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Sunday, May 22, 2022

An Author Needs a Team of Freelancers to Create a Book

    It’s a good thing for an author to be proficient in any of the steps of creating a book but not at the expense of giving up quality to save a dollar. For example, some authors are experts in graphic design and constructing a book cover is a breeze for them. I met a writer via Twitter awhile back, and her specialty was mixing stock images together to produce great-looking book covers. Composing book covers isn’t my talent, so I gladly pay a freelance graphic designer that I found on Fiverr to design my book covers for me. However, proofreading a book is my strong suit and how I save money in this process.

Graphic Design Techniques

    There are three main steps that I take in order to polish up my work and make it available for sale on Amazon―book cover design, proofreading, and formatting of eBook and paperback books. Many self-published authors may go all out and register their books with the Library of Congress or spend thousands of dollars on hiring a mainstream copy editor, but I prefer to keep things simple and not fret over particular details. Though not the only source on the Internet, I’m able to employ my team of freelancers through Fiverr to enhance each one of my books for no more than $150 on average. This entire process takes less than week before I’m ready to upload my finished product on Amazon’s publishing platform.

    An author can present a quality book that’s free of errors without spending a great deal of money. The bulk of my spending is in graphic design and formatting, but I’m able to complete the second step of production myself because my proofreading technique is 99.99% effective in generating a manuscript free of typos and grammatical mistakes. I’m confident to say that the proof is in the pudding, and my Amazon book reviews are a direct reflection of it.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

I’ve Been Blogging for 11½ Months and Learned This

    It’s been a year since I’ve created the blog titled The Indie Crime Novelist, and I’ve discovered a few things along the way. My intent for this blog was to promote my books and also help new authors get started in the self-publishing industry by sharing my fifteen plus years of knowledge in writing. Blogging has been a challenging but rewarding experience, and I’m just starting to see the fruits of my labor.

Downtown Chicago

    There’s a theory floating around on the Internet that suggests new bloggers and website owners will endure being in the Google Sandbox for a limited amount of time due to the newness of their blogs and websites. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I can say that it took eleven months and sixty-three articles written before I began to witness growth in organic traffic to my blog. Prior to that, I was receiving a lot of bot traffic from various countries, but it all came to a halt about a month ago. My site is slowly gaining traction, and all of my plans for this blog are coming to fruition.

    I’d like to personally thank all of my subscribers for supporting this blog as I enter into my first year of writing articles that I hope are interesting as well as informative. Stay tuned for more posts and fiction books to come.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Traveling to Other Places Can Help an Author’s Writing

    An author who hasn’t traveled both domestic and abroad is limited in capability as far as writing a novel is concerned. One can only effectively write about things that he or she has experienced in life, or else the narrative will lack authenticity and substance. Three of my books are based in Atlanta―a city that I was blessed to visit fifteen years ago. I was there for about a week and was able to experience downtown Atlanta and its surrounding areas. Google Maps helped me remember certain parts of the city that I caught a glimpse of and filled in the gaps of the sections of Atlanta that I didn’t get a chance to see as I was able to envision the full scope of this southern environment while creating my three-part urban fiction series a few years ago.

Downtown Atlanta

    This, in turn, allowed me to construct a plot centered around a group of college students who went to an HBCU in the heart of Atlanta without actually being a resident of that city. I’ve also spent a great deal of time in places like Houston, New Orleans, and St. Louis, for example, and some of my storylines reflect some of those experiences. Even though the majority of my books are centered around the city of Chicago, traveling to other cities has helped me expand my horizons and improve my writing skills.

    A setting can be limited to only one area and still be an exciting plot but traveling to different regions of the country as well as other countries in the world can ultimately create a theme that makes a reader not want to put a particular book down because it's the details that make or break a story. Visiting other cities enabled me to add zest to the setting of each one of my novels and short stories, and that seasoning was what attracted readers to purchase more titles from my bibliography.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Three Secrets in Marketing That Has Helped Me Sell a Lot of Books

     The marketing aspect of being an indie author is just as important as writing a good book. In fact, I may be slightly better at marketing than I am at writing because I know exactly what my strengths are as well as my weaknesses when it comes to effectively promoting my work to the reading public. Unlike writing, where an author isn’t always one hundred percent sure that readers will like a new book after it’s launched, marketing methods that are tried and true will undoubtedly stand the test of time and yield consistent sales every month. There are three little-known methods that I use to sell my books each month, and through trial and error, I’ve earned on average $500 in net profit monthly since the implementation of these methods.

 Asking Readers for Book Reviews.

    It’s a painstaking task to receive book reviews from customers because it’s against Amazon’s rules to pay for them, and only a fraction of readers will rate or leave a review for books. This dynamic can leave authors in a catch-22 situation―authors need reviews to generate sales, but authors won’t sell many books without the reviews that are needed to sell them. However, the solution is simple―authors can thank readers for their support and ask them for reviews at the end of each eBook and paperback. It works!

 Changing the Book Cover of Stagnant Titles.

    Not every title of a portfolio will sell as much as an author’s best-selling book each month. My most profitable title was once at the bottom of the pile before I changed the cover―the first cover was cheesy-looking because of my modest marketing budget. Fortunately, I was able to get the next book cover professionally done from a freelance graphic artist on Fiverr, and it became my top moneymaker from that point on.

 Posting Amazon Ads Every Month.

     An author must set aside a monthly budget for posting Amazon ads, or else he or she won’t steadily sell books each and every month. This step is multifaceted―there’s an art to posting ads on Amazon. The rewards are abundant when done properly, but an author’s inexperience can and will exhaust his or hers advertising budget.

    The first step of placing an Amazon ad is to place every title under the same umbrella―say that an author has five books of the same genre, for example―all five books can be grouped together under the same ad with the same group of keywords. I’ve sold more books this way, and the book sales conversion rate is higher than its rate of advertising each title separately.

    The second step in this process is utilizing the Phrase Match option when Amazon placing ads. The Broad Match option yields too many unrelated keyword searches that will lower the conversion rate, and the Exact Match option will yield the least amount of clicks, and in turn, yield less sales.

    Finally, keywords that aren’t performing well should be archived―an author only needs 15-20 of the best-selling keywords to be profitable. Getting rid of the dead weight will save an author a ton of money in the long-run and will also pay immediate dividends in the months to follow.

    Authors can follow these three steps for instant results. Every author has the ability to succeed when armed with the proper knowledge, and the blueprint that I’ve laid out is easy to follow and won’t break the bank if executed correctly.

Five Ways Authors Can Perfect Their Craft in Writing

     The only experience that I had in writing before I wrote my first book was a creative writing course taken in my first year of college ...