OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
In this podcast, we discuss moving from traditional publishing to indie publishing as well as how to get into the Kindle Top 100.
Award winning author Scott Nicholson has written 12 novels, 60 short stories, four comic series and six screenplays. He's also a freelance editor and journalist. Scott recently did a 90 day blog book tour and reached the Top 100 on the Kindle Store. His website is HauntedComputer.com.
In this podcast you will learn:
- How Scott sold 6 novels to New York but has switched in the last few years to being an indie author. How the industry has changed and mid-list authors whose sales declined were affected by the recession. The attitude the publishing industry has once your numbers start slipping. Scott carried on writing and has embraced the ebook era wholeheartedly. His older books are now selling well as Kindle books.
- Scott feels he is already late in the ebook game and the rate of change in the industry is accelerating.
- On getting into the Kindle Top 100 and the 90 day blog book tour. Scott ran a competition to give away some Kindles and appeared on different blogs every day for 3 months. (Check the right hand column on Scott's blog – it's amazing!) He had the idea and approached a a number of bloggers that he found through surfing appropriate sites. There was about a 20% response rate to the requests and with the competition, there were 100+ comments on most of the posts. The commenters were even hanging out as a community together.
- Promotion as sharing and generosity, rather than ‘buy my book'! Make people's lives better as an aim.
- No one really knows what marketing works and when. You do have to try different things. Kindle Nation with Steven Windwalker is a great site. It is paid advertising but well worth it. It's not enough by itself though. It works better when you have a platform below that so people have heard of you prior to the launch.
- How the Kindle lists work. It takes a flurry and then sustained marketing. Success breeds success. If you hit higher rankings in Amazon then you are recommended more, and the algorithms promote you more.
- How Scott's older books are coming back with ebooks. He wrote ‘The Red Church' 10 years ago and it keeps making more money on Kindle. There are always new readers and the book stays alive. That's exciting!
- On promotion of Scott Nicholson, the brand as opposed to promoting the individual books. This enables more range for the author.
- How authors need to embrace the business side. You have to write, but also market and look after your own financial interests. It's actually really interesting as well. Learning about all the aspects of publishing and marketing can help you and be fun on the journey.
- On changing reading habits with ebooks, especially with the Kindle and Nook. (see my article on Kindle reading changes here)
- Some tips for writers. Have an interesting character and start with conflict. On the editing process. A book is finished when you decide that you have done the best you can for now. You can go on making changes forever but you need to publish at some point. The great thing about ebooks and print on demand is that you can upload a new version, so you can revise it later.
- On writing lots of books vs doing lots of marketing. We discuss Joe Konrath and his ideas. Do what makes you happy.