That even included the conference’s special guest and keynote speaker, best-selling author, Steve Berry, one of my favorites. Berry writes suspense/thrillers based on little-known historical facts, and his books are definitely in the “can’t put it down” category. After breakfast on Saturday, he sat down for a “Get To Know Steve Berry” interview.
|Here I am with best-selling author|
Berry was candid and to the point in talking about his path to success. He stressed that, first, you have to know your ultimate goal and then head towards it. His goal, he said, was to be a successful writer of commercial fiction. Keeping sight of that goal kept him from wasting energy in other directions. He also advised, “Don’t write what you know, write what you love because you’re going to be living with it for a long time.” After the interview, he stayed to answer individual questions. I asked him how he kept all his plot lines straight and was surprised to learn that he doesn’t use huge charts, but works in sections.
After he graciously posed for a picture, I moved on to one of the three marketing workshops on my list. Sales of my middle grade skating novels really need an online boost. I’d like to focus on Amazon because I learned 96% of e-book sales are on Amazon.
Nancy Cohen, author of the The Bad Hair Day Mysteries series, gave a lot of concrete suggestions in her workshop, “Marketing on a Budget.” Her main point was to be visible on many social media sites so that your name will be familiar. She explained blog tours and suggested teaming up with other writers to share a blog, sponsor contests with prizes, start a reader newsletter, and examine your books’ special niche. Another suggestion was an Author Lifeboat Team, a group you can form with other authors in your genre to promote each other through Facebook shares, retweets, contests etc. Her handouts gave links to many helpful sites.
Then it was on to “Help, My Book Isn’t Selling” and “Selling Books by the Truckload” (I wish!). These workshops were taught by Penny Sansevieri. Penny is the President and CEO of ama (Author Marketing Experts), a San Diego-based company, and she is an Amazon expert. She talked about categories, keywords, and search terms as three things that matter on Amazon. For example, choosing a small, niche category with less books can give you a higher ranking and also help potential readers find your book. She also talked about pricing strategies, saying that the “sweet spot” for Kindle books is $2.99-$5.99. The 2018 edition of Penny’s book, How To Sell Your Books by the Truckload, is now available as a Kindle on Amazon. It’s definitely on my list, but I’m hoping for a paperback soon.
All I need to do now is find time to write and market, too. So here’s a question for my author readers: How do you organize your day (or week) to find time for marketing? I'd really appreciate your ideas! Thanks in advance.