Posted On February 29, 2016 by Print This Post

Learning Indie Author Ropes. Just Don’t Hang Yourself. By Jackie Weger

Help me welcome Jackie Weger for her first post with RU! Jackie’s no BS post about being an indie author is something any author promoting their book should read!

JackieWeger-BioHeadShot (1)Just so you know up front, I am not a bestselling author. I’m a little over two years as an indie. My first six months I was on my knees and Eating Stupid for Breakfast. Folks taking advantage of my stupidity got into my wallet big time. I paid folks for editing who were not professional editors, same with formatting, and cover artists. I was told I needed reviews, a twitter account, a Facebook page, a webpage, a blog, a Pinterest page, Instagram and a presence on LinkedIn. Above all, I needed a platform. Huh?

Let me tell you about platforms. Go look at this platform. Can you do that? Bet not. Me either. Yes, you need a Twitter account, a celebrity Facebook page and an interactive blog. By that I mean a blog on which visitors can leave a comment. That is all you need. Now for reviews: Put this gentle plea right after THE END in your book:

Thank you for taking the time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated. Thank you. [author name].

Cover SettingUpHouseDon’t want to do it yourself? Go here: Rich Meyer will insert it for $15.

Now you are ready to promote and sell your book. Yes, you are. I don’t know ehow to sell across all venues. I am learning to master Amazon. No matter that someone tells you different, Amazon sells to 74% of book buyers. My books are in Amazon Select. I do not ‘launch’ my books. First, inside KDP on your book page you will see this to the right of your book. Run an Ad campaign.
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Amazon will walk you through the ehow. You will have to deposit $100… but will seldom spend the full amount. Run the ad for 30 days. It is fab exposure and you will see some borrows in the form of KENP (pages read) and perhaps a few reviews. Amazon puts those ads on Kindle screens. As soon as the campaign is over, your book is eligible for a Kindle Countdown Deal (KCD). Run it 99c straight through 6 days. The 7th day it returns to full price. There are many promotion sites that will promote new releases sans a review. Go to Indies Unlimited and download the list of promo sites. It is an excellent starting point. Many sites are free. Do visit your Amazon book page. Tweet and Facebook your book from Amazon. Revise the Amazon tweet. Add hash tag: #KindleFic.

Cover Almost PerfectStick to basics. Write, promote and sell your books. Use every tool Amazon offers. If you go hunting for G.L.O.R.Y., you will flatten your wallet before you’ve sold the first book. No lie. I do all of the above and I sell books. The review plea has snagged 2,000 reviews for my books—all organic. Ad campaigns are proving their worth in KENP. Learn more tips and ehow about selling your books on eNovel Authors at Work.

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Got questions for Jackie on book promotion? Ask away!

Join us on Wednesday for Sandra Beckwith

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eNovel Round LogoBio: Romance author, Jackie Weger is a traveler of the good earth by foot, boat, bus, train, plane and pickup. What she wants most in life is a writing cave, a candle, a good book and one good friend.

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34 Responses to “Learning Indie Author Ropes. Just Don’t Hang Yourself. By Jackie Weger”

  1. Thank you for having me on Romance University, Carrie. Nice to be here. You have a lineup of some wonderful authors sharing ehow. I particularly enjoyed Kayelle Allen and Candis Terry’s articles.
    Jackie Weger
    No Perfect Secret

    Posted by Jackie Weger | February 29, 2016, 2:19 am
    • What a sweetheart you are Jackie. You taught me more about Amazon than anyone I know. Following your advice, I’ve done Amazon Giveaways and tracked the number of followers gained on the site. So far this year, almost 400. That’s more than I gained doing everything else I tried for the last 10 years. No exaggeration. Thank you!

      Posted by Kayelle Allen | March 9, 2016, 6:51 am
  2. Jackie, your advice is so simple I can’t help but take notice. I’m still drafting away but I’ve bookmarked this post for when the time comes that I need the help, which I’m certain I’ll use.

    Posted by Glynis Jolly | February 29, 2016, 7:37 am
    • Hi, Glynis Jolly: Nice to meet you. I prolly have 500 sites bookmarked and only use 8 or ten often. I keep a file named ‘ehow to do stuff 2016,’ and use Snipit to grab the interesting bits–much easier to revisit when I need the data. Great good luck with your writing and books.

      Posted by Jackie Weger | February 29, 2016, 10:47 am
  3. Always useful advice, although we can’t all match Jackie’s results!

    Posted by Aurora Springer | February 29, 2016, 7:56 am
  4. Morning Jackie!

    I agree, great advice all right here in a nutshell!

    A lot of times I’ll buy a book from Amazon, then go look at the author page to see what else they’ve written, or to learn a bit more about the author. I’ve seen some profiles that point to the author’s website, and some with very little information other than that. How much effort should be put into your Amazon author page?

    Thanks for a great post Jackie!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Peters | February 29, 2016, 8:23 am
    • Hi, Carrie: An Amazon author page created inside Author Central is a critical feature of an indie author’s success. One composes a short bio that speaks to readers [not a jobs resume]. The bio needs to include your social media links. Do add RSS feeds because those stream live across your author page. Oh, and always in 3rd person.

      Posted by Jackie Weger | February 29, 2016, 10:58 am
  5. Great advice, Jackie, that helps simplify the overwhelming options out there for marketing our books. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by Piper Templeton | February 29, 2016, 8:48 am
  6. What a great post. So much wonderful information here.

    I’ve been an indie author since 2010, and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m trying to get back to basics.

    Thanks, Jackie!

    Posted by Donna Fasano | February 29, 2016, 11:26 am
  7. Great Advice.

    Posted by David Wind | February 29, 2016, 11:27 am
  8. Great advice as always. There are a lot of so-called experts out there, but the real ones are the ones who have been through it like you.

    Posted by EM Kaplan | February 29, 2016, 11:28 am
    • Thank you for the Kudos, Emily, but there is no such thing as an EXPERT. There are only those with a no experience, a little experience or more experience to share with others. My goal is to have my books pay for the investment I i put in them. another author’s goal may be to make best seller lists. different agenda, different paths, different ideal and elements of success. Your books are wonderful, by the way.

      Posted by Jackie Weger | February 29, 2016, 5:09 pm
  9. Great advice, thank you!

    Posted by Laurie Boris | February 29, 2016, 11:50 am
  10. I always learn something from your posts, Jackie. Thanks for that 🙂

    Posted by Mimi Barbour | February 29, 2016, 12:09 pm
  11. Thank you so much for making the “rules” so simple and lightening the guilt load.

    Posted by Ari Thatcher | February 29, 2016, 12:32 pm
  12. Great tips Jackie!

    Posted by Amy | February 29, 2016, 12:41 pm
  13. I loved the result of the first giveaway I did. Going to plan a countdown deal or an ad soon for Goody One Shoe.
    Julie Frayn
    Author of Mazie Baby

    Posted by Julie Frayn | February 29, 2016, 1:30 pm
  14. Excellent advice, as always. Great article, Jackie. And thanks for the shout-out! 🙂

    Posted by Rich Meyer | February 29, 2016, 1:50 pm
  15. Great advice, as always. Thanks, Jackie.

    Posted by Annie Daylon | February 29, 2016, 2:15 pm
  16. Thank you, Jackie. You have always been a wealth of information for all of your fellow authors. You are always there to help the rest of us navigate our way through this crazy business we have chosen.This is a wonderful article filled with helpful advice.

    Posted by Roberta KaganeNovelAuthorsAtWork | February 29, 2016, 3:27 pm
  17. Thank you, Jackie. This is a great article. I too spent a lot of money when I first started because I had no idea of what I was doing. You’re information here is spot on. Great post.

    Posted by Roberta KaganeNovelAuthorsAtWork | February 29, 2016, 3:29 pm
  18. Great advice. I, too, have gone through the mill, and now do basically the same as you…although you are more consistent:-) Thanks for the KU limk

    Posted by Jinx Schwartz | February 29, 2016, 4:18 pm
  19. Great advice. I, too, have gone through the mill, and now do basically the same as you…although you are more consistent:-) Thanks for the KU link

    Posted by Jinx Schwartz | February 29, 2016, 4:18 pm
  20. A helpful post as always. Thanks, Jackie!

    Posted by Linda Lee Williams | February 29, 2016, 6:10 pm
  21. Once again, a great piece of advice, Jackie.
    I’m learning every day.

    Posted by Susan Tarr | March 1, 2016, 12:59 am
  22. As an indie author myself, I know from reading Jackie’s blogs and following her advice that this stuff works.

    Good luck to fellow indies out there, who are just starting out.

    Posted by Rosie Dean | March 1, 2016, 6:33 am
  23. Thank you, Jackie, for the great and so simple tips. I plan to try out your strategy step by step for my next book. I do have one question: what’s your advice regarding the book prices, both during the launching month and afterward? There are thousands of books priced at $0,99, but some readers say they avoid too cheap books. Amazon recommends a price of $2,99. What do you think?

    Thank you,
    Melinda De Ross

    Posted by Melinda De Ross | March 1, 2016, 7:08 am
    • Hello, Melinda De Ross: Yours is an excellent question… bottom line is:
      Pricing is author choice. 2.99 used to be the sweet spot. Now Amazon offers analytics at the point where we price our books…Zon tells me similar books are priced at 6.49. I’m using Amazon’s suggested price for 90 days or perhaps 180 days…beta testing. I think the analytic has glitches…designed more for price structure than similar interior content. I don’t have a suggestion about launch pricing. I publish my units and when I have time and inclination, I promote it free for 3 or five days, or 99c for five or six days, then allow it to settle in, collect reviews, and find an audience.
      I don’t listen to people who say they avoid cheap books…because those folks most likely are authors, too. No book buyer has ever said my books are ‘too cheap’. I have NEVER been in a new or used bookstore and heard a shopper say: “These books are too cheap.” I think for myself. I do not price any of my units 99c except when in a KCD. I don’t have any units perma-free. I beta test strategies so I have data for my books and what works best for my book to find an audience. Hope this helps–but maybe not. Main thing is: THINK FOR YOURSELF.

      Posted by Jackie Weger | March 1, 2016, 10:34 am
  24. Very helpful post. I’ve used many of these methods and will incorporate even more after reading this piece. Thank you,Jackie.

    Posted by P.C. Zick | March 1, 2016, 9:09 am
  25. Jackie, I have actually started a file labeled “Jackie’s Stuff”. Am slowing going through it, learning and testing the waters.

    Much thanks for all the invaluable information you extend to us authors! 🙂

    Posted by Sarah (S.R.) Mallery | March 1, 2016, 10:43 am
  26. Excellent advice, as always, thank you Jackie. I’d never have thought to run a KCD after the end of the Amazon campaign. I haven’t done one yet but plan to soon, so now I’m all set!
    Effrosyni

    Posted by Effrosyni Moschoudi | March 2, 2016, 7:23 am

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