Tag Archives: indie publishing

Am I Happy With Kindle Scout?

So, it is Tuesday and I have been busy all morning pushing digital doorbells and banging on virtual doors attempting to stir up a little more interest in Kelpie Dreams and the rest of my February promotions.

Kelpie Dreams, my Kindle Scout winning shoot-em-up paranormal romance involving the love story between a suddenly-mermaid and a two hundred year old kelpie is marked down from the usual $3.49 price down to a lowly $1.00 price tag in the North American market. Which means that you can purchase a digital copy for single greenback at Amazon.com or a well-thumbed loonie at Amazon.ca OR you can grab it for free if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited.

kelpie

So – how have I been doing?

Let me tell you how things are going for me.

Kelpie Dreams was released by Kindle Press (the folks who publish Kindle Scout winning works) and it has been hovering around the 40000 to 50000 Amazon ranking all February long, meaning that it is selling at an approximate rate of about 8-10 copies per day, during this February one dollar promotion. I’d like to see that number improve, but so far at least I’m holding steady. I was hoping for enough Kelpie Dream sales to pay off the last few hundred dollars of my original advance, so that I can start putting some of these royalties into my bank account.

SO – I repeat – am I happy with Kindle Scout so far?

Yes I am, actually.

This is me, doing my Happy Dance!

I’m ten months in and I’d like to pay off the advance before the end of May, if not sooner – but I am still happy with the results.

Why?

Let me tell you.

The thing to remember is that the Kindle Scout program is still fairly young, as is Kindle Press. I know that a few authors are disgruntled because most of us haven’t seen the kind of returns that the Kindle Press contract originally promised. Nevertheless, I’ve sold more copies of Kelpie Dreams than any of my books. Which means two things. Number one – I am still happy with my results at Kindle Press, even though I am still a few hundred dollars short of paying off my advance. Number two – I really suck at selling books by myself – so I am REALLY easy to please.
🙂

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

E-Book Holiday Promotion How-To

For those folks who have been following my blog for a while, you might remember that I had a HUGE October promotion for two of my books – TATTERDEMON and DEVIL TREE.

Well sir, I have to say that all in all my promotion was a good short-term success. For starters it sold an awful lot of copies of both books and it has left me with a fine long “tail”.

So what is a tail, you might ask?

A tail is kind of like the splash that a rock makes after you throw into the nearest pond. Basically what a promotional tail is – is the effect on future sales that a short term promotion has.

I made over a hundred dollars in Kindle sales alone in October. No, that isn’t a lot for some of you more successful writer-types – but it is a pretty good month for me. Currently, two-thirds of the way through November I am already past the hundred dollar mark in Kindle sales alone. With a little bit of luck and a few extra sales I might even hit the two hundred dollar mark in Kindle sales as well.

And THAT is a big first for me. Two triple digit sales months in a row is definitely a bit of a personal record. The last two years I have mostly been in the double digits, barring a couple or three out-of-the-average months.

Now, as I reach the back end of November my sales have begun to slow down. I am coming to the end of my “tail”. So it is in my best interests to throw another rock into the pond and see what sort of splash I can make on my upcoming December sales figures.

Fortunately, some thoughtful marketer invented Black Friday some time ago.

Now – Amazon has been getting on the Black Friday band wagon for a while now. Some folks are upset about the notion of Amazon saying “Hey, you can do all of your Black Friday shopping from your living room couch” – but the older I get the more I hate shopping malls – so I am NOT necessarily against this whole concept. It isn’t like Amazon INVENTED online shopping, is it?

And even Canada has jumped onto the whole Black Friday concept – and why not? We’ve already got over our October turkey comas and we are still riding high on a sugar-buzz of leftover Halloween candy.

thinkstockphotos-90164970

Admit it – how many of you out there have JUST developed a sudden craving for candy corn?

So I have been taking a VERY close look at the Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend of November 27-30th.

Here’s what I have been up to.


 

First off – I have signed on for the Master Koda Black Friday Cyber Monday Facebook Party. 

This is a group effort put together by about four dozen authors – who are each chucking their own particular sized promo-boulder into the great collective pond.

In addition I have set up several HeadTalkers and one Thunderclap each of them advertising several of my e-book bargains including several 99 cent e-books and a couple of freebies.

I have also signed up for promotions at ebookstage  and My Book Cave – both of which cost me absolutely nothing – because both of these promo-sites are just getting started.

I have also spent two five dollar bills on a Fiverr promo with bknights and Bookkitty – both of whom have performed well for me over the last year or so.

So WHICH e-books am I promoting?

I am glad you asked.

My Halifax-based time travelling toilet extravaganza A BLURT IN TIME is available for only 99 cents all November long. I have set up a HeadTalker campaign as well as using the bknights and the bookkitty and the My Book Cave listing to help promote this one – as well as talking about it during the Master Koda weekend.

My hockey-vampire novella, SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME is likewise available all November long for ONLY 99 cents. I have set up a Thunderclap campaign to help promote this one.

My mermaid short story, HARRY’S MERMAID  is going to be available for FREE from November 27th to November 30th. I have set up a HeadTalker campaign and an ebookstage listing to help promote this one.

And – as a reward for reading all the way down to the bottom of this blog entry, my story collection TALES FROM THE TANGLED WOODS is free today and tomorrow on Kindle.

Tangled Wood

Click the cover and it will take you directly to the Amazon.com listing. 🙂

Yes sir and yes ma’m – I am throwing one big old multi-faceted promo-rock into the pond of Black Friday. It isn’t too late to set up your own promotion as well. You’ll find some VALUABLE tips in Penny Sansevieri’s ULTIMATE HOLIDAY PROMOTION.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

 

 

 

 

Kindle Scout, Thunderclap and HeadTalker

Well I am afraid that this morning I received the news that A BLURT IN TIME was not selected for the Kindle Scout program. I am not crushed by their decision. Entering a manuscript into this sort of a program is ALWAYS a crap shoot.

I got the message this morning and I promptly submitted BLURT to both the Kindle and the Kobo e-publishing system. The e-book should be live in the next day or so. I hope to have it out in paperback as well, hopefully by the end of the month.

I’ve been up for an hour and I have already uploaded A BLURT IN TIME into the Kindle portal – so it should be available in e-print within the next few days.  I’ve also got a Createspace cover already constructed and I plan a paperback release within the next week or so.

I’ll be releasing A BLURT IN TIME as a 99 cent promotion but I will be bumping the price up to $2.99 – probably by December. I had contemplated going Kindle Select – but there are quite a few options available for me through Kobo – so while I type this kboards entry on one screen, my Kobo portal is likewise chewing into Blurt. Otherwise I would have happily have released BLURT as a freebie so that all of you folks here could grab it for free.

I am NOT beaten – not by a long shot. I have been writing and selling my work for about forty years. If I haven’t given up yet I do not expect that I ever will.

I want to thank EVERYONE here for all of the help and support that you have given me. I have learned an awful lot during this whole process. I met a new cover artist who has already created three new covers for me. I have learned how to pester people creatively upon Facebook and Twitter and I have learned how the whole Kindle Scout program works.

I did this all while still working on a NaNoWriMo manuscript that I am already 22000 words into – in fact I should be writing THAT – but I am trying to handle THIS first.

Thanks all. I’m going to be pretty busy this morning – but come this afternoon I expect to reach new heights as I climb up onto the roof to re-adjust the heating cables to be ready for this coming winter.

I have waffles and fine dark maple syrup simmering in my belly and a cup of hot tea to help rev my engines.

How is your day going?

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet – out soon in Kobo and Kindle format.

NEWS FLASH – A BLURT IN TIME is NOW available for 99 cents at Kindle.

What’s it about?

Burt was certain that if he hadn’t hit King Kong with Darth Vader’s head he would not have fallen into that Citadel Hill time traveling toilet. He wouldn’t have met and been shot by the one-armed ghost and he would NOT have found himself in the wrong place at the wrong freaking time. A BLURT IN TIME is a YA time-travel horror story that grown-ups will want to read when the kids aren’t looking.

JUST CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!

Come December I will bump it up to $2.99.


Before I let you go I would like to talk to you folks about a promotion mechanism that has seemed to do pretty well for me so far.

I want to talk about Thunderclap and HeadTalker.

Let’s talk about Thunderclap first – since they have been around longer.

A Thunderclap is basically a mechanism that allows a writer to promote a new release or a sales price or a book launch – or whatever they want to promote.

Here is a look at my latest Thunderclap campaign – promoting a Black Friday – Cyber Monday 99 cent sale of my vampire/hockey novella, SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME.

So – let’s say that you want to create your own Thunderclap.

First, swing on over to the Thunderclap homepage and sign in. You have to basically be a member – but it does not cost a dime.

Then – once you are signed in have a look around at some of the sample campaigns. The site is VERY user-friendly and it took me about five minutes of poking around to figure out just how everything worked.

Trust me – if I can figure it out – YOU can figure it out.

🙂

Then click onto START A THUNDERCLAP and set your first Thunderclap up. Remember – you are going to have to gather up 99 other people with active Twitter or Facebook accounts.

The way it works is pretty simple. Let’s say I sign up to support your next Thunderclap. Let’s say that you have a new e-book coming out – a moving yarn entitled I WRITE GOOD – and you are offering it for the low promotional price of 99 cents.

Let’s say that I WRITE GOOD is coming out on November 25.

Let’s say that you want to promote I WRITE GOOD on that very same day.

SO – once I sign up to support your I WRITE GOOD Thunderclap then on November 25 on whatever time you decide to set up – a promotional Tweet will pop up on my Twitter account.

Something like this:

Buy a copy of I WRITE GOOD for only 99cents today on Amazon!

That Tweet only comes up the once at the agreed-upon time.

In addition – that tweet is simultaneously coming up on each of the other 99 Twitter accounts – which means that your new book, I WRITE GOOD, is simultaneously being promoted on ONE HUNDRED Twitter feeds.

Let me give you a few numbers.

As I type this entry my book SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME has 74 out of 100 Thunderclap supporters. That is 74 Tweeter feeds that can reach 389,234 readers on November 26th.

Now – if I do NOT get the 100 supporters within the next 12 days that I need the Thunderclap does NOT go live – unless I am willing to pay a certain fee to help make up the difference. Judging from the numbers I do not anticipate that it will be a problem to find those necessary 26 Thunderclap supporters.

STILL, if you want to sign up as a supporter you are more than welcome!

In fact – if you are setting up your own Thunderclap and want my support I would be more than happy to trade you my support for yours – just so long as your Thunderclap was supporting an e-book release and/or promotion.

That is the second most important thing to remember about setting up a Thunderclap. A lot of folks who support you will have Thunderclaps of their own and they will expect you to likewise support them.

Quid pro quo, Clarice.

Quid pro quo, Clarice.

HeadTalker works a lot like Thunderclap – except you can get away with a minimum of 25 supporters for your campaign – so I believe that I prefer using HeadTalker. Also, HeadTalker has a mechanism set up that will give you three or four supporters right off the bat.

Here is a look at my latest HeadTalker campaign.

You see – even though I created my HeadTalker campaign at about the same time as I created my Thunderclap – my HeadTalker already has FIFTY supporters, even though I only needed 25 to launch it.

I will let you folks know how both campaigns work out for me, saleswise. Keep in mind that this will be the very FIRST time that I have used either service to promote an actual e-book.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

How To Create A 99 cent Bargain Book Promotion

Hi everyone!

I have been messing with indie publishing for over three years with mixed success. This year I have decided that I want to hit the puree button on that mix and see if I cannot speed things up a little bit.

I have planning out a very large promotion for some time now. The promotion will involve THE TATTERDEMON OMNIBUS — a book that has so far been one of my best indie sellers. Which means my sainted maiden aunt, three bums from the local park, and my pet cat all think that my book is cool.

Understand now – I do not wish to give ANYONE the sense that I ACTUALLY know what I am doing.

In fact, I DON’T know what I am doing.

I am totally lost, somewhere between west-what-the-f**k and north-by-don’t-you-dare-drag-that-Dane-into-the-mix.

In fact – you couldn’t be more lost if you burned the map and then stirred up the ashes into a funky sort of ink that you used to freehand your own map with your eyes tightly closed. Stomp on the GPS and cram your pocket compass somewhere that I would rather not talk about right now.

So let’s get right down to the promo.

The Tatterdemon Omnibus — usually about $2.99 depending on which way the wind happens to be blowing has been recently marked down to 99 cents. I marked it down about a week and a half before the promo was scheduled to take place and I have been Tweeting and Facebook quietly about this price change and have jogged a few loose sales from a few happy Tweeterers and Facebookogians.
Those are technical terms, by the way. You might want to go and Google them, the next time you are about six drinks into a bottle of strong Scotch.

I set it up this way under the theory that this “soft” opening would bump up the Kindle ranking just enough to give the illusion that this book was written by someone who could actually write and even maybe sell a few books.

This will take you to the Amazon.com sales page where TATTERDEMON is already listed at 99 cents. It might even be cheaper depending on where you are ordering from. Why don’t you order a copy today?

THE TATTERDEMON OMNIBUS
Current ranking — as of October 20th, 2015.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,545 Paid in Kindle Store
#263 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales
#271 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales
#377 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales
Twenty reviews — 4.3 out of 5 stars average.

PROMO DETAILS
October 24: My Book Cave
October 26: BookSCREAM
October 26-31: Kindle Book Review Halloween Party
October 27-31: Discount Bookman
October 27: Just Kindle Books
October 28: Fire and Ice Promo
October 28: Buck Books
October 28-30: Awesome Gang
October 28: Book Tweeter
October 28-30: Kobo 99 cent promo
October 29: bknight (a VERY reliable Fiverr book promo service)
October 29-31 Choosy Bookworm
October 29 — Book Sends/Pixel of Ink
November 2 — Robin Reads

Note: Some of you will point out that I missed a few obvious choices but I am simultaneously running a big promo on my historical horror novel, DEVIL TREE and I used some of the other sites that you might name for them. I am hoping that the boost between the two novels will help stir up some heat for the rest of my work.

I am also (naively) hoping that this big push will stir up a few more nominations for my Kindle Scout Campaign for A BLURT IN TIME — my novel of time travelling toilet terror.

Or at least that is the plan.

This is not the best way to create a 99 cent book  promotion. There are better and much more expensive websites to work with – but I am on a deep budget. The main bit of advise that I would give you is if you want to make a big splash and create a big bump in your ranking and hopefully a tail of sales that you will follow you after the promotion is over you ought to concentrate on length.

That means that you shouldn’t be necessarily thinking about a one-day promotion or a three day promotion. I do use mini one-day promotions quite often – but for this sort of a big push you ought to give yourself a good running start.

Think of it this way.

If you sell fifty copies of your e-book tomorrow – your Amazon rank will bump up – but then it will fall down just as quickly. HOWEVER – if you sell twenty copies tomorrow, followed by twenty more on the day after and twenty more the day after that your bump will last a little bit longer. Amazon rewards consistency as well as numerical performance. The more steady your sales are, the more consistently your rating and your VISIBILITY will rise.

I should also mention that a lot of these promotional sites promote WIDE – which means that they also promote your book if it is available on Kobo, Nook, Apple and other sites. Both TATTERDEMON and DEVIL TREE are available at all of these other sites and are marked down to 99 cents already. I am going to be watching closely over the next month to see how my Kindle sales compare to my Kobo, Nook, Apple, Googleplay and other assorted e-book distributors.

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.

Can an e-book cover make a difference?

Just take a look at the cover I have been using for my hockey/vampire novella, SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME.

Sudden Death Overtime - final art

You tell me which book you would choose if you had to go STRICTLY by the covers alone?


Now take a look at the cover that I recently purchased from Christine at Bayou Cover Designs.

Kelpie-Dreams

I’m just finishing up the last couple of chapters of this one. I haven’t decided whether or not I will shoot it into the Kindle Scout program or just release it on my own. A lot will depend upon whether or not A BLURT IN TIME makes the cut on Kindle Scout.

(and I know how tired you folks must be from hearing me yammer on and on – blah, blah, Kindle Scout, blah, blah, nominate)

Speaking of which, Bayou Cover Designs also was the creative force behind the cover for my YA novel, A BLURT IN TIME.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

Take it from me – a good cover can mean a whole lot of difference in immediate sales. If any of you writer-types reading this out there happen to be looking for a good cover artist why don’t you swing on over to Bayou Cover Designs and check out some of their premade covers or else hire Christine to do a cover just for you.

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.

My Kindle Scout Campaign – Day 4

Mirror Evil Dead

Every morning I get up out of bed and go down the hall and walk into the bathroom.

THEN – I do the man-thing. I stare into the bathroom mirror and I make a few discrete muscles and I say to myself – “Dang, I am HOT!”

I have to do that BEFORE coffee to help ward off the inevitable invasions of reality that clear vision can incur.

It turns out that my Kindle Scout Campaign offers me the very same phenomenon.

Every morning I get up and I take a peek at my Campaign and I say “Dang, I am STILL hot!”

This is my fourth day and I have enjoyed 69 out of 96 happy hours of Hot & Trending.

I have 335 views so far.

That means that SO FAR I am still keeping my head above water. This could end tomorrow – but not for lack of trying.

Somebody at kboards asked me if I could offer any tips to a newbie.

I told her that the biggest tip I could offer a newbie – considering that I am a rank newbie myself – is to get the word out there as best as you can. Emulate the waves upon the beach. Turn over every stone that you can find in your own social network and then spread out and reach other social networks. Tweet like a drunken parakeet, Facebook like it was the end of the world and you were trying to personally message every single living human being on the planet. Tell your family and your friends and blog like a yodeling alpine bullfrog. Be persistent without being obnoxious.

Most of all, try and have some fun. Remember that this is NOT the end of the world. Drunken parakeets and yodeling alpine bullfrogs are not overtaking our planet. Even if you DON’T get a single freaking second on the Hot & Trending list; even if Kindle Scout does NOT accept your novel – remember, you can still publish it yourself – and all of those people who did think enough of your creative efforts can still be reached to alert them to the release of your book.

Kindle Scout is a fun sort of game that way.

Even when you lose, you win.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


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.

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.

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?