The Daily Journal, Monday, July 29

In today’s Journal

* Your eyes
* Topic: How to Get More Sales
* Topic: Writing and Publishing
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

Your eyes do not deceive you. Today is a two-topic day. Both are essential. (Well, if I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t have written them. Duh)

So let’s jump right in.

Topic: How to Get More Sales

I started to add “at Amazon” to the title of this topic, but it will help improve your sales in all venues.

I’m taking a free Reedsy lessons-by-email course on Amazon algorithms. Not that I’ll try to “beat” them. My brain isn’t wired that way.

But I thought I might pick up a few gems I could pass along. And I did.

The first two “lessons” were pretty much nothing. But in the third one, the instructor got down to some meat.

To improve your presentation (and the chance of Amazon algorithms promoting your book and readers buying it:

* have a cover that matches genre expectations
* write a great sales blurb (again, I recommend DWS’ How to Write Fiction Sales Copy)
* have 5+ reviews

For the first bullet point, see “Your 7-Step Guide to an Unforgettable Cover” at

For the second, buy DWS’s book and/or see “How to Write an Amazon Book Description That Sells” at

For the last one, Reedsy recommends (and I agree) you add a clear message at the end of the book asking readers to review it.

You can even use a link that will take them directly to the review page:

Of course, replace “your ASIN” with the ASIN of your actual Amazon book. You can find the ASIN in the Product Details section of the book page or in the URL of the book page, right after “/dp/”.

Note: Using this specific link will require you to pre-publish the story with Amazon so you HAVE an ASIN to add to the document before you update it.

But if you don’t want to do that, you can still let readers know with a short sentence at the end that you would appreciate an honest review of your book.

Topic: Writing and Publishing

I’m a little grumpy this morning, so here’s a little finger-wagging for you. (grin)

At writers’ conferences, aside from presenting whatever sessions I was there to present, I used to try to bolster writers’ self-confidence.

The main way I did that was by attempting to remind them of their place in the pecking order. Where is that place?

At the top, though most writers don’t know it. And most publishers don’t think so, but that’s because too many writers kowtow to them.

The truth is, publishers need writers much more than writers need publishers. And it’s always been that way. Always.

With the advent of indie publishing, that became far more evident than before. But it was true even back in the day.

This conversation was repeated at least several hundred times over the years:

Me: “You’re looking at it all wrong. Publishers need you much more than you need them.”

Writer frowns: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Think about it. What would you do if there were no publishers? Write the next story, right?”

Writer shrugs: “I guess.”

Me: “Know what publishers would do if there were no writers? They’d flip burgers, that’s what they’d do.”

The point is, you’re a writer. A storyteller.

So write. Tell stories.

If you’re determined to chase agents or traditional publishers, finish your novel manuscript and send it out. Note the date, but then forget it.

Move on to writing the next story. You’re a writer, so write.

If you’re writing short stories, same thing. Submit them to traditional mags (that pay pro rates), note the date, then forget about them and write the next story. When your acceptance check shows up, it will be a happy surprise.

Every time a manuscript you sent out comes back rejected, pause just long enough to send it out to the next agent or publisher or traditional mag on your list.

Then go back to writing the next short story or novel. (Again, you’re a writer, so write.)

But give the story or novel you sent out a time limit. If it hasn’t been accepted in that period of time (a year, for example), publish it yourself.

Then go back to writing.

You’re a writer.

So write.

Rolled out at 3:30 this morning, and did all the usual stuff.

I’ve gotten in the habit of writing this Journal during my early hours, then posting it early. I’ll do that again today.

Today I will do a little more spreadsheet work and maybe upload my short story collections to Google Play. That way most of my short stories will be there, albeit in collections.

Today also I will finish reading some nonfiction, and I probably will write.

I don’t know yet what I’ll write, but I suspect it will happen. If it does, I’ll report those fiction numbers tomorrow.

‘Til then, keep writing. You’re a writer, right? Or

You’re a writer; write.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Mini-Masterclass – Tana French” at

See “Bawling Your Eyes Out” at

See “How (and where) To Research Historical Crime” at

See “Tips for a Better Looking E-Book” at I don’t agree with all Terry’s choices, but the techniques she mentions here are sound. A good post.

See “Before Something Fun Tomorrow” at

For some topics that might interest you, see the blog directory at From what I can tell, Novel Conclusions is now defunct. The last post appeared a few years ago.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 940 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 940

Writing of ()

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 7399
Total fiction words for the year………… 358737
Total nonfiction words for the month… 31790
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 215990
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 574727

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 43
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 194
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31