of the time. All of the time some of our authors sell books. That’s what we do. Now for a mention of KENP, the companion to KindleUnlimited subscriptions.  Those of us in Select, which means our book are sold on Amazon and no other venue, like KENP.  Authors who are active promoters of their books often see between one million and 100,000+ pages read after a free or 99¢ campaign. But smaller promotions work, too. Selling fewer books, fewer pages read, but successful because each show a return on investment.  We promote our books for visibility, reviews and royalties.

Jackie Weger

Tick my photo to Follow Me on Bookbub. You will be my new BFF 🙂

I’m Jackie Weger. The founder of eNovel Authors at Work. I don’t know it all. But! I know what I know, because I taught myself. You can’t go to school to become an indie author. It is a learning experience from idea to fruition. You are welcome to share your ideas and experiences in our comment section. We always learn from others.

Here’s a TIP you won’t want to ignore: Even if you have yet to snag a Bookbub slot, you may register and create an Author Page on Bookbub. Follows on Bookbub are more important than follows on Facebook or Twitter because when you do snag a slot, Bookbub will send a dedicated email to your followers that you have a book FREE or discounted. If you cannot seem to snag a global Bookbub slot, submit for a Region: UK, Canada or India. Those slots are super budget friendly. Go to the Pricing page and tick the down arrow below Select Regions. New price page will load. Here is another TIP: Of 100 authors who read this post, only ten will tick the live link to Bookbub or any other live link. Of those ten, only one will ACT. Be that ONE! Sell your book. Good luck.





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  1. Mimi Babour says:

    I knew I shouldn’t have read this blog today when I feel so overwhelmed with too much to do. Sure enough – I was right. Darn you Jackie for giving me yet another fantastic hint to selling my books in foreign markets. I will certainly look into using those links – one day – soon – I made another posted note…Note 112

  2. Laurie Boris says:

    I’ve been taking a “holiday recovery” break from promoting my books, but I have a plan for 2015 that includes new publications, sprucing up my covers, trying new avenues, and finding better ways to connect with readers. These are some good suggestions to try, too. Will definitely look at international markets. I’m not buying into the gloom and doom reports I’ve seen around the Internet, because I believe that good writing and dedicated authors will stick around.

    Laurie Boris
    Playing Charlie Cool

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Laurie Boris, you nailed it. Every single item you mention is on target. Refresh yourself, your covers, and produce new work. You are working with what you have…not what you don’t. I do notice doom and gloom lands in cyberspace from authors who are not selling books and noticing that a sister or brother author is selling. We do not have to sell a book or ten every single day to be successful. I don’t. I plan small promotions and large and in between those promotions, I plan and plot and write. Perseverance and staying power are key elements in every success endeavor. Your attitude is tops. Love it.


  3. Once again, excellent strategies, Jackie. Thank you for an informative and helpful post!

  4. Excellent post with new ideas, thank you so much. It’s already on my to do list to give some TLC to all Amazon stores that I’ve been neglecting, and one of the goals is to find any reviews there I’m not aware of and to actually comment back to any positive reviewers to offer them to read my next book for free. It’s a strategy I learnt from Rebecca Dahlke that overwhelmed me in its simplicity and I am definitely trying it out. Also, if anything, this post has got me thinking. Maybe it’s time to write a holiday romance… It’s indeed genius of that author, to slap on a holiday cover in time for Xmas. Sometimes the most phenomenal ideas are the simplest ones, aren’t they? As for the market being saturated, of course I don’t buy into that. This is just a case of having to find fresh ways to stand out. The mediocrity in the indie world will fold as you said, and any indie authors who won’t take the time to learn new tricks or to present their books in a professional way, will eventually fade out from the indie scene. In this sense, our main priority should be to keep networking, to keep learning and to keep experimenting as to make it in the long run.

  5. Great post, Jackie. This is what we authors need in January to fire us all up.

    We are based in US and UK, been self-publishing since 2013. It’s been a steep learning curve. We use smarturl.it for our multi-region url and I’m sure it helps. Re boxed sets, well we were lucky enough to be invited by Rebecca Dahlke to join in with her and five other mystery writers on a 99 cents box set. Wow, as well as selling thousands and finding new markets overseas, it was so much fun to work with other authors and share the highs! This year we’re planning on self-publishing our fifth novel, putting together a collection of short stories, making a collection of our own books and adding another novel to ACX. You’re right Effrosyni, we need to keep networking, experimenting and most of all supporting each other.

    Great idea about changing covers and for keeping a dedicated book file. Will definitely do that at some point.

    Going to teach ourselves to use hootsuite this year to schedule tweets as haven’t got to grips with that yet.

    Thanks again, great article.

    Ellie Campbell

  6. Amy Vansant says:

    Can’t wait to find out how the audio books do! I’m launching my new romantic comedy Slightly Stalky today and I’m SO much savvier than I was when I launched the last thanks to you. Fingers-crossed and back to work on my next!

  7. David Wind says:

    It is a new world, growing out of the old publishing world. The rules are fluid, the market mutating into an entirely new landscape. For me, this article helps to explain what is happening right now, and how to survive within the growing platform of independent publishing.

    Thanks for this excellent insight.

  8. Julie Frayn says:

    I am planning my first promo with a free novel (Mazie Baby) through KDP Select this month. Hoping that will kick start my sales this year and give me some much needed energy and momentum. My biggest plan is to complete and publish two new titles to round my total novel offering to five. One thing I don’t plan on doing is feeling sorry for myself or waiting around for things to happen. Because it just doesn’t work that way.
    Julie Frayn

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Julie, you have ‘get’. I like the way you are plotting your career. We may have to wait in line at the grocers or wait our turn at the dentist, but we dang sure don’t have to sit on our tushes while a flat or turbulent market shakes out. Mazie Baby is wonderful. that Bookbub is gonna jump start Mazie Baby! I can’t wait. It is like watching election returns. You made your own good luck!
      Jackie Weger
      No Perfect Secret

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Update: The FREE promo Julie Frayn ran on Mazie Baby was a phenomenal success. Within two days of returning to priced Julie saw above $1000 in sales and Mazie Baby has earned above 200 reviews ranked 4.7/5.0. Mazie Baby continues to sell well and maintain an excellent sales rank. What we call above the fold, as in above 5000. Right this minute:
      #3,617 Paid in Kindle Store. Great going, Julie!

  9. Pete Barber says:

    I watched box sets hogging the sales ranks in 2014 and wondered if the market would tire of the approach, but I don’t think it has or will. I asked a few non-writer friends who had bought sets about the purchase decision. They bought because they were priced right and at least one title appealed. They didn’t want or expect to read all the titles, but 99 cents is an impulse buy–so why not. For the participating authors, it’s great exposure and a way to reach an audience you wouldn’t otherwise attract.

    • KJD says:

      Hi Pete,
      I think you’re right about multi-author box sets. They do seem to be successful.
      I’ll probably consider creating a boxed set for my Casebook series — when it’s a series. 😉

    • I agree, Pete. Boxed sales are a good idea. I did one, priced it at $4.99 and get more sales on it then I do for the individual books priced at $2.99. I plan on doing another one soon. I want to do promotions, but I haven’t received any reviews on it yet. I think it’s harder to get reviews on those, because as you say, readers don’t want, and aren’t expected to read all the titles.

  10. RP Dahlke says:

    I’m always impressed by Jackie’s enthusiasm and Never Give Up attitude. We’ve got work to do in 2015, no doubt about it, and Jackie’s ideas never fail to pump us up! Thanks Ellie (girls) and Frossie, for your support of Jump Start Your Book Promotions. I’m learning new things about promoting all the time.

    • Hi, Ms. RP Dahlke,

      I’m reading your Dead Red Oleander for the second time. I went through all six of Lalla Bain’s Dead Red books, and now I’m reading the collection of seven funny mysteries, with one of yours included.

      I’m glad to have a chance to talk to you online. I’ve seen your RTs for me, but replying on Twitter is so short I haven’t tried it.

      I’ve written two cozy mysteries– Cemetery Whites and Chances Choices Changes Death–under my pen name Connie Knight. I want to work on the third one, but I’m already working on learning how to market the books I’ve already written.

      I’m on the verge of halting the marketing at a certain level and spending time daily on No. 3.

      Thank you so much for your RT support. I’ll read Jump Start Your Book Promotions, and all your others too.

      Connie Knight

  11. Traci Hall says:

    Jackie, I feel you’ve embodied the Indie spirit perfectly. Like Mimi, I’ve now added MORE to my ‘to do’ list. I’m also taking a deep breath, seeing that I’ve gone a few steps in the right direction – baby steps, but they count, right? Targeting niche Facebook groups directly led to sales, but I also saw a huge drop in numbers on Amazon thanks to KU. It’s time to roll up our sleeves (for me, AGAIN) and get to work. The next book, the next marketing plan. I will definitely check out the foreign markets on Amazon and continue forward with ACX. Thank YOU for sharing!

    Traci Hall

  12. KJD says:

    Hi Jackie,
    Great post, I’ve learned so much since joining this group.

    Currently preparing for my next publication and have decided to revamp all my Casebook covers. It’s daunting and not cheap, but I think everything looks better with a fresh lick of paint.

    I’ll be following and copying your every move. 🙂

  13. Joanne says:

    Good advice, Jackie. Have also heard, for those considering translations, that Portugese is hotting up to be second to German, now that Brazil is more online (a huge market), and Kobo is predicted to expand big time as well.

  14. Holiday fatigue? SAD (Seasonal Affective Disturbance)? The flu? Whatever, I know that it’s time to pull myself out of this slump and forge ahead with my writing career. As always, Jackie, thanks for reminding us that nothing comes easy and we have to keep trying no matter what. Your enthusiasm can only be matched by your positive attitude.

    Viva eNovel Authors at Work!

  15. I am always “studying” Amazon, indie authors that do well – their books, their marketing and what kinds of books are selling. Selling books is certainly a business. I wrote a blog post once that writing is only 10% of being a published author, the other 90% is marketing. I too have been remiss in marketing and it shows. My sales have slowed, where I was selling 400 books a month, I’m not only selling half of that and I have more than tripled the number of books.

    I agree with Jackie on a few points, there is no saturation of the market – how do you have too many books when there are billions of people? And certainly poorly written books sale, some become best sellers. The market is wide open and there is a demand (speaking as an economist) for any kind of book. And indie authors can make money not just on digital copies but in paperback when their Kindle editions do well. (Just look at A.G. Riddle, and Hugh Howey). I’ve even had a sale or two! I just published paperbacks and promised myself I’d publish one for each one of my books. I like independent printers but CreateSpace is an easy access to the book world – libraries and bookstores for the indie author. I highly recommend that every indie author put their books in paperbacks. Still trying to figure out how to print my boxed set.

    I have found that boxed sets and themed books do well. And I have a “plan” that I’m working on right now to increase sales. Once I’m finished, I’ll share, just don’t want to jinx it now. But I have found that group sharing, like we do in eNovel is an important marketing tool. It’s true you shouldn’t wear yourself thin joining too many of them, or ones that don’t share your values, but do join a few.

    I did my first and only book signing last year and it went wonderfully. The public and the bookstore seemed just as excited as I was. And when I’m well and back up on my feet, I plan on doing more. Good luck with yours, Jackie.

  16. Jerri Hines says:

    Indie publishing has certainly evolved. It’s hard to keep up with at times. I do feel it is important for Indies to help each other. I know that at times it can be overwhelming with all the changes. Getting the right information and the help to decipher it is challenging. I appreciate the information Jackie has given. It is priceless.

  17. Patrice says:

    Great post, Jackie. Box sets are the big thing right now. I expect the multi-author sets will fade out soon, but individual ones will be around for a long, long time. They are my best sellers. I have three, and I’m working on another right now. It’s a hard job we’re doing, but we love a challenge, don’t we?

  18. Great article with lots of great tips. KDP Select may not be the hot choice we thought it was awhile back. And while it’s true there are a lot of bad indie books being promoted, bad books have always been around. Indies are still a market on the upswing. Love the tip about promoting in other foreign markets (outside the U.S., where I am). I’m definitely doing that! And CreateSpace! I currently have only one book out there, but I will start putting out others, beginning with my three mystery/suspense books, the City Different series.

    Thanks, Jackie

  19. Thanks for the blog and encouragement. My KUs are almost double my sales, which would be fine if they could inch up the royalties some! That said, my sales are holding steady, with a boost when I have a promo. My last countdown sold 1800 books @.70 each, but the Book Bub bill was 680.00, so no great shakes there. However, I am now seeing sell-throughs. I still think a Book Bub freebie gets the best result, because if you have 50-60,000 downloads, and a series, you will get new readers and sales. And yep, writing a new book right now, because that is the best way to get new readers!

  20. Dale Furse says:

    Terrific article. Looks like you’ll be busy as ever, Jackie. That multi region link maker, Authl.it, is a great site. Love how I learn so much from eNovellers.

    Sometimes it’s hard to organise promoting around writing instead of visa versa. I love the different streams we, as indies, can do like audio, print and translations. Australians can’t work with ACX which is a shame. Maybe one day. 🙂

    Babelcube is one way authors can get into the foreign markets via translations so I’d like to learn more about them in 2015.

  21. Rich Meyer says:

    Great post, as always, Senora Weger, and thank you for the shout-out.

    I don’t really do a lot of promoting of my books anymore, simply because quiz books and the primarily non-fiction stuff I do is a very niche market. It just doesn’t pay to do it. I know that’s anathema to the on-the-ball folks that populate ENaaW, but I’m much happier watching the little sales/borrows drip in when they can. Things might change once I finish my next projects (a 1,001 Music Trivia Question book, a movie quiz book, an old time radio reference work, and a book on View-Masters).

    The only market I might try to get myself in a bit better is the UK, since pub quizzes are still so dang popular. Just have to work up a quiz book or two in that format.

  22. Jackie I love Authl.it and have found it very helpful. I, too, have done very little promotion of late but to read of your plans and those in the comments above, I am motivated to make a concrete plan of my own aimed to reach at least a few goals in both writing and marketing. I think one of the strongest marketing tools indie authors have is each other and our willingness to share, support, teach and encourage each other.

  23. I admire your dogged determination, Jackie Weger. You consistently inspire indie authors by your incredibly positive attitude and your resilience. Thank you for sharing your insights into the ebook world. I agree with your assessment, but have a few things I would like to add.

    The last chapter in my Mutinous Boomer book begins, “I’m sitting in the fog. Literally.” And although I was actually sitting in the fog on the top of a mountain when I wrote that, it was obviously a metaphor for life. I think it also applies to where we are in the world of ebook marketing. We are all in a bit of a fog because everything is changing so quickly. As soon as you think you’re getting a handle on something, it either alters significantly enough to throw you off kilter, or it transforms into something else altogether.

    Am I discouraged? Absolutely not. There’s an old saying, “If it was easy, everybody could do it.” The fact is, everybody cannot write a good book and everybody cannot market a book well. It’s not easy. It takes talent, professionalism, the ability to be self-critical and above all tenacity. Those of us who will still be around after all of this dust settles will be the persistent ones. And that’s always been the case in any worthwhile endeavor.

    I think it would be very dangerous for Amazon to have total domination of the ebook marketplace. Whether an indie author uploads directly to the Apple Store, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and the others, or goes through an aggregator like Smashwords, I feel it’s imperative that we don’t give Amazon total control over our books. Kindle Unlimited is the perfect example as to why not. Amazon has done a wonderful thing by making it easy to upload a book to the Kindle format, a paperback to the CreateSpace format and an audiobook to ACX ~ I’ve made use of all three opportunities. But if we, as indie authors, give Amazon exclusivity, we lose the ability to have any control over the outcome. Not to be too Draconian, but Amazon has all the makings of becoming a modern day robber baron.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s their job to try and control the marketplace and to make as much money as they possibly can. But we need to protect our own interest by not giving them exclusivity. Without competition, what incentive is there for Amazon to treat their clients (the AUTHORS!) with the respect that is due the producer of the work which they are selling? We are the ones who produce the words on the page. Without us, they would not have a book store.

    The last chapter of my book also says, “I don’t know when the fog will lift. But I know it will.” And it will. As fast as our ebook world is changing, it will eventually settle out and those of us still standing will find our footing. I for one am extraordinarily grateful that I am associated with a group of authors here at eNovel who will help me and many others find their way out of the fog. We are not alone ~ we have each other.

    What an exciting time it is to be an indie author!
    Marsha (AKA The Mutinous Boomer)

    • Marsha, I relished your response as much as I did Jackie’s blog post. You summed it all up perfectly. As Jackie told me, “We’re all paddling in the same canoe.” To that I’d add your analogy: We’re paddling our canoe down the river in a fog. Eventually, the fog will lift and we’ll find our way out into the sunlight together!

      Isn’t it wonderful to be part of such a supportive group of authors?

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Marsha, I appreciate your thoughts. Amazon did not twist my arm or insist that I enroll my titles in KDP Select. Where and how we market our books is author choice. I know this much for dang certain. No other sales venue gives new indie authors or those with a few books such a level playing field. iBooks/Apple is gearing up to grab a share of the ebook market especially in foreign markets–or to those of us in the USA what we consider foreign. If iBooks treats the indie author right, it may gain a foothold. If so, great. Amazon is only one store. I like it. It’s my favorite. Same way Kroger is my store of choice in Texas. I may once in a while shop at Whole Foods or H.E.B., but most of my shopping is in the store I’m most comfortable with. No indie author is required to put a book in Select. Amazon is the store. I’m the merchandiser. It is my job to produce the merchandise and shelve it. Where ever I may choose.

  24. Sarah Lane says:

    An informative article as usual. Thanks for sharing.
    Sarah Lane
    Author of The God of My Art

  25. Gee, just when I thought I should relax and take a year off! Just joking.
    Making a list of new techniques to try in 2015. More international ads will be a feature. Now, if only we could get Amazon to combine their accounts for each region that would help a lot.

  26. Stephen Gane says:

    Great blog it has given me lots to think about. Thank you so much…

  27. Rosie Dean says:

    Thank you, Jackie Weger, for the kick up the bum (butt) I needed. Writing is a very solitary experience, but being part of a writing community is hugely helpful.

    I’ve only been in the indie business for just over a year, but noticed a big change in how it all works. I am one of the authors who saw 500+ downloads in my first countdown promotion, a sum which hasn’t been met, anywhere near, with each subsequent countdown promo.

    I’m building a list of promotional tips, most of which I’ve gathered from this site and, when my third rom-com is finished and out there, will set to on planning my campaign for the coming months. (I’m from a marketing background, so it ought to be easy but, somehow, doing it for one’s own work seems harder than doing it for contact-lens solutions or shower gel…)

    When I did a 24hr free promo, I’m certain that advertising on The Fussy Librarian http://bit.ly/1bhufV4 made a big difference.

    Onwards and upwards.

    • Hi, Rosie. I also appreciated Jackie’s “kick in the butt.” Writing is a lonely, solitary activity. It’s crucial to become part of the Indie Author Community, as I emphasized in a recent article I wrote for Choosy Bookworm. Bonding together and supporting one another as “pen pals” rather than rivals makes all the difference in the world!

  28. Excellent advice, thanks for sharing. Now if only we had time to do all this plus write!

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Nancy J. Cohen, thank you for stopping by and sharing. It is difficult to balance our writing, production and promotion. I am content with producing two books a year. If life gets in the way of that goal, I’m good with it. It is not healthy to beat up on ourselves if we happen not to reach that milestone in a time frame we arbitrarily set for ourselves or our book life. We have more than 40 authors in eNovel. We all want to sell books, but our approaches may be different. I decide what is best for my books. So must every author. Again, so happy to have you comment. Don’t be a stranger. Best you and your books in all of 2015.

  29. What a great post, Jackie! As a promotions person, book blogger, book reviewer, and reader, this type of information is great and can help us understand what type of support authors are looking for. It’s clear that the traditional methods of promotion aren’t enough and more creative ways to connect to readers need to be found – and I know I am looking forward to being part of this journey with all of you!

  30. I learned one very important thing in 2014. I wrote a marketing plan based on several books and articles I read. What struck me as I looked back over 2014’s plan is that a few items I considered to be a huge stretch were achieved. For example, I decided that I needed to get an article in a real newspaper. So, I put together a program I called “Aspiring Authors 101” and presented it to the head librarian for my county. I stalked a woman who manage to get herself into the newspaper, and when I found the reporter’s name I sent her an email. She was thrilled to write an article about my free presentation.
    In November I presented a Powerpoint presentation to twenty-six aspiring authors at a local library. Two day later I began working full-time at my local Nordstrom, in jewelry and watches. All these things are part of a plan, and I would fill several pages and probably bore you.
    Tonight I am honored to be speaking at a South Tampa book club. These ladies are old-guard Tampa. They loved my book, and the leader of the group called me because of the newspaper article.
    I think this type of effort and publicity is key.
    As to the nay-sayers: I actually had a few people ask me what I could possibly teach other aspiring authors. I ignored this negative feedback. The people I presented to were unbelievable grateful to receive four sheets of resources. We are all so far ahead of the newbies, we should be proud and generous!
    What did this translate into? Thirty-six paperbacks sold in November and December, a lot by my standard. Another book club in May, also in South Tampa. Lots of ebooks, way more than last year.
    I am proud to be a member of this group. One of my goals in 2015 is to learn how to better use my iPhone so I can tweet and share when I get a break at my other job.
    I am 20k plus into the next murder mystery. This book will take some time, and I need to be scheduled but patient, I’m not rushing it.
    Jackie, I’ve sold books in Brazil, Denmark and Japan. I believe it was through Pinterest. Thanks for the push to do more with these markets.

  31. And I forgot one more thing: In 2015 I will be tweeking my blog. I started the Culture and Cuisine Club in 2009, and have found a few important areas where it does not function or is less than it should be. My blog is different than a lot of other writer’s blogs. I’ll be adding a new feature to it in 2015, one that also fits in with my job at Nordstrom. It is a way of advertising with out pushing my books directly.
    I have a feature on my blog called Author’s Eat… If anyone here would like to submit a piece please contact me. I promote it everywhere, different promotion but also effective.

  32. Neil Ostroff says:

    Great article, Jackie. Interesting concept about not getting royalties when used book stores sell copies of your book. I never though of that. Thanks.

  33. Heidi Skarie says:

    Great article. There is so much to learn about promotion and it’s a changing field, but people are finding ways to become successful. Thank you, Jackie for telling me about this site.

  34. Heidi Skarie says:

    I was wondering what people thought about Bookbub as to whether it is better to list your book for free or for a dollar. I get Bookbub books everyday and download many, but I’m more apt to read the ones I paid for. If the book is free there isn’t anything invested and I may get to it someday or not.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Thank you for commenting, Heidi: We love Bookbub. I can’t change your mind, but perhaps you might be swayed by this: Putting a unit in a FREE campaign gets eyes on and Kindle owners love FREE as an intro to new-to-the reader indie authors. We always see priced sales and borrows on our other titles. Plus, we know our free units are being read because reviews start being posted. I had two Bookbub free campaigns on the House on Persimmon Road a little over a year apart and those free campaigns have generated above 500 reviews. Plus sales and borrows on my other units. Perhaps you don’t invest in downloading a free book, but the author certainly has, from cover to editorial service and formatting, not including the time to write the book. Legacy publishers pay for the promotion slots on Bookbub–not the author of the book. An indie author pays Bookbub’s fee out of his or her own pocket. Putting a book on FREE or giving books away is our public relations game. In the not too distant past, our print editions were traded over and over again in used book stores–we earned nothing on those trades. Now we do earn something on digital…they never get into a used book store. We earn $$ on crossover sales and borrows and we gather reviews. In 18 years as a legacy published author, no one ever walked out of bookstore with my book and later wrote a review. Even if considered, there was no place to post it before Amazon. Hope this clarifies our goals for a unit in a free campaign.

      Best, Jackie Weger

  35. Rosie Dean says:

    Thanks, Jackie. Always something to learn here. Thanks for the http://authl.it/ tip, too.

  36. […] my followers. I’m beta testing Amazon ad campaigns on my ebook editions. I engage in group Rafflecopters for book exposure and tours to increase Twitter and Facebook followers.  If a book isn’t […]

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