I am thrilled to announce a new Silver Sponsor has joined the 2022 Women in Publishing Summit: please join me in welcoming the team at Your Book Is Your Hook to our community of writers!
Jennifer Wilcov founded the company because she loved the experience of writing and publishing her own international bestseller. When people approached her and asked how they could do what she did, she realized: each person needed thoughtful, customized advice that helped them rise and achieve their goals. She realized that writers need partners they could trust to walk them through the process, and she stepped up by sharing all she’d learned, empowering others to do it themselves.
One of our key missions is to empower authors, so we’re incredibly grateful to have a sponsor partner who shares our values in Your Book Is Your Hook!
What does Your Book Is Your Hook do?
Your Book Is Your Hook is a full service author consultancy. You can work directly with them to figure out ways to write better, smarter and more profitably. They’re a company that offers consulting on the full life-cycle of a book – from idea to the post-marketing process. They also specialize in working with writers who want to see their stories come to life on TV screens, in movie theaters and on stages everywhere.
One of their signature programs is The Make It Happen Room for Writers Only. This invaluable space creates a joyful, supportive environment for working writers every Thursday, with a focus on moving your book and your writing career forward. It’s a chance to practice your pitch, get feedback and, most importantly, GET IT DONE. The two hour work session has changed the lives of writers in all genres and at all levels, and it’s the hallmark of how Your Book Is Your Hook works: supporting and empowering authors to achieve results by fostering real connections and sharing knowledge.
What kind of author needs Your Book Is Your Hook?
Anyone who wants to build community, gather feedback or get one-on-one or community guidance through the process is a perfect client for Your Book Is Your Hook. If you’re open to being more productive, creating better work, connecting with other writers and growing your career, this is a great opportunity for you.
Your Book Is Your Hook is also ideal for people who want to explore the possibilities in film, television, theater and beyond. If you have a story that you want to see brought to life, the team at YBIYH can help you make it happen.
How can I learn more about Your Book Is Your Hook?
YBIYH founder Jennifer Wilcov will be speaking and doing a meet & greet Q&A session at the 2022 Women in Publishing Summit, so be sure to attend that! She'll be speaking about the 5 Ways to Publish & the 4 Ways to Market Your Book and answering any questions you have about their services.
You can also head over to their website to find out about all the ways you can partner with Your Book Is Your Hook – click here to check them out!
Plus, as part of the Women in Publishing Summit community, you can get a FREE SESSION in the Make It Happen Room. Make sure to register for the conference to claim this freebie!
And there’s one company out there that collects, analyzes and shares that data better than anyone else out there: K-lytics, an expert analytics firm for indie authors and publishers company run by the brilliant Alex Newton. And I’m delighted and grateful to announce that Alex and his team has joined the 2022 Women in Publishing Summit as a Bronze Sponsor.
You might be wondering why authors need this kind of analytical data. Isn’t the job to just write a good book and market it, letting the chips fall where they may? K-lytics offers a smarter path, one where you can make informed decisions as you go through the publishing process, all in service of better sales.
What does K-Lytics do?
K-Lytics was founded by Alex Newton, a man with a mission: to help authors make better, faster decisions so they can focus on THEIR mission of writing. They’ve built a reputation by making sense of the Amazon supply and demand.
There are more than 8 million English language books on Amazon. That’s the supply. On the demand side, you have more than 20 million people in the U.S. alone who own e-reader devices and millions more who have a reading app on their smartphone or tablet.
The team at K-lytics reviews the massive amount of data available on Amazon’s website and analyzes it for trends that impact the bottom line for authors and publishers. From what genres and sub-genres are trending to what cover images and titles are selling to what average prices look like, they take massive data sets and turn them into usable information for working authors and publishers of any size, all for an affordable price.
Think of K-lytics like “Bloomberg” for the book market. What categories, covers, tropes, keywords, etc., are trending up? – Which are trending down? – Which pockets of the market offer high demand but come with a low level of competition?
What makes K-lytics different from something like a keyword report is that it’s not just a snapshot in time. Amazon sales rankings fluctuate WILDLY – something can be a “bestseller” for an hour and then drop into obscurity. K-lytics collects thousands upon thousands of data points to get an accurate big picture of what’s selling and at what price. And it’s data you can look at in broad genre categories, all the way down to sub-sub categories.
Amazon can be a black box for so many authors, but we know it’s possible to build a sustainable author career if we can just crack the code. What we love about K-lytics is that their reports guide choices by using real world, real time, real clear data instead of sound bytes.
What kind of author needs K-lytics?
K-lytics’s basic reports cover 30 different Amazon book categories, both nonfiction and fiction, and their premium reports cover more than 400 sub-categories. The elite reports cover 2400+ sub-sub-categories. So no matter what you’re writing, there is data available to use to help inform your publishing choices.
So whether you’re writing Time Travel Romance novels or Nutrition nonfiction, there is actionable data on current trends in your genre.
How can I learn more about K-lytics?
K-lytics is joining us on January 25 at 1pm EST for a free webinar about how you can use data to boost your book’s Amazon sales! Register here to check it out!
But times have changed since the times of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife living in the Ritz on an author’s salary. Millions of books are added to the marketplace each year. But I think we can all agree that it’s good to dream about what can happen.
And, even with the publishing industry changes, let me assure you that there are plenty of authors making big dollars in royalties each month.
How do you make money as an author?
But selling books is HARD WORK. I don’t want to be a Negative Nelly – but I look at stats every day. And I can tell you this: social media can help you grow your audience, but if you’re relying on your social media to get it done for you in terms of book sales, it’s a road that takes time and lots of energy to build. Social media is one tool in the toolbox, but it can’t be your only tool.
That’s where ads come in. (Register now for our upcoming Ads for Authors workshop – it’s on Monday July 12th!)
I wrote my first book in 2013. I know I often say that earning money as an indie author is a marathon not a sprint, but most authors would be forgiven for not expecting a book published nearly 10 years ago to still be bringing in much money every month.
But a few years ago, after learning more about Amazon ads, I decided to make this long-languishing, but deeply personal book my guinea pig for testing my new knowledge. I tweaked and adjusted, and over time I built a pretty decent Amazon ad. It was so good that I’ve kept running it for 4 years. I’ve not promoted or marketed this book in any other way since this ad started running.
And because this book is getting in front of not just readers but the RIGHT readers in the place where they’re already ready to make a purchase (Amazon), it’s selling. Consistently.
Every month, I get a check from Amazon for about $250 for this book alone. WITH NO OTHER MARKETING. I’m not blogging, Instagramming, podcasting, or promoting this book in any other way except Amazon ads.
And even when I deduct my ad expenses, I’m clearing about $150 a month from one book that I don’t do a single other thing to promote. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s $1800 a year that I didn’t have to work for.
(And, more importantly, this book about coping with child and infant loss is reaching the grieving families who need it. Making a lot of money was never my goal, to be clear, but I do want it to show up in the search results when someone needs it.)
No, it won’t pay my mortgage or for braces. But it goes towards family vacations and dinners out and creating memorable times together. Having that income helps me create something special in my life that wouldn’t be possible without it.
Ads for Authors: A Live Workshop
If you are ready to do the same for your book – whether it’s a book you’re still writing, or a book you launched a while ago – join me and bestselling indie author Kirsten Oliphant for my brand new premium workshop on Ads for Authors on July 12 at 12:30 pm EDT. (Click here to register.)
We’ll spend 90 minutes talking about…
How to run ads on Facebook and Amazon
Whether ads on either platform are right for your book (or not)
The timing and strategy for running effective ads that get results
I’ll tell you up front that Kirsten is not from a marketing company – she’s an indie author who is literally supporting her family with 5 figures in Amazon royalties every month. And that’s just her Amazon revenue.
And she did it by building smart Amazon and Facebook ads.
Kirsten has grown her career by writing great books and pairing them with great ads. If you’re ready to do the same, I recommend you join us. (The workshop will be recorded to make sure it’s accessible to everyone who’s ready to take this step!)
As a special bonus, everyone who registers will get a recording of the fantastic webinar Kirsten did about writing to market. If you want to take your author earning to the next level, writing books that speak to what the audience is seeking is vital!
Finding the ideal reader for your book can be the difference between a bad review and a good review. Bad reviews can be hard to accept as an author but they can also give you insight into your marketing and who is reading your book. They give you a chance to ask “am I reaching the right readers for my book?”
Every author gets bad reviews.
Imagine you’re a novelist looking through Goodreads at some of your new book’s latest reviews and this is what you come across:
This is not an epic, beautiful tale of a wonderful family’s trials, or whatever. It is a long, poorly written story of a family’s sex life.
How does this author take such an interesting and impactful topic and write it so bland, emotionless and boring?
Was this book well written? No. Did I still enjoy it anyway? Also no.
This is the book that made me ignore other people’s recommendations. I have no idea what anyone sees in this piece of trash.
Yikes. You can imagine how hard that feedback would hit a person. They might think the author should hang up his or her hat and find a nice job in a tea shop or selling timeshares.
What if I told you that these were reviews that were left on the recent critically acclaimed books, respectively, Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, a National Book Award Finalist; The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2020; The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab, which made nearly every 2020 “best of” list; and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, winner of the 2012 Orange Prize?
Showing up in front of your ideal reader matters.
Sometimes the wrong person stumbles on your book, and there are just going to be those people who don't like it. But sometimes these bad reviews come from bad marketing, along with targeting the wrong types of readers. By ensuring you know exactly WHO your reader is, and making a concerted effort to market to that particular audience, you can make sure that reviews like this are far and few between. That they only happen when the wrong reader stumbles across the book.
And it makes sense that most of the reviews are good for these books. Not only are they all great books, they also all have major publishers lined up behind them with loads of expertise in audience targeting. That’s how you know that finding and showing up in front of your ideal reader matters – the big publishers are willing to spend big bucks doing it.
Authors have to know how an ideal reader.
But indie authors and new voices in writing don’t have that luxury. We have to know how to target our ideal reader on our own, and we need to start figuring it out as we are writing, and carry it through our marketing efforts. We need to dig in and do the work early, and constantly check our work! Otherwise, we’ll end up with readers like the ones above who just don’t “get” us. Readers who don’t know why we’re telling this story and hate the way we’re telling it.
I’ve seen reviews like the ones above on books that clients brought to me for relaunches. These books were well-written, urgent, interesting, powerful. And unfortunately, without proper reader targeting, they found an audience who just couldn't connect with them. They left salty reviews. They didn’t check out the back catalog. They didn’t tell a friend, unless it was to tell the friend to “skip this one.”
But when my clients make the small changes needed to their marketing to find and speak to their ideal reader? The great reviews roll in – “I felt like this book was written for me!” – and the sales come, too.
My clients often learn an important (and pretty encouraging) lesson: it wasn’t the quality of the book that was generating the lackluster reviews and sluggish sales. It was merely incorrect targeting in the book marketing.
Getting in Front of Your Target Readers
Click here to join an exclusive workshop with my friend, Belinda Griffin. She’s a book marketing expert who has mastered the art of audience targeting, and she’s coming to share her secrets with us! No matter what your publishing journey looks like, this is the workshop every author needs to connect authentically, leverage publicity and grow their platform! This workshop is now on demand, which means you can watch (rewatch) it anytime!
This week, author Kasie Whitener joined Alexa for a webinar on marketing with book clubs. If you missed the live webinar, you can watch the replay on our Webinars page.
Dr. Kasie Whitener is a writer, researcher, analyst, educator, and promoter of all things Gen X. She has more than 15 years of experience in business process documentation, re-engineering, and analysis. Kasie specializes in adult learning with experience in onboarding, corporate acquisitions, and software training. As President of Clemson Road Creative, Kasie conducts organizational research, coaches process redesign, and conducts strategic planning and learning initiatives. She earned an undergraduate degree at Clemson University, a master’s at Winthrop University, and her doctorate in Organizational Management at Capella University where she specialized in global leadership. When away from work, Kasie can be found in the pool as a US Masters Swimmer, cheering wildly for her beloved Clemson Tigers and Washington Redskins, beating the pavement as a half-marathoner, or entangled in the fictional worlds she creates where the vampires not only hunt, they also time travel.
In this webinar you will learn:
How to get into a book club
How to get KICKED out of a book club
How to sell your books through a book club
Tips for virtual book clubs
Finding Book Clubs
Kasie was invited by The Pat Conroy Literary Center to deliver her workshop, How To Get Kicked Out Of a Book Club, where she met other book club organizers, and began talking to them about her book, After December. Kasie advises authors to attend similar events, and share your book with book club organizers. Look up literary events in your area, and search the program to see if there will be sessions on book clubs, then attend those sessions! Don't be shy about telling people about your book, and ask questions to learn more about how the book club is organized.These questions will help you determine whether your book is a good fit for the book club.
Some questions you should ask are:
What kind of books does this book club read?
How far in advance do they choose their books?
How are the books selected?
Many membership organizations have book clubs, which is a great market to tap. For example, Alexa's sorority has a book club, and issues a month by month list of titles for local chapters to read. And don't overlook corporations. Woman on Top, by WPS client Angela Hosking, was recently picked up by Wells Fargo's employee book club.
Helping Book Clubs Find You
One of the key takeaways from this webinar is making sure people know who you are, and where to find you. This doesn't require a massive marketing campaign, but simply SHOWING UP. In other words, networking will get you far. Introduce yourself to book club organizers, and make sure you are easy to find. Your website should have everything a book club organizer needs to learn more about your book, and why it would be a good fit for their book club. Kasie often makes herself available to attend the book club meeting, and will give a presentation, so be sure to highlight this option if you are willing to do the same. Readers love the opportunity to chat with authors! Your website can also include snippets of the book, and videos that bring the reader behind the scenes. In the case of After December, Kasie visited the setting of her book, in Virginia, and made a video showing the different real-life locations where the story takes place.
Using Book Clubs To Make Your Next Book Better
Kasie points out that attending the book club allows her to gather reader feedback. She advises authors to take in the feedback, and not get upset by it, since the book has already been published and there's nothing you can do about it. Responding negatively to book club feedback is a Instead, use this information to make your next book better! In the case of After December, Kasie is planning a follow-up book so the feedback from book club members was especially useful. Her forthcoming book, Before Pittsburgh, was largely shaped by reader feedback, according to Kasie. Pay attention to what book club members liked and didn't like about your book, and what questions they have about the characters.
Head over to our webinars page to view the replay, and register for our upcoming webinars.