Thanks for coming, Jason! Could you tell us a little bit about your book?
It’s a honor to be here. This book was born from a few years of marketing fiction. After writing two full length novels, I tried just about everything to market them, which usually meant spending money. The ideas never panned out; eventually the money ran low and only free methods appealed to me. Surprisingly, the free methods worked better than paid advertising. I started making websites, blogging, participating in social media and forums while my sales picked up. I even began mentoring other writers, people like me who simply needed direction to market their books. Clearly a How-To guide was needed for getting those lessons out there.
In a nutshell, what makes an ebook successful?
Many consider success as a measurement of sales and money. While I don’t argue that, I do believe there’s a lot more to it. For many writers, the fundamental drive to share ideas is the primary motive. So one part of success is simply doing that and enjoying the accomplishment of putting ideas on paper (or ebooks) and giving tangible life to concepts. A second measure of success is having even just one reader benefit from the book and letting you know how much it meant to them. When I get random emails from happy readers… it’s an amazing feeling of reward! Then comes success in terms of enough sales and readers to make a living from it, although I believe that’s the first thing people think of to define “success.” For me, it’s actually the last.
What do you do when you hit a writer’s block?
This happens a lot. In fact, I often go for months without doing any writing for my books but just writing in blogs, forums, articles, emails to friends, etc. At least I am writing every day, just not for a new book or novel. When I am working on a novel and feeling “blocked” I typically go to my “dailies.” This is like a journal for each book where I can either work on a scene or ask questions to my inner self (or beyond), basically do anything as long as some words get typed. Often my dailies will have entries that say something like, “Man, I wish I knew where this story was heading! What happens next? How do Vicki and Roger work out this issue?” That kind of thing. Strangely, ideas tend to come later and help get past the block.
What recent trends do you see in the ebook world?
Just more and more of it. It’s hard to keep up with the changes as they happen so fast. Some brick and mortal stores are closing, while all kinds of new opportunities happen for ebook sites and Indie writers. More readers are willing to try Kindles, iPads, etc and discover they like them. There are still a group of hold-outs who are resisting the e-industry in one or more ways, maintaining that they like the feel of paper, or ebooks will never replace “real” books (whatever that means) and such. Even some Indie writers are resistant to the trend, which is funny because ebooks have helped self-publishing more than anything.
What is the best advice you can give to other writers?
You should have many qualities even if you have a great book. Patience, persistence, thick skin, open mind and a willingness to learn new things are all keys to making it in this business. The cream will rise to the top, but you must participate regularly and make a real effort to get your book read. Today it is more possible than ever to self-publish, and that also means millions more writers are doing it. If you’re just starting out, you’re going to be one of millions. Work hard to become one of hundred thousands, then one of ten thousands and so on.
Thanks for stopping by, Jason!
Thank you, Rachel!
How to Make, Market, and Sell Ebooks All for Free can be found on Amazon and on Jason's website.
If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe via email or Networked Blogs. You can even follow me on Twitter or check out the new Freelance and Fiction page on Facebook!