Things I’m Learning About

Running this blog (and publishing my stories) is a big learning process for me. So here are some of the lessons I have run across that seem to be really helpful as I go along. Sorry they aren’t in any particular order right now.

Copyrights

You don’t have to register for a copyright to be copyrighted. But if you do, you can ask for more in damages when you sue someone for infringement. (Heard this on a podcast called Book Marketing Mentors, by Susan Friedman)

Registering a copyright is easy! Do it here: https://www.copyright.gov/registration/ 

You don’t have to re-register a copyright if you make changes to your manuscript. Unless they’re really huge, like whole new chapters etc.

Attracting an audience to my blog

This article from Jon Morrow made me smile several times, because I was guilty of harboring some of these opinions:

  • Don’t bother guest posting on humongous sites. Focus on sites within your niche and build a relationship.
  • Don’t ask people to sign up to the email newsletter without offering something valuable in exchange. (I’m working on this at time of writing).
  • Don’t write a big “roundup” post, but instead do case studies or really interesting questions. (hm, I hadn’t even gotten that far, but I admit this is a tactic I didn’t know had gone stale already).

Optimizing for Amazon

I saw a webinar recording by a guy named Dave Chesson who runs a site called Kindlepreneur.com. Here are a few choice tidbits I picked up from the webinar (which was focused on optimizing for Amazon):

  • This presenter offers a software called KDP Rocket and another one called KDSpy that make it easier to figure out how many books are selling on a daily basis in each category. This helps authors target categories that have more potential to be easier to rank highly within.
  • Some categories can only be chosen if certain keywords are in your list of keywords for your book when you are loading it into Amazon. If you are targeting a certain category, check ahead of time what keywords are considered related to that category.
  • Even though you can only choose a couple categories when you first upload your ebook, you can contact Amazon later and request that they add you to new categories and this way get listed in up to 10 categories. This is important because Amazon at first chooses for you.
  • When you look at your selling page, you won’t necessarily see which categories your book is listed within. To see all the categories that any particular book is ranked in, take the ASIN number, search for it within the search bar on Amazon. On the search results page, you will see on the left a list of all the categories that book is listed in.

Working with illustrators

Since I am not an artist, if I want to publish a children’s picture book, I have to hire an illustrator to make the pictures. This is an interesting process in and of itself. Traditional publishing houses employ people called “artistic directors” to handle the hiring of and communication with illustrators. So in addition to covering the writing, the marketing, the editing and the production of the book, I’m also learning about art direction. Here are some invaluable resources that I have found to help me out: