Many people dream of writing a bestselling book. In the digital age, this dream has never been more achievable. Yet, so many people write books, only to see them fail in the digital store. The unavoidable fact is that books, no matter how good, do not sell themselves. They have to be marketed to potential readers. In this course, Gwynn White, a New York Times bestselling fantasy author, teaches you how your book should be presented and marketed to give it the best change of hitting a bestseller list. The course includes: cover design; back cover blurbs; getting the most out of the major digital stores; creating and reaching an audience; social media, and how to use it to sell books; launching a book to success; making a career out of writing, and much, much more.
Apart from being a talented writer, Gwynn White’s rapid rise to the top is a result of hard learning from the best indie-published authors in the business. "Be a Copy Cat" is one of her lecture titles, and for good reason. Thanks to her own flair for marketing, added to the successful marketing techniques used by other bestselling authors, two of her books, included in multi-author boxed sets, hit the New York Times bestseller list. Gwynn is a full-time indie author, living off her writing. She will share everything she has learnt to help you reach your dream of writing a bestselling book.
This is very important to view this video before you progress with the course. My recommendation is that you take this course bite by bite. There is so much information contained in it, that you could easily be overwhelmed. Writing to success in indie publishing cannot be rushed. But by a methodical step-by-step approach, success is ahead of you.
Belief that you can write and market a book that is good enough to become a bestseller is as important as the book itself. Without it, you will not succeed, no matter how good this course is, no matter how good your storytelling is and no matter how hard you are prepared to work at publishing successfully.
There is a practical task included in this section. I strongly recommend that you do it, even if you think your believe in yourself is sufficient. This will be hugely valuable on the road ahead.
Traditional book publishing or independent (indie) publishing is a personal choice. While indie publishing may be an easier route in the short term, it is no less challenging in the long term. Here, I provide some guidelines into traditional publishing and attracting a publisher or literary agent. This, I must admit, is a more difficult route. Rejections are commonplace. Its a drawn out process, that could result in no progress, if your presentation is off the mark or the genre is not popular. On the other hand, with a great work, and a good deal of luck as well, a good publishing contract can be lucrative. The road is long, hard and frustrating.
Indie publishing is very different. Assuming that your book is good, this course will take you from early stages from cover, book design, editing, publishing and marketing to enjoying the sales and income. If your ultimate goal is traditional publishing, indie publishing is a very good alternative to the same final outcome, because traditional book publishers would rather take the risk with a known successful author, than an unknown name.
Lying in wait for new authors are many companies that offer help in return for payments. For example, a vanity press publisher may approach you and offer a traditional publisher deal. These are not what they appear and their promises are empty. They will, for a fee, publish your book. In a best case scenario, you will hand over thousands of dollars and in return you might get a couple of paperback copies. Then you will not hear from them again. In a worst case scenario, their web page will be abandoned a few months later only to be restarted under a different name, ready to catch another trusting author.
What is the point of trying something new, when we already know what works? Why invent the wheel, when the wheel is familiar and has been perfected? It's the same in publishing. Copy the best. Copy success.
Writing to create and writing to sell may not result in the same book. Here I explain some important elements to consider when planning your book, its genre, title and other elements. If you are writing to sell, then writing to a trend is vital.
What do readers in specific genres like best? Hitting the mark in terms of writing to market is vital.
Titles follow trends. Tools like Kindle Spy are discussed.
The choice between creating a single title standalone book and a series of books with an ongoing story arc.
Which niche goes you book fit into? Understanding this helps you to package your book to the market that will be looking for it.
While the writing is mostly done alone, publishing is not. Or it should not be. Thinking that you have sufficient expertise to write, edit, design a cover and write vital blurbs the back cover copy, may be naive. Doing this is a recipe for failure. For example, nothing will sink you faster as an indie author than a badly edited book. And nothing will slow sales quite as fast as an amateurish cover and bad blurb. Here I talk a lot about these vital elements to successful publishing.
Always judge a book by its cover. Everyone else does! Here are some examples of effective covers, and why they have worked well.
As part of publishing, vendors such as Amazon, require you to insert keywords and set categories for your book. Getting this right is important so Internet search engines can find your title, and vendors can accurately categorise your book. Spending time getting this right can make the difference between a title being noticed or ignored by the vendor search functions. It's all about getting your title in front of eyes and there are some clever tricks that I share here.
Writing the blurb is the act of compressing months or years of work into a few hundred words for the back cover, or twenty words for the blurb. Most writers hate writing the blurb! Welcome to the club.
Choices where and how to publish your indie book. I talk about formatting the file, and provide various options to get this done painlessly.
I also talk in detail about Amazon options, and the options to publish in Amazon only, or also publish with multiple vendors such as Apple and others.
Pronoun is another and quite new alternative for formatting one's book. And it's free. Why is it a free? Nobody can say for sure, but it works and its backed by a major traditional publisher.
Who owns your book once it's published, and how do you control it? And where should a book be priced? And what to do if a pirate book selling site steals your title.
You need a home where your readers can find you, find out about your work, buy books and most importantly, a place where you can sign up your readers onto your mailing lists. Mailing lists are one of the most powerful ways to not just attract readers, but keep them close, promote new work and sell books.
If you are going to publish on Amazon, by far the largest of the ebook vendors, then an amazon author page needs to be created for yourself. Its all about visibility, and having an author page helps Amazon do this for you.
A lot of readers and authors hang out on Facebook. And as its so important to have interaction with writers and readers, a Facebook presence is valuable to any indie author.
Goodreads is a vast pool of readers around the world. It's owned by Amazon and is a vital part in any authors toolbox for promoting your books. But beware! "Beyond this place, there be dragons."
Twitter and social media sites are necessary for effective book marketing. But one can easily go too far.
The idea of hitting a bestseller list or first page on an Amazon page is one thing, but needs sound preparation before the book is released to the public.
The launch of a new title has to be planned and well executed if the book does not fall off 'the cliff. The alternative is a book that will sell well, and do so for years.
Ideas on advertising your book and obtaining the vital reviews needed to generate sales and a position in the rankings.
Some insight as to how Amazon places books on its search pages, and how it promotes some books, and not others.
Let's suppose you have launched your book and sales are coming along nicely, and then it falls off what is commonly referred to as The cliff. This is very common occurrence for new, and even seasoned authors. There are two cliffs, one at 30 days and 90 days from publication. How to keep clear of the cliffs is taught here.
Helping other indie authors is one of the very best ways of helping yourself, and growing your database of fans.
'I'll send you a free book, but I'm going to need your email address." These are reader magnets. Giving away your work is an excellent way to attract readers, grow your database and get reviews.
Promoting your book is extremely important, and vital if bestseller status is a goal. Advice on how to avoid spam blocks and keeping your promos below the spam radar. All these things go to growing your reader database which is so important to a long term future in indie publishing.
You can publish your books in your own boxset, once you have more than one, or you can join with other authors and create a giant boxset. Boxsets are not only another way of selling more books, but are very effective in increasing your author profile, and your other titles.
Success in indie publishing often attracts the gaze of traditional publishers because once successful in the indie world, risks that you will be a successful author is greatly reduced. You have made yourself far more attractive than a newbie author could ever do. What might publishers and literary agents offer you is the question.
I’m a two times New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fantasy and sci-fi novels. All my stories have an adventure at the heart, mixed with a liberal sprinkling of romance and intrigue. In the space of three years I've gone from having a dream to bestseller status as an independent author, selling on Amazon and other booksellers. I have just been approached by a New York literary agent who is representing my work to major publishing houses.
To confuse things, I also write adventure travel books set firmly on planet Earth. Weird, I know, but it makes me tick.
I live in Western Australia with my husband, Andrew, my three daughters, a yapping Toy Pomeranian, and a fantastic farm cat called Pixel.
I love to write. I love the thrill of hitting bestseller lists, and most of all, I love that I am doing what I love, every day.