For the past two months I’ve been working on launching a new website that I think you’ll really love. The Fussy Librarian lets you select what genres of books you read as well as your preferences on content — profanity, violence and sexual content. No other site gives you this level of personalization.
So come and visit The Fussy Librarian and sign up to get daily deals on great books!
I’m in the middle of a 15 day streak at work and, as many of you know, I get the bulk of my writing done on the weekends. So there haven’t been any “weekends” for a while.
But good news: I’m getting my Fourth of July holiday and my “weekend” on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And I’ve lined up a tour of the setting where the third Annie novel is set. Also plan to get some writing done!
The other thing is there’s a project that’s come up that I’m working on a business plan so I can get some advice on whether it’s worth the financial risk involved. If I decide to go ahead, it will definitely impact time available for writing … But it’s also something that I think you’ll really like.
The first of the month brings the BBoS, better known as the Brown Bar of Shame to authors who sell their books on the Amazon Kindle. That’s what you see until you sell a book.
May was a good month — 305 sales of Finding Grace and another 86 of Signs and Wonders. A good month but not a great one. There’s still 75,000+ people out there who have copies of S&W that I have yet to reach. (Amazon, unfortunately, does not automatically send emails to readers when the second book in a series is released.)
Marketing is hard and frustrating. Almost every author will tell you this. Writing and chatting with readers is a thousand times more fun.
If you have bought Finding Grace,, thank you, thank you, thank you. If you enjoyed it, please tell a friend. (Recommending it to your friends on Goodreads is VERY helpful and easy. The book has its own page and you just click the recommend button.)
In the meantime, I’m going to go start work this afternoon on Chapter 1 of the next Annie Grace book. That’s what many of you have been asking me to do. It makes me happy. It (hopefully) makes you happy. Everyone wins.
Enjoy your Saturday!
Let me save you time and anguish by sharing what has worked (and not worked) for me:
- TRIBES: These are groups of writers who support and encourage each other. That’s fine and dandy and noble. If you need someone to push you to keep writing, then join one of these groups. But when it comes time to marketing each other’s books, the only author that usually benefits is the person who founded the group. F.
- YOUR BOOK’S COVER: This is the single best investment you can make in your book. Period. If the cover looks amateurish, most readers will not buy the book. A
- FACEBOOK: Readers want to engage with you and Facebook is a great way to do it. The time investment can be as little as a few minutes before bedtime. People will friend you and Facebook’s sponsored posts are a cheap way to remind them when a new book goes on sale. B.
- TWITTER: Programs like TweetDeck can be set up to email you every time someone tweets that they have bought or finished your book. It will generate a few dozen leads for you. C+
- BOOK TRAILERS: What was the last book you bought after watching a trailer on YouTube? That’s what I thought … If you’ve got the skills, then consider this as a way to build your brand. Otherwise, save your money. D
- FACEBOOK ADVERTISING: I think it’s become more powerful over the past two years. Whether it’s cost effective, though, depends on the price of your book. It’s impossible to break even on a 99 cent novel, especially if you run ads on a cost-per-click basis. But if you’re selling at $2.99? Then it may be worth a dollar per click because each Kindle sale generates a royalty of $2.09. B.
- OTHER ADVERTISING: It depends on the site. eReaderNewsToday (A) gives an excellent return on value but it may be a year before your ad runs. Pixel of Ink (C) depends on the genre of your book, although it’s sister site Inspired Readers (A) is free and very influential if you write religious fiction. Kindle Nation Daily (D) is very expensive for the results they tend to deliver.
- GOODREADS: People will rate your book here so create an author page to let them know about your upcoming books. Free marketing. B
- LIBRARY THING: An excellent way to give away free books, including e-books. Only downside is you are prohibited from using emails to build your mailing list. B
- BACK OF BOOK: When you put Book #2 on sale, put the first chapter at the end of Book #1. It’s worth the cost to pay the e-book formatter a second time. B+
- WATTPAD: Popular with those who like to read on their smartphones, it’s a good place to post a sample chapter. B
- FREE BOOKS: Why do you want to give your book away? Because every new author needs to build a following. Free means there’s no risk to the reader. Amazon’s KDP select program makes promotional giveaways easy for you. I’ve given away 54,000 copies of “Signs and Wonders.” If just 10 percent of them read the book and opt to buy “Finding Grace,” that’s more sales than if every paid sale (3,200) chooses to buy the sequel. A.
- YOUR BLOG: Use your blog to remind people when your new book is coming out, like this:
Alex Adena’s “Finding Grace,” the sequel to “Signs and Wonders” will be published in late April. Sign up for a reminder at his Facebook page, Alex Adena Books.
About two weeks ago I decided to make Signs and Wonders exclusive to the Kindle for a few months.
While there’s something to be said about not putting all your eggs in one basket, Barnes & Noble, Apple and other retailers have not generated many sales over the past five months — perhaps a dozen, all told. Kindle and the paperback, combined, are 1,300+.
The big advantage to being exclusive with Amazon is they give you five days out of every 90 where you can schedule free promotions. I offered one this past Monday, which generated 3,000 free downloads, and have since sold 150 copies in the past 2 1/2 days. I also get paid if you check the book out through Amazon’s Kindle lending library, which is available now to their Amazon Prime customers.
If you don’t have a Kindle, the paperback is still available, through Amazon. It’s priced at $3.99 and arrives in just a few days.