Fiction Author? Avoid This Hidden Pitfall In Publishing

Last week I coached two self-publishing authors who had been publishing consistently, and then took a break. This meant that they needed to kickstart sales again with advertising… and advertising is expensive.

They were in despair, fearing that they were wasting their time writing fiction.

What struck me was that both authors had made rebooting their self-publishing efforts needlessly challenging. Rather than writing in series (or even better, serials), their novels were standalones.

One author had published eight novels; the other eleven. It’s very, very difficult to build an audience which recognizes your books and is eagerly waiting for your next book — in other words, build a platform — when you write standalone novels.

Self-publishing: get visible — you’ll build your audience one reader at a time

A few years ago I read a study which stated that authors who headed bestseller lists year after year had published at least 47 books… and many of those books were in series.

Writing in series made the authors more visible.

You could write 47 books, couldn’t you? And write in series too?

Here’s the point of series publishing and self-publishing: readers. If readers like your novels, they want more than one to read. Voracious readers (like me) will read every book in a series.

“But what if I get bored with the series?” one author asked.

“Write something else. You can write standalones, of course. But aim for series. Tie as many of your novels and novellas together as you can,” I suggested.

Currently I’m reading the latest book in Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series. The series is up to Book 15 and I’ve read them all. Perhaps you’re this kind of reader as well: you adore finding a new series in which you can lose yourself.

Let’s look at three reasons to write series fiction.

1. You’ll win more loyal readers and fans

Publishers love authors who write in series, so if you’re offered a book contract by a traditional publisher of romances for example, it might be for a trilogy.

Traditional publishers know that each novel sells the others in a series. It’s inexpensive marketing and it’s powerful.

2. In many ways, writing a series (or serial) is easier than writing a standalone novel

Preparing to write a novel takes time. You’re busy choosing characters, deciding on locations, developing the story world, and planning scenes, rather than writing. Although you’ll be tempted to skimp on preparation, if you’ve been writing fiction for a while you know that diligent preparation makes writing your novel easier.

When you’re writing a series, after the first novel you’ve already done a lot of the preparation for the entire series. You’ve almost certainly introduced the main character of Book 2 in Book 1.

Writing additional books in a series is less stressful too, for many reasons. For one thing, you have fewer doubts. Book 1 is published and selling (if you’re a self-publishing author) so you know you have readers who are eagerly waiting for Book 2.

3. Marketing your fiction becomes more powerful (and simpler)

Writing your fiction in series makes promotion simpler. You get free promotion too: you can offer a preview to another book in the series in the backmatter of each book.

Rather than paying to advertise each of your standalones, you can focus on promoting Books 1 in all your series. (Yes, aim to write several series.) This seems like a minor benefit if you’ve written a trilogy, but it’s a BIG benefit as your series grows.

In addition, your blog will promote each book in your series 24×7 to every reader who follows a link to your website in the backmatter of each book in the series.

One of my students had published eight novels — that’s eight novels to promote, because each novel is a separate entity. The other author had eleven novels to promote. Not only does promoting eleven standalone novels take money, it takes time as well.

Make things easier on yourself: write in series.

Writing your fiction in series make self-publishing easier

You need help to build your platform. Writing in series helps you, so do try writing a series if you haven’t done so.

Have fun. 🙂

Self-Publishing Secrets: Write And Sell A Novella In 7 Days

Want to sell more — more easily? You can boost your Kindle sales FAST with our new program, Write And Sell A Novella In 7 Days: Your Blueprint For Success.

The program’s powerful, practical, and tested. You’ll get results too. Use the strategy to increase your sales — you need a mix of long and short fiction to appeal to today’s readers.

How many novellas would you write if you could write a novella in seven days? Would your novellas boost

Your Blogging Side Hustle: 3 Ideas To Make Money For The Holidays

Now that I’m kickstarting a brand new version of this site and talking about blogging, several writers asked me about developing a blogging side hustle.

If you’re considering this too, the first step is to ask yourself whether you’re blogging as:

Are you a publisher or a ghostwriter?

Over the past 20 years I’ve developed hundreds (literally) of blogs. It used to be simple: choose a topic and monetization options (affiliate products or advertising), then start the blog on a free platform to check for traction. Traffic and income? If yes, develop a WordPress site, if no, forget the idea.

Today, we’ve got a huge glut of content. This means that you need a great idea for a blog as well as ways to build an audience fast. You also need stuff to sell. Preferably an affiliate product which is new and “hot” — something which 10,000 affiliates aren’t already promoting.

Yes, you can still create a blog AND earn money for the holidays with a blogging side hustle. However, create a PLAN first. Yes, I know, I’m always nattering about planning — that’s because it’s important. Holiday sales are ramping up this month. (October.)

What about ghostwriting as a blogging side hustle?

If developing a blog and selling stuff sounds too complicated, consider ghostwriting.

I suggest:

  • Tap your existing client base. They’re ramping up for Christmas sales. Some will welcome having a writer on whom they can call. And yes, even if you’re ghostwriting fiction, your clients need promotional content, so ask.
  • Do the rounds of local companies. Look for companies which not only have a website, but which have at least 20 employees. Smaller companies can’t afford you — you’re aiming for at least $150 per post, more if you have a track record.

Let’s look at blogging side hustle ideas to make money for the holidays.

1. Ghostwriting as a blogging side hustle: offer customer interviews

A couple of my blog mentoring students use this side hustle and charge their clients $150 per hour.

You’ll:

  • Call customers suggested by the business to line up an interview (on the phone is fine);
  • Conduct the interviews;
  • Source images (you can charge extra if you’re taking photos);
  • Write the blog post;
  • Promote the post on social media.

This particular side hustle can be a literal goldmine.

I highly recommend that you get your own blogging clients. However, you can also scout the freelance marketplaces. One of my students had success with Contena.

2. Publishing as a blogging side hustle: create your own affiliate deals

When you promote affiliate products, you’re promoting on commission. Why not generate your own affiliate deals with companies?

Here’s how it works:

  • Contact a company with whom you’d like to work — a company which offers high-ticket items;
  • Negotiate a deal. Usually your commission is a percentage of the sale price;
  • Work out how you’ll know when one of your leads results in a sale. The company will set this up for you — the easiest way involves you offering blog readers a discount when a customer mentions your blog to the company;
  • Write blog posts on your blog promoting their stuff.

Local companies are best for creating your own affiliate deal. As mentioned, choose a company which sells high-ticket items.

My students have had luck with:

  • Car and boat sales;
  • Farm machinery sales;
  • Exercise equipment sales;
  • Greenhouse sales;
  • Companies which offer home renovations and extensions.

One of my students did so well with creating her own affiliate deals that she’s now blogging full-time. She’s making much more than she made at her day job.

3. Publishing when you already have traffic: sponsored posts

Got a blog and some traffic? Brilliant. You may have tried sponsored posts in the past and been paid a tiny amount like $50 or so. Avoid these itty bitty amounts. You’re looking for companies which will pay you $500 to $1,000 per post.

If you’re thinking: “Yes, but Angela, no one will pay ME that much because…”

Here’s what I tell my students: “If you have traffic, you can capitalize on it, as long as you’re likely to be able to send some of that traffic — even if it’s only ten leads a month — to the business.”

Consider that advertising via Google or Facebook is very expensive for keywords. Many companies lose money on their advertising — way more than $1,000 a month. When they pay you for a sponsored post, that content keeps selling for them as long as you keep the post online.

I suggest that you charge companies per year for your sponsored content. Instagram influencers may only leave their sponsored content online for a week.

A great blogging side hustle will create Christmas cash, so start blogging today

Start today. Get busy and have fun.

Self-Publishing Secrets: Write And Sell A Novella In 7 Days

Want to sell more — easily? You can boost your Kindle sales FAST with our new program, Write And Sell A Novella In 7 Days: Your Blueprint For Success.

The program’s powerful, practical, and tested. You’ll get results too. Use the strategy to increase your sales — you need a mix of long and short fiction to appeal to today’s readers.

How many novellas would you write if you could write a novella in seven days? Would your novellas boost your sales?

Where Did The Site Go? We’re All-New, Welcome

Angela Booth new website

Ah blogging… If you’ve been wondering where the old site went, I decided it was time for a completely fresh start. After a couple of decades, thousands of blog posts, and many incarnations, I had a new vision for the site.

Blogging: a new direction

To go forward with that new vision, I realized that the old site needed a website audit and updates for many, many blog posts. The horror; it would take months! That time could be better spent. Much better to start anew.

So, welcome to a brand new site. A WordPress website. I’ll put building the site to good teaching use, because I know that my coaching students feel unnecessarily intimidated when it comes to creating a website with WordPress. Today, if you can use MS Word, you can use WordPress. We’ll look at site building for business and individuals to demystify the process.

The thought of creating a blog/ website, even if it has many benefits, can feel intimidating. I’m often asked, is blogging worth the time and energy?

Blogging: it is worth it?

I’ve been blogging for over 20 years, so obviously I think the answer is YES. Your mileage may vary. Today, when there are so many freebie platforms around — free blogging platforms, as well as social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Medium et al, do you even need your own website?

Yes, you do, if you’re running your own small business and want to make money. Advertising on Google, Facebook and Amazon is expensive. When you start out on the advertising networks, you can expect to lose money — many businesses keep on losing money until they collapse.

Over the past few months, many self-publishing authors have told me that they’re giving up. They can’t afford to advertise, and their books aren’t selling without promotion. I’ve heard the same from clients who have micro businesses — advertising costs are killing them.

What to expect from the new site

The mixture much as before. We’ll focus on writing — either as a business, or as a necessity.

Perhaps

  • You’re an entrepreneur. Writing is big part of your business as a freelancer or an author.
  • Maybe you’re writing as a side hustle and want to turn that into a business. Or you’re…
  • Looking for a side hustle. You’ve got a full-time job, but you want to make some money, and perhaps start a business. Maybe
  • You’re a beginner. You have dreams. You’d love to write a bestselling novel, or become a hot blogger and influencer.

Whatever kind of writing you do: welcome. It’s my sincere hope that I can help you to achieve your dreams. 

What would you like to see on the site? Get in touch. Let me know.