Category Archives: book marketing

Featured today on Betty Book Freak: Model #37

Just a quick announcement, that my science fiction tale “Model #37” is being featured today on “Betty Book Freaks” website here:  Betty’s Bargains for October 16

In other news, I was laid off from my job last month, and I’m currently working freelance as a technical writer. Making money again, yay. Crazy schedule, boo, and tough on getting any fiction writing done. But fear not, I’m still writing the second book of the Spirit Mage Saga to get published hopefully some time in the spring.

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Release Day! Model #37 now out everywhere

And it’s now out!  Amazon (and all its markets), Barnes and Noble, Ibooks, Smashwords, Kobo… well everywhere except for Google, who is being a pain right now. Check out this classic science fiction short story two-pack today!

dna spiral

A Science Fiction Short Story Two-pack

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Excerpt:

She crossed her arms, looking hard at him. “What is this place? I thought you said it was a beauty pageant! For special people like me!”

He glanced around nervously and took her by the arm. “This isn’t the place to talk. We can discuss it later, once we’re home.” At the sound of the audience clapping, he frowned. “They’re too narrow-minded. Kitchen shelves! Idiots.” He pulled her over towards the coat rack where several shiny metallic coats hung, including his own.

They were leaving before the show even ended? Baby tore her hand away, glaring at him. “I want to hear about the other models. I want to hear what they say.” More than that, she wanted answers to the mystery of what this place was really about.

His bushy brows drew together. Father was older, with gray hair and glasses. They looked nothing alike, and yet he had said that she was born of his genetic materials. “Don’t speak back to me. When I say it’s time to go, you obey.” He grabbed her arm again.

The other models watched them with concerned looks on their faces. Baby tried to break free of his hold. “When do I have a say in what I do? Didn’t you just say I’m an adult now? When can I meet people, see places?”

Father opened his mouth to reply, then shut it. “I’ll explain everything later. Once we’re home.” He glanced at the muscled security standing nearby. “I need assistance. Help me get her into the car.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Baby saw Moo returning from the stage. Their eyes met, and he frowned, seeing her struggle.

Fear churned in her gut. She’d argued once with Father when he’d told her it was time to get in the cage. He’d struck her across the cheek. The mark had only lasted a day or two, but she never forgot the shame of disappointing him, the anger in his eyes.

Moo was walking away. She might not ever get to see him again, or talk to him. Baby squared her shoulders and glared at her father. “Let go of me. You can’t make me go with you. I’m a legal adult now.” She hadn’t ever read an actual law, but she’d read enough to know that adults had rights under the Constitution. It occurred to her that Father might be breaking a law or two with how he was keeping her, now that she was eighteen.

“Baby,” he pleaded, looking angry and hurt at the same time. “What’s gotten into you?”

Last day free!

 

Witch banner for post

Well it’s been a good promotion. Last day today to get epic fantasy Heart of the Witch for free on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Witch-Judy-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00AR5HMZO/

Total downloaded as of this morning: 4800 total in every worldwide Amazon marketplace except Mexico. (Over a hundred downloads in Germany, which impressed me).

Thanks to everyone for their support!  I’ve already received a new five star rating out of this, so I think overall this has been a successful promotion.

Now in bookstores! Okay, THE book shop.

book shop

So I took that first brave step.

I walked into a local independent bookstore (Called “The Book Shop”), browed the shelves to note that they had both a “Local Authors” section as well as my genre, and struck up a conversation with the man behind the counter. Was he the owner? Yes, indeed he was. I mentioned that I was a local author, and asked if he worked on consignment or with small publishers.

After showing him my book, Journey To Landaran and a touch of negotiation, I left him with the copy for a six week trial run to see if it sells. He looked it over and thought it might appeal to his customers.

So there you are. My first book in an actual bookstore. It actually wasn’t that hard.

Naturally I’m going to talk it up–so if you happen to be in Phoenix, Arizona, go check out The Book Shop on 16th Street and Bethany Home Rd.  http://thebookshopaz.com .  Here’s hoping to a sale there and many more sales there and in other stores in the future.

And also, last day to grab Journey To Landaran for only 99 cents/99p over at Amazon and Amazon.uk!  I won’t be putting this on sale again anytime soon, so take advantage!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IO7IXSC

Results of the two day sale and Goodreads giveaway

split book banner

And the numbers are in!

My two day 99 cent sale, I only advertised through one website, ereadernewstoday.com. I also made two Facebook posts, a few Tweets, and of course this blog.

So the results of this little mini-sale? 61 sales. Not bad, especially since the two weeks prior there had been zero sales, zip.

I did this promotion for two reasons: one, I wanted to check out the http://ereadernewstoday.com website and see how well they did just on their own. The only cost to me was 25% of the profits, which I thought was highly reasonable. Second, I wanted to boost my Amazon ranking in preparation for the release of my second novel. It looks better when you’re other full length novel isn’t languishing somewhere around 600,000.

That worked spectacularly well. From a dismal 750,000, it went as high as top 4366 Paid in the Kindle Store, broke the top 100 in Epic Fantasy, #44 in Sword and Sorcery, and #10 in juvenile literature Fantasy and Magic/Sword and Sorcery. (Obviously this last mini-genre is several layers deep and small.) This morning after the sale the book still stands at a respectable 11,000 overall. With this higher rating, hopefully I’ll also garner some sales at regular price.

So I highly recommend Ereadernewstoday for those who’d like a little boost and don’t care to do Kindle Select or a freebie promotion. This book is not in Kindle Select. One of the sales came from Barnes and Noble.

And then on the Goodreads Giveaway for Journey To Landaran–I don’t consider giveaways a good way to get reviews. I gave away three copies of Heart of the Witch shortly after it came out. I received on review–a glowing 5 star one, but only on Goodreads. Then the person left Goodreads, deleting their profile and the review. Le sigh. So I don’t really expect much in the way of reviews.

But what floored me on this time around was the number of people who added the book to their “To Read” list, and the number of entries to the giveaway. It ended up with 1252 entries. When it passed 1000 yesterday, it just looked so cool on page 4 of the “most popular” giveaways, alongside Big 6 published novels. And whereas the cover reveal encouraged about 200 people to add the book to their Goodreads “To Read” pile, the giveaway has now increased that by another 500.

Why is that important? Because the more active a book’s page is on Goodreads, the more they will include the book in your Explore, Genre recommendations. When I go into “Explore”, “Genre” and then “Fantasy” it shows me the “movers and shakers”–books with a lot of additions and reviews. There’s a book there that actually has nearly the same levels of ratings and “To Read” additions as mine–Remember, by Shannon Dermott, who appears to either be another indie writer or small press. Only difference is her book isn’t coming out until Dec. 2014 and it already has this much attention. But if you can get a book onto that page? Free marketing!

But wait, there’s more! This page is only updated monthly, it appears, but in the next update, it looks like my book will be in the top 150 at least: https://www.goodreads.com/book/popular_by_date/2014/March/. This is the under “Explore”, “Most popular”, “March, 2014”. It lists the most popular books by number of additions to the “To Read” list.

So this is why I think Goodreads Giveaways are beneficial, even if you don’t get any reviews. It gets your book name out there. For those who know marking, they know that the average buyer needs to see something several times before they actually go to check it out and buy it.

Buzz Buzz!

bee

So it seems like the cover reveal for my soon to be published fantasy novel Journey to Landaran went really well! A total of 25 blogs posted it, I received a bunch of new Twitter followers, over 75 “To Read” additions over at Goodreads and the Amazon gift card and ARC giveaway currently stands at 427 entries and counting!

One of the hardest things for any writer, and particularly for indie writers, is to create a buzz for their book. How do you get that word of mouth thing going? How can you get people excited to read what you have written?

In my experience, I think genre and the demographics of your audience does play a role in what kinds of activities you should do to promote your books. If you have a heavy science fiction and comic books crowd, then you’d probably benefit from setting up a table at a local sci fi convention. If you are after the academic and educational crowd, try speaking at libraries or colleges.

And if your audience is younger or your genre is YA, especially with paranormal elements, blog tours are a way to go.

I knew my first book wouldn’t appeal to the YA audience. The writing is denser and the flow of the book is a little slow. Also, there are a lot of thematic undercurrents to the book which would appeal more to the main sci fi/fantasy reader, particularly male and academic. It’s a ‘smart’ book–it makes you think. I don’t envision a lot of teenagers getting into it, so I didn’t even try to market it that way.

This new book, however, is different. Descriptions are paired down and the pace is faster. The protagonists are younger. Romance is only hinted at in the first book, but you’ll see more of it blossoming in the next couple of books in the series. The magic is based on psychic abilities more than traditional spells and witchcraft. Technically it’s a science fantasy.

I knew it appealed to the YA reader the instant I first described the book to my pre-teen daughter (then eleven at the time). She’s now 13 and she’s been hopping up and down wanting to read this one. She wasn’t really all that into my Heart of the Witch book.

So I branded the book with a cover more appealing to YA readers, and I set up the cover reveal with a YA blog.

And people are talking. The cover is getting positive feedback, and what’s more, people are interested in reading about these twins and their powers.

I’ll be doing another blog tour with Candace when the book comes out in February. Meanwhile I have beta readers reading the book (my daughter’s one of them), and I’m sending out ARCs to various reviewers. I’ll see what people think!

And hopefully that’ll create even more buzz.

(Remember, you still have a couple weeks to sign up for the giveaway!  Details can be found here:  http://www.candacesbookblog.com/2013/11/cover-reveal-giveaway-journey-to.html )

Results of Free promotion days–Round Two!

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So the first time I did a KDP Select free day promotion I received lackluster results–only about 250 downloads and maybe one or two real sales afterwards. As part of my ending the book’s enrollment in KDP Select and offering it again on places like Smashwords and Barnes and Noble, I decided to give the free promo one more try, and offered it again for free on June 20 and 21. I had received just one additional positive review since the first promotion.

What a difference that little review made!!!

I sent out requests to feature the book to about 25 sites, about the same as last time. I was preparing for a trip so I didn’t even post on Facebook–not a single thing!  I only blogged about it once and tweeted about it once. But this time I was featured on better sites, and the results were profound. By the end of the two day promotion I had 3500 downloads. I made #1 in both my sub-categories, #4 in all of Amazon’s free Fantasy books, and #126 of all Kindle free books. Over the next week, I made 25 real sales, my best week ever.

So my takeaway is this–reviews matter. I actually gained another two reviews during the promo, and I’m hoping for more later. I think it also helped when I tweaked the cover just enough to make the title legible in thumbprint size. Sales may drop down again, but now I’ve made enough money to pay for my next book’s cover, so I’m pretty happy about that. (And this for a $200 cover from a digital artist, not a simple stock photo one).

If you’ve read the book but haven’t left a review, I ask that you please say something, even if it’s short. I’ll continue to write my own reviews of books I’ve finished as well as featuring new writers each week in interviews. I have one last chapter to write on my next book, so I’ll be plugging away at that. Hopefully in a few months I’ll have the preview of the cover to showcase here. I think this book will actually have a wider appeal than my first. Why?  Twins! Magic! Five book series! It’s going to be a hell of a ride.