Don’t overthink things. If you find yourself at one of those points where everything seems overwhelming and impossible to get right, which I often do, then pick one item on your to-do list, and keep it simple. For example: if you’re writing a new blurb and have looked at so many you can’t see straight, walk around the block, come back, place butt in seat, and write the simplest blurb you can. Here’s a quick how-to from Bryan Cohen on The Self Publishing Formula Podcast to listen to while you walk: He breaks it down to three sentences, bang those out. Go to sleep. Edit when you wake up. The good thing about digital publishing is that you can change these things at any time. Something is better than nothing. Sometimes it feels like the closer you get to success, the more there is to do, and the more pressure you feel to get it all right. On a day when I felt this particularly badly, I said, right, just get started, put something up, and then you can tweak it tomorrow. Next day, I was done. And the more I do this, the less I want to meander over these things. Get something good up; tweak if you need to. It’s about keeping the files in order, instructions on how to format these things in order, in order in order, you get the picture.
Experiment with KDP Select v “going wide”. People seem to have different levels of success with both avenues, but the people who seem to break into the next level with income play around; they know how much they’re making where, and track what works. I have heard from my SPF Mastery FB group that boxed sets do well with KU borrows. With my latest launch for the LOVE IN NEW YORK boxed set, I struggled with what to do. In the end, I decided to offer the boxed set at a low intro price ($1.99) which excludes me from KDP Select, which has a $2.99 minimum in the US (higher in other territories). The plan is to raise it after I’ve spread the word to my list, FB fans, and targeted FB ad recipients, then pull the one “wide” book necessary for KDP Select compliance, and go all in KDP Select.
Give back. So you’re getting subscribers; they’re going to help you launch with higher numbers. You need to keep giving them excellent value for being part of your circle. I pre-launched my boxed set a week early so I could offer my subscribers and Facebook fans a deep discount, as mentioned above. I wrote up some behind-the-scenes info on each of the books in the series as an added value. Here’s what I wrote in the launch email:
Hello Lovely Readers! I have just launched a sparkling new boxed set, entitled, LOVE IN NEW YORK, which contains three full length contemporary romantic comedy novels, DIARY OF A WORKING GIRL, PRINCESS OF PARK AVENUE, and ON FIRE (formerly The Velvet Rope Diaries). As subscribers, I’m letting you know first, because in these initial launch days I’ve priced the novel especially for you at $1.99, before it goes up to its regular price. Enjoy! If you like what you read, please post a review on amazon. Your opinion counts. Speaking of opinions, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the cover re-brand. I’m very excited about it; I remember cringing when my editor at Penguin gave me the original covers for these three books. My agent laughed and said the one for The Velvet Rope Diaries was the worst cover she’d ever seen. I’ll never forget sitting with it at a Barnes & Noble signing table explaining to shoppers that no, these were not books for children. Well! That’s all in the past. It’s a self-publishing world now, and you guys are a vital part of it. Thank you!
Here’s some behind-the-pages bonus info about these three novels for my insiders:
DIARY OF A WORKING GIRL: was actually set at Morgan Stanley. I had a friend who worked there and he took me around the whole place. He showed me a lot of unique bits about the building, which I included for authenticity, and he was so funny I actually stole some of his dialogue! The way the elevator operates is actually true, and the scene where Lane sees all of the men walking into the building and nearly falls over her tongue was EXACTLY as I saw it outside the Traveller’s Building where the Morgan Stanley offices are. I had my notebook out and wrote down everyone I saw. “I’m in the wrong business!” I thought, before realizing I was not Lane.
PRINCESS OF PARK AVENUE: I began my initial work on this novel on the Q train from Brighton Beach, Brooklyn to Manhattan. My incredibly wonderful (and now dearly missed) Grandmother lived there and I used to go and spend the night with her often in my NYC days. The character began as a composite of two close friends of mine: one of whom is incredibly strong in nearly every aspect of her life, but shockingly, desperately in love with Mr. Wrong for a very long time, though she knew it was so stupid! The other person was a friend who is very family oriented, from a huge Italian New York family, who is charmingly of her own time (1989, but who’s keeping track), and is strong enough not to give a you-know-what about people who don’t get her. She and I had our own bouts over a Mr. Wrong back in the good old high school days, when notes came folded like little houses and sometimes got passed to the wrong person. Full disclosure: My first love was with a Brooklyn pizza boy I was madly in love with for years after he broke things off. My heart still goes all funny when I see the photos of us! Ah, the exquisite heartache of those days!!!
ON FIRE: This is the novel with which I first cut my teeth on weaving in more layered themes and issues without losing the fun. I struggled. I remember not being able to work out the ending. Eventually I did, but I was never happy with the final product, which is why I did a major edit when I relaunched (and renamed) the book this time around. I can say I am thrilled with it now. I learned so much writing this book, and it paved the way for being able to later write what I still consider my best novel to date: a real heartbreaker with a good amount of humour, VIVIAN RISING, which was not so loosely based on previously mentioned grandmother.
Also would you be interested in reading books in my other genres? I’m about to publish the first in a psychological thriller trilogy under the pen name Dan Noble. Please drop me a line at Daniella@daniellabrodsky.com and let me know and I’ll add you to that list for discounts, news, and freebies, too.
That’s all for now! I look forward to seeing your reviews. Happy reading.