::promo already in progress—I got busy and forgot I was going to post this here.::
This is an information sharing blog post geared toward my fellow writers, not so much for my readers–though you are welcome to read on and I love you dearly! Stay tuned. The next blog post will be of more interest to you. :)
Okay, a little background.
I had planned to put out a box set (it’s really called an Omnibus, since ebooks don’t come in a box, but whatever) later this year around the time I publish book four in my Avatars series. Then Patty Jansen mentioned doing a 99c box set promo Feb 6th and 7th so I figured why not. Plus, having it out now will give it time to collect a few reviews before book four comes out in the fall. Maybe Bookbub will accept one of my submissions by then. Rebecca Frank designed the cover and I hired editors to give all the books another polish. I then released it into the wilds on January 16th, priced at 5.99.
It sold a whopping 14 copies (Woot! Woot! ::Sarcasm::) without promotion of any kind, then it took a dive as expected. I rounded up a few promo sites, dropped the price to 99c and now I wait.
My goal: gain new readers and mailing list signups. I have another novel I’m hoping to publish in March and I’d love to grow my mailing list more before that release. My list is still small (620 at last count).
Secondary Goal: To drive it up the sales ranks and gain more visibility while it’s still within its new release 30days on Amazon. This isn’t about making money, it’s about building a platform. Money would be nice and all, but I’ll be happy to break even. When you’re in Select and price a book at 99c, most of your money comes from borrows, the number of pages read to be exact.
A couple other notes: I’m all-in with Select, so Kindle Unlimited borrows really boost rank. If you’re wide and not exclusive to Amazon then you’d need to sell more books to reach the same ranks shown in the post below. (I know. Amazon Exclusivity. Boo. Hiss. I do plan to go wide in another year or so. By that time, I should have enough of a backlist to make it worthwhile/gain traction on those other retailers.)
There is a boatload of promo sites out there to choose from. These were the few sites that will take new releases with no reviews. I was surprised that ENT took it with no reviews, but the series overall does have 65+reviews 4.2 rating. Also, I’ve used most of these sights before, so that might play a role, too. [Only Flurries Unlimited is new to me.]
I’m including the pages read as well, but find those from promos usual spike 3-5 days later.
I’ll continue to update this here and on Kboards daily. I hope this helps other new authors venturing into marketing for Trad or Indie publishing.
If an urban fantasy with a gargoyle hero sounds like your kind of read, you can get your 99c copy HERE.
Date Site Sales/Page Reads Amazon Rank
Jan16-25th No Promo 14 sales/20,616 pages read 90-100K ish
Jan 26th ILVN ($77) 118 sales/1122 pages read 2567
Jan 27th Flurries Unlimited ($25) 10 sales/2151 pages read 4500
Jan 28th Betty Book Freak ($12) 39 sales/3842 pages read 3988
Jan 29th Nothing lined up 143 Sales/10,074 pages read 825
Jan 30th Facebook Boost
Jan 31st Free Kindle Books and Tips ($25)
Feb 1st E.B. Brown Cross promo mailing list
Feb 2 Ebook Hounds ($10)
Feb 4 The Fussy Librarian ($10)
Feb 5 ENT
Feb 6 Patty’s Promo
Feb 7 Patty’s Promo
Feb 8 Nothing
Feb 9 Nothing
Feb 10 Nothing
Feb 11 Book Barbarian ($15)
So I’m getting on the bandwagon and finally putting out an Avatars Series box set (why they call it a box set I have no idea, because really it is an Omnibus, but that’s an uphill battle for another day.) Box sets are becoming more popular with both readers and authors for two main reasons. Readers new to a series can try the first few installments with little risk, and authors gain a new avenue to help increase traction and visibility for the rest of the series or other books. Let’s admit it. Visibility, or the lack thereof, is the greatest hurdle any indie author must face.
It really is a win-win situation.
And a 99c three book bundle is a really good deal for the reader; yet, it still benefits the author as well. Not in a monetary way, no. But in gaining future fans of the series, sell thru to other books, mailing list signups, word of mouth, facebook likes, retweets…the list goes on.
Also, Amazon’s algorithms have 30, 60, and 90-day ‘cliffs’ (each cliff supposedly results in a decrease of sales because of decreasing visibility.) Have I ever seen this personally? No. But other, far more successful authors have. You have to first have sales to notice a decrease in them. lol! I’ve never actually done a proper new release launch for any of my novels. I’m more of a finish, edit, get a cover, publish it and then ignore it kind of author. At least, I was. I’ve since learned a few things about marketing.
That’s where a 99c new release box set comes into play. Starting tomorrow, I’ve lined up some promotional sites to run it for the next two weeks, and then I’ll do some social media blogging, Twitter, and Facebook to see if I can help drive it up the ranks on Amazon. My goal: I’d like to see it get a ranking of 2000-3000 or better. Would I like to see it get one of those little Amazon bestseller ribbons? Sure! But that’s probably not going to happen. However, if this title sells enough copies, that will get it into a Hot New Release category, which in turn gets more eyeballs on the books, which equals a better ranking, equals more sales….yeah, seeing the big picture yet? I’ve also timed this so (hopefully) I will get a boatload of new fans just in time for the release of Ishtar’s Blade coming in March, which in turn will help drive that one up the new release ranks when it gets published.
One big negative to the timing of my box set is that I don’t have other books out in this series yet. Book four will be coming later this year. There’s always a silver lining. By then, the box set should have enough reviews to get it into some of the big dog promotional sites. Bookbub, I’ve got you in my crosshairs. You will run one of my books one day. Yes, you will. ::<<<—-positive reinforcement that probably isn’t going to do me one lick of good. Bookbub likes books that are Wide vs Select. But that’s a blog post for another day.::
The title says it all.
However, if you are not familiar with author Patty Jansen, she’s been rounding up great sci-fi and fantasy authors, convincing them to give away free or bargain priced 99c ebooks, and then hosting them all HERE on her blog. This is the fourth group promotional event I’ve taken part in and they’ve all been a hit among authors and readers.
This month it’s a free ebook promotion, so don’t miss your chance to try new authors or old favorites at no cost to you.
Over 60+ Free ebooks. One day only.
Woot! My ToBeRead pile is about to get much, much bigger.
First off, hope everyone had a Happy New Year.
I’m not normally into the New Year’s resolution thing. (Why make promises I’m probably going to forget about. Right?) But this year, I’ve decided it’s time to change my writing outlook, to stop looking at my writing as a hobby and start looking at it more as a job. Yah, like a second, really, really low paying job, but still…
Why the sudden change? Because I actually started to built a bit of a fan base in 2015. Huh. Cool. That’s a rather awesome feeling, btw. Now that I have a few fans, I owe them well-edited, well-formatted, professional ebooks published in a timely fashion. Actually, all authors owe their readers that from the get-go, but there’s a learning curve to becoming a professional indie author. Some authors get it right away, others…well….never do.
My stuff wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t top of the line, either. (Okay, my first indie published novel so wasn’t ready for readers) but I had some editing done, and ebook covers NOT designed by me. Don’t get me wrong, some authors know their way around photoshop and can put together a respectable cover. Me? Not so much. So here I was puttering along, doing all the wrong things until I happened to read Lindsay Buroker’s blog mentioning Kboards. I’ve followed Lindsay’s blog for a number of years now–she’s a great author I met on the OWW (Online Writer’s Workshop for Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror) back in 2009 or 2010.
Anyways, I joined Kboards--you can just lurk if you wish–but I highly recommend all new/aspiring authors check it out. There’s a ton of great data there, shared freely by other wonderful authors. I’ve learned far more than I’ve had time to implement, so 2015 was the year of learning how to be a professional author and 2016 is going to be the year I become a professional author (or at least, improve my writing and publishing schedule. Baby steps.)
Here’s some jewels of wisdom I’ve gained from joining Kboards:
Get an author website or a blog up and running. (I already had one, but didn’t know what to do with it.)
Start a Mailing List using Mailchimp or the like. (Don’t know what that is? Go to Kboards and start reading.)
Write more books. Write every day, even if only for an hour.
Publish a book every 2-3 months. Otherwise, you’re fighting an uphill battle to win visibility on the big retailers like Amazon. Now, if you’re anything like me, writing that fast isn’t possible. To get around that, hold off publishing anything until you have 3 books done, and then publish them about a month apart. Get them edited by the best editor you can afford, get writing buddies to beta read them. Get the best ebook covers you can afford. Great story + great editing + great covers = a better chance that your book will maybe catch readers’ attention. There is no guarantee.
Back up one step. Before you publish the ebook, start sending out Advanced Reading Copies. Give these out to reviewers like candy. Get a paperback version up on Amazon and they will have a link where they can post reviews. (I made that sound way easier than it actually is. Reviews are a pain in the butt to get.)
Publish the ebook version or put it on pre-order. Now it gets complicated. Some authors say to start promoting right out of the gate, others say to save your money until you have more books for readers to move onto next. Both are good points. I don’t have a clear answer for you. It depends.
For my next novel, called Ishtar’s Blade, I’m going to try to get the number of reviews I need to get it accepted by the heavy hitting promotional sites and promote the snot out of this book. I’ll do a 99c release for a period of 2 weeks, line up blog tour sites, do Instafreebie and Library Thing giveaways and others and see if I can get it on the Hot New Release List on Amazon. Ishtar’s Blade is a standalone novel, so it makes sense to try to prime the Amazon algorithms right out of the gate.
Now, if you have a series in mind, don’t be afraid to give away boatloads of book one. Many readers will be reluctant to part with their hard earned $$$ on a new, unknown author, but will gladly go on to read the rest of the series if they liked book one. Freebies are a great way to gain new readers, mailing list signups, and facebook likes. All of which you can use to your advantage for your next new release.
With that in mind.
Betrayal’s Price is Free on Amazon today and tomorrow. Oh, and here is it’s new cover reveal. I had to get a new cover designed for it for the print version. Herd Mistress, book two, will eventually get a new cover and a print version, too.
Happy New Year!
Patty Jansen has done it again. This time, she’s rounded up over 50 authors from over on the Kboards forum to give away free ebooks for 24 hours the day of November 3rd. It’s a First in Series Free promo, so there will be all genres of sci-fi and fantasy up for grabs.
Here’s the link to Patty’s site where all the free eBooks are displayed.
Feel free to download as many as you like, and you’re free to share the link with anyone. While some of these title’s like Betrayal’s Price are permanently free, many more are free only for a limited time, so don’t miss out. (The link is live and many of the authors have already started their free promotions, so you can go ahead and start downloading those titles early, just double check the price, as a few author’s may only be marking them down to Free for the day of November 3rd.)
Enjoy and Happy Reading!
Yep. Stone’s Divide is now live on Amazon. Woot. This was my first attempt at a pre-order and I must say, pre-orders are a little stressful. But it’s up, I got the final file uploaded in time, and Amazon didn’t have an epic fail. Life is good. I’ve even lined up a bunch of promo sites next week for Stone’s Kiss (Book 1). It will be free and book two will be part of a 0.99 Kindle Countdown Deal with the hope that those two will drive traffic towards book three.
The only direct promotion Stone’s Divide got was to my tiny little mailing list (35 fans and growing. lol.) If you’re reading this and would like to join (just click this link to go to my website and sign up using the form on the right hand side) and you will receive my future newsletters, where I mention new releases and other promotions, giveaways, and chances to get advanced reading copies for review. My first ARC (advanced reading copy) giveaway will be for book one of my new sci-fi. It’ will be rolling out sometime late November or early December. So if you want a chance to get it for free, sign up and I’ll mention how to get it in a future newsletter. (It will be a while as I still have to finish it, get it edited and have a cover designed for it.) But I digress.
If you haven’t already picked up a copy of Stone’s Divide, there is still time. The $2.99 sale price will remain in effect until Nov 1.