Daily Archives: October 25, 2015

My Big October 99 cent Promotion – Day 2

All right – so remember how I told you that I actually had TWO e-books up for this big 99 cent October promotion?

Well, let me tell you about book number two!

(keep in mind that I put this blog info together last week).


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For me – one of the interesting aspects of this promotion is that a lot of these websites I have chosen promote wide. And both of the books that I am pushing are published wide. Lately I have not had much in the way of luck selling anywhere else but Kindle and I am taking a long look at how my sales figures tally up in Kobo, Nook, Apple and the like over the next month or so. I’m looking, I am figuring, and I am thinking. Kobo has taken a couple of interesting steps – what with them upgrading their promotion series and adding that funky little Book Points feature – but for me the deciding is going to be based SOLELY upon the amount of books I can move in the next month or so.

Let me tell you all about the second part of my October Promotion.

I am promoting my historical-horror DEVIL TREE simultaneously to TATTERDEMON.

DEVIL TREE is a funny sort of a book. I wrote it about thirty years ago when I was just finishing my second run at a Bachelor of Arts – Majoring in English and Minoring in Philosophy. It is a deep and thoughtful book that reads somewhat like a cross between Dostoevsky and Dan Simmons. It actually won a local literary award. But it isn’t a typical horror novel and as a result my reviews so far have been SERIOUSLY mixed. I have got some folks who have raved about the depth and the thoughtfulness of the writing – however, I have got just as many WTF-one-star reviews – primarily from a book club who picked up DEVIL TREE as one of their books. So this haunting novel scares me – but for a different reason than you might think.

DEVIL TREE
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #665,239 Paid in Kindle Store
#3455 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lit & Fiction > Myth & Folk Tales
#3474 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales
#6788 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales

PROMO DETAILS
October 26: BookSCREAM
October 27: Buck Books
October 27-31: Just Kindle Books
October 28 – Bknights promote-on-my-Twitter-site
October 29: Read Cheaply
October 30 – ebookstage
October 31- Bargain Booksy
October 31 – Betty Book Freak

This  isn’t as thorough a promotion as that of TATTERDEMON – but like i said I am more than just a little bit scared about some of the reviews this might garner.

Let me put it this way.

If you dig the slow, steady, tunnel-digging pace of a rousing Dostoyevsky novel you might actually dig DEVIL TREE. I love it and my wife loves it – partly because she first fell in love with me at a public reading of this novel.

But it ain’t HARRY POTTER.


Lastly, let me tell you all about how the sales have been going.

Well, so far this morning things haven’t been too lively – but it is early days.

My Book Cave looks to have moved one kindle copy of Tatterdemon – or that copy might actually have been moved thanks to my heavy-duty blogging.

Who knows?

Either way I am not disheartened. My Book Cave is new on the block and I was glad to help them out and they may grow up into something bigger – and lets be honest – it was, at best, a promo of seized opportunity. They were looking for authors to promote and I jumped in. It didn’t cost me a nickle and they have promised me faithfully to keep nudging the book over the next week or so by tweeting and mentioning it in their blog.

The book signing went fairly well – as I mentioned in an earlier blog entry today.

This is early days. I’ve got a solid left and right coming up tomorrow with the KINDLE BOOK REVIEW HALLOWEEN PARTY for Tatterdemon and BookSCREAM for Tatterdemon AND Devil Tree.

I’ll keep you all posted.

yours in storytelling

Steve Vernon

If this blog entry was the least bit helpful and/or interesting - PLEASE CLICK this banner and nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into the Kindle Scout Publishing Program you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

If this blog entry was the least bit helpful and/or interesting – PLEASE CLICK this banner and nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into the Kindle Scout Publishing Program you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

Got Those Book Signing Blues

Here’s another less Pollyanna-colored book signing by my good buddy, New Brunswick author Robert Rayner.

I too ALWAYS buy books by New Brunswick authors. Or else I mean too. Really, I promise.
🙂

Here’s to better days and crowds full of eager cruise ship tourists, their pockets jingle with the carousel of shiny silver eagles and hope.

Robert Rayner

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12:00 Friday noon arrive at Coles Books, Brunswick Square, Saint John. Little table set up, nicely positioned at front of store, sticking out just a bit into hoped for flow of people on lunch break and from cruise ship in port today. Stack (well, small stack) of Colorlands. Thank you, Diane at Coles. And more thanks for offer of coffee. Feel at home already.

12:01 Old friend Alyssa appears in a whirl, stopping by not just to say Hello but to buy a book! Thank you, Alyssa. Lovely way to start a signing. Must be good augur. Now set for record breaking signing.

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12:02 Daringly ease little table further out into anticipated hectic flow of shoppers. Books arranged enticingly. Pen ready. Smile fixed. (Never easy.) Line forms on the right, folks.

12:15 Er, folks?

12:20 Aha. Cruise ship passengers appear at last. A few, anyway. One introduces herself as Mabel…

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Hand-selling your paperbacks

Steve Vernon, Author

My wife Belinda and I had a great time signing and selling our books this Saturday morning at the Halifax Forum Farmer’s Market. We bought some fruit and vegetables and some awesome cake and a cro-nut (part croissant/part donut) and a sweet yummy gooey butter tart and we had breakfast at Johnny’s Snack Bar across the street from the Forum.

This is how a writer has to do it sometimes. He has to hunker down in the craft shows and book fairs and the farmer’s markets and smile and nod and talk to people – and hopefully sell a few books.

Let me give you folks a few nice moments.

Right off the bat Bill Mont – the fellow who runs the Halifax Forum Flea Market and the owner of Devil’s Island – one of the most haunted locations in Nova Scotia stopped by to test my knowledge of Nova Scotia in general and Devil’s Island in particular. I told him that I had actually flown out there once in a helicopter and that I had met and talked to the couple who lived on the island as caretakers.

He asked me if I had ever written about Devil’s Island – but unfortunately my book that has the most to say about the subject is currently out-of-print.

Nimbus WILL eventually get this one back in print - but all good things take time.

Nimbus WILL eventually get this one back in print – but all good things take time.

A little later a young fellow showed up and told me that he had read all of my ghost story collections and that his buddy Andrew was my very biggest fan. Sure enough, shortly afterward a friend of mine who was working her own table overheard this young man on his cell phone saying to his friend – “Hey, if you want to meet the famous ghost story author STEVE VERNON, you ought to get right down here to the Forum right away.”

(it’s true – he apparently said my name in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS)

Twenty minutes later ANDREW showed up and shook my hand and told me that he was my biggest fan and he bought a copy of HAMMURABI ROAD and I am pretty sure that he may have broken one or two of his teeth, he was grinning that hard.

Yup, moments like that make a writers day.

A little later an old gent by the name of Hugh McKerville stopped by to chat with me. He told me about a book that he had written entitled THE SINBUSTER OF SMOKY BURN.

“It is good to meet a fellow who is as active a writer as you are,” he told me.

We talked a bit about writing and storytelling and the day moved on slowly. It felt a little bit like sitting on the bank of a river just watching time roll by. I always enjoy these moments – even though I really love the time when my thoughts grow quiet and I just set back and indulge in a little people-watching.

I sold a few books – not a lot – but this whole event for me was a time to have a bit of fun and meet some interesting people and to work out a few of the bugs that might present themselves at next weekend’s big event – the Hal-Con Scifi and Fantasy Convention!

That is going to be a BIG event and I believe that I will sell a whole LOT of books.

Time will tell.

As I say, next weekend we will be selling and signing books at Hal-Con and then following Hal-Con our next big book event will be at the Literary Fair in Musquodoboit Harbour in the Old School Gathering Place on November 7 from 1-4pm and from 7-9pm. It is a book signing, selling and reading event with the Christmas market in mind. Belinda Ferguson and I will be there for the afternoon session.

In the meantime, here is a reprint of an earlier blog entry that will give writer-folks some real inspiration for your next book signing.


FLY FISHING IN THE RIVER OF POSSIBILITY – A DOZEN TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR NEXT BOOK-SIGNING A SUCCESS!

We’ve all seen those lonely writers sitting at those tables parked in front of bookstores. We’ve watched them slowly growing cobwebs behind stacks of sadly unsigned books.

 Heck, I have even been one myself, over the years. Signings are never predictable.

Just last month I found myself outside of the Coles Bookstore in the Halifax Shopping Centre. This can be an awfully tough spot to sign in. People come to this mall with high-test boutique shopping in mind. I have seen them sprint past my book table – aimed towards dresses and jewelry and the cellular phone experience and, of course, the food court.

If I sign and sell a dozen books at this mall I figured I was doing great.

But I love that bookstore – partly because of the location – so handy to my home. Partly because the people who work there really love their job and they mostly know me by name and always go out of their way to make this writer feel right at home. Even on days that I’m just browsing the bookshelves they always smile and say “Mr. Vernon, how good to see you.”

So I go there and I do my best and this October I signed and sold twenty copies of my books. That is a fine fat day for a book signing author.

Which goes to show that you can never tell how a book signing will go. That is the number one tip for writers scheduled for a book signing. Anything is possible. Don’t go there figuring you know everything there is to know. You are a writer, after all – which means that you make stuff up. Which means that you need to believe in the power of possibility.

Anything can happen.

So abandon all preconceptions. The fact is we’re just fishing. And I can tell you a fishing story or two. Most of them all begin with “I went fishing and stood on the side of the river” and end with “the mosquitoes bit but the fish did not.”

Here are ten of the never-before-told secrets for signing success.

1. Make sure your bait is fresh. Remember – you are sitting in a building filled with books.  Make sure that yours stands out. Set up a display. Bring a few photo stands to prop up copies.  For the launch of my now-out –of-print weird western-horror I brought a small stuffed buffalo, tastefully zombified.  For Lunenburg Werewolf I bring along a small stuffed wolf – all right, so he’s a husky, but don’t tell him that – you would only hurt his feelings.

Mind you, not everyone will have such an easily illustrated motif as reanimated bison, but anything that stands out stops people.  A snazzy sign, a portrait of your main character, a funky colored lava lamp.  You’re a writer, use your imagination.

2. Find the right fishing hole. Position your table close to an entrance. Heartily hail the folks who walk in. Wave to those who walk out. Keep smiling and have fun. Sooner or later people will come closer just to see what you’re so danged happy about.

3. Have a sharp hook. Get your patter ready. People are busy creatures. If they stop to listen to you they want it to be a succinct experience. On the off-chance if you happen to bore them to tears then at least they’ll be able to extract themselves quickly from what might otherwise be a sticky experience.

Hopefully, you won’t bore them.

“Hi there.  I’m launching a new book today.”  If they come closer to listen, reel them in.  “This is my new book, YODELING WITH MALAMUTES, a heart breaking tale of a Swiss dog sled racer with deep-seated Iditarod dreams.” Talk to everyone who’ll listen.  You are fly fishing in the river of possibility. Keep the fishing line dancing.

4. Keep casting and stay friendly. A lot of folks aren’t really interested in what you’re selling. Pity them quietly, but don’t browbeat them into conversion.  It won’t happen. If folks bustle past, smile and say “Enjoy your browse.” Maybe they’ll stop on the way back.

5. Don’t forget to keep that fishing line dancing. Avoid long conversations. You’ll miss potential customers. Know when to shut up. If the person skims the first couple of pages, let your book do the talking for you. Odds are, you probably sound better in print, anyway.

6. Keep your feet in the water and stay hydrated. Have a drink, you’ll need it. Not a coffee, that’s bad for your breath. Have an herbal tea or a bottle of water – but make it a small one. Easy does it on the maximum-grandiose-large. The bookstore bathroom is a long walk away.

7. Bring a bright and shiny lure. Have a blurb clearly typed up for bookstores with PA systems. “Welcome to Check It Out Bookstores. Today we have novelist Steve Vernon signing copies of his new book PIZZA SCREAMS – A TALE OF DEEP ANCHOVY LOVE. He’s at the front entrance. Come and chat with a real bearded author.”

8. Don’t throw anything back. There is no telling who you will meet. In a two hour signing I met a school principal who hired me to teach a workshop on storytelling and writing; a radio host who lined me up for an interview, and the head editor of a local publisher who signed me on for my next book. Remember – the world is watching you, sitting there at your table full of hopeful books. Sometimes opportunity knocks, and sometimes you hold the door hard against the right set of knuckles.

9. Try and personalize your signature. I make it a point to chat with the person I am signing for and find out who they want it personalized to. Sometimes they are buying the book for someone else. Be prepared to just sign in generically – for the folks who are buying it as a gift idea but haven’t got an idea who to give it to.

10. CHECK YOUR SPELLING! This is very important. There are a lot of ways to spell a name. Ask them to spell the name – no matter how much you think you know how to spell the name “John” sooner or later you are going to run into a “Jon”.

11. Keep a tally on how many you sell. Sign a few before you go. I recommend signing them with a little space up top. That way, when you come back to this store for another signing you can always personalize it with “To John” in the blank space you’ve left up top.

12. Here’s my last bit of advice. No matter how hard the day goes, no matter how few copies you sign and sell – remember to have fun while you do it. You’re fishing, aren’t you?

I would like to dedicate this blog to my stepfather Irvin Chatelois and my grandad Hanlan Vernon – both of you took me fishing and neither of you laughed too hard when I caught nothing but a handful of stickleback perch.

I’m pretty good at book signing – but I SUCK at fishing.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

If this blog entry was the least bit helpful and/or interesting - PLEASE CLICK this banner and nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into the Kindle Scout Publishing Program you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

If this blog entry was the least bit helpful and/or interesting – PLEASE CLICK this banner and nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into the Kindle Scout Publishing Program you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.