Authorpreneur’s Almanac #29

Author Business Resources

Hey there guys, and happy Sunday!

I had planned to do another “What I’ve been reading” video, because I enjoyed that, and the last one had a great response. But this week’s Invasion launch had us all burning the candle at both ends.

So instead …

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About Sean Platt

Sean Platt is an author entrepreneur, founder of Sterling & Stone, and co-founder of the Collective Inkwell and Realm & Sands imprints. Follow him on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook.


  1. I’m curious about the top 3 things you did for pre-optimization that differed from your approach in previous launches past.

    And if I may, I’ll toss in a follow up question: how are you using this book as lead gen for your backlist?

    Okay, okay, one more question: Did the color of the dress change again? (you don’t have to answer that one).

  2. Ronald Whited says:

    Invasion feels very ‘Collective Inkwelly’. Was that intentional to help crossover your audiences? Did you and Johnney ever consider releasing your suspense/horror under the Inkwell name to help keep the brands more distinct genrewise? Thank you for all you do.

  3. How did you manage to get a tweet from iBooks and a guest post on the Nook Press blog?

    Do you see any advantage to the Beyoncé model, over the way you traditionally talk about your books while writing? Other than the fun of it, of course?

    Do you think it would have made a difference for the launch sales if you had talked about Invasion while writing it (as usual), but otherwise would have done all the marketing the same way as you did?

  4. Anma Natsu says:

    Any thoughts/recommendations re using IngramSpark and Smashwords in addition to Kobo, KDP, and CreateSpace? So far the biggest con on IngramSpark seems to be the cost, since it has the whole set up fee, but is it worth paying for the reach?

    Is either one particularly better for pushing to iBooks or is there another option I’m missing?

    How did you guys stay reasonably calm before launching that very first book? 🙂

    • Anma Natsu says:

      (and just saw the topic of episode 147 which I suspect will answer some of those questions LOL)

    • If you want POD books via Amazon, Createspace is the way to go. If you want really nice books for selling on your own site, taking to a seminar or convention, or giving away, then Ingram Spark can be good.

      IS’s quality can be a little better and you can get hardbacks. Most authors providing print sell very little print, so just having it listed on Amazon is the benefit, whether or not you EVER sell one. I think worrying about CS vs IS is a distraction for most authors until they get big.

      I’ve done all my POD via CS and I don’t need anything better for the few that buy print. Still, they’ve been great, have good customer service, and a customer can get it shipped the same day, via Amazon Prime, etc.

      As to Smashwords… I’m going to try Draft2Digital on my next book, since D2D claims you can change prices almost immediately. Price changes on Smashwords takes weeks, sometimes, and their uploading process is annoying.

      SWs customer service is not all that great, either. They recently held up my book because they wanted me to change the Table of Contents, even though the exact file was already live without issue. “We missed the problem before.”

      I missed my sale date because they wouldn’t let the price change go through until I uploaded a new version even though ALL I was doing was updating the price and the description.

      • Anma Natsu says:

        Oh yeah, I’ll definitely be using CS except for the hardback. 🙂 I was more torn on the best way for going to other places on the digital end, like Apple iBooks. From my understanding, I can’t do it directly since I don’t own any Macs beyond an iPad 🙂

  5. Greg Thomas says:

    Since you write so many series as opposed to stand-alones, is there a reason why you don’t leave a couple of teaser chapters at the end of each book leading into the next one? I read ‘Divergent’ a couple of months ago and noticed they had done it this way for ‘Insurgent,’ and ‘Gone Girl’ had a few chapters of Gillian Flynn’s other novels at the end of that ebook.

    And if I’m missing places where you have done this (if true, apologies), have you done any type of split testing to see if sales are better with teaser chapters followed by the link to the book versus JUST the link to the book in the back matter?

  6. Lou Mindar says:

    Hi Sean — What the latest on the audio version of Axis of Aaron? Is it in the works? Who’ll be narrating it? I’m looking forward to it.

    Thanks for all you do. It’s always fun and informative following you guys.

  7. Monica Leonelle says:

    I want to know a bit more about the Invasion launch still! I’d love a list of things you did for the Invasion launch. I know a few:

    – optimization (cover, description, etc.)
    – working with iTunes for promotion
    – pre-orders for next books
    – Beyonce method
    – purposeful page-turner structure
    – pre-order reviews using paperback

    I’d love to know more though. Ads? Email sequence? Promo partners? It seems like there was a lot more to it than that.

  8. Greg Thomas says:

    You seem to be shifting more to longer form books in a series as opposed to serials with new seasons every so often. Is that a strategic choice or just part of a cycle? In other words, do you still see benefit in both or are you moving entirely to longer novels with sequels? What is the rationale for either (or an entirely different) answer?

  9. Jan Schlösser says:

    I’ve seen your process for writing beats for a standalone book like Axis of Aaron in your course. My question is, how does your process differ when you’re outlining a whole series as opposed to a standalone book? For example, do you write all the beats for all the episodes before you start writing the first draft of episode 1? Do you even write beats for individual episodes, or just for a season as a whole?

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