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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Feb 22, 2018

Featuring an interview with Ricci Wolman, founder and CEO of Written Word Media about the challenge that authors face with the most common questions they often have when first starting out; questions that include the following:

  • How do I get the right people to discover my new book?
  • Where can I find people to review my book on Kindle and the other retail websites?
  • Is there a way for me to increase my visibility and my sales on multiple retail platforms?

This episode has been sponsored by Findaway Voices. Findaway Voices provides all the tools that an independent author or small publisher needs in order to get into the digital audiobook market.

Check them out at



In the interview, Mark and Ricci talk about:

  • How Written Word Media was born out of Ricci’s background as a consultant and her desire to help her mother sell a book that she had published
  • The way that Freebooksy was slowly built, using a small curated list of recommended free books (as a platform where Ricci could occasionally slip her book into the mix and help boost sales)
  • The ongoing experimentation and playing that Ricci performed on the Freebooksy brand that helped it to continue to grow into a site where authors asked if they could pay to have their works featured there
  • What each of the current service brands within Written Word Media are used for:
    • Freebooksy – to feature/promote free books
    • Bargainbooksy – featuring discounted books under $5 USD (But books $2.99 and below perform best)
    • Red Feather Romance – both free and discounted/bargain books in the steamy contemporary romance category
    • New in Books – a general promotional tool for newer release exposure rather than for discounted/bargain priced titles. (More of a FULL SERVICE promotion for authors)
  • The importance of reviews to helping to sell a title and the importance of having some reviews on your retail listing for a book
  • The advent of digital audiobooks and the current work that is happening to test out a “new in audiobook” style of notification
  • How Written Word Media adds between 20,000 to 30,000 new readers to their reader pool every month (meaning writers who come back two or three months later to do an additional promotion ends up going to a larger batch of new readers)
  • The over 12 million promotional emails that Written Word Media sent out in the month of December 2017
  • The critically important value of “HELP THE AUTHOR” that is at the core of Written Word Media
  • Some of the book industry trends from the past year that Ricci is most interested in
  • A bit about the husband/wife team aspect of managing the business as a couple
  • How savvy authors understand that a marketing expense is made up of both dollars spent as well as time spent; and that a lot of things that look to be free might end up costing more in terms of time than originally expected
    • Authors should ask these questions every time they go to take marketing action:
      • What is this costing me in dollars?
      • What is this costing me in time?
      • What results do I think I’m going to get? (And how confident am I in those results?)


After the interview, Mark shares details from his own recent experience with booking a Freebooksy promotion for a horror title and outlines the cost and the return on his investment for the promotion.

Links of Interest: