Archive for March 12th, 2013

March 12, 2013

An inspiring true-life story for Indie authors

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a bestselling suspense author on Amazon.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a bestselling suspense author on Amazon.

I know I’ve posted quite a bit about KDP Select the past week or so, but I read a great book about it and haven’t had a chance to post about it yet…so here goes!

Last week I read a book called How I made $42,000 in 1 Month Selling My Kindle E-books, by Cheryl K. Tardif, a Canadian suspense writer.

Her experiences were inspiring.

Tardif was skeptical about the KDP Select program at first, but it worked well for her. The middle section of this book details her personal KDP Select experiment, chapter by chapter (there are eleven chapters just on this experiment), allowing us all a sneak peak into how she used this program to really boost her sales.

That was just last year. If I understand correctly, by the time this book came out, she was on track to earn $150,000 for 2012.

Tardif writes suspense novels, which I think have a wide appeal to writers, and that may have worked in her favor. She also admits to being somewhat hooked on marketing. From the outside looking in, it seems like she really knows what she’s doing.

Here are a few quotes from two chapters in her book:

From Chapter 17, The KDP Select Experiment: Part 11-Conclusions:

I began enrolling in KDP Select as an experiment. I was a skeptic. I didn’t like the exclusivity clause. But I knew I could always opt out and return to my old ways of selling if things didn’t work out.

I also knew that even if I saw a slight increase in sales, it didn’t mean I could maintain that increase every month–or make any of the big numbers a few people like JA Konrath have mentioned.

My experiment took place from January to March…

In January I made 3 times more money than I was averaging per month last year. If my math is correct… that’s a 300 percent increase.

In February I made 13 percent more money than I was averaging per month in 2011.

In March I made 42 times more money than my 2011 monthly average.

From Chapter 21, All the World’s A-Twitter:

I believe Twitter is 90 percent responsible for my recent success and income increase.

She proceeds, through the rest of the chapter, to detail why and how this works. One more quote from this chapter:

So how do you use Twitter to market your e-books? Simple. You create relationships. You get to meet people from anywhere in the world. There are some pretty cool people out there. By showing a genuine interest in people, you’ll gather more followers. Eventually, some will read your book. Maybe they’ll tweet about how much they enjoyed it. Maybe they’ll write a review. Maybe they’ll suggest it to their book club, or to a producer they know. This actually happens.

Building relationships sounds like a lot of fun. Who doesn’t like to make new friends?

Tardif gives other great advice, as well, like the four elements you have to have in place to see consistent sales. This includes her thoughts on pricing. Earlier in the book she addresses how NOT to be a telemarketer and still toot your own horn.

In my mind, this was a very valuable read for anyone who’s thinking about using the KDP Select program–or who’s trying to sell books online at all.

I’ve acquired a few of her suspense books to read now. I started one last night, and I stayed up way too late reading.

Which brings me to my last point. I’ve heard and read over and over that in order to get books to sell, you have to write well.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif most definitely writes well. I’m taking notes for tweaks I can make to my own fiction.

"One doesn't simply read a Tardif story; one experiences it!"--Cheryl Kaye Tardif's novel Children of the Fog sold more than 50,000 copies by September 2012.

“One doesn’t simply read a Tardif story; one experiences it!”–Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s novel Children of the Fog sold more than 50,000 copies by September 2012.

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