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Make Money with a Backlist

Diana here

Do you have a backlist?

Are you indie pubbed, traditional or both?
Are you using an automation sequence?
Feel like you should be making money and you aren’t?

I kept hearing there is money in the backlist but couldn’t figure out what that meant. Of course, it means the more books you have the more you sell right? But how did readers know about them? If you’re traditionally published, you can link to your newsletter and website but that’s it. You can’t add a chapter of another book that isn’t published by that publisher.


If you are building your newsletter list and you have an automation sequence set up it doesn’t matter who publishes your books.

If you have a reader magnet—a free book, novella, short story to give away to those who sign up for your newsletter you are on your way to getting a fan for life.

For years I had a magnet but once a newsletter subscriber downloaded the free book they only heard from me when I sent out a newsletter.

Now, they get the book and a series of emails well-spaced out. Those emails ask questions about what they like to read, anything to get a conversation going.

Then this is where the backlist makes money. You space these out! Send an email about the next book in a series or a stand-alone book and you tell them how you came up with the idea, something about the characters, or maybe even photo of the setting that inspired you. Do this for every book in your backlist.

I know this works because I use readerlinks.com to track the links to those books so I can see who clicks. I don’t know if they buy that book but since my sales are going up some books are being purchased. By using readerlinks.com I can even track my traditionally published books and see if they are getting any interest.

A great book to help you with this is The Newsletter Ninja  https://amzn.to/2VRGG9L that’s an affiliate link because I wanted a short link in this post, not one that stretches to another country.

Why get KDP Rocket

Diana here:

It’s been a while since the Pencildancers have posted as we’ve all been busy writing… except for Angie who has been traveling. She’s been to Scotland! Look for articles on how to research using genealogy in the future.

I wanted to hop on and tell you about a software program I use a lot. It’s KDP Rocket. Why do you need to know about this?

Because you are publishing your own work or hope too soon.

KDP Rocket has been around for a while and a lifetime price but version 2 is coming out soon so the price will go up. If you are anything like the Pencildancers the tools we need for writing get expensive and if you can swing a product that works for a lifetime price you grab it.

This product has saved me hours of work in searching for keywords to add to Amazon’s marketing service, which means I have more time to write while my books are being seen and bought.
Rocket also helps me search for information like what categories to list my book, it helps with the best keywords, and it helps me look at the competition for what is selling well.

Again, why does any of this matter?

Because you don’t want to put your book in a category so large that you may never be seen.
Because you do want to write a book like the ones that are selling.
Because you want those 7 keywords Amazon lets you have to be the best possible to get your book noticed.
Because you have an idea for a book and want to see if the idea is valid. Rocket can help with that. (see Book Idea Validation Article)

I do use Rocket. I signed up as an affiliate because I believe in it. The other bonus to this program is the quick, friendly and helpful customer support.

If you are thinking this might be for you check it out. But do it before the next version comes out and the lifetime price disappears. At least check it out, there is a 30-day return no questions asked.

Hop on over and see what it's all about and if it's for you.


Creative Brain Versus Editing Brain

Jen here:

One of the biggest causes of writer’s block is getting the editing brain involved when the creative brain should be working. That happens when the editorial and creative departments of your brain mingle. If you don’t shut off your editing brain while you’re writing, it will strangle you.

The Deep Work Habit

Like any good habit, it takes time to develop the ability to stay in creative brain. In other arenas, this can be called deep work. It’s where we immerse ourselves in the storyworld we have created. Our characters come alive, the scenes spool out in front of us, and we feel like we are merely transcriptionists to what is playing out before our very eyes.

We live in a society that values reachability and instant response. And this is a great way to kill creativity. Turn off notifications on your computer. Silence your phone. Set a time rfor 25 or 55 minutes and don’t look at email, texts, social media or anything else until your time is up. Soon your brain will get used to this and fall into the rhythm when you go into deep mode. But it takes awhile to develop the habit.


Prewriting is one of the best ways to beat writer’s block and to ensure that your scene has all of the great components it needs before you even start writing it. It’s also a way to write more quickly, because when you know what a scene is going to be about, it’s easier to see it play out in your head.

Here’s how it works. Based on your plot and what’s gone on before, decide what kind of scene you are writing. Do you need a goal/conflict/disaster? Or a reaction/dilmma/decision? Jot down some notes of what those components could be. Your previous scene should feed you your starting point for this.

Who’s going to be in the scene? Who’s the POV character? What does she want? Where is the scene set? These don’t have to be perfect or set in stone. You’re just looking for a starting point. The brain freezes up when it has unlimited options. Narrow some of those down and let the creativity flow.

Pre-writing lets the editorial department of your brain do its planning. But then it needs to leave. Write the scene without analyzing it. Just create. And when you’re done, go back and analyze it to see if it meets the flow and structure that it needs to. But don’t think about that while you are actually writing. Pre-writing should give you enough structure to free up the Creative department to write and to tell the Editorial department to shut up.

Write Now, Edit Later

Writing and editing are two different parts of the brain. You want to stay in Creative brain to keep the ideas flowing. Resist the urge to critique or change any actual writing. Jot things down now. Fix things later. Do research later.

I use Scrivener to write, and I love the Document Notes pane. I can pop notes in there about what I need to check out, what I’m uncertain about. It reassures my brain that the idea has been recorded and I won’t forget about it. And it allows me to stay in Creative mode.

When you are done Creating, put it aside and come back to it later. Now you can come back with the Editor brain and start applying structure and analyze and fix things. Don’t mix the two up or you will get yourself stuck with writer’s block. If you can write and edit on separate days, do it.

Your Goal

Your main goal is to write, turn off the internal editor, and know that the first draft will be crummy, and that’s okay. If the rules and structure are getting you down, toss them. Write your story and then go back and use the structure to figure out what’s missing and how to fix it. The more you write this way, the greater of a habit it will become and writer’s block will be simply a bad memory.

Now go write your story!

Jennifer and the other Pencildancers have released Worthy to Write: Blank Page Tying Your Stomach in Knots? 30 Prayers to Tackle That Fear. Jennifer's latest books~ Protective Custody: A cop burned by love falls for a key witness in a crime implicating the town’s rich and powerful.  Coming Home A strong- willed young woman must discover her brother’s killer before she’s the next victim. The prequelBe Mine, is also available. Can a simple thank you note turn into something more? Get the first chapter of Coming Home and Protective Custody at www.JenniferVanderklipp.com