I’ve been trying to keep my topics here more general because I know not everyone who visits my blog are writers, but sometimes I feel compelled to share certain things for the sake of the writers who I know do read this here blog (note to writers: if you want me to post more writing/publishing content, holla!). For example, I recently stumbled across a couple of resources that I think are going to be game-changers for me when it comes to marketing and selling my indie books.
The first of these is Nick Stephenson and his concept of Reader Magnets (hat tip to Joanna Penn). This is not necessarily a new concept, but he lays out the precise steps involved in using freebies to build your mailing list for dense people like me who have trouble figuring it out on their own (and he does so for free). Funny thing is, there are only two steps–maybe that’s why I had so much trouble figuring this out on my own. It’s too dadgum simple.
At any rate, I implemented these steps a couple of weekends ago (hence why Restless Spirits is now perma-free), and already I’ve added more than 10 new mailing list subscribers, without doing anything else. That might not sound like an impressive result, but considering it took me over two years just to get 30 people to sign up on my own, that’s a pretty big deal.
I also signed up to Nick’s free video course, Your First 10K Readers, a series of three videos explaining how people find books on the various online bookstores. Video #2, which explains how to leverage keywords on Amazon, was particularly helpful at increasing the Amazon rankings for Restless Spirits. The third video pretty much recaps the first two and then goes over the Reader Magnets steps, so at nearly an hour long, you can probably skip it if you’re busy and not miss very much.
Finally, in order to make Restless Spirits perma-free, I had to first distribute it for free everywhere but Amazon, and then wait for Amazon to price match it. Since you can’t list your books for free by going directly through Nook Press, Kobo, etc., I used Draft2Digital to distribute it. This is not really that new of a service, but I haven’t used it in the past because I was under the impression that it’s a paid service. And it is, sort of; they keep 10% of the royalties you earn through them. But they also track sales on all of your non-’zon sales channels, and you can publish free books through them at no cost.
This is exceedingly useful, as before the only way to do this was via Smashwords, which, if you’ve published there, you know is a PITA. Plus, D2D recently added Tolino to their distribution channels, which is the largest online bookseller in Europe next to Amazon–and as far as I know, D2D is the only way to get your books listed there if you’re in the US.
What about you, readers (and writers!)? Are there any tools or resources you can’t do without? Have you gotten any good advice that turned out to be a game-changer for your own writing career? Please share your tips in the comments!