Tag Archives: Books

Marketing & Promotion

I love writing but not so much marketing.  Up until recently, all my marketing efforts had been at the local level:  Book signings, talking to local bookstores, talking with local groups.  As a result, I have sold more paperback books than e-books.  And while I’ve had an author website for a while, It was stagnant and didn’t really draw any traffic.

I recognized that e-book sales are a larger market, but I didn’t want to put too much time and money (mostly money) into online marketing until I had a series.  I read in several places that an indie author needs multiple books to pull in readers, so I worked on more books and did little online marketing.  My plan was and still is, to market my series.

With The Eastern Factor being released the last week in January, The Kingdom of Haven trilogy is complete, and I am working on my online marketing.  One thing I’ve learned in the last few month of devising my strategy is that there is a lot of information out there, but no one way to success—definitely no guaranteed way to succeed.

So here is my strategy:

  • Goodreads Book Giveaways:
    • I gave away 5 signed copies of The Order of the Wolf, book 1 in The Kingdom of Haven series on Goodreads.  The giveaway went from Aug 6 to Sept 31.  I had 601 people sign up for the giveaway.  I’ve received 1 Goodreads review (4 stars) and had 230 people add the book to their “to-read” status.
    • I am currently giving away 5 signed copies of Stenson Blues, book 2 in The Kingdom of Haven series on Goodreads. So far, 146 people have signed up for the giveaway and 62 people have added the book to their “to-read” status. The giveaway is going until 12/31.  Check it out:  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/264552-stenson-blues
  • AskDavid.com Book Promotion Site—I joined AskDavid ($15/6 months). I can post as many books as I want and they have it on their site and tweet it out to their 58,000 twitter followers.  I posted the first two books.  So far, no reviews, but the initial tweet was re-tweeted a few times for each book.  I also received 25 tweets to their followers at my discretion.  I am saving them for when my blog tour is coming out.
  • Instafreebie:
    • Setup The Order of the Wolf as a free e-book giveaway in exchange for joining my mailing list. Instafreebie sends the new members to my Mailchimp account.  I’ve added about 60 members in two months.  You can find it here:  https://www.instafreebie.com/free/xbVUD
    • Setup Stenson Blues as a free e-book for members of my mailing list who received my first monthly newsletter(for December).
    • Plan to set up The Eastern Factor here for sending out ARC review copies.
  • Mailchimp:
    • Gathering email list through Instafreebie and my Facebook page.
    • Setup a monthly newsletter for my subscribers. (First one went out last week).
    • Stats on the first newsletter: 43.8% open rate, 12.5% click rate, 1 unsubscribed.
  • Facebook/Blog/Amazon
    • My blog is linked to my Facebook author page. Between the two, I get a few views and likes, but not anything huge.  There is a definite upward trend on followers (Yes, I’m calling it a trend if my mom starts following my Facebook author page).  Facebook keeps sending me messages to boost my posts, but I haven’t stepped into that yet.
    • I have started following some great authors (you know who you are), and have learned quite a bit through the blog.
    • You can find me on my Amazon author’s page as well: amazon.com/author/freddiesilva
  • Website
    • My current website is still fairly static, but I have it linked to my blog and have put more effort into keeping it updated. Happily, my website comes up on the first page (now) if you Google me.
    • I have a new web domain (www.wolfjape.com) and website coming, but it isn’t quite ready yet. It will be hosted on WordPress, so my blog won’t be separate anymore and you won’t see any more annoying adds.
  • PW Booklife—Joined Publishers Weekly Booklife which is set up for Indie authors. You can send your book in for consideration for review (no cost).  I submitted both books for review.  Book 1 was rejected but I’m still waiting to hear on book 2.  I didn’t have high hopes of getting a review here but figured it was worth a try.
  • Sage’s Blog Tour/Book Blast
    • I am in the process of setting up a blog tour for the series. It should be starting around the second week in January.
    • This series blog tour will be followed up by a book blast for the release of The Eastern Factor the last week of January.

It has been busy, but I’m excited to be finally getting the ball rolling on the marketing.  I’m not going to say it’s been fun, but it has definitely been a challenge.  Hopefully, it will get easier with the next book as I figure out what works.

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The End of NaNo

And NaNoWriMo ends with the Charlotte Creeping Crud.  Why am I not surprised?  I spent the last three days of November trying to fight off this latest bit of nastiness floating around Charlotte.  I am tempted to blame my lack of 50,000 words on this, but it would be a convenient excuse.  To be honest, I just don’t write that fast, and I refuse to give up everything else to win this prize.

I hit the 25,000-word mark for NaNo.  This is about average for me.  It brought my total word count on The Queen’s Man to 55,000.  My goal is still to finish the draft by the end of the year, but we’ll see.  This book is in the publishing queue for 2019, behind The Eastern Factor, which will be released in January, and Half-hand, which is planned for late 2018.  I have a little time to get it finished.

On a happy note, I received The Eastern Factor back from the editor earlier than I had anticipated.  I’ll be going through the final revision, and setting up the book files in the next couple of weeks, which will give me some time for ARC reviews before it is released.

I like to participate in NaNoWriMo because it helps me to focus on my latest project, but winning isn’t normally in the cards for me.  My writing philosophy is more along the lines of slow and steady than fast and furious.  I wonder if people would go to see that movie?

The Slow and Steady: Tokyo Slow-Mo.

Kinda catchy, right?

 

 

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You Don’t Want to Read the Kingdom of Haven Series!

I was always a math and science kinda guy in school.  Math made sense and science was logical.  If you went back and looked at my high school yearbook, probably half the inscriptions read something like:  “Thanks for helping me get through chemistry.”  People wanted to sit next to me in those classes, but no one ever fought to sit next to me in English class.

English wasn’t my thing, especially when we had to memorize.  I suck at memorizing.  I’ve only truly memorized one thing in my life— the poem “El Dorado” by Edgar Allan Poe.   

 I can still recite it from memory:

          Gaily bedight, A gallant knight, in sunshine and in shadow…

This poem has been stuck in my head since 10th grade English class where I had a teacher that thought the only way to teach literature was to make her students memorize it.  Somehow, I managed to pass that class and only completely memorize the one poem.  The only other passage that I still remember, somewhat, is Marc Antony’s speech in “Julius Caesar”:

 Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

 I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

And that’s all I can remember verbatim, but like “El Dorado”, that speech has stayed with me.   I remember how Antony stirred up the crowd through a bit of double-speak and reverse psychology.  Throughout the speech, his arguments seem to support Brutus and the rest of Caesar’s killer, but in reality, they do just the opposite.

If only we struggling writers could channel a little Shakespeare to help with our marketing efforts.

I think Marc Antony would make a great  book publicist:

Friends, readers, fellow writers, lend me your ears;

I come to berate the Kingdom of Haven series, not to praise it.

Independently published books should be ignored;

And traditionally published books will be praised by the powers that be;

So let it be with this series.

The noble book establishment

Hath told you the Kingdom of Haven series should be ignored:

And this is an honorable establishment.

The Kingdom of Haven series hath brought tears to my eyes,

Yet the book establishment says it should be ignored,

And this is an honorable establishment.

The Kingdom of Haven series hath made me laugh,

Yet the book establishment says it should be ignored,

And this is an honorable establishment.

O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,

And men lost their reason.  Bear with me;

My heart is buried on Amazon with The Kingdom of Haven series,

And I must pause till it come back to me.

 

Okay, that’s your cue to run amuck in the streets (Or maybe on the internet).  Go and get a copy of The Order of the Wolf or Stenson Blues on Amazon or Kobo.  Book 3, The Eastern Factor, will be coming your way in January.

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Goodreads Giveaway

Who doesn’t like a free book?  Just head on over to Goodreads and you can enter my giveaway for a signed copy of Stenson Blues: Kingdom of Haven Book 2.

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This is phase 2 of my book giveaways to celebrate the January release of book 3: The Eastern Factor.

If you don’t like to start in the middle, just click on my buddy below, and you can still get a free ebook copy of The Order of the Wolf just for signing up for my monthly author newsletter.

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And don’t forget to leave me a review while your at it!

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Old Mercenary Romance is the Best Kind

Romance seems to be everywhere nowadays.  There’s fantasy romance, historical romance, even western romance—I think (Hey Tex, pass the biscuits).  I don’t really care to read a lot of erotic stuff, but I believe every story needs a little romance.  Even a gritty mercenary story like The Order of the Wolf has some romance.

Actually, one of my favorite scenes is when the protagonist meets his lady love for the first time.  He’s a gruff mercenary with a death wish, who’s never had a real relationship with a woman, and she’s an old farm wife who’s lost her husband to war.  She found him near her farm, collapsed from a festering wound, and brought him back to her shack to mend him:

 

I woke to excruciating pain—and, strangely, comfort. Where did this bed come from? A scratchy pillow cushioned my head enough so that I could scan my surroundings.

I was in a peasant shack with stick furniture and herbs hanging from the wall. My borrowed sword hung on a hook by the door; seeing it prompted me to struggle to me feet with a grunt. I shuffled, naked, across the dirt floor and grabbed the sword, feeling better when I had it in my grasp. I scanned the room for my missing tunic, shaking my head to clear the feeling of light-headedness.

The hovel’s door scraped and I dropped into a fighting stance, my sword poised to strike. The afternoon sun beamed through the opening, blinding me. I blinked to clear my vision and jumped back when a shadow passed before the door.

It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the sunlight. A woman stood in the doorway with one hand on her hip and the other holding my missing tunic—which appeared to be clean. She looked strong enough to put up a good fight if I set my sword down, so I held it at the ready and I studied her face, trying to gauge her intentions.

She smiled at me, running her eyes down the length of my body. “You going to stab me with that?” she asked—only she wasn’t looking at the sword in my hand.

I cleared my throat and her focus shifted to my face. Her scrutiny was unnerving. I hadn’t been with a woman since before my mates had died, and I hadn’t stood naked in front of a woman since long before that. I tried to ignore my condition and regain control of the situation.

“How did I get here?”

The woman frowned. “If you put your sword down, I’ll tell you.”

I held out my hand for my tunic. “Can I have my clothes?”

Her smile returned. “I didn’t say you had to get dressed.” She gave me another appraising look. “Besides, your tunic is still wet.”

I knew that she was just baiting me, but I refused to give her the satisfaction by covering myself. I would rather have faced the Imperial cavalry again than stand there being ogled—but I didn’t move.

Finally, she laughed and gestured toward the back corner on the opposite side of the bed. “In the corner is an old tunic what belonged to my man. You can put it on.”

I lowered my sword and laid it on the bed as I crossed the room, but it’s hard to look dignified when a strange woman is staring at your naked ass. I shuffled over to the tunic and put it on. Homespun and too small, it began to itch as soon as it touched my skin.

“Where’s your man now?”

The woman frowned again and spat on the dirt floor. “The fool went an’ got himself killed in the Prince’s army.”

 

It’s not quite a fairy tale romance, but the relationship that develops is a critical part of the story.  If you want to read more, you can find a copy of The Order of the Wolf on Amazon or Kobo.  Or you can sign up for my author newsletter and get one for FREE.

If you decide to give The Order of the Wolf a gander, please don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, or Goodreads, or KOBO, or  wherever else strikes your fancy.  Reviews are more precious than gold to us independent authors.  My current goal is to get my books on BookBub and I need reviews to do it.  So help a starving author out.

(Okay, to be honest, I’m not starving.  Right now my belly is full of leftover Reese’s cups from Halloween . . . . . All right, they aren’t really leftover.  I sneaked them out of the candy bowl when the wife wasn’t looking.  But hey, I’m a fiction author.  I’m supposed to make this stuff up, right?)

Thanks for your ear rent.

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Writing Stuff

It’s been a busy week:

The Eastern Factor is off to the editors, and I just finished with the re-edit of The Order of the Wolf and it is now live on Amazon.  You can also get a free copy if you sign up for my brandy new Author Newsletter.  I will be sending it out monthly to begin with, at least until my next book is released in January.  After that, we’ll see, but it’ll be quarterly at a minimum.

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Click on my smiling friend to get your free ebook.

 

I also just found out that I won the Charlotte Geeks flash fiction contest with my story “Geekzilla Saves the Gala”.  It was featured on their Guardians of the Geekery podcast.  I also received some cool prizes.  You can find the podcast here (the story starts at 07:30).

 

 

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Goodreads Giveaway Finished

My Goodreads giveaway completed on September 30th.  I gave away 5 signed copies of The Order of the Wolf to promote the coming release of book 3 The Eastern Factor.

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 I had 604 people sign up for the giveaway.  I’m considering this a success, because 604 more people have heard of me and my books than before.  Whether those that didn’t win go out and buy a copy is another matter.  You can buy Order of the Wolf and Stenson Blues on Amazon or Kobo.  They are available as an ebook or paperback.

If you didn’t win, there will be more chances.  More giveaways and sales coming up until The Eastern Factor is released in January.  Stay tuned.

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