1000 True Fans – New Subscriber Email Sequence

One of the things that ALL indie authors need to truly master is the fine art of building a mailing list. I’ve got one for my newsletter, but I am a LONG way away from “mastering it”. In fact, I kind of suck at it, but I am going to have to learn how, one of these days.

Let me just procrastinate on that for awhile.

While I sit here and fart around, why don’t you take a look at how author Joynell Schultz is tackling this problem for her own self?

Joynell Schultz

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Moving forward in this 1000 “True” Fan blog series, I’ll be focusing on converting mailing list subscribers into TRUE Fans. I’m changing the formats of these posts to be a bigger project each month, rather than lots of little ones.

May’s focus is creating a mailing list subscriber sequence.

The other day, I had a brilliant epiphany. I know, the information is out there in magical internet-land, but for some reason I was missing the BIG PICTURE.

Your mailing list serves MULTIPLE purposes, and you need to leverage it to meet the intended purpose.

First, it’s a great way to communicate with your fans. Keep them entertained, let them know about new releases, and to interact. (This was what purpose I had saw in my mailing list up to his point.)

BUT, it has a few more purposes too.

  1. Gathering a list of active readers and informing them of who…

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Selling Books Through StoryBundle

Back in October 2016 I came across a Facebook post from a UK writer by the name of Simon Kewin. Now, I had heard a bit about StoryBundle, but not a whole lot – but I have an adventurous marketing spirit – (which is another way of saying that I am too stupid to be scared) – and I decided to jump in.

What was I jumping into?

Well, for starters, Simon was putting together a StoryBundle of witch tales and he was looking for novels.

That’s right, Simon was on a witch hunt.

“Well heck,” I said. “I’ve got a novel named TATTERDEMON that has both a witch and a voodoo queen and an entire field of haunted scarecrows. It’s available widely – through Kindle, Nook, Kobo and a bunch of others. I’d love to take part.”

Tatterdemon Omnibus

You can tell you’re reading a Steve Vernon blog entry because there is a commercial about every three paragraphs or so.

It turns out that TATTERDEMON was the very last novel that he had room for in the bundle – so luck was running with me.

I still hadn’t figured out if it was good luck or bad luck – but it was DEFINITELY running with me.

The rules of submission were pretty simple. I had to submit an e-pub and a mobi and a copy of the cover illustration. Also, I had to make certain that my novel WASN’T in KDP Select – but I met the deadline and submitted the book on time.

I had to provide some blurbs and a few choice reviews and a sample.

Man, this was beginning to feel like work, but I was getting excited to.

I had to sign a contract in digital blood.

All right, so I am making the digital blood part, but it was fairly comprehensive.

Then, on Thursday April 27 the bundle went live.

That sucker took off like a rocket.

The bundle is going to be available until May 18, 2017. That’s the hitch about StoryBundle. If you want to read this collection you need to grab it just as fast as you can.

Go on.

I’m waiting.



So, how can YOU sell your books through StoryBundle?

Well, for starters, I’d advise signing up for their newsletter on their website.

It wouldn’t hurt to buy a couple of their bundles just to get an idea about what these folks are looking for. They generally like to work with authors who they have worked with before, or that they have some familiarity with their work. Some of these bundles are individually curated – such as The Witchy Bundle, which was curated by the aforementioned Simon Kewin. Some of their bundles are curated in-house.

The best way to get an idea is to check out their Q&A page, which will answer a lot of your questions better than I can. 

I can tell you one thing for certain. I have been VERY impressed with StoryBundle. Their sales have been truly impressive. In fact, they have blown my hair back. I go to bed dreaming about the ringing of cash registers. So I intend to work with StoryBundle again, just as soon as I can.

That’s right – I’m downright ecstatic over the sales figures we’ve been hitting.



You might also want to have a look at the StoryBundle archives which will only serve to torment you at the thought of all of those wicked cool StoryBundles that you have already missed!

The way it works is this. You can – to an extent – name the price you want to pay for the bundle. If you choose to pay fifteen dollars or more you get ALL TEN BOOKS! If you pay LESS than fifteen dollars but more than five dollars you only get the top five books. Also, if you like, you can earmark some as a donation to a charity.

So – don’t wait for the clock to run out. Grab yourself a copy of THE WITCHY BUNDLE from StoryBundle today!

While you are at it, don’t forget to check out THE WRITE STUFF 2017 StoryBundle – a collection of inspirational how-to writing books, curated by the well-known author Kristine Kathryn Rusch!

And – lastly – all of you science fiction fans will want to check out THE SFWA SCIENCE FICTION StoryBundle, curated by Cat Rambo.

Old bold bumblebee

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Surviving a Shoot-out in a Car…

Okay, so we’ve seen Bruce Willis and Clint Eastwood do this about a billion times – but have you ever wondered HOW they survive an automotive shoot-out?

Something for all of you action writers.

Read this blog entry on how to survive a shoot-out in a car!


And if you AREN’T following Fiona Quinn’s ThrillWriting for more action tips like this one – what the heck is wrong with you???



Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Your mom can buy just so many books. Here’s how to outmarket the competition.

How to stand out from the crowd?

Unless you’re already Suzanne Collins, J. K. Rowling, or Stephen King, you need readers to find out who you are and what you write, so your books sell.

Your mom can afford just so many copies.

By the same token, although authors are the best ambassadors for their own works, publishers also must market themselves and their books. This is not only how to sell books, but also get more submissions from great authors.

Small to medium presses close every year, not only because they and their authors fail to promote books well, but also for want of overall marketing plans and brand recognition.

For this discussion, we also need to define what a publisher is. Almost any website is a publisher, and so is almost any business with a blog, or who produces other marketing materials.

Even if you, as an author, have a publisher who…

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Chuck Wendig – “You Can Write At Any Age”

Something for you writer-types out there.
I’ve been writing for over forty years. These days I find it a little tougher to string the words together. It is harder to find the time and harder to keep up momentum – but I am not done, not by a long shot.
Age is nothing more than a single billboard poked up along the Trans-Canada Highway.
The way that I see it, the older you get the more you have to write about. The more you want to see your words nailed down in print. The more you ought to do it now.
Yours in Storytelling,
Steve Vernon

Rakuten Kobo snaps up Shelfie book-bundling service

Kobo grows again.

Remember when book-bundling service Shelfie shut down in January, and Kobo stepped in to continue providing access to Shelfie ebooks until the end of February? At the time, I wondered if that might be a precursor to Kobo snapping up Shelfie as it had snapped up the assets of a number of other defunct ebook store operations (including those of Sony, Blinkbox, Flipkart, Waterstones, and Sainsbury’s). Now, as it turns out, the answer is yes.

Publishing Perspectives and The Digital Reader, among others, report that Kobo and Shelfie have officially tied the knot. Kobo will be incorporating Shelfie’s paper-and-ebook bundling and collaborative-filtering recommender technology into its own services, and also hiring on Shelfie’s current staff. It’s not clear whether that includes co-founder and CEO Peter Hudson, though I’ve emailed him to ask about that. But I wouldn’t be surprised—Hudson is extremely knowledgeable about the ebook sales…

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Hidden in the Dark

Alyson Larrabee: Enter If You Dare

Amazon chose my third novel, Hidden in the Dark, for publication. Thanks to everyone who nominated it during my 30 day Kindlescout “Campaign”. It will be available in ebook form soon. I still own the print rights and a print edition will be ready eventually, so stay tuned.

Kindlescout has been a fascinating experience. I’ve been a teacher and am now an author, never a business owner. I’ve never studied the academic subjects of business, advertising or marketing and this is interesting, and, I believe, unique.

Here’s how the whole thing worked: I submitted my never before published manuscript and filled out a form with a blurb, a tagline, an uploaded book cover image and a ton of other stuff. I also got to choose up to three genres. My book would appear, on the Kindlescout website in each designated genre area, so it would’ve been best to choose three genres. I…

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