Monthly Archives: September 2015

CBC Fright Night Movie Marathon

I love Halloween and ghost stories and anything to do with the fine art of booga-booga.

I owe this love to my grandparents who ALWAYS taught me the value of a good old-fashioned scare. I remember my Grandmother waking me up at midnight so that I could watch the monthly CBC Friday night Fright Night – which consisted of four back-to-back old-school horror movies. I would go to bed early that night and just before midnight she would wake me up and I would plug my grandfather’s television earplug into my ear so as not to keep anyone else awake and I would spend the whole evening watching Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. and Christopher Lee making with the cinematic booga-booga.

I am talking movies like FRANKENSTEIN. (1931)

This is the original, you understand – the film that shot Canadian immigrant William Henry Pratt, better known as Boris Karloff – to Hollywood fame as the actor who would scare the entire world.

I can still picture the beginning of that movie when actor Edward Van Sloan (the dude who played Van Helsing in Bela Lugosi’s great 1931 flick DRACULA) breaks the television screen by stepping out from behind a theater curtain and warning the viewers that “It’s about to get scary around here.”

Then, following the credits, we are treated to that opening scene of a funeral. I love the look of that graveyard with it’s drastically tilted tombstones and crosses and that gigantic statue of Death himself. I love how it echoes the sharp oblique lines of German Expressionism. I love the feel of good old-fashioned black and white terror.

Don’t get me wrong.

I am no caveman Luddite – although I do not own nor will ever own a cell phone.

But all the same there is something moving and ethereal about a black and white horror movie. It is almost like the filmmakers had somehow figured out how to paint in shades of nightmare and delirium.

I watch this movie at least once a year.

I am talking movies like The Mummy’s Curse. (1944)

This was the fifth installment of the Universal Horror series and it is one of my favorites. I have ALWAYS loved the way that Universal figured out how to string one movie after another with Frankenstein and the Mummy and the Creature From The Black Lagoon – although they never quite managed the trick with Dracula or The Wolfman. Hammer Films would later follow this tradition and I likewise enjoyed watching all of the Christopher Lee Dracula movies – looking forward each time to seeing how they brought the Count back to life and how they managed to kill him again and I could happily a dozen Frankenstein or Dracula movies strung back to back.

Lon Chaney Jr. never much cared for his appearances as The Mummy. He felt the make-up too restrictive and uncomfortable and he far preferred his appearances as Larry Talbot, the Wolf Man.

Which brings us to our next movie.

I am talking about movies like FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN (1943)

This was Lon Chaney’s FIRST follow-up to his classic THE WOLFMAN (1941) and Universal’s FIFTH follow-up to FRANKENSTEIN (1931) and as far as I recollect this was the first BIG monster mash-up where the filmmakers would bring two successful movie monster franchises together – kind of like watching Hulk Hogan square off with Andre The Giant.

Toho did the same thing with Godzilla meeting King Kong, Mothra, Ghidrah, Megalon, Mechagodzilla and a whole alphabet soup’s worth of oddly-named kaiju. FREDDY VS. JASON (did the same thing for the same reasons. It is just a natural sort of evolution for movie monsters. Sooner or later, the viewer begins to wonder – gee, I wonder what would happen if an Alien met a Predator?

The actor portraying Frankenstein was Bela Lugosi. There is a certain undeniable irony in the fact that Lugosi had originally tried out for the first Frankenstein movie and had been turned down flat because he showed up dressed in something that looked a little bit like the 1915 silent movie, THE GOLEM. Now here he is hidden beneath all of the Frankenstein make-up. Lugosi was never as successful a monster as Karloff was – but it is interesting to note that he is the actor responsible for that iconic stiff-legged walk that everybody gives Frankenstein’s monster nowadays. When Lugosi first portrayed the Frankenstein Monster he was told that he had been blinded in the last movie. So Lugosi naturally adopted that stiff, arms-straight-out walk that stuck like Krazy Glue to the character from there on out.

Sadly, I am also talking about movies such as FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACE MONSTER (1965).

I remember how totally bummed out I was when I first watched this movie and realized that Frankenstein wasn’t in this one little bit – and yet schlocky Ed Wood Z-Grade monster films like this are a strong part of the monster movie tradition. Movies like this one are like the Halloween hobo costume that you throw together with your Dad’s old fedora, a suit jacket bought for three dollars at a local used clothing store and a bindlestiff made out of a stick from the garden and your mother’s favorite handkerchief.

Now – what I want to ask is does ANYONE else remember the CBC putting on a monthly Fright Night? I have exhausted my feeble powers of Google-Fu and cannot find a single reference to this event that played such a huge role in my childhood and helped to foster my love for horror movies.


This blog entry was written as part of the OCTOBER FRIGHTS BLOG HOP, an event for readers and authors and Halloween-groupies and fans of the fine art of booga-booga madness. We have brought over FORTY-freaking-FIVE fine authors of horror and paranormal together to share their Halloween booga-booga thoughts with all of you fine folks.

Just click this image to be whisked away to the a world where October rolls on to somewhere long past forever - the October Frights Bloghop!

Just click this image to be whisked away to the a world where October rolls on to somewhere long past forever – the October Frights Bloghop!


And lastly, let me tell you about the special gift that I have arranged for all of your reader-types out there – especially you folks who dig crazy horror.

From today until October 3, 2015 my collection OCTOBER TALES will be available FREE for all of you Kindle readers.

Like horror? Got a Kindle? Click this picture to grab a free copy today!

Like horror? Got a Kindle? Click this picture to grab a free copy today!

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

The Scoop on the Kindle Scout Program

I would like to send a great big HELLO to all of reader-types and writer-types out there in the interwebs.

I have been looking at the KINDLE SCOUT program for some time and ever since they announced that the program would now be open to NON-US residents I have been working very hard at putting together a submission of my own. I intend to have my book submitted to KINDLE SCOUT before the end of October.

SO – as a result I have been talking to people who have any sort of experience with KINDLE SCOUT – especially over at k-boards.

One of the people who has given me an AWFUL lot of helpful advice is Jill Nojack , whose recent novel THE FAMILIAR: A PARANORMAL ROMANTIC COMEDY was released this September through the KINDLE SCOUT program to the great delight of thousands of witchy/cat loving readers!

Over the next few weeks I am going to tell you folks all about my brand new novel, KELPIE DREAMS and I will fill you in on why you ought to consider KINDLE SCOUT for your next e-book submission and more importantly I will tell you all about how you can get yourself a FREE copy of KELPIE DREAMS before it is released.

But for now – let me turn you over to somebody who is a WHOLE lot more expert on how to get accepted by the folks at KINDLE SCOUT.


Dancing With Disruption – One Author’s Experience with Kindle Scout!

by Jill Nojack

Kindle Scout (KS) is a new Amazon publishing program which engages readers as part of the selection process.  It’s not selection by popularity, however. Final choices belong to the Scout editors.

KS is a perfect opportunity for an indie writer to become a hybrid one while still having a lot of input in the book’s production. It is a truly new, potentially disruptive approach, and I’m glad to be part of Amazon’s bold experiment in reader-involved publishing.

My experience as a Kindle Scout winner has been fantastic. As I write this, I am a week past my launch date, and my book has maintained an average daily rank at or above 5500 during that time. I worked hard for that with my own promotional efforts, but I could never have done it on my own. If, like me, you’ve only dreamed of that kind of success at launch, you may want to consider submitting your next book to the program.

I’m not going to lie: the effort to keep my book in the Hot & Trending (H&T ) list over a period of thirty days was extremely taxing, especially since I’m not big on social networking self-promotion. However, I bit the bullet and I managed to run a good campaign. It’s a lot of work to get on the H&T list and even harder to stay there, but it does pay off, even if your book isn’t selected, which I’ll explain further down the page.

First, it’s critical to understand that if you have expectations about the program that Amazon hasn’t explicitly stated, you will definitely be disappointed. Yes, there are authors selected for KS who have been offered publication on Amazon’s premium imprints (Thomas & Mercer, Montlake) instead of Kindle Press. That will not happen for most winners. You will also not get a premium imprint level of promotion. However, every book that is selected will receive promotional benefits. For instance, I discovered yesterday that my book is a Featured New Release in SciFi & Fantasy on Amazon UK.

I took screenshots.

Yes, I sent them to my mom.

🙂

My best advice for people considering submitting to Scout? Pay attention to what Amazon says they will do, because that’s exactly what they’re doing. Don’t fall prey to the conjecture, uninformed contract interpretation, or wishful thinking found in the blogosphere.

With that said, the Scout site itself is the best resource for information about the program. There are also a number of friendly, easy to find winners who would be happy to answer your (reasonable) questions and can provide accurate information. A blogger, podcaster, or forum pundit who didn’t bother to verify his or her assumptions about the program with Amazon before posting them?

Probably not.

Here is a handy list of things you REALLY need to know before you submit your book.

  1. You can access the full agreement here. Read it.

That link leads to the exact document Kindle Scout winners digitally sign. It’s written in user-friendly language. If you don’t know what if means, contact Amazon and ask. You may have to ask a couple times if you end up with a canned response. Just reply and say, “no, I wanted to know about the Kindle Scout contract”. It will get to the right place eventually.

  1. The crowd-sourcing / reader interest aspect of the Kindle Scout program is real and important.

If you are not already a known writer, a strong campaign can get your book noticed by Scout staff. As with all things Amazon, there is most likely a data algorithm behind the scenes of the selection process. As I said earlier, however, final selection is done by human beings.

Then (and this is the amazeballs part), if your book isn’t selected, Amazon will notify everyone who nominated your book that it is available for them to purchase! They can opt out, but they will be notified by default if they don’t.

  1. The program is looking for publication-ready books. Publication. Ready. Books.

If you don’t provide a professional-looking blurb, book cover, author bio, and excerpt, your chance of catching the eye of the readers (and later, the editor) is small. This may not apply to well-known individuals from other fields (columnists, local celebrities with established followings, etc.) or those who have been previously traditionally published. But I still wouldn’t skip it.

Finally? Copy-editing, copy-editing, copy-editing.

Here’s what I have gotten out of being published as a Kindle Scout Winner so far:

  • Reviews during preorder.
  • Mailing list sign ups from my thank you letter because I put my newsletter link in it. I assumed I would lose. I always assume I will lose.
  • “Also boughts” beginning early in preorder from the books given away to Scouts. Those books are considered verified purchases.
  • Being listed on the Kindle Scout merchandising page which is advertised on Scout book pages.
  • Friendly and enthusiastic support for my book and helpful answers to all my pesky questions.
  • The support of my peers in our super-secret clique on Facebook.
  • The certain knowledge that my book will receive Amazon merchandising and promotion without tipping a magic algorithm.
  • Kindle Press books are paid in a “trad pub” format for Kindle Unlimited. After a borrower reads past 10%, you get paid the KS standard 50% royalty based on average sale price for the month. Some may not like this. I think that I do.
  • An advance! It’s only $1,500.00, but nothing says commitment to a book better than a little splash of cash.

What I gave up to be published on Kindle Press:

  • The ability to control my pricing and promotions. Personally, I trust that Amazon knows more about that than I do, and I’m happy to let them take it over.
  • Twenty percent of my royalty (the program pays 50% instead of the 70% it pays self-publishers). I have a self-published series on which I spend 30% of my royalties to make a very small number of sales. I think this is a fair trade for Amazon’s interest in my book.
  • Not formatting the ebook the way I like it. But they did use the images I had created for it so that it looks very close to what I envisioned.

If you found this blog entry useful and or informative – or at the very least if you printed it off and lined your cat box with it – then you could TRULY show your gratitude to Jill’s hard work by picking up a copy of her KINDLE SCOUT winning book!

Just click this cover shot to beam yourself over to Amazon.com to order this e-book. Or paperback, if you wish.

Just click this cover shot to beam yourself over to Amazon.com to order this e-book. Or paperback, if you wish.

The Familiar: A Paranormal Romantic Comedy

Sometimes a cat has to man up.

Tom has been mostly cat for a long time, but when the witch who enslaved him dies, he has one last chance to become a man again and maybe to find love, too. He just needs to tell Cassie, a sensible girl who knows nothing about the witchy business all around her, that he’s trapped in the body of the kitten she cuddles at night. But cats aren’t known for their conversational skills, and a powerful warlock is determined to take Cassie for himself. To make things worse, Tom is rapidly running out of lives.

You can find The Familiar here.

OR – for all of you UK readers you can find The Familiar HERE!

OR – if you are a Canadian reader – (God bless maple syrup and beer) – you can find The Familiar HERE!!!


Lastly – if you enjoyed this blog entry and if you feel you’ve learned something from it – PLEASE take a moment to nominate my own novel A BLURT IN TIME to the Kindle Scout campaign.

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

FRIDAY FREEBIE FOR KINDLE ONLY!

FREE TODAY ONLY!

Two Fisted Nasty Cover full size

TWO FISTED NASTY: A NOVELLA AND THREE SHORT STORIES

What is left of a man when everything worth losing has already been lost? Is vengeance worth any price? Ask Father Simon. Leftovers is a story of redemption, sacrifice and leftovers. It is a story of the bottom and what you find lying beneath it. It is a novella-length hardcore chill that will shock even the most hardened reader.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OGPJDXU

(now back to regular price)

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Two Tales of Mermaid Meat

Nothing I like better than a good old-fashioned mermaid story – except maybe TWO of them!

百物語怪談会 Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai

Ningyo Niku

Translated from Opinions About Life and Death as Told by the Legend of Yaobikuni, Japanese Wikipedia, and this Blog

To learn more about Japanese Ghosts, check out my book Yurei: The Japanese Ghost

Japan has mermaids, but they are very different creatures from western folklore. They can take many shapes, but the most common in the form of a fish with a woman’s head. And even then, appearance is not their most distinctive feature—eating the flesh of a mermaid is said to grant an extended lifespan. And sometimes it does something else.

Yaobikuni – The Eight-Hundred Year Nun

Yaobukini Shrine

One of Japan’s most famous folk legends, variations of this story can be found across the entire country. Most versions of the story involve a fisherman who catches a strange fish. He brings it home to cook for his family and a friend. The friend notices that the fish has a human…

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Three Card Mousie

Three-Card-Monte
So it’s 10:30pm and I’m just finishing up in the washroom before curling up with a book and I hear this tiny scuttling.
 
A mouse scampered out.
 
Fortunately, the bathroom door was closed and the light in the bathroom is very bright. I seized the handle of the plunger and began chasing the mouse through the bathroom.
 
BANG! BANG! BANG!
 
Up the vanity.
 
BANG! BANG! BANG!
 
Around the sink.
 
THUD! THUD! THUD!
 
Into the towel hamper beside the sink.
 
Then I carefully fished the towels out one by one while my wife Belinda Ferguson, awakened from a deep sleep by a mysterious thumping and banging was wondering if her husband was having some sort of a seizure behind the bathroom door.
 
“DON’T COME IN!” I calmly shouted.
 
Three face cloths left in the hamper and I began playing a rousing game of three-face-cloth-mousie in the bottom of the hamper as the mouse ran from underneath one face cloth to underneath another face cloth – and Monty Hall was nowhere in sight.
Mickey Mouse
 
BANG! THUD! BANG!
 
The last bang ALMOST got him except he bounced out of the hamper, flew through the air and landed in the heap of towels that I had scattered on the floor.
 
THUD! BANG! THUD!
 
I calmly and coolly hyperventilated just a little as I gingerly fished each towel up off the floor and shook it a little before dropping it into the hamper.
 
Finally I nailed the little bastard.
 
“GOT HIM!” I shouted.
 
“Are you dead yet?” My wife asked. “Should I dial 911?”
I covered the mouse up with some paper towel and said a few holy words to go along with the unholy words I had been muttering in amongst all of that thumping and banging and then I carried the mouse outside and dropped his carcass at the end of the sidewalk where the crows come to feed every morning.
 
“Go back to bed,” I told my wife. “The crisis is over. Your man is a mighty hunter.”
 
🙂

 Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Mini-Promotions for your e-book

This is me, doing my Happy Dance!

This is me, doing my Happy Dance!

When September hit I vowed that I was going to get back into promoting my e-books. I am currently setting up a few BIG promo campaigns for the month of October and I’ll create a separate thread for those when we get closer to the mark – but I have been actively trying to splash a few more ripples into the promoting pond over the month of September with a few little  prawny promotions.

For example – on Labor Day (September 7) I put TALES FROM A TANGLED WOOD on a freebie promo with Book-Scream for $3 and moved 33 free copies.

On September 11 I put DO-OVERS AND DETOURS up on another one day freebie promo with Lovely Books for $4 and moved 15 free copies. This giveaway was hindered by an inexplicable glitch in the system that lead the promo to not go live until the middle of the afternoon. Still – somebody read straight through one copy – or at least digitally flipped through the pages of the book – and added an extra 332 pages to my KU tally.

On September 13 I put HAMMURABI ROAD up on a one day 99 cent promo with ebookstage and moved 1 copy. Mind you, ebookstage didn’t cost me anything and I did screw things up by forgetting to mark my non-kindle prices down to 99 cents.

GET ORGANIZED, VERNON!!!

On September 17-18 I put BIG HAIRY DEAL up as a one day 99 cent promo with ebookstage and sold 2 copies of BIG HAIRY DEAL and 1 copy of BIGFOOT TRACKS – another book in the series, as WELL as a couple of non-kindle sales. This time I remembered to bump my prices down on ALL of my venues.

On September 18 I put ROADSIDE GHOSTS up as a one day freebie promotion and moved 453 free copies thanks to a $5.00 promo with Fiverr’s bknights for five bucks.

So – what have I learned?

Lesson number one – bknights freaking rocks!!!
:)

To top it off I have sold several copies of ROADSIDE GHOSTS after the freebie promotion was over with.
I have been using these little mini-promotion pushes to help warm up my promoting muscles for October. Every day or two I take a half an hour or so and line up another promotional website for the 3-4 BIG promos I am putting on in October and these little mini-promotion pushes are giving me some much-needed confidence for this.

I have noticed a fair increase in my KU page count over the month of September and I see a lot of my own e-books showing up on the also-bought column of my Kindle listings.

I have also noticed a bit of an improvement in the regularity of my book sales. I would LOVE to see a month in which I sell at LEAST one e-book for each day of the month – and these little promo pushes seem to be raising my visibility and seem to be acting like a dose of hot bran to the daily regularity of my book sales.

(ah yes, a day without a poop-pun is like a day without sunshine)

SO – what promotion sites work for your mini-push promotions?

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Messy, Yet Necessary – A Review of Sandra Hutchison’s THE RIBS AND THIGHBONES OF DESIRE

Click this photo if you want a copy - it is ONLY available through Amazon Kindle.

Click this photo if you want a copy – it is ONLY available through Amazon Kindle.

Do you remember when you were growing up and you lived in constant blithering terror that your Mom or your Dad – or worse yet both of them tag-teaming up together – were going to catch hold of your ear and have that long old talk with you.

You know the talk that I am talking about.

THE talk.

Face it.

You would rather stuff your ears full of flaming worm boogers than to hear your Mom and Dad talk to you about all of that stuff that you had already figured out – but what you did not figure out is that sort of a talk is both uncomfortable, somewhat painful – but absolutely necessary.

That is the kind of book that Sandra Hutchison has created in THE RIBS AND THIGH BONES OF DESIRE.

It is uncomfortable, painful – yet absolutely necessary.

The novel deals with the uncomfortable subject matter of an odd yet undeniable attraction that slowly grows between a thirty-odd physics professor who has recently lost his family in a plane wreck and the teenage girl who used to babysit his young daughter.

KAHOOGA! KAHOOGA! KAHOOGA!

Can’t you hear those alarm bells going off? Oh my god, some soft-headed folks are shouting out – this is a novel of pornographic pedophilia.

Holy shades of Nabakov, Batman.

THE RIBS AND THIGH BONES OF DESIRE is a slow yet painstakingly crafted study of lust, love and the part that the human desire plays in personal healing. Sandra Hutchinson’s prose reminds us that life is never simple or neat. Life is sticky and messy like elephant boogers flung upon a wall of flypaper and fish glue.

If you are looking for a John-loves-Marsha romance you had better call up Harlequin.

If you are looking for a thoughtful organic dissection of the mechanics of human want than you really had better stop farting around with this review of mine and just get over yourself and go ahead and pick up a copy of Sandra Hutchison’s THE RIBS AND THIGHBONES OF DESIRE.

Go ahead.

You know you want to.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Lessons in advertising my eBook (what worked, what didn’t)

I am in the midst of building a big promotion for this coming October – and this blog entry from horror author Matt Manochio, was RIGHT up my alley. The dude gives names and numbers and all of the nitty-gritty that I have been looking for.

Much appreciated, Matt.

(and – for those folks interested in how Matt’s promotion FINALLY worked out – here’s a link to the follow-up blog entry.)

Scary Funny

How many books do I need to sell to make a bestsellers list?

Every author at some point has Googled a variation of that question. Because let’s face it: most of us want to see our name on The New York Times bestsellers list right above or below whichever 50 Shades book is befouling that list, and there’s no shame in admitting that. (Yes, technically it would be nice to be #1, but you’ve got to start somewhere.)

So how do I get on the bestsellers list without cashing out my 401k and buying 9,000 copies of my book? (I read somewhere that 9,000 is the number of books you’d need to sell in a week to get on the NYT list. Whether that’s true, I have no idea. God bless what you read on the Internet.)

My point is you need people to buy your book. And for a…

View original post 2,668 more words

Now THIS is How You Run a Group E-book Promo

Patty Jansen Promo

A few weeks ago I signed up for a Group Promo run by scifi writer Patty Jansen over at kboards.

I was one of the first of over FORTY authors who climbed on board this promotion.

Patty Jansen Promo 2

We have promoted through various personal newsletters, through Facebook Ads, through Twitter and through and through various Facebook pages.

And – with the exception of the Facebook ads – NONE of this has cost us a single thin dime.

Let me tell you, that is the sort of promotion you REALLY need to get involved with more often.

Just TAKE A LOOK AT HOW SLICK THIS PROMO PAGE LOOKS! See how the pages are all neatly arranged. I don’t have the technical skill to build something like this but I can appreciate the hours of set-up that Patty put into building this promotion.

So – all of you scif/fantasy/specfic reader-types out there swing on over to the promo page just by clicking on one of those images and grab yourself some 99 cent bargains.

Click this image and it will take you DIRECTLY to the promo page!

Click this image and it will take you DIRECTLY to the promo page!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Promoting Your E-books On A Deep Discount Budget

Funny-lol-star-trek-aliens-wont-talk-us-next-generation-annoyed-picard-humor-joke-meme-photo-pic

Welcome to the time warp.

All right – so I fell off of the promotion wagon all summer long and my sales figures reflect that. However, in July I noticed a slight bit of a bump in my Kindle income thanks to the new KINDLE UNLIMITED per page bonus. It wasn’t much of a bump but it was enough to get me thinking. SO – I have decided to begin promoting again and have a few promos lined up over September and October – and I have signed another half dozen books or so into the KINDLE UNLIMITED program. We’ll see how that works out.

Tomorrow – for Labor Day – I used one of my KU freebie days for TALES FROM THE TANGLED WOOD.

Tangled Wood - smaller size

I lined up five different promotional websites to help promote the freebie.
(or at least I thought I had lined up five different promotional websites)

IT’S WRITE NOW (free)
BOOKS BUTTERFLY ($5.00)
BOOKSCREAM ($4.00)
PEOPLE READS (free)

Yes, I am working on a budget.


You have  to understand that this all happened over a week ago – so welcome to the time warp.

Let me tell you how it all played out.

First off, I goofed up on the FREEBOOKSY. I actually had booked FREEBOOKSY for a BIG upcoming Halloween promotion that I will tell you all about later in October. I really don’t know where I came up with the notion that I had booked it for Labor Day.

I wasn’t drunk.

I wasn’t wearing a straight jacket.

Actually, I’m wearing a burgundy muscle shirt, tailored to allow room for my pythons of power to protrude comfortably.

Let me get back to the punkass promotion.

Secondly, I never did get the BOOKS BUTTERFLY lined up either. The folks at Books Butterfly replied to my initial submission with a counter-proposal that made more sense – but then I forgot to get back to them in time.

So all I have got lined up are these three promo pages.

BOOKSCREAM – http://bookscream.com/history.php?id=362

PEOPLE READS – which did not come through. That is what I get for not sending them any actual money and just relying upon their good will.

IT’S WRITE NOW – which did not come through either. Again – it is better to pay actual money.

Then, to make matters worse I forgot that I had also lined up two other freebies for Labor Day – but had COMPLETELY forgotten to line up any other promotion.

I suck.

I can say “I suck” on my blog without any censor-bots bleeping it out?

So – there is two rules for you to remember the next time you line up a promotion for one of your e-books.

Rule #1 – GET FREAKING ORGANIZED!

Rule #2 – BE PREPARED TO SHELL OUT A BIT OF MONEY.

Those five dollar and ten dollar promo sites can do a bit of good – but if you REALLY want to make a big thumping boom you ought to shell out a bit of money to somebody like Bookbub or Ereader News Today or Free Kindle Books & Tips. Still, I find that the smaller promo sites can do a lot to fill out your promotional campaign.

Whether you go with a big promotion website or something smaller you REALLY need to get freaking organized.

Let me give you an example.

While I was busy neglecting to get promotional website services lined up for TALES FROM THE TANGLED WOOD I goofed again. I COMPLETELY forgot about setting two other e-books to freebie status for that same date.

This is the ONE e-book that is STILL a freebie for today - Sept. 11, 2015 only!

This is the ONE e-book that is STILL a freebie for today – Sept. 11, 2015 only!

A Hat Full of Stories
So all three of these were free on Labor Day but I had only promoted ONE of them.

Again – and again – and again – I tell you that you REALLY need to be organized for this sort of promotion.

🙂

In any case – here is the total results at the end of my poorly-managed Labor Day promotion.

TALES FROM THE TANGLED WOOD – 33 copies
REVENANT (permafree) – 2 copies
DO-OVERS AND DETOURS – 17 copies
FLASH VIRUS: EPISODE 1 (permafree) – 1 copy
A HAT FULL OF STORIES: THREE WEIRD WEST TALES – 22 copies

(and who out there does NOT love Book Report – that makes this sort of tallying easy?)

That is a total of 75 freebies moved yesterday with very little labor – which is supposed to be how a Labor Day promo works, isn’t it?

On top of that there was ONE (that’s 1, folks) page of A Hat Full of Stories showing up as read on my KU2 tally-meter.

That first page sure must have put somebody off!

That’s 75 books that might net me a couple of more reviews, and a few more appearances in the also-bought, as well as 75 more copies to (hopefully) turned into a little bit of jingling change in the KU2 piggy bank.

Okay – so now that you have seen what a promotionless promotion looks like – stick around.

Later in October I’ll post all of the details on my big-butted Halloween promotion.

I believe the numbers will be VERY different that month.

At least that’s the plan.


Lastly, let me tell you about what I have got going on in the way of promotion for TODAY.

My good buddy M.L. Katz has put together a little duct-tape-and-fish-glue-and-thumb-tacks-and-hope group promotion for myself and six other fantasy and spec-fic authors that you can check out right here.

It is advertising SEA TALES – my collection of seven way-out nautical yarns – which is on sale for this weekend for a mere 99 cents.

SeaTales

Click here if you want it!

And then tomorrow and Sunday I will be taking part in a HUGE freaking 99 cent group promotion of all-speculative-fiction. So if spec-fic is your bag you will REALLY want to swing on over here and check it out. I will talk a little bit more about this promotion this weekend  – but for now here is a link for you to take a peek at.

Click this image and it will take you DIRECTLY to the promo page!

Click this image and it will take you DIRECTLY to the promo page!

Now – if you are on a budget and are looking to promote your latest e-book OR an e-book from your back catalogue – this is one of the most economical and efficient ways of doing it. The only thing you REALLY need to remember is to find yourself somebody who is as organized as Patty Jansen is.

Click onto that image.

Check out how you can clearly see each author’s e-book cover. See how easy Patty has made it for a reader to view and order whatever e-book they desire. That – brothers and sisters – is how you want to set up a group promotion.

Over the weekend each of the authors involved will tweet the sale out. They will share it on their Facebook pages and on like-minded Facebook groups. They will hang it on their Pinterest pages and G+ it like you would not believe. Heck, some more organized writers will even send it out to their mailing list.

What’s that, you ask?

Well, a mailing list is something that every indie e-book writer ought to set up. It is one of the very best ways for you to get word of your latest promotions or your latest releases to your hungry, hungry fans.

I don’t have one yet – but if I did I would use it to keep my hungry, hungry fans alerted to all of my new Steve Vernon releases.

Just in case any of you folks out there reading this blog – all the way down here to the bottom – might be interested in signing up to be an exclusive member of my mailing list and to be eligible for FREE e-book specials – well this here bearded fellow pictured below might have something to say about such a matter.

You should ALWAYS listen to a fellow with a beard.

Click this picture if you would like to sign up for my mailing list for news on new Steve Vernon releases and exclusive opportunities to receive free e-books.

Click this picture if you would like to sign up for my mailing list for news on new Steve Vernon releases and exclusive opportunities to receive free e-books.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

PS: I want to apologize for the whole throw-the-bowl-of-pasta-at-the-cupboard-and-see-what-sticks nature of this blog entry – but I have been far too delinquent in keeping this blog current and I am just trying to shake the clutter out of my creative system.