The Heidi Thorne Show

Amazon Ads for Traditionally Published Authors | Episode 258

Are Amazon ads worth doing for traditionally published authors? I’m not so sure. Let me explain why, based on my experience from running Amazon ads for my self published books since 2016.

So there’s no confusion, just for this episode, when I talk about authors, I’m specifically referring to traditionally published authors. However, some self published authors may also find this information helpful.

Blog: Amazon Ad Tips for Traditionally Published Authors http://hub.me/aphSx

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/f8SY3amhSpg

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:15 Amazon opens up ads to traditionally published authors

0:58 The new traditional publishing paradigm

2:10 Amazon ads are not a sure-fire marketing tactic

5:22 Key ad metrics to watch (ACoS and Sales Conversion)

7:22 Why did Amazon open up ads for traditionally published authors?

8:38 How to connect with Heidi

You can also listen to The Heidi Thorne Show on your favorite podcast apps including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or Amazon TuneIn Radio. This is Episode 258.

Do Kindle Free eBook Promotions Increase Sales | Episode 257

One of the reasons self published authors sign up for KDP Select on Kindle Direct Publishing is to do Free Kindle eBook Promotions. I’m not a big fan of free eBook giveaways, whether on Amazon KDP or other platforms. Here’s why.

Blog: Do Kindle Free eBook Promotions Boost Book Sales? http://hub.me/apgQm

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/h5Y1E83Ju_Y

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:15 Not a fan of Kindle Free eBook Promotions

0:35 Why would you buy a book you got for free?

1:50 Reader magnet potential and problems

2:58 Do lots of free downloads equal a successful free eBook campaign?

4:30 Can free downloads be correlated to book sales?

6:35 How to connect with Heidi

You can also listen to The Heidi Thorne Show on your favorite podcast apps including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or Amazon TuneIn Radio. This is Episode 257.

2022 Self Publishing Survey Invitation | Episode 256

I’ve decided to do another round of my Thorne Self Publishing Survey to see how self published authors are doing in terms of income, motivations, and challenges in 2022. All self published authors (and authors who do both self and traditional publishing) are invited to participate in the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V7SQFCJ It's anonymous, 10 quick click-to-answer questions, and takes about 2 minutes.

I did the first survey in 2016, and planned to do it every two years. The last survey was in 2018. 2020 was supposed to be the next survey. But 2020 was, well, 2020. So I skipped doing it that year, and postponed it to 2022.

I discuss more about the goals and plans for the survey, as well as what's been updated for the 2022 survey. Thank you for your participation!

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/VmWJ4aMjOTU

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:16 The 2022 Thorne Self Publishing Survey has launched

1:22 About the 2022 survey

2:26 Updates for the 2022 survey

4:13 2022 survey timeline and deadlines

5:31 How to connect with Heidi and get survey updates

SurveyMonkey survey link (feel free to share, too!) https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V7SQFCJ

If you would like to help support the cost of conducting this year's survey, I have set up a GoFundMe campaign at https://gofund.me/f7e57695

Does Word of Mouth Marketing Work for Books? | Episode 255

I’m a bit put off by Mark Cuban's brag of spending no money on marketing for his new venture, relying totally on word of mouth. Authors may look at this successful billionaire, thinking they can spend no money or resources on marketing, too. Let me explain why this may not work.

Blog: Does Word of Mouth Marketing Work for Books? http://hub.me/apf4i

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/YAZjYd22bJY

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:15 Mark Cuban's word of mouth marketing brag

1:21 Mark Cuban is a PR machine. You are not.

3:12 "I don't monetize my friends."

4:52 Word of mouth marketing definition

5:28 Are referral marketing and leads groups word of mouth marketing?

7:09 Is word of mouth marketing the same as PR?

7:34 Is social media word of mouth marketing?

8:18 Does word of mouth marketing work for authors?

9:54 How to connect with Heidi

You can also listen to The Heidi Thorne Show on your favorite podcast apps including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or Amazon TuneIn Radio. This is Episode 255.

Help! My Self Published Book Has No Sales | Episode 254

Pretty regularly, I come across a post from an author on social media where they’re crying about their low book sales. After reviewing many of these posts, I’d like to share some general observations about what ails these authors, their books, and their book sales.

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/4MGWnxTayEY

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:15 Let the crying begin

0:37 Sneaky self promos

1:24 Pity pleas

2:38 Keyword stuffing

4:05 Unrealistic advertising expectations

5:20 It's not the book

6:28 No author platform, no sales

8:32 How to connect with Heidi

You can also listen to The Heidi Thorne Show on your favorite podcast apps including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or Amazon TuneIn Radio. This is Episode 254.

Saying ”No, Thank You” to Thank You Goodies | Episode 253

Common videos on TikTok and Instagram are those showing creators packaging up arts, crafts, or book orders for their customers. Then there are the follow-up videos in which those customers unbox these orders, delighting in all the extra goodies and packaging they receive with their orders. I just cringe when I see these videos. Let’s discuss why over-delivering will under-cut your creative income, and why it’s a behavior you need to stop immediately.

YouTube video:

Timestamp show notes (click timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:15 The boxing and unboxing videos on TikTok and Instagram

1:47 Why do creators feel the need to offer more than they should?

3:40 Why over-delivering is so bad for creative businesses

5:18 Saying "No, thank you" to thank you notes

6:39 Do the math

7:43 "But it's branding"

9:30 How to connect with Heidi

You can also listen to The Heidi Thorne Show on your favorite podcast apps including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or Amazon TuneIn Radio. This is Episode 253.

Protecting Your Book Idea While Building Fans BEFORE Publishing | Episode 252

Authors may have concerns about protecting their writing work, but want to build fans for their work, prior to publishing. Lots to unpack here!

Blog: Protecting Your Book Idea While Building Fans Before Publishing http://hub.me/apd4Z

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/MrzYr1tyB8M

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:16 Author concern about protecting work

1:07 Traditional or self publishing decision

2:22 How do you build an author platform before publishing?

4:29 Your book idea cannot be protected... and why that's okay

6:07 How to connect with Heidi

You can also listen to The Heidi Thorne Show on your favorite podcast apps including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or Amazon TuneIn Radio. This is Episode 252.

Should You Worry About Book Returns and Refunds? | Episode 251

Some customers will be disappointed with what they purchase, regardless of what you offer. Admit it, you’re not happy with everything you buy. I don’t fret that somehow my books or content are bad if they are returned for refund. Here’s why you shouldn’t worry about it either.

Blog: Why You Shouldn't Worry About Returns and Refunds of Your Self Published Book http://hub.me/apcgR

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/dmMSzcIi05k

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:15 The horrible review I got on Udemy

1:20 Business as usual... and getting worse

2:55 "Library-ing"

4:00 How many of your books have actually been returned?

5:56 The realities of returns and refunds

6:44 How to connect with Heidi

You can also listen to The Heidi Thorne Show on your favorite podcast apps including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or Amazon TuneIn Radio. This is Episode 251.

Google Play Auto-Narration Audiobooks for Self Publishing | Episode 250

The audiobook market is still on an upward trajectory, with another year of double digit gains. But the audiobook industry is in somewhat of a practical and existential crisis with Google Play now offering self publishing of audiobooks using text-to-speech (TTS) robot voices.

Let’s talk about what auto-narration is, how it will impact audiobooks, and what that means for authors who are self publishing audiobooks. P.S. Did you know that AI narration was used in the Top Gun 2 sequel movie? You'll want to hear about this!

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/ovC-0yhL6BQ

Timestamp show notes (click on timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:17 Growth and challenges for the future of audiobooks

0:56 What are Google Play auto-narration audiobooks?

3:42 The LOL problem

4:34 ISBN and GGKEY numbers for Google Play auto-narration audiobooks

4:59 Exciting and scary future for robot auto-narrating of audiobooks

6:00 How the Top Gun 2 movie used AI narration

7:11 How to connect with Heidi

Udemy course: How to Self Publish an Audio Book https://www.udemy.com/course/how-to-self-publish-an-audio-book/?referralCode=75A2310A555CB12AFE4C

You can also listen to The Heidi Thorne Show on your favorite podcast apps including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or Amazon TuneIn Radio. This is Episode 250.

 

Author Headshot Photos: What You Need to Know | Episode 249

Do you always have to get professional photos for your author headshots? Can you use selfies? Are there any rules for using photos in books? I share what you need to know about author headshot photos for your books.

Blog: Author Headshot Photos: What You Need to Know http://hub.me/apako

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Kq0U_aO-ig4

Timestamp show notes (click timestamp to view segment on YouTube):

0:15 Author questions about headshot photos for books

0:42 Legal concerns of working with photographers

3:30 Tips for working with professional photographers

6:08 Selfies as headshots?

10:43 Tips for using selfies for your books

12:18 How to connect with Heidi

To connect with editor and author, Shayla Raquel, visit her website at https://www.shaylaraquel.com/

You can also listen to The Heidi Thorne Show on your favorite podcast apps including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or Amazon TuneIn Radio. This is Episode 249.

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