We Are Not Alone–An Indie Cinderella Story

Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my best-selling books, We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media  and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.  This is the day I dedicate to teaching you guys how to rock it hard when it comes to social media. Writing is hard. Building a platform is hard. Some days it will feel as if you are doing all this work, and yet it’s all for nothing. So, today I want to share some social media successes with you to keep you encouraged.

There are all kinds of social media gurus who claim to have the answers. There are books to show how Such-and-Such-Author sold a zillion books in five months. All that is great. We can always learn something, but, before we commit to any social media strategy, we need to ask some tough questions.

First, can the methods be duplicated? Just because one person sells 1000 books a day with his hands tied behind his back means little if that method hasn’t worked for others. Other questions we might ask are, “Can the approach work for an unpublished no-name author who has never recieved the traditional publishing seal of approval? Can the approach work for a new author with only one or two titles? Can this method work for the writer who breaks out in hives at the mention of the words sales or marketing?”

I can’t speak for any other methods, but I am here to give good news. Yes, WANA methods have put my books at the top of the best-selling list. That’s good news for me, but what about you guys? The GREAT news is that WANA has worked for others as well. Authors with good books that no one wanted and that no one noticed until social media completed the success equation. We will hear from one of those WANA success stories in a moment.

There are those who will say that all that matters is a good book. For the past four years, I have said that we live in a society inundated with too many choices. I felt a good book was not enough. I deeply believed that we had to find a way to generate word of mouth, too. Writers needed more. We needed a good book AND a social media approach that 1) was more than just a new way to spam people 2) that would generate a community vested in our success 3) that could offer us exponential exposure 4) that left time to write more books and have a life and 5) that didn’t try to change our personality.

So I created WANA.

The big news in world publishing this past week has been that a British writing duo, Louise Voss and Mark Edwards, have signed a six-figure, four-book deal with Harper Collins. So what?

What makes this team interesting is that this deal was not earned the traditional way through the query process. This was an indie writing partnership with two books that the UK agents and publishers didn’t want. Rejected so many times these guys actually gave up writing. For over ten years! Then, earlier this year they gave it another shot and self-published. No agent, no publisher, no hype. The books the gatekeepers didn’t want to know shot from nowhere to, literally, #1 and #2 simultaneously, in the Kindle UK chart. In June alone they sold over 40,000 e-books.

And when they hit the top spot the gatekeepers suddenly forgot these books were rubbish and came running, cash at the ready. Louise Voss and Mark Edwards, congratulations! Read their story here.

Ah, keep reading. I have more good news. Voss and Edwards weren’t the first to use social media to launch their books up the charts. Bizarrely another writing partnership, writing under the pen-name Saffina Desforges, had led the way with another novel the gatekeepers rejected time and time again. Sugar & Spice  hit #2 in the Kindle UK charts no less than three times, and is on target to sell 100,000 e-books by the end of summer. That’s with just one title! They are currently in discussion with one of New York’s most prestigious agents.

But apart from being indie thriller-writing male-female partnerships with two guys called Mark who have conquered the Kindle UK charts with books the gatekeepers rejected, what do these two writing teams have in common?

Their success was down to the way they used social media to beat the odds and achieve sales most authors can only dream of. Mark Williams is here today to explain how the Saffina Desforges team have achieved nearly 100,000 sales with just one book using social media, with a little help from yours truly and We Are Not Alone. Thank you, Mark for sharing your story…

***

Saffina who? If you’re reading this in the US then you probably haven’t yet heard of Saffina Desforges. If you’re a regular on Amazon’s Kindle UK site, on the other hand, it will have been hard not to have heard of her. Our e-book has dominated the British best-seller charts, with sales not far short of 100,000, has been # 1 in six genres, and has reached # 2 in the main Kindle UK chart three times.

And it’s all Kristen Lamb’s fault.

Let me explain. It all began last year when two writers over in England, Sarah Griffiths and I, completed a gritty crime thriller we had been co-writing, and sent it off to the UK agents in eager anticipation.

Now of course we weren’t complete amateurs. We occasionally dipped into Kristen’s blog and had stolen a few ideas. For instance, establishing a brand.

Sarah created the pseudonym Saffina Desforges for us. Google Sarah Griffiths or Mark Williams and a thousand different people show up with that name. Google Saffina Desforges…  First page all the way! So Sarah became Saffina.

We set up a website as per Kristen’s advice, and thought about buying WANA. But hey, let the publisher do all that promo stuff later. We’ve got a name and a website. The rest is easy. Agent. Publisher. Fame and fortune. Sorted!

If only…

You all know how the system works. You send off your precious manuscript. The agent falls about laughing and sends it back. You tweak it, send it off to another. Repeat until someone gives in. Give in? Us? Not
a chance.

So now our walls are covered with beautifully-framed rejection slips from some of the most prestigious agents in the UK. At one point we were on course to exceed John Grisham for knock-backs. Stephen King’s legendary fifty rejections was in our sights. We greeted each rejection with faux-joy, reminding ourselves just how illiterate agents are, and then we sat quietly in dark closets and sulked for a few days. All the while quietly joking to ourselves that the next email or phone call would be from a top New York agent.

Hey, we’re writers! Fantasising is what we do!

But after a while we realised the fatal flaw in the send-reject-send-again strategy. If the agent doesn’t tell you why they rejected it (which nine times out of ten they don’t) then what do you tweak before sending it to the next? You might be making it worse, not better. And there comes a time when you think, “There must be another way.”

So we stuck it on Amazon.

Well, why not? It was cheaper than sending out to yet another agent, and this was eight weeks before Christmas. We could be in the top five by then. Or at least the top fifty… Not that we were ambitious or anything. We’d have settled for the top five hundred. Of course by Christmas we weren’t even in the top five gazillion. We were nowhere.  So far out in the charts it was unreal. In fact our book did absolutely nothing for almost three months. It was nine weeks before we even got our first review! So much for friends and family buying up a hundred copies each and writing glowing accolades.

John and Jenny No-Pals, that was us.

Then Saffi got hold of a copy of Kristen Lamb’s We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and excitedly told me how it was going to soar us into the charts.

Yeah, right. I mean, I read Kristen’s blog occasionally, and I had set up an old blog myself (not that any-one knew it existed). But what’s all this stuff about Facebook and Twitter? Don’t we have enough distractions as it is?

So while I tried to sell our rejection slips on eBay, Saffi started out on the WANA route to world domination. New blog; facebook page; twitter account; new shoes; make-over; night out with the girls. Things I just never would have thought were needed to promote a book.

Meanwhile our sales were consistent. Consistently non-existent, that is. With three full months on Amazon you could count our sales on the fingers of a rattle-snake. Then in early February we actually started selling. Not many, sure, but readers were actually finding us. Was Kristen’s WANA actually working? Were the new shoes paying off? All we knew was we were selling a few more than before.

So we looked into WANA again, and took it a bit more seriously. Saffi said she needed two new pairs of shoe and every weekend out on the town with the girls. I wasn’t convinced. Did Kristen really say that? All I knew was, we were selling. Hey, I’ll have some new shoes, too!

Darn. Apparently I was only allowed a new blog. But I was happy. Instead of just Mark Williams, it was now Mark Williams International. No longer a name. Now a brand.

So?

So put Mark Williams into google and get a zillion Mark Williams hits. None of them me. Put Mark Williams International into google…

And Saffi of course went the whole hog, with two blogs, facebook pages, twitter accounts, the works. She started going through WANA page by page, finding out about hashtags and pingbacks and all that stuff. And so many new shoes!

But if Kristen says a girl needs new shoes to sell, who was I to argue? We were selling. That was good enough for me. Of course, having a blog and nothing to blog about is no fun, so we tried out some more crazy WANA ideas, like TEAM. You know, sharing your cyberspace and helping others. What goes around comes around.

We invited guests, reviewed other writers’ works, and wrote about things that might interest fellow writers and readers. After a while I reluctantly signed up to Facebook, and even later Twitter, while Saffi was busy with all the rest of the stuff in WANA.

By mid February we were actually selling in double figures every day, and making some headway in the smaller categories on Amazon. By the end of February we were getting top movers and shakers places. Not just in the charts, but climbing rapidly. We were selling hundreds a week. I emailed Saffi and said, “Re-read WANA and do everything in there, twice!”

So she did.

The owner of the local shoe-shop took early retirement to Barbados. But in between trying on shoes Saffi kept at it with all the other WANA stuff. And we kept climbing. And climbing. And climbing. We were leap frogging big names. Writers we’d actually heard of. Writers we’d paid to read! Suddenly we were in the top hundred across all categories. The top fifty. The top twenty! And still the sales numbers were rising. The top ten! The top five! We actually got to #2. Three times!

As I write this we are still in the top fifty, selling thousands a week. With the debut novel by the unknown author that all the UK agents had rejected! Oh, and that crazy dream about being called up by a New York agent? Out of the blue one of the most prestigious agencies in New York called us! Yes, they called us, on the
other side of the Atlantic! Nothing signed yet, but some very interesting discussions going on about our new series of crime thrillers.

Will it be your turn next? Dare to dream!

Yes, of course having a good book that readers will love is a big factor. But you might have the best novel ever written in literary history. If no-one knows it exists, no-one will ever buy it. Kristen can show you how to make sure people know your book exists.

Oh, and for those still wondering, Kristen doesn’t really suggest new shoes as part of the plan. But buy a pair anyway, along with WANA. It worked for us!

***

Congratulations Mark and Saffy! Thank you so much for sharing your story, and it gives me tears that I could help you realize your dreams. If you guys are the Indie Cinderella Story, then I am thrilled I could be your WANA Fairy Godmother :D.

I hope all of you reading this feel encouraged. I know I ask a lot of you and sometimes it just feels like you are throwing a ton of effort into a black hole. I just have to say that hard work, great writing, and a solid social media platform built on a clear author brand is the formula for success, no matter what publishing route you choose to take. 

Happy writing!

Mash-Up of Awesomeness

Lessons form The Green Lantern and how NOT to plot a story. LOVED this post by Jami Gold.

6 Tips to Avoid Death by Critique by Roni Loren

What Separates Man from Pen Monkey Yes, I am a total Chuck Wendig fangirl, but this man is pure GENIUS

For the romance authors. I highly recommend Anna Destefano’s post about some important changes in the industry. Anna always has great posts and is an awesome teacher when it comes to the craft. Social media is wonderful, but at the core we need to write great books.

The Myth of Having More Time Someday by Jody Hedlund.

3 Tips for Reclaiming “Alone Time” by Tawna Fenske

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  1. #1 by Xandra James on July 13, 2011 - 3:17 pm

    What a fantastic success story! Hope it keeps on getting better for them… in the mean time, i’m off to read Kristen’s book(s) again. Inspiring post, thanks for sharing :)

  2. #2 by Marian Pearson Stevens on July 13, 2011 - 3:25 pm

    I love this inspiring story. Just the sort to fire you up when you need it the most! Thanks Mark and Saffi for sharing your story, and congratulations on your success! And thanks to Kristen-social goddess-and all around awesomeness person–for helping the rest of us trudge through.

    Okay, I’m ready to take the leap and get my name right. Feel like I’m jumping off a cliff sort of, but I know I need to have my last name in the Twitter handle. I’ve put it off for fear I’d lose or mess up what I have going so far. And because I really wanted that middle last name in there-but Twitter only allows so many characters. I also need your book, Kristen. Will look into ordering. Thanks for igniting the fire and a great post!

  3. #3 by Steena Holmes on July 13, 2011 - 3:26 pm

    This is fabulous! A game changer for me!

  4. #4 by Taffy on July 13, 2011 - 3:27 pm

    Ah! Love the inspiring story! Love it!

  5. #5 by Stacy Green on July 13, 2011 - 3:32 pm

    What a great story. It’s really interesting to have someone talk specifically (and hilariously, I might add) about how WANA worked for them. I’ve been doing well on Twitter and the blog is growing as I figure things out, but I’m still mulling over Facebook. I have a page with my maiden and married last name (all my writing stuff is just maiden name because my last name is horribly obnoxious), and I’ve joined a few writing groups. But do I want to use that page to promote? Do I want to get family and friends involved? Old college and high school friends that are petty and would love to see me fail? And since I’m not a published author … should I start an author page? Or just dive in on FB with the page I have and start promoting?

    Yes, my brain is full of questions this morning, lol.

  6. #6 by educlaytion on July 13, 2011 - 3:37 pm

    That awesome! Congrats to all of you. Going to check out Mark Williams International now.

  7. #7 by Anne-Mhairi Simpson on July 13, 2011 - 3:37 pm

    I read about Voss/Edwards yesterday, or maybe the day before, and was exhilarated for them. As far as Saffina Desforges’ story goes, anything that recommends more shoes works for me!

    Seriously though, I’m the worst reader ever when it comes to WANA. I read some of it. Then I read a bit more. I still haven’t finished it :( You’ve convinced me to pick it up again. Although I have to admit, I don’t think I’ll be running two blogs. That said, this one’s schedule is getting full! I might need another day in the week. Or three. Damn, that sounds like I need another blog. Nooooooo!!!

  8. #8 by Anne-Mhairi Simpson on July 13, 2011 - 3:37 pm

    By the way, I love the “fingers of a rattlesnake”… :)

  9. #9 by Stephanie Scott on July 13, 2011 - 3:40 pm

    Wow, what a glowing review for your work on WANA – book, blog, etc. That’s so exciting!

  10. #10 by Saffina Desforges on July 13, 2011 - 3:45 pm

    Hey guys, seriously, this is no joke. Without WANA, we’d still be WANNABEs. Fact.

    Sure, I knew a bit about the net and social media – for personal purposes. Kristen’s book at the time looked like it ‘might be worth reading’ one day. How wrong was I? Mark wasn’t easily convinced in the beginning, but I kept telling him that the tricks and tips in WANA were starting to pay off (I mean, I NEEDED another pair of shoes, right? Not wanted, NEEDED!)

    We started to build a presence on the net, worldwide. The blogs, Tweets, FB pages etc really started to pay off. Links to other writers’ sites, fan pages, mentions here and there. Hey, Kristen is blogging about us, right?! Proving her own methods.

    I would recommend – actually, strike that – INSIST that any newbie indie writer (or any other writer for that matter) read WANA. Hell, before I had finished the first few pages I had learned more than I had in a lifetime of using the net and had a blog and a Twitter page!

    Joking aside, everyone wants Kristen as their WANA fairy godmother right? No, you NEED her or at least, you need to buy the book.

    If you don’t believe us and you think that this just some reciprocal blogging between writers, check out my very early blog posts on http://sapphicscribe.wordpress.com (See, I hadn’t even gotten to the bit where Kristen tells you to use your own name. Hence saffinadesforges.wordpress.com a few months later!) You will see from there just how we followed the WANA path and suddenly went from ‘zero to indie hero’ in the space of six months. (well, where book sales were concerned anyway. Mark hasn’t got enough for a cape yet, cos I spent it all on shoes!)

    Thanks to Kristen for the book and this blog and for reminding us that ‘We are not alone’.

    Saffi

    • #11 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 13, 2011 - 3:54 pm

      Awwww…you just make me want to jump up and down and shout SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

    • #12 by Piper Bayard on July 13, 2011 - 5:23 pm

      Oh, I like that. Be a WANA or be a WANNABE. Congratulations!

      • #13 by Jenny Hansen on July 15, 2011 - 4:36 am

        Awesome line, isn’t it? I was thinking that exact thing!

    • #14 by Tamara LeBlanc on July 13, 2011 - 10:00 pm

      Congratulations Saffi!!! I’m so thrilled for you and Mark:) Keep up the good work!
      Tamara

    • #15 by Nathan Anderson on July 14, 2011 - 6:48 pm

      Congratulations! You are inspiring us all!

  11. #16 by Jami Gold on July 13, 2011 - 3:58 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this story, Kristen! I know we all hope that all this non-writing work will pay off in some way. :) It’s great to hear of those success stories. And thanks for the link too!

  12. #17 by Anne R. Allen on July 13, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    Mark–fancy meeting you here! Did I know you were going to guest for Kristen? And what about that guest post for me…? :-)

    You’re so inspiring. Everybody should be reading Mark’s blog too. It’s always a party.

    “Without WANA I’d be A WANNABE.” Saffi, I think you should ask Kristen for royalties on that. It’s the perfect slogan for her book.

    And I agree. Kristen’s advice is pure gold. I gave a talk last night to a bunch of writers who wanted to know about marketing. I told them the first step is to start reading Kristen’s blog.

    Thanks, Kristen for all the information, and Mark and Saffi for all the inspiration. We should all be able to go out and be bestsellers now, right?

  13. #18 by Saffina Desforges on July 13, 2011 - 4:15 pm

    Hey Anne, I might just tap Kristen up for that! ;-)

  14. #19 by Becka (StickyNoteStories) on July 13, 2011 - 4:25 pm

    That’s such a great story :) Congrats on the sales, and the interested agent!

  15. #20 by Marcy Kennedy on July 13, 2011 - 4:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing this story. It gave me the boost of encouragement that I needed today.

    I recently bought both We Are Not Alone and Are You There Blog, It’s Me Writer, and have been working through them, slowly making plans for changes in my social media platform. In the past, I’ve received a lot of advice that probably works for businesses, but isn’t practical at all for writers. I felt so completely overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do, so I muddled ahead as well as I could.

    And that probably didn’t hurt me since I work as a freelance writer and editor for magazines and non-profit organizations. They don’t really care about your social media platform as long as you don’t do anything scandalous. But since my long-term goal is to write novels, and since I am nearing completion on a novel that finally seems like it’s going to be “the one,” reading your books couldn’t have come at a better time.

    Nor could this testimonial have come at a better time. It lets me know that I’m finally on the right social media path.

  16. #21 by Katherine Owen - Author on July 13, 2011 - 4:30 pm

    I so needed this today! What an inspiring story and the time in which it has happened cannot be overlooked. It’s incredible.

    I’m trying to not get overwhelmed and just put together a little more of the platform every day, but it’s a lot of work as everyone doing this publishing gig knows.

    Thank you, Kristen for your awesome book and wisdom and so much gratitude to Mark and Louise for sharing this wonderful, amazing story.

  17. #22 by Natalie Wright on July 13, 2011 - 4:37 pm

    Great post and very encouraging. Congrats to Saffi & Mark.

  18. #23 by David N. Walker on July 13, 2011 - 5:11 pm

    Congratulations to Mark & Saffina and to Louise & Mark also. And Kristen, I’ve never been prouder to call you my BFF. You rock.

  19. #24 by Renee Schuls-Jacobson on July 13, 2011 - 5:16 pm

    Per usual, such a timely post. I have been reading your words and trying to do what you say. I even have an iPhone so I can Tweet when I am in the carpool line! It is nice to know that your methods have worked for others.

    I’m sorry I missed out on your July workshop, but sometimes life does that. I am hopeful there will be another opportunity soon.

  20. #25 by Piper Bayard on July 13, 2011 - 5:31 pm

    Ok. This may sound kind of cheesy, but this success story is quite moving for me. I remember Kristen saying, “Send me your bio.” I had no idea she was even writing a book at that time, much less that I was about to be adopted from the Writers Shelter. To watch WANA go from an idea and a rough draft to a book to a success story like this is so incredibly inspiring. I am unspeakably happy for Kristen and for both of you. All the best, and thank you for sharing your story.

  21. #26 by Diana Murdock on July 13, 2011 - 5:33 pm

    Great experience to read! I was already jazzed, but now…..I’ve gotta go run off this extra energy. You know, grab those ideas on the fly!!! Thanks for all that you do, Kristen!!!

  22. #27 by Tom Winton on July 13, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    Another terrific blog, Mark. Keep up the good work here and with your pen.

  23. #28 by Lynn Kelley on July 13, 2011 - 6:01 pm

    What an inspiring post. We all love to hear these success stories. What a great testimony to the WANA strategy. Congratulations & Cheers to Kristen, Saffina (love it!) and Mark.

  24. #29 by Martha Ramirez on July 13, 2011 - 6:06 pm

    AWESOME post!!!

  25. #30 by Saffina Desforges on July 13, 2011 - 6:47 pm

    Thanks for all of the kind comments guys and to Piper who also helped me out when I first Tweeted in the Twitterverse! As for the rest of you who are now inspired; that’s what Kristen does! ;-) You’re never alone with WANA!

  26. #31 by Shéa MacLeod on July 13, 2011 - 7:06 pm

    Freaking fantastic blog post! Hopefully I’m the next Saffi. ;-) (Pick me! Pick me!)

  27. #32 by Leo Godin on July 13, 2011 - 7:45 pm

    Great post. I wonder how far your reach is. I can think of three self-published authors who are doing well, Ania Ahlborn, Peter Labrow, and Thomas Amo. All three use social media extensively. Are they part of the WANA crowd?

  28. #33 by cynditefft on July 13, 2011 - 8:09 pm

    Great to see indies with positive sales. I have been doing it all (blog, Twitter, FB, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Shelfari, etc), gave away hundreds of my books at launch and the reviews have been good, but sales have been… ahem.. what did he say- the fingers on a rattlesnake? I’m going to check out the WANA book and see if it holds the magic key I have been missing that will translate into sales. Wish me luck! :)

    Cyndi Tefft
    http://www.cynditefft.com

  29. #34 by Lisey on July 13, 2011 - 9:05 pm

    What an inspiring story! Makes me really excited for the We Are Not Alone book I just ordered to arrive… :D

  30. #35 by Saffina Desforges on July 13, 2011 - 9:15 pm

    Good luck Cyndi and Lisey, it is money well spent! (even if you could have bought shoes!) ;-)

  31. #36 by Tamara LeBlanc on July 13, 2011 - 9:59 pm

    Inspiration abounds in this post! I’m so thrilled for the duo and glad to hear their dreams are coming true.
    I feel the way they did. I query agents, they often ask for partials, I email or uggg, snail mail the manuscript immediately, they read it and send me a polite form rejection. Like Mark said, if they don’t take an extra minute or two to type out a few sentences on what they DIDN’T like about my work…how the heck can I improve it? It’s quite frustrating.
    But I will not give up. I just received a form rejection in the mail yesterday, it bumbed me out for a little while, but then I smiled. I’ve been working hard, I stand behind my writing, and I believe NY will one day come knocking.
    To aid me in this endeavor is you, WANA and the social media highway!!!
    I’m so glad you shared this story with us Kristen. I plan on re-Tweeting it as soon as I’m done here.
    Have a fantastic evening!!!
    Tamara

    • #37 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 14, 2011 - 12:08 am

      Wow. I find that shocking. I thought those first 15 pages you sent me were FANTASTIC. I am really hard to impress., but your writing was excellent.

      • #38 by Tamara LeBlanc on July 14, 2011 - 4:05 pm

        Kristen, THANK YOU so much for the compliment!! You’ve been so wonderful, so helpful and so kind.
        Thank you for all you do, not just for me, but for every writer out there.
        I’m sure they’ll agree with me when I say, YOU’RE THE BEST!
        Tamara

  32. #39 by Tamara LeBlanc on July 13, 2011 - 10:01 pm

    Oh and I wanted to mention that I loved Jami Gold’s post on The Green Lantern too. She’s amazing! :)
    Tamara

  33. #40 by Alica on July 13, 2011 - 11:04 pm

    all right enough with the ‘someday’ I’m buy WANA and some new shoes!

  34. #41 by Roni Loren on July 14, 2011 - 1:07 am

    Such a fabulous story! :) And thanks for including my post in the mashup. :D

  35. #42 by Gene Lempp on July 14, 2011 - 2:13 am

    What an incredible story. Congratulations to Saffina Desforges team, you are a true inspiration to us all!

    Thanks for sharing them with us Kristen. Isn’t she just the coolest :)

  36. #44 by Jess Witkins on July 14, 2011 - 5:29 am

    Awesome success and most importantly perseverance story! Thank you for sharing that.

    I just want to know when the WANA coffee mugs and key chains go on sale, cause I heard the first 100 get them autographed right?

  37. #45 by Mark Edwards on July 14, 2011 - 6:52 am

    Fantastic guest post, Mark! I didn’t actually read WANA (though I feel like I really ought to); I just copied bits of what you were doing ;)

    And thanks, Kristen, for the mention.

    One of the issues both of us British writing partnerships have had is taking off in the US, even though we get as much coverage from American bloggers and everything we do is international. Any tips? Why is it so hard for British books to sell on Amazon.com?

    • #46 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 14, 2011 - 12:57 pm

      So you were WANNAed by association? LOL. I think it has just been a boundary issue and my prediction is that will dissolve in the next 2-3 years. Change is happening exponentially, not linearly. I think as publishing transitions away from relying solely on the old paper model that more authors from abroad will have success since e-books don’t cost anything to ship. Thanks for stopping by, and so wonderful to meet you!

  38. #47 by Katie Ganshert on July 14, 2011 - 1:46 pm

    Love these stories! So cool! And love the links on your mash up!

  39. #48 by Nathan Anderson on July 14, 2011 - 6:44 pm

    Woo-Hoo! Great post! I have to get some more new shoes.

  40. #49 by Jenny Hansen on July 15, 2011 - 4:41 am

    Love the post! Love the mash-up. Is there a Chuck Wendig Penmonkey Fan Orgy yet? Cuz I’m in!

  41. #50 by Tony Slater on July 15, 2011 - 9:43 am

    Holy crap! Is WANA a) Incredibly well -known and I’m the only dumb-ass on the planet that hasn’t heard of it, or b) Not widely known amongst Indie writers and I’m normal?
    PLEASE LET ME BE NORMAL!
    Okay, so dubious origin of my genetics aside, this sounds like something I WANA in on. (Did that make me sound Italian?). What an amazing, glowing recommendation from someone who is walking the walk right now. I am going straight to Amazon. Gonna cut me down a big tree. Then I’ll jump on the internet and buy a copy of this incredible sounding book.
    Tony

    • #51 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 15, 2011 - 12:20 pm

      Awww, thanks Tony. I wish. WANA is getting there. It has only been out a year, but it has put quite a few books on the best-seller list. Please join us on Twitter over at #MyWANA. Writers supporting writers. Great to meet you. :D

  42. #52 by Sonia G Medeiros on July 15, 2011 - 10:34 pm

    Such a wonderful, inspiring story!!!

  43. #53 by Phantomimic on July 16, 2011 - 1:13 pm

    It nice to read about yet another Indie writer success story. The use of social media is nuanced. According to the Codex study released this year only 19% of people found the books they read online and of this only 1.2% discovered the last book they bought through social networks like Twitter, Facebook, or video book trailers. The effective use of social media is not just to broadcast but rather to interconnect and multiply. In other words, some of the principles of WANA that Saffi mentions like sharing, helping others, inviting guests, reviewing other’s work, and offering great content. Indeed, what goes around comes around! Thanks Kristen and Saffi for this great post!

  44. #54 by Marilag Lubag on July 18, 2011 - 8:13 am

    Inspiring story. This is the reason I’m planning to read WANA again among other things. :-) It’s so informative (with the exception of the Myspace section). One can’t truly absorb what was on the book by reading it once. We have to read it multiple times to finally get it. Thanks, Kristen!

  45. #55 by adriana ardeatine on July 31, 2011 - 2:28 pm

    Hi, an inspiring story, yes. But, I just popped over to amazon to read the reviews and was rather dismayed to see the authors arguing with the one star reviewers. Kind of took the gloss off.

  46. #56 by kbnelson on September 2, 2011 - 11:39 am

    I am interested in taking one of your online courses. Do you have a sample lesson or part of the group we can look at to see it it works for us – before we sign up? Thanks!

  47. #57 by Gaston Cavalleri on June 6, 2012 - 4:50 pm

    Thanks for the post and info on a new method of getting to the public.

    Gaston.

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