Tag Archives: advice

Mother’s Day Mow-a-ganza Madness!

lawn mower

Okay, so it’s Mother’s Day.

I have already been to two different Mother’s Day Craft Festivals, last weekend and this weekend, with my travelling book table trying to sell enough books to pay the bills.

So, in a way, Mother’s Day has been kind of going on all week long – except during the weekdays I spent my time at my day job as a cubicle dust monkey.

dust bunny 3

All right – so go ahead and sue me, because I couldn’t find a picture of a dust monkey…

But I had today off and I wasn’t scheduled to be at any public appearances and the weatherman had said it was going to be warm and the grass in my backyard was beginning to resemble the Serengeti veldt, so I decided that I was going to mow the lawn.

So I went out to my back shed – which is basically just four sheets of corrugated aluminum held together by a roof and some rust and I dragged the old lawn mower out to see if it would work again.

This is the third or fourth lawn mower that I have been through in the ten years that we have owned this house.

Well, actually we don’t really own this house, we are renting it from the bank, on a bet that we can keep up our mortgage payments long enough to actually own the damn place. I call it the Freedom 75 plan.

Don’t get me wrong. I really do love this place and I wish I’d bought it sooner – but man, this property is hard on lawn mowers. Our first mower was a push mower. I wanted to be all ecological and get some exercise and not make a lot of noise and then I hit the mutant Kentucky Fried bluegrass that is going out back, amidst the herb garden of creeping thyme that got up and walked out of the little bed that the previous owner had planted it in and proceeded to dominate the entire backyard. It really smells nice when I mow it down – kind of like the breath of a French chicken – but it is really hard to mow.

The next thing I bought was an electric mower, which turned out to not have all that much power at all. Next I bought a low-end gas power mower which lasted a whole summer before it ran over a chunk of kryptonite and lost all of its power. Then I picked up this mower which is the fourth best gas mower, second in from the third cheapest that I could afford to buy and it has lasted the last five years.

Well, I brought it out and yanked the pull cord and it roared into life for about two and a half seconds and then promptly died. I fiddled with it some, making sure all of the connections were rusted on tight enough to hold and then I jiggled the spark plug and gave it another yank. It roared and died in about three more seconds and then I frigged with it some, cursed it a little and on about the sixth good yank it roared into life and held.

At this point in time some of you more handy types are feeling the urge to drop some sort of a comment about how a real man knows how to maintain his power mower and want to talk with me about how I need to be using a better grade of gasoline and maybe changing the oil more than every three years and other such foolishness but let me head your impulse right off the bat.

Don’t do it.

You give me some sort of helpful homemaker how-to-be-a-real-man hint of a comment and I am show up at your front door tomorrow with my roaring lawn mower and mow you off at the knee caps.

I mean what I am telling you.

I don’t know a thing about a handyman, but I am awfully good at homicidal mania.

Remember, I am a horror writer.

Anyway, I got about two-thirds of the back mowed when I ran over the one single piece of litter that I had missed when I had done my initial pre-mow pick-up of the litter. The next thing I knew, the mower had coughed and gagged and made a sound like a man gargling sulfuric acid and then stopped cold.

I tipped the lawn mower on its side and carefully unwound the plastic that had wound around the hub of the blade rotor and then I tipped it back and fired it up again. Of course, tipping a gasoline mower on its side results in a lot of gasoline running around the inner workings and this great gout of black smoke gouted out of the air filter.

That’s great, I thought. All I have to do is to run inside and grab me a blanket and I can send up some smoke signals and maybe some wandering lawn mower mechanic will ride to my rescue on a ride-on mower.

I let the smoke die down and I gave the cord another yank. I hadn’t been keeping count of how many times I yanked this mower but I figured if I yanked it a few more times that mower was going to have to buy me a romantic evening out on the town.

The mower coughed up in a rattling sort of a noise that sounded a little like a jackhammer trying to dance himself an honest to Michael Flatley Irish jig.

Goofy

All of this was accompanied with more black smoke. I let it cool off and gave it another yank and there was more jack hammer death rattles and then all of a sudden the mower made a sound like a fat man farting through a tuba in an echo chamber, and a chunk of rubber flew out from out of the center of the air filter and shot halfway across the lawn. It turned out that when the mower had bumped over that plastic it had chewed off a chunk of that rubber flap that drags behind the mower to prevent you from hit by back flung debris.

Well, after that the mower started working again and I finished up the lawn and the sidewalk verge and I rolled the mower back into the shed and said a small prayer of thanks to the spirit of Red Green and I went aside and phoned my mother to tell her a Happy Mothers Day and then I ran the tub and climb in for long hot soak.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

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.

Deep Discount Promotion – Part 5

I sold 6 copies of GYPSY BLOOD yesterday on Amazon.com and a copy to Amazon.co.uk for 7 copies in total.

The numbers aren’t huge so far and the advertising has CERTAINLY not paid for itself – but there has been a bump in daily sales both for GYPSY BLOOD and a few of my other books. Trying to positively attribute a bump in sales directly towards promotion is ALWAYS an exercise in pie-hole-smoke, however, I am still satisfied that my efforts are bearing a little fruit.

Let me give you the full run-down, so far.
bknights – ($15) – May 24
Read Cheaply – (free) – May 24
May 24 – 4 copies sold, total=4

Booktastik – ($5) – May 25
Book Deals Daily – (free) – May 25
May 25 – 0 copies sold, total=4

Robin Reads – ($10) – May 26
May 26 – 9 copies sold, total=13

Sweet Free Books – ($5) – May 27
May 27 – 7 copies sold, total=20

ContentMo – ($1.99) – May 28
May 28 – ?

I have got another small promotion lined up for June 1 and June 2 for my massive short story collection Do-overs and Detours: Eighteen Eerie Tales – so we will see if this momentum I am building up with this one promotion carries through to the next month.

Do-Overs and Detours - playing card size

At least that is the plan.

We’ll see what the road ahead has in store for me.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Deep Discount Promotions – Part 4

Cue the comeback music!

Yesterday – thanks to promotional advertisements at Robin Reads and other assorted factors I managed to move 18 books in total.

Not all of these 18 books were GYPSY BLOOD and not all of them made me any money – but 18 books in one day is still a long away from the 1-2 books daily that I was moving from May 1 to May 23.

Let me break it down for you.

Yesterday I sold…

GYPSY BLOOD – 7 copies Amazon.com and 2 copies Amazon.co.uk

THE TATTERDEMON OPUS – 1 copy Amazon.com

BIGFOOT TRACKS – 1 copy Amazon.com

BIG HAIRY DEAL – 1 copy Amazon.com

TROLLING LURES – 1 copy Amazon.com

as well as these permafree e-books…

REVENANT: BOOK ONE OF THE TATTERDEMON TRILOGY – 4 free copies Amazon.com

FLASH VIRUS: EPISODE ONE – 1 free copy Amazon.com

***

Now, you have to understand that I usually move a couple or two of those permafree e-books nearly everyday. I don’t crow too loudly over them because – hey, they don’t make me any money. They are nothing more than freshly churned cow-guts thrown into the waters of the mighty Amazon as chum.

So – did ALL of these sales directly result from Robin Reads?

Maybe – but as I mentioned there are other factors to consider.

Some of the promoting I did yesterday and the day before might also have sold some of those book copies. Maybe you got a Booktastik newsletter in your e-mail box on May 25th and did not get around to reading it and acting upon it until May 26th.

Anything is possible.

Also there are the numerous Facebook pages that I have announced my GYPSY BLOOD promotion upon. Personally, I have really begun to doubt the effectiveness of these Facebook postings – but in all honesty, I am too chickenshit to NOT give them a try. I do try and space them out so that folks who follow me on Facebook don’t get inundated with something along the lines of STEVE VERNON JUST SHOUTED BUY-MY-BOOK ON THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY TWO AND A HALF FACEBOOK BOOK PROMOTION PAGES.

(That half a promotion was the one that the telemarketer interrupted me at, wanting me to purchase a brand new gold-plated Ginsu knife collection to fix my computer on my free cruise to Mexico)

So – a couple of those sales MIGHT have resulted from those Facebook postings.

Then too there is always the possibility that somebody might have read a recent blog entry and felt compelled to order a copy.

You never can tell.

That is the thing about promotion. It is a little like casting rocks into a pond. You cast one rock and you get a few ripples. You cast a whole handful of rocks and you get a whole pond full of ripples. You build yourself a catapult and chuck an entire dumpster-load of pebbles into that pond and you get yourself a non-stop freaking tsunami of promotional ripples.

Something that I have not done is to set up promotional blog appearances. You know – the kind where you write an informative blog entry for somebody else’s blog and make mention of your upcoming promotion. This is another important tool for indie writers who are trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. It isn’t just a matter of having a typical BUY-MY-BOOK! blog post show up on somebody else’s blog. It is FAR more effective to write something creative and interesting and useful that might possibly go just a little viral, even for a brief internet moment – and then to add at the end of that blog entry – “Oh, by the way – BUY MY BOOK!”.

However, I have a hard time these days following through on promises to write interesting blog entries for guest blog appearances, so I don’t hunt those up the way that I used to. Still, I have always felt this was a strong way of getting the word out – especially if you can get a more popular writing/reading blog to take one of your articles.

I hope this series of promotional advice is helping some of you writer-type-folks out there. This is still a big old learning experience for me and I do not claim to be an expert at what I am doing. I just like to put this out there to reach a few more folks and hopefully show them what I am doing right and just as importantly show them what I am doing wrong.

Good luck and keep on writing.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

No – because today’s Sweet Free Books listing has NOT gone live on their page just yet. Neither has their e-mailed newsletter. That is common with a lot of promotional websites. You do not ALWAYS know just when in the day that they will go live.

So – what DID sell those e-books I moved yesterday?

Deep Discount Promotion – Part 3

Just this Sunday I spent about three hours trying to build a lawn mower with nothing but an adjustable wrench and a pair of pliers. It seems our empty-nesting son had “borrowed” my wrenches sometime ago – and I guess he has a different definition to the word “borrowed” than I do.

I got a little red-faced.

Then I walked on over to Wal-Mart and I bought a cheap set of wrenches that would have to do until the “borrowed” set came home. After that the lawn mower went right together. It was a little like watching one of those Autobot Transformers put himself together

So I hauled the lawn mower out onto the lawn and then I proceeded to make my face just a little bit redder trying to pull-start it into life. Finally my wife (whose Dad was a Department of Defense electrician) came out, tightened one cable and the big gassy beast started up with one pull. The lawn mower did as well. Which was right about the time my face discovered a couple of more shades of red.

I didn’t yell at her, you understand. I did not even yell at all – except maybe just a llittle bit inside of my ears where I did a whole lot of yelling at myself.

The truth is – I am so handy that I make Red Green look like an idiot savant.

In hindsight, I am awfully glad that I married a smart wife.

🙂

That is the thing of it, though. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try the pieces just don’t seem to come together.

Just like this promotion.

I thought I had it all figured out.

(mournful Gypsy violin tunes up in the background)

I thought I knew EXACTLY what I was doing.

(Mariachi band joins in with the Gypsy violin)

Yesterday, thanks to the promotional efforts of Booktastik and Book Deals Daily – I sold absolutely ZERO copies of Gypsy Blood.

Nada, nyet, zippo.

The big fat goose egg.

Now I cannot lay all of the blame upon Booktastik and Book Deals Daily. Maybe it was the wrong day. Maybe my cover sucks out loud. Maybe my feet smell funny. Who knows?

This is all research and all a practice run as I try to slowly find my prawny way through these murky indie waters.

I did sell two other e-books – both in the same series – one a 99 cent three story collection Bigfoot welcome mat and the other the 2.99 main course Bigfoot novel – so the day was not a total loss. That is the cool thing about being an indie author. Your books are ALWAYS out there and ALWAYS on sale right across the planet. You can passive income or you can call it reaping the rewards of my creativity or you can call it the by-product of my naive Pollyanna silver-lined-rain-cloud persistence – but however you want to call it – I am satisfied.

It is all cool by me.

That is the one thing that I want all of you writer-types out there to get from this blog entry. Some days are going to rain and some days will sunny up a smile – but either way you have REALLY got to keep on grinning.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

If you are enjoying this series of Deep Discount Promotion blog entries, then I shamelessly hope that 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 until the end of May. It is available through Kindle, Kobo, Nook,Apple,Smashwords, Googleplay and probably a couple of others that are escaping my memory.

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.

GYPSY_BLOOD (1)

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