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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Share your blogs/books here

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It’s that time again.

Please share your book(s) &/or blog links now through November 3rd!

For those that are new to this post: Once a month I invite fellow authors &/or bloggers to share their novels and blogs. I invite everyone to post links to their personal websites, other social accounts, or advertise a link to BUY (if applicable). Use this space to BRAG about your blog or what you have published! Be proud of your hard-work & not embarrassed to self-promote!

If you have a book for sale (or upcoming)- I will add your book to my list of “authors to read” by the genre – See example here: Authors to Read!

For those who have posted before: Feel free to advertise again. Or- if you have a different book you would like me to add to the list (or different link to buy)- please include it.

Example:

Title. Genre.  Release date (if not out yet)/ Main links to buy *I will add a portion/most of the book blurb from one of the links to buy.

*I want to make sure this platform is for everyone, not just published authors. Please share your blogs (or a fave blog post)! Thanks for your participation!

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Authors/Bloggers Share Your Work Here!

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It’s that time again.

Please share your book(s) &/or blog links now through October 3rd!

For those that are new to this post: Once a month I invite fellow authors &/or bloggers to share their novels and blogs. I invite everyone to post links to their personal websites, other social accounts, or advertise a link to BUY (if applicable). Use this space to BRAG about your blog or what you have published! Be proud of your hard-work & not embarrassed to self-promote!

If you have a book for sale (or upcoming)- I will add your book to my list of “authors to read” by the genre – See example here: Authors to Read!

For those who have posted before: Feel free to advertise again. Or- if you have a different book you would like me to add to the list (or different link to buy)- please include it.

Example:

Title. Genre.  Release date (if not out yet)/ Main links to buy *I will add a portion/most of the book blurb from one of the links to buy.

*I want to make sure this platform is for everyone, not just published authors. Please share your blogs (or a fave blog post)! Thanks for your participation!

th9AKIPXUC

Blogger Recognition Award

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Thank you so much to fellow blogger Sarah, at the “Write Nook,” for nominating me for the The Blogger Recognition Award. I super appreciate it! Please check out her great blog, which was “created with the hope that it will help to bring your writing to life and to discuss all things related to publishing, reading, and writing. Write on.” Thank you again, Sarah!

The rules:

  1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.
  2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you
  3. Write a post to show your award
  4. Give a brief story of how your blog started
  5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers
  6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  7. Attach the award to the post (right-click and save, then upload)
  8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them
  9. Provide a link to the award post you created

I began my blog to connect with fellow readers and authors – and wound up meeting so many great people all over the world. I have learned so much from fellow bloggers, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my blogging experience. My goal is to pass on the knowledge I have learned, as well as support fellow indie authors.

The only advice I can give other bloggers (as I am still fairly new to the experience) –is to write what you are passionate about & read a lot of other blogs –interact and learn from others!!

I would love to nominate:

Chris, The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Cow Pasture Chronicle’s

Judith Barrow

Bette Stevens

Reading in Pajamas

Writings by Krystol

The Owl lady

Anna Dorbitt

Lewis Editorial

Once Upon a Book Blog

Ink and Quill

Annette Rochelle Aben

Romance 4 the beach

Kate Colby

Sexy Romance Novels

Share your blogs &/or books here!

Tobias-Wolfe-Writing-Quote-Poster

It’s that time again.

Please share your book(s) &/or blog now through September 3rd!

For those that are new to this post: Twice a month I invite fellow authors &/or bloggers to share their novels and blogs. I invite everyone to post links to their personal websites, other social accounts, or advertise a link to BUY (if applicable). Use this space to BRAG about your blog or what you have published! Be proud of your hard-work & not embarrassed to self-promote!

If you have a book for sale (or upcoming)- I will add your book to my list of “authors to read” by the genre – See example here: Authors to Read!

For those who have posted before: Feel free to advertise again. Or- if you have a different book you would like me to add to the list (or different link to buy)- please include it.

Example:

Title. Genre.  Release date (if not out yet)/ Main links to buy *I will add a portion/most of the book blurb from one of the links to buy.

*I want to make sure this platform is for everyone, not just published authors. Please share your blogs (or a fave blog post)! Thanks for your participation!

Spoken_lys-social-network-offers-a-positive-alternative-to-many-comparable-social-networks-making-for-an-overall-enjoyable-experience-for-those-that-like-sharing-and-creating-the

Authors: Share your books/links here!

th134U3EJNAuthors: Advertise here!

It’s that time again. We had a great turn-out last month.

Please share your book(s) now through August 3rd

For those that are new to this post: Twice a month I invite fellow authors to share their WIP or their current works for sale. I invite everyone to post links to their personal websites, other social accounts, or advertise a link to BUY. Both traditional and indie authors are welcome to post. Use this space to BRAG about what you are working on – or what you have published! Be proud of your hard-work & not embarrassed to self-promote!

If you have a book for sale (or upcoming)- I will add your book to my list of “authors to read” – See example here: Authors to Read!

For those who have posted before: Feel free to advertise again. Or- if you have a different book you would like me to add to the list (or different link to buy)- please include it. If you write a one sentence tag for your book I can include that with your title in the list on ‘Authors to Read’ as well!

Example:

Title. Genre.  Release date (if not out yet)

One sentence tag about book.

1-3 Links to buy (if applicable)

*Feel free to include more than one work! And any other information you can think of.

*Want to see the last post where authors shared their work? Click here.thWP2LZ9W1

PLEASE SHARE!

Discovering Talent: Marketing Matters (Gulp)

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Not so long ago, if someone wanted to be a famous writer—or forget fame—publish even an unsuccessful novel—it was not the most attainable goal. Not impossible, obviously, but by no means easy. I used to dream about it when I was a kid, but for me I believed the idea of publishing was somewhere in line with winning the lottery. But it’s different now. The internet has changed the world. Anyone with the dream of publishing can now pursue it.

But hold your hooray and applause just for a moment.

The hard part is no longer publishing. The hard part is making a living off your writing. Because although you can publish, you have to be so much more than a great writer. You really need to be an entrepreneur. This is nothing new. I am pretty sure every self-published author has figured this out by now. I never really thought about it much when I made the conscious decision to become an author—not until I finished the first draft of my book a few months ago.

The scary part is just now beginning for me. I am almost afraid to finish the rounds of revisions with my editor, because that means I have to begin the REALLY HARD part. Marketing. I absolutely hate selling. Okay, pause—I’m pretty good at it, actually. I worked at a jewelry company during college, and I was great (not to toot my own horn) . . . but that is different. People came to me because they WANTED to buy jewelry, I just had to close the deal. If I had to go out and actively seek people to buy jewelry, that would be a whole other ballgame. So, will this prove a challenge for me when it comes to marketing my book? I don’t know, and I am kind of nervous to find out. I don’t see myself blitzing people with ads or auto Twitter emails (nothing against people who do), but that is SO not me.

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So, what do I do? How do I make a name for myself? I’ve read a lot of books about the topic and many blogs, but I am still sort of scratching my head and wondering if I’ll be able to play the marketing game. I wonder how people really make a name for themselves in this world nowadays. I have to believe it is more than just who you know (or how you run your Twitter account). BTW- I didn’t even understand the concept of a #hashtag until a year ago!! But social media has changed the world. A LOT.

There is so much talent out there in the world. Musicians. Actors. Screenplay writers. I am sure there are singers out there who could knock us off our feet before lifting us up into the sky to soar to the sounds of their silky voices, but we may never hear from them, because they may not get “discovered.” Of course, social media has helped fuel the discovery of new musicians, which I am thankful for, but I know there is still a lot of untapped potential all around the globe that we may never encounter, which is a bit depressing. Although they have talent, they may not know how to market themselves—or might be shy to the idea of it (like me).

If I really want to reach my goals in life, I know I will have to fight for the chance to have my books emerge amongst the crowd of millions. I will have to bite the bullet (okay, don’t really get that expression—who would bite a bullet?!) . . . Basically, I need to learn to sell myself. To sell my work. I believe in it. I am investing in it. So, I need to have faith that if I give it my all, despite my nerves, anything can happen.

So, to all of the singers, actors, writers, athletes, guitarists, and the list goes on—to all of you, I hope your talent is discovered. I hope I get the chance to laugh or cry at your movie. To wave my hands back and forth in the sky at your concert. I hope I get the chance to stay up all night reading your book because I have to know what happens at the end . . . .

To every person with a dream, please don’t give up, even if it is hard or the thought of failing petrifies you. You have a world of people waiting for your talent. Somewhere there is a girl or boy with a dream, and you just might be the one who inspires them to pursue it.

Writing in the Dark

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I am seriously behind in regards to working on the revisions of my upcoming novel: Silenced Memories. I received the feedback from my developmental editor at the end of May, but with a two week trip out of the country and some readjustment once back, I am lagging behind on my self-imposed schedule.

But, my goal is to have my novel sent back to my editor by June 30th. Yesterday I found myself working on deleting a scene and trying to add a new one in the middle of pre-existing chapters and began to struggle. The first half of my novel only required a little cosmetic surgery, but with the suggestion of a plot change by my editor, the second half of my book needed full blown plastic surgery. Working around text I am keeping while adding new scenes can be a bit daunting. I started to feel like I was swimming in the dark yesterday with no lights on. Occasionally a light in the pool would flicker for a moment, and I would get a brief glimpse of what I was doing—but I was soon fast in the dark again.

I think it is actually easier to swim in the dark than to write without knowing where you are going. Don’t get me wrong, I typed out a four-page plot outline of the revisions for my novel, but I was not sure about all of the details. I didn’t know the “Why’s” to what my character(s) were doing in regards to the new plot change. Without knowing that, it is even worse than swimming without the lights on. I used to be someone who could muck through it and figure it out as I went, but I never really had ultimate success with that method (never finished a book that way).

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So, I stopped writing. I put down my laptop and pulled out my notepad and stared down at the blank page in front of me, pen in hand. Sometimes my best ideas come from using ink and paper. After writing pages and pages of notes and ideas, I worked through the problems that had been bogging me down (causing my typing to slow to a snail’s pace the day before). I have some new twists and turns that even I didn’t anticipate – I am super excited about the changes, and I can’t wait to churn out my new ideas in the novel.

I know some writers face this challenge. I have heard of writers using index cards to help them figure out the sequence and plot—and I might have done that if I had some on hand! What do you do when you get stuck? Are you able to keep writing without knowing all of the details? I don’t need to know every little thing (even when I do—the story still takes some unexpected turns, especially with dialogue), but I am such a planner now, that I can’t keep my story flowing without knowing the answers to all my questions. If I don’t know the answers, how will I plant clues (romance suspense novel) for the readers?

Well, I should probably get back to writing, because I have my deadline of June 30th to meet! Please share your advice/tips! Thanks for the input!

All Things Considered

fate

This morning I was thinking about how lonely it can be as a stay-at-home mom, especially when you do not know too many people in the area. I know there are a lot of ways to meet other moms, but I tend to be a bit shy sometimes. Which brings me to something I am kicking myself for . . . When I was traveling home from Turkey on Sunday, I had a connecting flight through Munich, Germany. And as I was sitting on the bus to take me to my airplane, I looked over and saw a woman that looked extremely familiar. My brain did a quick search and came up with a name of a girl I had not seen in 17+ years. I told myself there is no way she is that person—so don’t open your mouth and ask—don’t embarrass yourself (hence the shy part of me).

illustration depicting a sign post with directional arrows containing a choices concept.

illustration depicting a sign post with directional arrows containing a choices concept.

Today, I was playing with my son, and I decided to try and look this person up on Facebook. No results. But of course if someone searched for me using my maiden name—I would not exist either. So, I googled her and found her new last name—and when I saw her picture on Facebook I couldn’t believe it—it was her I saw on the bus in Germany—and we live in the same city! I have some of my greatest childhood memories with this person, and I have always wondered what happened to her – we lost touch when I moved away. But thanks to social media, I can now connect with a childhood friend . . . but what are the odds that I was sitting next to her on a bus in a foreign country?? –I call it fate. Because as I mentioned earlier, I was feeling a bit lonely today, and now I might have the chance to reconnect with an old friend (who –yay—also has kids!).

            Being a mom (a stay-at-home mom) can be a tough job. I have been both a working mom and stay-at-home one, and I have to say—neither is easy. All I know is that trying to find balance in life can be pretty tough. Now that I am pursuing my dreams of writing, which I never found the time to do as a teacher, I still struggle with finding actual time to sit down and work. Right now my son is taking a nap, and I feel guilty for hoping it lasts for at least two hours, because that means I have two whole hours to write. Last night I worked on my revisions for the first time since being back on vacation, but I woke up exhausted—and feeling like my work was less than par. Most likely I will delete those precious hour’ worth of work when I look back at what I wrote.

Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws. -Barbara Kingsolver

            What will I do when my son stops taking a nap soon—or when my second baby is born in November? Gulp. I really wanted a second book written before my next baby comes, because I know that if I discovered a writer I loved—I would be bummed to discover they only had one book. So, I really want to step up and produce as much quality work as I can before my writing time decreases even more. Key word though: quality. I am not quite sure how people can produce novel after novel (six+ a year) while also having a day job?! And I am not saying their books lack quality—I just know that I COULD NOT produce quality work six times a year. Maybe once I get the swing of things I can push for three (MAYBE) . . .

Well, as I sip on my iced latte (and no—I didn’t give up caffeine because of pregnancy), I realize that I better wrap up this blog so I can look over the parts of my novel that require the delete button, because at any minute, my son will wake up!

It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly. – C. J. Cherryh

            Btw- If you are ever on a plane, boat, or whatnot–and you think you see someone you know, speak up—you just never know!

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. – Ernest Hemingway