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I appreciate all the new followers, but please don’t follow here. My new author website is http://www.jaowenby.com where the same blog is located.

If you have signed up recently I’ve transferred you over to the new site.

Thanks for your support and I’ll see you at the new location.🙂

Until Next Time.

New Author Website!


lacey

I’m moving to http://www.jaowenby.com where I will continue to blog and much more. If you realize your missing posts, just check your subscription. We tried to assure everyone moved over. If you need to sign up again then, just click the blog button and on the right side, you can subscribe again.

Don’t miss the other exciting features including a newsletter, giveaways, and autographed copies of my new novel.

I can’t wait to share the journey! Thank you for all your support and I’ll see you there!

Until Next Time…


Great post about creating conflict and what it really is.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Sharon Mollerus Image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Sharon Mollerus

Last time we talked about how, if we want to sell more books, we need to give readers what they want—an excellent story. Very often writers believe they need to be clever and deep and super different and while all of that is excellent, it must all be built around delivering a terrific story…not simply being clever for the sake of being clever.

This said, we must always remember the beating heart of every story. Conflict. No heart? The story flatlines.

Conflict is not simply a bad situation.

I often get pages where it is almost like, “And this bad thing happens then the next bad thing oh and another bad thing.” It makes me feel like I’m trapped in a bad action movie.

Oh there’s a fight scene, then a car chase, then another car chase and then another…

View original post 1,866 more words


I can’t say enough great things about this wonderful author.

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

DOG BONE SOUP—a poignant family drama and coming of age story by Bette A Stevens—takes readers on an incredible journey through 1950s and 60s rural America.

DBS 99¢ Limited TOM SAWYER & HUCKLEBERRY“Adventures and misadventures to the likes of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry…” ~Frank Scozzari, author

DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens
99¢ SALE
: Aug 28–Sept 3, 2016

Grab a copy today at YOUR AMAZONhttp://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

Take a step back in time to “The Good Old Days” with protagonist Shawn Daniels as he encounters the challenges and experiences the glories of growing up poor in an era when many families were living the American Dream.

“Shawn Daniels and his siblings shake off extreme poverty, hunger, a dilapidated homestead and a drunken father, to somehow embark upon an idyllic childhood. Bette A. Stevens has crafted a remarkable tale of hope and happiness in the face of despair.” —Charles Bray (Founder of the…

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Thank you, Colleen, for this interview!

Available at:

5 star reviews on Goodreads  http://bit.ly/28LFell

Amazon http://amzn.to/29gHfoh

Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/29NX8DL

iTunes  http://apple.co/29LelKx

Kobo http://bit.ly/28RjthM

 

Silver Threading ~ Fairy Whisperer ~

Did you ever read a book and wonder what the motivation was behind the author who wrote it? Me too!

So, I decided to contact the author, Jennifer Owenby to find more about why she wrote “The Truth She Knew.” Please click HERE to read my review of this book.

082316_2059_TheTruthShe1.jpg

Here’s what Jennifer Owenby had to say:

What’s The Truth She Knew about?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Here is the back cover verbiage:

“A bittersweet story of young love independence, and soul-crushing manipulation. J.A. Owenby shines a light on the impact that mental illness can have on a family.” —Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D., Professional Life Coach

Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.

For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be…

View original post 729 more words


Great article from The Writer and great news for indie authors!

Today, a six-figure income – or at least a full-time writing career – is actually a possibility for independent authors.
By Patrick Walsh | Published: August 18, 2016


independent author book sales

 

Can self-publishing really become a lucrative full-time endeavor? Can indie authors ever begin to rival the income of traditionally published authors? A “yes” to either of these questions seemed but fable a few years ago. But today, a six-figure income – or at least a full-time writing career – is actually a possibility for independent authors.

Recently, an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A on Reddit caught my attention. It was hosted by independent author Chris Fox. Fox has been very successful in his career – so much so that he claimed to have earned $65,000 off his self-published books in 2015, and hopes to triple that in 2016 (meaning a six-figure income based on his eBook sales alone). In fact, he recently quit a six-figure salary in the software industry to write full-time. For a few hours, he answered a variety of questions from fellow writers and aspiring authors. (See the full Q&A here.) So I wondered: Is Fox an anomaly, or is this a rising trend?

 

Author Earnings Amazon salesCredit: AuthorEarnings.com

 

AuthorEarnings.com has published a report on this very subject, so I jumped into the data. Their May 2016 report reports 1340 authors earn over $100,000 per year on Amazon.com. The striking fact here: “Half of them are indies and Amazon-imprint authors.”

Surely this is just for eBook sales, right?  Brick-and-mortar print sales from the Big Five will most certainly bridge the gap and make up the loss in sales. Not true, Author Earnings finds.

“The author earnings gap between publishing paths is so wide among these six-figure-earning authors that once again brick-and-mortar print sales and the like cannot significantly alter the picture,” the report says.

Interestingly, Big Five-published authors make up a significant portion of the 100k-earners if they’ve debuted within the last 100 years. But if you narrow the timeline to those who’ve debuted within the last decade, indie authors make up an overwhelming amount of the big earners – see the figures here. The amount of high-earning, traditionally-published debuts dwindles as we get closer and closer to the present day.

This trend is also true for authors earning over $250,000 per year and over $500,000 per year. The data shows it: Independent authors are threatening the traditional model. It’s certainly an exciting time to be an independent author.

A bit about how these figures were discovered: Author Earnings use a software spider that crawls across Amazon’s bestseller lists, links to also-bought recommendations and through each authors’ full catalog. This resulted in a million-title dataset. You can download the raw data used to compile the statistics on Authorearnings.com.

Patrick Walsh is a serial entrepreneur and the owner of PublishingPush.com, which specialises in PR and book marketing. 

Keep writing! Until Next time…


Key reasons a book isn’t selling, but every one of them can be fixed post from Kristen Lamb. Click her for her awesome website.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.22.38 AM

The writer’s worst nightmare. You researched, you wrote, you finished, and then published your book. You wait for the sales and……….*crickets*. This is something that can happen to any kind of author, traditional or nontraditional. We think we have a hit on our hands only to later be checking it for a pulse.

What happened? Why is the book just not selling?

The Market

Remaindered Titles

In the not so distant past, there was only one way to get published and that was traditional publishing. Though many authors cheered when they were finally able to cast off the chains of New York, let’s at least respect that agents and editors might have known a thing or three about the book business.

Writers would often get vexed at the stack of rejection letters, believing they couldn’t actually write well. This was not always the case. Agents make their living off books they know will sell, which means they just don’t have the bandwidth left over to take on pro bono work. Yes, the book might be lovely, but they are agents, not charities.

A large part of their expertise is predicting market changes and trends. They look at what is already out, what is to be released, what is selling, what isn’t, what is saturated, etc.

This is where it can get tricky for writers. Yes, write what you love. We shouldn’t write for the market…but we have to write for the market.

*bangs head on wall*

Sometimes a book might not be selling simply because there are too many titles that are too similar. Readers just don’t want yet another sparkly vampire.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.02.13 AM

If you are traditionally published, this could still happen. Agents are making an educated guess and sometimes they miss the mark. For the self-published folks? If the book is good, just leave it alone and keep writing. The great part about the digital paradigm is the book can remain there indefinitely and when the trends change? So could the sales.

The Product

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.06.20 AM

I hate saying this, but sometimes it’s the book. Obviously this is more the case with indie and self-published books. The problem is that the market has just been inundated with amateur writing. I go into this in more detail in Five Mistakes Killing Self-Published Writers, but here are the Spark Notes.

Bad Writing

No one wants to hear they are not ready. Worse still? No one wants to hear the words, “You just are not a good writer.” Too many newbies want to skip the unfun training and go right to the title, “Author.”

Sadly, the slush pile has been handed off to readers. I can’t count the number of times I have gotten pages for a contest win and absolutely slayed the writing, only to get an e-mail back that the book was already for sale.

Shoot…me…now.

Even more common is that the writing is not per se bad, it just isn’t anything remarkable. Folks these days have a lot of competition for their time and attention and they simply won’t devote 12-15 hours of undivided attention to a blasé book.

Bad (No) Editing

Our story might be the best thing since pumpkin spice lattes, but if it is rife with errors it won’t sell. Additionally, editing is not simply looking for typos. That is line-editing. A good content editor will be able to help you shape the overall flow of the novel.

When I edit I can tell writers if they are starting the book in the correct place. Are there scenes that need to be cut because they are bogging down the momentum? Are there redundant characters? Are there plot holes? Is the ending a knockout or a fizzle?

Great editing can take a book from mundane to magnificent.

Bad Cover

There really is no excuse for a bad cover these days. Technology has come a long way and many experts offer fabulous covers at affordable prices. I would love to say people don’t judge a book by its cover, but that is untrue. Of course we do.

One thing many new writers don’t appreciate is that when you hire an expert, you are gaining a lot more than that one skill. Yes a graphic artist knows how to use Photshop (or whatever) but they also have a knowledge of what sells. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 9.29.19 AM

For instance, I have seen authors post images of their new book cover and cringed. The cover itself was lovely, but we have to remember how we are selling. That book isn’t going to be on a shelf where a potential reader is seeing a full-sized version. Likely it will be on Amazon and that beautiful full-sized image, when shrunk to thumbnail size looks like a Rorschach ink blob.

Do you see a butterfly?

No, I see Satan eating kale chips.

If a writer tells me they can’t afford to hire an expert, my response is they cannot afford not to.

Boring Title

This goes along with a bad cover. New writers are notorious for titles that we have to read the book to “get” the title. NO. The title is the hook and we will move on to other writers who don’t make us think.

The Platform

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.11.45 AM

Discoverability is a nightmare. There is a lot of noise and part of our job description now entails branding. This is all writers.

I recently had a distraught writer contact me. The author was recently dropped by a well-known agent because the book simply wasn’t selling. Yet, I could tell with a quick google search what a big part of the problem was.

The author didn’t have platform/brand capable of driving sales. Simply puttering around on Facebook isn’t enough. That isn’t a brand.

My first royalty check would have covered dinner if no one super-sized anything. Why? My book came out before my platform could drive sales. Once my platform improved? My sales skyrocketed.

What does it say in front of every big author’s name? Best Selling Author. Not Best Writing Author.

The writing alone is not enough. Frankly, it never was. Before 2006, writers had a 93% failure rate. Most first books sold less than a thousand copies (even traditionally published books). Only one out of ten published authors ever saw a second book in print. Most were dropped.

In the old days, we just had no control over the brand and the platform. Now, we do. And authors want to complain that it is too hard. Yes, it is hard and there are many reasons this profession is not for everyone.

Less Marketing/More Writing

AHHHHHHH!

Traditional marketing does not sell books. Never has. For more on why, check out Why Traditional Marketing Doesn’t Sell Books. I have had to unfollow writers on Facebook who do nothing but promote one book over and over and over.

They tweet non-stop about their book.

They even dedicate their blogs to selling books (and that is never the direct objective of a blog).

They deluge us with newsletters we never signed up for and can’t figure out how to escape.

Thing is, we don’t care about you or your book. We didn’t want to see that crap in our feed, we sure aren’t going to subscribe to a blog/newsletter that is nothing but self-promotion.

Writers often become the equivalent of that sales clerk in the department store who ambushes us with perfume.

Here is the blunt truth. The odds of breaking out with our first book are about the same as being hijacked by a terrorist after we’ve been hit by lightning while holding a winning lottery ticket.

Most writers are not going to break out with one book. Or even two. An author might never break out, but the odds certainly improve the more titles we have. This was always true. It’s why you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a James Patterson title.

Marketing and building a platform/brand are two completely different activities. But writers believe they are the same. They aren’t. If you want to promote and market without a platform, I suggest piling money on the floor and setting it on fire. Same end result and you can get to the self-loathing and binge drinking far faster that way.

There are no shortcuts.

Obviously, there are many many other factors to why a book might not be selling, but these are the top offenders. Good news is most of this, we can do something about. In fact, I have classes addressing most of these issues (listed below).

What are your thoughts?

I LOVE hearing from you!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.22.38 AM Original image courtesy of Juhan Sonin via Flickr Creative commons.

The writer’s worst nightmare. You researched, you wrote, you finished, and then published your book. You wait for the sales and……….*crickets*. This is something that can happen to any kind of author, traditional or nontraditional. We think we have a hit on our hands only to later be checking it for a pulse.

What happened? Why is the book just not selling?

The Market

Remaindered Titles Remaindered Titles

In the not so distant past, there was only one way to get published and that was traditional publishing. Though many authors cheered when they were finally able to cast off the chains of New York, let’s at least respect that agents and editors might have known a thing or three about the book business.

Writers would often get vexed at the stack of rejection letters, believing they couldn’t actually write well. This was…

View original post 1,918 more words

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