Tag Archives: promotion

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?

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.

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.

Leaping to Conclusions On Top Of A Roof

It has happened to all of us.

Every now and then life just seems to get in the way of your writing.

This month – for instance. I have been busy with my Kindle Scout Campaign. I have been busy phoning and e-mailing various contractors regarding the construction of a brand new driveway. I have been working extra hours at work. I have been getting ready for several October public appearances. I went to a wake last night and there will be a funeral today.

Life gets in the way sometimes.

It does for all of us.

Let me tell you about some of these interruptions.

One of the problems I am dealing with is some much-needed work that has needed doing around the house. There is the new driveway, as I mentioned. This is a necessity. Our old driveway – on the back of the house backs into a very busy intersection, which makes it very hazardous to drive out of on certain times of the day. Besides the risk of collision it is also a less than ideal position for snow shoveling. Last winter our little gold Toyota was buried in the driveway by the combination of me being flat on my back with pneumonia during a VERY heavy snowfall, and the numerous visits of the snowplow completely burying our vehicle. By the time I could get at it our car was embedded in about a foot of accumulated ice and about two feet of snow. I was not able to free the car for use until the arrival of springtime. As a result we suffered some serious rust damage and are facing a trip to the mechanic for some body work.

Besides that problem, last winter also buried our roof beneath a mass of ice and snow that ALMOST broke the roof. The kitchen roof was leaking and the rafters in the upstairs were beginning to push down against the ceiling. I had to get up there and hack the ice off and shovel a couple of tons of snow.

Needless to say all of this took up a large chunk of my writing time. I try and not mind these sort of interruptions. Every kite needs a string, I tell myself. All of this foolishment and challenges that fate throws in front of me just give me all that more to write about.

So – this winter in addition to the new driveway I decided to put up heating cables. You know – the kind that melt the ice build-up to help prevent ice dams.

roof cables

Let me tell you about those heating cables.

I’m not handy. Not one little bit. I make Red Green look like a mystically-talented handyman prodigy. So I have to put a LOT of study into any home renovation that I contemplate.

So I studied and I carefully measured and I decided that we needed two lengths of heating cable to get the job done properly – a 100 foot length and an 80 foot length. I picked those up at Kent and brought them home. Then last Saturday I fished the 100 foot cable out of the box.

“I am going to read the instruction sheet,” I told my wife. “I am going to go outside and sit on my favorite lawn chair and study the instruction sheet closely.”

“You have fun with that dear,” she told me.

Only there wasn’t an instruction sheet in the 100 foot box. Somebody had opened up the box and neglected to return the instruction sheet to the box.

“I am going to get the instruction sheet out of the 80 foot box,” I told my wife. “Some cold hearted shoplifting bugger has stolen my instruction sheet from my 100 foot heating cable box.”

“You have fun with that dear,” she repeated.

You see, my wife has learned to stay a safe distance away from me whenever I am attempting something that is the least bit mechanically challenging – such as turning a door knob or tying my shoe laces – (God bless Velcro).

So I pulled the 80 foot cable out of it’s respective box and found the manual and went back to my lawn chair with the cable and the clips that fasten the cable to the shingles and the instruction sheet – which was really more of a manual with about thirty two pages of English instructions followed by thirty two pages of French instructions.

I’ve got a thing about how-to manuals. The way I figure it there really ought to be some sort of intuitive logic involved in the presentation of a this-is-how-you-do-it manual but MOST manuals these days are put together as if somebody had handed the directions and the illustrations to a pack of chimpanzees with a glue stick and a half a bushel of raw bran and prune juice.

Poop fling

I mean it might be an idea if some of these large manufacturing corporations hired a writer or two to actually write their instruction sheets, rather than relying upon graphic artists and committee-think.

This instruction manual was NO exception. It was strewn with this-is-how-you-install-your-heating-cable-when-the-wind-is-blowing-from-the-west and this-is-how-you-install-your-heating-cable-when-the-wind-is-blowing-out-of-your-wazoo. There was no real logical pattern as far as I could see. Tables and photographs were thrown haphazardly into the twenty-some pages of the English version of my how-to-tack-these-freaking-cables-to-your-roof-manual. I had to keep flipping back and forth between six different illustrated scenarios.

I mean really – wouldn’t it be better if the world was run by writers? Every possible world crisis could be averted by a simple “Fuck this shit, I am going to go and diddle about on Google and call it research.”

Every single problem on this planet could be blamed and handily dismissed by something along the lines of – “Well this is just a rough draft. Come the next strafing edit job I’ll clear that mess up in no time at all.”



So – eventually I worked up enough nerve to clamber up on top of that ladder and begin tacking my heating cable up. And – after a few attempted “drafts” I actually began to look as if I knew what I was doing. Only that cable kept looking smaller and smaller until I reached the end of the front side of the house – about ten feet shy of the mark.

Let me tell you the thing about heating cable. It’s not like extension cords. You can’t just run to the nearest hardware store and pick up another length of cord to plug into the first length. These suckers are NOT meant to connect together. You have to cover your house with one cable OR start a second cable from another end of the house and circle around to meet where the first cable left off.

What the hell happened.

I clambered down the ladder and took a few steps backwards to look at the situation. That’s something my grandfather taught me a long time ago. If you are faced with ANY sort of a problem the best way to handle it is to take a step back and smoke yourself a cigarette while you let your eyes work out what went wrong.

To this day I rely upon this simple redneck strategy. I don’t smoke, you understand. I never have. But I take a step back and I visualize my grandfather lighting a hand-rolled cigarette and puffing away slowly. And son of a gun, it usually works for me.

“I know what happened,” I said to myself. “Some bugger took the instructions out of the 100 foot box.”

Remember, the instruction manual HAD been missing from the 100 foot box.

“Some bugger took the instructions out and took the 100 foot cable out and switched boxes with an 80 foot cable in the store so that they could buy their 100 foot cable for the price of an 80 foot cable – leaving me with a freaking 80 foot cable in a 100 foot box!”

I tell you, when it comes to solving mysteries, Sherlock Holmes should be taking notes from me.

So I ran in the house.

“Did you fall off the roof?” my wife asked me. “Should I call for an ambulance?”

“I solved it,” I said. “I figured out WHY I have got an 80 foot heating cable up on my roof where a 100 foot cable out to be. Some dirty cold hearted shoplifting bugger stole my 100 foot cable and left me with an 80 foot cable and…”

The rant went on for about five minutes or an hour or so. I was simultaneously amazingly satisfied at my uncanny deductive skills and enraged at the audacity of some cold hearted shoplifting bugger having the nerve to shoplift MY 100 foot cable from the Kent store before I got there to buy it.

Columbo would have been so proud of me.

“What about that cable on the table?” My wife asked.

“That’s an 80 foot cable,” I told her half-smug at the thought of my wife actually thinking that she could out-think me when it came to handyman work. “That isn’t long enough.”

“Did you check?” she asked.

So – just to humor her I checked the cable.

The 100 foot cable.

When I had been busy fishing the instruction manual out of the 80 foot box I inadvertently hung onto the 80 foot cable and banged it up where the 100 foot cable ought to have been.

Mind you it isn’t going to be all that hard to fix this galactic-sized goof-up.

The clips that hold the cable on the roof are easy to bend open. So today – if the weather cooperates – I will clamber back up the ladder and unhook the 80 foot cable and replace it with the 100 foot cable which WILL reach the end of the roof edge and do it’s job properly.

Maybe next week I’ll attack the Christmas light situation.

I want to apologize to any cold hearted shoplifters out there who are reading this. No, you did not steal my 100 foot heating cable – although you probably DID steal my even-an-idiot-can-do-this-drunk-and-blindfolded instruction sheet – which didn’t help me all that much anyway.

Let me tell you – if you leap to a conclusion on top of the roof you are bound to leave head-shaped dents in your front lawn.

It’s day five of my Kindle Scout Campaign.

I have spent 80 hours off the Hot & Trending List which means that I need to get some more nominations. Odds are, if you are reading this you have probably already nominated my time-traveling toilet ghost story A BLURT IN TIME for Kindle Scout publication – BUT if you did get a giggle or two out of this blog entry and you haven’t nominated me why not click this link  and read the two chapter excerpt and if THAT made you giggle me than help me reach my goal with a nomination.

OR – if you have already nominated me than share this blog entry anyway that you can and maybe some of your friends might giggle enough to nominate me.

I know.

I have no pride.

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.

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.


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

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


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)


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.



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.

REVENANT (permafree) – 2 copies
FLASH VIRUS: EPISODE 1 (permafree) – 1 copy

(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.


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…


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.


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.


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