Monday, July 6, 2015

Another Step Toward my Goal

I want to sell a million copies. How am I going to do that? 

*By writing excellent books. How do I do that?
  1. By becoming an A student of my craft.
    A. I am studying elements of fiction daily, reading, practicing.
    B. I keep Writer's Digest issues handy for quick reference while writing.
        1.  The issues are marked so I can quickly find articles on structure, plot, characterization, pacing, conflict, suspense, etc.  When I am in doubt I grab one and read to find direction.
    C.  I am taking courses: Novel writing, digital marketing, grammar (Lord help me get through fifteen pages of ... pronouns, yes, Fifteen pages of rules and explanations!)
    D.  I reevaluated my Kindle books and pulled the ones I thought not up to a professional level.  These I am rewriting.
    E.  I guess the biggest change I've made is getting beta readers.  They help a lot. I send each the manuscript before publication and they go through it and make suggestions and find mistakes.  They are invaluable. It is one more step to producing a quality product.
    F.  I stopped formatting myself. Remember how my formatting allowed (I weep) 10,000 copies of a novel to go out with vertical print?  No more. I now use Polgarus Studio to do my formatting. They are located in Tasmania, Australia, and do excellent work. Check their site. They boast having several best selling clients. It is worth it.
    E.  I am developing a following on Goodreads. They are massive. If you want a career in writing/selling books, cultivate a following on Goodreads. Open an author page. Chat on the forums. Organize a giveaway for any new book.  It is another step toward the promised land.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have gotten serious about the writing.
Changes I made to my Kindle books:
  1. I used fiverr to redesign covers that I thought non professional. (Those I made myself).
  2. I again used fiverr to change my author name on certain covers so I have one name. I previously used Kevin Robert Hill on some books, and Kevin R. Hill on others.
  3.  I studied other author's book descriptions.  I think this crucial to sales. This is the first thing a prospective reader sees by you.  Plot it. Rewrite it. Make it kick ass. If you can't hook a reader here, you have no chance of selling your book.
     A.  In James Scott Bell's book, Self-Publishing Attack, he has a good section on your book description.  It is all important.

Are these changes going to make a difference? Will they increase my sales?  We shall see and I'll keep you updated.

My next post will detail my promotion for my coming book, Touching Spirits.  I'll tell you what I am doing, which sites will be carrying a giveaway, and soon afterward I'll post the results.

I wanted to mention something funny. I work on an old truck I have to relax me. It is a 1975 Ford F250. The reason I mention it is because I was between writing projects and decided to spend a couple of weeks writing a carburetor how-to book, with photos and whole bit. I popped it out in two weeks! 

That little book has become the train that could. It is on Kindle and just keeps trucking along, a sale here and there, even when my novels seem belly up in the water.  It cracks me up. This past week I had 34 people buy it!  Now that is not gang buster sales, but for a niche market it is really good. Because of that book and the short writing time required, I'm going to be writing a few more automotive books.  I've also put the carburetor book, The Quadrajet MPG Secret, on CreateSpace, and print editions should soon be available.

I'm going with the flow.  Hopefully the auto books will drive traffic to my fiction.

I want to close by mentioning a great article in Writer's Digest that has helped me: Goodreads, step by step: The Best Way To Grow Your Career, in the February 2015 edition,  by Michael J. Sullivan.