It’s been awhile since I’ve done any blogging. At the beginning of the year I had intended to get back into blogging, to report on my writing and promotion efforts and all kinds of writerly things like that. The good news–I have been writing. The bad news–just not fast enough. Stone’s Divide is shaping up, but sadly it won’t be ready for publication until mid to late July. I ran into a number of family health issues so my writing time was greatly reduced.
I figured a good way to get back into blogging was by reporting on some of my promotional efforts. With that in mind, I’m planning a series of blog posts highlighting different promotional sites, both free and paid. I’ll list my experiences and promo results as they happen.
Up first is a nice site called ReadFree.ly (no, that’s not a typo.) If you’re an author you can go HERE to submit your title to them for consideration. They are a completely free site to use and I’ve heard good things about them. I just submitted a title to them (my permafree Betrayal’s Price) so I’ll do a follow-up post should I get accepted. I should also mention they do author interviews, which I haven’t tried, but think I will. Might be fun and doesn’t look too painful to figure out.
If you’re a reader and like getting FREE and discount books legally you can sign-up for their free newsletter HERE.
Okay. So it’s really only a tiny little accomplishment. Stone’s Kiss landed as #100 on the Amazon bestseller list for Sword and Sorcery fantasy. It’s a relatively small pool compared to the ocean that is Amazon, but….Woot! I’m in the middle of a promo run for Stone’s Kiss and over the last few days it has sold about 120 copies @0.99, which equals only about $42 dollars in royalties. Of those 120 copies, about 50 of them were sold today, hence the reason I landed on the bestseller list and why I’ll drop back off again by morning. But I don’t care. The real interest is what will happen in the coming days after the promo ends.
My hope–that I’ll get a few more good reviews, gain a few new fans, get a few of those before mentioned fans to sign up for my mailing list, and get some sell through on my other titles. Baby steps. So far so good.
Update: Okay, it’s kinda cool that I have to update this already. Stone’s Kiss just climbed from #100 t0 #62.
I’ve been admiring Marion’s cover designs (Dreamspring Design) for a few months now, and knew I wanted to have my fantasy romance series redone for branding purposes, so I approached her with little to no idea what was possible in regards to illustrations.
Wow. Am I ever glad I went with Marion. She did a marvellous job on the covers. Even seeing the earliest mockups, I couldn’t believe how striking the compositions were going to be. And the finished product……Squeal!
She’s now my go to cover designer for fantasy creatures. (Thank you for bringing Gregory to life—I never thought I’d actually see my gargoyle hero on a cover!)
::sighes:: Now I have to redo all cover pictures on my website and blog.
I’ll be doing a follow-up to my earlier post about KDP Free days very soon. (I’ve decided to wait until the end of the month and then estimate totals etc.)
In the meantime, after reading many blogs and forums and doing a bunch of research for cover designers, I’ve decided to get all my ebook covers done professionally. Because sometimes you should leave things to the professionals. LOL. I’ve gone with two different cover designers (one for each series). Marion Sipe for The Avatars and Hanna James for In Deception’s Shadow.
I’ve gone with two different cover designers (one for each series). Marion Sipe for The Avatars and Hanna James for In Deception’s Shadow.
First up is Betrayal’s Price from my In Deception’s Shadow fantasy romance series. Hanna James did a lovely job with this one.
There seems to be much talk around the forums about how the usefulness of the Kindle Select Free Days seems to be in decline. Not to mention what Kindle Unlimited has done to [not for] author royalties. And now it seems Amazon had tossed another wrench in things with their new marketing click ads. Anyway, I’ll talk about those other items in coming posts.
I only recently joined the Kindle Select Program, mid-December to be exact. As I only had one book and a free short story out on the other platforms (and I’d recently gotten my rights back from my publisher for the other two) I figured why not give Kindle Select a try. They demand exclusive rights to your titles for 90 days, but as I said, with no sales of note, joining wasn’t really an issue.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it was a great deal of work. lol. I had to re-edit, format, and create new covers. And while I was at it, I decided to do the same with all of them. And, Bad Author, did I ever find a big number of grammar issues and typos to be fixed. At least the last six weeks I’ve lived in the writer’s cave was worth it.
Now, Kindle Free Days:
The idea is that by giving away a truck load of ebooks for free, you might gain notice/readers. In other words, gaining future sales of your other books by building a fan base. Which, as a new indie author, is (or should be) your main goal.
However, you’re only allowed 5 Free Promo days for each 90 days Kindle Select period. (Or you can do a Kindle Countdown Deal if you wish. I’ll try that in the future.)
I enrolled Stone’s Kiss first, and broke up its Free Promo period into two segments, running one for 3 days just after Christmas and another mid-January for 2 days. During the Christmas 3 day run, I promoted it only with Digital Books Today and got 1100 downloads, which isn’t a gold rush, but not too terrible either. The second one I promoted with the site, The Fussy Librarian. And with that one I gained another 300 downloads.
So, sum total: 1400 downloads. (not horrible for very, very limited promotions)
But because of the Free promo giveaways, I’m now averaging about four sales/borrows a day. Which is up from the two or three a month I was getting. lol. I should point out that I have very limited time, so focused on writing other novels instead of promoting. It just makes more sense to me that if you’re going to spend time and money on promotional stuff, you should have other novels out for readers to move onto next. More bang for your buck and all that.
A look at the numbers: I found—> 1400 free downloads resulted in about $100 USD in residual sales/ borrows.
Yes, still peanuts, but it will be interesting to see how Betrayal’s Price, my current Freebie, affects my sales.
With this one, I decided to run it for 5 days at once, with sites promoting on different days so I could compare the different sites and learn how well each worked. (I’ll admit, some of the paid site felt a little like tossing money into a blackhole, but those ones I never parted with more than $10, so am not too concerned if the don’t pan out.)
So far I’ve had a greater number of downloads. Day one: 2523 free downloads. With it sitting at #2 in Sword and Sorcery and #67 overall (Woot! I never thought I’d make it into the top 100 Free in Kindle list) And this with me only promoting on the second tier sites, as you have to have 8-30 good reviews to be accepted by the bigger sites, and Betrayal’s Price had only been out for two weeks, so doesn’t have any reviews yet. Good, bad, or otherwise.
Now, I don’t know if the downloads were helped along because a lot of non-football fans were looking for something to do to avoid the superbowl or if the crap weather help, or if FreeBooksy, bknight on ffiver, and Book Angel really are that good.
I’ll be posting more updates in the coming days, so stay tuned. And if you’re interested Betrayal’s Price is still free until Feb 5th. So if a Romantic Fantasy Sword and Sorcery adventure is your kind of book, give it a try and tell your friends and family about it. <——- Look, See. I do attempt to promote. lol.