Today on the podcast and the blog, it’s all about selling my e-books and audiobooks directly to readers (got a lot of information from this post by The Creative Penn), using my backlist , talking about Kim’s Convenience (and storytelling), the happy revision feeling, time management and expectations and that happy “I got that one paragraph” feeling from revising #TheLeftoverBride.
Listen to the full episode now…
I can’t believe it’s almost Friday! Well, when this article will be published, it will be Friday. So…Happy Friday! The Chemical Engineer and I have started watching a documentary about pirates on Netflix and we just started watching the 5th season of Kim’s Convenience. We really really enjoy this show and are disappointed there won’t be a 6th season. I know the actors really wanted a 6th season to happen and I’ve just read what Simu Liu (the actor who plays Jung) had to say about all of this and if you’re interested into the back story and the frustration of the cast and how their “writer’s room lacked both East Asian and female representation, and also lacked a pipeline to introduce diverse talents. Aside from Ins, there were no other Korean voices in the room.” He mentions that many in the casts were trained screewriters and tried to have more input…He also talks about their storylines and more. I also read a NYT article by Priya Krishna which was interesting on the symbol of food in Kim’s Convenience: Why ‘Kim’s Convenience’ Is ‘Quietly Revolutionary’: In not explaining every detail of Korean food culture, the award-winning Canadian sitcom speaks volumes. When watching Kim’s Convenience, I usually just watch it. Sometimes, I do try to see how they manage to convey the humor and the tenderness and the family bond…Always wondering about storytelling.
When I talked to Ines Johnson last week, she talked about what it means for her to have her books available widely. Here’s a reminder of what she said. If you haven’t listened to our chat, it’s the the episode right before this one.
And I’ve mentioned that I was thinking about moving some of my books to KU for three months to see how many new readers I may gain. And I still will do that. But I think I will do that for 3 months and then go back wide, because being wide also means that you can sell your books directly to readers.
And this is an avenue I’ve started considering. I am currently growing my mailing list with BookFunnel. On BookFunnel you can join “grow your newsletter” by joining other authors offering books for free and then every author sends the promo to their newsletters and readers can join to get the book they want. You can also join “sales” promo which is basically the same principle but instead of getting email addresses for books readers download, the links send then to a sales page on BookFunnel.
As I’m participating in “growing your newsletter” promos, I actually currently have that particular mailing list get a different automation when they sign up. Once, they’ve gone through the automation, I then move them to my mailing list with a tag that’s specific to the promo and book they signed up with.
As part of my automation, I could definitely add a coupon for the second book in the series if readers buy the book directly to me.
It also goes with the fact that one can do many things with their backlists. The newest BookBub Insights article called “8 Marketing & Sales Takeaways from U.S. Book Show 2021” by Diana Urban talked about the fact that backlists are major avenue generators:
Because of this seismic shift, Alexandra Nicolajsen, Director of Social Media and Digital Sales at Kensington Publishing, has been marketing books over a longer timespan — sometimes a year or longer — as opposed to focusing mainly on the first six or eight weeks after on-sale. She says it’s a different way of thinking about how a campaign is done; though she still aims to frontload her marketing budget and make a big splash on launch, she allocates her marketing budget over a longer timespan to maintain momentum long after the publication date and sustain sales well into the backlist period.Source: BookBub article – 8 Marketing & Sales Takeaways from U.S. Book Show 2021
And it’s true for selfpubbed books as well, meaning that while we’re always advised (and it’s good advice) to make sure we write the next book, I don’t think we shouldn’t keep putting some time into marketing our older backlist. And that can be done in many different ways.
Let’s say one of your books in your backlist becomes an (exclusive) reader magnet – a book you offer for free for readers to join your mailing lists? You could then offer another book in the series, if it’s a series, if they buy it from you directly…Or maybe offer another book with the same trope? Or maybe survey them and ask them what they’re in the mood to read?
For me, offering it as a discount would be as thank you for reading and as a way to build my relationship with the readers receiving my emails and reading my emails.
Quick side-note: I went through my newsletter this week and am about to delete almost 100 subscribers who had not opened any of my last 10 emails. I know sometimes the “open rate” can be misleading so I did send the readers on that list a quick email, asking them to click a link if they wanted to keep on receiving emails from me. I think I’ve read this in Newsletter Ninja: How to Become an Author Mailing List Expert by Tammi Labrecque.
That campaign had a open rate of about 6.5% and click-rate of 4.3% which is, as expected, way lower than my regular campaigns. In a few days, I’ll make sure you to delete the people who have not clicked on the “I want to stay” link in the email.
Between Mark Dawson’s class talking about focusing on the newsletter, Ines mentioning every single time she sends an email, she sells books and the books I’m currently reading on “superpowering” one’s newsletter, I am definitely re-vamping my newsletter.
Another link I mention in the podcast is the Mailchimp: How to send surveys and polls article: Mailchimp article about adding polls and surveys: Send a Simple Poll or Survey to Subscribers (https://mailchimp.com/help/send-a-simple-poll-or-survey-to-subscribers/)
The one thing I need to keep in mind is to make sure I divide each big tasks into smaller manageable tasks. Creating that store for the A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER audiobook and the ALWAYS SECOND BEST ebook for example doesn’t happened in one day.
And it didn’t happen in one day because I am still revising almost every day and I also had a deadline for my freelance part-time research job and other things on my to-do list.
So, why did I choose PayHip and how did I go about it?
Well, the BookFunnel blog mentioned PayHip and I noticed this is the site Ines used on her website…So, I did a bit more research and landed on this video and blog article by The Creative Penn: How To Sell Ebooks And Audiobooks Direct With Payhip And Bookfunnel – Really she has everything covered from how to set it up…and why…and things to keep in mind.
One of the things she mentions is that to remember that if readers buy directly from you, your books will not climb in the ranks.
What took me the longest wasn’t to get my store ready, it was to update Always Second Best before putting it up.
- What is my goal? My goal with PayHip is to make an extra $10 a month within the first two months (so in June and July) and then make an extra $30 every month starting in August.
- How will I go about it? What is my plan?
- I’m going to update my website to ensure that it is clear people can buy books directly from me.
- I will focus on Always Second Best as an on-boarding sequence for readers who join from BookFunnel with A Summer Like No Other as well as with readers who sign up to receive exclusive scenes from A Summer Like No Other. I’m clear on BookFunnel that A Summer Like No Other is also available for free at all e-retailers. And I know I need a reader magnet that’s exclusive and I’m going to work on it…but in addition I also have plenty of exclusive bonus scenes for my readers’ newsletter.
- The first email from the on-boarding sequence will be the exclusive scenes + discount code to buy Always Second Best directly from me + a code for a discount for the A Summer Like No Other audiobook.
- I’m going to update my website to ensure that it is clear people can buy books directly from me.
Current limitations / research I need to do
- I currently cannot put my Gavert City series because it will be for 3 months in Kindle Unlimited.
- While the PayHip store is available in many languages and thus, I could try to do the same with my French books: for example, I could offer the French version of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER as a reader magnet and then do an on-boarding sequence for the French version of ALWAYS SECOND BEST, Bookfunnel isn’t available in French. One of the positive aspect of using BookFunnel is that they also deal with the technical aspect of delivery…I need to check if there’s another service that might do it in another language.
- Listen to the full episode now…
Struggles and smiles…
I think the main struggle this week was feeling sometimes like I didn’t accomplish enough or didn’t organize myself well enough, even though as I explained I did accomplish a lot of things. But, I didn’t finish my revision. And I only added one book and one audiobook to my store on PayHip and via BookFunnel. Sometimes, I feel like I need to do everything all the time. Quick and efficiently and accomplish everything. And honestly, because you know this is a diary, part of this relationship with time may be due to all the treatments I have received and when getting diagnosed feeling like the rug was swept from under my feet…Something I need to talk to my therapist about a bit more probably. (So much more about that in the podcast).
I did smile revising. I stayed in the moment as I made the following sentences (and more) shine. My two critique partners and I are exchanging snippets of our stories in Google Chat to encourage each other and also have accountability partners. 🙂 And I may have sent them three or four version of the sentences below. I’ll do a post and maybe a video soon about the transformation of these sentences.
Ryan Sawyer and I together are like those designs I think will be absolutely perfect, but I can’t seem to get right… I spend hours adding a line here, erasing a line there, hoping that by one magic stroke of my favorite pencil I might make them work.
But more often than not, no matter how much time I spend and no matter how I can still picture them in my mind, I can’t fix them on paper.
And no matter how much I love them, I put them away because that’s what best for me.
But no one ever said that was easy. Letting those designs go? Nothing compared to Ryan Sawyer skating away all those years ago, leaving me behind and stretching the thin but resilient fabric of my heart until it tore apart. I put a patch over it by moving forward, but I’m not sure I ever stitched it back together.Source: #TheLeftoverBride – available for pre-order for only $0.99 on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and you can add it on Goodreads.
And I guess here would be a good reminder that #TheLeftoverBride (my holiday rom-com that I’m describing as a sexier Hallmark movie) is available for pre-order for only $0.99 at all e-retailers (Amazon, iTunes, Kobo) and you can add it on Goodreads.
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Don’t forget I have two giveaways
- Giveaway 1: Do you want to win a copy of BRIGHT by Ines Johnson?
BRIGHT by Ines Johnson: a new adult romance touched by fantasy, mixed with science fiction, and a dash of the paranormal.
If you’ve ever wished upon a star, if you’ve felt the glow of finding where you belong, if you know the brilliance of first love, then you’ll fall for Bright.
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Would you like to win a copy of BRIGHT by Ines Johnson? BRIGHT is a new adult romance touched by fantasy, mixed with science fiction, and a dash of the paranormal. Check out the giveaway here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/35c42cc28/? #books #book #readingTweet
- Giveaway 2: Do you want to win a copy of HAND OVER HIS HEART (The Brides of Purple Heart Ranch Book 2) or a copy of SWEET CAROL by Shanae Johnson?
HAND OVER HIS HEART: A scholar reaching for her dreams. A hero living on borrowed time. Can she make them a permanent arrangement before his time runs out?
SWEET CAROL: Ariana Carol has the voice of a siren. But after an embarrassing incident on stage, she walked away with stage fright so severe that she barely speaks. So when she’s singing late one night to the crashing waves, she’s shocked to find that a handsome man hears her voice.
Win a copy of sweet romance novel HAND OVER HIS HEART by Shanae Johnson or a copy of sweet holiday romance novel SWEET CAROL by Shanae Johnson… All details here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/35c42cc27/? #books #book #readingTweet
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Do you want to tweet about this episode?
Have you ever wondered about selling your ebooks and audiobooks directly to your readers? I’m going to try and report back. Oh and talking about the revision process and using my backlist on “A Self-Published Author’s Diary” podcast with @enowodazkij https://anchor.fm/elodie-nowodazkij #WritingCommunityTweet
Bonus scenes, anyone?
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Ep. 33 – Why the Chemical Engineer was right and the hardest part about writing & self-publishing #TheLefoverBride – A self-published author's diary
- Ep. 33 – Why the Chemical Engineer was right and the hardest part about writing & self-publishing #TheLefoverBride
- #TheLeftoverBride is out in the world! A recap a few days after publication…
- Ep. 31 – The jitters before publication and thinking about the next stories…
- Because Sometimes You Just Need to Ask About a Dog…(Bonus episode)
- Ep. 30 – Writing on the couch… Revising and editing in the chair. And finishing my book!