Monday, October 29, 2012


Most indie authors struggle with sales. Sure, there are a select few who seem to sell thousands within weeks of publishing, but I think they are the exception to the rule. We all work hard, but some books just take off for whatever reason while others either don't sell at all or rise slow and steady. Of course, it all depends on genre, marketing, book covers, writing, story, etc.

What we all need, especially on Amazon, is traction. We need to figure out how to make more sales, so our books get more visibility, which results in more sales. This may take weeks, months, or even years.

In the past two weeks, I think I've started to accomplish this traction.

I published Just You and Someone Else at the end of June, 2012. I started advertising on social media around July 1, so let's go with that date. Sales were modest but steady for July. In August, they plummeted. Did some blog interviews, more marketing, and nada. September picked up a little, but still nothing to write home about. So I thought, hey, maybe I should do something about it.

On September 10, I lowered the price of Just You to $0.99 everywhere (Someone Else stayed at $2.99). Advertised again. Sales started to steadily climb with both books. Finally, about two weeks ago, I started seeing Just You in the "Customers who bought this item also bought" section, under some high-ranking books. Indies know how important those coveted spots are. Lots of people click through the "also boughts". Being there gives you visibility and increases sales. And when you get there, the $0.99 price tag makes you even more attractive.

October has been my best month yet. No, I'm not in the top 100 (not even close) but daily sales in the double-digits are better than a big fat zero. Naturally, most of the sales are on the cheaper book, but my $2.99 book has benefited too. The more people who read your work and like it, the bigger your fanbase grows, the more reviews you'll receive, and the more success you'll have on future books.

But to gain that traction, you have to experiment with different, pricing, blurbs, covers. Take a look at the top-sellers in your genre. Find out what works. For me, it was the price adjustment. And patience. Keep in mind, it took me almost four months to see a rise in sales, and it didn't really pick up until I appeared in the "also boughts".

In order to sell your book, people have to see your book.

Want to help your favorite author gain visibility and traction on Amazon? Here are 10 quick and easy things you can do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Indie Gems

Let's face it. Some self-published books, even a few of those extremely popular ones, are badly written and horribly (if at all) edited. They give all other indie authors a bad name.

But sometimes, if you dig hard enough, you come across a true indie gem. There are lots of them out there, books so professional-looking and polished and well-written, you can't tell them apart from the traditionally-published ones. Now that self-publishing is being taken more seriously, the quality of the books seems to be improving. People are working hard and making a living off self-publishing, and that is fantastic. The stigma is lifting. We have choices. We can take control. It's an exciting time to be a writer!

So, I've decided to compile a small list of some true Indie Gems I have read so far this year:

Easy by Tammara Webber

New Adult. This was an "easy" (haha) choice. Started out as an indie but I heard it was picked up by a traditional publisher. Oh, this book. Lucas. *swoon* I was hooked from the start. Great writing, great story, great voice. Sexy as hell. New Adult is a very popular self-pub genre because apparently it's hard for an agent to sell. But boy, does it sell the self-pub way.

Twisted by Amity Hope

Young Adult Contemporary. This one has romance, mystery, suspense, bullying, and some really heart-wrenching moments. Compelling story and characters. Tight writing. I'll be sure to check out Amity Hope's past and future books.

The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

New Adult. Another swoon-worthy, sexy romance with so much more. Ms. Sorensen is extremely talented at sprinkling backstory only when it's needed. No info-dumps here. Great chemistry between the main characters. Just enough mystery and intrigue to keep you reading. And there's a sequel (or two?) coming!

Lost In Thought by Cara Bertrand

Young Adult Paranormal. Mystery, suspense, likable narrator, twists, turns, hot guys, dead people...what more can you want? And look at this beautiful cover! Cara is a fellow Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award finalist and I'm a big fan of her writing. She sure leaves me hanging with those endings of hers.

Wool by Hugh Howey

All I can say about this indie author is damn, he can write. This incredible, riveting, post-apocalyptic story is split into five parts. The first one is free, and only 56 pages, so you can test it out risk-free. You can also buy all 5 parts together. As for me, I read the first part and then RAN to Amazon to buy the entire book. Ridley Scott wants to turn this book into a movie! Now that is an indie success story.

That's it for now, but I'm positive this list will grow as I discover more talented indie writers.

What are some of your favorite Indie Gems? Let me know and I'll be sure to check them out.