Book Trailer for The Final Goodbye

 

Releases June 5th

Synopsis:

When a serial killer strikes a small Alabama town – anyone could become the next victim, or the main suspect . . .

Ben Logan, former military, and now the successful owner of a private security firm, can handle just about anything. Well, anything except a run-in with Riley Carpenter.

When Ben joined the Marines, he never looked back, and he broke his best friend’s heart in the process. But when a murderer targets his city, he’s forced to return after a fourteen-year absence–he’s forced to face Riley. He’s not sure if he can make amends, but he knows one thing for certain: he won’t leave until the killer is stopped.

Riley’s world was destroyed the year she turned eighteen. A tragic loss and a broken heart left her wondering if she’d ever be truly happy again. Now, as a successful doctor, the last thing she needs is to have Ben back in her life, especially when she’s in the middle of dealing with a new tragedy.

With a psychopath on the loose, and the town living in fear, Riley soon discovers she has to accept Ben’s help, even if she doesn’t want it. But as the two become close again, will past secrets and unexpected desires ultimately tear them apart once more?

A standalone friends-to-lovers romantic mystery.

Learn more-
Amazon universal: myBook.to/TFGAmazon
Nook: http://bit.ly/2D1c9MI
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2oL6mq5
iBooks: https://apple.co/2D1EYZv
Google: http://bit.ly/2tiVZOZ

KU notification: http://eepurl.com/dj6HW9
Bookbub new release alert: http://bit.ly/2nvbbnP
Goodreads: https://tinyurl.com/y8yznse7

For Authors: Email Marketing Companies Compared, Pt3 : Launching a new release!

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I am a little late on this post, but it relates to my marketing strategy used back in June with the release of my 3rd book, Buried Lies. In this post, I plan on mostly focusing on using 99cents as a strategy for a new release, as well as discussing/comparing the email marketing companies I used to spread the word for the new release.

So, for the first time I decided to make my new release 99cents for a limited time. I saw a lot of other authors using this strategy, which helped get them great sales/ranking, so I thought- what did I have to lose?

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Part 1 of the plan: Include an extract from Buried Lies in my other books with a note that the book is at a special preorder price of only 99cents (before going up to $2.99). I put the link to buy directly before and after the extract. I also mentioned to my readers they can get all of my books at only 99cents when they’re released–so they might want to sign up for my email newsletter, so they’ll be the first to learn when my books are a/v for preorder or just released. (Note: Smashwords- you cannot mention price in your books, so I noted it is on sale for a limited time. Amazon- you can note the price of 99cents).

Part 2 of the plan: Preorder blitz – Had a blog company advertise (this to me was a waste of time) & I emailed my subscribers & boosted a post of my Facebook page. A lot of traffic was driven to my Amazon page, which prompted Amazon to quickly add the “customers also viewed…”- and I believe this adds some legitimacy. Once I had enough preorders–it switched to “customers also bought”.

I use a bitly address for the links in connection to my extracts in the back of my book to track how many people are taking action and (assumption is)- then preordering after reading the extract. Most of my preorders were from the extract. I had about 5xs the number of preorders than my other books- most likely because I’d begun to build a fan base (coupled with the seductive 99cents offer).

BURIED LIES (1)

Part 3 of the plan: Sign-up for email marketing companies for the week of release. Plus, I had a 2 week blog tour set up (I do this for reviews, not for sales… but now Amazon has begun to remove reviews related to blog tours–more about this in my next post)…

I chose Monday as the release date so I could maximize advertising for the entire week (normally Tuesday is the release day). My preorders credited to the day before (Sunday).

**Note: You need to meet the review/rating requirements on your backlist for most of these companies to feature a new release without any reviews**

Monday- Myromancereads.com ($90)

Tuesday- Fussy Librarian (2 categories) $24

Wednesday- Book Gorilla ($50)

Thurs- Bargain Booksy ($70)

Fri- E News Reader Today ($45-50)

*One day I had ERomance/Manybooks– I just can’t remember which day.

Note: PAIDAUTHOR- Great website, which gives coupons for some companies & offers real numbers about results: http://www.paidauthor.com/

THE RELEASE & ranking of above companies + results:

I don’t have individual numbers on hand, but in the 6 days I advertised, I generated about 1,000 sales across retailers. This was def. the best launch I had. Now, the royalties are only 35cents on Amazon (60cents on others), but the great thing was I began selling the other books in my series on a regular basis without any advertising.

Best results in order.

  1. Myromancereads
  2. ENEWSREADERTODAY)
  3. Bargain Booksy
  4. Book Gorilla – They had way too many books on their list in my opinion, and I wonder if sales were down because of that- or because it was a Wednesday (and I seem to have the lowest sales this day). I have read Tuesday’s, Thursday’s, and Friday’s are the best days to advertise…jury is still out.
  5. Others (about the same)

Other results:

I was in Amazon’s top 100 for my category briefly – and next time I may stack some of the companies together (my next month’s release)- to generate a higher ranker. BUT… Amazon had me for a few days in their “Amazon’s new release best seller list” for Romance Suspense and Romance military. I didn’t even realize this existed until I stumbled upon it accidentally. I did hit #1 in romance military in Canada (not too hard to do), but it was still pretty cool to see.

Barnes & Nobles was the real shocker. They featured me in their new release best seller list (overall + romance)- and I began getting dozens of dozens of sales daily + my backlist while I was on there, and even hit #4 in my category. A FIRST FOR ME.

APPLE– Looks like Apple does not feature books on their recent bestseller list if they are 99cents. They do list you as a new release though. As soon as my book went back to the regular 2.99 price- I was on their recent bestseller list.

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Book trailer: I also used a book trailer I had made once my book was back at regular price. I had great results on FB using this trailer, and I was very pleased. Of course, the longer an ad runs on FB the cost per click tends to increase, so you need to delete the boost and retarget to lower the cpc.

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Will I do this again? I am already setting up the same plan now for my next release, Forever Rome, which comes out 9.20. As I mentioned before, I may stack a few email companies for the same day and I’ll see how this impacts results. My new release is the first in my new series & a different subgenre- so I will be targeting other readers.

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I recently made the first book in my romantic suspense, Hidden Truths series, free. This is a whole other topic–needing a new post. I plan on sharing the good, the bad, the ugly… and the fantastic… about advertising a free book next. So stay tuned!

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Featured Author: Phil Price

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I am excited to introduce author, Phil Price. I recently stumbled upon his work on Twitter, and I purchased his book, Unknown. Not only is Unknown an awesome book, but Phil Price is a great guy, and a huge supporter of other authors. I highly recommend you check out his work! He’s currently rocking a solid 5.0 on Amazon.com!!

 Blurb for Unknown:

Every year across the world thousands of people disappear.
Many return home safe and well. Some are never found.
A select few end up far from home, harvested by two feuding brothers who need their blood.
How on Earth can this happen?
It doesn’t happen on Earth.

My review:

5star

I don’t normally read books of this genre, but I decided to download it not sure what to expect. From the first page I was hooked by the author’s style of writing, then he kept me reading with the unique plot and characters. I highly recommend this read & I look forward to more works by this author!!

What are other people saying?

“For a debut novel, you cant get any better than this.” -Amazon review

“Fans of occult, mystery and Vampirism will love this novel.” -Amazon review

Phil Price is a master story-teller. This book will take you to lands you couldn’t even dream of to face monsters you wish you didn’t.” -Amazon review

Who is Phil Price?

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Phil Price was born in Sutton Coldfield in 1974. He lived in various places until his family settled in Rednal, Birmingham in 1979. Growing up with and older brother and sister he always flirted with reading as there were always books lying on shelves around the house. Then in 1997 he embarked on a travel expedition that took him from Greece to Thailand, via East and Southern Africa. Sitting in dusty bus stations in Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi gave him the opportunity to ignite his imagination fully. Since those far off days he has never been without a book to read.

He toyed with the idea of writing a book in 2009. After writing a few short stories he caught a whiff of a story in his head. It grew and grew in 2010 until he had enough to begin. Marriage and two children came along, with the story being moved to the back burner for periods of time. However during those periods of writing inactivity the story continued to evolve until it just needed to be written down.

Links to buy:

Amazon.com

Amazon.uk

Where else can you find Phil?

WordPress

Facebook

Amazon Author Page– check out his book trailer!

Twitter: @PhilPrice19

Goodreads

Coming Soon: New Romance Series

FOREVER

Many of you know (that follow my blog), that I am the author of the romance suspense series, Hidden Truths. But I am passionate about all genres of romance, and although I am working on the 4th book in the Hidden Truths series (don’t worry- more books to come) … I would like to introduce you to my contemporary romance series: FOREVER. The Forever books will feature a different city around the globe with new couples to fall in love with. I am blending my passion for traveling & culture with my love of romance & writing. And I am so excited to share this with you all 🙂

Where is the first stop?

FOREVER (1)

Why Rome?

Italy is one of my favorite countries. I am fortunate enough to have family there, and I fell in love the second I stepped foot in the beautiful country.

I also believe that Rome is a magical city. Post college, I was standing in front of the infamous Trevi Fountain (where you throw a coin over your shoulder and make a wish)… and I wished for love. Shortly after I returned to the U.S. I fell madly in love (a total accidental meeting via wrong email communication… with my now-husband)–So… WHEN IN ROME… 🙂

Advertising/Marketing for Indie Authors

 

Up until a few weeks ago I was paying $50 to have Facebook ads/banners created. I am not great at graphic design, so I didn’t think I’d be capable of creating my own. But when I saw how much I could purchase images from shutterstock.com (5/$50), I decided I needed to create ads/banners/teasers on my own.

This information is probably old news to most, but if I can even help 1 person I’d love to share what I have learned. After a lot of research I discovered canva.com. This website is amazing. The price for each ad/banner/design is between $0-1. Hmm. Free/$1 or the $50 I was spending before–not a tough decision. I can create so many different ads/banners/teasers.

I spent a lot of time playing around with it, and I am still learning, but here are a few sample ads/banners/teasers I have created. Just note- be careful for the ratio of text to image for Facebook ads (I am sure most are aware of their stringent – no more than 20% text rule)…

 

A lot of the above are teasers & are used mostly for Twitter or blog tours (the ones with a lot of text, that is)… I like using quotes on these images since you’re limited on how much you can type in a Twitter post.

A couple notes on advertising:

-I am releasing the 3rd book in my series at a preorder/new release price of only $0.99. Another successful author I know does this, and I was originally hesitant, but I realized the genius in it… 1) Having an extract to my book in the back of the others with a note about the price = A lot more preorders than I got on the other books. 2) I can use all of the wonderful email marketing companies for this book even though it is a new release (as long as my previous books meet the rating requirement). I already have 3 companies lined up the week of release (and the rest cannot be submitted until the sale is within 30 days). I had a lot of success with bookgorilla, booksends, ENT, and myromancereads on my previous marketing campaigns for books 1 & 2- so, I’m hopeful for this book.

-Facebook Spending… I have only spent a few dollars here and there, but every once and awhile I’ll do a $20 ad. What I discovered is I get the same amount of clicks on a $5 ad as I do a $20 ad. As for using the Ads Manager versus boosting a post… With Ads Manager I stopped allowing Facebook to put the ad on Instagram/Right hand side/3rd party (why?- Well, I was getting charged $1 or more per click on Instagram/Right-hand ads)–which is nuts… And I’d get a TON of click on third-party ads (but the conversion rate was SUPER low). Whenever I only had the mobile/desktop option selected–> Most clicks–>Most conversions (least amount spent!)

Boosting a post- interestingly I get a lot of likes/shares/comments (less clicks on the link though!). So for the last $3 ad I boosted on my page, I had 20 likes/5 page likes/9 shares (all within a few hours)… But less sales than when I used the ads manager (which usually results in 1-3 likes though)…

Okay. So there is my 2cents in all of this. I am not sure if it helps. I do notice though when I run an ad during the week only– the sales mostly appear on the weekend. My guess is they download a sample, read, then decide to buy. Have my results been successful with Facebook ads? If I spend $20, I usually make between $25-40 (so there is a profit of $5-20, but then when I do not advertise the following week, I see steady sales, so my hope is those customers have bought the next book).

PLEASE SHARE ANY WEBSITES/SUCCESSES/TIPS HERE. THANK YOU. And be sure to add a LINK to one of your books on the market!

 

 

Featured Author- Lucinda E. Clarke

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Meet Lucinda E. Clarke, author of Amie: An African Adventure. 

Lucinda’s experiences in her 30 years in Africa offer an authenticity to her book that can’t be beat. She has several published works, and this is but one of them. I encourage you to check out all of her books!

Blurb:

Amie was just an average girl, living in her home town close to friends and family. She was happily married and she had her future all planned out. They would have two adorable children, while she made award winning programmes for television.
Until the day her husband announced he was being sent to live and work in an African country she’d never heard of.

When she came to the notice of a Colonel in the Government, it made life very complicated, and from there things started to escalate from bad to worse.
If Amie could have seen that one day she would be totally lost, fighting for her life, and enduring untold horrors, she would never have stepped foot on that plane.

What are readers saying about Amie: An African Adventure?

This book was written with such consummate skill. I have enormous admiration for Lucinda E Clarke as an author. She not only knows how to write an edge-of-the-seat, well-constructed story that would make a brilliant movie – she does it using beautiful, spare, intelligent, and amazingly descriptive language. By the time I got to the end of ‘Amie’ I felt as though I’d been to Africa – seen it, touched it, smelled it, heard it… loved it and hated it. Everything that is the truth of the country is there in this book. Can I give it six stars please? It deserves it. (Amie an African Adventure) 

The author certainly has an excellent grasp of words. Considering her background I suppose this should have been foreseen but, in my experience, it is not always so. Her way of conveying scenes, emotions, tensions etc. draws you in. You have absolutely no trouble visualising the situations, frustrations, disappointments, apprehensions and fears Amie encounters and experiences.

Special Excerpt:

This is part of the prologue when Amie is in prison.

Hope flared briefly. Her captors had realized she was innocent. They’d never accused her of anything sensible, and she still didn’t know why she’d been arrested. She knew she’d done nothing wrong. Her thoughts ran wild, and she tried to convince herself the nightmare was over at last.

All the doors on either side of the corridor were closed, as they half carried, half dragged her towards the opening in the archway at the end. The closer they got, against all reason, her hopes just grew and grew. They were going to set her free. She was going home.

As they shoved her through the open doorway, she screwed up her eyes against the bright light, and when she opened them, it was to see they were in a bare courtyard, surrounded on three sides by high walls. As she looked around, she could see there was no other exit leading to the outside world.

Then she saw the stake in the ground on the far side, and brutally they dragged her towards it. She thought of trying to resist, but she was too weak, and there was too much pain. It was difficult to walk, so she concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other, determined not to give the soldiers or police or whoever they were, any satisfaction. She would show as much dignity as she could.

The skinny one pushed her against the post, took another long piece of sheeting from his pocket and tied it around her chest, fixing her firmly to the wood. She glanced down at the ground and was horrified to see large brown stains in the dust.

Not freedom; this was the end. She squeezed her eyes shut, determined not to let the tears run down her cheeks, but the sound of marching feet forced her to open them again. She saw four more men, all dressed in brown uniforms, with the all-too-familiar guns who had lined up on the other side of the courtyard opposite her. They were a rough-looking bunch, their uniforms were ill fitting and stained, and their boots were unpolished and covered in dust.

She was trembling all over. She didn’t know whether to keep her eyes open to see what was going on, or close them and pretend this was all a terrible dream. She was torn. Part of her wanted it all to end now, but still a part of her wanted to scream, ‘let me live! Please, please let me live!’

The big fat man barked commands and she heard the sounds of guns being broken open as he walked to each of them handing out ammunition, then with the safety catches off, they shuffled into position.

To her horror, she felt a warm trickle of liquid running down the inside of her thighs. At this very last moment, she had lost both her control and her dignity. They had not even offered her a blindfold, so she closed her eyes again and tried to remember happier times, before the nightmare started. Briefly, she glanced up at the few fluffy white clouds floating high in the sky as the order to fire was given.

Amazon.com / Amazon.uk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucinda E Clarke has been a professional writer for over 30 years, scripting for both radio and television. She’s had numerous articles published in several national magazines, written mayoral speeches and advertisements. She currently writes a monthly column in a local publication in Spain. She once had her own newspaper column, until the newspaper closed down, but says this was not her fault!

Three of her books have been bestsellers in genre on Amazon on both sides of the Atlantic, she has won over 20 awards for scripting, directing, concept and producing, and had two educational text books published. Sadly these did not make her the fortune she dreamed of to allow her to live in luxury.

Lucinda has also worked on radio – on one occasion with a bayonet at her throat – appeared on television and met and interviewed some of the world’s top leaders. She set up and ran her own video production company, producing a variety of programmes, from advertisements to corporate and drama documentaries on a vast range of subjects.

In total she has lived in eight different countries, run the ‘worst riding school in the world’, and cleaned toilets to bring in the money. When she handled her own divorce, Lucinda made legal history in South Africa. Now, pretending to be retired, she gives occasional talks and lectures to special interest groups and finds retirement the most exhausting time of her life so far; but says there is still so much to see and do, she is worried she won’t have time to fit it all in.

To my Readers

If you have enjoyed this book, or even if you didn’t like it, please take a few minutes to write a review. Reviews are very important to authors and I would certainly value your feedback. Thank you.

Connect with Lucinda E Clarke on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/lucindaeclarke.author

web page: lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Or by email: lucindaeclarke@gmail.com

Blog: http://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com

Twitter: @LucindaEClarke

If you would like to be notified when a new book is published, or there is a special promotion, please send me an email, I love to hear from my readers.

Also by Lucinda E Clarke

The first autobiography which relates Lucinda’s horrendous relationship with her mother and her travels to various countries.

Truth, Lies and Propaganda

The first of two books explaining how Lucinda ‘fell’ into writing for a living – her dream since childhood. It began when she was fired from her teaching job, and crashed out in an audition at the South African Broadcasting Corporation. In a quirky turn of fate, she found herself writing a series on how to care for domestic livestock, she knew absolutely nothing about cows, goats and chickens. And it all continued from there.

More Truth, Lies and Propaganda

Tales of filming in deep rural Africa, meeting a ram with an identity crisis, a house that disappears, the forlorn bushmen and a video starring a very dead rat. You will never believe anything you watch on television ever again.

Amie and the Child of Africa

As Amie goes in search of the child she fostered before the civil war broke out she encounters a terrorist organization with international connections. She is not alone, but one of her friends will betray her.

All her books are available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.

Featured Author: Lori Lopez

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I have the honor to introduce a talented author, Lori Lopez. Lori has many books out in the marketplace right now. She is taking the book world by storm, and I am proud to share her work, particularly, An Ill Wind Blows, with my fellow readers.

An Ill Wind Blows – Blurb:

AN ILL WIND BLOWS is a quirky fantasy-horror adventure about finding yourself and other things lost.

One night an ordinary person lacking confidence must battle a wicked wind.  The stakes are high as she, along with friends and foes, travels through a magical storm world that culminates in a ghost town populated by more than just spirits.  From the time the characters are sucked into the storm, the reader is transported with them on a strange chaotic trek.  Supporting characters, a mixed and quirky bunch of allies or villains, each have their own insightful stories.  Facing fears and the power of friendship are important themes. An unusual nonstop adventure of thrills and laughs in search of a magic stone while lost in a stormworld.

What are readers saying about An Ill Wind Blows ?

“A beautifully written story that reminded me of The Wizard of Oz and A Wrinkle in Time. Loved these kinds of sci-fi journeys when I was a kid. The kind of story where you were swept up with the heroine and walked beside her as she battles the ogres, elves, demons and other monsters as she is looking for a magical stone to help her explain the death of her parents. Very nicely done Lori. Will read this one again and again.”

“It’s like Michael Moorcock wrote Alice in Wonderland”

“I purchased this book through Amazon as I admire Lori as a human being and a woman – but I do admit some of her stories tend to fly over my head with her choice of words 😉 An Ill Wind Blows is not one of them, as she holds back a *little* while still maintaining her unique style and humor. This is to me, a whacky Alice in Wonderland kind of story, and I want to explain why I mentioned Michael Moorcock. Any fan of Moorcock’s work knows about the multi-verse he presents in the Eternal Champion series, in which he – like Lori – places characters in dangerous events that are literally out of this world. If anyone remembers the strange “lake of voices” in Moorcock’s world – then you will love an Ill Wind Blows. You get this kind of queasy feeling in your stomach while you read it and you can’t stop because for some reason, you like feeling as weird as the situation the character’s are facing. Combining first person narrative through the main character Meezly- and separate chapters in a third person/omniscient style arc for Meezley’s friends (and enemies) all of the characters find themselves transported by a malevolent entity into this strange universe – where, during the course of navigating it – find both themselves, and what they’re made of. The plot is simplistic yet complicated – Meezly must discover an object that is related to the death of her parents – and this malevolent entity – desires the object. What follows is a blend of horror, humor, and a journey of the self in an attempt to escape this creature’s attempt at thwarting her goal. I truly enjoyed the wit presented in this tale – my favorite and as example to those thinking about picking up this book, and a nod at the author’s note that certain forms of spelling in this book are intentional.”

Links to buy:

Special Excerpt:

A rogue wind trickled beyond my hunched form . . . gathered twigs, decaying leaves, dried grass and weeds. A creature rose, assembled out of such debris, and stood before my path. As he contemplated me, his joints were lashed, knotted by serpentine vines. He was jagged, splintered, shoddily constructed. But a drab aura of twilight intensity surrounded him.

Facing this pillar of roughage, I had no fear. I had no adrenaline. It was all depleted. I stared forth in a fatigued state of readiness. I guess you could call it confidence. Or craziness. Maybe it was both. I believed not in myself but in my bag. A modest canvas sack.

The Rickety Man was poised like a gunslinger, as if we were engaged in a showdown. A duel to the finish. A clash of wills and won’ts. There was nothing complicated about it. We were here because we had to be. We had to do this. Although neither of us knew why. He would draw his figurative six-shooter. I’d coolly reach inside the bag. One of us would march away, the other fall. It was a tale already written. We were letting the scene play out.

“Wheeeeere?” A moaning wheeze sieved through the effigy’s frame.

For once I had no questions. Nor did I have the answers. His stick hand went for it. My right hand dove. My expression was stolid. He was a mere obstacle. I was three miles from my goal. Unflinching, unswerving, I refused to die by a nonexistent bullet fired from an imaginary gun aimed by a quixotic man of the mulch! There wasn’t a trace of doubt in my mind, however, that the menace was genuine.

Who is Lori Lopez?

Lori R. Lopez wears many hats, literally and otherwise.  She dips her pen in Speculative Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, and any number of genres combined.  Lori is the author of THE DARK MISTER SNARK, ODDS AND ENDS:  A DARK COLLECTION, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, AN ILL WIND BLOWS, THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ, POETIC REFLECTIONS:  THE QUEEN OF HATS, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES, THE FAIRY FLY, MONSTROSITIES, JUGULAR and more.

 

A resident of Southern California, she is an author, poet, artist, actress, songwriter, musician; also an activist for conservation, children and animal rights.  You can find her “Poetic Reflections” column at Fairy Fly Entertainment, a website shared with two talented sons.

Stories and verse have appeared on Hellnotes and Halloween Forevermore, Servante Of Darkness and Verto Publishing; in THE HORROR ZINE MAGAZINE, THE SIRENS CALL E-Zine and anthologies such as JOURNALS OF HORROR:  FOUND FICTION, DEAD HARVEST, HWA POETRY SHOWCASE VOLUME II, TERROR TRAIN I and II, TOYS IN THE ATTIC:  A COLLECTION OF EVIL PLAYTHINGS, CURSED CURIOSITIES, CELLAR DOOR III:  ANIMALS (Editor’s Choice Award winner), BONES II, UNDEAD LEGACY, GHOSTS:  REVENGE, WE ARE DUST AND SHADOW, INDIANA HORROR REVIEW 2014, MIRAGES:  TALES FROM AUTHORS OF THE MACABRE, MASTERS OF HORROR:  DAMNED IF YOU DON’T, DARLINGS OF DECAY, I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES, THIRSTY ARE THE DAMNED, and SCARE PACKAGE:  14 TALES OF TERROR.  Fifteen of her poems were published for an anthology titled IN DARKNESS WE PLAY.

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Lori has received various honors for her writing and art.  She was named on an Examiner.com list of “93 HORROR AUTHORS YOU NEED TO READ RIGHT NOW” for WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH 2014, and was featured on Horror Addicts and Promote Horror.com for WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH 2015.  She unapologetically takes pride in creatively bending and reshaping the rules of writing when it suits her style.

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Thank you again for checking out this feature on Lori. Stop over on Amazon and check out her work!

For Authors: Email Marketing Companies Compared, Pt 2

Back in January I published a post about my first real attempt to utilize email marketing companies to gain new readers for my book. At the time, only the first book in my series was out. In the post, I compared different email marketing companies, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t yet: Email Marketing Companies Compared.SaleHiddenTruthsSeries-BSahin_FINALWith the release of the 2nd book in my series, I decided to place both books on sale. For my first novel I used the $0.99 price point, and I offered a 25% lower price if the 2nd book was purchased via pre-order (or around the time of the release). Below, I will tell you about which companies I used as well as my results.

Note:

  • I emailed BookBub (hey, why not)- and submitted Silenced Memories. They responded quickly by saying no. Their reason: The book was on sale less than 90 days ago. I never read the fine print, because to be honest, I never expected to get in…
  • I also hoped to get my book back in ENT (E-Reader News Today). The promotion I ran last time had my book in the top 100 for Romance Suspense for–well … about two hours. But still … Unfortunately, by the time they responded to me, they said they had zero availability.
  • I also tried Books Butterfly– They slotted me for April (even though I requested the first week in March, saying they were booked up until then). My book is not on sale in April though, so that did not happen as well. *Books Butterfly has a sales guarantee*

What was my strategy?

My goal was to get back in the top 100 for Silenced Memories, and I hoped that those sales would lead to sales for my 2nd book. Because I could not get into ENT or BookBub, I decided to use several companies- and hoped for the same effect.

DID IT WORK for Silenced Memories? Well, close…

*I got back into the top 100 for Romance Military on Amazon.com (and around 1,000 in the overall Kindle store. (Lasted for over 24hrs this time)… Top 50 in Amazon France for romance military and romance suspense. Top 30 for Romance Military in Canada.

*I also went from 196,000 on B&N to 996 for one whole day! Woohoo.

Who did I use for my 2nd book?

  1. Tues (3/1) Fussy Librarian for my NEW RELEASE. Yes, they accept new releases. Did it generate sales? It is hard to tell for Amazon/Nook/Ibooks, because I had the ad out the day of my release. I do know that it drove a lot of traffic to Smashwords, because I didn’t advertise my book as being in Smashwords (other than with Fussy Librarian)–and some sales were generated on there, so I assume I can correlate those sales with this ad.
  2. Sun (3/6) Romance E-book Deals (only $15)- and they also will advertise a new release. Again, it is hard to say how many sales were a direct result of this ad, but it was almost a week after my release (so I’d say at least 10 came from this ad)…
  3. 2/29-3/4: BLOUR TOUR. 39 Blogs Advertised my book.

Silenced Memories, book 1: Due to the close proximity of the ads it is hard to guarantee which ad created the exact number of sales, but this should give you some idea..

  1. Thurs (3/3) Romance E-book Deals for Silenced Memories as well. (11 sales the day of the ad).
  2. Fri (3/4) Book Gorilla – 70 sales on Amazon (zero on others)
  3. Sat (3/5) BookSends – 58 sales on Amazon (3- other)
  4. Sun (3/6) MyRomanceReads (hefty ad fee of $90)- 120 sales on Amazon, (16-Other)
  5. Mon (3/7)- Sale but no ad: 50 sales on Amazon (still in top 100-hit the night before); 7-other
  6. Tues (3/8)- Sale, no ad: No longer in top 100 -32 sales on Amazon; 2-other

What is crazy is that ENT only cost $45, but produced the same results as those 4 campaigns above combined … So, I recommend ENT!!

Now, what will I do when my books are back at full price for adverting? Stay tuned for my next advertising post in regards to Facebook ads!

Please, share what has worked for you!

 

 

 

Featured Author: Mary Smith

 

No More Mulberries - web ready

I am excited to introduce author Mary Smith. Let me start off by saying that Mary Smith is a such a kind woman-she is always going out of her way to support fellow writers- so thank you!

I am pretty excited about reading No More Mulberries; my schedule is crazy so I haven’t had the chance to yet–but it is on my reading list. Not only is Mary Smith Scottish (and I’ll admit I think Scottish people are basically the coolest people ever .. and hope to visit Scotland one day) … but the main character is also Scottish-born (so I can picture the accent in my head while I read…yes, I’m a bit of geek!)… But in all seriousness, once I read the blurb I realized this book is right up my alley. “Instead, she must focus on helping women desperate for medical care and has little time to think about her failing marriage.”-I can just tell I’ll be emotionally invested in this book and what happens to the characters in Afghanistan. With today’s political climate, I think it is important for people to read about cultures from outside their own ‘sphere’ – to broaden their view and understanding of people around the world to help break down the divisive walls between people. And not only has Mary set this story up so beautifully, but it also includes a love story, which is (of course)-something I love! Please read the review after the blurb to see firsthand what an impact this book has had on one of her readers.

Blurb for NO MORE MULBERRIES:

Scottish-born midwife, Miriam loves her work at a health clinic in rural Afghanistan and the warmth and humour of her women friends in the village, but she can no longer ignore the cracks appearing in her marriage. Her doctor husband has changed from the loving, easy-going man she married and she fears he regrets taking on a widow with a young son, who seems determined to remain distant from his stepfather. When Miriam acts as translator at a medical teaching camp she hopes time apart might help her understand the cause of their problems. Instead, she must focus on helping women desperate for medical care and has little time to think about her failing marriage. When an old friend appears, urging her to visit the village where once she was and her first husband had been so happy, Miriam finds herself travelling on a journey into her past, searching for answers to why her marriage is going so horribly wrong.

Her husband, too, must deal with issues from his own past – from being shunned by childhood friends when he contracted leprosy to the loss of his first love.

Check out No More Mulberries on Amazon.com & Amazon.uk

*Great review of No More Mulberries *

5.0 out of 5 stars –A superb read that will stay with me long after the last page is turned…

By Frenchie

Oh my, what a superb read, at least , for me . This is one of the best books I have read this year as it really touched my heart. It is the story of Miriam, a Scottish midwife who used to be called Margaret but who changed her name upon marrying Jawad, and Afghan doctor and converting to Islam (her choice). It is the love story of these two soul mates, their visions for a country torn apart, their hopes to bring hope and changes to a little village in the Afghan mountains and her devastation when he died. It is about her subsequent marriage to Iqbal, also an Afghan doctor, for more practical reasons than real love, to go back to Afghanistan to be near the grave of the one she truly loved. It is the story of Iqbal, who loves Miriam but deep down thinks that he cannot compete with Jawad’s memory and is, one way, haunted by his ghost, as he is haunted by his own past. It is the story of the struggles, challenges but also happiness and understanding of marriage between two people from different cultures. Bridging the gap between these two cultures that I could totally relate to, myself being married to a man from one of the Maghreb countries. It is a breath of fresh air, where men are not described as violent and terrorists, but described very realistically, like Iqbal, as being torn in two, like not losing face in front of others and to show that one can ‘keep under control’ his foreign wife but also feeling bad about it. Men who are not used to express their emotions due to centeries of belief that ”men don’t cry or show weakness”. I could relate to Myriam’s exasperation as not having her ‘me’ time, as many people ”back home” cannot imagine for one instant the need to be alone. Also, her fight with the ignorance and superstitions of people, who do not trust modern doctors but think an injection will cure everything. It is the story of people who may not have television, hot water and have to make with medieval toilets outside but who gets their news faster than BBC world service. All what Mary Smith writes is so true and realistic, I had to laugh when Myriam recalled how women would look at her and ask her so many intrusive and very personal questions that in the West, would be considered so rude, but there, it is just a way to show you they are interested in you and welcoming you. No More Mulberries is very emotionally charged. Especially when Miriam recalls her time with Jawad. You really feel her pain and her anguish, especially as she knows he has been killed in dubious circumstances. You can feel Iqbal’s internal turmoil and his love for Myriam. In the end, both have to make a decision that will change all their lives… I recommend No More Mulberries to anyone with an open mind because it will brush aside many misconceptions. Oh, there is plenty of violence and a political background when Taliban take Kabul, when girls schools are closed and women prevented to work, but this is not the main topic of this book. It is simply a life story, a love story, a vision to change a little part of the world, and a need for closure. A story where life is hard, especially for women as in many villages, there is no healthcare, no clinics and where it is very hard to educate them to change their ways. A simple but oh so beautiful story that will stay with me for a very, very long time. My review does not do it justice at all, due to lack of words for expressing how I really loved that story.

 SPECIAL EXCERPT from Chapter 10

 ‘Miriam-jan, it’s good to see you. Usma sends many salaams. She wanted to come but…’

Interrupting him she said, ‘I’ll send someone to sort out space for the patients in the tent. I’m sorry the accommodation isn’t up to much. They didn’t expect so many patients. They had to find an extra tent. Still, it won’t be for long. I’m sure your group will get appointments tomorrow and then you can…’ She broke off when Ismail caught her hands in his, turning her round to face him. She sighed.

‘Let’s start again, Miriam-jan. I ask how you are and you ask how I am, then I ask about your house and you ask about mine. We’ll hope that neither of us will ever be tired and by then it’ll be easier to talk about other things.’ He released her hands saying, ‘In fact I believe I can see the edges of a smile at last. Now, tell me where is Farid? And don’t you have a daughter now?’

Miriam explained about Farid’s visit to his grandparents and by the time she was telling Ismail about Ruckshana she felt herself begin to relax. Now she could ask him about his family, trying to imagine his sons being old enough to work on the land, how grown up his daughter must be. ‘Oh, it would be wonderful to see everyone again,’ she cried.

‘You can. I meant what I said. I’ve come to take you home.’ Miriam shook her head, but Ismail continued, ‘I’ll find a good horse for you – it’s only one day’s ride to Zardgul.’

‘Ismail, we’re so busy here. You’ve seen the patients, we see hundreds every a day. I can’t…’

‘If Jeanine was willing to let you go for a few days?’

She shook her head. ‘Look, Ismail going to Zardgul is impossible. Let’s drop the subject.’

‘No, Miriam, I can’t. Look,’ he produced from a scruffy envelope a sheet of paper so flimsy from the many times it had been unfolded it was falling apart. ‘The letter you wrote from Pakistan. You promised to come back to Zardgul – if not to live and work, at least to visit us, to hear what happened to Jawad, where…’

‘Things are different now, Ismail.’

‘You mean Dr Iqbal will not bring you to Zardgul.’ It was a statement, not a question. Miriam didn’t reply. ‘Please don’t say no without taking time to think about this chance. It may never come again.’ He looked pleadingly at her. ‘Miriam-jan, there is such sadness in your eyes. You need to come back – not just to keep a promise made to us but one I am sure you made to yourself – and Jawad.’

Miriam looked away, staring unseeingly through the window. Finally, she turned to Ismail standing silently beside her. ‘I have to go now. Eva needs me in the clinic.’ Seeing him about to say something more she whispered, as much to herself as to him, ‘I will think about it.’

Learn More About Mary Smith

Mary Smith - web ready.JPG

Author and journalist Mary Smith lives in South West Scotland. Although she has always written, whether childish short stories, very bad angst-ridden poetry as a teenager, or journals she never really believed she could be an author. And so she did lots of other things instead including fundraising for Oxfam and later working in Pakistan and Afghanistan for health programmes. Those experiences inform much of her writing. Her debut novel, No More Mulberries is set in Afghanistan.

Back in Scotland she found work as a freelance journalist while completing a MLitt in Creative Writing. She still wants to travel more but is having to keep her itchy feet still until her son gets through his medical degree.

She has also written Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women, a narrative non-fiction account about her time in Afghanistan which offers an authentic insight into how ordinary Afghan women and their families live their lives. Her poetry has appeared in many publications and she has one full-length collection, Thousands Pass Here Every Day. Her most recent publication – something totally different – is Dumfries Through Time a local history book done in collaboration with photographer Allan Devlin. The pair are not working on a new title to be published in 2017.

Mary’s other project is to turn her blog, My Dad’s A Goldfish, about caring for her father when he had dementia into a book, which she hopes will be published before the end of 2016. And – finally – she is working on a follow up to No More Mulberries.

www.marysmith.co.uk

Amazon Author Page

Poetry collection: Thousands Pass Here Every Day Non-fiction: Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women

Blog: My Dad is a Goldfish; dealing with dementia

 No More Mulberries out on Amazon.com & Amazon.uk