The Sell More Books Show: Book Marketing, Digital Publishing and Kindle News, Tools and Advice

Would you consider running a reader poll on genre preference? Bryan and Jim are looking forward to the Sell More Books Summit! This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Matthew Staggs. Bryan thanks our Patrons: Achieve Anything In Just One Year, How to Sex Your Snake, and Excelsior. The Top Tips of the week are how to tackle your first novel, why large print is a market you need to explore, and what tool can help you get a handle on worldbuilding. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how indie authors could benefit from Amazon’s antitrust-proofing, how Barnes and Noble’s new eInk could breathe life into their bottom line, why the new EU copyright hooplah might be a victory for authors, how you can make 70,000 words per week a reality, and who gets to decide if it’s sci-fi or not so much. Question of the Week: Have you ever checked in with your readers to see what genres they enjoy and what they like about your work? Why or why not?

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Is there a point in your writing career where you would consider having an agent? Bryan and Jim celebrate FIVE years of the Sell More Books Show podcast! This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Trish Heinrich. Bryan thanks our Patrons: Stone Cold, Kiss Kill, and Cowgirl, Unexpectedly. The Top Tips of the week are why split testing for Bookbub is critical, how repurposing content can catch more readers, and the simplified royalty share option. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how indie authors could suffer the same fate as their videographer counterparts, why literary agents may not be your best bet, how Maria Mahaffey’s launch plan took her to #1—five times, how Amazon may be under-reporting paperback sales, and what steps took Yesenia Vargas from zero to hero with a write to market strategy and a mindset shift. Question of the Week: What purpose do you see agents filling in the 2019 publishing landscape? At what point in your publishing journey do you think you'd need an agent, if any?

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How do you feel about category policing? This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Elise M Stone. Bryan thanks our Patrons: Awakening Forever, A Dragon among the Eagles, and The Hunted. The Top Tips of the week are how you can use meditation to improve creativity, why you should show some personality on Insta, and how emotions will help you defeat AI. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why you should take note of the vending trend in the UK, how audiobooks are on the rise, what happened to the disappearing books on Amazon, why mis-categorized books hurt everyone, and what Ines Johnson did to skyrocket her income. Question of the Week: How do you think Amazon should handle the problem of books populating categories they don't belong in?

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What options to authors have to increase income, besides advertising on Amazon? This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Dave. Bryan thanks our Patrons: The Top Tips of the week are how to simplify your Amazon pre-orders, how does Nora Roberts crank out so many books, and why Bookfunnel exclusive content is such a boon. We have an Honorable Mention story about what happens to bad little book pirates. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how Barnes and Noble coupons can give you an edge, what happened with the white-washed RITAs, why a Facebook Group might be the free marketing your book launch needs, where is Data Guy’s data, and how Alana Terry doubled her income with an ad-supported wide release. Question of the Week: If you challenged yourself to double your book income without using Amazon Ads, what would be your strategy and why?

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Should the general public provide Amazon with quality control? Bryan is attending a mastermind retreat and Jim welcomes his guest host, Cecelia Mecca. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is John Box. Jim thanks our Patrons are Prometheus Rising, Triumviratus, and Dead Still. The Top Tips include why relevant hashtags are so important on Instagram, how Amazon ads improvements will help indies get more bang for their bucks, and what Bookfunnel’s “buy” button will do for you. The five Hot News stories for indie authors this week include what happened to Blasty, how Audible’s new Spanish-language platform will impact authors, what are the pros and cons of Amazon’s new quality dashboard, why Patreon has rolled out a new tier system, and how indie authors can compete with trad-pubbed authors for the top spots on the charts. Question of the Week: What do you think is the purpose of Amazon's new "quality dashboard"? And do you think it'll be helpful or potentially abusive for authors?

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What do you think of the “in-depth” episode? Avoiding contests and list-building ads may help you to preserve a more organic email list, according to author LJ Shen in a post on the Self Publishing Formula blog. Shen says she spends a “good amount of time,” on social media, feeling that her time is not any more valuable than her readers’. She gathers newsletter followers organically and does not run contests or advertisements to gain new subscribers. She asks for followers on Amazon, BookBub and Facebook, through links available on her website and her Amazon and BookBub author pages. Shen recently used her list to pick up 1,400 Amazon reviews on one of her books in the first 30 days of release. Question of the Week: What do you think of this new every-other-week format? Should we keep it? Trash it? Expand it?

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How has the new copyright law impacted your decision to copyright (or not) your work? Jim and Bryan celebrate the thaw. Bryan is holding a “deep dive” into simplifying Amazon ads, click the link below to sign up. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Darren Sapp. Bryan thanks our Featured Patrons: The Unknown Devil, A Turn for the Worse, and Leading Effectively: Proven Leadership. The Top Tips include what new channels Draft2Digital added, why it’s important to examine the reasons behind your priority list, and what benefits you may experience from organic email lists. Honorable Mention goes to why Amazon is pulling down its popups. The Big Five news stories for indies this week are why there seems to be an outrage in support of piracy, what you may be losing when you fail to file for copyright, how Kimbra Swain took her love of the story straight to the bank, how Reedsy’s new Discovery service will help indies, and how repackaging delivered Kevin McLaughlin the #1 he needed and a fresh audience for his backlist. Question of the Week: Will the landmark Supreme Court decision on copyright change whether or not you decide to copyright your book? Why or why not?

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Episode 257 - Chirp, Amazon Ads, and the Nebula Controversy

What does the new audiobook world look like for you and your titles? Bryan is excited to report on what is happening in the author community right now! Jim discusses the effects of Mercury in retrograde. This week’s Happy Books Review winner is Crissy Moss. Our Featured Patrons: Shadow Raiders, Strings of Subversion, and Fighting to Survive. The Top Tips this week include how advanced reader feedback can improve your standalones, why a reading plan is just as important as a writing plan, and what can go wrong with ghostwriters. We have an Honorable Mention story is the incredible tale of an author who could win $100,000 to ditch her smartphone. The big five news stories that matter most to indie authors include how the Books-a-Million closure will affect indies, why establishment sci-fi authors are attacking 20Booksto50K, which tools are providing Dean M. Cole with the keywords that jumpstarted his earnings, what steps did Kristen Oliphant take to jump from $100 per month of writing income to a steady five-figures, and how Bookbub’s new discount audiobooks will impact the market. Question of the Week: How do you think BookBub's Chirp will change the audiobook landscape over the next 12 months? Do you have any books currently locked up by ACX's 7-year contract?

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Do you have a strategy to deal with plagiarism of you books? Bryan is back and recovering from his soccer-related concussion. Jim gives an update on the progress on synthetic audio books. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is William Oday. The featured Patrons for this episode include Gone, Inharmonic, and Kept In The Dark. The Hot Tips for you are why dictation could be the productivity tool you need, why you should put your phone in airplane mode when you’re on the ground, and how GoCreate.me can help bring order to your online chaos. The five News stories that matter most to the indie community include what you need to know about author blogs, how Kaitlin Bellamy is creating her success one baby step at a time, why creating an ideal reader avatar is critical to your writing, which steps Paul Park took to move his writing into the four-figure lane, and when plagiarism is OK—spoiler alert—never. Question of the Week: If you found out that your books had been plagiarized, what would you do to handle the situation?

Direct download: SMBS_256.mp3
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If you wrote a choose your own adventure style book, what format would you choose? Jim welcomes guest host Mark Lefebvre from Draft2Digital. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is RJ Beam. Jim thanks our Featured Patrons: The Thing Speaks for Itself, The Cordova Vector, and Somebody's Darling. The top tips include how to get the most out of your Author Central profile, what steps you can take to grow an email list from zero, and why the superfan is a myth. The news stories that matter most to indie authors this week are why AI is getting dangerously good, who is profiting from the new choose your own audio books, what steps Brianna Boes took to increase reader engagement and boost her launch, why Patreon is flip-flopping, and how testing several methods led Bridget Baker to success with Facebook ads. Question of the Week: Would you ever want to write a chose your own ending style book? And in what format would you want to do it?

Direct download: SMBS_255.mp3
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What question would change your author business forever? Listen in as Jim and Bryan share the latest in publishing and marketing news. If you have yet to leave a review, then now is the perfect time to review us on iTunes. Thanks so much for listening! 

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How are your books selling internationally? Jim and Bryan experience a little technical difficulty with the audio at the beginning of the podcast, and Bryan’s Relentless Authors Advertise update is missing. Pop over to Bryan’s Friday podcast to get all the details on the RAA project. This week’s Happy Books Review winner is Milissa Story. Jim thanks our featured Patrons: Write! Shonen Manga, Star Flame: A Story From the Meclauks, and More than Monsters. The Hot Tips this week include how to expand your online ebook sales by targeting more retailers, how to improve your ability to edit your own work, and why a test drive of PublishDrive may be the easiest way to experiment with Amazon ads. The Top News stories that matter most to the indie publishing community are what reader benefits that will come from Scribd hitting the one million mark, how online book buyings affects cover design needs, what steps did Eliza Boyd take to move her author career to an intentional path, how one indie author is knee deep in movie deals, and why Sarah Williams inspiring success story is an indie win. Question of the Week: What kind of success have your books had outside of the U.S. and off of Amazon?

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If you have a Return on Investment number that you consider “good” - how did you arrive at that figure? Bryan and Jim report on the effects of the Polar Vortex in the Midwest. Bryan gives an encouraging update on the Relentless Authors Advertise podcast and thanks all the listeners who are joining the experiment. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Rebecca Markus. Bryan thanks our Featured Patrons: Awakening Forever, Guardian of the Grail, and The Reluctant Detective. The Hot Tips include the good of reader give-and-take, how to bridge the gap between writing on the side and writing full time, and why focusing on fewer tasks is actually more efficient. Our Honorable Mention story explains why pre-order reviews have disappeared as quickly as they arrived. The Top News stories affecting the indie community this week are the short-lived Barnes and Noble ad experiment, what ill tidings are reported in the 2018 Authors Guild Survey, how Christina DeMara used hashtags to increase book sales, why Wattpad is diving into publishing, and what steps Jen Thorn took to see success with her new pen name in just 30 days. Question of the Week: Do you know how to calculate Return on Investment (ROI)? Even though even 1% ROI is a profit, is there a certain number of ROI you deem to be Good? How did you come upon that number?

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Is there an unspoken agreement for only positive feedback when a reader accepts an advance copy for review? Bryan shares progress on the launch of his new podcast - Relentless Authors Advertise, which soft-launched two weeks ago and is gaining momentum. Jim reports that in his consults with authors through the SmarterAuthors platform he is seeing the positive effects of paid ads for his clients. This week’s Happy Books Review winner is Jonathan Small. Bryan thanks our Featured Patrons: Cowgirl, Unexpectedly, The 30-Day Writing Challenge, and A Dragon Among the Eagles: A Novel of the Roman Empire. This week’s Top Tips include why faster is better for the Wordslinger, which audiobooks could lead to perfect matches with readers, and how to get more mileage from your Facebook pixel. The news stories that matter most to the indie community this week are the down and dirty business of ARCs, how truth is stranger than fiction in a crazy real-life poisoning plot, John Weston demonstrates what you can actually accomplish with focused writing and publishing, how Amazon is giving the trad pubs a wake-up call, and how Miranda Honfleur used scheduled releases and paid promos to hit her six-figure income goals. Question of the Week: Do you feel as though giving out Advance Reader Copies is unethical because it's more likely to lead to positive reviews? Or do you feel as though the practice is completely legitimate and why?

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What’s your take on “new age” concepts that may or may not help you progress toward your goals? Have you? Would you? The guys celebrate their 250th episode by presenting their 250th episode! Big thanks to all the listeners and subscribers who have, and do, support the show. Click on over to iTunes and leave a rating or review to congratulate Jim and Bryan on this milestone. This Thursday, Jan 17, Bryan will be hosting a genre-specific class for Mystery/Thriller/Suspense writers to reveal tips to help sell more books in those markets and there will be prizes, too! If you haven’t had a chance to talk to Jim about your specific book head over to SmarterAuthors and schedule your one-on-one call with Jim. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Thomas Herold. This week’s Featured Patrons: Prometheus Rising, Flotsam, and Kiss Kill. The Hot Tips include how Facebook pixels can help you squeeze more out of Bookfunnel, why Publish Drive could be the free formatting tool you’ve been searching for, and what keeping secrets can do to ramp up the tension in your writing. The Top Five news stories that matter to indie authors this week include how a new Netflix show on reducing clutter is driving authors nuts, how Amazon is now allowing readers to leave reviews on preorders, why a launch and tell strategy could be the method for you, what an iBooks app for Android devices could mean for authors, and how vision boards helped Brandon Ellis to stay on track and reach his 5-figure sales goal. Question of the Week: How woo-woo are you (-you)? Would you (or have you ever) used concepts like Vision Boards, Affirmations, or Visualization to help achieve your goals?

Direct download: SMBS_250.mp3
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Here's what you'll learn in Episode 249:

- How authors can protect themselves when buying book covers

- Why a calendar might be the most important writer’s tool

- How using video chat can spark writing creativity

- What advantages indie-publishers have over traditional

- How an author turned around a dollar a month in sales into a part-time living

- What Written Word Media thinks will happen in 2019

- What one author did to hit Trout status and fulfill a writing dream

- How the new Amazon ads platform will impact your marketing

Question of the Week: What was your first reaction to the new Amazon Advertising dashboard? How has your opinion changed (if at all) since you've had a chance to look around inside?

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Take a look at Bryan’s and Jim’s predictions for the coming year and give them a “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down.” The guys have mixed things up for the first show of 2019 and are looking forward to your feedback. This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Isabel Peterson. Bryan thanks our Featured Patrons: How to Sex Your Snake, Guild of Tokens: Initiate, and The Strange. And a huge “thank you” to everyone who supported the show in 2018! Play along as Bryan and Jim debate the likelihood of the Top 25 Predictions for 2019. Will you pick TRUE or FALSE? Bryan reveals his BIG THING for 2019 and invites all of you to follow along. Happy New Year to all of our Sell More Books Show listeners! Question of the Week: What do you disagree with for our 2019 predictions? Also, what should Bryan call his new show?

Direct download: SMBS_248.mp3
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