Giving A Voice To Indies

A new organization is being formed which is aiming to give a voice to indies – the Indie Author Support Network. The idea was proposed by indie author Marie Force, and it’s still at the very earliest stages, but what I’ve heard so far is very promising indeed – particularly that it will be exclusively focused on high-level advocacy and interfacing with retailers on issues which concern indies.

I’m not a member of any writer organization. I joined one here in Ireland when I first returned home, but didn’t renew after they wouldn’t even take the most basic stand against a local publisher who wasn’t paying his authors.

I know people join organizations for lots of different reasons, whether that’s continuing education or competitions or even just the social/networking aspects at conferences, which are desperately needed in such a solitary profession, and I think those needs are pretty well met with the various genre-focused organizations out there, and NINC too. However, advocacy has always been of most importance to me and I think there is a critical need right now for a very focused group which specifically speaks to the rather curious set of issues that indies are dealing with in 2018.

And most of these issues stem from, or are exacerbated by, a lack of representation. We are a huge chunk of the market now, but we don’t have a seat at the table or a voice in the room.

While I’m a huge respecter of the work Victoria Strauss and the rest of the Writer Beware team have done on behalf of all writers (and the SFWA in setting that up and its partner orgs in helping with logistical support), as well as the work that the Alliance of Independent Authors has done in building an all-encompassing indie writers’ organization, I think there is a very specific gap right now for a group exclusively focused on high-level advocacy for indies, one where institutional energy is all directed towards that one task.

Over the last couple of days, Marie Force has been gathering expressions of interest to form just such a group, one that would interface directly with retailers. She has already spoken with KDP about dealing directly with the group on issues of common concern, and they seemed very positive about the idea. Continue reading

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How To Make Killer Promo Graphics In Canva

One area where the bar has been raised over the last few years is that of branding. The savviest authors know that branding doesn’t just make you look more professional – although that is important too – but also something which acts as a bat-signal to your specific target audience. This book is for YOU.

I said in Strangers to Superfans — releasing in just six days on 25 April! — “If pacing is the secret sauce inside most bestsellers, branding is the equivalent outside of the book.”

As part of my research, I spoke to one author who is expert at it: Kit Rocha. She shared her view that, “branding is an extension of worldbuilding. My covers and my graphics and all of it combine to present an image that enhances what I want to say about my series.”

This is an area where I had to do a lot of catch-up, personally. One thing that helped hugely was discovering Canva, which I wrote about previously in this post: This Free Tool Could Slightly Change Your Life.

Canva is a free online tool which allows anyone, even those with little artistic sense and no design skills, to create professional looking graphics with some practice. And today, I’m going to try to give you some pointers on how to create effective promo graphics in Canva. Continue reading

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Please Help An Author Fight This Crazy Court Case

Christina Garner needs our help. She has been fighting a court case over the last year and is running an appeal for donations so that she can continue the fight.

If you haven’t been following this case, it is against a notorious author/box set promoter/marketer/”mastermind” teacher who goes by the name of Rebecca Hamilton – and also runs other author businesses like OTOH Books (formerly GenreCrave).

The name of Rebecca Hamilton may be familiar to you – and if it’s not, ask around. Because of the various suits and countersuits also involve claims of defamation, I can’t go into detail on what happened, but you can read Christina Garner’s eye-opening account on her GoFundMe page.

The most recent legal developments are as follows: as you can read on Christina’s page, Rebecca Hamilton lost her Motion to Quash this lawsuit. Rebecca Hamilton then filed a crazy countersuit against Christina Garner for half a million dollars. She then also tried to sue multiple other authors who had done nothing more than donate to Christina’s case and pledge support.

Obviously the judge saw through all this bullshit and threw out those countersuits against those other authors, viewing them as completely without merit. No surprise there, but these legal tactics have delayed the main case going to trial against Rebecca Hamilton, and Christina still faces that ridiculous countersuit – which is why she needs our help again. Continue reading

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Pre-order Strangers To Superfans Now

You can now order your copy of Strangers to Superfans: A Marketing Guide to the Readers’ Journey. I know many of you have been waiting for this one so I’ll just give you the links:


I’m excited to be gearing up for this release, as I’ve been working on the concepts behind it for a year. Here’s the blurb:

* * *

From the author of Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible comes the book that will change how you think about marketing forever.

Strangers to Superfans puts you in the shoes of your Ideal Reader, allowing you to view your marketing from her perspective. You will:

  • Learn the 5 stages in The Readers’ Journey.
  • Identify failure points quickly to manage backlist efficiently.
  • Optimize each stage to increase conversions.
  • Boost sales by making the overall process frictionless.
  • Build a legion of passionate, engaged readers who do the selling for you.

The Readers’ Journey is the new marketing paradigm you need to transform strangers into superfans. It releases on March 26. Order your copy now:


* * * Continue reading

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The Anatomy of a Launch

Let’s Get Digital 3 has been out for a week and has sold around 3,500 copies. How did that happen? Let’s take a look…

The Book

I released Digital 2 in September 2014 and it was maybe 60% new content, but the changes were largely superficial in the sense that it was an updating of the text rather than any kind of re-imagining. I decided early on that Digital 3 would be more revolution than evolution. As I detailed in this interview with Forbes earlier this week, a lot has changed in the last few years.

The whole text was rewritten from scratch – bar the odd sentence fragment here or there I couldn’t bear to part with – the only section that was spared a radical overhaul was the success stories at the back.

The structure changed noticeably too. The ten steps to self-publishing success are now at the very front of the book, and the deeper ruminations on the business landscape and so on are further back in the text. This wasn’t just a case of moving things around, it also signaled a shift in emphases from the why to the how. The chapters on finding editors and cover designers are much meatier now, delving into ancillary matters like writing to market and how to brief a cover designer effectively.

Lots of topics were severely truncated or just ditched – it’s simply less relevant today what’s going on with agents or in short story markets. Writers need less convincing to self-publish and more tools to do it effectively, and all of those deletions freed up a huge amount of space to devote a lot more time to marketing, things like Kindle Unlimited, or how to find your first readers.

And to communicate all that in two seconds to a casual browser, I had a plan… Continue reading

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Final Chance To Get Let’s Get Digital 3 at 99¢

Let’s Get Digital 3 is out. Hooray! Pre-orderers will have already received their copies, but  for those who prefer to wait until a book is live (I’m totally like this) you can still get it at the promotional price of 99¢. Don’t delay, as the price will rise tomorrow to $4.99. Them links:


I really hope you get a lot out of it, your support during the pre-order period was phenomenal – 2,500 writers have bought the new edition already. I hope I can repay that support with valuable information you can use to build your readership.

I’m sending out valuable tips every Friday to my newsletter – part of my new approach to email which has added a huge number of subscribers over the last week. If you want to see the kind of tricks you’re missing out on, check this example. And if that wasn’t enough, you also get a free copy of Amazon Decoded. Sign up here to get yours. Continue reading

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Amazon Decoded: A Marketing Guide To The Kindle Store is FREE

Amazon DecodedLet’s Get Digital 3 was announced this week and it is going very well indeed, with 1,000 copies pre-ordered already. The amount of sharing and recommending and tweeting has been spectacular – I’m very grateful to you all.

In fact, I have a gift for you.

Amazon Decoded: A Marketing Guide to the Kindle Store is now available. And it’s FREE. All you need to do is sign up to my mailing list to get a copy. That’s it. And you can unsubscribe right after if you wish, I don’t mind at all! Really.

If you need more convincing, here’s the blurb:

The author of Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible is back to reveal the inner machinations of the biggest bookstore in the world. By reading Amazon Decoded: A Marketing Guide To The Kindle Store, you will:

  • learn what “visibility marketing” is and how factoring Amazon’s bookselling philosophy into your promotions can boost your sales;
  • discover what goes into Sales Rank and dispel some remarkably common myths in the process;
  • understand the critical differences between the Best Seller list and the Popularity list, and why that is important for marketing strategy.

And you will get practical, actionable advice, turning all this new knowledge into marketing plans you can implement right away.

Amazon Decoded is exclusively available as a free bonus to my mailing list subscribers. Which means you can’t get it anywhere else. 


If you’re thinking “this sounds like an updated version of Let’s Get Visible” you’re right.

It’s essentially Let’s Get Visible Redux—a tight, 50-page book which covers how all the various parts of the Kindle Store work in 2018, and, crucially, how that must affect your marketing plans, with advice based on if you are wide vs. in Kindle Unlimited. Continue reading

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