Self Publishing Insiders

Answering Your D2D Questions!

Episode Summary

Jim, Dan, and Lexi take Draft2Digital questions from our live listeners, shedding more light on what's going on behind the curtain at D2D and how it can benefit our authors.

Episode Notes

Our followers are in charge for this week's "Ask Us Anything" (AUA) edition of Self Publishing Insiders. All topics were welcome! Be sure to join us live next time we do an AUA!

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Episode Transcription

Kevin Tumlinson [00:00:01]:

You just tuned into the hippest way to start and grow your indie author career. Learn the ins, the outs, and all the all arounds of self publishing with the team from D2D and their industry influencing guests. You're listening to self publishing insiders with Draft2Digital.


Jim Azevedo [00:00:27]:

We are live. Hello, everybody. Thanks for joining another browsing edition of Self Publishing Insiders. I'm Jim Azzavito. I help lead marketing and corporate communications here at Draft2Digital. It is my honor and privilege to announce my friends and colleagues, Dan Wood and Lexi Greene. Welcome, Dan and Lexi.


Lexi Greene [00:00:51]:

It's a pleasure to be on.


Jim Azevedo [00:00:55]:

Well, I'm glad that's all.


Lexi Greene [00:00:58]:

It's been a busy week with everyone, everyone on the D2D team kinda running around for Story Garden. So, nice to be here. And, be be a warm be a warm body in this little third, square on the screen.


Jim Azevedo [00:01:13]:

Well, we appreciate you being here, Lexi. Dan, it's good to see your face again. Dan's been traveling around the world visiting conferences in different places. So it's good to see you too, Dan. Good to see Lexi.


Jim Azevedo [00:01:27]:

It's been a while.


Dan Wood [00:01:27]:

Kinda getting caught up on, I I was on the road for about 3 weeks in a row, and that's always


Jim Azevedo [00:01:35]:

a lot. Yeah. I I try we were laughing backstage, everybody, for those of you who are viewing. We're kinda laughing backstage. I was almost crying backstage because it's been kinda hectic and running around. When Lexi says running around, I think she is pointing a finger at me. It was like, go over here. Go over there.


Jim Azevedo [00:01:53]:

So it's been a a ton of fun, but I'm looking at the comment section, and it's really neat to see some of our usual suspects there hanging out in the comment section and then some new names. So if you're a first timer like Martha, welcome. It's good to see you there. So since Dan is recently back from his travels overseas, Dan, I thought I would kick off some of the questions here. Just sort of asking you, I wanna ask you, like, where did you go? I know that you're traveling in Europe and Ireland as well or Ireland. Correct? Ireland, Spain?


Dan Wood [00:02:35]:

Yeah. Earlier this year.


Jim Azevedo [00:02:38]:

Okay. And I wanna ask you, we talked earlier this year about some of the hot topic items here in the US. I wanna ask you what your experiences are overseas, and are are hot topic items here the same as what you're seeing overseas as well?


Dan Wood [00:02:53]:

I think they really are. With the US market's a little bit ahead as far as a number of authors that are, familiar with indie publishing and are pursuing it. So there is a little bit of there's a lot of new authors that are learning that they have other options besides getting an agent and then, getting chosen by a publisher. But I would say the hot topics for everything, kinda a rundown of where I've been so far this year. I did the author sustainability conference in Dublin, in early February, and that one was kinda oriented around the idea of speaking towards author mindset. And that's not all, like, business advice that authors need. Like, some of it is learning how to make a sustainable business and talking about mental health, and, you know, having a plan to deal with things like burnout. And so that was a really good conference.


Dan Wood [00:03:50]:

Yeah. And slightly different topic, I think, than, you know, often indie conferences, aren't touching on that subject yet, but I think it's one that we're gonna see more and more of. Because when you are an indie, there's just a lot of work. And, if you if you aren't doing things to make sure you are resting, taking care of yourself, you know, at some points, when your business is more successful, it makes a lot of sense to outsource some of your work, the stuff that you don't like to do. And then I went on to the future of publishing mastermind in New Orleans, And that was very much dealing with a lot of the new subjects that we've been talking about for this last year, things like direct sales, the impact of the large language models and AI on the industry, different things of that nature, a lot of discussions, again, about ads. People are talking about, the impact of places like TikTok. And, you know, for some people, that's been a great way for them to find readers. Other people just don't get it.


Dan Wood [00:04:58]:

And, you know, I'm happy to say that I know people who have successful careers, on both sides. Like, it it's something where if a media platform appeals to you, it can be a very good thing. But you don't have to do everything. And then after that was the, 20 BooksRead Spain and Sebbia, and that was great. Again, that's one where there's a lot of newer authors learning about their options, but we are also talking about the things like direct sales, ad platforms, and AI tech stuff. Joanna Penn did a very riveting, presentation on the different ways she's using AI to enhance her business. You know, for her, it really has helped her with marketing copy and some of the things that she doesn't particularly like doing. And then I, again, have some people that use, some of the AI image generation to help them with, like, images for ads, so they can test a number of different images to see what helps convert the best.


Jim Azevedo [00:06:04]:

Oh, that's really cool. I I Really cool.


Dan Wood [00:06:06]:

Yeah. I would say that was the big talk amongst the indie conferences, and then I went to 20 or the next one would have been London BooksRead. And London Bookfair is very much a traditional oriented conference. There are a lot of conversations there about AI as well. There's a lot of conversations about kind of the way in which the global barriers are kinda breaking down. Where it used to be if a book was successful in one market, then maybe a year later, someone else would buy the rights and publish it in another market. So, like, books going from the US, the UK, and vice versa. Now with social media, that doesn't make sense.


Dan Wood [00:06:46]:

You kinda wanna publish a book everywhere all at once. And so just everyone kinda getting used to the way in which publishing is changing, across the world.


Lexi Greene [00:06:56]:

Yeah. I I honestly, I like the notion of keeping in mind, like, the global aspect of, like, everyone is accessible now. You can reach all your readers at once because we live in the social media age. And it really doesn't make a ton of sense to just target one country for your release and then start to kind of piecemeal out, the other ones when you have time. Because like, we I know we've seen it when, readers reach out to us and ask, like, hey. Is this author's book available here? Like, are you all can I get this author's book in this language? Like, people will find your book, and they will be asking about it.


Jim Azevedo [00:07:36]:

Yeah. I I've been to a few conferences where, especially newer authors or authors who are aspiring, it doesn't really click with them that if you're publishing a print on demand, book or an ebook for the first time, a lot of them think that when they distribute their books, it's going to just land on those virtual store shelves in the US only if they're publishing from the US. And when they finally realized that their book, no. We're distributing your book out globally into all the stores where those retailers are operating dedicated bookstores. Your books are landing on on those virtual shelves in just about every country on the planet. They're like, what? So it's really, really eye opening. Yeah.


Lexi Greene [00:08:16]:

I definitely have something else, though. Sorry.


Jim Azevedo [00:08:19]:

No. Please go ahead.


Lexi Greene [00:08:26]:

This is the the fun of a, digital experience. Dan mentioned something earlier. I just wanna touch upon because, like, obviously, the the big topics this year have been things like direct sales, AI, but I did like that, the top the topic of mental health and sustainability of an author career came up. I feel like these are conversations that have been coming up a lot in creator spaces, like people who create, like, YouTube videos, people who create content online, that, like, obviously, it's a lot in a lot of ways, it's own self contained business. A lot of the responsibility falls on one person to do a lot, and it's very easy, especially, like, in the same way that that can happen to an online creator. That happens a lot with self publishing authors. I think we don't think of ourselves a lot as, like, creators, but that's kind of what self publishing is. Like, it's part of the creator economy. You're creating content. You're the one marketing it. You're the face. You're the one who's expected to live and die by the success of what you can put out into the world. And I think that it's good that we're having these conversations about doing it in a way that is sustainable for your mental health because burnout is a real thing, and burnout can taking care of yourself throughout the process. So taking care of yourself throughout the process. So I think that it's that's an important conversation that we should be having more in this community. And I'm glad that we're kind of starting to see that pop up more often.


Jim Azevedo [00:09:53]:

Yes, sir. Excellent points. I'm so glad you brought that up, Lexi, for sure. I also wanted to touch base on something that you mentioned, Dan, about AI. I can't believe how fast that the conversation about AI has been changing over the over the months. But but it's really interesting that, you know, you're you've gone to these conferences who, some of the attendees there include some of the best selling indie authors. And these professional authors, I think some people outside of the industry just assume whenever we talk about AI in the industry, we're talking about the technology writing the books and doing all the work. But if I heard you correctly, like, no.


Jim Azevedo [00:10:39]:

These professional authors are using this technology to complement what they're already doing or to help them kinda take care of some of the mundane stuff to help them make become more efficient so that they could publish their books faster.


Dan Wood [00:10:55]:

Yeah. I think there's a spectrum of yeah. Like, there's a spectrum of comfort. And, you know, I know there are many authors that are afraid and just creatives in general, they're afraid of losing jobs over this. You know, with most technology shifts, throughout the history, Jobs have changed. Like, some jobs do go away, but they're replaced with other jobs. And I think there's a lot of mundane things that, authors are gonna be using AI for in the background even if they don't realize they are using AI. I think there are going to be readers that don't want anything to do with AI generated content.


Dan Wood [00:11:36]:

So there are gonna be authors. They're gonna make that part of their brand where they do everything by hand. I think there's gonna be authors that use AI to help them with their run their business, but they don't use it to help them with their creative process. And I think there's gonna be some authors that are gonna use it to help with the creative process. Be it with, you know, there's some of the open source models that you can feed in, you know, your books and have it give you an idea of train it on your voice and have it spit out a couple of examples of things scenes you're trying to write. And then, you know, I think the most successful authors are gonna be the ones that then go in and edit those, because it's yeah. There's a lot of stuff about the human experience in general that really makes a a passage come alive and that, you know, just things that computers will not experience because they are just kind of, aping the text that's gone into them. So, like, new and exciting things, authors will always be needed to add some of that spice and flavor.


Lexi Greene [00:12:40]:

Yeah. And I think that we as we continue to see the, like, landscape of AI evolve, like, I think there are a lot of people who are still keeping an eye on, like, what the situation around it, because it's such a, like, a new and emerging technology. We don't yet really have, like, the the the name of just the cultural norm set around it yet, but especially, like, the legal aspects of it that are still being hashed out through processes that are gonna take longer than we probably need them to. But, so, like, I understand that there are some authors that are going to have that level of, caution or apprehension, wanting to see where the chips fall before getting too invested. And then obviously there is the people who have the concerns that bigger companies, traditional publishing, they're gonna see this as, like, their kind of, way to truncate how much they need from the creative community to do their business. So it's those are incredibly I think those are certainly valid, critiques and valid concerns. But like you said, like, this isn't necessarily a black and white topic, and there are cert in a perfect world, these are certainly tools that authors could be using to accentuate what they do as creatives, as opposed to something that is inherently designed to replace what authors bring to the table.


Jim Azevedo [00:14:01]:

Yep. Well said. I'm gonna bring up a quick comment here from Martha. And, Martha, I know that, this has been addressed already. Martha says and she also said earlier that she's a first time viewer, so welcome, Martha. And Martha says, it asked me to stay on topic here. I have lots of questions, but don't know if they are in line with the topic. And the reason I wanted to show your comment is because I want to welcome you and everyone else to literally ask us anything.


Jim Azevedo [00:14:30]:

If we don't know the answer or we can't answer it here, we won't. But but don't worry. Please feel free to ask us anything, and we will try to do our our best to get all of your questions.


Dan Wood [00:14:40]:

Perhaps we should limit it to publishing oriented stuff.


Lexi Greene [00:14:44]:

Yeah. That's but in terms of support questions in terms of support questions, well, obviously, like, you know, I completely understand, especially as a new author, the process there's a little bit of learning curve. We wholeheartedly recommend just reaching out to our support team. They're available via email. They're available, at certain times of the day during, for via phone. They're incredibly knowledgeable about our systems, and they're gonna be able to give you a much more comprehensive answer because they're gonna be able to work with you in your account. Honestly, I think that, like, our support team is one of the things that tends to separate us from a lot of other players in this space. Because and I'm biased because I came from the support team and those are those people are my friends, but, like, they're, very good at what they do.


Lexi Greene [00:15:29]:

And, if there's a solution, they're gonna find it. And if there's something that can't be done, they're gonna tell you the best way to go about what you wanna do. So I definitely recommend just reaching out to support when you have questions about your account or about the the mechanics of D2D. So


Jim Azevedo [00:15:46]:

Absolutely. They are the best in the business, far none. Here's a question from Beth. Thanks for the question, Beth. Beth asks, I plan to publish my first book with D2D in September. Yay. Congratulations, Beth. She asked, do I need to have it up on preorder in order to get a UBL, a universal book link?


Lexi Greene [00:16:11]:

Yes. So for the, universal book link to be generated, your book needs to be on some of our some of the sales platforms. So your, to do that, you would submit the book as a preorder. And once it starts going live at the, stores that do preorders, which are placed like Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, that's when your universal book link would be generated with links to those pages. The universal book link's kind of just like a a hub of where your book is available. So if it's not available anywhere, then it doesn't really have anything to point to to show your readers where your book's gonna be. So


Dan Wood [00:16:52]:

When setting up a preorder pretty good at it. Like, a a lot of people don't realize you don't need the manuscript to be done. You don't need to submit a manuscript at all. In fact, like, you don't wanna submit a dummy file because that can cause some issues if something goes wrong. The vendors don't like to get the dummy files. And so, you can set up a preorder at most of our retail partners without a manuscript or a cover image, although they do prefer to have the cover image ahead of time. Yeah. A great thing that a lot of people don't realize, especially if they've only worked with Amazon, is that the wide retailers in general are much more forgiving.


Dan Wood [00:17:33]:

Like, if you need to move a preorder date, back a little bit, that's not a problem. You know, they get a little bit, feisty if you keep moving one back, like, a week at a time. So, you know, if you move it back, try not to do move it more than once or twice. That's just because their customers start writing into them about why isn't this available yet. You date. Now that's changed.


Jim Azevedo [00:17:58]:



Dan Wood [00:17:59]:

But, yeah, you don't have to have everything done on your book to set it up as a preorder. Yeah. Our our studies have shown that books with preorders just statistically do better than books without preorders, and so we encourage everyone to do that. Most of our retail partners also have special promotions where there are areas on their site where they're just featuring preorders. So it's an additional, opportunity for you to possibly get some merchandising from the retailers.


Lexi Greene [00:18:28]:

Yeah. And it's like I just you touched on, moving your release date around. Like, you you can do it, but, like, maybe just be careful not to, like, continuously just bump it up a week every single week. But, a, you might if you do that, I've seen people do that and then forget 1 week and suddenly their book missed its release date. So it's very easy to fall into that. But, b, it's also just your readers aren't gonna love just, being ready for a book, being excited for it, and then seeing the release date continuously bump back, it definitely takes away some of the, like, excitement of being the reader looking forward to this book releasing. So it definitely behooves you. Obviously, if life happens, you delay it a couple, like, a couple weeks.


Lexi Greene [00:19:12]:

Readers will understand that. But if it's just happening every single week, you are gonna kind of take away a little bit of the luster of your your book release. So bear that in mind.


Jim Azevedo [00:19:22]:

Yeah. Good good point. And one thing that I like to advise authors, especially if the idea of having a preorder out there, you know, months in advance gives you a little bit of heartburn or causes anxiety, try scheduling in some a buffer zone for yourself. What I mean by that is, let's say that you have a manuscript that you wanna that you're confident that you can release this year. Let's say that you're thinking of releasing that book on September 1st, and you're pretty confident that you'll that you'll complete it on time. But you're also a little bit worried that maybe life events are going to pop up. Maybe they're gonna get called into jury duty or a pandemic's gonna occur or whatever the case may be. BooksRead of holding yourself to that September 1st release date, maybe make it October 1st or even November 1st so that you're giving yourself some extra buffer room.


Jim Azevedo [00:20:17]:

And then if nothing happens, you can always move the release date up a bit. If you have to push your date back, you run the risk of disappointing your readers. They might be disappointed because not because they dislike you, but because they love you. They wanted to get their hands on that book as quickly as possible. So moving it back might disappoint them. But if you gave yourself that buffer room and you finished everything on time, if you move your release date up, they might even become even more excited. So I just wanted to mention that you have that flexibility. Let's see.


Jim Azevedo [00:20:54]:

Okay. I'm gonna bring up another question from Martha. This is a good question. I submitted as an ebook. Can I later order printed? If so, am I responsible to get them into stores?


Dan Wood [00:21:08]:

So, yes, you can, go in and add print at any point. You can do that either through us, or there's several services where where you can do print. Essentially, it's a little bit different BooksRead of an EPUB, but you need a PDF file. If you use, like, our word conversion, then we generate the PDF file for you. Or you can probably like, if you're using a program like Bellum or Atticus, they'll provide the PDF file for you. Yeah. And you can order that at any time and then have it available for distribution in print. As far as getting into stores, you are you'll be part of the network that stores can order from.


Dan Wood [00:21:47]:

And so some of the stores, like, if their readers come in and ask about your BooksRead go ahead and order them, so you don't have to necessarily go out and lobby for it. But if you're really wanting to see your book in a lot of stores, then, yeah, you do kinda have to promote it to bookstores. And some bookstores just aren't really that open to indie books.


Lexi Greene [00:22:09]:

But even once you publish that print book, you're still gonna end up seeing that, available at places like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo. Like, even if the physical bookstores aren't, as ready to stock a new indie book, there's still plenty of places where people are gonna be able to find your print book. So getting it out into the world is, I think, the like, always a good choice. But when, obviously, you're ready, it's a print book, and that's why we kinda give you that flexibility to publish it when you're ready. It doesn't necessarily have to go out with the ebooks.


Dan Wood [00:22:43]:

Yeah. That's definitely been a large point of our our growth over the last few, years as far as book sales. It's still the most popular format by far. A lot of print book sales have moved to online. And, you know, obviously, you can think of just probably your friends and family are probably getting books from places like Amazon or Barnes and Noble where can order the book and have it within a couple of days at most. And so it really kinda levels the playing field. I I think a lot of authors get stuck thinking to be a real author or successful author that they have to get into bookstores, and that's just not the case anymore. You know, if you go to your local Barnes and Noble, you will see that less and less of their actual shelf space is dedicated to books.


Dan Wood [00:23:36]:

Just the print book model of having a large store full of books. It's just not viable anymore. So more and more people are buying either ebooks or buying their print, having it delivered to their house. And a lot of people are moving to audio audiobooks. So


Lexi Greene [00:23:54]:

Yeah. It's Right.


Jim Azevedo [00:23:58]:

Oh, sorry, Alexis. Didn't mean to cut you off with this question here. Guillaume asks thanks for the question, Guillaume. I put my 2 French spy novels on all platforms through DraftDigital, including Amazon. When I check the books to read link, Amazon is not indicated.


Jim Azevedo [00:24:19]:

Not too sure why? That kinda sounds like an odd one.


Dan Wood [00:24:24]:

That might be one you have to reach out to support directly for. You might need to rescan the books to read link. Just it might have gone live before it had the Amazon link. And so you just need to rescan to and it'll find the Amazon link. Or if if there's some sort of distribution problem, that might be why it's not showing up at Amazon yet.


Lexi Greene [00:24:46]:

Yeah. Honestly, Amazon links Okay. In terms of detection are a little wonky sometimes. I've definitely seen authors just kind of struggle initially with getting those, links on. You can usually add your Amazon link to your BooksRead read, UBL manually, by going into just the admin side of your books to read link. But for a step by step on that, probably reach out to support, but they should be able to help you try and get that Amazon link where it's supposed to be. But, yeah, sometimes sometimes Amazon is a silly little website.


Jim Azevedo [00:25:22]:

It's a silly little website. I appreciate all these questions, everybody. Carlene, I'm gonna I think I just butchered your name. Carlene? I hope I that's a pretty name. It's unique. Thank you for your question. She asked, why do I have to remove box set in the title when it's a box set? This is for the print version.


Lexi Greene [00:25:46]:

I have this answer. So it's because when you submit a book through us, it's not being so when people expect a box set, they're expecting multiple independent books collected together in a physical box. That's not what we're doing when we sent our book projects to the printers. What you're what you are publishing would more likely be considered an omnibus or, like, just, you know, a collection, because it's all gonna be in one physical book. So they don't want to misconstrue what the reader is purchasing. So if you say BooksRead and they end up getting one book, some readers are gonna reach out and kind of have words about that. So we just wanna make sure that the reader knows what they're expecting, and they're happy when they get their purchase.


Dan Wood [00:26:39]:

There are some new players on the market too that are starting to make traditional box sets available to indie authors. Yeah. We we don't have any plan to offer that anytime soon, but it is something that is has not been available for many years and just in the last year or 2. There's now some options out there to make a traditional box set. I know for me, when I was a kid, I had, like, the box set of, the token books, the, Lord of the Rings. And, yeah, when readers hear BooksRead, they expect to get an actual box around the books.


Jim Azevedo [00:27:19]:

Okay. Thank you both. I love all these questions coming in. Thank you, everybody. DD r s, what would happen to an author's DD account or book files if they were to pass away?


Dan Wood [00:27:34]:

So the the account stays open. The executor of the estate would reach out to us, and they would need to provide things like the death certificate. And then we get them access to the account, and then they can manage it. If someone passes away and doesn't have any clear succession plan, after a while, we noticed that we're not getting any, you know, like, we've gotta update certain things like tax IDs and everything every once in a while. And money will start bouncing, and so we then collect that money and hang on to it. After a certain number of years, that money goes to the, the state we're incorporated in and the, you know, if there is ever an error, they could claim that money.


Jim Azevedo [00:28:30]:

Appreciate that answer. Okay. Britishchick09. She asked, will the also by page update in previous in previously published books, or would I need to manually republish to show the new page? I'll read that again. Will the also by page update and my previously published books, are what I need to manually republish to show the new page?


Dan Wood [00:29:02]:

If you're using our also by by pages that we generate, then we go in and we automatically update them as we get the new links for books for all your past books. If you're using a program like Bellum to generate your also by page, then you would need to go in and upload a new also by pay or a new file with the updated also by pay pages. So it really just depends on how how you are providing the also by page.


Lexi Greene [00:29:29]:

Yeah. And I should also add, in terms of print specifically, that won't automatically update, because you do have to resubmit a book on in print to send new updates or an an updated version to start being the new thing that gets printed. So the ebooks will update automatically. The print book will update the next time you submit, a an updated version of your print book.


Jim Azevedo [00:29:57]:

Cool. Question from Linda French. Thanks for your question, Linda. She asks, hello. My question is, if a time limited promo, like a Kobo sale, is only available in Canada, do I still need to change the price everywhere?


Dan Wood [00:30:15]:

You need to change the Canadian price everywhere, but not the the price everywhere. So, in most cases, you're required to provide the same price to all the different retailers. And so you need to change the Canadian price, especially Amazon because they're very picky about that, and they will send you the kind of the net nasty emails that your price is lower somewhere. But you only would need to change the Canadian price. You wouldn't need to change the US price or the UK price.


Lexi Greene [00:30:48]:

Yeah. You don't want those Amazon nastygrams. We also, our, price change page and our price our promo pricing tool both have the option to manage territorial pricing. So we do have the tools in place for you to just change your Canadian price, and leave your prices in other regions the same as you left it. So


Jim Azevedo [00:31:12]:

Okay. Let's see. Here's the other one. I so appreciate these questions. Deja Vaboom. I and I also love these names. Does d2dprint offer many options for cover stock, like just the glossy version I've been getting, or are there also satin, waxy, or cloth covers?


Lexi Greene [00:31:36]:

So as of right now, the 2 cover types that we have are glossy and matte. Well, we can't say forever what the future holds, but those are the 2 options that we have, through our print partner. I've I've seen both. They both look, like, nice and professional. Your glossies get got that sheen. That matte has that nice texture, that nice book feel. So, yeah, they, those 2 are the current options. And then in terms of pay print, the paper, just in case anyone wants to ask that, I think we currently have, like, white paper and cream paper, I believe.


Lexi Greene [00:32:14]:

So those are your, those are your current print options to d2d print.


Jim Azevedo [00:32:21]:

Thank you, Lexi. I bring up a question here from Thomas Ray. This is kind of a serious question here, and it's, along the lines of a previously answered question from Dan. Thomas says, hello, Jim, Dan, and Lexi. Hi, Thomas. Yes. I'm publishing my 10 book series with you. Unfortunately, in the past couple of weeks, I found I have an incurable cancer.


Jim Azevedo [00:32:46]:

How do I pass rights for my book to my partner?


Dan Wood [00:32:51]:

You're going to want to talk to, like, a lawyer in your region to to make sure you do it specifically because it it can vary widely by state in the US. Or if you're in the UK, it's a different process. So getting a a proper lawyer, you know, a lot of cases, it's it's just a matter of naming them as, the heir and the executor. But that that is all very doable. There's some more complicated structures that might be advantageous with, taxes to them. But a a good a good lawyer will be able to help


Jim Azevedo [00:33:30]:

you with that. Yeah. K. Thanks for the answer, Dan. We appreciate all these questions, everybody. Keep cycling through them. I think we're we're getting through them very well. I don't see any unanswered just yet.


Jim Azevedo [00:33:45]:

So So in this little gap section here, wanted to talk about the the Smashwords sale. We just concluded we recently concluded our annual I think it was the 15th annual read an ebook sale. And this the little Smashboard star is the little train that could. It just it keeps growing and growing. Now that Draft2Digital authors have the opportunity to distribute their BooksRead the Smashwords, Each one of these sales keeps getting bigger and better. And in this past sale, it was the week of correct me if I'm wrong. Like, what? The week of March 3rd through 9th?


Lexi Greene [00:34:23]:

Yes. That was reading ebook week, the 1st week of March. Yeah. That was a that was a record breaking sale for us. Crazy exciting to hear about that, especially considering it's like a 1 week sale. That's that is a ton of new eyes on books. I we did we specifically this year had several carousels that were specifically, a handful of our kind of, like, top sellers on Smashwords, across certain genres. And this is I think that that played a role, and, like, we we did our job kind of promoting those carousels.


Lexi Greene [00:35:04]:

And, I think that that played a role in getting more eyes on the sale, and it just kinda reinforces an opinion that we've said a lot, and I firmly believe, which is that, indie publishing is not we're not competing with each other. Your your competition isn't, other indie authors. A rising tide lifts all boats. And, yeah, rising tide lifts all boats. So once there are eyes on these, you know, bestsellers on their on their special carousel, you have authors that are gonna look around and think, well, what else can I throw in my cart while I'm here? And they're gonna find new books. So I think that by highlighting some of the books that might be a little higher in demand, you also get more authors who reap the benefits of more people looking for new things to read. So I'm glad to see that that sale really panned out and really, over performed in my not over performed. Like, we we expected it to perform, but, definitely was a, a highlight of our march to be sure.


Jim Azevedo [00:36:06]:

Yeah. And it almost goes without saying that we did notice that the authors who performed well, who enjoyed the most sales during that sale, Believe it or not, those are the officers who are out there promoting the most. Like, they are really pounding the virtual pavement to tell their fans about this sale and to get people excited about the sale. The next big sale we have coming up is the July. We call it the summer winter sale. The July sale at Smashwords store lasts for an entire month, and I would highly encourage you. If you haven't participated in any of these sales yet, just experiment with it. You know, have some fun, cross promote with some of your author friends, and just make it make it fun.


Jim Azevedo [00:36:50]:

Don't feel like it's something you have to, like, burn the midnight oil with trying to promote yourself, but you have fun with it, experiment, and, we hope that yourselves are successful. Let's see.


Lexi Greene [00:37:04]:



Jim Azevedo [00:37:05]:

We go back to the question section. Coming down. Coming down. Oh, let me bring this one up here. Beth asks, doesn't Draft2Digital have a person who helps with promotions? How do we go about finding out about promotions that are coming up and how do we apply? Thanks so much for this question, Beth. We're glad you asked. Wanna take a look at it?


Lexi Greene [00:37:32]:

My favorite people. Yeah. One of my favorite people in our company helps with promotions. So Megan Spann is, wonderful. She is our promotions coordinator. She works with, along alongside Mark, Lafay, like, hell is also involved in the promotions process getting those set up. But, Meghan's really the one who that tends to get hands on with getting authors signed up for these promotions. There is a form that authors can sign up to, get involved in consideration.


Lexi Greene [00:38:02]:

I don't have that form on me, but, I have every faith that Lyssa probably can wrangle it somewhere. But, yeah, she works with, authors who whose books fit the promotions that our, storefronts are looking to get, going. She'll coordinate with them, make sure the prices get set the way they're supposed to, and those are the people who end up getting involved in these sales. And, obviously, that that is an opportunity. Now it's just worth noting, obviously, everyone can't be pulled for every sale. This is gonna be, very dependent depending on what the sale is, designed to do, what what genre it's focused on, what kind of books they're looking for. But, you it's certainly one of those cases where you can't be picked if you don't put yourself out there. So it's worth, submitting the form.


Lexi Greene [00:38:55]:

It's worth getting yourself, in front of this promotional opportunity. And, yeah, if Megan's around, she's just one of my favorite people, and I think she deserves all praise in the world.


Dan Wood [00:39:08]:

We do also, Megan and Mark post, in the wife of the win group about most of the promotions. And so that's another good way to kinda make see you know, if you might have missed an email, they tend to post, what the promotion is and what the requirements are. By requirements, we just mean, like, sometimes it's a it it's only for romance. Sometimes it's for books with, like, a summer theme on the cover. It's all over the place. And so, sometimes your books not all your books qualify for every sale, but it's good to get those emails and then just to check-in and see if there's anything. And, I'd say the wide for the win group is a good place. And that's wide for the win on Facebook, and I think they're on Circle now as well.


Lexi Greene [00:39:59]:

Yeah. And if you're on Facebook, you should absolutely be part of Wide for the Wind. They've been, they're certainly friends of the program. They're friends of Draft2Digital, but they're just a great place for authors who are focusing on going wide as indies to kinda gather and, share information. So, yeah, if you're not on, wide for the win, you should be.


Jim Azevedo [00:40:22]:

Another point I wanted to make about that promotions form is that you don't have to wait for us to come to you to learn about new promotions from the retailers. One thing that Mark and Meaghan made it very clear is that when you fill out that form, give more detail about who you are in your books, than you think is necessary. They they they they have told me the more detail, the better, and you could be proactive with it. What that means is that let's say that you have an anthology with some author friends or you have a box set that you're doing with some author friends or you, or that your books are currently selling very well, or you have a best selling series and the next book in your series is going to publish. Those types of tidbits of information we wanna know about because sometimes these retailers, they want to know if there is a popular author, for example, who has a book on preorder and that preorder is accumulating sales ahead of time. They wanna know about it. So let us know, and then if we could give you any promotional support with that, we'll do our darndest to to do it for you. I'm scrambling to go through the questions to get to the questions as we're coming toward the end here.


Jim Azevedo [00:41:40]:

It's like I'm running. Okay. Love to ask another question. Are there any new guidelines about cover images, from retailers? Have the retailers change the roles for cover images, you guys?


Lexi Greene [00:41:55]:

Not to my knowledge. Most of them are pretty consistent. Don't put nudity on your cover. Make sure that your title is on the cover for some of the, some of our vendors. Make sure the author name matches the title, or make sure the author name on the cover matches the author name of the metadata, make sure that your title in the metadata matches your title on the cover. So these are kind of your general, rules of thumb for covers. I don't think anything in particular is new. I'm sure but, you know, publishing's an evolving landscape.


Lexi Greene [00:42:25]:

Also, I just it was mentioned that, I just reached out to Megan. On top of the promo form, there is also an email that promotions has. If you ever need to reach out to them directly, obviously, use that specifically if you're looking for, you know like you like, Jim said, you have, like, Anthology coming out. You're doing some promotion of your own. You're looking to expand. That's an email that you can look into.


Jim Azevedo [00:42:55]:

Great. Thanks, Steve. A k Coggins asks, if you offer a coupon or a free book, how does that work? A lot of times, I can answer this one. A lot of times, I can answer this one. A lot of times, I'll talk about


Lexi Greene [00:43:13]:

oh, yeah. Go for it.


Jim Azevedo [00:43:14]:

Go ahead, Lexi. No. No. Sorry. There's still layers of my head. That's Okay. Well, I was gonna mention the Smashwords coupons in in particular. So if you want to, offer, let's say, a a a coupon, this is specific to the Smashwords store.


Jim Azevedo [00:43:31]:

You can offer a private coupon. You can offer a public coupon. If you wanted to make it private and and mark that coupon down to free, let's say you wanted to to give some reviewers an advanced review copy of your book ahead of time. That's something that you could do for the Smashwords store, specifically through your DraftDigital, distribution. Did you wanna add to that, Lexi?


Lexi Greene [00:43:58]:

No. I would you you did wonderfully. Lisa, pointed out that I mentioned that promotions has an email and then proceed to not save the the email out loud, which is a problem for a format that is definitely also a podcast. So, the email for the promotions team is just So just if you ever need to reach out to them, that's where you would do it.


Dan Wood [00:44:25]:

Part of the question of that question about free BooksRead, you know, the reason people do that is a free book is a good way to get people into a series. So you're using it as a funnel or, like, a loss leader. I would not recommend doing a free book just if it's not part of a series. Like, I think a free first in series makes a lot of sense. With ebooks, that's pretty easy. Most of our retailers support having a a book be for free, and then, you know, readers can just sign up for it. And you're hoping in that case is that they will then go on and read book 2, and that's where they become a paid customer. As far as, like, giving out free print books, that is more complicated because print books actually have a cost associated with them, so they're not free.


Dan Wood [00:45:10]:

You as an author can, you know, order, advanced reader copies and then send them out to people. But mostly, free books are gonna be a strategy with ebooks.


Jim Azevedo [00:45:22]:

K. We're coming up to the end of our time here. I'm gonna bring up this last question here from Guillaume who asks, how do you network with other authors? I have been searching but had no luck. You know, I think one of the best ways to network is, you know, being involved in a community like this one right here where we're all kinda interacting with one another. Dan mentioned the Facebook group, Wide For the Win, which I think is an excellent, excellent community. We're interacting with authors who've been around the block several times. There are a lot of bestsellers in that group. And there are a lot of authors who are just starting out and the level of community and edit advice that percolates, through that group, I think, is fantastic.


Jim Azevedo [00:46:11]:

If you have in your town, you could do a Google search for riders club in my area. There are Eventbrite meetups. There are online writing groups. There are multiple opportunities for you to connect with other riders within your genre and even outside your genre. Just connect virtually and in person as well to create that network and and build your author friend community. You guys have anything else you would wanted to add to that one?


Dan Wood [00:46:42]:

I think it's important to find where your peer authors are, the the authors who are writing in the in the community that you're in. You know, like, Reddit has several subreddits that there's, like, an erotic community. There's a fantasy community, a sci fi community. There are discords out there. It it varies quite a bit. And so, I I feel like in general, you can look at there's a lot of Facebook groups, and they can kinda help you niche down to whatever group you're more likely to have something in common with. Because it's the book industry is a little bit different by genre, and things that work in sci fi don't really work in romance. And, like, some of the advice around length of book or price of book is very different depending on the genre.


Dan Wood [00:47:33]:



Lexi Greene [00:47:33]:

I just jumping out with this one thing. I'm I'm very much a discord person. So like, I definitely agree. You can find plenty of discords that are either for authors for specific niches and genres. Just great places to kind of communicate, converse, and to share, experiences with, other authors.


Jim Azevedo [00:47:54]:

Yeah. Thank you both for answering that one. We've come to the end of our session here, so I wanted to thank all of our viewers for joining us once again this week and every week. For everybody out there, we love it when you like, share, comment, and subscribe to this channel because it helps us attract the experts on the industry to provide you with their advice and expertise to help you further your author careers. Further, be sure to bookmark because every week we post there so that you can see what the next topic and who the next guest is going to be. And then finally, for those of you who may be newer to indie publishing or maybe just dipping your toe into the indie publishing waters for the first time, why not sign up for your free Draft2Digital account simply by visiting We've come to the end here. So, again, I wanna thank Dan and Lexley for joining us today. Your help is invaluable to me, especially.


Jim Azevedo [00:48:58]:

For all of our viewers, we will see you here again next week. And in the meantime, we're gonna play this quick 30 second spot on draft2digital print for d2d print. See you all next week. Thanks again, everybody.


Kevin Tumlinson [00:49:11]:

It looks great, but there's just something about having your words in print. Something you can hold in your hands, put on a shelf sign for a reader. That's why we created D2D Print, a print on demand service that was built for you. We have free beautiful templates to give your book a pro look, and we can even convert your ebook cover into a full wrap around cover for print. So many options for you and your BooksRead. And you can get started right now at That's it for this week's self publishing insiders with Draft2Digital. Be sure to subscribe to us wherever you listen to podcasts and share the show with your will be author friends, and start, build, and grow your own self publishing career right now at