Solid reasons behind rapid publishing, a la Hugh Howey and Liliana Hart


Traditionally-published author Kevin Hearne—whose books line my bookshelf in this snapshot—reached NY Times Bestseller status within a year by launching the first three books in his Iron Druid Chronicles series over three months. Coincidence or strategic?

Would you like to know how wildly successful self-publisher Hugh Howey earned 1,200 reader reviews on Amazon? He danced as a reward for milestone numbers of reviews. Really. Check out the video.

Howey, known for Wool, sold more than two million copies of his dystopian “Silo Series” worldwide. He’s writing his Beacon 23 series of short stories in stand-alone story arcs, which he relates to a season of TV with each episode telling a story. He’s quoted in The Writer Files blog as saying, “People are eating them up at 99 cents each.”

This process for his short stories may have a foundation in his belief in the Liliana Hart method of marketing a book series. The best-selling author of mystery and romance uses a process that boils down to writing five books before releasing one of them a month. Howey’s The Wayfinder blog post describes why he thinks she may be genius.

He also points to another author’s take on the Liliana method, in which Rosalind James uses Kindle Select and Kindle Countdown marketing programs as the focus of her “Rolling Countdown” book launch campaign. A very interesting read.

Have Howey and Hart  found the “silver bullet” of successful self-publishing? What do you think?

P.S. Learn more about how Howey achieved his writing success on The Writer’s Dig blog.


Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Indie publishing • Word-of-mouth
Check out my Book Shepherding sessions.


#6 Writing Tip: Authors and readers profit from free book downloads

Authors and e-book readers, do you use Kindle Select (KS) and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL)?

“Why would I,” you ask?

Two compelling reasons.

  • Readers receive free e-book borrows.
  • Authors gain enhanced visibility and potential sales.

Here’s how it works:

Readers, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can borrow from a collection of more than 180,000 books in the KOLL. Besides my own novel, Rhythms & Muse [big cheesy grin], the library includes 100-plus current and former New York Times best sellers — to read for free — as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.

Watch this price drop to zero tomorrow for Amazon Prime members who want to borrow my book.

Watch this price drop to zero this weekend for Amazon Prime members who want to borrow my book.

Authors, simply give exclusive rights to Kindle for 90 days, enroll your titles, and promote free downloads to gain visibility. The best part, though, is you actually earn a share of the multimillion-dollar KDP Select Global Fund every time your book is borrowed from the KOLL on Amazon.

I’ve had several authors tell me their books get borrowed thousands of times over a couple of days through this program, and they can sell one book for every three borrowed. In the first Valentine’s Day 2012 promo I did the last weekend of January 2013, 994 readers downloaded Rhythms & Muse. [I’ll report later what happens, sales-wise.] Looks like we have everything to gain here, especially happy readers.

Authors… Readers… What are you waiting for?

If you have had an exceptional experience using KS or KOLL, the rest of us would like to hear about it in the comments below.


P.S. Readers, in the spirit of letting you take advantage of this truly cool offering right away, I’ve scheduled my own KS promos. [Put this in the realm of “well-how-the-heck-will-you-know-about-it-if-I-don’t-tell-you” shameless promotion.] Yep, you can borrow my women’s fiction e-book this weekend — Fri., Feb. 1 through Sun., Feb. 3, 2013 — by searching for Rhythms & Muse at the KOLL.

Rhythms & Muse synopsis:

Alex, a Grammy-winning vocalist, lives the glamorous lifestyle, but hates it. Her dreams guide her life, but she doesn’t listen until one actually manifests. Will intuition, flashbacks to her 1970s high-school days in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and an ambitious current-day plan to reconnect with her former music partner and muse, help her find fulfillment?

Amazon review:

“Ann…has a gift for setting the scene and characters so that you feel like you have visited these places, and know these people in her book. I particularly liked the shift back and forth in time during the book — it reminds us that whichever paths we take in our lives, we are still the same person within. This book brought back memories of high school.”