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

With Bryan off hanging out with his new baby, Sheridan Stancliff joined the show to chat about tips on InstaFreebie ARCs, collaborations, and merchandising. After thanking their Patron-sponsored books of The Ten-Year Turnaround, Removed, and How to Drive Your Next Car Deal, Sheridan and Jim discussed news about a new app making waves in Croatia, a surge in creativity for digital comics, changes in Amazon’s pre-order policy, how KU free runs may not be as lucrative as you think, and why rented books could become a big deal. This week’s Question of the Week: Would you rent an ebook?

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Jonny from Author Platform Rocket joined the guys to discuss Bryan’s results with his service. Jim offered to help folks find more reviewers as well (listen to the ep for more info). After discussing tips on productivity, BookBub, and bursts of promotion, they took on the latest in publishing news including Nook reporting errors, Amazon’s plans for India, ebook tax laws, artistic freedom, and using your backlist. This week’s Question of the Week: How do you promote your backlist? What kind of results have you had?

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Jim’s sniffles kept this show short, tight, and intriguing, as he and Bryan discussed tips on author estate planning, transitioning to owning a business, and building your brand. After thanking their latest patrons, Kathy Coatney ( http://www.kathycoatney.com/dads-girls/ ), Percival Constantine ( https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013ZBP8WK ), and Bobby Adair ( https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E4VT778 ), this Thanksgiving twosome took on stories about Wattpad, book apps, Amazon ads, bookstores doubling as publishers, and what we should be thankful for. This week’s Question of the Week: What are you thankful for in your author career?

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May Sage joined the guys this week for an awesome Lab segment as they discussed tips on holiday marketing, preparing for the worst, and mind-mapping. After thanking their patrons Ethan Jones (and his book The Secret Blush https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LDH2J1G ), Megan Haskell (and her book Sanyare https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ROBHMFY/ ), and Tara Ross (and her book Cubicle Jail to Laptop Lifestyle http://amzn.to/1ZNNHWl ), they took on news stories about Kobo contracts, trad pubs learning from indies, audiobooks in indie stores, Facebook tracking miscalculations, and the iOS Unsubscribe feature. This week’s Question of the Week: What are three things you could do to improve your emails to your readers?

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Back from his day at the polls, Jim joined Bryan to talk tips on hustling, writing a novel quickly, and reader social network Litsy. After thanking their patrons, Chris Syme (and her book Sell More Books With Less Social Media http://amzn.to/2dRIefz ), David King (and his book Hitler Out of Time http://www.hitleroutoftime.com/amazon ), and Simon Goodson (and his book Wanderer’s Escape http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AZ7YSFQ ), the troublesome pair took on stories about book covers, European ebook lending, post-election book bumps, KU Australia, the future of audio, and Amazon’s new policy on KDP Ads. This week’s Question of the Week: Now that the exclusivity requirement is dropped, will you try KDP Ads with your non-exclusive books? Why or why not? Also, what book should Abigail review next for our new segment?

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H. Claire Taylor subbed for Jim this week as the comedy duo of Cohen and Taylor took on the Sell More Books Show. After thanking their patrons Patrick O’Donnell ( http://bit.ly/mdcitypod ), C. Steven Manley ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U3DW6MY ), and  L. Penelope ( http://lpenelope.com/books/song-of-blood-and-stone/ ), Bryan and Claire chatted about tips on advertising, dictation, and BookBub featured deals. News stories included Books-A-Million self-publishing packages, an Amazon reading service for kids, a new pricing policy at Amazon Books, Steve Scott’s 17 steps to $1,000 in publishing, and authors struggling to get email subscribers. This week’s Question of the Week: Have you noticed a decrease in email subscriber numbers? If so, what have you done to try to help numbers pick back up?

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Happy November! Jim and Bryan welcomed back Derek Siddoway of Book Review 22 for another Lab segment, but not before thanking their latest patrons Jennifer Evans (and her book Peaks of Passion http://bit.ly/pleaspnt ), Matthew Paulson (and his book The Ten-Year Turnaround http://www.amztk.com/tenyearturnaround ), and Randy Stapilus (and his book What Sells Books http://www.ridenbaughpress.com/whatsellsbooks/ ). This week, the candidate champs discussed tips on working smarter, diversifying income, and Amazon review rules. News stories included Nook Press changes, a recent scam, the dissolution of a big Author Solutions Relationship, a new freelance law, the likelihood of books disappearing, and being an early adopter. This week’s Question of the Week: Which stage of technological adoption is self-publishing in and why? Innovation, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, or Laggards?

Direct download: SMBS_135.mp3
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Honoree Corder visited the show to talk about publishing, books, and the Amazon Breakfast! After thanking Honoree (and her book You Must Write a Book http://bit.ly/ymwabhc ), Craig Lea Gordon (and his book Hypercage https://amzn.com/B01KPGFQXY ) and Kirsten Oliphant (and her book Email Lists Made Easy for Writers and Bloggers https://amzn.com/B01HLLYCA4 ), the trio discussed tips on author training, creative visualization, and finding your ideal readers. News stories included a nonfiction NaNoWriMo, Free Book Zones, interactive YA entertainment, the “wall of content,” horror bleeding indies, and tips from the Amazon Breakfast. This week’s Question of the Week: Have you used visualization or other personal development tactics to achieve your goals? Why or why not?

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Are the good times over? Not for Jim, Bryan, and the indie community! After thanking their patrons Spider McGee (and his book Monkey Justice http://bit.ly/monkjust ), Charles Eugene Anderson (and his book Time Code http://bit.ly/thymecode ) and J. Rutger Madison (and his book A Curse Upon the Saints http://bit.ly/sntcurse ), the publishing patriots chatted about social media, author courses, and editor-finding tools. News stories included evaluating your business model, dedicating yourself to the right work, diversity in publishing, how to avoid getting swindled, and a drop in indie revenue from Author Earnings. This week’s Question of the Week: Why do you think indie authors experienced a decrease in the latest Author Earnings report?

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After sharing the results of the first ever SMBS Presidential Election, Jim and Bryan took on the latest in book marketing news. Tips included solidifying your successful author mindset, the importance of focus during your writing time, and which type of marketing works best. Following their honoring of recent patrons Ethan Jones (and his book The Secret Blush http://bit.ly/secblush ), Chris Syme (and her book SMART Social Media For Authors http://amzn.to/1JLTwYI ), and Geoff North (and his book Thawed: CRYERS http://http://bit.ly/thawcry ), they touched on news stories related to Ellora’s Cave, publishing submission fees, Amazon Prime Reading, KDP page read errors, and KDP Print paperbacks. This week’s Question of the Week is: Will you stick with CreateSpace or test out KDP Print and why? Also, who would you like to be SMBS President?

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With the news being a negative nelly, Jim brought the positive in the latest episode of the Sell More Books Show. After tackling tips on selling dozens of books at a time, optimizing BookBub Ad campaigns, and taking part in Amazon’s indie author celebration, the two triple-threats thanked their patrons Michael Alan Peck (and his book The Journeyman http://bit.ly/commjour ), Susan Illene (and her book Stalked by Flames http://bit.ly/stalkill ) and Brecht Ryckaert (and his book WordPress Security 101: http://bit.ly/wpsec101 ). News stories included Amazon’s Disney subscription, Facebook’s Marketplace, a new scammer, a trad pub author turned indie, Facebook video stat reporting errors, and Kindle Unlimited reporting errors. This week’s Question of the Week: Will Amazon’s error in reporting KU pages read impact your decision to put your books in KU? Why or why not? Also, who gets your vote for Sell More Books Show President? Jim? Bryan? Or a third-party candidate (a listener)?

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Jim and Bryan welcomed their first patron G.D. Leon to the show to talk about what he’s learned from the podcast. After thanking their patrons Jamie Arpin-Ricci (for the book The Last Verdict http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1523952687 
 ), Gillian Felix (for her service Plain Talk Book Marketing http://www.plaintalkbm.com/ ), and Emma Alisyn (and her book Character Sketch & Color https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692671463 ), the self-pubbed pub-lovers talked tips related to Nook Press, harassment, and cupcakes. News stories included reactions to the Merritt Tierce mail carrier piece, laws about autographed books, TOR’s indie marketing play, the Society of Authors’ request for income protection, the predatory vanity presses at major trade shows, and a new threshold for leaving reviews at Amazon. This week’s Question of the Week: Are you in support of a law that provides publisher transparency AND additional author earnings if companies turn enough of a profit? ALSO, who would you want to see speak at a live author event in 2017?
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After plugging the upcoming Indie Author Day (on October 8th, 2016), Jim and Bryan chatted with Ashley Durrer from InstaFreebie for their latest lab segment. Following their big thanks to two patrons, Craig Lea Gordon (and his book Hypercage ( https://amzn.com/B01KPGFQXY ) and Megan Haskell (and her book Sanyere: The Heir Apparent http://bit.ly/sanyare2 ), the publishing pilgrims took on tips related to relaunching your books, Shelfie’s new reader tool, and a “caring” social media strategy. News stories included Google Play’s new recommendation algorithm, Amazon’s big news about Audible, the end of the authors vs. Harlequin lawsuit, one author’s tough road, and another author’s joke-turned-success story. This week’s Question of the Week: If you could choose literary fame as a pauper or financial success without acclaim as an indie, which would you choose and why? How would your answer have differed when you just started out as an author?

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This week, Jim and Bryan took on the latest in news and tips! After thanking their latest patron Matthew Paulson and his book The Ten-Year Turnaround (available here: http://www.amztk.com/tenyearturnaround ), the two trailblazers took on tips related to paid advertising, email collection, and erotica promo sites. News stories included Barnes & Noble blame, Hugh Howey’s publishing projections, some trad pub “Whale Math,” Colleen Hoover’s industry thoughts, and Rosalind James’ slow and steady approach to making readers happy. This week’s Question of the Week: Do you think too many authors and piracy are the reason Colleen Hoover’s book sales have decreased? Why or why not? If you were her, how would you use your large following to try to turn things around?

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Here’s a little comedy for your Friday! In this special edition of the show, H. Claire Taylor joined Bryan to do a preview of their upcoming podcast, Something Nice to Say (you can contribute to the show’s Kickstarter campaign here: http://www.kicksomethingnice.com ). Bryan and Claire discussed their experiences with traditional publishing before launching into their trademark “three nice things.” Expect Daniel Plainview impressions and a discourse on the shark’s name in the movie Jaws.

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Jim and Bryan definitely didn’t wear white for their first post-Labor Day episode. After Bryan chatted about his comedy Kickstarter (at http://kicksomethingnice.com ), they took on tips related to giveaways, launches, and fairy tale retellings. Following the much-deserved props given to Randy Stapilus and his book What Sells Books (available at http://www.ridenbaughpress.com/whatsellsbooks/ ), the self-publishing stalwarts talked fighting fraud, Pew surveys, indie crossword puzzles, library ebooks, and KU vs. Wide. This week’s Question of the Week: Would you put your free ebooks into the New York Public Library? Why or why not? What kind of results do you think you’d see from entering into the catalogue?

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The heat is on with this late summer episode of The Sell More Books Show. Jim and Bryan discussed tips on Smashwords Alerts, book bundles, and permafree books. After thanking their latest patron Barb Drozdowich (and her book Blogging for Authors http://bit.ly/authblogbd ), they dissected news on Penguin’s subscription aversion, the Kindle Reading Fund, Shatzkin’s ideas to right the Nook ship, Google’s mobile site penalties, the opening of the Arthur C. Clarke Award to indies, and Amazon’s gains in India over Flipkart. This week’s Question of the Week: What would you do to turn around the fortunes at Barnes & Noble? Do you think any of Mike Shatzkin’s ideas would help the company recover?

Direct download: 126.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:27pm EDT

The heat is on with this late summer episode of The Sell More Books Show. Jim and Bryan discussed tips on Smashwords Alerts, book bundles, and permafree books. After thanking their latest patron Barb Drozdowich (and her book Blogging for Authors http://bit.ly/authblogbd ), they dissected news on Penguin’s subscription aversion, the Kindle Reading Fund, Shatzkin’s ideas to right the Nook ship, Google’s mobile site penalties, the opening of the Arthur C. Clarke Award to indies, and Amazon’s gains in India over Flipkart. This week’s Question of the Week: What would you do to turn around the fortunes at Barnes & Noble? Do you think any of Mike Shatzkin’s ideas would help the company recover?

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After a wild week, Jim talked AMC’s Reviewer Grabber and Bryan chatted up his Cinderella launch before they slammed into the latest tips and news. After thanking their patrons G.D. Leon (and his book The Frigorifio https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KPHK98A ) and Gillian Felix (and her service Plain Talk BM http://www.plaintalkbm.com/ ) the self-pub soulmates discussed trigger warnings, iBooks, and KDP Rocket. News stories included the New York Times’ self-pub advice, novels made from text messages, Kickstarter’s publishing prowess, how stacked ads helped Joanna Penn hit the USA Today list, and Wattpad’s new Futures ad program. This week’s Question of the Week: Would you read a book made up of text messages? Do you think Hooked will be the next big thing?

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For this special Friday edition of the show, Bryan sat down and chatted about the launch of his new pen name with the fairy tale novel Cinderella Dreams of Fire ( http://bit.ly/cindydreams ). He’s challenged himself to launch a book into the Top 500 on Amazon and keep it in the Top 5,000 for 30 days. In this episode, Bryan goes through the writing strategy, marketing/launch strategy, promo schedule, and results of his promo, including some answers to questions you might have about his plan.

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The returning champion (Bryan) re-emerged from Smith Mountain Lake as he and Jim tackled Amazon’s new Kindle in Motion feature and the rest of the latest news. After thanking their latest patron Megan Haskell (and her book Sanyere: The Last Descendent http://bit.ly/mhasksan ), the book bromance talked tips on book reviews, pop-ups, and sharing notes in Goodreads. News stories included retro London bookstores, the increase of the word “girl” in titles, Facebook’s rivalry with AdBlocker, Bob Mayer’s publishing predictions, and Kindle in Motion. This week’s Question of the Week: Do you think Kindle in Motion will be the next big thing in ebooks? Why or why not?

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Vinny O’Hare visited the show today while Bryan was on vacation. Vinny and Jim chatted Facebook, brand awareness, and writing more books, as well as the five latest news stories. After thanking the show’s latest patron, Kirsten Oliphant (and her book Email Lists Made Easy for Writers and Bloggers https://amzn.com/B01HLLYCA4 ), the Internet marketing powerhouses discussed stories on Virgin Airlines, VAT legislation, audio choose-your-own-adventure books, whether or not “too many books” is a good thing, and Wal-Mart’s purchase of Jet.com. This week’s Question of the Week: Will there ever be a point where there are too many books in the world and will that affect book sales in the future?

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Jim Kukral and the Magical Fishing Trip ended, allowing him to return to the show to chat about tips like hunting down book reviews, using Facebook Live, and learning what millionaire self-publishers have in common. After welcoming Derek Siddoway from Book Review 22 for a lab segment, and thanking their patron P.G. Kassel (and his book Black Shadow Moon http://bit.ly/brammistake), the dynamic duo took on the news. Stories included the recent Harry Potter launch, editing and moral rights clauses, faulty indie bookstore data, Universal Book Links, and the passion vs. purpose argument. This week’s Question of the Week, “When did you figure out that you were meant to be a self-publishing author, and what made you determine this?”

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Honoree Corder joined the show in Jim’s absence this week, as she and Bryan talked tips, news, and breakfast. After thanking this week’s patron (S.J. Pajonas and her book Removed http://bit.ly/sjremove ), they shared tips about Scrivener for iOS, MFAs, and Kwill Publication’s new book-to-script program. News stories included a DRM court case, reasons for the rise of audio, new KU additions, doomsday trad pub scenarios, and why Pokemon GO could kill Facebook. This week’s Question of the Week: What do you think is going to be the next big thing in publishing and why?

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Bryan promoted his new show (Something Nice to Say http://www.somethingniceshow.com ) and talked about his successful nonfiction launch before he and Jim talked backups, Amazon TOS, and torrents in the tips section. They thanked their latest patron Brecht Ryckaert (and his book WordPress Security 101 http://bit.ly/brechtword ) before moving onto the news. Stories included Amazon’s lame Kindle Q&A, a new proposed copyright law, why the sky isn’t falling, diversity in publishing, and Data Guy’s presentation at RWA. This week’s Question of the Week: Have you become embroiled in following too much self-publishing gossip? What should you be doing with your time instead? Subquestion: What do you hate most in this world? (Remember to share what you hate with Bryan and Claire at http://www.somethingniceshow.com )

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Bryan launched his new book this week ( available here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HYBWOF6 ) and he explains how he was able to sell over 800 copies in four days of release. He and Jim blasted through the show after thanking their patron L. Penelope (and her book Song of Blood & Stone http://lpenelope.com/books/song-of-blood-and-stone/ ), which included tips on box sets, breaking the rules, and ensuring your stories are immersive. News stories included Iran’s new bookstore project, AAP’s depressing ebook numbers, Indie Author Day, Audible Channels, and how to improve as a writer and a marketer. What deliberate actions would you have to take to get better as an author and as a marketer?

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The guys welcomed Jonny Andrews for their latest Lab segment and talked doomsday Nook scenarios before tackling the latest news! After thanking their latest patron Simon Goodson (and his book Wanderer’s Escape http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AZ7YSFQ ), Jim and Bryan shared tips on metadata, the purpose behind your emails, and creating the perfect hook. News stories included Nook’s email barrage, Tales From the Crypt pulling from WattPad, applying 10x thinking, Facebook further reducing organic reach, and confessions from a former publishing intern. This week’s Question of the Week: If you employed 10x thinking, what would your 10x self-publishing goal be? How might you achieve it?

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After Jim recounted his experience at the Cleveland Cavaliers parade and Bryan discussed his upcoming new book, How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis, the triple-threat-twosome tackled stories on algorithms, Brexit, joining the midlist, Nook’s POD idea, and author service scams. They also thanked their latest patron Anmarie Uber (and hßer book 5 Numbers of Destiny http://bit.ly/5numdest ) and provided a few thoughts on tips related to Snapchat, pricing at $1.99, and getting more out of your readers. This Week’s Question of the Week: How would the indie landscape be different if Nook tackled POD six years earlier in June 2016?

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Amazon brought down the hammer in our top two stories of the week. After thanking their patron Parker Hudson (and his book On the Edge http://bit.ly/parkhud ), Jim and Bryan took on tips related to web tracking, single tasking, and choosing your genre. They quickly dispensed with stories on the Apple settlement, Neon Play, and Facebook video to get to the big ones: harmful KU scams and Amazon dropping more ebook deal affiliates. We have a Dual Question of the Week: Why did Amazon drop Pixel of Ink and the other deal sites? What should Bryan name his baby?

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Summary: Michael Lister revisited the show to discuss his USA Today bestseller play, and Jim and Bryan talked reviews, discount rants, and Google indifference in the latest episode. After thanking their patron Nora Remenia (and her book Guerrilla Tactics Against Passive Aggression http://bit.ly/passagress ), the triple threat twosome tackled tips on domains, email signatures, and post scheduling. News stories included testimonial contests, book review aggregators, trad pub print stats, discounting doubters, and Google’s indifference to selling more books. This week’s Question of the Week: What kind of prize would you need up for grabs to sign up for a $99 traditional publishing contest and why

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Abigail Dunard, the first SMBS intern, joined Jim and Bryan on the show this week as they discussed the latest Author Earnings report and much, much more. After thanking their patrons Annie Adams (The Final Arrangement http://amzn.to/1Z7yEoF ) and Chris Shumate (31 Days of Wisdom http://amzn.to/1XC9wth ), the trio took on tips about cover branding, Facebook video, and email marketing services. News stories included the dominance of Amazon imprints, ambiguous Amazon policies, how long sales rank takes to update, the scourge of truncated emails, and the May 2016 Author Earnings report. This week’s Question of the Week: Which part of the newest Author Earnings report is most surprising to you? How do you think this info will impact your career going forward

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No words to describe this fun, live on tape, show where Bryan and Jim answered questions and had some fun.

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BookBub is selling ads and Jim thinks it’s a mistake. Welcome to the latest episode, which featured tips on creative scheduling, video marketing, and book titles. This week, you should check out Bryan’s upcoming webinar with Mark Dawson ( http://www.selfpublishingformula.com/bryan ), and our latest patron Percival Constantine (and his book Vanguard http://bit.ly/pcvanguard ). Our latest news stories included the continued rise of audio, adult coloring VAT, the team of Pronoun and MacMillan, Moneyball in publishing, what trad pub should fear, and BookBub Ads. This week’s Question of the Week: Do you plan on buying BookBub ads? Why or why not? Do you think BookBub Ads will be a success?

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Michael Lister joined the show in our latest Lab segment about the USA Today Bestseller List. Bryan and Jim also took on a trio of tips and six news stories in the self-publishing world! After thanking Michael (who was also our featured patron with his mystery box set: http://bit.ly/6jjmyst ), our illustrious hosts spoke on finding more ad targets, building up a base of readers, and spending money on Fiverr. They also touched on stories about Kobo’s new customer acquisition, the plight of the trad pub author, non-compete agreements, whether low prices devalue authors, AI book marketing, and Ellora’s Cave’s latest threat. This week’s Question of the Week: Do you think indie authors pricing books at 99 cents and free has hurt the industry? Why or why not?

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With their sights always set on the next big game changer, Jim and Bryan took on the latest in publishing news. After thanking their latest patron Ladey Adey (and her book Unfrozen http://www.ladeyadey.com/author/ ), the dynamic duo covered tips on indie promo sites, digital publishing pitfalls, and Audible’s new gifting feature. Stories included a crowdsourced sci-fi novel, one publisher’s argument for gatekeepers, the Amazon ebook giveaway system, publisher contract terms, BookExpo America, and Goodreads’ new deal site. This week’s Question of the Week: Will Goodreads Deals overtake BookBub as the #1 author email marketing service? Why or why not?

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Bryan and Jim are back with more news than you can shake an Author Solutions Star Trek writing contest at! After thanking their new patrons, Bobby Adair (and his book Slow Burn: Zero Day http://bit.ly/slowburne ) and L.J. Burke (and his book Divorced Dad http://bit.ly/daddivor ), the double stack of digital news took on tips about self-published workbooks, Goodreads ebook giveaways, and Amazon’s new Video Direct platform. News stories included Simon & Schuster’s Star Trek writing contest, attractiveness in trad pub contracts, estate planning, The Fussy Librarian’s affiliate troubles, and Hugh Howey’s thoughts on 2009 ebook selling vs. today. This week’s Question of the Week: Will you take additional steps to plan for the publishing side of your estate? Why or why not?

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Category:general -- posted at: 10:51am EDT

With a little help from their five intern candidates, Bryan and Jim took on a massive news week in the world of self-publishing. After thanking their new patron Nora Femenia (and her book The Silent Marriage http://bit.ly/silmarr ) Chris Fox dropped by the show to discuss the results of his 21-Day Novel Writing Challenge. Chris and the guys discussed tips on book marketing examples, the costs of editing, and productivity heat maps. The temporary trio examined 7 big stories, including Kobo’s expansion to Turkey, backwards copyright law proposals, trad pub algorithms, podcast TV adaptations, branded content on Facebook, Wattpad’s new entertainment endeavor, and the Amazon Advantage program. This week’s Question of the Week: Are you going to shell out $99 a year to join the Amazon Advantage program? Why or why not?

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With Jim on a boat somewhere, Bryan invited fiction and nonfiction author Monica Leonelle to the show! After thanking patron Emma Alisyn (and her book Character Sketch & Color http://bit.ly/emcolor ), Monica & Bryan focused their energy on tips about BookBub, indie pressure, and writing sprints. News stories included the Pulitzer Prize push, Kindle Scout naysayers, Google Play, Amazon's publisher recruitment for KU, who loses most when scammers win, and indie film rights. This week's Question of the Week: "If you had the opportunity to sell your film rights tomorrow for a small sum, would you sell them or would you hold on to them in hopes of actually getting your film made?" 

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With Bryan in a particularly punchy mood, he and Jim dug deep into the latest in self-publishing news. After thanking their favorite patron Spider McGee (and his book Monkey Justice http://bit.ly/secretjim ), they discussed tips related to choosing your book title, pre-orders, and indie accounting methods. The news stories included Kobo’s intriguing reader study, the Google Books U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Kindle Oasis, the Smashwords Survey of 2016, and a scam that’s taking over the free charts. This week’s Question of the Week: Would you want Google Books to scan your books and index the contents for online search? Why or why not?

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Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am EDT

It’s springtime in the self-publishing world, and Jim and Bryan are blooming with tips and news to help you grow your author career. After thanking their latest patron David King (and his book Hitler Out of Time http://www.hitleroutoftime.com/amazon ), the lilac-fresh friends dug up some tips on audiobooks, going wide, and iBooks. News stories included Hugh Howey’s latest option, the gamification of the ebook industry, a trad pub auction, how publishers should adapt, Facebook Live, and the newest approximately of the Amazon algorithm. This week’s Question of the Week: Do you think the Amazon sales algorithm is game-able? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS_106.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56am EDT

Back from rainy Austin, Bryan and Jim beamed about their fun and educational experience at the Smarter Artist Summit. After thanking their latest patron Jamie Arpin-Ricci and his book The Last Verdict (available at http://bit.ly/lastverd ), the troublesome honorary texans took on tips about free books, niching down, and using short stories in anthologies. News stories included $27 ebooks, YA superhero books, doing it all, using genre-specific covers, providing ebooks to the masses, and putting in 14 hour days. This week’s Question of the Week: How would you be willing to change your life to sell two million ebooks? Could you stand the 14-hour days? Why or why not?

Direct download: SMBS_105.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

While in Austin, Jim and Bryan felt compelled to record another jam-packed news show. With so much occurring in the previous few days, there wasn’t enough time to wait until next week. Please enjoy our special bonus episode! 
Direct download: SMBS_Special_Austin_Show_-_April_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40am EDT

Live from Opal Divine’s Penn Field in Austin, Texas, Jim and Bryan piggybacked off the Smarter Artist Summit this week to bring you their first ever live show. In front of a raucous crowd, the happiest of hosts thanked their latest patron (Emma Alisyn and her book Character Sketch & Color http://bit.ly/emcolor ) before launching into a trio of tips about Isaac Asimov’s writing habits, Instagram ads vs. Twitter ads, and an interesting cover art tactic. The news stories included the need to say no to some free promotion gigs, how Fifty Shades of Grey has failed the long tail, a successful book bundling website, how consumers have the choice on what and how they buy, and writing to market vs. writing to multiple markets. This week’s Question of the Week: Which should you do: write to market or write to multiple markets at once and why?

Direct download: SMBS_104_Edited.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:17am EDT

With one week to go until their live show in Austin, Jim and Bryan tackled the latest publishing tips and news on the web. Jim has created a new SMBS coloring book! Also, Bryan's course is available again through Monday ( https://www.sellingforauthors.com/March ). After thanking their latest patrons, Victoria Danann (and her book Carnal - http://bit.ly/dancarn ) and Caro Bégin (and the book Twisting Fate - http://bit.ly/beginfate ), the indie pundits discussed weird in-person marketing tactics, anti-procrastination apps, and six ways to ruin your book marketing. News stories included OverDrive ebooks in elementary schools, James Patterson’s master plan, reader data analytics, one novelist’s opinion about self-publishing, how big indies are making their own imprints, and Audible’s new Clips feature. This week’s Question of the Week: How will you use Audible’s Clips feature to promote your audiobooks?

Direct download: SMBS_103_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

A front matter firestorm erupted this week in the indie author community, and Jim and Bryan are here to shine some light on it. After thanking their latest patron (W.C. Hoffman and his book Twins of Prey http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JCSDYTK ), they took on a trio of tips about networking, extroverting, and finding beta readers. News stories included the sins and virtues of email marketing, takeaways from Digital Book World, Data Guy’s first public appearance, Kindle Unlimited scam artists, and Amazon’s knee jerk Terms of Service change. This week’s Question of the Week: What’s your take on back matter Tables of Contents needing to change and how will this impact you? Will you need to reformat your books?

Direct download: SMBS_102_Fini_MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:01am EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

 

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

 

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 EDT

 

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 EDT

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 EDT