Our guest this week is author Brian D. Meeks.

Today’s show is about using the data you generate with your author business and using it to make more money.

Our guest this week is Brian D. Meeks, who, along with co-author Honoree Corder have just released a new book called The Prosperous Writer’s Guide to Making More Money.

Brian D. Meeks is a full-time author who writes fiction under his name and pseudonym matching name of his protagonist from his Underwood, Scotch, and Wry series. He has released 12 novels, with the 13th on the way. In addition to mysteries, thrillers, YA, science fiction, and satire, he writes non-fiction with his co-author Honorée Corder about the business of writing and publishing. Their latest book is The Prosperous Writer’s Guide to Making More Money: Habits, Tactics, and Strategies for Making a Living as a Writer.

As you’ll hear during the interview, Brian is also an unrepentant data geek who translates his many years of experience as a data analyst with a major insurance company to his work as an author.

A quick visit to Sanibel Island

During the show intro Steve mentions having coffee with fellow podcaster Len Edgerly, the host of The Kindle Chronicles.  They met at a coffee shop on Sanibel Island while Len and his family were visiting Southwest Florida.

Show Notes for Interview with Brian D. Meeks

Brian D. Meeks, “Data Geek”

  • https://www.facebook.com/Brian.D.Meeks/
  • Excelled in Economics
  • Was a data analyst for Geico for seven years
    • Compares tracking data to a treasure hunt
    • Data analysis makes him a better author
      • Allows him to maximize what book’s potential might be
  • Full-time author, writes fiction and nonfiction
  • Recently co-authored The Prosperous Writer’s Guide to Making More Money with Honorée Corder
    • Goes live on Amazon 2/20/17
      • With a Companion Excel workbook
        • Can download info straight from your KDP page
    • Steve says the humor makes the book “easy to consume”
    • Brian’s hope was his use of humor would keep people from shutting down due to math phobia, or stress of the unknown

Tracking Data to Maximize Income

  • Per Steve, “If you make products, you are producing data, whether you track it or not…The data that you’re generating can either make you a lot of money, or save you a lot of money.”
  • Brian uses an Excel Workbook to record events and track his own data
    • Looking for patterns familiarizes himself with this data, and helps him find what boosts his sales
    • If it becomes part of your routine, you’ll absorb the information, too
      • “You need to pay attention to data; if you don’t, you can make incorrect bids, and it’ll cost you a lot of money.”
  • 7-Day Moving Average Report
    • Can track trends and patterns
  • Kindle Unlimited Page Reads
    • Available for Kindle-exclusive authors
    • Trends tell you about the success of your ads
      • Includes lagging indicator
  • Data for Selecting the Right Keywords
    • Brian goes through his books a few times a year and looks for keywords that work better than others might
      • He looks at his sales trends while certain ads are running
    • Compares keywords to different sized “ponds”; the number of books that a search returns
      • You have to decide if it serves you better to be a fish in a smaller pond, or to be a fish in a larger pond
      • Choosing “science fiction” (180,000) versus “Literature” (1.3 million)
        • To start, choose a pond that returns 4,000 –  5,000 books, and use keywords to work your way up the ladder
    • Your keyword methodology may change; shifts happen in this data for various reasons

A Little Help from Friends

  • Is it worth an author’s time to study the data they have and optimize it, or to spend their time writing the next book?
    • If you’re most comfortable writing the books and just getting them out, figuring out how to sell them later down the road is fine; but you have to do it at some point.
  • Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, and David Wright
    • “Write, publish, repeat” methodology
    • High volume of high-quality material
      • Brian has set the task for himself of spending at least one hour a day, 7 days a week, on writing
        • Setting this task, holding himself accountable, led to his most productive month
  • Sean Platt recommended The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
    • Helped Brian get over the hurdle of writing book descriptions
      • Saw immediate improvement in his sales conversions
        • Went from 1 in 20 – 30, to 1 in 6 – 12
          • This was a $60,000 difference in revenue!!

Links:

Purchase The Prosperous Writer’s Guide to Making More Money at Amazon

Brian’s Amazon Author Page

Brian on Facebook

The Kindle Chronicles podcast hosted by Len Edgerly

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week.

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