So you can read my books

Tuesday, January 27, 2015



We all want there to be a secret formula to produce a bestseller, to become the next JK Rowling.

We all know the conventional wisdom -

1.) Market ourselves on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram'
 Sadly, those waters are more crowded than a public swimming pool in Hell.  You're just one of a million bobbing heads in the cyber-waters.

2.) Craft a Hook of a Title -

Want to know how many copies of those I've sold?  Don't ask. 

But that doesn't mean you just toss in the towel.  Be creative with your title:

      a.) Pick your title BEFORE you begin (you'll be with your novel for weeks so have a title that inspires you!

      b.) It's a marriage - LOVE YOUR TITLE

      I. What a great title does:

            1.) Captures your audience’s attention
            2.) It communicates what your e-book is about
            3.) If it’s your style, it should include a little bit of a “What the Heck?” factor:
Titles tell your audience a little something about you.
Look at these three sets of words:
  • Epic; Awesome.
  • Remarkable; Brilliant.
  • Elegant; Erudite
Each pair of words has a unique flavor. 

You can almost begin to see the people that would use them in a title or a headline.

Which means that the words in your e-book title need to reflect your style.

       II.) WHO'S AN OXYMORON?~!

           i.) EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE was a great title to an older book because it linked two opposites.

           ii.) Startle your reader and snare his attention.

3.) Have a killer cover -
     Leonora Roy has done riveting covers one after another for me. 
Think the "why" of a great cover:

You can choose a proper image for the book cover that will draw attention to your eBook.

     a.) You need to choose the proper thumbnail with a theme that reflects the contents of your eBook.

     b.) Many readers will be drawn to the book cover long before reading the description and the reviews.

     c.) It helps if you have a book cover that instantly draws attention.

4.) Write a riveting novel
Sandra, my most caustic reader, says DEATH held her spellbound.
They say sex sells.  But not so much anymore.

Be creative in the take on your novel.  Put a cliche on its ear.  

And add laughter, for there is not enough of it these days.

Or give the audience what they think they want PLUS insightful prose as in:

{In Whip Smart

Melissa Febos
chronicles five years in her early twenties
when she was a dominatrix and heroin user.

But the book is about so much more than those details.

It’s about living a lie:
sometimes many lies at once.

It’s about lying to yourself.
And it’s about discovering truths about yourself in places you never expected.}

So what do we do to write a bestseller?


Yes, we have to have polished formatting, professional editing, and a storyline that catches the reader and will not let her go.

And we have to have the all important WORD OF MOUTH ...
But to have that, first we must have a string of mouths singing our novel's praises.  In other words ...


I don't mean use the right keywords in the title and subtitle of your book. 

 That's an old trick. 

And do you know how many books out there have ZOMBIE, VAMPIRE, and LUST in their titles?

So many people abused Tags, Amazon has removed them.


1. Identify your audience.

This is a vital step in the promotion and marketing of your book, 

and–if done right–will make the rest of the process infinitely easier.

Find out who your book appeals to, get to know those people well, and be where they are, both online and off.

2. Establish a budget.

How much money are you able and willing to spend marketing and promoting your book?

Include everything from paid advertising to travel costs. 

 If you're broke like me, you will have to be very creative.

3. Create a marketing plan.

How much time can you devote to establishing and maintaining your book promotion strategies?

What marketing tactics do you intend on implementing first? What are your goals and how will you measure them?

4. Get creative.

Use your book’s theme, location, or time period for inspiration and making marketing connections. 

A character’s hobbies, occupation, lifestyle, values and interests can be jumping off points for developing promotional strategies.

Brainstorm (with Google), companies, experts, businesses, organizations or groups that you can approach for joint marketing ventures.

5. Tell your author brand story. 

Write an author biography that briefly defines your reason for being;

 keep it to two or three short but memorable paragraphs that will resonate with your readers.

Better yet: make it one paragraph. Show some personality and give your readers a reason to care.

6. Create your hook

Make it short as in mine for THE RETURN OF THE LAST SHAMAN

 The End of the World Was Just The Beginning.

7. Write a series.

Obviously this won’t work for every author or book, 

but when possible, creating a series is a very powerful and effective way to develop a presence,

gain reader loyalty and boost sales of earlier works with subsequent novels.

8. Advertise your previous works in each book you publish.

 One of the best places to advertise your previous work is at the end of your current book, 

where you’ve got a happy reader, eager for more.

9. Tempt your readers with more.

Insert sample chapters from the next book in a series at the end of your current book to pull your readers in.

And don't forget to pre-order 


  1. Definitely a title that grabs. Did I miss the rule, spend so much time marketing you never write another paragraph. Sigh

  2. I knew the title of my upcoming book before I wrote it, so hope that worked in my favor.
    And hope the Kargrandes site makes a difference.

  3. THESE are the greatest tips. I do have a relationship with a book title I'm writing. Sometimes, I just say it out loud for no reason. :)

  4. Great tips! I always love coming up with an intriguing title. I also love see the cover art, but my problem is I can't work one-on-one with the cover artist. I can only fill out a form as detailed as I can and then hope the cover artist gets it right.

    BTW...I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I don't know if you have this one already or if you do them at all, but you're nominated. :)

  5. R.Mac:
    LOL. I hate marketing my books as well. But in this tidal wave of self-published books, our books will sink without notice if we do not do a "novel" job of marketing.

    I hope the Kargrandes site boosts your sales tremendously!

    Thanks for thinking so. I loved my title, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE. :-)

    Thanks so much for the nomination! Yes, my own cover artist has her own ideas, and I just flow with them!

  6. Excellent tips. I always struggle with titles, they're the last thing to come to me, but hopefully I know when it's right. I think sending out ARCs to prominent people in your genre is a good way to spread word of mouth.

  7. Hey Roland, thanks as always. Now I'll go on to create the next best seller! Oh, and sex doesn't sell? Wrong! I have a mentor in the romance industry who traditionally published novels and she writes erotica, gay romance, hotter the better. But her real love is sweet romance, but she says she has to write the other hot stuff to make money. In the romance industry, it seems the hotter the sex the hotter the sales. So, I looked into it. And many romance publishers are ONLY accepting erotica...bummer!!

    Who can work this industry out? Not moi! Let's just write what we like. I like Paris so I'm going to write about Paris, but no erotica for me!

    Denise :-)

  8. Nick:
    It's what I've been trying to do. Thanks, by the way.

    Romance does sell. But not so much sex or erotica. At least for ebooks! And thanks, you've given me the idea for my next post! :-)