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My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Tag: Books (page 1 of 7)

Questions Authors Ask: How can I Sell My Books?

 

How can I sell my books is one question all authors ask, and for good reason; we all want to sell our books and become successful authors, whether we’re traditionally or indie-published. I ask myself the same question, especially after slow sales after writing our first book.

Now, if you wrote your first book and saw great sales, then you did everything right in the preplanning phase.

However, most of us are going to utilize trial and error continually until we find something that clicks.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size, fits all solution. There never is. What works well for one business might not work well for another.

For instance, discounted books may work in one genre, but might come of as cheap to readers in another and will cause people to shy away from the book.

So, if you want to sell books, read further, but please note, this isn’t a get-rich-quick-scheme nor is it something you will see success in overnight.

Know how long it takes most businesses to profit?

About two years, some might profit in three.

Even if you saw immediate sales in your first book, it may be because you wrote something nonfiction that you were already a well-known expert in, in which you paid your dues while becoming an expert, which took time.

Perhaps you spent three years building an author platform and fanbase. It still took you the same amount of time, you just decided to sell your first book after building an email list and fanbase, which is a bright move.

But many of us might have a book on sale at Amazon that hasn’t seen much, if any action, and that’s okay.

Why?

Because your book is new to people who come across it, meaning your book could be at the online store for two years before you finally gained enough credibility to readers who eventually bought your book.

For that, your book, or books, are new.

But what are other ways to help boost your book sales?

Read on to find out.

Raise the Price

This worked for me. I started selling Northern Knights at $2.99, saw no action, so I decided to lower the price to $1.99 and finally, .99 cents.

How many sales did I get?

Zilch.

I raised my price to $3.99.

Nothing.

$4.99.

Nothing.

$5.99.

Something.

Sometimes, readers of a specific genre might expect to pay five, six, or seven dollars for an e-book in a genre they read in so if they see a book that might look compelling but is selling at $2.99, they might expect your book to be watered down despite a killer cover and description.

 

Speaking of Covers and Descriptions

Does your cover match that of your genre?

Mine was tricky, but as you can see below, is definitely something seen in the urban fantasy genre. There’s fire, and my main character is cloaked, which gives it a fantasy feel. Urban fantasy is fantasy in modern day, typically in an urban setting, hence the genre, yet there are fantasy elements all over the place.

Make sure your cover matches the genre and don’t be cheap, either. Pay someone to design a cover. Covers designed by authors themselves are great for free e-books, like my Neo Skyehawk Series, as you can see here.

So, don’t create free covers unless you’re giving away a book.

Regarding descriptions, make sure your book’s keywords (you did use your keywords, right?) should ring throughout your description.

The one thing authors tell you is to NEVER follow Amazon’s advice and use keywords based on your plot.

Use keywords that fit your genre and even book matter. For instance, my subtitle is New Adult Urban Fantasy, so I used this as a keyword in my description and guess what? Sales!

Also, be sure to make your description long, some authors recommend using every single allowed character and if you can describe your book without giving away too much information, by all means write that description!

Again, use as many keywords in your description as you can, repeat if needed but don’t go crazy as you’ll get flagged for keyword stuffing.

For instance, don’t stuff all seven keywords into your subtitle; one will suffice, as I have.

Oh, and keywords can be three or four words long, known as long-tail keywords.

 

Invest in Promotion

Good businesspeople invest, and you should, too.Invest in a good book cover. If you can’t afford a custom cover, which can cost up to $500, depending on the artist and genre, you can always get one predesigned as I have, which cost me $80.

I’m eyeing up my second cover for Swords of Destiny, which is also premade, which will cost $95.

Invest in paid promotion, too, such as Freebooksy if you’re in KDP Select and utilize your five free days—another reason it’s a good idea to raise your book price, as deal seekers will see a steal here.

Or, discounted ones like Books Butterfly or Book Bub, if you’re lucky to get into it. The latter only accepts 10% of all books submitted. I haven’t submitted to Book Bub yet, but I have read and followed their guidelines which will increase chances of getting selected.

I’d invest in promotion for both free days, where you’ll operate at a loss but at the same time will likely get your book into a couple thousand hands, which means reviews, which means algorithms, which means sales.

Also, I’ve heard rumblings Amazon’s running a pay-for-play scheme, much like Facebook and Twitter.

It works the same, where if you post and want eyes on it you need to pay to give it a boost.

This isn’t a bad thing at all, as Amazon and Facebook both only charge you if someone clicks on your ad if paying for advertisement.

So, instead of using paid promotion services, set a budget and use Amazon to advertise your books.

Again, while a lot of indies will rumble about this, they’re the ones who want to succeed without investing a penny. We live in a world of self-entitled people so ignore those rumblings.

Let me ask you a question: If you owned a bookstore, are you going to put a book at the front of your store because they told you to?

Or, if you’re a true businessman, are you going to charge a little for exposure.

You’re running a business, not a charity, and Amazon’s a business, not a charity.

Look, Amazon doesn’t give a damn whether you’re traditionally or indie-published.

They only care about who makes them money. If you’re making them money, they’re going to make you money, so pay to play.

If the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball ever found this out, they might’ve made the playoffs a few more times over the past twenty-five seasons, but owner Bob Nutting refuses to spend money on big name players.

Or, let’s take a team like the Cleveland Indians who are also in a small market, but will maximize their budget on signing players to put fans in seats and bring them through to the postseason, raising fan interest and in turn, creating revenue.

 

Action Time!

Okay, now it’s your turn to go ahead and take action. Go ahead and manipulate your book price first and see where the sweet spot is. Maybe look at other books in your genre and see where the best-selling books fall.

Work on your cover and description. Make sure the cover matches those in your genre. Make sure the description is keyword-rich. And as always, use your primary keywords in your description.

Invest in paid promotion, as it will get your book in readers’ hands. Even if you have to invest in promotion on your free days, as it will give your book exposure and reviews, which all writers need.

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Books for Writers Book Series Review

Joanna Penn’s Seven Must-Reads for Indie Authors

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just quit our day jobs and make money exclusively from our writing?

That’s the dream, right?

Well, let me be the first to tell you this dream is possible to attain and though I’m not there yet, I’m further along the road than I was when I first started just a few short months ago.

If there’s one way I achieved getting to where I am right now, it’s having the wisdom to sit and listen to what those before me have accomplished and are now taking the road back to tell the rest of us what is out there in the unknown.

Those who’ve walked the path are now returning to show us what they’ve discovered and now they’re sharing their learning experiences with us to help us on our own journey into the same unknown.

For us indie authors, it means learning from other indie authors who’ve walked this path and can tell us with conviction it can and will be one to success, which is why I’m writing this product review today, one that has helped me tremendously over the past few months.

 

Joanna Penn’s Books for Writers Series

Today, I want to talk about Joanna Penn’s Books for Writers Book Series and why it’s something every single indie-author should read, myself included if they want to reach the pinnacle of working as a full-time author.

You might already be familiar with Joanna Penn as I write about her often, but she’s an indie author out of the UK, who before worked in the corporate world. She took her first stab at writing a book back in 2008 but the results weren’t what she expected.

Just a few years later, she started her career as an indie author and the rest is history. She’s never looked back and rightfully so, being the author of the popular Arkane Series plus the Books for Writers Series, which I’ll describe in detail.

The Books for Writers Series consists of seven books, all of which have garnered four or more stars over an astounding 800 reviews, so this, guys, is a legitimate product.

For more information, click the link below to see the reviews for yourself.

 

 <<Click Here to Learn More About Joanna Penn’s Books for Writers Series >>

 

Why Books for Writers?

I came across The Creative Penn earlier this year in hopes of finding tips and strategies to help my own rookie year as an indie author.

I looked over the content at The Creative Penn and found compelling information I could start using tomorrow, or as soon as my first book, Northern Knights, hit the Amazon shelves.

There, I stumbled upon the Books for Writers Series, where I’ve picked up useful information from each of the seven books and have incorporated much of it into my own fledgling indie-author business.

For that, I’ve become quite a believer in the Books for Writers Series as something each new and even experienced indie author should at least pick up and skim through to enhance their own indie author business.

As mentioned earlier, the Books for Writers Series contains seven books, all of which help the reader tackle a particular obstacle.

Our seven books are:

  1. Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print
  2. How to Market a Book, Third Edition
  3. How to Make a Living With Your Writing: Books, Blogging, and More
  4. The Successful Author Mindset: A Handbook for Surviving the Writers Journey
  5. Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur
  6. Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives, and Other Introverts
  7. Co-Writing A Book: Collaboration and Co-Creation for Writers

For more information, click the link below where you can be funneled directly into the Amazon Store or continue reading for a brief description of each book.

 

 <<Click Here to Learn More About Joanna Penn’s Books for Writers Series >>

A Sneak Peek into the Series

Okay, so if you want to look a little deeper into this, below is a brief overview of each work and how it will help you with your budding career as an indie-author.

Successful Self-Publishing

This book will show you everything that you need to know before publishing your first book, what makes self-publishing attractive to authors, how to format, comparing exclusivity versus open publishing, and more. Also, the work gives the author some insight on how to market both fiction and nonfiction pieces.

How to Market a Book, Third Edition

This book will dive more into the marketing side of things. This book is divided into five parts:

  1. Marketing principles, which cover myths, discoverability, and polarities of marketing.
  2. Book fundamentals, how to optimize books for online sales, categories, keywords, box sets, and series writing.
  3. Short-term marketing a book without a built platform.
  4. Long-term marketing a book or a book series with a built platform.
  5. Book launch plan, and how a book launch is different for indie-authors.

How to Make a Living with Your Writing

As the title suggests, this book covers all you need to know about making a living with your words. This book is divided into two parts:

  1. How to make money directly from your books via intellectual property rights and publishing options.
  2. How to make money online in other ways, like speaking, coaching, and affiliate marketing.

Successful Author Mindset

This book shows you how to overcome self-doubt, fear, and any obstacle that might stand in your way. This book is broken into three parts:

  1. Mindset aspects of creativity and writing
  2. Mindset aspects after publication
  3. Tips for success on the author’s journey

This work offers an antidote for authors coping with any kind of stress on their journey as an indie-author. It’s in my opinion the best book in the series because it helps the author overcome obstacles that are sometimes fatal to their career as an indie author.

Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur 

This book dives into the entrepreneurial side of things in an indie-author business and is divided into nine parts:

  1. From author to entrepreneur
  2. Products and services
  3. Employees, suppliers, contractors
  4. Customers (the lifeblood of your author business!)
  5. Sales and distribution
  6. Marketing
  7. Financials
  8. Strategy and planning
  9. Next Steps

So, if you’re looking to make the leap into running your own show, this book is the one I highly recommend you and I both read and take notes on.

Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives, and Other Introverts

This might be the one for me as I can be an extreme introvert!

Broken into four awesome parts, this book covers:

  1. Practicalities of speaking
  2. Psychological aspects of speaking
  3. The business side of speaking
  4. Interviews with successful speakers

Any author wanting to dive headfirst into speaking engagements should take a hard look at this one and again, I’m included in this!

Co-Writing A Book

What is it like when two awesome minds come together to write one book or book series? This book has it all for writers thinking of collaborating to create a brilliant piece of work.

 

 << Click Here to Learn More About Joanna Penn’s Books for Writers Series >>

 

Fighting Treason

Fighting Treason: An Allegory to Coordinated Coups and Imperial Lust

Hi, guys, I wanted to let all of you know my new novelette Fighting Treason is out on Prolific Works. You can claim your copy for free at the link provided below this article!

 
Also, you have the option of signing up for my email list where you’ll get access to all my hot, new full-length novel releases and exclusive access to more of my free works exclusive for my email list.

 

What is Fighting Treason?

Fighting Treason is a young adult epic fantasy. It’s inspired by my Libertarian views, consisting of anti-imperialism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-militarism, anti-police, anti-statism, pro-liberty, pro-nationalism, and small government.

 
However, Fighting Treason is much more than that.

 
It’s a story. There’s action, adventure, magic, and even paranormal activity in the work.

 
A story featuring two best friends from different backgrounds, from the highest and lowest of castes, again finding themselves in a state of misfortune.

 
But there’s more.

 
It’s a story featuring the main character showing the ability to bring themselves down to any level of society, despite their position in the upper caste.

 
Read on for the description.

 

What’s Fighting Treason About?

Fighting Treason is the story of two friends who find themselves in exile after getting framed for an assassination.

 
Knowing who’s really behind the assassination, the duo forms a small force, returning to the Kingdom to rid their land of incoming imperialists.

 

What About Themes?

Fighting Treason carries a hardcore anti-imperialist theme.

 
Once again, the rugged republic is challenged by an overbearing empire who acts as the police force of the world.

 
This empire is willing to do anything to overthrow patriotic leaders to usher in the imperial-backed hand puppets, similar to what the CIA does today as can be seen in the cases of Ukraine and Syria.

 
A secondary theme is the series overview, consisting of the series’ lowest characters playing an integral role in the story.

 
In fact, the main character, Seneca LaSalle, is one such character.

 
Despite her current place in society in the book, the girl has a dark, horrifying history which is seen in Fighting Treason’s predecessor, Fighting Tyranny, which can also be found for free on Prolific Works.

 
As mentioned, Seneca displays the ability to bring herself to different levels and it’s seen early as she bids goodbye to her commoner friends, treats her maid not only with respect but as a friend while finding her best friend, Prince Neo, rather annoying.

 
Seneca knows what it’s like to grow up in an oppressed state, as she’d done in her home country of Tamuria.

 
Now living in Ddraigoch (named after the Red Dragon, Y Ddraig Goch), Seneca’s living situation is now greater than ninety-nine percent of the population, but she’s constantly haunted by her dark history.

 
She’s the classic example of a girl who’s seen the bottom, and now she’s ready to see the top.

 

Neo Skyehawk

The Series’ namesake, Neo Skyehawk is the Crown Prince, Heir to the Ddraigoch Throne. Neo’s never been thrilled with his high-ranking position.

 
The founder of the sport shotball, Neo’s life’s ambition is to grow and spread his sport throughout the known world.

 
But like all Crown Princes, Neo has responsibility.

 
He’s forced to make appearances everywhere, lauded by the masses for no apparent reason, according to him.

 
Neo loves dressing like and blending in with commoners, wishing he was one of them, but noting once that his commoner friends long to be in his position, as Prince.

 
Despite Neo’s insistence on living the common man’s life, he’s always finding himself in terrible trouble and on the run with Seneca.

 
In Fighting Treason, Neo faces his toughest challenge yet when he’s exiled from his own nation.

 

Conclusion

We all have themes in our works. We have a message bleeding through the pages that hold true us.

 
Our themes are why we write and continue to release both short-length, as the Neo Skyehawk Series is, and full-length, as my Lord of Columbia Series has become.

 
So, go ahead, make the claim to the work and sign up for my email list for even more updates on how my works are coming, and on the continuity of spreading the message of liberty.

 
I’d like to thank all of my readers for coming across My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.

 

 

Your Message Matters

The Underrated Beauty of Writing

Your message matters.

 
It doesn’t matter what your view is.

 
It’s the underrated beauty of writing.

 
We all write to spread a message. Sure, perhaps we love creating entertaining and compelling stories.

 
Look deeper.

 
Why are you writing?

 
What’s the primary purpose behind your writing?

 
Your main character, what are their distinguishing characteristics?

 
What do they want? What are they after?

 
The beauty of writing, the underrated beauty, is the fact us writers can utilize our message. We can turn it into a compelling story, and we can entertain others. We can entertain while informing.

 
Nothing is more beautiful than that.

 

Your Message

Your message makes you unique. It’s something you wish to relay to the masses. It may be a voice for whom you perceive to be the voiceless.

 
You feel it’s your duty to spread such a message.

 
Your message is what inspires you to write.

 
Sure, we have our awesome, entertaining stories our readers pick up and can’t put down. That’s something special.

 
But, we have a reason behind our writing. A theme. A topic, an idea, a premise. It’s what you’re trying to tell your readers. The theme makes the book matter. It’s what motivates the reader to pick up a book and flip through the pages again and again and again.

 
Think of it.

 
How many books have you read three times? Five times? Ten times?

 
Sure, the stories are great, but something else makes you pick up a book and read time and again.

 

Harry Potter Influenced My Libertarian Ways

I’m a Libertarian.

 
Harry Potter made me so.

 
I realize J.K. Rowling’s intention wasn’t Libertarianism, but it’s the way I perceived it.

 
Though I didn’t realize it.

 
I toyed with the idea of Socialism for a time. In fact, I didn’t “realize” my Libertarian ways until the Election of 2012, when a candidate named Ron Paul spoke at campaign rallies and everything he said made sense to me.

 
And I had a few Libertarian-minded teachers, whose lectures made far more sense than the pro-Socialist-Marxist crew up at Kent State University.

 
The plot, the messages, everything clicked.

 
An example?

 
When Dolores Umbridge was a Ministry asset to interfere at Hogwarts. J.K. told us something: Government and schools shouldn’t mesh. A government-approved course is never a good idea.

 
It seems Hogwarts operates more off private enterprise, or at least the teachers do. Not the way a private school does, but the teachers teach in ways they see fit, not the way the State sees fit.

 
If the State saw fit, there would be no need to talk. Each class would consist of a week’s worth of reading. There would be no spells.

 
Why?

 
Why should you feel threatened in a government-approved school?

 
Who’s out there threatening you?

 
Oh, I don’t know, maybe Lord Voldemort?

 
Or in the real world, oh, I don’t know, maybe the Deep State, Globalists, Shadow Government, all of whom control our own politicians?

 

Example on Deep State Influence

Why are we in Syria?

 
Massive human rights violations?

 
Nope.

 
The ruse the Syrian people hate President Bashar Assad?

 
Nada.

 
It’s over a pipeline. A pipeline that would start in Qatar, snake through Syria, into Turkey, and into the Mediterranean.

 
Bashar Assad said no.

 
No, you’re not going to do this.

 
So, here come the sanctions designed to cripple Syria…Iran…and Russia.

 
Why Iran and Russia?

 
Well, they have a competing pipeline and the reason Assad said he wouldn’t allow another pipeline meant the West would compete with his allies, Russia and Iran.

 
It would be equivalent, if say, Russia, wanted to put a pipeline through the United States that would start in Canada, and end up in Mexico.

 
Wouldn’t you have a problem with it?

 
I would. And I can’t blame Assad.

 
It’s one of many examples of my non-interventionist positions. Sure, I was against the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the War in Libya, and the War in Libya.

 
I’m for non-intervention in both domestic and foreign affairs. As a Libertarian, non-intervention means not interfering in international conflicts. Non-intervention means not interfering in peoples’ personal lives. Non-intervention means not giving one class tax breaks and forcing other classes at gunpoint to pay taxes. I say one class, this class, or that class, because I don’t mean the upper, middle, or lower.

 
Why not give everyone tax breaks?

 
Why not allow people to keep what they work for? Keep what they make?

 
Why not stay out of peoples’ personal lives?

 
Why can’t the government just leave everyone, both here and beyond, alone?

 
It’s why I write.

 
Again, your message matters. Your story matters, but your message matters. And it’s the underrated beauty of writing.

Northern Knights’ Sports Allegory

Strange Ideas to Promote Northern Knights

*NOTE! TODAY, SEPTEMBER 1ST, 2018 IS THE LAST CHANCE TO GRAB NORTHERN KNIGHTS FOR FREE AT AMAZON KINDLE*

 
It is midnight on September 1st, 2018, and I wanted to give you all one final chance to snag Northern Knights, Book One in the Lord of Columbia Series on Kindle before it becomes permanently priced at $2.99 for the foreseeable future!

 
Anyway, I wanted to run a strange idea to promote books by you all, and I think you’re all going to like this:

 
Northern Knights has a blatant sports allegory, primarily toward the Browns-Steelers Football Rivalry.

 
If you know anything about the rivalry, it’s been one-sided for the last two decades, since the Browns returned to the league in 1999. In fact, the Browns are 6-32 against the Steelers since 1999.

 
I wanted to pay homage to the rivalry, which should get a little better this season, by making it a mainstay in Northern Knights. When one reads Northern Knights, they can find a lot of correlations between my book and the modern rivalry.

 
Anyway, I came up with a strange way to promote the book if I generate a good amount of sales. Jerseys, buying jerseys from my main characters, similar to what they would’ve worn in their respective sports in Northern Knights.

 
The featured image of this article provides a handful of many jerseys I made on NFL.com’s customized jerseys section and snipped it onto Canva.

 
It was a fun way to let readers know…especially both fanbases, that there are some correlations to real life in Northern Knights.

 
In fact, my overall marketing plan looks to hit both Southwest Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio. So, if the Steelers continue to dominate the Browns in the rivalry, maybe I’ll spread some bad blood among the fanbases once again!

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