20BooksTo50KVegas Day 1.0
Continuing with my notes from last week’s conference (I’ve reserved a room already for next November!) 20BooksTo50KVegas Day 1.0.
Brian Meeks AMS Ads (what you didn’t consider)
- Keyword Analysis is important. Use a tool like KDPRocket to find the best keywords in your genre.
- Write good ad copy (it works!) He suggested a book called AD Week by Joseph Sugerman. I’ve ordered my copy and am waiting for it to arrive.
- Don’t write a synopsis. Hint at what might happen.
- Write short hooks, six words or under.
- Understand what your read thru is, and understand the lifetime value of generating conversions.
Chris Fox and Bryan Cohen on Cover-Title-Blurb
Chris and Bryan critiqued six book covers and Amazon blurbs from volunteered authors.
- Identify your target audience before you start writing.
- Understand the emotional resonance with your audience
- Write what you love
What readers look for on Amazon:
- The cover has to look good in a thumbnail. If they can’t read it, they’re going to skim over it and go to the next book.
- A book cover should have a legible title and high color contrast
It’s okay to be obvious:
- Romance: heart, love, man, game, cowboy
- Fantasy: throne, gods, magic, legend, queen
- 6 words or less hook
- Follow the main character’s emotional journey
- Raise the stakes
- Leave the reader wanting more
- End with a strong CTA or call to action. Ask for the sale.
- Make the reader care about the character in the first line
- Have a middle of the blurb cliffhanger
- Blurb length should be 200-250 words
- Tell them a why they should buy it and a command to buy the book (click here)
- Beware of multiple breaks in the sentence (commas, dashes, etc), they break the reader’s momentum
- Break up the sentence length so the blurb doesn’t sound monotone
- Use active verbs
- Use names in the cliffhanger to make it more personal
- First person descriptions are easier to nail than third person. Look at what’s used in the top books in your genre.
- You want the description to be raw, forge an emotional connection with the reader, draw them deeper into the drama
- Plot in a blurb doesn’t matter. Show the character’s emotional journey
- What is his/her journey?
- Brainstorm ideas and get feedback from your newsletter readers or Facebook groups
Mystery and Thrillers Genre Breakout
Panel of AC Fuller, Carolyn Dean, and Mark Stone
- Who is the dead guy? Why did he die? Who wanted him dead?
- Use a template for what’s expected in the genre (use tropes)
- Write a series
- Market through Amazon ads, newsletters, social media, special events, and cross promos such as newsletter swaps.
Chrishawn Keller Hanna gave a rousing keynote speech. Here are some of the highlights:
- Finish what you start
- Your way may be the way
- Spend 30+ hours a week on your craft
- #1-Take care of yourself. Your body is the moneymaker
- Your goals are your own
- The story is the reason the reader comes back
- Success has a lot of moving parts
- Keep your eyes on your own paper and don’t wonder about what anyone else is doing
- Consistently and constantly be writing
- Celebrate when you hit your goals
Whew! It took this post and Friday’s to cover just the highlights of one day’s speeches. I know notes are a poor substitute for being there, but (here’s the secret), if you join the Facebook 20Booksto50KVegas group, you’ll have access to a majority of the speeches (the main room was videotaped and a few of the smaller panel discussions were added on the fly via iphones. Next year, all speeches will be taped).
I’ll be back soon with highlights of Day 2-how to be a part-time author and get full-time results; writing in the dark with Dean Westly Smith; short stories and taking them hybrid, and using the opening hook.
I hope you enjoyed my notes from 20BooksTo50KVegas Day 1.0.
Until then, blessings,