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

It’s Self-Publishing 101 in Jim and Bryan’s 101st episode. After thanking Michael La Ronn and his Author Level Up YouTube channel ( www.authorlevelup.com ), the princes of publishing took on tips about digital Amazon giveaways, cover art, and increasing your revenue. News stories included Amazon’s 2nd physical store, the age of most Kobo readers, publishing’s need for dynamic change, the top subcategories on Amazon, used ebooks, and Nook’s closure of its UK store. This week’s Question of the Week: How will the closure of Nook’s UK store impact your author business? Do you plan on continuing to publish to the Nook US store?

Direct download: SMBS_101_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56am EST

We’ve hit triple digits! Bryan and Jim celebrated how they always do: by tackling the top news and tips of the week. After thanking their patron Jeff Adams (and his Hat Trick Series http://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B00YVWBRYQ/ ) they chatted Facebook, a killer editing combo, and a time-tested promotional strategy. News stories included scamming the bestseller list, Kobo’s POD service, what financially successful authors have in common, the closure of Samhain Publishing, the Bookseller/Author Solutions controversy, and DBW’s interview with Data Guy. This week’s Question of the Week: Do you think the Bookseller stepped over the line of journalism with their Author Solutions interview or can they publish whatever they want? 

Direct download: SMBS_100_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am EST

Chris Fox, the author of Write to Market, visited the show this week for our latest lab segment. Jim and Bryan thanked their patron Kathy Coakley and her book Dad's Girls ( http://www.kathycoatney.com/dads-girls/ ) before launching into their final double-digit show (#99!). The trio of tips included pointers on burnout, book file sizes, and social media image sizes. The top five news focused on the Amazon recommendation algorithm, Facebook ads, expert reviews, keywords, and Scribd's latest scale back. This week's Question of the Week: Which opinion do you trust more when you buy books: experts or friends/Amazon strangers and why?

Direct download: SMBS_99_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05pm EST

Jim and Bryan announced their upcoming Live show in Austin on March 29th and a surprise milestone as they approached the big 100 in the show's 98th episode. After re-featuring Geoff North and his book Thawed: Cryers ( http://bit.ly/thawcry ), the Laurel and Hardy lookalikes tackled tips on group promotions, honing your blurbs, and defining your target audience. News stories touched on the latest Harry Potter book, going wide, the CreateSpace book ban, the case for Amazon Books, and the Author Earnings firestorm. This week's Question of the Week: Do you believe Authors Earnings numbers? Do you think they need additional verification? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS_98_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:24am EST

Stellar and bittersweet news alike greeted Jim and Bryan this week as they tackled the latest and greatest in the self-publishing world. First, Bryan announced free mailing list training on Thursday at Noon EST with Nick Stephenson (sign up here http://bit.ly/nickbryweb ). After thanking their latest patron M.A. Robbins (and the book The Tilt http://bit.ly/thetilt ), your illustrious hosts discussed tips on also-boughts, social media overwhelm, and audiobooks. News stories included what it means to be a self-publishing success, BookBub's 98 book marketing ideas, Amazon Books' call for curators, business plans for authors, Kindle Unlimited's KENPC 2.0, and Author Earnings' two-year report. This week's Question of the Week: Did your page numbers go down on Kindle Unlimited? If so, how far did they drop and how does that make you feel?

Direct download: SMBS_97_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15am EST

Bryan returned to a jam-packed show about long-term sales, wishful thinking, and keeping your reviews. After discussing Bryan's limited-edition mailing list mastermind ( available at http://www.thousandsofreaders.com ), the self-publishing pair thanked their latest patron (L. Penelope's Song of Blood & Stone - http://lpenelope.com/books/song-of-blood-and-stone/ ) and discussed tips on systematization, raw links, and conquering Kobo. The news stories included Audible's new direction, the 50 Shades of Gray legal case, Fakespot, an Amazon wish list, and Long Tail sales. This week's Question of the Week, "What's the number one thing Amazon could change to improve your life as an author?"

Direct download: SMBS_96_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:23am EST

Alida Winternheimer dropped by the show today to fill in for Bryan as she and Jim took on the top tips and news of the week. After giving props to this week's featured patron, P.G. Kassel and his book Black Shadow Moon ( http://www.pgkassel.com ), they took a stab at tips related to editing, finances, and marketing methods worth modeling. The subjects of the news stories included Shelfari, today's marketing trends, finding your voice, Amazon's new two-tier quality control system, and Hugh Howey's advice on how to be a writer. 

Direct download: SMBS_95_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:06pm EST

Using their +1 charm podcast mics, Jim and Bryan took on the latest in self-publishing news and tips. After giving props to their latest patrons, Spider McGee and his book Monkey Justice ( http://bit.ly/secretjim ) and John Keller's How to Drive Your Next Car Deal ( http://bit.ly/drivedacar ), the dual dynasty covered tips on front matter, effective content, and BookFunnel. The Top 5 News included stories on international ebook-reading, a new feature for Amazon's Echo device, Wizards of the Coast's D&D self-publishing platform, the effectiveness of book promotion sites, and the parallel paths of trad and indie publishing. This week's Question of the Week is "Have book promotion sites become less effective for you? If so, how do you plan to use them in your future marketing?" 

Direct download: SMBS_94_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22am EST

The lab segment has returned! J. Thorn dropped by the show to compare his recent results between a successful Facebook ad campaign and a BookBub for his box set. Check out the infographic on our website! After giving props to their latest patron Anthony A. Kerr and his book The Dragon Rustler ( http://bit.ly/dragrust ), Jim and Bryan took on tips about book preview embedding, outsourcing, and idea generation. The Top 5 News included stories on more Amazon title culling, the "secret sauce" of marketing, Pottermore's big change, reactive editorial selections, and the sale of Author Solutions. This Week's Question of the Week: "Why do you think Penguin sold Author Solutions? Will the Author Solutions' new owner expand or retract the company's reach and why?" 

Direct download: SMBS_93_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EST

It's our best show of the year (so far)! After Jim responded to a counterpoint about his standby Amazon competition argument, and Bryan drew a winner for the book description giveaway, the astute authorpreneurs chatted KDP ads, BookBub's new feature, and an audiobook ad trick. They also re-featured patron Crissy Moss and her book Witch's Sacrifice ( http://bit.ly/witchsac ). News stories this week included how the publishing industry really works, the Authors Guild's call for contract changes, Joe Konrath's 2016 resolutions, the importance of used book stores, and several pundit predictions for 2016. This week's Question of the Week: What are your predictions for 2016? If your predictions come true, how will your author business change throughout the year?

Direct download: SMBS_92_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EST

A new year is upon us as Jim and Bryan creep closer to the show century mark! After Bryan announced his temporary course opening ( https://www.sellingforauthors.com/lastchance ) and Jim announced his AMC Lifetime Membership contest winner, they went on with the show. Michael La Ronn and his YouTube channel Author Level Up is the latest show patron (check it out at http://www.authorlevelup.com ) and the dazzling duo is giving him and all the other patrons some awesome new bonuses! 
 
With hankies in hand, Bryan and Jim discussed memories of 2015 and some of their favorite tips, including author branding, virtual assistants, and paid advertising. The trends of the year included trading places, cracking down, indie statistics, the KU-pocalypse, and multiple major indie success stories. This week's Question of the Week (the final one of 2015!) is: What do you think was the biggest news story of 2015? How did it make a major impact on indie publishing?
Direct download: SMBS_91_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07pm EST

Christmas is in the air, but Bryan and Jim are still telling it like it is. They started with Jim's big "guess the clip" giveaway! They continued with news stories like KU's international pages read change, indemnity clauses in trad pub contracts, publishing success, innovation in publishing, the myth of the Everyreader, and the adult coloring craze. Before the took on tips about Apple, staying fresh in a series, and mailing list growth, they re-featured their patron Honoree Corder and her book Prosperity for Writers ( http://bit.ly/honorpro ). This week's Question of the Week: What does realistic publishing success look like to you? Where do you see your publishing business in five years?

Direct download: SMBS_90_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:51pm EST

The pair of publishing podcasters have a new nickname (and you'll have to listen to find out)! After praising their patrons Kathy Coatney (Dad's Girls http://www.kathycoatney.com/dads-girls/ ) and Tara Ross (Cubicle Jail to Laptop Lifestyle http://amzn.to/1ZNNHWl ), they took on a trio of tips about Netline, genre fiction, and building your dream team of employees. News stories focused on Ilona Andrew's self-published novella, British literary festivals, category coups, Flipkart's bow, the rise of audio, and taking risks vs. gambling. This week's Question of the Week: Do you think Amazon should do something about books taking over categories they don't belong in? Or should indies just take advantage of the category situation? 
Direct download: SMBS_89_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm EST

Jim and Bryan have reached over 100 reviews on iTunes! You can still leave a review to enter Bryan's book description giveaway contest before December 31st. In their latest show, they touched upon tips about keeping book reviews, building a better website, and spending less time on Twitter. They also thanked their latest patrons Geoff North (author of Thawed: Cryers http://bit.ly/thawcry ) and J. Rutger Madison (author of A Curse Upon the Saints http://bit.ly/curssaint ). News stories included ebooks in Kenya, Jane Friedman's content marketing success, the addictiveness of self-publishing control, how publishers and authors can work together, Smashwords latest publishing poll, and the new Author Earnings Amazon UK report. This week's Question of the Week: How far in advance do you plan your publishing schedule? How do you (or could you) use pre-orders to improve your pre-planned releases?
Direct download: SMBS_88_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:09pm EST

Jim and Bryan marveled at having lasted 87 episodes as they took on the latest news in self-publishing. After giving props to their latest patron, S.J. Pajonas and her book Removed (available at http://bit.ly/sjremoved ), they tackled tips on pseudonyms, Draft2Digitlal's email service, and long-term blogging. News stories included thoughts on the sharing economy, how Netflix and self-publishing relate, what trad pubs fail to understand about ebooks, where you'll see a self-pubbed book mentioned for the first time ever, and whether or not you should write to market. This week's Question of the Week: Do you write for passion or do you write to market? Why have you made that decision?

Direct download: SMBS_87_Sound_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

With Bryan back from his walkabout, he and Jim discussed the latest in the self-publishing sphere. After giving a hat tip to their patron Jonathan Small and his book Ascent ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013TH3N7M ), the death-defying duo covered tips on autoresponders, forging relationships, and what to ask a publicist. News stories included Amazon falling down on the job, the Authors Guild's fight against the "discount double-cross," Alan Moore's pro-self-publishing rant, Dean Wesley Smith's business advice, and the five-year anniversary of Marie Force's first self-published book. This week's Question of the Week: What's the deal with Amazon? Are they dropping the ball or are we just expecting too much and why?

Direct download: smbs_86_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01am EST

With Bryan camping (living) in a van down by the river, your co-hosts taped a special show on the subject of email marketing. They re-featured patron Michael Alan Peck's book The Journeyman ( http://michaelalanpeck.com/books/commons-book-1-journeyman/ ) and talked tips on reviving your email marketing strategy, testing your emails, and the factors that go into the "perfect" marketing email. News stories included statistics about email marketing's supremacy, the success and failure of the biggest brands on Halloween, getting a better return on investment from your emails, how to collect leads at less than $1 each, and why this holiday season could be even bigger and more digital than usual. What have you done to increase your holiday book sales? What do you plan on doing this holiday season? Also, do you like the length of our show?

Direct download: SMBS_85_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EST

Councilman Elect Jim Kukral and Marshmallow Elect Bryan Cohen reunited for the latest episode of the show. After re-featuring Patron Susan Illene and her book Stalked by Flames ( http://amzn.to/1Q80kFr ), the determined duo took on tips about promoting sequels, co-writing, and using video marketing. News stories focused on the passing of a self-publishing godfather, HarperCollins' acquisition of The Midlist, Amazon's purge of books using certain keywords, opinions on Amazon Books, and whether or not we're living in the "post-content era." This week's Question of the Week: What value do you think Amazon is getting out of its latest retail venture? Would you want one in your city? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS_84_Sound_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am EST

With Jim off winning an election (!!!), Bryan welcomed three of his early Selling for Authors students to the show. Dystopian new adult author Tarah Benner, nonfiction author Nathan Meunier, and dark fantasy author John L. Monk visited the podcast to talk tips, news, and Bryan's Selling for Authors course (which closes its doors on Thursday, November 5th, 2015 at 11:59pm EST). Learn more at https://www.sellingforauthors.com

After thanking new patron Chris Ayala (author of The Last Days at www.TheLastDaysTrilogy.com ) and returning patrons Kate Curran (She's Out of His League at http://bit.ly/shesout ) and Marc Gunn (Pirates vs. Dragons at http://bit.ly/pirdrag ), Bryan and the gang talked tips. The tips of the week focused on blurbs, writing like you talk, and using Facebook ads to grow your mailing list. News stories included Amazon's bookstore, a woman who reviewed 31,000+ books, the decline of eReaders, trad pub's international strides, Kris Rusch's opinion on agents, and trad pub testing out the permafree model. This week's Question of the Week: Should we be worried about trad pub trying out permafree? Why or why not? What do indies still have as a competitive advantage over trad pubs?

Direct download: Final_SMBS_83_Sound_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:21am EST

As Bryan dealt with the throes and joys of his Selling for Authors course launch (located at https://www.sellingforauthors.com ), the determined dyad took on the latest in indie publishing news. Jim and Bryan praised their latest Patron, Alan Frederick Hight, and his book Where The Leaves Wither ( http://eepurl.com/badxB9 ), and talked tips on card readers, Quotle, and Twitter giveaways.

The news includes stories on Ellora's Cave, indies in libraries, Amazon's future reviewer plans, Kobo's new promos for authors, trad pub authors going indie, and the influx of high-end author courses. This week's Question of the Week: What's something you're an expert on that you could teach a course about? How might you go about creating and promoting the course?

Direct download: Episode82_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:55pm EST

Bryan and Jim headed deep into autumn with their latest episode on Amazon's Fiverr reviews lawsuit, building giant email lists, and a comparison between indie and trad pub income. After thanking their wonderful Patrons for the week, Jennifer Evans Kochalka's Grand Theft Auto and Other Misdemeanors ( http://amzn.to/1GRIzFb ), Tara Ross' Cubicle Jail to Laptop Lifestyle ( http://amzn.to/1ZNNHWl ), and Mark Cooper's Merkiaari Wars Box Set ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FU5LSME ), the stalwarts of self-publishing news took on a trio of tips about word count, writing productivity, and getting more reviews. 
 
The news stories included million-reader email lists, indie author advice from the CEO of Hachette, Google book scanning project, Sela Lyons' indie success, and Amazon's lawsuit against Fiverr book reviewers. This week's Question of the Week: How do you get your book reviews? What are some ways you might use to gather more?
Direct download: Episode81_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am EST

This week, Bryan and Jim tackled another wild week in publishing, including stories on the VATmess expanding, the Author Earnings ebook market report, and the Amazon Crossing announcement. First, Bryan talked about the successes and failures of his insane last week activities, such as an attempt to hit the NY Times list with a BookBub and his March to a Bestseller 3 event. You can opt-in to get his free training course for authors at http://sellingforauthors.com 
 
Our Featured Patron of the week was Thomas Umstattd of the Novel Marketing Podcast (http://www.novelmarketing.com ). Jim and Bryan also covered tips on free book promotions, pre-orders, and writer's block. This week's Question of the Week: Which non-Amazon ebook retailer would you like to see at #2 in the market and why?
Direct download: Episode80_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:33pm EST

This week, Bryan announced a million things (actually three things) to help indie authors, including his new free video training (go to http://authorcopy.com to get on his list), his attempt to hit the USA Today Bestseller List with his writing prompts box set) (get it on Nook at http://bit.ly/noblocknook ) and his new Selling for Authors Facebook Group ( http://bit.ly/sfagroup ). Don't forget, he's also got March to a Bestseller 3 coming up this Friday ( http://marchtoabestseller.com ).
 
With the promotional parade over, Jim and Bryan talked tips and news after thanking their latest Patreon patrons (Susan Illene's Stalked by Flames http://amzn.to/1Q80kFr ) and (Chris Syme's SMART Social Media for Authors http://amzn.to/1JLTwYI ). The tips included the next level of marketing, Blab, and better author bios. The tumultuous twosome also talked Facebook Groups, a year-long marketing plan, to KDP Select or not to KDP Select, the evolution of authorship, and high concept branding.
 
This week's Question of the Week: How would you create a high concept brand around your books?
Direct download: Episode79_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:31pm EST

After introducing their latest patron, Michael Allen Peck and his book The Journeyman, Bryan and Jim tackled the latest tips and news. Tips included myths about author marketing, Draft2Digital's new back matter feature, and passive book marketing. Stories focused on an Oyster update, the growing pay-per-page model, indie author post-production, the mahogany desk flu, the Author Earnings individual report, and the passing of an important figure in self-publishing. The Question of the Week is: Should we keep the sounders? And how has KBoards helped you during your indie author career?

Direct download: Episode78_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31am EST

Jim and Bryan took on a big week of news in the self-publishing with their latest episode. After Bryan officially announced the latest March to a Bestseller event (available at http://www.marchtoabestseller.com ), the tag team re-featured one of their $3 patrons, Sandy Williams and her book Shades of Treason. They also took on tips about whining, selling on iBooks, and collaboration. The news stories included the ad-blocking iOS9 browser, the latest month of KU earnings, getting readers to finish books, Amazon's server outage, and Google's acquisition of Oyster. This week's Question of the Week is: Do you think Google will try to compete in the book subscription market? How else do you think Oyster's integration will impact the Google Play store? 

Direct download: Episode77_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am EST

 

This week, Bryan has gone temporarily solo! Learn 5 things you may not have known about him before you hear the unplugged version of your favorite self-publishing news show. Tips include strategies on mailing lists, what not to do with paid marketing, and how to better understand your readers. The news stories focused on CreateSpace pirates, the cost of self-publishing, how to make Facebook work for you, why you should write four books a year, and the latest Author Earnings Report. This week's Question of the Week: What paid advertising methods have worked best for you? How often do you use them to strengthen your author business? Bonus Question: What else would you like to learn about Bryan?

Direct download: Episode76Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EST

Jim and Bryan brought the thunder in their landmark 75th episode! After the two talkers gave props to their latest Patreon supporters (Mark E. Cooper's Merkiaari Wars Box Set, C. Steven Manley's Awakened, Kate Curran's She's Out of His League, and Honoree Corder's Prosperity for Writers), Bryan introduced his $1,000 Copywriting for Authors Giveaway. Enter and get his book description cheat sheet at http://authorcopy.com
 
This week's tips included solutions for top writer excuses, how to create an indie collective, and why you should track your marketing efforts. News stories focused on the Wall Street Journal's piece on ebook pricing, Facebook marketing, Kindle Scout, judging books by their covers, more zombie publishing memes, and Jamie McGuire's Walmart shelf placement. This week's Question of the Week: Do you buy books at Walmart? How hard would you work to get your books on the shelves there?
Direct download: SMBS_75_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22am EST

This week, Jim and Bryan welcomed Honoree Corder, the bestselling author of Prosperity for Writers to the show. They also mentioned their newest Patreon pledges on the air, including Crissy Moss (the author of Witch's Sacrifice), Marc Gunn (the creator of the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast), Alinka Rutkowska (author of How I Sold 80,000 Books), Parker Hudson (author of On the Edge), Jonathan Small (author of Ascent), and Sandy Williams (author of Shades of Treason). You can contribute to the Patreon page at http://patreon.com/smbs
 
Jim, Bryan, and Honoree took on a trio of tips about turning your book into a brochure, getting blurbs, and a rule of thumb for marketing budgets. News stories included the Author Solutions settlement, why librarians don't seek out self-published books, Simon & Schuster's small entry into KU, the Authors Guild's campaign against non-competes, Stephen King's unintentionally pro-indie argument, and the self-publishing print-on-demand #1 worldwide bestseller. This week's Question of the Week: What's your best estimate on when the New York Times Bestseller list will either cease to exist or have to change drastically? If it does have to change, what will that change look like?
Direct download: SMBS_74_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am EST

Jim and Bryan started the episode by announcing their new Patreon page. By becoming a patron of the show, you can get your book mentioned on air and contribute to several awesome milestones like extra episodes and an SMBS road tour! Check out the page at https://patreon.com/smbs 
 
During the episode proper, the sluggers of self-publishing news tackled tips on improving Dragon Dictate, selling direct, and pricing your books. News stories included the last-second acquisition of PubSlush, the closing of HarperCollins Authonomy, Ann Jacobs' attempt to join the Ellora's Cave lawsuit, Konrath and Eisler's take on the "Amazon is a Monopoly" meme, Amazon's new Also Boughts drop-down menu, and the massive Hugo Awards controversy. This week's Question of the Week is "If you were on the shortlist to get a Hugo nomination in the midst of the Sad Puppies controversy, would you have withdrawn your name? Why or why not?"
Direct download: SMBS_73_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:53pm EST

After Jim teased two new Author Marketing Club resources and Bryan offered a free consultation for new Best Page Forward subscribers, the triumphant team tackled the latest tips and news. The three tips included building a launch team, creating captivating Facebook cover images, and increasing your engagement on Google Plus. The top five newsworthy stories focused on the closure of PubSlush, John Scalzi's diversification claims, St. Martin's Press allegedly failing to live up to its contract, Liz C. Long's frustration at the self-publishing stigma, and July's Kindle Unlimited payout numbers. This week's Question of the Week: "What were your July KU numbers? Are you happy with the results? Why or why not?"

Direct download: SMBS_72_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06am EST

After Bryan talked dictation and Jim put out a call for developers, the terrific twosome tackled the best tips and news of the week. The three tips included advice on pre-orders, lessons to learn from James Patterson's Masterclass, and how to start off right in self-publishing. The compelling news stories included male pen names, comparisons between print journalism and traditional publishing, author displeasure with Audible, Fantasy-Faction's post on why you shouldn't self publish, and a massive story on agency pricing. This week's Question of the Week is "Would you buy an e-book if it was priced higher than the paperback or hardcover? Why or why not?"

Direct download: SMBS_71_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22am EST

In the dog days of summer, only the strong self-publishing newscasters survive. Bryan and Jim talked writing speed and Jim's latest Authorpreneur interview before diving head first into the tips. The advice included spreading audiobooks with OneBook, selling local with the bookseller's mindset, and fiction writing lessons from Joanna Penn. The news included stories on picking your ideal reader, the myth of author laziness, trad pub blacklisting blurbs for POD books, Konrath and Eisler's Authors Guild fisking, and one author's reminiscences of trad pub days gone by. This week's Question of the Week: What qualities would you want in an organization that protects the interests of authors and why?

Direct download: SMBS_70_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am EST

With solid nights of sleep behind them, Jim and Bryan tackled the latest topics in self-publishing. After discussing Bryan's new URL for his service, BookBestPageForward.com, and Jim's latest interviews on Authorpreneur.fm, the marketing mavens took on the tips and news. Tips included how to average out the stats of the bestsellers of the last decade, aspiring authorpreneur advice, and how to live more simply. News stories focused on picking a new term for indie authors, Mike Shatzkin's potential about-face, summer reading statistics, a review of indie author library services, and the impact piracy has on indies. The Question of the Week: Will book piracy become as huge as music piracy did during the Napster days? Will it impact the average indie author? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS_69_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

As Bryan fought back sleepiness and Jim teased a new Author Marketing Club tool, the podcasting pals gave episode #68 their all! They tackled tips on ambition, a new Twitter app, and how to treat book reviewers. Bryan and Jim also covered the latest in self-publishing news, including stories on direct Facebook sales, Douglas Preston's letter to the Department of Justice, Amazon Follow, the underground world of Kindle ebooks, and the transparency of the publishing business. This week's Question of the Week: "Do you think the Kindle Gold Rush post was real or fake? What do you think we should take from it either way?"

Direct download: SMBS_68_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am EST

With Jim using his "Gone Fishin'" sign, Bryan welcomed another British guest co-host to the show this week: Simon Whistler of the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast! Simon and Bryan chatted about last week's question before moving into tips about free Kindle book covers, online quizzes, and writing 5,000 words per hour. News stories included reports on the closing of Nook's international store, the spread of ebooks in India, the Ted Cruz bestseller list controversy, Kobo's eRead Local campaign, Shawn Inmon's post on starting from scratch, and the Authors Guild's 50/50 ebook royalty initiative. This week's Question of the Week is "What would you do differently if you were starting self-publishing today?" 

Direct download: SMBS_67_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03pm EST

Between book launches (Bryan's new novella) and other podcasts (Jim's upcoming Authorpreneur interview with Andy Weir), the turbulent twosome brought you one of their most info-packed shows yet! They discussed three tips on hiring a virtual assistant, pitching new readers, and occasionally turning off the computer. The news was even meatier than usual this week with stories on social media, Nook's new website, the Amazon review removal controversy, the reaction to the KU pages read rate, and Scribd's culling of romance titles. This week's Question of the Week: Is Amazon's removal of some indie reviews fair? Why or why not? Should Amazon change its policy? If yes, how so?

Direct download: SMBS_66_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:05pm EST

Bryan and Jim are back in action with another week of the latest tips and news. After Bryan discussed the recent Stanley Cup bet he won with Pete Bauer, the devilishly handsome duo talked about the Alphasmart 3000, valuing your mistakes, and how to use Scrivener to organize your marketing. News stories focused on an update to the German adult ebook law, reading among millennials, why trad pub can't innovate, how to truly own your books, the true cost of traditional publishing, and why social sharing could be the new author marketing craze. This week's Question of the Week: Why aren't millennials buying ebooks? Is it a lack of time, too much technology, have young people always read less, or is it something else entirely?

Direct download: SMBS_65_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am EST

In one of their best shows yet, Jim and Bryan went deep on the most pressing issues of the week. After Bryan discussed the success of his Best Page Forward service, Jim announced his new Authorpreneur podcast (available at http://authorpreneur.fm). The diabolical duo then took on three tips about assetless pre-orders, daily writing habits, and the CrystalKnows email program. News stories included a check-in on the Tess Gerritsen Gravity case, Taylor Swift's shaming of Apple Music, Germany's new erotic ebook law, speculation on the size of self-publishing, the ills of gaming the system, and Amazon's new review formula. The Question of the Week: Will you research how to improve your Amazon review rating once the new formula is put in place? If so, how much time will you spend and why?

Direct download: SMBS_64_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22am EST

Jim and Bryan discussed three tips this week on marketing services, procrastination, and book piracy. While the news included stories on direct-to-brain book downloads, Amazon's publishing imprints, the  Oblivion Principle, and authors as customers, the focus was Amazon's recent announcement about Kindle Unlimited and page reads. This week's Question of the Week: Will the new KU payout structure be good or bad for authors and why? How will it impact your own business?

Direct download: SMBS_63_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:06pm EST

Jim and Bryan topped Babe Ruth and Roger Maris this week by smacking number 62 right out of the park! After Bryan invited listeners to his Ted Head Games contest, the silver sluggers took on tips about profitability, internal defense, and series resurrection. The news included stories on MacGuffin, Nielsen's ebook statistics, Apple's possible switch to 85 percent royalties, the $10,000 self-published book design, and attitudes toward younger writers. This Week's Question of the Week: If you could meet with the author who spent $33,000 self-publishing (Dr. Nancy Saltzman) what would you say and why?

Direct download: SMBS_62_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am EST

In a show bursting with info, Jim and Bryan welcomed back Mark Dawson for the conclusion of his Facebook ad experiments. They also touched on a trio of tips related to building your author empire, the latest tools introduced at BEA, and the essentials of any marketing campaign. The top 5 news focused on mobile phone reading, John Scalzi's 10-year publishing deal, the Authors Guild's attempt at positive PR, Phoenix Sullivan's analysis of Author Earnings' data, and Orna Ross' editorial on the true worst time to be an author. This Week's Question of the Week: Would you take a 10-year contract if it meant financial security but that all contact with your readers would go through the publishing company?

Direct download: SMBS_61_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21am EST

Bryan and Jim hit the big 6-0 this week, which made them feel old. This week, they covered a trio of tips on finding free or discounted local books, writing 5,000 words a day for a month, and perfecting your book's title. They also touched on news stories about 12 essential book marketing tips, giving away books for free, discrimination against indies, Google Play's shutdown for new authors, and the pros and cons of going pro. This week's Question of the Week: Does the traditional publishing industry's behavior toward indies count as sanctioned discrimination? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS_60_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am EST

The dynamic duo of digital debutantes took on their usual trio of tips and the latest in self-publishing news in their 59th episode. In today's show, you'll learn about Facebook Custom Audiences, Facebook funnels, and successful autoresponders. You'll also hear discussions on news stories focusing on Kobo books on planes, clickbait advice, carving your own path, Amazon's new sales pages, and Google's upcoming addition of buy buttons to search results. This week's Question of the Week: Do you like Amazon's new sales page? Why or why not? Do you think it'll increase or decrease sales and why?

Direct download: SMBS_59_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:50am EST

After a short (and live!) musical interlude, Jim and Bryan tackled the latest publishing industry news and tips. Tips included Chuck Wendig's 10 authorial self-promotion commandments, Nate Hoffelder's thoughts on writing for short attention spans, and Jane Friedman's four questions to ask yourself when building a community. The news stories centered on 100 percent self-publishing royalties, the difficulty of selling digital products, a customer's lifetime Amazon ban, the five dumbest business practices in publishing, and the latest Author Earnings report. If you answer this week's question of the week with a video or phone call, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free year of Author Marketing Club! This week's question: Should customers be allowed to return an unlimited number of ebooks at any time? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS_58_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am EST

After Bryan chatted about his Facebook Event product launch, the two troubadours tackled tips on brand building, persistence, and working hard to achieve success. They also discussed news on the federal government e-book program for kids, PayPal's new digital product endeavor, BitLit's expanding shelfie technology, the music industry compared to the publishing industry, and the latest on Author Solutions. Bryan and Jim are starting a Patreon campaign (like Kickstarter for podcasts), and they want your help to figure out what bonus content to give their followers. This week's Question of the Week: What bonus content would you like us to provide as pledges on Patreon?

Direct download: SMBS_57_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42am EST

On the launch day of Bryan's new Facebook Event product, Kindle Sales Blowout, and Jim's new Author Marketing Institute podcast, the Writership Podcast, the dynamic duo tackled the latest in self-publishing tips and news. The trio of tips included what to do in the worst-case scenario, how to come up with new marketing ideas, and giving your backlist new life. The news stories focused on the success secrets of super authors, the decline of indie bookstores in the U.K., how the Tragedy of the Commons theory applies to self-publishing, Facebook's Contentgeddon, and the future of disruption in the publishing industry. This week's Question of the Week: What will the reimagination of the publishing industry look like in 2017 and beyond?

Direct download: SMBS_56fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35am EST

Succinctly working their way through the top news in the biz, Jim and Bryan discussed the latest happenings in the industry. Their trio of tips focused on recording your own audiobooks, pricing your books, and how to market on Facebook. News stories included the topics of indie-only bookstores, a series of stories on audiobooks, London Book Fair, Mark Dawson's recent feature in Forbes, and author earnings in the U.K. This week's Question of the Week: Would you submit your book to a self-publishing book store? Why or why not? If there was one in your area, would you consider shopping there?

Direct download: SMBS_55_fini2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21am EST

In another succinct episode, Bryan and Jim talked tips, news, and the most pressing questions of the publishing industry. They discussed tips related to email lists, self-promotion on social media, and the new Book Report tool. News stories included Amazon's fake review lawsuit, three recent seven-figure publishing deals for indies, the luck factor of publishing, the reasoning behind Oyster's new online book store, and the traditionally published author survey. This week's Question of the Week: If you were already successful in self-publishing, would you take a five-book deal for a million dollars?

Direct download: SMBS_54fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10am EST

In our first show of year two, we introduced a new segment and still came in at under 50 minutes! Thriller author and marketing expert Mark Dawson helped us kick off "The Lab," a new feature in which successful authors help us experiment with our own books! He's offering a one-hour consultation giveaway through April 14th at SelfPublishingFormula.com. Jim and Bryan's trio of tips focused on audio marketing, going mobile, and free image sites. The news stories touched upon virtual book readings, self-publishing in high school, the reader's journey, the post-gold rush trough, and what self-published authors should focus on. This week's Question of the Week: Is it time for self-publishers to get over self-publishing?

Direct download: SMBS_53_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36am EST

Jim and Bryan celebrated their one-year anniversary this week! They also awarded episode 50's big video contest winner. In their 52nd episode, the Midwesterners discussed a trio of tips on writing in the cloud, using physical book cards, and adding bonus content to your fiction books. The news focused on digital growth, safety for book reviewers, the Clean Reader app, Joe Konrath's EbooksAreForever library business, and the controversy over Jane Litte's pen name. This week's Question of the Week: What do you like and dislike about our show? What could we do better?

Direct download: SMBS_52_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45am EST

With Jim and Bryan at the PubSense Summit in Charleston, SC, the dynamic duo decided to get the opinions of some of the great speakers on hand. Joanna Penn (The Creative Penn), Porter Anderson (The Bookseller), Mark Lefebvre (Kobo), Cevin Bryerman (Publishers Weekly), Andra Miller (Algonquin), Shari Stauch (Where Writers Win), and Kristina Radke (NetGalley) gave Bryan their expert insights on the latest developments in self-publishing. Tips included handling one-star reviews, gaining visibility, and using Facebook ads. The news focused on a new Goodreads change, the buyer's market vs. the reader's market, author attitudes, the odds of self-publishing success, and the acquisition of Overdrive by Kobo's parent company, Rakuten. This week's Question of the Week: If you became a successful author would your attitude change? If you found success would you be corrupted?

Direct download: SMBS_51_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EST

In their landmark 50th episode, Bryan and Jim had rants and insight, motivation and tough love, and tips and news for your listening pleasure. Listen to the show to learn how to enter their big 50th episode giveaway to win over $150 in prizes! Their trio of tips includes a better way to get ACX bounties, scrappy conference marketing tips, and why you should create courses. The news included stories on deep, philosophical novels, the reality of the writing dream, the next step in Facebook marketing, how to market a series, and five reflective lessons on the authorpreneurial life. This week's Question of the Week: How bad do you want it?

Direct download: SMBS_50_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:08am EST

 

This week, we decided to honor our fans by bringing on nine of our superfans to discuss the tips and news. Without them, Bryan might not have made it through his cold and sore throat! The featured guests included Crissy Moss, Alyssa Archer, Leslie Watts, Clark Chamberlain, Perry Constantine, Pete Bauer, Jacob Williams, Stacy Claflin, and Roland Denzel. The tips centered on WattPad, building an author community, and Amazon keyword mastery.

In part two, the top news of the week touched upon waning ebook sales for trad pubs, the EU's recent ruling that ebooks aren't books, the new Author Earnings Dashboard, the getting-by attitude, and the indie startup mindset. A big thank you to all our fans who participated! This week's Question of the Week: What are some marketing ideas you might be able to pull from other markets that could help you sell more books?

Direct download: SMBS_49_Audio_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:10am EST

 

This week, we decided to honor our fans by bringing on nine of our superfans to discuss the tips and news. Without them, Bryan might not have made it through his cold and sore throat! The featured guests included Crissy Moss, Alyssa Archer, Leslie Watts, Clark Chamberlain, Perry Constantine, Pete Bauer, Jacob Williams, Stacy Claflin, and Roland Denzel. The tips centered on WattPad, building an author community, and Amazon keyword mastery.

In part two, the top news of the week touched upon waning ebook sales for trad pubs, the EU's recent ruling that ebooks aren't books, the new Author Earnings Dashboard, the getting-by attitude, and the indie startup mindset. A big thank you to all our fans who participated! This week's Question of the Week: What are some marketing ideas you might be able to pull from other markets that could help you sell more books?

Direct download: SMBS_49_Audio_Part_1_Final_Corrected.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Back by popular demand (with over 130 comments), Jim joined Bryan to discuss the latest book-selling news. Before they got down to business, Bryan announced the pre-order of his latest fiction book and the ongoing Spring Multi-Author Facebook Event pitch (which you can find at bryancohen.com/pitch). The trio of tips included advice on reading more, what digital tools to use, and how to publicize your old content. News included stories on an author's DMCA battle, Amazon advertising success and failure, ageism by a former MFA teacher, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch's thoughts on indispensability. This week's Question of the Week: How will the latest news about Nook affect how you do business with them going forward?

Direct download: SMBS_48_Fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm EST

Bryan and Jim started with two big announcements. Bryan is opening up a multi-author Facebook event for April, and authors can apply at bryancohen.com/pitch. Jim and Bryan will both be on hand at the PubSense Summit in Charleston, SC in March. The traveling troubadours discussed three tips on book cover split testing, blog post topics, and mobile marketing. They also touched on bookstore crowdfunding, the theoretical purchase of Nook by Google, trad pubs skipping over agents, if self-publishing makes you a real author, and trad pubs going direct. Question of the Week: Are you a real author if you self-publish? Why or why not? (Note: Jim says he refuses to do episode 48 unless we get 100 comments)
Direct download: SMBS_47_Fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35am EST

On this week's show, Jim and Bryan tackled their latest trio of tips, including sharing your book's title, using Fiverr for short story covers, and hiring virtual assistants. The dynamic duo also discussed news stories related to Mark J. Dawson's 10,000 reader survey, used e-books, Bob Mayer's thoughts on traditional publishing, Dean Wesley Smith and the tale of how novels got their length, and Amazon's new giveaway service. Jim also ranted twice, and it was glorious. The Question of the Week: Would you be okay with a reader re-selling your ebooks? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS_46_Fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am EST

In the latest Sell More Books Show, Bryan and Jim asked listeners if they'd be willing to come to Vegas for a workshop in April. They also covered tips on blurbs, price promotions, and a collection of free book-selling tools. The news focus on augmented reality books, the Harper Lee controversy, the France legal action against Kindle Unlimited, writing trendy books to make money, and BookBub's recent Q&A session. Jim and Bryan also discussed how they would create a BookBub competitor. Question of the Week: Have you ever written a book strictly to get money? Side Question: Would you be able to come to Las Vegas for a workshop hosted by Jim and Bryan in April?

Direct download: SMBS_45_Fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm EST

After two weeks off, Jim returned to the Sell More Books Show with a loud, sound-filled clang. The dynamic duo discussed tips related to product funnels, long-term strategy, and turning fan devotion into a game. They also chatted in-depth about the Gravity lawsuit, authorpreneurship tips, free books, Amazon Marketing Services, and the latest Author Earnings report. This show's Question of the Week: Do you feel like giving away books for free devalues your work and the work of other authors?

Direct download: SMBS_44_Fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:45pm EST

 

With Jim off running the Author Marketing Live Virtual event, Bryan welcomed author Robert Scanlon to the program. They discussed tips on Instagram, how to avoid getting sidetracked, and making an author comeback. Bryan and Robert chatted about news related to ebooks at indie books stores, engagement analytics in fiction, spousal support for authors, the new Kindle Textbook Creator, and Dean Wesley Smith's 10 reasons to avoid traditional publishing. This episode's Question of the Week: If you had to make an author comeback, what are the three things you would focus on doing above anything else? 

Direct download: SMBS_43_Final_Episode_for_Libsyn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

 

In the second part of Bryan's chat with author Nick Stephenson, the two Chatty Cathys discussed the Trajectory book discoverability service, Apple's claim of one million new iBooks users per week, Nick's explanation for some authors failing, and Hugh Howey's protestations that the sky is not actually falling. The Question of the Week: What's the #1 struggle you're having with your author career?

Direct download: SMBS42Part2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:35am EST

 

In the first part of this massive two-part episode, Bryan and guest co-host Nick Stephenson discussed tips related to masterminds, high page rank blogs, and his Nick's own mailing list tips for fiction. They talked about Nick's strategies in depth, including what he emails his readers and how he rewards fans for joining his mailing list. We also chatted about the #5 news story about Nielsen's print book stats and Seth Godin's chat at Digital Book World. Check out part two for the rest of the episode.

Direct download: SMBS42Part1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

Jim and Bryan went philosophical this week, touching on everything from Internet trolls and crowdfunding to Minimum Viable Products and writing quality books quickly. After Bryan announced his new podcast, The Split: A YA Book Review Podcast for Readers and Writers, and Jim discussed Author Marketing Live, they took on tips related to writing louder books, increasing the KDP preview selection, and Miranda July's collectable fiction idea. The news included stories on Nora Roberts vs. Internet trolls, Suw Charman-Anderson's Minimum Viable Product concept, Dear Author's opinion on Kickstarter, Nook's holiday drop, and thoughts on writing at a breakneck pace. Our Question of the Week: If you knew someone who wrote a book in a minimal amount of time, would it affect your purchasing decision? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS41_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49am EST

To kick off 2015, Jim and Bryan turned in their most condensed show in months! Bryan talked about the launch of his new Bryan Cohen Showen daily YouTube channel, as Jim ramped up toward his big Author Marketing Live virtual event. As they got into the show, the dynamic duo discussed tips on what not to do to sell books, how thinking diverse can build up your income, and what still works in author marketing. The news this week focused on interactive fiction on the Steam platform, Mark Zuckerberg's new book club, the exciting times indies live in, Chuck Wendig's 2015 wish list, and whether or not there's a glut of books on Amazon. This week's Question of the Week: Do you think there are too many books? How will this purported plethora of books affect your marketing going forward?

Direct download: SMBS40_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32pm EST

Jim and Bryan wrapped up 2014 by recapping the top tips and news stories of the year. The top three tips revolved around sales tracking, changing your social media mindset, and a multitude of ideas related to email lists. The top news stories of the year included the concept of the authorpreneur, the EU's Value Added Tax laws, Hachette vs. Amazon, Author Earnings, and Kindle Unlimited. Jim and Bryan closed by making some big predictions for 2015. The Question of the Week: What are your predictions for 2015?

Direct download: SMBS39_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:54am EST

Jim and Bryan's ho-ho-holiday episode of SMBS touched upon the popular podcast Serial, the big boost adults buying YA gave the industry, Macmillan's deal with Amazon, Konrath dropping out of KU, and what trad pubs learned in 2014. They also touched upon social media tips, the path to a bestseller, and mistakes that hold indie authors back. The Question of the Week: What book do you want for Christmas and why?

Direct download: SMBS38_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Jim and Bryan welcomed March to a Bestseller 2 Contest Winner Tara Ross onto the show to chat about Facebook's 2015 changes that will affect indie authors. Before that, they discussed digital tools like MightyBell, New Year's resolutions for writers, and launching pieces of meat into space. The temporary trio also talked about being an indie midlister, reasons for quitting self-publishing, how the indie tide is turning, traditional publishers using lower price points, and Facebook's upcoming monthly fee for promotional posts. The Question of the Week: How will Facebook's changes impact your promotional strategy?

Direct download: SMBS37_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am EST

Without sound effects or background noise, Jim and Bryan discussed stories related to Hachette's direct experiment and the recent Zoe Suggs ghostwriting controversy. Before they got to that, Bryan offered free review copies of his Ted Saves the World audiobook and Jim discussed the new deal for a ticket to Author Marketing Live's virtual event. This week's tips included authorpreneur action steps from Joanna Penn, the keys to a great book launch page, and how you can create a bestselling outline. In the news, we talked about sales rank metrics, the new pulp movement for indies, an individual author subscription idea, BookBub's new Author Follows feature, the controversy behind the book Girl Online, and Hachette's direct selling efforts on Twitter. This week's two-part Question of the Week: If you found out a book you just bought was ghostwritten, how would you react? If you were Jim, what would be some ways you'd have a good time during the show while also providing value to Sell More Books Show listeners?

Direct download: SMBS36_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41am EST

With big news and tips galore, Jim and Bryan discussed the new VAT laws and recent discontent with Kindle Unlimited. Before they got to it, however, Jim announced the Author Marketing Podcast and Bryan discussed his Thunderclap and free run for Ted Saves the World. Their trio of tips included stories on hustling, cover design, and avoiding distractions. Other news stories revolved around Kindle Scout, Sterling and Stone's lessons learned in 2014 and Jane Friedman's view ahead to 2015. This week's Question of the Week: What have your results been like for Kindle Unlimited? Do you plan to join KDP Select or opt-out of it?

Direct download: SMBS35_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:20am EST

In our special Thanksgiving episode, we discussed a trio of tips on choosing your target audience, taking advantage of Cyber Monday, and getting your book featured on WattPad. Bryan also talked about his recent success on Kobo. The news stories for episode 34 included Lindsay Buroker's new pen name launch, HarperCollins' new airplane partnership, researching your way to self-publishing success, the hill many authors may have to climb, and Steve Scott's third quarter earnings. We also expressed our thanks for you wonderful listeners out there. Our two part Question of the Week: Do you think exponential sales growth is over for indie authors? What's your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Direct download: SMBS34_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:05am EST

Jim and Bryan made it one-third of the way to 100 with this week's news-packed episode. After discussing some of Bryan's Amazon tech support issues and sharing their code for the WriteOn service (7TLTK92H), the hosts with the most talked tips with pointers on pitching festivals, connecting with reviewers and a checklist for successful authors. The news included stories on happiness for indie authors, Amazon purchase of dot-book domains, women's dominance of self-publishing, the Ethical Author Code, and Hachette's deal with Amazon. Our Question of the Week: Who won the Amazon/Hachette deal and why?

Direct download: SMBS33_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts joined Jim and Bryan to discuss the results of last week's March to a Bestseller 2 event. The gang discussed over 100 writing tips from Galleycat, the author success traits that are more important than talent and lessons learned from MTAB2. In the news this week were stories based on Kindle Unlimited earnings, the Indie Author Power Pack's push for the bestseller list, the importance of your book launch, the Nook Press push for print on demand and traditional publishing's view on contracts with indies. The sound is a little off in this episode, so please bear with us until we get back to normal next week! This week's Question of the Week: What role do book launches play in your marketing? Have you ever had a successful book launch? If so, how'd you do it? Music: Inspirational, Promo Presentation Music by Marcus Neely (Creative Commons)
Direct download: SMBS32_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48am EST

In this week's episode, Jim and Bryan discussed a trio of tips on where you should focus your marketing, the Awesome Indies Project and using an ACX alternative. The news stories included an audiobook subscription service, product placement in novels, temporary library cards at the airport, self-publishing services contracts and the health of the publishing industry. We also chatted about the launch of Author Marketing Institute and this week's March to a Bestseller event. Check out the event on Friday, November 7th at http://bit.ly/marchtab2  Music: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes from Daddy_G's Memory Music, Creative Commons License. Question of the Week: Have you ever paid a company to self-publish for you? If so, were you happy with your experience and why?

Direct download: SMBS31_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am EST

In the landmark 30th episode of the Sell More Books Show, Jim and Bryan geared up for the impending March to a Bestseller 2 event, which will be held on Friday, November 7th. Check out the lineup and the two-dozen prizes you can win at http://bit.ly/marchtab2
 
The tips of the week included how to get into Costco and specialty stores, ways to increase your writing speed, and planning ahead for holiday publicity opportunities. Jim and Bryan also chatted about the Dear Author lawsuit, the Guardian reviewer stalking piece, five marketing mistakes most beginning fiction writers make, why Amazon is doing the world a favor, and several new features for the iBooks platform. Jim also offered up a 60-minute consultation as one of the giveaways for March to a Bestseller.
Direct download: SMBS30_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32am EST

Our most jam-packed show yet! After discussing the journey into ACX, Jim and Bryan talked social media cheat sheets, social media sins to avoid, and sharing your backstory. There was so much news this week that we left Kindle Scout and the Amazon/Simon&Schuster deal out of the top five. The top five stories included news on a WattPad success story, publishing advances, Kobo vs. Amazon, the Kindle Unlimited Author Earnings report, and Barbara Freethy's print deal. The Question of the Week: How do you decide how to spend your time as an author?

Direct download: SMBS29_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am EST

As part of Bryan's birthday show, the guys discussed tips on promoting a standalone novel, growing website traffic and creating content events. Jim and Bryan announced their big Friday, November 7th multi-author event: March to a Bestseller 2. The event will feature at least 16 books on writing and marketing for just 99 cents with real-time Q&A with the authors. You can join the event at bit.ly/marchtab2 
 
The news included stories on Paulo Coelho's indie author mindset, how to write a successful series, Amazon's physical store in Manhattan, print book statistics and how to change your author business. Jim and Bryan went in-depth on why authors shouldn't wait for permission to move forward in their careers. This week's Question of the Week: What would you do if you stopped asking for permission in your author career? How would your books, marketing, and life change? 
Direct download: SMBS28_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52am EST

Jim and Bryan discussed how the publishing world is adapting to the digital landscape in the latest episode. We examined how the Washington Post is continuing to trash self-published books, HarperCollins is raising royalty rates for authors who sell direct and how Amazon is testing out its own WattPad clone, WriteOn. Our trio of tips included the AuthorRise analytics tool, using a Book Marketing Canvas and programming Buffer to do your social media. Other stories included the new InkCase for iPhone5 and Rachel Aaron's theories on the Amazon algorithm. This week's Question of the Week: How do you connect with your early adopters?

Direct download: SMBS27_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:02am EST

Bryan, the bright-eyed optimist, and Jim, the grizzled veteran, went toe-to-toe on Amazon keyword SEO in the latest installment of the show. They also discussed tips on early readers and creating better infographics. The five news stories focused on ideas for content creation, how to disrupt the dinosaurs of retail, improving the self-publishing industry, BookBub's expansion into the U.K. and advice from bestselling author Bella Andre. Bryan also discussed the success of his first finished novel, and how his 5-6 unfinished novels helped to pave the way for "overnight" success. This week's Question of the Week is: Have you used keywords to improve your on-page Amazon SEO? If so, have you noticed an increase in sales or free downloads?

Direct download: SMBS26_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18am EST

It's been 25 weeks since Jim and Bryan decided to give podcasting a go. We kept things rolling along with tips about Pinterest, changing your social media perspective and advanced email list building. After touching briefly on Nook's continued tailspin, Jim and Bryan chatted about KDP Select, giving up blogging, iBooks and Smashwords, Amazon's new crowdsourcing program and Amazon and Apple's family sharing plans. Our Question of the Week: Do you use Pinterest for your marketing? If so, what kind of results have you had?

Direct download: SMBS25_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:47am EST

As Jim and Bryan neared the quarter century mark, they talked at length about Amazon's recent announcement of the KDP Select All-Stars program. Before they got to that, Jim chatted more about live events and the two of them took on a trio of tips about Gmail productivity, editing, and videos for book club questions. The top five news included stories on Apple's U2 free album promotion, J.A. Konrath's 15 tips to increase sales, Joanna Penn's three-year author-entrepreneur anniversary, the decline of Nook and Amazon's new $2.7 million KDP Select All-Stars program. This week's Question of the Week: Will the new All-Stars program get you to go exclusive on KDP Select? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS24_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:05am EST

We had a very special edition of the Sell More Books Show this week featuring many of the speakers from Jim's Author Marketing Live event. J. Thorn, Andrea Vahl, Hunter Boyle, Derek Murphy, Vinny O'Hare, Deborah Carney, Julia Kline, Steve Scott, Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant all stopped by to take one tip and news story each! Our guests lent their expert opinions to a trio of tips on a Twitter ePub reader, an author site checklist and a Google Chrome plug-in for building your brand. We also touched on author productivity, Espresso Book Machines at Barnes & Noble stores, Google's disbanding of the Authorship program, Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Kids Book Creator. Whether you attended Author Marketing Live or not, take this opportunity to hear the speakers in action!

Direct download: SMBS_23_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

With Jim's Author Marketing Live event just a few days away, we talked about what it takes to run a live event. Bryan and Jim chatted about this week's tips: cliffhanger pricing, incorporating video into your platform and when to use KDP Select. The news stories included a publishing company that successfully dropped Amazon, the condensing of non-fiction classics, how audiobook listeners consume content, and the recent Guardian $6,000 self-publishing story. We discussed the importance of getting reviews in depth, which formed the Question of the Week: How do you get reviews on your books?

Direct download: smbs22_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:49am EST

Bryan pushed through his sore throat to chat about this week's news with Jim on our 21st show. Before we got to our exclusive story about Amazon's KDP advertising program, we discussed tips on keywords, nonfiction primers for fiction books and a marketing plan that takes an hour a day. We also chatted about responses to last week's preorder question. Other stories included Kindle Unlimited going international, the total number of books on Amazon, Sports Illustrated's writing evaluation methods, the success of the New Adult genre and the growth of tablets compared to e-readers. Our Question of the Week: How do you read? Do you use an e-reader, phone, tablet, paperback, audio or something else and why?

Direct download: SMBS_21_Sound.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm EST

To celebrate hitting the big 2-0, Jim and Bryan talked in depth about KDP's new pre-order feature. Before that, they discussed last week's marketing question, a Goodreads giveaway tip, the Fancy Hands virtual assistant service and the KDP Sales Rank calculator. Other news items included the success of Paulo Coelho's social media platform, Amazon's advertising program, the most influential publishing professionals and the first month results of Kindle Unlimited. This week's Question of the Week: Will you use KDP's pre-order feature? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS_20_Sound.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

Bryan and Jim reunited in this week's Sell More Books Show. After discussing last week's episode (which featured author Hugh Howey), the dynamic duo talked reading, Ted Saves the World's recent launch, critique groups, email lists and the storytelling app Episode. While Amazon's Readers Unite campaign was the top story, we also talked same-day book delivery services, Big 5 e-profits, subscription services and selling direct. This week's Question of the Week: What's the #1 thing you've done to market your books in the last 30 days?

Direct download: SMBS19_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:48am EST

 

In part two of the show, Bryan and author Hugh Howey went into this week's news. Stories included reports of an Amazon mobile credit card reader, Dean Wesley Smith's writing in public project, how to improve your craft as a writer, J.A. Konrath's ideal Authors Guild and Amazon's latest press release on book pricing in the Hachette negotiations. Hugh also presented this week's Question of the Week: How many hours a week do you put into reading? Do you consider it part of your job as an author or is it a passion project? How has that reading impacted your writing?

Direct download: Hugh_Howey_Interview_Part_2_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:31am EST

 

In the longest Sell More Books Show to date, Bryan co-hosted the show this week with best-selling indie author Hugh Howey while Jim was fly fishing in Montana. Before we got into the Tip of the Week, Hugh talked about marketing as an introvert and how YouTube videos help him to connect with readers. The tips included tactics related to release strategy, BookBub and Kindle Unlimited. Bryan and Hugh went into depth discussing what's next for Hugh Howey and Data Guy's Author Earnings project. 

Direct download: Hugh_Howey_Interview_Part_1_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

 

We went deeper into discussions about the subscription model this week on episode #17 of the podcast. Jim and Bryan also talked about a recent Apple acquisition, the Horror Writers Assocation's decision to include indies and Author Earnings' latest report on Nook. Other topics included creating your social media marketing plan, segmenting your email list and selling your first standalone novel. Our biggest news may have been our guest co-host for next week's show: Hugh Howey! Hugh will sub in for Jim on episode #18. Our Hugh-skewing question of the week: What do you think of Author Earnings? Comment on our website or give us a call at (206) 338-0092. 

Direct download: SMBS_17_Sound.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

 

This episode was jam-packed with news, including the biggest story of the week: Amazon's release of the Kindle Unlimited service. The latest Author Earnings report, Steve Scott's massive second quarter, Facebook's new "Buy It Now" button and Apple's conditional $450 million settlement also made the news. Jim and Bryan chatted about sharable content, 15-minute marketing techniques and using Amazon's customer forums to host Q&As. We also unveiled our new voicemail feature allowing listeners to call into the show. You can leave a voice message at 206-338-0092 and we might play your message on the show. 

Direct download: episode16cut.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

After a tiny chat about exercising while writing, we discussed awards, titles and prices during a jam-packed show. The tips of the week included focused emails to your subscribers, hunting down the best blogs in your genre and Twitter's new pinning feature. Our news stories involved Konrath and Eisler vs. the Authors Guild, the importance of awards for indies, Amazon's new KDP pricing feature, the recent U.K. author earnings study and what you need to do to become the CEO of your own author company. Jim also had some Yoda-like wisdom about how to motivate yourself to work hard on your business. In our Question of the Week we asked: Have you ever applied for an indie author award, and if so, why did you do it?

Direct download: episode15cut.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am EST

We discussed multiple angles of the indie movement on this week's show, including going direct, crowdfunding and the path toward becoming mainstream. Some themes that came up multiple times were coming up with your own marketing ideas and giving your fans a choice over what you give them. We also discussed iBooks tips, trading for blurbs, turning your blog into a book, the new Reading Rainbow, making the first book in a series free and Digital Book Day. Jim also took you behind the scenes of the Sell More Books Show and presented a question of the week: If you had the option of asking your readers what your next book or series should be about, would you use it? Why or why not?

Direct download: episode14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:42am EST

For Jim's return, we discussed how the big five publishers are using libraries to sell books and analytics to to tell an incomplete story.  Our tips included using author groups, Booktrack and Marketing Grader to strengthen your platform. We also talked about France's "Anti-Amazon Law," the traditional publishing version of Hugh Howey and the new indie authors involved in Amazon's Kindle Worlds. Jim and Bryan finished off the program answering last week's question and posing a new question on libraries selling books.

Direct download: show13_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:20am EST

 

While Jim spent all day recording videos for a college course, Bryan and guest co-host Shelley Hitz from TrainingAuthors.com stepped in to deliver this week's news. There was a big focus this episode on forging a personal connection with your readers whether it be through encouraging fans to email you, using social media or contacting librarians to get your books in the stacks. Other topics included using Microsoft Word to create book covers, Google Alerts, the news analysts are missing about the publishing industry, getting featured on BookBub and the myth that authors have missed the indie publishing boat. We also debuted a new feature: The Question of the Week. How do you connect personally with your readers? Let us know via email or through the comments on our website. 

Direct download: thesmbs12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

We discussed several internal obstacles to becoming a successful indie author this week, including a lack of focus and a belief in the myth that you need to become an overnight success. Jim also talked about his new book and Bryan shared some results from his Facebook events. Other topics included mailing lists, the image creation tool Canva, the shame people feel when reading certain genres, diversity in publishing and self-publishing numbers in the U.K. 
 
What You'll Learn: 
  • The pros and cons of using contests to build your email lists 
  • How to promote future content to gain email subscribers
  • How to use Canva to develop your author platform
  • The frequency with which you should email your subscribers 
  • Why Kindles make it easier to sell certain genres
  • How indie publishing is providing new opportunities for minority authors 
  • Seven habits to avoid to become a successful indie author
  • How much the self-publishing industry is growing in the U.K.
  • Why the need to sell books quickly is a myth
Direct download: show11smbs11_fini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:29am EST

We reached the double digits this week as we focused on ways authors and publishing platforms are making it easier to reach readers. The Audible and Apple were two examples of companies who have succeeded in removing barriers from entry to reading. Other subjects this week included Flipboard, Craigslist, Amazon categories, indie author fangirls, hard work and the success of author HM Ward. 

Direct download: SMBS_Episode_10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:35pm EST

We got very classy this week with our guest co-host, thriller and non-fiction author Joanna Penn. The three of us chatted about karma, selling direct and the full-time writing success of hundreds of indie authors. Other topics included box sets, walking podcasts, author crowdfunding, contests, the Amazon-Hachette conflict and apps for authors. Big thanks to Joanna for teaching us how to say Hachette correctly!

What You'll Learn: 

  • How a new service lets you trade promotion for karma
  • How a little organization goes a long way with box sets
  • What some authors are doing to directly connect with readers
  • How you can give away part of your royalties for funding
  • What Joanna, Jim and Bryan think about Kirkus Reviews
  • What happens when the Passive Guy gets active
  • How romance writers are directly reaching their audience
  • The kind of money some non-superstar indie authors are making

Links: 

Direct download: show9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

We addressed the Amazon-Hachette situation again this week with a good old fashioned rant. We also talked about KDP Select Countdown Deals, building your mailing list with Noise Trade and creating an attractive book page with Bublish. Other topics included selling local, the new Ask the Author feature on Goodreads, whether or not indie publishing is a good business model and a study on authors making living on indie publishing. 

What You'll Learn: 

  • How Bryan hit the top 25 in the Amazon Kindle store
  • How to use a rolling KDP Select Countdown Deal
  • What some authors are using to build their email lists
  • How to create a book bubble and how it could help you
  • The top Kindle ebook reading city in the U.S. 
  • Why Jim agrees with J.A. Konrath on the Amazon-Hachette matter
  • What makes indie authorship a good business model
  • How many authors are earning a living through Kindle  
Direct download: SMBS_8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32pm EST

On the new, tech-savvy episode of the Sell More Books Show, we talked about how technology is changing the self-publishing industry, from War and Peace on smartphones to George RR Martin writing on an MS-DOS computer. Other stories included our tip of the week, a controversy at a New Orleans writing conference, a change in the print-on-demand business model and Hugh Howey's latest Author Earnings report. We also shared Chris Well's awesome sounders for our top five news. 

Direct download: show7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST

This week we talked in depth about Amazon monopolies and a large study on different author marketing methods. Other stories included our tip of the week, Sony bowing out of the ebooks business, similarities between high-earning authors and the number of indies topping the bestseller charts. Jim challenged listeners to get the show a top 5 news bumper and Hugh Howey as a guest.

What You'll Learn

  • How to use Smashwords for pre-sales
  • How to track your promotional campaigns on amazon 
  • How to use short stories to gain new readers
  • What Sony could have done to compete with Amazon
  • How Amazon is throwing its weight around with publishers
  • What six-figure authors have in common
  • How many indies make up the bestseller lists on Amazon
  • Why indie authors should be encouraged from new tracking numbers
  • Author Steve Scott's 16 methods for promoting his latest series
Direct download: show6a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am EST

 

We welcomed Amazon Top 5 Horror Author J. Thorn as our first ever guest for this week's show. We talked at length about giving value today, whether its through social media accounts, promotional methods and book discovery services. Other topics included our new Top Tip of the Week segment, ISBN numbers, venture capitalists, BookBub, writing rules to live by and the new #AmazonCart service. 

Direct download: SMBS_Ep_5_5614.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EST