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

Video or audio, do you have a preferred way of getting content? Episode 300 is so close! Were going to start releases on video now as well! Jim will be hosting a webinar on becoming a public speaker, Bryan is excited about 20BooksVegas and he will do a Meetup Pizza Party by the pool. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Roland Denzel. Thank you to our featured Patrons: Kiss Kill, A Dragon among the Eagles, and Stone Cold. The Top Tips of the week include how Sandra Beckwith helps authors turn reviews into more sales, why Facebook may be a way to reach more readers, and why your seven keywords may need to be upgraded. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how publishers create a gray area for plagiarism, why Audiobook is changing how you market, how K-Lytics will help you decide if you need to write a Christmas novel, why author Nick Thacker was finally able to quit his day job, and which sites vaporized due to Facebook's false information and how they tried to make up for it. Question of the Week: Now that the show will be available in video, do you think you'll keep listening in audio or consume the podcast in its video format? Also, what is the giant trophy for on Bryan's bookshelf?

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Do you think ads for your English-version books will appeal to Amazon’s German market? Bryan and Jim are enjoying the great weather. Bryan is planning another Amazon Ads Challenge for January—stay tuned! Jim’s co-author fiction project is really taking shape and he's already making plans to turn it into a film. Call for Success Stories! Submit via email or in the comments. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Gisele LeBlanc. Thank you to our featured Patrons: Leading Effectively, The Life of Magdaline Slatewood, and Cowgirl, Unexpectedly. The Top Tips of the week include How a first line generator can jumpstart your creativity, why your book description should be scan friendly, and how often should you be sending a newsletter and what should be in it. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why the Audible request for a referral in their settlement suit was denied, why HarperCollins started to put backlist titles on Kindle Unlimited in Australia and the UK, how shortening your completion date can be more productive, how you can get audiobooks uploaded directly to Kobo Writing Life, and why foreign advertising can help you promote your books. Question of the Week: Do you plan on using Amazon Ads in the German market and do you think they'll be successful for books in English?

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What do you think motivates Amazon to make changes to its promotion programs? Episode 300 is coming! Bryan is recovering after an intense Amazon Ads 5-day challenge. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Eric Warren. Thank you to our featured Patrons: The Busy Busy Author, Dead Still, and Achieve Anything In Just One Year. The Top Tips of the week include how podcasts may be your way to the top, what are the benefits of connecting with the final product instead of the work in progress, and how to find your niche and how to spread it around. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how Bookshop will bring back bookstores, how libraries can actually be helpful to book sales, why is Facebook hiding your likes, why Author Mark Dawson is on a new journey, and how Amazon is changing in drastic ways. Question of the Week: Why do you think Amazon got rid of Giveaways and the Matchbook program?

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How much do you usually write during the day? Episode 300 is coming! Bryan is off this week because he is running his 5-day Amazon Ad Profit Challenge. Jim’s cohost is the amazing Kirsten "Beersten" Oliphant. And… Happy Birthday to Jim! This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Dan Thompson. Thank you to our featured Patrons: A Band Director's Guide to Everything Tuba, The Darby Shaw Chronicles, and Doubt The Stars. The Top Tips of the week include how to navigate Amazon's new ad features, the difference between a website and an ideal website, and 10 words all authors should know. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include the still banned Harry Potter books, reselling used ebooks, why author Heather Demetrios shouldn’t have quit her day job, how ebooks have not taken over the book world, and how outlining could increase your daily word count. Question of the Week: What's your average word count written per day?

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How much is too much when you share personal info with readers? Episode 300 is coming! Jim is off this week and Bryan’s cohost is the brilliant Becca Syme. Bryan is recovering from a concussion and he’s also got a big Amazon Ads promo going on. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Tom. Thank you to our featured Patrons: Guardian of the Grail, The Thing Speaks for Itself, and Dark as the Grave. The Top Tips of the week include how to avoid social media FOMO, why beta readers are so valuable and how just one in-person event per year can benefit all types of writers. We have an Honorable Mention story this week about the amazing Keanu Reeves and his foray into the small press world. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how to workaround Vellum’s “no more .mobi” announcement, how author Jack Knight reached $1k in monthly sales with only two books, why author Julia Watts has been disinvited from a teen literary festival, how author Tamie Dearer reached $10k per month after 19 books, and where the line might be between connecting with readers and over-sharing. Question of the Week: If you were to become the bestselling author in your genre tomorrow, would you be nervous about the amount of personal information you've shared with your fans? Why or why not?

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Place hand here to pay! Is Biometric scanning the future of payment? Bryan and Jim are counting down to show #300! Bryan announces his five days of building profitable Amazon ad campaigns for you. If you sign up for this five day challenge you’ll be entered in a raffle to win the Amazon Ads Group Coaching Mastermind. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Blaine Moore. Thank you to our featured Patrons: Inharmonic, Hitler Out of Time, and Shadow Raiders. The Top Tips of the week include the benefits and drawbacks of using Facebook groups as an author, how to change your mindset to “it’s about my book” in order to obtain better promotions, and the advantages of setting parameters while working on a multitude of projects. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include outrage at Amazon from small shop owners for early release on products, a rise in ebook rentals at libraries due to Hoopla, just a flick of the wrist and you can pay at Whole Foods Market, the growing industry of Audible, and how authors can set pre-order options up to a year in advance. Question of the Week: Do you think biometric scanning for payments will become normal within the next decade? Why or why not?

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If Amazon relinquished its publishing of indie Authors what would you do to maintain readers? How would it effect customers that have ereaders? Bryan and Jim are counting down to show #300! Bryan and Jim discuss avoiding Google newsfeed while receiving words of wisdom. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Rosanne. Thank you to our featured Patrons: The Last Days, Gone, and Covermint Design. The Top Tips of the week include why Findaway Voices can help authors set prices and branch across multiple selling platforms, how an ebook scam to take your book to “Hollywood” can cost you a fortune, and the true importance of a book cover. We have an Honorable Mention story this week and it seems that Audible will not use their captioning technologies on audiobooks where publishers have filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include where to tap into new social media marketplaces for your ads, a lawsuit for copyright infringement on the common term “tamer,” How Amazon Prime has brought various consumers to indie authors out of self-interest, Eric Warren’s first series flop has motivated his second collection’s success, and how over one billion dollars has been paid out to the authors of Kindle Unlimited. Question of the Week: What would ebook customers do if Amazon decided to drop publishing indie authors tomorrow? What would you do as an author?

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How would you improve Goodreads ads if you had limitless power? Bryan and Jim are counting down to show #300! Jim announces his fiction writing team project will be an amazing sci-fi adventure novel written with Tom Sully Sullivant—sign up for previews in the Show Notes. Bryan . This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Lori L. Robinett. Thank you to our featured Patrons: The Secret Blush - A Jennifer Morgan Novel, Wanderer's Escape, and A Curse upon the Saints. The Top Tips of the week include why controlling your brand is so important, how the right reader magnets can attract your ideal reader, and when ritual is needed to accomplish your writing goals. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how Abacus can make royalty sharing a breeze, what the Big 5 are doing to stop Amazon’s copyright infringement, How author Jim Heskett made the leap to full-time, how Beatrix Potter’s own tale surpasses that of her rabbit, and when Goodreads will stop running their self-serve ads and why. Question of the Week: If you could rebuild Goodreads and Goodreads Ads from the ground up, how would you do it and why?

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Is your book launch strategy built on a foundation of goals or floating in a sea of fate? Bryan and Jim are looking forward to show #300! Jim will announce his new project in next week’s episode. Bryan will be sending excerpts of Hook, Line, Bestseller to his ARC team. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Zach Guido. Thank you to our featured Patrons - Twins of Prey, The Final Arrangement, and Wanderer’s Escape. The Top Tips of the week include why reviews disappear, 14 great marketing tips, how bigger ad spend can benefit your data. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how Google started renting books, why authors supporting one another is critical to success, why writing to market works, how the YA community came together to support one of their own, and how author Alana Terry made 1k on a standalone in less than 30 days. Question of the Week: Have you ever set goals for a book launch or promotion? What's your goal with your next book?

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Are you ready for a “British” bookstore invasion? Bryan is on vacation this week. Bryan is back and the team is at full strength this week! This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is David Avoura King. Thank you to our featured Patrons - Cubicle Jail to Laptop Lifestyle, The Dragon Rustler (Cowboys and Dragons Book 1), and Star Flame: A Story From the Meclauks Kingdom. The Top Tips of the week include how to get the mist from your ACX coupons, the true value of an accountability partner and where to find one, why the great outdoors is your creative partner. This week’s Honorable Mention covers the addition of more big names to the Amazon author stable. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how the Norsemen pillaged Netflix, how author Mike Chen used ad stacking to soar up in the rankings, why Rachel Morgan Goetsch set he sights on Kobo sales, how the new CEO will steer the Barnes and Noble ship, and how the Vines managed to double the sales and KU reads of Chris’s debut after only two weeks. Question of the Week: With James Daunt from Waterstones taking over the B&N CEO job, what are some ways he could make the U.S. bookstore as British as possible?

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To sign or not to sign? What would it take to convince you to subject yourself to a morality clause in a publishing contract? Bryan is on vacation this week. Jim welcomes his special guest host, Chrishaun Keller-Hanna! This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Randy Green. Thank you to our featured Patrons - Guild of Tokens: Initiate, Mayhem & Murder, and How to Self-Publish A Children's Book: Everything You Need To Know To Write, Illustrate, Publish, And Market Your Paperback And Ebook. The Top Tips of the week include why the right keywords are so important, what you can learn from the top authors in your field, and what the pros and cons are of Bookbub’s various advertising opportunities. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include what you should know about pirates, how traditional publishers an AB-using morality clauses, how author Jeffrey Munn used niche marketing to nearly triple his sales, what happened to the Washington Post bestseller list, and how author RE Vance hit his first 5-figure month. Question of the Week: What would you need from a traditional publisher to sign a contract with a morality clause in it?

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Do you think Amazon imprints are in a position to attract more big name authors? Bryan will be off next week and Jim has a special surprise guest host booked! Bryan has over 300 people signed up to his ARC team and is setting the goal of 100 reviews in the first 48 hours. Jim’s book Unskippable will be at 99 cents for a few more days - grab a copy if you haven’t had the chance. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Lars Hedbor. Thank you to our featured Patrons - The Reluctant Detective, Get it Done, and Sanyare: The Last Descendant. The Top Tips of the week include what you can do to streamline your BookBub “follow” call to action, how a simple card can give people the information they need to remember you—and your book, and what you can do to declutter your work-in-progress. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why the French Army is turning to sci-fi writers for advanced warning, how Kym Thurlow used a pen name to test the waters and learn from her mistakes, how Wattpad’s monetization features are benefitting authors, why Jami Albright turned to free options to support her latest book launch, and why Dean Koontz has taken the plunge with an Amazon imprint. Question of the Week: What do you think Amazon promised in its marketing plan to author Dean Koontz to get him to sign a big deal with an Amazon imprint?

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What is your opinion of Audible’s new audio to text feature? Bryan and Jim are looking for a great idea for the 300th show. Bryan shares some great author feedback and testimonials from Best Page Forward! Jim’s book Unskippable is currently available for 99 cents for a limited time. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Jon Evans. Thank you to our featured Patrons - Corruption of Identity, Hook's Daughter: The Untold Tale of a Pirate Princess, and Sales Success Stories: 60 Stories from 20 Top 1% Sales Professionals. The Top Tips of the week include how to recover from a failed book launch, why it’s so easy to waste money marketing your book, and what are the three essential questions every author must answer. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why teen writers are actually using ghostwriters, how Danielle Burton hit her first $1k month, what the royalty changes on Google Play mean for indie authors, how Aidy Aaward is making her 20BooksTo50k dreams come true, and why it sounds a lot like copyright infringement over at Audible.com. Question of the Week: Would having the text available during your audiobook listening improve your reader experience? Do you think that Audible has violated existing rights agreements by testing its new audio to text feature?

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Does your author business have a favorite charity? Bryan’s new book about writing awesome Amazon ads and hooks is coming soon! Jim has hit more than 60 reviews for Unskippable and recommends authors spend the time to build a good ARC team. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Philip. Thank you to our featured Patrons: How to Pick Up Women with a Drunk Space Ninja, Leah’s Choice, and The Rookie Writer Playbook: A Planner/Organizer for Writers. The Top Tips of the week include how to juggle writing time and relaxing time on vacation, why mailbox overload can spoil a great vacation, and what visibility tips you might be missing if you’re a KDP author. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why libraries are boycotting Blackstone, how Victoria Smith doubled her sales for June 2019, how the Association of American Publishers plans to sue Amazon into submission, how to avoid the dangers of comparisonitis, and why niche marketing turned into profits for Alexa Kang and company. Question of the Week: If you could donate some of your book sales to charity, which charity would you donate to and why?

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What’s your author type - are you a Self-Publisher, The Indie Author, or The Authorpreneur? Bryan is hosting a a new webinar, How to Optimize Your Amazon Sales Page to Sell More Fantasy Books Forever. Sign up today! Jim is beginning a joint venture into fiction with a writing partner—more to come. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Holly. Thank you to our featured Patrons - Jaded: Luke by Hildie McQueen, Chicago Blue: The Red Riley Adventures #1, and What Am I?: A Collection of Traditional Word Riddles – Deluxe Edition. The Top Tips of the week include how to get the biggest bang for your buck on your next book launch, why it is important to write interesting characters that aren’t just different for the sake of being different, and why Facebook groups may be more important than ever. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why the WGA’s new Code of Conduct is stirring up trouble, how the lack of diversity in the Carnegie medal for literature award is being re-examined, how the Kindle Storyteller Awards may be opening doors for more original content via Amazon Studios, how Jean Lowe Carlson hit her first true $5k month, and why knowing what kind of author you are can help you focus on improving the right skills. Question of the Week: In Orna Ross's post, she said authors fell into three types: Self-Publisher, The Indie Author, or The Authorpreneur. Which one are you and why?

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What do you do to celebrate your achievements? Jim is off this week on his Unskippable booksigning tour. Bryan welcomes his guest host, Elise Kova. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Eustacia Tan. Thank you to our featured Patrons: Outage Boxed Set Books 1-3, Win For Love, and Not Write Now: A How-Not-To Guide for Writing Fiction. The Top Tips of the week include why in-person connections at writing conferences are so powerful, what the five must-haves are for every new author, and how to keep your readthrough rates high. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why counterfeit books are still for sale on Amazon, how Microsoft is stealing books back form readers, why finding books at your local library may get more difficult, what’s the latest Amazon reporting hiccup, and how slow and steady can still win the race. Question of the Week: How do you reward yourself for completing a milestone?

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Would you consider working with a coach to improve an aspect of your author career? Jim is excited for his Unskippable booksigning event in Las Vegas. Bryan reminds everyone to check out the new Best Page Forward podcast and fill out the submission form if you want your blurb rewritten during the live show. There are only 41 slots left in the Amazon Ads Made Easy 5-module course—grab yours today and take control of you ads. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Mike Stop Continues. Thank you to our featured Patrons: Sanyare: The Last Descendant, Blogging for Authors, and Awakened: Paragons Book One. The Top Tips of the week include how creating work seasons can increase productivity, why both existing fans and new readers are both important to your marketing plan, and how changing up your routine can reignite creativity. We have an Honorable Mention: How one bad Tweet poisoned the whole nest. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include one more BIG reason to resist the urge to reply to bad reviews, Audible is doubling down on their subscription service for Romance, how Victoria Smith found the boost she needed to more than triple her monthly income with the assistance of a coach, why Ellie Masters considers marketing as the key to reaching 5-figure sales, and how books are being stolen from WattPad and appearing for sale on Amazon. Question of the Week: Have you ever used a coach or a mentor to help you get to the next level of your career? If so, did it help? If not, is it something you'd ever consider in the future?

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How do you feel about translation of your books and potential international success? Bryan announces his Waitlist for June openings in the Amazon Ads Made Easy course. Jim soft-launched Unskippable and he is looking forward to digging into serious advertising to promote the title. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Lars Hedbor. Thank you to our Patrons - Star Flame: A Story From the Meclauks Kingdom, Planet Dead One Shot: The Briggs Boys, and The Secret Blush. The Top Tips of the week include why crowdsourcing cover design could be the wrong move, how robots can help you edit, and why it is so important to meet reader expectations with subgenres. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how to phone it in for success, why you can finally embrace the zero, how Patrick McLaughlin squeezed the most out of everyday to write his way to success, what the Amish are doing in space, and how Caroline Vermalle von Ruben hit $50k in one year without selling a single book in the U.S. Question of the Week: How many international self-publishing success stories do you think go unreported in the U.S.? Does this make you more excited about the idea of doing translations of your books in the future?

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If you had control over B&N, what next step do you think would be best for readers? With Bryan taking the week off, author and launch consultant Courtney Kenney dropped in to talk news and tips with Jim. Tips included writing to multiple genres, a handy tool to manage reviewers, and why you should always value people over algorithms. News stories focused on writing in the angry age of social media, the rise and potential drop of ebooks, how writing helped one veteran provide for his family, how essential research is before hitting publish, and the bidding war over Barnes & Noble. This week's Question of the Week: If you bought Barnes & Noble, what would you do with it?

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How many times will a reader go back to a “poisoned” well? Bryan and Jim are grateful for new listeners, and listeners who have been with them since Episode 1. Bryan is reaching the end of releasing his Amazon Ads Made Easy modules and has learned to enjoy math and use data to improve his ad spend. Jim is suffering through the final editing phase but is looking forward to purchasing Vellum and formatting his new book. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Hildie McQueen. Thank you to our Patrons: The Thing Speaks for Itself, Dark as the Grave, and Pirates vs. Dragons. The Top Tips of the week how to squeeze more juice out of Instagram, learn more about what readers want through podcast research, and how to stoke the fires of creativity. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include which publishing scam is making a sequel, how Karl Drinkwater used his Bookbub Featured Deal to grab a #1 spot, why readers keep reading bad books, what Kyla Stone did to reach 50K in sales, and how Amazon celebrated its 10th publishing birthday. Question of the Week: How many bad books do you think it takes for a dedicated reader to give up on an author?

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What’s your current schedule for checking royalty income? Bryan and Jim hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend. Bryan is having a great experience teaching his Amazon Ads Made Easy course and is generating some wonderful tactics for students. Jim is looking for serious ARC members for his launch team. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Dan Thompson. Thank you to our Patrons: Guardian of the Grail, Doubt The Stars, and Leaving Eva. The Top Tips of the week why new story structure options can boost your writing, how scheduled and regular breaks can improve mental health, and when three tips aren’t enough you can count on a few more. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how Google is shooting themselves in the proverbial foot on Google Play, why Kobo is happy to be wrong about potential readers, what Taylor White did to hit $500 in royalties on her debut release, what KDP is doing with new royalty reports and how Bink Cummings used Facebook ads and a rapid release strategy to move her much closer to her 6-figure-per-month goal. Question of the Week: How often do you check your royalty stats? Will that number increase with the new KDP Royalties Estimator?

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What makes an email service useful to authors? Bryan is excited to be teaching Amazon advertising and learning a ton about ad strategy. Jim is handing off Unskippable to his editor and will soon be looking for beta readers. This week’s Happy Books Review Winner is Connie B. Dowell. Thank you to our Patrons: The Dragon Rustler, Shadow Raiders, and The Final Arrangement. The Top Tips of the week are how to test your email service provider, what to do with bad reviews, and why you need a well-designed business card. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why Ariana Grande is being sued for posting a picture of herself, what happened to Amazon’s operations in China, what expanded distribution choices are left, how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign, and how changes at Mailchimp could leave you hanging or paying more for bananas. Question of the Week: Which is the best email service provider for authors and why?

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What is your strategy to overcome major struggles as an author, or in life? Bryan and Jim are back from the Summit and excited about all the wonderful presenters and attendees that participated. Thank you to our Patrons: Leading Effectively: Proven Leadership by Mildred Stallworth, A Band Director's Guide to Everything Tuba, and Twins of Prey. The Top Tips of the week are how Lindsay Buroker has developed a workaround to be in KDP Select and wide, how Creative Commons can quickly get you to the royalty free images you need, and why printed proofs can help authors get a clear perspective on WIP manuscripts. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include why Will Self feels that creative writing graduates will never make a living as novelists, what Apple books is doing to actively squash all mention of competition in the back matter, why Shawn Inmon shifted gears to self-publishing and a happier life, how Amazon is harpooning KU whales, and how Liz Copen was able to use her writing income to help her family in a difficult time. Question of the Week: When is a time you faced a major struggle in your life (as an author or otherwise) and needed to work at a higher level to overcome your challenge?

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What does success look like for you and how will you move toward that vision? Bryan and Jim are recording this week’s episode LIVE at the Sell More Books Show Summit. Thank you to our Patrons. Bryan and Jim thank the 2019 Summit Sponsors: Vellum, PublishDrive, Draft2Digital, Kobo Writing Life, BookFunnel and Reedsy. The Top Tips of the week are why a good team makes your story stronger, how tagging can improve the efficiency of your mailing list management, and why clean data is important when determining how well your book converts. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how attending conferences helped Cecelia Mecca go from part-time to full-tie writer, why Jami Albright encourages writers to publish at their own pace and move toward goals, why the current Writers Guild of America standoff could open up opportunities for indie authors, Jim how changing the way you think can move you toward success, and Chris Fox explains the importance of ad spend, releases and targeted promotions. Question of the Week: What is the life you want to lead with your books, and what changes are you going to have to make to achieve it?

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Could a reading list promo be added to your book marketing plan? Bryan and Jim are looking forward to the Sell More Books Summit which begins in less than 36 hours! This week’s Happy Book Reviews winner is Chris Duryea. Jim thanks our Patrons: Removed, Inharmonic, and More than Monsters. The Top Tips of the week are how organic traffic on Amazon is changing, why movement and creativity go hand-in-hand, and how to combine speed and quality to boost productivity. The 5 News stories that matter most to indies this week include how Christian bookstores can resurrect sales, why local bookstores need your support, why Nora Roberts takes plagiarism so seriously, how sharing a booklist with you readers can put money in your pocket, and what Shashane Wallce did to jump sales from $50 to $5,000 a month in less than one year. Question of the Week: How might you use Books2Read Reading Lists as part of your book promotion?

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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?

Direct download: SMBS_260.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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?

Direct download: SMBS_259.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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?

Direct download: SMBS_258.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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?

Direct download: SMBS_257.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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! 

Direct download: SMBS_254_Sound.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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?

Direct download: SMBS_253.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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?

Direct download: SMBS_252.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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?

Direct download: SMBS_251.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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?

Direct download: SMBS_249_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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