building an audience

“Branding” with best selling author Steena Holmes

  Steen Holmes is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has sold over 2 million copies of her books. She is a sought after speaker on the subject of indie publishing and branding.  We are very pleased to have Steena Holmes, B.R.A.G .Medallion Honoree author of Finding Emma, join us here to share her thoughts and expertise. First of all, let me congratulate you, Steena, on all your success--selling books is not easy! For all self-published authors out there, I am taking a big step beyond giving advice on writing.  By the time a book gets to us at indieBRAG, learning how to write and asking advice about publishing a book is in the past.  We assume that when an author submits their book to us they are confident it is well written, edited, formatted and has an appealing cover.  If not, it probably will not make it to our library. So Steena, let’s talk about what you are an expert on--marketing and selling books. How important is finding your audience and how do you do that? For me, knowing my audience, finding those readers – that’s more important than anything else after the book. If…

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Did you know that many of our indieBRAG readers are authors? Why should that matter?

  I read an interesting article the other day about the importance of authors reading books – even if they don’t like to read.  Does that strike anyone else as very strange-- Not the importance of reading, but an author not liking to read?  How can an author write a compelling story and expect readers to enjoy their work if they don’t enjoy reading?  Mind boggling. Reading for indieBRAG gives a reader an opportunity to analyze both the good and not so good attempts at writing a worthy book.  I have often been told by authors that after reading a book for indieBRAG they have gone back to change things in their current works.  It is not uncommon to find things they don’t particularly like only to realize they have committed the same error in their writing.  So, you see, it isn’t important to only read the great classics, but to also learn from those who are trying to appeal to your audience as an author. Stephen King has also said in his book on writing: “The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing… Constant reading will pull you into…

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How To (Really) Sell Your Novel – The Shocking Truth

Re posted with permission of John YeomanOriginally posted on The Wicked Writing BlogFriday, April 5, 2013 Under: Libels & Wickedness   How do you sell a novel? That's the number one problem for every self-publishing author and it probably accounts for all the other numbers too. Unless your novel sells, you may well be a writer but you're not a novelist. Here are four ways that don't work. 1. Banner ads don't work. Many sites will sell you a banner, in a choice of sizes, to promote your book and each at a fancy price. None will yield a profit. You might not even get a single click-through. Why? The average click-through rate for banner ads is just three tenths of one per cent or 0.3%. That's the industry average according to imedia connections.com. So only three in 1000 people who see your banner ad will click on it. And only about 4% of those people will buy your book. (That's the average conversion-to-sale ratio at Amazon.) So you'll make just one sale for every 10,000 people who see your banner. How much will you be charged for that banner? Anything between $100 and $1000. Result: you'll lose your shirt.…

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A conversation with Bestselling Author Colleen Hoover

COLLEEN HOOVER Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. She released her debut novel, SLAMMED, in January 2012 and the follow-up novel, POINT OF RETREAT, in February, 2012. Both books have been optioned for film as of October, 2012. Her bestselling Romance novel Hopeless has been on the New York Times E-Book Best Sellers list for 20 weeks! indieBRAG: Thank you, Colleen, for spending this time with us. Colleen Hoover: Thank you so much for having me. iB: You have written three very successful books in the Romance genre. I wonder if an author sets out to write in a specific genre or do they just write the book that is in them? In your case, did you choose the genre first and then create the book, or was the story already in your mind and it just happened to fit that genre? CH: When I began writing SLAMMED, I didn't even think about where it might fit if I tried to sell it. I wrote the book thinking I was going to be the only one to read it besides a few family members. Once the book was complete and I decided to upload it…

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A chat with best selling author Addison Moore

  Addison Moore is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Previously she worked as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit for nearly a decade. She resides on the West Coast with her husband, four wonderful children, and two dogs where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she's not writing, she's reading. Addison's Celestra Series has been optioned for film by 20th Century Fox.   Thanks you so much Addison for sharing your thoughts and experiences on self-publishing with us. It is encouraging to us all to see wonderful self-published authors, such as you, get the attention they deserve!I am sure the readers and authors at indieBRAG will appreciate your input- First of all, why did you self-publish? Did you try to get a traditional publishing deal?I started self-publishing in 2011, ironically after I procured my dream agent. I was deterred by how long it would take to get a traditional book into the market and I wanted to write more than a book a year. Did you use professional help for story or copy editing, cover design or in other ways?My husband and I…

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To KDP or not – that is the question!

A blog piece by Jim Kukral at the Huffington Post on the subject of KDP Select gave me food for thought and I began researching other points of view on this very popular means for indie authors to sell their books.As Mr. Kukral points out, there are two very strong sides to this issue. I think the big question is "making money" versus "building an audience". Many of our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree authors take advantage of KDP and utilize the opportunity to give their books away for free for a limited time. They get a bit of boost in sales and make a bit of money in the process. The question is – does this actually build their audience? As this article states, those who seek out free book downloads are not particularly loyal readers and may do little talking about or reviewing of books. I do not know the statistics, but I wonder how many authors who take advantage of KDP actually build a big following?Sales on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony eReader and other means of reading eBooks arguably do not match the sales that amazon.com does. On the other hand, by placing their book on a site…

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