Writers' Forum 2022 - April

How to Use Amazon Ads as a Traditionally Published Author

There’s No Need to Change Amazon’s Kindle eBook Return Policy

19 Memoirs Every Aspiring Memoir Author Should Read

From Publishers’ Weekly: Books Stranded on Ships & Maryland’s Library eBook Law is Dead


How to Use Amazon Ads as a Traditionally Published Author

Last month Amazon made their advertising console available to authors via Amazon Author Central. Previously, you needed a KDP account or a vendor or seller account with Amazon in order to advertise, so most traditionally published authors couldn’t utilize this advertising platform. But now you can access this console through the Books/Marketing tab on your Author Central main page. The question remains though—whether traditionally published authors can achieve a positive return on their investment (ROI) given the likely lower royalty they receive as compared to indie published authors. Great discussion and tutorial from the Kindlepreneur website: https://kindlepreneur.com/amazon-ads-traditionally-published/

There’s No Need to Change Amazon’s Kindle eBook Return Policy from Nate Hoffelder

You may have noticed the heated debate occurring recently about Amazon’s liberal ebook return policy that was highlighted on TikTok, alerting masses of people on how they (too) could read an ebook and then return it for a full refund on Amazon. . . which of course hurts authors. Some authors were noticing a distinct uptick in their number of returns while others didn’t see any change. The policy was meant to protect readers from poorly formatted/written books . . . not to be used as a loophole to gain free reading material. The Digital Reader article examines PART B of this return policy which guards against serial returners:

19 Memoirs Every Aspiring Memoir Authors Should Consider Reading by Emily Harstone

I’m a firm believer that you need to read a ton in the genre in which you write . . . Emily Harstone says, “When I was putting together this list, I tried to think of it from several different angles. I didn’t just want to provide contemporary memoirs (though it was important to include them), because I think that it’s equally important to read the classic memoirs that made the genre what it is today.” See the full list here.

Publishers’ Weekly: Again, a Fantagraphics Graphic Novel Is Stranded on a Ship

If it’s not printing delays due to low paper supplies, it’s shipping delays, or ports with ships backed up waiting to unload—but NOT this time. This time a ship with several titles awaiting distribution has run aground in Chesapeake Bay. Read the full article.

Publishers’ Weekly: Maryland Gives Up on Its Library eBook Law

In a 28-page opinion, federal judge Deborah L. Boardman, states "Libraries face unique challenges as they sit at the intersection of public service and the private marketplace in an evolving society that is increasingly reliant on digital media. Striking the balance between the critical functions of libraries and the importance of preserving the exclusive rights of copyright holders, however, is squarely in the province of Congress and not this Court or a state legislature." Read the full article.


How to Overcome Procrastination When Writing by Daniel Parsons

Are you guilty of procrastination – of course you are – we all are at one point or another. See if these tips can help you stay on track with your writing. https://selfpublishingformula.com/how-to-overcome-procrastination-when-writing/

And in a related topic . . . Michael La Ronn discusses How to Balance Writing with a Busy Lifestyle in this podcast (below.) 

Memory: Shape Characters & Sharpen Conflict by Kristen Lamb

I really enjoyed Kristen Lamb’s article about how memory is at the core of who we are as human beings and thus at the core of building our fictional characters; who they are, how they function, how they respond to the events/situations we’re putting them into. Read it here. 

Why You Should Consider a University Press for Your Book by Adam Rosen

In an article for Jane Friedman’s blog, Rosen examines some of the extraordinary books coming out of University Presses and gives tips on why your book might be well received and how you can make your working as enticing as possible to one of these publishers.


How to Vet a Publisher by Daniel Parsons

In a related article, Parsons explains how to determine if a publisher is legit and a good place to submit our work.


How to Write a Book Description: The Ultimate Guide to a Best-Selling Book Blurb by Jason Hamilton

Hamilton offers up this article via the Kindlepreneur website. It’s a very comprehensive look at what a book description needs to accomplish along with the components of this essential element for successfully marketing your book. 

Keywords that Actually Sell Books: Broad vs Niche Keywords by Dave Chesson

This is a great article for people who have already adapted their Kindle/KDP print keywords to include longer phrases (you get up to 50 characters for your seven keyword phrases.)  If you haven’t made these adjustments yet, the article continues to make the case for utilizing keywords to their fullest potential. Not particularly complex, but potentially new concepts for many. https://kindlepreneur.com/broad-vs-niche-keywords/

Amazon A+ Content: Elevate Your Book’s Amazon Page from Sandra Beckwith

You can add extra content to your Amazon book sales’ page that enhances a visitors experience and gives them more info about your book characters / topics / or the fictional world you’ve created. This A+ Content is a neat opportunity, but if it feels daunting to decide what to include here, Sandra Beckwith has an excellent tutorial on how to get started with A+ content along with examples of what you might include.


10 Reason to Delay Your Book Launch from Author Media

Often, I see indie published authors rushing toward their publication date too quickly, and often I advise them to slow down to make sure they plan the best possible launch for their book. By its nature, independent publishing moves more quickly than traditional publishing, but I feel there’s a happy medium where you give yourself the time to properly launch your book. This article gives great advice on why and when a delay is a GOOD thing for your (eventual) launch.

How to Get Reader Reviews by Sandra Beckwith

One of the reasons to delay a launch (see previous article) is to give yourself enough time to gain advance reviews. Beckwith’s article provides an excellent plan for gaining reviews both pre and post publication. https://buildbookbuzz.com/how-to-get-reader-reviews/

Why So Many Blogs and Newsletters Aren’t Worth the Writer’s Effort by Jane Friedman

If you’ve ever wondered whether that time you put into writing a blog or formatting a very pretty newsletter with great content is worth it, this article is for you . . . actually it’s for everyone who has ever considered blogging or sending a regular newsletter. Friedman’s key point here is that you need to have a strategic reason for writing this content because it takes a lot of time away from your primary tasks of writing and marketing your books. This article guides you through those strategic questions and also gives links to excellent articles about author blogs and newsletters.

In a parallel article, author Amanda Zieba who has blogged consistently once a week for years is taking a break from creating new blog content. WHY? Read more about her decision-making process here. 

SEO: The Key to Worker Smarter Not Harder by Kristen Lamb

If when someone says SEO (search engine optimization), all you hear are the adult voices from the Peanuts going wah wah wah wah, then this article IS for you. It takes the wah, wah wah and breaks it down for those of us who do not typically speak this language and gives you actionable ways to improve the SEO of our websites without a computer science degree.

May Holiday Calendar for Social Media Promotion

Sandra Beckwith’s May calendar of special holidays will give you tons of ways to promote your work in fun ways throughout the month. By the way, I can total get on board with International Tiara Day on May 24. https://buildbookbuzz.com/magical-may-holidays/

7 Surprising Perks of Recommending Book on BookBub by Carlyn Robertson

If you haven't already set up your Author account on BookBub, you should do it now. Start being active on this platform by asking fans to follow you there. You can also gain attention there by recommending books to others.

Happy Writing (editing, marketing, and more!) - Valerie  

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