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hurry to publish indie books that you rush the process. Pay attention to detail. For example, printing a manuscript and editing by hand can often work better than attempting to edit on the computer screen.

More than 50 percent of books are now sold online, which means that a cover must say, "This is a real book." If the cover doesn't look professional, that's a genuine problem that can't be ignored. If a cover isn’t working, evaluate why and change it out with a new cover design. Quotes on covers aren't necessary, although having them inside the book is a plus. The author’s name needs to be large on the cover.

One industry guest suggested an author should have a “street team” of readers as well as doing blog hops and tours to increase traffic to an author’s website and social media outlets.

As for what industry agents and publishers are looking for in a read, one industry guest said for contemporary romance a voice that is current, hip, and young is well received. Another said original voices are always important. Publishers in the past were more about quantity but now quality is more significant than ever.

The bottom line is that while an indie writing career isn’t easy, it also gives an author many new opportunities and possibilities for a long and satisfying career.

Romantic Times Book Reviews calls Denise Agnew’s romantic suspense novels “top-notch,” and she's received their coveted Top Pick rating. She’s written paranormal, romantic comedy, contemporary, historical, erotic romance, and romantic suspense. Archaeology and archery have crept into her work, and travels through England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have added to a lifetime of story ideas.

Ninc Conference

 

NINCThink Roundtable:
Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

 

BY CINDI MYERS

 Industry Guests: Jen Talty (Cool Gus Publishing), Dan Slater (Amazon), Rachel Chou (Open Road), David Wilk (Creative Management Partners), Larry Norton, (InScribe Digital)
NINC Authors: Julianne MacLean, Pat Ryan, Edie Claire, Mary Campisi, Annette Blair

A team of authors and industry guests addressed the topic of sales strategies for digital authors. The discussion opened with an acknowledgment that digital marketing requires a different strategy than traditional print marketing. Digital books have a different sales cycle. Whereas an author would spend 12-18 months planning to promote a print book, the lead time on a digital book will be much shorter. Authors have more flexibility with a digital book to experiment and try new things.

The sales life of a digital book is also much longer than that of a print book. The first three weeks after a digital release or even the first three months are not as critical as the early days after a print release. You can continue to promote the book for years, and periodically do new things to bring the book back to the reader’s attention. While this can mean the possibility of continuous sales; it also means your job of marketing the book is never done.

One panelist suggested a soft launch for digital titles vs. a hard launch. During the first month of release, experiment to see what will drive sales–if you don’t get the sales you want, change the title or the cover or the blurb. Self-publishing allows you this flexibility.

Importance of Price

All the panelists agreed that the number one thing authors can do to drive sales is to set the right price. Pricing is a form of marketing for digital books. With print books, you have one price that stays the same for the life of the book, but with digital books you can manipulate the price to attract attention and drive sales.   

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