Tag Archives: Reading

Free Book Marketing?

Deciding how to spend your marketing dollars on your indie book is tough.  After paying for an editor and book cover, now you have to decide how much to spend on marketing.  You’re already in the hole, and you wonder if your book will ever earn enough to recoup what you already have in it.  So how much more money do you spend on marketing, and will it make a difference in sales?

Well then, it’s time for some free marketing, right?

Unfortunately, nothing in life is free (Somebody famous said that I’m sure).  The majority of the free marketing sites I’ve run across require you to give your book away for free to join.  Most of them want you to have your book free on Amazon.  Basically, you have to be in KDP Select to really take advantage of these opportunities.  So it’s more like: If you want something for free, don’t write a book.  Yes, these sites are free for the reader but lost revenue for you.

The philosophy is that you need to get your name out there in order to build a following and eventually sell books.  Another philosophy I’ve heard is to price your book higher so that readers feel it has value and will buy it.  So like every other aspect of writing, there is no one path to success in marketing.

I’ve had my books on Amazon and Kobo and recently entered a few giveaways on Goodreads and Instafreebie (I also did an Amazon ad campaign).  I’ve been giving away book one of my series for several months to build readership.  I’ve given away about 600 copies of The Order of the Wolf.  I’ve also sponsored a Blog tour for my series and a book blitz for my new book release.

The net result of my efforts is three new book ratings/reviews on Goodreads, one on Amazon, and one on a review website.  I have sold a few copies of The Eastern Factor that just released, but not enough to get excited about.

My take away from all this is that people are more than willing to download a free book.  In fact, I think a lot of people are grabbing all the free e-books they can get their hands on.  Whether they read them is another matter.  I’ve actually heard people brag about how many books they have on their e-reader—more than they’ll read in their lifetime. If they read your book, they have to like it in order to rate it or buy the next book.  Finding readers to take your book isn’t so hard when you’re giving it away, but finding the right readers that will want to read more is the key.

Takeaway number two: I need to do more with ARC reviews and pre-order sales.  Much of the marketing is targeted for this period vs. after the release.

Another takeaway is that I need to have my giveaways on Amazon to harness the power of, well, Amazon.  I’ve resisted KDP Select for awhile, but I recognize that it is the best marketing platform to use when you’re trying to get established.  So this week I’m taking my books down from other sites and switching my series over to KDP Select and I am going to use their marketing features going forward.  Well, at least for the next 90 days.

I’ll admit, I’m a slow processor.  I have to mull over a problem for a while before deciding which way to go.  My wife says I’m hard-headed and will argue with a wall (I am not!), but I do eventually work out a path forward.  Let’s see where this one leads.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to get your copy of The Eastern Factor.    You’ll find it on Amazon.  And you can buy the complete Kingdom of Haven series there as well if you’re so inclined.

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Emotions Matter

We writers all have our philosophies about what makes a good story.  For me, it is all about the characters and the emotional content.  Characters matter because how interesting would a story be about a chair?

Not only do characters matter, but the reader has to feel something about the character for the story to work.  Love, Hate, disgust, sympathy—getting your reader to feel these is what makes your story enjoyable to read.  In order for the reader to feel them, your characters must show them.

In The Eastern Factor, the protagonist has issues.  He hasn’t had the best childhood, and if you read Stenson Blues, he made a mess of his first chance at love.  He’s damaged goods, and he has a hard time trusting—especially women.  So of course, one of the biggest hurdles he faces is learning to trust Neasa, the woman that becomes his strongest ally.  Here is the scene where they begin to bond (sort of):

 

Traveling in a litter makes you feel like a king. It was a heady feeling—lounging on cushions while strong men hoisted you down the street—or maybe I was light-headed from being enclosed with Neasa after our bath.

I was still a bit warm, and she smelled of some exotic spice that reminded me of the spearmint that grew wild in the woods outside Kartoba. Neasa seemed to revel in the experience, stretching on the cushions next to me like a cat and giving me a look that I preferred to ignore. Instead, I peered out through a gap in the curtains and watched the scenery go by. The fresh air on my face helped clear my mind.

There weren’t many people walking the street, and the houses we passed were more lavish than the one I had borrowed from Factor Einhardt. It seemed like a different town than the one we’d marched through earlier.

“Close the curtain, Olaf,” Neasa said. “They’ll think you’re an oaf from the west.”

“They who?” I replied as I pulled the curtain shut. “The streets are empty.” The minty smell became stronger with the curtain shut. It made my eyes water.

Neasa reached out and patted my arm. “They are watching, believe me.”

I fought the urge to pull away. The litter was wide enough for us to recline side-by-side, but with little room to move otherwise. Besides, I didn’t want her to realize how frightened I was of her.

It was hard to admit, but I finally had to:  Neasa terrified me. She was pretty and powerful and deadly—and, worst of all, she had decided that we were destined to be together. I hoped that she saw us as allies and nothing more, but I was afraid to ask. My body lay stiffly on the cushions and I stared at the curtain in front of me, waiting for her to pull her hand away.

Instead, she ran her finger down my arm. “Why are you so tense, Olaf?”

When I didn’t respond, she finally pulled her hand away and let out a sigh. “I just want to talk.”

I peeked at her from the corner of my eye. She looked back at me with a serious expression. I wasn’t sure if that was better than her teasing.

“Olaf, we are allies in this. I know that I might have …” She paused as if choosing her words carefully. “I know I startled you during the New Year celebration.” She looked contrite, almost sorrowful, with a little frown on her face and a tearful gleam in her eye. “I keep forgetting how spooked you Uplanders get when there is talk of the gods, but I’d had a vivid vision, and I could not keep it to myself.”

I didn’t want to hear about her vision again. I could feel my chest tighten as soon as she mentioned the gods. Anyone from the Seven Kingdoms would have had the same reaction.

“I’m sorry for springing this on you, but you have had plenty of time to think about it since.” She moved to reach for my arm again, but I shied away. Her hand paused, just out of reach. “Know this, Olaf. I will not try to trick you or force you to do anything. We are allies and our destinies are intertwined.” Then she lowered her hand to rest it on my arm. “Your enemies are my enemies.”

Even through my coat sleeve, her touch sent a thrill through me. It was nothing carnal, but more like a shiver of fear. I suddenly felt as though the gods were watching our every move.

The litter came to an abrupt halt and she pulled her hand free again. “We have arrived.”

 

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Reserve your Copy!

 

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The Eastern Factor: Kingdom of Haven book 3 is now available for pre-order on Amazon.  Go ahead and reserve a copy.

And if you need more reading material, The Order of the Wolf (Book 1) is still available as part of the Secret Worlds – Fantasy Giveaway along with 61 other fantasy titles.

It’s snowing here in Charlotte today and in this part of the country we roll up the sidewalks and hunker down with just the rumor of snow (and don’t forget to buy all the bread and milk you can carry).  What better day to curl up under a warm blanket with a bunch of e-books to keep you company?  It beats scraping your car windows and shoveling the driveway.

You might as well make some nice french toast with all that bread and milk you have hoarded up too.

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All Good Tours Come to an End

Today is the last day of my blog tour for the Kingdom of Haven series hosted by SAGE’s BLOG TOURS.  The last stop is a book spotlight and review on Hogwash.  The review is for the first book in the series The Order of the Wolf.

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You can still get your free copy of The Order of the Wolf here along with 60+ other fantasy novels in the Secret Worlds – Fantasy Giveaway going on until February 10th.

Don’t forget to get your copy of The Eastern Factor: Kingdom of Haven Book 3 when it’s released on January 30th (Like you’re going to forget when I keep reminding you).

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What’s Better than 1 Free Book?

60 Free Books!

It’s like books falling from the sky, except these are ebooks, so it doesn’t hurt to catch them (Well, I’m assuming it doesn’t hurt. I’ve never tried to catch one).

The Order of the Wolf is included in a Secret Worlds – Fantasy Giveaway sponsored by Books Go Social.  Sixty fantasy novels by various authors all in one place.

So if you’re a fantasy fiend, check them out.  If you like secret worlds, check them out.  If you like free books, check them out.  Oh heck, just check them out.

Don’t forget to leave a review (Amazon, Kobo, your grandma’s blog)  if you decide to read my book.  Reader feedback is like popcorn at the movies – you can’t get enough. (And don’t forget the Reese’s Cups)

(Okay, I just stumbled upon Grandma’s Briefs when writing this blog post, but it was such a cool site that I had to throw it in here.)

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Broadswords and Blasters

Broadswords and Blasters

Today my short story “Granny May Saves the Day” is out in Broadswords and Blasters magazine.  The story is about a grandma who ain’t afraid of nothin’, and her side-kick grandson who coerces the townsfolk for sweets to keep her out of their hair.  They had a great racket going until them alien critters showed up.

Also, my blog tour rolls on with my Kingdom of Haven series being showcased on the Bound 2 Escape book blog.

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Tour This!

Check out the next stop on my blog tour promoting the Kingdom of Haven series.  It’s posted at Ramblings of a Book Nerd.

I finished the book file for The Eastern Factor the other day, and am finishing the paperback book cover design today.  Correction, my friend Don is designing the paperback cover today.  I’m just being a pain to him with my “Can you….” questions.

Luckily, he can and I really like the cover design.

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Reality is finally setting in that book three is on the way.  Book ARC anyone?

 

 

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