A quick guide to pricing your e-book

pricing your e-book

Our guest blogger today is Fred Johnson, an editor for Standout Books, where he helps authors take their manuscripts from good to perfect. In his spare time, Fred writes bad poetry and worries about the future.

A quick guide to pricing your e-book

Fred JohnsonBy Fred Johnson

There’s one question that we editors hear again and again from self-publishing writers we work with: How much should I charge for my ebook?

It’s certainly a tricky question. The history of self-publishing is littered with tragic tales of over- and under-priced books falling at the wayside as stingy or skeptical crowds pass them by. It’s one of the most common mistakes self-publishing writers make.

Pricing your book isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. It depends on what you’ve written; how long your book is; how established you are as a writer; and any recognition, reviews, or awards you or your work have amassed. The quality of the cover, formatting, and design will also play an important role. Before you think about pricing your book, look over these tips.

Why authors shouldn’t obsess over one-star reviews

one-star reviews

Authors, prepare yourself for the inevitable one-star review. In the publishing industry, one-star reviews are practically a rite of passage.

And no one is immune. Whether you’ve got 10 best-sellers to your credit or it’s your first book, you can expect at least a single one-star review.

There are the one-star Amazon reviews that make you roll your eyes.

“If possible, I’d give this pile of garbage zero stars.”

“Not really of much use for me. Seems like just a lot of useless information to fill up a book.”

“The best part of this book is the cover photo.”

Sell more books with these 2 steps

Sell more books

Do you want to sell more books?

In a recent online discussion, an author observed that when you write books on different topics, each with its own audience, it’s hard to build up a fan base.

She’s right.

She was referring to nonfiction, but many novelists have this problem, too. They write books in multiple genres and have to start from scratch with the marketing when they move into a new category. For example, they might write a science fiction book, then shift to poetry before moving on to steampunk.

This is a common situation. These writers follow their muse or interests. They’re not interested in focusing on one topic, genre, or audience. They write what they want to write about.

Fair enough.

But they’re often the people who complain the loudest that their book sales aren’t what they think they should be.

I’ve got a two-step solution for them.

Facebook advertising for authors: A quick-start guide

facebook ads

Hootsuite, a platform for managing social media, reports that Facebook ads have click-through rates that are 8 to 9 percent higher than normal web ads.

What’s more, Invesp, an an online marketing services firm, reports that 92 percent of social marketers are using Facebook advertising.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

I’m thinking that advertising on Facebook could be a good strategy for many authors.

3 Amazon reader review myths: What you need to know

reader review myths

Authors are asking for and receiving advice from other authors about how to get reader reviews.

Much of the advice is excellent. Some of the most helpful information comes from the “here’s how I did it” stories that many are willing to share in online discussions and in person.

Not all of the advice rings true, though. That’s understandable, because it seems like the “facts” do change regularly. Still, repeating information without verifying it first sometimes adds to the confusion.

On the other hand, some of it is hard to verify. For example, there’s a lot of discussion around reader reviews being removed from Amazon. People speculate that it happens when Amazon identifies social media connections between a reviewer and the book’s author, but I have yet to see Amazon verify that, even though it seems likely to be true.

Other specifics can be confirmed or refuted, though. Here are three Amazon review “myths” and what you need to know about them.

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