Catching up on things. The four handwritten notes kicked my butt seriously this week. Those again forced a review of my branding, goals, and scope. Content Inc book again reared its head as completely invaluable for author-preneurs. Hope you like this new format – seems it’s easier for Google excerpts and the RSS feed…
The Great Writing Business Challenge – Week 10 Results
Overall Total: 3843
Published Words Fiction:
– free – Own Site: 0, Medium: 0, Wattpad: 0
– paid – Book Outlets: 0, Medium: 0
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – Own Site: 7323, Else: 0 (Medum)
– paid – Book Outlets: 0, Medium: 0
Books In Progress: 0
Book sales this week:
Draft2Digital – 11, Gumroad – 3, PublishDrive – 2, Amazon – 45, StreetLib –0 = Total Week’s Sales – 61
Lulu sales for January: 3 ebooks, 211 paper/hardback (avg per week – 53.5 | avg. royalty – $3.60). Next report 15 Mar…
Note: Again, new Fiction sales maintained increase, this time with D2D while Amazon dropped slightly. Again – coincident with my own emails to my list.
New Podcast Episodes:
No new fiction book this week – although my non-fiction output would have given me one.
Breakthrough this week was following my own advice – those “four pieces of paper” I mentioned two weeks ago. When you do all four, it brings a completely different aspect to your life. And they revise each other.
That “press release” concept actually lead to my distilling Nightingale’s “Strangest Secret” recording down to two letter-sized pages (as they recommend) and so found out that all he was talking about was goal achievement.
On a spiritual side, that actually cuts through my entire book about mindset stacking. Although I can tell you from experience to take his advice and cut out all the news, social media, and critical people – then simply and only listen to inspirational materials until your new mindset has settled in as a new habit. But also, as he says – if you ever go off your “calm, cheerful expectancy”, then just start over for another 30 days. Expect that it will take you 90 days to change your life and your mind from all you’ve added in over the years of your life. (Still, it’s easier than it sounds.)
My own “Make Yourself Great Again” book was simply my own progress through this.
Keynotes from this week
Three posts this week were landmark, probably evergreen.
– Laid out a really simple explanation and action steps for beginning authors to understand Sales/Marketing. By survey, this was my student’s toughest problem.
– Revisited Geoff Shaw’s Kindling and through it out wholesale. He’s shut down the course, but left a comment in his private Facebook group that no one should ever take their books out of KU. And that just explained the lack of results and also his affiliate marketing mindset. In short: Ignore.
– Distilled my Instafreebie subscribers for a year, and found out that the upshot is you’ll only have about 30% effective subscribers left. You get rid of some 50% of them in the first four months if you’re doing weekly list hygiene. But the ones that are left seem to be real gold, and closer to the true fans you want. And I still have some 3500 of them. Personally, I found that I was in a situation of a glass ceiling with new subscribers. I was barely getting more than I cleaned out weekly (as they go inactive fast.) No one had ever mentioned this possibility anywhere before. Another author told me she had run out of new subscribers from their list, so was looking elsewhere.
As a note on IF subscribers – my last week’s subscribers from them showed my Verified Organizer approach is far more valuable – as I got 60% of this week’s total from other than my own giveaways (meaning: 150% more.) All that means is to look forward to 70% of those leaving within the next year, and my opens/clicks rising as they do.
What I learned from back-study of my email coach
I’d collected several videos from her since 2017, and converted most of these to text transcripts (Trint.com). Then I was able to study them accurately. Scanning back and forth to pull the key data. (Did I mention I think most webinars are a waste of time? Having to spend $15 per hour for a transcript (only .25 per minute, but when the key data is only ever a handful of evergreen principles you could scratch out on an index card…)
Main points are these:
- Free and 99-cent and “starter libraries” are less effective, if not useless for attracting opt-in’s now.
- Because the market is saturated with ebooks and their offers. The old schtick won’t cut it anymore.
There are two reasons for this. One is in Content Inc – you build audience trust first by giving away your best content.
Second is from Eugene Schwartz – the ebook markets are so saturated with claims and gimmicks that your final approach is to offer “identification” as the reason for opt-ing in. The example of this is the last type of cigarette industry ads – “Marlboro Man” and “Virginia Slims”. My coach called this “Selling the Read” – meaning you create certainty in them that they’re going to get a great experience, routine great entertainment.
That really points back to the organic opt-ins coming from Wattpad and Medium, where you “borrow” their platform to get people to subscribe to your list. That’s just Content Inc as a solution – they trust your entertainment because they’ve read it – and want more. You provide value in advance. Readers move from Wattpad to your books because they don’t have to navigate from chapter to chapter in order to follow along, but get one seamless and transportive experience from it.
This also points to the only business you’ll ever really have is to promote from your own list. Content Inc, again
Tips for conversion
Similar to above, you get an active and responsive list by simply treating them as if they already are. Give them a great experience in your email and tell them that’s just the tip of the iceberg – that they should get more by buying the book.
And those who are there just for free books will leave. Then your opens and clicks rise as result.
You don’t keep offering free books to them. Now I do have a page I maintain with giveaways on them, and I always send my new subscribers there once. That’s my onboarding. After that email, the next one will pitch a book at them. If they never open after 5 emails, I unsubscribe them. If they haven’t opened in 90 days, I unsubscribe them. (And yes, I give them all a second chance. If they can’t prove they opened and clicked, they’re gone.)
You train your subscribers with your emails. You train them to expect a great experience. The freebie-seekers will leave, and those that want a great experience will stick around and open things, click things, buy things.
This is what I was looking for from Instafreebie all along, but had to pay some big bucks to an email coach to learn. Of course, she had already told me all this in 2017, but I didn’t listen at that point – because I hardly had a list at all. After I had over 4K subscribers and thought I’d be needing to start paying $50 per month just to email them, I had my epiphany.
Here’s a link to a rare 2017 public podcast she did: https://www.ivoox.com/tab114-making-the-most-of-author-your-email-audios-mp3_rf_18818553_1.html
Make sure your backlinks are all redirected ones. That you control and that go to your own site. Each link should be specific to that book with “UTM” variables attached.
I’ll be getting into this in a major way this week.
See my posts on “find-remind” stacks. That tells you why I’m getting into organic opt-in’s heavily while emailing weekly to my three basic reader groups. Once my books are basically caught up (and I’m hunting to write more fiction this week) then I’ll review Dawson’s Ads courses to master FB ads (note that the Schwartz mention above may throw out some of their dated approaches. And will also mean getting into their private Facebook (ooh-yuck) groups.
I’m getting Nightingale short talks posted on the site to excite my own non-fiction list, and also to study what short essays are (and also to improve my own audio delivery.) Look for these as podcasts in a revamped Change Your Life series.
Last Week’s To-Do’s:
- 3 Emails out (LS, Fiction, Writers) YUP
- My own four pieces of writing done. YUP
- New fiction book written, published. NOPE
- 2 fiction books republished – and to Wattpad, Medium NOPE
- 2 top-selling non-fiction republished NOPE
- Set up April giveaways on Story Origin to replace expiring March IF giveaways. One per main genre. NOPE
- Time permitting – fill the rest of the week with republishing my top-selling nonfiction – NOPE
This Week’s To-Do’s:
- Emails out
- New fiction book written, published.
- Four pieces of writing revisited, validated.
- Finalize backmatter for both fiction and non-fiction.
- 2 fiction books to own site, Wattpad, Medium, republished.
- Set up replacement giveaways on Story Origin as replacements.
- 2 topselling non fiction books republished.
- New podcast (Nightingale extract).
If you got something out of this – or think