I remember watching the 1984 summer Olympics with Mary Lou Retton and I wanted to be a gymnast so badly. It couldn’t be that hard, I thought. They made it look so simple. Effortless. I was not only not double jointed nor had a spine like a Slinky, I also never did a day of gymnastics in my life. But, hey–it looked easy!
Going from typing The End to seeing successful book sales has many, many steps. Lots of things you do over and over again, like warm-up exercises. Who wants to do stretches and cartwheels when you can do flips on a four inch wide balance beam?
To perhaps make it a little more effortless, I am going to write a series of little mini-topics to get you in tip top shape and have the performance of your life. Because you don’t want to be a One-Hit-Wonder! **Not responsible for any injury or bodily harm.
Topic 1- BE PROLIFIC!
If you’ve got an amazing book that readers love, they will want to read another. From you. Now. Readers are like toddlers. They want what they want right now. If they like it, they want more. Now. They don’t want to wait. If they have to wait, they’ll find something else they want instead.
Part of writing a book is plotting out WHEN the next book is being published. Can you publish every month? Two months? Three months? Amazon’s algorithm, which every writer knows about but can’t comprehend completely, keeps you as a writer ‘fresh’ for about 28 days. After that, you start to grow stale, lose ranking, promotions from within, etc. Publish a new book and you are back on their radar. And your readers’ as well. Keep putting books out there and you STAY on their radar. And your readers’ as well.
Here’s the question–how does a writer make money? Book sales. So the more books you have, the more money you have the opportunity to make. How about flipping it around–You can’t make money if there aren’t any books for readers to buy. If you publish one book a month starting in January, the first month you make sales on Book 1. In February you make money on Book 1 and 2. March: Books 1, 2, 3. And so on. By the time you get to December, you are making money on 12 books. If you hook a new reader in August at Book 8, they will have your back catalog to go back and read–if they love you, they WILL go back and buy them, plus the ones going forward. It’s like a snowball rolling down a hill. It gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
Now, some people will question how this is possible, perhaps want to strangle me through the computer right now. How can you publish a book every 28 days?! I have a full time job, three kids, elderly parents, grandchildren, the neighbor’s dog to watch. Life is crazy. It gets in the way. I understand this. I worked for corporate Xerox. I have two kids. There was never enough time in the day. Something has to give. Perhaps you can’t give your children away, but you can make adjustments in HOW you write so you can write faster. (See #5 below and my next post)
Ways to write faster–*not a full list–I’m sure you’ve got some good ideas to add to this!
- Type fast. Really fast.
- Series writing– the stage is set in the later books by what happens before and the story often writes itself.
- Plot out your characters/conflicts, etc in advance so you can plow through.
- Write what you’re good at. If you can write sex, write it. If it takes you four days to write a sex scene, perhaps that’s not for you.
- Figure out the sweet spot on word count. What’s this sweet spot? No, not a G spot. Well, this is Topic 2- Word Count Sweet Spot — See you soon!
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