Author Consulting

Hey, Wondrous Wideling! 👋

As I'm sure you read in the Wide for the Win group, I offer one-on-one consulting sessions with authors who'd like a bit of extra help in making their wide dreams a reality. Before you book an appointment with me, though, I'd like to go over what you should expect as part of that appointment.

First, let's list out the topics I have expertise and experience on, that I'd love to help you learn more about:

  • Starting your career as a wide author – how to start out of the gate as a Wideling, and stick to it
  • Making the switch from KU to wide? Let's talk through some potential strategies to make the transition as smooth as possible
  • The permafree strategy and why so many Widelings use it
  • Increasing your chances of getting a BookBub (and which BookBub type I recommend)
  • Maximizing the impact of your BookBub once you do manage to snag one
  • Should you use a distributor? Should you go direct? Let's talk through the options and which one may make sense for you
  • The differences between a permafree and a newsletter magnet, what does what, and why I recommend you have both
  • A strong paid newsletter strategy – rotation, keeping track of ROI, and how to pick which newsletters to promote your books in
  • How to decide when to get into the production of audiobooks, translations, paperbacks, hardbacks, and which area to prioritize first
  • The world of paperbacks – I can answer your questions re: Amazon Expanded Distribution, IngramSpark, and D2D print options, if you're overwhelmed and don't know where to start. ISBNs? Returns? Discounts? I'll give you my thoughts.
  • Libraries! After seven years in the library world (including an 18-month stint as a library director), I can answer the questions you may have about libraries. I don't know everything there is to know, but I'm sure I can answer most questions, and can research the rest
  • Along that same vein, I'm happy to talk shop on large print (a print option that is very popular with libraries)
  • Working with other authors doing cross-promotions, multi-author boxsets, and more
  • Optimizing your backmatter for higher click and sell-thru rates
  • Writing author newsletters – what to say in them; how to make sure your open rates stay high; when to purge; and any other questions you might have on this topic
  • BookFunnel vs BookSprout – when to use which service and why
  • Any "stupid questions" that you've always wanted to ask someone about the self-publishing world, but were too embarrassed to. This is a judgment-free zone. I'm happy to help; I'm happy to answer any wide publishing question you may have, no matter how little or mundane.

But if I have topics that I'm happy to help with, you're right in thinking that I also have topics where I do not have the expertise and experience to help with, and/or I do not have any interest in teaching:

  • How to be a successful KU author
  • How to be a successful author with part of your catalog in KU and part wide
  • How to run Facebook or AMS ads
  • How to be traditionally published and/or find an agent
  • In-depth discussions on writing techniques or a critique of your novel (ie, I am not an editor or proofreader)
  • How to hit the USA Today list (other than 1. Get a BookBub on a $0.99 boxset; 2. Book every newsletter promo on the planet; and 3. Ask other authors in your genre to promo said boxset, I've got nothin' special to offer here)
  • Strategies built around Facebook parties, Instagram hops, or any other social media trend
  • Anything shady, underhanded, or criminal, I ain't your gal

Now that we've discussed general topics I'm qualified to help you with, let's talk turkey for a minute in regards to the various genres out there, and where my knowledge lies in that regard:

I am a contemporary western romance author. Most of my knowledge is applicable to other popular genres (mysteries / sci-fi / fantasy / YA / horror / etc) and popular fiction as a whole.

However! If you want to go in-depth on the specifics of promoting bully reverse harem romance novels, for example, I can't help you. The information that I know has worked well for me. It has paid my bills for 4+ years. It's applicable to a lot of different genres because honestly, the basics are the same. But if you want to get into the nitty-gritty, fine detail of a specific genre, that genre damn well better be medium-heat cowboy romance novels, because you're otherwise outta luck.

Likewise, if you write in obscure or less marketable genres (like, poetry or Japanese manga), my advice will have limited value for you. Along those same lines, if you want to get into a print-heavy genre (children or middle-grade books), I can answer the generics of what print-on-demand is; uploading to IngramSpark; things like that. But I have never had print as a major part of my income (like most indie authors out there who write genre fiction, the vast majority of my income comes from ebooks). So depending on how advanced your knowledge is, I could (or could not) be of use in a print-heavy genre.

Also, I know almost nothing about the nonfiction world (mainly because I've never written a nonfiction book). If you don't understand how ISBNs work, I can happily walk you through that because ISBNs are the same whether you write fiction or nonfiction. But if you want to know which newsletter lists to use to advertise your nonfiction book? I'm not your gal.

If you can't tell, I'm happy to tell you when I can help you, and when I can't. The last thing I want to do is take your money and not actually help you. The guilt for me would be unbearable! So if you're curious if the question you have could be answered by me, hop on over to my contact page and shoot me a message. I'm happy to tell you if I'm qualified to answer your questions or not. The one thing I won't do is bullshit you.

Here's the honest truth:

Every single thought I've ever had about the wide publishing world? I've posted it at one time or another in the Wide for the Win group. I don't have any special handshake-only info that I give out to my consulting clients and no one else. So if you're reading this because you're looking for the silver bullet, you can stop looking now. There isn't one, period.

But if you've been reading posts on Wide for the Win for a while now and it's all just overwhelming and you're thinking, "I wish that for an hour, I could just sit and ask Erin any question I have under the sun, and she would explain it all to me so that all of the pieces finally fit together and MADE SENSE," golly gee whiz, today is your lucky day. 😉 Instead of giving general advice that may or may not be applicable to you, I can look at your catalog and your writing speed and your level of expertise and give you my absolute best advice on what I think you should do. You can always ignore any advice you don't feel is accurate of course – you're in the driver's seat. But I will tell it to you straight, and walk you through what I think your best next moves should be.

In short, I'm here to help.

Here are the steps to follow (please be sure to do ALL of them!)

  1. Here's the link to my Calendly page to book your session with me. I only allow up to two author sessions per day in order to allow for me to still get my writing done, so don't be surprised if the next opening is a ways away. The form will ask for your PayPal address; be sure that it's accurate.
  2. Immediately head on over and fill out this intake form on Typeform. I ask a lot of questions there but that's because I want to maximize our time together. Fill it out with as much detail as you can possibly muster. The more detail you give, the more I can help you, so help me help you. I will not send you a PayPal invoice (and thus will not consider your appointment to be finalized!) until you fill out the intake form! I look them over before I send out an invoice, because I want to make sure that I can actually help you before billing you. Thus, filling this intake form out ASAP is very, very helpful. Please and thank you. 🙂
  3. Once I know I can help you, I will send you a PayPal invoice for $99 for our one-hour session. It is after this invoice is paid that I consider our appointment to be finalized.
  4. Please show up to our Zoom meeting on time (or even five minutes early!) Please note, I will be there for the full hour, whether or not you show up. If I spend that hour cleaning out my belly lint and singing the ABC Song backwards, so be it. I'll be in that Zoom room for 60 minutes. If you choose not to show, you'll have missed an amazing rendition of ZYX, what can I say? And no, you don't get your money back or another appointment scheduled for free. I'll have fulfilled my end of the bargain. The rest is up to you.
  5. NOTE: I do allow appointments to be rescheduled up to 3 hours beforehand at no cost to you; within 3 hours of the planned start to the meeting, you can reschedule but there is a $25 reschedule fee that will need to be paid before the appointment can go forward.
  6. NOTE 2: I do, sadly, suffer from chronic migraines and some other not-so-fun health issues. If I end up rescheduling our appointment because of a health issue, I will extend our consultation for an extra 30 minutes for free as my apology for needing to reschedule. I hope to never have to do this, but this is the reality of living with chronic health issues.

Please understand – more important than anything else I've said so far – is that I can give you the best advice on the planet, but if you choose not to implement any of it, there's not much I can do at that point. If you book an appointment with me, you're also booking an appointment with yourself – an agreement with yourself that you'll put in the hard work to make success happen.

If you aren't willing to do that hard work, save yourself the hundred bucks.

Truly.

Not to put too fine of a point on it, there are well over 7,000 Widelings in the group at the time of me writing this. I could help 8 authors a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and it'd still be well over two years before I was able to help every single Wideling who is currently in the group (not to mention anyone new who joined in the next two years!)

I promise you, I'm not hurting for people to help.

Thus, I want to prioritize those who are willing to do the hard work after our meeting, because that's where my time is best spent.

If you feel like you're that person, please head on over to my Calendly to book an appointment and then immediately fill out the intake form. I can't wait to work with you. ❤️

Hugs,

E