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SPA Girls Podcast

Updated 2 months ago

Arts
Education
Books
How To
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Popular weekly podcast all about self-publishing from four successful indie authors.

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Popular weekly podcast all about self-publishing from four successful indie authors.

iTunes Ratings

48 Ratings
Average Ratings
42
0
2
2
2

Great resource

By Tinacity50 - Apr 24 2020
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Thanks to Lucy Score for introducing me to the SPA Girls. I love Lucy’s books so I listened to her episode and now I am a SPA Girls fan too! I have been thinking of writing a book for a long time and with the real world, accessible advice I get from each episode, I think I could really do this. Thank you so much!

Great podcast!

By MocahgirlInGA - Mar 11 2020
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Love the guests you have on this show. Lately this is a cant miss podcast.

iTunes Ratings

48 Ratings
Average Ratings
42
0
2
2
2

Great resource

By Tinacity50 - Apr 24 2020
Read more
Thanks to Lucy Score for introducing me to the SPA Girls. I love Lucy’s books so I listened to her episode and now I am a SPA Girls fan too! I have been thinking of writing a book for a long time and with the real world, accessible advice I get from each episode, I think I could really do this. Thank you so much!

Great podcast!

By MocahgirlInGA - Mar 11 2020
Read more
Love the guests you have on this show. Lately this is a cant miss podcast.
Cover image of SPA Girls Podcast

SPA Girls Podcast

Latest release on Aug 12, 2020

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Popular weekly podcast all about self-publishing from four successful indie authors.

Rank #1: SPA Girls Podcast – EP192 – Seven-Figure Success With Skye Warren – Part 2

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This is the second episode in the interview series with bestselling author and Facebook guru, Skye Warren. 

Skye has had a fascinating author journey, and in this second episode she talks to us about the changes she had to make with regards to her mindset before she could become successful as an author.

If you’ve ever said that you can’t do something that you know you need to do for your career, then you have to listen to this episode (and you probably need to have a look at your mindset, and what you’re subconsciously telling yourself).

And finally, she talks about Facebook Ads, and gives us some tips on how to make our own ads successful. 

Jun 18 2019

35mins

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Rank #2: SPA Girls Podcast – EP191 – Seven-Figure Success With Skye Warren

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Ever thought that if only you had more time in your day, you’d be successful? Rich? How you’d get all your writing done? 

Well, this is the podcast for you! 

When romance author Skye Warren went from being able to work all hours of the day to only being able to manage two hours every day, she had to figure out how to keep money from her writing coming in. And fast. She had a mortgage and other bills to pay. 

What she learned was that by focusing her efforts, she was able to concentrate on the small percentage of actions that made her the most money – writing and facebook ads. 

This is the story of how Skye went from struggling to earn five figures while working all day, to earning over a million dollars a year working only four hours a day. 

This is part one of two parts you don’t want to miss! 

Jun 12 2019

30mins

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Rank #3: SPA Girls Podcast – EP214 – Interview with Lindsay Buroker

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I (Trudi Jaye) was VERY EXCITED to get to interview super-successful fantasy author and fellow podcaster Lindsay Buroker at 20BooksVegas, and (OMG!!) she didn’t disappoint.

Lindsay’s doing really well in the genres of Fantasy, Sci-Fi Romance, Fantasy Romance, and is about to publish a new Urban Fantasy series next year – so she talks about how she makes writing in multiple genres work so well for her career, how and why she switches between fantasy to sci-fi and, of course, how she’s so productive. 

Even if you’re not like me and a total fangirl, this is a must-listen episode from a super-smart self-publishing author.

Check out Lindsay here: www.lindsayburoker.com

Nov 20 2019

55mins

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Rank #4: SPA Girls Podcast – EP182 – Facebook Ads with Maria Luis (Part One)

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Not sure about how Facebook Ads work? Need to learn the basics?

Join the SPA Girls as bestselling author Maria Luis breaks down Facebook Ads for us, from the beginning steps, to how to choose the best images; plus what to do, and what not to do, and everything in between! 

This is the first part of a two-part series on Facebook Ads from an author who has been successfully running her own ads for the last two years. It features loads of tips and advice for running ads, how to tell if it’s a good ad, and how to scale up once you’ve got an ad that’s working for you.

If you’ve been thinking about trying out Facebook ads, or have previously tried them only to be disappointed, then this is the episode for you! 

www.marialuis.org

www.spagirlspodcast.com

P.S. to see what ads an author’s page (or brand’s) is running, just go to facebook, click on Page Transparency (right hand column on desktop) and click SEE MORE – then scroll down to “Ads From This Page” and you’ll be able to view the ads they’re running.

Example of Maria’s facebook ad:

Apr 10 2019

50mins

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Rank #5: SPA Girls Podcast – EP210 – Slow & Steady to Six Figures with Serenity Woods

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Serenity Woods is a New Zealand self-publishing superstar with more than 70 books published (both traditionally and indie). She’s a USA Today bestselling author of sexy contemporary romances, most of which are set in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand, where she lives.

Serenity joins the SPA Girls again this week to discuss her publishing strategy and the road to six figures – hint, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
Her SPA Girls Podcast episode from when she last appeared with us at the beginning of 2019 is one of our most downloaded episodes ever. This latest one is sure to be just as popular, with Serenity’s frank honesty, encouragement and keen insight into how you too can be a six-figure author.

Find Serenity at: https://www.serenitywoodsromance.com/

Oct 23 2019

42mins

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Rank #6: SPA Girls Podcast – EP226 – Romance Your Brand with Zoe York

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We are delighted to welcome back NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Zoe York, to the SPA! Zoe is a busy mom of two young boys and the creator of modern, sexy, small town contemporary romances, a sci-fi romance series and now non-fiction for authors. Since 2013, Zoe has published 56 books, lead numerous workshops both in person and online, and is a fellow podcaster – The SisterCast is where Zoe and her sister Amanda talk about media, marketing, and how awesome it is to be a perfectly average mom.

Today we talk to Zoe about building a marketable genre fiction series as detailed in her first non-fiction book for writers: Romance Your Brand. For first time ever in print, Zoe York breaks down how she plans a series–something she has done ten times over. Romance Your Brand is an adaptation of an intensive four-week course, now available to authors everywhere. This book covers:

  • high-concept pitches
  • taglines and blurbs
  • world building and casts of characters
  • writing the first book in a series
  • finding comparable series and covers
  • how to write towards future marketing
  • and why ALL OF THE ABOVE should be considered before you write a single word

This episode has fabulous marketing advice from Zoe, so get out your notebook and be ready!

“The truth is, success is found in trial and error. There’s no magic button, and maybe everything I’ve taught you so far might not be quite right for you. I still think it’s worth trying.” ~ Zoe York.

Feb 11 2020

1hr 3mins

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Rank #7: SPA Girls Podcast – EP232 – Interview with Lucy Score

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If you’ve been wondering about how to make the most of being in KU…this is the episode for you! 

Lucy Score is the bestselling author of romantic comedy and contemporary romance novels and she’s been doing super well in KU. We asked her to be on the show to tell you how to make the most of being exclusive to Amazon as well!  

Lucy is smart and savvy, and gave us some fantastic tips, so be sure you have a pen and notepad with you as you listen to this one! She also has one of the best author taglines we’ve seen to date: “Writing romance so steamy, her family can’t look her in the eye!”

Find Lucy’s website here.

Mar 25 2020

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #8: SPA Girls Podcast – EP183 -Facebook Ads with Maria Luis (Part Two)

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Are your Facebook ads as successful as you want them to be?

Do you wish you could make the kind of ads you’ve heard other authors boasting about?

This is the episode for you!

This week we delve back into Facebook Ads with Amazon Bestselling Author and all around lovely lady Maria Luis… She takes what she talked about last week, and adds to it, giving us the lowdown on how to make an ad convert into sales.

Maria is super knowledgeable and informative, and gives us some amazing tips and insider advice on how to create and run successful Facebook Ads. If you’ve been wondering about Facebook ads, or trying to figure out how to make ads that convert, this is the episode for you!

Apr 17 2019

55mins

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Rank #9: SPA Girls Podcast – EP225 – Amazon Decoded with David Gaughran

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Is Amazon just one big mystery that you’re struggling to unravel? Then this is the podcast for you! David Gaughran gives us some tips and advice from his soon to be released non-fiction book, AMAZON DECODED.

David says it’s important to understand Amazon’s approach to bookselling, and how that differs from the rest of the industry. It’s crucial to get to grips with the Kindle Store and how all the various parts work. And it can be extremely lucrative to apply that knowledge to your marketing strategies.

David Gaughran has helped thousands of authors to self-publish their work via his workshops, blog, and books such as Let’s Get Digital, Let’s Get Visible, Amazon Decoded, and Strangers to Superfans. He has been featured in the Telegraph, the Irish Times, the Guardian, the Irish Examiner, the Sunday Times, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Forbes, Mashable, New York Observer, Newsweek Polska, il Giornale, The Star Malaysia, and a smattering of Wanted posters.

https://davidgaughran.com/

Feb 04 2020

1hr 9mins

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Rank #10: SPA Girls Podcast – EP230 – Interview with Cora Seton: The Organised Author

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This week, we are absolutely delighted to talk with romance author and superstar, Cora Seton, about writing organisation, branding, mindset and having a stellar strategy.

With over one million books sold, New York Times and USA
Today bestselling author Cora Seton has created a world readers love in Chance
Creek, Montana. She currently has thirty five novels and novellas set in her
fictional town, with many more in the works.

We had the privilege of hearing Cora speak at last year’s
Romance Author Mastermind, and we knew immediately she was someone we
desperately wanted on our podcast and to share her wisdom with you, our
listeners.

This episode will get you thinking (deeply) about your
approach to your writing career and business. 
Buckle up, it’s going to be a fabulous ride!

Find Cora at : www.coraseton.com

Mar 11 2020

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #11: SPA Girls Podcast – EP213 – Small Changes, Big Results With Bryan Cohen

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This episode we talk with author, podcaster and coach, Bryan Cohen, about making small changes that can add up to big results for authors. 

We talk about why authors often overlook making small changes and how they can be just as important as big ones.

We also discuss some of the most common tweaks that Bryan sees authors making that have made a difference to their success.

About Bryan Cohen: Bryan’s taste for improv comedy at UNC-Chapel Hill brought him to Chicago and provided inspiration for his first book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts. He has since published 30+ fiction and non fiction books.

After starting The Sell More Books Show with Jim Kukral, Bryan used his copywriting experience to create Best Page Forward, a book descriptions business. With 250,000+ downloads of his books and 400+ blurbs written, he created Selling for Authors, a step-by-step training program.

In his spare time, Bryan co-hosts a comedy podcast called Something Nice to Say, writes YA fairy tales under the pen name Casey Lane, and captains a soccer team called Zombies FC.

Keen to join the SPA Girls in a live workshop? Join our mailing list here and we’ll let you know the minute we have workshop bookings open.  Info here: https://selfpublishingworkshop.co.nz/index.html

Come say hi on Facebook and Twitter @spagirlspodcast  

Nov 13 2019

53mins

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Rank #12: SPA Girls Podcast – EP176 – How to Speak Self Publishing

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Ever listened to someone talking about self publishing and been mystified about what they’re actually saying? Maybe understood about one in every three words?

It’s a common problem, and one we sometimes come across ourselves, as things change in the industry and new jargon hits the streets.

Added to that, even if you decide to look it up online, it’s sometimes not easy to understand.

That’s where the SPA Girls come in. This episode we go through all the self publishing jargon we could think of, and explain what it is, and talk a little about why you might need to know each term and how it’s useful for you in your Indie career. 

This episode is packed with great tips around each word, and will hopefully give you an idea of what on earth is going on! 

Self-Publishing Glossary / Jargon

A

Active
Campaign

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and
you can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website to
manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Expensive platform, but allows a lot of
flexibility in terms of sending out emails.

Advertising
lists / email marketing promotion sites

Services
that have large email lists that they use to promote discounted and free books.
Authors pay a fee to the service, in return for their book being sent out to
the readers on the list. The most well known service with millions of readers
is BookBub. Other options include eReader News Today (ENT), FreeBooksy,
Bargainbooksy, Robin Reads and Books Barbarian.

Affiliate
Links

Services
like Amazon Associates offer the opportunity to receive a bounty in the form of
a percentage of the profit for promoting sales of their products.

Algorithm

An
algorithm is a set of rules used by computer programmers, usually to
automatically analyse and sort big data (large volumes of information). Amazon
has an extremely sophisticated algorithm that helps them figure out which books
are bestsellers, which are more popular, and which ones should be promoted to
which readers. There is a lot of information on the magical Amazon algorithm, because
many believe catching the algorithm helps with sales.

Amazon

The
main ebook publishing platform in the world. Can purchase both ebook and print
books via Amazon. Accounts for 80% of sales of ebooks. It uses an algorithm to
determine which books will be promoted.

ARCs
(Advanced Reader Copy)

Copies
of your book that you give out to your ARC or Street Team so they can read the
book before it’s out, and put reviews up on the various platforms for you when
it goes up. Giving out ARCs can help with promotion and marketing—the more you
give out, the more buzz you can garner.

Author
Bio

About
the author blurb.

Author
Brand/Platform

An
author brand is the feeling/general vibe surrounding your author personality.
It should be consistent with the kind of books you write. For example an author
who writes sweet contemporary novels shouldn’t write a blog full of the f-word.
It is to do with how your readers see you, the author. An author platform can
include everything from your website, your newsletter, your facebook page, any
facebook groups you run, or are in.

Author
Central

The
Amazon website where you put up your author details and connect your books to
your Amazon author page. You can also check your overall author ranking, your
book ranking and your sales ranking.

Author
page (Amazon)

A
separate page set up under your profile, for you to use for your author
activities, and also Facebook Ads.

B

Back
matter

This
is the information found at the back of your book, after the main novel. It can
include the author’s note, newsletter sign up page, or excerpt of the next book
in the series at the back. Or any combination thereof.

Bisac
Code

BISAC
(Book Industry Standards And Communications) subject codes are essentially
genre codes used by retailers and are part of your metadata. They help
categorize your book in the primary genre, topic and theme so readers can find
them when searching the online store. Choose Bisac codes that accurately and
clearly describe the content of your book as a whole.

Beta
readers

Readers
who will read your book before you publish to give you feedback on any issues
or problems with your book. They read it as a reader, not an editor, and will
generally find things like inconsistencies, plot holes and character problems,
and some grammar issues.

Blog
tour

Part
of promotion of a new release book, authors can pay to go around several blogs
by readers and other people interested in books in your genre. They can include
posting and excerpt, a post written by yourself, or a question and answer
session. They used to be very effective, not sure that they are considered
particularly effective any more.

Blurb
/Book Description

The
information about your book that gives readers the hook, and sells the book to
potential readers. In the old system of traditional publishing, a blurb was
also the quote that you got from other authors on the cover saying how much
they loved your book.

It
is most definitely not a description in the sense that you must describe the
plot like you would in a synopsis.

C

Call
to Action or CTA

Part
of the sales jargon. It is the one thing that you want your audience to do
after looking at your product. It might be buy the book, buy the next book, or
join your mailing list.

Categories

The
categories that your book falls into on the various sales platforms that help
readers find the books they love to read. They used to go by the BISAC (Book
Industry Standards and Communications) system which was used by the traditional
publishing industry, but in recent years this has evolved, especially on
Amazon, and they now use a wider selection of categories.

Copyright

Automatically protects your original works. You may use the
symbol © to help you demonstrate that you claim copyright in a particu- lar
work, but you do not need to. Protects original works. Copyright is automatic
in NZ; in the US you can to apply to register it.

Copy
editing/ Line editing

Usually
used interchangeably, this level of editing will fix problems with grammar and
spelling, but will also go more in-depth and find inconsistencies of plot or
character, sentence structure issues, etc etc.

CreateSpace

A
print on demand service owned by Amazon where Indie authors can use a pdf print
file, an ISBN and a cover to create print books to be sold at Amazon. (And
other places if you want to do extended distribution.) It has just been
announced that this service is being discontinued, because Amazon also has KDP
Print.

D

DRM

Digital
rights management. It is possible to check that you want to have DRM on your
ebooks, but it’s generally considered a bad idea.

Draft2Digital

An
aggregator who you can use to put your ebooks up to all the different platforms
if you choose to go wide (instead of being exclusive with Amazon). You can also
do audiobooks through Draft2Digital.

Developmental
editing / substantive editing/ structural editing /content editing

This
is a high level critique of your book, usually commenting on the overall
structure and storyline, and usually working with you to fix the overall book.
They won’t make changes to grammar and spelling.

E

Epub
files

The
type of file you will need format your manuscript into to publish your book to
be published by Kobo, iBooks, Nook etc (basically everyone else except Amazon).
.EPUB

F

Facebook
profile / Facebook Page

Your
facebook profile is your personal profile on Facebook. Facebook frowns on using
this for business. Instead your profile creates a Facebook Page for your author
name—this allows you to run ads from that page.

Final
Draft

The
completely edited and polished final version of your book that you’re going to
put up on the publishing platforms.

First
draft

Your
first version of your novel. Your first draft should never be the draft that
goes up on the publishing platforms.

Foreign
Rights

Usually
rights are for certain areas, and you can sell your print/ebook rights
separately.

Formatting

Formatting
refers to the process of changing a novel that is in a format such as word or
scrivener into a file type that can be used on one of the sales platforms like
Kobo, Amazon, or iBooks.

Forums

An
online forum such as Romance Divas where you can go and talk with other authors
about publishing, writing craft and anything else. It’s all in written form.

Front
matter

This
is the information found at the front of your book, before the main novel. This
could include the copyright page, your news- letter offer, the contents and the
dedication page.

G

Goodreads

A
social media platform for readers. Includes lists of books, people can mark
their favourites, talk in forums with other readers about their favourite
books, and give ratings for the books. Ratings on Goodreads tend to be harsher
than on Amazon, and the users can be quite vicious if they feel authors are
going on there and trying to sell or market their books aggressively.

Google
Play

A
publishing platform for ebooks, run by google. Locked to new accounts.

H

Hybrid
author

Someone
who is both traditionally and Indie published.

I

iBooks

A
publishing platform for ebooks, owned by Apple. It uses a curated system to
decide on which books are promoted.

Indie
Publishing

Another
word for self publishing (used by some people in preference to self publishing,
because of the negative connotations to SP.) In- die stands for Independent.
Indie authors are business owners who must organise everything themselves (even
if it is simply organis- ing the people who are going to do aspects of the work
for them).

Instafreebie

A
promotional tool used to gather newsletter subscribers, usuall via a free book
(called a reader magnet) or cross promotions with other authors. It worked
really well for a while when it first came out, but its effectiveness has
waned.

ISBN

The
unique number used in the publishing industry to count the number of books and
estimate sales. It’s not necessary to have an ISBN on Amazon, they will asign
an ASIN to your book, which is their own internal numbering.

In
the US it costs a fair amount of money to purchase ISBNs, but in New Zealand
they are available for free from the National Library. You need a separate ISBN
for each format of your book (ebook, print, etc), and if you’ve substantially
changed the book.

ITTN/ITIN/EIN

Tax
numbers for the US systems. We no longer need them, as we have a tax agreement
with the US, which means we can put our own NZ tax numbers into the system.

J

Jutoh

A
computer programme that can be used to format book files for publishing. Can be
used on both PC and Mac.

K

KDP
Print

Amazon’s
print on demand service, started after it purchased CreateSpace. It is done
through the same dashboard as KDP, making it quite convenient.

Keywords

In
this context they are the words used by the agregators to help describe your
book for potential readers. For example Amazon allows you to have seven
keywords or phrases, and you should find ones that describe your book’s main
tropes and genre traditions.

Kindle
Direct Publishing or KDP

Kindle
Direct Publishing is the publishing platform used by authors to put their books
onto Amazon.

Kindle
Unlimited or KU

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service that allows Amazon
users in the UK and US to access a large selection of titles from the Kindle
store for a single monthly payment. Subscribers can keep up to ten titles to
read on any Amazon device or Kindle reading app and there are no due dates.

For authors, to have your books available to KU readers, you
must be part of the Select programme, and therefore exclusive to Amazon. (This
exclusivity is only for ebooks, you are able to put print on demand books on
other sites.)

Payment for authors whose books are in the KU service is via
KENP, or pages read. Each month there is a pool of money allocated to be shared
among all eligible authors, which is worked out on a per page read basis.

Kobo

A
publishing platform for ebooks, owned by parent company Rakuten. Publishes to
more than 60 countries worldwide. It uses a curated system to decide on the
books being promoted and pushed through the service.

L-N

MailChimp

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and you
can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website to
manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Probably one of the most well known
mailing platforms.

MailerLite

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and
you can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website,
and manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Excellent back end, a few
deliverability issues, good price.

Meta
data

Background
information used to help searches. This includes keywords and categories used
on retailers. On a website, it is the back- ground information that you have on
the site that is not visible to visitors, but helps them be found in search
engines.

Mobi
files

The
type of file you will need to format your manuscript into to publish your book
to Amazon. .MOBI

Netgalley

A
service, mostly used by traditional publishers, to provide ARCs of books due to
be released to people in the industry such as librarians, bloggers, reviewers
etc. You pay a monthly or yearly fee for the privilege.

Newsletters/mailing
list

This
is a personal mailing list of people who have signed up to hear from you
specifically about your books. Mailing lists need to be or- ganised via a
mailing list platform. Authors can send out to their list weekly, fortnightly,
monthly or whenever they release a new book.

OP

Permafree

Permafree
means a book is permanently free. It’s a pricing strategy where your ebook
(usually first in series) is permanently free on all the booksellers. It is not
possible to just put a book permanently free on Amazon, but you can do it by
having the book wide, and making it free on at least two other platforms (Kobo
and iBooks) and then letting Amazon know and ask nicely for them to pricematch.

POD

Print
on Demand. This is a service that will print individual books, rather than
requiring publishers to print thousands of books at a time. New digital
technology has enabled this kind of service to be viable.

Podcasts

On-demand
audio shows, that can be listened to anywhere. A must listen is
www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com 😉

Preorders

Used
on Amazon, where you can put your book up to be sold, before the actual book is
able to purchased.

Proofreading

The
last part of the editing process, the proofreader will pick up grammatical
errors, and spelling mistakes etc, but will not comment on structural,
developmental or larger issues.

Publishing
Aggregators

A publishing aggregator is a service that lets you upload your
manuscript in one place, and then distributes your work to multiple
channels—the retailers who sell you work, such as Apple iBooks, Kobo, Amazon,
and more.

QR

Reader
Magnet

A
free book that you use to entice people to start reading your series, or to get
onto your mailing list.

Reviews

Readers
leave reviews of your ebooks on Amazon, and Amazon is rumoured to use these
reviews (possibly both the overall score and the number of reviews) as part of
their magical algorithm. There are rules surrounding who may leave reviews of
your books – family and friends are not allowed to leave a review and you can’t
offer anything other than an ARC in return for an honest review.

S

Scrivener

A
writing programme used by authors. It allows for notes, extra information,
photographs, extra folders and everything else you might need to be kept all in
one place while you write.

Smashwords

An
aggregator to put ebooks up on all the different platforms. One of the first
aggregator platforms.

Social
media platforms

All
the different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat,
etc etc.

Street
team/Review team

The
loyal readers who will read your ARCs before your book is published, and give
you reviews on the different platforms once your book is live. They can also
help with word of mouth, and other promotional activities.

Synopsis

A
description of the plot of your book.

T

Target
Audience

The
people who will most enjoy your books.

Traditional
Publisher

The
traditional publishing houses who have a team of editors, marketers,
booksellers who purchase the rights to sell your books to bookstores, both
online and bricks and mortar. They take a large percentage of the profits in
order to pay for the printing, distribution and housing of print books. They
are the traditional “gatekeepers” to publishing.

Trope

Commonly
recurring themes or ideas in a genre. Different genres will have different
tropes, for example romance tropes include am- nesia, enemies to lovers, secret
baby. Urban Fantasy tropes include kick-butt heroines, magic in an urban
environment. Epic fantasy tropes include an outsider hero, or an evil king who
must be defeated.

U-Z

Universal
Link (Bitly)

A
trackable link that you can use in your books, on your website or other places
where you use links to obtain data.

Vellum

Vellum
is a computer program that can be used on Mac computers to format ebooks.

Wide
vs Exclusive

Wide
is when you have your books up on all the different platforms like Kobo,
Amazon, iBooks, and Nook. Exclusive is when you only have your books up on Amazon,
are part of the Select program and have your books in KU.

When
you are on Amazon but not in KU or Select, you earn money via book sales but
not page reads.

A

Active
Campaign

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and
you can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website to
manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Expensive platform, but allows a lot of
flexibility in terms of sending out emails.

Advertising
lists / email marketing promotion sites

Services
that have large email lists that they use to promote discounted and free books.
Authors pay a fee to the service, in return for their book being sent out to
the readers on the list. The most well known service with millions of readers
is BookBub. Other options include eReader News Today (ENT), FreeBooksy,
Bargainbooksy, Robin Reads and Books Barbarian.

Affiliate
Links

Services
like Amazon Associates offer the opportunity to receive a bounty in the form of
a percentage of the profit for promoting sales of their products.

Algorithm

An
algorithm is a set of rules used by computer programmers, usually to
automatically analyse and sort big data (large volumes of information). Amazon
has an extremely sophisticated algorithm that helps them figure out which books
are bestsellers, which are more popular, and which ones should be promoted to
which readers. There is a lot of information on the magical Amazon algorithm, because
many believe catching the algorithm helps with sales.

Amazon

The
main ebook publishing platform in the world. Can purchase both ebook and print
books via Amazon. Accounts for 80% of sales of ebooks. It uses an algorithm to
determine which books will be promoted.

ARCs
(Advanced Reader Copy)

Copies
of your book that you give out to your ARC or Street Team so they can read the
book before it’s out, and put reviews up on the various platforms for you when
it goes up. Giving out ARCs can help with promotion and marketing—the more you
give out, the more buzz you can garner.

Author
Bio

About
the author blurb.

Author
Brand/Platform

An
author brand is the feeling/general vibe surrounding your author personality.
It should be consistent with the kind of books you write. For example an author
who writes sweet contemporary novels shouldn’t write a blog full of the f-word.
It is to do with how your readers see you, the author. An author platform can
include everything from your website, your newsletter, your facebook page, any
facebook groups you run, or are in.

Author
Central

The
Amazon website where you put up your author details and connect your books to
your Amazon author page. You can also check your overall author ranking, your
book ranking and your sales ranking.

Author
page (Amazon)

A
separate page set up under your profile, for you to use for your author
activities, and also Facebook Ads.

B

Back
matter

This
is the information found at the back of your book, after the main novel. It can
include the author’s note, newsletter sign up page, or excerpt of the next book
in the series at the back. Or any combination thereof.

Bisac
Code

BISAC
(Book Industry Standards And Communications) subject codes are essentially
genre codes used by retailers and are part of your metadata. They help
categorize your book in the primary genre, topic and theme so readers can find
them when searching the online store. Choose Bisac codes that accurately and
clearly describe the content of your book as a whole.

Beta
readers

Readers
who will read your book before you publish to give you feedback on any issues
or problems with your book. They read it as a reader, not an editor, and will
generally find things like inconsistencies, plot holes and character problems,
and some grammar issues.

Blog
tour

Part
of promotion of a new release book, authors can pay to go around several blogs
by readers and other people interested in books in your genre. They can include
posting and excerpt, a post written by yourself, or a question and answer
session. They used to be very effective, not sure that they are considered
particularly effective any more.

Blurb
/Book Description

The
information about your book that gives readers the hook, and sells the book to
potential readers. In the old system of traditional publishing, a blurb was
also the quote that you got from other authors on the cover saying how much
they loved your book.

It
is most definitely not a description in the sense that you must describe the
plot like you would in a synopsis.

C

Call
to Action or CTA

Part
of the sales jargon. It is the one thing that you want your audience to do
after looking at your product. It might be buy the book, buy the next book, or
join your mailing list.

Categories

The
categories that your book falls into on the various sales platforms that help
readers find the books they love to read. They used to go by the BISAC (Book
Industry Standards and Communications) system which was used by the traditional
publishing industry, but in recent years this has evolved, especially on
Amazon, and they now use a wider selection of categories.

Copyright

Automatically protects your original works. You may use the
symbol © to help you demonstrate that you claim copyright in a particu- lar
work, but you do not need to. Protects original works. Copyright is automatic
in NZ; in the US you can to apply to register it.

Copy
editing/ Line editing

Usually
used interchangeably, this level of editing will fix problems with grammar and
spelling, but will also go more in-depth and find inconsistencies of plot or
character, sentence structure issues, etc etc.

CreateSpace

A
print on demand service owned by Amazon where Indie authors can use a pdf print
file, an ISBN and a cover to create print books to be sold at Amazon. (And
other places if you want to do extended distribution.) It has just been
announced that this service is being discontinued, because Amazon also has KDP
Print.

D

DRM

Digital
rights management. It is possible to check that you want to have DRM on your
ebooks, but it’s generally considered a bad idea.

Draft2Digital

An
aggregator who you can use to put your ebooks up to all the different platforms
if you choose to go wide (instead of being exclusive with Amazon). You can also
do audiobooks through Draft2Digital.

Developmental
editing / substantive editing/ structural editing /content editing

This
is a high level critique of your book, usually commenting on the overall
structure and storyline, and usually working with you to fix the overall book.
They won’t make changes to grammar and spelling.

E

Epub
files

The
type of file you will need format your manuscript into to publish your book to
be published by Kobo, iBooks, Nook etc (basically everyone else except Amazon).
.EPUB

F

Facebook
profile / Facebook Page

Your
facebook profile is your personal profile on Facebook. Facebook frowns on using
this for business. Instead your profile creates a Facebook Page for your author
name—this allows you to run ads from that page.

Final
Draft

The
completely edited and polished final version of your book that you’re going to
put up on the publishing platforms.

First
draft

Your
first version of your novel. Your first draft should never be the draft that
goes up on the publishing platforms.

Foreign
Rights

Usually
rights are for certain areas, and you can sell your print/ebook rights
separately.

Formatting

Formatting
refers to the process of changing a novel that is in a format such as word or
scrivener into a file type that can be used on one of the sales platforms like
Kobo, Amazon, or iBooks.

Forums

An
online forum such as Romance Divas where you can go and talk with other authors
about publishing, writing craft and anything else. It’s all in written form.

Front
matter

This
is the information found at the front of your book, before the main novel. This
could include the copyright page, your news- letter offer, the contents and the
dedication page.

G

Goodreads

A
social media platform for readers. Includes lists of books, people can mark
their favourites, talk in forums with other readers about their favourite
books, and give ratings for the books. Ratings on Goodreads tend to be harsher
than on Amazon, and the users can be quite vicious if they feel authors are
going on there and trying to sell or market their books aggressively.

Google
Play

A
publishing platform for ebooks, run by google. Locked to new accounts.

H

Hybrid
author

Someone
who is both traditionally and Indie published.

I

iBooks

A
publishing platform for ebooks, owned by Apple. It uses a curated system to
decide on which books are promoted.

Indie
Publishing

Another
word for self publishing (used by some people in preference to self publishing,
because of the negative connotations to SP.) In- die stands for Independent.
Indie authors are business owners who must organise everything themselves (even
if it is simply organis- ing the people who are going to do aspects of the work
for them).

Instafreebie

A
promotional tool used to gather newsletter subscribers, usuall via a free book
(called a reader magnet) or cross promotions with other authors. It worked
really well for a while when it first came out, but its effectiveness has
waned.

ISBN

The
unique number used in the publishing industry to count the number of books and
estimate sales. It’s not necessary to have an ISBN on Amazon, they will asign
an ASIN to your book, which is their own internal numbering.

In
the US it costs a fair amount of money to purchase ISBNs, but in New Zealand
they are available for free from the National Library. You need a separate ISBN
for each format of your book (ebook, print, etc), and if you’ve substantially
changed the book.

ITTN/ITIN/EIN

Tax
numbers for the US systems. We no longer need them, as we have a tax agreement
with the US, which means we can put our own NZ tax numbers into the system.

J

Jutoh

A
computer programme that can be used to format book files for publishing. Can be
used on both PC and Mac.

K

KDP
Print

Amazon’s
print on demand service, started after it purchased CreateSpace. It is done
through the same dashboard as KDP, making it quite convenient.

Keywords

In
this context they are the words used by the agregators to help describe your
book for potential readers. For example Amazon allows you to have seven
keywords or phrases, and you should find ones that describe your book’s main
tropes and genre traditions.

Kindle
Direct Publishing or KDP

Kindle
Direct Publishing is the publishing platform used by authors to put their books
onto Amazon.

Kindle
Unlimited or KU

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service that allows Amazon
users in the UK and US to access a large selection of titles from the Kindle
store for a single monthly payment. Subscribers can keep up to ten titles to
read on any Amazon device or Kindle reading app and there are no due dates.

For authors, to have your books available to KU readers, you
must be part of the Select programme, and therefore exclusive to Amazon. (This
exclusivity is only for ebooks, you are able to put print on demand books on
other sites.)

Payment for authors whose books are in the KU service is via
KENP, or pages read. Each month there is a pool of money allocated to be shared
among all eligible authors, which is worked out on a per page read basis.

Kobo

A
publishing platform for ebooks, owned by parent company Rakuten. Publishes to
more than 60 countries worldwide. It uses a curated system to decide on the
books being promoted and pushed through the service.

L-N

MailChimp

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and you
can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website to
manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Probably one of the most well known
mailing platforms.

MailerLite

Platform
for your mailing list. In return for a monthly fee, they host your list, and
you can send out emails via their platform. They integrate with your website,
and manage the sign ups, unsubscribes etc. Excellent back end, a few
deliverability issues, good price.

Meta
data

Background
information used to help searches. This includes keywords and categories used
on retailers. On a website, it is the back- ground information that you have on
the site that is not visible to visitors, but helps them be found in search
engines.

Mobi
files

The
type of file you will need to format your manuscript into to publish your book
to Amazon. .MOBI

Netgalley

A
service, mostly used by traditional publishers, to provide ARCs of books due to
be released to people in the industry such as librarians, bloggers, reviewers
etc. You pay a monthly or yearly fee for the privilege.

Newsletters/mailing
list

This
is a personal mailing list of people who have signed up to hear from you
specifically about your books. Mailing lists need to be or- ganised via a
mailing list platform. Authors can send out to their list weekly, fortnightly,
monthly or whenever they release a new book.

OP

Permafree

Permafree
means a book is permanently free. It’s a pricing strategy where your ebook
(usually first in series) is permanently free on all the booksellers. It is not
possible to just put a book permanently free on Amazon, but you can do it by
having the book wide, and making it free on at least two other platforms (Kobo
and iBooks) and then letting Amazon know and ask nicely for them to pricematch.

POD

Print
on Demand. This is a service that will print individual books, rather than
requiring publishers to print thousands of books at a time. New digital
technology has enabled this kind of service to be viable.

Podcasts

On-demand
audio shows, that can be listened to anywhere. A must listen is
www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com 😉

Preorders

Used
on Amazon, where you can put your book up to be sold, before the actual book is
able to purchased.

Proofreading

The
last part of the editing process, the proofreader will pick up grammatical
errors, and spelling mistakes etc, but will not comment on structural,
developmental or larger issues.

Publishing
Aggregators

A publishing aggregator is a service that lets you upload your
manuscript in one place, and then distributes your work to multiple
channels—the retailers who sell you work, such as Apple iBooks, Kobo, Amazon,
and more.

QR

Reader
Magnet

A
free book that you use to entice people to start reading your series, or to get
onto your mailing list.

Reviews

Readers
leave reviews of your ebooks on Amazon, and Amazon is rumoured to use these
reviews (possibly both the overall score and the number of reviews) as part of
their magical algorithm. There are rules surrounding who may leave reviews of
your books – family and friends are not allowed to leave a review and you can’t
offer anything other than an ARC in return for an honest review.

S

Scrivener

A
writing programme used by authors. It allows for notes, extra information,
photographs, extra folders and everything else you might need to be kept all in
one place while you write.

Smashwords

An
aggregator to put ebooks up on all the different platforms. One of the first
aggregator platforms.

Social
media platforms

All
the different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat,
etc etc.

Street
team/Review team

The
loyal readers who will read your ARCs before your book is published, and give
you reviews on the different platforms once your book is live. They can also
help with word of mouth, and other promotional activities.

Synopsis

A
description of the plot of your book.

T

Target
Audience

The
people who will most enjoy your books.

Traditional
Publisher

The
traditional publishing houses who have a team of editors, marketers,
booksellers who purchase the rights to sell your books to bookstores, both
online and bricks and mortar. They take a large percentage of the profits in
order to pay for the printing, distribution and housing of print books. They
are the traditional “gatekeepers” to publishing.

Trope

Commonly
recurring themes or ideas in a genre. Different genres will have different
tropes, for example romance tropes include am- nesia, enemies to lovers, secret
baby. Urban Fantasy tropes include kick-butt heroines, magic in an urban
environment. Epic fantasy tropes include an outsider hero, or an evil king who
must be defeated.

U-Z

Universal
Link (Bitly)

A
trackable link that you can use in your books, on your website or other places
where you use links to obtain data.

Vellum

Vellum
is a computer program that can be used on Mac computers to format ebooks.

Wide
vs Exclusive

Wide
is when you have your books up on all the different platforms like Kobo,
Amazon, iBooks, and Nook. Exclusive is when you only have your books up on Amazon,
are part of the Select program and have your books in KU.

When
you are on Amazon but not in KU or Select, you earn money via book sales but
not page reads.

Feb 27 2019

28mins

Play

Rank #13: SPA Girls Podcast – EP221 – Reviving Your Backlist With Laurelin Paige

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This episode we are honored to chat with NYT Bestseller, Laurelin Paige, specifically about how we can REVIVE OUR BACKLIST (she defines backlist as a book that’s more than 12 months old).

Top tips she discussed in this podcast CRAMMED with amazing
advice:

1. Keep a calendar for the upcoming year and write in your
new releases, then pad around it with backlist titles for “working”
once a month

2. The easiest thing to recharge a book is designing a new cover – even if the old cover is good, people want to look at something new. Don’t be precious with your covers.

3. Change your mindset from traditional book marketers: lean
into the strengths that indie gives us – and that’s likely changing covers
annually

When considering her backlist, Laurelin first looks at making cover changes (for entire series ideally – if you can’t afford to do them all at once, then save up rather than doing one at a time). She tries to pair a cover change with a bookbub / freebooksy / blog tour etc – treat the book like it’s a new thing

4. Experiment with lowering the price. A sale can attract
new readers (once every six months). Always put your best book as your freebie.

Timeframe – it’s never too early to have a sale. Laurelin likes to wait to get the full price audience to see the book first, then reaches a new audience with a sale. For books in KU, she also prefers using five free days rather than a countdown deal.

5. Free Prequels – experiment with these (cliffhangery endings leading into the first book of the series) Need to be wide (can be just Nook for price matching) if you’re in KU. Can do these before AND after release.  Laurelin plans prequels ahead of time.

6. REPACKAGE – especially if getting rights back from trad pubbed books, re-edit, retitle (with a note for readers), recover, always tell readers where to go to the next book.

7. Front and back matter: Laurelin has her full backlist listed in the front matter with a newsletter signup (free book monthly given away thanks to newsletter swaps with similar authors); backmatter focuses on the next step you want readers to take – ie next book.

8. Work your newsletter – send 2 / 3 times per month. Mention your other books frequently. Don’t release then forget them – people need reminding. In every newsletter feature one of your backlist.

9. Marketing is cumulative. You have to keep pushing your
backlist.

10. Consider moving in and out of KU if you have more than one book. Treat the move as a new release – do a blog tour etc.

11. Connect books in series, even if there’s no connection
for better read through (eg “Summer Reading Series”.

12. Change Titles – is there a catchier way of reaching new readers? Ask what your title tells you about the book.

13. Make your book look new in a different way. Put it in a boxed set? If wide, look at what is ranking well in the Apple charts for your genre and examine cover trends; if KU, look at Amazon. 

14. Bundle with other authors – eg “Hot for the holidays” multi-author bundle

15. Don’t shy away from reworking (editing / rewriting / repackaging) existing backlist if they’re not selling

Don’t take these tips in isolation. It’s important to ask yourself the overarching question “What can I do to make people find this particular book?”

Stop focussing on release week and measuring your success (or failure!) with that. Get out of that mindset!

About Laurelin Paige

With millions of books sold worldwide, Laurelin Paige is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author. She is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Killing Eve, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.

https://laurelinpaige.com/

Say Hi to the Spa Girls at:

Facebook and Twitter @spagirlspodcast  

Jan 07 2020

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #14: SPA Girls Podcast – EP209 – Editing with Anne Victory

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Confused about the editing process? Today we talk with talented editor Anne Victory, founder of Victory Editing.

Anne has always been a stickler for grammar, and at every job she was “volunteered” (or volun-told) to either write or proofread everything from menus to game manuals to advertising copy. That business writing and editing experience came in handy when she started to work in fiction.

She enjoys reading, and polishing the written word. Common wisdom says do what you love and you’ll live a long and happy life. With her background in English literature, grammar, and library science, it was a fairly easy decision to work with authors.

We discuss what it takes to work with an editor. What you need to think about when you are editing your manuscript and much more.

Anne has written a wonderfully informative book that is a must-read!
How to Polish your manuscript in 10 days: https://www.amazon.com/How-Polish-Your-Manuscript-Days/dp/1793364052

Check out Anne at her website: http://victoryediting.com/

Oct 15 2019

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #15: SPA Girls Podcast – EP200 – What We’ve Learned From Our Amazing Guests

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Here it is. Our 200th Episode! Yay! Who’d have thought that we’d ever make it this far??

First of all, we’d like to say thank you to everyone who listens to the show, we appreciate you all! It’s been an amazing few years, and we’ve loved every minute of it.

This week is a celebration episode, where we look back over those 200 episodes, and talk about the common traits of all the successful self publishers we’ve spoken to. 

From the humbleness of Bella Andre and the flexible nature of Serena Woods, to the smart work ethic of Skye Warren and the focus of Kathryn Le Veque, we cover it all. 

We will give you the ultimate list of self publishing traits that will help you rise to the top of the Indie pile! Don’t miss it! 

Podcast interviews mentioned in the 200th Show

Bella Andre http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep148-interview-with-indie-superstar-bella-andre/

Serenity Woods http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep171-interview-with-serenity-woods/

Kathryn LeVeque http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep159-interview-with-kathryn-le-veque/

Skye Warren http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep191-seven-figure-success-with-skye-warren/

Zoe York http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep65-interview-with-zoe-york/

Geoff Symon http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep187-interview-with-forensics-expert-geoff-symon/

Maria Luis http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep182-facebook-ads-with-maria-luis/

Natasha Bajema http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep186-what-authors-get-wrong-about-weapons-of-mass-destruction/

Damon Suede http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep149-killer-interview-with-damon-suede-and-geoff-symon/

Aug 14 2019

43mins

Play

Rank #16: SPA Girls Podcast – Ep 227 – Elana Johnson Part One – Productivity

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USA Today bestselling author Elana Johnson writes adult contemporary beach romance and Christian Cowboy Romance. She’s the author of over 130 books across two names, and in January 2020 just hit a 6 figure month for the first time.

We talk to Elana about how she balances her workload because we know she’s doing well on the marketing front which is such a big topic these days and definitely needs to be factored in to your day.

Elana works over 2 projects at a time. Once her current WIP and the second is a ‘fun’ project. When the main one is done then the second becomes her current WIP. This way she is always ahead of the game and there’s no wondering what to do next.

But the most interesting fact about her amazing productivity is that Elana will write around 8k a day (more if she can) and some of this is around her commitments to her high school daughter. Every wait in the car after school and during practices is utilized. With the help of a car steering wheel desk (yes, it’s a thing!) she manages to work instead of wasting time.

When most of us would be checking messages or Facebook Elana has that time factored into her schedule!

With these questions and more, be inspired the way we are:

– Did you start off being this fast?

– Can you tell us how you do it? What are your best tips for the younger player?

– What’s the most important aspect of being productive? What’s the most challenging?

– Can anyone do it?

You’ll find all the show notes and SPA Girls podcast episodes at www.spagirls.podcast.com

Join our mailing list to find out when we have any workshops or coaching coming up

Come say hi on Facebook or Twitter @spagirlpodcast

Feb 19 2020

48mins

Play

Rank #17: SPA Girls Podcast – EP228 – Interview with Elana Johnson – PART TWO

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In this second episode with bestselling author Elana Johnson, she gives us all the juicy details of how she has created her bestselling career… 

From the new release strategies that she uses, to the kind of advertising she does, and even the right mindset for being successful – Elana talks about it all. 

She talks openly about her career, tells us about the mistakes as well as the successes, and gives us all the details on how she managed to have her first 100K month in January 2020. 

This is another amazing episode with a talented and hardworking indie author! 

Elana can be found at: http://elanajohnson.com/

Feb 25 2020

1hr 6mins

Play

Rank #18: SPA Girls Podcast – EP177 – Successful Newsletter Strategies with Larissa Reynolds

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Have you been worrying about whether your author newsletter is working as it should?

Or perhaps you’re wondering if you should even start one? This is the SPA Girls episode for you!

Today we’re talking to Larissa Reynolds – a marketing guru with years of experience working with authors on their newsletters – about what you need to have in your author newsletter. 

It can be overwhelming when you first start out, and a newsletter can sometimes seem like a step too far. And while some people swear by them, others say they’re a waste of time. 

So who do you believe? 

Personally, I believe Larissa. In her calm and measured way, Larissa breaks it down into five simple steps that will ensure your newsletter is going out to the right people, with the right content, at the right time. 

Perfecto! 

Find Larissa at : www.authorlistlab.com

This is the first episode in a two part series on newsletters, so be sure to listen again next week as well! 

Mar 06 2019

45mins

Play

SPA Girls Podcast – EP252 – Uncomplicate Your Publishing

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One thing we really believe in here at the SPA is that simple is better.

There’s so much noise on the internet, and so many different things that we’re told that we “have” to do to be successful as self publishers, it can get confusing and overwhelming. So we decided to talk about ways to keep things simple in your publishing career, to prove that it doesn’t have to be complicated to be amazing.

With that in mind, this week we talk about our own experiences of keeping things simple, and how it worked out for us. We also give our tips on ways that you can simplify what you’re doing, whilst also amplifying your career…

Aug 12 2020

33mins

Play

SPA Girls Podcast – Ep251 – Alana Terry, Facebook Ads for Authors

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Alana Terry is a 6-figure, USA Today bestseller with more than forty published Christian suspense novels. She hosts the Successful Writer Podcast which is a  fabulous marketing-focused podcast for indie authors of any genre. Alana has also created several highly regarded courses to help authors reach their dreams of achieving creative and commercial success.

Today we’re going to talk with Alana about how she uses advertising to grow her readership and how authors can navigate the sometimes confusing waters of Amazon ads and Facebook ads!

Alana tells us how she got into writing and then we dive into demystifying Facebook Ads in particular.

We discuss how you begin including which graphics and text work best.

Also how much you’ll need to budget for.

Then we move on to what to look for when checking your ads and how to know when and ad is working.

Sometimes what you see is not what you get and that’s the case when you factor in advertising one book from a series. Readthrough is so important when calculating return on investment. (ROI)!

Naturally we’re interested in any tricks we might use plus we weed out a few myths.

You can find Alana’s website at www.AlanaTerry.com

Her courses for authors are here: https://successfulwriter.podia.com/

Her course Smart Business for Authors, can be found here: https://your-author-engine.teachable.com/

Watch the recording of this episode on our You Tube Channel

Aug 04 2020

54mins

Play

SPA Girls Podcast – EP250 – Celebrating 250 shows!

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No, we can’t quite believe we’ve been around this long either! Five years of publishing a new SPA Girls Podcast episode every week, countless amazing guests, industry experts and inspiring authors, lots of banter and (hopefully!) actionable self-publishing advice for our listeners.

We go right back to our first episode (don’t worry, we won’t replay it), discuss the ONE piece of advice we’d give to new self-publishers, and talk about what we’ve learned / what’s changed, over the years.

Thank you to everyone who’s been on this journey with us, and to those who are new, WELCOME …. we’re looking forward to the next five years!

Watch this week’s recording here

Join our page on facebook

Jul 29 2020

40mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP 249 – Interview with Story Coach Lisa Cron

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Having trouble getting to ‘the end’ of your work in progress? then this podcast is for you. It’s packed with so much information you’ll have to replay it several times!

Lisa Cron is a story coach and the author of Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers From the Very First Sentence and Story Genius: How To Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages that Go Nowhere) both published by Ten Speed Press.

Lisa works with writers, nonprofits, educators and organizations, helping them master the unparalleled power of story, so they can move people to action – whether that action is turning the pages of a compelling novel, or taking to the streets to change the world for the better. Or both!

Her 7 hour video class Wired for Story can be found at CreativeLive.com.

Her video tutorial Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story can be found at Lynda.com.

Lisa’s Website: http://wiredforstory.com/

Lisa’s Creative Live online course: https://www.creativelive.com/class/wired-for-story-lisa-cron

Jul 21 2020

1hr 6mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP248 – Dealing With Limiting Beliefs

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We’re on the couch again this week! We’re talking about our limiting beliefs and how we’re tackling them. 

If you’re not sure if you’ve got a limiting belief… we’re pretty sure you do. Probably more than one. It’s a belief that’s holding you back, and it’s the kind of thought pattern that you definitely want to bring out into the open, so you know it’s there, and can work on ways to change or amend it.

Limiting beliefs are something you probably think is just a fact, or just true, about yourself or the way things work. Sometimes it’s about the way you react to things, or how you feel about yourself when something happens a certain way. They’re not always obvious, and they’re not always easy to recognise and understand, let alone get rid of! 

That’s why we decided to talk about how we’ve recognised our own limiting beliefs and what we’re doing to change them, so that you can look at your own beliefs and decide if any of them are holding you back from your dream publishing career! 

SHOW NOTES:

If we don’t think we can be successful for some reason, we won’t be. It’s as simple as that. We can sabotage ourselves without even realising we’re doing it. That’s why it’s so important to know and understand any limiting beliefs we may have so we can work on them!

Some examples of limiting beliefs:
“I’m just a disorganised person.”
“I’m just messy, always have been.”
“I’m just not that technical.”
“I don’t know how to do it.”
“I’ve never done it before.”

Gay Hendricks – The Big Leap:
“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity that we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”

Jul 15 2020

30mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP247 – What Advertising Is Working For Us

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This week we discuss what advertising is actually working for our romance, urban fantasy and cozy mystery books. From facebook to series promotions, we’ve picked up some helpfully tips and strategies for getting the most bang of your advertising buck!

Trudi’s notes on Facebook Ads:

– need more than one book to make it work. (at least to make a profit, if your goals are to get eyes on your book, or get a rank, that might be different.) My new series ads aren’t making me money, because there’s only one book. That’s why I’m frantically writing the next books in the series.
– baby steps and you need to have patience. Small iterations win the day. Don’t freak out and give up (like I have in the past) and say they don’t work. Because they work for some people, so why not you too?
– Set a budget, make a plan, check every day, but not for long. (data rules the world)
– don’t spend all your time on your image, it’s a waste of time. (not a complete waste of time, it’s just that the ad image that wins in a test isn’t always the one you think is the best image.)
– Don’t forget to iterate your Amazon page. (this is super important. It doesn’t matter if you have a kick ass ad, if they’re not buying because you’ve got a lame Amazon page, then it’s a waste of time)
– Read through is really important for ads
– Test everything, including the buttons. (with or without, different ones etc). This can add 5-10% to your conversion, and every little bit helps.
– Different things work for different genres. What works for one author might not work exactly the same way for you, but that’s okay. Test until you find what works for you

Cheryl’s Notes on Series Promotion through Written Word Media:
Book One Free
Book Two 99cents
Book Three 2.99
Book Four full price

Cheryl also discusses how she’s approach promo stacking and using Bookbub ads and new release promo.

Wendy’s notes on facebook and fear:

FB – doing a budget beginning of each month. Allocate how much to spent on -backlist, -new release etc, -email newsletter signups. Break down each book etc
FB- get in and just do it!

Wendy also discusses rebranding an entire series, and getting traction without a bookbub; using other platforms and 5 free days promo.

As promised, here are Wendy’s before her rebranding makeover:

And July 2020 rebranding for the Lake Howling series:

Wendy’s updated blurb example for A PROMISE OF HOME , book one in the Lake Howling series….
Original Version:

When Branna O’Donnell heads back to Lake Howling, Oregon, she’s not sure what to expect. It’s a place that holds plenty of memories, both good and bad, but Branna is determined to find some peace there from the demons of her past. However, she soon realizes that living in a small town again comes with complications, and one of them is named Jake McBride. 

Once the town golden boy, Dr. McBride has returned from Iraq angry and, like her, shouldering a few emotional scars. They strike sparks off each other from the outset, and Branna knows that if she gives in to the attraction between them it’s going to result in a world of pain. The problem is she’s not sure how to walk away.

Updated blurb:

Reclusive. Grumpy. Irresistible.

Dr Jake McBride loves two things in life. His people, and chicken cheesy-crust pies. Returning from Iraq, he’s done with medicine and strangers… in fact life. He knows all about trauma, and plans on dealing with his, his own way. His needs are simple, solitude and working on his new career as the town recluse. The only problem with that… well two actually, are the interfering towns folk of Lake Howling, and Branna O’Donnell. He’s damn sure that her return means nothing to him… until it does!

His first mistake was kissing her. His second was doing it again.

Branna O’Donnell is burnt out and needs a place to stop running. Strange how that place is back where she’d once been happy. Settling in to small town life again comes with complications and the biggest has a serious attitude. Once the town golden boy, Jake McBride now wears a permanent snarl, not that anyone but her seems to notice the sexy doctor has changed.

Sharing a bed complicates things but no way is Jake leaving Branna alone until they find who is threatening her, and even then he’s not sure he’ll be able to walk away. He can feel himself changing, and it’s all on her, but when her past comes calling with it comes the realization that more than lust is involved. He’s not sure he can be her hero but he knows he wants to try.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

KDRoi

SPA Girls Podcast Episode #225 – David Gaughran’s Amazon Decoded

SPA Girls Podcast Episodes #182 and #183 Facebook Ads with Maria Luis

SPA Girls Podcast Episodes #191 and 192 with SKYE WARREN
SPA Girls Podcast Episode #92 with Mark Dawson

SPA Girls Podcast Episode 202 : Bookbub Ads with Melissa Storm

Books:

BookBub Ads Expert: A Marketing Guide to Author Discovery David Gaughran
Help My Facebook Ads Suck by Mal Cooper

Amazon Ads for Authors by Deb Potter

Jul 08 2020

40mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP246 – Chirp Audiobooks Promotion

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The delightful Carlyn Robertson from Bookbub returns to the SPA today to talk all things Chirp and audiobook promotion!

What is Chirp?

Chirp is an audiobook retailer powered by BookBub that highlights unbeatable discounts on audiobooks. Chirp offers listeners access to a full catalog of audiobooks that they can purchase á la carte with no subscription fees, but focuses especially on surfacing amazing, limited-time audiobook deals in members’ favorite genres. Their team works with publishers and authors to curate new deals every day, helping you drive significant increases in sales, reach new readers, and boost visibility for your audio titles.

Cheryl and Shar quiz Carlyn on:
* the key things an audiobook needs for success

* pricing best practices

* promotion strategies

* other tips for audiobook promotion success

* how to use bookbub ads to target audiobook listeners

* when Chirp will open up to other regions (currently it’s just for US and Canadian residents)

Guest Bio:

Carlyn Robertson works in product marketing on BookBub’s Partners Team, where she ensures all authors & publishers know how to use BookBub’s tools to achieve their marketing goals. She writes content for the partners blog & website, speaks at conferences, & conducts market research.
Find Carlyn at twitter: @CarlynAtBookBub and at Bookbub Partners blog for authors: https://insights.bookbub.com/

Resources:

Chirpbooks.com

Submit an audiobook for a Chirp deal

Findaway Voices

Promoting audiobooks with BookBub Ads

Previous SPA Girls episodes with Findaway: https://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/spa-girls-podcast-ep139-kelly-lytle-from-findaway-voices/

Jul 01 2020

26mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP 245 – Interview with Urban Fantasy author Keri Arthur

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In this podcast, we speak to the wonderfully talented and successful Urban Fantasy author Keri Arthur. She talks to us about transitioning from traditional publishing to self-publishing and shares tips and processes from her writing journey.

Keri Arthur is the New York Times bestselling author of fantasy, horror, and romance novels. She began writing at the age of twelve and has more than 70 novels to date. Her books have received many nominations and prizes, including nods from the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards and PNR’s PEARL Awards, and has won RT’s Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her daughter.

Keri is perhaps best known for a series of books revolving around the character Riley Jenson, who is a rare hybrid of vampire and werewolf and has a twin brother named Rhoan. Jensen works for an organization in Melbourne called the Directorate of Other Races, which was created to police supernatural races.

www.keriarthur.com

You’ll find all the show notes and SPA Girls podcast episodes at: www.spagirlspodcast.com

Make sure you’re signed up to our weekly self-publishing tips newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bGkz8L

Come say hi on Facebook and Twitter @spagirlspodcast  

Jun 23 2020

47mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP244 – Alex Newton From K-lytics

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Knowing as much as you can about your category, genre or sub-genre is vitally important if you’re going to succeed as a self publisher, and Alex Newton is keen to help you with that.

He’s the creator of K-lytics (www.k-lytics.com) a website where you can get in-depth reports on various genres and sub-genres on Amazon that will help you find your niche, boost sales in your chosen genre, and basically give you the information you need to stand out in this crowded publishing space.

Alex explains the reports and how to use them, talks about the Amazon environment and how it works, and also dishes the dirt on the romance genre, giving us some helpful tips along the way! This is a must listen episode!

WATCH this episode’s video recording on You Tube and you’ll be able to see Alex’s charts!

Jun 17 2020

1hr 12mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP243 – Interview with Ines Johnson (Part Two) : Seven Screenwriting Secrets for Authors

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Ines is back to give us great advice for incorporating screenwriting techniques to make our writing stronger and improve read through!

Aside from being a writer and professional reader, Ines Johnson is a seasoned educator. She’s taught screenwriting, story development, and media history for an art college in Washington, DC. A lifelong learner (read: academic addict), she holds a Master’s in Instructional Design, and a Doctorate in Educational Technology.

Here are those 7 Tips:

1. Seasons: try thinking in 3s (3 book series, 6 book series, 9 book series) – long series FTW!

2. Series / Serial
A Series – can be read out of order – in romance, different couples but common element across series such as setting, community, event etc
A Serial – needs to be read in order

3. Scene / Beat : a category of action that needs to happen and can be encapsulated by time and space – eg. in romance the “meet cute”, “black moment” etc 
For beat advice see Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes, Save the Cat, Heros Journey

Ines writes in Scrivener and her chapters are usually a beat. There needs to be a purpose for each chapter / beat – needs to move the story forward, not just pretty words.

4. Teaser – in fiction, another name for prologue. Ines recommends downloading TV Scripts to see how they use a teaser at the beginning of an episode to give a jumping point into the story. At the END of Ines’ books, she uses a teaser of the next book to enhance reader clickthrough/buy through

5. Leads / Launches Same meaning for what starts the beginning of each chapter – can be action, character pov, narrative, setting description. Mix them up. So don’t have everyone chapter starting with the same lead (eg someone waking up).

6. Hooks & Twists
Every scene needs five things: Scene purpose, goal, motivation, conflict, twist / hook The twist or hook at the end of the chapter or scene is what gets the reader turning the page. It’s asking an “end question” and leaves the reader on a … rather than a period.

7. Open Doors – this is the story question / conflict teaser for the next book. It leaves the door open for the reader to go into the next story. Not a cliffhanger – those don’t resolve the main story. Know your tropes! Ines’ open doors are short – no more than 500 words from the pov of the upcoming MC in next book.

Links:

Ines Johnson You Tube Channel where she details advice for authors: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClivO7XAP2GCRRz-7Bm3Nhw

Ines’ website: https://ineswrites.com/

Script sites: https://www.dailyscript.com/

TV scripts at Scriptorama: 
http://www.script-o-rama.com/tvscript.shtml

You’ll find all the show notes at: www.spagirlspodcast.com

Keen to join the SPA Girls in a live workshop? Join our mailing list here and we’ll let you know the minute we have workshop bookings open. https://selfpublishingworkshop.co.nz/index.html

Come say hi on Facebook and twitter @spagirlspodcast

Jun 09 2020

44mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP242 – Interview with Ines Johnson (Part One) : Pen Names & Productivity

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This is a special two-part series with the awesome Ines Johnson, a highly successful indie author who has an extensive background in television writing, media production and college education.

In this episode, we cover Pen Names and Productivity. Ines has three pen names (that cover different genres) and she is the epitome of an organised, savvy and productive author that has so much to share with us!

Topics we discuss include:

  • Her fast-draft process and why Ines doesn’t write by wordcount
  • How she thinks in scenes and seasons per her television writing roots
  • Her advice for managing social media with more than one pen name
  • Why focussing on backlist is a smart strategy
  • Plotting and world building 

This is a must-listen episode that you will find incredibly motivating. Ines is a powerful educator and this is such a treat to have her in the Spa! (which is also why we’re convincing her to come back next week too 😉 )

Ines Johnson Bio:

Lover of fairytales, folklore, and mythology, Ines Johnson spends her days reimagining the stories of old in a modern world. She writes books where damsels cause the distress, princesses wield swords, and moms save the world.

Aside from being a writer and professional reader, Ines Johnson is a seasoned educator. She’s taught screenwriting, story development, and media history for an art college in Washington, DC. A lifelong learner (read: academic addict), she holds a Master’s in Instructional Design, and a Doctorate in Educational Technology.

Ines’ website: https://ineswrites.com/

Links mentioned:
Klytics: https://k-lytics.com/
Ines’ you tube channel for her plotting method and how she sets up her world building doc in scrivener: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClivO7XAP2GCRRz-7Bm3Nhw

For all shownotes and previous episodes, visit www.SpaGirlsPodcast.com

To watch the video recording of this episode go to the SPA Girls You Tube channel (and please subscribe!): http://www.youtube.com/c/SPAGirlsPodcast

Jun 03 2020

38mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP241 – Power Words

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In this episode we talk about power words. Those take action words that entice your readers to click that BUY NOW button!

 Research and numerous studies from psychologists and social scientists have come to a consensus on the five most powerful words in the English language.
You
Free
Instantly
Because
New

But first, remember it’s really important to know:
– Who you’re writing your advertising copy for
– How that person thinks
– What that person needs
So before you craft your beautiful book description or facebook ad, keep top of mind your understanding of your readers – what tropes they like, what type of hero, what you actually want them to DO (eg buy now, read more, visit website, enter giveaway etc).

David Ogilvy (“The Father of Advertising)*’s top twenty power words were:
Startling
Miracle
Revolutionary
Bargain
Announcing
Sensational
Compare
Improvement
Now
Suddenly
Magic
Quick
Easy
Hurry
Wanted
Offer
Remarkable
Amazing

Greed words – we want more!

Bargain, bonus, cheap, discount, 99c, ultimate, expires, limited, new, now, before, ultimate, value, running out. (don’t miss out!)

Curiosity words – what’s going on?

hush-hush, banned, be the first, behind the scenes, class full, little known, login required, sneak peek, strange, top secret, unauthorized, insider. (not everyone knows about this…)

Sloth words – how can I make this easier?

All-inclusive, cheat sheet, downloadable, easy, effortless, kickstart, how-to, in less than, piece of cake, roadmap, freebie, gift, guide, no problem. (I want to do it but only if it’s easy)

Lust words – I really, really want this!

Captivating, compelling, crave, dirty, mind-blowing, steamy, sex, urge, forbidden, exposed, mouthwatering, naughty. (How can I not want this?)

Vanity words – I don’t want to look bad…

At the top, amazing, awe-inspiring, boost, booming, fearless, sassy, saucy, spectacular, jaw-dropping, kick-ass, legendary, conquer, courage, hero, dazzling. (How can I be like this?)

Trust words – They know what they’re talking about.

Approved, accredited, authority, official, results, secure, refund, proven, well respected, world wide, USA Today bestseller, NYT bestseller. (I can trust this to be good)

Anger words – This makes me angry!

Abuse, agitate, arrogant, backstabbing, foul, greedy, hostile, lies, loser, ruthless, smug, sneaky, brutal, morally bankrupt, diminish, evil, victim, violent, payback. (I hate those nasty peeps, I love it when they get theirs)

Fear words – I don’t want to miss out! (most powerful motivator of all)

Hack, danger, dangerous, fail, looming, mistake, pitfall, catastrophe, agony, annihilate, backlash, beware, bloodbath, corpse, destroy, poor, prison. (I don’t want to make this mistake, so I’ll do what you ask) 

As a writer there are many areas we can amp up with power words:

Your manuscript – think about word choice: Eat vs devour or nibble, walk vs stride or stalk, smile vs smirk or grin. 

Your blurb – this is sales copy. You need to use a strong hook, and even stronger words to evoke emotion. 

Your tag line – Short, sharp, evoking emotion.

Your FB Ads – use power words to trigger emotional or psychological responses in readers.

Your AMS Ads – limited words, make sure you use powerful ones.

Your FB Posts/ Your Instagram Posts / Your Twitter Posts – appeal to your readers by knowing the emotion you’re trying to elicit, and the action you’d like them to take.

Your Newsletter – again, know the emotion you want to elicit. Know how you want them to feel about your book.

Further Reading:

* Highly recommend reading his book if you’re interested in this https://www.amazon.com/Ogilvy-Advertising-David/dp/039472903X)

Blog post: Magic Power Words for Conversion
https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/magic-power-words-for-conversion/

You’ll find all the show notes and SPA Girls podcast episodes at: www.spagirlspodcast.com

Make sure you’re signed up to our weekly self-publishing tips newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bGkz8L

Come say hi on Facebook and Twitter @spagirlspodcast  

May 27 2020

40mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP240 – BETA Readers, ARCs and Reviews

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Have you been told you need more reviews, but you don’t know how to get them? Are you wanting to find some BETA readers, but can’t figure out where they lurk? Ever wondered who you send an ARC to, and what you get in return? 

This is the episode for you!

We go through each topic, explaining the terms, telling you how to find more of them, and why they’re all so important to us as writers. 

SHOW NOTES

Beta Readers
A BETA reader is a (non-professional) reader who receives a pre-edited (NOT first draft- give them your best writing!) copy of your work. Ideally, this person will be someone who is in your target audience and who reads plenty of books in your genre.
Once the BETA reader has read your work, they can provide helpful insight on how to improve your important elements of your story: characters, setting, and plot (point out plot holes and continuity issues). They can also provide suggestions for spelling, grammar, and fact-checking.
You should begin gathering a list of BETA readers as early as possible so that you can send your work to them during the revision stage. Do this as soon as you can, giving them enough time to read the book and make notes.
A good place to find BETA readers is to reach out on your own social media platforms (if you’re planning on releasing a book, you should already be developing a strong social media presence) or from your mailing list. Make a post for your sites or ask your mailing list if anyone would be interested in providing feedback for your work-in-progress. Make a list of who agrees to do this so you can keep track.

ARC Readers – Advanced Reader Copy
An ARC (Advanced Review Copy) reader is a person who receives a pre-published copy of your book (usually after final editing, but before proofreading). ARC readers are given a free copy of your book in exchange for leaving an honest book review (typically on Amazon and/or Goodreads) once the book is available for distribution.
You should also make a list of ARC readers early on and send the copy of your book at least eight weeks prior to your book launch date.

Where do I find ARC readers?
There is no rule on who you can ask to review your book- although avoiding family and friends do so is better. Amazon will remove any review they might assume come from these sources, including other authors!
Book club, fans, book bloggers or anyone who you think might be interested in reading and reviewing your book are best. Use the same tactics for Beta readers.
Just be sure to keep track of who signs up so you can update and follow up as the launch date gets closer.
Be aware that you could ask 100 people to review your book and only get a fraction of those people to say “yes.” Of those maybe 75 people who agree to review your book, there might be 25 who actually do, if you’re lucky! It’s a tedious process, but if you’re starting your book launch with 25 positive reviews right off the bat, it’s totally worth it! Be sure to send out a friendly reminder a week before your book launches to your list of ARC readers to have their reviews ready to post.

May 20 2020

42mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP239 – How to Be Creative When You Don’t Feel Like It

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Sometimes the muse has left the building.

Or you’re tired.

Or something happens that you weren’t expecting. Yeah, like a pandemic. That’ll do it!

There are probably very few people who haven’t felt the panic or sense of doom and gloom in some small way, and others far worse than the SPAGirls.

It’s fair to say that we all took a moment (read a week or three) to get our heads back in the game, and even if you didn’t, that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about anything you didn’t do or won’t do if that is the case because it won’t change anything or make you feel better.

However, if you’re like us, you’ll be ready to get back in the game. Writing is our livelihood, and we’re doing okay, so we thought we’d give you a few things that helped us.

Show Notes:

Firstly, let’s talk about how you feel. You don’t need a professional to listen, but if that’s how it plays at for you, then go for it. We have each other, but sometimes you need somebody else, right? Someone not to pass judgment but also someone who might offer advice. Someone who understands. Who could that be for you?

We’ve talked about plans and how they may have changed. Perhaps it’s now an excellent time to look them over. Can you tweak them to make a new plan? One that suits your life better at this moment and makes more sense.

Eg. If a book usually takes you four months from start to finish, working Monday to Friday, you would know precisely how many words that is a day, week, or month. (This is not an exact science, yet it could be the tool to get at least some work done.) Let’s look at the same book again, but with the understanding that the word count simply isn’t going to happen. Now the book could conceivably take six months or even a year. (Maybe way longer if you’re a slow writer or this isn’t your day job.)

It’s a ball-park figure only. Or you could reverse engineer it and say I know I can do 500 words a day x 5 days=2500 words per week. Now that’s not too shabby, is it? Then 2500 words per week x 1 month is approx 10k.

 Maybe this book could be shorter?

So, hey, what do you know? In 5 months you have a 50k book. Hurrah!

Here are some more tips:

– try something new 

– set a timer – when it’s done, you move on to something else.

– go back to when you first started writing and look for your why, or how your schedule used to look

– tiny chunks can take the pressure off 

– we all move around our houses to create a different environment

– Different environment, different sounds, different tools

– Recommended reading: Deep Work by Cal Newport, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

– Gamify – keep it fun! – https://4thewords.com/home

– podcasts!  https://unmistakablecreative.com/

– research – still work but more fun!

– get outside – go for a walk, garden, or simply smell the roses.

You’ll find all the show notes and SPA Girls podcast at: www.spagirls.com

Keen to join the SPA Girls in a live workshop? Join our mailing list, and we’ll let you know the minute we have workshop bookings open. Info here: https://selfpublishingworkshop.co.nz/index.html

Come say hi on Facebook and Twitter @spagirlspodcast

May 12 2020

42mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP238 – Simple Marketing You Can Do Right Now

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This week the SPA Girls cover free and cheap (and simple!) marketing activities you can do right now! Many of those we talk about require nothing but a short time block and some brain-juice. We hope this inspires you – but please don’t feel like you have to do them All At Once. Chip away, one activity at a time, as you have the time and energy and you’ll be on the road to better marketing.

Here are some starters …

(1) Tweak book description – add a single BOLD (use html) line at the top of your book descriptions on Amazon – that’s the only line most folk on mobiles see!
(2) Add HTML to you book descriptions – use Dave Chesson’s free tool at https://kindlepreneur.com/amazon-book-description-generator/

(3) Check your categories on Amazon. Go to https://www.bklnk.com/categories5.php and put in your ASIN. Be is as many as you can (legitimately) and be OUT of any that don’t suit your book. Contact Amazon via Help and give them ALL the categories you wish to be listed in (full address) You can be listed in up to 10*

(4) Do Kindlepreneur’s free AMS Ad course https://courses.kindlepreneur.com/courses/AMS?affiliate=kpreneur

(Controversial opinion from Shar – Don’t overwhelm yourself with spreadsheets. Start with $5/day ads to 50-100 of the authors like you (use Goodreads / also-boughts and focus on indie’s only. If you’re game, run ads to book titles only). Spend 15 mins/day and watch your daily spend, daily income, and ranking on books advertised. FOCUS ON THE HOT books – your bestselling (and run to entire series).

(5) Write a prequel short story or novella for your best selling book/series – give that away on bookfunnel, social media, anywhere you can give it away.

(6) Write an epilogue for your best selling series – give away on social media, use as newsletter freebie, add link to back of relevant book for n/l signups.

… and there are plenty more in the podcast! Enjoy!

C’mon over to our facebook page and let us know how you’ve applied them.

Want to watch this recording in video? It’s posted on our youtube channel – don’t forget to subscribe and you’ll get a reminder each time we have a new episode up!

May 06 2020

46mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP237 – Deep Editing For Beginners

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In this episode, we talk with the wonderfully talented author Louisa George. She takes us through the editing process for those starting out in their publishing journey, or those of us who need a refresher on what should be done before we publish our books.

The episode is packed full of wonderful tips and advice, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Award-winning author Louisa George has been a book addict her whole life.

In between chapters she gained a degree in Communication Studies, trained as a nurse, married her doctor hero and had two sons.

Now, she spends her days writing chapters of her own in the medical romance, contemporary romance and women’s fiction genres.

Louisa’s books have variously been nominated for the RITA®Award and the NZ Koru Award (which she won in 2014 and 2016). Her romcom Something Borrowed won the HOLT Medallion in 2017. She currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand and, when not writing or reading, likes to travel, drink mojitos and do Zumba®- preferably all at the same time.

www.louisageorge.com

Books mentioned during the episode:
-Goal, Motivation, Conflict by Deb Dixon: https://amzn.to/2xedNO9
-Elements of Fiction Writing – Conflict and Suspense by James -Scott Bell: https://amzn.to/2RmWcKK
-Story Genius by Lisa Cron https://amzn.to/2JPDzLd

-Margie Lawson https://www.margielawson.com/

You’ll find all the show notes and SPA Girls podcast episodes at www.spagirlspodcast.com

Apr 28 2020

44mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP236 – Wellness for Writers at Home

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If you’re anything like us, you’re sitting around even more than usual at the moment… But never fear, the SPA Girls have you covered!

This week we talk with osteopath and pilates instructor Freya Scollay about how to keep active in difficult times, especially if you’re having to stay home more than usual, as well as what we can do as writers to keep ourselves in the best health possible. 

If you want to find out how to keep yourself healthy and fit in strange and unusual times (or even every day times) this is the episode for you! 

Find Freya at: https://www.facebook.com/symmetryinmotionpilates/

Apr 22 2020

35mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP235 – Interview with Alessandra Torre

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Goodreads for Authors

We’re joined in this episode by NYT Bestseller, the fabulous Alessandra Torre, to talk All Things Goodreads. Some authors are wary of Goodreads due to harsh reviews, but there are good reasons to use this platform and in this episode, Allessandra explains why.

About Goodreads

Founded by Otis Chandler and launched in January 2007, Goodreads is the largest collection of readers and reviewers – with over 55 million members. It’s important that you establish a presence on this social media site – and use all of the free promotional tools it offers!

Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.

It is a great social media option for someone who doesn’t want to be on social media. You can pop in, make a post and leave.

Everything is 100% book related and there is a layer of separation between the readers and authors that gives you a nice amount of privacy.

A few things you can do on Goodreads

See what books your friends are reading.

Track the books you’re reading, have read, and want to read.

Check out your personalized book recommendations. Our recommendation engine analyzes 20 billion data points to give suggestions tailored to your literary tastes.

Find out if a book is a good fit for you from community’s reviews.

Remember to be a good community member. Be polite and courteous. Don’t post anything that might lead to negative feedback!

About Alessandra Torre:

A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Alessandra Torre has written twenty-two novels, including three New York Times bestsellers.

Alessandra is the creator of Alessandra Torre Ink – an authors community and online school with over 10,000 members. She is also the founder of INKERS CON, an annual authors conference. A self-publishing advocate, Alessandra speaks frequently to universities, conventions and author groups.

From her home in Key West, Florida, she devotes several hours each day to various writing projects and interacting with her fans on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. When not battling her husband at Scrabble, she chases her pet chickens, three dogs, and shoos away iguanas.

To stay informed, consider subscribing to Alessandra Torre’s popular monthly newsletter.

Alessandra’s YOU TUBE CHANNEL that includes her How I Write series

Apr 14 2020

50mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP234 – How To Write When Your Schedule Is Disrupted

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Disruption – the entire world is feeling it at the moment, so how can we, as writers, keep our creativity bubbling and stay focussed? It’s hard – we’re not going to deny that – but looking at your schedule and productivity in a different way can help you stay a bit calmer, get some work done and prepare for when you’re on a more even keel.

For the Spa Girls, we’ve pivoted a wee bit to bring you Lockdown Sessions – a daily video of around 10 minutes where we just hang out, sometimes discuss self-publishing, but mostly just lift each other up with our usual cheek and bad jokes. Please join us – either on our facebook page or our new You Tube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCckftViKM301hH_MYlFUxXA

This was a scary move for us all. We’re used to talking on our podcast now, but didn’t have the some confidence about “putting ourselves out there” on camera. Every day we do it though, we’re a little bit more relaxed, so it’s been a good thing that’s come from this disrupted New Normal, I believe (Shar). The best thing for us has been hearing from our community members and we so appreciate your comments (and Subscribes to our channel!). As an experiment, we also recorded the video of this podcast episode, so if you’d like to check that out too, please head over to our channel.

Ways to help deal with a disrupted schedule:

-Ease pressure on yourself by pushing your own deadlines (communicate them early to service providers if you can’t meet them).

-Acknowledging and accepting something has changed, and that it’s ok to be off-balance.

-Create a new schedule by looking at your circumstances and adjusting.

-Don’t beat yourself up because you are not doing the amount of work you were before things changed.

-Find a space to work among the chaos and away from other members of your household

-Life gets disrupted regularly and the tools / skills you figure out now will help in the future when the “usual” disruptions happen – eg holidays, school breaks, illness, travelling etc.

-Don’t overthink things. Change is happening, and roll with it, make the best of it. People will be reading more than ever, so remember that positive!

-If your allotted work/writing time is small, then hit the ground running and be productive while you can. Ten minutes a day can still be productive.

-If the words don’t come, then accept that for now and pivot to doing something else for your author career – e.g. watching a craft tutorial, learning a new skill or tool like canva, reading business / writing books

-As much as possible, focus on positive news and people. Set boundaries on news intake / social media scrolling. Try hard to stay in touch with people that lift you up and in turn be of service to others.

-Romance writers (and other writers) are fulfilling a very real need as a way for people to escape via books – be proud of what you’re doing!

Visit our website for all our podcast episodes and show notes at:

www.spagirlspodcast.com

You tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCckftViKM301hH_MYlFUxXA

Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SPAGirlsPodcast

Apr 07 2020

29mins

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SPA Girls Podcast – EP233 – Ricci Wolman, Written Word Media

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This episode we are delighted to welcome Ricci Wolman to the SPA! Ricci is founder and CEO of Written Word Media, the company that created author promo providers Freebooksy, BargainBooksy, Red Feather Romance, NewInBooks, and Reading Stacks.

Ricci holds an MBA from Harvard and has over 10 years of experience building online audiences using data-driven customer acquisition techniques. (Which means she’s really good at building newsletters and connecting with customers!)

She says that the philosophy of Written Word Media has remained unchanged from the day they launched their first site – to provide authors and publishers an affordable, effective marketing product with which to reach readers, and to help readers of varying preferences and budgets find their next great read.

We discuss how Written Word Media began, how it’s developed and serves authors today and how authors can best use promotions companies/mailing lists to boost their brand and their sales.

So many additional marketing tips in this podcast – it’s a must listen!

Links: Written Word Media

Checkout the Spa Girls’ new daily videos The Lockdown Sessions on youtube (please subscribe so Shar will stop begging!) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCckftViKM301hH_MYlFUxXA

Apr 01 2020

1hr 11mins

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iTunes Ratings

48 Ratings
Average Ratings
42
0
2
2
2

Great resource

By Tinacity50 - Apr 24 2020
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Thanks to Lucy Score for introducing me to the SPA Girls. I love Lucy’s books so I listened to her episode and now I am a SPA Girls fan too! I have been thinking of writing a book for a long time and with the real world, accessible advice I get from each episode, I think I could really do this. Thank you so much!

Great podcast!

By MocahgirlInGA - Mar 11 2020
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Love the guests you have on this show. Lately this is a cant miss podcast.