I’ve stopped taking on new authors for the time being due to the difficulties of gaining traction in a very changed publishing arena – from just a few years ago. I’ll now be concentrating on my own projects – both literary and otherwise.
Authors struggling to find a way to get published really should look into self-publishing. There is good money to be made. I’ve concentrated all my recent projects on Amazon – selling ebooks through KDP and paperbacks through Createspace. Most of the sales come from using Amazon Ads from Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). Any author can do this too – it’s very simple.
Here’s a thrown-together list of self-publishing tools I use (a couple are affiliate links) - I’ll update whenever I come across new ones:
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
Other ebook publishing:
Draft 2 Digital (For publishing ebooks to Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Tolino, 24Symbols, OverDrive, bibliotheca, Baker & Taylor, Hoopla) I recommend going direct to Amazon, Kobo and Apple if you can.
Smashwords - used to be the vanguard of indie publishing. Still usable.
Apple - I'm on it but haven't used it enough to recommend or not. I'd use D2D if you're not sure.)
AMS Resources and Finding Keywords:
Bryan Cohen's Facebook group Selling for Authors - offers great AMS courses, blurb writing and free Ad challenges as well as a very helpful group in itself.
Brian Meeks’ Facebook group Mastering Amazon Ads - a good group for learning AMS ads to make good money.
Be Relevant - Authors Optimising Ads. A really brilliant course for improving your ads through refinement through relevance.
Instant Data Scraper – (Free and brilliant!) the simplest way to pull book titles or authors from lists (Goodreads, Yasiv etc.) and Amazon bestsellers & Also Boughts. (Use your Also Boughts' Also Boughts, then your Also Boughts' Also Boughts' Also Boughts, and so on.)
AMS Keyword List Cleaner – my free web-based cleaner takes out all characters not allowed by Amazon and limits the character/word count to Amazon’s max or your preference. Take a list from anywhere, run it through the cleaner and paste straight into your Ad’s keyword box.
Bookreport and AKreport - KDP reports tools which are both a billion times better than what Amazon provides - and both free for revenues less than $1000pm. I prefer Bookreport because you can filter daily sales by country which AKReport doesn't do.
KDP Rocket – the best tool for finding Amazon keywords from Amazon itself.
Goodreads Listopia – search similar books/authors etc (free).
Yasiv – displays other titles connected to the search title (free) - NOT WORKING AT PRESENT.
IMDB – search movie titles in genres similar to your book’s (free).
Keywords Everywhere – displays related searches to your search on Google (no longer free but only $10 for 100,000 keywords with PayAsYouGo).
Google Adwords Keyword Planner – decent and free.
Answer the Public – amazing site that throws up questions people ask about your keyword – also works with Keywords Everywhere so you get numbers too! Free.
Merchantwords – access to actual Amazon shopper search terms. One of my favourite tools but not free. Basic is $9pm. Totally worth it in my opinion - but I sell non-fiction.
Booklinker - one of the original universal booklinks that I've used for 5 years now. Also offers marketing options with retargeting through an upgrade to GeniusLink.
BKLNK - provides universal booklinks to send buyers to their countries' Amazon store automatically. But also has a great Catalize tool which helps you find categories for your books and AMS category ads.
Read this excellent piece by David McGowan for collecting keywords.
And here's a totally free video course from Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur on AMS ads - it's what got me into Amazon ads in the first place and allowed me to switch from trad publishing to profitable publishing!