Yes, You Can… Sell Books Indie
Book Plug Friday!
March 14, 2014 - 3:59 pm
Sometimes Charlie and I (hi, children, this is Sarah) wonder if we’re throwing these links out there into the wild and NOTHING happens. So, it’s always a joy and a pleasure to get an email from someone like Rolf Nelson, author of The Stars Came Back, who emailed us:
I’m sure you like good news in the indie and self-publishing world.
You plugged my book, The Stars Came Back, a month ago. It’s still floating around in the top 100 charts (mil sci-fi and space-opera) on Amazon, spending most of the last month between 20 and 40. More than 1100 copies sold. Reviews solid. Need to work on getting it ready for a paper edition.
Thanks for the continuing support of the independent author/publisher.
In the same way, it’s funny how I, an old pro with fifteen years of publication (starting with short stories) under my belt, am learning about indie from my friends who are just starting out — and doing fantastically well. One of them is Peter Grant, whom we’ve plugged here, a good friend and a very good writer. He is one of four rotating bloggers on my group blog at MGC and today he blogged on Ten Months of Lessons Learned. He talks about his business plan and how he arrived at it:
1. First, pre-publication planning really pays off! I prepared a detailed analysis of my potential market and readers, and built my marketing plan around my blog and the blogs of friends and fellow writers. I’m very pleased to say that this worked even better than I’d hoped. If I’d published something without any marketing plan, I daresay I wouldn’t have done nearly as well.
2. It’s important for newbie authors to keep up a high rate of publication, so that they stay in the public eye. I’d thought about this, and pre-wrote sufficient to bring out three books within six months (the first two SF novels and my memoir). However, I hadn’t thought it through far enough. In the first place, a change of genre didn’t translate to sales success. The prison chaplaincy memoir hasn’t sold very well at all by SF standards (although it’s done quite well by the standards of its genre and categories).
Furthermore, I decided to delay the publication of my third SF novel so that I could work on improved characterization and plot development. This meant that there was a gap of almost eight months between Volumes 2 and 3 of the Maxwell Saga, during which sales fell to negligible levels compared to earlier in the publication cycle. I hadn’t expected that big a drop. (Fortunately, when Volume 3 came out almost six weeks ago, it immediately zoomed up the charts and took sales of the first two books with it, so I can’t complain there!) Clearly, I’ve got to try to maintain a publication pace of no longer than 4-5 months per volume over the short to medium term in order to maintain market momentum. I’m in awe of authors (like Kevin J. Anderson – wow!) who can write hundreds of thousands of words in a month. I’m not among them! Nevertheless, I hope I’ll write faster as I gain experience. I may get up to a book every quarter in due course.
Since Peter just passed 20k copies sold, over 4 books, in less than a year, you should definitely check out what he has to say.
And I, who plan to bring out Witchfinder, my first indie novel, within the month (yeah, it did get delayed. My wretched health ate February), will be picking his brains very thoroughly.
Now go you, and do likewise. (Doing well in indie publishing, not picking Peter’s brains. He’d have to open an advice office!)
Remember, tell all your writer friends to send the AUTHOR, TITLE, a SHORT BLURB, and an AMAZON LINK AMAZON LINK AMAZON LINK to firstname.lastname@example.org to be plugged here on PJ Media.
Deadlines are flexible, but in general the deadline for Friday is Tuesday the preceding week. So, for example, the deadline for March 7 was February 22.
That said, last week was a really big one, so some books are being put off until next week. Hey, we said the deadlines are flexible.
It really helps if you don’t bother with HTML magic at all, because we just have to parse it apart to put it into the template. The ideal submission is like
My name as it’s on the book cover.
no more than about 100 words.
From a place beyond reality, it comes to consume the world.
For Barry, getting a transfer to a new position as an electrician aboard the Ketcham Space Station summed up his professional life perfectly: just one dead-end job after another. Little did he know that job put the fate of the world in his hands.
Waking up at home with no memory of how he got back from the Station, Barry soon finds that he brought something back with him. Something hungry. Now he has to stop it. Somehow.
For Hannah Jordan, the world ends bloody and violent. The only survivors in a family of survivalists, she and her infant brother ride out the zombie apocalypse in a backyard bunker, emerging months later to a world ruled by the newly appointed saviors of humanity: a race of vampires hellbent on preventing the extinction of their only food supply.
A paranormal investigator becomes the subject of her own investigation after stumbling into the crosshairs of a malevolent spirit.
Ghost hunter Veronica ″Ron″ Wilson gets killed in the line of duty; but after she herself becomes a ghost, trapped in the house where she died, she realizes that the mystery has just begun. She and several other ghosts are being held prisoner in the house by the same sadistic spirit that killed them. Their captor likes to entertain itself by torturing its fellow ghosts, and as if that isn′t bad enough, it appears to have the ability to kill ghosts, devouring the poor souls for whom it no longer has any use. Ron′s only hope is to convince the other terrified ghosts to rally together to find a way to defeat the evil spirit so they can move on to their final rest. But Ron′s not in any hurry to get there once she discovers that there′s still a lot of living to do after death.
In GOD REVEALED: Revisit Your Past to Enrich Your Future Fred Sievert, a former Fortune 100 president, challenges readers to watch for messages from God in their daily lives and to draw on past experiences in ways that will strengthen their faith, enhance their work and home life, and ultimately live richer lives.
Sievert’s tools for this mission are candid and highly personal stories from his boyhood through his aggressive rise to president of New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 corporation. Each GOD REVEALED story then concludes with “For Reflection” exercises that invite readers to draw on their own past experiences to discover God’s active role in their lives.
“This book is ultimately about you, not me,” writes Sievert in his introduction. “Each story within each chapter is meant to be a memory trigger—to trigger your recollection of experiences in your own life . . . allowing you to re-experience, through memory, your life in a whole new way.”
GOD REVEALED is 73,000 words (223 pages) is available as a paperback ($17.99) and an eBook ($9.99). Proceeds from GOD REVEALED will go to faith-based charities.
A stunning dark urban fantasy reimagining Charles Dickens’ classic novel A Tale of Two Cities in which the age-old struggle between revenge and love plays out on the modern international stage but ultimately finds resolution in the heart of one tortured woman.
Blood Law. It’s the foundation of all human relationships, as old as humanity itself. In the Balkans, it’s been enshrined in written code since the Middle Ages.
For Elira Dukagjini, a stratiote, an Albanian mercenary who loves Shakespeare and composes blood haiku, it’s what drives her—at least until she meets James Goodman, an ICE agent pursuing the same trio of sex traffickers one explosive March night. For James, a Special Forces veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who earned a degree in philosophy on his career path, it’s not just about bringing criminals to justice. The sex traffickers have kidnapped Mirjeta Gjakova, the woman he loves, at the behest of a man he burns to pay back. For Mirjeta, a concert violinist who escaped her Balkan homeland as an orphaned teen, the strict accounting of Blood Law threatens to collect a heavy debt: her life.
When Elira’s blood hunt collides with James’s pursuit of the kidnappers, the resulting trial forces her out of her predatory myopia. What Elira decides will change the entire course of their three lives, setting a precedent in the law governing human behavior.
Complex, gritty, and brutally human, The Last Stratiote alternates between dramatic action and a challenging, richly symbolic exploration of life, religion, and philosophy. It is a story informed by the intrinsic motives underlying our desire for love, lust, revenge, healing, and redemption.
“Unknown to humanity, a galactic power struggle surges over the Earth. When an alien delegation suffers a fatal accident, hidden plans unravel around the wreckage in the Alaskan wilderness. Infectious disease expert Gabrielle McGregor discovers the hidden infiltrations, and neither her life, nor her family’s, will ever be the same.”
Life was never easy out in the Methuselah Cluster, but when her alcoholic father found her a ‘job’ while he went off-planet to look for work, 11-year-old Loralynn Kennakris began to learn just how ugly it could get. Within months, her employers sold her to a brutal slaver captain, who took from her the last thing she owned: her name.
Most girls in Kris’s position last a year or two. The strong ones might last four. Kris survived for eight before liberated by a navy cruiser.
Eight years growing up in hell prepared Kris for everything but freedom. Not only must she find her way in a bewildering society full of bizarre rules, but the very people who rescued her think she’s a terrorist plant, a beautiful interstellar celebrity is complicating matters in more ways than one . . . and now someone is trying to kill her.
But Kris hasn’t stayed alive by obeying rules, and her adopted society is about to find out what it’s like to collide with someone who has no concept of a no-win scenario.
As Australians prepare for their annual Australia Day celebrations, S.E.N.T.I.N.E.L. (Strategic Enforcement, National Terrorism Intelligence Network, Espionage and Logistics) discovers that a major terrorist attack on Sydney Harbour is imminent.
With a limited window of opportunity, S.E.N.T.I.N.E.L. operative Jonas Blackthorne leads a black-ops commando cross border raid on a Jemaah Islamiyah stronghold in a remote Indonesian village – where he uncovers detailed plans of a dirty bomb strike targeting some of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks.
With the bomb components intercepted, and the key players seemingly arrested, Australia’s political elite publically claim that a major terrorist attack has been successfully averted.
Blackthorne, however, remains unconvinced that the intercepted bomb is an isolated incident, believing that it is only one element in a highly orchestrated and multi-faceted attack.
Armed with minimal intelligence, and with precious little time, Blackthorne embarks upon an audacious plan to locate the mastermind behind the attack in an attempt to neutralise the biggest terror threat Australia has ever faced.
The Americans are losing their desperate fight for independence from the most powerful nation on Earth. Britain’s navy is crushing outposts up and down the eastern seaboard and the Americans’ pitiful navy consists mostly of small-vessel privateers on missions of profit.
“Captain Jack” Celia Bancroft is one of those privateers, whose list of debts of honor is a nautical mile long. Sailing for the Americans is the current project on her to-do list, and once she has finished all her tasks, she will then be free to sail on a tide of whimsy.
Commander Elliott Raxham, cashiered from His Majesty’s Royal Navy, is a newly made British earl who schemes for his own independence — from the title he never expected to inherit and the country that has betrayed him time and again.
They meet in a Caribbean tavern where he steals a kiss that starts a brawl she finishes. In retaliation, he steals her ship’s figurehead and, if that isn’t a grave enough insult, proceeds to chase her across the Atlantic to collect on the promise in her kiss.
With that, the romance is on, but the adventure is only beginning as Elliott and Celia face obstacle after obstacle in their own fight for independence — a new life together on the American frontier.