SFFMP 152: Pricing, Category Stuffing, Launching with Three Books, and Marketing Cross-Genre Novels

This week, we answered some listener questions that had been piling up. We touched on a variety of topics, such as…

  • Should you try to put your books in as many categories as possible, and what can we do about books that shouldn’t be there knocking us out of our Top 100s on Amazon?
  • Amazon’s page of keywords for getting into unlisted categories: Selecting Browse Categories.
  • How many downloads a day can you expect from permafree titles?
  • Is it worth trying to sell English novels in countries where English isn’t the primary language?
  • How can trad publishers get away with charging 9.99 or more for ebooks, and can indies do this if their books are well edited and professionally done?
  • How do you market cross-genre books that fall into more than one category?
  • How do you guys feel about killing characters, and does it ever get easier?
  • How does your plotting process work?
  • Has anyone tried Kobo Plus yet and gotten results?
  • Where you can advertise as a newer author with less than twenty reviews on your book? Here are the links to the spreadsheets Lindsay mentioned (that C. Gockel maintains). We’re not sure if they’re up to date though, so let us know if you know of a good and recent resource. Where to Advertise Free Ebooks | Where to Advertise 99 Cent Ebooks.
  • How did Lindsay relaunch her pen name successfully after a long gap between releases?
  • If you want to write three books before launching any of them, can you use novellas as part of the plan?

Jeff and Lindsay are working on new projects, but Jo has some links if you want to check out what he’s up to right now. Here’s his serial-in-progress: The Adventures of Rustle and Eddy. Also, he’s recently done a series of “How I Write” blog posts, which cover his plotting process, among other things.

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.

Like us on Facebook.

SFFMP 127: Book Launch Tips, Mistakes People Make with Amazon Algorithms, and Writing a Trilogy in 12 Weeks

Today, Chris Fox joined us to talk about book launches, book RE-launches, reasons why the Amazon algorithms may not be plugging your book, and writing a trilogy in twelve weeks. The author of non-fiction titles such as 5,000 Words Per Hour and Writing to Market, he’s joined us twice before on previous episodes:

Writing 5,000 Words an Hour and Selling Zombies and Werewolves

Selling More by Writing to Market + A Novel in 21 Days

Here’s some of what we covered today:

  • What Chris has been up to since finishing his Void Wraith Trilogy, the military SF he wrote to market last year, and how it ended up doing overall.
  • Why he’s writing a trilogy in 12 weeks and planning to release the books in rapid succession.
  • Some of the benefits of writing more than the first novel in a series before publishing any of them.
  • The importance of taking time off and taking time for passion projects.
  • Strategies for launching into crowded niches.
  • Whether Chris will do 99 cents for his launch of Book 1.
  • Using Facebook and Amazon ads to find a target audience and whether they’re proving effective (and affordable) right now.
  • Why it’s worthwhile to think about your character names instead of just throwing things out there.
  • Accountability tricks for sticking to one’s goals.
  • Launching a novel when you haven’t built up a list yet.
  • Why you might not want to tell everyone you know about your new novel — the confusing effect that can have on Amazon’s algorithms.
  • Relaunching a novel or series that didn’t do well out of the blocks.

You can find Chris and his video series on his site or on his YouTube channel. You can order Write to Market and Six-Figure Author on Amazon, and his new book, Relaunch Your Novel, will be out in May. You can also check out his fiction, starting with Destroyer or No Such Thing as Werewolves.

 

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.

Like us on Facebook.

SFFMP 89: Launching Books to Stick, Amazon Algorithms, and When Advertising Is Worth it with Chris Fox

Today, we talked about launching books, writing to market, taking advantage of Amazon algorithms, and when advertising is (and isn’t) worth it with return guest Chris Fox.

Here are some of the specifics that we covered:

  • How Amazon works to push new releases (that show potential) with its algorithms, newsletters, and also-boughts system
  • How important being in KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited is right now to stick on Amazon with a new book
  • Whether to list a book for pre-order
  • Whether it makes sense to use Facebook and Amazon ads (available for those in KDP Select) during a book launch or afterward, to keep the momentum going
  • Relaunching a series that had a lackluster original launch
  • How much pricing figures into a book launch and whether starting at 99 cents is a good idea to gain momentum
  • Using a prequel to grow a mailing list

Check out Chris’s first military science fiction novel, Destroyer, on Amazon, or pick up his latest non-fiction title, Launch to Market.

You can also visit his YouTube channel for some inspiring and helpful videos.

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.

Like us on Facebook.

SFFMP 83: Using the Slow Burn Launch Strategy to Stick on Amazon and the Pitfalls of Genre Hopping

The guys chatted about their recent experiences with book launches and also how their genre hopping adventures are going. In addition, they discussed the slow-burn launch strategy that a lot of indie authors have been using to great success.

Here are a few more details of what they covered:

  • How does their launch strategy differ now than from when they were first starting out?
  • Using three books to launch into a new genre or a new pen name, or at least committing to writing and publishing three before giving up.
  • The challenges of genre hopping (even within the umbrella of science fiction and fantasy) and whether or not it’s going to be a career killer.
  • How they’ve gone about finding beta readers to use before sending a manuscript off to an editor for a final pass.
  • Critique groups Lindsay has used for science fiction/fantasy: The SFF Online Writing Workshop and Critters.org.
  • How KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited are playing into most successful book launches now.
  • When pre-orders make sense and if one should consider selling at a lower price during the pre-order.
  • How just launching your book and sending out an announcement to your newsletter subscribers probably won’t be enough to make your book “stick” on Amazon.
  • Segmenting and staggering your newsletter so it goes out to different groups of subscribers over multiple days to fight against the “Bookbub Effect.”
  • Booking “new release” ad slots on sponsorship sites and how many of them are offering that now.
  • Kboards thread referenced in the show: Slow burn launch for stickiness by Aimee Easterling [includes links to many of the siates that will book new releases]
  • Another one: A mini-guide to launch promo services by Nicholas Erik

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.

Like us on Facebook.

SFFMP 47: Our Book Launch Processes and Author Websites (what to do and what not to do)

This evening, the three of us shared what we do to launch new books, and then Lindsay went through the list she’s making for when she gets a new website designed (by no later than 2017, really!). Here are some of the highlights of the conversation:

  • Newsletters and social media announcements, staggering for launches
  • Recruiting reviewers before the book is released
  • Possibly getting more sales by using pre-orders
  • Updating back matter in earlier books with links to new books
  • Sharing preview materials with readers
  • Facebook boosted posts (the only advertising we do for launches)
  • Updating Goodreads and Shelfari when you release books, especially if you’re a new author — nobody’s going to do it for you!
  • Making sure you have an Author Central profile at Amazon and then claiming new books.
  • Domain names: your author name vs. your world/universe/book series name
  • Using WordPress as the backbone to your website
  • Getting author websites up and running inexpensively
  • Putting newsletter sign-up forms “above the fold” so people don’t have to scroll
  • Having a “new readers start here” kind of section for people who visit your site for the first time
  • Static home pages versus having your blog on there with the latest updates
  • Some of Lindsay’s WordPress plug-ins: Shareaholic (makes your blog posts easily shareable on social media sites), ContactForm, Google Analytics (tracking stats to the nth level), PrettyLink (free version — shortens and tracks links), Subscribe to Comments (lets those who comment get notified when people respond), WP-Polls (poll your readers in a blog post), WP-Postviews (at a glance, see how many times your posts have been read)
  • Avoiding too much clutter, making it hard for people to find the links to check out your books, using ads on author websites, forgetting to have links to all stores, not having a list of your books, and getting into posting schemes with other authors

 

 

| Open Player in New Window

Click to download the mp3.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast on YouTube.

Subscribe to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast via RSS.