Deep Discount Promotion – Part 2

All right – so in my last blog entry I told you folks all about my plans for promoting my novel GYPSY BLOOD from May 24 to May 31.

GYPSY_BLOOD (1)

For starters, I made certain that I had lowered the price from the e-book’ regular $3.99 value down to the promotional 99 cent price tag. I lowered the price a week ago – because certain venues take longer to process price changes. You should ALWAYS make sure that you have that price change all taken care off in advance because there is nothing that says “I-have-no-respect-for-my-readers” like advertising a lower price and then not seeing that it happens that way.

Here are the promotional websites that I have listed GYPSY BLOOD’s price drop upon.

Here is what I have got lined up so far.
bknights – ($15) – May 24
Read Cheaply – (free) – May 24
Booktastik – ($5) – May 25
Book Deals Daily – (free) – May 25
Robin Reads – ($10) – May 26
Sweet Free Books – ($5) – May 27
ContentMo – ($1.99) – May 28

In addition to this promotion I have also hunted up various promotional websites and have listed several of my other 99 cent releases throughout the next few days. I have primarily focused on those websites that offer FREE promotion – just because I am still working on a fairly tight budget.

Some of these websites would include eBookStage and ReadFree.ly.

The idea is to have my e-books popping up more often on promotional websites. At this point in the game promotion is becoming a little bit more important to my strategy. I have got about 40 to 50 e-books out there – so now I just have to get a few more folks to notice them and hopefully buy them.

***

So, what can you do to help make your own promotions run a little smoother.

For starters, you really ought to make certain that before you get to promoting your e-books that you have managed to secure a necessary amount of reviews – on Amazon, on Goodreads, and the like.

One thing that holds me a little bit is a lack of reviews. For example – there are quite a few promotional websites that ask for five or more reviews – and GYPSY BLOOD, right now, only has FOUR reviews. I am hoping that fifth review will eventually show up. I need to sit down one of these days and contact some of the reviewers who have enjoyed and reviewed my previous work and offer them a review copy.

Sometimes, though, even having five or ten favorable reviews doesn’t necessarily help you. I have tried a couple of times to get promotion through a couple of UK promotional websites – but quite a few of them only count the reviews that are ACTUALLY listed upon Amazon.co.uk – and NOT the reviews that are listed on the US-based Amazon.com.

So, I also need to try and pick up a few more UK-based reviewers and make sure that they leave reviews on the UK-based Amazon.co.uk.

This game gets trickier all of the time. There is always a hoop that must be jumped through.

Still – after the end of my first day of dedicated promotion I managed to sell THIRTEEN e-books through Amazon.com yesterday. I realize that a lot of you indie authors are enjoying sales figures of 10 or 20 e-books a day – but I am not regularly hitting that number yet – and I know that an awful lot of you indie author types out there who are reading this likewise share my lack of steady sales. So this blog is DEFINITELY aimed at you indie-author-types out there who are paddling along in the shallow end of the sales pool.

When you keep in mind that I only moved one or two copies a day throughout the month of May UNTIL I hit May 24th, I am certain that you will agree that it is a significant increase in daily sales. Moreover, that lucky thirteen isn’t ONLY copies of GYPSY BLOOD. I also moved copies of my bestselling TATTERDEMON omnibus as well as copies of my short story collections TALES FROM THE TANGLED WOOD, SEA TALES, BIGFOOT TRACKS, OCTOBER TALES and my big old doorstop collection DO-OVERS AND DETOURS – EIGHTEEN EERIE TALES.

I might also mention that two of those books that sold yesterday went for their full price.

So, although the sales figures for GYPSY BLOOD still remain fairly punky – (3 copies yesterday and 1 copy so far today) – I am fairly happy with the results of my promotional efforts so far. Thirteen e-books moved yesterday as compared to one or two copies a day throughout the first 23 days of May marks a significant improvement.

I intend to continue promoting at least one e-book every month on five or six different promotional websites – as well as scattering a handful of promotional advertisements for some of my other e-books. Over the last three months now I have been experimenting with promoting my e-books and I have noticed a significant improvement in the monthly sales figures.

So – based on my research – I believe that actively promoting your e-books is a great strategy for improving your indie author sales figures.

Hope this helps some of you folks.

And I shamelessly hope that some of you might feel like picking up a copy of GYPSY BLOOD.  The novel usually sells for $3.99 in e-book format but I have marked the price down to 99 cents. It is available through Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Apple,Smashwords, Googleplay and probably a couple of others that are escaping my memory.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Promoting Your e-books on a deep discount budget! – Part 1

A few weeks ago I sprang for a brand new cover for my gypsy/vampire/mariachi novel GYPSY BLOOD. I have been wanting to give this particular novel a really good honest kick in the butt for sometime now and I decided that May would be the month.

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If you want to know the story behind my selecting this cover just click and it will take you to my blog entry detailing the evolution – (or is that evil-lution?) – of this cover.

The novel usually sells for $3.99 in e-book format but I have marked the price down to 99 cents. It is available through Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Apple, Smashwords, Googleplay and probably a couple of others that are escaping my memory.

The only problem is I don’t have a whole lot of money to throw around on the promotion – so, I have had to rely upon some of the smaller promotional websites.

Here is what I have got lined up so far.
bknights – ($15) – May 24
Read Cheaply – (free) – May 24
Booktastik – ($5) – May 25
Book Deals Daily – (free) – May 25
Robin Reads – ($10) – May 26
Sweet Free Books – ($5) – May 27
ContentMo – ($1.99) – May 28

Bookbub and ENT turned me down.

I have also submitted to eBookLister, Books on the Knob, readfree.ly, Book Praiser and Kindle Book Promos – although I have not heard back from any of them so far.

Technically, the promotion starts on May 24 – so I will keep you folks posted on how the sales numbers rank up.

I expect I will also shoot out a few tweets and hit a few likely Facebook pages – although in the past these particular efforts have proven VERY fruitless. Most of those Facebook promotional pages seem to be mostly authors shouting at each other.
:)

If anybody has any ideas about any bets that I might have missed please let me know.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Friday Fish Story

All right – so it was so nice out this afternoon that I sat out on the deck in shorts and a t-shirt. Then I took the t-shirt off and just baked for a while in the sun. I put the shirt back on after Captain Ahab sailed by suggestively waving his harpoon my way. Thank God for the wandering troop of Greenpeace activists who rallied around me waving SAVE THE WHALE banners!

A little later I got dressed and walked a few blocks to meet my wife for a Friday fish supper. We went to FRIES & CO. Halfway there – at the airplane park off of Chebucto, I had to stop and sit on a park bench like an old man and just breathe a little. This darn bronchitis has really knocked the good out of me.

So I walked into this fish and chips shop and I ask the waitress – “Have you got any deep battered whale?”

“No,” she said. “We do not have any deep battered whale.”

“This is a fish shop, isn’t it?” I said. “Why don’t you have any whale?”

“A whale isn’t a fish,” the waitress reminded me.

“Don’t complicate my question with needlessly accurate zoological details,” I warned. “I am a sick, sick man.”

So I took a look at the menu and I ordered a 3 piece fish and chips and a pickled egg- which turned out to be a bit of a mistake because those three pieces of fish could have easily fed the entire population of Galilee.

But my, those fish and chips were awfully good. The batter on the fish was wicked awesome and the fries were fresh and the coleslaw was yummy and the pickled egg I had with it was good too. Belinda had some curry with her fries that just blasted the cold fumes out of my lungs. I should have brought a glass full of that curry home and just sipped on it while I walked.

Next time you feel the urge for good fish and chips I would definitely recommend Fries & Co.

Even if they DON’T serve deep fried whale.

The other thing they did not have was a good ginger beer. They are licensed, however, and have a good assortment of ales on stock. I just had ginger ale, because the meds that I am on really take the good of me – like I mentioned.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Author Solutions and Friends: The Inside Story

Steve Vernon:

Watch out for vanity publishers such as Author Solutions. They are built around picking the pockets of up-and-coming writers who dream of becoming a published author.

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

ASandfriendsweboptAuthor Solutions has forged partnerships with a long list of famous names in publishing – from Simon & Schuster and Hay House to Barnes & Noble and Reader’s Digest.

Recent disclosures in various lawsuits, along with information sent to me by a Penguin Random House source, detail for the very first time exactly how these partnerships work and the damage they are causing.

Since a second suit was filed at the end of March, Author Solutions is now facing two class actions, with the new complaint alleging unjust enrichment and exploitation of seniors on top of the usual claims of fraud and deceptive practices. It also has a wonderfully precise summary of Author Solutions’ operations:

Author Solutions operates more like a telemarketing company whose customer base is the Authors themselves. In other words, unlike a traditional publisher, Author Solutions makes money from its Authors, not for them. It does so…

View original 2,914 more words

Higher e-book prices – Another Viewpoint

Nate, over at INK, BITS AND PIXELS has this to say over Hugh Howey’s theory that higher e-books might be hurting traditional publisher’s share of the e-book market.

http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/05/06/new-author-earning-report-doesnt-explain-the-aaps-drop-in-ebook-revenues/

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Are higher e-book prices driving sales down?

Have a look at what Hugh Howey has to say about it.

http://authorearnings.com/report/may-2015-author-earnings-report/

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Judging a Book By Its Cover

One of the most important selling features in your e-book has GOT to be the cover.

I know that sounds lame.

I can hear you folks out there shouting out “What about the story?” or “What about promoting?” or “What about getting all of your Facebook buddies to line up in a gigantic daisy chain and poking sheep up each other’s butts?”

Forget about the sheep poke, hombre.

The very first thing that a prospective reader is going to see is that big old cover.

It’s like gift wrap.

You see that one shiny box under the Christmas tree wrapped in a glittering pink wrapping paper rendition of MINIONS VERSUS MUNCHKINS and you just HAVE to reach out and grab it.

All right – so who DOESN’T love Minions???

So, let me take you on a brief pictorial history of the evolution of one particular e-book.

This is the first version of the cover. This was published in hardcover by Five Star Press and the cover was illustrated by the amazingly talented Alan M. Clark.

When I first released GYPSY BLOOD in e-book format through the good folks at Crossroad Press I decided to design my own cover. My wife, Belinda Ferguson helped with the image manipulation and that is actually her hand in the picture – but I have never been truly happy with the way this cover turned out.

Gypsy Blood very small

I know that some indie authors have great luck with making their own covers but the fact is I have very little artistic talent. I believe that if I studied for about ten years and purchased all the latest technical graphic gear I would most likely come up with something that looked a little like a stick man with arthritis.

So I hired a cover artist who used a stock image and came up with THIS cover, which I used for my e-book for a couple of years.

Gypsy Blood Cover 2This was all right – and it did illustrate the opening scene of GYPSY BLOOD but it really didn’t stand out all that much – especially when you looked at it in thumbnail mode – which is where most of your e-book purchases are going to start from – some thumbnail image catching the eye of a prospective customer.

Gypsy Blood Cover 2So, let me show you my brand new GYPSY BLOOD cover.

(insert drum roll here)

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Now THAT stands out.

And it looks GREAT in thumbnail.

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I have just launched it in Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Apple I-book and other formats.

So what’s it about?

Gypsies, vampires, Blood-Gods, curses, tattoos, Tarot cards and palm reading and it is ALMOST set in Halifax. This – as one reviewer put it – is a fantasy for those folks who HATE fantasy.

Order on Kobo.

Order on Amazon.com.

Order on Amazon.co.uk

I am currently at work on the Createspace paperback version of this book. I’ll let you know when it is out there.

So – in closing – if you find yourself in a sales slump and you want to goose up the sales figures for an older release – why not change the cover?

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon