My Experience Using ACX to make an Audible Audiobook

acx, audiobook, books on tape, audible, AudibleACX, audio book, create audiobook, how to create an audiobook, making an audiobook, how to make an audio bookSince I recently released my first audio book, I thought I’d provide a summary of my experience publishing an audiobook via Amazon’s ACX Audible to help anyone headed down the same path. The book has gotten strong reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but I wanted to make it available so people could hear it as well as read it on their Kindle Fire.

None of us want to fail as writers or have to admit to our families and friends that after all our hours in seclusion banging out our manuscripts they failed to sell even 10 copies. That is the height of embarrassment that none of us want to experience. As an indie publisher, it is critical that we understand what we are getting ourselves into and how to be successful before we start. This is doubly true as I am writing a book, and I hope this second one is even more successful than my first.

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The New AutoCrit editing software: A Review

AutoCrit banner

I have written about grammar checkers and style checkers before. I continue to believe they are a powerful tool in a writer’s tool bag. AutoCrit has revised their editing software product and has an active marketing campaign underway. I signed up for their trial membership for $1 for a week. Yesterday I spent about 3 hours working on my upcoming novel with their cloud-based app. In the end, I had two strong opinions about their updated writing software.

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How to write a Bestseller? The Girl, The Girl, The Girl

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, Bestsellers, Best sellers, Amazon

A recent article argued that there is a formula to writing bestsellers. The article says the algorithm is “built to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which novels will become mega-bestsellers. What does it like? “Young, strong heroines who are also misfits (the type found in The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). No sex, just ‘human closeness.’ Frequent use of the verb ‘need.’ Lots of contractions. Not a lot of exclamation marks. Dogs, yes; cats, meh.” So if you are writing a novel and want to trump your competition, you should abide what this book says, right? Let’s see how I’m doing with my upcoming science fiction novel:

* Young, strong, heroine — check.
* Misfit — check.
* No sex — this one is an in betweener…you’ll have to read the novel to understand.
* Human closeness — check.
* Frequent use of the verb “need” — hmm… 154 times in a novel of 116k words…I can work on this one.
* Lots of contractions — I probably need more, so this is fixable.
* Not a lot of exclamation marks — I’ve got too many. I can fix this.
* Dogs — Several of them.
* Cats — One. Dead.

I suppose if I put an image of a young woman on the cover… Bestseller, here I come!

Maybe…

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3D Book Cover Maker — Fast and Free

3D book cover, 3d book cover maker, 3d book cover generator, 3D bookcover, sci fi book cover, science fiction book cover, book cover design, book covers design, ebook cover design
Example of a 3D book cover I created for free in about three minutes. This is not the actual cover of my upcoming novel…just a working example for this blog.

I stumbled on a powerful and simple way to make a 3D book cover for free. Several sites offer book cover makers, but they all seem to either want your email address, have poor resolution or offer only a few predefined views from which you must pick. I found one that with a little bit of “post production” work on your part will leave you with a very nice ebook cover or paperback book cover, much as you see above and in my sidebar. Now you can do your own book cover design, and see it in 3D.  Let me show you how it’s done.

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A Goodreads Group’s “Reviews Initiative”: How Indies can get legitimate reviews

Goodreads

There is no understating how important it is to get reviews to help ramp sales of your new book. And I’ve previously written about how to get great reviews from some of Amazon’s top reviewers. But I’ve just discovered this: There is a group on Goodreads that is helping authors get thoughtful reviews posted to three sites (Goodreads, Amazon US and Amazon UK) from readers they don’t know. It’s a great and simple system. How much does it cost? No money involved. You just have to pay it forward and review a book from someone else. And there is no limit; you can get as many reviews as you can give.

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Targeted Marketing for authors: Be precise or go home

book marketing, target marketing

In a recent blog, Neil Patel shared an article titled: “Modern Online Marketing Education: 18 Courses and Resources”. There are only a few blogs I follow closely, and Neil’s is one of them. I know of no one who provides so much value so clearly. In his most recent post, his intent is clear given the title. Too many writers don’t understand that their success has as much to do about marketing as it does about writing well. That is why most books published on Amazon never sell more than 20 copies. Writing blogs can help you write better, but you have to know who you are targeting to sell.

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10 super easy tips to ramp your international book sales

fiction, novel, #1 bestseller list Amazon UK, UK best seller list, international book sales, how to ramp your international book sales, how to sell your book overseas, number one bestseller, number one bestseller in the uk, amazon bestseller, international bestseller, bookstore, audio books, book, best selling books, us best seller list, australia best seller list, canada best seller, uk bestseller, us bestseller

My first novel has been the #1 bestseller in its category in the UK, and it has made it into the top 10 of eight Amazon bestseller lists worldwide. My sense is that when most US authors post their book to Amazon, they don’t think twice about their overseas or international sales. This is a mistake because there are a lot of big markets outside the United States. You can fall further behind or you can ramp your sales. About 10% of my volume is now coming from non-US Amazon sites.

I have not translated my novella into any other languages, and I have spent less than $10 on advertising outside the United States. Here are a few things you can do in about an hour to help ramp your own international book sales…

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9 Steps to great book reviews from top Amazon reviewers

Like many writers, I spent a lot of time worrying about how to get published. Once I did publish my story, I quickly realized I needed book reviews. Under no circumstances would I pay for Amazon reviews. Now, after a year, I have gotten 38 book reviews. That may not sound like much, but they are all legitimate, and more than a fourth of them have been from Amazon’s top reviewers (“Top 100”, “Vine Voice”, etc.). And 24 of the reviews have been 5-star reviews. The rest are 4-star reviews with just 1  3-star review. This is important because it will help drive sales forever. How did I do it?

amazon review, book reviews, getting book reviews, best way to get book reviews, how to get book reviews, how to get amazon book reviews, book review sites, book review blogs, book ratings, book blogs, booklist, nytimes books, Amazon Reviews, best seller, bestseller list, 5 star
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How to Successfully promote your new book (what has and has not worked)

Woman, Thumbs Up, How to sell more books

The topic of “how to be successful” publishing a book came up in a recent discussion. You are probably here because you have either published a book or are are about to, and you want to learn as much as you can about how to increase your book sales. Having published my first novel to a 4.6 “star” rating and flirting with the top 1% of sales and now having made it to the top-10 of five bestseller lists, I thought I’d share what I have learned.

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Amazon cracking down on fake reviews (serious writers should rejoice!)

Combating fake reviews, Amazon to crack down, book writing, book publishing

I don’t normally do much off-the-cuff editorializing on my blog, but I’m intrigued by Amazon’s recent announcement that they are going to attempt to get rid of bogus reviews.

I think it is a great news. This means that serious novel writers will have less BS competition out there.

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3 great guides to help you move your blog up in the SERPs

SEO Optimization, blogging, SERPs, Keyword Search, Neil Patel

So you are an aspiring author and keep hearing that you need a “platform” if you want to publish, which usually means a web presence. But you are new to the world of blogging, or maybe you already have a site but are not getting very many visitors in spite of cranking out a few blogs? Want some help that is free and clearly explained? Here are the 3 best, easy to use, and free guides that can help you.

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Vietnam War novel: New Video Trailer

Hey everyone. Wanted to let you know that I have just released a video trailer for my novel of the Vietnam War. Titled Youth In Asia, you can read more about it here. Obviously the intent is to help market my book. So give it a  look and let me know what you think and if you think it will help promote my novel. Thanks! Allen

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How You Can Optimize your Social Media and Blogging Images with these free tools

 

Images, Social Media, Blogging, How to sell a book, book marketing, book promotion
Optimize your images for Social Media and Blogging with these free tools

 

Confused by all the different image sizes you need for your social media presence? Wish there was a simple tool to create the images you want?

Problem solved! I’m going to keep this simple by highlighting the best sources for both.

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