If you didn’t catch the first installment of this series, pop over to last week’s post.

Step Two: Find Partners (continued)

Part B: Sponsors or Beneficiaries

Maybe there is an angel investor out there who wants to partner with you financially on the book. Probably not. You’re more likely to find a charitable beneficiary who wants to receive your net royalties.

What???? Spend $25k then give away the royalties????

Come see me!

LIVE WIRE reading, A Celebration of Women’s Words, Black Lab. Pub, Houston, TX, March 3, 4 pm

LIVE WIRE Release—with wine and cheese, The Book Nook, Brenham, TX, March 16, 1-3 pm

SICK PUPPY Release at Murder by the Book, Houston, TX, April 27, 4:30 pm

Writing and Reading Mysteries and Thrillers, Comicpalooza, Houston, TX, May 12, 3:00 pm

DEAD PILE Release—with coffee and dessert, Sheridan Stationery & Books, Sheridan, WY, May 25, 1-3 pm

Yes. Because choosing a charity to get the net royalties gives you a less self-serving reason to promote, makes people feel good about spending the money, and, if you pick the right partner, attracts your ideal reader. For our run, my box set group chose Pets for Vets as our charity, because we believed our ideal reader would love dogs and have a soft spot for vets returning from service with visible and invisible needs.

Supporting a charity gave us a great look and feel for our posts and ads. And we donated thousands of dollars to them, which was awesome.

Step Three: Prepare Your Book

Pick a theme to write to, with readers in mind. What will sell best in the genre? Write your original content to that theme and have the best, most genre-relevant cover of your career produced. Require each other’s entry to receive professional editing. Format the book to be error-free. In short, produce the best book you’ve ever been a part of.

Target a release date for best possible sales and lowest possible competition. This will require research and flexibility. High competition: Christmas holiday. Low sales: July-August. Other than that, you’re mostly hoping not to compete with other box sets. The only solution here is sleuthing and leg work.


     2. Enter to win! READER APPRECIATION WEEK (CONTEST), Free for WINNERS (June, WY)



Price your book to sell. You’re an indie. You want to make the list. You aren’t getting any money back anyway on this (trust me, I’ll prove it shortly). Ninety-nine cents is your price.  It’s also a price point that paid advertising works for, and paid advertising for an indie doesn’t work well at higher price points. You can argue with me, but I’m not listening. And I don’t care if you believe me or not. You wanted me to tell you how to make the list. Shop for a different answer if you don’t like this one :-).

Yeah, my husband sometimes feels like you do right now, too.

Step Four: Work the Network

If you do a multi-author box set, one thing you definitely have more of is manpower and reach. Use both wisely.

A. Build readership for each other through social media, blog, and newsletter swaps/promotion for each other. The more you build your individual readership, the more likely someone will be to buy your set.

B. Find and post in relevant social groups about your box set, relentlessly, using a variety of branded images with your strongest messages, coming from all your different contributors, not just one.

C. Set up events and invite readers. Hold giveaways. Do excerpts and cover reveals. Interview each other. Invite guest authors (who hopefully bring their readers).


E. Do buy-swaps with other box sets, especially on non-Amazon sales sites (those are the hardest sales to get, and you need a minimum of 500 each–see below). These do not need to be genre-specific. You find these by researching for box sets available on the various sales sites. Then you laboriously contact the individual authors until you find one person to work with to arrange a VERIFIED buy swap (require screen shots).

F. Use your individual blogs to run interviews on each other (authors in your own set) and get creative. We did tagline and cover contests where readers vote for the winners. That was fun. Anything to try to snag that one additional reader each time, who may get you five more by recommending it to her buddies.

Catch the next installment of this series on how to make the USA Today list next week.

Until then,


Pamela Fagan HutchinsUSA Today bestseller and winner of the 2017 Silver Falchion award for
Best Mystery, writes hilarious nonfiction (What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes, and How Can I Be One, Too?), and mystery trilogies in her What Doesn’t Kill You world. She teaches writing, publishing, and promotion at the SkipJack Publishing Online School (where you can take How to Sell a Ton of Books, FREE) and writes about it on the SkipJack Publishing blog.

Pamela resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. She has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes and trail rides with her hunky husband, giant horses, and pack of rescue dogs, donkeys, and goats. She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound (if she gets a good running start).08

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