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Betraying the reader’s trust-authortoolbox

Betraying the reader’s trust-authortoolbox

What happens when a writer completely disregards established genre tropes?

Why Book Marketing is Like UX Design

Why Book Marketing is Like UX Design

This week we have a guest post from Lucia Tang a staff writer at Reedsy “A book is a startup.” That’s what entrepreneur Peter Armstrong told an audience of writers, editors, and publishers, at a 2013 conference on the future of reading. He would know: he’s […]

2K-10K by Rachel Aaron: Review-authortoolbox

2K-10K by Rachel Aaron: Review-authortoolbox

The cornerstone of rapid release is producing quick drafts. Rachel Aaron’s 2k-10K promises writers the elusive golden prize: extreme daily word counts.

Are extreme word counts possible?

As a painfully slow drafter, I was skeptical of this claim, as many writers who I know produce these kinds of word counts have draft that are so disastrous that editing them makes me want to put out my own eyes. Drafting this quickly couldn’t possibly product usable results. Surely, the author would lose any potential gains in the extensive editing process.

Aaron’s addresses these concerns by claiming that her method not only produces quicker results but that it will require less editing.

Faster drafting and less editing

Her basic message has three points

  1. Know exactly what you are going to write, i.e. have an extensive outline before you’re begin.
  2. Don’t write anything that you aren’t excited to write. The reasoning behind this is if you are dreading writing a scene it is because it is dead dull and consequently really doesn’t belong in the book.
  3. Record your output to identify when/where you are most productive

Once you have these steps in place the rest comes from practice.

Because Aaron’s formula for success hinges on a detailed outline before any writing can begin, she devotes the second part of the book to creating an outline. While I don’t see anything new here, her system (character-first) seems to more closely resemble K. M. Weiland’s Outlining You Novel than other popular methodologies. Since this is the foundation of her method, I was disappointed in the thin instructions at this level.

Not enough new information

While there is plenty of good advice in this book, I didn’t find much new information. I enjoyed the chapter titled “How I went from writing 2000 word per day to 10,000 per day,” Aaron’s story is inspiring and her excitement is infectious, but tangible take-away for the reader is lacking.

This book provides a good overview, but there are plenty of better sources that delve deeper into creating an outline and editing a draft. Overall, there was not enough information on the title topic. Aaron’s three points could be covered in a blog post. The rest of the book is tangential.

This book is available here: (affiliate link)

This article is part of the monthly Author Toolbox Blog hop

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.

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Let The Manuscript Shredder help you with your next novel. Pick up your copy of Your Novel This Month today!


Rapid Release Review

Rapid Release Review

Rapid Release by Jewel Allen, my recommended source for getting started with this strategy

Writing and Releasing Rapidly: Review

Writing and Releasing Rapidly: Review

In Writing and Releasing Rapidly, author Elana Johnson breaks down the monster and shows you how it can be done.

Sell More Books with Rapid Release-Author Toolbox

Sell More Books with Rapid Release-Author Toolbox

Rapid release strategy is the current hot ticket in the indie-author circuit. Many authors are saying this, combined with writing to market, is the only way to make any money as an author. The theory is that by releasing books on a fixed schedule: quarterly, monthly, or weekly (yes, weekly!) authors can capitalize on the Amazon algorithm and maximize their exposure and, therefore, profits.

Why does rapid release strategy work?

This strategy is most prevalent in category genres: romance, mysteries, etc. These categories rely on small numbers of voracious readers (those who read dozens of books a year) as opposed to the blockbuster strategy (large numbers of readers who read one or two titles a year) of traditional publishing. This small group of readers will be more likely to read indie authors, use digital, rather than print, and will utilize the Kindle Unlimited service.

Indie authors who use the rapid release strategy claim that the momentum created by the closely timed releases drive readership. I am not convinced this is the entire picture.

My theory:

I believe the success of this strategy is linked to the series model (grouping the books in a series, rather than single titles), not the actual spacing of the releases. As a reader, trying to sort through the garbage pile that is Amazon Kindle Unlimited is daunting. I don’t have the patience to download twenty samples trying to find something to read. Instead, I will start with a book I already liked, look at the “also bought” and then choose something from there. Then, I will binge read the entire series. I call this the “Netflix approach.”

Reading an entire series is far easier than searching through single titles each time I finish a book. The books don’t need to be in any numerical order, as long as they are similarly titled, or linked in some way so that I can reasonably assume the next book will be similar to the current. For example, I am currently reading a series of horror books called “The Haunting of …” These are all haunted house stories. Each has a different protagonist, and a different setting. Nothing links any of the stories except the author and the series titles. But since I enjoyed the first one, I have continued through the series. Some of these books are better than others, but personal laziness ensures that I will continue the series rather than going back to KU garbage pile. And because I know I’m not unique in this aspect, you can use this trait to sell more books.

Let Amazon sell your books

By grouping your books in a series, you increase your readership, because Amazon will prompt your readers at the end of each book to continue the series. With one click, readers will be looking at the landing page for your next book. If you wait months, or years between releases, you will lose readers. This is where rapid release comes in.

The rapid release capitalizes on the benefits of grouping books in a series because it amplifies the effectiveness of the Amazon algorithm that boosts new releases. By releasing rapidly, it gives this benefit to the entire series, not just an individual book. This means that rather than having a 12-week boost for a single book, a well-timed six book series could be boosted for 60 weeks therefore increasing the likelihood that a new reader will be introduced to the work. In addition, because readers tend to consume the entire series rather than search for a new author, they will also read more of your books. In addition, Amazon will remember which readers have read your books and recommend your other books or your new series when it’s released.

Using Amazon’s built-in system is far more effective than relying on your website and email list. I read over a hundred books a year. I habitually binge read authors’ entire backlist, but I have signed up for ZERO author newsletters. I have gone to ZERO Facebook pages. I have visited very few Twitter accounts or author websites. As a consumer of books, I don’t care about these things. I only care about finding a book I want to read, and the most effective means of finding my next read has been through the Amazon recommendations.

Am I in the minority? I doubt it. While there are superfans out there who will read every word of your newsletter, and there are authors who have obsessively devoted fan pages on Facebook, those are all devoted to people who are already fans. They do nothing to increase readership. If you don’t have an established fan base, these things will do very little to sell more books.

What if I can’t write a book a week?

Not all rapid release authors do a book a week. Some find success releasing monthly or every 11 weeks (These authors use the 12-week preorder schedule where they next book will be available for preorder the day the previous book is launched.) Nearly all successful rapid-release authors hire editors and book designers, and farm out as many other publishing-related tasks as they can afford.

If you are a slow writer, you can still use this strategy, but make sure you have all, or most of the books written before you release the first book. You could also pull a previously published series, give it a makeover and re-release using this strategy. Yes, you will lose any reviews you had, but if the series isn’t performing, then you aren’t losing much.

Research

There is tons of information about rapid release. Through the next month, I will be digging through these sources and reviewing several of them for you, so keep checking back.

Rapid release is a strategy that many indie-authors have used to finally break through the noise on Amazon and begin selling books. If you are having trouble getting traction for your writing, rapid release may be worth investigating.

Enjoy this video? Please share it with other writers on social media. Thanks!

This article is part of the monthly Author Toolbox Blog hop

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.

Let The Manuscript Shredder help you with your next novel. Pick up your copy of Your Novel This Month today!


Tips for Avoiding Reporter Syndrome-author toolbox

Tips for Avoiding Reporter Syndrome-author toolbox

Reporter syndrome happens when the point-of-view (POV) character becomes a third party to the action in the scene, rather than being a direct participant

My Creative Outlets IWSG Feb 6

My Creative Outlets IWSG Feb 6

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Feb 2019

Hello all insecure writers!  

Things have slowed down at the website. For nearly two years I have posted almost every Friday on writing topic, but the schedule has changed in the last few months.

Why?  

My attention is now split among too many areas. First is promoting my writing book, which has now been out for seven months. I’m happy that sales are steady. Unfortunately, they are also slow. But since it’s been consistently in the black, I’m counting it as a success.  

The second drain on my time and attention is my new job. I’ve returned part-time to the classroom. I’m enjoying it, but it has made my third venture trickier.  

My third venture is the upcoming release of a new novel. Yes, I’m writing more fiction (Hooray!) But this is a huge jump in genre for me, so I’ve paired up with a more seasoned author. The downside is that we’re also creating a publishing company (because Amazon won’t let you share sales with another author) and I’m publishing under a pen name. (Because I don’t want to be the primary school teacher who writes racy romance novels!) So not only am I trying to edit, promote, etc. I am also trying to work through the legal nonsense of setting up our publishing company.  

So that’s it for the news.  

Now, it’s time for another insecure writer’s post. This month’s question:   Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?
The awesome co-hosts for the February 6 posting of the IWSG are Raimey Gallant,Natalie Aguirre,CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!  

Since wine and chocolate probably don’t count as a creative outlet, I’m going to go with my weirdest, most pointless obsession: planner decorating?

Yes, this is a thing.

Planner decorating is for people who aren’t busy enough to actually require the use of a planner. But there is something strangely satisfying about notating my single weekly appointment with about $5 worth of stickers. This isn’t just your average BoJo gone wild. This is a multi-million-dollar industry, run by bored soccer moms across the country (but mostly in Utah.) There are dozens of Instagram tags, hundreds of planner bloggers, and more Youtube channels than you would ever want to watch, all of women putting stickers in their planners. It makes no sense what-so-ever.

Here’s mine:

Yeah all this pink and hearts isn’t even my aesthetic, but for some reason, I really like doing it. Maybe it’s the illusion of being productive. Maybe it’s the instant gratification of slapping five or six stickers on a piece of paper and having a “finished layout.”

Other crafts are too time consuming. Knitting takes hours. Gardening takes weeks. Planner layout? About 4 minutes. And it requires no thought. That’s 4 minutes where I don’t have to solve a problem. Feed someone. Clean something. Fold something. Nothing. Just 4 minutes of easy.  

Ok, maybe I do get it.  

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Medieval Underpants: Recommended

Medieval Underpants: Recommended

Susanne Alleyn’s Medieval Underpants provides historical fiction writers with the tools to get their facts straight and